Waiting for The Next Good Hand

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Although we’ve seen a lot of huffing and puffing recently from Bobcats fans and local media, the team’s latest stretch of road beat-downs and lackluster efforts shouldn’t be so hastily bundled into last month’s Gerald Wallace salary dump (cue Abraham Lincoln voice) “for this was their path all along.”

You see, there’s a very good reason why the Charlotte NBA franchise dropped five consecutive road games to solid Western Conference teams and that reason is that the Bobcats aren’t very good. They aren’t good without Gerald Wallace and they weren’t good with him. They were simply adequate.

But they were tearing up the league once Sugar Bear Silas took over,” you contend. Yes, they were putting notches in the win column but the vast majority of those wins came against the lowliest of Eastern Conference opponents and most of the quality victories came at home. To “beast it” in the Association, a team must be able to not only beat good teams at home but also occasionally on the road and, most importantly, must do both of these things consistently. *

Combine the Bobcats lack of talent with the early season Larry Brown-orchestrated funk, the loss of Tyrus Thomas and the unexpected lights-out play of Philadelphia and Indiana and you can see why Michael Jordan pulled the plug. A seasoned gambler looking at these Playoff odds would fold and wait for the next hand. That’s exactly what MJ has done and while it might not be pretty now, the ‘Cats are in a much better position long-term to be relevant.

ROSTERBATION NOTES:

-It’s been a pleasure watching Gerald Henderson go through the ups & downs of a young starter. Some nights the guy looks like a keeper and on others he looks rather lost. His jumper is still not as consistent as it needs to be and I’m hoping that he and his family enlist a specialist to work with him on the skill during the summer. The athleticism that Henderson leans on so much now won’t be there in six or seven years. Hopefully Gerald fulfills his potential as a Kobe-lite by rounding out his skill-set over the next few offseasons.

-I don’t think it’ll be too difficult finding a taker for Boris Diaw’s expiring contract if he puts up a few more performances like the one he did against the Clips last evening. My gut (pun intended) feeling has always been that Boris is simply bored with Charlotte and the systems in place. He’d be much better off in a more metropolitan city. Moving him this summer (along with one of the first rounders acquired in the Wallace trade) would put the Bobcats in the position to take on a max-level star via trade or signing for the first time in a very long while.

-In my opinion, Jordan’s rebuilding plan was hinted at the day the team extended Coach Silas’s contract for next season. It was a clear move to the coach that the blame for the team’s struggles wouldn’t be placed exclusively on his shoulders. Unless the ‘Cats can recruit top notch talent to come to Charlotte this summer, the team will most likely struggle for another season as they build their young nucleus of players for a successful run in ’12-’13.

-ASChin

*Let’s go ahead and call it “The Dallas Test.” The day that the Bobcats go into Big D and scalp the previously unscalpable Mavericks easily on the road, they’ll have made the jump. Until then, they’re either bad or not good enough.

9 thoughts on “Waiting for The Next Good Hand

  1. chris in u.c.

    What makes us think this owner will RE Up DJ, Hendo or TT when they’re Free Agents. The guy can’t afford to own a team, period.

    • chris in u.c.-

      Remember that the salary dump had as much to do about cap flexibility as it did with shaving off future expenditures. The ‘Cats can’t get the types of players they want without having the cap flexibility to make front page acquisitions.
      If anything, Jordan’s weakness was his lack of foresight in managing the cap not in his willingness to spend. Also keep in mind that the CBA will mostly likely change a great deal going into next season so there very well could be a new set of rules to play by.
      And let’s face it, the Bobcats aren’t the Lakers. It would be impractical for Jordan to spend tens of millions in luxury tax dollars to field a middling team in an apathetic small market city.
      To do this right, they’ll need to follow the Spurs model — who by the way are only spending an additional $5 million more this season than the Bobcats for a Western Conference leading team.

  2. focusljA

    Why don’t we follow the nuggets model. Lets NOT Use the draft to rebuild. We should use free agency and trades. Kelleena Azibuke, Terrence Williams, Shawne Williams. We are good at the pg/pf positions. But we have to start looking past the Stack Jack era. And Gendo’s jumpshot isn’t starter ready just yet…

  3. RobC

    I agree with this report.

    “focusljA”,
    I don’t think we are good at the PG. DL can be a great backup PG, but not as a strater. He is a huge liability on defense and now that he’s been figured out by the opposing defense, he is not as good offensively as he was before, definitly not consistent and he is not a strating PG. But it will be great if we can keep him as our backup PG.
    I agree with you in that we are good at the PF. Tyrus is a long, athletic, defensive minded PF, who can block shots, rebound and score. He is capable of putting 14-16PPG/8-10RPG every night, and if you add that to his defense, he is very good for a starting PF and quite cost efficient, when you see his $8M per year salary (on Avg).

    However, Tyrus needs some other(s) elite players around him in order to be that effective. Gerald Henderson is another player that unless he improves dramatically over the summer, he will be GREAT as a backup SG, defensive minded guy off the bench. Capable of giving the Bobcats 20-25MPG/8-10PPG/3-5RPG, a couple of blocks and steals, while stopping a Wade, Bryant, Rose, etc. But again, unless he improves (WHICH HE CERTAINLY CAN) over the summer, he is just a great SG off the bench and a good complement to keep.

    All of these guys: Tyrus, Augustine, and Hendo are worth keeping in their respective roles (TT as starter, DJ backup PG and Hendo depends on his development). I would also like to keep DJ White as a backup PF/C, the kid can score, rebound and run the court very well. But we need at least 2 elite players and a pretty well supporting cast in the starting lineup and from the bench.

    • That’s a pretty solid breakdown of the ‘Cats assets Rob.

      D.J. could potentially be the starting point on a team with four excellent starters and I still think he’s a top 30 skill guy at his position but we’ll have to see. Henderson and Tyrus both need to work on their games by Thomas is a little further along.

      SJAX is a top 50 NBA player and he might be worth something to a contender at next year’s deadline if he’s physically up to speed.
      But yeah, building through the draft AND through trades and FA is how it’s done. Fans just have to be patient and understand that the Owner/GM’s are learning on the job as well.

  4. focusljA

    Who do u think are realistic choices for us (if we are talking current players, free agents, possible buyout players) bc tha draft jus doesn’t seem like the way to go. Gary Neal? Kev Martin? Mayo? Igoudala? Pietrus? J.Rich (One more shot)

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