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March 17, 2009

Augustin never fully recovered

 Bobcats rookie point guard D.J. Augustin has had six or more assists in just three of 19 games since missing two weeks in January with an abdominal strain.

Augustin acknowledged Tuesday that he's never really healed from the injury, won't until the off-season, and it's robbed him of some of his game.

"It's not as bad, but it's still there and it won't get better until after the season is over when I have time to just rest,'' Augustin told me. "It's hard to get rest during an NBA season. You're playing every other night and practicing every (non-game) day.''

Coach Larry Brown anticipated this being a nagging ailment because he had similar injuries as a point guard. This is particularly problematic for a point guard because that position requires so much change-of-direction, both as a playmaker and defender.

"I'm not able to do what I normally would, particularly on fast breaks,'' Augustin said. "I'm not able to move side-to-side the way I want to. I'm kind of protecting it, and that affects my defense.''

Augustin has had some effective games since the injury, but mostly as a jump-shooter, rather than a penetrator off dribble-drive.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 17, 2009 at 05:57 PM | Permalink


I hate excuses. If he struggles this much after one little hit, what sort of career will be have in the NBA?

A career back up is all he'll ever be - if that.

Posted by: Fragile | Mar 17, 2009 7:30:04 PM

He's playing pretty darn well with that injury, even with that we'll need him down the stretch if we're to have a prayer at making the post season

Posted by: Jon in DC | Mar 17, 2009 7:31:08 PM

Ahh...so we should give Felton a pass on the fact that he's no better as a fourth-year player than he was as a rookie because he's been lucky enough not to get hurt? Interesting logic. As far as I'm concerned, "career backup" is all Felton ever should have been.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 17, 2009 7:49:53 PM

DJ has been fantastic as a Rook other than the minor injury issues. Let him get through the offseason conditioning and I bet he doesn't have these injury issues as a matter of routine.

He definitely has NBA starter game. Such a sweet outside shot and a good distributor. Not the greatest finisher and the defense is lacking, but that will improve with time in the weight room.

He has pushed Felton this year, who along with LB's coaching has turned into a much better PG. Still, as a 4th year player, Felton's decision making isn't as good as DJ's.

Posted by: steve | Mar 17, 2009 9:17:19 PM

First of all...FIRST OF ALL, Bonnell made no mention of Felton in this post. Procton is so Felton crazy that he's now having paranoid hallucinations.

Secondly, I love that the first comment signed off as "fragile" because fragile is exactly what that guy's logic is. An injury and an excuse are two different things. Injuries happen and if we're honest, most of us aren't in a position to know how injured D.J. has been. Let's not forget that he's still playing, and not all that poorly considering he's a rookie. He was clearly playing much better before he went out in January so it's only reasonable to believe that his injury slowed him down a little. It happens bro.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 17, 2009 10:08:34 PM

When you're 5'11 with a 7'10.5" standing reach like DJ, any ailment that slows you down is gonna put a MAJOR damper in your game. That is the risk you run with a draft pick who is undersized. It's no wonder that 6'3" PG's like Sam Cassell and Steve Nash can stay in league a decade-and-a-half despite nagging injuries and aging. Having skill AND size makes up for slowing down.

And lucky or not, Felton's durability is HUGE for him. Durability or lack thereof makes or breaks draft picks all of the time.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Mar 17, 2009 11:50:38 PM

Steve Nash is barely 6 feet and I see Sam Cassel here in Houston all the time in the off season he is a little shorter than me and I stand a mere 6'1 it just shows people will post a comment and not know what they are talking about D.J. is a stud and will be for a long time. Check his numbers when he starts thaey are off the charts. Please check them and then come back and post. Once he is startingn he'll have a better rythm going. Everybody is not meant to come off the bench and just from past efforts this hold true with D.J. at least that is what the records show. It can't be denied check it out.

Posted by: freak21 | Mar 18, 2009 8:52:43 AM

First of all Steve Nash is barely 6ft and I see Sam Cassel here in houst almot daily he he is shorted than me and i stand a mere 6'1 1/2. So check you facts before you post or what you do is not credible. D.J. is a stud and will be for a long time. Check his stats when he starts. They are off the charts. Had he not got hurt Felton was out of here D.J. is Larry Browns pick don't you guys realize that much? He can average 25 and 10 that will only make him more valuable for a trade. Next year when D.J. is starting and getting Felton minute 35-40 a gameyou'll see him get into the rythm he does when he starts and put up numbers and wins. Everybody is not meant to come off the bench. Check the stats. They don't lie.

Posted by: freak21 | Mar 18, 2009 9:02:24 AM

Injury has slowed him. Hope him the best, and hope this doesn't turn into a felton sucks thread, despite Procton's every effort.

Posted by: A Fan | Mar 18, 2009 10:34:00 AM

I dont understand why anybody is complaining about DJ. The guy has serious game. He is without a doubt the best draft pick in team history. He sees the floor well, distributes the ball in a good position so players can score and he hits open jump shots(sweet stroke). Not to mention his free throw shooting percentage(top 10 in the LEAGUE). What else do you want from a rook? He just needs to get a little stronger so he can finish at the rim better. Looks to me like he has been in the weight room. He is definetly stronger than he was at the beginning of the season. DJ is so young he might even grow another inch or two. Great pick MJ.

Posted by: FuriousStyles | Mar 18, 2009 10:36:51 AM

Hey A Fan - no need to turn this into a Felton sucks thread, we all know it by now.

Posted by: The Truth | Mar 18, 2009 11:21:26 AM


I'm glad that you allegedly stand next to Sam Cassell a lot. Guess what? The NBA has listed Steve Nash and Sam Cassell at 6'3" for years. There's no way you can tell me they are barely taller than DJ. So you check YOUR stats.

Face it. DJ is a tiny Point Guard. Cassell and Nash are not. Skill AND size are helpful to play through injuries/age. Let's just hope that DJ doesn't have too many more injuries. With his heavy dependence on speed, he can't afford them. He can't get into the lane by backing PG's down, the way taller PG's can.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Mar 18, 2009 1:00:38 PM

Fragile you are such a dumba** hole.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Mar 18, 2009 1:16:53 PM

Thanks, The Truth, glad you have a lot of proof to back up your argument.

It's as much "fact" as procton ever brings or what Furious brings supporting the fact that DJ is the Bcats bets draft pick.

I know that there aren't many good ones to choose from, but i'll still stand by my assertion that he'll always be a back up until he can play any d and be a consistant distributor. Despite all facts the contrary, Felton is the distributor, DJ is the shooter.

Posted by: A Fan | Mar 18, 2009 2:16:53 PM

It would appear that some peoples feelings here are as fragile as that midgets body that we drafted 9th overall last draft.

Posted by: Fragile | Mar 18, 2009 3:16:13 PM

in 9 starts Dj averaged 20.1 ppg, 6.1 apg, 49 fg%, 57 3pt%, 1.11 steals ---STUD numbers. You could argue if he started all year, he'd be the top rookie PG and not Rose...Dj is a SOLID player and is only going to get better.

Posted by: Bobcat Matt | Mar 18, 2009 3:43:00 PM

All the proof I need A Fan is 39% career field goal shooting, poor decision making with the ball, costly turn overs at important times of the game and ball hogging.

Posted by: The Truth | Mar 18, 2009 3:57:53 PM

Leave it to Procton to turn this into Felton/UNC bashing. It is a wonder why he did not CUT it there.

Posted by: jeff | Mar 18, 2009 4:35:32 PM

When was the last time Steve Nash posted somebody up? It's not as much about size as it is about body mass. Regardless of size, how many times do you see ANY PG in the league trying to post up? Chris Paul and Deron Williams are the two best points in the league... they post up a lot? The point position is about getting into the lane and making the right decision... shoot, dish to a cutter, pass to a wing for an open 3.

Posted by: David | Mar 18, 2009 4:37:42 PM

Let's get real fellas. Felton is at worst a top 15 point guard in this league. Through three different coaches, he has been switched back and forth from PG to SG. His best attributes are his speed and ability to get to the basket which creates shots for his team. He is definitely the best point guard on the team and the Bobcats would be crazy to let him go this offseason (given that he comes at the right price). I'm no Augustin hater either. The kid is nice but not ready to be a starter yet. Yes he filled in nicely as a stater but it was during his hottest streak of the season and he REALLY had the green light from Larry Brown. Some players miss a whole season with an abdominal injury like he had but the fact that he plays through it shows his toughness, so fragile he is not. He hasn't smacked up against the "rookie wall" as some other kids do and he has provided a steady hand off the bench in terms of ball-handling and particularly scoring. And have any of you had an abdominal strain? It makes it alot tougher to move around, let alone play an NBA game.

Starter? Not yet but he's a hell of a sixth man. Best draft pick in history? Wouldn't say that yet either. You guys may not like Okafor's numbers but truth is, without him down low, who's gonna rebound, block, or alter shots? There's a reason why he signed that fat contract last summer. As for all the bickering about the topic, everyone is entiled to their opinion, however misguided or uninformed it may be.

Posted by: Pete | Mar 18, 2009 5:21:45 PM

Oh and by the way, having body mass (not height) as a point guard does help players like Deron Williams or Jason Kidd add another dimension to their game. Unfortunately, Augustin will never have that luxury and because of his small size will get exploited on the block by bigger, stronger guards whereas Felton does won't. Need proof...Felton draws defensive assignments against the LeBrons and Paul Pierce's of the league. That's why it is better for Augustin to come off the bench as a sixth man, change of pace kind of point.

Posted by: Pete | Mar 18, 2009 5:26:19 PM

Wow, Pete. Delusional much? When's the last time you saw Felton checking LeBron James or Paul Pierce?

Regarding that shooter/distributor question, on the other hand, it's certainly intriguing to me that Felton has taken 8% more shots/min. than Augustin over his career even though Augustin has often been a scorer when he's been on the court thus far in that career.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 18, 2009 10:04:23 PM

David, I'm not talking about "posting up" on the low block like a big man. I'm talking about briefly backing down small PG's, especially into the free throw line area of the lane where there are so many angles and options to work with. Nash can still get where he wants with a subtle nudge here or there, shield his man from the ball with a post-up type position, and WITH HIS HEIGHT, see over the smaller, quicker PG's to make plays. Without this ability, he would be much less effective. And if you've ever seen Steve Nash play from up close, he is a stud, physically. His abiltiy to stay balanced against harsh force is uncanny. He is very strong and not without muscle.

Also, I'm willing to bet that Deron Williams will have a longer career than Chris Paul. A combination of height and body mass helps, but I'll take height over body mass if offered a choice. Body mass can be altered somewhat anyway. Kidd, Cassell, and Nash might not even be in the league now if they were 5'11" with the exact same skills.

All that said, if DJ can give us 8 starter-caliber years, I'll be thrilled.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Mar 18, 2009 10:18:00 PM

Procton, you can check it out for yourself. Felton usually draws the main threat and this year a couple of those assignments were LeBron and Pierce, so to answer your qusetion, no I'm not dillusional, just a season ticket holder and writer for the Bobcats. And to address the shots that Felton takes, he's a better player and gets more big shots than Augustin right now. He's been running the team for a few years now and no doubt he can be a gunner at times, it's just that Augustin isn't quite the playmaker Felton is just yet. It seemed at the beginning of the year that Augustin was Brown's guy but Felton has grown on him.

And DeLaQuest, isn't briefly backing down "posting up?" I agree with you and I don't discount Nash's size at all but Deron Williams is a beast compared to our rail-thin hometown kid Chris Paul, but I think they will both last long in the league.

And if Augustin gives us eight starter quality years, I'll be thrilled too.

Posted by: Pete | Mar 18, 2009 11:38:49 PM

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