For the detailed boxscore, go here: Queen City Hoops Stats Page
Score: 100-87 Bobcats
Bobcats Record: 1-1
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace – 34 points (16 attempts), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 block, 2 steals. In 43+ minutes, the Bobcats were +16 with Crash on the court, with an efficiency differential of +19.3 points per 100 poss, compared to +15.3 overall. I particularly enjoyed Gerald's block when he used Emeka as a launch pad. Good times.
What a difference 48 hours (and the quality of an opponent) can make. Tonight, the Charlotte Bobcats looked like world-beaters and clicked on offense for the first time since last season. The biggest reason? Jumpers. Larry Brown's best jump shooting team finally showed it tonight, making 56% of their jumpers; that was actually even better than they shot overall, at 53.6%. The team did show restraint from the three point line, with only 10 3 point attempts.
The threat of the three, however, was used quite well. Gerald and Jason in particular repeatedly got defenders running at them with a ball fake at the line, only to drive by them and draw contact at the rim. The Bobcats were aggressive, showed by their 32 ftas. They were less successful on the line than we might like, only making 65.6%. Gerald was the receiver of half of those attempts, with 16, making 10, and Emeka chipped in 8 attempts, but only 4 makes. Practice, guys.
A couple of other signs of aggression? The Bobcats dominated the boards for once, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds to the Heat's 16 total defensive boards. That is not a good percentage. The Bobcats were not in the same sharing mood, allowing the Heat 11 offensive boards to 29 defensive grabs.
The other aggressive sign? Well, the Bobcats shot a lot of free throws…and the Heat were not far behind with 27 attempts of their own. Fortunately for the Cats, the Heat were just as bad at taking advantage of the opportunity, hitting only 18. D.J. Augustin committed a couple of rookie mistakes, and had a couple of silly fouls that put the Heat at the line. I imagine it will be addressed.
A quick thumbs up and down review:
Gerald – Up, obviously.
Jason Richardson – Up, as his scoring was good with 23 points on 17 attempts. He also did a solid job with Dwyane Wade, holding him to 19. Considering his main defensive assignment, the single rebound will be ignored for this game, but in general, it is good to see more from him.
D.J. Augustin – Down – the rookie had 4 turnovers and 5 fouls in just 20 minutes. He seemed to get agitated with the Heat defense more than once, and handled it poorly. Augustin also had his pocket picked clean while over dribbling at half court, and was forced to foul.
Jared Dudley – Up – Dudley had a fairly normal night for him: 6 points and 5 rebounds in 28 minutes. Took his open shots and scrapped for loose balls.
Raymond Felton – Up – Thank you, Raymond, for only taking 4 fga. He made half, along with 2 free throws to finish with 6 points. Even better? 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Nice all around game for Ray.
Adam Morrison – Up – Despite only shooting 1 of 6 from the field, I liked the game Adam played. He did not force things on offense, and the shots he missed were good ones. Best part, despite the shooting struggles, he contributed in other ways, with 4 assists and 2 rebounds in his 17 minutes. He was active on defense, and he still has short hair. All good things.
Emeka Okafor – Up – I almost forgot to mention Emeka, showing how we tend to take for granted his dependable, solid play. 18 points, 13 rebounds, and a block. Great work.
Odds and ends: The Bobcats were a little too careless with the basketball with 20 turnovers, D.J. with 4, Gerald 4, Raymond and Emeka 3 each. The defense was solid, holding Miami to 102.4 points per 100 poss. The big reason? Udonis Haslem making 8 of 9 for 16 points. I said Big Z might be a big problem for the Bobcats in the opener because of his outside shooting tendency: Well, I was a game early, as the Bobcats repeatedly sagged off Udonis only to watch him stick the jumper.
It was a good win, with the Bobcats playing well on both ends of the court. That is all I have got. Pistons on Monday. Preview coming tomorrow/Monday morning.