Bobcats Drop to 0-14 All-Time Against Dallas, Lose 101-92

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Shaun Livingston: "Derp." (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Recap | Box Score

Another game against Dallas, another loss.

The Bobcats moved to 0-14 all-time against the Dallas Mavericks with tonight’s 101-92 loss.

The Bobcats, on the tail end of a back-to-back, were stuck with a consistent 12-point deficit (give or take, obviously) for most of the game as their offense only managed to shoot 37.1% from the field while the Mavs shot 46.5%. Dirk Nowitzki headed the Bobcat-Killing Committee once again, with 25 points, including some clutch shots in the fourth quarter. The quintessential Bobcats-Mavs game, if you will.

A slow start for the Bobcats was quelled by an unusual 11-point scoring flash by Boris Diaw. However, after the Mavs compensated for his offensive outbreak, the Bobcats couldn’t find anyone to step up for a while. D.J. Augustin and Stephen Jackson’s shots were off early and the Bobcats fell to a nine-point deficit after the first quarter.

Luckily in the second quarter, Shaun Livingston came alive and had 10 points on six shots. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to help cut into Dallas’ lead as the rest of the Bobcats were wholly ineffective. And that especially extends to the defense, which was atrocious. I can’t even remember how many dunks Tyson Chandler had in the first half (eleventy-jillion?). Augustin could shoulder much of the blame as he couldn’t defend Jose Juan Barea because of Barea’s quick first step. And once Barea, or another Dallas player, got to the interior, the defense again collapsed. The Bobcats weren’t talking to each other, which is an incredibly important part of defensive cohesiveness. Furthermore, Tyson Chandler (in his first game back in Charlotte since being traded) dominated from a rebounding perspective in the first half, grabbing 11 rebounds in the first half alone. Kwame Brown was simply not strong or quick enough to rebound against Chandler. And to make things seem worse, I found that Jackson seemed disinterested.

The third quarter was more of the same for the most part. Barea and Dirk were still hitting their shots. Tyson Chandler was slowed down though, en route to only four second-half rebounds. D.J. Augustin did make an encouraging turnaround after hitting a three-pointer which seemed to instill some confidence in him. He ran with it, completing a three-point play on the next offensive possession and pulling the Bobcats back into the game, somehow. On the other side of things, Stack Jack was doing the opposite. In the third quarter, Jackson was getting quite fussy and even drew a technical foul. I was fairly confident he would get tossed by the end of the night (he didn’t). The third quarter ended with the Bobcats down 16. As Dr. E noted, it just felt like the Bobcats weren’t in it.

In a pleasing turn of events (especially to those who paid to watch this game in person), the fourth quarter was much more entertaining and competitive. Playing much better defense and utilizing better ball movement on offense, the Bobcats cut the Mavs’ lead to six with a minute left. It could have been even closer than that, but the Mavericks had seven offensive rebounds between 10:22 and 5:01 left in the fourth quarter. And even though some of those did not lead to any points for the Mavs, it took time off the clock from the Bobcats’ comeback effort. And in the end, the Bobcats couldn’t muster the energy to complete a comeback, losing by nine.

The Bobcats, now 21-29, play their next game at home against the Celtics (37-12) on Monday at 7 p.m. EST.

Plays of the Night

Shaun Livingston dunk!

There was also a very nice Shaun Livingston to Gerald Wallace alley oop that you can find here.

Stats Leaders:

Bobcats

D.J. Augustin: 7-17 FG, 21 PTS, 2 AST

Gerald Wallace: 6-15 FG, 13 PTS, 11 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK

Stephen Jackson: 5-17 FG, 17 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2 BLK

Mavs

Dirk Nowitzki: 10-19 FG, 25 PTS, 4 REB, 4 BLK

Tyson Chandler: 4-10 FG, 9 PTS, 15 REB, 2 BLK

Jason Terry: 7-14 FG, 21 PTS, 3 AST

- 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.

Bobcats Lose Season Opener in Dallas

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The Bobcats dropped their season opener in Dallas 101-86.  After a miserable start (the Mavs scored the first 16 points of the game), the Cats fought back to take the lead briefly in the 2nd quarter.  But Dirk Nowitzki (game high 28 points on 11-13 FG) and Jason Kidd (18 assists) dominated the third quarter, putting the game out of reach.

AP Recap | Box Score

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I was particularly impressed by anyone’s play for the Bobcats save for Tyrus Thomas, who led the Cats with 22 points.  The Cats were particularly bad with Nazr Mohammed on the floor.  DJ was unassertive and unimpressive (2-10 FG).  Jack had a quiet game.  Gerald Wallace had a good start, but faded late and eventually sat down with what looked like a calf cramp.

Hopefully we’ll look back on this game in a few weeks and remember it as just another example of how Dirk and the Mavs have the Bobcats’ number.  But the pessimist in me saw signs that some of the well-publicized concerns about this team are also well-founded, particularly that the point guard and center positions are weak.

Mavs Continue Dominance Of Bobcats

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Charlotte Bobcats vs Mavs 3/1/10

The Charlotte Bobcats fell to the Dallas Mavericks at the Cable Box 89-84, falling to 0-12 versus Dirk and Co. all time.  AP recap here, box score here.  After fleetingly moving up into the 8th spot when Miami lost back-to-back games over the weekend, the Cats have fallen back to 9th place in the East at 28-30 overall.

The Cats came out strong in this one, building an early 20-9 lead midway through the first quarter.  Another spurt to end the second had the Cats up 53-43 at the half.  Tyrus Thomas had a great first half, keeping Dirk quiet on the defensive end and pacing the Cats with 12 points.

But the second half was a different story, as the Cats could only muster 31 points the rest of the way and were overtaken midway through the fourth quarter.  The offense looked like a hot mess.

Here’s what you need to know: The Cats had more turnovers (11) in the second half than field goals (9).  Tyrus Thomas led the Cats with 16 FGA.  Gerald Wallace had just 8, with only 1 (a 20 foot jumper) in the deciding fourth quarter.  Stephen Jackson finished with 20 points on 6-14 FG, but spent more time fussing at referees and turning the ball over (6 times) than scoring.  There were three airballs in the fourth quarter, plus a monumental brick by Boris on a three attempt.

Meanwhile, despite decent defensive efforts from Boris Diaw and Tyrus Thomas, Dirk Nowitzki heated up and finished with 27 on 12-23 FG to put the Cats away.  Caron Butler went for 22 on 10-16 FG, while Jason Terry contributed 20 on 8-17 FG off the bench.  The Mavericks are now the hottest team in the league with 8 wins in a row.

Fading

Why did the Cats fade so badly after a solid first half?  You could argue that the Cats don’t have a go-to guy like Dirk, who can get buckets and draw double-teams.  You’d be partially right, but in Stephen Jackson we have the closest thing we’ve ever had to that guy, and he’s been pretty good this season.

You could argue that the pressure of facing the elite Mavericks, knowing that they were winless against them all-time, got to the Cats and caused some tightness.  I couldn’t prove you wrong.  It’s certainly happened before.

But tonight it appeared that the main factor was fatigue.  I tweeted halfway through the fourth quarter that the Bobcats looked to have “run out of gas” and I was right.  You could just feel the exhaustion and sense that the Mavs had more in the tank.  (Sad, since they were coming off a late back-to-back AND are more veteran-heavy than the Cats are.)

We’ve been worried about it all season.  Gerald Wallace leads the league at 42.4 minutes per game, while Stephen Jackson is sixth at 39.5.  Now look at the the rest of the guys at the top of that list (Monta Ellis, Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, etc.) — all younger.  Crash and Jack have too many miles on them to be playing 40+ minutes a game regularly, and I fear that we’re starting to see all that court time take a toll.

Tidbits

  • Glad that Jordan finally bought the team, hope it leads to him being around and engaged more often, but I could care less whether he plays HORSE with Gerald Henderson at shootaround or gladhands local politicians.  Wake me when he does some real homework and makes a good first round draft selection, or shows some understanding of the salary cap.
  • No Nazr (back spasms), Chandler (foot/ankle) or Diop (knee) tonight.  Really could use Nazr back playing 15-20 mins, then Theo playing 10.  Might allow Gerald to get a couple more minutes of rest.
  • So the Cats won’t be signing Larry Hughes or Mike James, but what about Michael Finley?  Sounds like he’s headed for the Celtics or Lakers, and not sure how much he brings to the table anymore, but you’d hope that Jordan/Higgins at least make a call.  Is Finley still a Brand Jordan guy?
  • Next game is Wednesday night in Boston — sounds like Pierce will be back in the lineup.

-Dr. E

Officials Overturn Bobcats Win in Dallas

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Bobcats Baseline Observations: Charlotte @ Dallas 12/12/09


It won’t show up in the standings but the Charlotte Bobcats won a big game against the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night in a valiant defensive effort as Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton and Stephen Jackson all topped 20 points and held a solid Western Conference contender to just 39% shooting from the floor.  Final score 97-98.

AP recap here | Box score here

Where Have You Gone Tim Donaghy?

I’m not going to recount it here in detail but the officiating was worse than brutal tonight.  You could sense as much as the Bobcats headed into the 4th quarter up by eight, 70-62.  The Mavs were struggling, yes, but Mark Cuban was at his manipulative best by trotting out The The Protectors of Freedoms and Liberties on the sidelines complete with Gary “Lt. Dan” Sinise leading the charge.  What official in his right mind is gonna let this many war veterans go home unhappy with a loss to the Charlotte-freakin’-Bobcats?  Thus we had several magical off-the-ball fouls on the ‘Cats to get them into the penalty early in the quarter and combined with the team’s sloppy handling of the ball (18 turnovers to 13), allowed the Mavericks to come back and tie the game, send it into overtime and let Dirk go to work.

Bullets:

  • Gerald Wallace gave Nowitzki fits all night on defense until Rick Carlisle wised up and switched Dirk off of him.  Wallace’s 23pts and 16rbs gave him his fourteenth double-double of the season.  Outside of his 5 TOs (including a terrible one at the end of regulation), Wallace’s effort was incredible.  He played 51 minutes and never let up on either end of the court.
  • Raymond Felton continued his development into a Derek Fisher-type by hitting clutch basket after basket in the 2nd half + OT.  He nailed half of his shots going for 20 points and dropped in 8 dimes to boot.
  • For all of Dirk’s heroics at the end of the 4th and OT, he actually played a very poor game and was handled easily by Boris Diaw for most of the night as he finished a tawdry 14-34 from the field.  His pump/headfake from the perimeter is still unguardable though as I can only imagine trying to stop a deadly long-ball shooter who releases the ball a good 10 feet in the air.  Great job by Boris.
  • D.J. Augustin got a little playing time but didn’t do much with it.  In fifteen minutes, he made a three, dished out an assist and got totally schooled by J.J. Barea.  Barea, who is absurdly listed at 6 feet but is closer to 5’9″, actually blocked one of Augustin’s shot attempts.  Have you hit rock bottom yet, D.J.?
  • Stephen Jackson went on a personal 14-0 run for the Cats late in the 3rd/early in the 4th and finished with 28.  Jackson has been an offensive godsend to a Bobcats team that still needs at least one more creator on the roster.
  • Can’t believe how quickly this supposedly “old” Mavericks team still pushes the tempo.  Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion looked very quick and the Mavs didn’t slow down much with Terry or Dampier out there as well.  They look more like Nellie’s old Mavs than they have in quite a while.  That said, the Bobcats stellar D held them to just 98 points.

The Bobcats have the Knicks and Pacers up next and will need to take both of those games if they want to continue to float around the .500 mark.

Until next time, Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

Charlotte Bobcats @ Mavs 12/11/08

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1. The shorthanded Bobcats lose again tonight, 95-90 on the road to the Mavs.  Cats drop to 7-16, Mavs improve to 12-9.  This also moves the Cats to 0-10 all time versus the Mavs.  AP story here, box score here.

2. Apologies for the lack of a post on last night’s game versus the Hornets.  Suffice to say, the game was an afterthought yesterday for us here at the Baseline.  Apparently, it was for the Cats, too, as they looked shellshocked and got beat soundly.  Perhaps the most disappointing thing was that neither Shannon Brown, Matt Carroll or Adam Morrison (especially Adam) were able to do anything with the extra minutes they were given.

3. And now for a few leftover thoughts on the trade:

a) I’m not gnashing my teeth over the loss of Jared Dudley as much as many others are.  Yes, he was a decent player who was on a cheap rookie deal.  But I think his contributions have been overrated because he is a low-maintenance/dirty work/hustle stats kind of player that us internet geeks tend to fawn over.  He was also almost frighteningly unathletic, and I think that’s going to prevent him from having much of a career.  Lastly, he isn’t nearly as funny as he (and Bobcats PR) seem to think he is.

b) It’s laughable how ill-informed some people who are paid to know and talk/write about the NBA actually are.  I know there’s a lot of pressure to fill up space with words, but don’t make stuff up just because it sounds good.  Couple of examples: last night I caught Bobcats color guy Henry Williams extolling Boris Diaw’s rebounding prowess.  Oh, really?  Hint: scroll all the way down and you can see that Diaw is one of the worst rebounding PFs in the league.  And in Tom Sorenson’s blog post on the trade, he speaks of Diaw’s “athleticism” and “leaping” ability.  Are they mixing up Diaw with Josh Smith, or Tyrus Thomas?

c) Along those same lines, I got a chuckle out of some comments from hopeful Phoenix fans around the internet.  They think that Jason Richardson is going to be an explosive scorer, a beast finishing on the fast break, and a go-to guy at the end of the game.  Reality: Jason Richardson occasionally has some explosive quarters, but he’s not an elite scorer.  And it’s really looking like the second half he had last season was flukey – most of his numbers have regressed to his career means this year.  His athleticism has diminished considerably over the past couple of years; and it was limited to begin with.  Because he was primarily a 2-footed power jumper and not a 1-footed leaper, he really wasn’t that great at slashing, driving, or finishing on the break.  He needs space and time to plant and jump of two feet – space and time are at a premium in the NBA.  And if anything, he’s shown during his time with the Bobcats that he’s anything but a go-to guy down the stretch.  From last year’s botched inbounds pass that allowed Ray Allen to hit a heartbreaking, game-winning three, to the two missed free throws with 30 seconds left against Miami on Monday night, he’s been a bit of a choke artist for us.

d) All that said, the Suns definitely got the better of this trade.  That extra year on Diaw’s contract (2011-12) is the killer that puts it over the edge in a bad way for the Cats.  All we can hope for is that Diaw is somehow motivated by the change in scenery and recreates his contract year for us.

4) Back to the Mavs game: this one wasn’t as pitiful as last night’s game in New Orleans.  I missed the first quarter and a half and was surprised to see the Cats up by a few points midway through the second.  But they were never able to pull more than a few points away from the Mavs, and I spent the rest of the second half just waiting for the other shoe to drop; or rather, for Dirk or Jet to drop in a back-breaking three.  Dirk eventually dropped two such threes: one with six minutes left to give the Mavs a six point lead, and another with 30 seconds left for a four point lead.

5) The Cats started each half with an odd lineup of DJ, Felton, Carroll, Okafor and Hollins.  Okafor also played with Mohammed for a stretch as well, and from what I could tell, it seemed like Mek was matched up on Dirk quite a bit.  Was this a bit of foreshadowing for the rumored acquisition of a “true” center and Okafor’s move to PF?  I hope not, as I’ve made my thoughts on the proper usage of Emeka quite clear in the past; but at least for tonight, Okafor seemed to acquit himself just fine to playing the 4.  He also had another intriguing offensive game, going for 27 points on 12-17 FGs, while adding 17 rebounds.  While Okafor has had a several good outings recently, I’m not about to get excited about it.  I’m sure he’ll drop back into one of his funks soon enough.

6) With a bit more production from the any of the guards tonight, we might have been able to pull away from the Mavs at some point and finally win one against them.  But Felton and Augustin were a combined 9-32 from the field, while Carroll, Morrison and Shannon Brown combined for just 19 points between the three of them.

7) On a positive note, Ryan Hollins scored 7 points on just 2 shot attempts.  He made both those attempts (both dunks) and hit 3-4 FTs.  I love to watch Hollins dunk, because he does it with the exuberance that my friends and I did when we were 16 and lowered our driveway baskets to 8.5 feet.  He seems to get the same simple, childlike pleasure out of it that we did, too.

8) Next game is a home match against the Pistons Saturday night at 7:00.  Diaw and Bell will likely be in the lineup, and if Gerald hasn’t been traded, he should be too.  At least it’ll be interesting…

-E