COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 23rd (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (34-22) at Charlotte Bobcats (13-42), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets are hoping their recent slump is only temporary and they could be headed toward a trap game Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Scheduled to host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, the Nuggets will try not to take the lowly Bobcats for granted. Denver is coming off Friday's 119-113 loss at Washington and allowed seven Wizards to score in double digits.
Ty Lawson had a game-high 27 points and 12 assists and Wilson Chandler registered 22 points for the Nuggets, who have lost four of five games since ripping off nine wins in a row.
"I'm a little concerned," Denver coach George Karl said, "that we don't respect the opponent on the road enough to think defense first and then worry about offense, because offense usually happens when we play defense."
The Nuggets are mired in a four-game road losing streak and sport an 11-19 record away from the Rocky Mountains, going 3-8 on the road against the East. They are currently seeded fifth in the West and sit third in the league with 105.1 ppg.
Denver, though, is allowing 101.6 ppg.
Charlotte has posted some impressive wins this season against Indiana, Dallas, Chicago and Boston, but is still a dismal 13-42.
The Bobcats will wrap up a three-game homestand Saturday and fell to 0-2 on the residency with Friday's 105-75 drubbing at the hands of the Bulls. Eight Chicago players scored in double figures and Taj Gibson led the way with 17 points.
Kemba Walker posted a game-best 27 points for the Bobcats, who got 10 points from rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and lost for the 10th time in 12 tries.
Charlotte made only 33.3 percent of its shots and committed 13 miscues, leading to 21 Chicago points. Byron Mullens was held to two points and entered the game averaging 19-plus ppg in his past four.
"Those guys just know where they are supposed to be," said Walker, who leads the team with 17.6 ppg and has scored 24-plus points in three straight. "They help really well. They do their coverages really well. They are a really good defensive team. They communicate, they move. They play really good defense."
Bobcats forward/center Josh McRoberts could make his debut Saturday and was acquired this week from Orlando for forward Hakim Warrick. McRoberts played in 41 games for the Magic this season and posted averages of 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds.
After hosting the Nuggets, Charlotte, which is 7-21 at home, will embark on a four-game western trek against the Clippers, Jazz, Kings and Trail Blazers.
Denver defeated Charlotte, 110-88, at the Pepsi Center on Dec. 22 this season and has won 11 of the 16 meetings.
02/23 10:33:11 ET