The dream of the 90’s is alive in Charlotte: Pacers vs. Bobcats preview

By Dave Searle (@DaveSearle)

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Well, there aren’t many positive things to say about the 2013-14 Bobcats. 

This is an actual quote from the Pacers-Bobcats preview posted on Bobcats.com, in a section titled “KEY MATCHUP vs. PACERS: Gerald Henderson vs. Paul George”:

“The outcome of who wins will come down to which player could lead their team to an offensive edge with the scoring abilities.”

Call us crazy, but I feel like Paul George will definitely have the edge over Henderson with the scoring abilities in this game.

Don’t sleep on the Bobcats defense, though. The presence of athletic defenders like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Gerald Henderson help, as does rim-protecting defensive specialist Bismack Biyombo. Charlotte plays at a plodding pace and their offense stinks, so it might be possible that teams are being lulled into low-scoring games out of boredom. 

Whatever it is, Charlotte is 6th in Defensive Rating. Of course, they have played the Celtics and Cavs twice and the Bulls and Bucks once. All of those teams are struggling to score in general. It might be prudent to take the newfound brick-wall Bobcats with a grain of salt.

The Cats are in the NBA’s top eleven in both Offensive and Defensive Rebounding %, so they are strong on the boards as well. 

The Bobcats are still terrible and we expect the Pacers to handle them with ease. We just wanted to look on the bright side.  

Josh McRoberts

We have a Josh McRoberts sighting! That’s right folks, he’s back! Am I the only one that is pumped for this?!?

McBob was occasionally the only thing that would keep a Pacers fan sane in the old, darker, Jim-O’Brien nightmare years. At one particularly stellar moment in Pacers history, the Pacers had Tyler Hansborough, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, and McRoberts on the same squad. Here is a guide to removing vomit from a keyboard, tips which you will surely need after reading that sentence. 

It was bad. Really bad. Sometimes, it was all a Pacer fan could do to sludge through watching an entire game. Those awful times were made just a tiny bit better anytime McBob randomly threw down one of these beauties:

BOOM! That dude can sky, huh? Ah, memories. Most painful, faintly pleasant memories.

But seriously, don’t call him McBob you guys. 

Al Jefferson

Charlotte raised some eyebrows by backing up a truckload of money on Al Jefferson’s doorstep to spur him into joining a young Bobcats squad. The league-wide consensus was that Jefferson was overpaid. 

Yes, Big Al is unlikely to earn that cash strictly because of his play on the court. He is a one-way player who is a sieve defensively and can be black hole with the ball. 

However, he is a monster on the block. He is without a doubt the best offensive weapon on a team virtually lacking a scoring attack.  Remember last year when the Pacers lost in OT to the Jazz? Jefferson just absolutely schooled Hibbert in the post:

That is the kind of dynamic one-on-one scoring that the Bobcats need right now. Sure, this team would be fortunate to end up out of the lottery again at the end of the season. But Jefferson makes them just good enough to at least be in the playoff hunt this year, and that is a splash of purified water on the lips of a franchise that is thirsty for any kind of success.

After years of waiting for lottery picks like DJ Augustin, Brandon Wright, and Gerald Henderson to turn into superstar building blocks, the Bobcats are tired of waiting for a knight in shining armor to drop into their laps on draft night and elevate them to contender status. 

Judging from fan reaction to the Bobcat’s most recent draft pick, Cody Zeller isn’t that knight in shining armor, either:

Ouch. 

The Bobcats have been Absolutely Terrible for so long that being Only Kinda Terrible sounded pretty good to the Charlotte fanbase. Al Jefferson will take you there, Bobcat fans. He will take you to the land of Only Kinda Terrible. 

The Pacers were there too in the recent past. Bobcat fans: Just be glad that you have McBob’s random alley-oops to keep you company. 

Purple & Teal

The old colors are back! Fantastic move by Charlotte’s marketing team. The Hornet Starter Jacket is so famous, Rembert Browne wrote an entire article about it that was basically a recap of my youth. I know life-long, die-hard Pacers fans that owned one of these bad boys simply because they were so awesome. Just look at the glory:

 

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The dream of the 90’s is alive in Charlotte! 

Does this give me enough of an excuse to post a Grandmama commercial? IT DOES INDEED:

Bold Predictions

Roy Hibbert blocks a shot off of Jefferson’s face to avenge last year’s schooling. Paul George shows off the scoring abilities on his way to a 30+ night. Cody Zeller does a literal 360 while trying to track George Hill on a pick and roll. Charlotte fans will not see a crazy McBob thrown down.

Final Score

Indiana doesn’t get much resistance here. Pacers 94, Bobcats 77.

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