By Jacinda Ortiz and Matt Rochinski
December 4, 2012
KEY MATCHUP vs KNICKS
Kemba Walker vs, Raymond Felton
Kemba Walker’s game continues to evolve in his second season with the Cats. Walker is coming off a 22-point performance against Portland on Monday, where he added seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. He leads Charlotte in scoring (16.6 points) through 16 games while dishing out a team-best 5.9 assists to go with 3.9 rebounds and 2.13 steals… Walker could have his hands full with former Bobcat Raymond Felton when the Knicks visit tonight. Felton is playing his best basketball with the Knicks right now, averaging 14.6 points and 6.4 assists. He led the team in assists in 12 of the first 13 games and recently became the first Knicks player since Chris Childs in 2000 to record a double-double in points and assists without committing a turnover. The biggest question for the Knicks is whether Felton will take the court against his former squad. He suffered a badly bruised left thumb in the fourth quarter of New York’s win over Phoenix on Sunday, but as many Bobcats fans will recall, it takes quite a bit to keep Felton sidelined – especially in a return trip to the Carolinas. If Felton plays, expect Walker to aggressively pressure the ball the way he has been this season.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (7-9)
The Bobcats are trying to end a four-game slide and are facing a tough schedule coming up in the beginning of December with high profile teams such as New York, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers and L.A. Lakers… The Bobcats are 5-5 at home, so expect to see them come out strong when they open a three-game homestand at Time Warner Cable Arena at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against the Knicks… Ben Gordon has been white hot for the Cats the last five games, having scored at least 19 points in every contest and is averaging 20.4 points while going 23-for-36 (63.9 percent) from long range… Gerald Henderson returned on Monday against the Trail Blazers after missing 13 games with a foot injury and scored five points in 15 minutes off the bench… The Bobcats are 6-1 this season in games decided by four points or less… Charlotte is proving to be a strong team on the defensive side of the ball ranking fourth in the NBA in blocks (7.06) and fifth in steals (8.75), making them the only team in the league ranked in the top five in each category.
SCOUTING THE KNICKS (12-4)
After winning their first six games to start the season, New York is back on the winning track after dropping three-straight road games in the tail end of November. The Knicks won their last road contest, 102-88, in Milwaukee on November 28 and are riding a three-game winning streak after home wins over Washington on November 30 and Phoenix on December 2… The Knicks 12-4 record currently places them atop the Atlantic Division and only ½ game back of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference… Led by 26.6 points from Carmelo Anthony – the league’s No. 2 scorer – New York ranks fourth in the NBA with 102.9 points per game, while holding its opponents to 94.7 points. The +8.2 point differential is second in the league to Oklahoma City (+9.8).
The Cats tip off at 7 p.m. against New York on Wednesday. You can watch all Bobcats games on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Then download the Bobcats app on your smartphone or go to bobcats.com to follow the live in-game chat.