After pulling into a tie for the 8th and final eastern playoff spot, the Bobcats (28-42) have completely fallen apart over the last week. They have now lost 4 games in a row and have been throughly dominated in each of the losses. But last night’s game against Indiana (32-40) was simply a season killing 111-88 loss.
Going into last night’s game, the Bobcats were still only two games back from the Pacers for that final playoff spot. If they had pulled off the win, Charlotte would have been only one game back with three of their next four games at home against three struggling teams in New York, Milwaukee and Cleveland. But Charlotte had no life after a great start. Charlotte was in complete control early, pulling ahead 38-26 early in the 2nd quarter. But the defense simply fell apart. Danny Granger and Tyler Hansbrough put on a show, combining for 20 points in the 2nd quarter, against the uninspired Bobcats and Indiana didn’t look back after they took the lead 49-47 just before halftime.
Some of the loss can be blamed on the injured Stephen Jackson (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists). He’s playing through a hamstring injury right now and tried to tough it out, but it was easy to tell he was simply in too much pain to make much of an impact. But the entire team just seemed deflated; almost like they knew they couldn’t compete once the 2nd half started. Boris Diaw (0 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists), after steady play over the last week, almost looked like he was refusing to shoot the ball. He played 24 minutes yet he didn’t register a single FG attempt or FT attempt. It was very, very strange. He was also lazy on defense and he seems to have mentally checked out. Gerald Henderson (12 points on 4-14 shooting) and Jackson combined to get humiliated on defense by Granger, alternating between leaving too much space or falling for pump fakes. Henderson also couldn’t hit a jump shot to save his life. Coach Paul Silas really needs to work on Henderson’s shot selection this summer. The only bright spots for the Bobcats were Tyrus Thomas (6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks in only 13 minutes) and Shaun Livingston (15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists). Both played with a lot of energy and were competing throughout the night, but no one else wanted to help out.
With only twelve games left in the season, the Bobcats playoff hopes are almost gone being down 3 games to Indiana. What they need to do is at least show some life though. Get the veterans like Boris Diaw to at least pretend they are still playing hard and shooting for the playoffs. If not then new owner Michael Jordan will need to look to continue to move players and go for an all-out youth movement.
About the Author
Written by Kyle Patterson
I am currently a senior at Mississippi State majoring in Kinesiology