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October 22, 2008

Brown may be quirky, but his teams improve

A warning: By nature, I’m a contrarian and also a believer in the law of large numbers.

I bring that up because, despite the 0-7 preseason, I think the smartest thing this continuously flawed Bobcats franchise has done of late is hire Larry Brown.

   You might not have noticed, but by definition preseason games don’t count. They’re public, so I’m paid to watch and scrutinize them, but I wonder: If the rehearsals for Phantom of the Opera didn’t go well, would they have shut down the show before opening night?

That’s not to say there aren’t problems. They’re abundant. But the problems are more about the flaws in the roster than how the players are responding to Brown. They like that the guy sees, corrects and forgives. He’s tough, but he’s fair. And they need him to correct in the worst way.

Brown’s teams get better. Not immediately, but in a way that can be documented. That’s what I meant by the law of large numbers. Despite what happened most recently with the Knicks, the man almost never leaves a team without it making the playoffs, and sooner rather than later.

This roster needs some makeover, and I’m more concerned about the check-writers doing what needs to be done than I am about Brown’s judgment. A prime example: If Andre Brown is cut, after being one of the toughest, hungriest players of the preseason, it will make a terrible statement to the rest of the roster.

Take some risk. Cut a guy with a guarantee if that keeps a guy who is better. Understand the goal is get to the playoffs, then do some damage, and get this town excited again about pro basketball.

For all his quirks – and they’re many – Brown can get them there. Listen and learn.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 22, 2008 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

Comments

I agree completely, Rick. If Davidson and Hollins can't get it done (a consensus opinion at this point), and Andre Brown can contribute, the Bobcats are doing the franchise a disservice by sticking with them.

Posted by: bobcatsden | Oct 22, 2008 12:19:02 PM

Jemario MUST go.

Anyone who saw the Sat nite preseason game could see, Shannon Brown should be in LB's 8-man rotation. Jemario couldn't make a 20-man rotation for LB.

Posted by: dtnnc | Oct 22, 2008 12:41:05 PM

On ESPN's team report for the Bobcats, Ric Bucher states that the players are already grumbling about Brown.

Anyone know where this is coming from? Is it true? All reports from Bonnell indicate otherwise....

Posted by: mcap | Oct 22, 2008 12:41:13 PM

I hope Brown can turn things around but both he and AirJordan are getting critiqued in the media...

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-bobcats102008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted by: AirJimmy | Oct 22, 2008 12:53:15 PM

Other than each other who cares about media opinion???

Posted by: GeneP | Oct 22, 2008 12:59:11 PM

I like what i've seein from both brown shannon and andre.They come in play there parts dont try and do to much,and contribute.I wanna ask you guys opinion i was reading an article on realgm.com and some folks suggested trading for zach randolph thoughts.

Posted by: truthbtold21 | Oct 22, 2008 1:00:56 PM

I'm sorry, but I don't see where Shannon Brown fits on the roster. He's a gunner on the wing who doesn't set teammates up, can't rebound, and plays average defense at best. Further, he's exclusively a jump shooter, as evidenced by his ONE FT in 36 FGAs. Hollins and Davidson should both be shown the door, too.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 22, 2008 1:07:10 PM

Thought we were at 15 right now. So what's the problem??

Posted by: Hoagie58 | Oct 22, 2008 1:09:44 PM

Yeah? | Oct 21, 2008 11:28:13 PM
Ric Bucher of ESPN: "The damage of the New York debacle on Larry Brown's reputation is reflected in the Bobcats already complaining about his system. Never seen that happen to him this quickly before. That is usually followed by Larry demanding new players, and it's usually downhill from there."
Mr. Bonnell, you have have been around the team. Is this info true? Are the players already unhappy?


Rick Bonnell | Oct 22, 2008 10:51:55 AM

I really respect Ric Bucher and consider him a friend. But I'm around this team daily and I think his assessment is about as off as off can be. The players understand they're being coached for the first time in a year and they appreciate it. Is it rattling at times to be corrected so often? Absolutely. But they know Brown is making them better.

Posted by: Yeah? | Oct 22, 2008 2:21:15 PM

Sixteen. But bad players aren't worth keeping around just to fill roster spots.

After looking at the box score from last night, I had a few interesting observations:
* Some suggested early in the offseason that Gerald Wallace would be best suited to serve in a sixth-man "energy" type role off the bench for a good team (which the Bobcats are not.) Well, he was EXCEPTIONALLY effective in that role last night. Unfortunately, however, Jared Dudley was equally INeffective last night as a starter: 1 pt, 2 reb in 24:00.
* Matt Carroll finally showed what he can do when he's on, going for 11 points in only 8 MP.
* Nazr Mohammed had his best game of the preseason: 8-5 in 16 minutes (which I think is frankly about what he should be doing in the regular season on a good team.)
* PG shooting was still really bad. Regardless of who's starting or playing, 33% shooting ain't gonna get it done.
* Even after Okafor's 0-1 night at the FT line yesterday, I'll ABSOLUTELY take his 78% effort for the preseason.
* Finally, as to Rick's point ("If Andre Brown is cut, after being one of the toughest, hungriest players of the preseason, it will make a terrible statement to the rest of the roster.

Take some risk. Cut a guy with a guarantee if that keeps a guy who is better."):

It strikes me that keeping Sean May on the roster will go against everything that these ideas suggest, much less allowing him to maintain his spot in the starting lineup. The guy just can't get it together, and babying him through this preseason (Larry Brown: "We know he's trying hard and he cares") CANNOT send the right message to the roster in any way.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 22, 2008 2:24:14 PM

This team isn't going to win consistently until they put people in charge who know what they're doing. Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson are not those people.

Larry Brown is an excellent coach, but what good will it do if you don't have people who are willing to spend, and acquire top talent?

Posted by: G.M. | Oct 22, 2008 3:21:36 PM

Procton,
Who would you start in front of May. Least he has offensive game unlike Okafor who only scores on layups and dunks. Cut Davidson and Hollins and look for some free agent pickups.

I like Wallace off the bench and finishing the games. Like Ginobili.

Posted by: Dougie | Oct 22, 2008 3:22:15 PM

As a former UNC grad who was at UNC for part of May's tenure, I hate to say this, but he has been terrible in the preseason. Don't think we really have much else to go with but he is awful. Any chance we could trade my UNC boy's to the Knicks for Lee? They would get an expiring contract in May and a speedy PG in Felton, plus the Knicks know they can't resign Lee and get under the cap in 2010.

Bonnell, any update on how May's knee is doing? Is he lacking what little explosiveness he has b/c the guy should be at least grabbing more rebounds than he currently is? His rebounding has been horrible.

Posted by: Mason | Oct 22, 2008 3:32:04 PM

Dougie, what does scoring 6 PPG on 35% shooting say about May's "offensive" game? It's a bad sign that you believe that's his strong suit, because he CERTAINLY can't rebound or defend. I'd start Andre Brown OR Justin Williams over him.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 22, 2008 3:57:40 PM

I hate to say it, but I don't think things are gonna improve with May as the season progresses. That being said, I can see us cutting Hollins or Davidson before giving manboobs the boot.

Posted by: apauldds | Oct 22, 2008 4:16:21 PM

Procton, May isn't in shape right now so his numbers on average are going to be bad. I love how you only look at his numbers in these 7 preaseason games and not any others as if he has no chance to improve. If you have seen him play, you would know that he has the potential to be solid - that 32 and 8 game vs the Magic was impressive.

He is already under contract this season (for more $ than Hollins or Davidson) so the team is giving him one last shot. If he doesn't get things together by the trade deadline, I think he'll be moved as a throw-in in a deal.

Posted by: Yeah? | Oct 22, 2008 4:34:15 PM

I argee with apauldds,Cut Hollins! As for May, we have waited for May to get healthly we can at least let him play a full season. Besides I don't think Bob would want to pay May's contract by cutting him. Also, I kinda like the idea of G.Wall off the bench.

Posted by: W.L | Oct 22, 2008 4:36:31 PM

Yes...May was ONCE impressive...ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO! The kid had about a full year's worth of paid vacation. If he couldn't get "in shape" then, when will he ever? Should we make him do jumping jacks instead of taking shots during pre-game warmups? He doesn't care about anything more than cashing his weekly checks, so I'm sure as $hit not into rewarding that sort of behavior.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 22, 2008 4:48:01 PM

To answer your question, yes, they might shut down a production like Phantom of the Opera if the rehearsals go poorly enough. Presumably the rehearsals have to go really really badly, but it is not unheard of for plays and such to be shut down before the first curtain raises because of problems like this. You perhaps chose a poor analogy...

Posted by: JC | Oct 22, 2008 6:14:16 PM

Procton,
May is much more offensively gifted than Okafor. He doesn't get rebounds because Okafor is there downlow. Look at the shots may is able to take compared to okafor. Okafor outside of 6 feet is pretty much the same as playing 5 on 4. May can take up to 18 footers as well as play back to basket, something okafor has to yet to pick up. Give May time to get in shape and I think he could be a contributor. You are an idiot if you are starting Justin Williams or Andre Brown, 2 guys on the cut line in front of him.

Posted by: Dougie | Oct 22, 2008 6:30:26 PM

A little background on Ric Bucher. This is the same guy who blasted Jazz fans (whether right or wrong isn't the issue) then didn't even man up and take the trip to cover a game there like he was supposed to and later denied interview requests and issued a weasly .mp3 apology.

When it comes to the Bobcats and the Panthers, just don't even listen to so-called national experts. It's hilarious to watch them contradict about every single thing even a casual Bobcats-Panthers fan knows or reads locally about their team.

Case in point... the NFL draft this past spring. So many pundits said QB would be the pick for sure... when even a casual look at Observer archives or even Panthers.com would have revealed that the organization was 100% sold on Delhomme's recovery, Fox was on the hot seat and needed a player that could immediately contribute. It's not rocket surgery folks.

Posted by: atstinger | Oct 22, 2008 6:43:52 PM

Dougie...Suggesting that May will get better when he gets in shape is about the same as saying the economy will flourish when gas is less than $1.00 per gallon, both would be true, but, IT's NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

Posted by: BlockParty | Oct 22, 2008 7:05:34 PM

Funny, Dougie. If Okafor is "hogging all the rebounds," how exactly does Gerald Wallace manage to pick them up with regularity?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 22, 2008 7:13:10 PM

May has a better offensive game than Okafor in fact Brown has a better post game than Okafor.And the fact that May isn't grabbing rebounds because Okafor is gobbling them up really is just grabbing at straws.If May is shot/fatigued after 2 quarters of the game now,and we're 1 week away from the regular season what makes anyone think he'll be in top shape in that time.

Posted by: Rufus | Oct 22, 2008 7:45:37 PM

It's an unknown as to what extent May will eventually get into shape, so we can speculate all day and it would be a waste of time. However, he DOES have a nice offensive game and we should play him as his stamina permits (and, if that's 15 minutes per game, so be it) since we definitely do not have another player with his skill set at the 4 position. Without someone with a semblance of an inside/outside game at the 4, the defense will stick on the perimeter and our "jump shooters" will be useless. That's why we had to play Wallace at 4 some last year. We also have to use the spare parts (A Brown/J Williams), as well as Nazr and G-Wall in limited situations as matchups permit, at the 4 position. It's our obvious hole so Larry Brown will have to be creative to make the best of it.

Also, as far as cuts go, send Hollins on his merry way. His skill set is completely overlapped by Okafor/Mohammed. Davidson is more offensive-minded so give him one more year before letting him go (unless he is an add-in to a trade, of course).

As far as the big picture goes, we are in rough shape $-wise as long as we have the contracts of Nazr/May/Felton/Morrison (I think a combined $16M). None (although an argument could be made for Felton) is currently an impact guy for our team, so something has to give. I'm hoping for a big trade by February.

Posted by: Cats_Fan | Oct 22, 2008 9:16:38 PM

Procton: "Yes...May was ONCE impressive...ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO! The kid had about a full year's worth of paid vacation. If he couldn't get "in shape" then, when will he ever?"

He couldn't get in-shape then because he was injured! His knee is now healthy so give him an opportunity to get his conditioning back. It isn't going to happen over night.

Posted by: Yeah? | Oct 22, 2008 11:01:45 PM

With J-Rich nothing to fear!

Posted by: James Bush | Oct 22, 2008 11:20:27 PM

Take these following statements with a grain of salt since they are coming from a Grizzlies fan. The question I have repeatedly asked myself is how can any team with such a horrible draft history, and terrible management succeed in the NBA?

It simply doesn't happen. Larry Brown just doesn't have enough to work with. Felton, May, Okafor, Morrison and Augustin were terrific college players, but their past successes will not translate to the NBA.

I feel my Grizzlies are in the exact same position. Gay, our Gerald Wallace, is our only star. No one else (except perhaps Mayo) will ever be on his level.

On a happier note, congrats to Andre Brown. I was so upset we let him go. The guy is a worker and deserves to be in the league.

Posted by: Tiger John | Oct 23, 2008 2:16:19 AM

JR is a beast, too.

Posted by: Tiger John | Oct 23, 2008 2:17:32 AM

3 team trade - felton, may and morrison to the knicks for lee and robinson. the knicks sends rose to memphis, charlotte sends davidson to memphis and memphis send milicic and crittenton to charlotte.

New line-up:
dj,crittenton,robinson
j-rich,carroll,brown
wallace,dudley
okafor,lee,brown
milicic,mohammed,ajinca,hollins

In three years ajinca will be talented enough to send Okafor packing!

Posted by: larry | Oct 23, 2008 3:10:50 AM

It's an unknown as to what extent May will eventually get into shape, so we can speculate all day and it would be a waste of time. However, he DOES have a nice offensive game and we should play him as his stamina permits (and, if that's 15 minutes per game, so be it) since we definitely do not have another player with his skill set at the 4 position. Without someone with a semblance of an inside/outside game at the 4, the defense will stick on the perimeter and our "jump shooters" will be useless. That's why we had to play Wallace at 4 some last year. We also have to use the spare parts (A Brown/J Williams), as well as Nazr and G-Wall in limited situations as matchups permit, at the 4 position. It's our obvious hole so Larry Brown will have to be creative to make the best of it.

Also, as far as cuts go, send Hollins on his merry way. His skill set is completely overlapped by Okafor/Mohammed. Davidson is more offensive-minded so give him one more year before letting him go (unless he is an add-in to a trade, of course).

As far as the big picture goes, we are in rough shape $-wise as long as we have the contracts of Nazr/May/Felton/Morrison (I think a combined $16M). None (although an argument could be made for Felton) is currently an impact guy for our team, so something has to give. I'm hoping for a big trade by February.

Posted by: Cats_Fan | Oct 23, 2008 6:12:58 AM

It's an unknown as to what extent May will eventually get into shape, so we can speculate all day and it would be a waste of time. However, he DOES have a nice offensive game and we should play him as his stamina permits (and, if that's 15 minutes per game, so be it) since we definitely do not have another player with his skill set at the 4 position. Without someone with a semblance of an inside/outside game at the 4, the defense will stick on the perimeter and our "jump shooters" will be useless. That's why we had to play Wallace at 4 some last year. We also have to use the spare parts (A Brown/J Williams), as well as Nazr and G-Wall in limited situations as matchups permit, at the 4 position. It's our obvious hole so Larry Brown will have to be creative to make the best of it.

Also, as far as cuts go, send Hollins on his merry way. His skill set is completely overlapped by Okafor/Mohammed. Davidson is more offensive-minded so give him one more year before letting him go (unless he is an add-in to a trade, of course).

As far as the big picture goes, we are in rough shape $-wise as long as we have the contracts of Nazr/May/Felton/Morrison (I think a combined $16M). None (although an argument could be made for Felton) is currently an impact guy for our team, so something has to give. I'm hoping for a big trade by February.

Posted by: Cats_Fan | Oct 23, 2008 6:15:02 AM

Um, O.K. Cats_Fan, we get it. I think LB has a history of Feb. surprises.

Posted by: apauldds | Oct 23, 2008 8:17:49 AM

apauldds:

I have no clue how the 2nd and 3rd posts were added....but I didn't make them.

Posted by: Cats_Fan | Oct 23, 2008 12:19:21 PM

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