Las Vegas Summer League- Game 2: Bobcats rally against Cavs for dramatic win « Queen City Hoops

Las Vegas Summer League- Game 2: Bobcats rally against Cavs for dramatic win

Kemba Walker was a dismal 2-14 from the field on the night, but with less than 10 seconds to play he had an ISO set, exploded to the basket and hit a clutch floater to put the Bobcats ahead for good, propelling Charlotte to a 68-64 win and a 2-0 record in the Vegas summer league. Walker led the team in scoring with 13 points on the game and was 9-11 from the charity stripe.

Charlotte certainly didn’t put on an offensive clinic as they did in their debut against Sacramento on Friday night. Tonight was about scrapping to get a victory in any way possible and for the Bobcats that ended up coming on the defensive end of the floor. Charlotte caused 24 Cleveland turnovers while only committing 12 themselves. As on Friday night, the Bobcats applied the suffocating 2-2-1 full court press. Cleveland handled it well in the first half, breaking it down and getting into their half court sets. Slowing the game down against the Dunlap chaotic style defense came easy in the first half for the Cavs, but the second half was a different story. Cleveland likely ran out of gas, not able to continuously handle the Bobcats pressure. Charlotte, on the other hand, is proving that they’re already a very well conditioned squad that can constantly force the tempo.

The Bobcats were embarrassing on the offensive end for most of the night. They finished the night at 30.7% from the field and shot 2-21 (9.5%) from behind the arc. Nonetheless, Charlotte figured out a way to persevere for the win, which makes the victory that much more impressive.

Jeffery Taylor added 12 points and 7 rebounds and Carlon Brown (Colorado) finished with 11 points for the Bobcats. Biz and Mullens both pulled down 8 rebounds to lead the team. Mullens continued to not be shy shooting the basketball, even when it was clearly evident it wasn’t his night- he was 4-17 from the field and 0-7 from behind the arc.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sat out tonight’s games due to a sore knee that he injured on Friday night against the Kings. The injury does not seem to be serious and keeping him out tonight was simply a precaution.

Charlotte will face Minnesota on Tuesday night at 10:30 ET.

Jeffery Taylor: B-

Taylor is an absolute fabulous defender and understands basic defensive concepts, which always has him in the right position. He’s athletic and extremely active on both ends of the floor. Tonight, Taylor was making a constant effort to get to the rim off the dribble. 10 of Taylor’s 15 FGA tonight came from within the arc and for a guy who is regarded as a deadly outside shooter that’s a great sign of him understanding what part of his game must improve for this level.

Bismack Biyombo: C+

Biz probably deserves a better grade than this, but eh, it was an average performance. Don’t get me wrong, Biz is definitely making strides on the offensive end and looks much more comfortable when he gets the ball on the block. What Biyombo must work on the most, as NBA TV’s Sam Micthell pointed out tonight, is working on his release point with his shot. Biz releases the ball on the way down and must work on getting the ball out of his hands at his highest point. The footwork looks awesome from Biyombo, though, and I believe he’s in for a much more productive season playing next to Brendan Haywood.

Byron Mullens: C-

The shot selection is just abysmal. Seven 3PA? Why? After you missed the first 4 why are you still firing away? There are tons of questions that jog my mind when I watch him play. Bottom line is this- if Mullens is going to continue to take 15+ shots/night that far away from the basket then he’s got to be used as a stretch PF, coming off the bench for Charlotte. Looks stronger on the glass and also more aggressive around the rim in general. Problem is, it’s so hard to get him to be in the paint, consistently. So much potential at his size, but is extremely frustrating to watch and has a long way to go.

Kemba Walker: C+

Overall, it was not a good performance for Kemba tonight. What’s impressive about it, though, is the fact that he stuck with it, kept grinding and found a way to win the game for his team scoring Charlotte’s last 5 points. Kemba had just 4 assist, but some of that can be attributed to the fact that the team shot 30.7% from the field. Only one turnover is very encouraging though. Is he a PG? I still just can’t get on-board with that yet, but you can see all the room for growth/improvement and it’s just hard to convince myself that he won’t get there.

(Wild Card) Josh Owens: B+

Owens only played 13:31 minutes tonight, but this kid can play. If, for instance, the Bobcats chose to not bring back D.J. White and miss out on Jamison, then I think there’s an outside shot that Owens lands a roster spot with Charlotte. Owens scored 6 points on 3-3 from the field. He’s an above average athlete that’s extremely active on both ends, runs the floor well and is a good defender on the block. A bit undersized for a PF at 6-8 and it’s not clear of whether or not he can knock down the mid-range jumper, but he’d be a great young, cheap and energetic rotation player for the Bobcats. Don’t think he’ll end up with a roster spot, but I think he’s a player to watch for the rest of summer league.


5 comments to Las Vegas Summer League- Game 2: Bobcats rally against Cavs for dramatic win

  • Wow were they horrible tonight. Sadly my DVR cut off near the end of the game when we were still losing, so I didnt get to see our glorious comeback win, but man alive the shooting tonight was actually worse than last year’s regular season disaster! I couldnt believe what I was watching. I guess the upside is we have improved our Defense this year, that’s obviously a key, and the biggest key to tonight’s victory, but nobody’s going to win many games shooting 30 percent, it was just unreal. I sure hope it was a one time thing, and next game we’ll get back to owning again. I also hope that between now and that next game, our guys do a WHOLE LOT of shooting practice! Also, it would be nice to have announcers that arent so pro-the other team, fair, neutral announcers would be nice.

  • Tim in Surrey

    About Jeff Taylor… With all due respect, you should do some research. Jeff Taylor was a four-year starter at Vanderbilt, which is a pretty good team (three NCAA trips and a 91-43 record in those four years). In his first three years he shot less than 30% from the shorter NCAA three-point range, yet scored in double figures every year. How? He was an athletic slasher who made a high percentage of his shots (.502 and .493 his first two years), until his junior year when he started trying threes. He only made 34.5% of them, however, so his shooting percentage dropped to .449. It was only as a senior that he developed a reliable outside shot, making 42.3% of them, which got his overall percentage back up to .493. In other words, this guy was an All-SEC player BEFORE he developed a shot.

    Taylor is absolutely NOT a shooting specialist. In fact, he was probably more effective as a slasher than MKG last year, playing in the same league. If the Bobcats use him as a spot-up shooter, it will be a real waste of talent. They were really lucky that he dropped to them, mainly because defense is undervalued and this year’s draft was overloaded with big men. But if they’re smart, they’ll recognize that they got a late-lottery talent with a second-round pick and this guy will be as big a part of their future as MKG. After all, he badly outplayed MKG the three times they played last year.

  • charlottean

    Given that its summer league, I want mullens taking all of those shots. I think it’s clear dunlap has watched him knock down 20 footers and asked him to step back. Biz is playing the post and the rest of the team is slashers. You want mullens shooting jumpers to open up lanes for walker, mkg, hendo, taylor, whoever.

    The shot selection wasn’t bad. He took good looks within the flow. And he’s not going to have 4 for 17 nights all the time. Walker on the other hand……more spinning contested fadeaways. This dude kills me. The team shot 30% mostly because he and mullens were 6 for 31. That doesn’t excuse 4 assists in 36 minutes in an uptempo setting.

    • SDS

      I agree with U…lol? Idk but this was a game between two teams that started out gassed and without their two dominate players in the summer league… Mkg was missed a TON in the first game he was more IOC a point forward then anything, constantly driving breaking down the defense and allowin open shots for Mullens and Taylor plus he could finish, I could see mkg averaging around 16 ppg 4 assists and around 7 rbpg… Maybe more assists even and he was missed yesterday obviously,

      Also great defense with a fast young team means easy points on the fast break sadly kemba didn’t push the ball nearly enough mkg was constantly pushing the ball uP the floor and we missed that a ton as well; hopefully kemba doesn’t relax so much, really we missed mkg so much offensively just in pushing thE fast break and breaking down the defense… As with the terrible shooting I wouldn’t look at it too much the summer league is meant to develop their offense and they are taking shoots that they want to improve on and make it apart of their game they can rely on in the regular season.. Plus without mkg it didn’t help any

      • Nate

        I agree, Kemba could have pushed the tempo much more…but I will say this: I think part of the reason he held back is because MKG was missing from the game. The other starters (Higgins, Mullens, Biyombo, and Taylor) don’t care for running a lot. Biyombo has the potential, but he’s not there yet; Taylor isn’t assertive enough to run all out, every single play. Higgins and Mullens play a much more “fundamental, NBA-style” game (aka walk the ball up the floor, move it around, much slower than what Kemba and MKG prefer). It’s hard for one guy to push the tempo when the other four aren’t making a huge effort to move up the court with him. All of the Bobcats’ fast breaks in the game against SAC featured Walker and MKG as the first two players up the floor, because that’s how they want to play.

        However, it’s still called Summer League for a reason. I’m sure Dunlap will go back to the drawing board to fix these issues; I’m also sure he’ll give them an earful for everyone not trying to push the tempo enough.