Key Matchups: Charlotte Bobcats' Big Men vs. Dwight Howard
The Bobcats have been starting Boris Diaw at center this season and, while this leaves them undersized at the position, it has worked out well so far. Diaw has averaged 12.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game through the first two outings of the season and will likely draw the defensive assignment against Howard. D.J. White has been starting at power forward while Tyrus Thomas recovers from a mild left ankle sprain and had eight points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks in the team's last game against the Heat. Howard averaged 20.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and three blocks per game versus the Bobcats in 2010-2011. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year provides a commanding presence in the paint, making this a matchup to keep an eye on.
Scouting the Bobcats (1-1)
After winning their season opener at home against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Bobcats dropped a heartbreaker against the Heat two days later at Time Warner Cable Arena. D.J. Augustin had another strong performance with 20 points and six assists despite playing on a sore ankle. Gerald Henderson has had a strong start to the season as well, averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, and Kemba Walker has been coming off the bench to average 13.5 points, four rebounds and three assists to round out a young but strong backcourt for the Bobcats. This game is the last of three straight home games to open the season for the Bobcats; they begin a three-game road trip starting with the Miami Heat on Sunday.
Scouting the Magic (1-1)
After dropping their opener to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day the Magic defeated the Houston Rockets 104-95. Hedo Turkoglu led the Magic in scoring with 23 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. J.J. Redick chipped in 20 points off the bench and has been a key contributor off the bench so far this season. Ryan Anderson is the team’s leading scorer at 16.5 points per game and has hit eight of 20 three-point attempts this season. One thing the Bobcats may have working to their advantage is the fact that Miami will be coming off a Thursday night home game against New Jersey while the Bobcats do not play.
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