|Josh McRoberts, PF 27 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +14
McRoberts was 0-for-6 from three, and most of those were wide open. His passing keeps things fluid, though, especially since coach Steve Clifford has been giving him more minutes with the second unit. McRoberts’ ballhandling there keeps the offense churning without Kemba Walker and puts less pressure on the turnover-prone Luke Ridnour.
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 25 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -1
MKG was pleasantly aggressive in the first quarter, scoring six points on 3-of-3 shooting and grabbing four rebounds. His rebounding was a positive all night, especially his four offensive boards, and he helped Charlotte carve out a 54-35 rebound advantage.
|Al Jefferson, C 38 MIN | 12-26 FG | 1-1 FT | 16 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 25 PTS | 0
Jefferson got his, even if it wasn’t the most efficient game. That was partially due to the refs swallowing their whistles as he fought through double- and triple-teams; Al only attempted one free throw. The team basically expects Jefferson to be excellent on a nightly basis, and he doesn’t disappoint often.
|Kemba Walker, PG 34 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -1
March hasn’t been kind to Kemba. He’s averaging 13.8 points a game on just 34.7 percent from the field, and his three-point shooting has cratered to 22.7 percent. On the plus side, his assists are up (7.4 per game) and the team is winning (5-3). If he can find his stroke, the Bobcats could be very dangerous down the stretch.
|Gerald Henderson, SG 25 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +3
Henderson faded after exploding for eight points in five first quarter minutes, but the team has suddenly found itself with an embarrassment of riches on the wing. His shooting, rebounding and defense were all on point in his more limited time.
|Cody Zeller, C 21 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -2
Zeller didn’t exactly stretch the floor, with all five of his makes coming at the rim, but he did a very good job rebounding, running the floor and getting open looks. Three assists isn’t shabby, either. Zeller has been a dependable piece off the bench in the past 10 games, averaging eight points on 53 percent shooting and grabbing 5.4 rebounds in just 18 minutes a game.
|Bismack Biyombo, C 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +12
Nothing flashy from Biz, but he helped clamp down the Timberwolves offense during a second-quarter run that blew the game open. Especially nice was a fingertip block on a Kevin Love fadeaway that really showed off his wingspan.
|Luke Ridnour, PG 14 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | +13
The counting stats all look good, at least, but Ridnour plays out of control in a scary way. The team could use a steady ballhandler off the bench, and three turnovers in 14 minutes is too many.
|Gary Neal, SG 25 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +11
Gary Neal was seemingly possessed by the ghost of Ben Gordon tonight (the good Ben Gordon). He started out by machine-gunning Minnesota for 16 points in the first half, and his four assists were the cherry on top.
|Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +11
CDR’s been terrific in his recent stretch, helping push the pace and playing solid defense. The team suddenly has more wing players than it knows what to do with, but Clifford did an excellent job managing the rotations: Douglas-Roberts, Neal, Henderson and Kidd-Gilchrist all got at least 20 minutes, and all contributed in significant ways that played to their strengths.
|Anthony Tolliver, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Unfortunately, that squeezed out Anthony Tolliver. Clifford has said he’ll play matchups and give minutes to the players that earn them, and it’s hard to argue against AT’s DNP-CD. He’ll be back.
This was touched on above, but the team’s rotations have been terrific recently. Chris Douglas-Roberts is playing with confidence, and Clifford seems content to let that ride as long as it’s working. Meanwhile, his tinkering with the second-unit lineups paid off tonight.
Charlotte Bobcats 105, Minnesota Timberwolves 93: Depth Charge
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