Preview: Keys to Beat Nuggets
Preview: Keys to Beat Nuggets
By Jace Darling, bobcats.com
January 28, 2014
January 28, 2014
KEY MATCHUP vs. NUGGETS: Ramon Sessions vs. Ty Lawson
Since stepping in to the starting lineup, Ramon Sessions has performed well. Sessions has started four games in Kemba Walker’s absence and is averaging 13.3 points and 6.0 assists. Sessions handed out a season-high 11 assists on Saturday against Chicago and scored a season-high 23 points on Jan. 20 against Toronto. Continued solid play will be needed from Sessions as the team embarks on another West Coast road trip… First up are the Denver Nuggets, led by fifth-year pro Ty Lawson, who is quietly having his best season as a pro. Lawson has begun the 2013-14 season on a mission, scoring in bunches and doing a little bit of everything else as well. The point guard is averaging 17.7 points (T-31st in NBA), 9.0 assists (3rd in NBA), 3.4 rebounds, and 1.48 steals through his first 40 games. Lawson scored 28 points (17 in the fourth quarter) and dished out a career-high 17 assists on Nov. 16 at Houston. He is just the 10th player since 1997 to post 28+ points and 17+ assists in the same game, and the first to do so since Derrick Rose on 3/26/11. Additionally, Lawson has posted 20+ points and 8+ assists in 11 games, tied for the third most such games in the NBA. He also finds himself among the league leaders in points per game created by his assists. Lawson has registered 17 point/assist double-doubles (including in five straight, his longest career streak), improving the Nuggets record to 28-13 when he has accomplished this in his career.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (19-27)
The Cats head to the West Coast for four games from Jan. 29 - Feb. 4, they were 1-3 the last time the team headed out West, with losses to the Jazz, Clippers, and Trail Blazers. The lone victory was the final game of the trip against Sacramento. The Bobcats have eight road victories so far this season, topping their total of six road wins from last season… While still waiting on the return of Kemba Walker (ankle), Al Jefferson needs to continue his dominating ways. Jefferson has posted 13 double-doubles in his last 21 games and 19 in his last 30 contests, averaging 19.9 points on .491 shooting (264-for-538) and 11.2 rebounds during the 30-game stretch. He has scored in double figures in 31 of his 33 games played this season, including 16 games of 20 points or more. Jefferson’s 19 double-doubles on the season are already the tied for seventh-best single-season total in franchise history… The Bobcats have played a league-high 22 games this season decided by six points or less and are 11-11 in those games. The Bobcats have the most wins in the NBA in games decided by six points or less and are a perfect 4-0 this season when they have six or more players score in double figures. In addition, Charlotte is also 10-2 this season when they score 100 points or more… The Bobcats are giving up only 97.2 points per game, which is the sixth-lowest average in the NBA. They have held their opponent under 100 points in 30 of their 46 games this season, which is the third-most such games in the NBA. The Bobcats held 13-straight opponents under 100 points from Nov. 13-Dec. 6, which tied the second-longest streak in franchise history and tied the longest streak in the NBA this season, set by the Spurs from Nov. 5-29.
SCOUTING THE NUGGETS (22-21)
The Denver Nuggets currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, four games out of eighth spot. Denver is currently riding a two-game winning streak… January has traditionally been a good month for the Nuggets. Over the last five seasons, no other month has treated the Denver Nuggets as well as January has. The Nuggets have enjoyed great success in the first month of the New Year, winning at least 10 games in five-straight Januarys and going a combined 56-22 (.718) in those months coming into this season. Denver has nine home games and six on the road in January, with 10 of their 15 games in the month coming against teams below .500 as of 12/31/13… With one of the best homecourt advantages in the NBA, the Nuggets own the second best home record in the NBA since the start of the 2007-08 season with a record of 201-56 (.782)… All five starters for the Nuggets average double figures in scoring lead by Ty Lawson at 17.7 points. Outstanding bench play is a tremendous asset for the Nuggets in the first half of the season. In fact, Denver’s reserves rank third in the NBA in points per game (41.1) and first in rebounds per game (18.2). Denver’s reserves had their best game of the year on Dec. 1 at Toronto when they had five players score 9+ points and outscored the Raptors bench, 72-16. Denver’s bench has outscored its opponent in 33 of its first 42 games and have scored 50-or-more points in nine games already. In fact, in 11 games this year it has been a bench player who has led the team in scoring.
This game can be seen on Fox SportSouth or NBA League Pass or you can listen live on bobcats.com, the Bobcats app or WFNZ 610 am.