Score: 94-89 Charlotte
Bobcats record: 22-29
Offensive Efficiency: 98.9
Defensive Efficiency: 93.7
Meritorious Player: Shaun Livinston – 18 points on just 10 attempts in his 22 minutes. A few rebounds and assists – but it was the way Shaun got himself in good spots offensively and took advantage of his height against Nate Robinson and Rajon Rondo that really benefited the Bobcats.
With Stephen Jackson deciding to end his night early with 2 technical fouls in the first half, expectations were not high for the second half. But the Bobcats found a way – and while Shaun got the nod for MP, there were others worthy. A quick rundown:
- The Bobcats as a whole were strong on the defensive glass, holding the Celtics to just 5 offensive rebounds. Gerald Wallace led the way with 13 defensive rebounds (16 total) with Kwame Brown also pulling in 9 defensive (12 total). Both Gerald and Kwame grabbed a third of the available defensive rebounds when they were on the court – and considering most teams pull in around 70% of defensive rebounds, those two made it easy on their teammates to surpass that mark.
- Boris Diaw had a relatively quiet line – just 7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal – but so did his counterpart, Kevin Garnett, who finished with just 9 points on 11 attempts.
- Gerald Henderson filled in admirably for Stephen Jackson with 15 points on 13 attempts, 4 rebounds and 2 assists (one to Gerald Wallace for a big dunk and the other to Crash in the corner for a three).
- Eduardo Najera finished with just 5 points – but 3 came on a late three that helped seal the win for the Bobcats (not long after taking an elbow to the face from Kevin Garnett – who stayed classy by commenting after the game that it was probably his only 3 of the season).
While it was disappointing to drop both ends of the home and home back to back over the weekend, the Bobcats did well to come out of the stretch against Miami, Dallas, and Boston with a win at all – given the Bobcats overall standing, that is a successful stretch. Combined with a 4-2 road trip, the Bobcats continue to hover around the 8th seed in the East – and while I may not necessarily agree that is a lofty enough aspiration, there are plenty who do agree – and I guess you can’t make noise in the playoffs unless you get in.