Charlotte (2-6) at Orlando (6-3)

Cloudy Currently: Orlando, FL
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Sat Nov 18, 2006
  • TV: N14, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Charlotte Bobcats vowed to be patient with Adam Morrison through his early season struggles. As the rookie’s game has improved, they hope their patience will start to be rewarded with some wins.

Morrison and the Bobcats (2-6) conclude a three-game road trip Saturday night against the Orlando Magic (6-3).

Morrison, who led the country with 28.1 points per game at Gonzaga last season, had a career-high 27 in Charlotte’s 95-92 overtime win over San Antonio on Wednesday night.

That effort followed a 21-point performance Tuesday in a loss to New Orleans. Morrison had scored a combined 11 points in the previous two games.

“All I can say about Adam is he is really going for it with no restraints and this is really making his teammates happy,” coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “One thing I tell my young rookies is do what got you here. In Adam’s case, that is scoring with the basketball.”

Morrison’s start Wednesday was his third of the season. He’s averaging 14.9 points, but shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor.

Against the Spurs, though, he was 12-of-23 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3-point range, making six of his first seven shots.

“The coaches were telling me I was putting too much pressure on myself,” said Morrison, the third overall pick in the draft. “Everyone was expecting so much out me, especially at the pick I went.”

Wednesday’s win over one of the NBA’s top teams snapped a four-game losing streak for the struggling Bobcats, who had the third-worst record in the league last season and have one of the Eastern Conference’s worst records this season.

“We won a great game tonight, however, there is still plenty of room for improvement,” Bickerstaff said.

Morrison and the Bobcats will look to take advantage of Orlando’s turnover problems. The Magic have committed a league-high 184 turnovers, including 26 in their 108-99 win over Denver on Wednesday.

Orlando shot 50 percent from the floor, the third consecutive night it reached that mark, but the turnover situation is troubling to coach Brian Hill.

“I think we will shoot a good percentage; we just get too careless with the basketball at times,” Hill said. “We try to make plays that aren’t there or we try to make home run plays rather than simple plays and we just have to clean that up …. We’ve been living on borrowed time being able to get wins with high turnovers.”

Orlando received a solid performance from its reserves Wednesday, with Keyon Dooling leading all Magic scorers with 25 points and Carlos Arroyo contributing 14.

“Depth is one of our assets,” Hill said. “As I said from the beginning of the year, I have no problem playing 10 people night in and night out on this team. It’s our strength right now.”

The Magic have won three straight and five of six. Orlando is looking to get off to its best 10-game start since the 1998-99 season, when the Magic opened 8-2.

Orlando and Charlotte have split eight matchups, but the Magic are 3-1 at home in the series.

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders



Saturday, Nov 18