USA TODAY Sports
Bobcats lose again. Lets take some positives from this game.
The Bobcats lost. This isn't surprising; it never is these days. The Bobcats destruction of the Celtics was a rare, awesome occurrence but let's be real and understand that's not going to happen often with this team. However, we can always take some positives out of every game. First, let's go over the always repetitive reasons they didn't win.
Rebounding: As usual rebounding was a large factor in why the Bobcats lost. Amir Johnson had 21 of the Raptors 46 rebounds. The Bobcats finished with 36 rebounds, which means Johnson had over half as many rebounds as the Bobcats. This has been happening all season and it happened again tonight. However, not everything was terrible. Let's look into what usually causes them to lose games.
Scoring: Not finishing at the rim and iffy shot selection were just two of the big offensive failings tonight. The Bobcats shot 32 percent for the game, which is an improvement over the first quarter where they shot 29 percent. The Bobcats are a team that is very reliant on their scoring guards and when those guards aren't making their shots, the team suffers greatly. They also have very bad shot selection at times. I can't tell you how many times I yelled "WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING THAT!?" while watching this game and that doesn't include all the times I tweeted it on the Rufus on Fire twitter account. They had too many long twos, too many contested shots. They couldn't finish at the rim. They went 13-for-32 at the rim. That's 40 percent on the highest percentage shot in the game. Unacceptable.
Over-dribbling: Wait a second - this didn't happen tonight.
Not passing: Wait - this didn't happen either. Yep, that's right. The team started passing the ball tonight and while it didn't translate to a win, it was still amazing to see. The ball was moving around the perimeter, players were making that extra pass leading to open driving lanes. It was a sight to see and something I haven't seen enough of this season. One of my favorite things they did was take Josh McRoberts and put him at the top of the 3 point line. He would then stand and wait for the play to develop as the players moved off ball. This was a great change of pace from the usual dribble and hand off style of ball movement they had been playing.
Going late into the shot clock: This happened a lot tonight and while I should give credit to the Raptors defense, it wasn't really their doing. The Bobcats took a lot of bad shots but they also spent a lot of time looking for good ones. Again, a nice change of pace from the way the offense usually plays.
Bad defense: OK, so this was hit-and-miss tonight. There were some pretty horrible defensive possessions, especially in the first half and at the end of the fourth quarter. However, there were some flashes when the team looked really good on defense and they usually got points as a result of it.
Lack of identity: The Bobcats suffer from a lack of identity. They don't know what kind of team they are and as a result they don't really know what to do out there. This was again the case tonight as there was no consistency in the way they played. They were really all over the place.
The Bobcats actually did some very positive things tonight. Defense, passing, and shot selection were all much improved. If they keep improving in some of these areas the team might actually be kind of fun to watch. Let's hope we keep seeing improvements.