The week in brief:
Five blowouts in a seven-day period probably add up to the worst week in Bobcats history.
Sunday, March 3: Charlotte Bobcats 83, Sacramento Kings 119
This one set the template for the games to follow this week. Charlotte was competitive in the first quarter, and their play looked encouraging: Byron Mullens’ hit a few jumpers, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was aggressive, ball movement was crisp. But things soured quickly, as they were outscored by 38 points over the second and third quarters. The major culprits were the defense and rebounding; they lost the rebounding battle, 60-31, while only grabbing four offensive boards to Sacramento’s 18.
Monday, March 4: Charlotte Bobcats 105, Portland Trail Blazers 122
A sign of how bad the week was: this was Charlotte’s most competitive loss, a 17-point blowout. This game kicked off the other trend of the week, Byron Mullens’ vanishing minutes. After tweaking his knee, Mullens only played for three minutes and didn’t record a single stat. Despite giving more minutes to Gana Diop, Jeff Adrien and Josh McRoberts, the defense didn’t see an uptick. The Trail Blazers still shot nearly 60 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three-point range.
Wednesday, March 6: Brooklyn Nets 99, Charlotte Bobcats 78
A relatively competitive first half was squandered by an abysmal nine-point third quarter. Looking at the stats, it’s hard to see how this game was ever close at all: the Bobcats shot under 40 percent, and grabbed only 29 rebounds. The only real bright spot was the Nets’ 24 turnovers. MKG also had a solid game, with 17 points on 8-0f-13 shooting.
Friday, March 8: Oklahoma City Thunder 116, Charlotte Bobcats 94
OKC shot 57 percent from the floor. It’s hard to win when that happens.
Saturday, March 9: Charlotte Bobcats 87, Washington Wizards 104
Dunlap threw a little bit of a curveball in this one, starting Josh McRoberts and bringing Byron Mullens off the bench. It didn’t change much. Kemba Walker had 29 points, but the Bobcats let another team shoot over 50 percent from the floor.
Links of note:
— Ramon Sessions sprained the MCL in his left knee and will miss between 2-4 weeks. The Bobcats will definitely miss him, especially his scoring, but it’ll be interesting to see how the team adjusts its lineups with less of a logjam at the guard position. Early returns are not very promising.
In the meantime, signing a D-League point guard to a ten-day contract might be a good idea. Kemba Walker played 44 minutes in Saturday’s game against the Wizards, despite that game not being particularly competitive. That can’t go on very long.
— Rick Bonnell at The Charlotte Observer wrote about MKG’s path back from his concussion in February, and how its affected his game. Kidd-Gilchrist has had a bit of a bounce-back in March, shooting 50 percent in six games so far.
— Chad Ford’s Lottery Mock Draft has gone live, if you feel like scouting the upcoming draft and/or compulsively clicking buttons.
As disappointing as this week was, it really was a brutal bit of scheduling. Six games in eight nights, four of them on the road, will exhaust any team.
The Bobcats already have a razor-thin margin of error, and they rely on their youth and energy to even keep things close. When they don’t have that, you see the kind of discouraging play they had this week.