Bobcats Chronicles

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Recap: Hawks 103 Bobcats 89 – Stop me if…

Posted by Sup on January 22, 2010

Boxscore Recap

Not exactly how you want to start off.

I mentioned the slow road starts for the Bobcats, and they came back with a vengance at Philips Place. The Atlanta Hawks came out of the gate on fire, and the Bobcats were obliging: seven first period turnovers, Hawk runouts for dunks and layups, and an inability (or unwillingness) move the ball resulted in Atlanta racing out to the same kind of first quarter the Bobcats had been putting on their opponents back here in Charlotte. Traps and double teams on the perimeter were the catalyst for the turnovers, with Jackson throwing 4 away himself. To add injury to insult, Raymond Felton sprained his ankle halfway through the period and was unable to return. By the end of the period, the Hawks had run up a 31-17 lead.

There was some life in the Bobcats in the second quarter when jumpers by Hawks reserves were clanking off the rim, and they were able to cut into the lead by the end of the period to 47-44. Jackson calmed down on his mistakes, and Gerald Wallace got to the line (though he started out 2-6 from the stripe). There was a glimmer of hope.

Until the Hawks came out and crushed the Bobcats in the third. Crawford, Joe Johnson, and Al Horford were unstoppable, and the Hawks cruised the rest of the way. Jackson (10-20, 24 points, 6 rebounds) and Wallace (8-12 25 points, 6 rebounds) had decent games by the stat line, but neither were actually able to impose their will on the game. Combining for 10 turnovers didn’t help either.

Longer term, the concern is for Felton’s ankle. His quickness and strength on the defensive side at point guard isn’t matched by anyone else on the roster. Reports today are that he may not play tonight against the Magic. He was unable to put weight on it as he left the court, and when he tried to get loosened up to play at halftime, he was unable to go. This is significant for the Bobcats, especially on the crucial upcoming road trip against the likes of Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash, and Monta Ellis/Stephen Curry.

A close loss would have been slightly more acceptable. This team’s fragile road confidence was certainly not helped by being blitzed out of the gate, and the chance to get some of their swagger back will be sorely tested by the Magic. Here’s hoping they can do it and head out on the dreaded 6 game roadie on a high note.

Cat of the Night – I’m going to go with Flip Murray here. He had 11 points and 9 assists on the night, and he was the only Bobcats with a plus/minus over 10 (+14). He moved the ball when the rest of the team was unable to. Didn’t have as much effect as you would want.

Stat of the Night – 0-5, 5, and 5. That’s Boris Diaw’s stat line from the night. He was unable to score on his five shots, had 5 boards and 5 assists. He looked like he was slipping back into the pre-winning streak mode, hesitant to take shots and being generally ineffective (his +/- was an appalling -25). The missed wide open dunk was emblematic of his troubles on the night.

Notable Notables

  • The Bobcats were only able to force 12 turnovers in the game, and the first quarter shooting by the Hawks topped 61%.
  • You always know when the Bobcats are struggling. The ball stops in Jackson’s hands as he trys to take his man off the dribble or force a double team.  Last night, it wasn’t working.
  • Jamal Crawford is doing his best Vinnie Johnson impersonation, leading the Hawks in scoring off the bench for the 18th time.

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