NBA Preview: Philadelphia 76ers vs Charlotte Bobcats
By Deepak Vikraman | October 17, 2013 6:30 PM EST
Charlotte Bobcats will look to build on two consecutive preseason wins when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
The Bobcats have bounced back from two losses in their opening preseason games, to win their last two and coach Steve Clifford believes his side are showing signs of improvement especially after the easy win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"We're trying to establish balanced play," he told reporters after Wednesday's practice. "They (Cleveland) are great to play against because they are disciplined defensively, so if you don't do good things you can't get good shots.
"Early in the game we couldn't do it at all. I like that our offense got better as the game went on and we're trying hard on defense.
"We have a long way to go but we're getting better and our effort is good. To me, for preseason game number four, you have to be happy with it."
Bobcats owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan said he has been happy with Clifford, who is the third coach in as many seasons for Charlotte.
"I'm so happy about Steve. He's a very professional guy," Jordan said. "Professional in a way that the players can respond. He's worked with some very good programs. I've watched him with the players. He has the right patience and rapport and he knows how to position himself with the players.
"That's a big move for us because no matter how we spend on players, it starts with the coach. I'm not putting down (previous coach) Mike Dunlap. He had some of the same qualities."
Center Al Jefferson, who signed as a free agent for the Bobcats in a $41 million deal this offseason, is currently out after injuring his ankle against Miami on Friday, but believes he will be fit to take part in the regular season opener against the Houston Rockets on October 30.
"If you ask me I'll be ready in another week or so, but (the training staff) wants to take it slow," Jefferson said.
"That's my goal -- to be ready for the season opener. My ankle is healing real fast. Two days ago I was on crutches and now I'm in my regular shoes."
The 76ers are also 2-2 like the Bobcats in preseason, and will look to trump Charlotte in their home turf.
Where to watch
The game is set for an 8.30 p.m. start with no live coverage scheduled.
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