I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would stay up to watch this entire game. And I'm saying that as someone who is definitely not in his right mind.
The Bobcats were flat out embarrassed nearly beyond belief on the road against the Trail Blazers, giving up 60 points to Portland solely from behind the arc. The final score was 134-104, and that even seemed generous.
Charlotte's defense was previously 6th in the league in efficiency. It probably is not anymore.
Portland shot 63.6 percent from behind the arc and 55 percent inside it. They passed the ball like moving a hot knife through
butter air. In the first, the Blazers hit 7 of their 8 three attempts en route to a quick 39-point quarter.
As good as Portland's offense was, the Bobcats' offense was opposite in polarity. Al Jefferson and Gerald Henderson were the only two starters that seemingly had a pulse. They couldn't move the ball well and they just couldn't keep up with the opponent's offense with how much they were bleeding on defense. But shoutout to Chris-Douglas-Roberts for a rather good game tonight, at least. There weren't many half-decent bright spots, but that was one.
This was a simple combination of the best jump shooting team in the league taking the shots the Bobcats defense would give them, which, incidentally, are the shots they like to take from midrange and from behind the arc. The defensive intensity and focus were clearly not there. It wasn't just a problem on offense, though that was rather disgusting too. You don't battle a 20-30 point deficit for three quarters on just the shoulders of one part of the game. This was a comprehensive disaster.
The Bobcats had small runs to cut Portland's lead to within 20 at times, but it felt odd that it was even that close. The Bobcats were never in this game after the first few minutes.
Here's what Steve Clifford had to say after the game:
I think we're thinking about the wrong thing.
Our effort defensively has been going down and down, and we've gone from being, to me, an exceptional multiple effort team going from one play to the next to the next, where now we want to make one effort: Get the ball and go.
Our team, to me, is thinking too much about offense. And we have individual guys who need to build their games around their defense, and they're worried about their offense. We're not built that way. We're not going to be outscoring people. If we're not going to commit to defensive rebounding, then we're limited in how good we can be.
We have guys - and they know it - who were playing excellent defense the first 25 games of the year. And their defensive effort isn't even close to where it needs to be.