Boxscore of Bobcats vs Nuggets – 12/08/2009
Score: 107-95 Bobcats
Charlotte Bobcats Record: 9-11
Offensive Efficiency: 112.6
Defensive Efficiency: 97.9
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace 25 pts (8-16 FGs & 8-11FTs) 16 rebs
This was an impressive win and like I mentioned in the preview a win here helps makes up for the loss to New Jersey. That defensive efficiency is impressive because scoring for Denver is super easy and Larry Brown talked about how he really thought they did a good job on Carmelo Anthony and the guy still ended up with 34 points on just 22 shots and he wasn't hunting shots either they all came in the flow.
Part of the reason Denver was held to that 97.9 mark was the 18 team turnovers (11 between Anthony and Chauncey Billups alone). Early on it seemed that the Bobcats were going to run up a big lead as Denver had several poor possessions and Charlotte was up 9-0 after just two minutes. The Nuggets settled in a bit but they couldn't shake turnover bug thanks in large part to some timely traps and great ball pressure from Charlotte.
The Bobcats matched the Nuggets miscue for miscue as they totaled 18 turnovers as well but Charlotte's offense spiked to that 112.6 mark thanks to the 14 offensive rebounds and the seven extra trips to the free throw line. “That's a big thing of us when we can get to the free throw line,” says Brown, “then we can set our defense against a team that especially loves to be in transition.”
That's where Gerald Wallace comes in because he kept attacking the teeth of Denver's defense ringing up 11 trips of his own to the foul line, plus a few three point plays to boot. The other huge guy was Nazr Mohammed, he got to the line 10 times in 23 minutes scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds.
When asked what's the big difference between Nazr this year versus last Brown answered honestly and bluntly, “The coach. I didn't play him. A lot of things I didn't feel he could do. It wasn't his fault he came everyday prepared. If you're going to be fair he should be starting.”
Surprisingly candid comment from the coach who went on to praise Mohammed about the way he handled last season and even pointing out, “Our league needs more guys like him to talk to these young kids that are so impatient. That think everything happens because of the AAU mentality. But here's a guy that coach didn't play him and he continued to work.” I think that message was for Alexis Ajinca more than anyone else.
Another solid game from Raymond Felton who was playing in front of two of his coaches tonight as Roy Williams had courtside seats to watch former Tarheel point guards Felton and Ty Lawson. Felton seems to finally get that he needs to let the game come to him instead of trying to force the action, “It was one of those things where I was just rushing shots, not taking shots within the offense,” according to the fifth year guard.
It showed as Raymond only took two shots in first half making both and found a few more opportunities in the second making six of his seven tries from the field. Felton turned the ball over only once while he racked up six steals against the Nuggets. Solid game all-around.
This win puts the Bobcats at 9-11 after 20 games and an impressive 8-3 at home. I'm not so certain this success will travel with them on the road this weekend in San Antonio and Dallas but who knows. The Bobcats have a -0.3 point differential which is pretty darn close to what you would expect from a .500 team and winning at this pace will likely get them into the postseason.