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Bobcats Lose Defensive Matchup Against Chicago

Charlotte Bobcats 81 FinalRecap | Box Score 86 Chicago Bulls
Josh McRoberts, PF 29 MIN | 4-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -5 

An on-going theme through this game recap will be the contrast with the offensive and defensive performances by the Bobcats players. That pattern starts out with McRoberts who was put to the task of trying to stop Carlos Boozer. While McRoberts started out the game looking dominant with two straight low-post blocks on the former All-Star, he still looked a step or two slow when he had to move away from the paint. On the other end of the ball, McRoberts was definitely inefficient from every single end of the court besides the perimeter. We’re still in the stage where we can put everything in the “small sample size” category but his 38% 3 point percentage is pretty impressive.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 26 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -12 

When you see Kidd-Gilchrist play on either sides of the ball, you can clearly see a player with a huge level of potential. With that said, MKG can also frustrate the hell out of you with mind-numbing decisions that is typical for a 21 year old sophomore. Tonight was an example of the 2nd option as he repeatedly struggled from around the rim. While it’s something you don’t want to see, I’m not really going to blame him since he was working against Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler which would be a challenge for any wing in the league.

Bismack Biyombo, C 21 MIN | 2-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -13 

While his play was limited due to the solid performances by Jeff Adrien and Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo still had a pretty solid performance against the Bulls. This was your standard game for Biyombo as he continued to be extremely effective on defense. However, Biyombo continues to take baby steps on the offensive end which was apparent from his short jumper over Boozer. While the odds are continuing to stack against the 3rd year center, it’s clear that he’s actually heading in the right direction when it comes to his overall confidence as an offensive player.

Kemba Walker, PG 35 MIN | 3-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -7 

Per Synergy Sports Technology, Walker is averaging .76 PPP (Points Per Possession) on the offensive end while using his solid defensive ability to keep his opponents to an extremely low .81 PPP. Like I previously mentioned with McRoberts, we’re still in that “small sample size” stage but Walker’s continued shooting woes is waging war on the hopeful improvement and progression of the team’s offense. As I mentioned on twitter (@Dakota_Schmidt), it seems like it would be the best option if Walker took a step back as a shooter and start to focus more on being an overall engineer of the offense. While that may seem like too much of a change, it could be the best option as his wrist continues to heel which has hindered his shot which was apparent tonight.

Gerald Henderson, SG 31 MIN | 5-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -7 

On a day-to-day basis, Henderson’s offensive performance can go from smoldering hot on one night to ice cold in the following game. That was apparent tonight as his trademarked mid-range jumper was just clicking tonight which lead to his 5-15 performance from the court. With that said, he still remained aggressive as he pursued the rim multiple times.

Jeff Adrien, PF 27 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +8 

My love affair with Jeff Adrien started during his stint with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets) during the 2012-13 season. While his playing time with Charlotte was always limited, it was apparent that he could fill a solid niche inside the Bobcats system. With Al Jefferson in (and out) of the Bobcats rotation, Adrien’s minutes have fluctuated on a game-by-game basis but he really showed off what he could bring to the team in tonight’s game against Chicago. His ability as a low-post defender was clearly on display with his four blocks but Adrien had a bigger impact with the way he was able to distribute on the block and control the boards.

Cody Zeller, C 19 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | 0 

As the majority of the QCH commentators have clearly noticed from my previous game recaps, Zeller and I have had a touchy relationship since the start of the season. During tonight’s game against Chicago, Zeller appears to be easing his way into the Bobcats offense. While his perimeter jumper is still developing, Zeller is starting to showcase his ability as an overall offensive player as he had a few instances where worked off PnR’s and cuts to work his way to the rim.

Ramon Sessions, PG 19 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-4 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +5 

Similar to my comments about Walker, Sessions works best when he’s able to work as an overall distributor. As he showcased against Chicago, Sessions looked the best when he was able to penetrate from the perimeter and find an open player from the perimeter or around the paint.

Jeff Taylor, SG 33 MIN | 9-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +6 

With Kidd-Gilchrist struggling with foul issues throughout the game, Jeff Taylor had a major opportunity to prove himself in a big role. Because of his ability to cut to the rim, Taylor was a major target for the aforementioned distributors which helped the Bobcats offense when they were stuck in major ruts. Defensively, Taylor continued to look solid as he looked active in the passing lanes and stick close to his opposition.

Steve Clifford 

I’m starting to sound like a broken record but Clifford’s ability to turn around an awful defensive unit without any major roster overhaul is incredible. The fact that they went from the 29th ranked offense in 2012-13 to 8th in a span of an off-season is something that shouldn’t be annoyed. With that said, Clifford still has a lot of work to do with his offensive scheme as the core is still pretty awful.

Two Things We Saw

  1. As I previously mentioned, the Bobcats offense was pretty terrible throughout the majority of the game. While there was some semblance of ball movement when the reserves were on the court, there were still way too many instances where they just settled for mid-range jumpers with time still remaining on the clock.
  2. Related: While this defense has been absolutely solid, the Bobcats still need Jefferson to be fully healthy because he’s the clear leader of the Bobcats offense.