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Bobcats end season on a high note, defeat Hawks 96-85

Hawks vs Bobcats boxscore

Peachtree Hoops

In front of the home crowd, the Bobcats ended their season by taking care of a resting Atlanta Hawks team. Maintaining a decent cushiony lead for most of the game, the Bobcats were led by strong performances from the young players, including Gerald Henderson (20 points), Augustin (17 points) and Dante Cunningham (14 points).

Though the Hawks sat their important starters (Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Josh Smith) for much of the game, the Bobcats looked decently impressive, aside from a poor offensive third quarter.

 

The first frame was all Bobcats. That’s not exaggerating at all, either. Though the box score shows an 11 point lead for the Bobcats, it felt like it should have been much more. With their playoff seeding set, the Hawks could only be described as lethargic and sloppy in the first quarter. The Bobcats looked like world-beaters on offense, rebounding well and finding the open man. Dante Cunningham continued his good shooting as of late with those midrange jump shots we all know and love. D.J. Augustin had great shot selection and Henderson was knocking ‘em down too. Most of this was probably due to the Hawks’ starters malaise on defense and slowness closing out on shooters. Still, it was great to see the offense rolling.

The second period was a little less encouraging, as the shallow Bobcats bench is not particularly adept at scoring. But D.J. White refused to let any ball go undunked and rebounded pretty well. The Hawks bench squad was much better and took advantage of Charlotte’s lack of depth at center, as noted by Etan Thomas’ and Josh Powell’s combined 6-6 FG for 18 points at the half. But the starters returned to maintain the double-digit lead. Henderson picked up where he left off with his shooting. It was interesting to see Henderson attack his poor three-point shooting by launching a few. None dropped, but it’s nice to see that he’s working on it. Regardless, he was efficient with 7-10 FG for 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. The Hawks starters stuck with their poor play and finished the half with a combined 5-18 FG for a whopping 10 points. At the break it was 61-43.

To begin the second half, Atlanta sat their most important starters and put some of their bench on the court. With guys who actually want to put forth strong effort in the last game of the regular season, the Hawks cut into the Bobcats lead. Gerald Henderson tried to find his offensive in more diverse areas, moving on from three-pointers to working on his post game. He struggled considerably and Silas brought him out. Jamal Crawford was the particular Hawks player that proved nary unstoppable, with a smooth crossover dribble and high-arcing fadeaway jump shots that seemed to always splash through the net. Scoring only 13 points in the third quarter, the Bobcats led 74-66 after three.

The fourth quarter was just a couple teams going through the motions in garbage time. Nothing to really see here. Augustin shot well, D.J. White played strong and with under a minute left, we even got to see Dominic McGuire play point forward, drive to the free throw line, and spin directly into a fadeaway contested jump shot, which he bricked. Nevertheless, the Bobcats rolled to a 96-85 win.

Odds and Ends

  •  Boris Diaw and Kwame Brown played fine too. Though not aggressively scoring, Diaw facilitated well and racked up 9 assists. With other players getting it done, Diaw’s lack of scoring was fine. Kwame was better, with 11 points on five field goal attempts and 8 rebounds. I will never stop being astounded at how Paul Silas and Charles Oakley turned Kwame into the decent player that he is now.
  • Gerald Henderson ended the season on a high note with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and a block with zero turnovers. The kid can really fill up the stat sheet.
  • Augustin was great. He handled the ball well, had seven assists, shot pretty well, including a trey. Not too shabby.
  • Only three Bobcats players that played tonight also played in the first game of the season (Augustin, Diaw, Henderson).
  • Michael Jordan speaks about his first year as majority owner and the Bobcats.