I'm not even completely sure what to say after this one.
While the Bobcats most certainly had an unusually good shooting performance from just about everyone, the Knicks' defense was atrocious and permitted the Bobcats to play as well as they did. Chicken or the egg?
In the beginning, Diaw easily shook off last night's sad performance, rattling off perfect six-for-six shooting, stretching the discombobulated Knicks defense, and then easily penetrating and finding teammates for open shots. Augustin was also playing pretty well, dishing 8 dimes in the first half. The Bobcats defense struggled initially, getting gashed by Tyson Chandler pick and rolls. But the Bobcats picked their shots extremely well on offense, making four of six first-half three attempts and taking advantage of a sluggish Knicks defense.
The Knicks just really didn't look very into the game at all, if that makes sense. They weren't out of striking distance at any point, but they weren't committed on defense and couldn't get a rhythm going on offense. Considering the Bobcats were on a tail end of back-to-back, that should be a concern. On defense, it was basically a free-for-all. The Knicks were burned on slow switches, didn't fight through screens, didn't bring help defense well and simply didn't play good man defense. Towards the end of the fourth quarter Boris Diaw left Amar'e Stoudemire in Brooklyn as he spun around Amar'e and easily walked to the basket for a reverse layup as Stoudemire scrambled for a late contest.
The Bobcats trailed the Knicks only at two points during the game: when the score was 0-2 and 2-4. For a team as young as they are, the Bobcats handled the game and New York's comeback attempts very well. They made some mistakes that young teams do, like on inbounds plays, but on the whole, they were in control.
Augustin didn't have the most efficient scoring night, with 14 points on 14 shots, but his 10 assists and zero turnovers were exceptional. Kemba Walker also had a rough scoring night, with seven points on eight shots, but like Augustin, he was much better as a distributor. Finding fellow Bobcats for 5 assists, he put the ball in the shooters' hands accurately.
Game of the night honors easily go to Boris Diaw, who surprisingly returned to his earlier form, and Gerald Henderson. The pair combined for 51 points on 28 field goal attempts (Diaw 12-15, Henderson 10-13). Henderson also helped shut down the Knicks' backcourt and added in four rebounds and four steals.
The Bobcats frontcourt was once again aptly held down by D.J. White and Byron Mullens. White quietly nearly had a double-double (10 points, nine rebounds) and Mullens was a killer off the bench, dropping 16 points on eight shots, along with five rebounds. I should also mention that although Derrick Brown wasn't much to notice on offense, his defense on Carmelo Anthony was commendable.
I'm a little nonplussed with Silas's withholding of playing time from Bismack Biyombo. Playing him more may have cost the Bobcats a win here, but I doubt it. D.J. White wasn't much of a factor late and Biyombo could definitely use that time, too.
The key stat tonight had to be the assist:turnover ratio. While Charlotte more than doubled up on their turnovers with assists, the Knicks struggled to get above a simple 1:1. As such, the Bobcats got easier shots, made fewer mistakes, and made it look easy as they brushed the Knicks off on the road.