Game Preview #38: San Antonio Spurs @ Charlotte Bobcats

The Spurs are in the midst of their first FOGAFINI of the year. So far, so good, but tonight entails a trip to the East Coast, so let's see if the guys are ready to play against a nearly .500 team on the road.

We're playing the Robertcats tonight. In honor of their furry mascot (and to make Lauri smile), I'm going with a cat theme tonight.

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Now for the actual basketball related stuff:

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San Antonio Spurs @ Charlotte Bobcats
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena - Charlotte, NC
When: January 15, 2010; 6:00 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSNSW (San Antonio); FSCR (Charlotte)


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How They Stack Up
17-6 Home 14-4
7-7 Road 3-15
102.2
Offense 92.9
95.7 Defense 92.9
48.8 FG% 44.6
39.3
3-pt% 32.8
74.1
FT% 73.6
42.1
Rebounds 39.8
13.5
TOs 15.3
8-2 Last 10 7-3
Won 3
Streak Won 2
2nd, Southwest Position 4th,Southeast

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 9:00 PM
West Coast
4:00 PM
Philippines 8:00 AM
Central Europe 1:00 AM
Palestine/Egypt 2:00 AM
East Coast 7:00 PM
Surprisingly Balmy
5:00 PM
Perth, AUS 8:00 AM
Tokyo, JP 9:00 AM
Sydney, AUS 10:00 AM

Spurs
(24-13)
Matchups

Tony Parker
Ain't gonna slow me down!

Point Guard

Although Tony's numbers are down this year, he's still above his career averages. Felton is not a bad player, but he's no Frenchman. The box goes to Tony, who showed the ability to play well, despite injury, against the Thunderclusters.

Advantage: Spurs


Raymond Felton
Larry loves UNC

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Manu Ginobili
Did you see my cape during that save?

Shooting Guard

I love Manu's game and his ability to have an impact, even on nights when he can't hit the broad side of a barn. However, Captain Jack dropped 43 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in his last outing. He's a small forward parading as a shooting guard, and he has the strength to bowl over our defenders. Stephen gets the nod.

Advantage: Bobcats


Stephen Jackson
Aye, Aye

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Richard Jefferson
How'd you like my jumper now?

Small Forward

I know some people are still disappointed in RJ, but I'm pleased with his play. He's not scoring 20 ppg, but he's been consistent this month and has really picked up the defensive intensity. Even though we lost to Dallas, Rage deserves a lot of credit for his defense on Noringski. However, Wallace has been insane this year. 17.9 ppg, 12.5 rpg and some seriously monster blocks. He may not get it, but dude deserves an Eastern Conference All-Star nod.

Advantage: Bobcats


Gerald Wallace
Should be an All-Star

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Tim Duncan
My Old is better than your young.

Power Forward

Do I need to expound on this matchup? Seriously, is there any reason to even pretend Timmeh doesn't win this? Yadda, yadda, yadda. DUNCAN FOR MVP!

Advantage: Spurs


Boris Diaw
Charlotte Ain't Phx

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DeJuan Blair
37th Pick - Who's LOLing now!

Center

Nazr, we loved you when you played for the black and white (and still do). You were an integral part to our 2005 championship team, for which we thank you. However, we have this genial, undersized giant with no ACLs, who rebounds like a mother, instinctively puts the ball in the hoop, confuses Pop, and makes John Hollinger's head hurt. He's haunts GMs' dreams and destroys doctors' confidence. It's just not fair.


Nazr Mohammed
Ain't Ringless

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George Hill
Dunking is fun!

Bench & Role Players

Unlike Pop, Brown plays his starters significant minutes, and with Chandler still out, the 'Cats have fewer big men than the Spurs. Hill has continued his growth, especially on the defensive end. Dice is stepping up, Mace can shoot, and 9 non-injured players are averaging double digit minutes. BAM is the best bench in the league, and you won't convince me otherwise.

Advantage: Spurs


Ronald Murray
My name is Flip

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Gregg Popovich
Doesn't Suck

Coach

Larry is a heck of a coach and has more basketball knowledge in one brain cell than I have in my entire head. But Pop gets the white box in this matchup. Despite numerous complaints about "small ball" and inconsistent lineups, the Spurs are rounding into form. This could only happen if Pop knows what he's doing. He has done a good job this month of defining roles, while allowing everyone to find his own comfort zone.

Advantage: Spurs


Larry Brown
Wanderer
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

This is the third game in a dreaded FOGAFINI, with three of those on the road. This is also an East Coast road game. Yes, we're coming off a day of rest, but the Robertcats have had two days.

Advantage: Bobcats

Mojo

The Spurs are coming off of two HUGE wins, and Timmeh has had two days of rest. And DeBeast is heading back east.

Advantage: Spurs

Winner:

This could easily be a loss, because of the scheduling quirks, but I'm trusting the Spurs will be ready to play.

Keys To The Game

  • Bench Play - With a FOGAFINI tomorrow, the bench needs to continue the effective play and eat up minutes. Any additional rest for the starters is welcome.
  • Free Throw Percentage - The Spurs have cleaned up the sloppy play somewhat, so that turnovers haven't been as prevalent. However, our FT% is getting worse. There have been some really ugly trips to the line, where the lousy shooting has made recent games much more difficult.

Strength of Schedule

The 'Cats have a tough SEGABABA tomorrow, with Phoenix coming to Charlotte. The Spurs are playing a THIGAFONI on the road, with the FOGAFINI tomorrow, although our road record is much improved and now .500.

Last Time They Met

These two teams last played on December 11, 2009, in San Antonio, with the Spurs with the blowout win, 104-85. Manu was the star of the game, with Timmeh, RJ and Hill all contributing double digits.


Some Other Reading

Bobcats

Rufus on Fire - The SBNation home of the Bobcats. One-man show with great content - I don't know how he does it.
Queen City Hoops - The TrueHoop blog for Charlotte. For those who didn't know, Charlotte was named after the wife of King George III, Queen Charlotte, hence the nickname.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The best TrueHoop team blog is now even better, after adding two new writers. Congrats to Jesse and Andrew, who are already doing good work.
Project Spurs: Check out their podcast recaps of the game, plus the well-written articles.


Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on Fox Sports SW in SA and on FSCR in Charlotte. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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