Bobcats Down Suns, Start 2-0 on West Coast Swing

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Bobcats play loose and shoot fifty percent from the field on way to a 114-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns.  Cats improve to 19-25 and start their first major road trip of the season 2-0.

AP Recap | Box Score

OBSERVATIONS

Thanks to some international broadband issues, I didn’t get to see much of this game so will intersperse some observations from writers around the Association.

  • Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin in double figures?  Wha?  Clearly not the team leaders (yet) but have shown enough promise under Silas that the ’08 and ’09 Drafts look absolutely salvageable.  That’s a big deal in Bobcats country.  Henderson’s blocks on Gortat and Grant Hill were major game shifters.
  • Rick Bonnell really likes what he’s seeing from Henderson too, going as far as saying he’ll help fill the void left by Tyrus Thomas.  Also love the point he makes about Larry Brown vs. Silas.  It’s like going from Larry David to Mike “Brady Bunch” Brady.  All is good in the ‘hood.
  • Really like what I’m seeing from Crash and Stephen Jackson thus far on the road trip.  Those two shooting a combined 15-33 on the night is a massive improvement from the stinker the two captains dropped on Atlanta last week.  Hope Silas finally talked some sense into them.
  • UNDERRATED: Boris Diaw’s play under Silas.  You won’t see it in the stats (although he’s added close one full assist more per game in January) but Boris looks much more motivated now than he ever did with LB.  Big game against his old squad tonight going for 18/6/5 with a big boy rebound on the final possession to ice it.  When fans from your old team still talk about your exploits two plus years on from a trade, you know you got the better end of the deal.
  • Apparently, MJ is making the West Coast trip with the team.  Is it any coincidence that Jordan’s level of involvement with the team always results in consistently higher performance?  Maybe Charles Oakley’s hire just gave MJ more incentive to hangout on the bench.  It’s the NBA equivalent to “Friday.”

Until Next Time, Enjoy the Win Bobcats Fans.

-ASChin

The Bobcats After (a Little Over) the Halfway Point

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Charlotte Bobcats Mid-Season Status

I can’t believe it’s already past halfway through the NBA season. It just happened so fast!

Before I knew it, my expectations of another playoff season disintegrated to the dust that is hoping for a good lottery pick while remaining competitive and now just hoping that we remain competitive and can develop young talent.

So here we are, sitting on a record of 17-25 with a full, 15-man roster while one of our best players, Tyrus Thomas is injured for about the next two months. Let’s recap what’s happened so far before I talk about where I think we go from here.

The Initial Disappointment

The Bobcats dropped six of their first seven games in painful fashion, with three of those losses decided by four points or less. Contrasting that with the previous season which was noted for the Bobcats’ stifling defense, this team was an utter mess. The defense was all out of sorts, giving up three-pointer after three pointer and having weak a very weak interior despite decent rebounding. And the offense wasn’t much improved either, but what did you expect from former head coach Larry Brown? He has never had the greatest offenses. However, the Bobcats managed to have a mediocre record at the end of November (6-11) by beating some worse teams, including New Jersey, Minnesota, Toronto, Washington and Houston.

Individually, D.J. Augustin shone brightly as he proved his ability on the court in spite of a coach that obviously lamented his presence, significantly improving his scoring and his ball distribution while keeping turnovers minimal. Tyrus Thomas, though chained to the bench with extremely limited minutes, continued to produce and energize the team whenever he was on the court. On the flip side, nearly every other starter struggled. Boris Diaw was a non-factor, Stephen Jackson was decent scoring the ball but turned the rock over way too much and Gerald Wallace just didn’t seem to be his usual “balls-to-the-wall” self anymore, especially on defense. The bench was much improved from last year, but Larry Brown as is his nature, refused to play the young guys much, if at all. Plus, Gerald Henderson got hurt, so that didn’t help either.

In short, it was the most frustrating first couple of months I’ve ever experienced as  Bobcats fan.

Rock Bottom

Fans were beginning to get fed up with the under-performing team and the inability to turn the team around, even with baby steps. The team was inconsistent, going from high points like beating the Denver Nuggets to low points like losing to the Philadelphia 76ers by 18 points. The Bobcats lost to the Celtics by 29 a week or two later but I wasn’t as upset about that considering they’ve had our number since 2009. But then the poo hit the fan. The Bobcats lost by 33 to the Memphis Grizzlies and later to the Washington Wizards by 33, who were without John Wall and Gilbert Arenas and hadn’t received Rashard Lewis in their trade with Orlando. Then the Bobcats lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder by 18 heading into a long break over the holidays. Aaaannnnd Gerald Wallace was injured for an extended period of time. Wonderful.

Larry Brown was exceptionally melancholy in post-game press conferences, sometimes seemingly on the edge of a mental breakdown. Just a day after the Thunder loss, the Bobcats organization announced that the team and Larry Brown had mutually decided that he would resign as head coach. And so ended the Larry Brown era in Charlotte.

Beginning Life Anew

On the same day as Larry Brown’s resignation, the Bobcats announced that Paul Silas would be named the interim head coach. In the following days, the Bobcats announced the assistant coaching staff consisting of Charles Oakley, Stephen Silas and Ralph Lewis. Bobcats fans were re-energized as a past fan-favorite coach (Charlotte Hornets) returned home to hopefully become competitive once again, even if the team was struggling.

The team came out guns ablaze, winning their first two games and scoring more than 100 points – a rarity for the Bobcats under Larry Brown. The fire smoldered as the team lost a close one to Golden State and another loss to the hot-as-Brooklyn Decker Miami Heat. However, they showed heart in fighting with Gerald Wallace out once again. The Bobcats returned from the losses and rattled off a four-game win streak against Minnesota, Washington, Memphis and Chicago. They also played the tough as nails Boston Celtics closer than they had in about two years. The team continued to play tough, recording some hard-fought losses and also some hard-fought wins.

D.J. Augustin flourished as Silas permitted him to play freely as opposed to under Larry Brown. Boris Diaw was less turnover-prone, rebounded better and even recorded his first-ever triple-double as a member of the Bobcats. Kwame Brown was even much better, recording multiple games with 10+ rebounds. Gerald Wallace returned and was even worse than before, as he struggled to finish at the rim and shoot. But even worse than Gerald was Stephen Jackson who is shooting 35% from the field and 22% from the three and yet never taking fewer than 14 field goal attempts. And let’s not even touch on his problems with the referees.

In bad to worse news, Tyrus Thomas got injured with a torn left meniscus which would keep him out for about 2 months.

Where To Go From Here

The Bobcats are in the very curious position of being a bad team currently in control of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Do you go for broke and try to get the squad better in the present at the cost of getting worse in the future for the chance at a playoff run? Or do you admit that rebuilding is necessary and trade the players that have value for young talent, draft picks or cap space? Does Tyrus Thomas’ injury change those odds and thus what decision will be made? (I think so)

From what I think Jordan is like as an owner, I have to believe option one is what he would choose, unfortunately for the fans who hope for consistency in the future. As I mentioned before, the Bobcats have a full 15-man roster. This means we cannot call up any guys from the NBA-DL right now. I seriously doubt that a trade won’t come. Whether that’s Gerald Wallace or Stephen Jackson, I don’t know – but I think it’s likely that one of them are not on the team by the trade deadline. Nazr Mohammed’s expiring contract could accompany one of their contracts for the Bobcats to get some value in return. Regardless, with Tyrus’ injury and the team’s leaders struggling, I don’t think this team makes the playoffs. I believe they will be inconsistent, possibly getting small win streaks here or there but an ultimate lack of depth and talent across the roster will keep them out of the post-season. They should cut their losses now and try to trade for youth via draft picks or guys from other teams. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Cap space won’t win championships for a small market team.

I’ve made my thoughts clear about what I think the team should do. What do y’all think?

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.

Bobcats Disappoint, Lose to Vengeful Hawks

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Just a rough night. Sigh... (AP Photo)

Recap | Box Score

The Bobcats put up another letdown of a game on Saturday night, losing to the Atlanta Hawks (who were without starters Al Horford and Marvin Williams) 103-87. This came as a very disappointing loss, considering the Hawks had just incurred a 41-point loss the previous night. I expected a much hungrier team to come into the Cable Box, but I thought the Bobcats could gut out a win against the team without their starting center and small forward. I was wrong. The game was back-and-forth for much of the first half, with the Bobcats leading by five going into the break. Then the Bobcats once again encountered their immortal enemy, the third quarter. While the Bobcats scored around the same points as the previous quarters, their defense was thoroughly torn apart as the Hawks ran away to the 16-point win.

On the night, the Bobcats were led by D.J. Augustin who dropped 20 points and 7 dimes with zero turnovers. Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace both put up clunkers, combining for 5-23 shooting from the field, though Gerald Wallace was better because he rebounded and helped keep his man below his scoring average. Defensively, Jackson was destroyed by Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw had problems with über-athletic Josh Smith.

In the first half, the Bobcats were playing very well, shooting the ball at a decent clip (50% FG, 40% 3P) and they out-rebounded Atlanta by a small margin. With a five-point lead and only three turnovers at the half, Charlotte was playing as good basketball as they could with Gerald Wallace struggling and Stephen Jackson ending the half poorly after a nice first quarter. The bench also played well, centering around Shaun Livingston and Nazr Mohammed who combined for 9 points in the second quarter.

From there it went to Hell in a handbasket. The Bobcats got progressively worse in the third, shooting 37% from the field, getting fewer assists and rebounds, and more turnovers than the first two quarters. Stephen Jackson missed all six of his shots and Gerald Wallace was basically just a non-factor. And that was just offensively. On defense, the Hawks got pretty much whatever they wanted, scoring 32 points on 58% from the field and 57% from behind the arc, while grabbing 5 more rebounds, two more assists and without turning the ball over once. Though Augustin was great on offense in the third was rightfully left in for all of the quarter, he had trouble defending MIKE BIBBY, who scored 14 points on the night.

From there it was basically over. The team had no momentum, Jackson was shooting the team in the foot both with his offense and his inability to slow down Joe Johnson (though you have to give J.J. credit – he was basically unconscious the whole game), and the Bobcats just didn’t have the firepower to make a comeback attempt.

Tids & Bits

  • Dammit, give it up for Shaun Livingston. I watched him check into the game to neither deafening cheers nor applause (or anything close to that). The man deserves better. I love having him on the Bobcats and I would rather he never leave. He’s a good influence in the locker room and has great athletic gifts on the court. But if he’s not going to get the respect he deserves, I think I’d rather he leave and go somewhere else. He was exceptional tonight, shooting 4-6 from the field with three rebounds (one offensive), four assists and two steals for 9 points. Plus he had a couple highlights, including some smooth post moves and this put-back dunk.
  • As far as other guys who performed pretty well on the night, there was Gerald Henderson (4-7 FG, 2 REB, 1 AST, 8 PTS), Nazr Mohammed (5-9 FG, 7 REB, 1 AST, 2 BLK, 1o PTS) and Boris Diaw (5-7 FG, 2-2 FT, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2STL, 1 BLK, 12 PTS). Those are excellent, efficient stat lines right there. Kwame Brown wasn’t bad either, but I expect him to rebound better against the Hawks’ backup center, Zaza Pachulia.
  • Since Paul Silas arrived as the interim head coach, I’ve been waffling on whether I think the Bobcats should blow the team up or not. There have been nights when they just look fantastic but then there are nights when they just look like the doo-doo I just stepped in on my front lawn. I think I’m coming closer to my decision. In my mind, the Bobcats should definitely try to trade Stephen Jackson at all costs. He’s incredibly inefficient on offense, which kills the team since he consistently take about 15 shots per game. As for who to keep, I have three different categories: must keeps – Augustin, Tyrus Thomas, Henderson; should keeps – Derrick Brown, Livingston; and like-to-keeps (those who I’d prefer to keep, but ultimately would understand if we traded them, permitting we get value in return) – Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw. It’s a youth movement folks; don’t trade for cap space. Trade for young talent or draft picks, not just expiring contracts. Cap space doesn’t win championships for a small market team, end of story.
  • Next on the schedule is Tuesday’s game at the Sacramento Kings at 10:00 p.m. EST, as the Bobcats begin a six-game road trip (Kings, Suns, Warriors, Clippers, Jazz, Pistons).

(all stats via the ESPN box score and the awesome website, Popcorn Machine)

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.

Bobcats Too Clutch for Chicago

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Bobcats march into Chi-town and outlast the Bulls 83-82 in a game that came down to clutch baskets and poor officiating.  Charlotte improves to 16-24, Chicago drops to 28-14.

AP Recap | Box Score

OBSERVATIONS

  • The Return of Gerald Wallace! Crash has looked rather ordinary since coming back from his on again/off again ankle injury but finally returned to the Wallace of old in the fourth quarter which featured a nice 7 point personal run highlighted by a textbook Crash putback slam.  A thing of beauty.  I haven’t seen Wallace elevate like that all season.  Good to know that he still has it in him.  Only 13 points but 16 big rebounds for the captain.
  • Stephen Jackson made some love to pressure with a beautiful top of the key fadeaway jumper that put the Bobcats up 81-80.  JAX followed that one by nailing two critical free throws to close out the game.  Another one of those weird Jackson games where he killed in the first quarter and then disappeared for the 2nd and 3rd only to come back and close out strong.  Sensing a pattern here.  Both Gerald and JAX shot an ugly 5-14 a piece but made shots when it counted.
  • Derrick Rose ain’t bad. Sure, his 28 shot attempts were more than the rest of the Bulls starting 5 combined but he hit half of ‘em.  Rose is such an athletic force at the point guard position and combined with the League’s rule change to prevent the hand check, has forged him into a near unstoppable offensive force.  Really like what I’m seeing from Rose in just his third year.  Easily a top 5 PG and definite MVP candidate.  Rose’s ability to get into the lane and not only get off good shots but rebound his own misses and see over the trees for the open man is unparalleled.  Can’t think of any other current point with his type of advantages.
  • Considering the size differential, Rose should be eating D.J. Augustin alive during their head to head matchups but that hasn’t been the case over their first three years in the League.  Augustin does a good job of staying in front of Rose and the Bobcats do a nice job of switching a bigger defender on him when Rose does get by.  Augustin has also historically made Rose work on the other end and did a decent job of it again tonight by dropping 15 points and hitting half his shots.  Coach Silas tried to mix it up a bit with Shaun Livingston in the 2nd and 3rd but while he has the length, I just don’t think Shaun has the lateral quickness to stay with Rose thus far coming back from the knee injury.  Will he ever?
  • Solid efforts from Diaw, Mohammed and the Bobcats bench in a near ugly game that had each team shoot (barely) 40% from the field.  Kwame Brown continues to boggle the mind. Three VERY PRETTY buckets in the first quarter and he looked like he was going to repeat the double double he dropped on Chicago back in CLT but was constantly out of position on the defensive end so Silas yanked him early and he never really got going again.
  • Finally, the officiating. In the first half you had two TURBO OBVIOUS travels by D.J. Augustin (on a fast break 3 & 1/2 step scoop to the hoop) and Boris Diaw.  Then in the waning seconds of the game, the tide swung the other way as the refs handed the Bulls not one but two additional opportunities after turning the ball over with just 8.7 seconds left on the clock.  Embarrassingly inconsistent and I hope the tapes are being reviewed as I type.

The Cats may or may not make the Playoffs.  They may blow up the team.  One thing is for certain: The Paul Silas Bobcats are a hell of a lot more fun to watch than they were under his predecessor.  Keep it comin’ Sugar Bear.

Until Next Time, Enjoy the Win Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

Bobcats Lose to Themselves, Hornets

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(AP Photo)

The Bobcats returned home on the tail end of a back-to-back and lost to the Hornets 88-81, sputtering to the end after keeping it close for most of the game. The Bobcats were led by Stephen Jackson who though shot poorly (15 points on 15 FGA) had 8 rebounds and 6 assists. The Hornets were led by a dominant offensive performance by David West who had 26 points on 19 shot attempts and 8 boards.

As I mentioned above, the game was close, most of the time, with the lead never going above 6 points for either team until the closing minutes. However, with 2:38 left in the game, Tyrus Thomas pulled down a rebound over Emeka Okafor and swung his arms, intentionally elbowing Okafor in the face. The refs gave him a flagrant-2 and two technicals which amounts to an ejection. Aside from throwing the momentum fully to New Orleans, it gave Emeka Okafor two free throws and also possession of the ball after the free throws. The result: a four point lead doubled and Bobcats never recovered and began fouling like a blind Darryl Dawkins. It turned a possible win into a more than likely loss.

Recap | Box Score

Tids & Bits (forever forgoing the Yays and Nays)

  • Gerald Wallace – Fifteen points on 5-13 FG with a perfect 5-5 from the stripe. Eh, not great. His three turnovers were major problems as were his four shots that were blocked. Gerald has always had a slight problem with inside shot selection, but getting blocked 4 times is some Earl Boykins stuff. Moving on, his three rebounds leave much to be desired, but it seems his slack was picked up by Boris and Jackson (9 and 8 rebounds, respectively) as opposed to the Hornets. The Bobcats did out-rebounded the Hornets 43-34 (numerical palindromes, hell yeah!). Oh and Gerald had an outstanding coast-to-coast play. So there’s that (see below).
  • Boris Diaw – He was mediocre on offense, with 9 points from 4-11 shooting with one from downtown. The real problem was his defense (or lack thereof) on David West. West’s mid-range ability frustrated Diaw the whole night.
  • D.J. Augustin – His ability to distribute continues to impress me, as well as his consistency (7 assists) and his lack of turnovers (1 tonight). If only his shooting could get more consistent. he shot 3-10 from the field tonight, but at least he did get to the line for 4 four free throws.
  • Kwame Brown – Kwame was excellent tonight, both on offense and defense. He effectively shut down Okafor for most of the game and he rebounded really well (14 rebs) and he was efficient on offense with 5-6 FG. Too bad his free throw shooting is still bad (2-5). But I can deal with that with the rest of his performance.
  • Tyrus Thomas – He was decent, with 2-6 shooting and 4-4 FT for 8 points and 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. Buuuuuut, he did have 3 turnovers and he screwed up big-time with the elbow to Okafor’s cranium. The one major problem I have with Tyrus is his recklessness. I love that he jumps out of the building for rebounds, but with the ball in his hands, he can get too out of control. This leads to picking up his dribble on the baseline and trying to make a nearly impossible fadeaway jump shot or throwing the ball away on bad passes.

Anything I missed, Baseliners?

Next up is the Philadelphia 76ers, in Philadelphia on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with the early start time at 2 p.m.

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.

Bobcats Win Streak Ends at Four After Being Narrowly Defeated by Celtics

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He's 38. He had 23 points. What?!? (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The Boston Celtics won by five points at home against the Bobcats on Friday night, with the score 99-94. The Bobcats were led by Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin (at least offensively) who had 20 and 19 points, respectively. On the other hand, Rajon Rondo put up a very Rajon Rondo-y night with 18 points and 13 assists along with Shaquille O’Neal turned back time, who gathered 23 points and 5 blocks. Ray Allen was also very effective at quelling the Bobcats effort to come back, draining two of his four treys in the fourth en route to 19 points.

Recap | Box Score

But don’t take the score for face value; it wasn’t as close as it sounds. The Bobcats managed to get 34 free throws at TD Garden, nine more than the Celtics. Furthermore, the Bobcats shot a mediocre 42.1% from the field while the Celtics shot 52.2%. That said, the Celtics are an elite team and even without Kevin Garnett, they’re a force to be reckoned with. I feel like I should be somewhat encouraged by how we only lost by five points, but I’m finding it a little hard to do so.

Tids & Bits (forgoing the yays/nays tonight)

  • D.J. Augustin – He did play decently on offense, recording 19 points on 5-11 shooting with 6 assists against Rajon Rondo. However, I couldn’t help noticing his deficiency on defense. He struggled to get through screens (which the Celtics are excellent at doing) and his height doesn’t lend any help either to guard Rondo. It just seemed like Augustin wasn’t doing anything to hinder Rondo’s play-making ability. In other words, it looked like Rondo was able to get the ball where it needed to be whenever he wanted against D.J.’s defense. Hell, Rondo even hit a three-pointer.
  • Stephen Jackson – Bleh. Thirteen points from 17 attempts. I’m not a fan of running the offense through Jackson. By all means pass it to him when he’s open or has a good look in the post, but don’t make him go into iso-mode. Usually he gets double-teamed and either puts up bad shots or turns the ball over.
  • Boris Diaw – Boris quietly had a decent night with 11 points on seven shots and 8 rebounds while defending Glen “Big Baby” Davis pretty well (11 points, 4-7 FG, 5 REB).
  • Kwame Brown – Ah, yes. Kwame, Kwame, Kwame. After playing decently lately, he was just bullied by Grandpa Shaq. I believe that’s all I need to say about that. Oh and at one point Shaq fell on Kwame and squished him.
  • The Bench – They played pretty well, outscoring the Celtics bench. Tyrus Thomas had 6 points and 5 rebounds in the first half, but he had trouble scoring in the second, only recording two more points after the half. However he did rebound well, grabbing nine boards. Livingston was decent as well. I thought he defended Rondo better than Augustin did, but for some reason, Knee Man just couldn’t take advantage of being matched up with Nate Robinson, who’s nearly a foot shorter. Livingston ended the game with 7 points on 3-7 shooting with three rebounds and three assists. Nothing really notable about the other guys.
  • As for the Celtics, they’re still really beat up. Kevin Garnett is a few days from returning and they’re bringing Semih Erden off the bench to replace Shaq. But their starters play so well together on both sides of the ball, that it’s usually enough to beat most teams. Every starter on their squad put up double figures in points, with only Glen Davis getting fewer than 18 points.
  • Gerald Wallace – I don’t really have much to say about his game tonight, as it was normal Crash with 50% FG, 6 REB, 10 FTA. However, there was big news this morning when Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported that sources had told him that the Cavaliers were in discussions to trade the LeBron trade exception money to the Bobcats for Gerald Wallace (and possibly a lottery-protected first round pick). I don’t understand this at all for us. Gerald Wallace still has value. He’s a good defender, fills up the stat sheet and is decent on offense. He was even an All-Star last year. If these reports are true (who knows if they are), this is very disheartening. It pretty much says “We value lots of money more than Gerald Wallace’s talent.” And all this time I had thought cheap-o Bob Johnson was gone. *Sigh*

Anyway, this wasn’t the worst loss, and we managed to hold our own against a great team, so I’m not too disappointed. Not too much time to dwell on it anyway as we have the Hornets Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST at the Cable Box.

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.

Gerald Henderson Wows, Bobcats Hand Wizards’ 18th Road Loss

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Gerald Henderson put on a show on Saturday, doing just about everything (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Again without co-captain Gerald Wallace, the Bobcats took revenge against the Washington Wizards for the previous 33-point loss with a 104-89 win led by Gerald Henderson’s 19 points. And in perhaps the most awesome stat of the young year, four of the five Bobcats’ starters nearly all had a double-double with Henderson and Augustin coming up short by one rebound and one assist, respectively.

Recap | Box Score

Although Tyrus Thomas had a rough game as he battled the Flu and a healing minor knee strain, this game seemed to say that Bobcats fans should be proud of the young core that’s developing under Paul Silas’ watch. D.J. Augustin led the team in assists with nine and as mentioned above, Gerald Henderson was outstanding on both sides of the ball. This isn’t to say that the older guys didn’t play well. Stephen Jackson had a rough shooting night but poured in 21 points and Boris Diaw had an efficient though casual night, with 11 points on 5-8 shooting. Augustin also added 20 points on 6-11 from the field.

Yays

  • Henderson – He was just great from beginning to end. His mid-range game was on fire and his defense on Nick Young was excellent as well. During the first quarter, Young drove and put up a half-assed shot, which Henderson swallowed whole, blocking it with his forearm. The kid ended the game with the incredible following stat line: 8-11 FG, 3-4 FT, 9 REB (1 OREB), 2 AST, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 19 PTS. Can we give this guy a nickname? I want to call him “The Kid” but KG had that one already. I got a suggestion from @clemsonrebekah of OG, which stands for “Other Gerald.” I like it because it’s short, simple and most importantly, true. Yes, he is the other Gerald on the team, but I mean that he plays similar to Gerald Wallace so the name would be fitting. Do y’all have any other suggestions? Write them in the comments!
  • Augustin – Yeah, I don’t think he’ll ever be a defensive stopper but when he shoots well and distributes like tonight, I’m very much fine with that. He had 9 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals and 20 points with 3 treys. I attended the game and from what I saw, D.J. passed well, shot well, and even played John Wall pretty well.
  • Shaun Livingston’s alley-oop dunk – How can people not be happy for this guy? He was a little off tonight but still played pretty solid, especially as a back-up point guard. In his best play of the night, he trailed Jackson on a two-on-one fast-break. Jackson drew the last defender and lobbed up the ball, which Knee Man double-clutched (to gain control of the ball) before flushing it through. I also love his pull-up jumper when he drives. His ability to elevate coupled with his height advantage over other guards allows him to rise and pop, usually with excellent results.
  • Diaw – I know, he didn’t even score that much! But he did frustrate Andray Blatche defensively and he shot efficiently, making the only three he shot ending with 5-8 FG for 11 points. He also continued to impress me as far as his aggressiveness. Too often I see him pass up nice looks but his drives into the paint are getting better. His rebounding is improving as well. Some people really want to trade him ASAP, but I think his skill set complements Tyrus’ pretty well and I think he’d work well in an uptempo offense, like in Phoenix.

Nays

  • Stack Jack – Yes kudos to him for leading the team in scoring with 21 points, but it took 16 shots to get there, only making 6. He also had 4 turnovers, most of which made me wince from the 200 level.

Meh

  • Tyrus Thomas’ shot selection – Tyrus was stymied by Washington’s interior defense, making only two shots out of 13. He miss every shot outside of the paint. However, he gets a pass tonight because he has gotten hit bad with outside problems – he is struggling with the Flu and hasn’t been able to keep food down in two days. And he’s still healing his strained knee. And he saved us against the Timberwolves. So yeah, I’ll keep him out of the “Nays” tonight. Not everyone can play like Michael Jordan with the Flu.

Odds ‘N Ends

  • Yes, um Mexican Don Draper? You can’t guard Javale McGee.
  • A quick note about John Wall: he’s good, and the scary thing is that he has a lot of room to grow. If I were him, I’d be working on my outside jumper a lot. He went 0-5 from deep tonight, despite being wide open on nearly every attempt. If he can start hitting those around 40% of the time, watch out. Perhaps the key to beating this young Wizards team is to keep them off the fast break. Wall is absolutely fantastic zooming down the court, often unstoppable.
  • The last time these two teams met, the Larry Brown-led Bobcats lost by 33 to a John Wall and Gilbert-less Washington team. In both games, the Bobcats were without Gerald Wallace. However, this time, the Bobcats were even more short-handed (Nazr and Diop out) and the Wizards had their full roster (Wall back and now with Rashard Lewis). And yet, the Bobcats won by 15. I know this is only one game, but couldn’t this be the perfect evidence that Larry Brown was just holding back this team? Heck, in that previous Wizards-Bobcats game, Dominic McGuire started and played 21 minutes and ended with zero points. Meanwhile, Gerald Henderson got 15 minutes. This time around, McGuire got 10 minutes off the bench and Henderson started and played 40 minutes.
  • Also, the Wizards are 0-18 on the road. Ouch.

Enjoy the win Bobcats fans. Next up is the Memphis Grizzlies. I think we’ll be OK as long as we don’t beat O.J. Mayo in Boo-Ray.

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.