Score: 98-94 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Bobcats record: 27-28
Offensive Efficiency: 103.3
Defensive Efficiency: 106.5
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace – 32 points on 17 attempts, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals in a full 48 minutes of work. Notice no turnovers as well – very strong game for Crash.
1 of 16. 1 of 8. Those are makes and attempts for 2 of the Bobcats guards. Stephen Jackson and D.J. Augustin respectively. The rest of the team went 32 of 54, for 59%. The Cats committed just (for them) 13 turnovers and made a respectable 75% of their free throws (again, relative). But it was not enough. Their defense was a little off (Rasual Butler gets 20 on 14 attempts and Travis Outlaw 10 on 6? Wonder if 48 minutes diminished Gerald's defensive energy). The Bobcats struggled a bit with the Clippers size (DeAndre Jordan is huge!), giving up 15 offensive rebounds while grabbing just 24 defensive. Not quite average offense, a little worse defense and it is a loss to start the road trip.
One last thing – the power forwards. Boris Diaw nearly had the Bobcats first ever triple double, finishing with 20, 9, and 9 in points, rebounds, and assists. He did it while shooting 8 of 13 from the field, but did have 5 turnovers. He seems to have a bit more life to him following the addition of Tyrus Thomas – and that is a very good thing for the Bobcats going forward. As for Thomas – another solid night, with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in just 25 minutes. He is not afraid to challenge shots at the rim (same for Theo Ratliff) and as the Bobcats mesh with their new teammates (and Nazr and Tyson get healthy), I think that will start to pay dividends for the defense. It is certainly fun to watch.