Score: 102-93 Utah Jazz
Charlotte Bobcats record: 27-29
Offensive Efficiency: 105.7
Defensive Efficiency: 117.2
Meritorious Player: Tyrus Thomas – 20 points on 6 of 8 from the floor, 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Ty-Rise also had 3 rebounds, 3 more steals and another block – 6 steals and 14 blocks in his 4 games as a Bobcat.
The Bobcats could not stop Carlos Boozer in the post – that was the game came down to. Boozer finished with 33 points on 13 of 16 from the floor, 7 of 9 from the charity line. Between his incredible efficiency and Kyle Korver knocking down 5 of 6 from deep, the Bobcats offense had a task too tall – the Jazz defense is too good and too physical to not respond in kind at the other end. Which the Bobcats did – despite Larry Brown's protestation, the Bobcats did enjoy a nice 34 to 23 advantage in free throw attempts. Perhaps some calls were missed or went the Jazz way – but it is not like the Cats are not an aggressive, physical team themselves.
The real issue? The Bobcats are missing Nazr Mohammed and Tyson Chandler (DeSagana Diop too, for guarding Boozer). Theo Ratliff is playing better than expected – but 30+ minutes for the long-time veteran is asking a bit much considering how little he had played previously this season. Theo and Boris Diaw just could not slow Boozer down and there was no one else really suited for the task, as Tyrus does not have the bulk for slowing down that freight train (as he found out on when rotated over to slow a Boozer drive, only to get clobbered by a Boozer club move for the and-one). Until one of the center trio get back, the Bobcats are going to have a tough time defeating any team with a strong front-court presence. Bad news – Memphis is up next with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol manning the post, so let us hope that someone is feeling better on Friday.