Charlotte Bobcats Avoid NBA’s Worst Record, Defeat Cavaliers: Game 82 Recap

April 17, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker (15) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) during the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. Bobcats win 105-98. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing with the league’s worst record at 7-59 a season ago, the Charlotte Bobcats avoided reclaiming that title this season. Instead, the Charlotte Bobcats finished this season with a three-game winning streak, that culminated with a 105-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday. The Bobcats finished with a 21-61 record, which triples their win total from a season ago.

Kemba Walker had 24 points and seven assists, while Josh McRoberts chipped in 20 points and eight rebounds. McRoberts, acquired by the Bobcats at the NBA Trade Deadline, will become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. McRoberts started 19 of 26 games for the Bobcats, averaging 9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30.6 minutes. In his last nine games, McRoberts averaged 11.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists on 52% shooting.

Gerald Henderson will also become a free agent, but will be likely be restricted. Henderson, the longest-tenured Bobcat on the roster, had 15 points in what could be his final game with the team. Henderson stepped up his play after the all-star break, averaging 18.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 46.2% shooting. Henderson’s improvement is leaving a lot wondering whether he can maintain his play next season and form a young and productive backcourt with Walker.

Entering Wednesday’s game, the Bobcats were tied with the Orlando Magic for the worst record in basketball. The Magic lost their final game to the Heat to finish dead last in the NBA. In some years, a finishing last gives a team the brightside of adding more ping pong balls to their chances in the NBA Draft Lottery. This season, it didn’t seem to be as big a deal as it has been in the past. The Bobcats instead will have the second-worst record in the league and another top-5 draft pick this summer.

With over $21 million in cap space available to the Bobcats, next year’s team could look a lot different than the team that closed the season out in Time Warner Cable Arena. Owner Michael Jordan has already said that the each role on the team will be carefully evaluated. He was non-commmital when asked about the future of head coach Mike Dunlap. Dunlap, who struggled most of the season getting the team on the same page, got the team to finish strong in March and April. Nonetheless, the team didn’t show much progress for a good bulk of the season, including another long losing streak earlier in the year.

The Bobcats though were able to put any talk of next year’s team behind them and win three in a row at Time Warner Cable Arena to end the ninth season in franchise history.

Topics: Charlotte Bobcats, Game Recaps

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