Clippers Decimate Road-Weary Bobcats

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Believe it or not, this defense did not stop Blake Griffin. (AP Photo)

Recap | Box Score

It was a rough game tonight, from the beginning to the final buzzer.

Immediately after the tipoff, Los Angeles Clippers color-commentator, Ralph Lawler, called the Charlotte NBA team the “Charlotte Hornets” and their play-by-play guy, Michael Smith, said the coach was “Pete” Silas.

And though that didn’t have any impact on the game, it should have warned me that I was in for a bumpy Bobcats game that would end with them losing 103-88, ending the Bobcats’ three-game road win streak.

The real damage was done by Blake Griffin tonight, as everyone should have known. Coming into the game, I was a little worried that the Bobcats didn’t have a power forward as strong or athletic to defend Griffin.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers in the first half with an array of highlights, including an eye-popping 360 degree, reverse layup en route to 19 first-half points. The tired Bobcats simply couldn’t keep up and fell behind to a huge deficit in the third quarter. Then, like the young team they are, the Clippers let the Bobcats make a comeback effort, led by the bench. However, after the lead reached 11 points, L.A. regained their focus and beat the weary road opponents (JUST AS I PREDICTED).

Boris Diaw and whoever else tried to defend Griffin just could not control him. Whether it was Griffin’s strong post moves, his quickness, or his amazing leaping ability and fervor for getting rebounds, no Bobcats player could defend him at all. In fact, most of his mistakes were unforced, including a huge missed dunk. He would end the night with 24 points and 10 rebounds on 11-23 shooting. Admittedly, it’s not the most efficient stat line, but his presence was felt on every play. The Bobcats began to double-team him – in the second quarter. He was that good. And the only player who had a good shot at defending him was injured (Tyrus Thomas).

But I can’t just put all of the loss on Griffin’s night. The Bobcats were on the tail end of a back-to-back with this being their fourth game in a six-game road trip. The Clippers, on the other hand, last played on Wednesday. The effect was enormous. Charlotte came out at a decent clip, but faded fast, unable to keep up with the Clippers’ pace and energy. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter, when Silas let loose the bench players, that the Bobcats regained any type of offensive scoring.

The Bobcats starters were simply atrocious, except for Stephen Jackson, who seems to have emerged from his January slump. Jackson went for 15 points on 5-11 shooting from the field, but the rest of the starters combined for 9-30 FG and 29 points. The fatigue was obviously overwhelming, considering the Bobcats had just finished an overtime thriller the previous night. Many shots were short and the Bobcats were lazy with their passing. D.J. Augustin, who has been outstanding as of recently, finished with four assists and three turnovers. As a team, the Bobcats had 17 turnovers.

The bench played admirably, reeling in a 25-point deficit to 11 with 7:37 to go in the fourth, but L.A. regained their focus and squished the Bobcats like an annoying mosquito. Gerald Henderson continued to show his talent, pouring in 14 points on only six field goal attempts. Shaun Livingston just had an awful night, hitting no shots from the field and turning the ball over three times. However, he did get to the line for six free throws, all of which he made. Derrick Brown had five points and five rebounds and Matt Carroll scored eight points all in garbage time. Nazr Mohammed was also effective off the bench with five points and 5 rebounds.

The Clippers were also led by Baron Davis (12 points, 11 assist, 6 rebounds), Randy Foye (21 points, 4 three-pointers, 4 steals, 2 blocks), and Ryan Gomes (6-8 FG, 3-4 3P, 18 points).

The Bobcats continue on their six-game road trip on Monday against the Utah Jazz.

By the way, get your tickets for the Clippers when they come to Charlotte now.

DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS, TRUST ME. (AP Photo)

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.

Feeling Nostalgic? Charlotte Considers Baron Davis

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Baron Davis - Charlotte Hornets

Well, the Cats are in the course of another mid-season overhaul after the departure of Larry Brown. It looks like owner Michael Jordan had seen enough of the losing, and had been pushed to the limit of bickering with Brown about how to run this team. Now, the Bobcats have made the low-risk decision to give Paul Silas a chance to show us if he can still coach at an NBA level. We’re still not sure how the team will respond to the change or Silas’ style, but it’s clear that the team wasn’t going to play any better under Larry Brown. It should be nice for Jordan to have a grateful coach around for a while. I’m sure Silas will have his opinions, but it’s likely that he’ll work to say all the right things in order to get a real contract after this season.

Now, it looks like a few more changes are on the horizon for Charlotte basketball. Yahoo! Sports’ full-time “hater” and NBA columnist, Adrian Wojnarowski just typed and published a report about a potential trade between the Bobcats and the L.A. Clippers. So for all of you out there needing a little more nostalgia about the old (ex-Charlotte) Hornets, an early Christmas present might be coming to town – former fan-favorite, and always-injured point guard Baron Davis! Yep, Paul Silas reuniting with Baron Davis. Probably didn’t see that coming in 2010-2011, did you?

Wojnarowski’s  rumor goes like this – Bobcats will send promising offensive talent D.J. Augustin, misfit shooter Matt Carroll, and rarely-used backup center Desagana Diop to the Los Angeles Clippers. In return, the Los Angeles Clippers will send Baron Davis, an aging, injury-riddled point guard that is about a decade past his prime. Don’t get me wrong, here. I really loved watching Davis play in his last season in Golden State. He was dominant during their Playoff run, and so was J-Rich, and so was Stephen Jackson. But, that train has left and none of those players are what they were as a team several seasons back.

I’m excited about the coaching change for the team. Considering the state of things, I’m open to changes on the roster, too. But, taking on a player with a big contract at the end of his career seems like a big mistake. Nothing can go well in a trade between organizations as confused as the Clippers and the Bobcats. Two wrongs, can’t make a right. Can they?

-Mike