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Bobcats handle Wizards, get to 3-3

Washington Wizards 76 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Charlotte Bobcats
Jeffery Taylor, SF 32 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | +7

Good defense again. Still a little passive offensively and can’t get a three to fall, but solid minutes.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 27 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +2

MKG got off to an iffy start, with Trevor Ariza scoring 12 quick points in the first quarter against him. Ariza’s length on defense also seemed to trouble Gilchrist early, with a deflected pass and a hesitation to attack. But it passed – and the rookie got back to attacking the basket in the halfcourt and in transition. A couple of forced attempts among the trees, but overall, I love his aggressiveness and his sneaky finishes around the basket.

Brendan Haywood, C 31 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +10

Rebounded well, protected the paint, and chipped in a few baskets. 6 games into the season, Haywood has been a great signing by the Bobcats.

Byron Mullens, C 27 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | +10

A solid all-around line for Byron – he didn’t force as many shots tonight, and even attacked the paint a couple of times. HIs drive into the paint where he converted a running hook was a very pretty play, and makes it even more frustrating that he does not spend more time in the basket area. Also, Mullens finally made it to the free throw line – his first attempts of the 2012-13 season.

Kemba Walker, PG 35 MIN | 5-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | +25

Kemba exploited his quickness through out the game, putting the Wizards at a disadvantage, having to help off their men, creating open looks for teammates or leaving Kemba open in the midrange or at the rim. He’s done a much better job of finishing the looks he creates this season than he did last year – let’s hope it continues.

Bismack Biyombo, PF 14 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +3

Bismack was largely invisible in his 14 minutes tonight. He challenged a couple of shots, but did not make such an impact at the defensive end to be able to overlook his non-existent offense. Much like with Diop, Bobcats’ opponents don’t worry about Bismack on offense, except to stay between him and the basket when he is near the paint.

Tyrus Thomas, PF 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 6-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +6

Tyrus Thomas played with good energy tonight, diving for loose balls and creating havoc on defense. He also got a bit animated with the officials more than once, though only drew one technical. At this stage of his career, I don’t see a personality change in the cards.

Ramon Sessions, PG 30 MIN | 7-18 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +11

With Ben Gordon a late scratch, Sessions spent extra time at the 2 tonight, and continued to deliver for the Bobcats. Did a great job in the pick and roll in creating driving lanes and attacking. He didn’t finish as many of those looks tonight as sometimes, but as long as he is creating good looks, there’s not much to complain about.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The Bobcats withstood an early barrage from the Wizards, watching the visitors jump out to a 7-0 lead. The Bobcats battled back and took the lead, but then allowed the Wizards to get back up by a similar margin in the first quarter.
  2. And then the Bobcats largely controlled the rest of the game. With the Wizards unable to consistently hit from outside, the Bobcats scrambling defense was much more effective tonight. The Wizards seemed to wear down and come out flat to start the second half, which the Bobcats used to create and maintain a double digit lead for the bulk of the second half.
  3. The Bobcats are 3-3 after 6 games, and head to Minnesota for the tail-end of the home-away back-to-back. It will be interesting to see how the relatively young Bobcats handle their relative prosperity, a 2-game winning streak and an injury-riddled opponent.
  4. Speaking of injuries, MKG continues to be bothered by his lower left back, and Steve Martin repeatedly mentioned that Kemba Walker was less than 100% tonight. The Bobcats aren’t deep enough to withstand many more injuries, with Henderson already out.