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News » Celtics-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-30


Celtics-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-30


Celtics-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-30Rounding into form offensively and playing their usual stingy defense, the Charlotte Bobcats are starting to get their season turned around.

They have come a long way from an embarrassing season-opening loss to the Boston Celtics - who visit Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday night in a matchup of teams seeking their fifth win in a row.

The Bobcats (7-9) have yet to make the playoffs and have never finished a season with a .500 record, but are showing signs that 2009-10 might be different.

After an impressive 94-87 victory over Cleveland on Friday, the Bobcats defeated Washington 92-76 on Saturday. Their four-game win streak - Charlotte's longest since a franchise-best six-game run from Feb. 25-March 7 - has come on the heels of a seven-game skid.

Improvement on the offensive end has keyed the turnaround. The Bobcats had six players score in double figures Saturday and are averaging 101.5 points during their run - an increase of 18.2 from the seven-game losing streak.

Although Charlotte has gotten on track offensively, the club still relies heavily on defense as the key to its success. The Bobcats are allowing a league-low 87.9 points per game and have yielded 83.0 during the winning streak.

"Man, defense kept us in some games and gave us an opportunity to win some games when we were making shots," forward Gerald Wallace said.

Charlotte, though, wasn't very good at either end of the court in its opener, a 92-59 loss at Boston on Oct. 28. The Bobcats finished with the fewest points in franchise history, and Raymond Felton's buzzer-beater kept the Bobcats from equaling the franchise low of eight points in the third quarter.

Wallace, averaging 25.3 points in the last three games, was the only Charlotte player to reach double figures with a season-low 10.

While it has taken some time for the Bobcats to find their rhythm, the Celtics (13-4) have opened up a 6 1/2-game lead in the Atlantic Division.

Boston's four-game win streak has been powered by red-hot offensive play that should put the Bobcats' tough defense to the test. The Celtics shot 52.2 percent in Sunday's 92-85 victory over Miami, and averaged 107.0 points on 51.0 percent shooting in their last four.

Against the Heat, Kevin Garnett scored 24 points and was 11 of 12 from the field, while Ray Allen hit the clinching 3-pointer with 1:38 left to put Boston up by six in the opener of a four-game road trip.

"You never can take anything for granted," said Allen, who missed practice Saturday to be with his ill 2-year-old son. "Every win is much needed. So you just have to create momentum. That's important."

Allen scored a game-high 18 points against the Bobcats in October as the Celtics were able to rest most of their starters in the easy victory.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 1, 2009

 

 
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