Basketball is back and it’s a brand new season! Unfortunately, what we saw tonight from the Bobcats reminded mostly of what we’re used to seeing from this team.
Charlotte shot just 36.8% from the floor tonight and dropped their preseason opener to Atlanta 87-85. Jannero Pargo got a decent look from the top of the key to win the game at the buzzer, but the shot fell just short front rim.
Ramon Sessions led the Cats with 17 points + 6 assists. He was only 4-11 from the field, but did what Ramon does and got to the foul line 12 times. Yep, 12 times.
As a team, the Bobcats certainly didn’t jump off at the page at you offensively — the team looked confused at times and resorted to late PnR’s and dribble handoffs far too often tonight. It was clear that the priority is to get Jefferson touches around the basket, but Atlanta was sending extra defenders as soon as the pass was thrown + front Big Al to make Charlotte work hard. Jefferson ended the game with just 7 points on 3-6 from the field in 25 minutes. Big Al did lead the team in rebounds with 9.
Kemba, Hendo and MKG were extremely pedestrian tonight, going 7-24 (29%) from the floor combined + committing 5 turnovers between them. Kemba ended the game with only 1 assist.
The rookie, Cody Zeller, had his moments. He ended the game with 9 points on 4-7 shooting, added 5 rebounds, yet committed 4 turnovers. Defensively, Zeller really struggled against Paul Millsap. As great as his footwork is on the offensive end on the court, it needs some real work on the defensive end. Cody also shows clear signs of floating defensively, as to say he watches the ball too much + forgets where he is on the floor.
Charlotte did a few things very nicely tonight — 1) 23 fast break points. Getting out and running will once again be a priority for these young legs and tonight was a positive sign for that. 2) 20 forced turnovers turned into 21 points. 3) 10 offensive rebounds that turned into 13 second chance points.
The Bobcats will be back in preseason action Friday night in Miami at 8:30 against the defending champs.