Bobcats Hang On To Beat Raptors


Gerald Wallace via Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

The Bobcats eked out their second victory of the season on Wednesday night in Toronto, defeating the Raptors 101-96. Gerald Wallace had a fantasy-owner’s dream game with 19 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, while Tyrus Thomas and Stephen Jackson owned the deciding fourth quarter.

And while I shouldn’t minimize any road victory for a team that struggled to win double-digit road games all of last season, I just can’t get too excited about this one.  The Raps are a toothless team that plays no defense (Cats shot 50% tonight and got to the line 33 times) and announces Jarrett Jack as the fifth starter in its pregame introductions.  Furthermore, they were without one of their better players, Leandro Barbosa, who sat out with an injury.  And the Cats barely managed the W.

AP Recap |  Box Score


  • DJ Augustin had a nice game with 16 points (3-5 3pt), 3 steals and 7 assists/1 turnover.  Gerald Henderson had 10 points off the bench.
  • Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw are turnover machines.  I’ve beat around the bush in the past, passive-aggressively noting their turnover numbers several times in game recaps (4 and 6 tonight, respectively).  But let’s be direct: these guys force way too many bad passes.  You can excuse it by saying that they’re expected to be playmakers in this offense, and that they occasionally do produce easy buckets for their teammates.  And you’d be right — Jack in particular had a great assist to Ty in crunchtime to help seal the win.  But if you’re looking for some specific issues that Cats could shore up in order to dig out from their poor start this season, look no further than Boris and Jack’s “wishful thinking” types of passes.
  • Matt Carroll!  Matt Carroll! To all the Matt Carroll fanboys who somehow survived Carroll’s stint in Dallas, and still roam the Cable Box now free to again yell “Matt Carroll!… Matt Carroll!… Matt Carroll!” whenever the Bobcats need a bucket:  I give you… Matt Carroll!  In his first action of the season, Carroll got 4 minutes of burn in the second quarter and hit his only field goal attempt.
  • Box Score issues.  What was up with the online box scores for this game?’s was so buggy, they eventually just took in offline at some point during the game.  And Yahoo’s froze sometime during the second half.

-Dr. E

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Bobcats Blow Fourth Quarter Lead In Loss To Raptors


Charlotte Bobcats vs Raptors, 3/29/10

The Charlotte Bobcats dropped another winnable game to the Toronto Raptors, 103-101, on Monday night at the Cable Box.  The Cats led by six points to start the final period before falling behind.  A mad scramble in the closing 90 seconds resulted in one last chance for the Cats, down two, to tie or win.  However, Raymond Felton couldn’t connect with a cutting Tyson Chandler and the ball bounced out of bounds to ensure the loss.

AP recap here |  Box score here

Things looked pretty good for the Cats after three quarters.  No one was playing extraordinarily; instead it was a pretty well-rounded effort.  The Cats had contained Chris Bosh, and kept Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu very much in check.

But some issues lurked.  Stephen Jackson was in full-on “I’m more interested in barking at the refs instead of beating the Raptors” mode after being in foul trouble all game.  The Cats had not been able to turn the Raps over very much (10 Raptor turnovers, only 7 fast break points for the Bobcats).  The Cats were outrebounded 38-31.

Furthermore, the Cats had not taken enough advantage of the Raptors notoriously bad defense (only 24 points in the paint).  Being without the high-flying antics of  Tyrus Thomas (ankle) and the low-post scoring of Nazr Mohammed (back, still) didn’t help here, but the Raps also usually give up more penetration into the lane than the Cats were able to manage.

These shortcomings allowed the Raps a chance to make a few clutch shots in the decisive fourth quarter and overcome the Cats.  Jarrett Jack, Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu all hit big threes.  Jarrett Jack then added three free throws after drawing a foul on Raymond outside the arc to push the Raps lead to 100-93 with just under 3 minutes left.

From there, Stephen Jackson’s five straight points and the Raptors’ 3-6 performance from the free throw line conspired to make the finish interesting.  With 13 seconds left, the Cats got the ball down two.  With Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace camped out along the three-point line for the kickout, Raymond Felton drove into the lane, moving from right to left.  As the defense collapsed on Raymond, Tyson Chandler cut to the basket.

If you want to blame it on Tyson, say that he didn’t take a great angle to the basket on his cut (or that he probably wouldn’t have caught the pass if it came right to him — probably true).  If you want to blame it on Raymond (more appropriate) say that he flat-out threw an errant pass.

Whatever you choose, they didn’t connect.  The ball bounced out of bounds with a couple seconds left, leaving the Raps to simply complete an inbounds play to steal the win.


  • I’ll keep my bitching brief, because “he is who he is” and on balance, he’s been a big positive for the Cats.  But if Jack could channel half the vitriol he directs at the officials towards his opponent, he’d get that All-Star recognition he supposedly covets so much.  The Cats would also probably get an extra couple of wins over 82 games.  In the third quarter, after fouling Bargnani, getting under his skin and drawing a tech on the Italian, and hitting the technical free throw, Jack couldn’t stop yapping at the ref about the loose ball foul that started it all, eventually garnering a tech of his own.  Pointless…
  • Tyson Chandler rolled an ankle in the second quarter and left for the the locker room.  After a retape (I presume) he did return.
  • Owner Michael Jordan was back in his benchside seat and got into it with the refs in the fourth quarter when the Raps were taking the game over.  Didn’t help…
  • Shame about that last turnover for Raymond — before it he had played another really nice game with 18 points (7-12 FG, 4-5 3PT), 5 rebounds and 7 assists.
  • The loss drops the Cats to 38-35 and 7th place in the East.  We’re 1.5 games behind 6th place Miami and 2 games ahead of 8th place Toronto.  Tonight’s loss gives Toronto the season series at 2-1, should we finished tied with them.  Hollinger’s playoff odds are currently predicting that we’ll finish in 7th place, 1 game behind Miami.
  • 9 games left: 5 home, 4 away.  Next one is Monday night at home against the 76ers — follow me on Twitter for in-game tweets.

-Dr. E

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Pacers 3/22/09


1.  Wow, that was brutal.  The Bobcats drop a must-win to the Pacers on Saturday night at the Cable Box, and it wasn’t even close: 108-83.  AP story here, box score here, GameFlow here.  The Cats fall to 31-39.

2.  A quick apology for the lack of a post on the Raptors game from Friday night.  In retrospect, I should have watched that one live on TV, then skipped the Pacers game.

3.  It was ugly.  The first quarter and a half, when most people in the arena were more focused on watching the Carolina score on their cellphones, wasn’t too bad.  Raja Bell hit a three with 5:45 left in the second to give the Cats a 36-34 lead, but Danny Granger responded with two straight three-pointers of his own and the Pacers never looked back.

The Bobcats trailed 53-45 at the half; then came one of the weakest quarters I’ve ever seen.  Pretty much everything went wrong as the Cats got dominated, 33-9 in the third quarter.  While they couldn’t get any offense going on their own end (airballed jumpers, bricked free throws, turnovers, 24 second violations, you name it), the Bobcats allowed the Pacers to get whatever they wanted.  And when Granger, Jack or Murphy weren’t getting layups, they were nailing seemingly every jumper they took.

The badness continued into the fourth quarter, when the Pacers briefly took a 34 point lead (92-58).  At this point, the boo birds were out, and rightfully so.  The Cats were lead-footed, off-target and completely overwhelmed.  It was mostly the starters that were playing during the third quarter, and I’m still at a loss as to why Larry Brown didn’t pull them earlier than he did.

Going into the second night of a back-to-back, and playing their fourth game in six nights, Larry Brown was concerned enough about the possibility of fatigue to mention it during pregame media availability.  But in the third quarter, when everyone in the building could see that the starters were gassed and the Pacers were blowing the game open, the reserves sat until it was way too late.

4.  From the Pacers’ persepective, the story of the game was Jarret Jack.  One night after getting benched and sent to the locker room in the third quarter for arguing with teammate TJ Ford in the team’s fifth straight loss, Jack scored 31 points on an insane 13-14 FG in 32 minutes for a +29 +/-.  Jack got to relax with Granger and Murphy on the bench for the entirety of the fourth quarter, while TJ Ford played garbage time with Travis Diener and Rasho Nesterovic.

Advantage: Jack.

5.  For the Bobcats, the story has to be the blown chance to make some progress in the fight for the 8th playoff spot.  With the Bulls and Bucks both playing tough games Saturday night (hosting the Lakers and Blazer, respectively), the Cats just had to take care of business against a Pacers team that had lost five in a row and was showing signs of self-destruction.

The Bulls and Bucks both cooperated by losing their difficult games.  For the Bobcats to have come with such a weak effort given what was on the line (and with a decent Saturday night home crowd in the building) is really disappointing.

6.  So everything stays at it was in the race for the 8th spot.  Chicago is in the driver’s seat; the Bobcats are 1 back, the Bucks 1.5.

7.  The Cats get a few days off to rest and heal up.  Next game is Wednesday night at Washington.