The Charlotte Bobcats were beat down and battered by the Indiana Pacers tonight. Charlotte grabbed just 31 rebounds to Indiana's 60, stumbled through a 17-point third quarter, moved with marked lack of purpose on offense and got abused inside. This game was over in the first quarter.
The Bobcats made a couple runs during the course of the game to keep it respectable...no that's not the right word...professional?...polite?...yeah, they kept it "polite" by getting within 10 points at the half.
More often than not these runs came against the Pacers' second team, and once the Bobcats got to within five during the second quarter the Indiana regulars reentered the game to dominate once and for all.
The Pacers scored their first seven baskets of the game in the paint and didn't make a shot outside that area until Lance Stephenson drilled a three (of course) with a little more the six minutes left in the first. The Pacers hammered the Bobcats small starting lineup early and often outscoring the Cats in the paint 52-22, and scoring 26 second chance points to the Bobcats eight. EIGHT!
All three Pacer frontcourt players scored in double figures (Roy Hibbert 18, Paul George 16 and David West 15) but only George had double-digit boards with 10. It truly was just an all-around Pacer effort and all-around ugly game for Charlotte. Seemingly every Indiana player got in the mix as only the inactive Danny Granger and Miles Plumlee (maybe I had to search which Plumlee it was, maybe I didn't) didn't see the floor. Two Hansbroughs played in an NBA game tonight.
It's almost crazy to see that halftime spread because really the game was never that close but also because the Pacers just came out and ka-rushed the Bobcats in the third period.
We haven't seen a lot of those stretches this year where the Bobcats get trounced for a quarter or two but tonight's second half sure brought back some night terrors. Indiana zoomed by Charlotte 33-17 in the third and the game never got within 22 in the final period.
For it's part, the offense was pretty horrible. Indiana had a lot to do with that but the issues inside aren't limited to the defensive end of the floor. Even though Bismack Biyombo (5 points) made an amazingly sharp looking jumper for the game's first point, he and the rest of Charlotte's big men had a rough night scoring just 15 points between Hakim Warrick (4), Jeff Adrien (4), and Brendan Haywood (2). Biyombo led Charlotte with six rebounds and had half the team's offensive boards...two.
The Pacers are pretty hot right now winning five of their last seven entering tonight including wins over New York and Miami, but this game was nowhere near as competitive as the last contest between these two teams just three days ago. It's not a great matchup for Charlotte, but the execution wasn't there tonight either.
The Bobcats had just 13 assists (one from Kemba Walker), got very little in the flow of the offense and hoped Ben Gordon would spark them with his magic jumpers but he only managed seven points in 13 minutes of action. Walker tweaked his ankle in the first half but did return in the second.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 15 points on just 3-10 shooting and was bothered by the length of George when he was on him. Walker had 13 points and Ramon Sessions had 13 points on his own 3-10 shooting.
The Bobcats now stand at 9-24 and travel to Orlando for a Friday night game with the Magic.