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"Hey! Heck of a Game!" - Bobcats beatdown the Bulls


Anyone who played Madden '96 remembers 2 comments from John Madden "Hey...Heck of a Play" and "Gotta watch the snap."  When the Bobcats won tonight all I could think was "Hey, heck of a game."  Solid win, top to bottom.  As Larry Brown said post-game, "we're playing at a very high level right now."  The Bobcats got out to a pretty good lead to end the first quarter and really didn't look back.  It got so good that Alexis Ajinca got in the game.  Lex the legs even got a tech when he got in a little shove back and forth with some crew cut scrub that Vinny Del Negro put in because it was just that over.  I knew it was going to be a statement game and it really was.  2 days off and then the Hawks at home on Friday?  Come on!  The way these guys look right now they might roll on through.
 
So here's the big picture on tonight's game:  Tim Thomas and Luol Deng were out.  Rumors were that Raja Bell might be out but he in fact started and had 10 points in the first quarter and all 18 of his points before halftime.  Whether or not he was still hurt or anything, not confirmed after the game by Larry Brown, but he's probably still day to day.  How did he hit 7 of 11 and 2 for 2 from beyond 3, with a bad shoulder?  I don't know, don't care.  I appreciate the effort and the dedication.  He's banged up, Wallace is banged up, Okafor tweaked his ankle last week.  It's like I heard Brentson Buckner say on WFNZ "It late in da season.  Errrbody knee hurt.  Mek knee hurt, Gerald knee hurt, Diaw knee hurt, Ray knee hurt.  If yo knee ain't hurt, you ain't been playing."  The lead was so cushy that the bench actually got some time in.  Everyone but Alexis Ajinca, Juwan Howard and Cartier Martin got double digit PT, and Cartier was less than half a minute short of 10 minutes.
 
Emeka Okafor is playing really well.  His first half enabled Larry to try Juwan Howard and Vlad and even a little bit of a small line-up.  The adjustments that Vinny made sort of held him back in the second half.  Rather than switching Brad Miller for Joakim Noah, he went with both and clamped down on Okafor.  Did I forget someone?  Oh yeah, Diop!  He Dioped it like it was hot, sorry.  I'm truly sorry for that.  Both forgetting his contribution (6 points, 5 rebounds and solid defense), and making that horrible, horrible reference to a 5 year old Snoop Dogg song.
 
Raymond Felton helped a pile as well with 18 points and 9 assists.  He and DJ Augustin have to be a very solid one/two punch for speed and for opposing PG and really the entire defense.  DJ had the 2nd most minutes to Ray but only 8 points and 5 assists.  The two combined for 4 turnovers, which isn't horrible and a few passes that were stolen weren't entirely their fault.  Mek still has stone hands and Juwan Howard wasn't looking in the right direction.  Speaking of Mr. Howard.  His 3 minutes were quite uneventful, in any type of positive way.  It bothered me that the Bulls attacked his side of the floor while he was on defense.  The missed pass almost under the basket bothered me as well.  I know he's great for veteran leadership but man, I think he's lost 2 steps instead of just one for his age.
 
All in all, I feel really good about the win.  How can you not?  It was a 20 point win that ended up being 16, I don't know why.  Maybe it was Alexis's seeming embarrassment on the free throw line after almost coming to blows with Aaron or Alex or something with an "A" Gray.  I know Larry was smiling.  Hell, so was I.  Bring it Hawks!  I need to do some research on them and what they're doing right now because I really didn't care before we had a 4 game win streak for the first time in a year and them coming to town!




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