“We got a lot of guys with pride and a lot of heart,” said Gerald Henderson after the Bobcats’ failed semi-comeback against the Knicks on Friday night, “We just couldn’t come up with it at the end of the game.” An answer for J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony is the “it” with which the Bobcats couldn’t come up. In fact, in the first half, the only thing more unstoppable than Smith was his tattoo artist, as the former Zhejiang Golden Bull went 9-for-11 and attacked the hoop as if it were a New Jersey traffic court judge. Between him and the diabolical Anthony, the Bobcats found themselves trailing by 30 points in the first half, and although they were able to cut the deficit to 7 with about 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, they couldn’t close the deal. “You like to win big when you are up big, but to me a win is a win,” said Knicks coach Mike Woodson, whose opinion of wins is in line with the generally-held perception of them.
The following night’s results in Philadelphia—a 9-point loss—were the same but acquired differently. This time the Bobcats squandered an early lead but played neck-and-neck throughout until they let a guard take control late. Jrue Holiday, who was in the midst of a 2-for-13 shooting debacle (which doesn’t include his four missed free throws), came alive with 11 points in the 4th quarter to save Allen Iverson Bobblehead Night for the Sixers. Holiday’s versatility was impressive; he hit 3 jumpers and blew past the Bobcats’ guards twice for layups. Thaddeus Young and Royal Ivey combined for 5 steals as well, and the Sixers’ overall 52% shooting was enough to force the war-torn Bobcats to surrender.