Hello all — the Bobcats Baseline crew took the night off to celebrate the holidays, so this is just a rudimentary post to provide a place to comment.
The Bobcats dropped one to the Utah Jazz last night, 110-102, at the Cable Box. All accounts are that the Bobcats troubling pattern of play in road games was on full display for the home fans last night. AP recap here, box score here, PopcornMachine.net game flow here.
The pattern goes roughly like this: come out flat, fall behind, no production from Chandler, more laissez-faire from Diaw, turnovers from Felton, Gerald Wallace beasting it to keep hope alive, and a furious charge late in the game that comes up short.
Bonnell’s game story for the Observer is heavy on some critical postgame comments that Gerald Wallace made with regards to the starting “4 and 5” — ahem, Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler. It’s good to see Gerald taking a leadership role like this. Let’s hope that the comments are inspiring and not divisive.
Or maybe it would be best if they “inspired” the front office to find a trade for a PF that would fit better than Diaw does right now. How good would the Cats be with a guy like Millsap, Landry, Bass or even D. Lee at the 4?
We won’t have to wait long to see how the team responds to the loss and Gerald’s comments. Assuming they were able to fly from Charlotte to New York last night or this morning, the Cats will take on the Knicks (again) at MSG tonight at 7:30 PM ET.
Could there be a more perfect cure for an offensively offensive team than to play against Mike D’Antoni?
Bobcats ache out a win against the Knicks tonight in double overtime 102-100.
1. Ugly, ugly, ugly win for the Bobcats and the problems that we witnessed in Boston didn’t get any better, the competition just a lot weaker.
Not much more to say when both teams shoot 38% from the floor: Cellar Dweller MANIA!
Knicks are supposed to be an offensive team but looked completely lost until the 4th quarter when Nate Robinson, Chris Duhon and David Lee Jared Jeffries got it going to bring the Knicks back from 20+ down to tie the game with around 2 minutes to go. Danilo “Big Bright Shooting Star” Gallinari looked good in limited minutes scoring 16 on 6-11 shooting before sitting down with foul trouble and a bad back.
As for the Bobcats…where does one start? The team played a great first half, scoring 51 points (just 8 shy of Wednesday’s total in Beantown), spreading the ball around and looking confident on offense. The D was spectacular, limiting the Knicks to just 37 first half points. Then came the second half…
2. The Bobcats Have Two Options: Find a Reliable Scorer OR Play the Knicks 80 More Times This Season.
The ‘Cats only managed 31 points in the 2nd half – which is basically what they averaged in the Opener debacle against the Celts – and amazingly were outscored 27-13 in the decisive 4th quarter. The game should have been over in the third quarter but Charlotte reverted to its “Hot Potato” ways of old with no one stepping up to take and make shots.
In an embarrassingly desperate strategy, the Bobcats repeatedly went to tertiary star Gerald Wallace in the post or on the wings to “will them a basket” with no one in the organization realizing that Crash is not in the least bit equipped to play that role. Not since Scott Baio left Happy Days has a supporting cast member struggled so mightily to carry his own show. Maybe Gerald has a Charles in Charge 2nd Act resurgence in him later this season. Let’s hope so.
We’ve been blogging about it all season and I’ll mention it here briefly again: The Bobcats need a go-to scorer. Period. It will take them from 11th in the East to 7th or 8th. Worth the gamble.
3. Right now, Raymond is The Man.
By the end of the first overtime, Raymond Felton was seriously flirting with the first Triple Double in team history. A minor ankle injury may have sabotaged the effort by keeping him out for a few possessions but Felton still finished with a very solid 22pts, 9asts, 8rbs on 8-18 shooting. Those shooting numbers would’ve been higher had the team not insisted on running the famously hit-or-miss-but-mostly-miss “Raymond Does Dallas” iso drive nine or ten too many times throughout the game. Ray nailed his last three driving layups though to lead the team to victory so expect to see a whole lot more of those errant layup attempts until the team gets some more offensive help.
4. Pleasant Surprises.
Stephen Graham played out of his mind (in terms of Stephen Graham) scoring 14pts on 6-9 shooting, including a CLUTCH drive late in the second overtime to put the ‘Cats up. His defense was superb and I was impressed that he hit that clutch drive late after sitting on the bench for most of the second half.
D.J. finally started spinning in the 2nd half scoring all 15 of his points after the break. Augustin had a few very smooth, feline drives and scoops to the hoop. He also hit a clutch three in overtime. Good to see him back to form.
5. Not Ready For Prime-Time Players.
Diaw and Chandler are still not in game shape. Chandler worse so than Boris. Tyson looked like “Emeka Okafor Gone Horribly Wrong” fumbling a couple of easy layup/dunk attempts in the first half. In the second he got it going a little bit and threw a couple down. He still looks slow and he has no hops so until he gets in game shape, he’s basically a Jahidi White type foul magnet.
Diaw’s rust shows in his shooting. While 17pts/6asts/11rbs isn’t a terrible line, 5-15 shooting is. He also looks slow on defense. Can’t wait to see both of these guys back to their old ways.
At the end of the day, a win is a win. Unfortunately the competition isn’t going to get much worse than the Knicks so if your team requires 2-count ’em-2 Overtimes to beat what might be the worst team in the conference AT HOME, well, then you might want to figure out how to improve the roster just a bit. Cavs up next. See ya there.