Post-Iverson Fallout: 5 Reasons Why Bobcats Fans Should Put Down the Razorblades

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It seems like the darkest of times for Bobcats fans.

Are You Having Difficulty Coping with Being a Bobcats Fan?

Allen Iverson has agreed to join the Memphis Grizzlies, having been unable to come to terms with the Bobcats.
Meanwhile, rumors abound that the knuckle-headed Rashard McCants will be wearing a Charlotte uniform soon.
Fingers are still collectively being crossed in hopes that Tyson Chandler will be able play most of the upcoming season.
The team has yet to come to contract terms with Raymond Felton and a backup Power Forward has yet to be found.
Worse yet, Bob Johnson is still the team’s owner.

But I urge Bobcats fans to postpone the cutting and self-mutilation for at least a few more months because there is still some hope for the city of Charlotte’s 2nd NBA Franchise.

1. The Egos of Larry Brown & Michael Jordan.

MJ may well be a Hall of Shame evaluator of talent but he – along with Rod Higgins and Larry Brown – has shown a willingness to correct the roster in places where the roster needs correcting.
Last season it was an issue of passing and chemistry.  The Diaw & Bell trade remedied the problem spectacularly.
Thus far this off-season it is an issue of scoring.
While McCants would help a bit with this as an eighth or ninth-man role-player, the team still needs a starter who provides scoring for 40 minutes a night.
The Monta Ellis rumors are surfacing again and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if such a deal were to occur before training camp.
With MJ being inducted into the Hall of Fame and Coach Brown still remastering his degraded image, it is doubtful that either one of them wants to be made a League laughingstock anytime soon.
Expect a move to be made.

2. Boris Diaw & Gerald Wallace.

Regardless of what transactions occur in the next few weeks, the Bobcats find themselves currently with one of the best Forward combos in the League.  While neither player is currently an All-Star, they are both entering their primes as excellent complementary players: Wallace with his hustle, energy and defense; Diaw with his court-vision, high skill-set and underrated defense.
A scoring presence in the starting five would result in nothing but improvement from both of these players.

3. DJ Augustin & Gerald Henderson.

We’re not certain of what Henderson is going to provide at the NBA level but we know exactly what DJ is capable of.  The 2nd Team All-Rookie shot lights-out last season and looked much more comfortable than most players (including Raymond Felton in his rookie season) leading a team at the point during his first year.
The fact that the Bobcats have two young, talented backcourt players on rookie-scale contracts will go a long way in remedying the current salary cap horror that the team finds themselves trapped in.

4. Sean May and Adam Morrison have been ejected.

No one likes to wear an albatross of past mistakes.  Having both Morrison and May on the roster last season was a constant reminder to both management and the fans of what could have been and what should not have been.  Yes, taking on Vlad Radmanovic’s contract for an extra year is a sour pill (especially when the team could’ve simply chose not to extend Morrison’s Q.O. last summer – giving them plenty of cash to sign Iverson this summer) but what’s past is past and Radmanovic is still young enough and talented enough to offer some value as a 7th or 8th man.  Radman could be utilized this season as a type of Rashard Lewis hybrid-four, lessening the need for a traditional backup PF.
Sean May’s ceaseless “potential” will move cross-country to Sacramento, relieving the Bobcats of having to depend on one of the League’s most undependable.  Let casino owners like the Maloofs gamble on May’s potential while Larry Brown finds someone who can provide consistent NBA minutes.

5. The Raymond Felton contract situation.

The current stalemate between Felton and the Bobcats speaks to a new maturity in the front office.  The organization has finally come to its senses when evaluating its own players.  Raymond Felton is reportedly asking for $7 million per season.  Meanwhile, a similarly talented young player (Ramon Sessions) has signed a 4 year/$16 million contract with the T-Wolves.  There is hope here that the Bobcats can either sign Felton for a contract closer to the value of Sessions than what Raymond is asking for or bundle Raymond as part of a trade for a scorer.

The cliche is that it’s always darkest before the dawn and I can’t see why it’s not true for the Bobcats.

There is talent, there is a Hall of Fame coach, and there are two basketball legends who are undoubtably concerned with their legacies.  Expect something good and expect it soon.

-ASChin

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Kings 3/18/09

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1.  The Bobcats get another crucial win at the Cable Box on Wednesday night, beating the lowly Kings 104-88.  AP story here, box score here.  The Cats go to 30-38 overall, 20-16 at home.

2.  So all day long on Wednesday, I’m having the hardest time remembering who in the hell the Bobcats are playing.  This never happens.  The Pacers?  No, that’s Saturday night.  T-Wolves?  No, already saw them earlier this year.  I know it’s a bad team from the Western Conference.  Grizzlies?  No, saw them already, too.  Finally found a minute to get on the internet and check — ah yes, the Kings!  That’s how forgettable the Kings are this season.

Meanwhile, my wife does know it’s the Kings and is desperately trying to find a way out of going.  As she later told me, she called her female counterpart of at least three couples we’re acquainted with throughout the day, trying to give up her ticket to one of their husbands.  No dice, so she begrudgingly went with me, then proceeded to play Scrabble on her iPhone the whole game.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008-09 Sacramento Kings!

3.  And as if the Kings weren’t already the least talented team in the league, they had to play without Kevin Martin tonight.  Martin apparently came down with a viral illness, and stayed back at the team hotel.  Nocioni was also out, so the Kings started Beno Udrih, Rashard McCants, Fransisco Garcia, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes.  I think my season ticket neighbor said it best: “I don’t know any of these guys!”

4.  Despite that, the Kings kept it much closer than they had any right to.  The Cats played a disjointed, ugly game and allowed the Kings to hang around far too long.  The league’s top sourpuss, Rashard “Born To Be Hated” McCants started in Martin’s place and took advantage of the extra PT with 30 points on 10-20 FG and 5-8 3PT.  However, as the Bobcats began to pull away in the fourth quarter, McCants turned an ankle on a drive and had to leave the game.  After that, the Cats finished the game on a 14-6 run to put it away.

5.  Here’s a good quote from Sacramento’s head coach Kenny Natt that sums up the Kings:

“We just have to get better production all around”

The Kings shot 39%, were outrebounded 52-28 by the Cats and played Calvin Booth for 12 minutes off the bench.  Ouch.

6.  Gerald Wallace led the Cats with 25 points (6-13 FG, 2-2 3PT, 11-11 FT!), 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.  He also caused those in attendance to have a collective heart attack when he went down in a heap in the second quarter.  He was trying to cut into the lane on a drive, but planted awkwardly and went down suddenly, holding his left knee.  The entire team surrounded him in concern while the crowd murmured.

The way he went down conjured up thoughts of achilles or patellar tendon tears, but when it was clear that he was holding his knee, my worries switched to ligament injuries.  Eventually Wallace was able to get up, bear weight (good sign), and limp to the locker room.

Then, much to no one’s surprise, Crash came out for the second half as if nothing had happened.  He did look a bit gimpy and tentative, but not dramatically so.  Postgame, the word is that there was talk of sending Wallace to the hospital at halftime (presumably for an MRI), but he refused and will instead have said MRI done on Thursday.  Right now, it’s just being called a sprain.

7.  Funny moment in the second quarter: Diop gets fouled, barely grazes front rim on his first free throw, completely airballs the second, drawing groans from the crowd.  Couple of minutes later he gets fouled again.  First free throw attempt results in his second straight airball. The crowd, obviously aware of his struggles, begins cheering.  Louder, louder still, then almost wildly as his teammates offer a little extra encouragement.  Finally, the cheers pay off as Diop drains the second free throw.

8.  One last word on the Kings.  My scouting report on rookie Donte Green:

#20 Green: likes to shoot — check that, loves to shoot

9.  Former Tarheel and current Pittsburgh Steelers freakshow kicker Jeff Reed was courtside near the Bobcats bench.  Unfortunately for Deadspin, he did not destroy any paper towel dispensers (that I know of).  He seemed to be enjoying the game in a pretty low-key manner.

10.  Milwaukee lost, but Chicago won on Wednesday night.  Thus, the Bulls stay solidly in the 8th spot; the Cats and the Bucks are now tied, 1.5 games back.  Next up for the Cats is a back-to-back at Toronto on Friday night, then back home hosting the Pacers Saturday night.  Gotta have both of ‘em.

-E