Tip off: 7:00 p.m. EST
Charlotte 0-1 | Cleveland 1-0
Tonight the Bobcats play their first home game. The Cats are coming off a loss to the Rockets in which they managed to hold their own but fell short at the end. The Cavaliers are coming off a win against the Nets in a close finish. Both the Cavs and Cats are trying to take their franchises in the same direction with the Bobcats trying to begin to move themselves out of the rebuilding phase and the Cavs trying to make a playoff push.
The Cavs are a team that while making a playoff push, we're still not sure what their identity is. Their defense isn't good enough to shut teams down on a night to night basis and their offense is very inconsistent. They're an average team with some solid pieces. However they do have one calling card and that is rebounding. With Andrew Bynum, Anderson Varejao, and Tristan Thompson this team is going to out-rebound you on most nights. This will be a problem for the Cats who showed their rebounding struggles the other night against the Rockets.
The Bobcats did some nice things against the Rockets, shutting down passing lanes during fast breaks and causing a lot of turnovers. When they start running this can cause a lot of problems for the opposing team so don't be surprised to see them look to run if the situation presents itself to do so.
I'm curious as to how Al Jefferson will play. Jefferson struggled greatly against the Rockets and looked uncomfortable most of the game, albeit against defensive monsters in Dwight Howard and Omer Asik. Jefferson should bounce back against Bynum, Thompson, and Varejao but if he doesn't we might start to wonder if that ankle is a bigger problem than he is letting on.
A matchup you want to watch tonight will be the matchup between Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. These two players are FAST. Put the ball in their hands in front of an open court and they'll have it to the rim quicker than Byron Mullens launching a three (shoutout to the Clippers last night). Neither Irving or Walker are considered shut down defenders at their position and as a result we could see a shootout between the two.
This should be a fun game with potential for a League Pass Alert. We'll get to see two very fun young point guards and teams filled with talented pieces. The winner of this game will probably come down to who can get their offense going effectively first; that will be the key.