The Charlotte Bobcats, who still remain in the picture to make the NBA Playoffs out of the weak Eastern Conference, have been slipping as of late. After moving so close to .500 at 14-15 late in December, the Bobcats had lost five of their last six heading into their matchup with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Though the Bobcats are still currently the seventh seed in the East, getting out of this recent slump is important for them. This is a team that is still trying to firmly establish a winning culture, getting into an extended streak of poor play and losing could be something that’s hard for this Bobcats team to shake off. Subsequently, they were looking for a good showing on Tuesday night.
However, Charlotte was unable to secure a victory and actually ended up being decidedly beaten by Washington after keeping it close in the first half. In the 97-83 loss, the Bobcats were decent offensively as they shot 43.1 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from three, though they did fail to convert on their free throws at just 62.5 percent. The biggest story from the game lies elsewhere, though.
The biggest takeaway for the Bobcats was their inability to control the turnover battle against Washington. While the Bobcats have shown they are a much improved defensive team under Steve Clifford, they have been inconsistent in terms of forcing turnovers. However, they have been, on average, winning the turnover battle as they’ve allowed just 14.3 points per game off of turnovers compared to the 14.9 that they get per game.
Against Washington, though, Charlotte turned the ball over 13 times while forcing the Wizards into only seven on the other end of the floor. There was an even bigger discrepancy in terms of points off of turnovers as the Wizards ended up with 17 while the Bobcats managed just four.
While the Bobcats’ defense has remained solid all year, getting beat in their areas of strength like this are worrisome considering that this is their sixth loss in seven games. Now at just 15-21, the Bobcats desperately need to pick up some wins in the near future. With some winnable games coming up at the end of this week and next week, we’ll see how Charlotte responds to their recent issues.