Score: 98-91 Bobcats
Bobcats Record: 27-35
Co-Meritorious Players: Raymond Felton and Boris Diaw. I am a sucker for assists. 9 for Ray, 13 for Boris. Both players also put up very efficient scoring numbers, 17 on 13 attempts for Felton and 13 on 8 for Boris.
16 baskets for the Bobcats in the first quarter – 14 were assisted. 36 points in the quarter…on only 21 possessions – an efficiency of 171.4. The Bobcats scored on 18 of their 21 possessions. I am going to go out on a limb and say it was probably the Bobcats best offensive quarter of the season.
The rest of the game – not as great. But they did enough. They had 0 steals in the game – but Atlanta had only 3. The Bobcats matched the Hawks in blocks 7 to 7, had more turnovers 10-6, but won the rebounding battle 40-31. More importantly – the Bobcats had 10 offensive rebounds to Atlanta's 21 defensive rebounds, a 32.3% offensive rebound rate. Atlanta was at an even 25%, 10 to 30.
Not a great defensive effort for the Bobcats – the aforementioned 0 steals is hard to comprehend. They held the Hawks to a respectable 46.3% from the field and allowed only 11 free throws. That combined with the rebounding job Charlotte did was enough to let them escape with a win despite their aversion to thievery. To be fair – there was probably a bit of a letdown defensively after running out to a 15 point lead after the first quarter.
At the time of this writing, the Bobcats are 27-35, good for (a tie for) 10th in the Eastern Conference…but only 1.5 games behind the Bulls for that 8th spot. And only 3.5 back of Philadelphia for 7th. Dream big, right?