The Charlotte Bobcats brought another competitive game to the Bulls in Chicago. This time, they couldn’t sneak out a win.
The Bulls defeated the Bobcats 93-85 Monday and held the Bobcats to under 40% from the field. The Bulls had five scorers in double digits, but were led by 34 combined points off the bench from Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler. Robinson and Butler exploded in the second half to push the Bulls to victory after the Bobcats kept fighting back.
Kemba Walker and former Bull Ben Gordon had 18 a piece. Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions combined for 6-21 from the field. The Bobcats backcourt once again faced a lot of pressure to carry the scoring load.
In December of last year, the Bobcats guards got to the rim at will and hit big shots to give the Bobcats a victory. This time around, Bulls defenders played with a lot more urgency and forced difficult shots. The Bulls slowed the ball movement of the Bobcats, as the team had just 12 assists on 32 made field goals.
Jeff Adrien got the start tonight at power forward and had 14 points and ten rebounds. Bismack Biyombo had eight points and nine rebounds. It was a little better effort than usual for the Bobcats big men, but still hardly enough to change the defensive looks that the Bulls were throwing at Charlotte.
As I wrote in the preview, the Bobcats effort has been much better this year compared to last. Yes, the team is still losing a lot of games and frustration is still plenty. But being competitive was one of the big things the team was lacking and one of the reasons their 18-game losing streak happened. I’m a little bit more encouraged by things right now, but there’s still a long list of things I’d like to see the team do in the second half of the season.
The Bulls balance tonight further shows that the Bobcats desperately need to get some type of offensive threat in the frontcourt. Byron Mullens will probably return soon, but even with him, the Bobcats still lacked competence up front.
An efficient, offensive minded big man, will create more spacing for the Bobcats guards, and prevent them from having to take so many difficult shots to win games. It’s an admirable effort by players like Walker and Gordon, but it just isn’t a great formula for wins.