As a Bobcats fan living in the Charlotte area, I understand that I'm insulated from other teams, to a certain degree. So, when I evaluated the Toronto Raptors as potentially the very worst team in the league, it was based on what I remembered of the players on the roster, not what I'd been seeing and reading during preseason. So it was particularly frustrating to watch the Cats barely squeak by the Raps, 101-96, only sealing the game in the final seconds when Stephen Jackson stole the ball from a feinting Andrea Bargnani.
I fully admit that I may have been underrating the Raptors -- or I could have been overrating the Bobcats, simply because I'm more familiar with the players and want them to succeed. Only Sonny Weems played particularly above his head (20 points, including 4-5 from three), and only Jose Calderon played significantly below the level you'd expect. Given that, based on expectations for the Cats and expectations for the Raps, you'd think the Cats would have walked away with this one.
In the end, the Cats got double-digit scoring from six different players, and a clutch steal from Jax, helping overcome Weems's big night. That's enough for a win to bring them to 2-6, and maybe I'll be able to sleep off the sneaking suspicion that struggling with a 1-7 team might mean the Cats are (sigh) at right about their level.
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
andrewlail76 -- Gravity is different in Canada. It doesn't pull, it sucks.
-- Toronto's got good offensive players, but the Cats' defensive decline has been unsettling.
-- Diaw's line looks inoffensive: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. But then you add 6 turnovers, point out he is a power forward slash center, and realize he played starter's minutes, and the stinkiness rises to the surface.
-- After Tyrus Thomas came back from Larry Brown's personal foul purgatory, he switched on the motor and finished the game with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 blocks. When will Brown recognize what everyone else seems to have noticed and give Thomas starter's minutes instead of Diaw?
-- Gerald Wallace was a beast on the boards, scoring 19 points, but also pulling down 14 rebounds, dishing 5 assists, and swatting 4 shots. Vintage Crash is good Crash.
-- D.J. Augustin had 16 points on 9 attempts, and a team-high 7 assists. Keep it up.