What comes to mind when one thinks about the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats? Poor play, lack of success, no playoffs and just an all around feeling of despair and disappoint, that sounds about right. There’s no doubt that both teams have had their fair share of lows. For Orlando, their pain and agony continues to live with a 7-foot head case named Dwight Howard. For Charlotte, their entire NBA existence has been miserable and lifeless. Actually, come to think of it, the Bobcats faith also rests in the hands of a big man, kind of, but more on that later.
These two teams met Wednesday night in Charlotte for a game with a bit more meaning than in past match-ups. The Bobcats are right in the thick of the playoff race thanks to the joke that is the Eastern Conference. Orlando, well, they are once again at the bottom of the barrel. I’d rather discuss Charlotte, since I did pick them as my dark horse of the East, but as soon as it looks like they turned the corner, they fall down. Fall down is exactly what they did against the Magic as the Bobcats shot a pathetic 36 percent from the field and lost, 92-83.
The loss drags Charlotte down to 10-12, but still sixth in the East. I truly believe that the Bobcats are capable of a fifth seed, maybe even as high as the fourth seed, but they will make the playoffs. However, they cannot lose silly games, like this one. The key may be Al Jefferson. The big offseason signing has dealt with injuries this season, but has finally put together a stretch of games. He is a proven double-double player as he averages 16 points and nine rebounds for his career.
Jefferson has struggled somewhat this season, but mainly due to injuries and a lack of chemistry. If Charlotte can focus around Jefferson and their guards like Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon can get him the ball, then the Bobcats might be on to something.
There are a lot of nice pieces in Charlotte, they just need to figure out how they all fit together.