Bobcats go into Minnesota Wednesday night without injured stars Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson and somehow manage to chalk up their first road victory since early November 108-105. Bobcats rise to 12-21, Wolves fall to 9-27.
Granted, Minnesota isn’t the most feared squad in the league but the fact that coach Paul Silas was able to trot out Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll for significant crunch time minutes and still get the W should count for something. D.J. Augustin shot out of his slump just in time to bring the Cats back from 5 down with 2:30 to go in regulation, hitting two clutch 3s while Tyrus Thomas sealed the game with a spectacular transition block of a Michael Beasley layup in OT.
- This was a fun game to watch. I can’t remember the last time the ‘Cats have been without both JAX and Crash and it was a blast to see those strange lineups in action. Carroll/Henderson/Diaw/Thomas/Augustin was surprisingly effective in crunch time. Carroll cooled down a bit late in the game just as D.J. (16pts, 8asts) was getting started but Matt played well while helping the Bobcats build a surprising 14 point lead in the second quarter.
- Once Diaw fouled out in OT, Silas had to find another “big” to replace him with. Not easy when Gana Diop and Nazr Mohammed are grounded. Najera got the nod and while he was less than stellar, Don Juan Draper didn’t hurt them and played the pick and roll game with D.J. well enough to get Augustin a couple of good looks.
- MASSIVE statistical performance from Minny’s two big guns Michael Beasley and Kevin Love. Combined 63 points and 27 rebounds. Just crazy. Too bad no one else on the team showed up.
- I can’t get enough of Nikola Pekovic. Too bad the big Montenegrino couldn’t get more PT. Scary looking and rocking the Vlade Euro-beard. Bourne Identity extra? No. Cousin to Niko and Roman Bellic? Yes.
- I know that Gerald Henderson is in possession of one of the League’s iffier jump shots but why in the hell doesn’t he try to shoot a little more in order to shake off the rust? Just seven shot attempts for The Sequel in 33 minutes. Worse yet is that he made a very pretty driving mid-range fadeaway in OT that looked like something out of the Scottie Pippen archives. We gotta see Henderson play through this. It may take a while but eventually I can see Henderson turning into a decent shooter.
- Last but not least: Tyrus Thomas. Showed that he is better and can impact the game in more ways than Michael Beasley. I know that he isn’t consistent but damn, when Tyrus is on he is on. 21 points, 11 boards, 2 blocks and only one turnover in 36 minutes of knee troubled play. Best free agent signing in Michael Jordan history? Yup.
Nice to see the Bobcats win but they are still nine games under .500 and look to have some serious rebuilding issues going forward. If Mark Cuban calls and says that they’d take Gerald Wallace and his $23 million due over the next two seasons for Caron Butler’s expiring contract and a protected first rounder, wouldn’t you have to say “yes?”
Until Next Time, Enjoy the Win Bobcats Fans…