What have the Bobcats done lately?
The 'Cats last five games have been something of a mixed bag, with wins against the Nuggets, Warriors and Lakers, but losses to the Spurs and Suns. That's hardly a list of unimpressive victories, and probably expected losses, so think it's safe to say that the Bobcats have it in them to "surprise" a team on any given night. And, well, these Mavs, though playing very well of late, have shown a frustrating tendency this season to "play down" to an opponent.
Which team stat might determine the game?
Rebounding. The Bobcats actually muster up a pretty good defense, with Al Jefferson in the top 20 in the league in total rebounding. The improved energy of Sam Dalembert along with the continued improvement of Devin Harris has helped the Mavs bring more consistency to their defensive game, but if that lets up, look for Charlotte to capitalize.
Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?
I'll say Jose Calderon finally gets it going to prove those All-Star voters he deserved to be in the three point contest. I mean, sheesh come on y'all. He did this great video and EVERYTHING:
What to the Mavs need to do to be successful against the Bobcats?
We probably sound like a broken record on this question, but they just need to hit their shots and play a LITTLE defense. If Sammy D can continue to play well and Dirk et al have at least a reasonably hot hand, that should be all it takes. The Bobcats do have some impressive recent wins on their resume though, so I wouldn't be surprised if they snuck this one out. I think it's actually a closer game than we might think it's going to be...stay tuned.