A schizophrenic week saw the Bobcats put up a fight against two star-studded teams and drop two snoozers to lottery-bound squads.
Monday, Feb. 4: Charlotte Bobcats 94, Miami Heat 99
This game was similar to Charlotte’s Dec. 26 loss to Miami: In both, the Bobcats stayed close until the Heat just decided to put the game away. Unfortunately, it’s hard to win if LeBron James can basically score when he feels like. James had 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting, and his only miss was a point-blank gimme that took a bad bounce off the rim. On the plus side, it was a balanced effort by Charlotte, as six players scored in double figures.
Wednesday, Feb. 6: Charlotte Bobcats 95, Cleveland Cavaliers 122
Kudos if you could make it all the way through this one. The Cavaliers shot 56.5%, and led the Bobcats by 24 points at the half. Cleveland’s starters did even better, hitting 67% of their shots. The Cavaliers are a team that Charlotte should theoretically have a good chance at beating, but their inconsistency makes every night a crapshoot.
Friday, Feb. 8: Los Angeles Lakers 100, Charlotte Bobcats 93
Another encouraging effort that was wiped away by a poor fourth quarter. Charlotte led by 12 at halftime, and built a 20-point lead during the third behind solid efforts from Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson and Byron Mullens. Unfortunately, Kobe went to work in the final frame, dropping 14 points in the quarter. The Lakers’ defense tightened up, too, with Charlotte only able to score 15 points in the final 12 minutes.
Saturday, Feb. 9: Charlotte Bobcats 76, Philadelphia 76ers 87
This was more of a bummer than the final score might indicate. Charlotte only shot 30.7% from the floor, and were outrebounded by 20 boards. Their poor effort wasn’t too surprising: This season, they’ve lost by an average of 12.6 points on the second night of a back-to-back.
Links of note:
— Chris Broussard of ESPN reported that the Bobcats have discussed trading Ben Gordon for the Nets’ Kris Humprhies. The swap makes sense for Charlotte, as both have similar contracts and Humphries would do a good job of shoring up the team’s poor rebounding. The deal is apparently on the back burner for now, so don’t expect anything to happen soon.
— Rob Mahoney at Sports Illustrated gave Jeff Adrien credit as an under-the-radar player doing good work this year. Adrien has seen his playing time decline since Byron Mullens’ return, but hopefully they’ll find the right balance of minutes.