The Charlotte Bobcats lost to the New York Knicks for the second time in two nights, this time 99-95. Again, the Cats failed to prevent the Knicks from getting good looks from three, as New York shot 12-25 from distance. On offense, Tyrus Thomas provided a much-needed spark in the absence of consistent scoring from either Gerald Wallace or Stephen Jackson, but it wasn't enough to overcome that barrage of threes.
I'm watching the recorded game as I put this together, so most of theses judgments are based on the box score.
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
WhatAboutBob_cats -- You know, I'm beginning to think maybe our players should guard the guys in the blue shirts beyond the circular white line.
-- When Wallace and Jackson are both off, a couple other players need to step up. Thomas did a lot to make up that lost production, but no one else did. D.J. Augustin got 14 points, but needed to shoot 5-13 to do it. He did get 7 assists and 8 rebounds, so he hardly had a "bad" game. The same holds for Boris Diaw, who shot 5-9 for 11 points, pulled down 4 boards, and dished 5 assists. Hardly terrible, but terribly pedestrian.
-- In a sense, whenever I mention Crash in the "bad" section, it's entirely possible that he actually had a positive impact on the game, because he's been one of the league's better defenders for a few years, now. With that caveat out of the way, it's worth noting that he can disappear for looooong stretches on offense, and there are enough volume scorer types on the team (Jax, TT) that no one else really has the leeway to have a particularly inefficient shooting night. Gerald shot 4-10 for 8 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and had 3 blocks.
-- Stephen Jackson shot 7-20 from the field for 18 points. It bears repeating that Jax should be taking a lot of shots, instead of Augustin, who can't really be an effective scorer inside the three point line, or Diaw, who doesn't want to take those shots, or Wallace, who, historically, hasn't been a good enough jump shooter to handle that role effectively. No, Jax is the one guy whose skill set allows him to drive to the rim, shoot from mid range, or shoot threes. However, it doesn't mean he's talented enough to take that many shots and be a positive contributor every time out, because he's going to have these nights. If he's shooting 3-8 every so often, that's not quite as bad as back to back 7-20 nights.
-- Does anyone still doubt that, on balance, the Bobcats are best off giving more minutes to Tyrus Thomas than any of their nominal centers? Thomas finished with 26 points on 11-20 shooting, 11 rebounds (7 offensive!), and 4 blocks.
-- Derrick Brown has earned the right to expect 20 minutes of burn a night. While he may not be shooting much, volume-wise, he's making the most of those shots, putting up a 66% shooting percentage so far. His defense appears improved, and his distance shooting is definitely improved.