Posted December 02, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Charlotte Bobcats appear significantly improved from last season but need to fortify their defense to right their current slump.
In their fourth attempt to surpass their win total from all of last season, the Bobcats look to avenge the worst loss in franchise history as they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Charlotte (7-8) had won six of eight before dropping its last three games, including a 104-98 home loss to Philadelphia on Friday.
Still, the Bobcats' next victory will give them one more than they had in 2011-12, when they posted the worst winning percentage in NBA history. They finished 7-59 while being outscored by an average of 13.9 points per game.
This season, with a starting lineup that includes four players age 23 or younger, Charlotte is averaging 94.9 points to opponents' 100.5.
"I see the improvement within the losing," said first-year coach Mike Dunlap, whose Bobcats trailed by as many as 10 in the third quarter Friday but tied the game early in the fourth.
"Maybe some don't and maybe they want to rush us. I'd certainly like to win a game like tonight, but I thought we did a marvelous job of coming back into this game. But this is a playoff team we played, so I think we ultimately have to raise our eye and understand where we're at on the continuum of improvement."
Charlotte's offense wasn't the problem after being held to a combined 34.2 percent from the field in the previous two losses. The Bobcats shot 47.0 percent, including 8 of 17 from 3-point range, with Ben Gordon scoring 19 and rookie Jeffery Taylor a season-high 16.
But they allowed the 76ers to shoot 51.2 percent, the third time in five games Charlotte's opponent made more than half of its shots. The Bobcats have given up more than 100 points in four of five games after going six straight without doing so.
"Anytime we trade baskets with a good team, a quality team, like that, you know it's going to bite you," said Gordon, 15 of 24 from 3-point range over the past four games.
"... We've just got to clean up our defensive intensity."
They certainly lacked intensity the last time they faced Portland. In the teams' only meeting last season, Charlotte was handed the largest margin of defeat in team history with a 112-68 loss in Portland on Feb. 1. All of the Blazers' starters sat out the fourth quarter.
They rolled to that win playing without an injured Nicolas Batum, who helped Portland (7-10) end a four-game losing streak in dramatic fashion Saturday.
Batum hit a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining in double overtime for a 118-117 victory over Cleveland. The game appeared to end on Batum's buzzer-beater in the first overtime, but a video review showed that the shot came after time expired.
"After the one in the first overtime was too late, I had to make sure this one counted," said Batum, who scored 22 on 7-of-15 shooting. He shot 10 for 35 over the previous three games.
Rookie Damian Lillard had a team-best 24 points and a season-high 11 assists for the Blazers, whose 1-4 record on a seven-game road trip includes a defeat to previously winless Washington.
"Breaking the losing streak was really important, because losing can take its toll mentally, and I liked the way we played all night," coach Terry Stotts said.
The Blazers have won five of six in this series, holding Charlotte to 76.8 points per game.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Kemba Walker helped the fans who attended Friday's game win tickets to an upcoming Charlotte Bobcats game. See how he did it.
I was on the optimistic side before the season began when analyzing the prospects of the Charlotte Bobcats for the first month of the season. I was criticized a bit for predicting a 6-9 November start, and while I freely admit it was a bit of a reach at the time, it turns out my [...]
This dunk was incredible...but this picture...well...Byron, we're going to have to work on your "awesome dunk" face.
Well, tonight had its fair share of ups and downs. There were great dunks, great plays, and big leads. There were also turnovers, missed foul shots, poor officiating, and squandered leads. The result was the Bobcats netting their 4th straight...
We’re in December now, and as I flipped my 2012 Bobcats wall calendar to reveal Matt Carroll as this month’s pinup, I noticed a disturbing trend. The six featured players in this year’s calendar were Stephen Jackson, Carroll, Shaun Livingston, DJ Augustin, Gerald Henderson, and Tyrus Thomas. In other words: traded, traded, traded, traded, injured, [...]
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Luke Babbitt hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 118-112 in overtime Monday night.
The Blazers trailed 97-79 with 5:17 left in regulation, but stormed back to tie the score and sent it into overtime on Babbitt...
As we get ready for a Monday night of NBA hoops, Charlotte Bobcats center Byron Mullens has been a nice surprise over the last two seasons.Earlier tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, Mullens decided to put LaMarcus Aldridge on a poster with this one-handed dunk: (Courtesy of The Point Forward)
Byron Mullens tossed LaMarcus Aldridge on one of the more nasty posters we have seen this year. Wait, what?
You heard that correctly. During today’s game between the Trailblazers and the Bobcats the seven-foot center out of Ohio State took flight from inside the free throw line and soared over Aldridge to complete the one-handed jack hammer. Quite the athletic play from the...
While most remember that New Orleans Hornets forward Anthony Davis was the first pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, the second pick has been making noise with the Charlotte Bobcats.
During yesterday's Charlotte Bobcats/Portland Trail Blazers, Michael Kidd Gilchrist showed off his aerial flair on a fast break and skied for a two-handed jam:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Portland Trail Blazers pulled off a remarkable comeback on Monday night, rallying from an 18-point deficit in the final six minutes of regulation and beating the Charlotte Bobcats 118-112 in overtime. The Trail Blazers trailed 92-74 with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter before erupting to outscore Charlotte 28-10 to close out regulation. They tied the...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It would have been totally understandable had the Portland Trail Blazers folded down the stretch Monday night. Instead, the Blazers turned the sixth game on a grueling seven-game Eastern road trip into a night to remember. Portland rallied from an 18-point deficit in the final five-plus minutes of regulation, then pulled away for a 118-112 overtime victory...
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 118-117 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Trailing 117-115 with 2.5 seconds remaining, Portland called timeout and inbounded near midcourt. Damian Lillard passed to Batum, who hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner in front of...
CLEVELAND -- Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum had a close miss at the end of the first overtime period. He wasn't about to be denied given a second chance. Batum's 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining propelled Portland to a 118-117 win over Cleveland in double overtime Saturday before 16,624 at Quicken Loans Arena. Batum's 12-footer at the end of overtime...
Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 118-117 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Trailing 117-115 with 2.5 seconds remaining, Portland called timeout and inbounded near midcourt. Damian Lillard passed to Batum, who hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner in front of Cleveland's bench...