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News » Wizards-Bobcats Preview 2009-02-11

Wizards-Bobcats Preview 2009-02-11

Wizards-Bobcats Preview 2009-02-11
The Charlotte Bobcats are encouraged with the way they've developed under first-year coach Larry Brown. Their unprecedented success against the Washington Wizards reflects that progress.

The Bobcats look to improve to 3-0 against the Wizards in 2008-09, and clinch a season series against their Southeast Division rivals for the first time when the clubs meet Wednesday night in Charlotte.

Charlotte - a fifth-year expansion team - lost 12 of its first 16 games against Washington, including three of four last season when it finished in fourth place in the Southeast for the fourth consecutive season.

Under Brown, the Bobcats (20-31) feel like they've taken steps toward respectability. They've split 26 games since Dec. 16, including victories over Boston, Detroit, Portland, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Bobcats also have two wins over the Wizards (11-41) in the last seven weeks, helping put Washington on pace for the worst finish in franchise history.

Bobcats center Emeka Okafor had 29 points and 18 rebounds in a 80-72 home win over the Wizards on Dec. 23, and midseason acquisitions Raja Bell and Boris Diaw scored 19 and 18, respectively, in Charlotte's 92-89 victory in Washington on Jan. 10.

Bell and Diaw, who arrived in a trade from Phoenix on Dec. 11, are two of the many new faces brought into the organization since Brown was hired last summer. The Bobcats have used a league-high 23 players this season.

"I think Larry has done a great job," Bobcats executive Michael Jordan said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. "He's come in, he's evaluated, he's tried to fit players within his style. We've had conversations constantly about certain players. And if certain players didn't fit, then we've tried to better the scenario."

The team's most recent attempt to change its losing culture was Saturday's trade that sent Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic, whose 44.7 3-point shooting percentage ranks among the league leaders.

"Another guy who can hit shots," Bobcats point guard Raymond Felton said. "That's going to help our offense, no question."

In his debut with the team Monday night, Radmanovic had 13 points with three 3s in 29 minutes off the bench to help Charlotte to a 94-73 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"It was definitely nice to be out there and help my team win," Radmanovic said.

The Wizards could use a similar boost after suffering their ninth loss in 11 games Tuesday night. They trailed by as many as 23 points in a 111-90 loss to Atlanta, falling to 0-11 within the Southeast this season.

"We played - well, I don't want to call it basketball," said forward Antawn Jamison, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds. "We didn't play smart. Not talking, not communicating on the defensive end, not playing basketball the way it needs to be played."

One bright spot for Washington, however, was the performance of rookie JaVale McGee. The seven-footer out of Nevada matched his season highs with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He's averaging 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 53.7 percent from the field over his last six games.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 11, 2009


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