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November 30, 2012

Video: Sixers hand Bobcats a 3rd straight loss

Kemba Walker's 13-point, nine-assist effort was not enough in the Charlotte Bobcats' 104-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bobcats are now 7-8 and will host the Trailblazers on Monday.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on November 30, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

November 29, 2012

A postscript on Bobcats-Hawks

    Some post-game thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats’ 94-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks:

                --Never have I been a “moral victories’’ guy. Having said that, I’m not going to dismiss the persistence they demonstrated in pushing this game to the last possession, after a 114-69 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

                A game like that would have dragged last season’s team down for a week. I’m not saying they were quitters, because they weren’t. I’m saying you get thumped often enough by massive margins and you sooner or later get beaten down.

                Tonight they wanted to show they’re better than that. Not coincidentally the two players who kept them in this game were Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions. They’re veterans, they’re pros and they don’t get rattled easily in competition. They didn’t have anyone like that last season. Or at least anyone with enough NBA experience to exude those qualities.

                --On Gordon: What you’ve seen over these 14 games – two explosive, dynamic games and 12 others that are something less than that – is who he is and has been for a while. When Gordon gets hot, it’s white-hot. That will only happen every 5-7 games, but when he’s in that zone you just find him and watch with wonder.

                --So much happened at the end of the game that my story didn’t get into this, but the Bobcats gave themselves a chance to win tonight by shoring up the interior and transition defense.

                They gave up 50 points in the paint Friday in their first game of the season against the Hawks. Tonight they gave up 32 points in the paint. That involved some zoning-up to protect the rim.

    I got some tweets during the game, fuming over the Bobcats giving up 12 Hawks 3s. You need to understand this was a trade-off. The Bobcats knew they’d lose if Al Horford and Josh Smith went wild in the lane. They had a shot to win by packing it in and challenging the Hawks to make their 3s.

    And, by the way, the Bobcats shot 12-of-24 from 3-point range.

    --Yes, Kemba Walker was 4-of-15 from the field. But he finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and a ridiculous block. I have a lot of friends who are NBA scouts. You know what’s the first question they ask me? “What makes Kemba Walker so remarkably different this season?’’

    --Back to that, “Why did the Bobcats give up a bunch of 3s?’’ kvetch:  Smith and Horford combined for 12 assists tonight. Aren’t your odds dramatically better when you turn Smith and Horford into passers, rather than scorers?

    --Every single Bobcats-Hawks game I wish Bernie Bickerstaff took Zaza Pachulia in the expansion draft to keep him, rather than trade him. “Joey’’ Zaza (Godfather reference, for you fellow movie fans) rocks people with his picks and hard fouls. You’ll notice Primoz Brezec is out of the NBA. Pachulia is not.

    --Wizards win! Wizards win!...I have good friends in that organization. Would like to see good, smart people not lose their jobs.

    --Portland is bad, but I love their future: I’d trade any player on the Bobcats’ roster for LaMarcus Aldridge. I’d trade the next-best player on the Bobcats’ roster for Damian Lillard. The NBA is about quality, more than quantity. That situation will improve dramatically.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

November 28, 2012

Charlotte Bobcats injury update on Biyombo and Henderson

    Charlotte Bobcats big man Bismack Biyombo declares himself ready for the matchup with the Atlanta Hawks, after missing the last two games with a contusion of his left lower leg.

    “It’s doing pretty good,’’ Biyombo told the Observer before morning shootaround.  “I’m going to play tonight. I’m going to play tonight!’’

    Biyombo hurt himself in a fall last Friday in another game against the Hawks. They hoped he’d miss no time, but he was a scratch just before tip-off in Washington Saturday, then sat out Monday’s blowout loss in Oklahoma City.

    They clearly need Biyombo’s at-the-rim defense, as a backup to center Brendan Haywood. Gana Diop has struggled to fill in for Biyombo’s absence.

                When captain Gerald Henderson will return from a sprained left foot is still an open question. Henderson has missed the Bobcats’ last 11 games. He’s improving, but still not close enough to target a return date.

                The encouraging thing is Henderson is now cleared to run and jump. But he still feels some pain and hasn’t yet done some of the reflex things that could place his foot in awkward positions.

    “It’s almost there,’’ Henderson said.  “I haven’t done a lot of contact yet; that’s what I’m waiting on now. There’s still a level of soreness in there.

    “The big thing now is doing reaction stuff where I can gauge my foot and what it’s doing if something unexpected happens. To do those kind of things without pain.’’

                Henderson couldn’t pinpoint how many more games he’ll miss, but he sounded optimistic.

    “I don’t know. Some days I’ll go really hard and the next day it will be really sore. There are setbacks,’’ Henderson said. “But those are growing pains. I’m close – the next few games.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on November 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

November 27, 2012

Video: Bobcats suffer their worst blowout ever

The Charlotte Bobcats suffered their largest blowout loss in franchise history to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road on Monday night, 114-69. Jeffery Taylor had a team-high 10 points.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on November 27, 2012 at 01:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

November 26, 2012

Video: Bobcats surprise, Bynum disappoints

How disappointing has Andrew Bynum been so far for the Sixers' organization & fans? CineSport's Brian Clark & SheridanHoops.com's Chris Sheridan discuss this, the Bobcats & Damian Lillard.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on November 26, 2012 at 05:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

November 25, 2012

Video: Bobcats tie last season's win total

The Charlotte Bobcats beat the winless Washington Wizards in double OT, 108-106. Byron Mullens had 27 points and the Bobcats matched their win total from all of last season by improving to 7-5.

Posted by Observer staff on November 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Post-game thoughts on Bobcats beating Wizards in 2 OTs

    Some post-game thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats’ double-overtime road victory over the Washington Wizards:

                --This game never should have gotten to overtime, with the Bobcats squandering two separate double-figure leads against the NBA’s worst team. However the persistence in overtime was striking.           

                --The most concerning statistic Saturday was the 20 second-chance points the Wizards scored (as in points resulting from offensive rebounds keeping possessions alive). The Wizards had 18 offensive rebounds to the Bobcats’ five. In fact, Chris Singleton had more offensive boards (six) than all Bobcats combined.

                I asked coach Mike Dunlap if this was one of those things he calls “explainable, but not excusable.’’ His answer amounted to this: That often their best lineup options are to go small, and that inevitably leads to some disadvantages rebounding. The upside of that decision – finding scorers – outweighs the downside right now.

                --They don’t win this game, they don’t even get to the first overtime, without Byron Mullens’ 27 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. He knows he hasn’t shot particularly well and that changed Saturday (9-of-15 overall, 5-of-11 from 3-point range).

                Dunlap didn’t tell him to back off his attempts after Mullens went 2-of-6 in the second quarter. Quite the opposite. Dunlap said he liked the looks Mullens was getting and to take every shot where he is open – just so long as he keeps providing defense at the other end.

                --Many of you told me the Bobcats were jobbed by the officiating Saturday. You thought Jeff Taylor didn’t deserve a foul on that play at the end of the first overtime that gave Singleton three free throws. You thought it was unfair that Taylor, Ben Gordon and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist all fouled out.

                You know who disagrees with you? Dunlap:

                “To me, officials have nothing to do with us going through those overtimes,’’ Dunlap said. “That’s on us.’’

                --The Bobcats’ depth is going to be tested on this road trip – at Oklahoma City Monday and at Atlanta Wednesday. That’s particularly true if Bismack Biyombo misses more time with a contusion on his left lower leg.

                They’ve done a good job of surviving without Gerald Henderson (sprained foot). But they could sure use him now, particularly as a versatile scorer. I just don’t know that he’ll be recovered before they come home to play the Philadelphia 76ers.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 25, 2012 at 01:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (24)

November 23, 2012

A post-script on Bobcats-Hawks

    Some post-game thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats’ 101-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks:

                --This was probably the best defensive game rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has played. He finished the game with 11 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Coach Mike Dunlap asked MKG to guard Josh Smith, which is a big challenge. He was the one player with the quickness to do that who is of relatively similar size to Smith.

                Kidd-Gilchrist played some impressive defense, but he had to use up five fouls to get there. He never fouled out.

                --Those “MVP’’ chants every time Byron Mullens goes to the foul line sure sound like sarcasm. My guess is some fans don’t like Mullens shooting so much. Mullens was 4-of-14 from the field Friday, but he also had eight rebounds and six steals.  (Plus four turnovers).

                --Another strong game from rookie Jeff Taylor, who made four of six 3-point attempts and had three steals.  Dunlap likes 3s from the corner and that’s becoming Taylor’s shot.

                --Dunlap loves it when his team generates trips to the foul line. The Bobcats had 26 free-throw attempts to 14 for Atlanta.

                --New Bobcat Hakim Warrick isn’t getting much run. He played three minutes against the Hawks. He missed his only shot.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

November 20, 2012

Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson a week or more away from playing

    It sounds like at least another week before Charlotte Bobcats captain Gerald Henderson will be well enough to start playing again.

                In an exclusive interview Tuesday with the Observer, Henderson said his sprained left foot is still sore and he hasn’t been cleared yet to run or jump on the basketball court.

    “I’d say around a week. I’d have to be able to run and jump first and get a couple of practices in. To get myself in decent enough shape because I’ve missed some time,’’ Henderson told the Observer, after a session of shooting and ballhandling.

    Henderson suffered that injury in the second half of the Nov. 3 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks. He was relieved at the time not to need surgery. But the prognosis was he’d need two to four weeks off. Since Henderson went out, the Bobcats have gone 4-3.

    Henderson can do some running in what’s called an Alter-G machine. Effectively that’s a tent of compressed air formed around his lower body, reducing the effect of gravity. Henderson said he can now safely run at about 70 percent of his body weight.

    “It’s at a point where it’s still healing – there’s still a bruise in there.  Not any real swelling, just really sore,’’ Henderson described. “I want it to get to a point where it’s strong enough where I can go out there and do regular activities.’’

    “Maybe in the next few days I can get out there and jog, put my full body weight on it, but for now we’re just being cautious. Make sure I heal up so that when I come back I’m 100 percent.’’

    More from Henderson in Wednesday’s Observer.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (23)

Video: Scrappy Bobcats rally, beat Bucks

The Charlotte Bobcats overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-98. Ramon Sessions posted a team-high 23 points, and the Bobcats improved to 5-4.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on November 20, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)