Bobcats Chronicles

How a young NBA franchise gets it going

Recap: Hornets 105 Bobcats 99 – As disappointing as it gets

Posted by Sup on February 7, 2010

Boxscore Recap

Continuing the theme of “we can’t beat teams missing their best player,” the Bobcats laid down for the New Orleans Hornets in front of a sellout home crowd. After holding a 10 point lead at halftime, the Bobcats let the Hornets shoot 57% after the break, and rookie point guard Darren Collison did an outstanding impression of Chris Paul, dicing up the defense for a career high 24 points, including the game clinching layup over Raymond Felton with seconds to go. He wasn’t alone in his cutting up the once formidable Bobcat D: the mortal remains of Peja Stojakavic went for 18, David West put in 21 on a variety of jumpers and post ups, and Emeka Okafor had 16 and 7 in his Queen City return.

There wasn’t much excuse for this effort. Gerald Wallace only took 11 shots, and wasn’t a factor at all until the fourth quarter. Stephen Jackson led the Bobcats in scoring again with 26, but also in turnovers again with 4. He did make a cold blooded jumper in the lane late and the following free throw after  James Posey foul to draw the Bobcats within 3 before Collison’s layup. Nazr Mohammed scored 15, all in the first half. He played very little in the second, even though the matchup with Okafor was still there.

Again, the starters played heavy minutes. Wallace played 45 minutes coming off the sore hamstring, and looked a little tentative going to the basket until the fourth. Boris Diaw’s 44 minutes were mostly uneventful, something that has happened all to frequently this season. Jackson was in for 38 minutes.

I say all this as if the Bobcats were bad all the way through. They weren’t: there were moments in the first half when it looked like they would run away with the game. An alley oop to Wallace, deadly shooting from Jackson and solid defense gave them a 53-43 lead at half, but there were large runs on both sides that made the game far less secure than that lead made it look. And again, they were unable to force many turnovers, particularly frustrating against a rookie point guard making his third start.

This team has struggled to win over the locals. And unfortunately, on two recent sellout dates (against the Magic and last night), they have com eup short, not taking advantage of a crowd behind them and a friendly home court. It isnt time to panic or worry, but it is time to be concerned. Do they relax against good teams missing a star? Has the good press gone to their head? Despite the recent cries of “don’t bring Tyson Chadler back!” it is apparent the interior defense is failing repeatedly at keeping opposing players out of the lane, and his length is missed in that respect. Do they need to make a move besides getting him back soon? We’ll talk about that in another post. For now, let’s hope that the missing star syndrome doesn’t extend to the Washington Wizards.

‘Cat of the Night – Stephen Jackson, for keeping them in the game with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists.

Stat of the Night – 66.7% free throw shooting is one of those bellwethers. If the bobcats shoot this poorly, they will lose.

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