Charlotte Bobcats @ Pacers 3/16/10
Bobcats fall in typical Bobcat fashion on the road to Indiana 99-94. The loss drops the Cats to 34-32, maintaining their tie with Miami for sixth in the Conference with just sixteen games remaining.
More of the Same
Since I have the great privilege of covering most of the Bobcats road games for the blog, I’ve seen my fair share of losses this season (twenty four to be exact). Last night’s Indy game stuck to the standard script: Play three solid quarters of basketball but disappear in the 2nd, go down by double digits and make a last ditch effort to salvage a win in the waning minutes of the 4th.
Against the Pacers, the ‘Cats were outscored 32-19 in the second quarter and it was specifically the Bobcats’ reserves who got torched in this one. Although Tyrus Thomas dropped ten points before the second half, he and the rest of his unit threw up a big stink bomb in the plus/minus department. Augustin, Henderson, Chandler and T2 averaged a -14 plus/minus for the game and let the Pacers run and shoot over them at will. The second unit looked undisciplined and unfocused and gave Coach Brown little option but to burn his starters for most of the 2nd half.
Good illustration of my point:
Midway through the second quarter, Cats are settling for outside jumpers Pacers go on a 14-0 run, CLT continues to turn the ball over.
Pacers work the ball around and find Brandon Rush down low, Tyrus cheats down on him anticipating the block, leaving his man – Troy Murphy. Murphy immediately slips way back to his favorite spot at the top of the three point line. Rush fakes the shot down low, swings it back out to Murphy. Swish. Think that the Pacers read the scouting report on Tyrus? Yes. Think Tyrus Thomas read the scouting report on Troy Murphy? No.
The game looked like a blowout up until the Cats put on their traditional 4th quarter run which resulted from an intense “Carolina Trap” (as Pacers’ TV color man Quinn Buckner called it) that was completely missing for three and half quarters. Equally as perplexing was Larry Brown’s lack of a timeout with :30 seconds on the game clock and the ‘Cats down just three. The lack of a timeout resulted in a terrible Boris Diaw turnover and the game was over. It looked as though LB wanted a TO but just couldn’t communicate it to Raymond Felton in time.
- Stephen Jackson started the game ice cold (2-8 from the field in the 1st half) before warming in the 4th. JAX is one of those scorers who’ll drive you nuts as he tries to find his shot during games by bricking eight or nine three pointers in order to get into a groove. JAX was also assessed a technical early on and it was pretty obvious that the Indy crowd was eating it up. They really don’t like that guy. This makes the second road game I’ve covered in which he was booed heavily by his former crowd (Golden State being the first). I certainly hope that we don’t end up in a similar situation in Charlotte.
- D.J. Augustin continues to infuriate. He only shot the ball once in 18 minutes. Once. His role is “scoring point guard.” His decision making was poor tonight. GREAT DJ MOMENT in the 2nd quarter: dribbles around for five seconds wide open and as the shot clock winds down he finds Theo Ratliff for a well contested fadeaway twenty footer. I’m not making this up.
- Outside of the dagger turnover at the end, Boris Diaw had a nice game with 20pts (7-10), 5 boards and 4 assists. He looks slimmer and seems to be moving around much better than he was earlier this season. That’s a positive sign moving forward.
- Tyson Chandler only played eleven minutes and was thoroughly owned by second year center Roy Hibbert. That’s just sad. Just sad. But maybe things are starting to pick up! According to Tyson’s blog, he’s feeling better than ever! Yippee! (Thanks to Bobcats Planet for the link).
- Bobcats commit a total of 18 turnovers as JAX led the way with six. If the Bobcats want to even think about the 2nd Round, they’ve got to figure out a way to cut out the errors. They’re currently 29th in the League at just under 16 per. Ouch.
- Your ’09-’10 NBA IS FANTASTIC Exchange of the Year:
First Quarter: Theo Ratliff with a major rejection on Danny Granger, Stephen Graham chases it down for a breakaway dunk, followed by a Troy Murphy JAM going the other way! Givin’ the people what they want in Indiana!
- Speaking of Graham. Dude’s been playing out of his mind as a substitute for Crash. Had a career high 19 points (8-10) to go along with eight boards. Efficient, low-cost, high value. Couldn’t ask for more for Joey Graham’s brother. Nice work.
- Too bad the ‘Cats didn’t bring it against the Pacers, both the Heat and Bulls lost on the same night and CLT missed an easy chance of going up another full game on each of them.
Big game coming up at home against the OKC Thunder. Dr. E will Tweet you there.