Bobcats Win 105-100, Survive Pistons’ Comeback Effort

Standard

AP photo

After nearly blowing a 22-point lead, the Bobcats held on to narrowly defeat the Detroit Pistons in Paul Silas’ first game as interim head coach of the Bobcats.

AP Recap | Box Score

First off, I’m tired. I worked during the game tonight, which included being on my feet for about five hours. I recorded the game on Tivo and watched it when I got home. Due to my exhaustion, I’m forgoing my usual game recap format for just writing tidbits in bullets.

  • As Coach Silas said earlier in the week, this team ran and they did it pretty well. The free-flowing offensive style especially seemed to help the guards.
  • D.J. Augustin looked like a completely different D.J. Augustin tonight, scoring 27 points with 4 assists and zero turnovers. He shot 4-6 from behind the arc and just looked like he had been unrestrained. His confidence level seemed to be off the charts as he shot 66.67% from the field.
  • Shaun Livingston benefited from the change as well, as he put up a ridiculous stat line in limited minutes: 7 rebounds, 4 points, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal and zero turnovers. But if D.J. plays as well as he did tonight, I think we can all accept Livingston playing in such a limited capacity.
  • DeSagana Diop played unusually well, blocking 3 shots, pulling down 4 rebounds and somehow scoring 4 points (!).
  • Boris Diaw had an underrated night. Though I’d like to see him be a little more aggressive and take some more shots, he was efficient on offense by making 3 of 5 shots from the field, dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds. I really liked the energy I saw out of him tonight. He was chasing rebounds  with a desire we rarely see and he didn’t have to handle the ball much, resulting in fewer turnovers than usual (three).
  • Stephen Jackson was both excellent and awful and nearly recorded a triple-double with 23 points on 17 field goal attempts, 9 rebounds and 9 turnovers. Jackson excelled most often when he wasn’t trying to create a shot in the post. Coincidentally, being given the ball in the post is often where Jackson’s turnover’s originate. Opponents double-team him and force him into making bad decisions. Jackson also had some problems when he thought teammates would be somewhere where they weren’t. I think mistakes like that will disappear as the team gets better acclimated with Silas’ offense.
  • Tyrus Thomas, though mistake-prone, saved the game for the Bobcats when the game came down to the line. Yes, I am completely aware he bricked those two free throws that would have iced the game but before that he dominated on both sides of the court. Up by one, Augustin drove to the basket only to get blocked near the rim. Seemingly out of nowhere, Tyrus flew in and slammed the put-back jam to put the Bobcats up three. Then on the defensive end, Tyrus erased a Will Bynum layup. And yet, Tyrus is still having major problems with control. He cannot be a major ball-handler as he can easily get too wild with the ball, often resulting in offensive fouls or turnovers. Tonight he had 6 turnovers. Not good.
  • The Bobcats allowed the Pistons to come back through ineffective stagnant offense and a lack of rebounding in the later parts of the game. Period. There’s not much more i can say except to describe the offensive possession that sums it all up. Ahead by three points, Augustin let the shot clock wind down in an effort to kill time. Tayshaun Prince was guarding him after a defensive switch. And instead of trying to take Prince, D.J. passed the ball off to Boris Diaw at the 3-point line, leaving Boris a second to get off a shot, which was inevitably a brick.
  • Charlie Villanueva. He went off tonight. I don’t think there was much of anything we could do to stop him. His release was so quick and his range so wide that he is a tough defensive assignment. Once again, he hit a buzzer beater to end a quarter of play.
  • Re: Henderson, Carroll and Derrick Brown – Henderson wasn’t great, especially offensively, but he did help hold Ben Gordon to 17 points on 16 attempts. That said, he had some good looks on offense but just couldn’t make them. I don’t think he misses those shots too often again. Matt Carroll played well tonight also. He really has improved defensively over the past few years. His work ethic has always been there and it shows. However, he just isn’t a guy who should be getting more than 20 minutes in a game. Still, Matt’s my dude. Derrick Brown continues to be Derrick Brown. He’s calling for alley-oops. He’s dunking on everyone. He’s just fun to watch.
  • Perhaps the best thing about tonight’s game is the energy it brought back into the arena. The past few games I’ve attended and seen broadcast look like the crowd is just disinterested. In the second quarter tonight, the place sounded alive. We put the game on at our restaurant and people watched that quarter in awe.

Here’s to Paul Silas and his future with the Bobcats!

- Cardboard Gerald

Bobcats Outplayed by Depleted Bucks

Standard

The Bobcats go into Milwaukee against a short handed Bucks team without core players Andrew Bogut and Corey Magette and manage to lose their tempers and the game 104-101 despite another excellent effort from D.J. Augustin (26 points, 6 assists) and a stellar performance from the bench. Bobcats fall to 6-11, Bucks improve to 6-10.

AP Recap | Box Score

OBSERVATIONS

  • Captain Jean Luc Richard Mbah a Moute frustrated Gerald Wallace all evening. Crash couldn’t get anything easy from the post or on the break as Richard was all over him. You won’t see it in the box score (6-12 for 19 points and 5 boards) but Wallace was simply a non-factor for most of the game.  Worse yet, Crash left the game at the :07 second mark with a hyper-extended elbow.  Great.
  • I’ve been writing about it for weeks and it finally happened Saturday night. The refs are openly baiting Stephen Jackson with egregious no-calls. It’s been going on since opening night and JAX finally bit at the 4 minute mark when Eli Roe tossed him. The incident in question was pretty blatant and Jackson was valid in arguing for it. Two Buck players made contact on a JAX post move while Roe stood just a few feet away. I don’t know what the answer is going forward but Larry Brown needs to make a call and send a tape to the League office about this issue pronto. This needs to be discussed.
  • It would be wrong to blame D.J. Augustin or his predecessor for their roles in the Brandon Jennings Explosion. The second year point guard has owned the Bobcats for most of his young career and did so again tonight, going for 32 on 10-21 from the field including 6-13 from deep. For one, Jennings is a very good player and he feasts on many outside of the orange and blue but secondly, Larry Brown’s strict man to man D opens the door for ultra-quick, unlimited range PGs like Jennings to wreak havoc. Fortunately for the Bobcats, there aren’t many human beings on the planet who fit that criteria. Fortunately for the Bucks, one of them is their starting point guard.
  • Big night for the Bobcats second unit as they combine to score 56 points in spite of an off night from Tyrus Thomas (3-7, 8 points). Both Shaun Livingston and Dominic McGuire log around 30 minutes each and notch 16 and 13 points respectively. McGuire was an absolute BEAST on the boards with 15. Between McGuire and Derrick Brown, the team is much better prepared to be without Gerald Wallace than Stephen Jackson as the dropoff from JAX to Matt Carroll is just too significant.
  • I tweeted a trade idea on Friday and I’ll elaborate on it here today: As Al Jefferson is fitting in with his new Utah team like jazz in Salt Lake City, why not send Boris Diaw and Eduardo Najera to Utah for Big Al? Utah could get out from under Jefferson’s lengthier deal and place a much better pick & role player like Diaw into the rotation with Paul Milsap. Meanwhile, Jefferson does for the Bobcats what Zach Randolph has done for Memphis: provide a bonafide post scorer (albeit of the black-hole variety) who opens up the three and demands a double team down low. I also can’t think of a better long term frontcourt mate for Tyrus Thomas than Al.

Until Next Time, Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans…

-ASChin

Bobcats Show Signs Of Life, Defeat Rockets

Standard

The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Houston Rockets 99-89 on Friday night at the Cable Box behind a strong second half and double-doubles from Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace.  The Cats started out sluggish (again) and were down by as much as 11 in the second quarter.

But the Bobcats starting five (Nazr Mohammed edition) took control in the third quarter and never looked back; they outscored the Rockets 54-37 in the second half.  Now I’ll have to qualify this by noting that the Rockets were without Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming (and weren’t very good with them, anyways), but the way the Bobcats played in the second half was the closest to how they played last year during their playoff push that I’ve seen yet this year.

AP Recap |  Box Score

Observations

  • The Rockets were seriously underpowered.  What happened to Kevin Martin?  16 quiet points; though apparently he is averaging 23 ppg this year.  Just didn’t see it tonight.
  • Gerald had another tough shooting night (6-21 FG) but kept at it and ended up leading the Cats with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.  He had another spectacular block of a Chase Budinger breakaway jam that was wrongly called a foul.
  • Boris Diaw stole the show offensively in the second half, ending with 20 points (9-14 FG) on a mix of long and mid-range jumpers, hooks and scoops.  He even had a strong drive to the bucket that ended in a near-dunk.  I see in the play-by-play that it’s being credited as a dunk, and that’s very kind of the home scorekeeper.  Boris also added 10 rebounds.
  • Stephen Jackson (16 points), Nazr Mohammed (15 points on 6-9 FG, 7 rebounds), and DJ Augustin (11 assists/1 turnover) all had nice games.
  • Off the bench, Ty Thomas was quiet, but Shaun Livingston had one of his better games as a Bobcat, with 10 points on 4-7 FG.
  • So this is my third year being a season-ticket-holder, and I’ve successfully avoided being shown on the scoreboard bigscreen.  But tonight, I attended the game with Cardboard Gerald, and my streak was ended during the first possible break in the first quarter.  Such is the power of Cardboard Gerald.
  • One of the LadyCats’ hair extensions fell out while she was dancing.  I can cross that one off my Bucket List now.
  • The Bobcats are headed to Milwaukee for the second night of another back-to-back — 9PM ET start Saturday night.

-Dr. E

The New Guy On The New Guys

Standard

Hello there, loyal Bobcats Baseline readers and Charlotte Bobcats fans. If I may introduce myself, I am Cardboard Gerald, the newest contributor to this fantastic website. As you may have noticed, the website has undergone some intense changes (of which I am a big fan). Accompanying these innovations, the Baseline’s major contributors have decided to add me to the writing staff. I am excited to have this opportunity to write for one of the best Bobcats blogs out there. Originally I was supposed to be Senior Headline Writer and G-Force Cardboard Specialist but I guess the Baseline guys see some real talent in me.

In fact, I owe these guys a lot. They were the first to really notice me and my friend back when they wrote the article about us and our signs. Somehow it made it to Deadspin, where a multitude of readers apparently thought we were so awesome that they felt they had to make aggressive projective comments to make sure people didn’t think they were uncool.

Anyway, from there it kind of blew up to a minor degree, including a picture on the front page of the Charlotte Observer’s business section.

But considering I’ll be writing in this space on a regular basis, let me tell you about what I’m like and who I am.

I love this game. I have a serious love/hate relationship with Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball” because I don’t think it’s passionate enough.

I like to think I’m funny. I may or may not be, but that’s for you to decide. Regardless of your opinion, I’ll be using lots of satire, puns and my specialty, sarcasm.

I am a sneakerhead. I don’t even particularly like that name for sneaker enthusiasts but it’s the best name to describe the sub-culture. Feel free to chat me up on twitter (@CardboardGerald) or wherever about sneakers.

I love ultra-athletic forwards. Shawn Kemp in his Sonics years is my favorite player of all time. Gerald Wallace follows a similar mold and adds the perseverance and determination that wins over just about any basketball fan. To say I was a huge advocate for bringing in Tyrus Thomas last year would be an understatement. I love his style of play. Yes, it still needs some refining, but you can’t tell me he’s not headed in the right direction with the Bobcats.

I despise most rosterbation. Of course, like any NBA fan, I love the idea of some trades and get excited about some when I read rumors. However, when I’m reading through some comments on other blogs and I see stuff randomly shoehorned into the comment section like, “Hey, let’s get So-and-so! [Insert link to espn trade machine here],” I can’t stand it. Why? Most of it is stupid, thoughtless garbage and has a .000015439 percent chance of happening. The Trail Blazers are not going to ship us Greg Oden and his knee for Nazr Mohammed or DeSagana Diop. What, does Oden have Ebola? Okay, soapbox over.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the new guys on the Bobcats roster. This new group hasn’t exactly been lauded by the rest of the sports community, to say the least. So let’s take a look: there’s Shaun Livingston, Dominic McGuire, Eduardo Najera, Matt Carroll, Sherron Collins and Kwame Brown.

Shaun Livingston (KNEE MAN!)

I am ecstatic to see Livingston on our team. Maybe I’m a sucker for the underdog story of a guy who fell from being a much-hyped kid coming straight out of high school to an injury prone journeyman but I think he can be a decent contributor to the Bobcats in his first year. At this point I would like to give Livingston a nickname. I shall from now on call him, “Knee Man.”

Knee Man brings some great things to the table for the Cats. Now, we all know that Larry Brown likes his players lean and athletic. Knee Man certainly follows in this mold. His size cannot go unmentioned. The man is 6 feet 7 inches tall – huge size advantage over most point guards. You’ll be sure to see a lineup with Knee Man at the point where everyone on the court for the Bobcats are 6 foot 7 or taller. Also, he has a terrific post game. If you don’t believe me, watch this highlights video from his previous season with the Wizards. If you do believe me, watch it anyway: it’s pretty good. He’s also an incredibly efficient passer. Last season about 30 percent of his possessions ended with an assist (hoopdata) which, to put it in comparison, was one percentage point higher than Raymond Felton’s.

However, Knee Man does have his shortcomings. The most concerning is his injury status. Should an injury come up (knock on wood), Sherron Collins would be our backup point guard. You hear that? All of Bobcats Nation just took a gulp. Another problem is that Knee Man has no outside shooting. But that’s not a big deal considering his above-average post game. Knee Man is pretty efficient scorer though. He doesn’t score a lot, though he had a great field goal percentage last year. He also doesn’t get to the line often and his defense will more than likely be a drop down from Felton although Larry Brown could improve that.

As a final note on Knee Man, don’t worry about his game last night against the Mavs. It looked a little disjointed, but that should be expected when you sit out the whole preseason and much of training camp. If he’s healthy, expect Knee Man to get more comfortable and to get back down around a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio.

Dominic McGuire

I don’t really know what to say about this guy. Does anyone? If I may use some terminology from ol’ Donald Rumsfeld, he’s an ‘unknown unknown.’ He’s 6 foot 9 forward who Larry Brown says “can handle it, pass it, [and] he’s athletic.” Another one of LB’s projects, McGuire is raw potential. Of course, that’s just what Larry loves. McGuire describes himself as “do-it-all type” and a point-forward. “People will see I can pass the ball, I can bring the ball up-court. I’m very athletic, and I get to the rim and play defense” (Observer).

I haven’t been able to see him play because of a lack of preseason television broadcasts and an inability to pick up the radio station broadcasts. McGuire is out for about 5 more weeks with a stress fracture in his left shin.

Matt Carroll

The Charlotte Bobcats prodigal son returned this offseason in a trade with Dallas. I won’t go into much detail since his game is pretty simple and most of us know what he can do. He’s a shooter pure and simple. He’ll hustle his butt off but he’s not a great defender and he has trouble getting to the hoop, which isn’t good for a Larry Brown team. I have heard that he can dunk though!

Eduardo Najera

Najera is a power forward who is probably best described as Mexican Don Draper trying to be Rasheed Wallace. But he wasn’t always like that. I don’t know what happened the summer of 2007 but Najera went from taking no more than 21 shots from downtown to 147 in 2007-08 alone. He combined for 24 three point attempts in the two season prior with nearly identical minutes. Someone please call Leonard Nimoy.

Anyway, Najera is known as pure hustle guy. That held true during the Hawks preseason game I attended. He got some garbage time and played hard. However, he also proceeded to jack long jump shots that he missed.

Sherron Collins

I believe Sherron Collins is a genuinely decent point guard. He’s short (5’11”) and has some weight issues right now but that’s nothing a documentary on Sean May can’t cure. I think he has some decent court vision and passing skills. He isn’t a terrible shooter either. The one major concern is his height and weight. He needs to lose weight to be able to stay with the ultra-quick point guards of the NBA.

Kwame Brown

Here it is: the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Kwame Brown. Like McGuire, I see him as a bit of an ‘unknown unknown.’ He’s a big body, which the ‘Cats need so at least he can get some rebounds. Of course his main problems, as they’ve been with him his whole NBA career, are small hands and poor footwork.

The one thing I can’t figure out is the reasoning behind this move. There were lots of other big bodies available when we signed Kwame. Why would Jordan want to okay a move to bring back his most notorious failure unless they saw something in him? Maybe I’m way, WAY off base here, but my Spidey Sense tingles concerning that roster move.

But of course, Kwame is still out with his severely sprained ankle for at least two more weeks.

-Cardboard Gerald

Fun With Media Day Portraits

Standard

Gerald Wallace
Amidst the death rattle of the complex Carmelo trade (that would have netted us a legit starting point guard), the Bobcats began training camp with Media Day on Monday.

Media Day is a chance for the team to herd all the players together in order to take pictures, film video promos and bumpers for broadcasts, and give the local media ammo for puff pieces.  Maybe ammo isn’t the best choice of words…

Anyways, the best part of Media Day is the often ridiculous pictures that get taken.  The Bobcats official site has a quick gallery of some behind-the-scenes candids that probably deserves its own post (check out #13 featuring an inexplicable Stephen Jackson pose and #14 with an unfortunately chunky-appearing Sherron Collins), but what I’m more interested in are the portraits taken by the Charlotte Observer’s Jeff Siner, available here.

Portraits like these are inherently awkward; there’s a reason we gasp at our old school photos and snicker at others “Glamour Shots”.  The fact that these are grown-ass men in tank tops just makes it all the more awkward.

Lets go through these one by one.  Up above is Gerald Wallace — nothing to snark at here.  A solid photo befitting of the heart, soul and face of the franchise.  One of the few pleasures of being a Bobcats fan has been watching Gerald Wallace grow not just as a player but also as a professional comfortable with being promoted as the face of the franchise.

Jack

Stephen Jackson:  Again, nothing to snark at here, except for that souvenir ball from the team store.  Would it have killed them to use a game ball?  Also, note the not-so-subtle change to the collars on the jersey this year (compare to last years in the website banner above).  I’m guessing the all-orange is supposed to “pop” more or something like that.

DJ

DJ Augustin:  The likely starter at point guard gets the old “gimme a smile and a circus pass” treatment.  Probably also had to add “the trade fell through, you’re still the starter!” to get that smile.  Again, that ball — the UPC barcode is a nice touch.  Also a good look at the side vents showing the new material being used in NBA jerseys this year (click here for more on that).

Diaw

Boris Diaw:  Jeff Siner is truly a skilled photographer — Boris doesn’t even look fat in this pose!  Orange glow makes its first appearance in a big way.

Nazr

Nazr Mohammed:  Last year, Nazr morphed into a surprisingly competent solution at the 5 for the Bobcats.  This year, he’s apparently morphing into Lt. Worf.  Seriously, Naz, what’s going on with the forehead there?

Diop

Gana Diop:  Borrows the generic “big man pose” from Nazr, adds the orange mood lighting, and unsurprisingly managing to come off looking way more goofy.  Did we ever decide if Gana is Joey Crawford’s Avatar?

Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown:  Looks like he’s posing for a football card.  Could probably give the Panthers a lift at QB, come to think of it.

Gerald Henderson

Gerald Henderson:  Looks way too nice here.  Really needs to pose (and play) with an edge this year.  Maybe should have gone with Blue Steel.

Najera

Eduardo Najera:  Is anyone else getting a “Mexican Don Draper” vibe here?  Love the throwback dribbling posture — go get the ball out of the peach basket now.

Livingston

Shaun Livingston:  Skinniest arms in the NBA?  Skinniest arms in the NBA.  Also, is the clever arm positioning covering up the fact that he doesn’t have a number yet?

Crittendon

Javaris Crittendon:  If I was Jeff Siner, I would have printed out a couple of different pictures for Javaris, then placed them on a chair by his locker with a note that said “Pick One.”  I’m sure he’d think it was funny.

Ty Thomas

Tyrus Thomas:  I saved the best for last.  I love this photo — no joke.  Perfectly captures the potential that Thomas has.  Reminds me a bit of the famous 40 Year Old Virgin movie poster, with the innocence.  Now Tyrus the dude is no innocent — he’s had his share of professional indiscretions.  But his game is kinda raw and innocent.  Let’s hope he is as earnest as he appears to be in this picture when it comes to reaching his potential as a player this year.

Again, check out the full gallery of Jeff Siner’s photos at the Charlotte Observer’s website.

-Dr. E

Bobcats Sign Shaun Livingston

Standard

Shaun Livingston (Jose Argueta/Wizards Photos/Wizards.com)

The Charlotte Bobcats signed free agent point guard Shaun Livingston to a two-year, $7 million dollar contract today.  Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Cats will hold a team option for a third season.  Here are links for the AP story and Bonnell’s for the Observer.

Livingston is best known for the horrific knee injury he sustained in 2007 while playing in his third season for the Los Angeles Clippers.  Sadly, getting to “S-h-a-u-n L-” in a google search gets you suggestions of “Shaun Livingston” followed by “Shaun Livingston injury”.

After coming into the league straight from high school and seeing limited playing time his first two years, the skinny, 6’7″ point guard had begun to fulfill his potential during the 2006-07 season, averaging 9 points and 5 assists in almost 30 minutes a game.

However, disaster struck on February 26, 2007 as the Clippers were hosting (ironically) the Bobcats.  After Raymond Felton made a clean challenge on his breakaway layup attempt, Livingston landed awkwardly.  His left knee buckled medially, shredding his ACL and PCL and completely dislocating the joint in the process.

I remember being up late watching that game and cringing.  Video is readily available on the internet, as is a particularly gruesome photo that’s worth seeking out if you’ve ever wondered what the distal end of your femur looked like.

Livingston spent the 2007-08 season out of basketball rehabbing.  Since then, he has bounced around from the Heat to the Grizzlies to the Thunder before winding up with the Wizards late last season.  It was there where Livingston seemed to get his groove back.  He played in 26 games down the stretch in Washington’s lost season, starting 18 while averaging 25 minutes, 9 points and 4.5 assists per game.

Prior to today’s signing, the Bulls had shown interest in Livingston this summer, while there was sentiment in Washington that he should be resigned to back up John Wall.

Livingston makes sense for Larry Brown.  Whether it’s horrific injuries or horrific off-the-court troubles, LB loves a reclamation project.  He also likes long players who see the court well.

And there’s no question that the Cats needed some point guard depth, but Livingston’s signing is curious nonetheless.  We now have two backup-quality point guards on the roster, both being paid backup (and not “end of the bench emergency third point guard”) money.  I don’t think it’s too pessimistic to say that we are in trouble if we enter this coming season with DJ and Livingston battling it out to be the starter, nor can we realistically afford to pay one of them what they are owed for being the third point guard.

What I’m trying to say is that I think Jordan is still in the market for a starting-caliber point guard, and that the writing may be on the wall for DJ here.  Just sayin…

And here’s a couple other tidbits before I hit the sack:

  • Here’s a quick note by Bonnell regarding a small hitch in how we can use Dampier’s contract in a subsequent trade.  Essentially, Dampier’s contract can be traded anytime, but it can’t be packaged with another player/contract for 60 days.
  • Larry Hughes says he’s talked to the Bobcats about returning, but that he’s “waiting for the right situation to come up.”  Replace “the right” with “any” and I think the statement will be more accurate…

-Dr. E



POLL : What Should Bobcats Do With Erick Dampier?

  • Waive & Save $13 Mill
    (16%, 35 Votes)
  • Waive & Resign
    (12%, 26 Votes)
  • Trade For Point Guard
    (55%, 124 Votes)
  • Trade For Draft Picks (17%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 224

Loading ... Loading ...