Another Summer League game, another win for the Cats. It’s almost a shame that the team doesn’t play in Nevada; over the past two summers, Charlotte is now 7-2 (through Monday) against the rest of the competition. Unfortunately, Vegas Bobcats doesn’t quite roll off the tounge, and championships are won in June instead of July.
It was more of the same for both Cody Zeller and Jeffery Taylor, who completely owned the New York Knicks in a 84-71 win on Monday. Separately or combined, regardless of how you look at the box score, these two up and coming Cats dominated. Zeller recorded his second straight double-double, finishing with 18 points (on 7-of-11 shooting), 10 rebounds, and one assist; Taylor led all players with 20 points (on 6-of-14 shooting), 4 steals, and one rebound.
The two players seem to be growing more and more comfortable with their abbreviated team and each other, which could play into Steven Clifford’s hand very nicely when the regular season begins. Unfortunately, the two were not without their faults. They had a combined seven turnovers and 10 fouls, but some of that could simply be chipping any summertime rust away.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo both played solid games, yet nothing about what they did against New York made them stand out. On the defense the two were outstanding: Biz recorded 11 rebounds, and swatted shots away with authority. Kidd-Gilchrist wreaked havoc on his opponents, causing them to fumble the ball away multiple times and came up with two steals in the process for himself. Their offensive games were a completely different story. While the two’s games weren’t dreadful, they were nowhere near outstanding. Biz and MKG combined for 14 points on 4-of-9 from the field, and 6-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Another drawback of their production on offense was their mindsets whilst on that end of the court. Biyombo looked primarily disinterested in getting the ball to make something happen, and while Kidd-Gilchrist has eliminated a major hitch in his jump shot, he avoided taking several open jumpers from 20-feet away. Instead, MKG opted to drive to the hoop in the hopes of finishing strong at the rim. Unfortunately, his shooting percentage suggests otherwise (37.5%).
A bright spot coming off the bench for Charlotte came in the form of the “coach’s son”. Patrick Ewing Jr. played an extremely efficient 20 minutes off the bench, finishing with nine points, five rebounds, and one assist, all while remaining active at all times and never missing a shot from the field. Should Ewing Jr. continue to turn in performances such as this in the coming days, he can expect to receive a training camp invite for when that time draws near.
The Bobcats next opponent has yet to be announced, as Charlotte waits for the preliminary round of the Vegas Summer League to finish before moving on to the round robin.