Charlotte Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap liked some of what he saw in Monday’s 122-105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, which was more of an effort than the blowouts in Utah and Sacramento. The Bobcats outrebounded Portland 44-41, after being blown out on the boards of late. Also, Dunlap liked that on a bad shooting night (5-of-20 from the field), point guard Kemba Walker became more of a distributor with 11 assists.
Guard the post, give up 3s: Shooting guard Gerald Henderson made a good point that when Portland is making 3s (12-of-24 Monday) they are particularly tough to beat. The Bobcats’ first concern Monday was guarding the post against big men LaMarcus Aldridge (23 points and 14 rebounds) and J.J. Hickson (15 points and eight rebounds).
That left the perimeter open for small forward Nicolas Batum (4-of-6 from 3-point range) and shooting guard Wesley Matthews (4-of-7).
Notes: Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who has struggled of late, had his best game in recent memory with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He seemed a little more confident with his mid-range jumper, which is crucial to him being a scorer. The Bobcats used to do surprisingly well in cross-conference games. Not anymore. The Bobcats are winless in their last three true West Coast trips: 0-3 in the only one in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season and 0-4 and 0-4 in the two trips this season. Ben Gordon, who hasn’t played much lately, generated 14 points in 16 minutes.