Baseline Observations : Cats vs Knicks 3.7.2009

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Charlotte Bobcats Defeat New York Knicks

SIX IN THE CITY
Bobcats get their first win against the Knicks this season 114 – 105. Even more impressively, they set a club record with their sixth consecutive win as they chase the final slot for the Eastern Conference Playoff roster.

Box Score  |  Recap (A.P.)

The Bobcats assumed control of the game within the first few minutes and held on despite the Knicks pace of play.  A strong start of three point shooting and avoiding turnovers put the Cats ahead by double digits before the Knicks forced three consecutive turnovers – scoring off of each. In the close of the first and leading into the second quarter, the Bobcats second unit with DJ Augustin, Desagana Diop and Vlade Radmanovich let the Knicks back into the game by giving up a run of quick scores without answering.  New York held the lead briefly before Diaw, Wallace, and Okafor returned to push Charlotte into the lead.

At the half, New York trailed only by two due to a huge 20pt half by Al Harrington and an infusion of offensive energy by Nate Robinson off of the bench.  The second half started with a quick series of lead exchanges, but Charlotte found their flow offensively just as the Knicks seemed to lose their legs.  The strong perimeter shooting that NY showcased in the first half disappeared and they provided no interior threat to counter Okafor and Wallace.  

Big Win

Mike D’Antoni’s system is incredibly entertaining and seeing the Bobcats succeed against their style makes for an exciting game.  Still, it’s more impressive that the Cats were able to run with the Knicks on the second game of their back-to-back (following Friday’s game against the Hawks).  There was far less media coverage of this visit back to the Garden by Larry Brown.  While it wasn’t a hyped rematch (both teams below .500), Brown valued the win after the game –  ”I’m really pleased…we played backed to back and they have had a lot of rest in the last week or so. ”  Actually, it looks like the Knicks have run out of gas at this point in the season.  They’ve made a lot of moves this year and while the Cats are addressing immediate ways to improve their club, New York has maneuvered themselves toward the 2010 free agent auction and have simultaneously selected parts for D’Antoni’s system.  Despite the state of their roster, the Knicks had only played twice in the last week and had plenty of time to rest and plan for Charlotte on their home court.  If the Cats are seriously aiming of the Playoffs, then this was the kind of game that they needed to win.

The Winning Streak

Over the course of the current winning streak the Bobcats have carried and expressed a tone of confidence on the court. This maturing assuredness continued at Madison Square Garden despite a few serious runs by the Knicks throughout the contest. The Cats are playing at a strong professional level and seem to be dedicated on their improvement as a team. In a post-game interview, Gerald Wallace stated that the team peeks at the Playoff hunt but focus most of their attention on improving their play. This sounds like an extension of Larry Brown’s process-driven philosophy – play the right way and success will come.

Footnotes :

Former Duke basketball stand-out Alaa Abdelnaby was a guest analyst for the Bobcats television coverage of the game.  He handled the commentary duties well and only played “homer” to the Cats late in the second half.  Thankfully, he did little to reference his playing days (ala Henry Williams).  

As of March 8, 2009 – the Charlotte Bobcats are one game out of the 8th and final spot for the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

6 Responses to “Baseline Observations : Cats vs Knicks 3.7.2009”

  1. Jaxon
    March 8, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    Muggsy looked like an oompa loompa beside Steve Martin.

    Ray Ray had some big plays against ATL. Not to beat a dead horse, but I still can't see DJ replacing him yet. Regardless of stats or turn overs, Ray just seems to make big plays when it counts. He is the Cat's Jake Delhomme…

    … minus the playoff debacle. I hope!

  2. reggie
    March 8, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    ooooo please dont say jake delhomme…… you could have said steve smith….

    but great win last night. i wish i could actually watch the games though (piece of crap cable deal is screwing me over). but people can go with that "lopez and chalmers > augistine and ajinca" argument, but im putting my trust in larry and hopefully he had the insight with those picks. imma blame the rookie wall on augistine though.

  3. E
    March 8, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    I got to see the second half of the game — another encouraging win for the Cats.

    And I agree that Abdelnaby was pretty good as the guest analyst. Did anyone watch the Atlanta game on TV? How was Muggsy?

    Actually, don't answer that.

  4. Deesdale
    March 8, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    E: Muggsy had some execution issues with some big words…including the word "execution".

    Reggie: Raymond is going to do a "show me the chicken" commercial for Bojangles to solidify his Jake-ness.

    Jaxon: Don't worry about beating the dead horse…these RaymondHaters have already beat it into oblivion. They didn't even mention his zero turnovers against the Hawks.

  5. Jaxon
    March 9, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    Dees… I heard another nickname for Frenchy today… "Tha French Lurch".

    And I want to hear his deep, thick, french accent in the Bojangles commercial say "Yuh complee me".

  6. reggie
    March 10, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    hey, anybody see walter herman (yea, fabio) the other night with that sick reverse? reminds me of the bickerstaff era.

    i will admit, herman can play. it be great to have him back. but then with vlade its like the same thing though id say herman is a bit more physical…

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