The fourth quarter has been a nemesis of the Charlotte Bobcats for much of this NBA season. On multiple occasions, they have either blown leads or let close games slip out of their reach in the final period.
Most of their struggles in the fourth quarter have been due to their execution on offense. Being such a young team, the Bobcats seem to tense-up down the stretch and start committing silly turnovers, taking ill-advised shots and breaking down on defense.
It’s safe to say that the Bobcats could potentially be a 10-win team, or better, if they had performed better in the fourth quarter this season.
The good news is that it looks like Charlotte may be on their way to fixing these issues.
On Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Bobcats entered the fourth period trailing the Cavs 86-74. Instead of keeping with the pattern of their season though, the Bobcats were able to claw their way back into the game.
Point guard Ramon Sessions was able to take control on the offensive end in the fourth quarter. He made smart passes. He attacked the rim. He drew fouls and hit his free throws. Sessions did exactly what a player has to do if he wants to lead his team in a comeback.
Performances like Sessions’ on Friday are what the Bobcats need in the final 12 minutes of games. Since the Bobcats still don’t have an established leader or a true veteran to take over a game in the clutch, they have to find someone on a nightly basis that is willing to step-up and do the things that it takes to either fight their way back into a game or secure a victory.
It’s not always going to be the same player that steps up. It doesn’t have to be. Charlotte just needs someone to take the steering wheel and stay composed when it matters.
The Bobcats may have lost on Friday to the Cavs on Kyrie Irving’s game-winning jumper, but they fought their way back to force Irving to make that shot. In doing that, the Bobcats now have a blueprint for how they should play in the fourth quarter, which should be something that they can grow and build upon going forward.