Charlotte Bobcats 2012-13 Schedule: Monthly Breakdown and W-L Predictions

Adam Friedgood@AfriedgoodContributor IIIJuly 31, 2012

Charlotte Bobcats 2012-13 Schedule: Monthly Breakdown and W-L Predictions

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    The 2012-2013 Charlotte Bobcats schedule has officially been released by the NBA.

    Fortunately for the Bobcats, they can go nowhere but up from their dreadful season a year ago.

    During the lockout-shortened season in 2011-12, the Bobcats had the worst winning percentage in NBA history with a record of 7-59 (.106).

    Charlotte will not only have many new faces when it takes the court this year, but it will have a brand new look as well. 

    The Bobcats shouldn't expect to be competing with championship contenders like the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers yet, but they should be moving in the right direction toward reaching the playoffs again for the second time in team history. 

    Here is the Bobcats' 2012-2013 schedule and a breakdown of the key games and analysis for each month this season.

November: Schedule

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    Nov. 2 vs. Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 3 @ Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.

    Nov. 7 vs. Phoenix Suns, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 9 @ New Orleans Hornets, 8 p.m.

    Nov. 10 vs. Dallas Mavericks, 7:30 p.m.

    Nov. 13 vs. Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 14 @ Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 p.m.

    Nov. 17 vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m.

    Nov. 19 vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 21 vs. Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 23 vs. Atlanta Hawks, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 24 @ Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.

    Nov. 26 @ Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.

    Nov. 28 @ Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m.

    Nov. 30 vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m.

November: Key Games

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    Nov. 3 @ Dallas Mavericks

    The Bobcats have had absolutely no success against the Dallas Mavericks in their eight seasons in the NBA. The Bobcats are 0-15 all-time against the Mavs and have never even eclipsed the 100-point mark.

    Nov. 9 @ New Orleans Hornets

    Former Kentucky teammates and the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the draft, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, square off in this game. Which rookie will take the first matchup of their pro careers? 

    Nov. 21 vs. Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors are the only team that the Bobcats defeated multiple times last season. Hopefully they can have the same success against them once again.

    November W-L Prediction: 4-11

    Wins: Hornets, Wizards, Grizzlies, Raptors

    Losses: Pacers, Mavericks, Suns, Mavericks, Wizards, Bucks, Hawks, Wizards, Thunder, Hawks, 76ers

November: Previews and Predictions

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of November

    Bismack Biyombo versus Dirk Nowitzki is an intriguing matchup, since Biyombo is so good on defense and Nowitzki is so dynamic on offense. 

    Nowitzki loves to play on the perimeter and shoot over his defender. This is so hard to do to Biyombo, since he is athletic enough to stay with him on the perimeter and also has extremely long arms to block shots. 

    Nowitzki will need to be extra crafty in order to put up huge scoring totals on Biyombo.

    Bobcats' Best-Case Scenario for November

    Only six of the Bobcats' games this month are against teams that made the playoffs last season. Also, only two of those games are on the road.

    If they can take advantage of all of these home games against teams with losing records, the Bobcats should be able to pull out a winning record through the first month of the season.

    Bobcats' Worst-Case Scenario for November

    Charlotte needs to play Dallas and Washington twice in the month of November. Last season, it went 0-5 combined against these two teams. 

    The Bobcats have never had double-digit wins in the opening month of the season, and it doesn't appear they'll end that streak just yet. 

December: Schedule

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    Dec. 3 vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 5 vs. New York Knicks, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 7 @ Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 p.m.

    Dec. 8 vs. San Antonio Spurs, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 10 vs. Golden State Warriors, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 12 vs. L.A. Clippers, 7:30 p.m.

    Dec. 13 @ Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m.

    Dec. 15 vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 18 @ L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

    Dec. 19 @ Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m.

    Dec. 21 @ Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m.

    Dec. 22 @ Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m.

    Dec. 26 vs. Miami Heat, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 28 @ Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m.

    Dec. 29 vs. New Orleans Hornets, 7 p.m.

    Dec. 31 @ Chicago Bulls, 3 p.m. 

December: Key Games

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    Dec. 7 @ Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bobcats defeated the Bucks last year in their season opener. After that game was the only time all season the Bobcats possessed a winning record all year. 

    Dec. 22 @ Denver Nuggets

    This is the final game of a four-game West Coast road trip. The last time the Bobcats had success during a West Coast trip was when they went 3-2 during the 2010-2011 season. 

    Dec. 28 @ Brooklyn Nets

    The Bobcats head to Brooklyn for the first time ever. Let's see if they can start off with a winning record in "The House that Hov Built."

    December W-L Prediction: 5-11

    Wins: Trail Blazers, Bucks, Magic, Warriors, Bulls

    Losses: Knicks, Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, Hawks, Lakers, Suns, Nuggets, Heat, Nets, Hornets

December: Previews and Predictions

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of December 

    Ben Gordon has not had much success against Kobe Bryant lately.

    Over the past two seasons, Gordon has only averaged 9.3 points per game against Bryant and the Lakers. Bryant, on the other hand, is averaging 24 points per game during these contests.

    Maybe now that he's on a new team, Gordon can step his game up against the league's best shooting guard. 

    Bobcats' Best-Case Scenario for December

    The only two games this season that the Bobcats have on NBA TV are both in the month of December. Hopefully this extra exposure will get them excited and help them earn some victories that no one expects them to get this month. 

    With half of the team's games in December on the road, winning a few of these games could also be a huge boost moving forward. 

    Bobcats' Worst-Case Scenario for December

    The Bobcats mightily struggled against the Western Conference last season, going only 2-16. 

    Half of the Bobcats' games this month are against teams from the Western Conference. If the team does just as poorly against these teams again, the month of December will be a terrible one for Charlotte. 

January: Schedule

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    Jan. 4 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 6 @ Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.

    Jan. 9 vs. Utah Jazz, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 11 @ Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 12 @ Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 14 @ Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m.

    Jan. 15 vs. Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 18 @ Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 19 vs. Sacramento Kings, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 21 vs. Houston Rockets, 2 p.m.

    Jan. 23 vs. Atlanta Hawks, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 26 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 7 p.m.

    Jan. 28 @ Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m.

    Jan. 30 @ San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m.

January: Key Games

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    Jan. 4 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played together at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J. Let's see which member of this friendship comes out on top in their first of many NBA battles.

    Jan. 6 @ Detroit Pistons

    The Bobcats traded with the Pistons for Ben Gordon this offseason. Gordon averaged 12.5 points during his three seasons in Detroit. You know he will be looking to score big when he returns to Detroit for the first time.  

    Jan. 18 @ Orlando Magic

    The Magic are one of only two teams that have won the Southeast Division since the Bobcats became a team in 2004. A win in Orlando would be a step in the right direction for the Bobcats to finally get close to winning that first division title.

    January W-L Prediction: 5-9

    Wins: Cavaliers, Kings, Rockets, Hawks, Timberwolves

    Losses: Pistons, Jazz, Raptors, Pacers, Celtics, Pacers, Magic, Bulls, Spurs

January: Previews and Predictions

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of January

    Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving were both taken in the top 10 of the 2011 NBA draft.

    Even though Irving was the No. 1 overall pick, you know Walker believes he was the best point guard in the draft after winning the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player award.

    These two point guards play very different styles, as Walker is a better scorer and Irving is a better distributor. 

    Which point guard will prevail for his team?


    Bobcats' Best-Case Scenario for January

    Toward the end of the month, the Bobcats play five out of six games at home. If they can enter this stretch of games with an even record, they should be in good shape to have a winning record by the end of the month.

    They should also not have a very difficult month since only four of the teams they are facing made it past the first round of the playoffs last season.

    Bobcats' Worst-Case Scenario for January

    The Bobcats have a tough stretch in the middle of the month where they need to play four playoff teams in a row, three of them on the road. If they lose all four of these games, that could be detrimental to the team's confidence for the rest of the month.

    This would be terrible for the team since it also needs to face three playoff teams in its last four games of the month. 

February: Schedule

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    Feb. 2 @ Houston Rockets, 8 p.m.

    Feb. 4 @ Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m.

    Feb. 6 @ Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 8 vs. L.A. Lakers, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 9 @ Philadelphia 76ers, 8 p.m.

    Feb. 11 vs. Boston Celtics, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 13 @ Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 19 @ Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 20 vs. Detroit Pistons, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 22 vs. Chicago Bulls, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 23 vs. Denver Nuggets, 7 p.m.

    Feb. 26 @ L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

February: Key Games

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    Feb. 4 @ Miami Heat

    The Bobcats have yet to defeat the Heat since the "Big Three" were assembled. It will be very difficult for them to finally end that streak with the lineup they currently have. 

    Feb. 8 vs. L.A. Lakers

    Believe it or not, the Bobcats actually have a winning record in their eight-year history against the Lakers (8-7). Let's see if they can keep their winning ways against the Lakers going, or if the Lake Show will sweep them and turn the series in their favor. 

    Feb. 13 @ Indiana Pacers

    D.J Augustin played the first four seasons of his career with the Bobcats. Over the past two seasons, he started in 128 out of the 130 games he played in with the Bobcats.

    Now as a member of the Pacers, he will be facing Charlotte in its last game before the All-Star break. 

    February W-L Prediction: 4-8

    Wins: Cavaliers, Lakers, Magic, Pistons

    Losses: Rockets, Heat, 76ers, Celtics, Pacers, Bulls, Nuggets, Clippers

February: Previews and Predictions

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of February

    One of the toughest matchups on the season for Bismack Biyombo will be when he needs to go up against Blake Griffin.

    Griffin is one of the only players in the league who is just as long and athletic as Biyombo is. Fortunately, Griffin doesn't have many offensive post moves and relies heavily on his athleticism to score, so Biyombo may be able to defend him. 

    Bobcats' Best-Case Scenario for February

    This has to be the hardest month of the season for the Bobcats, since nine of their 12 games are against teams that had winning records last season.

    If Charlotte can come out of this month with a positive record, this team should be confident that it has improved from last season by leaps and bounds. 

    Bobcats' Worst-Case Scenario for February

    There is a very slight chance that the Bobcats will have any player representing them in the All-Star game. This will be very deflating during the beginning of the month, as they know almost all the other teams they face will be excited to see their players go off to Houston for the game.

    The rest of the month will not be a cakewalk either, as they only play one game against a team that didn't make the playoffs last season.

March: Schedule

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    March 1 @ Utah Jazz, 9 p.m.

    March 3 @ Sacramento Kings, 6 p.m.

    March 4 @ Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.

    March 6 vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7 p.m.

    March 8 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 7 p.m.

    March 9 @ Washington Wizards, 8 p.m.

    March 12 vs. Boston Celtics, 7 p.m.

    March 15 @ Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.

    March 16 @ Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m.

    March 18 vs. Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.

    March 20 vs. Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.

    March 23 vs. Detroit Pistons, 7 p.m.

    March 24 @ Miami Heat, 6 p.m.

    March 27 vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.

    March 29 @ New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m.

    March 30 @ Philadelphia 76ers, 7:30 p.m.

March: Key Games

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    March 4 @ Portland Trail Blazers

    This is the only 10 p.m. game that the Bobcats will be playing in this month and just the fourth all season. We'll see if the late start time has any effect on how well Charlotte plays.

    March 16 @ Boston Celtics

    This is the second matchup between the Celtics and Bobcats in the month of March. The Celtics will be fighting for playoff seeding at this point in the season, so the Bobcats will most likely be acting as the spoilers during these games. 

    March 29 @ New York Knicks

    What could be better than playing basketball in "The World's Most Famous Arena"? The Bobcats will try to win their first game in Madison Square Garden since March 7, 2009.  

    March W-L Prediction: 5-11

    Wins: Kings, Celtics, Wizards, Pistons, 76ers

    Losses: Jazz, Trail Blazers, Nets, Thunder, Wizards, Raptors, Celtics, Raptors, Heat, Magic, Knicks

March: Previews and Predictions

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of March

    Ramon Sessions is very familiar with Russell Westbrook after the two point guards faced off in the second round of the playoffs last season.

    Westbrook came out on top, but Sessions gained some valuable experience regarding what it takes to compete with the top point guards in the NBA. He should use what he learned to be more effective the next time these two meet. 

    Bobcats' Best-Case Scenario for March

    The Bobcats should take advantage of the beginning of March. Charlotte doesn't play two games in a row against playoff teams until the 24th of the month. 

    If they can win the majority of these games at the beginning of the month, the Bobcats can lose some games versus better teams at the end and still come out with a positive month overall.

    Bobcats' Worst-Case Scenario for March

    The Bobcats have some very tough home games this month, like the Thunder, Celtics and Nets. Teams are supposed to do much better at home than on the road, but this will be difficult to accomplish with such tough competition.

    Their road schedule isn't much better anyway, since they need to travel to Miami, Boston and New York. Losing all of these games would leave the Bobcats no chance of having a successful March.

April: Schedule

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    April 1 @ Milwaukee Bucks, 8 p.m.

    April 3 vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m.

    April 5 vs. Miami Heat, 7 p.m.

    April 6 @ Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m.

    April 9 @ Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m.

    April 12 @ Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.

    April 13 vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 7 p.m.

    April 15 vs. New York Knicks, 7 p.m.

    April 17 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 8 p.m.

April: Key Games

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    April 3 vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    For a team on the cusp of making the playoffs, every game is crucial in the month of April. The games against teams that are already out of the playoff hunt are especially important.

    That may be the case when the Bobcats take on the 76ers during the first week in April.

    April 13 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bobcats play the Bucks twice during the month of April. This is also the first of three games in a row that the Bobcats play at home to end the season.

    The real question is, will it be more beneficial for them to win or lose?

    April 17 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Bobcats and Cavs had two of the bottom three records last season. Each team is hoping to be competing for a playoff spot during this last game of the season, but most likely, they will just be fighting for who gets a better position in the draft. 

    April W-L Prediction: 4-5

    Wins: Bucks, Grizzlies, Pistons, Cavaliers

    Losses: 76ers, Heat, Nets, Bucks, Knicks

April: Previews and Predictions

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of April

    What would be a better test of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's skills than to see him guard LeBron James?

    James is bigger, stronger and faster than Kidd-Gilchrist, but MKG's motor is supposed to allow him to keep up with any small forward he needs to guard.

    We'll see just how much he's progressed throughout the season when he matches up with James in the final month of the season.

    Bobcats' Best-Case Scenario for April

    By this point in the season, most people expect the Bobcats to be out of playoff contention. 

    No NBA team would ever purposely tank games, but the best thing for Charlotte would be to lose out the remainder of the season.

    If the Bobcats could grab the No. 1 pick in the draft and pair another young superstar with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo, then the Bobcats would finally be on their way to turning this team around.

    Bobcats' Worst-Case Scenario for April

    The worst thing the Bobcats could do to finish the season would be to go on a huge winning streak and still fall short of the playoffs.

    Doing this would keep Charlotte in mediocrity instead of allowing it to add someone who will be a definite All-Star in the future. The easiest way for the Bobcats to turn this team around would be by adding extremely high draft picks to the roster. 

Final Predictions

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    Final Prediction: 27-55

    The Bobcats are still a few seasons away from making the playoffs.

    Not only do they lack talent, but they also don't have any experience playing together as a team.

    Four of the five starters next season were acquired this offseason: Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Brendan Haywood.

    These additions should give the Bobcats a much better record than they had last season, but still not good enough to reach the playoffs for the second time in team history.

    The future is bright for Charlotte, however. It has a nice core of young players to build around in Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker. 

    If this team selects in the lottery for one or two more seasons, it should be able to get an impact player who will be its go-to scorer of the future.

    Add one or two decent free-agent signings or trades during this time, and the Bobcats can really make a splash by 2015. 

    It's sad for Bobcats fans that they don't have much to look forward to this upcoming season, but stick with this team, because it's definitely moving in the right direction.