After I watched in person as Charlotte broke a 16-game homecourt losing streak with a 102-101 win over Minnesota Saturday night keyed by Gerald Henderson’s off-balance three-pointer from 25 feet with 4.6 seconds left, here are six quick thoughts:
1) The Bobcats should play that four-guard lineup (Walker, Sessions, Gordon and Henderson) along with Bismack Biyombo more often. It gets the Bobcats’ four most natural scorers onto the court at the same time.
The problem is on the defensive end, of course, but Biyombo (13 rebounds, two blocks Saturday) is getting better at being an eraser.
“They went small and started to attack us and get to the basket, which got them back in it,” acting Minnesota head coach Terry Porter said.
2) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is still so off and on. He helped keep the Bobcats’ last possession alive by making a great save and not allowing the ball to go out of bounds. But in only 15 minutes, MKG picked up four fouls, had no rebounds and scored just two points.
3) Brad Daugherty made the right call. Instead of watching N.C. State beat UNC 91-83 on TV, the former UNC star and current NASCAR announcer sat courtside and watched the Bobcats win a thriller.
4) Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap described Gerald Henderson as “nasty” after the game, and he meant it as a compliment (Tyler Hansbrough would agree, but for a different reason). Henderson noted after the game that a lot of NBA players think the league’s initials stand for “No Boys Allowed.” He was certainly a man Saturday night – that was a big-time three-pointer he hit to win this one.
5) Kemba Walker has clearly become the face of the Bobcats (now 11-32) and the team’s best player. He nearly had a triple-double Saturday night (25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) and the only extraordinary thing about it was the fact that it felt so ordinary.
6) Dunlap had an interesting quote about the Charlotte fans afterward. The announced attendance Saturday night was 15,397 – there were no more than 10,000 actually in the building and likely less, but that’s still pretty good for an NBA team that had lost 16 straight home games.
“The fans were really important for us,” Dunlap said. “It’s been a long time since we gave them that kind of effort and I think they appreciated that effort. The Charlotte fans are like that. If you work hard and you lose the game, they’ll come back…. What happened tonight was that they saw a group out there that was playing hard. The fans really enjoyed it. And that volume, that’s the loudest they’ve been when Gerald hit that shot. It was beautiful.”
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