Balanced Clipper Attack Sends Bobcats Under .500

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Charlotte Bobcats @ LA Clippers 2/23/10

Charlotte can’t overcome Stephen Jackson’s worst game as a Bobcat as they lose 98-94 to the Clips on the road, falling a game below .500 (27-28) and deadlocked with Milwaukee for 8th place in the Conference.  The ‘Cats trail early, turn the ball over, play defense for around two thirds of the game and can’t withstand a late charge by the home team.  Any of this sound familiar?

AP recap here | Box score here

He Was Due for One

The story of the game for the Bobcats has to be Stephen Jackson’s “Jamison“-like stinkbomb.  JAX went 1-16 from the field and ended up fouling out late in the fourth with 7pts, 5asts, 5TOs, and 6 boards.  He never got it going and the ‘Cats threw away a winnable road game thanks to the backcourt’s poor shooting.  JAX and backup point guard D.J. Augustin combined to go 2-24 from the field.  Ouch.
Jackson was lucky to not be T’d up several times as he repeatedly directed his frustration onto the officials.  Before tonight’s game, JAX had scored in double figure in ALL of his 45 games with the Bobcats.

The fact that Jackson’s stinker came a day after his “tired from fatigue” comments doesn’t bode well for a team that has no real backup at the shooting guard position.  Hopefully the coaches will stop rubber cementing Gerald Henderson to the bench from this point on.
One positive note from this development: It did seem as if Jackson’s frustration came from his inability to help his teammates when they needed him, rather than some ego-fueled scorer’s rage.  You like to see that in a player.

How ‘Bout Them Clippers!

For people still wondering why Mike Dunleavy is still employed in any capacity, just take a look at the talented roster he’s assembled in the past couple of years:

  • Baron Davis: B-Diddy can still bring it when he’s motivated and has at least another 3-4 solid years in him.
  • Chris Kaman: Has mastered the 15-foot pick & pop, is a solid rebounder and has apparently vowed to add a 3-point shot to his arsenal in the next two years.
    Too bad that Hollywood has moved on to 3D for all of its monsters, freaks & aliens.  Kaman could have picked up a lot of side-work in the offseason as sort of a poor man’s Peter Mayhew.
  • Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin: Three solid prospects picked in the last few drafts, two of which have All-Star potential.
  • Craig Smith, Travis Outlaw: Talented guys in their mid-20s who could definitely be in the rotation for a contending club.
  • Steve Blake, Rasual Butler, Drew Gooden: Quality “Rent-a-Veteran” players who make enough plays every night to put your team in a position to win.

Add in a MAXplayer like Joe Johnson or Chris Bosh (they have the cap space to do it) and a real coach and this team could be VERY GOOD next year.

The Clips went nine deep tonight and (unlike the Bobcats, who essentially got production from five guys with Nazr out with a back and D.J./JAX ineffective), ALL NINE PLAYERS contributed.  It was death by a thousand cuts with Butler dropping corner threes at will, Eric Gordon scoring the ball from everywhere on the court and Baron balling in spurts like it was the year 2000.  Six players dropped double figures for LA while new backup PG Steve Blake notched 7 assists.  Good times to be a Clips fans.

Who Steps Up?

The Bobcats rallied hard in the third quarter when they erased the Clips’ 13-point lead at the 6:36 mark and went up 64-62.  They couldn’t hold on as no one (aside from Boris Diaw) could step up their game in Jax’s absence.  Gerald Wallace had one of his super-stats games (32pts, 12rbs, 4steals, 5asts) but he’s not the team’s Go-To guy in the 4th.  That’s JAX’s job and tonight he just wasn’t delivering.  Raymond tried but couldn’t do it.  Boris was aggressive and could have nailed a three with 2:50 to go that would have put the Cats up by six but it rimmed out.
The Bobcats will need to find a strategy that will allow them to win games even if their clutch scorer is cold.  Hope they figure it out soon.

Bullets:

  • Tyrus Thomas (10pts, 4rbs, 3blks) showcased both a fifteen AND a twenty footer.  He also had a nice post scoop & score on Jordan in the second half from the block.  Didn’t realize he had these moves already.  Hopefully LB will stick around at least for another season to help tutor T2 to the next level.
  • Diaw looked great tonight and nearly logged the franchise’s first triple double with 20pts, 9rbs, 9asts.  He looked aggressive and alert.  Clippers broadcast team was gushing over him all night.
  • As much as I loved Crash’s line tonight, I HATED the number in the minutes column: 48.  How is this team going to make the Playoffs when the top two guys are already running on fumes?  Coach Brown needs to suck it up and let Gerald Henderson & Derrick Brown play through some mistakes.  Besides, they can’t be any worse than Augustin, right?
  • Who would you rather have: DeAndre Jordan ($736,000) or Tyson Chandler ($12 ka-gillion)?
  • Bobcats should be sold by the end of the month.  Word has it that MJ has until the 28th to match the Postolos Group offer.  We’ll have an in-depth article on this later on in the week.

Until Next Time…Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

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15 Responses to “Balanced Clipper Attack Sends Bobcats Under .500”

  1. Newsinz
    February 23, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    Play Henderson already. Scouts were all gushing about his defense during the draft last year. Isn't that why Larry wanted him? I think Henderson is more than capable of hitting 1 out of 12 shots while playing solid, athletic defense.

    Not even Graham (who seems to be good for a swish jumper everytime his number is called) made it off the bench during Jack's funk. Weird.

  2. Dr. E
    February 23, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    Awful loss last night. For a minute, I was hoping that the Bobcats would steal one on the road despite Jack's terrible night, but alas…

    The offense, especially down the stretch once Jack fouled out, was abominable. Couldn't get any decent shots, made the Clips look like the '08 Celtics defense.

    The pessimist in me is starting to think this Bobcats team is going to suffer the same fate as in the past couple of years. Exciting mid-season stretch gets everyone fired up for playoffs, some great home victories against elite competition, but ultimately choking down the stretch and finishing on the outside looking in.

  3. leroy
    February 23, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    this was the first time i saw the cats playing in front of me in staples center.

    sadly, i was the only one (almost) clapping and yelling for them.

    Theo got a t-foul by hanging on the rim (thats 2 pts there) and kaman should have been issue a t-foul after he throws the ball on the floor.(thats another point if whoever makes it)

    They played some solid D at the 3rd quater which i was really happy to see.

    We need a 3 pt shooter that can make shots!

    butler was killing us and there were way too many wide open 3s for the clippers. once kaman set a screen for the shooter. done deal.

    sigh.

    any good 3 point shooter free agents?

    kareem rush?

  4. Bobcat orange?
    February 23, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    Anybody want to talk about how we are once again a .500 or below ball club after the most recent trade? I think losing Flip is going to hurt us more than we realize. He gave us another scorer, something this team has always been desperate for. Was it really a good idea to go back to Raymond as an option for the last shot?

  5. Dr. E
    February 23, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Good timing, Bobcat orange?. From ESPN.com's John Hollinger:

    "The general consensus was that Charlotte improved itself with its moves at the trade deadline, but last night's loss to the Clippers showed how the Bobcats weakened themselves, too. The Cats eviscerated their wing depth in order to add some frontcourt help in the form of Tyrus Thomas, and we saw the results in L.A."

    Read the rest here:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/13762/

  6. leroy
    February 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    response to Dr.E and Bobcat orange?

    but the thing is, either we make the playoffs or not this year, we are not going to win the championship for sure.

    flip is an expiring contract, since he had been producing for the cats, i wonder if he would stay here for another year or two. using flip to get tyrus thomas, whom also carry an expiring contract, gratned the right for the cats to match the offers in this coming summer, which leave us an option to keep him on the roster for the next few years if he happened to develop as like a defensive force like big ben in detroit back in the days.

    if gerald henderson happens to fulfill what larry is looking for (or maybe even a different coach in the future), then the problem will be solve in the coming years.

  7. leroy
    February 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I wonder why no one signs morris almond from the d-league?

  8. leroy
    February 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    kings just waived larry hughes!
    go get him! back up pg/scorer + the defense (stealing) that he has.

  9. ASChin
    February 24, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    leroy! Coming at you live from the Staples Center!

    Great comments everybody.
    Yeah, I’d love to have Larry Hughes at the veteran’s minimum for the rest of the season but (if you believe anything Bonnell writes) that looks iffy considering the ownership situation.

    As for the Flip Murray trade hurting the Bobcats…
    This is the freakin’ NBA. The players just have to step it up and put the ball in the basket. D.J. was able to do it last year and there is NO reason (other than mental) that he shouldn’t be able to do it this year. Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown could give you 10 points a game easy. The ‘Cats will still ultimately make the Playoffs but they (especially the youngsters) have to get over this mental block placed upon them by Old Man Brown. Shoot the Damn Ball!

  10. spectre
    February 24, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    In order to have the right to match TT we have to give him the qualifying offer of 6.3 million. That’s a heckuva risk considering that’s most likely more than he’d get on the open market AND it would put us (most likely) right at the luxury tax limit without Felton being re-signed.

    A big risk, esp. since we’ve invested a 1st already.

  11. mike15
    February 24, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Spectre – I would bet that the club is going to spend the money to hold onto Tyrus. They wouldn’t have given up that 1st round pick for a 30 game rental. The Cats will have Nazr and Chandler’s expiring deals to move next year and there will be several teams (with newly acquired free agents) looking to stack their front line.

    I agree with ASChin about Flip Murray. NBA players can all score. Flip had no problem taking the big shots – and every other shot that he missed – because he had no fear of being benched or traded away. DJ, Gerald, and Derrick could work to develop that same mentality and just play ball up to their abilities.

    In response to Leroy – How can you say that the Bobcats aren’t going to win the championship? They’re clearly the new favorite in the East. Cleveland had a 3 game losing skid and no one gave up on them. The Cats are just adjusting to their new roster and injuries.

  12. spectre
    February 24, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Mike:

    I would hope they either have a plan or that they’re committed to going into the tax for one season. I question the latter as it’s totally against what the current group’s position, so I’m kind of left with this idea of a “plan”.

    They’ve never seemed to have ever had a plan up til now beyond the current season…so I’m a little worried.

    In regards to expirings I’ll point you to this thread on RGM’s trade board:

    http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=989721

    Now obviously that’s nothing but (informed I hope) fans’ opinions…but it looks like there are going to be a slew of clubs with a lot of expirings. Maybe we find someone in dire need of a big AND have the space to take him without sending salary back, but I’d put odds that what ends up happening is that those teams under the cap will want assets to take one of our expirings.

    AsChin mentioned Henderson as possibly being an asset we could move. Thing is unless something drastic changes I don’t know that even he will be enough. Remember the Griz just got a young starter in Brewer with their space.

  13. Ross
    February 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Having Henderson riding the pine is like having a new car sitting in the driveway and not driving it cause you don’t want to get it dirty. You still make the payments you just don’t drive it. Does it really matter? Hell it might. But face it, if the Cats make the playoffs, it will be shortlived. Unless they turn into superteam over the next couple of weeks. Then they make it to the 2nd rd. . Last weak I really didn’t think it was a good idea to start over, but it seems like the Cats are having trouble shaking the poontang syndrome that lurks inside them. I mean they have a pretty strong coaching staff, but the team is a product of front office decisions. The rag-tag plan at times resembles a product out of some Big Lots rummage bin. Then there are moments when the team is on point and then the moment continuity becomes a factor they fold up. Is team unity an issue? Shouldn’t more guys be showing up in the box( DNP don’t count)? I get the feeling looking at this Bobcats team and can’t help but wonder how good they could be with alittle more work personel wise and a strong attitude adjustment. Reference the Bad Boys if you want to see what attitude can get you.

  14. Cameron
    February 25, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    I gotta admit, this blog post about the “LOLBobcats” made me laugh: http://www.queencityhoops.com/GameRecap021610.php

    I can haz 3 pointer?

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