January had been a rough month for Bismack Biyombo and the Charlotte Bobcats before tonight. The Bobcats had gone 2-9 in the month and Biyombo was averaging only 3.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting only 39.5 percent from the field.
That wasn’t the case on Saturday night in their contest with the injury-ravaged Minnesota Timberwolves.
Charlotte snapped their 16-game home losing streak with a 102-101 victory over Minnesota, giving them their third win of the month. But more than just getting the win, their young big-man elevated his play to a level that fans haven’t seen in quite a while.
In 32 minutes, Biyombo notched a double-double, grabbing 13 boards and scoring 10 points on 4-4 shooting from the field. This was Biyombo’s third double-double of the season. The Bobcats are 2-1 in those games, now.
Biyombo has been an enigma in his year and a half in the NBA and in Charlotte. He’s been one of those players with obvious athletic potential, but with no real results to validate his play or that potential.
The Bobcats are banking on his future, though. That’s why they used a first-round draft pick on him last year. He has obvious upside as a basketball player, but just needs to develop his tools as an athlete into basketball skills. That’s why his play has been a roller-coaster ride for much of this season.
So, to have Biyombo play as well as he did on Saturday was enormous for Charlotte. That allowed the Bobcats to not have to worry about Biyombo as a liability in the post, which isn’t a consistent trend for Charlotte.
Going forward, the Bobcats could really use Biyombo stepping up his play on a reliable basis rather than every now and then. If that were to happen, the team might enjoy a bit more success than they have recently. That would probably be welcomed warmly by the Charlotte fans and organization.