We need to see more of this guy on the floor. With playing time comes experience and education.
(Photo Courtesy of Kamil Krzaczynski - AP)
It must be that time of the year. If you’re a Bobcats fan, you know what time I’m talking about. It seems like every season, from Mid-November through January, the Bobcats turn into this team that no one wants to watch. They stop playing defense, ball movement gets sloppy, and overall, they just begin to burn their fans’ patience out. This is MY perspective of the team and the fans right now. I have my own thought as to why this happens (at least this season), so you'll have to keep reading.
We’re almost exactly halfway through the season, and we are 15 – 23. For the pathetically weak NBA Eastern conference, that’s still good enough for the #8 seed in the NBA playoffs (we did beat Brooklyn, so we’d be in there). How crazy is that? Are you wondering about the Western Conference? Their #8 seed would currently have a record of 21-16 (Dallas Mavericks). There are only 5 teams in the Western Conference that have a sub .500 win record. In the East…there are 4 teams with .500 or BETTER. Seems like a problem there, but I will digress. We’re here to talk Bobcats Basketball, so take the jump to see how tonight’s loss went down.
Teams with a “Big 3” usually win when the “Big 3” plays well. The Bobcats Big 3 of Kemba, Hendo, and Big Al chipped in 79 points. The rest of the team = 18. That doesn’t win games. We are also seeing the starters getting excess minutes and it is taking its toll on them. We had 4 players with over 36 minutes of playing time. Kemba played 43 minutes. I know we have been bit HARD by the injury bug with the loss of Jeff Taylor for the season and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for every game since Dallas, but, we’re running the starters into the ground. I’m looking at the team as a whole. Biz and Zeller each played 9 minutes. 9 MINUTES!!! Get those guys on the floor and let them give the starters some rest. If anyone’s wondering why our defense has disappeared, look no further than guys playing to their physical limits. Look on down the bench…Ben Gordon, Jeff Adrien – DNP –Coach’s Decision…Jannero Pargo – 49 seconds. We are killing our starters. If we have a bench full of guys we aren’t going to use, trade them away for something. Good grief! Don’t complain about bench scoring. Who was going to do it tonight? Zeller? Biz? Sorry guys, but when things aren’t working, they aren’t working. In 29 minutes, Chris Douglas-Roberts had 1 assist and 1 turnover. That’s it. THAT”S IT! Why did he have 29 minutes of time? If you can’t trade Ben Gordon, put the man on the court and save your starters wear and tear. I bet Ben Gordon would have made a shot. Slide Hendo to SF for a stretch, play BG at SG and see what happens. Get Adrien, who shut down Boozer on more than 1 occasion into the game for some defense. Boozer had 10 rebounds, 12 points, and 3 steals if you were wondering.
So what were tonight’s numbers?
Kemba had 29 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists with 2 turnovers, and 1 steal. Hendo had 30 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists with 4 turnovers, 2 steals and a block. Big Al had 20 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist with 1 turnover, and 1 block. McRoberts gave us 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists with no turnovers, 1 steal, and 3 blocks. Cody Zeller gave us 5 points, 2, rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in the 9 minutes he saw of the court. Sessions had 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists with 1 turnover. Biz had 2 rebounds and a block.
We got behind early in the game, only scoring 17 in the 1st and 25 in the second. The Bulls had scored 24 and 28. We had a super strong 3rd quarter that saw us go on a huge run to tie the game up at 70. The 4th quarter saw lots of worn down guys, tired from the amazing 3rd quarter, trying to get the victory, but they could not get the needed defensive stops…at least not until the end of the game. The Bobcats were trailing by as many as 11, 12, 13 points in the 4th, but they did not give up. It should renew the fans to see the team continue to fight like they did. They fought their way to the finish to fall 97 – 103. I love these Bobcats, but I feel many more 40+minute performances out of Kemba Walker may spark yet another NBA point guard going down with an injury. Keep in mind that if this happens, Sessions starts and Jannero Pargo is the backup. Someone give Seth Curry a call…please? Perhaps something will happen by the trade deadline that will bring some more substance to the Bobcats bench…or MKG’s return on Tuesday will help to reduce some playing time of the other guys so they don’t burn out. Whatever the case, I just want to see the Bobcats from the beginning of the year return to form and show the rest of the NBA what it is capable of. We got a good team, but this is a rough stretch for the players AND the fans. The die-hard, true fans, such as the Cats Crazies, SuperFans, and every other Bobcats fan that has hung around from day 1, will continue to be there when the Bobcats can hold their heads high. I believe that day will come before the Hornets arrive next season. In the meantime, “Ice up, son”. Panthers need to kick some 49ers butt tomorrow to stay in the hunt for the Super Bowl. With that…
Let’s go Panthers!
Let’s go Cats!