For a while, I was pretty encouraged about the prospects of this game. The Bobcats were only down by five at the half and they were playing good defense and managed to score enough to to compete.
But then the second half began. And we were back to reality. The Bobcats defense disintegrated and the offense lagged, leading to another big loss.
But at least it wasn't completely unwatchable as the young players showed flashes of great play and the team played their hearts out.
As I noted above, the game was close to begin, with the Bobcats challenging shots and rotating well on defense. Gerald Henderson also started well, which hasn't really been seen since Gerald Wallace was traded. He was getting the ball on sharp cuts and off of good screens for open jumpers and unlike last night, he put them in without much trouble.
In that first half, the Bobcats held the Trail Blazers to 37% field goal shooting and 18% from behind the arc. That showed to be the difference as Portland would shoot 6-10 from downtown in the second half.
The Bobcats' defense wasn't as effective in the second half, as the perimeter defense slacked, leaving Patty Mills to hit three second-half treys.
And when you can't play excessively stingy defense, you better be able to score to stay in the game. Without their leading scorer, Stephen Jackson, the Bobcats faltered. DJ Augustin was an adequate scorer but his backup, Shaun Livingston struggled throughout the whole game. His shot wasn't falling, even from midrange, and he got quite frustrated with his ineffectiveness and the officiating.
However, the young players played quite well. Whenever your team is bad like this, at the least you hope to see nights where your young'uns show what you want to see from thing consistently in the future. Earlier, I mentioned Gerald Henderson's performance. Once again, DJ White was impressive. His midrange jump shot is solid and he made good decisions with the ball. He is adept at rebounding, too. Cunningham got some early burn and showed some potential of what he gave Portland every night: rebounding and great energy. I can't wait for his jump shot to fall into place.
It also shouldn't go unsaid that Joel Przybilla was pretty good even though he fouled out in limited minutes. I love how Portland fans gave him such a rousing ovation when he checked into the game. Charlotteans better give Gerald Wallace at least that much applause later this week.
Speaking of Gerald Wallace, he struggled offensively tonight, shooting one of seven from the field. But his presence was felt on defense, as he disrupted the Bobcats' offense, grabbing three steals. Also, LaMarcus Aldridge was excellent tonight. Definitely an all-star quality game (11-18 FG 26 pts, 7 REB, 2 BLK).
This game was the last of a four game road trip where the Bobcats won zero games. Let's hope the Bobcats can find better fortune at home in front of their home fans.