Charlotte Bobcats@Hawks 3/19/10
Wow. Exciting finish to an otherwise pedestrian game as Raymond Felton and Joe Johnson exchange clutch shots in the final 3.8 seconds of overtime. Final score: Hawks 93, ‘Cats 92.
The Bobcats Should Have Won This Game
You can’t really blame Joe Johnson for the loss. Up by ten points midway through the 4th quarter, the Bobcats had numerous opportunities to put the game away. Turnovers (15) and poor bench play (outscored 28-15) hurt throughout but look at the final three plays of regulation to see where the game was really lost:
Up by four with a little more than 2:00 on the clock, the Bobcats proceed to:
- Possession One: Raymond Felton forced drive and miss at the end of the shot clock on a busted play that was supposed to go to either Stephen Jackson or Boris Diaw.
- Possession Two: Stephen Jackson two missed free throws.
- Possession Three: Boris Diaw passes up a two-footer in the lane for a Theo Ratliff missed ten footer.
Regulation over, Hawks tie it up to send it to OT.
Meanwhile in OT the Bobcats are KILLED by JAX’s four consecutive missed 3-pointers. While it’s understood that Jackson is the team’s first scoring option, I’m very curious as to how his teammates are going to react to his decision making tonight. JAX wasn’t feeling it from downtown all evening and ended up going 1-7 from behind the arc.
Joe Johnson finally got hot in the 4th quarter and OT after struggling for most of the game and then emphatically sealed the win at the buzzer with a contested jumper over Raymond Felton.
- Not only did Raymond have a great game with 25 points (on 11-19 shooting) in 46 minutes but he had the two clutch baskets in OT that might have won the game if not for Johnson’s heroics. The weird line-drive floater in the lane with 3.8 to go in OT was surpassed only by his “Rumblin, Fumblin, Stumblin” fast break layup in traffic a minute earlier. One could only hope they Ray will learn to time his game winners a little closer to the buzzer from this point on.
- As mentioned above, the Bobcats bench was outclassed – that was the difference that kept ATL in the game during a first half when their starters were struggling. Jamal Crawford continues to torment the Bobcats (16 points) no matter what jersey he happens to be wearing.
- Raymond’s backup, D.J. Augustin, served up another DPBCI (Did Play But Completely Ineffective). Seven minutes, 0-2 from the field, 2 assists, 2 fouls, 1 turnover. So glad that we don’t have Brook Lopez lumbering down the lane.
- Gerald Wallace with a big first game back from the ankle injury. Crash was mostly MIA in the first half but dropped 18 points after the break to finish with 20 points, 16 boards, and a BIG block in transition that helped swing the momentum in the Bobcats direction during their 25-18 third quarter run.
- Theo Ratliff had a terrible game offensively (1-9 from the floor) but you really have to spread the blame around to his teammates (especially Boris Diaw) for feeding him shots late in the shot clock that he had no business taking.
- Some good news may be on the horizon. The two main areas where the Bobcats were deficient against the Hawks (offensive production at Center, bench scoring) will certainly be improved once Nazr Mohammed and Larry Hughes return from injury. Hughes should be ready by early next week while Mohammed is still day to day.