The Bobcats came fresh off of a number of competitive, but frustrating games into PBR-land, America. I mean, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks are a team still getting used to it's newly acquired scoring threat, Monta Ellis. As we recall from the last time these two played; dude can score. Byron Mullens has been back on the upswing as he's found his shot again to go along with his newly acquired nose for rebounds. Still much to be desired on the defensive end, but you have to admire someone who has that kind of work ethic. DJ Augustin will sit tonight with tendonitis, Reggie Williams was a late scratch, and Corey Maggette is still out. Both teams play lack luster defense and have issues with scoring consistency. It would not be in the cards for the Fighting Felines as they fell to the Bucks 95-90.
The Bobcats starting lineup consisted of Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Derrick Brown, Byron Mullens, and Bismack Biyombo. The incredibly younger-than-most youth movement moved the ball well, but played poor defense. The offensive production alone was enough to inspire a bit of confidence, wish we could see this on a regular basis. Seems like it happens more early on when things are still cooking. Need to establish more confidence and let it flow through the games. Milwaukee’s atrocious interior defense battled it would with our worse than average interior defense as the Cats outscored the Bucks in the paint 10-2 early. Bismack Biyombo went toe to toe with Larry Sanders and floored him, but left the floor after he had the wind knocked out of him. Byron, Kemba, and Hendo took it to the Bucks early, as they were not about to lay down. Monta, Jennings, and Ilyasova did the same to the Cats. Close score early.
The second was just as much the battle that the first was. The basketball was bad on both ends of the floor. Nothing pretty, here, folks. The Cats managed to hang in there with grittiness and resilience. Byron Mullens lead the way with his hot hand as the Bobcats survived a barrage of minor injuries to keep pressing on. The lead was traded back and forth for the majority of the quarter. Defense is really the only thing from keeping the Bobcats from tearing the Bucks apart. Cats down 1 at the half.
The 3rd was a-typical Bobcats ball. Came out a little strong and held in there for a minute, then collapsed into a heap. Defense started collapsing even more than earlier, and then shots weren't falling. It's hard to keep up with little consistency from everyone. You can tell they want to keep fighting, but they seem to run out of gas very often. Byron and Kemba had other ideas as they drained back-to-back 3 pt shots to add to a Derrick Brown put-back. The Cats were down only 4 late in the 3rd.
Regardless of being down 10 most of the 4th, the Bobcats fought all the way through. This was an effort that I can truly appreciate. We were massively short-handed, and tired. They never gave up. Byron rocked a new career high; Kemba actually took control for a little while. Biz was heavily involved, etc. I cannot stress enough, that if we were better defensively, that this game would be over and out of hand in the Bobcats favor. On a possession as simple as the Biyombo block, we were able to turn that into a Derrick Brown dunk in transition. The fight was not over as the Cats continued to show incredible heart. Charlotte took the lead with less than 4 minutes to go, only to relinquish it on the following possession. No love in the final minutes as they failed to convert, and the Bucks stood fast. Bobcats fall to the Bucks.
Career high for Byron Mullens at 31. He deserves the game breaker award, no doubt. So...he's got it. He rocked yet another double double, and played a TON of minutes. Congrats, my friend, for knockin' down 31 points.