Charlotte Bobcats vs Wizards, 3/26/10
The Charlotte Bobcats completed possibly the easiest week in franchise history at 3-o with a Friday night home victory over the Washington Wizards, 107-96. The Cats weren’t exactly dominating; but the Wizards weren’t exactly challenging, either.
This game was eerily similar to the Timberwolves game just two nights ago — the first quarter was close, with not much defense being played and Stephen Jackson getting off to a fast start. Then the Bobcats gradually pulled away.
The Wizards staged a mini-run early in the fourth quarter to pull within four at 85-81, but the Cats responded in typical fashion — turning up the defensive intensity and getting a few easy buckets. Soon all was right with the world again. A Stephen Jackson three put it away at 101-86 with about four minutes left, allowing Larry Hughes, Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown a couple minutes of mop-up duty to finish the night off.
The Cats won all kinds of statistical battles: they finished the night at 55% FG (Wizards 48%) by dominating the paint, scoring 50 points there to the Wiz’s 28. The Cats outrebounded the Wiz 34-26 and blocked 8 shots to the Wiz’s 3.
Individually, the Cats top four of Raymond Felton, Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw were fantastic. They combined for 74 points on 28-44 FG (64%). Felton in particular shot 8-10 for 19 points and added 11 rebounds.
Perhaps most importantly, the starters played so well that none of them had to play more than 34 minutes. As the Bobcats get things tuned up for the playoffs, it will be important that the regulars are healthy and rested, new guys like Tyrus Thomas and Larry Hughes are acclimated, and Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown are ready for important minutes if needed.
- The Cats are now 38-34 overall and 27-8 at home. Miami won tonight to move to 39-34 and ahead of the Cats into 6th place in the East.
- Cool stat from the AP article: in playing the Wizards, Timberwolves, then Wizards again this week, the Bobcats became only the third team in NBA history to play three straight games against teams with losing streaks of 10+ games.
- My comments about Baby Blatche and the Wizards here on Twitter.
- The Cats have the weekend off; next game is Monday night at the Cable Box against 8th place Toronto. Interestingly, Toronto faces off against Miami on Sunday night, so they’ve got a back-to-back against the two squads directly in front of them for the playoffs.