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Woo! We Beat the Nets! Next Up: The Nets

Facial Hair


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It's a Christmas miracle! With a win over the Nets at the Izod Center last night, 95-87, the Bobcats moved to 11-19. They've won four of their last five, and even though I'll remind you that Winston Wolfe still applies, following this team is a helluva lot more fun now than it was during the seven game losing streak.

Every starter had a good game. Gerald was dominant, putting up 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists; he was even 2-3 from beyond the arc, and drew a foul on one attempt and made all three free throws. Emeka continued his All Star level of play with 21 points and 9 boards. Diaw was productive, with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and a team high 7 assists, but he did turn it over 5 times. Felton led all scorers with 22, getting to the line for 13 free throws, making 9. And while Raja only got 9 points, it was on 3-3 long distance shooting.

Off the bench, Matt Carroll continued his suckage with 13 minutes of 0-2 shooting and a +/- of -10 while Adam Morrison continued to rot on the bench. Good times. DJ was fine in 18 minutes, and Nazr had his best offensive game of year, albeit in only 11 minutes.

Defensively, the guards gave me a pleasant surprise and held Devin Harris in check. In about 33 minutes, Harris scored 14 points on 4-15 attempts and had only 2 assists. Brook Lopez was around his averages with 14 and 7 in 32 minutes, which doesn't indicate any defensive domination by Okafor, but Josh Boone was decidedly unproductive in his time at center.

The players won this game, and for that we should all be grateful. However, I'd love to know Larry Brown's rationale for playing his starters so many minutes on the front end of a back to back. All five Bobcats starters logged 35:49 or more, with Diaw topping out at 44:40. Compare to the Nets, who only had three guys over 28:00. VC put in 42:04, Harris 33:26, and Lopez 31:35. The next most minutes went to Keyon Dooling at 27:23. In other words, only one player on the Nets played as many minutes as any of the Bobcats' starters.

Perhaps Brown was thinking he'd blow out the starters tonight in an attempt to "steal" a road win from a more talented team and then take his chances with more reserves the next game. Whatever the reasoning, I'd expect the guys to have dead-er legs tonight than the Nets do.

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A final note, let's keep in mind that last year, in the midst of an incompetent, utterly depressing season, the Bobcats won five in a row to start the month of March. Such winning streaks happen, even for bad teams. The recent stretch of success has come against teams that, at best, are borderline playoff squads. Chicago is 13-16, Memphis blows, Washington blows, and Jersey is also still under .500.

The next four games are all winnable: at home against the Nets and Knicks, then a home and home with the Bucks. However, the schedule makers decided to bless the Cats with a back to back at home against the Celtics, then in Cleveland against the Cavs to kick off a four game road trip.

So, yeah. I love this. But Winston Wolfe still applies.