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Deja vu in Phoenix – threes rain

Charlotte Bobcats 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
121 Phoenix Suns
Bismack Biyombo, PF 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -14

A quiet night, even when accounting for Bismack’s invisibility on offense. He made a nice play in the first quarter, challenging a Gortat drive, and then I largely forgot about him until he threw a pass off a cutting MKG’s knee.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 36 MIN | 9-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 25 PTS | +1

Maybe one too many long jumpers – but otherwise, had to love his effort tonight. Double digit rebounds, and consistent attacking of the basket (with a pretty nice dunk on Gortat late). I think I’ve said this in a recap before, but a pleasure to watch play.

Byron Mullens, C 39 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -25

If Byron really is running as fast as he can back on defense, then I guess it’s not his fault that he leaves the Bobcats in bad defensive matchups regularly (or gets beat down the floor in transition). But it kind of looks like he is jogging. I wrote down a few positive notes about his play (primarily offensive), here’s a sampling:
Passed up open three to drive to rim (but missed layup and putback attempt before drawing lose ball foul)
Attacked on drive, but missed/blocked on dunk attempt
Nice find on a pass to Brendan Haywood, but Haywood couldn’t convert
Pretty pass to cutting MKG for dunk

Kemba Walker, PG 37 MIN | 9-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 27 PTS | -1

His drives to the basket were falling tonight and he was drawing fouls as well. One of his prettier moves didn’t end in a basket, but just a foul – a behind the back, eurostep combo in transition to draw a foul.

Gerald Henderson, SG 20 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -19

Midrange wasn’t falling for Henderson – and his offense starts looking pretty ugly when that doesn’t work.

Jeffery Taylor, SF 26 MIN | 3-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -2

Same for Taylor as for Henderson – a lot of misses from perimeter (and Taylor blew a transition opportunity by putting the ball in sight of a flying Shannon Brown for a chase down block).

Brendan Haywood, C 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -1

Brendan did a better job of playing big, on defense anyway. The rebounds were nice but 3 of 7 from where he shoots from does not cut it.

Ramon Sessions, PG 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | -22

Out of control performance for Ramon tonight. Drove into traffic and either forced shots or turned the ball over, and had a big hand in a couple of the Bobcats’ three shot clock violations, with over dribbling and passing to limited teammates in closing seconds on clock.

Ben Gordon, SG 22 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -2

The shooter did his job – only the one made three, but it felt like all of his runners and teardrops fell. 2 turnovers considering 12 attempts is a bit high though, and he still doesn’t find teammates often.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Well, in the preview I said the Suns wouldn’t hit threes like they did last time. I was wrong. I was wrong. Phoenix made 17 of 28 threes on the night, and while some of them were contested, a good chunk were again of the wide open variety. On nights when the Bobcats scrambling (disorganized?) defense doesn’t force turnovers and the opposition makes the threes available to them, Charlotte will struggle.
  2. The maybe even bigger problem was the turnovers and the easy points off them. The Bobcats had 17 turnovers, which Phoenix turned into 22 points. The Suns also pushed the ball off made baskets and got easy looks that way too. Not many games are won when you surrender 121 points – and I don’t think this team has the personnel to even consider that option.
  3. Sebastian Telfair made 3 threes in the second quarter, as the Suns scored 36 points overall. Telfair is a career 31% three point shooter. Sometimes, it is just not your night.