The New York Knicks thought they'd managed to hold the Charlotte Bobcats at bay long enough to win at the Cable Box, but they ran out of time. Charlotte came back to win 94-87, holding New York to only 13 points in the fourth quarter. It snaps the Knicks' four game win streak and the Bobcats' two game losing slide.
The usual suspects carried Charlotte to victory without much help from the role players. Again, we see that we're going to get as far as Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, and the alien inhabiting Raymond Felton's body will take us.
Highlights and lowlights after the jump.BAD
-- Through three quarters, it appeared Boris Diaw was en route to hitting rock bottom. He had 4 fouls, 0 points, and 0 rebounds in a little more than 7 minutes... it was a horror show. (*See his entry in GOOD for the continuation.)
-- There's a scouting report circulating through the league on how to frustrate the Bobcats' offense. Play zone. Even with Stephen Jackson and Ronald Murray on the floor, the cold, hard, math says to force these guys into shooting from beyond the arc. If Gerald, Raymond, and Jax are failing to penetrate the lane, we don't have that sharpshooter who can make the defense pay. The Knicks used zone to great effect.
-- No matter the end result, it's disappointing the Cats were locked in a back and forth battle with a sub-.500 team rocked by so much turmoil in its ranks. That's not to say there weren't positives to take away from the game, but that even though my rational side understands that this kind of game will happen during the season, my emotional side can't stand the sight of the Cats struggling with a mediocre squad. I just hope that if we're taking the time to analyze and understand why they struggled, and what can be done about it, the organization's brain trust is doing the same and coming to sound conclusions.
-- If I fail to mention that Stephen Graham played 10 minutes of wholly ineffectual basketball, will that work some sort of reverse jinx on Larry Brown and get him to give Gerald Henderson more than 5 minutes?
-- *But then Boris started scoring and rebounding and not fouling, ending the game with 6 points on 3-4 shooting and an unheard of (for Boris) 8 rebounds. That was all accumulated in one quarter, mind you.
-- Tyson Chandler didn't get embarrassed, like I feared he would by the smaller Knicks lineup. 8 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes is the minimum we should expect from him. (Okay, maybe 10 boards is the minimum.)
-- Gerald Wallace isn't rebounding at quite the level as he was a couple weeks ago, but when he doesn't rebound, he scores. In 38 minutes, he had 21 points and 8 rebounds, still excellent from the small forward spot. Also, Danilo Gallinari: no soup for you.
-- Let's say that Raymond Felton really is this guy who facilitates the offense without turning it over (5 TOs tonight being the aberration in recent history), plays great defense, and attacks the rim in crunch time when everyone else is shut off. IF he's that guy, and we can sign him for something like $6 mil per year, then we've got to keep him. IF he's that guy and we can sign him for that little, we don't need D.J. Augustin after this season. But, IF he's that guy and he'll cost more than that, then I don't think we can afford to keep him without moving other parts. Are we going to pay $8 million-plus for each of our five starters, only one of whom is even vaguely All Star-ish? It's a dilemma complicated by the possible lack of a first round pick in this upcoming draft.