“Lot of French People, Good Vibe.” Yeah, that’s what it is Boris. It’s small things for the Charlotte Bobcats right now. Boris Diaw scored 0 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in Cleveland last night. 24 hours later, in New York, which I’m sure has more people from France than Cleveland has people (hyperbole), he scored 27 points to go with 3 rebounds and 6 assists.
French influence or not, the Bobcats led wire to wire and basically dominated offensively, while the Knicks tried to recover and find their way when they were on offense. The ‘Cats still allowed 110 points, but they won by 8.
Besides that “French” quote from Boris, he said something very interesting to me. He said something along the lines of “Now we know what a good game feels like” or “Now we know how to play if we want to win.” That’s quite the revelation to me. What would be holding the Bobcats back? Not knowing how to put together a game? In Boris Diaw’s mind (which we all know works a little differently than most people’s), that makes sense. The starters combined for 87 points. Throw in 16 for Byron Mullens off the bench and you have just enough offense to beat a Knicks team that settles for bad shots more often than not.
You have to give credit to Gerald Henderson. He hit 2 huge threes with the shot clock under 2 seconds each time. All that work we saw via twitter from Accelerate Basketball and from him getting up shots at Duke in pick up games has paid off in increased mid-range and long distance shooting. The Bobcats were 63.6% as a team from behind the three point line, and they weren’t over-using the shot, attempting only 11 to New York’s 29.
Think about that for a second. The Knicks were so willing to settle for a three point shot, they took over a third of their field goal attempts out there. Towards the end when the Boo-Birds in Madison Square Garden started to come around, Carmelo Anthony attempted a three in transition from at least 5 feet beyond the arc, followed his shot by running through D.J. Augustin and finishing the play at the rim. If he had just attempted to drive to the basket and get back on defense really quickly, he wouldn’t have wasted a possible foul (actual foul, only not called) and could have accomplished the same thing only in less time.
The Bobcats put up a complete offensive game, which to me, sadly, means all but cutting Corey Maggette out of the equation. 12 attempts and 4 makes, only got to the line for 4 attempts, and the Bobcats still put up 118 points. Matt Carroll, while only taking up 10 minutes of playing time, sort of proved his uselessness. I mean he hit 2 shots out of 4, but nothing else. This is one of those anomalies because his +/- was the highest of everyone.
Kemba Walker, 16 minutes, 7 points, 5 assists. I couldn’t be happier with that young fella. He’s progressing pretty well, if not getting many minutes because D.J. Augustin is playing pretty well. 14 minutes, 10 assists and most importantly, 0 turnovers. That’s solid out of DJA as a point guard, handling the ball a lot.
Did I mention Gerald Henderson? I mean seriously. That guy is becoming pretty legit. D.J. White played with his usual efficient, quiet strength (the title to the biography I’m working on about him), scoring 10 points and 9 rebounds.
It was just enough guys doing just enough stuff to stay ahead of a team that everyone was picking to finish high in the East. The Knicks have problems. Running everything through Carmelo Anthony, who did finish with a game-high 32 points, isn’t working for the overall game. Tyson Chandler did have 11 points on 4 attempts but as many rebounds as the Charlotte starting point guard. He had 2 blocks and altered a few shots, but he’s not the answer for the entirety of the Knicks’ defensive woes.
I’m trying not to get too high, just as I won’t sink too low with the next loss but the Bobcats are doing some things well. Enough to sustain some wins and growth for the upcoming season to be successful? Ehh, not so much.