(Photo Courtesy Rick Scuteri - AP)
It was obvious in last night’s game that we are in desperate need of some help for Al Jefferson. With Kemba out with his 2nd degree ankle sprain, Al, yet again became the focus of our offense. After his 40-point performance on Friday in LA, it was obvious that he was a bit drained.
I’m keeping this recap short and sweet, as today is Super Bowl Sunday. I got wings to make and pizza to order…too bad Papa John’s is too far away from the house to be able to take advantage of the 50% off for the Bobcats scoring 90 points or more. Anywho…the Bobcats fell 105-95 last night to the Suns in the second game of a back–to-back. Our leading scorer last night was NOT Al Jefferson. I believe Friday night may have pushed him to the limits to a certain degree. Al finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes of play. Anthony Tolliver was the leading scorer with 14 points on the night. He shot 4-7 from the floor (3-6 from 3-point land) and converted all 3 of his free throws. The rest of the team had a balanced attack in terms of scoring:
Pargo – 11 points / 6 assists
Kidd-Gilchrist – 11 points / 3 rebounds
McRoberts – 11 points / 5 rebounds / 3 assists
Sessions – 11 points / 1 assist / 1 steal
Zeller – 11 points / 6 rebounds
Henderson – 6 points / 2 rebounds / 2 assists / 1 steal
Biyombo – 4 points / 4 rebounds / 3 blocks
The first key in losing would be that we appeared to be tired. There was just really slow movement on the floor. This lead to the second key; we were out-rebounded terribly. We were out-rebounded 51 – 34. We can’t win many games when you can’t rebound the ball. We took good care of the ball when we did have it, only turning the ball over 8 times, to Phoenix turning it over 13 times. The final 2 keys to our loss were worse field goal percentage (41% to Phoenix’s almost 49%), and foul shots (We were 21-29 to Phoenix’s 20-23).
Fortunately, Coach Clifford granted some extended minutes to the bench players and gave the starters 20+ minutes of rest in this game. Hopefully the Bobcats can head up to Golden State on Tuesday, rested, grab a win, and head back home with a 3-1 road record on this trip. It would be a wonderful record for us as we head home to face the Spurs on Saturday. It also gives us a few more days of rest so that the epic battle of Big Al vs. Duncan can be fully enjoyed by all the fans at Buzz City night. The Hornets SWARM will be in attendance again, cheering on the home team and trying to get the fans pumped up about the Hornets name returning to its home. I hope to see everyone in attendance, infected by Hornets Hysteria and join in our cheers.
Before I close, just one thought…
You guys know that I have been a Henderson fan from day one. He’s a great guy and he’s wonderful with our fans. It comes with a heavy heart that I have to say that his inconsistency is killing us. I think he’d be an excellent fit on this team as a 6th man, but as a starting SG, he falls short for me more often than not. He’s averaging 12.6 over the last 10 games. Don’t get me wrong, I’d hate to see him go, but we only have Al as our offensive firepower. This has been evident with Kemba out. Kemba is great, but he shouldn’t have to be our leading scorer in order to carry the team. I think a move is going to have to be made. It would be great if that move could involve keeping Hendo here as a 6th man, but I just don’t know if that’s going to be a possibility. We just need a SG that can put up a 17ppg average, and could go off for 20+ if they had to. Hendo does some, but there are other guards that flirt with 20 per night that I’d rather have here to contribute to the Big Al/Kemba front. If we can’t get a boost at SG, then it has to come from another spot, like the SF or PF position. I believe that the front office knows this and they are most definitely working hard to find a fix to the dilemma. May it be a trade for a player like Afflalo, JR Smith, Josh Smith, Shumpert, or even Taj Gibson or Carlos Boozer, I know that the front office is ready to be good now, and they are cocked and ready to fire on a deal that would net us the most needed players to make a run into the playoffs. We’ll just have to wait these next 18 days. I got a feeling things are about to get busy on the trade front as February 20th approaches. Teams that are bound for the Playoffs will look for deals that will put them over the top while teams that could have some cap issues will be looking for relief via expiring contracts. If you want to study it, see if you can figure what teams may want Ben Gordon the most, and what they could give back. Let’s have some fun with it. By all means, share it in the comments!
Let’s GO CATS!!