Coming off of a 96-83 road loss to the Houston Rockets, the Charlotte Bobcats look to get into the win column as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. Charlotte struggled mightily on the glass in their first game and a lot of that had to do with the Rockets new rebounding machine, Dwight Howard, who tied his career-high with 26 boards. As a team the Cats were out-rebounded 56 to 37.
The Cavs present a different type of problem for Charlotte and that is speed. Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving is widely considered one of the best young players in the league and he gets up and down the court in a hurry. He is coming off a 15 point nine assist performance that led his team to a 98-94 victory over the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night.
Bobcats point guard, Kemba Walker has some wheels on him as well but he knows that he will have his hands full with Irving tonight. "You never get a night off in this league because it seems like you're facing good point guards every night, but Kyrie is one of the best and I love the challenge", says Walker. The last time these two faced off, Walker finished with 13 points and five assists and helped lead the Cats to a 105-92 win over the Cavs last season at Time Warner Cable Arena.
In that same game Irving finished with a team-high 20 points and three assists in the Cavs loss. For a team that relies so heavy on the scoring of Irving (16.5 points, 5.1 assists in preseason), Walker’s ability to force turnovers should come in handy for the Bobcats defense. Walker has quick hands and a uncanny timing on defense, so given Irving’s averages from last season (22.5 points, 5.9 assists), it will be imperative for Walker to try and contain Irving offensively.
Both teams want to run a high-paced offense, so at times it may seem more like a track meet than a basketball game, but containing Irving is the key to the Bobcats reaching the finish line first. Tip-off is at 7 pm ET in Charlotte and the game will be televised on Fox Sports South.