Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The Bobcats are the youngest team in the NBA and they showed that inexperience tonight in an awful defeat against the 76ers.
I should have known this team would look sluggish after blowing their previous game against the Lakers. Yet hope remained. My brain told me that this would be another painful game, but my heart wanted this game to be different. I should have known better; this team isn't difficult to figure out. The Charlotte Bobcats are a young team that can be exciting. But they can also be extremely frustrating when they don't play to their potential.
Tonight's game was a case of latter. because you really can't point at a single player that had a promising game tonight. Both teams played an extremely ugly game but the Bobcats were just ridiculous from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer. Sure, you could say that they played good defense which is debatable but I'll just point to the big glaring statistic that the team shot below 30% from the field. These are supposed to be some of the best players in the entire world but looked more like the random guys you would find at a local pickup game at a YMCA who play without a set game plan in place.
The game started out with Byron "Double Deuce" Mullens trying to lead the team with his jumper with four shots in the team's opening possessions. While he did show that he still had the ability to shoot, he still forced a lot of bad attempts that hurt the team and led to an overall inefficient 16 points on 7-19 shooting. There were times where I just covered my head in shame every time he shot because you just had that feeling he would miss, resulting in the 76ers grabbing the rebound because 7'0" Mullens was located at the perimeter.
Although Mullens not being there to rebound was a problem, you still have to put the blame on the rest of team for the inability to rebound, too. Philadelphia had 20 more rebounds than Charlotte, all still without Andrew Bynum, who has yet to play a game with the team. Bynum's replacement and former 2nd round pick Lavoy Allen absolutely dominated on the boards with a career high 22 rebounds, more than the entire Bobcats starting five.
While the frontcourt definitely suffered tonight, the backcourt combination of Walker and Henderson weren't much better. Gerald Henderson followed his double-double against the Lakers with a frustrating12 points on 4-for-12 shooting. The problem I had with Henderson is I couldn't point a specific moment where he impressed me but he just looked mediocre, missing shots. Whereas Henderson was below average, Kemba Walker reached a new low in this game by only having 6 points on 2-9 shooting while being benched in the 2nd half for the more efficient Ramon Sessions.
Sessions was probably the lone Bobcat player to have a solid game. He was the only player that kept Charlotte in this game in the 2nd half. Sessions used his ability to drive to the hoop to score at the basket and to get to the free throw line, a skill he has shown to excel at. I was impressed with him, and yet I hope this increased amount of playing time is not something that will last. I really do like Sessions as a player but he's meant to be a 6th man behind the young Kemba Walker.
This game will probably go down as one of the worst performances in an already bad season. The trade deadline is right around the corner and I hope that Rich Cho and the rest of the front-office use this game to help pinpoint what they need to improve through trades or even the upcoming NBA draft.