|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5
MKG gets dinged for a shaky offensive start to the game, but a hard fall and a trip to the locker room in the first quarter limited his time on the night. An 0fer is never a good thing, but under the circumstances it’s understandable.
|Al Jefferson, C 37 MIN | 13-24 FG | 3-3 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 29 PTS | +7
Jefferson went nuclear in the first half, scoring 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. He obviously cooled off in the second half, but the team’s 53-36 lead at the break was just enough to coast for the rest of the night. Jefferson made several of the Magic’s unseasoned big men look silly in the low post.
|Cody Zeller, C 25 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +11
A solid night from Zeller that showcased his strengths and weaknesses: He did a good job of using his speed to get easy buckets and draw fouls, but struggled to finish inside against Orlando’s athletic defenders. That was a problem for him in college, too, so it could be a long-term issue — but if his mid-range game develops, it’ll help open up driving lanes and make things easier for him.
|Kemba Walker, PG 35 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | +20
Kemba’s impact on a game sometimes seems completely disconnected from how well he’s shooting. He’s now at the point where his passing and quickness on defense can more than make up for his mostly inefficient offense. Getting those 10 rebounds for his second career triple-double is the cherry on top of a productive night.
|Gerald Henderson, SG 23 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | +15
Foul trouble kept Henderson off the court, and Clifford is favoring Neal for long stretches as well. Gerald’s defense, rebounding and chemistry with the starting lineup still have value, though, and he’s been shooting an efficient 49 percent since the All-Star break. He didn’t have it tonight, but some of the lineup adjustments seem to be helping Henderson in general.
|Anthony Tolliver, PF 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | 0
Tolliver’s shot has been missing lately, but he’s been playing well at backup power forward while Josh McRoberts misses time. He’s 8-of-12 on three-pointers in the last two games, and the team’s needed it with a starting lineup completely absent of shooters.
|Bismack Biyombo, C 11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +4
Like everybody else, Biyombo’s been on a mini-tear since the All-Star break. He still shows the same offensive limitations he always has, but he’s been making smart plays and generally keeping the second unit’s defense together. He’s not playing much, averaging just 11 minutes a night over that stretch, but it’s encouraging to see things going well for him in limited time.
|Luke Ridnour, PG 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -9
When Kemba tweaked his ankle and left for the locker room, the possibility of dropping this game felt very real. Ridnour’s been just good enough at backup, but I don’t think anyone wants to see him (or Jannero Pargo) playing starter’s minutes.
|Gary Neal, SG 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -4
I’ve been impressed with Neal’s versatility so far — when his jumper wasn’t falling, he mixed in more drives and shots in the paint to try and jumpstart his offense. It paid off, as he drew a few fouls and scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half. The trade continues to look good for Charlotte, despite strong play from Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien in Milwaukee.
|Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG 31 MIN | 1-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +6
CDR’s struggled a bit with his consistency lately, but the rebounds and assists help make up for a quiet night offensively.
One Thing We Saw
- The Bobcats are .500 for the first time since Nov. 23, and it’s looking likely they’ll end their season with more wins than losses. It’s been a fun season, and the team deserves it after a few years out in the wilderness.