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February 25, 2010

Panic might not be the worst thing

To those of you who keep commenting, "It's no time to panic,'' let me offer some gentle advice....

It's time to panic. Or at least it's overdue for that Bobcats locker room to have a sense of alarm.

Gerald Wallace has always been the Bobcats' conscience. There's an old soul about Gerald and I think that comes from growing up in a small town. He sees when things are going sideways and he has the courage to say so.

He sensed after the New Jersey loss that something had gone sideways, and that wasn't just about the indignity of losing to the Nets. It's about the vibes coming out of that locker room.

Gerald wouldn't use the word "entitlement,'' but I think that sums up what I've heard from him in bits and pieces the past week. He thinks -- and I suspect he's on target -- that this team got ahead of itself in believing the Bobcats were a playoff given as of All-Star weekend.

Wallace has been around serious teams in Sacramento. He understands those teams didn't get satisfied. They stayed hungry, almost greedy, and that's how you reach, and advance in, the playoffs.

The Bobcats need to get healthy at center and need to sign Larry Hughes to compensate for the loss of Flip Murray. But it's just as important they get their act together. And fast.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 25, 2010 at 01:09 AM | Permalink

Comments

Now this i will agree with Bonnell. I've been thinking long and hard about what's wrong with this team losing Flip was not good, Nazr being out with injury isn't good either but there's more to it than that.We as of the loss to Utah are now 2 games under .500 with 2 other losses coming up (face it we are going to lose to Memphis and Dallas)which will put us 4 under .500.
So if people are saying "don't panic" now i know they sure will be after our next 2 games.And you're right about Wallace he's been very accurate when he speaks about this team so far,i'm starting to go into panic mode

Posted by: RufusDufus | Feb 25, 2010 1:36:08 AM

Hell yes, it's time to panic.

Posted by: Ari | Feb 25, 2010 1:48:32 AM

I'd say panic is about right. I think we need to get TT up to speed 100% on our offense and try an "all bench" starting line (save for GW and probably Jackson) and give a good kick in the pants to those of fail to show up. Felton has been good this season, but he only put up 50% of what Williams did in almost all categories...

FIX IT

Posted by: Tattoo | Feb 25, 2010 1:50:06 AM

I'd say panic is about right. I think we need to get TT up to speed 100% on our offense and try an "all bench" starting line (save for GW and probably Jackson) and give a good kick in the pants to those of fail to show up. Felton has been good this season, but he only put up 50% of what Williams did in almost all categories...

FIX IT

Posted by: Tattoo | Feb 25, 2010 1:50:10 AM

I'd say panic is about right. I think we need to get TT up to speed 100% on our offense and try an "all bench" starting line (save for GW and probably Jackson) and give a good kick in the pants to those of fail to show up. Felton has been good this season, but he only put up 50% of what Williams did in almost all categories...

FIX IT

Posted by: Tattoo | Feb 25, 2010 1:50:13 AM

Time to panic for the fans? No. It's just sports. Time for the 'cats to panic? No on that score too. Time to get seriously focused, hungry, and driven? You bet! The Cavs game showed that these guys CAN play and play to win. They just need to NOT panic and get back on the rails....Go Bobcats!

Posted by: Brian | Feb 25, 2010 2:33:41 AM

This team will be better once Nazr and Tyson can get back in the line-up. Problem is can they get back in. Nazr has played out of his mind lately and now he's hurt all the time, unless he feels this might be his last year, don't you think he might try to rest his body a bit to keep him ready to play next year. And Tyson has proved he not only can't stay healthy but just can't play hurt either. I understand the salary purpose for the trade and maybe we don't get Jack or Thomas, but boy is this team missing Okafor defensivly. He gave them so much confidence if they were beat that someone was there to have their back. Hughes can be a decent pick-up but honestly he just isn't that good and his ego gets in the way of him being a role player.

Posted by: Newt | Feb 25, 2010 6:45:14 AM

The loss to the Bucks last week made the loss to the Nets sting that much more. The loss to the Jazz last night makes the loss to the Clippers earlier this week sting that much more. It isn't the losses to the Jazz and Bucks themselves, as both are good teams, but it's the combination of the losses to bad teams and the inability to turn things around when wins are at a premium during this stretch of the season.

With the logjam near the bottom of the East playoff standings, this team should have been in panic mode following the losses to NJ and Mil that sandwiched a great win over the Cavaliers. Losing 3 in a row and 4 of the last 5 is not the trend of a true playoff contender in the stretch run of the season. Friday's game at Memphis is a big game for both teams, and will be a tough one for the Bobcats. Win or lose, they are not out of the playoff race by any stretch of the imagination. However, they are in a position that should wake the team up and spur them to focus on each game as if it's a big game - no matter who the opponent is.

Posted by: The A-Train | Feb 25, 2010 7:55:23 AM

It is definitely panic time, credit to Theo and Thomas for their contributions since Nazr has been a big part of the offense. yeah we lost flip dynamic shooter and penetrator. hell he should have been the starter. but we have to get used to what he can do. Dj just isnt confident enough and isnt a nondefender. He definitely is not a knockdown shooter like Mo Williams because it is not consistent. But yeah we are lacking in the pg dept. Larry Hughes is a better defender and penetrator then Felton and Hughes so he will fill a void.

Posted by: tbird | Feb 25, 2010 8:39:48 AM

The B-Cats need better play from the guard position. Is Hughes the answer? I don't know but Raymond & DJ aren't getting it done, they were horrible last night. And Larry PLEASE start Tyrus bench Diaw and give Derrick Brown more playing time!

Posted by: Chris G. | Feb 25, 2010 9:03:00 AM

I am concerned about this team's intensity and Larry Brown's 8-man rotation. I understand not playing Henderson, but Derrick Brown has proven that he belongs on the court. He should be getting at least 15 minutes a game. Wallace is running himself ragged by playing 42 minutes a game. I really hope this team wakes up against the Grizz.

Posted by: Token | Feb 25, 2010 9:26:21 AM

This is what happens when you don't panic. Whan Jack said "I'm not that down, it's just 1 game"(nets). We have seen that Mentality with the Panthers just about every other year.
You get the Perky Positives that slam everyone for being so negative(bandwagon fan), when all anybody who cares, is being REALISTIC. Sorry that is for later Posters...

I'm not going to keep on about the 3's... When I heard Steve Martin or Dell say that they worked on that play, shooting from the corners in practice, pretty hard and we were hitting them early I said oh s!!!!. We had alot of other issues to go along.

One question if we try and work the ball too much in the paint and go to the basket instead of running in 2 steps and kicking back out and taking long jumpers... Is the lane going to swallow up and be gone forever anybody who dares Enter from the bobcats?? Other than Wallace?

LB was the man last night. Let'em have it, I been waitng. The holding grabbing and pushing was insane(JAZZ). Look like some back yard ball. I'm not going into it, but the Commish is scared of the Bobcats!

Posted by: fox has to go!! | Feb 25, 2010 9:45:34 AM

I was glad to see LB yelling "f*** you" to the refs last night, they deserved that at least. We did lose the game on our own but the refs did help the Jazz along the way.

Time to Panic? We have to do something to light a fire back under some butts!

Rick,

How much do you think the impending sale of the franchise and the uncertainty of who the buyer will be has to do with this slump, if any?

Posted by: redhotdave | Feb 25, 2010 9:56:12 AM

Agreed, Rick. This team needs to be playing with more fire and urgency.

Posted by: G'boro Cats Fan | Feb 25, 2010 9:59:08 AM

I agree bench Diaw start Thomas and let Brown get some minutes. He is explosive and dynamic. Sign larry hughes asap!

Posted by: tbird | Feb 25, 2010 10:00:25 AM

LB yelling!....I LOVED IT!!!!
Seriously irritated at the time, but that put Smile on my face.

Posted by: fox has to go!! | Feb 25, 2010 10:04:19 AM

Rick, wouldn't you agree that last night in the first half the Bobcats played about as hard as they can? They were overwhelmed in the second half, because they had everything going against them: a team with a bigger and stronger front court, they had no answer to Boozer, Nazr was out, and on top of all this, the referees were really dirty. Gerald was right that most of the Bobcats' points were not the fruit of team work. I think this has a lot to do with Utah's strong interior defense, which took away from the Bobcats the option of scoring inside for most of the game, leaving them with individual efforts (isolation plays, also long jumpers). But anyway, none of the lackadaisical complacency of the Nets game was there last night.
Against the Clippers, the Bobcats would've won with just an average game by Stephen Jackson. It's pure bad luck that he had the worst game of his career just in a winnable game.
Maybe I look like making excuses for the team, but I don't believe in panicking.
What I definitely agree with is that the Bobcats need a sense of urgency, they need to play as hard as they can - or else, they will be out of the play-offs again.
It suddenly looks like a really tall order: Nazr is injured (which especially hurts our inside offense), so is Chandler, and Flip is gone. Tyrus Thomas does a really good job, but, it's not enough to make up for all we are missing.
Nazr was putting in lots of minutes before he got injured. That's why I think we should worry about Gerald playing 45 to 48 minutes per game, after he already suffered injuries this season.
Determination, hustle, play as hard as you can, that's what we can expect of the Bobcats for the rest of the season.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 25, 2010 11:30:24 AM

I agree that this latest slippage by the Bobcats, especially on the defensive end, should be cause for some concern. However, I disagree that it is panic time. The Bucks are hot right now, but they have been living on a run of home games. The Heat are coming back to the pack as well. Realistically, the Bucks and Heat are .500 teams at best. That means we need 14 wins that include home wins over the Heat and Bucks in the next 26 games. This can be done this year considering that the schedule is not so backloaded with road games. In fact, the Cats have more home games left (14) as opposed to road games twelve. I believe this team can get 10 home wins in the next 14. In fact, that would be a small dropoff from the team's current pace at home. That means the Cats need to find 4 wins on the road out of their final 12. The game in Memphis would be good start with that. It would be ironic though if our late season matchup with the Nets is needed to achieve that elusive 4th road win down the stretch.

Posted by: Adcoop | Feb 25, 2010 12:44:35 PM

jackson is starting to effect our locker room already. should have traded his miserable ass when we had the chance last week. now we are stuck with him and he will ruin our play off chances. wallace is talking about jackson when he talks about lack of team and me first. jackson killed the warriors and now he is about to kill us.

Posted by: the voice | Feb 25, 2010 1:19:48 PM

Time to panic was versus bucks, nets, clippers... they got beat last night by a better team with better players, plain and simple. Put the grownup pants back on bobcats, as of last night you're on the outside looking in.

Said it last year and I think it's showing again this year... LB says he "won't coach effort," but isn't that what makes the great coaches so great? The jazz were getting beaten by a weaker team last night, Sloan went in the locker room and reminded them that this game counts just as much as all the others and they came out and whomped the cats... that's effort Larry.

Posted by: David | Feb 25, 2010 1:26:41 PM

there's nothing worse than playing a jerry sloan team when you're front line is entirely inactive. i mean we got 4 7 footers injured. that's nuts. we make portland look indestructible.

top that off with the fact that the 1st half foul discrepency was large enough that the refs decided to call NOTHING in the 2nd half. just because 1 team is going to the line 3 times as much as the other doesn't mean the calls are uneven.....it usually means 1 team is fouling 3 times more than the other. williams absolutely abused DJ and i don't mean that metaphorically, i mean that physically. and all the calls went to williams.

the "blocking foul" that led to the ejection was like the 3rd called in the 2nd half that clearly were offensive with nobody moving. hard way to lose a road game we had won at halftime.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 25, 2010 1:31:34 PM

redhotdave: I think the impending sale has ZERO to do with anything in that locker room. I think the players are all but oblivious to it, so they're sure not rattled by it.
Sandy: You thought they played hard in the first half? No. They made a bunch of shots, which made them look good. Gerald was saying after the game that they were severely outplayed in the first half.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Feb 25, 2010 4:45:06 PM

Mr. Bonnell and all other Observer writers. Why do you think Larry Hughes is gonna do anything to help this team. What has this guys done on any good team in his career. NOTHING This is the same guy that was in Cleveland, right? This is the same guy that the 76ers got rid of, right? So why are you guys forcing this deal dow our throats. Larry Hughes has only been "the the guy that does not fit", on any winning team that he's been on. The guy that's been traded so the team can get better. Why do we want him. Just because LB has coached him. Please tell me that you can come up with something better than that. Play the damn kids, Im tired of hearing about how LB does not trust Henderson, maybe Im wrong but I do think that he did play for a coach with credentials just as good as LB if not better. Not one time this season has Henderson gotten any meaningful minutes. I thought he wasn't playin because they were so deep at SG. Thats what LB told you to say, isn't it? Now its because LB don't trust him. Thats a crock of sh........ Now that they need a SG, play the damn kid. Derrick Brown needs to play more also.This is a bunch of BS in Charlotte. These people deserve more. Mix the young players with the vets, run more and create a atmosphere condusive to winning that will carry over for the future. OOPS, LB won't be around for that.. LB needs to stop overcoaching! Controlling Everything on the floor. Im sick of it and I hope other Cats fan are sick of it to.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 25, 2010 8:53:07 PM

i've got a riddle....how many times has flip murray shot 6 of 8 and scored 20 points or had a similar type of efficient game?

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 25, 2010 10:41:19 PM

Rick, sorry you didn't agree with me that the Bobcats played hard in this game (particularly in the first half), but I still don't know why. If you play hard, you can't be outplayed? And conversely, if you are outplayed, does it show that you didn't play hard? Or, is it rather that you are outplayed by the other team simply because they are better, in spite of your playing hard.
Gerald referred to a recurring situation: the Cats play great defense, yet they lose the rebound battle, and the Jazz score the basket. Great example of trying hard, yet ceding under pressure from their bigger and stronger front court.
I don't think you keep the Jazz at 42 points in the first half without playing really hard in defense. And outhustling that team in steals (11 to 7) is very telling too.

Why in the world would I insist on this point after this loss? Just because I think there is no common story line between the loss to the Nets (lack of effort, taking the opponent for granted) and the one in Utah (bowing down to a stronger team, who also got help from the refs). And I think that if the Bobcats will hustle and play hard in every game from now on, they won't beat everybody, but they'll also stop losing against weaker teams - even though winning any game gets harder now, with all those injuries.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 26, 2010 1:36:08 AM

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