So the Charlotte Bobcats, as did many other NBA teams, played their first game of the season tonight. What should have been expected? 3rd head coach in as many years, 3 new faces as part of the franchise this year, and 3 starters would finish the night in double figures. Would this be enough for the Bobcats to come away with a season-opening victory? Nope. Want to know why? Keep reading…
I have very high expectations for this team this season. I’ll say that prior to plopping down on the couch tonight, I had solid in my head that this team will be a playoff threat. I still believe this will be true. What I know for certain is that some things will have to change before this can happen. I believe that they will and I also believe that the season opener is not the game to make those final decisions on the team.
First up, our leading scorer and Trade Street Post Player of the Game is Josh McRoberts. He played a well-balanced game cashing in with 15 points on 5-9 shooting and 3-4 from 3-point land. Don’t panic Bobcats fans; McRoberts is not the Byron Mullens 3-point shooter type. He knows his role very well and plays to what he knows best. He plays hard and smart. McBob had 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. This is what we will most likely see from McBob on most nights. He’s not going to give superstar numbers, but modest and definitely needed. Unfortunately, the second highest scorer was Ramon Sessions. He was coming off the bench. He chipped in 14 points on 5-11 shooting. From there, the scoring runs downhill. Big Al chipped in 13 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocks, but it took 6-19 shooting to get those points. Kemba Walker gave us 12 points and 5 assists, but at the cost of 3 turnovers. Gerald Henderson dropped 11 points on 5-16 shooting, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. As for the rest of the team;
MKG with 7 points, Jeffery Taylor with 5 points, Biz with 4 points, and Zeller with 2 points.
Let me share some opening night concerns:
What is my biggest concern? Foul Shots! 13 for 20 shooting from the charity stripe is totally unacceptable in the NBA. We left 7 points at the line. Shooting 36.7% from the field is totally unacceptable and we will not win a game shooting that poorly. We were out-rebounded 54 – 37. That’s not so bad when all your shots are falling, but ours were not. Now remember, I said that it’s too early to even start to panic, and I am not. I’m just giving you guys my concerns from tonight. My only other concern was that even though in Summer League and some of training camp, MKG’s shot looked much improved, tonight, it looked like it always has, and he lacks lots of confidence. 1-5 from the foul line concerns me the most.
Opening night praise:
7 turnovers are great for a team that we have grown used to seeing turn the ball well into the teens…sometimes 20+. Ball movement looked much improved and defensive rotations looked better, though there was some Garcia guy that is a career single digit scorer who scorched us for 19 points and was 5-9 from 3-point land. This is the praise section, so back to praise…
Um…no one got hurt other than a pretty good scratch on Jeffery Taylor’s arm. We caused the Rockets to turn the ball over 18 times, which means our defense had good pressure on them for the game and we were hustling. 4 of our starters were in double-figures.
I guess it’s always easier to point out the flaws than it is to praise when your favorite team loses. I could gripe and complain about the loss all night, but with this being Coach Clifford’s first game as a head coach, I would commend him for a pretty decent job. We played a decent game, and as the season progresses and the guys get used to each other and to their coach, we’re going to see something special on Trade Street; the final run of the Beloved Bobcats. Beelievers, give these fighting felines your undying support this year and prove that the name chance is great, but the reason you’re a fan is because Charlotte has an NBA team and we are proud of them. The rebuild is starting to take shape and we are so close to having a true team that can contend for greatness. Get on board everyone. Business is about to pick up down on Trade Street!