(Courtesy John Raoux - AP Photo)
One thing that has been said about the Bobcats by Coach Clifford is that when the Bobcats have a strong first quarter, they usually win the game. Well, this would stand to reason because you don’t spend the rest of the game playing to catch up to the other team and passing their point total to build a lead. Tonight, the Bobcats finished the 1st quarter with a score of 30-18. So was it a simple victory? Far From it…
A strong first quarter was followed by a strong second quarter, by the Magic. The magic posted a 35 to 22 quarter, taking that lead away from the Bobcats. We have seen this happen in many, many games (for many, many seasons if you’re a long-term Bobcats fan). In years past, we’ve even seen 3rd quarters played where we referred to them as an Ice Age. Why an Ice Age? Because the team is so cold, if they had many more misses, they would start taking pints off the board. Fortunately, we have been seeing less and less of the “Ice Age” quarters, and tonight was no exception. With a 26-22 third quarter and a 33-27 fourth quarter, the Bobcats got a much needed win as they fly home tonight to face the Miami Heat on Saturday, after the Checkers take the ice for an afternoon hockey game. I’ll share some insight on the Heat game in a bit.
So who provided the scoring kick tonight? Big Al did it again with 30 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block. He had help from the other portion of the Bobcats “Big 3”…scratch that, “Big 3” makes me think of the Heat, whom I despise. From here on out, Kemba, Al, and Hendo will be referred to as the “Tri-Fecta”…
Al got support from the Bobcats Tri-Fecta tonight in a big way. Kemba Walker posted a double-double of his own with 19 points, 10 assists with no turnovers, and 2 rebounds. Gerald Henderson had 17 points with 3 rebounds, an assist, and 2 blocks.
The rest of the gang was also productive tonight. Josh McRoberts kept us in the game by hitting 5-7 from the 3-point line. He had 17 points, 5 assists with 1 turnover, 2 rebounds, a steal and a block. MKG had 9 points, 4 rebounds, a steal and a block tonight as he continues to get back into the NBA-rhythm of things.
Even our bench stepped up tonight and helped out with this victory. Sessions had 10 points, 5 assists with 2 turnovers, a rebound and a steal. Zeller had 6 points and 3 rebounds, and Anthony had 3 points, 2 rebounds and an assist. The bench helped some, but I’d like to see our bench points up in the 25 + point range. A win is a win though, and everyone contributed to the victory.
If we can play the Heat like we played the Magic, we can very well beat Miami. The Tri-Fecta has to be in great form, contributing as much as they can, and if the bench can step up and get into that 25point range, we will walk away with a victory. A key match-up tomorrow will be Michael Kidd-Gilchrist versus LeBron James. If the game is officiated properly, and LeBron doesn’t flop his way through the hardwood to the ice from the Charlotte Checkers game, and the refs let the guys play, we may get to see a defensive stance like we saw against Carmelo Anthony. A well-officiated game tomorrow combined with solid team play, and the Bobcats will beat the Heat in the “Cable Box”.
By the Way...Charlotte Hornets Gear goes on sale tomorrow in the team store. Don't buy it all up guys. I'm going to the Checkers game on Sunday and I'd like to be able to snag a little something...maybe a hat...#curvedbill
Until then…rest up guys…big game tomorrow.
Let’s Go Cats!