The Charlotte Bobcats are one of the few NBA teams allowing fewer than 90 points per game this season, but their offense has been so inept that the team has still lost seven straight.
The Bobcats hope a return home will help them solve their scoring woes, as the Indiana Pacers visit Charlotte on Sunday trying to avoid a three-game slide of their own.
The acquisition of Stephen Jackson(notes) from Golden State has done little to spark Charlotte offensively, even though Jackson has averaged 24.0 points in the last two games - his second and third with the team.
The Bobcats (3-9) still failed to reach 90 points in either loss, and their 83.8 average remains worst in the NBA. They shot a season-best 50.8 percent from the field at Milwaukee on Friday night, but were plagued by a 26-of-43 performance from the foul line in a 95-88 loss.
They’re also last in the league in free throw shooting, making just 68.8 percent.
“This was one of the first times we actually shot pretty good from the field,” forward Gerald Wallace(notes) said. “(But we) missed 17 free throws. We’re at this point right now where we dig ourselves out of one hole and end up finding ourselves off in another hole.”
That rut has resulted in the team’s fourth seven-game skid in the last three seasons. The Bobcats haven’t lost eight in a row since a streak of that length from Feb. 24-March 10, 2007.
That slide included six road losses, and Charlotte will be eager to return home after an 0-3 trip. All three of the club’s wins have come at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Jackson said effort - a strong point as the Bobcats outscored Milwaukee 28-19 in the fourth quarter - could be the team’s biggest issue.
“The team has accepted me with open arms so everything is good on that part, I just think as far as us coming together and figuring out how hard we’ve got to play to win games is the biggest thing right now,” Jackson said. “Had we played like we played in the fourth quarter all game, we would have won.”
The Pacers (5-5) won five straight from Nov. 4-17, but they came up empty during a recent two-game homestand, losing 105-95 to Cleveland on Friday night.
Indiana led by five points entering the fourth quarter, but was outscored 28-13, shooting 4 of 18 (22.2 percent) from the field in the final 12 minutes.
With a team-leading 24.8 points per game, Granger remains the focal point of Indiana’s offense. His 21 points helped the Pacers to an easy 108-83 victory in their most recent visit to Charlotte on March 21.
This game will mark Indiana rookie Tyler Hansbrough’s(notes) first professional visit to North Carolina, where he became the all-time leading scorer for the Tar Heels and led them to the 2009 NCAA tournament title.
Hansbrough has seen his playing time increase, averaging 8.7 points while getting consistent minutes in the last six games.