As Bryan Wendland stated at the beginning of this week, Roberto Gato is starting a new tradition of weekly previews and recaps. During the previews, we’ll give our predictions for the week, trends we would like to see continues with players, and ongoing storylines. In the recaps, we’ll take a look at the week that was and see if any of those trends were successful.
The Charlotte Bobcats went 1-3 this week and in typical Bobcats fashion, it came with one blowout. Monday, the Bobcats had many wondering whether it was an April Fools gag to explain why they gave up 131 points in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the Bucks highest scoring total in four seasons, and many players after the game spoke on how easy it was to get good shots against a floundering Bobcats defense. Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson seemed confused as to how their defense could give up that total and painted a picture of disorganization.
“We made shots too easy for them,” said Henderson. “Obviously, they’ve got some really quick guards who can get into the lane, and that’s what they were doing and either finishing or kicking out for 3s. We just couldn’t play any defense. You ain’t gonna beat nobody giving up 130 points.”
Wednesday the Bobcats redeemed themselves with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Henderson led all scorers with 24 points, and the Bobcats avoided the season sweep of the 76ers. They allowed just 83 points that game. That night the Bobcats continued their hot streak at home, winning five of their last six games in Time Warner Cable Arena.
They tried to mirror that home-cooking against Miami Friday, in an ESPN-televised game. The Heat rested stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but Mike Miller channeled his play from last year’s NBA Finals, hitting seven-three pointers to lead Miami to victory. Bobcats fans have been no stranger to opposing teams going off from three, as the Bobcats are 29th in opponents three-point percentage. Miller finished with 26 points, which was a season high, while Chris Bosh had 18 points and eight rebounds. The Bobcats offense was stifled by the Heat, and they did a poor job of getting any quality shots offensively. The bright spot was they got to the line 22 times and missed only two of their free throws.
The Bobcats wrapped up their week Saturday with a trip to Brooklyn. The playoff-bound Nets were able to defeat the Bobcats 105-96, behind 32 points from Deron Williams and 20 rebounds from Reggie Evans. Unlike the 76ers, he Nets were able to claim their season sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats. Ben Gordon led the Bobcats with 27 points off the bench and Henderson had 22 points on 12 shots.
Henderson’s efficiency rise and scoring continues to be the best storyline for the Bobcats recently. One of the questions Bryan asked for the week was whether Henderson would keep up that scoring and he did. This week Henderson averaged 18.5 points on 14.3 shots, and got 6.5 free throw attempts that he made at 84.6% clip. Henderson did this without making a single three-pointer this week. Henderson showed some improvement in his three-point shot earlier this season, but it hasn’t been a factor in his scoring rise. He’s only making threes at a 27% clip in his last 25 games. If Henderson can get his three-point shot back, he might be close to a complete scoring arsenal.
With just five games left, another Bobcats season is coming to an end. The Bobcats again sit with the worst record in the league, but are still trying to compete to salvage any victories.