Going into the game against Denver expectations were high as the Cats were poised to get there third win of the season.
The game started out with Charlotte getting great ball movement and penetration. Every time up the floor they seemed to drive then kick it out to an open shooter on the outside. On defense they were playing hard fighting for lose balls and rebounds along with not letting there man past them. Great team basketball, Larry Brown was smiling on the sideline seeing his team beating up on a Denver team which gave him his start in the NBA. But, everything comes with a price. Early in the half Wallace and Okafor got in foul trouble which forced other players like Mohammed and Morrison to step up. By doing that it took away there ability of making big plays. No more dunks, less aggressiveness on the boards, and passing on open shots, once our men got in foul trouble we were never able to make up for there hard noise style of play.
At the end of the half Charlotte was leading 46 to 42 and things were starting to look up for the Cats. If you ever watch the Cats tune into the third quarter. You see a whole different team! They refuse to move the ball and overload players on one side of the court. Players trying to make the big play and forgetting about there teammates, getting the ball and shooting, not passing it around to the open guy. Countless times I saw a man open on the perimeter that they refused to pass the ball to. Instead you see guys like Augustin and Felton passing once inside, then taking the ball and missing a jumper. Now, it didnt help that the Nuggets kept Okafor in check all game long, but there are ways to make up for that. In the third Melo outscored our whole team. We couldnt stop them. Its been a problem for the past year or two. Having a lead then getting outplayed and going into the fourth down by ten. Today was just that kind of day.
In the fourth we had the game in our hands. Down by four with four minutes left Adam Morrison had a WIDE OPEN THREE. There was no one within ten feet of him, yet he finds a way to miss the shot. Thats what Morrisons getting paid for; to make the big shot from beyond the arc, but like always, he blows it. However Denver goes down the court and Billups misses a fade-away jumper. Then out of no where, DJ decides that hes going to win the game for us. With Chauncey right up on him with a good twelve seconds left on the shot clock he chucks up a three. WHY? Why not do what was working, give it to Richardson or Wallace, have him drive into the lane, and let him do what he does best. Not take a three pointer with one of the best defenders in the league on you breathing on your back. Hey, thats what Larry drafted him for right?
Theres much blame to go around here. The whole team shot an abysmal 7 for 27 from three and only 40 percent from the three. Okafor only made one basket and no one could get to the line. Instead of going with what was working they decided to make it a "me" show and young guys like Morrison and Augustin showed that they have a long way to go before they become prime time players. For all the bad, Richardson did look great, shooting over fifty percent from behind the arc and making plays. Which should bold well for games to come
With how much I ripped the team you must have thought it was a blowout but the Bobcats only lost 88-80. Charlotte will put this game behind them and look forward to the future. Can it really get any worse?