Charlotte Bobcats vs Nuggets, 12/8/09
Can We Please Take This Show On The Road?
The Bobcats played perhaps their best game of the season on Tuesday night at the Cable Box in defeating the Denver Nuggets 107-95. AP story here, box score here. The Bobcats improve to 9-11 (8-3 at home) while Denver falls to 16-6 and has their four-game win streak snapped.
This was a well-played, fun-to-watch, close game that was played at Denver’s pace. The stars were out as Carmelo Anthony went for 34 points and 7 rebounds, while Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace paced the Cats with 25 apiece.
The game was tied at 87 with 5 minutes left; the Cats went on a quick 8-2 run at that point, highlighted by two tough buckets by Raymond Felton. The Nuggets were on the ropes at that point, but the Cats didn’t completely put them away until Stephen Jackson drew a shooting foul on Carmelo with under a minute left. Carmelo eventually drew a tech for arguing the call, and Jackson hit all three free throws to extend the lead to nine.
The Nuggets missed the toughness of Kenyon Martin, who is out with a dislocated pinkie, and were a bit road weary after coming in from Philadelphia last night; but this was still an important win over a very good team.
I mentioned Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace scoring 25 points apiece above, but both stuffed the stat sheets in other ways: Wallace had 16 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block to stuff the stat sheet. Better yet, the home crowd is starting to take notice of Gerald’s herculean effort on the boards this year, cheering the individual rebounds. Jackson had seven rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Raymond Felton played another strong game with 14 points (6-7 FG, 2-2 3PT) 3 assists vs 1 turnover, and 6 steals, while Nazr Mohammed continued his strong play off the bench with 15 points (9-10 FT) and 5 rebounds.
It remains to be seen whether the Bobcats can parlay this strong showing into some road wins this weekend. The Cat are abysmal on the road (1-8) and have a dreaded Texas back-to-back coming up: San Antonio on Friday night, Dallas on Saturday. While neither the Spurs nor the Mavs are as fearsome as they’ve been in the past, both are still formidable.
- DJ played 12 minutes after logging DNP-CDs in the previous two games. It wasn’t the scintillating bounce-back game I was hoping for, though. In his first half stint, DJ was outplayed and frankly bullied by Ty Lawson. DJ’s stint in the second half was slightly better.
- Roy Williams was in the “Bob Johnson Seats” again to watch Lawson. And the Bobcats, I’m sure he really loves the Bobcats, too.
- Tyson Chandler, in his 9th year in the league, apparently still does not understand what does and doesn’t constitute a foul. He is an absolute magnet for picking up off-the-ball fouls, often when setting screens on offense or trying to play post defense. The offensive ones are particularly troubling, because the Bobcats just can’t afford to give up possessions like that. He can’t stay on the floor due to the foul trouble (only 13 minutes tonight), which is well and good, as the team looks better with Nazr in the post anyways.
- The Cats were 31-37 from the free throw line tonight, with 3 players (Wallace, Jack and Nazr) all hitting at least 8 free throws.
- The Bobcats get some love from Hollinger’s Playoff Odds Formula, which debuted on Tuesday and is currently projecting us as the 6th seed.
- Is this the year that Gerald Wallace becomes the first Bobcats to make the All-Star team? If he can maintain his status as the league’s leading rebounder (tough with Bosh and Howard nipping at his heels) there’s no way they can deny him, right?
- I’ve got a couple extra tickets to the Saturday, December 19th game against the Jazz — good seats, too. I’ll be giving them away via Twitter sometime this weekend, so you best be following me.
- Next game is Friday night in San Antonio, 8:30 PM ET start.