Charlotte Bobcats at Indiana Pacers game preview

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Gametime: 7 p.m. EST

As has often been the case, the Bobcats tend to put up three quarters of great effort before letting games slip out of their grasp and into the empty night. The same was the case with the previous game against the Pacers, though it didn't so much slip out of their hands as much as it drain through an empty pasta strainer. Charlotte gave up 39 points to their own 22 en route to a 25-point loss.

The Pacers have some terrific top talent to drive their offense but it was C.J. Watson who took down the Bobcats last time, with 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting from behind the arc.

Indiana's coming off a huge win at home against the defending champs by six points with a few days of rest.

Their own big three of Roy Hibbert, Paul George and David West combined for 58 points, leading the way in a curshing comeback effort against Miami.

Hibbert is handful in the paint due to his size and strength. He's can be muscled out of his favored position, but only with physical play without fouling. George is a perimeter terror with his quickness and length on defense and on offense, he's tough to deal with inside and out. He's got a solid jump shot and can handle the ball well enough to create shots to get to the rim. Paul George is in the MVP conversation for a reason. West is a bowling ball of a player that can crash the boards, hit a midrange jump shot and score in the post.

Indiana's suffocating defense is the best in the league. George is a lockdown defender, Hibbert owns the paint and George Hill is quick enough to stay in front of most point guards.

Charlotte's offense is coming off one of its worst recent performances, so they won't do themselves any favors if they struggle like that again. To keep pace with Indiana's offense, the defense will have to especially limit scoring chances from behind the arc. The Bobcats' poor shooting means they have to make the most of their possessions and minimize their opponents' ability to run away with a lead.

That certainly is no easy task against the (arguably) top team in the league.

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