The Cats are coming off a close loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday, and are looking to get back to the win column against the Mavericks, who the Bobcats have only beaten once in 17 games all time.
The Mavericks are coming into the game on a two game skid, losing to Atlanta and Minnesota on back to back nights. Even though the Mav’s have one of the best offenses in the league (7th in Points Per Game), they are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA (28th in Points Allowed).
In vice verse, the Bobcats defense continues to be the teams strength; and along with the recent surge in scoring from Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson as well as the addition of Al Jefferson, the Bobcats could score over 100 points for the second time this season and win their first ever game in Dallas (0-9).
The Bobcats seem to match up well against the Mavericks as well, especially if the Mav’s don’t play Jose Calderon, who is nursing a recent ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day.
The big battle will feature Kemba Walker and Monta Ellis. Although Ellis usually plays as a two guard, I’m guessing he’ll see most of his minutes at the point guard spot tonight. It’ll be a treat to watch two talented scorers go at each other (Walker 16.6 pts and Ellis 21.9).
Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist will also have his hands full with Shawn Marion as his primary assignment. Both players have similar skill sets and run the fast break as well as anybody, but Marion is one of the best veterans in the NBA and given Kidd-Gilchrist’s recent bout with planter fasciitis it could be a tough night.
Nowitzki is having a bounce back season, scoring 20.6 points per game this year as apposed to the 12 year low 17.3 points per game he put up last season. He seems to be back to full strength after a knee surgery in 2012 allowed him to only play 53 games; his lowest since his rookie season (47 games).
If the Bobcats are going to win, they’ll need Jefferson to not only put up his average scoring numbers but also play some solid defense against the 16 year international vet. The depth the Bobcats have at power forward will definitely help slow Nowitzki down, especially if Biyombo can rebound like he did against Milwaukee in their November 29th game.
When: 8:30 ET
Where: American Airlines Arena (Dallas)
Match up to Watch: Kemba Walker vs. Monta Ellis