coachclifford021214

Bobcats’ Rollercoaster Ride Continues, Blown out by the Nets

Coach, we all feel the same way.  Loving the defense and wanting more guys to be consistent on offense.  Maybe we'll have that by the trade deadline.

(Photo Courtesy John Minchillo – AP)

I love my Bobcats.  I really do.  Ask anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter, or even ask anyone that knows me, and they will tell you that I defend this team like family.  If anyone has anything bad to say about them, I question if they are Bobcats fane.  I question if they have closely followed the team for years.  I ask if they have noticed constant improvement in the team.  Why do I bring this up?  Well, in my humble opinion, the Bobcats are at an impasse.  They want to make playoffs this year, but they are at a point where they can blow a very formidable opponent out one night, and then get blown out the next night.  The past 2 nights show this as we blew out the Mavericks, and then were blown out by the Nets last night.

Yes, we were blown out by the Brooklyn Nets.  None of the incredible gameplay from the night before carried over into last night’s game.  After a blowout, I always worry that one of 2 things will occur.  The first concern is that we exhausted all of our firepower and used up all of our energy, and will not be able to contribute the same in the second game.  The second concern is that we will play with overconfidence.  You know how in blowout games, the team doing the blowing out usually coasts, plays a little lax, and still wins big?  I always fear that this will happen, and then when they face the next team, they just expect to keep piling points on.

Well, whatever it was, the Bobcats put up dismal numbers against the Nets.  Our top scorer had 16 points.  Does that sound familiar?  It should because the Mavericks had 2 scorers in double figures the night before…they both had 16.  We had 3 players in double figures (Kemba with 16, McRoberts with 13, and Al Jefferson with 12).  You just can’t win games when you score that few points, unless everyone on the team puts out numbers like that.  The scoring was so bad that I’m not even going to mention what everyone else posted, except for Bismack Biyombo.  Biz was 3-3 from the floor with 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.  Another solid night for him, and I love to see it. 

As a team, we had an abysmal 41% shooting on the night and an absolutely horrible 46.7% shooting from the foul line.  THE FOUL LINE!!!!  Making those is another key to victory.  Not too much else to say about this loss.  Brooklyn shot 50% from the floor, had more assists, less turnovers, and was 80% from the foul line.

There was a Ben Gordon sighting last night.  I guess a little something to get the dust and rust to fall off of him.  My guess is that this was probably the last time we’ll see him in a Bobcats uniform.  Honestly, any trade to get rid of him that would bring a body that could contribute would be welcome, as long as the contract they bring isn’t ridiculous.

Here is the part where I share some tough love.  Many fans love Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Gerald Henderson.  They are both great guys and interact quite well for the fans.  Unfortunately, I think if the Bobcats want to make playoffs and make some noise; at least one of them is going to have to go.

MKG seldom scores in double figures.  His hustle is really good and he spurs the others to hustle as well.  Unfortunately, his lack of a jumper keeps him completely on lockdown in terms of being able to fake a shot and drive to the lane.  He can only pass the ball on, or try that jumper that still does not fall.  MKG, I love ya, but if you can’t score in double figures, your hustle is only worth so much.  That means our SG has to be scoring in the high teens to twenties every night.

Sadly, Gerald Henderson, that turns my attention to you.  Again, if the SF can’t chip in the high teens to twenties, you have to.  You don’t.  I’ve seen games where your shot doesn’t miss…but I’ve also seen games where your shot won’t fall, but you keep launching them.  Fade away after fade away.  The nights your shots fall, you are an offensive asset because defenders bit on the shot fake and you have the ability to finish at the rim.  I just hate that it isn’t something we can count on every night.  You’re 7 points in the Brooklyn loss after 15 points against Dallas.  Over the last 10 games you’ve had an 8-point, 6-point, and last night’s 7-point game.  There was also a 23-point, a 16-point, and a 15-point game.  Consistency is the key in the NBA, and you just haven’t had it this year.

So what is the solution?  Obviously, per Rod Higgins, the team is actively pursuing every trade option it can find.  I believe fully that Ben Gordon will be moved.  I would not be entirely shocked if Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, or even Ramon Sessions were involved in a trade to get the right pieces.  Perhaps they all remain safe.  I just look at rumors like the Evan Turner one, and I know for a fact that if he were to come in, MKG becomes a bench player.  If a SG that can score the ball at will comes in, Hendo becomes a bench player.  I’ve even tried to figure out in my mind what scoring PF we could bring in, Taj Gibson maybe?

I just fully expect someone to be moved by the trade deadline, and their jersey on the clearance rack at the team store.  Do I know who that would be?  Not a clue.  I do love ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine though.  Folks, visit the Machine and post trade ideas here.  It could be quite interesting. 

In the meantime, let the Bobcats get some rest and

Let’s Go Bobcats Front Office!  Make an incredible move to propel us well into the playoffs.

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