Bobcats Beat Warriors At Their Own Game

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Bobcats Charlotte Bobcats @ Warriors 1/29/10


Staying with the “Running Diary” theme recaps…

FIRST HALF

Lots of talk from the Warriors broadcast team about Stephen Jackson coming back to Oaktown.  Boos aplenty.  Wow!  The Bobcats have their very first heel!

Great moment midway through the first quarter which illustrates Larry Brown’s impatience with Rookies.  Derrick Brown checks in to give Diaw a breather and proceeds to fall asleep in transition defense.  LB yanks him after thirty seconds and inserts Stephen Graham for the rest of the quarter.  Talk about a short fuse.

Ronny Turiaf checks in later in the quarter and starts making plays immediately.  I wrote in my Power Forward Trade Column recently that Turiaf would be a great fit as a backup four in Charlotte and he’s proving me right again this evening with lots of energy on the offensive glass, a few nice put-backs and one crazy steal and almost finish on the fast break.  If the ‘Cats could get him for Henderson and Law straight up I say make the deal immediately.

Just caught the box score for the Philly/Lakers game.  Anybody realize that both Primoz Brezec AND Jason Kapono play for the Sixers?  Me neither, maybe because they both logged DNP-CDs tonight.  Somewhere Bernie Bickerstaff is crying.

My first look at Steph Curry as a pro.  I wasn’t sure how he was going to turn out but thus far I’m impressed.  He has some pass-first PG acumen; is an As-Advertised great long range shooter and is a little bigger than you’d think.  Will probably play just as long as his pops (16+ seasons) in the League and be at worst a Steve Kerr role player on a contender.

Starting the 2nd quarter now and we have a SPECIAL GUEST ANNOUNCER joining the Warriors’ broadcast crew.  “Oh my gawd King, it’s that sadistic bastard Paul Heyman!”  No, it’s Dell Curry!  DC4THREEE! chats about Steph’s success, the JAX trade, Monta Ellis’ dependence on his right hand, Steph’s mouthpiece fetish (possibly inherited from watching so many Crash games in CLT), the light, skin-tight kevlar body armor that so many players are wearing these days (including Gerald Wallace), etc, etc.
I’m actually starting to think that Dell could be a great ambassador nation-wide for Charlotte Pro Basketball.  Sort of an Obama/Brad Daugherty gene splice.  He’s no Mike Gminski yet but a strong upgrade from Adrian Branch/Henry Williams.

Who is that tall, bearded guy on the Bobcats bench wearing a suit?  Did Sean May lose a bunch of weight and go all Joakim Phoenix on us?  Oh, that’s the guy we traded our franchise center for, Tyson Chandler.  Tyson Chandler everybody!  Woo-hoo!!!  Sixteen games and counting!

Starters (especially JAX and CRASH) playing a ton of minutes in the first half.  D.J. comes in to to give Raymond a blow.  Augustin nails two straight threes and looks confident.  Then he loses that turnover to Run Ronny Turiaf who embarrasses him with the aforementioned steal and almost finish.  Still, D.J. with a respectable eleven points in the first half.

Bobcats up 65-59 at the break.

SECOND HALF

JAX and CRASH haven’t come out of the game yet and Boris has only been out a minute.  The announcers for GS are talking like this is a good thing.  I’m a little worried about all of this wear and tear.

RADMAN in the house!  Not sure if it’s a Bay Area inspired thing but Vlad has suddenly started looking like the lead singer from Loverboy.
Also, Warriors fans must be in secret agony every time they see Vlad get toasted by JAX.  Golden State really didn’t get enough for him in that trade.  Kind of like when the Bobcats play the Hornets and Emeka Okafor drops a double-double on Tyson Chandler’s replacement.

I’m a Boris Bee-Liever but Diaw has been hit or miss all season and I’m starting to think that he’s gonna be the player that the team moves if you believe Bill Simmons’ assertion that the ‘Cats are making another trade before the deadline.  Carlos Boozer for Diaw and change?  A Felton/Jackson/Wallace/Boozer/Chandler lineup is a tough matchup for anyone in East.  I’m warming to the idea.

Back to Raymond for a second, I feel like his beard is under-discussed.  Baron Davis started doing this and his game went to the next level a few years back.  Not to mention Magic in the 80s.  I’m calling on Ray to push it at least as far as QuestLove before the Playoffs.  Felton is playing so well these days (16pts on 6-10, 6asts tonight) that I’m a little worried that the Lakers are gonna sweep him up this offseason to replace Derek Fisher.  They’ve liked him since the ’05 draft and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Ray running the point next year for Kobe and Phil.

Nazr Mohammed has played a total of 17 minutes and Gana Diop’s nearing a DNP-CD himself.  Larry Brown chooses to go small with JAX and CRASH alternating playing the four and Diaw taking Center.  Bobcats up by double digits in the Third.

WOW.  Andris Biedrins with a Turiaf-esque steal of a Felton pass and then a one-on-none fast break JAM.  Let’s talk about Biedrins’ hair for a second.  Is he purposefully trying to invite Dolph Lundgren comparisons?  He basically looks like any Eastern European tough guy involved in a Russian Arms Deal Gone Bad.  I’m gonna search later for photographs of Andris wearing a grey sportcoat and black undershirt.

Monta Ellis looking every bit as you’d expect.  Scoring at will.  Driving the lane and hitting jumpers from the outside.  Looks like a young Iverson.  Warriors hot all game shooting 56% from the field but can’t secure a rebound while the ‘Cats aren’t doing too bad themselves at 50%.

CARTIER MARTIN SIGHTING!  Yes, Cartier “That’s Really My First Name” Martin just checked into the game and put one up over JAX.  He then gets hyper and starts launching threes – all errant.  Thanks for the memories, Cartier.

Fourth Quarter and the Bobcats look like the better team.  They blow the game open and build a 20 point lead with just a little over six minutes left and are killing the W’s this half with a 20-9 rebounding advantage (CRASH lead the way with 13 to go along with an impossibly quiet 30pts).

JAX with a killer 3 (bringing his scoring total to 30), D.J. with another killer three and for some reason Larry Brown decides to leave his starters in with 6:30 to go with the ‘Cats well ahead and the Warriors trotting out Cartier and Anthony Tolliver (GS’s answer to Stephen Graham).

Warriors make a mini-rally but come up short and LB empties the bench with 2:20 to go in the game.  Gerald “The Sequel” Henderson comes in and looks as though he’s never even seen a basketball before, missing free throws, slipping on the floor, throwing the ball away.  Doesn’t matter.  Bobcats in control and take this game 121-110 to go 23-22 on the year while improving to 5-17 on the road.

AP recap here.  Box score here.

Enjoy the win Bobcats fans…

-ASChin

Say Hello to My Little Friend!

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Bobcats Crunk It Up a Notch by Trading Raja Bell for Stephen Jackson

This photo composite plainly illustrates the differences between Stephen Jackson and Raja Bell

The Bobcats surprise everybody but Mark Stein today by trading Raja Bell and Vlad Radmanovic to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson and Acie Law.  The Sporting News reaction here.  Golden State of Mind reactions here.  RealGM analysis here.

I’m literally just back in the door from Hong Kong/Macau and after reviewing almost a full week’s worth of Charlotte Bobcats Bloopers & Practical Jokes, I was 30% sure that I was going to walk away from this blog.  Just couldn’t take it anymore.  Five years of ineptitude is enough.  Time to fire them as my favorite NBA team.  Then this happens.  To quote Michael Corleone (via Silvio Dante), “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

THE GOOD NEWS IS THE BAD NEWS

First off, the deal stinks of desperation.  So it really suits the Bobcats because they ARE desperate and maybe (*fingers crossed*) Bob Johnson is finally coming to the conclusion that a popular Playoff team is more valuable on the open market than an unpopular Disaster-Squad.  Jackson is without a doubt an offensive upgrade over Raja Bell and a similarly skilled defender.  He’s immediately Charlotte’s most feared scorer (which, to be fair, is kind of like “the most nutritious KFC Bowl”) and he adds a mean streak of attitude to a franchise that’s never had one.

CAP KILLER

To make the trade, the Bobcats had to provide GS with a salary dump and they send out two decent role players who are owed a total of $18.4 million over the next two seasons in exchange for a 31-year-old wing player who’s on the books for $35.2 million over the next four.  The team has essentially taken itself out of free agency until the summer of 2012 and maybe even 2013.  Just to put this into perspective, next season the Bobcats will be paying out $40 million to the All-Star core of: Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, Tyson Chandler & Stephen Jackson.  Then add in $13 million for backup centers Nazr Mohammed and Gana Diop and you start to see just how bad the Bobcats have been at managing their cap.  I can’t figure out who Michael Jordan is patterning his strategy after: Isiah Thomas or the country of Iceland?  Or maybe MJ just went to the movies this past weekend and figured that the world was going to end in 2012 anyway, so screw it.

RISKY BUSINESS

Jackson’s arrival is significant as it is the first time in franchise history that the team has ever courted a player rife with controversy.  Could this be a new era in BobcatLand?  Are the squeaky clean days of Matt Carroll, Brevin Knight and Emeka Okafor over and gone?  While hardcore NBA fans might remember some of SJAX’s more positive attributes, most sports fans are only aware of two:

  1. Over the past two months Stephen Jackson has thrown his team under the bus and sulked his way into a trade AFTER the Warriors graced him with an extremely generous contract extension.
  2. On the night of November 19th, 2004 during a game in Detroit, he ran into the stands and punched a bunch of people in the face for assaulting his friend Ron Artest.

*I presume that most fans have forgotten about the incident at an Indianapolis strip club in ’06 in which Jackson fired several shots from a 9mm after being taunted by the clubs patrons and “hit by a car.”  That kind of thing happens all the time these days.

I repeat, this is a desperate, risky move by the Bobcats.  The organization paid very close attention to its public image during the team’s first five seasons and when they ignored Allen Iverson during the summer, you could assume that they were simply staying the course.  The strategy is sound.  A great deal of the Charlotte Hornets’ demise can be attributed to a single trade: Larry Johnson for Anthony Mason.  In that case, the city was losing an immensely popular hero and gaining a player who was labeled “a thug” but hardly lived up to the reputation.  With Jackson, the Bobcats are importing a turbulent personality who lies somewhere in between Steve Smith and Rae Carruth (*I’m purposefully trying to beat Tom Sorenson to the punch with that reference*) and if S-JAX causes any trouble in Charlotte, the hypothetical incident might very well signal the end of the NBA in the Queen City.

IN CONCLUSION

Let’s face it.  We all went to bed last night knowing that the Bobcats stink.  And now?  Now there is a glimmer of hope that Stephen Jackson was the only missing ingredient for Playoff Success.  At the very least, he’ll make things interesting and if you are going to go down, do it like Bon Jovi told the Young Guns.  Go down in a Blaze of Glory.

-ASChin

Bobcats Give One Away in Chicago

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Bobcats Baseline Observations: Charlotte @ Chicago 11/07/09

Aside from the fact that the Bobcats lost, this was easily their best road game of the season coming after blowouts @Boston and @Cleveland.  Charlotte had many opportunities to win this one but the ugly truth reared its head again in the 4th quarter as the Bobcats had no answer on the offensive end after the Bulls went on a late 3rd quarter rampage.  Chicago outscored the ‘Cats 27-17 in the third after being down 53-46 at the half.  With the team on the road, time dwindling and in need of some key baskets, the Bobcats turned to…  You guessed it!  Everybody Loves Raymond.

1. A Chunky Cucumber Blizzard

I finally figured it out.  Raymond, I mean.  Why he’s so divisive amongst the Bobcats faithful.
It’s because he’s neither terrible or incredible, rather he is sometimes incredible and sometimes terrible.  Often within the same 2-3 minutes span.  He’s kind of like ordering a Chunky Cucumber Blizzard from Dairy Queen.  You take a bite and you get all tasty ice cream and you’re like, “Wow!  That’s good!”  And then the next bite you get a nice sour, crunchy chunk of cucumber and you want to vomit.  But you are still hungry and in need of food and there’s always hope that the next bite will be cucumber free so you take another but you are not safe.  There is going to be more vomit inducing cucumber chunks in there somewhere.  Just wait.

Tonight was a quintessential Raymond Felton game.  Played very good defense, dished out 10 assists, hit a few key baskets when the team needed one but totally pooed the bed by going 5-17 from the field and looked “Emeka Okafor Level Uncomfortable” during the closing minutes of the game as he forced shot after shot.  When the Bobcats are down in the 4th and Raymond starts driving and forcing off-balance twos, just turn off the TV or leave the arena ’cause there is no chance that the ‘Cats are going to win.  I don’t even blame Raymond.  He’s just doing what the coach tells him to do and since the Bobcats have no other “scoring option” late in the game, then Raymond gets the nod.  Someone like Rip Hamilton or Ray Allen would do wonders for Raymond’s career.  Hopefully we get to witness something like this in the near future.

2. Turnovers, Turnovers

How can you possibly have a chance of winning on the road when you commit 17 TOs?  The Bobcats forced the Bulls into 21 turnovers and had they not, Charlotte would’ve been blown out of this game.  The Bobcats starting lineup (sans Tyson Chandler) came up with 8 steals and blocked three shots.  The team really hustled on defense for pretty much the entire game and I commend Larry Brown on instilling this team with an “A+ Level” defense.  They’d be a Playoff lock if they could just score consistently.

For all of the talk about Raja Bell and Flip Murray putting trade rumors to rest, the duo combined for 6-24 shooting from the field and a total of 16 points.  They probably aren’t as good as they were last night against the Hawks but they are definitely not as bad as they were tonight against the Bulls.  Ouch.

Joakim Noah torched the Bobcats tonight, btw.  When Noah nets 21pts and 16 boards you know pretty much what’s going on: Bobcats are sticking tight to the Bulls perimeter players and Noah is just jumping over and out-hustling Charlotte in the paint.  It also doesn’t hurt that both Chandler and Nazr Mohammed were both in foul trouble early in the second quarter so Joakim found himself boxing out Vlad Radmanovic a lot.  Watching Noah, you would think that he’s kind of the perfect Center for the Bobcats should the team ever pursue him in free agency or via trade.  He hustles, goes after loose balls and is an incredible offensive rebounder.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he wears a Bobcats uniform one day.

3. Accent-u-ate the Positive

Boris Diaw and Vlad Radmanovic put in solid offensive performances for the ‘Cats though Diaw’s 6 turnovers were a stain on an otherwise solid evening.  Boris dropped in 20pts, 7rbs and 5asts and the Radman looked comfortable behind the arc getting all of his 12pts there on 4-7 shooting.  And even though D.J. Augustin was noticeably M.I.A. during the game (0pts in 11 minutes), it is baffling why Coach Brown didn’t insert both D.J. and Radmanovic on the Bobcats last play of regulation.

Down three with just under 10 seconds to go and Larry Brown decides that a combination of Flip, Diaw (decent 3-point shooters), Raymond, Crash and Chandler (terrible shooters) would give the ‘Cats their best option to tie the game.  Completely inexplicable.  Raja, Radman and D.J. were sitting on the bench and inserting those guys into the lineup (playing Boris at Center) would’ve given the team a much better chance of sending the game into OT.  Not sure I understand the strategy there but hell, Coach Brown is a Hall of Famer.  What do I know?

IN CONCLUSION:

Bobcats play well enough to win but for a team that lacks a go-to or consistent scorer, they cannot afford to go into a 2nd half funk, especially on the road.  Barring a trade, the ‘Cats look exactly like what they are: a middle of the pack Eastern Conference team.

-ASChin

Delonte West, Cavs Shoot Bobcats Down In Cleveland

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Bobcats Charlotte Bobcats @ Cleveland 10/31/09


More of the same tonight at the Q as the Charlotte Bobcats follow up a solid first half effort with only 13 third quarter points and lose to the Cavs 90-79.  Box score here.

1. Find somebody who can score by December 1st and the Bobcats make the Playoffs

The Bobcats played very well in the first half, negating Lebron James and held Cleveland to just 45 points per half.  In the second half, Lebron, Mo Williams and Delonte “Have You Seen This Boy?” West got hot and the Bobcats started playing Hot Potato again, unsure as to who should be shooting the ball and when.  This has to stop in order for the Bobcats to be taken seriously.  Charlotte did a great job of forcing turnovers (17) but committed just as many themselves by taking errant shots or passing the ball two or three too many times.  Cleveland’s Mo Williams led the way for the Cavs with 24 points (including 5-8 from downtown) while the ‘Cats were lead by Vladimir Radmanovic off the bench.  He scored 12 points.

The Bobcats had a very good chance of stealing this game in the third quarter when both teams started slow and if they’d had someone whom they could have gone to consistently for offense they probably would have.  I’m starting a list right now of scorers who could be available to help now.  Thus far: Rip Hamilton, Monta Ellis, Michael ReddPlease send me anymore that you could think of.

2. Silver Linings?

Gerald Henderson played well tonight.  He played 18 minutes and guarded Anthony Parker and Delonte tight on defense but his best play was during a second quarter Cleveland fast break when the rookie raced down the court and pulled a ’05-’07 era Gerald Wallace monster stuff on 6’9″  J.J. Hickson.  The Sequel came out of nowhere and just threw it back.  Play of the game for the Bobcats.  Henderson’s shot selection was mixed (went 2-4 from downtown but 1-4 from in close) but he finished with 11pts and 3rbs.  Not a bad third game in the NBA.

After a shaky start, the Radman finally resurfaced as Vlade dropped 2 of 3 from beyond the arc and played his sneaky good defense mostly against Anderson Varejao.  Speaking of Varejao, the Cleveland broadcast color man calls him “Andy” but does so in such a voice that he basically mimics Morgan Freeman’s “Redd” character from The Shawshank Redemption.  I kept waiting for him to go all sentimental and reflective, “My friend Andy never had the most skill or the most athleticism but devil-be-damned he hustled and that’s what kept him in the League.”

3. On Second Thought, Maybe Raymond Isn’t The Man

After two quality starts to begin the season, Raymond struggled against the Cavs turning the ball over 8 times against just three assists and the team played visibly better when D.J. Augustin came in and took over late in the third and into the final frame.  I’m not “hating” here.  If Raymond could develop a consistent three pointer, he’d be every bit as good as Mo Williams, especially if he was on a team like the Cavs.  For the time being however, the lack of respect the opposing teams have for his jumper makes him a liability in the half-court set.

IN CONCLUSION:

Nothing new here.  Bobcats play comparatively stellar Defense but can’t score on offense which leads to turnovers which leads to easy buckets by the other team which leads to Charlotte being forced to shoot itself back into the game which is something that they are currently not configured to do.

Cross your fingers Bobcats fans, let’s hope that MJ and Ron Higgidy Higgins got the memo and are working on bringing in reinforcements before it’s too late.

Next up is Brook Lopez and the Nets at the Cable Box on Monday night.  Dr E will tweet you there.

-ASChin

5 Things We Know About The Bobcats: Preseason Edition (vol. 1)

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Young guns are figuring it out this preseason

Even though the Bobcats are off to a meager 1-3 to start this preseason we at the Baseline find ourselves giddy with optimism.  Yes, it’s true – damn true.  What is it that has us so jacked for the October 28th opener at Boston?  I can think of at least, uh, 5 things…

1. The Youngsters are bringing it.

Or should we say, “wow, Larry Brown is actually playing rookies?”  Or, “the Bobcats’ roster is so thin that 2nd Round picks play 1st Round minutes!”  No matter how you slice it, the fact that both this year’s and last year’s rookies are putting in quality performances can only mean good things for an organization that has specialized in Draft Day Turnovers (of the unforced variety).

Last season we saw how good D.J. Augustin could be – especially pre-“8 Minute Aaaaabs” injury – and he’s been solid as expected this preseason playing the backup point, getting to the line often and shooting the ball from the field at a nice 53% clip (compared to 43% for Raymond Felton).  Nobody expected his 2008 Draft classmate, “Alex Ajin-ka” to “beast it” out of the gate (well, maybe reggie expected it) but “beast it” Ajinca has.
I’m not really sure why the beat writers aren’t making a bigger deal out of this.  Does anybody remember how terrible ‘Lex was last season?  His only memorable moment came during garbage time of a mid-season Chicago game in which he enticed Aaron Gray into a shoving match that resulted in Ajinca’s own teammates laughing at him.
Now all of a sudden Alexis is dunking in putbacks, tipping in missed shots, fighting through screens, attempting to defend the pick ‘n roll.  Does anybody realize that if he keeps this up, the Bobcats just might have an asset on their hands?  An athletic 7-footer with a soft touch and skills?  Ok, I have to stop…  Just keep it up ‘Lex and prove both Coach Brown and reggie right.

Meanwhile, this year’s rookie tandem is paying dividends right from the start.  Gerald Henderson is second on the team in scoring at around 11ppg and has got to the free throw line more than any other Bobcat so far this preseason.  Unlike Adam Morrison, Sean May and Jared Dudley, Henderson looks like a basketball player and his athleticism and understanding of the game has translated very quickly to the NBA.  Once he’s made it to the charity stripe, Henderson hasn’t shot the ball all that great (67%) but fortunately the team has assistant coach Capel on hand to teach guys named “Gerald” how to improve their free throw shooting.
Fellow rookie Derrick Brown has quietly put up consistent numbers over the preseason as well.  The Robert Horry-esque combo forward hasn’t dropped any 20 point games yet but netting around 8pts a contest in under 18 minutes ain’t too shabby for a dude drafted in the mid-second round.  The second coming of Bernard Robinson he most definitely is not.

2. The Bobcats are Competing against good teams without their starting frontcourt.

The fact that the Bobcats are playing quality opponents tight while starting Manny from Scarface at the 4-spot and Danny Glover at center is kind of mind blowing when you think about it.  And even though Radmanovic is struggling with his shot, his effort playing the four and doing all of what Coach Brown has asked of him is admirable.  We weren’t sure that Vlade was capable of something like that and it’s reassuring to know that the Radman can step in for 5 minutes a game and give Boris some relief.  Speaking of Diaw, I loved seeing Gerald Wallace’s face light up after the second Cleveland game when reporters asked him about Boris and Tyson Chandler’s return.  He didn’t even have to answer the question.  If the ‘Cats are playing this well now, this soon in the preseason, just wait until they get their starting center and PF back.

3. Larry Brown hates The Replacements.

Keanu Reeves could do a better job than these scrubs.  Coach Brown has been at the replacement officials in the media all week playing psychological games with them as if they were seven-foot one-hundred-and-ten pound frenchmen.  He has a point.
Practiced NBA officials are downright horrible and those guys do it on a night-in night-out basis for years.  The Replacements are a buncha dudes who weren’t good enough to take Steve Javie’s job.  Seriously?  How bad do you have to be in order to lose a roster spot to Dick Bavetta or Joey Crawford?  Can’t these new guys learn how to throw a game properly?

4. What’s up with Diop-It-Like-It’s-Hot?

One of the not so rosy developments of the preseason is Gana Diop’s devolvement into the team’s 3rd center. 
Now Diop can play him some defense,
all of the turbo-geek sportswriters and their formulas have pointed this fact out over the past few seasons.  Opposing centers just don’t dominate when Diop is on the floor.  So why isn’t Diop playing?
Brown has been openly criticizing Gana’s conditioning and that is probably true but I think that once the games start counting Diop will be the one backing up Tyson at the five.  Nazr Mohammed’s 19mpg has “showcasing him for a trade” written all over it.  Gana will play his way into shape and be fine come November.

5. Give Raja a “Hooligan”

In Jack McCallum’s excellent book on the ’05-’06 Phoenix Suns “Seven Seconds or Less” he relays a story about Boris Diaw’s inability to remember the English word “mulligan” and instead referring to it as a “hooligan.”  Apparently, Boris wanted a “hooligan” every time he missed a shot in practice.  Raja Bell has been missing a lot of shots this preseason.  And yes, he has proven that it is humanly possible for an NBA player to shoot 11% from the field.  But we must remember that Raja is a special case.  Now that Bruce Bowen has retired, Bell has taken on the official role of OLD MAN WITH DIRTY TRICKS WHO ONLY SHOOTS THREES and that role requires a special kind of conditioning and stamina training.  Mail it in during the preseason and work yourself into game shape early in the regular season, help guide your team to the playoffs after the Break OR if your team isn’t good enough to make the playoffs, play hard come New Year’s so that you can get traded to a contender.  Remember also that Raja is playing for one last decent multi-year contract this summer and he won’t get it by shooting 11% from the floor.  Go ahead and give him a hooligan for the entire preseason.

-ASChin

Cats Preseason Stats: Bobcats.com

Zach Randolph for Radmanovic and Mohammed?

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Randolph for Radmanovic and Mohammed?

So you’re Rod Higgins and Larry Brown.  You just found out that the Grizzlies tried to take Zach Randolph off of the Clippers’ hands by offering them Darko’s expiring deal and Greg Buckner – only to have Clips owner Donald Sterling turn them down.  You look over at each other and think:

“Sterling must feel like an idiot right now.  He could have cleared up cap space AND opened up the four for Blake Griffin all in one deal and he turned it down.  He’s probably desperate now.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Radman and Nazr really aren’t in our long term plans and they don’t really fit the Larry Brown profile…hmm.  But Z-Bo is a nut-job and he plays less defense than Kurt Warner.  Dude can really score though…hmmm….”

Let us lend virtual Rod and virtual Larry a hand at making this decision.  Y’know, Benjamin Franklin was one of our wisest men and before he would make any major decision, he would take out a sheet of paper and…well, you know the rest.

So let’s break this down Benjamin Franklin style!

Salary:

Radman and Nazr make a combined total of $12.9 mil in ’09-’10.  Randolph makes $16 mil.  The Bobcats would have to swallow the additional $3 million out of their remaining cap space.
In ’10-’11 Radman and Nazr are owed a total of $13.77 mil while Randolph is owed $17.3, a difference of $3.6 mil.  All three contracts expire at the end of the ’10-’11 season.

UPDATE: Bonnell just reported on the ‘Cats salary situation heading into free agency.  To make the the Randolph trade work, the ‘Cats would have to use their trade exception from the JRICH trade and bundle in Ajinca to make this work.

DECISION: Is Randolph worth an extra $3+ million per season?  Is one big contract easier to trade than two smaller ones?

ANALYSIS: Randolph will play over thirty minutes a night and score 18-20 points while doing it.  Vlad will be lucky to see eighteen a night and Nazr will serve his usual role as tackling dummy.  If the experiment doesn’t work, the ‘Cats have a major expiring salary to deal next season.
MAKE THE TRADE.

Zach Randolph starts...

PERSONNEL:

Here’s where it gets tricky.  The Bobcats already have a starting PF and he’s damn good.  After last December’s trade with Phoenix, Boris Diaw partied like it was 2005.  The question is whether or not Boris could make the move from effective starter to equally effective 6th man playing the same amount of minutes subbing at both forward spots.  Diaw didn’t respond well to it when Amare returned to the lineup in Phoenix so it is a major risk with this move.

The Randolph/Diaw combo would make for an incredible composite:
Diaw, a point-forward who is an underrated defender and selfless to a fault and Randolph, a black-hole low-post scoring machine who prefers to play hard only when his team has the ball.

DECISION: Is Randolph’s low-post scoring enough to offset his notorious lack of effort on defense?  Would Boris remain as effective as the team’s 6th man?

ANALYSIS: Productivity is a non-issue here.  Randolph gives the team a serious low-post scoring threat for the first time in franchise history.  Playing alongside Emeka would cut Zach a little more slack on D as well.  The issue is chemistry.  Could Boris make a smooth transition to the 6th man role?
MAYBE MAKE THE TRADE

...and Boris is the Sixth Man

INTANGIBLES:

Could Larry Brown really tolerate a guy who hates playing defense as much as he likes “simulated sex shows?”  Well, LB did put up with Iverson for a while.  The bigger question is whether Charlotte could put up with Randolph.  The city spent the past four years taking out their collective NBAnger on Sean May and he was a Boy Scout compared to #50.
I can only imagine how many Tom Sorenson columns we’d see comparing Zach to Derrick Coleman (and the Eldridge Recasner incident).

DECISION: Is Charlotte Ready for Zach Randolph?

ANALYSIS: No.
DON’T MAKE THE TRADE

–ASChin

POLL : Trade Mohammed & Radmanovich for Zach Randolph?

  • Make the Deal - Get Randolph (37%, 18 Votes)
  • No Deal – Zach doesn't fit the team (53%, 26 Votes)
  • No Deal - Charlotte won't welcome Zach (10%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 49

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Charlotte Bobcats Season In Review – Part 3

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Trades & Acquisitions

The All New, All Improved Bobcats

Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Vlad Radmanovic

The Charlotte Bobcats made three major in-season trades during the ’08-’09 season involving eleven different players. Coupled with the free agent signings of Juwan Howard, Cartier Martin and assorted other D-Leaguers, Charlotte suited up a total of 24 players – most in the League. One anonymous fan commented on SI.com that “the Bobcats make more roster moves than a fantasy team.” It sure seemed that way.

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