Projected starting lineups
Chris Paul | Kemba Walker
Chauncey Billups | Gerald Henderson
Caron Butler | Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
DeAndre Jordan | Bismack Biyombo
Blake Griffin | Byron Mullens
Tonight's late, a west coast matchup against the Western Conference's 3rd place LA Clippers, is bound to be another tough game to watch for Bobcat faithful. From a lineup overview, it seems as if the Clippers have overwhelming advantages all around the board.
Throughout the whole season, the Bobcats' best player has undoubtedly been Kemba Walker. He's a stellar shooter, averaging 17.7 points per game and 5.5 assists per game. However, tonight, the Bobcats won't own this matchup, because they'll be facing the best point guard in the NBA in Chris Paul. Paul's averaging 16.2 points and 9.4 assists per game all year, and his shooting keeps improving (he's close to 50% shooting in the month of February). In a spot where the Bobcats would usually have the advantage, they're really lacking for tonight's game.
The shooting guards in tonight's game- Chauncey Billups and Gerald Henderson- are going to be interesting to watch together. We're yet to see how good Billups is in his 16th season in the NBA, being he's only played in nine games. However, what we've seen from Gerald Henderson has been promising. As I've pointed out multiple times in recent weeks, Henderson hasn't only had a really good season (his best three-point shooting wise), but he's become increasingly better over the past few months, shooting what would be career-highs in the month of February.
At the small forward position, it'll be a good matchup between a defensively-centered player in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and a more offensively talented Caron Butler. Their stats are similar but Butler contributes much more to the Clippers offense than Kidd-Gilchrist contributes to the Charlotte offense.
Oh, you guys want to hear me talk about the big men? Well, they don't get their own paragraphs devoted to them, because they will get dominated so badly by DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin that it's going to be tough to watch. Kemba and Henderson will have to have career games to keep up with the Clippers' starting five.
Also, there's the bench. That's going to be the biggest problem. To be honest, the Clippers' bench as a starting five would probably have a better record than the Bobcats' starting five does. A lineup of Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford,Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom and Ryan Hollins isn't too shabby in its self, and probably are better than 3-4 of the current starting five lineups out there. (Edit.: Ehhhh, Odom and Hollins makes the Bobcats starting frontcourt look like the 80s Celtics' - Ben)
It's going to be hard for the Bobcats to keep this one close. I suggest the faint of heart not watch this one.