Boxscore of Bobcats vs Pistons – 12/22/2009
Score: 88-76 Charlotte Bobcats
Bobcats record: 11-16
Offensive Efficiency: 94.6
Defensive Efficiency: 81.7
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace – I tried to justify giving it to someone else, just for some variety, but I cannot. 29 points on 18 attempts, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists, 2 steals – but 4 turnovers (that was why I looked at others).
Great to see a strong defensive showing after 3 straight games of a defensive efficiency above 103 – 81.7 is the team's second best mark of the season; to be fair, the Pistons were missing 2 starters in Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince though. Not complaining about the win, but it was a good thing for the Cats that they faced a short-handed opponent. A 94.6 efficiency on offense is not good enough to win very often. And how do you manage that low a number…
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers – the Bobcats had 20 of them on 93 possessions. That puts them a turnover rate of 16.3 for the season – the next highest team is Minnesota, at 14.7. The Bobcats give up the ball over 10% more than the next team in the league. Boris Diaw had 4; Raymond Felton had 4; Gerald Wallace had 4; Stephen Jackson had 5; Tyson Chandler had 1 – that may not sound bad, but consider this: He took 1 field goal attempt, attempted 2 free throws, and had a turnover – he used 3 possessions on offense and one was a turnover – not a good rate. The other two came from Stephen Graham (who got 17 minutes while Gerald Henderson was strapped to the bench – please stop it Larry). With no go to offensive player, that is what happens. Yes, Crash can score efficiently – but he is going to have nights with multiple turnovers – his offense is predicated on driving to the basket, and help defenders are going to come over and poke the ball away on occasion – and he is somewhat single minded, so he can create points for himself, but tonight with 3 assists is not uncommon and his season high is only 5.
Another problematic offensive issue: Hitting just 65% of your free throws. The Bobcats went 11 of 17 from the line – not too far below their season mark of 71.8%, which is good for 28th in the league. That poor free throw shooting throws away a lot of points as the Bobcats are third in the league in free throw rate (free throw attempts per field goal attempt). The Bobcats would improve by about their offensive efficiency by over 1 point by shooting at the league average on their free throws. A lesser problem than the turnovers, but easy points to be giving away all the same.
Final thing I want to touch on: Boris Diaw's rebounding. Boris is rebounding atrociously, but that is in part because Gerald has done it so well. For the season, the Bobcats are 4th in the NBA in defensive rebound rate at 75.9. When Boris is on the court, the Bobcats pull in 75.8% of available defensive rebounds – when he is off, that number barely moves, inching up to 76.0. That number from when Boris is on the court would still be good enough for the 4th best number in the league – so, the real issue is position perception. Boris is a 4, so he is supposed to rebound more than Gerald who is the 3 – but despite that, the Bobcats have done very well in that area, with little room to improve (at some point, there are not any more rebounds for your teammates to grab). The concern there is that the increased focus on rebounding for Gerald may also increase his risk of injury, flying around with the big men in the paint. So, I am not saying it is the best thing for the Bobcats in the long run – but so far, it has been more of a perception issue (and role issue) than actual detriment to the team.