The Charlotte Bobcats may be changing their team name soon but on this night it was quite apropos. The 'Cats shredded the Portland Trail Blazers to the bone in a game that was never close, pasting a humiliating 30-point loss on their hapless visitors.
Like the wildcat whose name they sport, Charlotte's finest sank their front claws into the Blazers early...in this case personified by the meathooks dangling at the end of Al Jefferson's arms. Jefferson spent the first period writing a doctoral dissertation whose main thesis was, "Robin Lopez Does Not Matter". He argued the point persuasively, scoring 16 in the period. Lopez's only ally was the clock. Had it run for an hour Jefferson would have scored 100. Outside, inside, with fakes, off the dribble, Robin couldn't stop him on anything. Nor could the Blazers put together any kind of coherent help. Every time they doubled the result was a pathetically easy layup or open three. As Jefferson's paws embraced the Blazers and refused to let go, the double-footed, back-claw attack of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson eviscerated Portland and left them on the ground breathing their last. Portland's backcourt defense was atrocious. No amount of forward play was going to make up for it. Rotations were blown before they started. For every bucket the Blazers scored (often off of isolation jumpers) Charlotte put in two.
The Bobcats led 33-22 after one. Two minutes into the second period Portland was down 20. Damian Lillard made a few shots but seemed to follow the "If one hard shot goes in, shoot three more" rule. His 7-19, 20 point performance didn't even equal Walker's 10-18, 26 point night, let alone give his team hope. Wesley Matthews shot 6-12 but missed 4 of 5 triples. It's hard to credit him with any traction when Henderson went 8-11 for 23. Naturally the Blazers had no answer for Jefferson's 28 point night. Portland's 73 points at the end of the 3rd period doesn't look horrible until you consider Charlotte had 69 at halftime. Had the Blazers limited the Bobcats to 4 points for the entire third period they only would have been tied. They did no such thing. The 'Cats had 100 before the 4th period was a minute old and cruised to the victory.
This is one of those games where there's no use putting more effort into writing or reading about it than the Blazers put into playing it. This was, hands down, the worst outing of the season...a debacle with no redemption. The only thing I'll say about individual play is that Victor Claver played hard again tonight and had some nice defensive moments. He can walk out of the place with his head up, as can some of the tail-end reserves who were just getting their minutes. Everybody else is bandaging their wounds and taking the Walk of Shame out of Charlotte tonight.
Timmay's Instant Recap and Gameday Thread Review (which can't be pleasant reading tonight).
You can go to Rufus on Fire to be happy.
The Jersey Contest scores have been updated and the form for the Miami game is now up HERE. MavetheGreat leads the month so far.
If they lost this badly against Charlotte they're supposed to beat Miami, right?