Bobcats Clobbered By Trail Blazers 112-68, Henderson Strains Hamstring

Let's begin with the positives.

All right, now that that's out of the way, here's what went wrong:

The Bobcats fell behind early because their defense stopped Portland's offense like bead curtains stop people from going through them. LaMarcus Aldridge put everyone the Bobcats threw at him in a grave. For someone who's regarded as such a decent defender, if nothing else, DeSagana Diop is absurdly overrated in this facet of the game. Yes, he's tall and has arms, but his legs have the languidness of bags of potatoes and he has the awareness of Andrea on AMC's The Walking Dead (dear god, someone please get that joke). Byron Mullens was no more effective after Diop was pulled due to foul trouble, and Mullens also found himself back on the bench in a matter of minutes because of dumb fouls. Enter Biyombo, who played merely OK. And I mean OK by Biyombo standards, which is not very good. Craig Smith is extremely strong and bullied Biyombo into the paint on at least one post-up. Biyombo, for all he's good at on defense (quick hands, shotblocking instincts, strength), does not have very high ball IQ in defending players on the block. He bit on probably just about every fake thrown at him down low.

But no one else played well either for the Bobcats on either side of the ball.

Kemba Walker was lost the whole night, making only one in 11 field goal attempts. I didn't feel like he was forcing much, but he just couldn't find the range or get to the rim.

The Bobcats did move the ball well, though. No, not between one another, but they did move it from their hands to their opponents' a lot, finishing with 23 turnovers. And when they weren't turning the ball over, the offense was often stagnant. They couldn't even get anything going in transition, scoring a measly eight points on fast breaks.

Meanwhile, Portland utilized the exact opposite strategy to their advantage, constantly finding the open player in the paint and on the perimeter. Jamal Crawford sent bomb after bomb from deep, destroying Charlotte. And the Trail Blazers took advantage of Bobcats turnovers, dropping 30 points off of those giveaways.

It was bad. The Bobcats were either doubled-up or nearly doubled-up the whole night. They were THISCLOSE to losing by 50. Frankly, I'm surprised the Bobcats broke 60 points.

Oh yeah, and Gerald Henderson went down with a strained hamstring. You know, the same type of injury that's kept Corey Maggette sidelined since early January and the same type of injury that held Stephen Jackson back from playing for an extended period of time towards the end of last season. He had been playing the best of all the Bobcats tonight, which says absolutely nothing. His defense was moot and his offense seemed forced, not to mention mistake-prone. Awesome night all around.

Reggie Williams struggled, scoring two points on eight shots, but I'm not exactly shocked. He needs time to shake off the rust, get back into shape after his injury and mesh with this team some. The Bobcats space the floor very poorly, so hopefully his shooting will help improve that as the season wears on.

I know there are other things I could talk about, like how Tyrus Thomas doesn't look nearly as bad as he did weeks ago, or how Derrick Brown was not completely pooptacular. But tonight? It just doesn't matter.

Everyone played awful. If you want to blame it on Paul Silas, go ahead. It's absurd, considering this roster just can't be made into anything more than a loss-machine, but by all means, make him your scapegoat. It certainly can't be that this team is just that bad, right? Given pieces from a bunch of different jigsaw puzzles, you can certainly mash them all together to fit awkwardly into some horrifically misshapen disaster. But even if someone else comes along to rearrange those pieces, you're just going to have a differently misshapen disaster.

Which is exactly what this team is.

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