Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte, NC)
TV: Fox Sports South
After a difficult five game road trip, the Bobcats will play their first home of the new year against a struggling Washington Wizards team who have lost three straight games but are currently a full game ahead of Charlotte in the Eastern Conference standings.
Washington is lead by a talented backcourt tandem of John Wall (19.7 PPG, 8.8 APG, 4.6 RPG) and Bradley Beal (17.5 PPG, 3.0 APG, 3.0 RPG) who account for a large majority of the team’s scoring and assist totals. Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster, both of whom shoot over 40% from beyond the arc, are also threats on the offensive side end for the Wizards .
This will be the first of four meetings between Charlotte and Washington this season. Last year, the Bobcats were able to win the season series against the Wiz, winning three out of four contests. In the two games that he played in against Washington in 2012-13, Gerald Henderson averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 boards, and a steal per contest. Watch for a confident Henderson attempt to exploit a defense that he’s had previous success against.
According to coach Clifford, forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is set to return to the court for Charlotte this Friday against the Timberwolves in Minneapolis. In the mean time, Chris Douglas-Roberts will likely make his second start in a Bobcats uniform tonight.
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson
SF: Chris Douglas-Roberts
PF: Josh McRoberts
C: Al Jefferson
PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Nene Hilario
C: Marcin Gortat
If the Bobcats are able to keep Washington’s backcourt in check on the defensive end, there’s a strong possibility that Charlotte will come away with the win tonight. Unfortunately, even the best of the NBA have had their fare share of troubles against John Wall and Bradley Beal. Watch for the Bobcats to keep the game competitive in a losing effort tonight. Washington prevails 105-99.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe