Jumping out to an early lead Monday night in Gotham was nothing more than a tease as the lowly Bobcats drop another heartbreaker. Then again, when your starting center is DeSagana Diop, it’s very difficult from the outset to envision a win. The ‘Cats came out of the gates with a bang and were very efficient in the early stages of this contest. Charlotte lead at one point 10-0 before the Knicks collected themselves, and stepped up their game. Before you could blink your eye, the Knicks were in front of the Bobcats by nine points in the first half and kept their distance. Charlotte trailed by five at the half and kept nipping at the Knicks’ heels throughout the second half. Carmelo Anthony had an average night and did most of his damage from the foul line. Amare Stoudemire (25 points) and Tyson Chandler (20 points) exposed the putrid Bobcats’ frontcourt all evening as they dictated the flow in the paint. The main player that stuck out for the Knicks though was rookie guard, Iman Shumpert. Though he didn’t eclipse the Carmelo’s and Chandler’s of the world, the former Georgia Tech standout was a floor general all night. He directed the New York offense with precision and did a lot of dirty work that you won’t find on the stat sheet.
DJ Augustin’s play this year, has been full of peaks and valleys, much like the Charlotte Bobcats’ season. On Monday night in New Jersey, DJ broke the hearts of the Nets’ faithful by draining the game winner with just over one second to play in the game. Both teams exchanged blows throughout the night and alternated lead changes a few times. In the end though, the Bobcats prevailed due to outstanding efforts from youngsters DJ Augustin, Daunte Cunningham and Gerald Henderson. Cunningham, who was acquired from Portland in the Gerald Wallace deal, dropped a team-high 21 points, as he is looking to turn some heads on the Bobcats coaching staff for next season. Gerald Henderson continues to show that he was more than worthy of his draft selection two years ago as he contributed 14 points. Augustin finished the game on a double-double with his 19 points and 11 assists. For the Nets, Brook Lopez led all scorers with 31 points as he abused Kwame Brown and Boris Diaw down on the block all game.
Gerald Henderson shines as Charlotte Bobcats slide past Milwaukee Bucks. Still clinging to playoff hopes.
The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde best personifies the 2010-11 Charlotte Bobcats campaign. After spending the latter part of February and early March mired in a losing slump, we as Bobcats fans were spending just as much time talking about lottery selections in the NBA Draft, as we were first round playoff match-ups. However, the Ides of March have now brought upon us a three game winning streak capped by last night’s dramatic finish against Milwaukee at the Cable Box in Uptown Charlotte.
Stephen Jackson led the Bobcats’ score sheet with 18 points, but Gerald Henderson stole the show in the waning moments. Scoring the final seven points for Charlotte, Henderson came off of well-positioned screens and nailed back-to-back jumpers from the elbow in clutch fashion to secure the Bobcats win. The second-year pro has stepped up all year since Coach Silas gave him the green light and his future is bright in the Queen City. Prior to being injured late in the game, DJ Augustin was dishing out dimes like candy. DJ’s replacement, Shaun Livingston was sidelined as well in the third quarter after Drew Gooden went WWE on him with a pretty brutal foul. D-League call-up Garrett Temple filled in nicely down the stretch and the rest of the Charlotte bench shouldered the load for the ailing Bobcats.