The Charlotte Bobcats beat the hell out of the Portland Trail Blazers tonight and there really isn't a lot of analyzing to be done.
So, good night!
Just kidding, I won't leave you that high and dry. But truthfully this game was never close. The Bobcats got off to a scorching start behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and someone you may have heard by the name Al Effing Jefferson. The Bobcats shot the lights out early and often and did not let off the gas for most of the game.
Charlotte scored 69 points in the first half, and had a couple good looks at topping 70 before the break. For their part, Portland played pretty abysmal defense. There was little to no resistance to much of what Charlotte was trying to do, especially in the first quarter. Al Jefferson's Center for Centers Who Can't Guard Good was open early and often. I think that means he has a center for opposing centers that have trouble guarding him. Honestly I got myself a little turned around on that one. Kind of like Jefferson had Robin Lopez spinning all night. (Saved it!)
Lopez is not a horrible defender -- in fact, he's done very well as the defensive centerpiece of Portland's frontcourt -- but as Jefferson has done so often this year he baffled his counterpart tonight with a bevy of shot fakes, up-and-under moves, and quick spin moves. Jefferson is getting league-wide attention now in the form of various media outlet features and moving into the Top 10 on NBA.com's MVP Ladder. And it is all well-deserved.
Jefferson has used the teachings and examples from legendary post players like Kevin McHale and Moses Malone to hone his game, and Jefferson could start dispelling his post wisdom on the next generation of big men, or this generation. His offensive prowess on the low block is tops in the NBA.
This game was so big for Charlotte because they all are at this point, but the Bobcats needed to at least split this game and Monday's against Houston. This was certainly the more advantageous matchup, seeing as the Blazers are skidding a little, do have trouble guarding and are playing without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. Still, Portland is a very good team who has the ability to explode on offense, but there was nothing doing tonight.
The Bobcats avoided that dreaded dead quarter that can creep up on teams, especially after getting out to such a great start. Charlotte's worst scoring quarter was the fourth and they put up 26 there, including a late heat check minute from Jannero Pargo. Not much went wrong for the Bobcats tonight.
The trio of Al Jefferson, Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker scored 28, 23 and 26 points tonight, respectively. They became the first trio in franchise history to score 20+ points in a game three times in a season. Charlotte is now 34-36 on the season, has won nine of its last 10 at home and is 12-1 at home when scoring 100 points or more.
Some other thoughts:
- MKG destroyed Meyers Leonard with a raucous dunk that brought back memories of his rookie season slam against Detroit. This one, and the subsequent reaction from MKG (which was the best), was the cherry on top of this hot sundae. He put is his mind to it, and he went for it. But MKG was again the victim of two early fouls and only played about five and a half minutes in the first half. When he left, Kidd-Gilchrist had already scored six points and grabbed four rebounds. He got good shots at the rim and led the charge early. These fouls are ongoing issue and he's got to be able to stay in the game. The second one was iffy and off the ball, but still. He finished with nine points and seven rebounds in just more than 18 minutes.
MKG Monster Dunk - Trailblazers vs. Bobcats 3/22/14 (via Charlotte Bobcats)
- This was one of the quietest games for Josh McRoberts this season, but there just wasn't much needed from him tonight. It's not that he played a bad game, and he did have a very McNasty dunk in the second half so no need to fret about McBob.
- Cody Zeller continues his recent resurgence after the All-Star break. His play has been much more aggressive and with confident purpose. Still he was only 1-for-7 from the field but did grab seven rebounds.
- This was perhaps Luke Ridnour's best game as a Bobcat. He hit a couple open shots that were presented to him, and only had on turnover. He also dropped the assist on the MKG situation with Leonard. So that was awesome.
- Chris Douglas-Roberts again played well off the bench although his shot from three was not as accurate tonight. CDR chipped in 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.
- The Bobcats shot 52 percent from the field, and only missed one of their 19 free throws in the game. Charlotte also shot 42 percent from the three-point line. Again, not much went wrong for Charlotte tonight.