The last time these two teams played, the Bobcats were quick to get on their connecting flight out of Toronto, as the Raptors easily defeated Charlotte 92-78.The Bobcats hope to turn the tables on the Raptors tonight as the teams square off for the final time this season.
Charlotte, coming off their fifteenth win of the season over the Washington Wizards 119-114, will look to win back-to-back games for the first time since November 21 as they play host to the Toronto Raptors, a franchise that has also struggled this season, and now finds itself with a record of 26-41.
Ironically enough, that last back-to-back win came against the Raptors, 98-97, which moved the Bobcats to 6-4 on the young season. It was also the only time so far this season that the Cats have walked away from a matchup against Toronto with the “W”. Toronto won the second meeting between the teams, as well, with much ease, 99-78.
While there has been little down time between meetings for these two teams, Bobcats fans can only hope that they’ll see a major difference between the team that lost to Toronto by 16 points and the team that takes the floor tonight.
For one thing, Charlotte shot a measly 33% from the field (27% from three-point land) and 69% from the free-throw line the last time the Cats played Rudy Gay and Company. On the other side of the court, Gay and Company shot 49% from the field, with Gay shooting 11-for-16 for 28 points.
Charlotte also hopes that the time since they last saw Toronto has allowed for its new starting lineup to continue its growth together as a unit. Josh McRoberts, who will be making his sixth start tonight since replacing Byron Mullens, was only in his third go-around with Charlotte’s starting unit. McRoberts has posted solid numbers since joining Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bismack Biyombo on the court for tip-off; McRoberts has averaged 10.6 ppg on 41% shooting, 7.6 rpg, and 1.6 spg over five games as a starter.
The Bobcats will have to keep both Gay and DeMar DeRozan in check on the defensive end, though, as Toronto’s two, yound, budding superstars will look to finish in the lane a lot. Charlotte’s defense allowed the Wizards to shoot 53% the last time out. The Cats also seemed to step aside for the Wizards big men, Nene and former Bobcat Emeka Okafor, who shot a combined 18-of-24. While the Raptors’ rookie Jonas Valanciunas may not be the biggest offensive low-post threat, he can put up both big and efficient numbers, especially against weaker defenses.
Home court advantage has been the name of the game in this season’s Charlotte-Toronto series. Fans can only hope that the trend continues tonight, and Charlotte can continue to win.