My column from Orlando about Game 1 of the Bobcats-Orlando playoff series can be seen here.
Here are three thoughts I couldn't fit into the column but I thought were still interesting from Orlando's 98-89 victory.
1)Seated in the second row under one basket, I could hear exactly why Stephen Jackson got himself an early technical. After scoring on a contested layup, Jackson screamed: "That's a [bleeping] foul!"
Jackson now has bigger problems -- his hyper-extended left knee meant he had to hobble around for the second half and didn't play at all for the final nine minutes. The fact that the Bobcats don't play again until Wednesday may work to their advantage on that injury.
2) Charlotte really needs someone else to score a little off the bench -- D.J. Augustin needs to make a couple of threes, Tyrus Thomas needs to do more, etc. There's too much pressure right now for either Jackson, Gerald Wallace or Raymond Felton to carry the offense on practically every possession.
3) Charlotte's "Hack-a-Dwight" strategy worked very well Sunday. Dwight Howard scored only 5 points and missed 5 of his 6 free throw attempts. You can see why when you watch him shooting free throws up close. The ball looks like a cantaloupe in his hands. It literally seems too small for him to shoot it correctly.
11 months ago