After defeating the Pistons in an overtime duel in Detroit, the Charlotte Bobcats have won two of their last three games. The Bobcats perimeter scoring has been their biggest advantage offensively this season. Wednesday night they’ll face a team who wins games with their frontcourt.
The Bobcats and Utah Jazz will tipoff from Charlotte tomorrow. The Jazz are quietly 18-18 this season, and just on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture.
Utah’s backcourt has been a struggle this season, ranking just 25th in points. But their frontcourt, which includes pending free agents Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap has been on a tear.
The Jazz are third in frontcourt scoring with over 60 points a game. Jefferson averages close to 17 points and ten rebounds, while Millsap averages around 14 points and seven rebounds.
They’re backed up by two young, high potential big men in Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, giving the Jazz one of the best frontcourts in the league.
The Bobcats haven’t had as much luck with their frontcourt this season, but got a boost Sunday against the Pistons.
Thomas returned to the starting lineup with Hakim Warrick sitting out with the flu, and played a big role in the Bobcats victory. Tyrus was active on both sides of the ball, frustrating the Pistons with his length and athleticism, and despite going 4-14, made some key shots.
Bismack Biyombo had ten points and 17 rebounds that night, which was just his second double-double of the season.
There’s no word yet on whether Warrick will against Utah, but the Bobcats will need him with Byron Mullens still nursing an ankle injury. Biyombo will likely start out against Al Jefferson but could end up guarding a number of Utah’s bigs.
For Charlotte the advantage will be on the perimeter, where Ben Gordon has been shooting the ball well recently. Gordon’s been showcasing a variety of offensive moves off the bench, and is shooting just over 50% from the field in his last five games. He’s averaging 16.8 points during that same span.
Kemba Walker has cooled down from his hot play in December, but still remains a big factor for the Bobcats. With Mo Williams out with an injury, Walker is matched up on veteran Jamaal Tinsley. Utah’s backup point guard is Earl Watson. So there’s not much quickness or athleticism for Walker and Ramon Sessions to go against Wednesday, which should be an advantage.
The Jazz frontcourt and Bobcats backcourt have similar respective advantages. So the biggest factor might be which of the Jazz backcourt or the Bobcats frontcourt can have the most productive night.