Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
After a slow start, the Bobcats were able to curb many of the problems that plagued them early in Monday's game to end up in a somewhat competitive game by the end. Still, they couldn't avoid their eighth straight loss.
I got off work shortly before halftime, ready to fulfill my nightly duties that come with covering a game. I settled in, fired up League Pass, and checked out the boxscore, as if the halftime score of 58-40 wasn't bad enough. I shouldn't have looked at the boxscore. This is the carnage my eyes soaked in:
- The Bobcats got down early, giving up 38 points in the first quarter alone!
- The Bobcats had amassed 2 fast break points in 24 minutes. Some of this could be due to the fact that they had forced only five turnovers at the half, but the rebounding battle was even, and they still couldn't get out in transition for easy points. Hey, you don't end up down by eighteen at halftime converting a bunch of high percentage shots.
- David Lee led the Warriors at the halfway mark with 17 points, Byron Mullens had already taken 12 shots (Making four of them.), and it was then I knew that the frontcourt was going to bother me in the second half.
- The Warriors led the assist battle up to that point 20-13, telling me that the ball movement wasn't as productive as it should have been.
The second half was slightly more watchable, but the Bobcats had already caused so much self-inflicted harm it was going to be difficult to come back despite the Warriors playing at a level just above coasting. Actually, for a team that had lost their previous seven games, they showed a surprising amount of fight, and were able to make it some of the way back. But, again, they had already put themselves so far out of it early, that it wound up not mattering much.
After it was all said and done, the Bobcats only committed five turnovers in the second half, although they were of the dumbfounding variety, but also forced six. Since the Warriors are not an elite defensive team, they really killed themselves in the turnover area, and gave the Dubs an 18-11 advantage.
A big reason the Bobcats were able to crawl back into this -- aside from the Warriors letting off a bit -- was the fact that they made life easier. They scored 9 points on the break in the second half, and scored 34 points in the paint to the Warriors 36. On top of the turnovers, and points off of turnovers, this aspect really hurt their chances in this game.
Of course, the Warriors shot very well, .452/.400/.870, led by Steph Curry's 27 points. And, utimately, the Bobcats didn't shoot so well: .373/.346/.781. It should be noted that the Bobcats' three point percentage was in the low twenties before their shots fell in the second, and that's what it took for them to post a very average mark. It wasn't surprising that the Bobcats' shots weren't falling once they improved their shot selection in the second half, but they still had things happening like Byron Mullens receiving the ball at the top when they weren't even running a set play.
Defensively, their rotations were atrocious at times. They gave the Warriors open looks or mismatch from a bad/late rotation. If I never have to watch Gana Diop close out on a Steph Curry three, it'll be too soon. Then they tried out the Zone thing for a bit, but the Warriors could shoot, so it didn't matter a ton. The poor rotations are fixable, but require some basketball IQ and court awareness to do so.
Really, the offense had much better flow when Mullens got his shot with in it; not when he was forced to create as much. At least Byron facilitated well, tonight, dishing out 3 assists. Mullens only wound up taking four shots in the second half total, but they were better shots, and he made two out of three from the paint. Actually, the only shot Mullens missed in the paint all night was a layup right under the basket in traffic that almost went in. Again, all of this is better for the Bobcats, and given the overall quality of the frontcourt, it's best if they let the backcourt carry most of the load
* Byron Mullens first half shooting: 4/11; 1-2 from 3; 9 points
* Byron Mullens second half shooting: 2/4; 0-2 from 3; 4 points
I guess I'll just keep running off notable performances on the night...
- Why does every Gana Diop minute feel like an eternity? Oh yeah, he's almost literally where offense goes to die, and I didn't even need to look at his Offensive Rating of 70 Offensive Wins Shares of -0.1 to figure that out. A couple of times when Diop was on the court, the perimeter was locked down, and the Bobcats' point guard looked to dump it inside, but actually looked him off, and Sessions/Walker would opt to drive it into traffic instead. It's really the equivalent to a 5-on-4 powerplay in hockey. He literally costs you games on offense, begging the question: can we never play Diop 14 minutes again?
- It seemed pretty obvious that Bismack Biyombo is still a work in progress. I guess no one said he wasn't, but looked lost offensively working off the ball, and made some curious choices with his passes. For instance, as the inbounder with 1.5 seconds left in the third, Biz opts to attempt to force a long pass to Sessions with Jarret Jack draped all over him, instead of opting to simply throw it five feet in front of him to a wide open Henderson under the basket, and of course Jack read the play like it was tattooed on the back off Sessions' jersey, and made the easy steal.
- For the most part, I still like what the backcourt did tonight, despite the loss. Kemba posted a 24 and 6, while Sessions added 12-6, but neither was very efficient about it. Ben Gordon shot 5-11 in 15 minutes (Ok, that's probably too many shots in that time...), yet he still finished with 14 points. And did you notice how I haven't mentioned Gerald Henderson much? That was like watching him play tonight.
- I wanted to give MKG his own section, because he's great. 17-7-3 on 6-10 shooting and a +6 to boot on a night when no one was playing defense is a very good sign. Sure he had his rookie moments to the tune of four fouls and three turnovers, but nothing too concerning. I really like watching him play.
Ok, that's all I got on this. You could say if they hadn't given the Warriors all of the points they wanted in the first quarter, the other three may have made more difference, or you could look at this as the Bobcats' turn around after a dismal start. Whatever floats your boat. Eight consecutive losses is no fun, but there are somethings that we can at least hope to see more of in the future.
|Final - 12.10.2012||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Golden State Warriors||38||20||35||11||104|
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