Bell, Bobcats Solve Offensive Woes Against Hawks

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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Hawks, 11/6/09

Who Says We Need to Make a Trade?

The Bobcats get well with a solid victory over the visiting Hawks, 103-83 on Friday night at the Cable Box to go to 3-2 on the season (3-0 at home).  AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell story here.  Raja Bell started fast for the Cats and never let up, easily taking player-of-the-game honors with 25 pts (9-12 FG, 5-6 3PT), 4 assists and a +24 +/-.  Good decision to not have that wrist surgery.

After Marc Stein’s report that the Cats were still pursuing a Stephen Jackson trade added fuel to the fire of angst-ridden/fantasy-trade-happy Bobcats fans on Thursday, an easy win over the playoff-bound Hawks was just what Dr. E ordered.  Granted, the Hawks were rather listless, but the Cats looked like they were unwinding on the offensive end after running LB’s system too anxiously over the first week of the season.  Things looked smooth, passes were crisp, shots were falling, turnovers were minimal… the Bobcats looked comfortable, and it showed in the final score.  A team that had averaged a league-worst 80-some points per game previously eclipsed 100 tonight rather easily.

The Cats opened up a double-digit lead in during the second quarter, and the road-weary Hawks never seriously challenged after that.  Nice performances all around for the Bobcats.  Gerald Wallace had a rough night from the field (3-14 FG), but continued his ravenous rebounding with 18 more tonight.  Tyson Chandler continued to play himself into shape (and learn LB’s system on the fly) and ended with his best game yet: 10 pts on 5-5 FG (with two monster ‘oops) and 10 rebounds.

Perhaps the second most noteworthy performance (other than Raja’s) was Flip Murray’s.  Flip sat out the first few games to rest his bionic tibia, but debuted tonight in strong fashion.  He entered the game late in the first quarter and began firing away soon thereafter.  He ended with 15 pts (5-12 FG, 3-5 3PT) in 18 minutes off the bench.  That’s a pretty high ratio of shots:minutes… which is exactly what we need from him.

Being the designated gunner off the bench for an otherwise offensively puny team is just a perfect role for Flip.  While he’s probably not enough to make us stop talking about fantasy trades for Rip Hamilton, Rudy Gay, Martell Webster or Anthony Morrow, he was good enough tonight to maintain the Bobcats double-digit cushion with some effortless buckets.

Tidbits

  • Both Chandler (smacked in the nose) and Wallace (twisted or banged knee) both briefly left the game in the first half due to injuries.  Both returned to the game.
  • Gana Diop and Alexis Ajinca were inactive.
  • No Michael Jordan or Bob Johnson tonight.  Presumably, they’ve returned to $5K/hole golf outings and equestrian fandom, respectively.
  • The Cats outshot the Hawks 47% to 39.8% and outrebounded the Hawks 56-35.  No Hawks player scored over 13 points.
  • If the playoffs started today, the Bobcats would be the #6 seed (facing #3 Orlando) and the Lebrons would miss the playoffs.
  • Quick turnaround for the next game.  The Cats visit the Bulls Saturday night in Chicago, 8:00 PM ET.  ASChin will take the honors for post-game posting.  Follow both of us on Twitter for in-game thoughts: Dr. E / ASChin.

-Dr. E

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11 Responses to “Bell, Bobcats Solve Offensive Woes Against Hawks”

  1. jeremy
    November 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    we could still trade vlad and diop

  2. spectre
    November 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    Nice recap!

    Agreed AsChin…Nazr is actually an asset this year. I'm leaning hard towards wanting to keep him; going to Gana for steady minutes as the prime backup 5 would make us hate any trade the FO might come up with.

    Don't forget TC's 4 blocks!

    I really liked DJ in this game. I actually thought he had the play of the night…in the 2nd half he ended up on Horford in the defensive paint going for the board. DJ bent forward, stuck his butt in Horford's knees for position, got the board AND drew a foul on the guy. Stellar stuff!

    Like Raja said…we didn't have a full complement up to now. We probably won't be as efficient (sans Crash on shooting) throughout the season as we were in this game, but I think we're ultimately closer to what we saw last night vs. the games before.

    Great win! Now let's go take the Bulls down on national TV!

  3. Jared
    November 6, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    A few comments:

    First, No one is expecting Bell to blow up even in a contract year. The guy is good for 10-12 points a night probably but I'd be surprised if much more. What Bell showed last night is how dynamic this team can be with a true go-to scorer on the team. Which makes me all the more excited about a trade for a guy like Rip Hamilton. K-Mart is out because this season is too important to wait on him to get healthy again. I know this is just fantasy blog talk, but I like the sound of the Rip trade even better after last night.

    Second, I have never once, and will never again use this term. But one guy on our roster is really "BEASTING IT" this year. That would be one Gerald Wallace. I know it's early, but if the Bobcat's stay at .500 and he stays focused on the boards, he'll be our first all star. I forbid anyone else to mention the Jax trade. The guy's already a risk since you're trading the team's most popular player for a known whiner. But Wallace is showing time and time again that he WILL make an impact on the court. His shooting slump is just that, a slump. I expect it to turn around at some point. How much would a scorer like Jax be able to contribute if his shot was off? Not as much as Wallace. I know I've said Wallace is expendable if it means that means we get a better scorer/scorers. That was before Bell, Flip, Diaw, and Chandler were all playing healthy and together. One game does not a season make, but I think this game shows that we need Wallace now as much as ever.

  4. ASChin
    November 7, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    Don't forget a strong 8pt/3blk performance by Nazr Mohammed. He hasn't looked this good in a couple of seasons. Nice to know the team has a dependable backup big man for a change.

    Let's hope this is Raja's fluke year going into a new contract. I'll take 15-16ppg from him any night.

  5. br2850
    November 7, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    Aschin,

    How do u like the Dallas trade. We definitely get a three point shooter and somewhat of a scorer in Jason Terry. Dallas finally gets a good defensive guard in Raja which will help with Western Conference Guards. Dallas gets a back-up SF in Vladimir that can help them in transition threes. We get a quality back-up PF in Kris Humphries that can help Gerald, Chandler, and Boris in rebounding. This would be our new depth chart:

    PG- Raymond Felton, D.J Augustin

    SG- Jason Terry, Flip Murray, Gerald Henderson

    SF- Gerald Wallace, Stephen Graham, Derrick Brown

    PF- Boris Diaw, Kris Humphries, Alexis Ajinca

    C- Tyson Chandler, Nazr Mohammed, DeSagana Diop

  6. reggie
    November 7, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    yo. every bobcats fan needs to chill out for a second.

    look, i know we just looked like the Celtics last night, but realisticly, how often is that going to happen?

    how many more times is Raja going to go 5-5 in the first quarter? how many more times will the Cat's offense look as good as it did last night?

    not often i can bet.

    watch when we play teams like Toronto, Orlando, and yes, still the Lebrons. we cant just take this one win and assume that everything is all-right. we should still make a trade for a more consistent offensive presence thats NOT Stephen Jackson.

    we may be reading into the tea-leaves a little bit too anxiously. we are still a very poor 3rd quarter team, but last night you wouldnt be able to tell.

    we cant bank on winning these kind of games until we get a scorer.

    and i guess we got some help last night by a road weary Hawks team.

    but even in this game, we did look pretty damn good if i dont say so myself.

  7. jeremy
    November 7, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    i agree with reggie, if we should trade anyone it should be vlad or diop

  8. Dr. E
    November 7, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    br2850 – I love your proposed Dallas trade. I have Cubes on speed-dial and will let him know ASAP. Over/under on how long the silence is before he bursts into laughter is 7 seconds.

    Why exactly would Dallas trade away a perennial 6th man of the year candidate and seemingly good guy who fits in their team perfectly for Vlad/Bell? The Mavs chemistry seems fine, and Cubes is never going to be an owner who is looking to cut salary. Dallas has never shown any serious indication that they are trying to do anything but keep making runs at a title with the Dirk/Howard/Terry/Kidd core.

  9. reggie
    November 7, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    lets classify our players:

    ASSETS (our foundation that we should build around and are seemingly un-tradable unless we get Kobe or Lebron):

    Gerlad Wallace

    Boris Diaw

    DJ Augustine

    MOVEABLE ASSETS (players that are good for bait):

    Raymond Felton

    Raja Bell

    Nazr Mohommad (questionable)

    NEED TO BE GONE (self-explanatory):

    Diop

    WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS:

    Vladimir Radmonovic

    i only put Vlad in here because hes been playing out of position and has decent nights from time to time.

  10. ASChin
    November 7, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    br2850-

    I love your trade for the Bobcats but like Dr. E said, this just ain't gonna happen.

    The main focus of my "Let's Be Realistic" trade column was that any hypothetical swap would need to make sense for the trading partner first and the Bobcats second. The Terry for Raja/Radman deal makes the Mavs worse and unlike Bob Johnson, Cuban isn't hurting for money.

  11. ASChin
    November 7, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    reggie-

    I like your concept of PLAYER TIERS but I would change the wording a little bit.

    ASSETS should be players that could start or play major roles for any team in the League. These players are hardly "untradeable" but the Bobcats would need to get a starter-type player in return. This TIER would include:

    Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Raymond Felton, D.J. Augustin, Tyson Chandler

    Basically, all of team's good players.

    NEXT TIER would be "MOVEABLE CONTRACTS AND PROSPECTS":

    Bell, Henderson, Ajinca, Brown, Flip Murray.

    These players could be moved because of their short contracts or attractive rookie deals.

    FINAL TIER would be the Huey Lewis "STUCK WITH YOU" Group:

    Mohammed, Radmanovic, Gana Diop

    Mohammed and Radmanovic are tough to move because their contracts go a year past this summer's Free Agency Bonanza but both of these guys should be easy to move this time next season.

    The killer? Can't see another team taking on Diop's deal especially now that Brown refuses to play him. It's a terrible contract that could only be shed if the Cats takes on a more erroneous contract in return.

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