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Pre-Game Reconnaissance: Knicks at Bobcats- 12/5/12

Prepare yourself for Knicks-Bobcats!

Streeter Lecka

What's up with the Bobcats?

I asked my friend Ben Swanson of Rufus on Fire, and here's what he told me:

The Bobcats are perhaps the best surprise of this early season. I know they're on a four-game losing streak and lost by approximately 395,211 points against Oklahoma City, but they've been an absolute entertaining blast to watch more often than not, even in embarrassing collapses. They're young, play fast and pressure hard on defense, which makes for entertaining basketball. Thankfully, even in losses there's consistently at least one player who has a solid game fans can at least be happy with.

Even so, the Bobcats are frustrating at times. Last game they gave up an 18-point lead in the last five minutes against Portland. But they're young; it's almost expected they'll have those types of games.

They now are pretty much fully healthy, with only Tyrus Thomas out (which might be a blessing in disguise, who's to say). Gerald Henderson returned last game, coming off the bench, which is an interesting move. Rookie wing Jeffery Taylor has been improving since coming into the starting role, showing more confidence and we might see him in the starting lineup again tonight as Henderson readjusts to playing.

The Bobcats are really dangerous when in motion, especially on defense. The defense drives their offense. They tend to overload on the strong side on defense, forcing teams to use ball movement to find the weak side openings. It's risky, but has led to them being a top-ten team in forcing turnovers (using TOV%, not TOV/game). By overloading to force turnovers or make for more-contested shots, the Bobcats can get into transition, where they use their athleticism and speed to score or set up for an early high screen for a guard to get in the paint before the defense catches up. This has led to the impressive early numbers from Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon. Speaking of Gordon, watch out - in the past five games, he's averaging 20.4 points on 51.6% FG, 64% 3P and 94% FT. This is so unsustainable, but it's incredible how well he's shooting lately. Some of the threes he's made couldn't be made in NBA Jam, much less NBA 2K13.

They struggle in half-court offense at times, especially when they teams rotate really well and close off the paint. Then the Bobcats have to turn to their stable good shooters, which is pretty much just Ben Gordon. In turn, this leaves Charlotte weak on defensive rotations when they put out a three guard lineup (Walker, Sessions, Gordon). I guess, keep an eye out for Byron Mullens, too. He's going to take a lot of shots, probably - mostly from around the three-point line. He can make those shots, but not consistently, as his 3P% shows, but if people leave him open, be forewarned: the bombs are coming. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, this permits his defender to play off him and help prevent penetration.

Tonight should be a fun game, though. Really looking forward to it. It's nice to be a fan of a team that I can have hope in to win games. I really feel bad for the Lakers fans who don't have this luxury. #PrayForLakersFans

Meet the new Bobcats!

Ben Gordon- "Ben" is actually named Beng Ordon, but he's never bothered to correct anybody.

Brendan Haywood- Brendan's goal is to keep playing basketball and earning money until he can afford to build a factory that produces life-sized gummy candy versions of himself-- enough that he can eat one Gummy Brendan a day and have plenty leftover to share.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- Michael, an avid fan of lollipops, prefers to consume all of his meals off cardboard sticks. This gets interesting when Michael is in the mood for pudding, a sandwich, or, you know, drinks.

Ramon Sessions- Ramon insists on calling his jersey a "vest". This disturbs everybody.

Jeff Taylor- Jeff has married every goose he's ever met, then divorced it upon encountering a new goose.

Hakim Warrick- As was the case in each of his previous NBA stops, Hakim demanded upon arriving in Charlotte that the Bobcats organization subscribe to Highlights Magazine immediately. Hakim doesn't even care if he never plays as long as he gets his regular "Goofus and Gallant" fix.

Adventures in Impersonating Byron Mullens on Omegle!

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

Stranger: hello

You: hi

Stranger: asl

You: 23 male

You: charlotte

Stranger: name ?

You: byron

You: don't call me B.J.

Stranger: ok.

Stranger: have facebook ?

You: no but i'm in the phonebook

You: under byron

Your conversational partner has disconnected.

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

Stranger: hi

You: hi

Stranger: whats up

You: not much, just relaxing before my game

Stranger: what kind of game?

You: basketball

Stranger: Oh nice

Stranger: Good luck!

You: thanks

Stranger: High school basketball?

You: oh no

Stranger: or college

You: professional

You: i played those too, though

Stranger: professional ehh

Stranger: what team do you play for

You: the charlotte bobcats

Stranger: never heard of em

You: not a lot of people have

You: but we're pretty good this year

Stranger: that's cool

Stranger: so do you get a lot of pussy for being a pro basketball player

You: i guess more than i would otherwise

You: but i have a lot of trouble growing a mustache, and that causes problems

You: i know that girls demand a mustache

Stranger: Hahaha

You: and i just can't put out a good product

Stranger: Yes... to tickle their anus

You: perhaps

Your conversational partner has disconnected.

What if the Knicks-Bobcats game was actually a one-on-one pickup game between a guy named Nick R. Bockers and audio mastering legend Bob Katz?

I don't know. That would be really weird. Bob Katz would win 11-5.

And now you're ready for Knicks-Bobcats!

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