Baseline Observations : Spurs vs Bobcats 1.19.09

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Emeka Okafor and his best dunk ever

San Antonio Spurs defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 86 – 84 at Time Warner Cable Arena.  Standard Recap and Box info. While it’s tough to see the Bobcats lose a close one at home, several big picture positives were realized with this game.  

First, it was a great atmosphere for a basketball game.  The Bobcats once again hosted the Spurs for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee.   A solid crowd of near 16,000 in the house kept the energy up for all four quarters.  It was nice to see so many families taking in a game.  Going to NBA games was certainly one of my favorite things to do when I was younger, so it’s never bad to see a load of QC kids having the chance to enjoy a pro ball game (and a day out of school).  Usually, there’s little applause for the announcement of the opposing starting five, but the Spurs got a lot of respect from the Charlotte fans.  Tim Duncan brought plenty of fans out, even a few decked in Wake Forest gear.  Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were recognized, as well.  Still, Cats sympathizers were quick to get loud as thing heated up late in the first half.  That crowd buzz held steady up until the final second.  The vibe of the arena really showed that the Bobcats actually have a solid and growing fan base.  They may not be packing the house, but the basketball fans will start lining up in the coming seasons.

Secondly, the deal for Diop was necessary.  While Desagana might not be Dwight Howard, the Bobcats can’t take over a physical game without the opportunity at an oversized line up.  The Spurs didn’t dominate the paint, because all of the Bobcats were hanging out there.  That just happened to leave key shooters open on the perimeter for huge stretches.  If the Cats had a dependable big man to pair with Okafor and hold things down around the rim, Diaw, Bell, or Wallace would have a much easier time staying put on their assignment.  That’s not saying the Spurs aren’t an incredible team when it comes to ball movement.  The fourth quarter simply showed that the Bobcats would benefit from presenting different looks and matches on the defense end.  As a whole they play well as a unit, but with only one set of pieces any good team will figure out a way to create and exploit mismatches.

Lastly, the Bobcats are playing like a relevant basketball team.  The roster is now full of professionals and they play like it.  For fans, it’s almost time to expect something from them.  They tipped off today’s game riding a three game win streak and held tight with San Antonio until the buzzer.  Gerald Wallace missed two opportunities for “game changing” plays, but Emeka enthused the crowd with his career highlight dunk (see image above) on Tim Duncan during the Cats’ huge third quarter burst.  Larry Brown is getting the team in the right direction.  These days, they have a shot to pull out a win on nearly anyone in the league (except Cleveland).

 

Loose Notes:

Larry Brown may have executed one of his more “professional” maneuvers by getting called for a tech just as the second quarter ended.  Technical fouls aren’t always a mistake.  Often, coaches can get a tech or even get tossed in an effort to motivate their team.  In this case, it could be understood that Larry Brown drew the technical to make the referee crew discuss the game a bit more thoroughly during halftime.  Leading up to the technical foul call was an incredibly physical second quarter.  During this stretch, each team seemed to get burnt by non-calls.  Referee Eli Roe (#64) had an off-game and made several bad calls or created excuse calls when he had missed one.  An obvious example was a play where Tim Duncan jumped to take a shot, pulled his shot down and jump to take another.  Clearly, that just looks weird for anyone watching basketball and Eli Roe blew a whistle.  After a pause, he pointed to the nearest Bobcat and then called a jump-ball.  This was like watching Shannon Brown try to run the point, it was just a poor performance on the court.  The officiating really tightened up after the half and perhaps the refs had a chance to discuss how to handle things as a crew during the break.  Maybe this was Larry’s intention?

Final Note:

Boris Diaw is a great addition to this team.  He’s unselfish and exciting to watch.  He really could be a fan favorite by the end of the season.  If he could have hit that 3 pointer to win the game, he would have breezed to the top of the fan favs.  The crew at the team store just might have been working overtime to make enough #32 jerseys to meet the wave of demand.

 

7 thoughts on “Baseline Observations : Spurs vs Bobcats 1.19.09

  1. E

    That's an interesting one, Reggie. If the Pistons wanted to totally rebuild and get out from under Rip's big deal, then maybe…

    The Bobcats might actually be the one to balk at that deal, due to Rip's contract.

    At this point, I don't know what to do with Sean May. Part of me says, keep him. His value around the league us rock bottom right now, so I don't think we really have to worry about him attracting a lot of attention in free agency in the offseason. We can probably get him back for cheap — maybe a short deal with a team option to extend for another year if he proves useful?

  2. reggie

    true about the contract, but id be willing to take it on given the fact that our lineup would look like this:

    DJ

    Rip

    G-Force/crash/ whatever his real nickname is

    Diaw

    Big Oak

    as for sean, i guess id be cool with re signing him for as little as possible. i highly doubt that the thunder would take him now.

    and what about morrison? we cant dump him asap? i know thats harsh but when we could of had brandon roy at 3………

  3. True, Hamilton would be nice but I'm not sure if he's the ice-in-his-veins last second shot maker that this team needs. Guys like Billups, Cassell (in the early '00s), Kobe, Ray Allen, and Lebron want the ball in their hands in the last 2 minutes and get better as the pressure grows higher. Yeah, Lebron or Kobe would be great but if we could get a guy like Billups (who played that role for Brown's Pistons) we'd be fine. The rest of the team can score, no problem. It's just in the last possessions there's nobody with the cajones to step up and make a shot. (Felton has the swagger but not the skill to consistently do it).

    Morrison looks lost. Something happened to his confidence coming out of Gonzaga and he's never gotten it back. Remember that end of the quarter half-court shot in his first game vs. Indiana??? Someone needs to get AMMO on some psychiatric medication ASAP.

    Sean May should be back in uniform in the next month. He's down to 268 and was promised to be activated as soon as he hits 260. It's always nice to have another big body on the bench who can score and rebound.

  4. Henry Gondorff

    @Reggie…

    No way Detroit would take on Nazr Mohammed's burden of a contract. The trade for Diop just goes to show how bad Mohammed is and how bad his deal is. Felton has some value, Sean May's expiring contract has a little bit of value, but Mohammed is one of the most overpaid players in the league.

    @ E…

    Do not, under any circumstances, sign/extend Sean May. He needs to go down to the D-League and prove he can be a full time professional.

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