If Charlotte’s first preseason game was any indicator this team could have the potential to play .500 basketball this season.
The Bobcats looked strong in their preseason opener beating the Washington Wizards 100-88. Gerald Henderson led all scorers with 19, and looked like he was out to send a message. Henderson was agressive throughout the game, and attacked the hoop whenever the opportunity presented itself. I believe Henderson is ready to be a big time player for this team.
The Bobcats first round pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a solid game, and made some very nice plays on the defensive end of the floor to help spring some fast break opportunities.
Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions, both offseason acquisitions, had solid games, and could really help bolster a Charlotte bench that has needed help for years. Gordon looked especially impressive scoring 16 points in 25 minutes.
Tyrus Thomas another important piece of this team, and a key to an improved season this year was very aggressive. Thomas got to the free throw line eight times in 15 minutes. Thomas finished with eight points.
However, the most important thing I took away from this game was the energy Mike Dunlap expects his team to play with each and every night. Dunlap employs a high pressure defense and stresses getting to the free throw line on the offensive end. The Bobcats accomplished both of these goals on Sunday, getting to the free throw line 46 times and forcing 20 turnovers. Dunlap after the game said “he liked the pace of the game” and that offensively if you can get to around 100 points your doing pretty good in the NBA. He went on to say that the team played well, but they need to focus on cutting down on the number of turnovers they commit.
Overall, Bobcat’s fans should be pleased with this team’s performance in their first preseason game. They showed they will play hard, and that the young players on this team are becoming better and better with each game.