Well, nobody said it would be easy, or pretty, but your Charlotte Bobcats have matched last season's win total by putting away the Wizards on Saturday. Seriously, after last season, you better be celebrating. It doesn't really matter if it's November 24th, and there is still nearly five months of basketball to be played-- you've earned it after last season. I said it when I first came to Rufus that winning changes everything, and it's already changed some things. After all, have you heard any "LOLCATS" or "Could the Bobcats beat <insert name of #1 team in college basketball here>" jokes.
People genuinely seem to like watching this team this year, and they should.
Although they were playing the lowly Wizards, it was still a road game, and the Bobcats are still a young team, so nothing was certain. They fought through a close gamer after one quarter before losing the lead by halftime. On the road on the second night of a back-to-back, it would've been easy for a young team to quit, but they didn't, and found themselves in a tie game by the end of the third.
Then, when it counted, the young Bobcats kept scrapping through an ugly game, never backing down when the Wizards tied it up late. Despite his offensive struggles, Kemba still found away to help save the game by heroically saving a possession by throwing a loose ball off of Nene's head, giving the Bobcats back the ball. Walker would go on to make another hustle play in the second overtime off of a missed free throw to snag the offensive rebound, and seal the victory.
Still, being a young team, the Bobcats did a young team thing when Jeff Taylor fouled Chris Singleton from three with seconds remaining in the fourth, who made two of three to tie it up. This blemish aside, Taylor played fairly well, putting up 12 and 3 on 50% shooting, but also fouled out. Tonight still seemed like a step forward for Taylor.
The Bobcats were helped by the league's worst shooting team holding true to form and shooting .366 and .222 from the floor and three, respectively. They were also out-rebounded and had a high turnover number. However, considering the circumstances -- on the road, second night of a back-to-back, and being inexperienced -- the Bobcats kept their focus, didn't lose confidence, and came away with an ugly win. This is what you want to see. You also want to see your young players find other ways to help the team when their offense isn't working, like Kemba did, and you need contributions from bench players like Reggie Williams, whose three pointer in double OT put the Bobcats up for good.
And I've gotten this far without mentioning that Byron Mullens (27 and 8, but took too damn many threes) played an efficient game, and MKG continued to fill up the boxscore (10 and 8; 50% shooting), although he fouled out.
There are no caveats, Bobcats fans. Your team has put last year behind with this win tonight with the kind of win that is very uncommon for a team like the Bobcats to get. I'm excited, and you should be, too! Saving the most important part for last, we ensured we'd still have a better record than the Lakers for another night. Clearly, they just can't keep up with us.
(Ben: Also, at 7-5 this is the Charlotte Bobcats' best start in franchise history, believe it or not. Though it's probably not hard for you to believe)
|Final - 11.24.2012||1||2||3||4||OT 1||OT 2||Total|