If you saw the Charlotte Bobcats play for the first time Wednesday, and knew nothing about their record or their history, you would have said, "This is a good team."
They were smart and unselfish, never backed down and beat Denver 107-95 at home.
And everybody contributed. Center Nazr Mohammed took only seven shots yet scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds and blocked a shot.
You know that guard Flip Murray is going to shoot. Guy is a scorer. He scored 10 and hit a huge shot late.
Point guard Raymond Felton scored 14 on only seven field goal attempts and hit two huge driving layups late. They were tough shots, but even if he missed you want your point guard missing from a foot, not from 22.
Early this season Felton was tentative; it was as if he was aware of his pending free agency, and lack of a contract, every time he went to basket. He played as if he was afraid to make a mistake. He is running this team now, making big shots and playing loose and playing well.
Gerald Wallace might be the world's best 6-7 rebounder. He grabbed a game-high 16 last night, five offensive. He also scored 25 points and went to the line 11 times.
Stephen Jackson did everything. Somebody would hit him with a pass and he'd get the rid of the ball so quickly it was as if it hurt his hands. He finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists and one huge testament to his leadership -- he volunteered to guard Denver scorer Carmelo Anthony.
In the fourth quarter, he rarely allowed Anthony, who scored 34, to get the ball where he wanted it.
Jackson has had the impact this season that Boris Diaw and Raja Bell did when Charlotte acquired them last December. But the Bobcats made the trade for Jackson almost a month earlier than they did the trade last season for Diaw and Bell.
Jackson already has been assimilated and already has markedly improved this team. What the Bobcats need, he provides.
The Bobcats are two games below .500, a viable playoff contender and they're entertaining.