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Bobcats Take on Timberwolves: Game 37 Preview

When: 8:00 P.M. ET

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis 

Jan 7, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats forward Cody Zeller (40) drives into the defense of Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (4) and forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the second half of the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. Wizards win 97-83. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Starters: Bobcats        Projected Starters: Timberwolves

PG: Kemba Walker                            PG: Ricky Rubio  

SG: Gerald Henderson                     SG: Kevin Martin

SF: Chris Douglas-Roberts            SF: Corey Brewer

PF: Josh McRoberts                           PF: Kevin Love

C: Al Jefferson                                       C: Nik Pekovic

 

Analysis: Both the Bobcats and Timberwolves enter this game with a couple of bad losses and a hope to turn things around. The Bobcats (15-21) have lost five of their last six games, including a couple of blow outs against the Trail blazers, the Clippers and the Wizards. On the other side, The Timberwolves (17-18) are coming off of an emotional loss to the Phoenix Suns, in which they gave up a six point lead with less than two minutes to play. The Loss left Kevin Love, who struggled in that game, with a few choice words for some of his team mates.

If the Bobcats are going to turn things around, they need to get back their defensive intensity that kept them in so many games this season, despite having one of the NBA’s worst offenses. Speaking of offense, the Cats will need to get Al Jefferson going late in this game, he struggled against the Wizards on Tuesday night, and was a non factor when the Bobcats allowed a 17-0 run late in the game.

There is an added significance in this game for both teams as well, as they fight for their playoff lives coming towards the half way mark of the season. The Bobcats currently sit in the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference; trying to hold off the  Nets, Pistons and Knicks. Similarly, the Timberwolves are just outside of the 8th seed and fighting the Suns, Mavericks and Nuggets for a playoff berth.

Match Up to Watch: Al Jefferson vs. Kevin Love

Jefferson will have to match Loves output board for board and shot for shot if the Bobcats are going to have a chance to win. Love, who is averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds a game, is one of the NBA’s most dynamic big men and rebounders. He has a high basketball I.Q. and will take Jefferson and the Power ford trio of McRoberts, Zeller and Biyombo out of their comfort zone with his ability to hit consistent three pointers.

 

Topics: Al Jefferson, Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats

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