Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 61st game of the season at home versus the Charlotte Bobcats are TAI’s Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis) and guest Ben Swanson (@CardboardGerald), who runs the Bobcats blog Rufus on Fire.
Wizards Starters (19-41):
John Wall, Garrett Temple, Martell Webster, Nene, Emeka Okafor
Bobcats Starters (13-49):
Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh McRoberts, Bismack Biyombo
Q #1: What have you done for me lately?
(What’s the status of the Bobcats over the past week?)
@CardboardGerald: They suck. Moving on.
Q #2: Who threw out my alarm clock?
(Which player(s) are we sleeping on?)
@CardboardGerald: Probably Gerald Henderson. He’s a tad inconsistent lately, but on the Bobcats right now, who isn’t? He’s fairly versatile on offense, having added some post game to his repertoire of midrange jumpers and cutting to the rim. His defense has always been pretty solid, but now his offense is starting to come around a bit.
Q #3: What game-within-the-game counts most?
(What matchup between two players or between each team in a particular statistical category is most important.)
@CardboardGerald: The most important factor will probably be rebounding. The Bobcats have been terrible at it lately and I expect that to continue tonight. They’re terrible at stopping offensive rebounds and let opponents extend their possessions with ease. Already a very weak offensive team, if you let your opponent get more shots than you, you’re digging a big hole that will take a statistical anomaly to overcome.
Q #4: How it’s going down?
(TAI’s general key to the game.)
@adammcginnis: The Wizards began the week on a high note with a home win over the 76ers, where Wall came up big in crunch time. But two straight abysmal road losses—a turnover fest in Minnesota, and getting done in under a bomb of 3s at Brooklyn—put the Wizards back in D.C., looking for some home cooking.
Luckily—and even though the Wizards dropped two games to the Bobcats back in November—Charlotte is just the team for much-needed slump busting; the ‘Cats are reeling with nine straight losses.
Tonight’s key will be if Washington can jump start their offense from the skids versus a very poor Bobcats defense. Notably, Washington has failed to reach triple digits in their last six games. But Bradley Beal won’t be playing tonight, though, which can’t help out the offensive cause.
The Spread: The Wizards are eleven point favorites to the Bobcats; the over/under is 188.5 points (via Covers.com).
@CardboardGerald: Wizards 107, Bobcats 92.
@adammcginnis: Normally, the Bobcats are a team that Washington would play down to the competition, but they are simply better than Charlotte. Since Wall came back, Washington is 11-4 at home. Nene and Emeka Okafor will do damage on Charlotte’s weak front line. Washington should roll easily. Wizards 105, Bobcats 90.