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December 25, 2008

Wallace learning shot selection

Quite a little revelation from Gerald Wallace the other day, when he said the Bobcats coaches were "harassing'' him about better shot-selection.

    While Wallace used the word "harass,'' you could tell from his playful tone there's no friction here. Still, Wallace bringing that up demonstrates a message was sent.

    I'm not surprised.

    If there's been a primary theme to the first third of Larry Brown's first season as Charlotte Bobcats coach, it's think-before-you-shoot. A good shot for one player is not a good shot for another and a shot that might be bad with 17 seconds left on the shot-clock is worth taking with three seconds left.

    I strongly doubt the coaches want Wallace matching the 221 3-point attempts he took last season. That's not to say he's banned from the 3-point line. But when you're 6-7 with the ups to touch tree tops, going to the rim has to be your first priority.

    That's all the more relevant now that the Bobcats have more ballhandlers on the floor. Adding Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin to the rotation has improved the passing, particularly in the lane, so there's much better opportunity for the high-percentage shots that often have the side-benefit of drawing fouls.

    Wallace mentioned what the coaches said when asked about his line in the box score versus the Washington Wizards. He had 16 points and eight rebounds and made six of seven field-goal attempts. He took one 3-pointer (it was wide-open) and made it, and he reached the foul line four times (making three).

    It was obvious from Wallace's comments that one or more coaches reminded him this is how they want him playing: Fewer shots, for a higher percentage, leaving energy to rebound and defend.

    Reminds me of something Billy King told me before the season started. King worked with Brown in Indiana and Philadelphia, and predicted no Bobcat would benefit more from Brown's coaching than Wallace.

    I asked him to elaborate: King said Wallace is this team's best athlete, but didn't get much coaching between one season of college ball and end-of-the-bench time in Sacramento.

    King expected Brown to sharpen Wallace's decision-making in ways that might reduce some of Wallace's numbers, yet improve Wallace's impact on winning and losing.

    Sounds just like what I heard in that locker room Tuesday night.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 25, 2008 at 12:18 PM | Permalink


Gerald is my favorite Bobcat player. I am worried that after LB coaches Gerald up and makes him an all-star that MJ will decide it is time to trade him.

Posted by: james reed | Dec 25, 2008 2:07:26 PM

even though okafor was publicly advertised as the "face" of the team since day one, the heart has been gerald. he plays hard all the time, and was rewarded for that with a contract. if other teams think his contract is too much for them to take on, chances are he stays here. thats the way it should be, with players like him brought here in any way jordan can do it. sure okafor had a big stats game tuesday, but washington has no post players, so okafor was free to roam. wallace plays good team defense, no matter what people might say. he rolls on doubles, helps on screens, even cover the post when nobody else drops down. he must stay here for this team to grow.

Posted by: brendan | Dec 26, 2008 9:20:54 AM

He is 'the Force.' No one who goes to the games could doubt that.

Posted by: Matt Musson | Dec 26, 2008 9:53:32 AM

I hope Wallace and Felton work on their shot selection. The Bobcats should at least split this upcoming series with the Nets.

Posted by: Token | Dec 26, 2008 12:20:01 PM

If wallace is better with selection, and felton sits on Sean May's lap (I figured May must be taking up Felton's seat on the bench too) then we should be just fine..


Posted by: Chris...Tattoo | Dec 26, 2008 1:38:50 PM

Wallace is the glue of this team. They should leave this group alone, unless you could somehow get something for May. I think if May get's healthy(In Shape), they could still have a nice 9-10 man rotation, with some different looks. May is still tough with the ball inside of 10 feet, and could be affective in 3 minute stretches.

Posted by: Rob | Dec 26, 2008 7:44:49 PM

is there any question that we are ten times better since the trade then before. diaw is playing great and bell has played better in the last three games. we are about to go to 4-3 since the trade but with improved play.

With four winnable games coming up, it's not looking terrible for this season after all.

hey Will and the other haters, how do you like them apples.

Posted by: dougie | Dec 26, 2008 10:00:26 PM

Hey Chris guess what? Felton had a solid game tonight, like he's been having lately. Once people stop expecting him to be an all star maybe you can start appreciating him for the talents he does have. Felton and Okafor have been playing better in Brown's system.

Posted by: bobby | Dec 26, 2008 10:08:09 PM

I would be happy if Felton ever learned how to play defense. How many steals does he have for his career, 5? His favorite defensive play is to foul a guy that is shooting and then bitch to the refs about it.
As for his offensive game, his favorite move is to drive the lane, throw some garbage up, fall down, then again bitch to the refs about no foul call.
I use to like Felton a lot but I'm done drinking the kool aid. He's f'ing terrible.
2nd favorite offensive move: dribble around and run the shot clock down to 1 and then throw up some crap that has no chance of going in. He particularly likes this move at the end of the 4th quarter in a close game.

Posted by: feltonblend ows | Dec 27, 2008 8:28:14 AM

I wonder if Gerald Wallace has ever considered picking up that Rosetta Stone stuff that helps you with a foreign language? I'm thinking he could use it to learn English. I can never understand what that dude says when he speaks. It just sounds like LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO.
Hopefully Larry Brown bought him Rosetta Stone for Christmas.

Posted by: Phonics | Dec 27, 2008 8:30:43 AM

GW is a super guy. I have known him for years and he's always been an amazing athlete. Most importantly he's a class person, and has turned into a heck of a basketball player.

As for the language stuff, he's got the deepest voice ever, and has since 8th grade!

Posted by: GWFAN | Dec 27, 2008 12:05:31 PM

The numbers on Felton don't lie. He's not great, but solid. But keep exaggerating his flaws and lamenting that rejection letter from Duke. It's a tough school to get into.

Posted by: bobby | Dec 27, 2008 1:29:17 PM

Yes...the numbers on Felton DON'T lie. He's a point guard who takes a LOT of shots at a low percentage while committing a lot of dumb turnovers without ever thinking to set up his teammates. See Raja Bell's four assists to Felton's three despite playing four fewer minutes...AT SHOOTING GUARD!

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 27, 2008 2:16:01 PM

Thanks for that entirely one sided opinion of Felton. You pointed out that for a single game Felton had one less assist than Raja Bell. Wow let's bench him for that alone. By Mr. Procton's impeccable logic we should also consider Felton a great shooter. For that SINGLE game he shot .545 percent and was the game's leading scorer.

So Mr. Procton, if we judge Felton based on YOUR standards he is an all star scorer. Hmmmm maybe we should back up and re-think things. Felton is no all star scorer. He's a poor shooter. He also leads the team in assists (I decided to look beyond one game and check the season stats, I hope that's ok w/ you Mr. Procton). Still he's no all star PG. He IS however, a solid all around contributor. Stop exaggerating his flaws just because he's not Chris Paul. Without Felton The Cats probably would have lost that game last night.

Did anyone notice how well the Cats played on defense last night? This is honestly the most excited I've been about this team.

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 27, 2008 2:39:07 PM

I think the key to this mini-surge of the bobcats has been Diaws willingness to take more shots. I always thought he was too reluctant to shoot the ball to make a real difference, but maybe he perceives that he's one of the better offensive options on a team like the bobcats (and he's right!). He's the kind of PF that should have been playing with Okafor from the very beginning (only took them 4 years to figure it out, encouraging, no?).

Anyways... they're playing better, but do you really think that they're going to make the playoffs? They're playing above their heads and they already wasted their their opportunity of starting the season with a lot of home games. The stretch run might be the dagger for this team.

And I still think they should have taken Lopez instead of Augustin. How did they both look last night?

Posted by: David | Dec 27, 2008 3:15:23 PM

Felton sucked again tonight. Does anyone want to argue that fact? I didn't think so. I was at the game so no I don't know any STATS, but I'm sure they suck ass. Felton is a freaking joke and he lost another game tonight. Get this piece of Sh.. out of here.

Posted by: Billy | Dec 28, 2008 1:55:45 AM

I would just like to say if I could have sex with any man it would be Primo Brezec. I'm on record saying he is one of the greatest centers ever in the eastern conference. I would love to toss his salad and give him some arabian goggles. never question my judge of talent. primoz is excellent...on and off the court if you know what i'm saying. oooh la la

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 28, 2008 2:11:27 AM

Ray Felton cuddles with me at night. We take showers together. He is very soft but has a very strong touch. Sometimes he invites his friend sean may over and we sleep on top of him, his blubber keeping us warm. Please don't speak mean about my good friend Ray Felton, it makes him and me very sad. :`(

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 28, 2008 10:16:31 AM

Seriously guys? pretty lame.

I try to take a fair view of Ray. Some of you seem more interested in just talking shit. Get a life guys.

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 28, 2008 7:18:04 PM

that being said, if i could go three way with procton and sean may that would be quite awesome.

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 28, 2008 9:31:22 PM

Come on, Bobby...how do you explain last night's "single game?" Felton leads the team in shots while finishing third on the team in assists. That's NOT how it's supposed to work when you're a POINT GUARD!

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 28, 2008 10:34:25 PM

I call it what it is. A bad game. I have no problem admitting that. I'm just saying bitching about Felton like he's the one problem on the team is stupid.

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 29, 2008 12:56:33 AM

Plus you got to admit that your single game logic is pretty weak. What kind of self respecting stat geek attempts to prove a point on any one game?

You have a point that he took way too many shots last night, but it's not like his team mates (Emeka) have a great history of giving him a reason to pass. That's improving this season, which is something we should all be happy with.

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 29, 2008 1:04:35 AM

You're right, Bobby. Let's look at some significant historical evidence to disprove your point.

"it's not like his team mates (sic) (Emeka) have a great history of giving him a reason to pass"

Has Okafor not shot 50% for his career (including 53+ the last three years?) Has Felton not shot less than 40% for HIS career (and no better than 41?) So why is it that Felton needs such a "reason" to pass? Okafor's career high in FGAs/48 came his rookie year, when he had a real PG in Brevin Knight who was interested in setting his teammates. Since, his FGAs/48 have gone down every year, including a career low of 13.07 this year despite shooting a spectacular 59% (second in the NBA to only Nene.) Felton, on the other hand, is taking 16.4 shots/48, despite shooting a pitiful 39%, a number that ranks 116th out of 120 qualified players!

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 29, 2008 10:28:30 AM

Someone send this trade to MJ/Larry Brown...I believe it works in favor of all involved


Keep in mind that, instead of jackson, the bobs can get crawford come January 21st

Posted by: SF Bobcats | Dec 29, 2008 2:33:39 PM

What point of mine are you trying to disprove Procton? Have I not said that Felton is a poor shooter? I think I've made my point very clear if you'll just read my posts.

Posted by: Bobby | Dec 29, 2008 3:08:12 PM

"it's not like his team mates [sic] (Emeka) have a great history of giving him a reason to pass."

THAT one. And it's wrong. Given that he's consistently been one of the worst shooters on the team, he should have been feeding Okafor more often all along, not jacking up bricks left and right. "Solid" point guards, as you called him, don't do that.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 29, 2008 3:42:38 PM

SF, I doubt the Clippers would go for that at all. The only chip they get other than the three expiring contracts is Maggette, whom they JUST let go for nothing to the Warriors.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 29, 2008 3:45:35 PM

Plus, it's not like that cap space would take them anywhere. Nobody wants to come to LA to play second fiddle to the Lakers for a perpetually losing team.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 29, 2008 3:46:54 PM

at about the 20 game mark, looks like the wheels of change were set in motion for this roster. sean may was not healthy, adam morrison could not flourish in a larry brown system, raymond was shifted to a perminant combo guard instead of just playing point thus making augustine this teams PG focus, more defense was needed, more passing skills were needed, and so here we go. with raymond being showcased as "available" and with morrison sitting with DNP-CD for games, how about this. brown likes vet guards(prefer PG), we need a bench scorer/spot starter at the 2, and any additional beef that can score from the forward postions(3, 4) would help. trade felton(4 mill), morrison(4 mill), hollins (977 thou) and s brown (700 thou) to denver for linas klaza,jr smith, and chucky atkins. their combined contracts make up the amounts for the bobcats players mentioned. new lineup:
AUGUSTINE>atkins, singletary

Posted by: brendan | Dec 30, 2008 11:28:26 AM

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