Big Boi ft. Andre 3000 & Raekwon - Royal Flush
Game Overview: After ending their road trip without a win, the Bobcats are 1-4 since the trade deadline, with their only win coming against the Sacramento Kings. Now they face the Los Angeles Clippers, hoping to break the four-game losing streak. But without the team's leading scorer, Stephen Jackson, it looks like a tall order against any team.
The Clippers look like a team a couple years ahead of the Bobcats (hopefully). While the Bobcats are trying to rid themselves of bad contracts and get into rebuilding mode, the Clippers are close to becoming a playoff-contending squad. They have legitimate young stars that they drafted in Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon (who will likely be out tonight after a wrist injury against the Nuggets). The Clips also have good young talent in DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu. What this all adds up to is a very solid core for the Clippers' future. The Bobcats look like they're trying to get into that position and hope to find their stars in the upcoming drafts to build with their young core of D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson and Tyrus Thomas.
But as it is currently, the Clippers are still a very young team that has trouble closing games. But this Stephen Jackson-less team has enough of their own difficulty closing a first half, much less a game.
Key Matchup: D.J. Augustin vs. Mo Williams. Look, Blake Griffin is going to get his 22 points and 12 rebounds (at least). Boris Diaw certainly doesn't have the athleticism or extraordinary defensive talent to slow down Griffin. Instead, the Bobcats need Augustin to exploit William's lackluster defense. Augustin needs his scoring to catch fire tonight, just as much as Gerald Henderson does.
UPDATE: Mike Cranston reports that Silas will be starting McGuire again at SF and will guard Blake Griffin. OUCH.