Playoffs_2014_2

Bobcats Will Make History Tonight – First Playoff Win or Last Game as Bobcats – Which do you think it will be?

Tonight will be history in the making. Whether the Bobcats win or lose their game tonight, history will be made. A win results in the first playoff win in the history of the franchise. A loss will mark the last game played by the team known as the Charlotte Bobcats. Next season, the Bobcats cease to exist, and the Hornets swarm on the Queen City again. So which will it be?
For me personally, it is a bittersweet transition. On the one hand, I grew up with the Hornets. My expectations are so high. I sit and tell my sons of “the way things used to be”. I tell them of the countless sellouts, the energy in the coliseum, that guy in the purple suit that would dance around the arena while various songs would play, the big guy turning flips all the way down the court…man those were fun times. Then I start thinking of the bad (for me). I remember standing in line to get tickets, only to see game after game sell out. I remember it taking forever to get into and out of the arena. Am I going to be able to just snag some tickets and go to games, or will they all be sellouts? Will my sons get to experience the Hornets Hysteria that I was able to experience, or will the fan base continue to be fickle about the team, and the fan base will stall and not continue to grow? These are negatives only for me, not so much the team. So with the good and the bad in my mind, will the Hornets 2.0 live up to the expectations that I have in my mind and heart? I think that they will. I only say I think that they will because the fans during this playoff series have put some of the players on blast for not performing. Maybe I am too young to remember the first edition of the Hornets’ players getting chastised for underperforming. I don’t know, but I am seeing it now. Sadly, I can’t disagree with some of it. Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are 2 players that cannot coexist on the court unless you have 3 scoring threats at the point guard, center, and power forward positions. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but unfortunately, when one of your “2-out-of-3” isn’t scoring, you’ve got to have a mammoth bench to step up and score in volumes. We aren’t exactly setting the world on fire in that area either. Are we close to having that team that the fans love and embrace every player? I think we are. I also thing we are a shooting guard away from having one of the top 3 NBA teams in the East.
Now, don’t read this the wrong way. I have watched this playoff series, expecting a win in every game. I believe that I will witness the Bobcats first playoff victory tonight. I’m just honest enough of a fan to say that I know and understand our flaws. Gerald Henderson is not a volume scorer. The end of last season was the best he has looked in a Bobcats uniform, but that play has not been there this season. Michael Kidd-Glichrist is not a volume scorer in terms of jump shooting. His bread and butter is driving to the hoop to score, or putting back missed shots. We all knew that his hustle, determination, and work ethic were his strong suit. He’s a really good defender as well. The problem with MKG is that when you can’t make jumpers, your defender doesn’t come out on you so that you can put the ball on the floor to score. This is why I’ve often stated that Hendo and MKG are dangerous to have on the floor at the same time. Our saving grace this season was that Big Al Jefferson was unstoppable in the paint. Flash forward to now, with Al’s plantar fascia keeping him in pain, and our primary scorer is limited. Phase 2 has to be Kemba Walker scoring the ball and finding the open man for the easy shot. Well, if MKG isn’t allowed a lane to slash, and Henderson isn’t hitting jump shots, that would leave McRoberts to become a scorer. Josh is a facilitator and I hope he stays with Charlotte past this season, but he should not be your 3rd scoring option.
Do I have a suggestion in order to win tonight? Well, the ugly suggestion is to swap out a shooter with Hendo. Do we swap out Hendo for Gary Neal for the scoring punch? If we do, I don’t think Neal can cover Wade like he needs to be covered. Do we swap out Tolliver for MKG? Again, I don’t think Tolliver can be as effective guarding LeBron, as MKG is. I suppose we could run small, and Tolliver could play PF, and become the 3rd scoring option, but I’m not certain that would work either. With the team constructed as it is, I believe that the Bobcats could beat any team in the Eastern Conference playoffs, except for the Heat. If we had that volume scorer at SG, we would have handled them, but we lack that. If Jeff Taylor was healthy, I believe we would be riding this series to 7 games.
The unfortunate truth is that tonight may be the last Bobcats game. Perhaps the Heat will want to close out at home, so they rest Wade and LeBron, & we come away with a win. Perhaps the Heat finally will stumble and we show what we can do on our home court to come away with a victory. Whatever happens, history will be made tonight and I’ll be there to see it. Amid lots of Twitter discussion, I’ll be there with my Morrison jersey on. I haven’t heard if there will be a “white out” or not, so I plan to represent the Bobcats in my own way. My Morrison jersey that I removed the Morrison name from will be in the arena tonight. If we have a player score that 35 that is on the jersey, I bet we win this game.
In the meantime…
LET’S GO CATS!

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