Magic Hand Bobcats Decisive Loss

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Baseline Observations: Magic @ Bobcats, 11/10/09

The Gist

The Bobcats never developed any consistent or dynamic offense and were handily defeated by the Magic, 93-81 on a rainy Tuesday night at the Cable Box.  AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell story here.  The Cats did just about everything wrong that they could possibly do en route to being routed in a ho-hum affair.

Fall behind early?  Check: After a tie at 13-13, the Magic pulled away to lead 35-23 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back.

Big men get in foul trouble early?  Check: Tyson Chandler picked up 2 fouls guarding Dwight Howard in less than 4 minutes and had to sit the rest of the first half.  Same thing happened to start the second half.

Miss easy shots? Check: Gerald Wallace missed two dunks, and another layup that he should have dunked.

Fall in love with the 3, even though no one’s hitting it?  Check: the Bobcats were 2-17 from long-range.

The Cats made the game mildly interesting by cutting the lead to six a couple times during a stretch spanning the third and fourth quarter, but couldn’t get any closer as the Magic would pull away again.

Credit where credit is due, Raymond Felton really led the charge during the third quarter run and ended up having the only remotely laudable performance by a Bobcat: 18 pts (6-10 FG, 1-2 3PT), 4 assists:1 turnover for a +5.  Raymond’s solid performance was rendered practically spectacular by comparison to that of DJ Augustin, who ran point for several bad stints (-17 +/-).

Moving On

This is one of those games that is probably best forgotten, which shouldn’t be too hard.  Nothing particularly memorable happened; and there’s another game Wednesday night to look forward to (at Detroit, 7:30 PM ET start).

And besides, watching this game live wasn’t even what resonated most with me about the Bobcats today.  This was (ESPN Insider access needed).  ESPN.com’s Chad Ford and John Hollinger teamed up to produce “Future Power Rankings.”  It’s an ambitious article with a great conceit: the idea is that by assigning points in weighted categories, the 30 NBA teams are ranked in order of overall projected on-court success from now through the 2012-13 season.

The categories were as follows: up to 400 points for players/roster, up to 200 points for management/front office, up to 200 points for money/salary cap situation, up to 100 points for market, and up to 100 points for future draft picks.

Now when I read the introduction to the article, I knew for sure that the Cats were going to be in the bottom five — as we’ve chronicled since the inception of Bobcats Baseline, the future ain’t too bright with this franchise.  Nonetheless, I’m an optimistic guy; we almost made the playoffs last year, we have some interesting young talent (DJ Augustin, Gerald Henderson), and there are some other really messed up franchises (Memphis, Sacramento, etc.).  So to find where Ford and Hollinger placed the Bobcats, I clicked down to the page that had teams 21-25 and hoped.

No Bobcats.  Drats, we are in the bottom five.  Click to 26-30, scroll down, keep scrolling… begin to contemplate the possibility that our near future may be the worst in the NBA, worse than the Grizz, worse than the Bucks.  And yes, according to Ford and Hollinger, the Charlotte Bobcats rank dead last, 30 out of 30, in regards to their potential for on-court success over the next few NBA seasons.  Here’s the blurb:

If you think the Bobcats’ present is bad, just wait ’til you see their future.

Charlotte ranked as the league’s most hopeless franchise in our survey, finishing in the bottom four in every category except one. Even that category, the draft, came with an asterisk: Charlotte ranked well because we expect it to struggle and get high picks, but a future choice it foolishly traded away for the rights to Alexis Ajinca last year could end up costing the Cats a high lottery pick. That’s why they ranked only 12th rather than in the top four.

There’s not much to like here. Charlotte has no cap space until 2011 at the earliest, limited financial resources and a rep for being tight-fisted, ranking the Bobcats 29th in the money category. The Queen City is a small market with no buzz, placing the Bobcats 27th in the market category. And the roster is nothing to write home about either, as D.J. Augustin is the only young player with anything remotely resembling star potential. Most of the other key players are in their late 20s and will be getting worse, not better, in coming years.

Finally, there’s the management — only Golden State’s and Memphis’ rated worse. Owner Robert Johnson has seemed to be in over his head from Day 1, while Managing Member of Basketball Operations Michael Jordan allegedly runs the team while mulling which iron to play from a fairway bunker in Illinois. That’s left impulsive coach Larry Brown shaping a lot of the day-to-day personnel decisions, with rash moves like the Ajinca trade and the Emeka Okafor-Tyson Chandler deal resulting.

Chew on that, fellow Baseliners.  Tastes like depressing.

-Dr. E


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8 Responses to “Magic Hand Bobcats Decisive Loss”

  1. reggie
    November 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    dannnggggggg…… thats pretty bad.

    the point is though, that the Cats dot get any respect and wont receive any respect ONLY because of Hornets-gate. that has scared the city/market/team for life, and the only way to battle it is surely by becoming champions.

    but these media people sure do play-up the cap card. its great to have money to spend, but in reality, even IF the Cats had money this year, would LeBron, Bosh, Dwayne (ect) REALLY want to come here with this team? come onnnn….

    it also seems as though the expansion-ness of the team is STILL tagged onto it. seriously? its been 6 years now and we're still destined to suck? that doesnt make any sense. look at tonight for instance–very good defensive game. a better offensive game.

    we're getting there. really, we are bobcats nation, but until we actually get there, we shouldnt expect anything from the media–as a matter of fact, they (the AP/ESPN/NBA) were downplaying our win against ATL the other night. saying that we played against a "road weary and beaten" ATL team. but the last time i checked, ANY ATL team was better than the Bobcats.

    dont EVEN make me go to the Lakers stats that we got….

  2. ASChin
    November 10, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    The main point of the Ford/Hollinger assessment is the same one we've been making here at the Baseline since the beginning:

    The Bobcats are doomed to mediocrity or worse as long as Bob Johnson owns the team. A pro sports owner can be somewhat clueless and free-spending (see the Steinbrenners, Paul Allen), thrifty but wise (Oakland A's ownership, Peter Holt's S.A. Spurs) but on no uncertain terms can a pro sports owner be clueless and cheap. It's a guaranteed recipe for disaster because he ends up hiring the wrong people who make the wrong decisions and they don't have the money to buy away their mistakes.

    Thankfully, the team is still up for sale and perhaps the best thing that could happen to the Bobcats this year is that they finish near the bottom of the League, Larry Brown leaves, and Bob Johnson figures out that he's not going to make any money selling the franchise – in fact, the longer he holds it, the more money he's going to lose.

    I'm still hoping that the Postolos Group comes along and buys the team. Do a little research on that guy, he's young and bright. A complete 180 from MJ & Friends. If Postolos (or someone like him) can buy the team between now and this summer, then the 'Cats could be a Playoff lock as soon as 2013-2014.

  3. Jody
    November 11, 2009 at 4:32 am #

    Harsh article. But very true. Besides this blog, no one really cares about the Bobcats. Charlotte loved the Hornets, but once they left, it was over. In fact, ESPN did an article on George Shinn having prostate cancer. You should read some of the posts from jilted Charlotte fans. They range from "karma sucks doesn't George" to "I hope you die!!!!". I think Charlotte fans enjoy the Bobcats losing. In the interest of research, I'm going to poll Charlotte sports fans on how they feel about the Bobcats vs how they felt about the Hornets. Details to come.

  4. Julius
    November 11, 2009 at 4:46 am #

    There are at least two other blogs dedicated to the Bobcats. I read them on a regular basis. ESPN is a propaganda machine these days. The on-air personalities and the staff writers just make wild stuff up. It's amazing how many idiots accept what that network puts out as the gospel. I know that the creators of those projections make some valid points. Nevertheless, the Bobcats don't have the most bleak future in the NBA.

  5. E
    November 11, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    Julius, I agree somewhat. I love reading all the ESPN NBA Insider guys, but (like most people) they pay more attention and provide more valid insight into the good, big market teams. Often they will make a point re: the Bobcats that seems based on just glancing at a few box scores or statistics, but certainly not on really watching the team play.

    That said, can you back up your assertion that the Cats don't have the most bleak short-range future in the NBA? I certainly think the Kings and Grizzlies are in the conversation, but it's hard to come up with a compelling argument that we're any better off than they are.

  6. CharlotteHokie
    November 11, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Bobcats need better fans… I'm new to Charlotte, love it here, and have never had strong ties to any team in the NBA. Consider me sold.

    I've been spreading Bobcats propaganda to all the 20 somethings in Charlotte who will listen. With the NBA's growing popularity (Thanks LeBron), I think we'll see the Bobcats fanbase grow substantially this year assuming we're in the playoff talk late in the season.

    JM2C

  7. mike15
    November 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    I just saw this blurb about D Wade as the player chosen by Jordan to showcase the new shoe model that his brand is pushing.

    It's tough to face the facts that the owner of the Bobcats would choose a player on another team rather than devalue the image of his brand with a Bobcats player.

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