So we've dropped three straight... play Toronto at home tonight, then thereafter only 15 games until the end of the regular season. The 8th and final slot in the East is up for grabs and any of the six contenders have a legit shot at snatching that final seed.
Why not Charlotte?
It's almost a given no matter who lands the 8th seed, they'd be crushed by either Boston or Cleveland in the first round... and I doubt any of them would win two games against Orlando either in a best of seven series.
I'd be thrilled to simply get in the playoffs, even if we don't win a single game, we'd still be in the playoffs! We need this push for confidence / momentum going into the next season.
Gotta win these three at home this week, and they're all winable. The problem is we still don't have a go-to guy for the close games. And we can all thank Bob Johnson for scheduling a horse-jumping competition every year that forces us to play road games down the stretch.
Coach Larry Brown held a post-shootaround film session this morning to clean up what ailed the Bobcats' defense Saturday versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. There was plenty of mop work required.
They gave up 53 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range to a bad team missing Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer.
This team used to be easy to figure: The Bobcats were solid defensively (so long as they limited silly turnovers) and shaky offensively. It was virtually a given this season that if they reached 90 points, they won.
Here's a switch: The Bobcats averaged 99.2 points on 49 percent shooting in their past 10 games, yet are only 6-4 on those games. The problem is that in those same 10 games they've allowed opponents 47 percent shooting and 98.2 points.
The defensive rotations have been poor of late. Vladimir Radmanovic has reverted to some habits he was taught as a Laker that aren't consistent with the defense Brown teaches. And they haven't dealt well with high screen-and-roll. They've always been vulnerable to a big man with shooting range, and that makes tonight's matchup problematic.
Toronto center Andrea Bargnani shoots 41 percent from 3-point range and is coming off a 27-point game Sunday versus the Indiana Pacers. He was 3-for-3 from the arc.
Concerning the race for the last playoff spot in the East, the Nets and Knicks both lost Sunday but Milwaukee's victory over the Boston Celtics was an unexpected blow. The Bobcats need the Bucks to drop hard because Milwaukee has already clinched a tiebreaker over Charlotte.
Of the top 3 seeds, I would want to play the Celtics. We always play well against them and usually beat them once or twice a year. Also remember the Hawks last year took them to the full 7 games, something I think we could do.
The Cavs would take us in 5 and the Magic would sweep.