The streak is finally over!
Walker hit 9 of his 13 shot attempts, including going an impressive 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. He was extremely aggressive when it came to driving the lane and initiating contact. He even managed to hit several floaters over taller defenders.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, was non-existent on this night. In his NBA debut, Gilchrist scored just 2 points on 1 for 7 shooting in less than 20 minutes of action. He did grab 7 rebounds though, and showed some strong tenacity on the defensive end.
The dividends of hiring a defensive-minded coach in Mike Dunlap over the summer are already paying off. Charlotte forced Indiana into 19 turnovers. They ranked just 25th in the NBA last season in opponents turnovers per game (13.0). 5 of the teams 10 steals on the night came from Gerald Henderson, who also contributed 18 points and 2 blocked shots.
Former Bobcats point guard and current Pacer D.J Augustin (3 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists) had a chance to win it with time expiring in the fourth, but his jumper fell short.
Are the Charlotte Bobcats back on the right track?
It’s way to early to tell, but so far so good.
Charlotte was the definition of terrible last season, finishing with the worst winning percentage in league history (7-59, .106). The only direction they really should be going is up, right?
There are a lot of positives that can be taken away from this victory over Indiana. Kemba Walker was outstanding, they got to the free-throw line (21 for 24) at an excellent rate and the overall team defense was superb (Indiana shot just 36% from the field).
Sure, Indiana was missing their leading scorer from last season (Danny Granger) and Kidd-Gilchrist didn’t exactly blow the world away after being taken with the #2 overall pick this summer, but that’s just being a debbie-downer on the situation.
The season is still young. There are 81 games left to be played, but who cares at the moment.
The Charlotte Bobcats won a hard-fought basketball game against a quality team. That’s something to revel in. That’s something to be happy and excited about.
1-0 looks awfully good.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports