The Charlotte Bobcats are in the thick of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference due to a stingy defense that ranks in the top-10 of the NBA, but on Saturday night, it was their offense that gave them a serious lift. Charlotte began the night with back to back 30+ point quarters against the Portland Trail Blazers, and when the dust settled, they were in control of a 124-94 victory.
Al Jefferson served as Charlotte’s offensive anchor on the night, scoring 28 points (on 13 for 22 shooting) and snatching 7 rebounds to go with 6 assists in just 29 minutes of action. “Big Al” played well enough that the local fans in Charlotte were heard raining down “MVP” chants in the 4th quarter (slow down a bit, eh?), and he’s been a 20-10 machine throughout the season for the Bobcats.
In support of Jefferson, Charlotte’s backcourt had an exceptional night as well. Point guard and floor leader Kemba Walker shot the lights out, making 4 for 5 from beyond the arc, and as a result, he finished with 26 points to go along with 6 assists. His backcourt mate, Gerald Henderson, also stepped up his game in a big way with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Chris Douglas-Roberts added 11 points and 5 rebounds in a reserve role.
As a team, this one of the best offensive performances of the season for Charlotte, and while it came against the LaMarcus Aldridge-less Blazers, it’s tough to diminish the returns. The Bobcats shot 52% from the field (and even 18 for 19 from the free throw line), and if they can keep up that type of pace on anything resembling a regular basis, they’ll continue their transformation from doormat to legitimate playoff team.