When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte
Projected Line Ups:
Bobcats Starters Hawks Starters
PG Kemba Walker PG Jeff Teague
SG Chris Douglas-Roberts SG Kyle Korver
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF DeMarre Carroll
PF Josh McRoberst PF Paul Millsap
C Al Jefferson C Elton Brand
PG Luke Ridnour, Janero Pargo PG Shelvin Mack, Dennis Schroder
SG Gary Neal SG Louis Williams
SF Anthony Tolliver SF Cartier Martin, John Jenkins
PF Cody Zeller PF Mike Scott
C Justin Hamilton C Mike Muscala, Gustavo Ayon, Pero Antic
Key Match Ups:
Kemba Walker vs. Jeff Teague-Two fast young guards who can struggle with inconsistency. Could be a battle if they can hit their shots, especially from deep. Teague is a bit turnover prone (3.1 TPG) so look for Walker to take advantage.
Josh McRoberts vs. Paul Millsap-Could be a difficult matchup for McRoberts. Millsap is having an all-star season and plays similarly to McRoberts in his ability to score and grab boards inside, but also possesses the ability to rift out side and hit from out side the arc (3.9 3pt att per game, 36.5% 3pt).
Al Jefferson vs. Elton Brand/Pero Antic-Jefferson should have another big night against and older big man rotation for the Hawks. Brand is playing limited minutes (18.6 mpg) and isn’t the scorer he once was. He’ll be a little trouble on the boards but that about it. Pero Antic has received some quality minutes as of late (22.7 mpg in the last 6) thanks to his recent scoring surge, putting up 12.0 ppg in his last six, including a 16 point outing in a win against the Nuggets on Saturday. But don’t look for him to outplay Jefferson, who is arguably the best big man in all of basketball right now and constantly reminding everyone why (averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds in March).
Both the Bobcats and Hawks are coming into this game having won at least three games in a row. They both also desperately need to win to improve their playoff chances. The Hawks occupy the eighth seed while the Bobcats hold the seventh seed with a 2 1/2 game buffer between the two. The Bobcats also have the added pressure of trying to win a franchise tying nine home games in a row.
The Bobcats will have to find a way to disrupt the Hawks efficient offense, who are adept a moving the ball around and finding good looks (1st in assists per game). The Hawks posses a lot of good shooters (5th in team 3pt efficiency shooting .379% from deep) and the Bobcats will have to rotate well and close in on shooter quickly; especially Josh McRoberts and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who take on two of the best deep shooters at their respective positions (Paul Millsap 12th among PF in 3pt percentage, DaMarre Carrol 10th among SF in 3pt percentage).
Bobcats win, 105-95
I think the Bobcats do enough to disrupt the Hawks shooting, and Big Al has a big night against a Hawks team thin on big men. Jefferson scores 30 and 15 as he continues his offensive tear. Wild Card, I think Gary Neal has another big night and scores at least 20.
Playoff seeding is still in the air, but Charlotte Bobcats playoff tickets are already available at TiqIQ.com