Michael Kidd-Gilchrist heads a cast of Philly-centric Bobcats

Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist , getting fouled by the Lakers' Earl Clark, entered the weekend averaging 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. CHUCK BURTON / AP
Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist , getting fouled by the Lakers' Earl Clark, entered the weekend averaging 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. CHUCK BURTON / AP
Posted: February 09, 2013

Things began so promisingly for the Charlotte Bobcats this season. But as they prepare for Saturday's game at the Wells Fargo Center against the 76ers, the struggles of last season have resurfaced on a team that has a distinct Philadelphia area flavor.

Last year, the Bobcats went 7-59 in the shortened NBA season. But with an infusion of enthusiasm from first-year coach Mike Dunlap this season, Charlotte got off to a 7-5 start, matching last season's win total in just 12 games.

Since then, however, Charlotte has gone 4-32 heading into Friday's home game against the Los Angeles Lakers. At 11-37 entering the weekend, the Bobcats have the fewest wins in the NBA.

This is a team that has been hit by injuries, the most recent to rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Somerdale, N.J., product who was the NBA's No. 2 overall selection after winning a national championship with Kentucky.

The 6-foot-7 Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of Saturday's road loss at Houston. He collided with teammate Jeff Taylor and left the court on a stretcher.

Kidd-Gilchrist was attempting to block a shot and Taylor was going for a rebound when he inadvertently smacked the back of his hip into Kidd-Gilchrist's head.

Kidd-Gilchrist missed two games before returning to the lineup for Friday's game agaisnt the Lakers.

This will be Charlotte's second game against the Sixers, having lost a home matchup, 104-98, on Nov. 30. In that game, Kidd-Gilchrist had 10 points and eight rebounds.

The other players with local ties on Charlotte are guard Gerald Henderson of Episcopal Academy and forward Hakim Warrick of Friends Central.

Kidd-Gilchrist entered the weekend averaging 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot in 26.6 minutes. Henderson missed a month earlier this season with a foot injury. He was averaging 12.5 points and shooting 41.3 percent from beyond the arc, entering the weekend.

Warrick, who began the season with the New Orleans Hornets, was acquired by Charlotte on Nov. 13. He was acquired for another local product, Hatboro-Horsham's Matt Carroll. Warrick entered the weekend averaging 7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds.

The Sixers should be facing a relatively tired Bobcats team. Friday's home game with the Lakers was the Bobcats' first since returning from an 0-5 road trip that ended with Wednesday's 122-95 loss at Cleveland.

The other losses on the trip were to Chicago, San Antonio, Houston, and Miami. Against Miami, the Bobcats led, 75-74, with fewer than eight minutes remaining before an 8-0 Heat run put Miami on the way to a 99-94 win.

"Four of five nights we played physical, and our effort was very good," Dunlap told the team's website. "Obviously some of our shortcomings we continue to work on."

The Bobcats entered the weekend last in defensive points per game, allowing an NBA high 103.4 points per game.


Contact Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.

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