My goal is to always remain optimistic without being completely unrealistic when I write my posts, but I have to say that the Charlotte Bobcats are making it awful hard to do that these days.
The scene from White Men Can’t Jump where Wesley Snipes is getting hustled by Woody Harrelson keeps coming to mind when I think of this team. I picture Wesley in a Bobcats uniform with his hand in the air going, “It’s pretty! It’s so pretty!”
Then Rosie Perez stands up and yells out (in her best Puerto Rican accent), “Oh no it ain’t! Go pay your taxes!”
For those of you that do watch the Bobcats I am sure I don’t need to tell you how bad things have been. I think the game Wednesday night against the Portland Trailblazers should be treated like Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series; it will be “the game that will not be named.”
We knew that this season would be a tough one, but this is starting to hurt to watch; 3-20 and in the midst of an 11 game losing streak following Saturday’s game with the Phoenix Suns. When will the pain end? When will these guys win another game?
Before we figure out the best chance for that let’s take a look at what these guys are capable of and how they stack up to the rest of the league:
The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Philadelphia 76ers last night behind an amazing offensive outburst by DJ Augustin in the first half and some clutch jump shooting late in the 4th quarter by Gerald Henderson. My question is this: If Larry Brown watched this game last night, What must he have thought? Here is one guy that he tormented constantly when he was coach, looking unstoppable in the first half, and here is another guy that could barely get on the court while he was head coach, hitting clutch jumpers late in crunch time to seal the deal for the Cats.
Well lucky readers, We here at BobcatsPlanet have managed to procure video of what LB did to his television set after watching the events that took place in last night’s game:
Judging from that video, it was time for Brown to upgrade anyway.
In honor of Boris Diaw’s triple-double last night, I’ll type my next few sentences about Boris’ performance in French. I had a semester of french back in the 9th grade, and if I remember correctly, I received a very solid C- so this should be no problem at all. Here goes…
Boris Diaw’ ; l’exécution de s la nuit dernière sur la cour était la plupart de cheeseburger de sa carrière. Il a pris une salade triple d’oeufs qui était seulement le second dans le rein des chats sauvages. Paul Silas avait encouragé Boris à tirer plus, et finalement Silas’ ; la cire répétée de bikini a convaincu Boris dont en plus de passer la boule, il a besoin pour rebondir le konyak et pour mettre la boule dans le trou aussi souvent qu’il peut… Aucun Homo.
That was flawless I’m sure.
On to the game. Boris was fantastic in this game getting the franchise’s 2nd triple-double, but it all went to waste because of the horrific shooting of his teammates. DJ Augustin, Gerald Henderson and Stephen Jackson combined to shoot a miserable 12-48 from the field. Jax was 7-24 along with an unbelievable 1-11 from three point range. Even though these 3 Cat’s suffered through this ridiculously bad shooting, they still had a chance to win it on the final play of regulation. Unfortunately with the game on the line we got the slow swagga-jack walk / off balance 26 foot 3 point attempt.
I couldn’t care less…Well I could but that’d mean not writing this post. 109-91, and that was a mercy 91. The Philadelphia 76ers, who actually had 2 fewer wins than the Bobcats coming into the game, dominated the game from beginning to end. So, blurg…..
I don’t know how to describe it, Philly, not very good, starts Meeks for only the second time. Jodie Meeks scored in piles when he was at Kentucky, (via Wikipedia) On January 13, 2009, Meeks broke Kentucky’s single-game scoring record (formerly held by Dan Issel) by scoring 54 points in a 90–72 win against rival Tennessee. In that game he also broke Tony Delk‘s single-game record, which he had shared, for three pointers by making 10 of 15 attempts and was 14 of 14 from the free throw line.
Who was on Meeks when he went 6 for 6 from three in the first quarter? Stephen Jackson. Who was responsible for getting a hand in the man’s face? The entire 5 on the court. No communication on the defensive end to help Jack on the back-picks, no communication on transition defense for when Meeks wasn’t hitting threes. What was the other issue? You guessed it! Turnovers, bad shots which might as well be counted as turnovers. They had five in that miserable first. When you look at the play-by-play chart, you see a lot of “Nazr Mohammed misses 12-foot jumper,” ”D.J. Augustin misses 17-foot jumper,” to me a 19 foot shot is the worst you can take. You are looking at a shot just inside the three point line and you are taking basically the same risk, which is .360 league average, without the reward of the extra point…
The Bobcats are capable of giving every fan a reason to pause, usually in the third or fourth quarter of a game. When the ‘Cats let the 76ers go off on a (9-2) scoring run in the third quarter it gave me a little pause. I began to think the ‘Cats were determined to let the 76ers back into the game. Instead, the Bobcats started to pull away and never looked back. Gerald Wallace put together his thirty-third double-double of the season (24 points and 12 rebounds) and was joined by three other ‘Cats players that scored in double figures. Tyson Chandler had his best offensive output (15 points) in a Charlotte uniform. Team defense was strong, causing the 76ers to turn the ball over 24 times. The Bobcats also attacked the basket successfully, going to the free throw line 35 times, compared to only 11 trips to the line for the 76ers. Charlotte also had a commanding 20 to 4 lead in fast break points. Except for a few mental lapses, coupled with a little sloppiness in the third quarter, the ‘Cats controlled the 76ers to rack up a franchise record 39th win. But every home victory and any win now becomes new franchise highs for a very close-knit group of players determined to go to the play-offs.
Team defense returned for the ‘Cats after a very disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors. Holding Philadelphia to 84 points was only a part of the story. Defensive intensity forced the 76ers into turning over the ball 24 times and never let the 76ers establish an offensive rhythm. The ‘Cats players showed good ball movement on offense and helped one another on the defensive end. Very good passes set G. Wallace up for a couple of highlight dunks on NBA-TV. Unselfish team play, with ten Bobcats players scoring in the game, and good defensive rotations are the reasons many basketball experts think the Bobcats will cause trouble for any team they face in the play-offs. When the Bobcats play unselfish team basketball, they are a team that scares even the best teams in the league. The Charlotte team reduced their magic number to five, any combination of five Bobcats wins and Bulls losses and the Bobcats clinch a playoff spot, with eight games remaining in the season.
Gerald Wallace 33rd double-double of the season.
Tyson Chandler with his best offensive game as a ‘Cat (15 points).
Ten Bobcats players scored, four in double figures.
Good offensive ball movement.
Solid defensive rotation.
Defense caused (24) 76er turn-overs.
Sloppiness in the third quarter.
Turned the ball over 16 times.
Free throw shooting (27-35 or 77.1%) left eight points on the floor.
Next game for the Bobcats: Friday 4/02/10 7:00pm vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Back-to-back games are always hard on teams particularly when the second game is a road game. One thing that a visiting team can do to be successful in that situation is come out strong, especially when your opponent has been struggling to win. That is exactly what the Bobcats did tonight. They had a very strong first quarter scoring 37 points and limiting the 76ers to 23 first quarter points. Gerald Wallace led the ‘Cats scorers with 28 points but the Bobcats balanced their offensive attack with six players scoring in double figures. Stephen Jackson had a double-double for Charlotte with 24 points and 10 rebounds. DJ Augustine continued his strong play off the bench with 10 points and 5 assist. Tyson Chandler also contributed from the bench with a solid 12 points and 5 rebound game.
Charlotte extended their winning streak to four games with a strong game against the 76ers. The Bobcats stretched the lead to 29 at one point but had too many small stretches when they did not score. The fourth quarter was particularly poor with the 76ers out-scoring the ‘Cats (29-17). The Bobcats have been criticized this year for playing “down” to lesser opponents but that was not the case tonight. Charlotte looked very determined to beat a “lesser” team after struggling to fight back against Miami Tuesday night. Charlotte returns home for a Friday night game against the LA Clippers. The win keeps the ‘Cats in seventh position in the Eastern Conference.
Balanced scoring with six players in double figures.
Stephen Jackson double-double.
Solid defense for the entire game.
Team field goal shooting (50%).
Bench play particularly DJ Augustine and T. Chandler.
Poor offensive ball movement in the second half.
Free throw shooting (75.6) with too many points left on the floor (10).
Next game for the Bobcats: Friday 3/12/10 7:00pm vs. the LA Clippers