Charlotte Bobcats vs. Cavaliers, 11/27/09
Please Let This Be Real
The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 94-87, on Friday night at the Cable Box. AP story here, box score here. The Cats improve to 6-9 overall and 6-2 at home. After losing 7 straight — the last three of those with newly-acquired Stephen Jackson in the lineup — the Bobcats came home to Charlotte and have reeled off three straight wins. In these three wins, the Cats are averaging 104.6 PPG while holding their opponents to 85.3 PPG. Just sayin…
The Bobcats pulled away late in the first quarter and never trailed again as the Cavs could never get a sustained run going. The Cats scored 94 points despite a meager 12-point 4th quarter and no field goals for the last 9 minutes; it was enough because they played fantastic defense throughout.
Gerald Wallace went for 31 points (9-14 FG, 3-7 3PT, 10-14 FT), 14 rebounds and 3 steals; in doing so he became the first Bobcat to get 30/10 in consecutive games. This is even more special because he did it against Lebron. Generally, Crash has been somewhat overwhelmed by guarding King James, often getting into foul trouble and being taken out of his comfort zone. But Crash set the tone early with a big drive by and dunk on Lebron in the first quarter. He kept it up from there, even hitting three 3s in the third quarter.
On the other hand, it was Lebron who got into foul trouble and looked out of his comfort zone. Three considerations here: 1) Gerald Wallace was forcing him to play defense on the other end, 2) Bron came up with a gimpy foot/ankle after an early drive — maybe it continued to bother him, and 3) Shaq was back in the lineup for the Cavs, and he is not good for Lebron. Seriously, when the ball goes in to Shaq, everything just stops for the Cavs offense. He’s so big he clogs up the middle, thus preventing Lebron from operating there.
Now in the past, defending Shaq required sending a double-team. This would obviously open things back up for a player like Lebron. However, the Bobcats were steadfast and rarely sent a doubler, generally letting Nazr Mohammed guard Shaq by himself. Shaq got a few buckets in the post (5-11 FG) but they seemed to be at the expense of letting Lebron (and thus the rest of the team) really get into the flow of the game. I haven’t watched enough of the Cavs this year to know, but I’m guessing this “no doubling of Shaq” is a trend around the league. Maybe explains why the Cavs are 5-1 without Shaq, but only 6-4 with him.
The Cavs do not have “the look” like they did last year. Last year they were simultaneously loose as hell (the pregame pantomimed portraits) and super-intense, stepping on the throats of teams like the Bobcats and never letting up.
By the way, anyone notice that “Cavaliers” is one of those words that gets more and more strange the more you consider it, look at it, say it? What percentage of NBA players could describe what a “Cavalier” is. Wait, can I? Are “Cavaliers” actually cavalier? And if so, why would you make your mascot a Cavalier?
Various And Sundry
- Officially this one goes down as a sellout, but there were numerous empty seats around. Having said that, the atmosphere was awesome and the game was more fun than the Curb finale. And I love nothing more than sending bandwagon and transplanted fans of Boston, Cleveland, etc. home with a loss.
- In addition to extending their winning streak to three, the Cats also broke a seven game losing streak to the Cavs.
- Boris Diaw looks to be fading as Stephen Jackson becomes more acclimated. Maybe it’s better for Boris to not be counted on for so much, maybe he’s got a nagging injury, or maybe he becomes trade bait if this keeps up?
- The Tyson Chandler/Nazr Mohammed situation continues to be an interesting conundrum. Tyson got an early hook after picking up a quick foul in the first quarter, then didn’t start the second half. His back is clearly still bugging him, and he finished with just 2 points, 3 rebounds and 4 fouls in 18 minutes. Nazr continued his strong play with 13 points (5-7 FG) and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes. Nazr had a far better game, right? Check the +/-, though: Tyson with a +9, Naz with a -6. Wha?
- Derrick Brown continues to get minutes (20 tonight) and, aside from some shaky free throw shooting (2-6 FT), continues to show promise.
- Ambien + alcohol = what happened to Tiger. Bet me.
- Reminder, follow me and ASChin on Twitter. Between the two of us, we’re live-tweeting most of the games as well as adding other Bobcats-related thoughts when you least expect it.
- Speaking of ASChin, he’ll be at the helm for recap duty tomorrow night as the Bobcats head to D.C. to face the Wizards (7 PM ET).