Charlotte Bobcats at New Jersey Nets preview -- Game 17

Today's Tunes:

"Warning Sign" - Talking Heads

Game Overview: The 3-13 Bobcats travel to Newark to take on the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets, who are 4-12 on the season. Both teams are on the back ends of their respective back-to-backs. For the Bobcats, they just finished getting manhandled by a short-handed Bulls squad that was missing Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and John Lucas III. Chicago's suffocating defense thrashed the Bobcats, forcing 16 turnovers. Meanwhile in New Jersey, the Nets were defeated by the Thunder in a low-scoring affair where the Nets shot 31 percent.

The main cogs in New Jersey's offense are Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries, as well as Anthony Morrow coming off the bench. Deron Williams can shred ankles and dish like few others today and Brooks is proving to be a valuable scoring threat with his versatility to hit from range and sneakiness, as ESPN's Nets Are Scorching managing editor Devin Kharpertian says. He uses a lot of ball and shot fakes to throw off defenders. I wonder if Henderson will guard him with Silas switching Kemba/Augustin onto the more offensively inept DeShawn Stevenson. Kris Humphries may now be more famous (infamous?) for his short-lived marriage to Kim Kardashian, but don't let that fool you -- he's a talented big man with strength to post up on the block, good rebounding instincts and decent touch. And rounding up the New Jersey scouting report is Anthony Morrow, simply put a pure and smooth shooter. The Nets also have Jordan Farmar, a bunch of Williamses and Johan Petro. Fun.

Injury notes: Brook Lopez is still out as he mends from a fractured fifth metatarsal in his foot. D.J. White says he'll be fine after a left knee bruise suffered against the Bulls, but is scheduled to have an X-ray to be on the safe side. Corey Maggette is still out with his hamstring injury. Reggie Williams is also still out, but is able to practice and seems to be healing well.

Key Matchup: Deron Williams vs. D.J. Augustin -- Williams is one of the quickest and savviest point guards in the league. Augustin has trouble staying in front of opponents, despite his own quickness. I expect Williams to see many plays on pick and roll or running his man through screens. Augustin also has problems fighting through picks and with the Bobcats' weakness guarding the pick and roll (21st in the league against P&R ball handlers, 26th against P&R roll men), Deron Williams could spark an offensive threshing.

Links From Around The NBA:

White Mamba: Fan fave on, off the court - Chicago Bulls Blog

JaVale McGee ‘is not a knucklehead;’ just ask his mom - The Washington Post

2011-12 NBA.com GM Survey Results | NBA.com

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