Queen City Hoops

Charlotte Bobcats 91, Orlando Magic 80: .500, Finally

Orlando Magic 80 FinalRecap | Box Score 91 Charlotte Bobcats
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

  1. 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.

Game #76: Bobcats vs. Magic — Seeking .500 & Revenge

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Orlando Magic

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 37-38 101.4 (22) 101.8 (6) 94.8 (21)
Orlando 21-54 99.4 (27) 104.7 (18) 96.1 (15)

Charlotte: Josh McRoberts (Doubtful), Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Magic
PG Kemba Walker Jameer Nelson
SG Gerald Henderson Arron Afflalo
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Maurice Harkless
PF Cody Zeller Kyle O’Quinn
C Al Jefferson Nikola Vucevic
6th Man Gary Neal Tobias Harris


Charlotte is a week removed from the disappointing loss to the Magic in Orlando. In a game where the Bobcats led by as many as 16 in the first quarter, they were out-rebounded 56-37 + gave up 20 second-chance points. Can this be explained by a simple mental-lapse that night?

Tonight is yet another opportunity for the Bobcats to get to .500, so will it finally happen?

Spencer: Part of last Friday, yes, can be explained by a team that simply didn’t have the focus for four quarters as a playoff bound team should this time of year. Aside from that, Orlando does pose some matchup issues for the Bobcats – Vucevic is a load on the low block and has proven to be solid defender against Jefferson. Tobias Harris is also a tough matchup off the bench due to his versatility – he can really shoot it from outside and is a problem around the rim because of his size.

There is no doubt in my mind that Charlotte will prevail tonight and finally get to .500 on the season. I get the sense that the Bobcats psyche is shaping up the right way for the playoffs. A loss like they had last Friday at Orlando was exactly I think what the team needed – as Clifford referenced earlier this week, the team was feeling a sense of accomplishment that shouldn’t be there. I have to believe that the maturity in the locker room has taken over and this is a group that is focused. Bobcats win easily tonight.

Greg: I’m sure the mental side played into it, but Charlotte had won a tough overtime game against the Nets two nights before, and Orlando was in the middle of a homestand with three days of rest. This late in the season, that can make a difference. The Bobcats should have won, but it happens. Every team drops games they shouldn’t.

The rebounding should be a bit better tonight, at least – with Josh McRoberts doubtful for the game, Cody Zeller will provide a stronger effort on the boards at power forward. Just being at home will help, too, as the Bobcats have been significantly better in Charlotte this year. It should be a relatively close game, since Orlando seems to match up with the Bobcats well, but Orlando struggles to score on most nights. If Charlotte can run out to an early lead, they should be able to hit .500.

Game #75: Bobcats @ Sixers Preview + Fresh PodCats Show

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – 76ers Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Philadelphia 16-58 95.9 (30) 107.0 (27) 102.0 (1)
Charlotte 36-38 101.0 (23) 101.9 (8) 94.8 (21)

Philadelphia: Arnett Moultrie (OUT)
Charlotte: Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)

Starting Lineups

76ers Bobcats
PG Michael Carter-Williams Kemba Walker
SG James Anderson Gerald Henderson
SF Hollis Thompson Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Thaddeus Young Josh McRoberts
C Henry Sims Al Jefferson
6th Man Tony Wroten Gary Neal

In respects to the college basketball hype currently, tonight’s game has that feeling to it – somewhat. If the NBA postseason was seeded due to regular season resumes, this would be a no-win situation. A win does nothing to make you look better while a loss destroys everything.

Well, good thing this isn’t college basketball. That being said, it feels like a loss to the historically bad Sixers tonight would have a similar effect in the sense that it would theoretically destroy much of what the Bobcats have built this season – culture, confidence, respect.

How does Charlotte avoid laying an egg in Phila tonight and stay right on the heels of Washington for the #6 seed?

Spencer: If Charlotte comes out of the gate sharp defensively then they should be fine. The Sixers want to play at a furious pace, so when you can force them to execute in the half-court they make the game brutally difficult on themselves. Keep the Sixers away from easy baskets and they’ll chuck up prayers towards the rim all night long.

Al Jefferson should have no problem getting buckets tonight. In anyway that he wants. I think it’s safe to say that poor Henry Sims, who was a member of the Bobcats summer league team, is in for a long night.

Come out focused + committed defensively and I don’t see a scenario where Charlotte drops this one.

Greg: Just stick with what works — dump the ball down to Al Jefferson, let him work his defender, and go from there. The 76ers give up a lot of shots at a high FG% down in the restricted area, so Al should end up with a productive night. Pair that with some strong rebounding and low turnovers, and it should be an easy win. Charlotte will also need to resist the urge to push the ball, as Philadelphia plays at by far the highest pace in the league. Just don’t get sloppy.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain: Although losing to the struggling Sixers would be bad, as it has only happened 16 times total all season, I don’t agree that it would be disastrous to the Bobcats’ season. The Sixers, who are as close to full health as they are going to get all season, have actually played a little better ball over the past couple games.

That being said, the Bobcats can’t really afford to drop any games from here on out, especially if they want to catch Washington for that six seed. So, in order to get a win against the SIxers tonight, the Bobcats really just have to play their game as they have all season. The Sixers have no physical answer for Al Jefferson, as neither Thad Young or Henry Sims has the size or strength to bang with him. Feeding Jefferson early and often should help Charlotte establish their offense against one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The SIxers also can’t cover the 3, so some open attempts from long-range might be in order for Charlotte. If they can establish Jefferson early, and then play an inside-outside sort of game to get some open looks for their shooters, they should be able to score more than enough to defeat Philly.

Defensively, the ‘Cats need to put pressure on Michael Carter-Williams and make his job difficult. The Sixers’ offense is often initiated through him, so taking him out of it leaves the Sixers with few other offensive options. If the ‘Cats avoid a mental lapse and play to their potential they shouldn’t have a problem taking down the struggling Sixers.


Doug Branson and myself (Spencer Percy) discussed the amazing comeback win against Washington, the #QuestFor6Seed and CDR + Cody Zeller’s emergence.

LISTEN HERE — PodCats 4/1/14

Charlotte Bobcats 100, Washington Wizards 94: Hot and Cold

Washington Wizards 94 FinalRecap | Box Score 100 Charlotte Bobcats
Josh McRoberts, PF 27 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3

Josh wasn’t very involved on offense, and his defense was shaky, too — he was on the court for most of the second quarter, a bloodbath where Washington ran out to a 60-44 lead. Washington did a good job of taking away his drives in the paint and keeping his three-point shots to a minimum.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 21 MIN | 0-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +2

A poor night on offense, even by Kidd-Gilchrist’s standards, as he got a little overeager near the basket and took a few wild shots. The defense was stiffer when he was on the court, though, and his rebounding helped.

Al Jefferson, C 40 MIN | 8-19 FG | 3-3 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | -2

It was a long night for Jefferson, as he and Kemba played all 24 minutes in the second half. They needed every one of them, too, as the team clawed its way back for the huge win. The team will need to be careful with Al’s PT — he’s played 40+ minutes in each of the last five games, and they need him fresh for the playoffs. Once seeding is locked in they should sit him as much as they can.

Kemba Walker, PG 38 MIN | 6-22 FG | 9-10 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +16

Kemba had a pretty terrible shooting night, going 6-of-22 from the floor and 0-of-10 from long range. That ends up a footnote, though, as a 21-10-5 game is usually a positive no matter how you get there. Helping hold John Wall to just 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting also counts as a positive. Nine points and five of his assists came in the fourth quarter, which Charlotte won by a 30-14 margin.

Gerald Henderson, SG 27 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -1

A quiet but solid night as Henderson and Neal more or less split time at shooting guard.

Cody Zeller, C 20 MIN | 4-4 FG | 7-8 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +9

This was Zeller’s best game as a Bobcat, and he picked an excellent time for it. Just one of his shots came from mid-range, and his aggressiveness near the basket led to those eight free throws and eight rebounds. It’s been great to see Zeller blossom as the season has gone on and the coaching staff have made adjustments. He’s looked like a different player since the All-Star break, scoring eight points on 52 percent shooting and grabbing five rebounds in 17 minutes a game.

Bismack Biyombo, C 8 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +8

Biyombo seems to thrive off chaos, and things got nuts in his eight minutes of play. Neither team seemed very interested in a half-court offense, and there was a lot of running and chucking from the bench units. He didn’t grab a rebound, but he did an excellent job of shutting down attempts near the rim. He threw down two monster dunks as well, which is what you’re hoping for from Biz.

Luke Ridnour, PG 10 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -10

Like Biyombo, Ridnour sat the bench for the entire second half. It was a pretty easy decision to make in Luke’s case, as the team fell apart during his 10 minutes.

Gary Neal, SG 21 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +7

A nice effort  from Neal, who paired his scoring with some nice rebounding and passing. The second unit looks completely different with him out there, and it’ll be nice to have him healthy for the stretch run.

Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG 28 MIN | 7-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +4

A very good game from Douglas-Roberts, especially in the fourth quarter, when he scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting and grabbed three rebounds. He’s been a solid addition to the bench since Gerald Henderson’s injury, and it’ll be interesting to see how the team treats him this offseason.

Game #74: Bobcats vs. Wizards — The must-win of must-wins

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Washington Wizards

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 38-35 100.8 (23) 101.8 (8) 94.9 (21)
Washington 35-38 102.9 (18) 102.7 (11) 95.7 (17)

Charlotte: Gary Neal (Probable), Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)
Washington: Trevor Ariza (Questionable)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Wizards
PG Kemba Walker John Wall
SG Gerald Henderson Bradley Beal
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Martell Webster
PF Josh McRoberts Trevor Booker
C Al Jefferson Marcin Gortat
6th Man Gary Neal Andre Miller


It’s still a long-shot, but Charlotte trails Washington by three games with eight remaining. I’m stating the obvious by testifying that the Bobcats must absolutely win this game tonight if they want even a shot to stay alive for the six seed – we’ll see the Wiz in D.C. again next Wednesday.

Recently, John Wall has done what we (and Marshawn Lynch) would call ‘put the team on his back’. Wall is averaging 23.2 PPG, 48% FG, 49.1% 3FG in the past ten games. Kemba will start on Wall, but it’s fair to presume that won’t last – what’s the approach to guarding JW and is it the key for a big time win against the Wiz tonight?

Spencer: Yeah, Clifford will have to show JW some different looks tonight. Kemba will start on him, but I’d guess that Hendo, CDR and MKG, if it gets real bad, will have a crack at it. I think the key to containing Wall is to keep him out of transition, which is one of the Bobcats strengths – they don’t send a ton of guys to the offensive glass in order to corral the opposition and force them to execute in the half-court. Clifford has shown the willingness to blitz dynamic PG’s with McBob while zoning the remaining frontcourt. If JW gets going tonight, it will be interesting to see if he elects for this approach again to get the ball out of Wall’s hands.

It sounds like the Wizards could be without Ariza tonight, which is big due to how important he is for their offensive output. Wall will take on that much more of a scoring role because of Ariza’s absence and probably elevate his offensive mindset – I think Charlotte has a chance to bait him into bad shots. Again, just don’t let the guy gets into the open floor + be sound in the PnR. If you’re Kemba, I’d say it’s his best bet to go under the screen and for the screener’s man to hedge out hard – this requires solid defensive rotation behind the PnR (show-and-recover).

If Ariza doesn’t play tonight, I like the Bobcats chances. If he does, I’ll take Washington.

Greg: Forcing Wall to take mid-range shots will probably be key — he shoots below average between the arc and the rim, and it’s where you want opponents taking shots anyway. The Bobcats’ defense encourages attempts from that area, so it’ll be interesting to see if Wall takes the bait. They’ll need to be especially careful from long range, as Wall’s three-point shooting has improved this year and he’s showing a lot of confidence in it.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain: The best way to throw John Wall off of his game is to play him physically and force him to settle for shots. Sure, that is easier said than done, but the Bobcats’ defense can do a good job of eliminating paint penetration, Wall’s most effective means of offense. If the ‘Cats throw a bigger body at Wall, someone like Hendo, and make it difficult for him to get into the paint they might have a shot to take him out of his comfort zone, and alter the Wizards’ offense attack entirely. Needless to say, this would be a big win for the Bobcats.

Bobcats and Basketball Links

I came across a few links this past week that I wanted to make sure people were aware of. That suffices for an intro.

Video discussion between Henry Abbott and David Thorpe about 3s – For reference, the Bobcats remain one of the worst in the league at defending the 3. Last season, Charlotte surrendered 38.8% shooting on threes, tying for league worst. This year, the Cats are allowing 37.7% on threes, which is 3rd worst. However, thanks to other defensive changes, Charlotte has moved from league worst in defensive efficiency a year ago (108.9 points per 100 possessions) to 9th in the league this year (101.8).

So the Bobcats have improved on defense, while still surrendering high percentage shooting on threes (and still giving up a lot of attempts as well). As such, this video doesn’t really apply to the Bobcats’ specific defensive philosophies, but still seemed interesting to me, so there you go.

The other link everyone should check out: Zach Lowe at Grantland writes about the Bobcats/Hornets rebuild/rebranding.

The Bobcats watched from afar while their aging, expensive playoff team maxed out as first-round roadkill, and they hired Rich Cho, once of the Sonics/Thunder, to take his own shot. They traded away almost every relevant veteran, held back in free agency, and went an unthinkable 28-120 combined over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

But they suffered the inverse of Oklahoma City’s lottery luck, falling backward in consecutive drawings, including a slide from pole position into the no. 2 slot in 2012 — a draft with one clear foundational superstar in Anthony Davis and a muck of unknowns after that. Close your eyes and you can still see Cho on television, taking the gut punch and wincing when the second-to-last envelope revealed the Charlotte logo.

Magic re-appear, steal game from Cats

Charlotte Bobcats 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
110 Orlando Magic
Josh McRoberts, PF 35 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | -3

Huge scoring night for McRoberts on a night his three were falling. But all Charlotte big men will take some blame for Vucevic’s big game (who out-rebounded the Charlotte bigs by himself).

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +18

A solid but standard-ish game for MKG.

Al Jefferson, C 42 MIN | 10-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +7

Good game overall, but quiet late, and the Vucevic issue.

Kemba Walker, PG 42 MIN | 8-25 FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | +6

Too bad for Kemba that fga are tracked – it would have a been a great game otherwise. Still nice stat line with 8 assists and 5 boards, but scoring efficiency is still an issue for this team, and 17 misses is tough.

Gerald Henderson, SG 40 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +1

I’ll let the coach cover: “A player made a mistake,” Clifford said. “Do what we’re supposed to do, and the game ends.”
-credit to The Charlotte Observer

Steve Clifford

Concern about Vucevic pre-game proved prescient, but ultimately unable to overcome: “I think the rebounding game will be a big part of tonight. You know, we’ve played them twice.
I think that’s one of the things (Nikola) Vucevic brings, size and offensive rebounding. You know, when they play (Kyle) O’Quinn also with him, you know, they are very big.” – thanks to Brendan Galella of ShatterTheGlass for the quote

Game #73: Bobcats @ Magic Preview — Navigate the speed-bumps

Who: Orlando Magic vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Magic Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Orlando 20-52 99.1 (27) 104.4 (17) 96.2 (16)
Charlotte 35-37 100.8 (23) 101.8 (9) 94.9 (21)


Charlotte: Gary Neal (OUT), Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Magic Bobcats
PG Jameer Nelson Kemba Walker
SG Victor Oladipo Gerald Henderson
SF Arron Afflalo Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Maurice Harkless Josh McRoberts
C Nikola Vucevic Al Jefferson
6th Man Tobias Harris Gary Neal

Orlando was in full-blown tank mode, losers of nine straight games, until a win against reeling Portland on Tuesday night. Now the Bobcats come calling in what is most certainly a must-win game against a lesser opponent. Road game or not, Charlotte simply can afford to let the games vs. the cellar-dwellers go by the wayside if they want the sixth seed in the east.

  • Again, the Magic have lost nine of their last ten, and one stat that really sticks out for them during that stretch is that they’re getting to the foul line at an alarming low rate – only 17.3 (-3.6) FTA/game in the past ten. More-or-less, this says that Orlando is probably settling for a bevy of jumpers – good news for the Bobcats, who build a wall + stay connected defensively as good as any team in the league. Charlotte opponents only average 19.8 FTA/game on the season.
  • On the flip side of this free-throw discrepancy, the Bobcats haven’t been stellar as of late. Charlotte has only attempted 20.6 (-3.8) FTA/game in the past 15 games. Adding Gary Neal + the emergence of CDR definitely impact this stat, but Hendo, MKG and Kemba can’t follow in the three-trigger footsteps of the guys who are actually efficient at shooting the ball from deep – keep attacking the rim.
  • Matchup Issue: Not sure who’s going to check Tobias Harris (15.0 PPG) coming off the bench – I’d imagine that Harris would get pretty much wherever he wants against Zeller and can simply shoot over the top of CDR. It will be interesting to see how Clifford attack Harris defensively.
  • SIXTH SEED WATCH: Washington hosts Indiana tonight at 7pm, so be on the lookout for that – Charlotte can close the gap to 1/2 game tonight with a win + Wiz loss.
  • This is very likely going to be a tight game, but I like Charlotte to eek out a W tonight in Orlando simply because of the fact that I trust their defense late in games more. 103-100 Bobcats.

Bobcats clip the Nets in OT; Draw closer to Wizards in standings

Brooklyn Nets 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
116 Charlotte Bobcats
Josh McRoberts, PF Shot Chart 39 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +14

He didn’t take one three-pointer tonight and I love it. Cutting off of the ball, keeping balls alive on the offensive glass and attacking the rim when he did look to score. Overall, I’d say this was pretty close to an ideal game for McBob.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Shot Chart 27 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +10

Good game for the hardest working guy on the floor. Defensively, MKG did a good job on Joe Johnson when he drew that assignment. Clifford actually elected to start MKG on Deron Williams in the second half and it got Williams out of the gate slowly after pouring in 20 in the first half.

Al Jefferson, C Shot Chart 41 MIN | 15-27 FG | 5-7 FT | 15 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 35 PTS | +3

How could he get anything else but an A+ for this effort? He’s unflappable. As unstoppable as Big Al is, the Bobcats did a great job as a team tonight of moving the ball quickly when the double came to Jefferson.

Ultimately, this team will only go as far as Jefferson decides to take them – I have a feeling that he’s bringing a few post-season wins to the QC. If Charlotte can catch the Wizards, maybe even a playoff series victory.

Kemba Walker, PG Shot Chart 45 MIN | 8-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 12 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +8

Cardiac Kemba. He loves having the ball in close games, with the shot clock running down and when the defense thinks they’ve got that big stop they needed. He was only 2-8 in the final quarter for 5 points, but the two FG’s he hit were enormous shots that saved the momentum for Charlotte.

Obviously, the 12 assists bring a huge grin to my face.

Gerald Henderson, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +9

Struggled shooting the ball, but made some hustle plays and made some sweet dimes when trapped on corner PnR’s.

Cody Zeller, C Shot Chart 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -9

Great energy. Zeller is really starting to develop an NBA skill on the glass. Especially on the offensive glass. Cody and McBob both are above average with the activity on the offensive glass and it really aided the Bobcats 15 offensive boards tonight – keeping balls alive.

Zeller got fouled hard by Jorge Gutierrez in the 3rd quarter. It was called a flagrant 2 and Gutierrez was tossed from the game.

Luke Ridnour, PG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -6

Big time offensive production off of the bench in Neal’s absence.

Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG Shot Chart 27 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -7

CDR is a legit NBA player now. On a ton of teams. He’s developed a very dependable three-point jumper and his scouting report has completely changed with the way he’s played while wearing a Bobcats jersey. The combo of CDR and Neal off the bench in the post-season will be fun – he’s going to play a very important role for this team for the rest of the season.


Neal is apparently dealing with ankle and knee issues. Clifford wasn’t sure exactly how long Neal is going to be out before the game, but stated that they weren’t going to rush it. Simply waiting until Neal is ready.

Steve Clifford

This Brooklyn team is tough to guard. They don’t run many incredible sets, but there are few teams that can spread you out and just play dribble-drive, kick like the Nets in the eastern conference. I thought that Clifford did a nice job of adjusting the defensive wall throughout the night in order to give the guys a chance to recover to shooters.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Charlotte hit a ridiculous amount of huge/tough shots in the 4th quarter + OT. Kemba with a few shot clock savers, CDR with two three’s in 4th/OT and Cody Zeller. Yes, Cody Zeller, with all 6 of his points in the 4th when the Bobcats absolutely had to have it.
  2. The Bobcats 15 offensive rebounds and 17 second chance points pretty much broke Brooklyn’s back in the end. On the contrary, the Nets only managed 3 offensive rebounds tonight.
  3. The Bobcats pursuit of the 6th seed is very much alive. Washington lost tonight to Phoenix at home and Charlotte is now only 1 1/2 game back of the Wiz. Check this out: Bobcats have 10 games remaining – only 4 of those games will come against current playoff teams (all eastern conference) – two of those are against the Wizards. If Charlotte can find a way to win both of those game then the #6 seed and a date with Toronto in the first round is happening.

Game #72: Bobcats vs. Nets Preview — The Homestretch

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs. Brooklyn Nets

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 34-37 100.5 (23) 101.6 (8) 95.0 (21)
Brooklyn 37-32 103.9 (14) 104.1 (15) 93.8 (26)

Charlotte: Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)
Brooklyn: Andrei Kirilenko (OUT), Kevin Garnett (OUT), Brook Lopez (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Nets
PG Kemba Walker Deron Williams
SG Gerald Henderson Shaun Livingston
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Joe Johnson
PF Josh McRoberts Paul Pierce
C Al Jefferson Mason Plumlee
6th Man Gary Neal Andray Blatche

The Bobcats now trail their opponent tonight, Brooklyn, by four games in the standings. Ultimately,  it’s probably unrealistic to think we can catch the Nets with only eleven games left to play. That being said, a win tonight at home would split the season series with Brooklyn + keep Atlanta at bay, which now only trails Charlotte by two games for the 7th seed.

The Bobcats chances to catch Washington for the 6th seed are slim, but possible, considering the fact that the two teams play each other two more times before season’s end.

Digest all this and give us some thoughts on what tonight’s game means + how the Bobcats overcome a Brooklyn bunch who has been one of the better teams since the all-star break.

Spencer: First and foremost, if you haven’t already, read Zach Lowe’s article about how Rich Cho and the front-office have re-constructed this team from yesterday. Awesome perspective – points out the pros & cons of winning now, signing Jefferson to an expensive three-year deal, profits the franchise have seen + will see in future, etc.

Now, to tonight’s game and what comes for the Bobcats in the next few weeks. Every game is important from here-on-out. 1) It should still be priority #1 to catch Washington for the sixth seed. 2) Even if the Bobcats end up getting Miami in round-one, you have to enter that series with something that resembles momentum to have any chance at not being swept. I think this is important to Bobcat fans at this stage of the season.

As Brooklyn did last week with the small-ball lineup, they’re going to give the Bobcats some matchup problems. Basically, with the Nets going Pierce + Johnson at 3-4, it puts McBob on somewhat of an island – hard to expect for him to do a great job on either one of those guys.

Al Jefferson is going to play a major role tonight, as always, in order to get the Bobcats flowing on offense. Now, Jefferson can carry this team for the most part, but if the ball gets ‘sticky’ and guys don’t cut off the ball, as it’s been lately, Charlotte will struggle no matter who they’re playing. Clifford needs to address this point now, and I’m confident he will. Kemba & Jefferson are really the only guys on this roster who can simply go get buckets in one-on-one situations – the rest of the team needs to cut to open spots to manufacture some easy points and simply make the game easier.

I like the Bobcats to rebound tonight at home and split the season series with Brooklyn. 102-98 Charlotte.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain: Tonight’s battle with Brooklyn is a big one for the Bobcats. As stated, their chances of catching the Nets, who have been one of the league’s better teams since the start of the new year, are slim, but it would be good for their confidence to split the series with Brooklyn. Also, although it would be tough, catching the Wizards for that six spot is not completely out of the picture, and each win helps. The sixth seed would allow Charlotte to skip a first-round showdown with Miami, or Indiana.

If the Bobcats want to win tonight, they need to limit Brooklyn’s perimeter attack, and produce from the paint. If the wing guys can limit Paul Pierce’s and Joe Johnson’s production, the Nets will struggle to score. On the other end, they should feed Big Al early and often, and let him set the tone offensively for the team.

A win tonight would be important for several reasons, namely keeping pace with the Wizards, who have a 2.5 game lead over Charlotte, and keeping Atlanda at bay.