Pacers Offense Too Much For Bobcats

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Bobcats Baseline Observations: Charlotte @ Indiana 12/16/09

The Indiana Pacers never trail in this game as they force Charlotte to play the game their way, winning 101-98.  Bobcats fall into 8th place in the Conference at 10-14 while the Pacers improve to 9-14, just a half game back in the standings.

AP recap here | Box score here

The Road

Last Friday, I got together with a few friends to screen Cormac McCarthy’s The Road – a post-apocalyptic love story starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and an outstanding Robert Duvall (still bringing it almost 40 years after the Godfather).  For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’ll save you the trouble: Pretty much one of the most depressing films ever, just slightly less cheery than Lars Von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark and on par with The Charlotte Bobcats bleak journey away from home this season.

The Bobcats 1-11 road record is second only to New Jersey’s 1-15 but don’t lose hope Nets fans, every NBA team plays the same amount of away games and I’m sure that the Bobcats will equal your team’s ineptitude eventually.

Tonight’s game was a continuation of a disturbing trend in which the ‘Cats come out flat and stay unmotivated, keeping the game reasonably close until around the midway mark of the 4th quarter, then collectively hit “Turbo” in hopes that it will be enough to pull out the win.  Sorry guys, the LA Lakers you are not.

Carolinian Psycho

At the two minute mark late in the third, I tweeted that Tyler Hansbrough must have forgotten his meds because he was starting something in the post with Stephen Jackson.  Now, this was something like the third semi-dangerous elbow Tyler swung in this game.  After the second one on JAX (which almost sent Stephen on his first Bobcat melee) I officially pulled a 180 and became a fan of Psycho T.

As an overrated, coddled local college star, Tyler Hansbrough was nothing more than a low-post, low-skilled Adam Morrison.  A great white hope who would finally receive his comeuppance once he had to play with real men in the NBA.  He was also a four-year senior, old by League standards.  His selection in the lottery by the Pacers looked Bobcat-esque at the time.

Tyler’s transformation into a hard-nosed, underrated, hustle-stats, full-motor role player in the NBA has done the unthinkable.  It’s made Psycho T likable.  The “I don’t give a f**k” elbows and chicken wings that he threw at Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace suddenly made me think: Wow, what if Mark Madsen actually had skill and some athletic ability?  Hansbrough’s fearlessness could eventually turn him into a sort of a frontcourt Raja Bell – a “Bosh Stopper” – within a few years.  The NBA doesn’t have enough guys who really give a damn on every play and watching Hansbrough tonight, even though he shot poorly and fouled often, reminded me of his value both to his team and the League.

NOTE TO MJ: You Won Six Championships with the Team That Drafted You, Ya Think The Draft is Important?

Another game, another reminder of how poorly the Charlotte Bobcats have drafted over the years.  Pacers superstar Danny Granger was out (selected just a couple of spots behind Sean May in ’05) but recent Pacer picks Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert, A.J. Price and the aforementioned Psycho T were all major contributors this evening.  While the Bobcats played only two drafted players: Ray Felton and D.J. Augustin (a combined 6-17 for 18 points and 9 assists).

Being a fan of a sub .500 team isn’t so bad when the organization is developing young talent and sticking to a long-term plan.  This is not what the Bobcats are doing.  No, MJ and Larry Brown have basically mortgaged the team’s future in the hopes of winning 39 games this season and sneaking into the Playoffs.  This is ostensibly what’s happening today on Wall Street and in DC: Small, short-term gain in exchange for severe long-term pain.  Let’s hope that the John Cusack movie was right because I’m not sure that any of us will want to be around after 2012 to watch this disaster in the making.

BULLETS:

  • As in Tuesday’s victory against the Knicks, both teams turned the ball over at a high rate, 37 combined for the game.
  • What put Indy over was the fact that they shot 48% from the field against a usually solid defensive team.
  • One play in particular that gave the Bobcats fits was the Jim O’Brian Special that swings the ball in transition back to the trailing big man Troy Murphy at the top of the 3-point line.  Murphy has always been one of the League’s best shooters from dead-on but this new wrinkle makes the shot unguardable.  At almost seven feet, Murphy might be the second best shooting PF in the game behind Dirk Diggler.
  • Gerald Wallace played his tail off again going for 29 points and 12 boards.  His turnovers continue to be a problem (5 more tonight) but Crash isn’t really a natural playmaker so the high TO rate shouldn’t be unexpected.
  • Wallace and Stephen Jackson combined for 51 points and are proving to be every bit as potent as the Wallace/JRich combo three seasons ago.
  • The Bobcats still need some low post presence to balance out the effort from their two wings.  Brook Lopez, anyone?
  • Tyson Chandler had his “best” game as a Bobcats going for 13 points and 13 boards.  His -14 plus minus didn’t look so hot though.  Maybe the Baseline Readers can help me figure out a way to convince Tyson Chandler to opt out of his contract this offseason.  Any ideas?

Until next time, Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

14 thoughts on “Pacers Offense Too Much For Bobcats

  1. Newsinz

    Please don't forget Diaw's brain dead decision to pass the ball with 1.8 seconds left on the game clock. Considering the huge hole that we dug ourselves in the 1st quarter (what else is new on the road?), it was amazing that we actually had a chance to send the game into overtime. Diaw turns and passes to D.J. as if we were about to run a half court set.

    Speaking of D.J., I was hoping to see him get a little kudos here. He had his best game since forever tonight, and although his numbers weren't great by any stretch, it showed that just maybe his sophomore slump is coming to a merciful end.

    Why Graham over Henderson? Just curious why our top draft choice is getting shunned in favor of arguably less talented, and certainly less athletic, players in the rotation.

    GO (home) CATS!

  2. Jody

    I didn't care for Psycho T at all in college. But if he's playing like a poor man's Bill Lambier, then count me in. Did you mean to call Dirk Nowitski Dirk Diggler? Just checking. I was thinking about the Bobcats management today and as far as Larry Brown goes, he's just an old man set in his ways. At first, I thought he would bring some much needed direction to the Bobcats. In reality, I just think he's going through the motions. I think the Bobcats are more of a hobby for him than anything else. He'll be here the rest of this year, and maybe next until he steps down without anything to show for it. Then the Bobcats will have to start over. Again. Does anyone else feel that way?

  3. Jason

    1) Psycho T always played like a maniac in college, and all signs pointed to him becoming the next Dave Cowens. I think he might still be on track. Don't be a hater just 'cause he played for Chapel Hill.

    2) The Road is a horrible film. They left the most important parts of the story out (like how there were more legit threats to the kids life than the possibility that his dad was going to put a bullet in his head de la Rocha style).

  4. quietsavant-

    What kind of comment posting is this?

    Should I alert the authorities?

    And since when did Buffalo Bill start reading Bobcats Baseline:

    "It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told."

  5. Bobcat orange?

    So uh, whats the market these days for a lazy french 'power' forward who has decided he no longer wants to score, distribute, or rebound?

  6. reggie

    yea. this game was tough to swallow.

    big words from quietsavant. funny that the Cats are minuscle, yet, take the Mavs to the brink and show massive cojones to lose to the Pacers (not that it counts for anything)

    so minuscle? nahh. maybe not. id go more along the lines of flat out troubled.

    DJ had a solid game. surprised he didnt get much love here.

  7. quietsavant

    they gave it their best effort and still lost. I can imagine your heartbreak. disappointing, I know. Recovering from failure is often easier than building from success. I suggest you start building friend.

  8. Jody

    thank you for your input quietsavant. please keep visiting the site. your posting is appreciated. if you could recommend the site, it would be appreciated. thanks again for your enthusiasm for the bobcats.

  9. Ross

    Psycho T in 5 years = Jon Koncak or Erik Leckner at best. I remember this Hornets game where Robert Parish stole the ball from Vin Baker and took it coast to coast for a one handed Gminski-esque dunk, aaah the Hive came alive .

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