Now this is how you make a splash in the NBA. Adrien posterizes Boozer. VERY NICE!
We put out the call here at Trade Street Post, and lo and behold, we got a real live Bobcats fan that decided he wanted to join the Wolfpack. Let me be the first person to welcome and introduce Matt Alquiza. This was the request that we got from him, and from the sound of things, he’s just as passionate about the Bobcats as Bruce and I are:
Good evening guys, my name is Matthew Alquiza. I'm a freshman at UNC Charlotte and an avid Bobcats fan. Unlike you guys, I haven't been here since day one, but I fell in love with this team my sophomore year of high school during our trip to the playoffs. I watched every game I could, and the way that Crash Wallace and the entire team played attracted me to the team and the game of basketball. Last year I was given season tickets for the team for my birthday, and I painfully sat through almost every game at the Cable Box rooting on my fighting felines in the blue and orange. Throughout my growing fandom of the Cats, Trade Street Post has been such a great tool for me. The daily write-ups and articles are always such an awesome read. Being that I'm in college I may not have time to write up every game, but a couple times a week would be an awesome experience seeing how I'm pursuing a minor in journalism. So if you guys would like to entertain another Cats SuperFan, and an avid basketball fan to write on the site, I'm the man for the job. Thank you guys for putting out such great information and running the site throughout all of your hardships. It definitely gives Cats fans like me hope for this teams fan base in the future.
Yeah, you butter us up like that; you’re in there. Actually, I thought that his letter alone was enough to warrant a shot, and after reading this game recap, I think this guy is definitely TSP material. Enjoy his first game recap, one that follows the end of our losing streak.
With MKG out nursing an eye injury, fellow rookie Jeff Taylor got the start for the Cats. He opened up the game by drilling a 3 to give the Cats a quick lead. Once Rip Hamilton tied it up with a 3-point prayer that he banked in, the Bobcats tightened up defensively and ran out to an 8-3 lead, showing that they may be able to run with the Bulls. Some balanced scoring by Warrick, Kemba, Hendo, and Taylor helped the Cats gain a 16-9 advantage midway through the first quarter. Aggressive offense demonstrated by the team helped the Fightin' Felines enter the bonus with around 6 minutes left in the quarter. Interesting moment in the first that is worth mentioning; former Bulls player, Ben Gordon, entered the game drawing boos from the crowd. Gordon won a 6th man of the year award as a Bull during his rookie year, but a messy break up saw him leave the team in 2010. With Gordon in the game, the Cats continued their stellar transition defense with 3 blocks in the quarter on what should have been easy run outs for Chicago. With MKG out, Jeff Adrien seemed ready to play a more important role as he came in during the first quarter with solid defense and a monster dunk. The quarter ended with the Cats leading 28-18, they showed heart and intensity during their upset bid.
Going into the 2nd, the Cats maintained their energy and balanced scoring with a combined 15 points off the bench already led by Gordon's 7 in his return to Chicago. A quick Chicago run led by Taj Gibson cut the Bobcats lead to 5 with 7 minutes to go in the first half. Continued scoring by the backcourt of Kemba and Sessions helped the Cats hold off another Chicago run and kept the Bobcats in control. The Bulls major post presence of potential all star Joakim Noah was held in check by Biz and Haywood, which was a major help to the Bobcats 6 point advantage with the 2-minute mark closing in. After Carlos Boozer cut the lead to 2 in the last minute, Hendo scored 3 quick points, which brought the lead to 5 at the half with a score of 47-42. The Bobcats left a lot at the line, shooting a paltry 6-15, but held Chicago to 37% from the field and only 3-7 from downtown.
Coming out of the locker room for the 2nd half the Bobcats looked ready to end the game, as they scored 6 straight and stretched the lead out to a game-high 11 points. The Cats held a steady double-digit lead until back-to-back turnovers cut the lead down to 6. The offense went into its normal stagnant state and the lack of movement started to hurt the team. The team didn’t seem to have anyone stepping up to be a creator in the half court set, so the struggles began again for us. Another Chicago run cut the lead to 3 and panic ensued. We were, however, able to stretch the lead to 12, but the concrete shoes tat the Bobcats players were fitted with during halftime were undoubtedly laced up and worn as the 3rd quarter wore on. The up and down transition game went away completely. The Bulls woke up and put on a furious charge as the game ended up tied at 65 as the third quarter came to an end.
Raise your hand if you had Jeff Adrien getting solid minutes in the 4th quarter. Anyone? Anyone at all? Didn't think so. How about him having 4 points and 9 boards to start the 4th. Anyways, with the help of Kemba and the crew the Cats started the 4th on a 6-0 run. We got out on the break; Kemba led the charge and forced a timeout by Chicago. More back and forth action led to a 10-point chokehold by the Cats and Ben Gordon started to put on a show in the 4th as he scored a quick 6 points. It seems to this point that Gordon was our only option in the half court without MKG's post offense to space the floor. Without our offense clicking in the 4th quarter our defense needed to step up and boy it did. Chicago scored a total of 6 points in the first 8 minutes of the quarter. With 4 minutes left and Charlotte in the bonus, the Bulls reverted to the Hack-A-Biz strategy and he missed both with the Cats up 8. After a charge by Nate Robinson, Charlotte switched out Biz for Jeff Adrien and then Chicago started the Hack-An-Adrien strategy, and Jeff made them pay by drilling 3 in a row to stretch the lead to 11. Could a win be within our grasp? Let’s not jinx it. After some more back and forth that saw the lead dwindle to 7, a MONSTER and-one dunk by Hakim Warrick pretty much put it away.
The streak is over! The hometown Bobcats won by a final score 91-81 and we could finally say that we are now better than last years Bobcats, and better than that filthy 18 game losing streak. Some interesting stats tonight, the Bobcats shot 53% from the line, and 40% from behind the arc. Our defense played lights out holding Chicago to 35% from the field. I do believe that the coaching staff may have the Bobcats shooting foul shots until our next game. WE really need to clean that up.
Other players final stats:
Kemba: 18 pts, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks
Hendo: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Taylor: 5 points, 4 rebounds
Warrick: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
Biyombo: 5 points, 11 rebounds
Sessions: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Gordon: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Tonight's TSP Game-breaker award goes to Jeff Adrien with his 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. He didn't put up the flashiest stats, but he brought tons of energy off the bench and was a force on the boards and on the defensive end. After a few days off to celebrate the New Year, the Cats get back into action Friday night looking to extend the winning streaking to 2 games against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It will be tough for the Cats to contain the inside out combo of Anderson Varejo and Kyrie Irving, but it should be a good game and we have a good chant to extend this winning streak, and boy would that be sweet.
Great Work Matthew. I'm thinking you're getting the hang of it. You'll get even better the more you write. I know I have.