The Charlotte Bobcats traveled north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors, who came into the game with a 25-40 record but were also .500 at home (16-16). After a 92-78 win, the Raptors are now 17-16 at home thanks to some stifling defense. The Raptors blocked eight shots in this one, with each of their starters notching a block. Amir Johnson led the way with three blocks, and he also had a ridiculous 21 rebounds with 12 points in the double-double.
The Bobcats perimeter defense looked lively, as they forced the Raptors to commit 19 turnovers (Johnson and Rudy Gay had six each). Every starter on the Bobcats had two steals, and Josh McRoberts finished the game with three steals and two blocks. The problem was that the Bobcats were ridiculously inefficient on offense with a 32.5% shooting clip, whereas Toronto hit 48.5% of their shots. Below are five detailed notes following the game.
1. Rudy Gay absolutely went off, and both he and Johnson more than atoned for their turnovers. Gay had 28 points in this one, and it came on an incredible 11-16 line complete with a 5-5 performance from the charity stripe. Besides Gay and Johnson, only two other players scraped double digits for the Raptors.
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was absolutely horrendous, as he shot just 2-12 and did absolutely nothing else to make up for his atrocious shooting performance. MKG and Bismack Biyombo both had just four points.
3. Josh McRoberts got another start for the Bobcats, and he had a very good night overall with a near double-double of ten points and nine rebounds. He performed well all around the stat sheet with some great defense and three assists.
4. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Kemba Walker put up 20 points, because he did not play his best game. He did fill up the stat sheet wit ha few assists, rebounds and steals, but a 5-17 line simply isn’t good enough. In fact, it’s terrible. Walker got to the free throw line 12 times, which is an excellent number at face value. However, all that driving yielded a 66.7% from the line, so Walker was clearly not efficient in the loss.
5. Really, the only player who did bring his “A” game on offense was Gerald Henderson, and that should come as no surprise. While every other Bobcats guard or SF was busy chucking up bricks, Henderson was just one shot below 50% (he took 17 shots) and also hit five of six free throws. Henderson took a high volume of shots, but he did add 22 points and hauled in seven rebounds. That’s somewhat important, because the Bobcats were thoroughly beat on the boards 46-36, and that’s largely thanks to Amir Johnson’s ridiculous rebounding output. Henderson also added some value on defense, and he was easily the Bobcats MVP in this loss. At this point in time, Henderson is the Bobcats only consistent scoring threat, because everyone else is so on-and-off. And, as we saw in this game, Henderson was “on” when the rest of the team’s scorers were clearly “off”.
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