Bobcats Give One Away in Chicago

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Bobcats Baseline Observations: Charlotte @ Chicago 11/07/09

Aside from the fact that the Bobcats lost, this was easily their best road game of the season coming after blowouts @Boston and @Cleveland.  Charlotte had many opportunities to win this one but the ugly truth reared its head again in the 4th quarter as the Bobcats had no answer on the offensive end after the Bulls went on a late 3rd quarter rampage.  Chicago outscored the ‘Cats 27-17 in the third after being down 53-46 at the half.  With the team on the road, time dwindling and in need of some key baskets, the Bobcats turned to…  You guessed it!  Everybody Loves Raymond.

1. A Chunky Cucumber Blizzard

I finally figured it out.  Raymond, I mean.  Why he’s so divisive amongst the Bobcats faithful.
It’s because he’s neither terrible or incredible, rather he is sometimes incredible and sometimes terrible.  Often within the same 2-3 minutes span.  He’s kind of like ordering a Chunky Cucumber Blizzard from Dairy Queen.  You take a bite and you get all tasty ice cream and you’re like, “Wow!  That’s good!”  And then the next bite you get a nice sour, crunchy chunk of cucumber and you want to vomit.  But you are still hungry and in need of food and there’s always hope that the next bite will be cucumber free so you take another but you are not safe.  There is going to be more vomit inducing cucumber chunks in there somewhere.  Just wait.

Tonight was a quintessential Raymond Felton game.  Played very good defense, dished out 10 assists, hit a few key baskets when the team needed one but totally pooed the bed by going 5-17 from the field and looked “Emeka Okafor Level Uncomfortable” during the closing minutes of the game as he forced shot after shot.  When the Bobcats are down in the 4th and Raymond starts driving and forcing off-balance twos, just turn off the TV or leave the arena ’cause there is no chance that the ‘Cats are going to win.  I don’t even blame Raymond.  He’s just doing what the coach tells him to do and since the Bobcats have no other “scoring option” late in the game, then Raymond gets the nod.  Someone like Rip Hamilton or Ray Allen would do wonders for Raymond’s career.  Hopefully we get to witness something like this in the near future.

2. Turnovers, Turnovers

How can you possibly have a chance of winning on the road when you commit 17 TOs?  The Bobcats forced the Bulls into 21 turnovers and had they not, Charlotte would’ve been blown out of this game.  The Bobcats starting lineup (sans Tyson Chandler) came up with 8 steals and blocked three shots.  The team really hustled on defense for pretty much the entire game and I commend Larry Brown on instilling this team with an “A+ Level” defense.  They’d be a Playoff lock if they could just score consistently.

For all of the talk about Raja Bell and Flip Murray putting trade rumors to rest, the duo combined for 6-24 shooting from the field and a total of 16 points.  They probably aren’t as good as they were last night against the Hawks but they are definitely not as bad as they were tonight against the Bulls.  Ouch.

Joakim Noah torched the Bobcats tonight, btw.  When Noah nets 21pts and 16 boards you know pretty much what’s going on: Bobcats are sticking tight to the Bulls perimeter players and Noah is just jumping over and out-hustling Charlotte in the paint.  It also doesn’t hurt that both Chandler and Nazr Mohammed were both in foul trouble early in the second quarter so Joakim found himself boxing out Vlad Radmanovic a lot.  Watching Noah, you would think that he’s kind of the perfect Center for the Bobcats should the team ever pursue him in free agency or via trade.  He hustles, goes after loose balls and is an incredible offensive rebounder.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he wears a Bobcats uniform one day.

3. Accent-u-ate the Positive

Boris Diaw and Vlad Radmanovic put in solid offensive performances for the ‘Cats though Diaw’s 6 turnovers were a stain on an otherwise solid evening.  Boris dropped in 20pts, 7rbs and 5asts and the Radman looked comfortable behind the arc getting all of his 12pts there on 4-7 shooting.  And even though D.J. Augustin was noticeably M.I.A. during the game (0pts in 11 minutes), it is baffling why Coach Brown didn’t insert both D.J. and Radmanovic on the Bobcats last play of regulation.

Down three with just under 10 seconds to go and Larry Brown decides that a combination of Flip, Diaw (decent 3-point shooters), Raymond, Crash and Chandler (terrible shooters) would give the ‘Cats their best option to tie the game.  Completely inexplicable.  Raja, Radman and D.J. were sitting on the bench and inserting those guys into the lineup (playing Boris at Center) would’ve given the team a much better chance of sending the game into OT.  Not sure I understand the strategy there but hell, Coach Brown is a Hall of Famer.  What do I know?

IN CONCLUSION:

Bobcats play well enough to win but for a team that lacks a go-to or consistent scorer, they cannot afford to go into a 2nd half funk, especially on the road.  Barring a trade, the ‘Cats look exactly like what they are: a middle of the pack Eastern Conference team.

-ASChin

16 thoughts on “Bobcats Give One Away in Chicago

  1. +/- is a flawed science at best. The stat geeks are still trying to figure it out. reggie's point about Ajinca is a good example of the stat's biggest shortcoming:

    Players are rewarded for playing limited minutes.

    So if Ajinca comes in during a nice 9-2 run, it doesn't mean he's the CAUSE of the 9-2 run. If he doesn't see any more action for the rest of the game (which he didn't) then he's credited with a +7 plus/minus. Were he on the floor during Chicago's late 3rd quarter berserker rage then the numbers would have balanced out and he would have ended up with a more average number.

  2. Jody

    When did the NBA start using the +/- stat like the NHL? I know I haven't really paid attention since the Hornets left, but I don't remember that stat back then. DJ had a -16 in 11 minutes. I think it's a really good measure of what a guy is doing on the court or on the ice. By the way, I was talking to Dr. E today about the tweets. I'm really digging them.

  3. Jared

    Who was talking about Bell putting the trade rumors to rest? Bell's 20 point game just proved why we need to trade for a scorer on the team. If Bell had another shooting night like he did against Atlanta, Charlotte would have won against Chicago too. That's why we need to trade him.

  4. spectre

    Agreed about the +/- stat…flawed to say the least. About the only time it's relevant to me is if you can attribute to the starters vs. opponent's starters and then only as a group really. Otherwise unless you keep really detailed stats on who the guy was matched up against AND who's on the court with him it's pretty much smoke.

    Nice recap AsChin…pretty much agreed with it. I'm particularly surprised you didn't give Felton more grief as I thought he had a pretty subpar game, moreso in the 4th quarter but overall in general. Thing is DJ couldn't keep their guards out of the paint once again so we were forced to play Felton more than we really should have.

    I really did like Boris' line (except the TOs o'course) and I thought he was stellar in the first half; very aggressive.

    I still feel pretty good about this team. On a back-to-back we still almost won this thing…and the Bulls have been strong at home since last season.

    I really wanted to win this game though.

  5. DCW

    im not much of a vlad fan but how he was shootin the 3 he should of been on the court, the guards had a horrible gm offensively. o well bring on the magic

  6. +/- is just one stat, and yes, it can be tremendously flawed when players don't play many minutes. But it is useful for regular rotation guys.

    And don't make anything out of the fact that the NBA only recently started keeping track of it. The NBA didn't keep track of blocks until 73-74, and the NFL only started keeping sacks until 1982. We need more stats, not less, to be able to fully evaluate the NBA game.

    I really like http://www.popcornmachine.net's gameflows for a more detailed look at the statistics of a particular game. Unfortunately, they don't get posted til the morning after, usually too late to go in our recaps here.

  7. br2850

    Aschin,

    If we traded for Josh Howard instead of Jason Terry don't you think Cuban would think about it. THis would be the trade:

    Bobcats Get-

    Josh Howard (Dallas)

    Kris Humphries (Dallas)

    Dallas Gets-

    Raja Bell (Dallas)

    Vladimir Radmonivic (Dallas)

  8. reggie

    look, i know we are STILL in a offensive struggle and we are desperate to come out,

    but i dont think we should be looking at trades unless we get a sure all-star and a contract off our hands.

    period.

  9. RobC

    Hey the Stephen Jackson Trade Saga is taking more color. Everyone is stating that Golden State might need to take a similarly "BAD" contract in order to get rid of Jackson. We can offer a similarly "BAD" contract, but cheaper in exchange for Jackson. I honestly think Larry Brown can handle Jackson pretty well and we don't have to give up Diaw.

    What about this:

    Charlotte gets,

    Bell $5.3M

    Diops $6.0M

    Vlade $6.5M (Total $17.8M)

    Golden State gets,

    Jackson $7.7M

    Turiaf $4.1M

    Claxton $5.2M (Total $17.0M)

    Andris Biedrins is hurt, so is Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright. Golden State could use Diop and Radmanovic. Radmanovic will be more usefull that Diop, but anyway, the competition at the Center spot is quite weak in the West right know, so Gana could become a more decent backup C in the West. Also they would be getting about $10M over the next 3 years ($3M/Yr. on Diops contract).

    We could definetly use both Stephen Jackson at the SG and SF, plus Turiaf will be a huge addition as a backup PF and C, helping Mohamed and Chandler. He'll also be a good guy to have for this and the next 2 seasons. He is a pretty good C and PF and quite cheap. His contract pays him just over $4M per season.

    Charlotte would look like this:

    Felton-DJ-Claxton

    Jackson-Murray-Henderson

    Wallace-Graham-Brown

    Diaw-Turiaf-Ajinca

    Chandler-Mohamed (& Turiaf)

    Hey, next step will be to sign Anthony Parker and we'll have the whole French National team in Charlotte. :-) Hehehehe!!!

  10. Jody

    i think the +/- stat is a good measure over the long haul. it's not a good measure for an individual performance, but over the course of time, i think it gives you an idea of how a guy impacts the game. hockey has been using it for quite some time, and i like the stat.

  11. br2850-

    Again, I like the deal in the Bobcats favor, I just can't fathom Mark Cuban making it. If you go back and look at the trades that the Mavs have made over the past 5-10 years, it's always to get more talent in return, regardless of money. I can't remember the last time that they blatantly dumped salary and their actions this past offseason (bringing in Marion, re-upping Kidd) speak loudly. The Mavs believe that they can win it all. Now.

    RobC-

    If the Bobcats EVER swing a lopsided deal in their favor, it would be something like what you presented. Although, I think that they'd have to throw GS another bone like the right to swap first rounders or maybe one of our young wing players (Felton, Brown, Henderson).

    But yeah, SJAX's actions have done nothing but lower his trade value and the 'Cats could potentially have a shot at him without having to break the bank.

    The real worry with Jackson if the trade goes through is if the team doesn't send back Gerald Wallace in return then where does Jackson play? SG? SF? Do the Bobcats move Gerald Wallace back over to the PF spot and bring Diaw off the bench?

  12. RobC

    ASChin-

    If a trade for Stephen Jackson were to happen, he would our starting SG, since we would need to get rid of Raja in the trade. I think he is still able to play the SG really well. Actually, I think he can SG in the East a lot better than in the West.

    And the French name is pretty cool.

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