Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Here come the Bobcats

The Rockets came rolling into town last week with a winning streak that’s become the longest in their history. Make room for the Bobcats.

OK, Charlotte isn’t likely to push 20 (Houston is at 19), but Sam Vincent’s bunch has peeled off five straight wins, setting the longest streak in the modest annals of the 4-year-old franchise.

Golden State-ex Jason Richardson is the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week. Raymond Felton is averaging 18.7 points and 9.5 assists over his last six games. Matt Carroll is 3-point fiend, and Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed are getting the job done inside.

“They’re playing really good basketball right now, very dangerous team,” Avery Johnson said after shootaround today. “Felton and Richardson, with what they’re doing, the points that they’re putting up, Matt Carroll is shooting the ball awfully well, Okafor and Mohammed are playing really good inside, they’re rebounding the ball well, they’re running.

“They seemed to have just clicked at the right time in the season, so this is a very dangerous team, dangerous game, we’re going to have to play well, really play well to win this game.”

The Mavs hope they’ve begun the clicking process after a pair of routs at American Airlines Center.

“We feel good about playing at home and what we’ve been able to do over the last couple games,” Jerry Stackhouse said. “I think we’re starting to gain a little bit of momentum. Obviously, we’re playing a team that has some momentum also. They’ve won five in a row and have been playing pretty good basketball, so it’s not going to be easy, but we feel confident.”

Stackhouse added that there’s plenty of motivation to run their winning streak to three.

“We don’t want Sam to come in here to get a win,” he said. “There are always motivational things you can look for during the course of the game – obviously, Jason Richardson being with Golden State last year.

“You’re always trying to create your own enthusiasm and create your own motivation, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that here recently and hopefully it will continue tonight.”

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