Bobcats-Bulls Preview

Charlotte Bobcats Status Check:
Record: 11-32
Division: 3-6
Conference: 8-15
Road Record: 5-14
Last 10 Games: 2-8
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 102-101 win over Minnesota
PPG: 95.1 (22nd)
Opponents PPG: 103.2 (29th)
Offensive Rating: 102.3 (26th)
Defensive Rating: 111.0 (29th)
Pace: 91.8 (14th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .460 (30th)
Turnover Percentage: .132 (5th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .699 (29th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .267 (17th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .242 (2nd)
Opp. eFG%: .517 (29th)
Opp. TO%: .133 (23rd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .194 (9th)
Leading scorer: Kemba Walker (17.9)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Charlotte Injury Report:
Byron Mullens: out (sprained ankle)

A Friday night win over Golden State looked like a good sign for the Bulls, something that could be built on. They had been struggling at home on the season, just above .500, and the Warriors were coming off wins over the Thunder and Clippers.

The Bulls, somewhat easily actually, took care of the Warriors, which set up the chance to either build on that victory, or slip up as Washington was awaiting them. The Bulls came out flat and opted for the latter. It was just another dip in the up-and-down season that is the 2012-2013 Bulls campaign. They’ve had highs (two wins at MSG over the Knicks and third place in the East without their best player, to name a few), but also some lows (ending Charlotte’s 18-game losing streak, the Suns’ 12-game road losing streak, falling to the Wizards, to name the worst).

If we are going to praise the Bulls for their highs, and beating the Warriors in the commanding way they did was a high, we have to talk about their lows as well. Under Tom Thibodeau it wasn’t often the Bulls came out flat. But this year, it’s happened way too many times. They don’t have their best player, which could be an excuse, but they have shown they can win without Derrick Rose.

These losses are frustrating because the Bulls have shown that they are still a very good team. They proved it against the Knicks, Thunder, Heat, Grizzlies (played them very tough twice) and Warriors. So the problem isn’t talent, it may be effort and focus.

One of the worst no-shows of the season was a home game against the Bobcats, in which Charlotte ended an 18-game losing streak. The Bulls got embarrassed in that one, and should come looking for revenge tonight. Chicago shot 35.1 percent in that loss and managed just 81 points against one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Bobcats give up 103.2 points per contest.

Joakim Noah was the biggest disappointment, scoring just two points and grabbing four boards in his 30 minutes of action. Carlos Boozer (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Luol Deng (20 points, 12 rebounds) both put in double-double, but pretty much everyone else on the team came up small. Nate Robinson finished 2-11 starting in place of Kirk Hinrich. Marco Belinelli was 3-12 off the bench and Marquis Teague was 2-7. Maybe it was that Hinrich, their leader was missing….they really could have used his 7.0 points per game…(does the math)…nope that wouldn’t have been enough.

Since beating the Bulls to end 2012, the Bobcats are 3-9. They’ve beaten the Pistons, Magic and Timberwolves. They are fresh off that Minnesota win, a game that ended Charlotte’s 16-game home losing streak (it’s good to know the Bulls aren’t the only team that the Bobcats snapped something against). It was a very injured Timberwolves squad, but it counts nonetheless.

Kemba Walker led the way with 25 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks. Off the bench, Ramon Sessions was 9-10 from the charity stripe, finishing with 23 points and Ben Gordon scored 18 points. Charlotte scored 50 points in the paint, to 32 for the Timberwolves, and grabbed eight more rebounds (38-30).

The Bulls may get a boost with Luol Deng coming back. Jimmy Butler said after shootaround that he was “glad to have (Luol) back. We’re going to just keep going. Same role coming off the bench.” Deng is officially listed as a game-time decision.

From Stats LLC: The Bulls have won five of their last seven games against teams with winning records by an average of 8.4 points. The bad news: Charlotte is far from a winning record.

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One Response to Bobcats-Bulls Preview

    scott r January 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Good to see Luol will be back, but the basketball gods help us if we lose twice to a team that Ben Gordon is on.

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