What: Bobcats (33-36) Vs. Blazers (45-24)
When: 7:00 PM EST
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena
The Bobcats quest for the playoffs continues as the Portland Trail Blazers make their one and only appearance in the cable box. The Blazers are typically a tough opponent for the Cats, as they’ve won 13 of 18 meetings, including 4 in a row.
Let’s take a quick look at Portland and how they’ve fared this year. We all know how they started (24-5), but their play has dropped off recently. You can blame a lot of that on the absence of all star forward LaMarcus Aldridge who has been listed out for this game with a lower back contusion. Other than that, the Blazers are a healthy and dangerous team as they showed last Thursday in their defeat of Washington to get the Bobcats a half game closer to the all important 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Here are their starters: Lillard, Matthews, Batum, Wright, Lopez.
The Bobcats have lost back to back games and are looking to get back into the win column and hopefully make up some ground on the Wizards. Here is the confusing part about the playoff scenarios: If Charlotte doesn’t get the sixth seed, they will have to face Indiana or Miami. To me, I would much rather face the Pacers, a team more similar to us, and lets face it, a lot less distinguished than the Heat. The ‘Cats have Atlanta right on their heels and thereby could easily drop to the eighth seed. That’s not the end of the world because as of now, that would match us up with Indiana, but fans should most certainly wish for the six seed.
Steve Clifford will stick with his most common lineup of Walker, Henderson, MKG, McRoberts and Jefferson. The Bobcats are 12-15 with that starting unit.
It’s needless to say this is an important game, as they all are from here on out. Charlotte will be coming in very rested, which could play key as Portland traveled across the country yesterday. I think behind Big Al, Charlotte will prevail and improve their win total to 34.
-Charlotte signed DJ white to a ten day contract. This is White’s second stent with the team. He is a power forward who can give you quality minutes and moves well for his size and has the abillity to barry mid range shots on a consistent basis. As a low risk addition, this moves makes perfect sense for the ‘Cats.
-Al Jefferson is really starting to get his fair share of attention. Al came in at number nine on NBA.com’s MVP ladder. I think it’s safe to say that this marks the first time any Bobcat has appeared on that list. Also, if you haven’t already, the article about Big Al in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated is a must read.
-The Bobcats are requesting around 41 million dollars for renovations to the uptown arena. Renovations would include upgrades suites and restaurants, as well as the relocation of the box office.
-Tonight is the last of the “Buzz City” nights this year to promote the return of the Hornets. The first 10,000 fans will receive a Kelly Tripucka bobblehead.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe