Blazers Beatdown, Bobcats win by 30

If this is what it's going to take to finish strong, MJ, clear your calendar.

(Photo Courtesty Jeff Siner – Charlotte Observer)

Whether it was the desire to end a two-game skid or Chairman Michael Jordan’s presence at the end of the bench, the Bobcats came out like gangbusters last night. From wire-to-wire the Cats put forth arguably their strongest performance of the season in a 124-94 thrashing of the Portland Trailblazers.

After a 33-point explosion in the first quarter, the Cats never looked back, as the Blazers struggled to close the gap to more than 20 points. The second half was merely a formality with reserves logging significant minutes. But the Cats still gave the packed Time Warner Arena reason to cheer in the second half.

Josh McRoberts threw down a full extension dunk, followed soon thereafter by Michael Kidd Gilchrist’s posterization of Meyers Leonard.  

(Photo Courtesty Jeff Siner – Charlotte Observer)


Unlike many games, the stats tell the entire story. The trio of Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson all topped 20 points on efficient shooting nights. The Cats shot 18-for-19 from the free-throw line. They had eight blocks and seven steals, while only turning the ball over five times.

The Cats gave a complete performance holding the league’s second highest-scoring team to 94 points.

Jefferson pointed to Jordan’s courtside presence as one of the reasons for his teammates high-octane performance. “My boss was out there tonight,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “You’d better run through a wall. He isn’t taking any less.”

More than Jordan’s presence, playing for their playoff lives should be motivation enough for the Cats to play each of their last 12 games like they are already in the playoffs. With a one-and-a-half game lead over the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed and the New York Knicks on the outside looking in, and making a charge while doing so, the Cats need every win they can get.

It appears more and more likely the Cats will play its opening round against the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers – the two teams in the Eastern Conference who inspire some fear from its more dominant sibling. Yet both teams have experienced their fair share of struggles lately. While it’s unlikely the Cats could win a best-of-seven against either foe, they can belatedly win their first playoff game in franchise history.

The good news is the Cats have two games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando, and one against the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers to bolster their record.

Next up the Cats host the Houston Rockets Monday night.


About Andrew Lail

Lifelong Hornets/Bobcats/Hornets fan. "Charlotte Hornets basketball is my one true pro sports passion."