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1 and 16, 2 and 3

Dallas Mavericks 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Charlotte Bobcats
Jeffery Taylor, SF 32 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -1

The other rookie is playing better – Taylor plays strong defense (he did a good job when matched up with Mayo and Carter tonight). Offensively, his jump shot looks solid, so those 3s will start dropping at some point. His biggest problem is his hesitation near the basket – he needs to attack more quickly, rather than giving the defense time to recover, like he has done in transition.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 41 MIN | 8-12 FG | 9-10 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 25 PTS | +19

Well, I guess I was a bit pessimistic in predicting MKG’s first 20-point game. MKG is already very good at attacking the basket, drawing fouls, and adjusting his shot. Watch him work off the ball, sneaking behind the defense, and cutting to the basket as his defender tracks the ball. In addition, Gilchrist, like Taylor, already plays very good defense – MKG stuffed a Vince Carter turnaround jumper right back in VC’s face. He also chased down rebounds all over the court. Just an all-around great outing for the rookie.

Brendan Haywood, C 34 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +17

Good defense. Good, efficient offense. Except for the couple of plays at the end of the 4th where he wasn’t ready for the ball in the post. Otherwise, good night for the big man, Haywood.

Byron Mullens, C 38 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +16

14 rebounds for Byron. Last year, we would have expected that in a week. The three wasn’t falling for Mullens tonight, but he got a follow basket late, and also a dunk on a nice find from Sessions when Mullens cut to the rim. It was good to see him move his game inside as the game wound down.

Kemba Walker, PG 41 MIN | 10-22 FG | 6-8 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 26 PTS | +14

Darren Collison has caught to be glad that he won’t see Kemba again until next season – 8 steals on the night for Kemba, and his on ball pressure was outstanding (as well as quick hands in traffic). Oh, and he scored 26 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and had 7 assists. Kemba’s not going to get 5 blocks to complete a 5×5, but this may not be his last 4×5 of the season.

DeSagana Diop, C 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +4

Diop played very good defense in his brief court time – he played Kaman well straight up, with a block and a steal, and also did a good job on the pick and roll. He is such a liability on offense that the Bobcats can’t have him on the floor too long, but he showed that he still has the ability to be a solid defender in short stretches.

Ramon Sessions, PG 22 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | 0

A slow start for Ramon, but credit him for a couple of big baskets late to extend the game and get the Bobcats to overtime.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Bobcats finally got a win over the Mavericks. Last weekend, they ended a 23-game losing streak in front of the home fans, and this weekend, a 16-game losing streaks to the Mavs. Sure, there was a home loss to the Suns in between – but they’re giving fans a reason to come out.
  2. Dahntay Jones is still a jerk – he broke up a fast-break for the Bobcats by throwing an elbow into Ben Gordon’s side to push him into Kemba Walker.
  3. The Bobcats still gave up too many open threes to the Mavs – they made 9 of 19. Tonight was Vince Carter’s turn, going 5 of 8. After getting blocked by MKG (mentioned above), Carter came down on the next possession and drilled a long 3 – and let the rookie hear about it all the way back down the court.
  4. The Bobcats are now 2-3 – and kept things close in the losses to the Suns and Hornets. This team is fighting and scrapping all the way through games, unlike the end of last season. There are going to be ups and downs, but so far it does not look like we’ll have to worry about this team challenging any futility records.