The home opener has arrived! After dropping the season opener to the Mavs in Dallas in Wednesday night, the Charlotte Bobcats will be taking on the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at Time Warner Cable Arena, aka The Cable Box. Tipoff is at 7:00 PM ET.
The Pacers come in also 0-1 after losing 122-109 in San Antonio on Wednesday night, despite Roy Hibbert’s big 28/9/3/3 statline. The Pacers start new addition Darren Collison at the point, Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger on the wings, and Josh McRoberts and the aforementioned Hibbert on the blocks. Lottery pick Paul George, veteran James Posey, and onetime Bobcat trade target TJ Ford are also in the rotation. Meanwhile, former Tarheel favorite Tyler “Psycho-T” Hansbrough pulled a DNP-CD in the Pacers opener.
The Pacers don’t play much D, so look for the Bobcats to get some offense going. I’d like to see Jack have a big night against Dunleavy, in particular — especially because he was quiet in the opener and finished that game on the bench.
When the Bobcats are on defense, I’d watch out for the Augustin/Collison matchup. Collison is one of the faster points in the league, the kind that DJ struggles to stay in front of.
The Charlotte Observer is reporting that the Bobcats have traded the rights to a future protected first round pick to the Denver Nuggets for the 20th pick in Thursday’s draft.
This could be an effort by the Bobcats to acquire Georgetown center Roy Hibbert. The Observer previously reported the Bobcats approached the New Jersey Nets about the 21st pick. The NBA source with knowledge of those negotiations identified Hibbert as a likely Bobcats target.
The Bobcats have not specified what protection is involved, but typically teams try to avoid giving up future lottery picks.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of Hibbert. When we last saw him in game action, the big senior led his #2 seeded Georgetown squad to an upset loss against Davidson in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Hibbert managed only 6 points and a single rebound in 16 minutes before fouling out that game. And that was against Davidson. No offense, Wildcat fans, but Stephen Curry and company aren’t exactly the Detroit Pistons.
I also have a distinct memory of watching Hibbert live as a freshman in an NIT game versus South Carolina in Columbia. I got a kick out of watching him struggle to make it into the frontcourt before most defensive possessions were over. Giving him the ball on offense was just as smirk-inducing, if not moreso. Of course, he’s come a long way since then, but I’ll frankly never be able to shake those images of him.
Of course, there’s an outside chance that Alexis Ajinca is actually the pick here. It has been widely reported that Ajinca has been impressive on the workout trail, and that the Bobcats were one of the teams interested.