Something must have clicked with the Bobcats after suffering back-to-back humiliating losses to the Wizards and Cavs. They came out with fire and determination. Lead by Gerald Henderson who had more than just a hot hand tonight. He passed his old career high at the end of the 3rd. Dwight Howard dominated early, but that would change as the defense locked down on him. Frustrating the big man into fouls and poor shooting. The lineup that built the Bobcats biggest lead was shockingly: Dub, Carroll, Temple, Dante, and Kwame. But, the Bobcats couldn't find enough scoring late in the 4th, as the Magic knocked down a significant amount of 3's to run from behind and take the lead defeating the Cats in OT 111-102. More after the tip!
Henderson was all over the place. Locking down on D and doing everything in his power to keep the Bobcats alive in this game. He's leading by example and quickly becoming a source of inspiration for this team. Taking one for the team (literally) when Quentin Richardson smacked him in the face. Hendo even knocked down a 3(!). Dub and Cunningham...what else can be said about these guys that hasn't already? They continued to prove why they will be valuable assets to this team scoring 32 points.
Boris Diaw continues to be the x-factor as to whether or not the Bobcats can win. If he shows up, our chances are clearly better. If he doesn't, his poor play can bury our team. DJ Augustin cooled off from his recent 20+ points a game for the past 3. He shot 2-10 and couldn't get anything going, but hit a HUGE 3 with only 16 seconds to go to tie the game. He also had a PIVOTAL steal with 4 seconds remaining and missed the game winning lay-up as regulation expired.
Orlando couldn't miss in OT and simply murdered the Cats from 3 hitting 14(for 42 points). Gilbert Arenas, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo knocked them down whether someone was in their face or not. The Magic also had 10 blocks to the Bobcats 2.
The nature of the beast. This is why you play the games. This is how the cookie crumbles. All sayings that help describe the 2010-2011 Charlotte Bobcats team. Fans, don't hang your head about this season. The players will not, and should not. Take a moment, relax, and think about everything this team has been through this season. Starting off so horribly hampered by Larry Brown's negativity. Early nagging injuries to Crash and Hendo. Then a coaching change mid season. Complete lineup disruption. Different players getting minutes and different scenarios emerging. Tyrus Thomas, who was performing at a high level, gets injured for an extended period. Then the trade happened. We lose a number of players and have to readjust without a staple veteran leader and depth at a vital position. Then the Vanilla Gorilla gets injured. The Bobcats have ONE center and ONE possible backup. Then after a meltdown, there was hope. Hope, which was crushed by injuries to no less than FOUR more players. Any team that loses four players is in serious trouble. Let alone the number one scoring option, the only tall athletic shot blocking big man, a solid energy off the bench PG, and an emotional leader that provides a boost. So, to end the season the Bobcats have had to play without Jack, Tyrus, Liv, Najera, and Joel Przybilla. Don't hang your head, lift it up. Look at what we have. Let's take a short minute to realize what the end of this season has done for us. Dub, Dante, and Hendo getting valuable minutes at their respective positions. Getting experience having to be the man of the game. Dub, Dante (if he re-signs), Kwame (if he re-signs for cheap again), and Liv (if he re-signs) are all incredibly solid backup players. Dub and Dante are going to be the future of the bench for the Bobcats, and that's something that's very reassuring. They're both very young and both have incredible upsides. It's going to be a fun ride, and I'm excited to be a part of it.
WHAT'S NEXT? The Heat.