Bulls-Bobcats Preview

Charlotte Bobcats Status Check:
Record: 26-37
Division: 3-8
Conference: 15-22
Home Record: 16-15
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Streak: Lost 5
Last game: lost 92-87 to Clippers
PPG: 93.4 (29th)
Opponents PPG: 96.9 (12th)
Offensive Rating: 103.0 (26th)
Defensive Rating: 106.9 (14th)
Pace: 90.1 (24th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .479 (25th)
Turnover Percentage: .146 (28th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .757 (4th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .267 (14th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .245 (5th)
Opp. eFG%: .494 (13th)
Opp. TO%: .126 (22nd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .230 (15th)
Leading scorer: Stephen Jackson (19.0)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

Charlotte Injury Report:
DeSagana Diop: ruptured right Achilles (out for season)
Matt Carroll: sprained left ankle (questionable for tonight’s game)
Stephen Jackson: strained left hamstring (probable for tonight’s game)
Tyrus Thomas: left knee surgery (probable for tonight’s game)

The ghost of Michael Jordan is still hovering over the Bulls, not allowing them to dominate the Bobcats as they should this year. That’s probably not true, but Jordan can do anything in most Bulls fans’ opinions, and I wouldn’t put it past him.

The Bobcats are 2-1 against Chicago this year, taking the first two games between these squads (the Bobcats are 1-0 at home in the series). According to Stats LLC, the Bobcats are the only sub-.500 team to beat the Bulls more than once this season.

But Charlotte is struggling, and they made a lot of moves at the deadline that seemed to be waving the white flag. Knowing Jordan, it was possibly a golf flag.

Charlotte has lost 5 straight and are 6-10 since the start of February. They are in ninth place in the playoff race, one game back of the Pacers (27-36).

The Bulls on the other hand, have run through their last few games like its Pamplona. Chicago won 10 of their last 12. In those games, Chicago is allowing opponents to score just 87.75 points per game and that includes the 118 that Toronto put up in one of those losses. Over their last seven games, Chicago’s defense has been even better, allowing just 81.1 points per game. Charlotte only scores 93.4 points per game, second-to-last in the league, while the Bulls allow the least points in the league (91.5). I’m not good at math, but that looks great to me. And during this stretch, the Bulls have outscored opponents by seven points a game.

The task for the Bobcats will be even greater if Charlotte’s group of injured players can’t suit up. Ex-Bull Tyrus Thomas, who hasn’t played since the Bobcats beat Chicago on January 18, is expected to be back for the game. Thomas had 8 points and 2 rebound in 20 minutes of work during that game against Chicago.

Stephen Jackson also missed Charlotte’s last two games, but he too is expected to be back tonight. If he is out it will be a huge loss for the Bobcats. Jackson is their leading scorer and has averaged 16 points and more than 4 rebounds against Chicago this season. He averaged 23.3 points per game in the month of February, but is averaging just 7.5 points in his last two games (averaging 24.5 minutes).

The Jackson injury is escalated by the fact that he made the switch from shooting guard to small forward when Gerald Wallace was traded before the deadline. If Jackson is out, the Bobcats will have two players starting that weren’t in the starting lineup a few weeks ago. And they also have Kwame Brown starting. The only starting Brown should be doing, is the search for his next career.

Important matchup — D.J. Augustin vs. Derrick Rose:
Game 1: Bobcats win 96-91
Augustin: 22 points, 12 assists, 1 turnover
Rose: 17 points, 7 assists, 4 turnovers
Augustin outplays Rose and the Bobcats win.

Game 2: Bobcats win 83-82
Augustin: 15 points, 5 assists, 1 turnover
Rose: 33 points, 4 assists, 3 turnovers
Rose outplayed Augustin but got little help from his fellow starters (28 points between the four other starters), Bobcats win.

Game 3: Bulls win 106-94
Augustin: 5 points, 5 assists, 3 turnovers
Rose: 18 points, 13 assists, 6 turnovers
Even with the turnovers, Rose crushed Augustin in this matchup. Augustin only played 21 minutes because his ineffectiveness. Shaun Livingston took many of those minutes, scoring 13 points in 27 minutes.

Augustin will have to play even better this time without Gerald Wallace and either playing with an injured Tyrus Thomas and Stephen Jackson or playing without the two of them.

And remember, this will be the first time this season that the Bulls are at full strength against the Bobcats.

About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.

10 Responses to Bulls-Bobcats Preview

  1. cliniclysick March 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Well, Tyrus won’t play after all, and it doesn’t look good for Jackson either. That should bode well for the Bulls, but of course no win is ever guaranteed. Analyzing the first three games between these teams, I think the game plan is simple: bring the same defensive intensity as they have lately, and the rest of the team needs to sufficiently complement Derrick in the scoring department which will result in a DRose double-double.

    And should Kyle feel inclined to hit a few threes this time around, the Bulls should be fine.

    As Braeden pointed out, we’re finally going at these guys with everyone healthy. Time to show the Cats who’s boss!

  2. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath March 10, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    well, looks like Taj got his starting job back for a few games …

    games against the Bobcats and Magic are always so testy …

  3. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life March 10, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    @ the last game I know what this team is missing now someone who will go out there and send a msge to other teams that this is not the team that will take any B. S. tonight the foul on Boozer was clear .If we cannot beat you then we will try our best to hurt you, sad that is but true it is also. I have alot of love and respect for our Bulls but I also don’t know if we have the guy to bring the pain to the opposing teams like we need. A Dirty work player no not a dirty player just someone who will not let the hard fouls go under the radar.Send a msge to the other teams its not that kind of game and we are not gonna be the team that takes that kind of stuff.
    Other than that great game bulls DRose if your not the MVP for all you have done this year eeven thou its not over yet then they may as well throw the award out cause you are the only one that has to have played without Boozer or Noah for ong stints aggainst elite teams, and you came out on top but good thing you had Do All Deng still playing he has been key also all season.. This is our year get it done Bulls your not the baby Bulls anymore your just Da Bulls now and we love you ..Peace

  4. cliniclysick March 10, 2011 at 2:57 am #


    We do have that guy, his name is Big Sexy…

  5. Inception March 10, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    Boozer hurt again, but doesn’t look too serious….man, they should just shelf him until the last few games of the reg season….gotta be at full strength for the playoffs.

  6. Inception March 10, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    @chitown4life ….uhh, ever heard of Kurt Thomas?

  7. cliniclysick March 10, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    Celts lose! 1.5 games back of first!

  8. Adam March 10, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    Kurt Thomas wouldn’t be afraid to do some dirty work. When he fouls, he makes sure it hurts. Although, I’m not sure Kwame is even worth the effort it takes Kurt to rip off his warmups.

  9. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath March 10, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    also loved the fact that we did not see Rose in the game again…. thank you, thibs …

  10. prosper.guard@gmail.com'
    MadKing March 10, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Fucking hate Kwame Brown.

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