Preseason Tip-Off

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UPDATE: Added some “Fair & Balanced” highlights from the ‘Cats preseason opener courtesy NBA.com

preseason-09

The Charlotte Bobcats Preseason begins Tuesday night.  After all of the buzz, wishing, and hype the Bobcats still look a lot like the Bobcats.  These days, that’s not such a terrible thing (ref.  Carolina Panthers). The steady, incremental improvement should put them on pace for a Playoff run this season and it all depends on getting things set on course over training camp and the Preseason games.

It Starts At The Top

The sports media crews will be enamored with Shaq and Lebron.  Shaq is a proven entertainer and on Tuesday he could team up with Lebron for some Globetrotters style ball on the thin Bobcats.  The Bobcats will be smart to view their first warm-up game as the glorified scrimmage that it is.  The Cavs are in a different class than the Cats and comparisons would be useless.  Larry Brown can work to get his team to “Play The Right Way” and perhaps steal a few tips from Lebron James about being ridiculously good at basketball.

Larry And The Henderson

Gerald Henderson should finally get to see some playing time alongside his real teammates (rather than Minnesota’s Summer League squad).  It can be assumed that Raja Bell will play just enough to instruct Henderson, Antonio Anderson, and Dontell Jefferson on how to run a few plays.  There’s a notion floating out there that Coach Brown doesn’t play rookies.  Considering the probability of another Raja Bell injury occurring in the next several months, we can bet that Brown will be a bit conservative with his use of the proven veteran and give those minutes to some of the young guys.  It would be great to see Henderson showcase his abilities with this opportunity.

A Charlotte Time Share

DJ Augustin should see just as much time as Raymond Felton at the point guard spot.  Felton has established himself as the starter and will spend  his time setting up the team to execute the offense properly.  Preseason is a time to get the “system” into place and Larry Brown demands near perfection from his point guards.  If practice makes perfect, both DJ and Raymond will get plenty of practice in these Preseason games.

A French Evolution

Alexis Ajinca will be challenged more than any other Bobcat.  Not only is he trying to learn the game under the intense scrutiny and demands of Larry Brown, the Frenchman is working to process all of this in his second language.  As an added pressure, Ajinca will log big minutes matched up against opposing starting Power Forwards until Boris Diaw returns.  Though he could get frustrated against these accomplished and more skillful opponents, this could also serve as a great learning experience for the 21-yr old.  For Coach Brown, this provides a great chance to evaluate his project’s progress.  Either Alexis steps his game up and becomes Brown’s best gamble or he’s off to Maine without an extension on his rookie contract.

Minutes For Mohammed

Nazr Mohammed has been working hard to get in shape and earn some playing time this season.  The coaches and sports reporters have taken notice of his efforts.  Now, the team gets to see if the extra reps and training have paid dividends.  Desagana Diop may have heard Nazr on his heels this summer.  It’s been reported that ‘Gana has dropped a few pounds and looks good running the floor.  Competition does great things for an organization.  If the Bobcats’ back-up Centers are working this hard, let’s hope the competition at Shooting Guard and Small Forward will push that load of guys to their potential, as well.

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14 Responses to “Preseason Tip-Off”

  1. reggie
    October 6, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    and one more thing, the new road jerseys arent that bad. i guess they grew on me, but they looked nice in the game.

    the only thing that annoys me is the side. it seems plain. i guess its just me though.

  2. reggie
    October 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    i was able to watch a stream of the game tonight, and i think we looked pretty damn good–even though we lost in the last minuet. but compared to last year's squad, we were looking spectacular.

    Nazr has seriously been working on his game. i could tell when i saw him play last year against Philly.

    Frenchie is still learning how to play like a 7 footer, but he has a great skill set. he did commit a good deal of fouls and at times he got out-muscled, but i think he may actually be a bright spot this year–not huge, but a bright spot nonetheless.

    Derrick Brown had a nice game. he was all over the place on offense and driving to the rim.

    Henderson looks really nice. he was solid on both ends and his jumper was falling. he is more of an athlete than i thought.

    overall, im excited for this year. i think we can get in at 8 beating washington and maybe indy at 40-42. and if the celtics are top seed, i think we could take them to 7.

  3. Adam
    October 7, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    Where did you stream the game, Reggie? Would love to know.

    From what I can gather through the highlights and blogs it seems like the team looks a lot more cohesive than they did this time last year. It's encouraging that the four youngsters (Ajinca, Augustin, Brown and Henderson) all contributed right away.

    I like D.J.'s aggression and it was nice to see 'Lex contribute numbers outside of the PF column.

    Looking forward to seeing all of the guys come together for regular season.

  4. reggie
    October 7, 2009 at 5:22 am #

    first i went to justin.tv and they had everything but the cats game. i was lucky enough to catch somebody comment on a stream and they posted the link to the cats game.

    i wound up going to http://www.ilemi.com/, but im not sure if it will be reliable throughout the season. last year i survived off of justin.tv.

    im so mad with this garbage tv deal. either time warner should man up and pay the fee, or fox sports should stop bitchin and show the games. i live an hour away!!! i even tried calling them one time, but time warner blames fox, and fox blames time warner.

    if the cats REALLY cared, theyd take care of this.

    and i know the boxscore said henderson went 3-9, but most of his missed shots were drives to the basket. i didnt want to sound like a complete idiot saying "his shots were falling".

  5. Jared
    October 7, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    I saw that link too. It never opened for me. I used to go to a site similar to ilemi last season and it worked maybe half the time.

    The Bobcats have to have the most ridiculous television deal in the history of major sports. Willing customers can't even pay to see the games.

  6. Jared
    October 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    I have the same question. Where did you get a game stream? I tried justintv and the few streams up got taken down or never started. I also tried that sopcast bullshit but it didn’t work.

    I would just get league pass if they didn’t blackout the games in my viewing area.

  7. reggie
    October 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    just went by bobcatsplanet.com where they have an interview up with one of the marketing heads of the bobcats, and thankfully, they discussed the TV situation.

    long story short, WE, the people, have to constantly complain and threaten to leave in order for business to get done. i would love to call every game day, but that may be unrealistic.

    so at least we could get the word out and hopefully, time warner will listen.

  8. Jared
    October 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Well I live in Charter cable land and I already discontinued my cable service because I couldn't get the games. That's just one person though.

  9. spectre
    October 8, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    What's rich is they try to put the onus upon US to get it fixed. All 20 of us are supposed to band together and DEMAND that DirectTV, DISH, etc. show the games in our area or else. It's totally out of their hands.

    It hurts them more than it hurts us. They can't get new fans because no one can see them…yet they won't even attempt to talk FSN into working something out with the providers to get access across the Carolinas.

    Pretty amazing for a team run by a TV guy isn't it?

  10. Adam
    October 8, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    You gotta love Bob Johnson's business acumen.

    Of all the things to do to build a fanbase, you deny the very people who would be your potential customers access to your product. I love it.

    Don't they cover this in business colleges? Hasn't someone ever written a book about allowing your customers to see your product so that they may eventually buy it?

    Why is this so difficult?

  11. reggie
    October 8, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    spectre, bobby had the attention span of a 5 year old with BET. remember, he sold it 10 minuets after it went on air.

    and lets not forget CSET.

    so maybe it was natural for this FSN deal to go sour in the very hour it was announced.

  12. Jared
    October 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Damn, even atdhe.net doesn't have the game tonight. They were half way reliable last season

  13. Adam
    October 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Did anybody see D.J.'s line tonight?

    He scored 22pts on 2-6 shooting, going 16-18 from the line!

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE TEAM NEEDS.

    A guy getting to the line in bunches.

    Only a preseason game but very, very promising.

  14. spectre
    October 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    If only he would get those calls during the regular season. Of course if we keep these replacement refs he might…but then every game would last 4 hours.

    He looked really good (I went)…much better than last year. He was very talkative on offense and was trying hard on defense.

    Felton was also halfway to a triple double in a little over 13 minutes. He was also strong on his D vs. Paul…don't think he scored but 2 or 3 buckets vs. the starters.

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