Bobcats-Bulls Preview

Charlotte Bobcats Status Check:
Record: 14-21
Division: 2-5
Conference: 8-14
Home Record: 10-9
Last game: Won 96-82 vs. Grizzlies
Last 10 Games: 5-5
PPG: 93.2 (28th)
Opponents PPG: 96.9 (10th)
Offensive Rating: 101.9 (26th)
Defensive Rating: 105.9 (14th)
Pace: 90.9 (20th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .488 (18th)
Turnover Percentage: .164 (30th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .754 (6th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .274 (11th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .240 (9th)
Opp. eFG%: .496 (14th)
Opp. TO%: .138 (14th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .229 (14th)
Leading scorer: Stephen Jackson (18.8 PPG)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

Bobcats Injury Report:
Gerald Wallace: Bone bruise left ankle (will play)
Nazr Mohammed: Bone bruise right knee (questionable)
DeSagana Diop: Ruptured right Achilles (out for the season)

Overview:
Charlotte appears to be a hot team. Since Michael Jordan fired Larry Brown and replaced  him with Paul Silas, the Bobcats have gone 5-2. What’s more, they’re on a season-best three-game winning streak, during which they’ve averaged 102.7 PPG. That may not sound impressive, but it’s nearly 10 PPG above their season average. And the Bobcats have scored 92 or fewer points 17 times this season, which includes games of 75, 73 and 62 points.

The ‘Cats are 2-15 in those games.

But, to be honest, their streak might be a bit of a mirage. First because of what I like to call the dead coach bounce. Second, look at the teams they’ve beaten during their “hot” streak: Detroit (12-25), Cleveland (8-30), Minnesota (9-30), Washington (10-26) and Memphis (17-21). And only their game against the Timberwolves was on the road.

Now they have to try and beat a team on the plus side of .500. How good have the Bulls been this season? According to STATS LLC: “Chicago (25-12) hasn’t started this well since the 1997-98 season, when the Bulls opened 26-11 on their way to finishing 62-20 and winning the last of their six titles.”

Of course, comparing any current Bulls squad to any of the Michael Jordan era title teams is tricky business.

Still, Derrick Rose has been playing out of his mind. Rose is currently 7th in both Total Points (876) and Points Per Game (24.3). He’s also 5th in Field Goals (324), 7th in Usage Percentage (31.0), 8th in Total Assists (292), 8th in Assists Per Game (8.1) and 10th in Assist Percentage (40.0). He’s also averaging 4.5 RPG and 1.1 SPG while shooting nearly 40 percent on threes and almost 80 percent from the line.

Speaking of “from the line,” Derrick has finally figured out how to draw fouls in the NBA. Rose has attempted 58 free throws over his last six games, including a career-high 19 attempts against the Celtics last Saturday.

Carlos Boozer has been playing pretty well too. Boozer is averaging a double-double (20.6 PPG and 0.1 RPG) and ranks 7th in Field Goal Percentage (55.9). In the 13 games the Bulls have played without Joakim Noah, Boozington has 10 double-doubles. In the last three games, Boozer has gone off for 31-13, 22-10 and 27-11 while shooting 35-for-51 from the field (68 percent).

Unfortunately, most of the scoring burden has been falling on Rose, Boozer and Luol Deng (17.8 PPG). In fact, poor Luol is averaging a career-high 39.1 MPG. He’s logged at least 40 minutes in 20 games and came within five seconds of making it 21 games. Deng has played 40+ minutes in four of the last five games. Given his injury history, this is more than a little troubling. Is James Johnson really bad enough to risk Lu’s health?

At any rate, all things being equal, I think the Bulls are the better team. Unfortunately, all things aren’t equal. Noah is still out of action and Gerald Wallace — who may be Charlotte’s best player — is set to return tonight. They’ve been facing bad teams, but the Bobcats have been playing inspired basketball. Plus they’re at home. And don’t forget the Bulls dropped back-to-back road games to the Nets (10-27) and Sixers (15-23) last week.

The Bobcats are dangerous. They can play defense and have streaky scorers. They’re amped up to be playing under a new coach. I think the Bulls should be able to win this one…but I don’t believe they will.

10 Responses to Bobcats-Bulls Preview

  1. Craig January 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    What kind of writer/bulls fan are you? Saying they won’t win. Have some optimism…geez!

  2. Inception January 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    this is the only team i can stomach losing to, since MJ is on the other side….with that said, i’m hoping DRose sends a msg and has the game of his life in front of MJ :-)

    will be interesting to see if CHI can play a solid all-around game and come out with a road W vs. a somewhat decent team.

  3. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life January 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    That dunk the other night against the pistons that Rose did was outstanding the pass from brewer, Rose is an outstanding and differrent kind of player especially being a guard.Here in chi we have grown used to seeing this kind of play from our guards since AlA MJ ,Pippen yet Rsoe is special like they were his speed is like none other he leaps like no other guards.I am going on record and sayin this Rose is gonna do alot of special things and yes he will assend to winning championships his game is jusr rising to new heights and cannot be stopped. Withness his greatness tonight and yes he has my vote for the MVP of the league as long as he plays like he has there is none playing too much better LBJ no ay cause you score alot of points on a team with only three players rest has beens , its Rose or bust this year for MVP….GO BULLS….PEACE

  4. Luvabull January 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    What a Dunk. I thought Stacey King was going to soil his pants. Good to see a bit of anger and a lot of confidence in Rose. This kid is special. Just needs to work a bit on taking care of the ball a little more.

    It is time to lay the Bogans experiment to rest. Starting TONIGHT! Brewer has more than earned a spot in the starting line up. And he’s a perfect compliment to the other starters in being a defender first and getting his offense opportunistically. Watching Bogans chase around Gordon and Hamilton, made it all to clear he’s not only not good offensively but also not good defensively. He was constantly getting screened off his man and constantly chasing from behind. S-Jax and G-Wallace will pick him apart tonight. Pairing Brewer with Rose would mask some of Roses’ deficiencies. And is it just me or does Ronnie B. seem to be extending his range? That trey was sweet!

    Like to see Korver and Asik get more minutes. Watching Bogans play defence, he’s not a significant improvement over Korver. And get JJ out of the doghouse already. Give the kid a chance.

  5. Luvabull January 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    An observation on Boozer. He’s like the presidential candidate that you didn’t vote for but won so you have to support him/her at least while they serve out their term. That’s how I feel about Boozer. The only time I liked the guy was when he played for Cavs, proving everybody wrong to let him slip to the second round.

    For a guy that’s big, he can’t seem to back anybody down. Even guys smaller than him. His post up move consists of catching the ball with his back to the basket and then doing a quick turn to face the basket and a fadeaway jump shot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very effective because he’s a good shooter. But for a large power forward, his game does not have any power in it. I’d love to see his shot chart over serveral games. My guess is he take a lot more shots at 10 feet then he does at the rim.

  6. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath January 13, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Has anyone else noticed that Deng seems to have a very strong court relationship with Kurt Thomas? I would love to see plus/minus numbers for Deng, with and without Thomas, since Noah went down.

  7. jc.555@hotmail.com'
    cmb_55 January 13, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    good call matt…i felt the exact same way espeacially knowing how this bulls team seems to play to the level of their opponent….and craig, no one is being pessimistic or not a true bulls fan, its called stating truth. finishing off a weaker opponent hasnt been chicagos strong suit but we have been squeaking out wins but charlotte, i think, is better then most of the bad teams we have played this year. chicago is clearly the better team but another horrible quarter, again, doomed us tonight. the good thing is chicago has been very good at bouncing back strong after a loss that probably shouldnt have happened

  8. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life January 13, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    Tonight was not the first but it was glaring, the bulls do not get calls from the Ref’s least not the every call they should get some more blunt than others , is the game so tarnished and so controlled that the fun and the honesty and integerty been taking away , this is beyong that the stats, they don’t lie .after the game tonight none of the bulls players went to shake hands with the Bobcats, nor did our coach make his way over to shake hands with him (bobcats coach ), its a shame I feel this way about the game since the ref got caught cheating and gambling , I would go one step further to say I am not the only one who feels this way about the current game we see these players playing today, just sucks leaves bad image of what this game is truly all about, there is more than what meets the eye on court we see today. hope that it gets better else this game won’t be much to the true fans or compeditors that like to see fair played hard won games without the cheats in the middle of it all , well if money is involved then so is cheating too bad it was a great game filled with great legends now it seems like that may all be lost and the legends will go along with the loss of this game called NBA basketball, stern best clean this up fast just letting the league know your on notice that I see the cheating going on and won’t continue to supprt a fake sport like wrestling keep this game pure and real and fair …….Peace

  9. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life January 14, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    9.Tonight was not the first but it was glaring, the bulls do not get calls from the Ref’s least not the every call they should get some more blunt than others , is the game so tarnished and so controlled that the fun and the honesty and integerty been taking away , this is beyong that the stats, they don’t lie .after the game tonight none of the bulls players went to shake hands with the Bobcats, nor did our coach make his way over to shake hands with him (bobcats coach ), its a shame I feel this way about the game since the ref got caught cheating and gambling , I would go one step further to say I am not the only one who feels this way about the current game we see these players playing today, just sucks leaves bad image of what this game is truly all about, there is more than what meets the eye on court we see today. hope that it gets better else this game won’t be much to the true fans or compeditors that like to see fair played hard won games without the cheats in the middle of it all , well if money is involved then so is cheating too bad it was a great game filled with great legends now it seems like that may all be lost and the legends will go along with the loss of this game called NBA basketball, stern best clean this up fast just letting the league know your on notice that I see the cheating going on and won’t continue to supprt a fake sport like wrestling keep this game pure and real and fair …….Peace

    Comment by chitown4life — January 13, 2011 @ 3:47 am

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