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December 31, 2009

Bobcats games still on SportSouth locally

 An impasse between Fox and Time Warner Cable won't keep Charlotte Bobcats fans from seeing game telecasts on SportSouth.

Bobcats president Fred Whitfield confirmed this morning that games scheduled for SportSouth will still be televised on TWC, even if SportSouth and some other Fox cable channels go dark otherwise, while the two television giants work out their differences concerning rights.

“I am happy to reassure Time Warner Cable subscribers that all 22 Bobcats games scheduled to air on SportSouth during the remainder of this season, along with their pre-game and post-game shows, will still be broadcast uninterrupted while News Corp. and Time Warner Cable work towards a resolution in their current negotiations,” Whitfield said in a prepared statement.

The Bobcats' next three road games -- at Miami Saturday, at Cleveland Sunday and at New York Jan. 7 -- are all on SportSouth. Fox Sports Carolinas, the Bobcats' other television home, is unaffected by the Fox-TWC impasse.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (26)

December 30, 2009

Big, bad Bobcats hit Toronto

 Get this: The Charlotte Bobcats -- a team five games under .500, a team with one road victory in 14 tries -- becomes the "hunted'' tonight.

The Toronto Raptors "owe'' the Bobcats and dang it, they're gonna pay! 

"We really owe them one,'' Raptors point guard Jarrett Jack told Toronto reporters Tuesday.

"We remember what happened and hopeully that will be some fuel for us,'' Toronto All-Star Chris Bosh chimed in.

This lathering results from the previous meeting this season, when the Bobcats beat the Raptors by 35, the largest margin of victory in franchise history. So now the Raptors -- on a four-game winning streak -- are going all Hulk Hogan.

I'm always amused by athletes' need for contrived motivation. I remember Kenny Gattison making some innocuous statement entering the Charlotte Hornets' first playoff appearance about how his team matched up better against the Celtics than they would against the Knicks. Boston forward Xavier McDaniel fabricated that into the greatest insult in Celtics history. X claimed that if Gattison "wants us, he's got us!''

Sure did get 'em -- Hornets blew up those Celtics in the first-round matchup.

I guess on some level the Bobcats should view this as a compliment. I mean, if some team views you as a bully, that means they view you as a threat, and that's a respect of sorts.

But if the Bobcats held a grudge against every team that once had them down 30, they'd have a dozen arch-rivals. At that point, you're better off with a short memory.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 30, 2009 at 03:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

December 28, 2009

Chandler out doesn't change Ajinca status

 Doesn't sound like Tyson Chandler's injury gets Alexis Ajinca any closer to the Charlotte Bobcats' active roster.

Chandler (stress reaction in his left foot) was on crutches at shootaround this morning, and figures to miss at least the rest of this week's games. But coach Larry Brown said he didn't anticipate bringing Ajinca back from D-League assignment with the Maine Red Claws, in reaction to Chandler's injury.

What does that say about Ajinca's ability to help? You lose your starting center, you have a 7-footer (a former first-round pick) stashed in the minor leagues, and you don't think there's a chance you'd use him in Chandler's absence.

And the Bobcats still owe the Minnesota Timberwolves (via Denver) a future first-round pick for the pick that became Ajinca.

Regarding Chandler: He told me he'd been playing in some pain in that foot for awhile. He says the crutches are a precaution -- he can walk on his foot but avoids putting weight on the front of it -- and is getting ice and electric-stimulation treatment on the injury.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

December 23, 2009

Bobcats' Chandler out at least a week

Charlotte Bobcats center Tyson Chandler will miss at least the next week, while recovering from a stress reaction in his left foot.

A magnetic resonance imaging revealed the stress reaction to the fourth metatarsal. That's the bone that supports the toe second from the outside of the foot.

Chandler left the second half of Tuesday's victory over the Detroit Pistons with a sore left foot. He was originally diagnosed with a foot sprain, after an X-ray revealed no fracture. The MRI Wednesday revealed the stress reaction.

The Bobcats figure to start Nazr Mohammed at center in their next game, Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 23, 2009 at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

Some good, some bad in beating Pistons

Three things I liked, three I didn't about the Charlotte Bobcats' victory over the Detroit Pistons.

THE GOOD:

1. 3-point percentage: They made half their 3s (9-of-18). There's a misconception Larry Brown hates the 3-point line. No. He wants his players not defaulting to the 3 as their first option. The Pistons gave the Bobcats open 3s (particularly Gerald Wallace) and they made those open shots.

2. Assisted baskets: Twenty-two of the Bobcats' 34 baskets were assisted.That suggests willing ball movement.

3. Naz's fill-in: Tyson Chandler left the game in the second half with a foot sprain and backup center Nazr Mohammed used 18 1/2 minutes to great impact -- 12 points, nine rebounds and a block.

THE BAD:

1. Starter turnovers: The starters combined for 18 of the Bobcats' 20 turnovers (four or more for every starter except Chandler). Ball-movement is good (see above) but sometimes they're over-passing.

2. Giving up offensive rebounds: Granted, when you shoot as well as the Bobcats did (49 percent), there aren't many offensive rebounds available at your end. But the Bobcats gave up 13 offensive rebounds, while grabbing six. That's been a trend of late, undermining the defense.

3. Where's Diaw? More of the same -- Boris Diaw played 42 minutes and finished with eight points, three rebounds and three assists. He's just not impacting the game. 

Posted by Observer Sports on December 23, 2009 at 12:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)

December 22, 2009

Bobcats' Jackson says he'll play

 After getting a massage and taking some anti-inflamatory drugs, Charlotte Bobcat Stephen Jackson said back spasms won't keep him from playing tonight against the Detroit Pistons.

"Ready to roll,'' Jackson said following morning shootaround. "I've played with worse pain, so I'll get through it.''

While Jackson said he's nowhere close to 100 percent, he has better flexibility than following Sunday's loss to the New York Knicks. Jackson left the game in the third quarter and didn't return. This is his first time suffering back spasms.

"Playing hurt is catching up with me,'' Jackson said of the back pain. "But I've played with broken bones so back spasms are something I have to deal with.''

Gerald Wallace (headaches) also expects to play, though he'll still have to be cleared by a team doctor pre-game. Testing Monday indicated Wallace did not suffer a concussion when he collided with teammate Nazr Mohammed Saturday versus the Utah Jazz.

Flip Murray (ankle sprain) is out for tonight's game and tending to a family matter in Philadelphia, according to coach Larry Brown.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Murray out; Wallace, Jackson maybe

Latest from shootaround on Charlotte Bobcats' injuries:

Flip Murray (sprained ankle, plus a family issue) is out. Gerald Wallace (headaches) will likely play, though he'll be checked out by a doctor one last time. Stephen Jackson (back spasms) walked through plays at shootaround. He'll be a game-time decision, based on how he feels in pre-game warmups. 

Posted by Observer Sports on December 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

December 21, 2009

Add Murray to the injured

The Charlotte Bobcats didn't practice Monday, but they did update their injury report -- adding Flip Murray as "questionable'' with an ankle sprain.

The Bobcats say Gerald Wallace (headaches) and Stephen Jackson (back spasms) will be re-evaluated day-to-day.We might know more about their status after shootaround Tuesday morning before the home game versus the Detroit Pistons -- the last game before a three-day break for Christmas.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 21, 2009 at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Jackson as tough as they come

Larry Bird says Stephen Jackson is the toughest guy in the NBA, in terms of playing with an injury. So when Jackson didn't come back to play, after suffering back spasms in the third quarter, I figured this was bad.

Jackson confirmed as much, both with his expressions and words post-game. He's never had a serious back injury before, and the more he tried to stretch it out, the more tight his back became. Jackson hopes that muscle-relaxers will have the intended effect, but it wouldn't surprise me if this puts him out Tuesday at home versus the Detroit Pistons.

Speaking of guys willing to play through pain, Gerald Wallace lobbied to play Sunday, despite headaches throughout the day. Considering Wallace's concussion history, I can see why they did the cautious thing and sat him.

Coach Larry Brown thinks the world of Wallace. He said as much post-game Saturday, when asked what qualities might qualify Wallace as an All-Star.

"He's as improved as any player I've ever coached in my life and he's as receptive to coaching as anyone I've ever been around,'' Brown said.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 21, 2009 at 12:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)

December 20, 2009

Jackson suffers back spasms

Charlotte Bobcat Stephen Jackson left the game against the Knicks with lower back spasms midway through the third quarter.

The Bobcats' training staff was stretching Jackson in the locker room and seem hopeful Jackson can return. The Bobcats are already playing without Gerald Wallace (severe headaches, following a head-to-elbow collision with teammate Nazr Mohammed Saturday versus the Utah Jazz).

Posted by Observer Sports on December 20, 2009 at 09:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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