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Was there a question? Bobcats lose in Denver

Charlotte Bobcats 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
110 Denver Nuggets
Bismack Biyombo, PF 21 MIN | 0-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS

3 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks – not enough impact from the starting center. Bismack struggled with the size/length of the Nuggets bigs (Koufas and McGee in particular, and Faried had a good game as well). The Bobcats surrendered 78 points in the paint tonight – that falls in part on the bigs (don’t worry, Mullens will get plenty of “credit” for this as well”).

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 34 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS

Go watch this first – it’s one of the few highlights from the game for the Bobcats. Kidd-Gilchrist started the night aggressively on offense, attacking the basket and scoring (including that very impressive dunk). But he was a bit careless with the ball – 5 turnovers on the night (though I think one of those was on a pass MKG got his fingers on as he cut to the basket, but it was a pass at his feet from Mullens that he couldn’t pull in). Considering the relative lack of usage for MKG, 5 turnovers just can’t happen.

Byron Mullens, C 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS

Don’t let his final line fool you: Byron did not have a good game tonight. Both of his threes came in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach, and while he rebounded well – he was terrible defensively in the first half (by the second half, when the Bobcats were largely going through the motions, it got to be tough to discern where the breakdowns were). The Bobcats called 4 timeouts in the 1st half – and all 4 were related to defensive lapses by the team (of which I can remember Mullens playing a key role in the first two for sure). However, Mullens went down with a nasty looking ankle sprain in the 4th quarter, and the Bobcats really don’t need to be without any more players at this point, so here’s hoping he was pulling a Paul Pierce (the wheelchair incident) when he had to be carried off the court by his teammates (yes, I’d rather he was milking the injury than be seriously hurt).

Kemba Walker, PG 36 MIN | 4-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS

Consecutive nights where Kemba didn’t earn a trip to the free throw line – and again Kemba cost his teammates by complaining to the refs on occasion rather than getting back on defense. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a point about the refs possibly missing a call – but it bring up during a dead ball, not when the opposition is running a fast break.

Jeffery Taylor, SG 24 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS

After playing well for a stretch after being moved into the starting lineup during Gerald Henderson’s injury earlier this year, Taylor is in the midst of a rough shooting slump, hitting just 23% over his last 5 games. I know he’s a rookie, but the Bobcats need him to start putting down some of the open looks he is getting, to help create space for the rest of the team.

Hakim Warrick, PF 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-6 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS

Inefficient offense and little rebounding out of the Bobcats’ backup big. I’ll refrain from making a joke about Byron’s injury replacement (but not really, since I just implied it).

Ramon Sessions, PG 29 MIN | 8-13 FG | 7-9 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 23 PTS

With Henderson and Ben Gordon sidelined by injuries, Sessions didn’t get the start at the shooting guard spot – but he certainly did a capable job of filling it once he came into the ball game. Sessions pushed the ball in transition at every opportunity, and went straight to the basket over and over, scoring in the paint and getting himself to the line.

DeSagana Diop, C 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS

Diop was the Bobcats’ best big tonight? Yes, I think I feel comfortable saying that, as Byron’s defensive deficiencies countered his larger offensive contribution. Diop rebounded well and sent back 5 shots by the Nuggets, doing a respectable job patrolling the paint and showing on the pick and roll. And respectable is enough to be the best tonight.

Reggie Williams, SF 21 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS

Reggie didn’t take advantage of the extra minutes tonight, afforded him by the injuries of teammates and still isn’t showing the shooting ability the Bobcats thought they were getting when they signed him. If he’s not making threes, he’s not helping the Bobcats where they have a real need, in floor spacing.

Two Things We Saw:

  1. 15 straight losses. And this one was not really in doubt after the first quarter, and certainly not by the half. As mentioned previously, the Bobcats allowed the Nuggets to score in the paint nearly at will (the Nuggets first three baskets were all at the rim, and relatively clean scores – and that includes an and-one). It seemed likely this was going to be a bad one from the start.
  2. Silver linings from the road trip? Bismack had a big night in Golden State, as did Kemba Walker. And MKG continues to look like a cornerstone player for a team (but not necessarily franchise?), because even in tonight’s somewhat disappointing performance (for him), Kidd-Gilchrist showed a variety of ways to score around the basket and they didn’t rely on transition or put-backs, which was the rap on him coming into the draft from some corners.