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The Other Side: Charlotte Bobcats

I'm so hyped, I could jump through a brick wall. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Charlotte Bobcats have a chance to sweep the Washington Wizards for the first time in the franchise's five-year history, something that would surely trouble Wizards interim Coach Ed Tapscott, who is 0-3 against the organization he helped establish from the ground up. But the Bobcats (31-39) need to defeat the Wizards for reasons that extend beyond the history of the two teams; Charlotte needs to win every game to keep alive its faint playoff hopes.

The Bobcats were looking pretty good on March 7, after a win over the New York Knicks gave them a franchise-record six-game win streak. But they lost their next three games, won three in a row, then suffered a crushing, 108-83 defeat on Saturday against lottery-bound Indiana. The loss didn't end the Bobcats' playoff chances -- they are two games behind the Chicago Bulls for eighth place with 12 games remaining -- but it damaged them.

Here's what else you should know about the Bobcats as they prepare to face the Wizards tonight at Verizon Center:

1. Larry Brown Is Repairing His Legacy
No matter how the season ends for the Bobcats, this season has done wonders for Larry Brown, whose reputation took a serious hit during a tumultuous season with the New York Knicks. But he has the Bobcats in contention for the playoffs, which is something few would've expected as the season began. TNT's David Aldridge writes an excellent rundown of Brown's path to Charlotte after his New York failure.

2. Gerald Wallace Is A Daredevil
The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell said he is starting to think that Gerald "Crash" Wallace is made of Kevlar. Wallace has had concussions, broken ribs and a collision with Andrew Bynum that left him with a collapsed lung. But Wallace keeps coming back for more. He continues to play despite a bone bruise in his left knee and recently said, "I just ignore pain now."

3. Raymond Felton Is Figuring It Out
The moment the Charlotte Bobcats selected D.J. Augustine in the draft last summer, the timer on Raymond Felton's career in Charlotte started ticking. Felton was mentioned in several rumored trades and has clashed with Larry Brown numerous times, but he is becoming more of a leader. In 18 games after the all-star break, he is averaging 14.3 points and 7.1 assists.
Felton will never reach the level of his draftmates Chris Paul and Deron Williams, but how many players will? The Bobcats are pleased with his growth, especially with Augustin struggling because of an abdominal injury.

By Michael Lee  |  March 25, 2009; 3:38 PM ET
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Next: Wizards (16-56) vs. Bobcats (31-39)


I've only seen the Bobcats twice, but both times Augustin looked much better than Felton. Maybe Felton's improved, but he's not much of a penetrator and not much of a shooter.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Felton is probably the guy on the Bobcats who will most benefit from Brown's coaching. He's very similar to a pre-Pistons/pre-Brown Chauncey Billups.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 25, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

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