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.

Offseason Prescriptions for the Capped-Out Cats (Part 3)

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Chapter III: Prescription B (Not for the Faint of Heart)

capped-out-cats3

Alright.  We’ve made it this far.  First I stated the problem.  Next was an easy and elegant solution.  Now we go all in.

Quick Recap:
1.    The Bobcats are capped out before re-signing Tyrus Thomas or Raymond Felton.
2.    Team needs more consistent play from the PG position, more scoring from the low post, and more scoring in general.
3.    Team has no draft picks and few assets outside of their core players to trade in order to improve.

On the evening of June 24th, the Washington Wizards will select Kentucky PG phenom John Wall with the first overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft.  It’s a no-brainer.  After trading away stalwarts Antwan Jamison, Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler during the season, the Wizards are marching confidently along the rebuilding path.  Wall will step in and immediately be the team’s poster boy for the future.  With one timely drop of a ping pong ball, things suddenly look rosy in the District.  There’s just one small, $80 million, gun-brandishing problem.  His name: Agent Zero.

PRESCRIPTION B

arenas-cats

Step 1. Charlotte trades Boris Diaw, Nazr Mohammed and Gana Diop to Washington for Gilbert Arenas, Javale McGee and a first round draft selection (2012).

The Wiz are posturing something ridiculous about having Gilbert move to the off-guard position in anticipation of John Wall.  Uh, yeah.  Does anybody really think that Washington wants The Outlaw anywhere near their new Savior?  Sure, taking on a poo-poo platter of Diaw, Diop and Nazr while giving up a potential star in McGee and a high draft pick would suck but let’s face it, having Arenas anywhere near the Wiz bench pretty much negates any new excitement that Wall would bring to the team.  Gilbert is a 28 year old Point Guard with $80 million dollars left on his contract who was just released from a halfway house and has had three knee surgeries in the past three seasons.  If somebody is willing to take a guy like that off their hands AND save the organization $35 million in the process, you gotta make the move, right?

So why would I propose such a trade for the Bobcats?
First off, let me just say that Gilbert is a PR nightmare for certain but if Charlotte fans were willing to accept Stephen Jackson (y’know, the guy who charged into the stands and attacked fans only to later one up himself by unloading a gun at a strip club), then I think we can deal with a some of the Arenas quirkiness from time to time.

Secondly, well, there’s quite a few positives so let me just list them:
1.    Bobcats get to unload The League’s Worst Contract a.k.a. Gana Diop a.k.a. Black Shrek.
2.    Diaw’s exit clears space for Tyrus Thomas to start.
3.    Team replaces Raymond Felton with an electric scorer (and, when motivated, an underrated defender) in Arenas.
4.    Javale McGee is one of the League’s best offensive prospects at the Center position.
5.    The draft choice that the Bobcats receive would recoup the one that the team traded away in the Tyrus Thomas trade.
6.    The trade would save the Bobcats over $3 million in cap space next season, allowing the team to add depth via free agency.

Obviously, the biggest drawback to the trade is long term money.  Gilbert will be 32 years old when his deal expires in the summer of 2014 (see chart).  He’ll be paid over $22 million for that season alone.  Ouch.  Yeah, the numbers are ugly.  The move is overly aggressive and could either propel the team deep into the Playoffs (if Arenas stays healthy and focused and McGee develops) or could cripple them for the next three seasons.  MJ is known as a gambler, I think he’d be inclined to make the move.

Step 2. Charlotte Re-Signs Tyrus Thomas.

Same as in Prescription A.  Three years, $18 million sounds about right.  A starting spot might pique his interest in returning.

Step 3. Sign a backup Power Forward.

As discussed in Prescription A, possible low-cost candidates include Drew Gooden or Kris Humphries.  I like Humphries potential.

Step 4. Fill out the bench.

Arenas’s scoring abilities sort of negates the need to bring back Flip Murray.  The team could go in another direction here and sign a veteran “pure-playmaking” PG in the mold of Eric Snow as well.  Theo Ratliff has at least another year in him and could serve as a mentor to McGee and Ajinca.

Prescription B Chart

CONCLUSION:

The move is ballsy. Could a volatile nucleus of Arenas, JAX, CRASH, Tyrus and one or two of their youngsters (most likely McGee and Henderson) be enough to propel the Bobcats into contention in the East over the next few seasons?
The risks are HUGE.  Zero could play another stupid prank or blow out his knee(s) again.  Jax could unload one of Gilbert’s guns in a public place.  Crash may wonder openly why he’s the only sane person in the locker room.  The team would be capped out until 2013.
But take a look at the depth chart going into next season:

PG: Arenas, Augustin, Murray
SG: Jackson, Henderson, Murray
SF: Wallace, Brown
PF: Thomas, Humphries, Ajinca
C: Chandler, McGee, Ratliff

If the ‘Cats can win 44 games with last year’s squad then upgrading via Arenas and McGee while having Thomas and Chandler (contract year) for an entire season could very well propel the team to 50 plus wins and home court in the first round of the Playoffs.  The team would also have enough draft picks and young prospects on the roster to make a move for a veteran during the following summer if they so choose and make a run for local favorite (and certain turnstile mover) Seth Curry after he completes his second and final year at Duke in the 2012 NBA Draft.

As for Prescription C, I’ve decided to save that one for later.  Let’s see how the Draft and the early days of free agency play out first.

-ASChin