Stephen Jackson notched the first triple-double in Charlotte Bobcats franchise history, leading them to the win over the Phoenix Suns, 123-105. The Suns are on a tough slide at the moment, and the Bobcats looked like they were clicking on every level, a rare sight in the Larry Brown era, when Charlotte's been known for top defense more than slick offense. Though the offensive uptick was probably as much a function of the Suns' poor defense as adjustments and changes the Cats made, it's still encouraging to see a noticeable increase in pace and a corresponding improvement in offensive efficiency.
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
Stevarino -- This is the team I’ve been waiting to see since the beginning of the season.
-- Up front, the caveat is that Nazr Mohammed shouldn't have even played 10 minutes, but he did, and he was close to useless in those minutes, mainly because playing him in this game was setting him up to fail. Channing Frye is too mobile and too good a shooter to have Mohammed, who has trouble dealing with true centers' mobility, trying to play defense away from the basket, keep up with faster paced offenses on both ends of the floor, and go one on one with Frye.
-- Let's hope Dominic McGuire's 18 minutes were more indicative of Larry Brown playing with his new toy than a sign of minutes distribution to come. As much as I appreciate 6-8 guys who can play defense on swingmen, McGuire is unselfish on offense because he is a historically weak offensive player. He's basically non-prime Ben Wallace on offense, only with a better free throw percentage -- and without elite defense to justify his spot in a rotation. Tonight's 0-5 shooting did nothing to change that assessment.
-- Jackson's 24 points came on 10-13 shooting, including 4-7 from three. He also led the team in rebounds (10), assists (10), and blocks (2). With 2 steals to boot, it was possibly his best game as a Bobcat.
-- Boris Diaw has strung together several solid games, in which he's been much more aggressive with shooting. Tonight, he led all scorers with 26 points, on 11-17 shooting. He also had 6 assists and only 2 turnovers. If the ball is going to be in his hands that often, then this is the kind of production we want from him. The other day, I described Jackson as the kind of guy who thrives when no one knows what he's going to do. Well, Boris can be that kind of guy. Sure, he wants to be Vlade Divac, but Vlade was such an amazing passer partly because he was willing to shoot enough to make his opponents close out on him and open up space for cutters in the process.
-- Tyrus Thomas keeps making a case to be named a starter. He scored 22 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in only 29 minutes.
-- Derrick Brown is the new Jared Dudley, in the sense that he's merely a borderline starter for the poorest teams in the league, but he'd also be a useful rotation player for just about every team in the league. The guy simply gets it, and he's a perfect complement to the long, athletic, multifaceted lineup the Bobcats have on hand. If he was on the Lakers, he'd push Matt Barnes for minutes, and on the Celtics, Marquis Daniels would primarily play guard alongside him on the second unit. We're lucky to have him.