TV: League Pass
- The Lakers are just 23-27 heading into tonight’s game against Charlotte. This is only the 3rd time since the ABA-NBA merger that the Lakers are below .500 through 50 games. The Lakers are 8-8 all-time against the Bobcats. Charlotte is just one of three teams that the Lakers don’t have a winning record against. The other two teams are the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.
- The Bobcats will have Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion) back in the lineup tonight. He needed to be cleared by one more doctor before receiving final clearance. Kidd-Gilchrist participated in Charlotte’s shootaround this morning and will be in the team’s starting lineup per coach Mike Dunlap. “He’s ready to roll,” Dunlap said, “and we’re excited about that. We’ll see how crisp he is and how he moves around the floor.”
- Charlotte forward Byron Mullens will also return to the starting lineup. Mullens returned to the floor during Charlotte’s five-game roadtrip, but hasn’t started until Friday. “That’s what we’ve been moving towards and tonight we’ll see how many minutes he can play,” Dunlap said.
- Lakers center Dwight Howard will be in the starting lineup against Charlotte. Howard had just nine rebounds and nine points in the Lakers loss at Boston Thursday night. Howard has missed the previous four games with a torn right labrum. “It’s tough for anybody when you’re not physically well all the time,” Los Angeles coach Mike D’Antoni said, “You’v got a got a lot of pressure. You’ve target on your backs. It’s like LeBron (James) going to Miami but not physically feeling good, so it makes it tougher. He’s got to work through it and we’ve got to make the playoffs and turn this season into something positive.”
- Chris Broussard of ESPN is reporting that league sources indicate the Bobcats and New Jersey Nets are discussing a deal with would send Ben Gordon to the Nets in exchange for Kris Humphries. Both players make approximately $12 million dollars so the trade could work from a salary cap perspective. The Bobcats were interested in Humphries over the summer during free agency. Gordon is averaging 13.1 points per game on the season and connecting on almost 42 percent from the three-point line.
– Derek Smith