The Charlotte Bobcats were able to muster up enough offense on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets to start their four-game Western Conference road trip on a solid note. Lifted by a late Al Jefferson mid-range jumper, the Bobcats were able to move to 20-27 on the 2013-14 NBA season with a 101-98 victory.
Jefferson’s jumper wasn’t his only contribution as he was clearly the star of the evening. In 32 minutes, Jefferson put up 35 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks on 13-24 shooting from the field and hitting nine of his 12 free throw attempts. He turned the ball over four times and had a bit of foul trouble, but he was nearly unstoppable—granted it was against a defensively challenged Nuggets frontcourt.
Playing without star point guard Kemba Walker, the Bobcats are now 3-2 with Walker’s return on the horizon. Though the Bobcats’ defense has slipped over the past month, they are still in the mix for the postseason in the Eastern Conference. Jefferson’s play over these past five games has been a big part of that.
Without Walker, Jefferson has averaged 27.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor. He’s been Charlotte’s rock during these times without their other legitimate scoring threat and has kept them in the mix.
While Charlotte should be getting Walker back soon, Jefferson will need to continue to be their rock. The Bobcats have struggled offensively overall this season and, with their recent regression, need something to help them stay afloat. Jefferson playing at this high of a level is certainly something that could help them accomplish that.