Score: 89-73 New Orleans
Bobcats record: 6-12
Offensive Efficiency: 84.9
Defensive Efficiency: 103.5
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace by default – not really any impressive efforts on the night from anyone, as even Gerald’s line was kind of a letdown game for him. 18 points on 13 attempts, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 turnover. And that is it – not exactly the well-populated boxscore lines Gerald generally produces. But it was still better than everyone else.
Basketball is a team game and this was a team loss – everyone contributed to the losing effort, even Gerald. In the fourth quarter of doom, Gerald took just two field goal attempts, making one, and made his two free throw attempts. But that was it – with the Bobcats struggling for points, the Bobcats needed their All-Star to help fill the void left with Stephen Jackson suspended – and he really did not. It is not Gerald’s game to dominate the offense and take a lot of attempts, but that was what the Cats needed last night and it did not happen. But that’s enough ripping on the Bobcat who had the best game of the night.
Back to the team, and their horrendous fourth: Like I said, it was a team effort. 11 points in the quarter – not the first time this has happened, but the way it occurred this time, ugh. With 9:04 remaining in the game, the Bobcats trailed by just 2 points, 71-69 after Kwame Brown made a mid-range jumper. The Bobcats did not score again for over 5 minutes, and managed just 4 points the rest of the way. Here’s how it breaks down:
- 9 missed field goal attempts
- 5 turnovers – 2 for Boris, 1 each for Shaun, Gerald and the team (the shot clock violation that wiped out a D.J. Augustin 3)
- 2 attempts blocked
- 2 free throw attempted/made
- 1 field goal made
- 9 minutes and 4 seconds of basketball that resulted in 4 points
- 2-point deficit becomes 16
The amazing thing? The Bobcats scored all of their final points in less than a minute stretch with under 4 minutes to go. After scoring their last points of the game, with just over 3 minutes to go, it was 6-point ball game: This in spite of the offense managing just 4 points in the preceding 6 minutes. So, yes, the Bobcats defense was solid on the night – but it was not enough to cover the Bobcats worst offensive night of the season, an efficiency of 84.9 – worst with a bullet, nearly 10 points below their previous low offensive efficiency of 94.6. I thought about making a joke-ish note in the preview how the Bobcats would need to hold the Hornets under 70 to have a chance without Stephen Jackson – but decided not to in the name of optimism and anti-hyperbole. At least one of my reasons was valid.
- The crossed out “Charlotte” in the boxscore link is a joke – it was funny hearing Steve Martin and Dell Curry have trouble keeping the teams and cities straight last night, with it being obvious that they are still used to saying the Charlotte Hornets.
- 16 turnovers for the team looks about par for the course – but it is worse than it looks due to the pace of the game. There were only 86 possessions for the Bobcats last night, meaning they turned it over on 18.6% of their possessions. Yes, that would be last in the league. And two of those turnovers were shot-clock violations that negated three-pointers – one was there in the 4th quarter, mentioned previously. The other occurred late in the second quarter – initially ruled a three-pointer for Boris Diaw, it helped the Bobcats go into half-time with a 2-point lead. After the play was reviewed during the break, the Bobcats came out of the half down 1 thanks to Boris needing a rhythm dribble to take a wide open three.
- Just to shake a bit more salt in that wound, had Boris’ three counted and D.J.’s at the 2:05 mark in the 4th, rather than the two turnovers the Bobcats wound up with, it would have been a 3-point game with 2 minutes to go, 82-79 Hornets, rather than the 82-73 mark reality inflicted on us. I would say the Bobcats shot themselves in the foot – but that’s the problem, they’re not quick enough on the trigger.