Kitty's Got Claws
Game 38: Charlotte 92, San Antonio 76
We were bound (and perhaps, due) for a game like this.
The first half was a slow, grind-it-out affair. Neither team was shooting particularly well. We were playing loose and with no energy. We were turning the ball over with careless passing and ball-handling. We were sluggish. We were able to stay in the game with decent defense, and some good offensive board work from Blair.
In the second half we played the same and the Bobcats played better. They increased their energy and we didn’t. Suddenly they were out and running on stops and TOs, getting easy baskets in transition. And they started making shots. And making shots. And making shots. And we kept missing, and missing, and missing…. This is a game where we could have used Bonner or Finley coming off the bench and giving us a spark with some timely made shots.
Photo by Jeff Siner
It was an ugly game. The Bobcats played tremendous defense, racking up 11 steals and 10 blocks. We helped them out by playing with zero energy and treating the ball like a red-headed stepchild.
Like I said, this was bound to happen. This was our 4th game in 6 nights, with another one looming tomorrow. Some nights you just don’t have it, and we didn’t tonight.
Did you see that line-up that closed the game in garbage time? 2 PFs, 2 centers, and a shooting guard. Gotta love Pop.
And we get to do it again tomorrow night. We head into Memphis to take on the streaking Grizzlies. Of the two games, this is the more important, as they are a division rival (I use that word loosely).
Quick thought: why do we always sit players on the back end of back-to-backs? Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to rest them on the front end, if the goal is just an extra night off? If we’re going to sit Duncan one of these two games, wouldn’t it have made just as much sense to rest him for tonight’s game against the Bobcats and have him available for the Grizzlies big front line of Randolph and (the other) Gasol? I feel like playing a more open, free-wheeling offense (without Duncan) against the Bobcats would have played less to their strength (half-court defense), while playing a more Duncan-centric offense would be better against Memphis.
I don’t know if we’re resting Duncan. But it just seems that it makes sense to look at match-ups and pick the best game to rest him in a back-to-back, rather than it just arbitrarily always being the second game.
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