It’s tough to argue that point.
The 29-year-old Jefferson had a great run five years ago with Minnesota, but that came when the Timberwolves were irrelevant. This year Jefferson is spearheading the Bobcats' charge to the playoffs and seemingly getting stronger and more confident with each passing game.
“My confidence is up, especially on the defensive end, and I’m just playing well,” Jefferson said. “In Minnesota we were 20 games under .500 and we were getting ready for the draft. Right now we’re in a dogfight. I mean it’s a dogfight man, and it just means a lot more to me.”
Jefferson has scored 29 points or more in eight of his last 11 games and at least 20 points in 17 of the last 19.
“It’s unbelievable,” Clifford said. “I can’t imagine many guys in the league are playing better than him right now.”
And Jefferson’s production might only increase in the coming months.
The Bobcats traded for Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour on Thursday, looking to bolster their 3-point shooting.
The Bobcats, currently the seventh seed in the East after Atlanta lost to Detroit, overcame some shoddy free throw shooting Friday night in the final minute to win for the seventh time in the last 10 games.
Charlotte had missed four of six free throws in the final minute before Kemba Walker knocked down four foul shots in the final 9 seconds to put the Bobcats up by three. The Pelicans had a chance to send the game to overtime, but Josh McRoberts stripped Brian Roberts of the ball at midcourt and time expired.
Rookie Cody Zeller continues to steadily improve, chipping in with a career-high 13 points for the Bobcats.