Observations: Charlotte Bobcats 2009 Open Practice

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Fellow Baseliners, I knocked off work early, leaving loose ends untied, in order to bring you some observations and thoughts on the Bobcats open practice.

To summarize: I came, I yawned, I played Bejeweled on my phone.

Got there a bit late.  They had about the first 15 rows or so blocked off, presumably so the players could still curse without offending the young ears in attendance.  The rest of the lower bowl was surprisingly full of folks enjoying the free popcorn and soda.  The team was running full-court five-on-five at about 75%, roughly starters vs. second team (except with Ajinca in Chandler’s spot, and guys like DJ and VladRad did time with both squads).

As anyone who has ever read anything about Larry Brown would expect, he stopped the action about every 7 seconds to point out mistakes and demand perfection in every offensive set.  If I had the graphic design skills of my brethren here at the Baseline, I would have mashed up some picture of Larry Brown in practice gear with a big giant stop sign to lead off this post.  Alas…  (UPDATE: Photoshop added.  Thanks, D)

It’s ironic though, as Brown’s main issue with the replacement officials was that they stopped the game so much that no flow was ever established and he wasn’t able to fully evaluate his young guys.  I can identify.  I realize it’s practice, but still, would it have killed anyone to let the guys scrimmage freely for a few minutes for the fans?

So with everyone at least 15 rows back, and the seats full of murmuring people, you actually couldn’t hear anything that was being said down on the court.  I might have tolerated all the stoppages if Larry Brown had been wearing a mic and I could hear the teaching he was doing.

At about quarter til 7:00, people started peeling off.  Kids were either bored out of their minds or on the verge of a fit, no doubt due to the absence of Rufus.  A few minutes after 7:00, practice wrapped up and folks were invited to come down courtside for autographs.  I’ve never seen a player as seemingly excited to sign autographs as Derrick Brown.

A few other items:

  • Nazr sat out; he looked left out and bummed on the sidelines.
  • Chandler sat out; “brooding” and “chomping at the bit” come to mind — he looks like he’s dying to get back on the court.
  • Diaw participated fully and looked great; so sneaky and fun to watch.
  • Ray finished as poorly in practice as he does in games.
  • No one respects Gerald Henderson’s outside shot.  I’m guessing they do, however, respect his dunking ability.  Guy has instantly supplanted Crash as our most exciting player and will hopefully get into the dunk contest.
  • After stoppages for teaching moments, the possession would often be wrapped up by token free throws, generally by the poorer free throw shooters.  Gana Diop was a frequent recipient of these extra practice shots.
  • There were two guys that played with the reserves who I didn’t recognize.  One was Antonio Anderson.  Absolutely no clue as to who the other one was.
  • The team store was full of the same drek from the end of last season, save for the new jerseys.  And all they have of those are the chintzy replicas — no swingmans or authentics yet.

-E

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6 Responses to “Observations: Charlotte Bobcats 2009 Open Practice”

  1. Jody
    October 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    is rufus too good to show up to an open practice? who does he think he is?

  2. ASChin
    October 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    The "24 Seconds or More" era is upon us.

    I've been reading McCallum's book about the '05-'06 Suns. Great read with a lot of insight on D'Antoni's system as well as a great backstory on Raja and Boris and former Bobcat Eddie House.

    There's some good stuff about Radman as well – he comes off as a deadly assassin in the Clips/Sun Conference Semi-Finals.

    Anyway, McCallum recounts the story of when Boris and Amare went 1 on 1 in practice. Boris was supposed to be there as a tackling dummy but once all of the dust settled, the coaches realized Diaw was perhaps the better player of the two.

    So I am absolutely pumped to see what Boris can accomplish while starting an entire season at his natural position. The hope is that he's more aggressive and can drop between 16-18ppg.

  3. spectre
    October 15, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    "Ray finished as poorly in practice as he does in games."

    LOL!

    Didn't he get sent home Wednesday with a sore throat?

    "So I am absolutely pumped to see what Boris can accomplish while starting an entire season at his natural position. The hope is that he’s more aggressive and can drop between 16-18ppg."

    Ditto that. I'm wondering however just how much it helped him playing for France. On that team he's not the focus of the offense and tho he did have some strong games in a lot of them he seemed very passive.

  4. Deesdale
    October 17, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    Thanks for the recap. Photoshop added. Jewel Quest is sooo much better than Bejeweled.

  5. RobC
    October 19, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Hey what are your thoughts on this. ESPN reported that the Pops Mensah-Bonsu might be one of 4 possible players to be cut by the Rockets. The guy is 6'9" and 235lbs and avg. 5ppg/5rpg in 12mpg. That's 20ppg/20rpg per 48mins. or better yet, he's a taller and more athletic Jason Maxiell for the price of Sean May.

    Should the Bobcats take a look at a guy like that, in our team, he can put 8-10ppg and 7-9rpg in 15+mins. As a backup PF, I'll take that any day.

    In addition, (talking about the Pistons) Joe Dumars has been shopping Prince and/or Hamilton. He tried to swap Prince for Stephen Jackson a week ago and he wants to get rid of Rip's contract now that he has Ben Gordon. How about trading Bell and Mohammed for Richard Hamilton. The Bobcats will get our so much needed all-star scorer (18+ppg) without sacrificing defense, Rip is younger and Brown loves him. The Pistons will get two expiring contracts, one at the end of this season ($5.2M) and one at the end of next season ($6.5M). Rip has 3 years left and he's only 31, I think he can play those 3-4 more years at a very high level to be our starting SG.

  6. E
    October 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    I named my fantasy basketball team "Pops Mensah-Bonsu" a couple years ago. Seriously, love the name. But not sure that he brings anything to the table that we don't already have on the roster between Ajinca and Derrick Brown. I mean, there's a reason why Pops can't stick in the league. He's not very good.

    We've discussed Rip on the Baseline quite a bit. Don't see it happening, though — his contract is pretty onerous.

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