Can the Charlotte Bobcats end their 10-game losing streak Saturday night when they host the Orlando Magic at Time Warner Cable Arena?
The Bobcats haven't won since a double-overtime squeaker over the Washington Wizards on Nov. 24. Since, they have lost close games and they have lost by 32 (San Antonio Spurs) and 45 (Oklahoma City Thunder).
That Thunder debacle was the first of this slide. One near constant during this woeful run has been the porous defense. Every team but the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 28 have scored over 100 points against the Bobcats during this losing streak.
The Hawks made up for it with a 113-90 victory on Thursday.
"We played poor defensively and gave them too many easy baskets in transition, with some of those coming off our turnovers," said head coach Mike Dunlap. "After some film session, we'll be very clear detail-wise that we have to improve at the defensive end of the floor. That's where time will be spent between now and Saturday."
The Bobcats have a decent chance to improve on Saturday night, at least on the defensive end. The Orlando Magic rank 27th in the NBA in scoring.
But the Magic almost hit the century mark on Friday night. They only got to 99, but it was more than enough for an easy, 14-point victory over the scorching hot Golden State Warriors. The loss was the first for the Warriors in game six of a seven-game Eastern road trip.
It was the second time the Magic beat the Warriors in 11 days.
Orlando won just about the only way they know - team basketball. Six Magic players scored in double-figures, led by 16 points from J.J. Redick off the bench.
Rookie Andrew Nicholson (15), E'Twaun Moore (15), Arron Afflalo (14), Nikola Vucevic (12) and Jameer Nelson (10) keyed the balanced attack. Vucevic also grabbed 17 rebounds.
"A couple of them I really just was standing there," joked Vucevic. "I have to rebound for us to get wins. By rebounding, we limit their offense. We can run afterwards and get some easy buckets."
The Magic have won seven of the last eight against the Bobcats, but lost the last time the two teams met in Charlotte.