I’m not going to bore any reader with negative adjectives describing how poorly the Bobcats played the first three quarters of this game. The ‘Cats did not look like the team that upset the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics just two nights ago, and they certainly did not look like they were playing a team coming into a back-to-back game after losing to Miami. Representative of that poor play was the under-the-basket-point-blank-shot miss by Gerald Henderson at the end of the third quarter.
The Bobcats started the game scoring the first eight points. Then the Bobcats transition defense decided to disappear for the remainder of the first half. This led to a ten point, 58-48, Pacer half-time lead. Both the Pacers and Bobcats share Head Coaching changes this year. Both teams know their fan base hungers for a play-off appearance, and both teams knew they were facing what is probably their main rival for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference.
Charlotte started the game with Tyrus Thomas and Kwame Brown unavailable for this game, leaving Bobcats short-handed in big men. The Pacers had very solid ball movement through the first three quarters. The ‘Cats finally decided to show up for the fourth quarter. Coach Paul Silas decided to end the last 5-6 minutes of the game with a small line-up. Charlotte had another nice 8 – 0 run to cut the Pacers lead to 93-91. The Bobcats finally tied the score, 102-102, with about 1:33 left in the game. The outcome, the ‘Cats lose 104-103 with very questionable last possession play. The Bobcats had the last possession off of a Gerald Wallace rebound but did not call a time out, with about six seconds remaining in the game, to set up a play. Instead, Stephen Jackson attempted a half-hearted 3-point shot, hoping for a foul call. With no foul called, the Bobcats find themselves in the number nine position, behind the Pacers, in the Eastern Conference play-off race.
The Good: Gerald Wallace with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists: Stephen Jackson with 27 points.
The Bad: Indifferant play for the first three quarters…13 turn-overs…and where was the transition defense?
The Ugly: Losing to your main rival for the last play-off position!
Next Game: The New Jersey Nets versus the Bobcats: Friday February 11: 7:00 EST