The Charlotte Bobcats came out of the NBA All-Star break looking to continue their push towards a playoff spot this season. The Bobcats easily handled the Detroit Pistons in both games of a home-away back-to-back to start the week. The Bobcats then got things rolling for their team at the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline.
The Bobcats reached a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday that’ll send guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour to Charlotte in exchange for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien. The deal developed from the Bobcats’ interest in Neal, who will greatly help the Charlotte offense in terms of their often inept play on the perimeter. However, the new additions are not yet available.
According to a report from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Neal and Ridnour will not be available for Charlotte until Sessions and Adrian pass their physicals, which could mean that they won’t see time for the Bobcats until the middle of next week as the Bobcats play on Saturday and then have a five-day hiatus from game-action.
However, the Bobcats continued their winning ways out of the All-Star break on Friday night as Al Jefferson led the charge against the New Orleans Pelicans, putting up 33 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes. Cody Zeller also added a career-high 13 points, a big chunk of his work coming from getting to the foul line often.
Jefferson will be a huge beneficiary from acquiring Neal when the guard does take the floor. With Neal more than likely being put in a role where he’s a spot-up shooter on the outside. That will help open up the post for Jefferson and give Jefferson an option to kick-out to for high-percentage outside looks. Moreover, Neal stretching the defense will be big for Kemba Walker’s driving and pick-and-roll performance.
Though it will take a bit longer for the trade to officially go through, the Bobcats are sitting in good position to move up the standings in the East. They’ve played well to start the last two months of the season and should get a boost from their trade-acquisitions. We’ll see far the additions of Neal and Ridnour can push Charlotte going forward.