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The Bobcats fell to a team tonight that I personally felt should have been a relatively easy win for us. Boy was I wrong. You would think having the starting 5 that everyone has been looking for all season would make all the difference in the world, right? Nope. Having Al Jefferson start every quarter and pulling him when he looked winded was not the strategy I would have used. Take the jump to see why I’m writing fairly negatively about this loss tonight.
Don’t get me wrong; I love this Bobcats team. I love the players, I love the new coaching staff, and I love to write about them. I’ve watched every game this season, and this had to be one of the most disappointing games I’ve watched in this young season. 13 games in, and we are 6-7, which is a pretty good number considering no more games than our big, free agent pickup has played. Let me share Big Al’s numbers for the night:
In almost 25 minutes, he posted 9 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 3 assists, and 6 rebounds. He was 3-6 from the floor and 3-5 from the foul line.
Now, let me step back and share the team statistics:
32 – 77 from the floor for 41.6% FG, 24-33 from the foul line, and 3-14 from 3-point land. 16 turnovers on the night are also worth mentioning. Top Scorer was Gerald Henderson with 17, followed by Kemba with 16. Sessions chipped in 15, McRoberts with 10, MKG and Big Al had 9 a piece, Zeller with 6, Adrien with 5, and Taylor with 4. Zeller led the way with 9 rebounds, Kemba led the assists tonight with 6, and Al led the team in blocks with 3.
So why am I do down on this loss? Honestly, you had to watch the game. We were only briefly in the lead in the 1st quarter. As that quarter came to an end, we were behind and I can’t recall getting very close until the 4th quarter. We were down as many as 21 at one point. The Suns shot 47.1% FG, 10-23 from 3-point land, but only shot 22-38 from the foul line. Group this with 21 turnovers and it’s hard to see how the Bobcats could lose. Having a 20-point 2nd quarter and a 19-point 3rd quarter didn’t help matters any either. We were out-rebounded, out blocked, & out-assisted. For me, we were out-hustled on our home court. We weren’t coming off of a back-to-back, and we had our starting center. No excuses.
I think we lost because of one thing: chemistry. Bismack Biyombo has started more games this year, and with these players than anyone else at the center position on this team. I know that he doesn’t have the offensive presence that Al has, but he hustles, keeps the team pumped up, rebounds well, and blocks shots. I know that Al will be our starting center, but having him start every quarter is not how to get him into the groove. I would say to start with what has been working, and then sub Al in once you’re into the quarter. Let him get his “sea legs” back facing the other team’s second unit. Much like the “Food Lion” lion, that’s just my two cents worth (I hope some of our readers have seen those commercials). I even asked Stephanie Ready and Steve Martin why we saw no Biz…I got no answer.
Other points to Ponder:
Does anyone have any thoughts on Ben Gordon sitting on the bench for 13 games now? I mean, he and Pargo are almost completely forgotten. I guess they signed James Southerland so he could dust those guys off every now and again. I could possibly see a future trade involving Ben Gordon to a contending team needing a shooter, and wanting to shed salary next summer. What we want to get will determine if that trade is for him alone or if it will take another player like Biz. Just curious what everyone else thinks. I cringed all of last year when Ben Gordon would be on the floor and playing a point guard type role. Him putting the ball on the deck would almost always turn my stomach, and turn the ball over. The other side of that coin would be when he would zone out and hit jumper after jumper.