The last time a star Warrior was traded to Charlotte for almost nothing and returned to Oracle Arena in Oakland, he was given a hero’s welcome. This time, the Warrior fans had little love for their former swingman. You see, Jason Richardson not only didn’t want to be traded, but he was somewhat upset to be traded. Stephen Jackson, however, isn’t one to keep his mouth shut, and he let it be known that he wanted out of Oakland immediately if not sooner. So when he came back, the rabid fan base in Oakland quickly forgot all the heart, passion, and energy he played with and bombarded him with more boos than Jake Delhomme has ever had. But in the end, it didn’t matter. Captain Jack came to play, as did his First Mate and the rest of his Crew.
After a slow start, losing the first quarter to the Dubs 28-24 and being down by 5 in the middle of the second, the Bobcats asserted themselves, entering halftime up 6 and leading by as many as 21. The Stephen Jackson and newly-named All Star Gerald Wallace duo combined for an evenly split 60 points (almost 50% of the team total) and 17 rebounds, 13 of which were Wallace’s. 6 Bobcats were in double figures (Jackson, Wallace, Boris Diaw, Raymond Felton, DJ Augustin, and Flip Murray) and both Wallace and Nazr Mohammed grabbed double digit rebounds. The Bobcats utterly dominated the Warriors on the boards, grabbing 48 solo and 13 team rebounds to the Warriors 32 solo and 9 team, which comes out to a +20 mark. This was with center Nazr Mohammed playing just 16 1/2 minutes (despite those 10 rebounds, along with his 6 points) and backup DeSagana Diop recieving a DNP-CD. This meant Boris Diaw spent most of his night at the 5 spot, scoring 12 and pulling down 6 rebounds. DJ Augustin put in 14 points on 5-7 shooting, including 3-5 from 3 point range, along with 6 assists. We even had a Gerald Henderson mohawk sighting, for a brief 2 1/2 minute period where he scored 1 point. All in all, a stat sheet-stuffing performance, putting the Bobcats back above .500 at 23-22, tied for 7th in the East.
Tomorrow night the Bobcats play the Kings in Sacramento. Let’s just hope Crash stays away from Andres Nocioni if possible. Tomorrow is also DeSagana Diop’s 28th birthday, which could signal extra playing time if the game isn’t close.
Notes: Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia sat courtside. He grew up 30 minutes away from Oakland and is a good friend of Stephen Jackson….Bobcats color analyst Dell Curry spent the second quarter on the Warriors broadcast talking about his son, Stephen, who nearly had a double double with 22 points and 9 assists….Acie Law didn’t play against his former team….former Bobcats Cartier Martin and Vladimir Radmanovic came off the bench for the Warriors, scoring 4 and 6 points, respectively. Ex-Bobcat Raja Bell is out for most of the season with wrist surgery….After winning just 1 road game to 14 losses in 2009, the Bobcats are now 4-3 outside Charlotte in 2010. They are now ahead of Milwaukee and Detroit for 4th worst away record in the East, 7th worst overall….The Bobcats could reach 12-4 for the month of January if they win tomorrow. I think that’d be a franchise best.