It was another up-and-down week for the Bobcats, but we had a busy schedule here at Queen City Hoops.
Monday, Jan. 14: Charlotte Bobcats 89, Boston Celtics 100
Even though it ended in a loss, this was one of Charlotte’s more encouraging road efforts. Despite going down early, the team battled back and was only losing by six entering the final quarter. Boston closed the game out from there, as you might expect from a veteran team, but it was more competitive than the final result might indicate. The Bobcats had six players score in double figures, with Mike Dunlap doing a good job of distributing minutes.
Tuesday, Jan. 15: Indiana Pacers 103, Charlotte Bobcats 76
This one was…less encouraging. Already down by ten at the half, the Bobcats completely went off the rails in the third quarter and were outscored 33-17. The deep bench finished the game, with all 13 active players reaching the court. Charlotte shot 34.7 percent from the floor and were outrebounded by a franchise-record margin of 60-31. Add this one to the list of games we’re pretending never happened.
Friday, Jan. 18: Charlotte Bobcats 106, Orlando Magic 100
If you stayed in on Friday night, you were rewarded with one of the Bobcats’ best offensive games of the year. Both teams shot an identical 46.8 percent from the floor, but Charlotte won the rebounding battle and took 38 free throws. Kemba Walker had a particularly good night, stuffing the stat sheet with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Saturday, Jan. 19: Sacramento Kings 97, Charlotte Bobcats 93
The Bobcats had a decent chance at snapping their 13-game home losing streak, but couldn’t execute down the stretch. DeMarcus Cousins showed off the diverse skillset that has made him a potential target of the Bobcats at the trading deadline, finishing with a line of 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. One of those dimes was easily the play of the night.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the rookie showcase fans might have expected before the season; fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson only logged one minute for the Kings, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored four points and grabbed three rebounds in 18 minutes of play.
Links of note:
— The Jan. 12 game against the Pacers provided fuel for some terrific analysis here at Queen City Hoops. Spencer broke down the tape to see how Charlotte defended David West, while Brett used the game as a launching pad to analyze the team’s three-point defense.
— As the season approaches the midway point, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seems to have mostly dropped out of the Rookie of the Year discussion. We took a look at the rookie crop to find out why. (MKG did get a little love in this recent TrueHoop 5-on-5, however.)
— The trade deadline is approaching fast, and Rick Bonnell at The Charlotte Observer writes that the front office has the “green light” to improve the team. There’s nothing firm on what that might mean, but Charlotte seems to be exploring all options. Bonnell also listed some players the Bobcats could potentially target.
— Related to that last link, there have been rumors that the Bobcats are “aggressively” pursuing the Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay. The move doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense; if MKG is included in a potential deal, the Bobcats would be giving up a promising young asset for a good, massively overpaid veteran on a down year. If a trade happened without including MKG, there’d still be an awkward logjam at small forward. Rick Bonnell seems on point — you can’t believe everything that you read this time of year.
— Hardwood Paroxysm’s Brian Schroeder took a look at Jeff Adrien: “If to be perpetually forgotten is Jeff Adrien’s fate, then he seems oddly at peace with it. The fourth year forward from Connecticut is as sturdy as he is unflappable, presenting both a ready smile and a reasonable outlook in his scant dealings with the media thus far in his career.”
— Chad Ford details the best fits for the Bobcats in the upcoming draft. Targets could include Ben McLemore, Alex Len and Anthony Bennett.
— Ben Swanson at Rufus On Fire digs into the always-confusing attendance numbers.