Things To Know: Bobcats

Things You Already Know:
Even with Michael Jordan at the helm in the front office, the Bobcats have been unable to achieve a better than .500 record since professional basketball returned to Charlotte. In a weak Eastern Conference, the Bobcats probably should have a much better record considering their roster includes known commodities like Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor.

However, aside from the one-two punch of Gerald Wallace (21 points) and Jason Richardson (20 points), the drop-off in proven NBA talent–not including Okafor, Raymond Felton and Nazr Mohammed—is steep.

Things You Might Not Know:
Kobe has averaged over 37 points per game in five career games against the Bobcats–his highest average against any team. While it pales in comparison to his 81 point game against the Raptors, Kobe had one of the greatest scoring nights of his career with 58 points in a 133-124 triple-overtime loss to the Bobcats in December 2006. Kobe’s newest running mate Pau Gasol has also run up an impressive track record against the Cats with a career average of 23.7 points.

The Bobcats have been rocked by injuries and inconsistency this season after showing promise down the stretch last year. Adam Morrison–one of Charlotte’s most reliable offensive players–is out for the season with a torn ACL, meanwhile Sean May and Derek Anderson have also missed extended periods of time.

Things You Need To Know:
For whatever reason, the Lakers have struggled mightily against the Bobcats, failing to defeat Charlotte in their last three meetings. In fact, the Lakers have not beaten the Cats since a one point win in December of 2005. Their past few matchups have ended in dramatic fashion too with the last two games both going into overtime.

The Bobcats have lost six in a row with their most recent loss coming against Detroit on Sunday. Both teams will be playing in the second half of a back-to-back with the Lakers disposing of the Heat yesterday in Miami. Factor in the Bobcats’ surprising success against the Lakers and the fact they are one loss away from tying their season long losing streak of seven games and Kobe and Co. could be in for an unexpected battle if they don’t give Charlotte the respect they deserve.