Game On: Bobcats @ Hornets

Published: December 1, 2010

Matchup: Bobcats (6-11) @ Hornets (12-5)

Off Efficiency: Hornets 103.6(15th), Bobcats 103.8 (14th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 99.2(3rd), Bobcats 104.4 (15th)

Thanks to the amazing Dariusz Ejkiewicz for the Game Day Banner.

The Hornets look to end a two game slide (their longest of the year) tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats. After winning 11 of their first 12 games the Hornets have now lost 4 out of 5.They are also coming off their only home loss of the year, a 109-95 loss to the current best in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs.

Consider that slump over after tonight. The Hornets are going to beat the Charlotte Bobcats, and they are going to do so handily. I’ve yet to recap a loss this season, and there’s no chance that the Bobcats take this one down. NO CHANCE!!!!

For one thing, Stephen Jackson has been suspended, and his 27.5 points per game last year against New Orleans will be on the bench alongside him. He’s averaging 18-4-4 with 1.4 steals on the year so that’s a big loss for Charlotte. He, along with DJ Augustin, have been the best players on the Bobcats this year. Even with Jackson penciled in to play, I had a hard time envisioning the Bobcats pulling this one out, so you can imagine my optimism now that he’s going to be unavailable.

Charlotte takes nearly a third of their shots inside, so it’s important for New Orleans (specifically Emeka Okafor and David West) to play tough. The Hornets perimeter defense should limit the opportunities that the Bobcats have to drive, but they should still get their shots. Fortunately the physical match-ups all go in the Hornets favor, and West and Okafor should get a good number of opportunities to alter shots inside.

I want to see this again-


Hornets: None
Bobcats: Wallace (elbow) was limited during Monday’s practice, but said that he will be ready to play Wednesday, the Bobcats’ team website reports.

New Orleans Inactives: Pops, Aaron Gray, Marcus Banks

Charlotte Inactives: Diop, Henderson, Najera

Positional Analysis

PG: Chris Paul v DJ Augustin

Advantage: Hornets.

Yes, DJ is having his best year ever. And yes, Chris Paul seems to be a bit off his game in recent days. That doesn’t matter. One guy is Chris Paul and the other is DJ Augustin. Enough said.

SG: Marco Belinelli v Dominic McGuire
Advantage: Hornets

If Stephen Jackson is in there, this goes the other way. Despite McGuire having a nice game last time out, I wouldn’t expect him to top Belinelli’s performance.

SF: Trevor Ariza v Gerald Wallace
Advantage: Bobcats

Although similar in size and specific skills, Gerald Wallace is a cut above Ariza offensively and on the boards. Even though Ariza has the edge on the defensive end, there isn’t a small forward in the game today that possess the rebounding skills of Gerald Wallace. The Hornets have been getting killed on the boards is recent weeks (and in crunch time), so Trevor’s ability to keep Wallace of the glass could be huge. Oddly enough, that might just be his number one priority heading into the game.

PF: David West v Boris Diaw
Advantage: Hornets
Diaw is an excellent match up for West. Although he’s athletic and a good defender, he’s smaller than West and doesn’t have the physical ability to check him on defense inside. Expect a big night out of West, and again the Hornets should be looking to him right after the opening tip.

C: Emeka Okafor v Nazr Mohammad
Advantage: Hornets
Okafor has been playing very, very well, and Mohammad is an undersized center who isn’t athletic. Physically it’s a prime match up for Emeka. Although Okafor won’t do too much damage since Nazr is a decent interior defender and Okafor has no outside game, he’s still the clear cut winner in this battle both offensively and defensively. On the boards they are about even, but that’s not enough to keep this one close.

Bobcats: Tyrus Thomas, Livingston, Derrick Bron
Hornets: Jason Smith, Jarrett Jack, Willie Green, Marcus Thornton, Pondexter, Pops, Mbenga
Advantage: Hornets

An already weak bench gets depleted even further due to the suspension of Jackson, and Jarret Jack has been a Bobcat killer in recent years. Those two things combine to give the edge to New Orleans.

So looking at everything, I’m sure you understand my optimism. And if the on-court advantages aren’t enough, just remember- I’m doing the recap, and feeling lucky.

Vegas Zone-

Points- Hornets are favored by 8 currently (12:00 CT) and 62% of bettors are taking Charlotte.

Money line- They are going off at -360, or you can take the Bobcats at +300.

Over/under- 186.5, with 90% of bettors going with the under. I find this strange.

Notes From the Arena (or maybe beforehand)-

  • This game features three of the most durable players in the league. Jarrett Jack, Boris Diaw and Emeka Okafor are third, fourth and fifth in the league in most consecutive games played. Each one has at least 274 straight game appearances
  • Bobcats television analyst Dell Curry hasn’t played for the Hornets in ages, but he still owns a ton of team records. Among them, most seasons (10), games (701) and points (9,839 – a good 2,000 ahead of David Wesley).
  • Paul ranks first in the NBA in steals, second in assists, third in assist to turnover ratio, and ninth in free throw percentage.
  • The Hornets are first in the NBA for fewest points allowed by an opponent this season (92.4). Last season they were over 10 points worse (102.7)

Also, check out all the new Journal posts by 42- Through 17 games…, and Agent Ziko, who has some stats and thoughts on Chris Paul.

Update– Joe will be on ESPN’s Daily Dime Chat throughout the game, so come over and represent the Hornets fan base.

And Check out Queen City Hoops for their preview.


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