Bobcats Destroy Heat For Ninth Straight Home Win

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Charlotte Bobcats vs Heat, 1/20/10

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The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Miami Heat 104-65 on Wednesday night at the Cable Box to improve to 21-19 and move into 5th place in the Eastern Conference.  AP recap here, box score here.  The win represents the largest margin of victory (39) and the least points allowed (65) in Bobcats history and caps off a perfect 6-0 home stand.  The Bobcats are 9-1 in 2010 and officially the hottest team in the NBA.

How weird is that to read?  It is extremely strange for me to type.  Not all 9 victories in the new year have been totally impressive (just Monday the Bobcats barely withstood a furious rally to eke by the Kings), but for the most part, the Cats deserve every bit of being called the hottest team in the NBA.  They are playing defense at a playoff, maybe championship level.  They have not just defeated some good teams (Spurs, Suns, Heat), they have destroyed them, broken their will.

Much like the win over the Suns last Saturday night, this one was essentially over after an amazing first quarter.  The Bobcats swarmed on defense and shot the lights out on offense for a 38-17 lead after 12 minutes (Jackson had 15, Nazr 10 of those 38).  The Cats shot 14-18 (82%) to set a franchise record for FG% in a quarter.   Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, sensing that his team was in danger of being totally overwhelmed, called 3 timeouts in the opening frame.  Alas, it did no good.  He could neither break the Bobcats’ momentum, nor get his own squad going.

The rest of the game was spent calmly watching out for a Heat run (ala the Kings game on Monday) that never came, then hoping that the starters would be able to get some rest down the stretch.  Indeed they were able to.  Stephen Jackson finished with 24 points (7-10 FG, 10-12 FT) in 33 minutes; Raymond Felton had 14 points (6-8 FG) and 5 assists in 27 minutes; Nazr Mohammed had 16 points (6-9 FG) and 10 rebounds in just 16 minutes.

You might look at Gerald Wallace’s line and wonder what all the fuss about his supposedly sprained ankle was for.  Wallace’s availability was the subject of several Bonnell blog posts in the past couple days and a couple of Tweets from me today, yet he went for 20 points (5-11 FG, 8-8 FT), 10 rebounds and 5 blocks in 36 minutes.  However, I will submit that Gerald was actually taking it a bit easy on the bum ankle tonight, especially on offense.  Seriously, he settled for several jump shots and was rather passive on that end of the court.  And still ended up with 20 points.  All-Star.

Bullets

  • No one showed up for the Heat.  Superstar Dwyane Wade was held to 16 points on 6-16 FG by Stephen Jackson.  He was further dismayed when he had to share the court with Joel Anthony and Dorell Wright at times.
  • BobcatsBreak has postgame video on lock.
  • Raymond Felton continues to play amazing defense.  Defense in the NBA is undeniably a team thing, but still, Raymond deserves particular praise.
  • Gana Diop had an intersting game: 17 minutes, 7 rebounds, a steal, a huge block and 6 fouls for the DQ.  And 0 points.
  • If you’re feeling scroogey and looking for any negative, look no further than Acie Law.  He played the last 8 minutes of junk time and was dreadful.  I don’t see any way he’s in the league next year.
  • Next game is Friday night in Atlanta, 7:30 PM start.  Good chance to measure ourselves against a team ahead of us in the standings.
  • Then the Cats are back home on Saturday night to face Superman and the Magicians (7PM start).  I am expecting the biggest crowd of the year — let’s sell this one out, folks.  We’ve got the hottest team in the NBA, we’re facing an elite opponent, and it’s the last home game before a Western Conference road trip — no excuse not to make it out to the game.

-Dr. E

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9 Responses to “Bobcats Destroy Heat For Ninth Straight Home Win”

  1. Cameron
    January 21, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    It was fun this morning to see the Bobcats at #4 on Hollinger's Power Rankings and at a 98% chance to make the Playoffs:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffod

  2. reggie
    January 21, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    wow. never thought id see the day that the Cats become a somewhat consistant squad on a nightly basis.

    i also never thought id see the day that ASChin accredits Tyson Chandler on this site.

    i hope the Cats can stay this competitive on the road, espicially against a tough Hawks squad. a win in the ATL would not only give us some more legitimacy, but we would then assert ourselves as a top 5 team in the east.

    i saw attendance was recorded at 14,000. any chance the bandwaggon is rolling?

  3. Luke
    January 21, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    " I am expecting the biggest crowd of the year — let’s sell this one out, folks."

    I'll be there, and hoping for another divisional smackdown.

  4. ASChin
    January 21, 2010 at 5:18 am #

    I tweeted it earlier but will say it again here:
    Longtime Bobcats fans deserved (and earned) this win.

    Big props to Larry Brown. I lost faith early on when the team was laying stink bombs on the road (Dr. E covers most home games, leaving me with a 3-15 road squad) but this latest stretch not only has me drinking the Kool-Aid but I’ve already dumped my family and bought a one way ticket to Guyana.

    Bobcats might be the only good team in the Eastern Conference with zero “me-first” players. Raymond has become the team’s Phil Hartman – the “glue” that hold everything together (seeing that Hartman is a god of comedy, I can’t think of a higher compliment).

    Too bad Tyson has either been injured or lost. A healthy, engaged Chandler could springboard the Bobcats into Top 4.

    Be that as it may, Larry Brown is making a case for Coach of the Year, Wallace should be an All-Star, Raymond is playing at a $7-$8 million per year level, Diop has suddenly gone from being an unmitigated disaster to a mild catastrophe, and Nazr has gone from cap killer to untradeable asset. Who knew?

  5. Newsinz
    January 21, 2010 at 5:18 am #

    I found it very interesting looking at Wade's demeanor throughout most of the game. He looked REALLY bummed out, with almost a "I am SO out of here next year" expression on his face. Maybe it was just the blowout loss that had him so despondent. 39 point losses sure are hard to swallow.

    Speaking of things I thought I'd never see, no one could have convinced me last year, or even at the beginning of this season, that we'd see the day when Nazr would be making huge contributions night in and night out. Is it a stretch to say he's the best center we've ever had? Great shot selection, great hustle on defense (which can be said for the entire team), and watch his mannerisms at the end of the half last night, congratulating his teammates shortly after the Flip-assisted dunk by Diaw. Pure swagger.

    Depending on how we fare on this road trip, home court advantage in the 1st round is a very obtainable goal…I love how simply making the playoffs is slowly becoming an afterthought.

    GO CATS!

  6. julius
    January 21, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Are they gonna break out the NASCAR jerseys again?

  7. Bcat2.0
    January 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    The Old guy pimping in the Orange suit was priceless. You need good entertainment in the second half of a blowout. what moves

  8. Bcat2.0
    January 22, 2010 at 4:20 am #

    I agree with you 100% about Rays D he is probably playing the best D at PG of anyone. I think he deserves an all Deffensive Team bid. He's shooting the ball very well and he comes up big down the stretch. Hopefully we get him resigned. Hottest team in the league it sounds so good! If we keep playing D at this level we can do some damage in the playoffs.

  9. laddyda
    January 22, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    bobcats > 96 bulls

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