Byron Mullens played the most complete game of his career tonight. Keep it up big guy!
No one said that this season would be easy. Many said that we'd be lucky to see 15 wins. Well, tonight we got our 4th win of the season, and the 3rd one in a row. It wasn't pretty for the last portion of the 4th quarter, but a W is a W, so no complaints here. Kemba's killer crossover and shooting dagger pierced the heart of the injury depleted Timberwolves. Bobcats win 89-87. Take the jump for some highlights from the game.
Whatever the personal issue was from last night also kept Ben Gordon from making the trip to Minnesota to take on the injury riddled T'Wolves. I keep telling myself that without our starting SG, we're going to struggle. I started telling myself that without the backup SG, we were going to struggle. Kemba Walker, MKG, and Sessions, have proven me wrong twice. I was really hoping to be proven wrong again tonight. After watching a 51 point 1st half for us and a 38 point first half for the Wolves, I got comfortable on my couch and started doing some tweeting during the game.
I have these expectations of my Bobcats when I watch them. When the opposing team can't hit a foul shot (Wolves were 20 – 37), I feel pretty good about a game. When the Bobcats have fewer turnovers, I feel pretty comfortable. I start getting worried when the Bobcats aren't taking many foul shots and are settling for jump shots. Yeah, the second half started becoming a brick-fest. We were 5 – 19 from 3-point land. When that shot doesn't work, you go to the paint. Problem was that MKG couldn't get anything going against Kirilenko, and he was staying in foul trouble. The Wolves had 11 blocks on us, but then again, we had 12 on them. We stayed in foul trouble all night, but I can't complain about the officiating. It was consistent. Consistently bad. You ever get the feeling that when you're watching a game; the refs try to help a team when they are just that darn God-awful? Of course you get it...you watched us last year. The only difference was that we never got calls. There were missed foul calls, missed jump balls, and just too many fouls called against us tonight. There were 26 on us tonight and 14 on Minny. Sorry guys, I'm not buying it.
It doesn't matter though because a win is a win, and we got that W. We did blow a 16-point lead in the 4th though. We also had Reggie Williams go all C-Webb on us and call a time out when we didn't have one. It all came down to what Coach Dunlap's specialty is. We played defense. We played hard defense. After a made technical foul shot, the T'Wolves got the ball and a chance to go ahead. A quick in bounds pass forced Mullens to foul. That foul resulted in one made foul shot, tying the game at 87. With the ball in his hands, my nominee for co-captain brought the ball down court. As time wound down, he performed the KKC (Kemba-Killer-Crossover) on Shved. A staggered Shved could not recover to block Kemba as he tossed in the fade-away dagger, that sealed the game at 89-87 with 7 tenths of a second left.
That, my friends, is how you escape Minnesota, and live to tell about it.
Though Kemba hit the winning jumper, I have to give the Trade Street Post Game-breaker award to Byron Mullens. Last season, we all figured out that the double-deuce had a smooth shot and lots of range. What Coach Dunlap discovered this summer was that Byron could become a more complete player. He even had the blueprints to make that happen. Tonight Byron finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 4 blocked shots. Byron, I give you this award and I am so proud of you. You are NOT a 1-hit-wonder as some have said. You are the genuine article, and you, like the rest of the team, are learning how to become a better player. Congrats on an incredible performance tonight.
Here are some of the stats for the other guys:
Walker = 22pts / 4 rebs / 5 assists / 4 steals / 1 block
Sessions = 18pts / 6 rebs / 4 assists / 2 steals
Thomas = 10pts / 4 rebs / 1 steal / 3 blocks
Williams = 8pts / 3 rebs / 2 assists / 3 steals
We face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, back at Time Warner Cable Arena. Keep your eyes peeled for some great ticket prices on upcoming posts on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Three wins in a row feels pretty good, but it was a hard fought victory. Hopefully the guys can rest up for this one because the last couple of wins were against teams that were missing a few of their elite players. The Grizzlies will be at full strength, so hopefully our Bobcats will be as well. Gerald Henderson, get well soon...but be certain you are 100% before you come back.