The Bobcats lose the Contrast of Styles, forsaking their own deliberate pacing in favor of Mike D’Antoni’s full court whirling dervish as the Knicks take the first of a home and home 110-107 in New York.
- Say what you will about no-calls, missed layups, bad bounces,etc, the Bobcats insistence in playing the Knicks at their own up-tempo game was what did them in this evening. Charlotte went into this game averaging just 95 points a contest while the Knicks have logged around 107 per. This isn’t the type of game that Larry Brown wants to play and you could see it in the turnovers (combined 38) and mis-timed long rebounds. It didn’t help that the Knicks dominated from the stripe, shooting 24-25 while limiting the Bobcats to just 13-18, this style just doesn’t suit a grind it out Bobcats team. Here’s hoping that Larry Brown can control the pace when the Cats are back at home on Wednesday.
- Big story of the night is Augustin’s (perhaps) finest performance as a pro. Drives, Jumpers, Assists, Steals, Wow Moments. D.J. did it all Tuesday night and looked like a real deal NBA starting point guard. 24 points, 7 assists, 5 boards and 4 steals is something to get excited about. D.J. hit a few spectacular drive & acrobatic spin shots during the second half to spark the Bobcats fourth quarter run. I’ve never seen him finish around the rim with this consistency. On defense, he rarely got caught going underneath a screen (his major flaw early in the season) and played his man tight. Augustin was the only Bobcats starter to finish with a positive plus minus (+4).
- Stephen Jackson with another quiet night. My Two Cents: For the Bobcats to have any success this year, JAX will need to wake up and realize that the refs are PURPOSEFULLY taking him out of the games. Once he decides to stop griping at the obvious no-calls and focus on what he can do in the game itself, then he’ll be a much better player for it. I’m sure Coach Brown has brought it up but if JAX doesn’t figure this out soon, he’ll continue to be a borderline liability when he’s out on the floor.
- D’Antoni has so many young guys like Toney Douglas and Bill Walker who can slash and then step out for the three. Ganillari included. Landry Fields was the find of the 2nd Round. He’s a legitimate Trevor Ariza type wing player and really hurt the Bobcats on both ends of the court while containing Stephen Jackson. Toney Douglas rained in 5 threes and notched 22 points in 24 minutes. I really like the wings on this team. Can only imagine what they’ll be able to do if they can get Anthony Randolph healthy and playing like he did in limited minutes with Golden State. Knicks might be very good. If they can recruit Chris Paul next year? Maybe Contenders.
- Raymond Felton. He’s the John Fox School of PG: “He is what he is.” Solid defensively, poor shooter (5-13), adequate distributor but nothing special. He’s Derek Fisher and I’m still waiting for the day when the Lakers acquire him to run the team for the next five years or so.
- Shaun Livingston playing some off guard tonight. Not certain if that’s going to last though with Shaun’s shaky outside stroke but this evening it worked as Knee-Man went for 11 points and 5 boards, causing all sorts of matchup problems for the Knicks backcourt. Perhaps a bigger “What If” than if Shaun had not been injured would be What If Livingston could ever develop a solid outside jumper. He might be an All-Star. Just shoot right over the top of the smaller guards while mixing it up with a post up or two.
Bobcats drop to 5-9 and will need to start notching some Ws before too much longer. Seven teams are now tied for the 8th spot in the Conference with 8 wins a piece and if the ‘Cats don’t do something soon to separate themselves, the Playoffs could become out of reach as soon as the New Year. The East has become much more formidable.