« Nothing imminent on 15th roster spot | Main | Salary-cap explainer, payroll numbers »

February 21, 2009

Brown calls out the players

 No faster way to tick off Larry Brown than to play selfish and stupid. Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin aren't selfish or stupid, but that's how they played Friday, so Brown called them out.

Brown spent three minutes answering the first question at his news conference, and he covered so much ground, there wasn't much need for follow-up questions. Calm but firm, he explained how his team didn't care to share the ball Friday, how most possessions involved a single pass and some involved no passes. Then Brown pointed out that Felton and Augustin took 29 shots (making nine.)

"This team just can't run without a sense of organization,'' Brown said. "You have no defense for (bad) shots. You've got to give yourself a chance to get back the ball or at least get back on defense.''

The point guards weren't the only players drawing Brown's wrath. Brown got off on a tangent about what great screens Magic center Dwight Howard sets. I wondered where this was going, when Brown said he wished his center set screens like that.

Translation: Emeka Okafor better toughen up if he expects to beat the Magic.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 21, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Permalink


He was right, bottom line there was no ball movement tonight at all...If it weren't for the fact that I met him before the game, I'd have called it a bust of a night out tonight...But Larry was spectarcular and I got to say hi and the likes to Dell Curry and that was good too. Have a good night Rick.

Posted by: Tattoo | Feb 21, 2009 12:27:48 AM

Great presser by LB. He was fair but direct.

While he had every right to be angry at the points, he should be equally angry at Diaw who coasted through the game and didn't help out.

While Okafor hedged on his screens a lot, I thought he played good D on Howard (who is spending too much time with the likes of Kobe and LeBron and becoming a cry baby)

Posted by: Slam | Feb 21, 2009 2:03:11 AM

I agree completely with LB's presser. It needed to be said firmly and directly. It was a poor effort all around. I think the team as a whole allowed the physicality to bother them. Between that and the poor identification of shooters (i.e. Rashad Lewis early) and lack of defensive communication and teamwork and you get a butt whooping that wasn't even as close as the final score indicated.

Posted by: jperry | Feb 21, 2009 3:01:31 AM

He can call them out and he should, but at the same time he doesn't have great players and they will not change how they play. He has been after most of them all year and still trying to change the same problems. The magic just has better players than we do.

Posted by: wayne | Feb 21, 2009 8:30:31 AM

Bell brings nothing to table, I don't know why he starts, Okafor is reverting back to his 50% free throw performances(he got his shot blocked by the rim I think twice)and he still provides very little on offense, Wallace needs to finish his layups when he drives, Diaw needs to shoot more and quit looking to pass and turnover the ball, Felton provides the only offense out of the starters because no one else shoots but some nights hes off(Augstin was too) but atleast they were trying to score. Radman needs to start or atleast play alot more. Diop is a big stiff, they may as well play Ajinca.

Posted by: marvel | Feb 21, 2009 9:47:03 AM

Big game....Friday night....a playoff team that the Cats almost beat at their place a few nights ago....a rowdy crowd.

Aren't you happy that you paid $165 a ticket for this game and the $7 beers? Wasn't that fun? Enjoy watching Raymond jack em up?

Posted by: Robby Wilkins | Feb 21, 2009 10:22:21 AM

I've never seen Brown get on our players like this.

I remember after the Cleveland loss, he said no one except Raymond came to compete, but I haven't seen him individually call out players like he did last night.

I'm happy that he did because this team needs it!

Posted by: RP | Feb 21, 2009 11:52:54 AM

Evidently, Larry Brown was right to criticize the players - especially the point guards. If this loss is disappointing for fans, it's even more disappointing for him, as a coach, to see his players seeming to forget to execute, playing something that look more like street ball for most of the game - a big step back after a number of games with good team work.
Felton looked like he wanted to prove right those who say he doesn't have "a point guard's mind-set". In the last three games, he averaged 4.3 apg - not what you want from your starting point guard! However, this comes after a string of 18 games in which Raymond averaged 9.3 assists per game, which earned him lots of praise. So, why did he go back to his worst tendencies last night (and the two games before that, which were before the trade line - so, that wasn't a factor)? In my opinion, he let that well-deserved praise go to his head, he became over-confident, and then started playing the way he felt like, not the way coach Brown asked him to play. I hope that his post-game statement indicates that he's aware of the problem, and he'll correct this.
This mess reminds me of a statement made by Michael Jordan last season, regarding Felton: "what we expect is consistency". We're still waiting for it...

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 21, 2009 12:46:34 PM

...Felton is off "some nights?" At .396 all-time, Felton is off for his career. In his fourth year, he is what he is. A shooter who moonlights as a PG and racks up assists because he plays a ridiculous amount of minutes, not because he looks to set up teammates first.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 22, 2009 12:53:34 AM


Mo Williams averages 4.2 apg, but was still an all star. It's not about the assist totals, it's about how the offense is running.

In Felton's two previous games before Orlando,he averaged 19 pts on nearly 50 percent shooting(15-31). He averaged 5 assists in those two games and we should have won both.

Don't bee naive.

Posted by: RP | Feb 22, 2009 9:56:40 AM

Well at least you're changing your strategy procton. You used to deny that Felton ever recorded an assist in his life. Now you admit that he actually does get assists but blame it on his minutes.

Sure every player will rack up numbers the more they play. By your logic, however, we'd have to concede that Meka only gets a double double because he averages 34 minutes a game. Ok so what? All of the Bobcats starters average 30 plus minutes per game. They all average double figure scoring...SO WHAT

Posted by: Bobby | Feb 22, 2009 10:52:57 AM

Is it me or is making the playoffs this year when the team cant possibly compete for a championship pointless? Bobcats make the playoffs, they slip past #16 on draft day which means that pick goes to Denver. What will the team gain from making the playoffs? Two more games of ticket sales? Felton wont be back, that pick will be vital to get a decent player cheaper than from Free Agency.

Posted by: chknwing | Feb 22, 2009 11:28:43 AM

So what? So Felton's assist numbers aren't all that impressive. If he played the 26 MPG of Earl Watson, he'd only get 4.5 APG. Watson gets 5.8. If he only played the 25 MPG of Anthony Carter, he'd get 4.2 APG; Carter gets 4.9. Hell, Ramon Sessions has a higher assist rate than Felton, and he's a 2nd-year player who plays more than Felton at SG AND was the #56 pick. Very impressive stats for your boy, though.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 22, 2009 1:14:03 PM

Felton stinks! Always have...always will!!!

Posted by: duston | Feb 22, 2009 4:30:52 PM

RP, it would be interesting to know what do you mean by "naive". You don't need to go into name calling games; if you did your homework, you'd see why you're wrong. Assists are the best indicator of how an offense is run, and the most important statistic number for a point guard. Mo Williams was never a great playmaker, but he's a good shooter and scorer; at 17.7 PPG, he's above Gerald, the Bobcats' leading score! This - plus the attention he gets because of playing in one of the top NBA teams - explains why he's an All Star. He's lucky to be playing in LeBron's team; this great small forward averages 7.1 assists per game! As a team, the Cavs average 20.1 APG, which is mediocre, but still they win, thanks to LeBron.
Back to our team, in the two games you mentioned, they had 23 assists when they beat Indiana and 21 assists when they had that near-win at Orlando. Compare this to 14 assists when they were crushed by Orlando! Only 8 out of the 44 assists in these two games came from Felton, which is way below his average, and way below what's expected from the assists leader of the team. For next time, I hope you'll do two things: 1) check the facts before posting and 2) refrain from calling names.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 23, 2009 12:04:52 AM

Yes, Michael, of course... Why not be oblivious of that 18 games string when Felton averaged 9.3 assists per game, just as you've always ignored the final 25 games segment of last season, when he averaged 8.5 apg. Why not deny stubbornly that the heavy minutes played by Felton as shooting guard have anything to do with his mind-set? As a faithful, and more-rabid-than-the-average Duke fan, you just MUST go into denial regarding anything good that Raymond did! Please, never forsake your anti-Tar Heel hatred, otherwise you'd really get us all confused...
To display consistently a point guard mind-set, you need to play consistently that position, until that mind-set becomes habit, second nature. Raymond was not yet given this chance in the NBA, except for that last segment of last season, when he made very good use of it. If he'll ever be given this chance, the two games-strings I mentioned above clearly prove he can become one of the assists leaders of this league. Until then, enjoy your statistical manipulations, based on ignoring any data inconvenient to you. By the way, since you referred to Ramon Sessions, whom I've seen playing: he has the potential to become one of the top point guards of this league. He's much better than Ridnour, yet, for whatever reason, he doesn't get starter minutes unless Ridnour gets injured.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 23, 2009 12:37:42 AM


Don't be foolish.

Many times it's the pass that leads to the pass to the basket.

I guarantee LB would take Felton's performance in the Indiana and Orlando game over an entire season.

Posted by: RP | Feb 23, 2009 3:43:11 PM

Obviously RP, the assists are not the whole story, but they are an important indicator. Your statements show that your understanding of basketball and of Larry Brown's expectations are at about the same level with your manners - basement level.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 23, 2009 5:14:04 PM

I never said assists are not an important indicator. But to say since the trade deadline has passed, Raymond has gone back to his old ways is unjust. Those first two games after the ASG, Felton did, for the most part, what LB wanted him to. Like I said, 19 pts and 5 asts on 50% shooting in a win and another that should have been is great.

Go learn something! Anybody can read off stats!

Posted by: RP | Feb 23, 2009 7:34:04 PM

You "need to play consistently at the position???" Felton's never played less than 60% of his minutes at PG, and that numbers up to 80% this year!

And the reason Sessions plays behind Ridnour is because of the same issue Felton has: he doesn't understand that a PG should look to pass and get his teammates in a rhythm before looking to jack his own shot up. The difference, though, is that Sessions hits on a far more frequent basis than Ray Ray.

RP, Brown would be watching a team that never moved the ball if Felton played 40 MPG all year and only managed to average 5 assists. If he can finally give up on being the primary scorer, the team would be better for it.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 23, 2009 7:45:28 PM

Michael, you're just too much fun to pass on this opportunity to argue with you (no, not on Felton, that ceased making sense long ago, for the reasons I already mentioned). On Sessions, for a change...
What if Scott Skiles began changing his mind and let Sesions be his starting point guard (even after Ridnour's return from injury)?! Looks like this is what happened Sunday, when Ramon Sessions led his team to a victory over Denver with 27 points and 8 assists. In the 5 games when he was starting point guard (while Ridnour was injured) he averaged 22.8 ppg and 9.4 apg!
He played a few minutes last season, until April; in April '08, this totally inexperienced (at that time) player averaged 11.5 ppg and 11.3 apg! Even from this distance, you sure can tell that he "doesn't understand that a PG should look to pass"! Lucky we have M.Procton here ready to educate him!
Michael, this is about a young player with very little experience and tremendous potential. But, of course, you never admitted being wrong about anything...

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 24, 2009 10:48:29 AM

Alright Sandy,

No question I agree with you on Sessions.

Posted by: RP | Feb 24, 2009 3:56:03 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.