October 30, 2013
Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson starting vs. Rockets
HOUSTON – New Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson will play, and start, tonight in the season-opener against the Houston Rockets, after missing about three weeks with a sprained right ankle.
What that means, as far as minutes, is still an open question.
“He’s gonna play. I don’t know how many minutes he can play or how many minutes in a row he can play,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said pre-game.
Jefferson, signed to a three-year, $41 million contract in July, always expressed confidence he’d play in the opener, even after some stiffness and soreness in practice Tuesday. But Clifford and the Bobcats’ medical staff put off a decision until after shootaround Wednesday morning.
Jefferson was brought in for his low-post scoring. He can force opposing defenses to double team in a way no previous Bobcat has.
“For us to play well each and every night, he has to be in the middle of it,” Clifford said of Jefferson.
That makes a crowded early schedule – the Bobcats play three of their first four nights and 17 of the first 31 – difficult. Jefferson acknowledged after practice Monday that his wind concerned him as much as his ankle. Regaining game shape won’t be easy and the team also has to reintegrate his skills into the offense. Jefferson played only one exhibition, plus the first quarter of another, before being injured.
“Without him we can be OK. With him we can be a lot better,” Clifford said.
Posted by Observer Sports on October 30, 2013 at 06:55 PM | Permalink
He is way out of shape. No way he can get up and down for more than 4 minutes a quarter.
Posted by: Nitwit | Oct 30, 2013 7:44:38 PM
considering he was still rusty, we would have been better off without. defense was deplorable and he didn't have the offense to excuse it last night.
that said, better off getting the rust off in a game we weren't supposed to win anyways.
Posted by: charlottean | Oct 31, 2013 9:42:06 AM
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