Charlotte Bobcats: Two losses and one big win

Despite Kemba Walker's strong performance (20 points, four assists) the Charlotte Bobcats lost to the Utah Jazz Saturday night, 88-85. (Photo Credit: Charlotte Observer/Todd Sumlin)

Despite Kemba Walker’s strong performance (20 points, four assists) the Charlotte Bobcats lost to the Utah Jazz Saturday night, 88-85. (Photo Credit: Charlotte Observer/Todd Sumlin)

When the Charlotte Bobcats’ players, coaches, and fans awoke on Saturday morning, the overall mood associated with the team had to be one of optimism and excitement.

The Bobcats were just hours removed from outscoring the Detroit Pistons 41-17 in the fourth quarter of their game Friday night to secure a 116-106 victory. The win pulled Charlotte’s record within a game of .500.

On Saturday night, the Bobcats were to return home to face the lowly Utah Jazz, who had the second worst record in the entire NBA heading into their contest against the ‘Cats. This appeared to be a great opportunity for Charlotte to get back to .500 and win their fourth game in five nights.

Not to mention, at halftime of the game against the Jazz, the Charlotte Bobcats were planning to unveil the new logos and brand identity for the 2014 Charlotte Hornets – a move many fans have been looking forward to for quite a long time.

However, before tipoff of their Saturday night home game, Charlotte announced that second-year small forward Jeffery Taylor would be out for the remainder of the season due to a ruptured right Achilles tendon in his foot. Taylor injured his foot in Friday night’s game in Detroit.

This injury is a huge blow for the Bobcats, has Taylor had started the previous eight games at small forward in place of usual starter Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG fractured his left hand, and is not expected back until sometime in January. Until Kidd-Gilchrist’s return, the Bobcats will have to turn towards veteran small forwards Anthony Tolliver and Chris Douglas-Roberts, neither of whom have played much this season.

Despite the injuries to their top two small forwards, the Bobcats still have to tread water and stay around .500 if they want to battle for a playoff spot down the road. That tread started Saturday night against Jazz, where they took a four point lead into halftime, 46-42.

Unfortunately, the Utah Jazz caught fire from beyond the arch in the second half and made 10 three-pointers throughout the game, compared to only two for the Bobcats, en route to an 88-85 victory over Charlotte.

The ‘Cats had several opportunities to tie the game or take the lead against the Jazz in the last 20 seconds. However, Al Jefferson missed two point-blank shots with ten seconds remaining, and then Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson each missed a three pointer on the final possession that would have sent the game into overtime.

The loss drops the Bobcats record to 13-15 and unfortunately a home loss to the Utah Jazz (8-22) might be one of their worst losses of the season.

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Fortunately for Bobcats fans, all was not lost on Saturday despite the rough defeat and season-ending injury to one of their top, young players due to the fact that the new Charlotte Hornets’ logos were released on Saturday.

Fans already knew the soon-to-be Hornets were keeping the teal and purple color scheme the Charlotte franchise wore during their time in Charlotte from 1988-2001. However, due to NBA rules, the Charlotte front office and marketing department had to alter the old Charlotte Hornets logo, which brought a sense of uncertainty and excitement for the logo release on Saturday night.

The new, primary Charlotte Hornets logo has a much meaner, aggressive look to it, but nevertheless, there is a secondary logo that is a tad gentler and kid-friendly – very similar to the old Hugo the Hornet mascot during the 1990’s. Merchandise with the new logo and color scheme will be available starting January 18th, 2014.

The 2014 Charlotte Hornets font.

The 2014 Charlotte Hornets font.

To see the entire brand identity for the soon-to-be Charlotte Hornets, click here.

Despite the fact that the Bobcats lost Taylor for the season and also lost a game that was easily winnable, not all was lost for Queen City. December 21st, 2013 will ultimately be looked back upon as a great day for the Charlotte’s NBA franchise and a day that has brought much excitement to the city and the organization.

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