Preview and Game Thread: Knicks at Bobcats

Tonight’s opponent hails from the great state of North Carolina. Like most North Carolinians, I don’t watch many Bobcat games, but I do know how to look up statistics, and we all know that statistics never lie and always tell the complete story. ALWAYS! Let’s take a look at the soon to be Hornets from a statistical perspective!

Charlotte Bobcats
Record: 15-23, 4th in Southeast, 2-8 in last 10 games
PTS/G: 93.0 (28th)
Opp PTS/G: 96.6 (5th)
Pace: 92.7 (22nd)
Off Rtg: 99.6 (29th)
Def Rtg: 103.4 (8th)

Starting 5

PG – Kemba Walker
Kemba Stats

Is Kemba a good point guard? Well, he scores at below league average efficiency with a team high usage, and he has a below average number of assists and . He is fairly steady with the ball, with a pretty low turnover rate, will get you some steals, and is a decent rebounder for his size. In all, he is probably an average point guard at best, who gets a bit more recognition he deserves for being the go-to offensive scorer on this team, a role he probably should stay away from, if this team had any viable alternatives (not so much).

SG – Gerald Henderson
Henderson Stats

Another high usage, low efficiency backcourt player. There’s a reason that the Bobcats are second to last in the NBA in Offensive Rating. To his credit, Henderson is very good at limiting his turnovers, even with his high usage. Here’s the thing with Henderson, his numbers this year aren’t that far off from his career numbers, which is to say, not very good. Yet, the Bobcats still signed him to a 3 year $18 million contract this past summer. He did play well at the end of last season after coming back from injury, is a great athlete and is regarded as a solid defender, so I’m sure the contract was based on the potential for him to “put it all together”. That doesn’t seem to be happening this season, at least offensively.

SF – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Kidd-Gilchrist Stats

This will be the first game since he broke his hand at the beginning of December. As a rookie last year, he developed a reputation as very good, athletic defender with a limited offensive game. This is a cat (See what I did there?) that knows his limitations, though, taking nearly 60% of his shots in the paint and attempting just 14 threes in his career to date. While you would prefer your starting small forward to be able to hit an outside shot once in a while, Kidd-Gilchrist should be appreciated for what he is: a high motor, super-athletic defensive stopper that can also rebound well and score in transition and via cleaning up the offensive glass.

PF – Josh McRoberts
McRoberts Stats

Hey look! A low efficiency scorer! Who would have thought we’d find one on the Bobcats! The most impressive thing about McBob is that he has a better assist rate than his starting point guard, so I guess that’s why he gets 30 minutes a game. My question is, why the hell he takes so many 3’s? He’s not good at shooting them (his career average is even lower than this year) and he hasn’t really taken many in his career before this year. It’s one of the many enigmas of this Bobcat’s team.

C – Al Jefferson
Jefferson Stats

Speaking of enigmas, I don’t know what’s up with big Al, either. Here’s a guy that takes over half of his shots in the paint, yet still has an abysmal TS%. This is due to hardly ever getting to the line. If you look at his shot chart, it’s not bad, with a large majority of his shots around the basket:
Jefferson shot chart
These are the kind of shots you want your center to take, resulting in at least an average efficiency, don’t you think? Why is Jefferson’s free throw rate so low? If the best way to answer this question is to watch more Bobcats games, maybe it’s better off left unanswered.

The Bench

Looking at the Bobcats’ bench, not a whole lot stands out. Bismack Biyombo should probably be getting more playing time, as he is a great rebounder and defender. He is extremely limited offensively, though, which is probably the reason he doesn’t see a lot of playing time on such an offensively inept team. Ramon Sessions gets plenty of playing time, but about the only thing he does well is get to the free throw line. Ben Gordon and Jeff Taylor have been absolutely repugnant, and first round draft pick Cody Zeller has only shown he is pretty far from being a positive contributor in the NBA.

Extra Thoughts

The Bobcats are a very poor offensive team. They make up for it, a bit, with solid defense and keeping turnovers low. The biggest need for this team is a wing scorer who is actually good at scoring, rather than just taking shots. This is the kind of team that may overvalue a guy like JR Smith if the Knicks were ever truly looking for a trade partner. I’m not sure what they could get back that would be helpful, though. The Knicks are playing very well right now and get Chandler back, so I would have a hard time picking against them this game. My guess for a final score tonight is 88-82 Knicks. Optimism! Enjoy the game!

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96 thoughts to “Preview and Game Thread: Knicks at Bobcats”

  1. Glad to see Udwary starting this one. We need to conserve minutes for Cavan and Silverman. Four games in five days? That’s a lot of blogging, and it’s only mid-season.

    By the way, doesn’t it seem like the Knicks play the Bobcats about once a week or so? And the Bobcats usually give them trouble.


  2. Why is Jefferson’s free throw rate so low? If the best way to answer this question is to watch more Bobcats games, maybe it’s better off left unanswered.


  3. I don’t know if you guys have seen this before, but I found it interesting/insightful and fun to play around with. It’s advanced statistical plus/minus (at a very basic level +/- regressed using advanced stats), the methodology of which is outlined here, and I find it convincing. Some of the takeaways from the Knicks this season: JR and Bargnani have really hurt the team, soaking up a lot of minutes and playing very poorly. To a lesser extent, so have Felton, Hardaway, Udrih, and Stoudemire. Shumpert, Prigioni, and Martin have been around average, while Anthony and Chandler have been solidly above average. It should be noted that JR and Felton were significantly better last season, and Jason Kidd was pretty good as well.

    Other stray observations: Kyle Lowry is very good. Phoenix and San Antonio give almost no minutes to below average players (same with Denver last season). Sacramento has two very good players in Thomas and Cousins, but is getting destroyed by the rest of their players. There are plenty of other potential insights to draw too.

  4. I saw the bobcats host Milwaukee around Thanksgiving, along with about 300 other people. The highlights were few:
    1. Parking is cheap ($10) and ample
    2. everybody (the other 297 people) LOVES Bismack Biyombo. They call him “Biz” which is adorable. And, when he shot freethrows, a small section chanted MVP.
    3. caught a t shirt from a cannon, PLUS it was winter hat night
    4. Josh McRoberts’ hair reminds me of Keanu Reeves in that shitty new movie.

  5. Like most North Carolinians, I don’t watch many Bobcat games

    I got a good chuckle from that.

  6. I wanna see a TH2 discount triple-check rather than that circle around his eye thing he does.

  7. TH2 almost makes me appreciate TH: the original, because without him there would be no TH2.


  8. I retract my TH Jr is having an amazing 1st half statement lol. Also the starting lineup has no interest whatsoever in playing any defense tonight.

  9. Other than THJ (before getting the Woodson scowl for the heat checks) pretty uninspiring game.

  10. I mean I expected a game like this (at least in the 1st half) after the hard fought OT game last night. But still doesnt make it any easier to watch lol.

  11. Hopefully at half-time Woodson reminds the team the Bobcats can pass them in the standings with a win tonight and the Knicks have a pretty much guaranteed loss on Thursday so losing tonight would not be ideal.

  12. You would think Woodson would try to stretch the bench a bit with the OT last night and games Thursday and Friday. Down 9 at the half they couldn’t have made it much worse.

  13. Was kind of hoping Chandler could provide a lift of some sort. Jefferson having one of the best games of his season. Yikes.

  14. Might be time for Woodson to throw a hail mary and give JR big minutes in the 2nd half, nothing else is working

  15. It’s a damn good thing there aren’t back-to-backs in the playoffs because we have no chance with this Melo. Why are we benching JR again? He’s shown good signs and we look awful on offense.

  16. Geez that’s at least the second airball by Melo. When I saw the first one I couldn’t remember the last one that wasn’t a desperation heave.

  17. Been laid to the bone with the flu, so I haven’t been paying much attention to the Knicks, but didn’t Melo play like 48 minutes last night? Maybe he shouldn’t be leading the team in minutes again?

  18. Good end to the quarter, gonna be interesting to see what lineup Woodson uses to start the 4th.

  19. Then Dikembe Anthony with the block to keep it a five point game going into the fourth. Last season the defense would ramp up in the fourth. One can only hope.

  20. Love me some murry and hate me some Woodson , but gotta give him credit for going with udrih when Murry stalled .

  21. Bobcats 29th ranked offense in the NBA but of course against the Knicks stellar D they look like the 1996 Bulls.

  22. If Kemba Walker played the Knicks every game he’d be first team All-NBA

    You could say pretty much the same thing for any PG in the league that has four working limbs.

  23. I can’t believe our longest winning streak of the season is about to be ended by the Bobcats.

  24. How often does Shumpert even touch the ball on offense? He absolutely no role in the offense besides standing and hoping to get open. Wasn’t there a stat out that revealed that he touched the ball less than any rotational player in the NBA for his minutes? It really seems like he’s just in a bad situation with this particular Knicks team.

  25. Hope this is just the blip in the radarscreen rather than a reversion to the mean. I’d like to think the games of 2014 before this were the team getting their heads out of their asses rather than a random hot streak.

  26. Maybe next time when they have the 1st game of a back-to-back at home and lead by 14 pts late in the 2nd quarter they dont let the other team get back into the game and force OT completely exhausting them for the next night. Also not dig such a deep hole with a horrible 9-21 start to the season where a loss like this can be so annoying standings wise.

  27. —At least the next game for the Knicks is a pretty easy one…..

    Yea a game they shoulda won before

  28. Schedule loss

    I don’t know if any other team in the NBA would call this a schedule loss (is every second game of a back to back a “schedule loss”?). Are you factoring in their play yesterday that caused the OT in the first place?

  29. It’s a schedule loss when you play a travel back to back and the home team had two days off

    Knicks should have won the game but it was obvious the energy was lacking. I’m not excusing it just how it goes.
    Also factor in trying to work chandler back in allowing Jefferson to just go off from jump

  30. Again I would like to reiterate the Bobcats came into tonight ranked 29th in offensive efficiency. They scored 108 pts while shooting 51% from the floor and turning it over only 5 times. They also attempted 33 ft’s.

  31. Phoenix losing it’s 5th road game in 7 days is a schedule loss. This was just a bad night for us. The trendline still points upward tho.

  32. i hate woodson. udrih is who he is. why we cant give murry a legit chance is beyond me. im not even counting garbage minutes. when it was still a game, murry was +8 in 6 minutes. know who else was +? Shump, the player who is plus practically every game, despite being picked on by his coach all year. why woodson feels that you need to be a 10 year veteran to get respect from him makes me really hate that guy.

  33. i should add this though. as much as a mental midg…(small person) woodson is, the dumbest coaching decision belonged to the Charlotte coach tonight. does charlotte not scout?? at the end of the half, woodson had the knicks prepared to run the oh soooooo successful melo kill the clock iso, no ball movement, eventual leaning 20 footer under pressure play, and clifford did not even let the Knicks shoot themselves in the foot!!!! he sends a double team out to Melo at 30 feet, leading to an easy knicks 4 on 3, ending in a Stat dunk. it unbelievable to me that so much money is pumped into this league, and teams still make completely irrational, indefensible strategic decisions. in fact, sometimes coaches outdue eachother’s stupidity on the same play

  34. Bargnani was worse than his anemic stats tonight.

    His tell his hips. When he drives his hips towards the basket, rebounds, etc., his length and bulk makes things happen. When he is bailing out, like he did tonight, he is an empty uniform.

  35. Phoenix losing it’s 5th road game in 7 days is a schedule loss. This was just a bad night for us. The trendline still points upward tho.

    Lol what’s the difference? It wthe Knicks 3rd game in 4 nights in 3 different cities

  36. By tomorrow I will be over this stupid loss and look back at the positives of the previous 7 games and look forward to an 8 game homestand that is filled with pretty easy opponents. Problem remains looking at the standings and seeing a 15-23 record which puts the Knicks 10th in the East with a most likely loss in their next game coming up. What an annoying season so far lol.

  37. This is great stuff, now reporters tweeting that JR is packing luggage in the locker room after the game.

  38. To me the game was lost late in the second quarter when Shump went out (to keep him from picking up his 3rd foul I guess) and THJ was clearly gassed- might have been a nice time for some JR. You’re playing the second game of a back to back- maybe not the time to send a message that you already sent. Maybe JR did something else idiotic- if he didn’t he certainly should have played. Yo-yoing guys won’t endear you to anyone on the team.

  39. I dunno DRed, but whoever tweeted it (forgot who it was) seemed surprised by it, said he had never seen that before. Who the hell knows lol.

  40. Judging by Twitter JR wasnt too happy, said something about communication from his end is over and that his benching to be related to the shoelace incident is ridiculous.

  41. Everything Woodson does with JR is kind of ass backwards. He’s stuck with him in games where he was absolutely killing the team, but tonight on the 2nd night of a back to back, where the Knicks needed some kind of spark and energy off the bench, he sits him for the entire game.

    Although really we lost this game on the defensive end, not sure how much JR would have helped in that regard.

    Where’s Metta btw?

  42. and I mean this in all sincerity… The Knicks can’t even actually bench a player properly. Either he’s benched or he’s playing. Make up ur fucking mind. And this whole Woodson not commenting thing is a charade on top of a farce.

    Metta has probably seen enough of this shit and wants nothing to do with it. And that’s saying something

  43. This benching tonight has to be coming from the front office, not from Woodson. He is just toeing the company line with the no comment stuff and refusing to explain why and what happened.

  44. Agreed of course that is the ineptness that I meant. That is literally a 180 dgr wrong way to handle this and to not talk the player??? JeeZ. Oh no nothing to see here. Really. Nothing.

  45. i cant believe that im beginning to side with JR. JR has done all sorts of incredibly dumb stuff that actually mattered and no one ever called him on it. and after all of this, he gets benched for………untying other people’s shoelaces. that is so amazing to me and clearly showed how stupid all of this is. at this JR probably realizes that he is an idiot, but is bucking because another group of idiots is trying to mess with him. this is why JR needs a team like the spurs and also why the knicks are doomed

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