After dropping two games on a three-game road trip, the Bobcats return home to host the Philadelphia Sixers tomorrow night. The Bobcats will enter the game at 7-7, while the Sixers come in at 9-6. A win would put the Bobcats back over .500. It’s the first meeting between the two teams this season. Lets get into the keys to the game for the Bobcats:
- Bench scoring. The Bobcats bench has been strong all season, currently ranking 5th in bench scoring. Ben Gordon is coming off a 26 point night in a loss to Atlanta and has been having a good season so far. Ramon Sessions continues to be a plus as well. The Sixers bench doesn’t do a good job offensively, shooting just 37% from the field and ranking 22nd in bench scoring.
- Kemba Walker. Walker has been struggling the past four games, shooting 13-53 from the field. Walker will have a tough test in Jrue Holiday, who’s been playing fantastic this year for the Sixers. It’s an understatement to say how badly the Bobcats are going to need Walker to show up tomorrow night to hang with Holiday’s play on both ends.
- Be smart. The Sixers have been a very good defensive team under Doug Collins. They rank top 10 in opponents turnovers and opp. PPG. They have good athletes at every position and are. Last week, the Bobcats played a really good Atlanta Hawks defense, and didn’t play a smart game offensively or defensively. With good defensive teams, the margin for error is thin. Take care of the ball, keep moving the ball, and get to the line.
- Defend the three. The Sixers seventh in the league in three-point percentage. Jrue Holiday, Jason Richardson, Nick Young and Dorrell Wright are all proven three-point threats and won’t hesistate to shoot. To bring the Hawks game up again, the Bobcats gave shooters too much room to operate, and always lost track of the hot hand. The Sixers aren’t great offensively, but they can get hot from deep in a hurry.
- Size matters. This isn’t a very big team on either end. The Bobcats aren’t towers either, but with guys like Haywood, Mullens and Biyombo, the Bobcats should use the length and big bodies they have to their advantage on both sides of the ball. So lets see if the Bobcats frontcourt can have a good overall game tomorrow night.
- Get back on track. This defense has been nothing short of disappointing as of late. The Bobcats have fallen to 24th in opponents PPG, after showing some promising signs on defense. Coach Dunlap is trying to develop a defensive identity and things just haven’t been consistent. Let’s see some of that promising defensive potential again.