Game Summary: Charlotte got off to a nice start in New York early. Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist all played well in the first quarter. Kemba was able to hit all three of his first three shots, two of those being three pointers. Gerald Henderson was also aggressive early. But what stuck out the most was the play of MKG. Kidd-Gilchrist came up big in the best game of his season thus far including a crucial play in the first half in which he got back on Carmelo Anthony and blocked an easy lay in. Then, he grabbed the ball went coast to coast and laid in the easy two. This is exactly what you want from MKG. We know he isn’t very gifted offensively, but if he is able to turn defense into offense like he did on that play, he will be just fine. Three starters stepped up early to provide energy the Bobcats needed to forget about their miserable loss in New Orleans.
Reserve Anthony Tolliver was rewarded for his solid play in New Orleans as he was involved in the rotation early. Jeffrey Taylor knocked off the rust as he hit his first three point basket of the year. That’s a very encouraging sign for a guy who showed so much promise in pre-season and summer league. The Bobcats found themselves up 31-28 at the end of a very strong first quarter.
Jeffery Taylor continued his strong play in the second period as he was contributing mightily both on the offensive and defensive end. The Bobcats dished out an impressive nine assists on their first fifteen field goals. The ‘Cats found themselves up eight points half way through. The Bobcats continued their strong showing finishing the first half up very nicely. They went in the locker room holding a 10 point lead. The boo birds were out in New York as Charlotte outplayed and out hustled the Knicks in the first half.
The third period was another strong one from a team who has really played a well rounded ball game through three periods. Kemba Walker was hurt in the third and briefly unavailable. MKG was also unavailable in the third, but reserves such as Anthony Tolliver were able to pick up the slack and propel the Bobcats to a 82-76 lead at the end of three. Jeffrey Taylor was in foul trouble and MKG was injured so this set up a difficult matchup for Gerald Henderson to guard the potent Anthony.
The fourth quarter was great for the Bobcats. They were able to seal the deal against a very talented New York team. Charlotte faught off adversity throughout the quarter and they were successful in closing the game out.
Grading The Starters:
PG: Kemba Walker - 25 PTS | 6 AST | 1 STL | 3 TO | 35 MIN: A+ Kemba played such an incredible game tonight. He proved to everyone why people think he is the backbone and future of this team. It was a scary moment when he was injured, but thankfully nothing serious. SG: Gerald Henderson - 18 PTS | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 TO | 35 MIN: B Hendo was solid tonight on all phases. He played the role that the Bobcats need him to play, sidekick.
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 16 PTS | 1 AST | 8 REB | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 26 MIN: B MKG was very good on the defensive end tonight, which is all they really ask from him.
PF: Josh McRoberts - 2 PTS | 1 AST | 1 REB | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 MIN: B- Although McRoberts wasn’t a factor in this game, in my opinion, he had a decent game.
C: Bismack Biyombo - 1 PTS | 0 AST | 6 REB | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 19 MIN: C- Let’s just say that we are lucky Biz isn’t our regular starter at center as he has another poor performance. At least he some what contributed this time.
Player Of The Game: Kemba Walker (G)
- Kemba had a great homecoming, coming up big in the city of New York. He was the leader the Bobcats needed and his relentlessness was key in an impressive Charlotte victory.
- The reason the Bobcats had so much success in this game is simple. They wanted it more that the Knicks. Sometimes in sports it boils down to who’s got more heart. Charlotte is clearly overmatched as far as star power goes, but not will to win.
- The Bobcats out rebounded the Knicks 49-31. This is an important stat considering both teams were missing their best big men for the majority of this contest. Reserve Jeff Adrien came up clutch again grabbing 8 of those 31.
- Cody Zeller, Anthony Tolliver, Jeff Adrien, Jeff Taylor, and Ramon Sessions all came up big off the bench. With a strong bench, Coach Steve Clifford has a lot of options.
In My Opinion:
Why is Metta World Peace still in the league. It just amazes me the Knicks would sign him. Metta is one of the dirtiest, most inconsistent players in the NBA. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s great at defense, but he needs to understand his defensive role and not try to be the offensive hero. On two critical late fourth quarter possessions, World Peace airballed a three and then followed that by losing it out of bounds. The man formally known as Ron Artest will only cause the Knicks more trouble than anything else.
Raymond Felton once again proves to us that he is nothing more than an average NBA point guard. He is a great distributor for the most part, but when it comes down to making that clutch shot, he just doesn't have it. Felton missed several threes in the fourth quarter that could of made a huge difference in the game’s outcome.
This was a very impressive win for the Bobcats for many reasons. The biggest reason was that we were able to see how Charlotte would react after a very underwhelming performance in their previous game. A lot of that goes to the Head Coach Steve Clifford, who was clearly able to rally the troops as he had them ready to play.
Next Bobcats Game:
The Bobcats will travel back to Charlotte tonight and host the Toronto Raptors Wednesday at 7:00PM. ~Jonathon Hoppe