Addition of Gary Neal brings new dimension to Bobcats

Addition of Gary Neal brings new dimension to Bobcats
March 11, 2014, 1:15 pm
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(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)

In the only game against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Wizards had their way as Marcin Gortat shut down Al Jefferson. But this isn't the same team as the Bobcats made some moves before the trade deadline last month and are in solid position to improve their playoff seeding.

The Bobcats (30-34) have won seven games in a row at home. They have scoring punch off the bench after acquiring Gary Neal. Luke Ridnour is providing backup at point guard. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is back in the lineup from injury. Chris Douglas-Roberts has shifted from small forward to shooting guard in place of Gerald Henderson while he recovers from a calf strain. 

On Monday, Neal scored 19 points by shooting 7-for-9, including all three of his three-point attempts, in a 105-98 win vs. the Denver Nuggets. Jefferson, who only had six points and 10 rebounds vs. Washington on Jan. 7, has played like an All-Star. In his last seven games, Jefferson is 85-for-144 shooting, or 59%. 

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Wednesday's game vs. the Wizards (33-30) is at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). 

The overall skill of Neal, who went to Towson University and spent three seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, has impressed Jefferson. 

“That boy can score and he can make plays,” Jefferson said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “He has experience. He’s been to the Finals. The kind of all-around player we needed.”

Neal has played in seven games for Charlotte, reaching double-figure scoring in six of them. He has made 11 of 24 three-pointers, a shade below 50%.