Words can't describe how wonderful it felt to be in Time Warner Cable Arena to witness the Bobcats win their season opener by a score of 90-89. Last year I was in attendance for many losses, but the win tonight snapped the 23-game losing streak that we closed the 2011-2012 season with. It was a sweet moment in time and it was the perfect way for our young team to start this 2012-2013 season. Take the jump to hear some of the observations I need to share about last night's game.
The Bobcats opened their season last night with a home game against the Indiana Pacers. I love attending the season opener game because it is so full of excitement. For me, my excitement began in the food line. As we were paying for our food, I glance up at some folks entering the main lobby from a door to the side of the "Lowes Front Court Grill". My mind is already racing in terms of seeing my favorite pro sports team take the floor, so my reaction time is a bit blurred. My first thought is that this first guy looks like Rich Cho. Then I see him...yeah...HIM! You know the guy...His Airness. Michael Jordan emerges from this door. The employees in the food line and my mom are asking what I want on my sandwich, and I'm in a speechless stare at MJ. I smile and say, "How's it going?" The response is the trademark Michael Jordan smile, and then he pats me on the chest and walks on. Michael Jordan pats me on the chest!!! At this point my hands are shaking and I have to regroup. So many years we tried to see him play back in the day when we had the Hornets. So many Bobcats games we have attended trying to snap a picture of him or see him at a one of their special events, but all it took was being in a line in the arena. One moment in time that will be in my mind forever. Hopefully as our site grows and we gain support, we can gain his attention and I can meet them man "officially" and I can get a picture, or get to actually talk to him. At any rate, this moment in time set my heart racing, ready for some Bobcats Basketball.
The game...that's right...there was a game played. A season opener against a team where our former starting point-guard signed within hours of being waived, and he didn't even start for them. I have to make mention that the arena was packed. It was the fullest that I've ever seen it. The best part was that the fans were into it. You could feel the crowd really being into the game and they were LOUD! I mean really loud! It wasn't canned loud where there is stuff playing on the PA system. The fans were really into it. There were many times, however, where the Cats Crazies could have taken some of the energy in the arena and they could have turned it into a focused frenzy that would have any opposing team in awe. Chants of "Let's Go Cats" or "Defense" would have to be started by Big Pat, but once it would start, it would carry for a good bit. Even the loudness meter maxed out twice during the game. The crowd was into it, but the Crazies could make it be much, much more.
Actual game details...well...
The game was great. We have got an exciting group to see. For individual players, Mullens and Sessions had a very off night. Their shots were just downright ugly, and the group I was sitting with were all but booing Mullens off of the court for his shot selections that were not falling. Sessions hit a few shots when it counted most, but he looked real sloppy starting out. Kemba Walker was spot on last night. His shot has vastly improved, he's fearless when driving to the lane, and he's making better decisions. He finished the night with 30 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. I give him the Trade Street Post Player of the Game. I know this is in a random sort of order from what we usually write, but just like the Bobcats, this is my season opening recap, so I got to get back in the groove of things. Also, my son has a baseball tournament that we have to be at in a few hours, so I'm writing fast. Gerald Henderson never fails to give us what we expect from him. He drained a couple 3-point shots and finished with 18 points, 5 steals, 2 blocks, and 3 assists. The next leading scorer was Ramon Sessions with 11, Ben Gordon with 10, and Mullens with 6. Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 2 points and 7 rebounds. Welcome to the NBA MKG! We held our turnovers to 10, and that's saying a lot for a team as young as ours.
I've shared the good...but I have to share the bad. Shot selection was not the greatest. We still looked like a jump shooting team. There weren't enough drives to the basket by players other than Kemba Walker. Kemba was doing a lot of driving, and I loved it, but I want more of our other guys doing the same. Perhaps it is just our play style, but whenever a jump shot would go up, all 5 players would be at half-court before it hit the rim. Guys aren't following their shots, and no one is even trying to get second chance points off of rebounds. This number glares as we had 41 rebounds and the Pacers had 52. You don't win many games that way. We also only had 2 guys in double figures. The worst part is Kemba had 30 then the other 3 double figure scorers combined only provided 39 points. We need at least 2 guys to give us 25 points or more per game, or 6+ players in double figures to consistently win games. At any rate, it was game 1, and I know for a fact that Coach Dunlap will tweak the team and make changes as needed.
Tonight we face the Mavericks. We've never beaten them, but after last night's game, I think we could hang with them, and we may even change history. Tune in to Fox SportSouth to watch the game if you can, and maybe we can pull to 2-0 on the season.
Bobcats Basketball is back and I'll have a smile all day. Why?
Bobcats won...and Michael Jordan patted me on the chest!