The Charlotte Bobcats were outplayed by a dreadful New Jersey Nets team in a 94-89 loss at the Cable Box on Friday night. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 31 points and 11 rebounds. The Bobcats were led by Stephen Jackson with 21 points and Gerald Wallace with 20 points/9 rebounds.
The Nets snapped a 12 game road losing streak by leading wire to wire over the listless Bobcats, who appeared to be waiting around for a spark that never really came.
The Nets lead by as much as 18 in the third quarter before a half-hearted fourth quarter comeback by the Bobcats cut the lead down to four with just over three minutes left. But Devin Harris scored 5 points and assisted on another bucket over the next 90 seconds for a quick 7-0 Nets run that put the game away.
- This had to be the worst performance by the Bobcats since Paul Silas took over, right? Despite being at home in front of a decent crowd on a Friday night, after a day off, and fighting for a playoff spot, the Cats had very little energy.
- What’s up with DJ Augustin? Another quiet night (4 points on 2-10 FG) and he’s now shooting 31% FG and 28% 3PT for the month of February, while averaging just 3.8 assists. To compare, those numbers on the season are 43%, 38%, and 6.2, respectively.
- I’m going to put a lot of the blame for this one on Cardboard Gerald. Cardboard’s been riding Brook Lopez pretty hard on Twitter recently for his historically weak rebounding this season. So what does Lopez do? Grabs 11 rebounds (averaging 5.6 for the season) and dominates inside for 31 points.
- While the Bobcats were stinking up the Cable Box, the Pacers were busy getting another win (116-105 over the T-Wolves), thus increasing their lead over the Bobcats for the 8th playoff spot to a full two games.
- And the upcoming schedule is not exactly conducive to making up that gap. The Cats are at Atlanta tomorrow night (7 PM start), home against the Lakers on Monday, then at Chicago on Tuesday leading into the All-Star break. Ouch.
- So hopefully I’m just being cranky and pessimistic and premature, but I’m feeling like we’ll point back to these last two losses as the beginning of the end for the Bobcats this season. After the All-Star break, the Bobcats will have three more games until the trade deadline — so just six more games in all to decide whether to go all-in and try to make the playoffs again or to entertain trade offers for our veterans who could help a playoff team. As the losses mount up, the choice becomes clearer and clearer.
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