The Bobcats have become about as streaky as any team can be, following a four game losing streak with a four game winning streak. But playing at home against arguably the worst team in the NBA, and struggling to hold onto a one point win, does not inspire confidence in this team. It’s true that the Cavs came off their biggest win of the season against the Miami Heat but they had to travel and play the ‘Cats in a back-to-back game. Stephen Jackson, Charlottes’ best player, did not return for the second half because of his lingering hamstring injury, but Jackson, 3 points and 2 assists, was not having a major impact and the ‘Cats trailed by three points at the half.
This game appeared to be more about the Celtics indifferent play heading into the playoffs than a stunning upset by the Bobcats. But to give due credit, the ‘Cats had as many players (four) scoring in double figures as the Celtics. Charlotte notched their third win against nine losses so far in March. That makes the game more about the lack of intensity from a Celtics team assured a playoff spot.
The Bobcats played one of the two teams, the Bucks being the other, that they have to beat to have any chance of getting into the playoffs this year. Well, after being totally dominated by the Pacers in the second half, I think it is safe to say these ‘Cats are not going to the playoffs this year. The first half ended with Charlotte behind by one point but the second half was totally controlled by Indiana. The Pacers outscored the Bobcats 57-34 after halftime.
The Pacers shot better than the Bobcats, 53.2%-44.4%, controlled the boards against the ‘Cats, 37-28, and had one less turn-over than the Bobcats, 11-12, and they did this against Charlotte on their home court. It is not even important, as far as the playoffs go, for the ‘Cats to keep games close – they had to win, but fell miserably short. The loss puts the Bobcats three games behind the Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Maybe the Bobcats are trying to tell us, the fans, something. It could be something along the lines of “now that we have your attention we’d just like you to know that, yes, we are now a bad team”. But if you’ve followed the ‘Cats after the trade deadline you already know that they are now a “bad team”. The Bobcats are 1-5, five straight losses, since the All-Star break. Their pathetic offensive output is down to a miserable 81.2 ppg during their five game losing streak.
You know you have a problem, as an NBA team, when the guy that was your third string shooting guard and could not get on the floor is the high scorer for your team. You know you have a problem when you start a road trip and lose the first game by 25 points. I hope the Bobcats know they have a problem, because anyone watching this team knows they have problems. This team, known for defensive tenacity , does not at the moment appear capable of stopping anyone from scoring. The Nuggets had seven players score in double figures. You know you have a problem, if your calling card is defense, when you lose by 40 points. It is unfortunate that Charlotte fans have another 22 games of this until the season ends, because if this team can’t play any better than this…it will not end soon enough.