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March 30, 2010

Some post-mortem on a cruddy loss

 I'm really of two minds about what came out of Stephen Jackson's mouth following the loss to the Miami Heat.

I have a hard time knocking someone for saying what he really thinks (I deal with way too many phonies in this business). Still, candor should be balanced with humility.

Jackson said the Raptors beat them, but they aren't a better team (true). He didn't stop there, suggesting it was all a fluke. I knew what he was saying and trying not to say: That the refereeing was lousy (not so much in specific calls, but in game-management; they lost the players' and coaches' respect). Also some people the Bobcats never thought would beat them hit big shots.

When Miami's Dwyane Wade made similar comments, refusing to credit the Bobcats with clinching the season series, I ripped Wade. Same circumstance here. Jackson was mad at the officials and mad at fate. But that shouldn't interfere with the dignity to give an opponent its due.

-- Michael Jordan, uber-owner, next to the bench has some value. If the best player ever is per chance your boss, and is in your ear frequently, you'll likely be more alert and motivated. However, how long before Jordan gets a technical foul for baiting the refs?

I hear Toronto's Antoine Wright was talking smack, telling referees to pay no attention to Jordan since he doesn't play anymore. I'd say the same thing if I were Wright, but lemme tell ya: Consciously or sub-consciously, Jordan still has juice with an NBA ref.

-- The Bobcats made 12 3s, three short of the most in franchise history. They shot 50 percent from 3-point range. And they lost. That speaks to the Larry Brown's concern that 3s are a tease that can make you stray from driving the ball (think free throws) or finding high-percentage mid-range shots.

-- Raymond Felton took blanket blame for the problem on the pick-and-roll, where Tyson Chandler dropped his pass late. Total class, when it really wasn't Felton's fault, and certainly wasn't all Felton's fault. For the umpteenth time, Felton wins the standup-guy award.

-- Prediction: Bobcats play the Magic in a first-round series. Hope they don't get swept.

-- Fozzie Bear: You blame me for all those Raptors' free throws late? Were you thinking that when the Bobcats were up roughly 29-10 in free-throw attempts earlier in the game? Yeah, didn't think so.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 30, 2010 at 12:42 AM | Permalink


Pitiful effort tonight... cats forgot what makes them a good team... defense leading to offense. Really missed Thomas tonight, especially on the boards. Three pt attempts in the 4th quarter killed this team... you can't get in a shooting contest with Toronto.

Also any explanation why GW crazy shot didn't count? He shot free throws but didn't get credit for the shot? Refs killed that one, definitely lost some respect even though it was atrocious both ways...

Posted by: David | Mar 30, 2010 12:51:08 AM

Let's face it, Jackson's brough a lot of good, but quite a bit of baggage as well. Some of his comments, like those mentioned here, are pretty bewildering. He has to learn to stop blaming everybody but himself when things go wrong. True, NBA refs and their calls can be pretty putrid, but if you're an all-star caliber player, you have to work past it and still get the job done in the end.

Posted by: Ari | Mar 30, 2010 1:26:32 AM

It's a joke Rick! Come on, I know you like to use them in your stuff too.

Posted by: Fozzie | Mar 30, 2010 1:35:05 AM

One more thing... where was the coaching/leadership from the bobcats when Jackson was going crazy on the bench? LB was sitting 5 feet away and all he could do was wave his arm at him? Somebody needs to step up and calm Jackson down sometimes... was a totally unnecessary tech.

Posted by: David | Mar 30, 2010 1:42:40 AM

With the Panthers, we had Good Jake/Bad Jake. Maybe the Bobcats should go ahead and start using Good Jack/Bad Jack. It seems like it is either/or with him. Tonight was a little dose of Bad Jack.

Posted by: Mike Robinson | Mar 30, 2010 2:01:45 AM

Another prediction from Rick,

"Jordan won't buy the bobcats"

I think we'll end up with someone other than the magic in the playoffs.

Just a hunch

Posted by: Rob | Mar 30, 2010 2:43:31 AM

Suck it up & get ready for Orlando..... Kentucky was unbeatable in men's college hoops! The perfect "Colts didn't win the superbowl! Knock off the Magic and the rest can fall!

Posted by: Thomas | Mar 30, 2010 4:47:47 AM

Felton with the ball driving to the rim with 6 seconds left has no business trying a tough pass back to Chandler. Go to the rim! What do you expect Chandler to do outside of the paint with only 5 seconds to do it? A highly contested lay-up is a much better option than forcing a pass to Chandler so he can try to create something. I could accept Felton getting blocked to lose the game after going strong to the rim to tie the game/look for a foul, but when you don't even get a shot off due to poor decisions....that hurts. Especially after a gift wrapped set of missed free throws to give us a chance. I agree with Felton this time.

Posted by: mp | Mar 30, 2010 4:49:05 AM


My thoughts exactly and I was thinking about DWade's comments too...I think when you said our "loss to the Miami Heat" in the first sentence..you meant to say "Toronto Raptors".

I agree with David, LB or one of the coaches should've gotten between Jack and the Ref, it went on entirely too long. The Raptors missed the free throw, but it set the tone with the Refs. The Ref (by rule) is suppose to listen immediately following the play for a few seconds and then go about thier business, this ref continued to engage Jackson which is unprofessional. Still Jackson gets the blame, he should know better.

Finally, we lost by 2...and Jordan was most animated on a goal tending call, got out of his seat and threw his arms in dispair a couple times.

Go Cats

Posted by: BlockParty | Mar 30, 2010 6:08:18 AM

Jax needs to get yelled at by coaching staff to shut up, GW looked tired or lazy, maybe just going at half speed, TC needs to spend some time in practice working on his catching of the bball, seriously terrible for a big man. I hope the cats see that they cant get away with playing at 85%. Its going to take that and more for the last 6 games. and IF we make the playoffs, its going to a whole new level. I hope this isnt a learning experience.

Posted by: mattack | Mar 30, 2010 7:42:26 AM

Bobcats disappoint sometimes.

Posted by: xyched | Mar 30, 2010 8:05:10 AM

My immediate thought after the game ended: These are the things that happen when Raymond Felton is your starting point guard.

Posted by: Juan José | Mar 30, 2010 8:48:19 AM

Yal peeps need to look at the positives yeah this was bad pass from Felt to Tyson. But these guys played their a** off without Tyrus rebounding and blocking. You have to have understand that they are playing better basketball. The refs always make bad calls against the cats for some reason. Jack just wants to win like anybody else he does have a ring. thank you. I am quite sure they will rebound the next few games. Look the nets beat the spurs so any team can beat team any given night.

Posted by: tbird | Mar 30, 2010 9:08:09 AM

Charlotte played a heck of a game offensively. Their defense was resonably solid except for relaxing on too many switches off the P&R, or not blocking out against an offensive rebound. We really missed Thomas. The last play was a flop, but don't blame Felton...it wasn't the best play to run in that scenario. Toronto shot the ball too well....better than you'd expect. They were hot, and we still nearly won. But the Cat's efforts and execution will need to be even better in the playoffs. Diaw needs to be more assertive, but we've been saying that for too long so I don't expect him to change.

Posted by: Mark | Mar 30, 2010 9:41:04 AM

Yeah TBird and you better be careful because the Raptors are better than you think they are. Don't be ignorant. They're no where near the Nets.

Jax might want to win and most nights he'd gonna help you...but the Refs were giving the Cats big love all night and the call discrepancy was at 27-10 for the cats in the third quarter...and then it went the other way for a while.

Be a fan but don't be a homer...it makes you sound stupid.

Posted by: Gman | Mar 30, 2010 9:44:15 AM

Bobcats still suck!!

Posted by: Erock | Mar 30, 2010 9:54:19 AM

u suck

Posted by: cats | Mar 30, 2010 10:04:19 AM

'When Raymond Felton is your point guard...'

Well said Juan Jose. I say it all the time on this blog but all anyone wants to talk about is what a good guy he is. Whenever a diplomatic convention breaks out at mid-court, let me know, I'll jump on the Ray bandwagon. Until then, I'd like the ball in someone else's hands with 10 seconds left. He's never been a good decision-maker and he's not likely to turn into one in his 6th or 7th season. Unfortunately, we'll be giving him $35MM soon.

This game was lost with 6 minutes left when the Bobs got lazy and started chucking up jumpers. Wallace, Felton, Diaw, Hughes...all missed 20+ foot jumpers in a 3 minute stretch, and then they got that awful shot clock violation when Felton got blocked. That was your game.

Posted by: BobsRealist | Mar 30, 2010 10:49:22 AM


I can appreciate your frustration with Stephen Jackson's attitude, however, again you speak about the Bobcats as if you can't find anything to like.

This is Charlotte's team, yet you are so pessimistic about our playoff chances vs. Orlando.

What's with you man? Seriously. Stop being so negative towards this team and give them a chance. So they lost. They were on a three game winning streak, not a losing streak. Let's give them a break and enjoy the games.

Next column, please write something with a positive take on things.

You may not sell papers without controversy, so I get that.

Posted by: Andrew V. | Mar 30, 2010 11:01:37 AM

Didn't all of the fouls on Jax get called by the same ref? Seemed like he had something personal going on there. Overall, the calls were not consistent, and that's the definition of bad officiating.

There is nothing wrong with having Felton as the point guard. Not everyone makes a perfect decision every time. He's right on taking blame; he should have taken that shot himself. But he's been playing so great the last 10 games or so, you can't really complain.

And what's the deal with Chandler? When he gets the ball, it takes him half an hour to wind up and shoot. He needs to spend more time with Dell Curry learning how to quicken his release.

We wouldn't get swept by Orlando. We couldn't beat them in a 7-game series, but we wouldn't get swept.

Posted by: James Edgar | Mar 30, 2010 11:19:10 AM

Not a bad game, but poor decisions from the refs. But also from Brown, that lossing by 2 and keep Chandler in game, is has bad idea as have Shaq. It would be better to take the C's then Orlando, but hell, we allready beat them in Florida.

Posted by: Tiago | Mar 30, 2010 11:31:54 AM

I love how Rick called out Fozzie in the BODY of the blog. Not even in the comments. In the BODY of TEXT! Fozzie, you're a celebrity!!!

I blame Larry Brown for this loss: he should have stepped in a quieted down Jack - prevented him from getting into foul trouble - leaving him in the game to be the offensive force that he is DESIGNED to be.

We lost this game because we played Bobcats basketball circa 2009 (pre-Jack), where Felton was forced to be the clutch guy rather than just another option.

Posted by: on and on | Mar 30, 2010 12:29:32 PM

refs didn't keep jackson from getting a shot up before the 24 second clock expired late.

i can't possibly be the only one imagining how ajinca would matchup perfectly with that type of team....guys like nowitski, bargani, dallinari, etc.....those guys kill us because we really don't have a guy like that on the active roster. even KG gives us fits with his ability to stretch the defense.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 30, 2010 2:22:01 PM

I was at the game last night and would attribute the loss to the play of Bosh who is practically unguardable one on one at both ends, and the 7ft tall Italian that drained every open shot he had in the 4th.
He hit three before they started going out to guard him and stop leaving him wide open.

The Bobcats played their usual game plan which works well against veteran teams that get tired also, but young teams like Toronto wear down the Bobcats fast paced, hard defense style. They all looked tired and frustrated at the end of the game, while the Raptors looked the same from start to finish.

Watching Jordan fly out of his seat was a bonus that made up for the very weak (again) halftime show of middle school exhibition ball.

Posted by: Sportsdon | Mar 30, 2010 2:39:21 PM

You had to see it coming... Hitting those 3's and making with the game close, what was going to happen. 3 misses from three point land back to back to back... down 7.

More of the Cute passes and alley oops that lead to turnoners.

It's not how many times you get to the freethrow line. That is telling of the officiating. It is all the calls that call along with, in the game.

Posted by: fox has to go!! | Mar 30, 2010 2:43:19 PM

Oh Im sorry, I meant to say they are awesome!! Great team

Posted by: Erock | Mar 30, 2010 3:50:38 PM

Ok Gman have u ever played a sport in your life, because I have...It makes sense to say that any team .500 or better can beat u on any given night. I wasn't talking about the caliber of competition so this might make u look stupid. This ball club is pretty and good and I faithfully attend a lot of games. Wut about u buddy or buddette?

Posted by: tbird | Mar 30, 2010 4:31:55 PM

Kudos on your comment about SJ - Stop crying about the ref and play the game, man! Isn't it enough you had MJ chirping too? He sounds like a whiny cat.

Posted by: Bob | Mar 30, 2010 6:16:17 PM

Michael Jordan is not the "best player ever."

Posted by: JC | Mar 30, 2010 11:17:49 PM

Writer is an idiot. Raptors > Bobcats.

Posted by: truth | Mar 31, 2010 4:01:11 PM

Writer is an idiot. Raptors > Bobcats.

Posted by: truth | Mar 31, 2010 4:01:11 PM

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