On a slow night in the league, my fears of a Clipper uprising were unfounded. The Bobcats pulled away in the second half, eventually making the game look like a blowout, 94-73.
There were two primary causes of the Bobcats' run. First, Baron Davis had an abysmal game at both ends of the floor. In 34 minutes, he had 3 points on 1-7 shooting, 3 turnovers, and 4 fouls, all tempered somewhat by 3 steals and 8 assists, both team highs. However, he was thoroughly flustered and, at times, seemed to go into a lackadaisical funk. When he's on, Baron's swag knocks opponents for another loop, but that same drive and reliance on feeling the moment swings the other way, too.
Second, aside from Steve Novak, who was 3-6 from beyond the arc and scored 13 points, the Clips got absolutely nothing from their bench. Fred Jones was a non-factor, and Ricky Davis continued demonstrating that he doesn't belong in the NBA anymore.
For the Bobcats, Raymond didn't kill us, and Emeka put up yet another dominant stat line. In 39 minutes, Okafor had 19 points on 8-14 shooting, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He turned it over 3 times, but that is what it is. I'll take that minor step back if it's all a part of keeping Randolph below his season averages.
-- Radmanovic looked pretty comfortable within Larry Brown's scheme. As expected, he won't pass like Diaw, but he'll serve the same scoring function, only off the bench, and with a somewhat higher percentage of threes attempted.
-- Cartier Martin was miscast as a three when the Bobcats initially ran him out there. He's still a little jumpy and awkward trying to play off the ball, but when the ball's in his hands and he can make his own shot, he displays a much more natural air about him. Unfortunately, he's just not talented enough to make the offense work by himself if it turns out he doesn't really want to play within a defined system and only wants to be the end point of the offense. Think Rashad McCants.
-- Sean May got a nice hand when he entered the game. I'll be polite and say he just doesn't have his basketball legs, yet.
-- I didn't realize just how small Eric Gordon is. His success will depend on his ability to guard twos significantly bigger than he is, or his ability to handle the ball and create offense for his teammates as the point, or whether his teams choose to sign big point guards to play alongside him and guard most twos.