Bobcats Cruise To Victory Over T-Wolves

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Charlotte Bobcats vs T-Wolves, 3/24/10

The Charlotte Bobcats rode Stephen Jackson’s 37 points to a relatively easy victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-95, on Wednesday night at the Cable Box.

AP recap here | Box score here

Though the Bobcats began a relatively easy stretch in the schedule last night in Washington DC, you wouldn’t have known it by watching the Cats ugly overtime victory against the Wizards.  But tonight, at home against the Timberwolves, the Cats took care of business like a playoff team should.

After a loose first 17 minutes or so of the game in which little defense was played, the T-Wolves had opened up a 9 point lead at 43-34.  But over the next 6 minutes, the Bobcats turned the defensive intensity way up, blocking shots and forcing turnovers en route to a dominating 20-0 run.

A Ramon Sessions bucket with under a minute left in the half finally stopped the bleeding for the T-Wolves, but the damage had been done.  The Cats had exerted their dominance; they took a 10-point lead into halftime and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

Jack Is Back (?)

Stephen Jackson’s recent struggles have been well-documented.  He’s shooting 37% from the field in the last 10 games — that includes a brutal 13-53 (24.5%) from 3-point distance over the period.  He’s finally revealed that he has a nagging left hand injury that may be contributing and warned that it will likely continue to bother him.

But that was all forgotten tonight.  Jack came out on fire, hitting his first three shots on the way to 17 first quarter points.  He finished with 37 (15-24 FG, 4-6 3PT, 3-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.  Good riddance to Jack’s slump.

We can’t expect 30+ every night from Jack, but if we can get 25+ AND play the kind of defense that was on display in the second quarter, the Cats may very well make some noise in the playoffs.

Tidbits

  • The win runs the Bobcats record to 37-34 overall and 26-8 at home.  We’re back in a tie with Miami for the 6th spot currently, and get the nod as we hold the tiebreaker over them.
  • Gerald Wallace: 23 points on 9-16 FG, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks
  • Raymond Felton: 16 points on 8-10 FG, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 8 assists/0 turnovers
  • Larry Hughes came off the bench for 14 minutes; he looked a little better tonight, but still awfully rusty overall.  If he can work himself into game shape over the next few weeks (same goes for Nazr) we’ll have quite the deep bench for the playoffs.
  • Next game is Friday night at the Cable Box against the Wizards, who have now lost 13 in a row and continue to deal with distractions.  I’ll be there and tweeting as usual.

-Dr. E

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10 Responses to “Bobcats Cruise To Victory Over T-Wolves”

  1. Ross
    March 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Dr. E, I get that point. But it's not a matter of playing a ton of minutes, more a matter of playing the better player. Graham played solid when his number was called, give him those 14 minutes, and let Hughes get some DNP's. It's a little late in the season to be evaluating the roster and rotations. Like I said before, I don't like the 7-8 man rotation. Come playoff time when you need bench guys to give you valuable minutes, you don't want inexperience to catch up with the team. Graham's been on team since Sept. Hughes has been around a couple weeks. Graham is better than Hughes.

  2. mike15
    March 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    I agree 100% w/ Ross.

    Maybe Larry Brown is evaluating what he can get from Hughes. Stevie Graham would have double Hughes' offensive output and played far better defense last night. The decision not to play him probably was more about roster management than truly trying to put the best players on the court.

    It doesn't look like Stephen Jackson is going to get much time to rest on this homestand, either.

  3. Dr. E
    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Don't anyone worry about Stephen Graham. He's a grown-ass man who understands that his role on the team is as a tough utility swingman. Sure, he has pride and he'd love to start and play 30 minutes a game, but I'd bet that he's cool knowing that that's probably only ever going to happen in special circumstances (i.e. injury to Gerald Wallace).

    That's why LB wanted him here — he's a pro's pro who will accept his role, stay ready, and produce competently when needed.

  4. Ross
    March 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Anybody wanna tell me why Graham plays solid in Wallace’s absence and Hughes gots those minutes when Wallace came back? Hasn’t Graham paid his dues with this team? I don’t like that one bit. Larry Hughes was a decent name in the NBA 5 or 6 years ago. As for a deep bench in the playoffs, wouldn’t you want to get those guys some minutes now, I mean a 7-8 man rotation is not going to take you very far.

  5. Ross
    March 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    yeah i said “gots”

  6. spectre
    March 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Per Bonnell LB is just trying to get Hughes acclimated to the team and is actually feeling "guilty" about Graham not getting PT in the last 4 games.

    I'm sure Graham knows that, and when push comes to shove he'll probably be the guy getting the minutes.

  7. ASChin
    March 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Have to say, never saw the heated "Get Stephen Graham More Playing Time" debate coming.

    This is all the outcome of finally having a talented roster in Charlotte. Just think, a couple of years back the team was playing Adam Morrison, Jeff McInnis and Ryan Hollins. Now we can barely get 2nd rounder Derrick Brown off the pine and he's proven his ability to play at this level. Same goes for Graham and to a lesser extent Henderson.

    Agree with his tactics or not, Larry Brown is getting this team into the Playoffs for the first time in history. He has helped transform Gerald Wallace into an AllStar, helped refine Raymond Felton into a legitimate starting PG and resurrected the careers of big men Nazr Mohammed and Theo Ratliff.

    We're in good shape.

  8. mike15
    March 26, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    I can't believe no one has made mention of the highly-anticipated, epic face-off of Ryan Hollins vs. Tyson Chandler on Wednesday night! This was a rare opportunity to see two lanky, erratic, high-energy 7-footers go head-to-head at the Cable Box.

    If only Ajinca had the chance to get on the court. Instead, I saw him helping the water boy by passing out gatorade to Jackson and Wallace at the end of the game.

    Does anyone know the official word on Nazr's actual injury? Did Coach Brown just get everything he had left in the first 45 games and now he's depleted? Hope we can ride out Ratliff for another 45.

  9. leroy
    March 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    for the situation of stephen graham, wouldnt LB just trying to make sure the team is ready for the playoffs?
    since graham had already shown his value and hughes had only been here for few weeks, wouldnt it be better if both guys are both in shape during the playoff? hughes needed those minutes to get back into the rhythm and graham is always ready for the show time, things will just be better in the playoff if both players come in handy in goood shape, as long as we are winning…why not?

  10. Dr. E
    March 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, leroy.

    Graham is good to go, anytime. We need to see what we have with Hughes.

    Go Cats.

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