There have been few times this season where the Charlotte Bobcats have executed well in the last seconds of a game. Saturday night’s home game against the Sacramento Kings was no different.
The Kings beat the Bobcats 97-93 in a game between two evenly matched teams. The Bobcats were down by three with 18 seconds left, but Kemba Walker missed a three-point shot to tie the game. The Kings were able to put the game away with one free throw from Isaiah Thomas.
DeMarcus Cousins, who’s been at the center of trade rumors this season, had 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Cousins showed his full display of talent tonight, and likely furthered the stance of many Bobcats fans who wish to see him play in Charlotte for 82 games, instead of one.
Sacramento was led by 18 points from Marcus Thornton off the bench. Tyreke Evans chipped in 16. The Kings backcourt was just as good as the Bobcats backcourt tonight. While the Kings haven’t been very good, they certainly have some talent on their team, though many question how well they’re used.
The Bobcats got double digit scoring nights from all four of their guards. Ramon Sessions had 16, Kemba Walker had 14 points and ten assists.
In the frontcourt, Hakim Warrick had 12 points, and Brendan Haywood and Jeff Adrien both had nine off the bench. Bismack Biyombo went scoreless in 19 minutes. None of their performances were uncharacteristic, which is what I wrote in the preview that the team needed to have the best shot at winning. Surprisingly enough though they didn’t need a balanced attack to win.
Games like these are some of the most winnable games the Bobcats will get all season.
While the team hasn’t been any good at home this season, they just didn’t get the job done when it came to executing in the last seconds of the game. Whether that’s a coaching problem or playing problem is up for the fans to judge. Personally I’d like to see better plays being drawn up in the 4th, and don’t think we’ve had a lot of good calls in the clutch. I’d also like to see better time management from Dunlap.
Dunlap’s done his fair share of experimenting this season, which is expected considering he’s an experiment as a head coach. Nobody expected the Bobcats to be playoff contenders this season, but when you watch games you want to see growth as a head coach from Dunlap and progress and development made by the players.
Have we seen a lot of the former? It’s certainly fair to question whether Mike Dunlap is the guy for this team in the long-term, as much as it is to question whether any of the players here are right for the long haul as well.
Tonight was another heartbreaker, which many fans have grown accustomed to over the past couple of seasons. This young team just lacks the veteran experience on the court and at coaching right now to consistently pick up wins in the clutch.