The Bobcats vs. the Raptors 3/29/10
It is the season for teams fighting for a play-off berth to step up and grab their place at the table. Teams behind want to catch those teams in front of them. Teams in front want to embarrass and take those behind out of their thoughts. Those not in contention for a play-off spot simply want to spoil the way for any team better than themselves. Tonight, the Bobcats played a team behind them in the standings and helped them feel better about themselves. This is not a good thing at this point in the season. The ‘Cats offense showed up shooting a reasonable 46.4% from the field and an outstanding 50.0% from three-point land…so what the heck happened? The Bobcats defense was not ready to play against a Raptors team unwilling to throw in the towel. Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, and Stephen Jackson all had their moments on offense. Boris Diaw, on the other hand, reverted to his past sin of passing up open shots to pass the ball at very inopportune times. Defensively, the Charlotte team let the Raptors shoot 50.6% from the field and allowed Toronto too many offensive rebounds (10-4). The long-ball might have been seductive for the ‘Cats but they allowed Toronto, a finesse team, to out-score them in the paint (34-24).
Team defense sagged since the ‘Cats refused to put “a body on a player” on numerous occasions, allowing the Raptors to score easy points. This was a very uncharacteristic defensive lapse for the Charlotte team. Giving hope to teams behind you wins nothing at this stage in the play-off chase! The ‘Cats had a chance to possibly drop the Raptors, depending on the Bulls game tomorrow night, into a tie with the team from Chicago. The point, at this point in the season, is to make your opponents sweat more than you and the ‘Cats failed plain-and-simple. They were at home, nice crowd for Monday, playing a team from which they could take the season tie-breaker, and they failed. This, thankfully, was not a do-or-die, or the Bobcats would be dead. The ‘Cats still hold the seventh place position in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of the Raptors and three games ahead of the Bulls. The hope is that the ‘Cats begin to dominate and send a message that, not only do we want to be a play-off team, we will push you to the maximum. Let’s hope the Bobcats rebound.
Raymond Felton (18 points and 7 assist).
Good offense, especially 3-pt. shooting (50.0%).
Free-throw shooting (80.6%).
Boris Diaw passing up open looks.
Team defense…allowing the Raptors to shoot (50.6% from the field).
Next game for the Bobcats: Wednesday 3/31/10 7:00pm vs. Philadelphia 76ers