It’s not been the happiest of times recently for the Charlotte Bobcats. Between Kemba Walker getting hurt, Carmelo Anthony dropping 62 points on them at Madison Square Garden and Al Jefferson not making the All-Star reserves, it hasn’t been a whole lot of fun. But one bright spot has been the current hot streak Al Jefferson has been on over his past ten games.
Jefferson was the Bobcats’ marquee signing over the summer and arguably the biggest in franchise history. The nine year veteran brings a high scoring low-post presence to the Bobcats, a position they have been sorely lacking at over the past few years (they’ve also been lacking at pretty much everything else but especially center). Over his last ten games however he’s been dominant, averaging 28.9 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.2 blocks, 56.8% FG, and 70.6% FT. This has been extremely fortunate for the Bobcats who have been without the scoring threat of Kemba Walker. The Bobcats are enjoying one of their better seasons in recent memory and are currently holding the 8th seed in the East. But this relative success has not come due to the Bobcats’ offensive production.
On the season the Bobcats currently rank 25th in Offensive Rating and have really struggled to score this season which is to be expected when you have Josh McRoberts, who doesn’t shoot, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who can’t shoot, playing significant minutes. So when your second leading scorer goes down it can be cause for hitting the panic button. In this context it makes Jefferson’s streak even more impressive because he has essentially taken the team’s scoring upon himself. Also impressive is that it is the best scoring stretch in both Jefferson’s and the Bobcats’ history, per Basketball-Reference.
Jefferson’s torrid output hasn’t drawn too much attention though. Such is the case when Kevin Durant is affirming the fact that he is our Basketball Overlord and we are mere mortals. It doesn’t help either that he plays for the Bobcats which probably also played a large part in why he didn’t end up making the All-Star reserves. Still, in the past ten games the Bobcats have gone 6-4 in which they beat good teams in the Clippers and Raptors while also beating the Lakers at Staples Center much to the chagrin of Lakers’ fans on Twitter. Overall though this is the dominant force the Bobcats were hoping Big Al would look like when they signed him—not necessarily to this extent but in terms of shouldering a significant portion of the offensive load—in the hopes that the Bobcats can make the playoffs this season for the second time in franchise history. By the looks of it, it certainly seems possible.