With owner Michael Jordan participating in drills during practice and sitting courtside come game time, the Charlotte Bobcats know they are expected to play at a high level.
If they're going to meet those expectations and advance to the playoffs for the second straight season, they will have to do so without Gerald Wallace.
A day after Wallace and backup center Nazr Mohammed were traded in separate deals, the Bobcats will try to win their third straight at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday night when they face the Sacramento Kings.
Despite turning 48 last Thursday, Jordan has been spending more time recently as a participant in practices. He may have lost a few steps since his last NBA game nearly eight years ago, but the Hall of Fame guard has not lost his competitiveness.
"Mike is winning some of our drills ... and I lay in on (the guys), 'How you going to let this man come out and beat you guys?'" coach Paul Silas said. "It's fun. They're into it, and that's what's most important is that they're buying in."
A 114-101 victory over Toronto on Tuesday left a smile on Jordan's face as the Bobcats began the unofficial second half of the season with their third win in four games.
Following Wednesday's practice, Wallace talked about how pleased he was with the team's intensity, but the veteran forward, who averaged 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in six-plus seasons with the club, won't be with the Bobcats (25-32) as they try to catch Indiana for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
Wallace was sent to Portland before Thursday's trade deadline for center Joel Przybilla, forward Dante Cunningham and two first-round picks.
Charlotte traded Mohammed to Oklahoma City for forward D.J. White and guard Morris Peterson.
Sacramento (14-41) could have guard Marcus Thornton available after acquiring him from New Orleans on Wednesday for forward Carl Landry.
Thornton could back up second-year player Jermaine Taylor, who is making the most of his opportunity with Tyreke Evans sidelined at least three weeks with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Taylor, acquired from Houston in December for a second-round pick, is averaging 17.0 points and shooting 21 of 35 from the field while starting the last three games. He scored a career-high 21 points in Wednesday's 111-105 victory at Orlando.
"(Evans' injury) is not something you want to see, but it's the NBA. It happens," Taylor said. "As long as I'm in the starting spot, I'm going to take advantage of it and go out there and have fun and play."
The Kings, who will be trying to win two straight for the first time since Jan. 28-29, have dropped five in a row against Charlotte and are 1-5 all-time at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Bobcats leading scorer Stephen Jackson, who had a team-high 21 points in a 94-89 victory in Sacramento on Jan. 25, is expected to play after leaving Tuesday's game with a strained left hamstring.