USA TODAY Sports
The following Simpsons clip accompanies Chris' recap tonight:
I'm pretty sure that game was bad for my health.
I'll admit I'm a life-long Magic fan, so watching my favorite team of all time go down by 20 points in the first half thanks to some very hot shooting by the Bobcats was painful enough (Edit. Heh, brilliant scheduling, eh? - Ben).
Credit should go to the Bobcats where it's due, but the Magic missed a lot of wide open shots in the first half and played some absolutely horrid defense. Bismack Biyombo was at one time so wide open on a dunk that he looked shocked. I then saw those same Bobcats come out of halftime and completely flip the script. The Bobcats allowed the Magic to get the game within 10 points before scoring their first basket of the second half. The third quarter may have been some of the ugliest basketball I have ever seen. The Bobcats shot 58% in the first half so it was expected they would cool off at some point.
And oh, did they ever cool off.
The Cats went 5-for-13 in the third quarter and Kemba Walker made three of those baskets. The defense by the Cats was just as bad, if not worse, than what the Magic played in the first half. Nothing is more annoying than watching Byron Mullens so annoyed at missing a shot that he lazily runs up the court in response. Just like Biyombo, there was a shot when Kyle O'Quinn was so wide open that I audibly laughed. The Magic beat the Bobcats by 10 in that quarter and the Magic fan in me was pleased. But the basketball fan in me cringed as he saw turnover after turnover (6 from the Cats, 3 from the Magic) and just wanted somebody to play good basketball.
It surely couldn't get any worse right? It got so much worse. In the first half, the Bobcats made all the shots. In the 3rd quarter the Magic did. So who made all the shots in the 4th quarter? Nobody. The Bobcats went 7-for-21 and the Magic went 6-for-19. The Magic actually got the game within two points at one point. Kemba Walker proceeded to put the team on his back and carry them to the victory, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter. So as the basketball fan in me left unsatisfied, the Magic fan was being killed very slowly.
Despite all the negative comments, there are still some positive things to look at from tonight's game. Gerald Henderson had one of his best games of the year. The Magic had no answer for Henderson who was penetrating with ease. Henderson loved the right baseline going 3/4 from there, mainly on post ups, and driving to the hoop from there. He was able to get to the line quite frequently as he shot 8 free throws and made 7 of them.
Byron Mullens had another 20/10 game scoring 20 points on 8/17 shooting (47%) and grabbing 12 rebounds. If Mullens continues putting up offensive numbers like this I might have to take back my comments about him not improving on offense this season. He probably could have taken some smarter shots but there were only a couple shots that frustrated me that I can recall.
Kemba Walker was fantastic tonight going 9/16 and keeping the offense flowing. Whenever the Bobcats would go on a shooting slump, Kemba seemed to be there to make a shot or a pass that would get them a needed bucket. He made all the big plays and took over in the 4th quarter when he was needed.
Bobcat of the Night: Kemba Walker 9/16 24 points, 7 Assists, 4 Rebounds, 3/6 from three.