The Charlotte Bobcats first exhibition game provided everything you could possibly want from a fans perspective. There was plenty of entertainment, competition and some high-flying dunks. From a coaches standpoint the game provided everything you would come to expect like miscues, rubbery legs but lots of potential.
Cody Zeller shook off his pre-game jitters by grabbing an offensive rebound above the rim and slamming it home for the game's first basket. He went on to score nine points in the contest to go along with five rebounds, two steals and a block.
He did however have his hands full with Atlanta Hawks big man Paul Milsap on the the defensive end. Zeller was caught out of position a couple of times, resulting in some early tick-tack fouls that drive coaches crazy. Zeller is “playing against an all-star caliber guy who’s quick and tough,” says Charlotte coach Steve Clifford. “I think it’s a good first start. The more guys you can play against like that, the farther ahead you are come opening day.”
The Bobcats also seemed to be getting acclimated to having such a big presence in the middle like Al Jefferson. The spacing was good at times and they showed a commitment to getting him the ball on the low block where he does most of his damage. There was just a little apprehension whether to take the shots once Jefferson kicked it out or wait for him to re-position himself in the post.
Clifford said, "Once guys get there timing down with one another I'm expect the efficiency on the offensive end to improve".
Efficiency was not a problem for Ramon Sessions who came in and sparked the Bobcats offense, leading the team with 17 points and six assists on the night. Sessions who missed the last month of the regular season a year ago looked to be in mid season form, making baskets from all over the floor and getting his teammates involved as well.
While the reserves did most of the heavy lifting in the final quarter, the fans in Asheville were treated to a duel that went down to the wire which ended when Hawks rookie Dennis Schroder hit a floater with 2.2 seconds remaining to give his team the victory.
The Bobcats now travel to Kansas City, Missouri to take on the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat at 8:30 p.m. on October 11. Listen to the game on WFNZ.