By Ketrell Marshall
April 16, 2013
KEY MATCHUP vs. CAVALIERS
Bismack Biyombo vs. Tristan Thompson
Bismack Biyombo’s hard work and progress has paid off late in his second season. In this six-game stretch heading into the final game he is averaging 8.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.66 blocks. Biyombo has always been noted for his work ethic and is always striving to develop his game. He has shown his ability to control the boards by tying his season high (17) on Saturday against the Bucks and has pulled down at least eight boards in his last seven games. In his last five outings, Biyombo also has earned himself three double-double performances. On the season Biyombo is averaging 1.77 blocks and will need to use his keen sense of defensive awareness as he gets ready to take on Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson…Thompson has recorded four double-doubles in his last six outings and is averaging 14.5 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.66 blocks during that six-game stretch. Thompson converts on almost half of his shot attempts (.490), so it will be important for Biyombo to make it hard for Thompson to score and limit his effectiveness… If the Biyombo wins this matchup, it could lead to a Bobcats victory and end the season on a positive note.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (20-61)
Home court advantage has been a luxury for the Bobcats as the season comes to a close. Charlotte has won seven out of its last nine home games by a margin of 9.8 points. During the nine-game home stretch, the Bobcats are averaging 99.8 points and have reached the 100-point mark in five of the nine games…Co-captain Kemba Walker has had an outstanding sophomore campaign and is worthy to be mentioned as a candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player. He his averaging career highs in points (17.7), assists (5.7), steals (1.95) and minutes (34.8)…The Bobcats are a young team and their progress and development has been showcased throughout this season…The Bobcats have picked it up on the defensive end. They are forcing an average of 14.8 turnovers by their opponents over the last 26 games, up from 13.7 in the season’s previous 55 games… The Bobcats look to continue their strong play at home as they close out the season against the Cavs.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS (24-56)
The Cavaliers are struggling as the season winds down. They have lost seven of their last nine outings by an average of 13.3 points… The road has been unkind to Cleveland. They have lost seven of their last eight away games… All-Star Kyrie Irving has been a bright spot for the Cavs, averaging 22.4 points, 5.9 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.53 steals this year…The Cavs have won both outings against the Bobcats this season and Irving is averaging 27.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds against the Cats…Cleveland will try to snap their road woes as they get ready to take on the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable® Arena.
The Bobcats finish their season at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tip off is at 8:00 pm on April 17 at the Time Warner Cable Arena. You can watch the Cats on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Also, join the conversation by following the live in-game chat at bobcats.com or downloading the Bobcats app on your smartphone.