Team Records: Charlotte (13-46) at Portland (27-31)
Game Info: 7 PM-TV on CSNNW, Radio on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM
Vegas Line: Portland -12.5
Refs: Bennett Salvatore, Bennie Adams, JT Orr
The Skinny: After a blowout win over the hapless Wolves on Saturday, the Blazers look for their second straight easy win as they face the woeful Bobcats at home. About the only thing that might be exciting tonight is the Timbers Army, which will be attending tonight’s game because the Bobcats are bad, and I mean really bad. They don’t just lose games, they get absolutely clobbered, including a 36-point drubbing in Sacramento on Sunday.
Last Time They Met: The Blazers erased an 18 point deficit with just a little bit over five minutes left to force OT and then dominated the extra session. Babbitt had two clutch 3s to help lead Portland to the win.
Projected Bobcats Lineup:
PF-Byron Mullens (Ohio State-4th Season) 12.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.5 APG.
SF-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky-Rookie)-8.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.5 APG.
C-Bismarck Biyombo (Congo-2nd Season)-4.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, .4 APG
SG-Gerald Henderson (Duke-4th Season)-13.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 APG.
PG-Kemba Walker (Connecticut-2nd Season)-17.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.5 APG.
Player to Watch-Bismarck Biyombo (pictured at right)-When Biyombo burst onto the scene on in the 2011 Nike hoop summit, many in Portland that night were in awe of this raw center for the Congo. Biyombo was blocking shots left and right, rebounding everything in sight and showed great promise overall as a player. He was seen as a risk but a good one when Charlotte drafted him in 2011. However, he hasn’t really progressed much. His defense and blocking is still good but raw and his offense is almost unspeakably bad. Biyombo shoots 54% at the rim, which isn’t that great but in the 3 to 10 foot range, he shoots a horrific 32%. Bottom line, while a good defensive stopper, Biyombo has a long way to come if he wants to be more than just a one-sided specialist.
Did You Know?: Oddly enough as bad as they’ve been, the Bobcats are 3-1 in OT this year, their only loss was their December meeting against the Blazers.
Song of the Day: “You Can’t Stop Us, We are the Rose City” by the Timbers Army. In honor of Timbers Army night on Monday. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-SG Elliot Williams (Achilles)
Re-Evaluating Charlotte: How Bad are the Bobcats?
We all know the Bobcats had the lowest winning percentage in league history last year and honestly, if it wasn’t for their 7-8 start to the season, they would probably be back challenging their own record. The Bobcats have the second worst offensive efficiency and second worst defensive efficiency in the league and lose games by an average of 10.2 points per game, nearly four full points worse than any other team. About the only thing they don’t do almost as bad, or worse than anyone else, is turn the ball over. Besides that, the Bobcats are just awful and they aren’t even entertaining. If Portland doesn’t beat them Monday, it will be a huge shock.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They take control early. The Bobcats are a bad team and as such they tend to give up when teams get up big on them. If Portland can do that Monday, they should cruise home with an easy win.
Charlotte wins if: They outrebound Portland. This is not likely to happen but if it does, it will be a sign Charlotte is in control and will probably come out with a win.