Detailed boxscore: Boxscore Page
Score: 90-85 Magic
Bobcats Record: 3-6
Meritorious Player: Gerald Wallace. 19 points on 14 attempts. 9 rebounds. 1 assist. 1 steal. But – the Bobcats were outscored by 10 with Gerald on the court, with a net efficiency of -16.2.
Rick Bonnell's Recap of the game – I cannot phrase it any better than his opening:
So if somebody told you Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard didn't score a single basket and played less than eight minutes of the second half, you'd like the Charlotte Bobcats' chances, right?
How did the Bobcats squander this golden opportunity at a quality win? Well, Dwight Howard was not the only player in foul trouble. Emeka joined him, with 5 fouls in less than 23 minutes of action. Matt Carroll had 4 in 24 minutes, and Nazr 4 in just 14 minutes. While the Bobcats only committed 3 more fouls than the Magic – the free throw line was not as kind. The Bobcats actually took 3 more attempts than the Magic (27-24), but missed one more (18 makes to 19). And when free throw are not going down, who can we expect?
Emeka Okafor was the main culprit, going just 2 of 6 at the line. Aside from that and the 5 fouls (some sarcasm intended), Emeka had a solid game in his limited minutes: 8 points (on 5 attempts, and the aforementioned 6 free throw attempts), 9 rebounds, and a block. Seeing that, it is clear that Okafor did not do enough damage (in fact contributing a good deal) to grab defeat by himself. Some other contributors were:
Raymond Felton: 5 of 14 from the floor for only 14 points countered his solid 6 assists to 2 turnovers.
Adam Morrison: More good and bad – 14 points on just 10 field goal attempts, but 4 turnovers in just under 22 minutes.
Matt Carroll: 3 rebounds from the SG do not negate just 6 points on 7 attempts.
Sean May: 3 rebounds in 12 minutes, but 5 attempts to get 4 points plus 2 turnovers in his limited time.
Enough piling on, here are a couple of positives to take away:
Solid board work, as the Bobcats held the Magic to 12 offensive rebounds (including team boards), while grabbing 15 offensive rebounds of their own.
Decent defense: While Bonnell points out that the loss came down to not being able to stop Hedo Turkoglu in the 4th, the Bobcats defense overall gave a good effort. I already mentioned the low number of offensive rebounds, but they also held the Magic to 43.8% shooting.
Looking at the stats and the efficiencies against each player (specifically the difference between Adam Morrison and Matt Carroll) has caused me to speed up my work on trying to incorporate “degree of difficulty/strength of schedule/whatever you want to call it”. I will be adding entries that show the cumulative efficiencies of the lineups faced for players, so that it might be more obvious if someone is taking advantage of weak competition. Not that I have a problem with that – the Bobcats need to take advantage of any opportunities they get. It is just that I want a better idea if Adam's defense has really improved, like Ziggy and I think – or if he just cruising by, because of facing scrubs. More to come.