Cody Zeller's excellent play since the beginning of February is finally paying off for him. Josh McRoberts will not play tonight due to an ankle injury, and as a result, Bobcats coach Steve Clifford told the media that Zeller would receive his first ever NBA start in place of McRoberts.
Zeller is coming off a career high 15 points, which has topped off his great play as of late. Since the All-Star break Zeller is shooting 50 percent from the field and averaging 7.6 points a game. Zeller's been great in transition using his athleticism and speed for highlight chasedown blocks and putback dunks. A large reason why he's been so successful as of late is that he's attacking the basket and getting to the rim more. Zeller is drawing more fouls and taking higher percentage shots leading to better numbers for the rookie big man.
On the other side of things, the Bobcats are missing a key player in Josh McRoberts. While McRoberts isn't a stat stuffer, his ability to pass the ball has been a key part of the Bobcats offense. Some plays run straight through McRoberts because he's that great at moving the ball and finding passing lanes. He also has the ability to shoot the ball from deep which allows floor spacing for players like Al Jefferson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to have an easier time getting to the rim. Zeller is nowhere near as good a shooter as McRoberts so there may be some spacing issues that the Bobcats will have to figure out.