Regular Season Game 28
Wizards (15-12) at Bobcats (7-20)
Charlotte Bobcats Arena
Previous Results: Wizards 121, Bobcats 109.
After defeating the Suns on Friday, the Wizards upped their record to 2-5 on the second game of back-to-backs. Tonight, they attempt to keep improving that record, as they face the lowly Bobcats on the road.
Charlotte is coming off a 97-84 home loss to the Mavericks in which no player on the team scored more than 17 points. Simply put, they are a young team that struggles with horrible bouts of inconsistency. In reality, Charlotte is very much like Memphis, but with even worse coaching. The Bobcats have some talented youngsters in Raymond Felton, Emeka Okafor, and Sean May, but they have all struggled with bringing a consistent effort. Felton, after finishing last year with a bang, is shooting only 38 perecent from the field. Morrison has struggled off and on, shooting 37 percent from the floor and playing horrendous defense. Morrison's PER is last among NBA regulars, and David Thorpe recently wrote about Morrison's struggles in greater depth. Okafor has been solid, but Gerald Wallace has been very disappointing and coach Bernie Bickerstaff seems out of touch with his youngsters.
Making matters worse is the ownership. Wizards fans know all about Michael Jordan, so we won't even go there. Owner Bob Johnson has recently raised eyebrows by denying one of his minority shareholders the right to donate his share to charity, and he's kept the payroll just above the league minimum throughout his tenure. Fans have struggled to embrace this team, and they're looking at a third straight season of 30 wins or less.
Despite all this, the Charlotte Blogcat says the Johnson fiasco is no big deal.
With all that said, however, the Bobcats gave the Wizards a game at Verizon Center a month ago. The Wizards didn't put them away until the very end, and the Bobcats shot 54 percent from the floor and scored 109 points, nearly 20 above their league average. Without any real slashers or post threats, the Bobcats are strictly a jump-shooting team, which is exactly the area the Wizards struggle most to defend. Defensively, Charlotte has been solid thus far, although they didn't show it in the last matchup. They struggle most defending power forwards, with Wallace undersized and Sean May immune to defense. Look for Antawn Jamison to continue his solid run tonight.
Charlotte does defend point guards well (13.5 opposing PER), but Arenas is a tough matchup for Felton and Brevin Knight due to his size. On the other side, the Wizards will struggle to deal with Okafor, who had 13 rebounds and 12 points in the first matchup.
The main struggle for the Wizards will be the back-to-backs. Charlotte played at home last night, while the Wizards were in DC. Winning at Phoenix on the second night of a back-to-back was somewhat mitigated by Phoenix's flight problems, but the Wizards have no clear lucky advantages tonight.
Your lines for tonight:
Wizards at Bobcats: Wizards by 6
Over/Under on Big 3: 69.5 points
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