Charlotte Bobcats point guard Ramon Sessions was perfectly justified saying Friday, “We have a game at home we should be able to win.”
The Bobcats host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. They’ve won 11 of 17 previous meetings with the Wolves, including a victory in Minneapolis in November.
The Wolves are missing their superstar, Kevin Love (broken hand), and their starting center, Nikola Pekovic (thigh contusion). That team has so many injuries the NBA had to grant Minnesota an extra roster spot, just so a minimum eight healthy players would be available each game.
So, yes, the Bobcats should logically win at Time Warner Cable Arena. Except that hasn’t happened in a very long time.
The Bobcats are on a 16-game home losing streak, dating back to a Nov. 21 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Three more home losses and the Bobcats would tie the NBA record set by the Dallas Mavericks back in the 1990s.
They’ve lost close games (to Sacramento a week ago) and been pummeled (a 30-point loss to San Antonio). They’ve been out of some games in the first quarter, and blown big leads, too (vs. New Orleans and Portland).
For some reason they just can’t close the deal at Time Warner Cable Arena, despite having won three of their last six on the road.
Co-captain Gerald Henderson says this is a coincidence, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.
“You have to take pride in what you’re doing at home,” said Henderson, whose college team, Duke, has an incredible home-court advantage at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“It’s obviously tougher to win on the road. At home you have a big advantage – the crowd – and it’s our court. You want to play for the fans. We have to have a little more pride in playing here.”
Henderson notes the Bobcats won five of their first seven home games this season, so there’s nothing impeding them at TWC Arena. Sessions said the recent success on the road should carry over to home games. If the Bobcats can win in Chicago, then they can certainly beat fellow lottery teams in Charlotte.
“I don’t think it’s something weighing on our shoulders, because we have won lately,” Sessions said. “But you never want to disappoint your own fans.”