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Charlotte Bobcats at Los Angeles Lakers game preview -- Game 61

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Today's Tunes:

MF Doom - Doomsday

Game Overview: Lakers, take two. Facing Los Angeles (or really any team right now) is an incredibly daunting challenge for the Bobcats without Gerald Wallace. His athleticism and defense were a couple of the main reasons the Bobcats have been so successful against the team. Only four times in the history of this young franchise have we faced the Lakers sans Gerald Wallace. Our overall record is 1-3, with the most recent game being a 99-97 loss last season. If my memory serves me well - and I believe it does, for once - that was actually a quite competitive game that nearly came down to the wire, but a late turnover sealed the game for the Lakers. So, though unlikely, it is possible that the Bobcats can make at least a close game out of this. But they'll have to ratchet up their defense a couple notches and play the new guys more, as they match up better with Los Angeles' front court. 

Keys Matchup to the Game, in General: Both ball and off-the-ball movement. The Bobcats are an awful team when they try to use isolation plays. We saw it against the Nuggets, and we've seen it far too often before. An excellent example is Gerald Henderson. Hendo has to get going on the offensive end for us to have a decent chance in the game. Time and time again, we've seen that he's most effective running through screens or coming off of curls for the spot-up jump shot. He's also a pretty good cutter. Which is what confused me so much the other night when the Bobcats gave him the ball on isolation plays. Perhaps they're trying to develop that part of his game. That's fine. But the Bobcats need not neglect the other parts of his game that allow them to remain competitive. This key of ball movement goes for other players too. The players have to be able to take advantage of mismatches and moving the ball around quickly to keep LA's defense on its toes.

Meme-y Thing About the Opponent: Last year was Kobe's all-white photoshoot. This year, it's Pau Gasol as the Black Swan.