Score: 112-83 Bobcats
Bobcats Record: 9-18 (2 wins in a row)
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace. Charlotte was +30 with Crash on the court, with a net efficiency of +54.5 over 27 minutes, 49 seconds. Gerald had 22 points on 11 attempts, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists – again, in just under 28 minutes. Quite a night.
Now that was fun and it was good to see the Bobcats on the right side of a blowout for once. Shooting 65.8% as a team does have a tendency towards making victory likely (though when part of that shooting percentage is Boris Diaw making 4 of 4 from three, it is not something we need to get too used to). It was such an efficient scoring night, that Gerald did not even put up the most points of someone who scored 2 points per attempt – Diaw topped him, with 26 on his 13 attempts. Somewhat amazingly, this was not the first game of the season where the Bobcats had 2 players score 20+ points while with a points per shot mark of 2 or better: D.J. and Raymond combined to do the same thing back on November 24th against Philly (now you know, and knowing is half the battle).
Having already mentioned Boris' strong scoring effort, I want to make a couple of more notes about the new guys. First, Diaw had a strong effort on the boards, with 10 total, 4 being offensive. Boris also continued to play the role of facilitator on offense, with 3 more assists. Enough about Diaw – I have certainly talked far more about him since the trade than Raja Bell and I want to balance that inequity some tonight. While Bell continued to struggle from the field, shooting 3 of 9 for 6 points (it is a slump and will end – he is a solid shooter who will have a limited offensive role), he did contribute 3 assists and 2 rebounds, without turning the ball over. More importantly, the Bobcats were great with him on the floor – not as good as their overall marks for the game, but it is important to remember that as a starter, he is facing tougher competition.
Speaking of the starters, it is too bad they could not just play the whole 48 minutes themselves. It would have been a franchise record margin of victory for sure. In just over 17 minutes on the court together, the starters (Raymond, Bell, Crash, Diaw, and Okafor) were +20. Their efficiencies were just as ridiculous, offensively 141.1 and defensively 82.4. Nice work fellas. Possibly an even more amazing number: The Bobcat starters out-rebounded Memphis 20-5, giving up 0 offensive rebounds to the Grizzlies.
Last note: D.J. Augustin had a strange game for him, with just 3 attempts (making 1) for only 2 points. But he did have 10 assists in only 24 minutes. Yet another but – Augustin coughed the ball up 5 times. I am not even sure who to compare that kind of performance to – who shoots so rarely, and either creates for his team or the opponent on nearly every possession used? Weird line for D.J. But a great win for the Bobcats.