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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, November 2nd (All times eastern)

Milwaukee Bucks (0-1) at Charlotte Bobcats (0-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Charlotte Bobcats open their 2007-08 season against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

The Bobcats, who had a franchise-best 33 victories during the 2006-07 campaign, hired a new head coach as Sam Vincent took over for Bernie Bickerstaff. Bobcats leading scorer Gerald Wallace re-signed with the team in the offseason after posting 18.1 ppg last season. Emeka Okafor had a team-best 11.3 rebounds and Raymond Felton dished out a club-high 7.0 assists per game.

Okafor, who was second on the team in scoring (14.4 ppg), and Adam Morrison, who averaged 11.8 points during his rookie campaign, give Charlotte two more young forwards with bright futures. However, Morrison suffered a partial to complete tear of the ACL in his left knee during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Morrison could be lost for the season.

Bobcats forward Sean May posted 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in just 35 contests, but is expected to miss the entire season with a serious right knee injury, which required microfracture surgery.

Draft night proved to be an interesting evening for the Bobcats. North Carolina's Brandan Wright slipped to No. 8 and the Bobcats selected him with the pick. However, Wright was not in their plans. as they traded the promising forward to Golden State for high-flying Jason Richardson.

The 26-year-old Richardson is a scorer, but the fact is that his production decreased last season for the Warriors. He averaged 16.0 points, down from his 23.2 points per game in 2005-06. Richardson was hampered by a knee injury and missed 31 contests. Richardson experienced the playoffs for the first time in his career last season.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, opened the 2007-08 season with a 102-83 loss to the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena. Michael Redd led the Bucks with 25 points, despite missing all five of his three-point attempts. Bobby Simmons added 18 points and Andrew Bogut struggled to a four-point night on 2-of-9 shooting. Yi Jianlian, Milwaukee's first-round draft pick, recorded nine points and three rebounds before fouling out.

The Bucks, who finished a dismal 28-54 in the 2006-07 campaign and did not qualify for the postseason, will return home for two games against Toronto and Chicago after Friday's game.

Milwaukee and Charlotte split four matchups last season, while the Bobcats have won two straight after losing the first nine encounters with the Bucks. Milwaukee has won four of the five meetings in Charlotte.

11/02 10:45:14 ET


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