Walker and Henderson stepped up and gave arguably their best performances of the season against a Celtics team that lost six of their last eight games, including a loss to the Bobcats on November 13th.
Walker put up 28 points on 11-17 shooting along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists while Henderson contributed 20 points of his own on 7-17 shooting with five rebounds.
The Cats also had a good effort from Big Al Jefferson, who put up 14 points of his own, but struggled to clean the glass, grabbing only three rebounds on the night.
But this wasn’t a game decided by the starters. The Celtics bench gave the Bobcats fits, putting up a combined 39 points compared to the Bobcats 15 points. Leading the way for the Celtics back ups was former Bobcats great Gerald Wallace; who had his best game of the season with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.
The Bobcats are now 7-8 on the season, with the team looking like a possible playoff contender. However, the Cats must find a way to win at home. So far this season the Bobcats are 3-5 in Time Warner Cable Arena, with two of those wins coming against the surprisingly bad Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The good news is that the Bobcats are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA right now, ranking third in points allowed. This is a great sign for a team that really seems to be buying into what Steve Clifford is selling. However, the offense needs to find some consistency if the Bobcats are going to make a playoff run.
The Eastern Conference is really bad this season and the Cats are taking full advantage of it, which is great. But if they are going to possibly sacrifice a top draft pick in the loaded 2014 draft then I would rather see them make a run for the 5th or 6th seed. If the Cats can pull that off then it’s entirely possible, if not a bit of a stretch, that they can win the franchises first playoff series.
It’s still way to early to think about that even remotely happening, but think about this: if the playoffs started today the Bobcats would be the 5th seed;