Charlotte Bobcats vs. Nets, 11/2/09
The Bobcats move to 2-2 (2-0 at home) with an ugly victory over the Nets: AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell story here. Quick caveat/reminder here: I was out of town for the first three games and only saw highlights/recaps/boxscores, so this was my first full game. I say that because I hadn’t realized just how offensively challenged the Cats were. I mean, I knew on an intellectual level, but to see it in person is horrifyingly reinforcing.
At home, against a fellow Eastern Conference lottery team missing its best player (Devin Harris), the Cats struggled mightily out of the gate. After 9 minutes of the first quarter, the Cats had more turnovers than points, but only trailed 12-4. Both teams picked it up a bit in the second quarter, with the Nets maintaining an 8 point cushion at the half. Then, halfway through the third quarter, the Nets began a stretch of ineptitude that made the Bobcats slow start look like child’s play. With the score 48-39, the Nets would not score for over 9 minutes, whilst the Bobcats practically exploded for a 24-0 run and a 63-48 lead. From there, the Cats would coast to victory.
To say it was all ineptitude on the Nets’ part would be disingenuous — the Cats did play very good defense during the stretch. And Gerald Wallace had a strong game, eventually totalling 24 points (7-14 FG, 10-13 FT), 20 rebounds (7 offensive) and 4 steals. DJ came to life with 21 points. But that’s it for the positives. Otherwise, this was a dreadful game between two bad teams that was hard to watch.
The Bobcats shot 24-74 for 32% and 1-15 from 3PT. Raja Bell returned to the lineup with a 1-8 night; Radmanovic shot 0-7. Diaw’s line looks OK, but we need him to be contributing more. Both he and Chandler look like they are going at 80-90% and need to round into mid-season form pronto. Despite not getting much from Bell, Radmanovic, Felton or Graham, Gerald Henderson only played 4 minutes.
As currently configured (and barring Flip Murray going for a career best 16+ PER and 25+MPG or Gerald Henderson turning into Brandon Roy) the Bobcats aren’t going to sniff the playoffs this year. Sorry, Baseliners, just isn’t going to happen. We just had to play our starters/veterans extended minutes with a superhuman effort by Gerald Wallace to eek by the Nets (who were without their best player and are essentially rebuilding with a shot at getting Lebron next summer) in an excruciatingly ugly game. That’s where we are.
- Weeks ago, without looking at the schedule, I had written something about wondering what the attendance would be for the first Mon/Tues night game against a non-marquee Eastern Conference team. We got our answer tonight: no more than 5,000. That’s generous; upper deck was almost completely empty.
- Both Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson were at the game. MJ in his usual seat at the end of the bench, BJ at midcourt (at least for the first half, didn’t come back out for second half). Must be a weird dynamic there. Conspiracy theory: Jordan puts this crummy team on the court, knowing that it drives BJ’s selling price down, maybe so low that he can buy controlling stake? Conspiracy theory falls apart as it presupposes that Jordan has a clue what he’s doing in helping to put the roster together. He’s never shown that he does.
- During a particularly grueling stretch in the 2nd quarter, a fan in the section behind the Bobcats bench yelled for Jordan to sub himself into the game (yes, you can hear this stuff when there’s only a few thousand people in the arena). Everyone in section cheers and laughs, Jordan puts his head in his hands and chuckles.
- Raymond-hating note of the game: Raymond gets home-cooking on his turnover numbers. Late in the second quarter, I had an unofficial count of 5 Raymond Felton turnovers — official count at the time was 3. I may have to start paying closer attention to this. It is noteworthy, as Raymond’s official totals on the year are 18 assists:20 turnovers. For comparison, Aaron Brooks’ ratio for the year is 34:14. Just sayin…
- Be sure to check out our Twitter feeds for more thoughts, including plenty of in-game tweeting: mine and ASChin’s.
- A few days off before the next game, hosting the Hawks at the Cable Box on Friday night at 7PM ET.