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January 31, 2009

Some thoughts, post-Nuggets game

•  Nuggets coach George Karl was adamant pre-game that the Bobcats would be making a mistake trading Raymond Felton, regardless of Felton’s upcoming free-agency. You can write that off as Tar Heel taking up for Tar Heel, but Felton’s numbers have been pretty striking on this road trip.

 The traditional knock on Felton is that he’s not a real point guard. But in the four road games (Indiana, LA Lakers, Portland and Denver) he’s totaled 38 assists and seven turnovers, a ratio of 5.4-to-1. That’s a turnover for every 23 minutes played.

•  I figured the steady minutes Adam Morrison would get as Gerald Wallace’s fill-in as a starter would have to boost Morrison’s confidence. No evidence of that yet.

 In 43 minutes against the Blazers and Nuggets, Morrison has a foul for every point he’s scored (nine). He’s shooting 4-of-11 in that span.

 Coach Larry Brown said before the Blazers game that Morrison shows all the signs of a player who’s lost his confidence. Asked to elaborate, Brown said Morrison doesn’t play in games like he does in practice.

 Brown has been scrimmaging non-starters (which Morrison was until Wallace was hurt) in 4-on-4 games at practice. I’ve watched those games and Morrison is feisty, loud and attacking offensively. He argues with coaches about fouls called and banters with Juwan Howard about how he’s being guarded.

 Then he’s inserted in games, and Morrison seems to sink back into that shell of self-doubt. He passes up open shots and looks self-conscious and indecisive on defense.

•  Brown received his eighth technical foul of the season versus the Nuggets. That ties him with Karl for second-most among NBA coaches, behind 12 for the Los Angeles Clippers’ Mike Dunleavy.

 I’ve noticed Brown’s techs are more calculated than hot-tempered. When he sees one of his players is about to be T’d up (Raja Bell, for instance), he’ll intercede quickly enough to draw the ref’s whistle instead.

 It’s telling that Brown has that many T’s but no ejections. He knows how hard to push without being banished to the locker room.

 Not that Brown can’t afford it, but under NBA rules, he’s been fined $9,500 for those Ts so far.

•  Wallace told Brown he didn’t want Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum suspended for the foul that hospitalized Wallace with a collapsed lung and broken rib. So Wallace apparently thought the flagrant foul-1 assessed was sufficient.

Posted by Observer Sports on January 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM | Permalink


I feel badly for Morrison, but he has to get through this mental hang-up or his career might be over by summertime in the NBA. Maybe he should try Europe next season.
I really hope he has an impressive turn around

Posted by: BubbaCatFan | Jan 31, 2009 11:26:24 AM

They shouldve sent Morrison with Richardson instead of Dudley but thats hindsight. Morrison will never be dominant in the NBA, he lacks defensive skills and when his shots are going hes useless. I admire Juwon Howard but he really is hurting the team on offense. We shouldve have to rely on 35 plus year old players. Get well soon Wallace, the team seems stagnant and slow paced now without him. When is Augustin suppose to be back? That new guy from the D League looked terrible btw.

Posted by: marvel | Jan 31, 2009 11:55:22 AM

The Bobcats picked up Morrison's option for next season, guaranteeing him about $5.2 million. So he doesn't need to go to Europe.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Jan 31, 2009 11:57:38 AM

I totally forgot about the fact that Charlotte locked Morrison up for next season. For the love of Mary and Joseph, the Cats have got to get more from their draft picks. Okafor and Felton have their faults, but I think the Cats need to keep them both. May could go on a fad diet like the South Beach Diet or the Abs Diet and get to 260. There is no way he is working as hard as he says he is. He is letting down his teammates and the fan base down by not getting into better shape.

I still have faith Charlotte will beat Utah.

Posted by: Token | Jan 31, 2009 2:58:02 PM

Very interesting insider's info that you're providing here, Rick (coach Karl's comments on Felton, and about Adam Morrison at practice). This seems to show that AM didn't lose his confidence in his ability (for which I'm glad), but is lacking in confidence just when it matters most, during games. Can this be due to worrying that he'll go the bench after making a mistake or two, or simply, because there are alternatives at SF? Such worries don't exist at practice... If that's the reason, he's certainly not the only player bothered by such worries.
He got 26 minutes in Portland after being a long time in the dog house. Then, against the Nuggets, I think he did better offensively than in Portland (5 points at 40% in 17 minutes is not great, but is better than 4 points at 33% in 26 minutes), but his playing time went down (to just 2 minutes over his season average). I'm not saying that Larry Brown should give him more minutes steadily, because LB has his defense demands that Adam can't meet. I'm saying, though, that if playing in a different system, where he would be allowed to play consistently about half the game, with the focus being on his scoring, he could achieve more. I liked that 3 pointer and then his runner in Denver; then, a few mistakes plus really weak defense, and off to the bench he went. I mean, trade him for his own good. But then, there was the huge mistake of extending his contract over the next season, at the high rate Rick mentioned, and this makes it extremely hard to trade him.

Posted by: Sandy | Jan 31, 2009 8:25:29 PM

Recent Bobcat trades has produced some mix-good and bad. Firstly, I was one of those particularly against trading J. Rich, but I think for sometime now, I have settle with what both Diaw and Bell are capable of doing. Also, both Felton, and Okafor have striking improved their games. The problem with the team is the lack of support from the bench like other team. The only bench player that have been impressive is Shannon Brown. He to some extent have re-energize the team when the team energy and confidence seems to be fading away. I enjoyed is play vs. the LA Lakers. He was superb with that crucial 3 point play.

I think I watched both Morrison and Howard play the same way. The playing time really hurt the team with points. If a player will be fouling all the time and sending his oppenent of the line, then something need to be done. I don't think Morrison, May or Mohammed are really ready to play for this team. As the earlier writer suggested, Morrison should have been traded instead of Dudley, who plays by far better than Morrison. Besides, signing Singletary to a point guard position was a joke. I think they are making for nothing money that could be used to buy more t-shirts for the fans.

Posted by: aaron.siafa | Jan 31, 2009 8:30:51 PM

Morrison and Dudley are/were paid significantly different amounts so the trade would not work switching those two.

Also, how come nobody mentioned that Okafor only had 2 defensive rebounds in the entire game???? Suppose that's because the guy he was guarding (Nene) only missed 1 shot, but 2 defensive rebounds is not acceptable.

And as bad as you think the new guy looked, he was more productive in less minutes than Morrison at a LOT less financial commitment, and we outscored the Nuggets by 5 points while he was in the game.


Posted by: BlockParty | Jan 31, 2009 10:49:56 PM

We locked up Ammo because it was prudent. Next year there is going to be a great deal of 2-3 year 4-5 mil per year guys who play "very well" but not all star material...everyone who wants to clear cap is going to be calling about Ammo next Jan. offering us good players. I've also heard some rumors that we've been talking to Indiana about May and Ammo and "someone else" for Tinsley and some help at the SF position...nothing definitive though...Maybe Rick can ask about htat?

Posted by: Tattoo | Jan 31, 2009 11:19:32 PM

hey if it makes anyone feel any better, Bynum got injured tonight against memphis... just sayin.

Posted by: aaron | Feb 1, 2009 12:22:00 AM

oh and.... "We're talkin' about practice??!!" (A.I.)

Posted by: aaron | Feb 1, 2009 12:25:00 AM

I can't imagine wanting Tinsley for just about anything. But if we did trade for him it must mean Felton is the "someone else" that Tattoo mentioned. If we're giving Felton up for help at the SF them I'm guessing it'd have to be Dunleavy, but I don't like that for either team. Why does Indy want Felton when they have Ford and Jack? Dunleavy does help at the SF but then who's our PG? DJ is a rookie who's been injured for a month so he can't be expected to start even if he is healthy. Who knows what kind of shape Tinsley's in?

I'm just speculating of course but I don't like the possibilities w/ Indy.

Posted by: Bobby | Feb 1, 2009 9:52:55 AM

I can't imagine that we'd make a move for Tinsley. He's exactly the type of player who will be in LB's doghouse on day one and stay there. Tinsley is a known cancer and his contract is probably around the same amount that Felton would earn, so why bother? I don't think Indiana would make that trade either, it makes no sense for anyone. Indy would be getting rid of Tinsley, but they'd be giving up Dunleavy for a PG when they already have 2 good PGs.

Posted by: Eddie | Feb 1, 2009 1:06:30 PM

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