DALLAS -- The last thing Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wants his players to do is look at the Charlotte Bobcats' record and believe they're going to have an easy time when the two teams face each other tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center.
The Bobcats are 8-10 and don't have a lot going for themselves these days. But they do have a terrific defense which is third in the NBA after allowing only 91.8 points per game.
"Tonight we've got to be braced and ready for 48 hard minutes from Charlotte,'' Carlisle said after this morning's shootaround. "They're a much improved team.
"They've added some much more competitive guys than they've had in the past, they're very well coached. They're a very formidable team.''
This past Sunday the two-time defending champion Miami Heat found out how formidable the Bobcats are. Even while playing the game near the shores of South Beach, the Heat had to struggle before escaping with a 99-98 victory.
Miami got the win after outscoring Charlotte 38-25 in the fourth quarter, and after they were trailing 79-65 with 8:20 left in the game. Chris Bosh scored 11 consecutive points in two-and-a-half minutes -- including three consecutive three-pointers -- to help the Heat with their improbable comeback victory.
"They should have beaten Miami, probably,'' Carlisle said. "Miami had to hit three threes in a row down the stretch to beat them.
"Miami was fortunate to win that game and it just tells you how good Charlotte's playing, too.''
-- Dwain Price
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