Charlotte Bobcats vs. Hawks, 11/6/09
Who Says We Need to Make a Trade?
The Bobcats get well with a solid victory over the visiting Hawks, 103-83 on Friday night at the Cable Box to go to 3-2 on the season (3-0 at home). AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell story here. Raja Bell started fast for the Cats and never let up, easily taking player-of-the-game honors with 25 pts (9-12 FG, 5-6 3PT), 4 assists and a +24 +/-. Good decision to not have that wrist surgery.
After Marc Stein’s report that the Cats were still pursuing a Stephen Jackson trade added fuel to the fire of angst-ridden/fantasy-trade-happy Bobcats fans on Thursday, an easy win over the playoff-bound Hawks was just what Dr. E ordered. Granted, the Hawks were rather listless, but the Cats looked like they were unwinding on the offensive end after running LB’s system too anxiously over the first week of the season. Things looked smooth, passes were crisp, shots were falling, turnovers were minimal… the Bobcats looked comfortable, and it showed in the final score. A team that had averaged a league-worst 80-some points per game previously eclipsed 100 tonight rather easily.
The Cats opened up a double-digit lead in during the second quarter, and the road-weary Hawks never seriously challenged after that. Nice performances all around for the Bobcats. Gerald Wallace had a rough night from the field (3-14 FG), but continued his ravenous rebounding with 18 more tonight. Tyson Chandler continued to play himself into shape (and learn LB’s system on the fly) and ended with his best game yet: 10 pts on 5-5 FG (with two monster ‘oops) and 10 rebounds.
Perhaps the second most noteworthy performance (other than Raja’s) was Flip Murray’s. Flip sat out the first few games to rest his bionic tibia, but debuted tonight in strong fashion. He entered the game late in the first quarter and began firing away soon thereafter. He ended with 15 pts (5-12 FG, 3-5 3PT) in 18 minutes off the bench. That’s a pretty high ratio of shots:minutes… which is exactly what we need from him.
Being the designated gunner off the bench for an otherwise offensively puny team is just a perfect role for Flip. While he’s probably not enough to make us stop talking about fantasy trades for Rip Hamilton, Rudy Gay, Martell Webster or Anthony Morrow, he was good enough tonight to maintain the Bobcats double-digit cushion with some effortless buckets.
- Both Chandler (smacked in the nose) and Wallace (twisted or banged knee) both briefly left the game in the first half due to injuries. Both returned to the game.
- Gana Diop and Alexis Ajinca were inactive.
- No Michael Jordan or Bob Johnson tonight. Presumably, they’ve returned to $5K/hole golf outings and equestrian fandom, respectively.
- The Cats outshot the Hawks 47% to 39.8% and outrebounded the Hawks 56-35. No Hawks player scored over 13 points.
- If the playoffs started today, the Bobcats would be the #6 seed (facing #3 Orlando) and the Lebrons would miss the playoffs.
- Quick turnaround for the next game. The Cats visit the Bulls Saturday night in Chicago, 8:00 PM ET. ASChin will take the honors for post-game posting. Follow both of us on Twitter for in-game thoughts: Dr. E / ASChin.