7:00 PM ET, November 25, 2013
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Even when the Charlotte Bobcats have been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA, they are still having a hard time winning on their own floor.
Al Jefferson is trying to finally move past a nagging ankle injury as Charlotte hopes to turn things around at home tonight and deal the Boston Celtics their seventh defeat in eight games.
Charlotte(7-7) thought they had landed a much-needed force in the paint by signing Jefferson to a reported three-year deal worth $40.5 million in July. The 25 year-old had averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in his previous three seasons with the Utah Jazz.
However, Jefferson has been limited throughout his first season with the Bobcats after suffering a sprained ankle during the preseason. The center has averaged 14.6 points and 7.8 boards in only five games, missing a total of nine games over two separate stints.
After finishing with nine points and six rebounds following a four-game absence in Friday’s defeat versus the visiting Phoenix Suns, Jefferson continued to inch closer to his old form with 19 and seven in Saturday’s 96-72 win versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jefferson had his best game against the team that took him in the first round of the 2004 draft with 22 points and 11 rebounds in an 89-83 win in Boston on Nov. 13. The California native averaged 19.2 points and 13.4 boards during a streak of five straight double-doubles in this matchup.
YouWager experts consider that Gerald Henderson is also doing a good job, totaling 34 points on 13-of-24 shooting in his last two games. In the most recent meeting in Charlotte, Henderson had 35 points in a 100-74 win versus Boston (5-10) on March 12.
Backcourt mate Kemba Walker leads Charlotte with 15.6 points per game, but he finished with a season-low three on 1-of-13 shooting in Boston earlier in November.
The Bobcats have won two of three overall to get back to .500 following a 21-victory season in 2012-13, and now the team is looking to carry over an outstanding defensive road effort to their home court.
The Celtics will have to do without rookie Kelly Olynyk, who is expected to miss at least two weeks due to a sprained ankle.