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November 26, 2009

Reflecting on the Raptors game

 Stray thoughts on a butt-kicking:

-- Larry Brown said post-game that he didn't know previous to this trade how wide Stephen Jackson's skill set is. I've had the same reaction: We all knew Jackson was a scorer and a marvelous athlete. What's harder to detect, until you see him night-after-night, is what a strong defender and playmaker Jackson is. Brown said he has to start devising ways to better exploit Jackson's passing and decision-making with the ball in his hands.

Don't misconstrue this: Jackson isn't a great player (and that's no knock). But he's a very good player, night in/night out. He has no obvious holes in his game. I don't know whether he'll be worth $28 million over the next three seasons, but I do know he's a fix for what most afflicted the Bobcats early.

-- While we're on the subject of Jackson's impact, I'm not sure how this will affect Boris Diaw. He was all but non-existent Wednesday (five points, two rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes). Brown mentioned that Diaw has nagging injuries; I hope that's it. But I wonder if Jackson is negating some of Diaw's playmaking impact, and if he'll have a hard time finding other ways to contribute.

 Diaw reminds me a little of another power forward, Anthony Mason -- different personality but similar skill set. Mason didn't care how many points he scored, but he cared intensely about how often he touched the ball. That's because he trusted his decision-making above others' -- he wanted to be the hub of the wheel.

If the offense stops running through Diaw in the post, this could get sideways. When Mason felt marginalized, he'd rage. I suspect when Diaw becomes marginalized, he'll shrug. Neither reaction is ideal.

-- Of all the good things that happened Wednesday night, here are the two best:

The Bobcats turned 18 Toronto turnovers into 29 Charlotte points. Those are the easy baskets the Bobcats so seldom got earlier this season.

I feel like I've learned something from every coach I've covered, and here's what I learned from Bernie Bickerstaff: An efficient NBA team averages a point for every opponent turnover it creates. If you turn 18 turnovers into 29 points, you must be (a.) stealing the ball at the optimum spot to get an uncontested layup, and (b.) attacking on defense in the way most teams aspire to attack on offense.

The Bobcats had 13 blocked shots to Toronto's four. The Raptors aren't going to block a lot of shots -- they're softer than a Ritz-Carlton towel -- but Tyson Chandler showed what he can do. The intimidation factor -- the Raptors skewed all kinds of shots to avoid Chandler's grasp -- was apparent.

-- I so respect Nazr Mohammed for relentlessly staying in the conversation. Chandler came back from injury, and should have started. Mohammed wouldn't have argued with that. But he kept playing like a starter in the minutes he got: 11 points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes. 

Posted by Observer Sports on November 26, 2009 at 01:21 AM | Permalink


i hate that we traded so much future freedom for jackson but while watching the game tonight further reflecting that we essentially traded a #3 overall and a #8 overall for jackson and diaw or more specifically adam morrison and jason richardson for jackson and diaw.....it feels a lot better.

a lot of dunks tonight. i hope thats contagious. there have been games where finishing at the rim too soft has been a major problem. even tonight there were several bonehead fumbles at the basket but its improvement. majorly.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 26, 2009 1:35:48 AM

Wish they could bottle this one.

Posted by: Ari | Nov 26, 2009 1:44:17 AM

OK, I'll bite: what did you learn from Sam Vincent?

Posted by: Newsinz | Nov 26, 2009 2:38:38 AM

LOL Newsinz....sometimes you learn the most from the worst examples. Vincent allowed us to learn when to call a time out (when he didn't and Boston stole an inbounds pass and Ray Allen drained a 3 to beat us on our home court). Vincent allowed us to learn the importance of when not to push back a team flight into the Midwest during snowy conditions (The Bobcats ultimately flew into a different airport on game day, then drove for hours and hours to arrive in Milwaukee less than 2 hours before game time to avoid a million dollar penalty from the NBA).

And I'd mention the Nazr trade, but, Nazr's mitigating that mistake of supreme cap relief/marginal talent with his efficient play this season. That trade is when we let Herrmann and Brezec's expiring contract go for a near duplication of Okafor's skill set in Nazr.

and I too still look forward to Rick's answer....lololol

Posted by: BlockParty | Nov 26, 2009 7:45:32 AM

MJ was sitting on the bench watching. I've noticed that anytime MJ is actually there, Bobcats turn their game up (I'm not just talking about the current Bobcats lineup - I've noticed this for many years).
That's gotta be worth something...if only MJ would be at every game.

Posted by: Onandonandon | Nov 26, 2009 8:59:05 AM

nazr is making that trade look smart...now. but god was it retarded for almost 2 whole years. still standing as wildly retarded is the matt carroll for diop trade.

we learned that raymond felton is not an nba starting 2 guard in the nba from vincent. although i don't think anybody was even asking.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 26, 2009 11:07:55 AM

Blockparty covered most of the ground on Vincent, but I'll add one more:
Any coach is capable of uniting every player toward a common goal. In this case, that goal was demanding a new coach.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 26, 2009 11:08:54 AM

I like the game that The Bobcats played against the Raptors and the Pacers. I want for the Bobcats to get a All-Star MVP Type Player. I'm hoping that they will take advantage of the Great Players that will be available in Free Agency next year like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash, Amarie Stoudamarie, and Chris Bosh

Posted by: TC Morrales | Nov 26, 2009 4:37:28 PM

would be nice, but with what cap room? and what all-star is going to voluntarily come to charlotte until we prove to be a contender. and I don't mean just contending for the 8th seed.

Posted by: EricH | Nov 26, 2009 5:32:40 PM

Well have an all star this year which will create other players
to come....

Posted by: bobcat fan d | Nov 26, 2009 6:23:27 PM

hi rick,

i think you misunderstood Diaw process,
sure if the ball don't come to his hands,
he'll be less active on the stat sheets...
but, wiht a guy like stephen jackson, as soon as he'll be ok with bobcats palybook..look for diaw stats to rise up,
with the awful 40% shooting the bobcats got from the beginning of the season, he still manage to get 5assists a game..
if the ball mouvement is better thanks to jackson, and the shooting is better too...
his numbers will rise...
less TO, more assists...
and may be more points also, as the paint will be more open than before because of jackson shooting...

Posted by: greg | Nov 27, 2009 5:38:27 AM

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