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Bobcats vs. Mavericks Recap – 01/23/08

I want to use the Queen City Hoops Greatest Lineup Ever to set the focus of the rest of this post, so here's to:

Emeka Okafor
Gerald Wallace
Jason Richardson
Nazr Mohammed
Raymond Felton

Notice anything about it? Emeka and Nazr together, something we have not seen much of lately. Tonight, they played together for 15 minutes and 5 seconds. And they significantly outplayed the Mavs: 116 points per 100 possessions to 74.1. I have to admit I was shocked: I never expected the Bobcats to be able to play the that lineup because I did not expect them to be able to matchup with Dirk with both Emeka and Nazr on the court.

The group did a stellar job on the boards, grabbing 4 out of 14 chances on the offensive boards, while holding the Mavs to 3 on 17 chances. Nice to see what playing a more traditional lineup can do for rebounding numbers. For the season, when Emeka and Nazr are on the court together, the team grabs 28.9% of available offensive rebounds, and 69.2% of available defensive rebounds. Overall, the team is at 28.3% and 67.8%, respectively. Still not great numbers, but an improvement.

Side note: I expected the team to improve signficantly on the boards this year with the addition of Jason Richardson – that has not materialized. When the grouping of Emeka, Nazr, Gerald, Jason, and anybody else is on the court together, the team is grabs 29.7% of offensive boards, but only 67.1% on the defensive end. Last year, the team was at 71.6% on the defensive end – and I really do not know how to explain the drop. Effort? Not sure. But Gerald and Emeka have both taken a step back this year.

Back to the QCHGLE for the night: They shot 48% from the floor, 12 of 25, while holding the Mavs to 34.6% – 9 of 26. They held onto the ball as well, with only 2 turnovers. Unfortunately, the Mavs bettered that with only 1. For the game, the Bobcats had 9 turnovers and the Mavs 6 – pleased with the lack of one, but the Bobcats still rely on turning the other team over for easy baskets, so nights like this are very tough for them to win.

I would like to see this lineup more as the season progresses – Nazr is making too much to spend so much time on the bench. And assuming Emeka gets resigned, they will be playing side by side (or slapping hands as they switch off) for a few more years.
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