|Bismack Biyombo, PF 39 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -3This is graded on a bit of a curve, as Biyombo had a few of his trademark mental lapses and bobbled balls. Still, he rebounded well, had a positive influence on the defensive end, and scored when he had the opportunity. That’s exactly what the team is looking for from Bismack right now.|
|Jeffery Taylor, SF 15 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -2Taylor’s recent struggles continued, as he picked up two fouls early in the first quarter and couldn’t find his way back onto the court for long. He’s now shooting 9-of-32 over the past five games, and hasn’t hit a three-pointer during that stretch.|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 33 MIN | 3-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -5As usual, MKG’s impact on this game isn’t captured very well by the box score. He was agressive early, scoring the team’s first five points and getting to the line. He also had several important hustle plays late in the game, sacrificing his body to keep the ball in play when the team was struggling to get going.|
|Byron Mullens, C 38 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | -4Mullens had a poor first half, both offensively (1-for-5 shooting) and defensively. He bounced back well, though, scoring 16 points over the final two quarters. He also earned brownie points by passing up a few mid-range shots for attempts at the rim, and doing his best to find teammates for open looks.|
|Kemba Walker, PG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +5Not the most efficient night for Kemba, but still a very solid effort. He paced the team well, consistently scoring through the first three quarters and dishing six assists. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the bottom of the basket in crunch time, going scoreless in the final seven minutes. That’s been a consistent problem this year: Kemba’s field-goal percentage is at its lowest in the fourth quarter (36.5 percent).|
|Brendan Haywood, C 14 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -2A good game in short minutes. He led the team in offensive rebounds and converted on all of his attempts, but Dunlap continued to favor the younger players.|
|Ramon Sessions, PG 22 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | -7Yeoman work off the bench for Sessions. He’s been a victim of the minutes crunch in the backcourt, but he remains a steady and consistent scoring option. Like Walker, he struggled to create much offense in the game’s second half.|
|Ben Gordon, SG 23 MIN | 3-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -8It was one of Gordon’s inefficient nights, as he failed to find his stroke from behind the three-point line. The team could really use some consistency from him, especially since Taylor’s shooting has been cold lately.|
|Gerald Henderson, SG 21 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -4Henderson was the first man off the bench, and played well in his limited time. He remains the team’s most complete option at shooting guard, and his mid-range game adds a nice dimension to the offense. It’d be nice to see him get starter’s minutes, but there aren’t a lot to go around right now.|
Three Things We Saw
- I gave out a lot of Bs in the grading, and that’s a pretty accurate reflection on Charlotte’s night. Great team play kept the game within striking distance all night, but they were missing that one transcendent effort to put them over the top. Still, it’s an encouraging improvement over a recent stretch that saw them giving up huge leads early.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist looks a little more comfortable taking mid-range jumpers, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. He went 1-of-4 on shots outside the paint tonight and, believe it or not, that actually improved his average. He’s shooting 21 percent this season from mid-range, according to NBA.com.
- The ball movement looked improved, but that didn’t show up in the box score. Charlotte ended the game with 18 assists, right in line with their yearly average of 19 per game. Despite their high pace, the team ranks 26th overall in assists per game.