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Bobcats Gameday

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Charlotte Bobcats preview: Cleveland Cavaliers in town Friday

Bobcats vs. Cavaliers

7 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena

TV: SportSouth. Radio: WFNZ-AM 610

Projected Starters

Bobcats Cavs
Pos, Player Ppg Rpg Pos, Player Ppg Rpg
G, K. Walker18.44.3G, K. Irving21.53.4
G, G. Henderson17.94.3G, J. Jack8.52.6
F, M. Kidd-Gilchrist14.64.1F, L. Deng16.65.9
F, J. McRoberts8.35.0F, T. Thompson12.29.7
C, A. Jefferson21.210.4C, S. Hawes13.28.7

Matchup to Watch

Kyrie Irving vs. Kemba Walker: Two exceptionally quick pick-and-roll point guards in a time when the NBA’s rule against hand-checking makes these guys awfully tough to defend.

Observations

• The stakes are pretty obvious: If the Bobcats win tonight or April 5 in Cleveland, they clinch a tiebreaker over the Cavs. They already hold a tiebreaker over the Detroit Pistons. Those are pretty big cards in the race for a playoff spot.

• The Cavs made two in-season trades that acquired starters, adding Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls and Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers. Hawes has been a problem for the Bobcats in the past because his shooting range forces Al Jefferson to stray far from the basket defensively.

Tap-ins

• The Cavs have been hot of late, winning eight of 13 games. In that span they are 4-2 on the road.

• Don’t put the Cavs on the foul line; they’re shooting 80 percent on their free throws over the past nine games.

Did you know?

Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers was the third time this season the Bobcats led a game from start to finish. They did that twice previously in franchise history.

Rick Bonnell

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