If you looked ahead before the season, tonight's game looked like a "schedule win." Think about it: The Sixers, playing at home and on three days rest, are matched up against the Charlotte Bobcats, who played at home just last night. Even if you predicted something like 17 wins for the Sixers, tonight felt like a strong possibility to be one of them.
Even with the Sixers generally exceeding expectations, not so much anymore. Charlotte, facing the dreaded SEGABABA (SEcond GAme of a BAck-to-BAck), is a decent team, albeit one tenuously holding onto the eighth seed in the "Downer than the first verse of 'Going Up'" Eastern Conference.
Impressive rookie head coach Steve Clifford has the Bobcats playing strong defense, where they rank 8th in the league despite missing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's services for over six weeks. The good news for Charlotte is that last year's second overall pick returned to action in last night's win over the New York Knicks. The Bobcats are about 7.5 points better defensively as a over a whole game with him on the floor, per 82 Games. So, a good defense gets even stouter.
The other side of the floor is a problem, though. Even with the addition of low-post presence Al Jefferson, this is still a very bad offensive team (worse than the Sixers, in fact). Kidd-Gilchrist, who notably struggles with his jumper, is one of Charlotte's most efficient scorers in his admittedly limited minutes. Kemba Walker is a player that is extremely fun to watch when his jumper is on.