The Charlotte Bobcats defensive improvements have disappeared in what feels like a matter of seconds. The Bobcats 104-98 loss to the Philadelphia Sixers last night marked the fourth time in the past five games that the Bobcats have given up 100 points or more. The Bobcats are just 1-7 this season when giving up that number, showing that the team doesn’t have the offense to hang tight in high scoring affairs. Let’s see how the keys from the game recap affected yesterday’s game:
- Bench scoring. The Bobcats consistent bench play was definitely a factor tonight. Ben Gordon by himself matched the Sixers bench scoring of 19 points. In total the Bobcats were +22 in bench scoring, with Bismack Biyombo delivering 14 points in support.
- Kemba Walker. Walker didn’t exactly have a terrific game, but he played alright: 5-11 from the field, 13 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, two steals. But with Ramon Sessions having a poor game, the team really could’ve used a 20-point+ outburst from Kemba tonight.
- Be smart. I thought the Bobcats did well in living up to this, at least until down the stretch. The Bobcats didn’t turn the ball over much, got to the line more than the Sixers, and had 25 assists on 39 field goals. Where the team messed up on though…was the other side of the ball.
- Defend the three. The Bobcats did a good job on this up until the closing minutes, where they continued to leave Jason Richardson open for threes. Richardson made four threes and they were all in the fourth quarter. Richardson was cold to start the game from distance, and the team didn’t make as much of an effort to protect the three-point line from one of the game’s streakiest three-point shooters. As I mentioned in the preview, this is one of the reasons the Hawks were able to beat the Bobcats last Friday. The team really needs to do a better job knowing where the shooters are at on the floor.
- Size matters. This didn’t seem to play a roll. The Sixers smaller team was able to keep up with the Bobcats the entire way. The Bobcats did outrebound the Sixers by two, and got 14 from Biyombo, but the other bigs in Haywood and Mullens weren’t huge factors for the team tonight.
- Get back on track. I mentioned this earlier, but the Bobcats defense as of late hasn’t been encouraging. The team is 24th in opponents points per game and 21st in defensive rating. They’re are flashes when the team looks like they’re putting it together, but flashes aren’t good enough to change the culture here. Folding down the stretch defensively is where the team lost the game tonight, after failing to put together some consistency there.
The Bobcats get the rest of the weekend though to work out some of their defensive woes, with their next game against Portland Monday.