The Charlotte Bobcats are hoping a healthier start to the second
half will get them a little closer to avoiding a dubious NBA
Leading scorer Gerald Henderson is expected to return for the
Bobcats as they visit the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Charlotte (4-28) is on pace for one of the worst winning
percentages in NBA history after laboring through an injury-plagued
first half. While they won’t surpass the 1972-73 Philadelphia
76ers’ league-record 73 defeats, the Bobcats remain in danger of
finishing below their .110 mark.
The most recent team to make a run at that record, the 2009-10
New Jersey Nets, were 12-70 for a .146 winning percentage.
Charlotte needs four wins in its final 34 games to finish with
no worse than a .121 winning percentage and avoid setting a new
league mark for futility.
“Hopefully after this break we come back with some more energy
and get some more wins,” point guard D.J. Augustin said following a
102-88 loss to Indiana last Wednesday.
The Bobcats might have some more energy for this game because
they’re expected to have a full complement of 15 players available
for the first time this season. Henderson, averaging 15.0 points,
practiced Tuesday and could end a nine-game absence because of a
strained right hamstring.
Corey Maggette reportedly had an issue with his knee over the
break but practiced Tuesday and is expected to play against Detroit
(11-25), which opened the second half with a lopsided defeat.
The Pistons endured their worst shooting performance (31.6
percent) since Dec. 23, 2009, during a 97-68 home loss to
Philadelphia on Tuesday. They also matched their worst scoring
effort of the season, a 92-68 loss in Chicago on Jan. 9.
“We were still on vacation,” forward Tayshaun Prince said.
Greg Monroe (20 points) and Rodney Stuckey (17) were the only
players in double figures during their team’s third consecutive
defeat. The Pistons also gave up 24 points off 23 turnovers, their
second-most this season.
“When you see a team with 17 steals, it is pretty obvious what
happened,” coach Lawrence Frank said. “They averaged 21 points off
our turnovers in the first two games, so our goal was to make them
play against our set defense. Of course, that didn’t happen.”
Detroit will try to bounce back against a team it beat 98-81 on
the road Jan. 13. Second-year forward Jonas Jerebko led five
starters in double figures during that game with a career
high-tying 22 points.
The Pistons are 9-3 all-time against the Bobcats at the Palace
of Auburn Hills but had their three-game home win streak in the
series snapped with a 97-87 loss last February.