Cats Man Up for Ugly, Veteran Win in Jersey

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Bobcats win their first game of the season Wednesday night in New Jersey 85-83.  Cats improve to 1-3, Nets drop to 2-2.

AP Recap | Box Score

OBSERVATIONS:

  • Boris Diaw puts the knife and fork down long enough to play his first meaningful game of the season, dropping 24 points on 10-18 shooting, including a major momentum changing three pointer late.  Nice to see Boris focused and motivated.  Look forward to seeing it again in a few weeks.
  • Bobcats come back from 10 down with a little more than 6 minutes to go in this one, looking like a true veteran squad in the process.  They didn’t lose their focus and concentrated on finding good shots and getting to the line (23 to 15 advantage from the stripe) in order to negate the clock.  Nazr Mohammed, who picked up 3 fouls in the game’s first four minutes and looked atrocious in the first half, contributed six points late and played Brook Lopez as well as he ever has.
  • TURNOVER BONANZA! As is their stock in trade, Charlotte continues to both turn the ball over and force ‘em from the other end.  16 a piece in this game for a whopping total of 32.  Ugh.  When the Bobcats come to town, hide the women and children.
  • Both Geralds were beat up in this game. Wallace was lost for most of the third quarter with an ankle injury but returned in the fourth.  Henderson took a one two punch from Anthony Morrow in the third, sending him to the bench for good with a busted nose.
  • Crash’s ability to get to the line and convert is invaluable. Wallace earned eight freebies and made them all, going for 20 points, 11 boards in just 35 minutes. Bobcats had the best player on the court tonight and won for it.

  • DJ wasn’t terrible (5pts/7asts/0TOs) but he’ll never be Brook Lopez.  I wonder what goes through Larry Brown’s mind when he faces off against the multi-dimensional big man four times a year, knowing that he passed on the elite center out of Stanford three drafts ago.  Brook dropped 17 points on the Bobcats and sent back 5 shots on the other end.  As well as Nazr closed the half and as well as Gana Diop defended in relief, Charlotte continues to get dismantled by opposing centers.
  • Derrick Favors = Beast*.  Once he figures out how to play the NBA game, he’s gonna be something special, he’s just a physical specimen at the four spot.  I can see how NJ has been reticent to include him in any Carmelo trade.  Favors has to the potential to be very good.
    *©2008-reggie-productions. all rights reserved.
  • For all the Devin Harris trade hype (I’d gladly welcome him to CLT if a deal transpires), watching him it makes sense why Jersey would consider trading him.  There’s something about Harris’s body language and his relationship to his teammates on the court that makes me think he’s not a natural born leader.  Thoughts?
  • Sherron Collins Sighting! I tweeted that he looks like a gene splice lab creation of Raymond Felton and DJ Augustin, @bobcatsbaseline followers were quick to add Boris Diaw and/or Sean May’s Pillsbury DNA to that mix.  Indeed.

Until Next Time, Enjoy the Win Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

Concern Grows As Bobcats Lose To Nets

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Charlotte Bobcats vs Nets 2/16/10

Trying Not To Panic, Here

The Charlotte Bobcats appeared to still be on All-Star break as they lost 103-94 to the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night at the Cable Box.  AP recap here, box score here.

I’m just going to cut right to the chase: this was a terrible loss and I’m concerned.  Here’s all you need to know: coming into the game, the Nets were 4-48, with only one road win.  They are the worst-shooting and lowest-scoring team in the league.  But in defeating the Bobcats for the second time this year, the Nets never trailed.

In the early going, Raymond Felton and Nazr Mohammed had no answer for Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, respectively. Courtney Lee got into the act as well; he ended up leading the Nets with 21 points.  The Nets ended up shooting 52% on the night.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats couldn’t get anything going.  Everyone gets an “F” tonight.  Poor effort, poor execution, didn’t play any defense, got outrebounded, missed open shots, etc.

This now means that the Cats have lost 4 out of their last 6 dating back to the Portland loss on February 1st.  And let’s remember that those two wins are nothing to be too proud of (2 point win over Washington, lucky 1 point win over Minnesota).

Suddenly the Cats look like they are in serious need of a shot in the arm.  I had been hoping that the return of Tyson Chandler could provide that, but it hasn’t happened.  If anything, he looks as bad as ever, with four turnovers and 3 fouls in 18 minutes off the bench tonight.

Boris continues to look lame and uninspired, DJ’s playing with no confidence, Flip hasn’t been reliable, opponents seem to have figured out how to slow Jackson down, and Gerald looks tired.  It’s not good, folks.

I understand that a trade is unlikely with the impending sale of the team, but if the last 6 games are any indication, the Cats need to shake things up a little.

Next game is a tough one; hosting the Cavs at the Cable Box on Friday night at 7PM ET.

-Dr. E

Wallace Powers Bobcats to Ugly Win Over Nets

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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Nets, 11/2/09

The Skinny

The Bobcats move to 2-2 (2-0 at home) with an ugly victory over the Nets: AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell story here.  Quick caveat/reminder here: I was out of town for the first three games and only saw highlights/recaps/boxscores, so this was my first full game.  I say that because I hadn’t realized just how offensively challenged the Cats were.  I mean, I knew on an intellectual level, but to see it in person is horrifyingly reinforcing.

At home, against a fellow Eastern Conference lottery team missing its best player (Devin Harris), the Cats struggled mightily out of the gate.  After 9 minutes of the first quarter, the Cats had more turnovers than points, but only trailed 12-4.  Both teams picked it up a bit in the second quarter, with the Nets maintaining an 8 point cushion at the half.  Then, halfway through the third quarter, the Nets began a stretch of ineptitude that made the Bobcats slow start look like child’s play.  With the score 48-39, the Nets would not score for over 9 minutes, whilst the Bobcats practically exploded for a 24-0 run and a 63-48 lead.  From there, the Cats would coast to victory.

To say it was all ineptitude on the Nets’ part would be disingenuous — the Cats did play very good defense during the stretch.  And Gerald Wallace had a strong game, eventually totalling 24 points (7-14 FG, 10-13 FT), 20 rebounds (7 offensive) and 4 steals.  DJ came to life with 21 points.  But that’s it for the positives.  Otherwise, this was a dreadful game between two bad teams that was hard to watch.

The Bobcats shot 24-74 for 32% and 1-15 from 3PT.  Raja Bell returned to the lineup with a 1-8 night; Radmanovic shot 0-7.  Diaw’s line looks OK, but we need him to be contributing more.  Both he and Chandler look like they are going at 80-90% and need to round into mid-season form pronto.  Despite not getting much from Bell, Radmanovic, Felton or Graham, Gerald Henderson only played 4 minutes.

As currently configured (and barring Flip Murray going for a career best 16+ PER and 25+MPG or Gerald Henderson turning into Brandon Roy) the Bobcats aren’t going to sniff the playoffs this year.  Sorry, Baseliners, just isn’t going to happen.  We just had to play our starters/veterans extended minutes with a superhuman effort by Gerald Wallace to eek by the Nets (who were without their best player and are essentially rebuilding with a shot at getting Lebron next summer) in an excruciatingly ugly game.  That’s where we are.

Quick Thoughts

  • Weeks ago, without looking at the schedule, I had written something about wondering what the attendance would be for the first Mon/Tues night game against a non-marquee Eastern Conference team.  We got our answer tonight: no more than 5,000.  That’s generous; upper deck was almost completely empty.
  • Both Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson were at the game.  MJ in his usual seat at the end of the bench, BJ at midcourt (at least for the first half, didn’t come back out for second half).  Must be a weird dynamic there.  Conspiracy theory: Jordan puts this crummy team on the court, knowing that it drives BJ’s selling price down, maybe so low that he can buy controlling stake?  Conspiracy theory falls apart as it presupposes that Jordan has a clue what he’s doing in helping to put the roster together.  He’s never shown that he does.
  • During a particularly grueling stretch in the 2nd quarter, a fan in the section behind the Bobcats bench yelled for Jordan to sub himself into the game (yes, you can hear this stuff when there’s only a few thousand people in the arena).  Everyone in section cheers and laughs, Jordan puts his head in his hands and chuckles.
  • Raymond-hating note of the game: Raymond gets home-cooking on his turnover numbers.  Late in the second quarter, I had an unofficial count of 5 Raymond Felton turnovers — official count at the time was 3.  I may have to start paying closer attention to this.  It is noteworthy, as Raymond’s official totals on the year are 18 assists:20 turnovers.  For comparison, Aaron Brooks’ ratio for the year is 34:14.  Just sayin…
  • Be sure to check out our Twitter feeds for more thoughts, including plenty of in-game tweeting: mine and ASChin’s.
  • A few days off before the next game, hosting the Hawks at the Cable Box on Friday night at 7PM ET.

-Dr. E

Baseline Observations : Nets @ Bobcats 12.27.2008

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The second episode of this back-to-back, away-and-home series should later be recalled as Nets-Cats Pt. 2 : Donaghy’s Ghost. Nets win in overtime 114-103 AP recap here. Boxscore here.

Although both teams were tied at the end of the first half and were tied and the end of the second half, the overtime session was removed from any of the ten players on the court. The Bobcats missed several close range shots, and the Nets hit a few open baskets to start the extra period. Just as the Bobcats started to close the gap, with the crowd on their side, things just fell into the judgement of the officiating crew. (Note : Referee Mark Wunderlich can Wunderlich my balls)

The stripes dictated this game based upon the past or perceived accomplishments of Nets stars Vince Carter and Devin Harris. (Btw, how many championship rings do those guys have?) Star recognition was a big factor for the Nets not only in overtime. Harris and Carter were somehow involved in enough plays to get 26 and 28 respectively, but inexplicably they only combined for 2 fouls. I think Tim Donaghy would be proud. Devin Harris certainly has been playing like an All-Star for about eight weeks, but it’s a bit early for him to get to the line every time he misses a shot. Harris is a solid point guard, but his stats in this game were bloated by the whistles that surrounded his defenders. Vince Carter is about 65% of the player he used to be but that really doesn’t matter when you still get 100% of the whistles that the refs used to blow for you.  Ok, enough of that. . .

Offensively, the Charlotte Bobcats just didn’t have enough to demand the respect of the referees. Emeka Okafor struggled to establish himself posting up. His shots fell short and it appeared that most of that was caused by his less than adequate jumping. Back-to-backs look to wear on him. Boris Diaw never impacted the game after the first half. He had some impressive drives into the paint, but nothing worked for him in the second half.

Throughout the first half, Raja Bell led the Cats on offense. He exploited the Nets’ failed defensive rotations and made the most of each mismatch. Bell went out in the 3rd quarter with an injury, and didn’t return. For several plays the Bobcats looked sloppy on offense, and didn’t find a rhythm until the Nets had a strong lead going into the fourth.

Gerald Wallace took over the game after Bell’s injury. While he had scored 16 points in traditional Gerald Wallace fashion through the first 3 quarters, he switched to GForce for the fourth and carried the Cats to overtime. Raymond had several untimely turnovers, but really came through with a three point play to tie the game at 96 with seconds left in the fourth. A good crowd came out for the game, and this must have confused the officials. They must have thought that there was no way they could have been in Charlotte. The Nets seemed to have the home court advantage from then on.

Several tough calls against the Bobcats followed and when Josh Boone steamrolled over Gerald Wallace on a late Nets possession, Wallace was called for his 6th personal foul and the steam had boiled over. Wallace received a technical in his reponse to the call, and the Nets received credit for the Vince Carter shot that followed the whistle away from the ball.

Interestingly, Yi Jianlian never really stretched the offense for the Nets. His skills seem to better set for role like Dirk Nowitzki. The Nets appear to need much more from Yi inside. Early in the 3rd quarter Okafor threw down an vicious dunk on Yi. Down the court on the next play, Yi attempted to return the favor but it ended embarrassingly with a block by Emeka. Within a few minutes of play, Yi entirely air-balled an 18 footer. His next foul (4th) saw him pulled by Lawrence Frank never to return in the game.

 

Additional Note:  

NBA.com posted an article about Diaw and Bell’s involvement in Charlotte’s improvement.

-Mike

Charlotte Bobcats @ Nets 12/26/08

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Felton Drives Bobcats over Nets

Bobcats take care of the Nets at home to get their 3rd road victory of the season and improve to 11-19.  AP recap here.  Boxscore here.

1. Emeka Okafor.  Wow.  Larry Brown seems intent on getting the Cat’s money’s worth out of the $72 million man.  Oak had another efficiently great game with 21pts on 9-14 shooting while grabbing 9 boards.  His throw-down on Brook Lopez in the first quarter was an exciting sign of aggressiveness.  The big man topped it all off by swatting a Bobby Simmons runner with under 2 minutes to go in the 4th to effectively kill the Nets late game run.  Take a look at Okafor’s numbers for December.  18pts, 11rbs, and 2blks are no joke.  If he continues this through January, he’s probably in the hunt for an All-Star spot.

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