Charlotte Bobcats vs Pistons 12/22/09
The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the undermanned Detroit Pistons 88-76 at the Cable Box on Tuesday night. AP story here, box score here. The Bobcats were keyed by Gerald Wallace’s 29 point/4-6 3PT/12 rebound/3 assist/2 steal/4 block effort, turned in after he missed Sunday night’s game as a precaution due to headaches.
Meanwhile, the Pistons suffered from severe lack of firepower. Key rotation players Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince all missed the game with injuries. Both Charlie Villanueva and Will Bynum, who had torched Charlotte back in November in Detroit, were largely held in check tonight.
The Cats pulled away in the second quarter behind a strong start by Gerald Wallace and maintained a double digit lead the rest of the way. This was very much a “Taking Care of Business” kind of home game against a struggling, beat-up, but still dangerous visitor.
Stephen Jackson gutted it out for 13 points/8 rebounds/4 assists in 41 minutes, but was clearly bothered by his stiff lower back. Nazr Mohammed was his usual efficient, productive self with 12 points/9 rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.
Tyson Chandler left the game in the third quarter with a sprained foot; funny, I hardly noticed. It might as well have been a tactical benching, as the Pistons were trying to go small anyways. Larry Brown, through Raymond, DJ and Jack, seems hell-bent on trying to turn Chandler into Amare Stoudemire on the pick and roll. But it is painful to watch Chandler fumble away pass after pass while trying to roll to the basket. I know Larry Brown likes to preach that players are never too old to learn new tricks/skills, but maybe Chris Paul was onto something when he threw Chandler exclusively lobs in New Orleans.
- The Bobcats shot 9-18 from 3PT range — one of their best showings of the year in that regard.
- I’d love to see a breakdown of what percentage of Gerald Wallace’s points are scored in the first half versus the second half — he had another huge first half tonight. That he often fades as a scoring threat late in games is one of the only weaknesses that I can nitpick about. I tried checking on hoopdata.com and 82games.com, but half-by-half (or quarter-by-quarter) breakdowns weren’t readily available from what I could see. Anyone know how to mine that data?
- DaJuan Summers is going to be seeing Gerald in his nightmares — Gerald had two amazing blocks in the fourth quarter, both on Summers. The first one is in the ESPN.com highlights, the second one is available on NBA.com.
- Felton totally shook Chucky Atkins coming down the court (not hard, I know, but still) in one of my favorite plays of the game. Atkins ended up on his butt while Raymond stopped and popped. The NBA.com video folks must be on a skeleton crew for the holidays, because they don’t have the full game highlight package available yet as I’m about to post this — hopefully that one will make it on there.
- The Cats improve to 11-16 overall (10-4 at home), currently good for 8th place in the Eastern Conference
- The Cats get a three day break for Christmas — let’s hope no one’s going on the road (get it?). Next game is Saturday night at Oklahoma City.