Bobcats Can’t Handle Magic; Go Down 0-2

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Charlotte Bobcats @ Magic Game 2, 4/21/10


The Orlando Magic scored another definitive victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, 92-77, in Game 2 of their first round playoff series on Wednesday night.  Stephen Jackson led the Bobcats with 27 and keyed a fourth quarter rally that briefly made things interesting late, but the Magic ultimately led wire to wire, putting all five starters in double figures.

AP recap here |  Box score here

This one had an even uglier start than Game 1.  8 minutes into the first quarter, the two teams had only combined for 16 points; problem was, the Cats only had three of those.  Fortunately, the Cats got a few buckets to make the count a not-quite-as-embarrassing 18-14 after the first quarter.

But frankly, the damage had been done.  Orlando’s zone-ish defense rendered the Cats offense (not exactly potent to begin with) into a bogged-down, turnover-filled mess.  The Cats finished the game with 21 turnovers, and no one outside of Stephen Jackson ever figured out how to score.

The fact that the Bobcats  play some pretty good defense themselves kept the game reasonable; the Cats were only down 11 at the half, and cut the lead to 8 with 3:15 left in the game before succumbing.

The Magic simply had too many weapons tonight.  Though Dwight Howard was held to a modest line (15 points on 5-10 FG/5-12 FT, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks) he was absolutely dominant for a stretch early in the third quarter that set the tone for the rest of the second half.

Vince Carter, infamous for shrinking into a jump-shooter when the going gets tough, had smooth sailing into the paint all night long, resulting in 9-11 free throws.  (As a team, the Magic shot 35 free throws.)

Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson were solid and reliable, if unspectacular, while Mickael Pietrus and Ryan Anderson provided an onslaught of threes off the bench, combining for 5-7 from distance.

There were almost no silver linings for the Bobcats in this one.  The late run that cut the deficit to 8 was intriguing for a minute, but rationally you knew it was too little, too late.  Nazr did show some signs of life (5-6 FG for 10 points in 16 minutes).

But basically, I’m grasping at straws here.  The only one that may be worth a damn is simply that the Cats have played much better at home this year and Games 3 and 4 are in Charlotte.  The Cats had the biggest home/road record differential amongst all the playoff teams this year, for no reason that anyone could logically explain.  At this point, I’d give up trying to explain it if I could just see it for Games 3 and 4.

Tidbits

  • Apologies for recycling my Twitter posts, but is anyone else getting the same feeling they used to get watching Jeff McInnis a couple of years ago when watching Larry Hughes these days?
  • Raymond Felton and Boris Diaw have been frustratingly ineffective, as have Hughes and Tyrus Thomas off the bench.
  • The Cats have a couple of days to stew on this one.  Game 3 is on Saturday afternoon at 2PM ET at the Cable Box.

-Dr. E

10 thoughts on “Bobcats Can’t Handle Magic; Go Down 0-2

  1. Jason

    Yeah. This was definitely one of the worst performances I've ever seen from a professional basketball team, especially at the playoff level.

    Here's to hoping the Aircats can take the next two at home.

  2. Yeah, the main problem is that 77 points just isn't going to get it done in the NBA, much less the Playoffs.

    Nothing against the Magic – they are a quality defensive team – but this speaks more to the Bobcats inability to score than it does to their opponent.

    I was kind of waiting to see it this was going to happen. A lot of scouts basically said that the best way to defend the 'Cats was to zone them and DARE the open players to beat you instead of allowing easy shots from inside.

    Let's see how the team plays at home before we completely write them off.

  3. Newsinz

    Out of all the unexpected developments, Ray's playoff shrinkage has been the biggest surprise to me. And, can we quietly remove Ratliff from the starting lineup? He had more fouls (3) than points, rebounds, steals, and assists combined (2). Nazr looked better; either he or Tyson has to start Saturday.

  4. G-Money

    What's up with the Cats sleepwalking thru the 1st Q again? I'll allow the Game slow start to first time Playoff jitters, but c'mon. Larry Brown should pull out his best 'Hoosiers' motivational speech before Game 3 to turn this series around.

  5. Raleigh Bobcats Fan

    Where are you Charlotte? Franchise team is in the playoffs, sure we'll lose, but who cares. Where are the psycho fans and diehards? Nice work on the website, I'm in full support of the Cats, the Queen City has the market to support them, but it seems they want a winning team first. boo to that!

    My thoughts: Larry Brown seasoned coach with playoff exp. keep him. Still need a superstar. Capt. Jack is #2 scorer at best (great shooter, high energy, quick temper: good or bad) but he can't carry the team. G-Force could be, but something's missing. He needs another presence with explosive talent to challenge his game, then you would have a nasty 3 man game. Get rid of Theo and Nazi: Diaw and Tyson C. are awesome 6 men so they stay, but STOP running the offense through them. they aren't decision makers. x-factor is and always will be Tyrus Thomas. my 2 cents.

    Keep your heads up Cats, remember this is Orlando, wicked tough and a lot of teams are golfing right now!

  6. Jjau

    The bobcats will be swept by Orlando. This series has shown how bad a team Charlotte actually is and how how of touch Larry Brown is with the modern game. In a series that saw the bobcats consistently double a guy (Howard) who hadn’t done anything to warrant double teams. A guy who is surrounded by team mates who can hurt you far more than he can. We also got to see exactly how felton would fair against ‘real’ starting point guards yet Brown couldn’t see that in 2 games the task was better suited to Augustin’s speed and agility.

    Jordan has some serious thinking to do and hard calls to make in the off season if we can hope to see a Charlotte team that at least looks like they deserve to be in the playoffs.

  7. Jjau

    Out of touch or just not into Hype… What has Howard done to deserve double teams? Howard won't win a game like a lebron or kobe, he can't shoot free throws and has 2 post moves at best. Winning the dunk comp and blocking shots doesn't mean you need to be double teamed. If Howard gets the ball to take the game winner, you just foul him and send him to the line. If you double him he hits one of 3 three point shooters and you are down 3 instead of two at best. Or they miss the 3 and Orlando gets the board because they dominate the boards…

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