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April 13, 2010

Wallace gets it about Magic

It's not often you hang out post-game with a player who didn't play, but in this case it made great sense.

The Charlotte Bobcats had just locked into playing the Orlando Magic in the first round, and I wanted to hear what Gerald Wallace thought about that.

Wallace has evolved in this marvelous way over the last six years. We were talking about that in New Orleans, after they clinched the playoffs. He was around from the start, I was around from the start, and we were comparing impressions on how it came from there to here.

Gerald and I are similar in this way: We're both small-town kids who learned to live in big cities. I think you learn patience in places where the train passes twice a day. You don't become a cynic in your teens and you figure out how to watch and learn.

So I wanted to know what Wallace thought about taking on the Magic, and he got just what I was asking. He appreciates that while many in this group have been to the playoffs, they haven't been there together. And he knows Dwight Howard is a player who should be respected but not feared.

We talked a bunch about Orlando's 3-point shooters and how to take Howard out of his comfort zone by making him guard screen-and-rolls away from the basket. But then Gerald said something more basic, but no less valid: That for them to have any chance to beat the Magic, they need to challenge Howard, and that means driving at him. Because if you let that guy get in your head so much that you don't try to get to the rim there's not much reason to fly the charter down to Orlando.

That's the uncomplicated savvy you develop in a little town in Alabama. It travels well.

Posted by Observer Sports on April 13, 2010 at 12:27 AM | Permalink


In addition to taking the rock right into Dwight's mug, I want to see Gerald take it to Matt Barnes. Barnes can be such a little puke. He's an instigator, ticking off Hasheem Thabeet (Really Matt? Really?), trying to get Kobe to flinch by faking an in-bounds pass to Kobe's face, etc. The guy needs to get taken down a peg, and who better to do that than our Teddy Roosevelt (speak softly and carry a big stick). I've got my tickets. Let's take it to the Magic; let's go Cats!

Posted by: Yo | Apr 13, 2010 1:05:09 AM

Gotta love them Bama boys! Crash will be "All the way turned up" for the playoffs

Posted by: Cassy | Apr 13, 2010 1:06:08 AM

Yo's comment got me all fired up!!!! LETS GO CATS!!!

Posted by: Sir Clifton | Apr 13, 2010 1:23:36 AM

I feel ya, Sir Clifton!!

It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm FIRED UP.

Got the tickets, got the desire, let's go GET EM CATS!!!

Posted by: appstategrad2008 | Apr 13, 2010 1:31:30 AM

Sounds like Gerald has taken the coaches words to heart and knows what to expect in this series. Unfortunately, I think it will be easier said than done, but I hope I'm wrong and the Cats can somehow pull off an upset, or at least make things real interesting. Quite frankly, I see the Magic in 6, even if the Cats play well, but than again, I didn't see Charlotte making the playoffs this year either and was very pleasantly surprised with the year they had. 44 or 45 wins, any way you slice it, is a real succesful year, especially when you tag on the first playoff birth in franchise history. Hopefully the playoffs extend the fun ride.

Posted by: Ari | Apr 13, 2010 1:42:13 AM

bought tix to both games (3 & 4) last friday, used the pre-sale online, been ready since. we will play orlando well, probably better then most expect. barnes in a punk, no doubt, so are redick, vince, and even dwight has his "diva" moments on the court. but they can be arrogant, they're good and can back it up. I just hope they show well at home and get a win on the road, if they do more its icing on the cake. anythings possible in the playoffs!!

Posted by: brendan | Apr 13, 2010 6:11:49 AM

Let's Go Cats

Posted by: BlockParty | Apr 13, 2010 6:15:21 AM

The 1 thing that stands out about the Magic is the way they acted when they came to TWC earlier this year when the cats lost in OT. It was warmup time before the game and they were clownIng and acting as belligerent as ever. Anthony Johnson was making some sort of speech at the hash mark while the Magic players giggled and performed trick shots and pointed and laughed at the crowd. It seemed as if they were marking their territory. It was blatantly arrogant and disrespectful and I'm ready for the cats to wipe that smug look off their faces!! Nobody comes into our house and thinks they can run us off the court!! Cats in 7!!!

Posted by: rkb | Apr 13, 2010 7:05:57 AM

Blockparty I feel you. If everbody shows up to our homegames fired up like you and I it will give the cats that extra push to kick some !@#$. Go Cats!

Posted by: slink | Apr 13, 2010 8:37:21 AM

Actually YO, you couldN't be anymore wrong about Matt Barnes.....

Posted by: observer | Apr 13, 2010 9:06:04 AM

I will be at game 3! Hopefully, we will have one win in the bag before then. Let's go Cats!

Posted by: QC King | Apr 13, 2010 9:13:58 AM


Any thoughts on Vecsey's column?

He says Larry Brown was already given permission by MJ to return to Philly next season. He's reporting it as a done deal.

Posted by: ASChin | Apr 13, 2010 9:29:56 AM

How could I be more right about Barnes? I mean, who gets in a fight with Hasheem Thabeet? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iARQ15jeBns
And the move to try to fake out Kobe was plain dumb.
And here he is with a flagrant foul!

Posted by: Yo | Apr 13, 2010 11:09:59 AM

Well written Rick. Respek.

Posted by: sgh | Apr 13, 2010 11:16:44 AM

matt barnes is a punk, he wants to be a bully, but i he won't bully gerald or jax or thomas, believe that..ratliff will play big in the playoffs too, i hope felton is ready

Posted by: TEEMAC | Apr 13, 2010 11:43:40 AM

Good point TEEMAC, I think if Felton plays poorly we get swept! We've had pretty good point guard play of late, with Felton and Augustine shooting at a high percentage, but these guys gotta take it to the rim to give us a chance to win this series, not jacking up some many 3's! We can't get in shooting match with Orlando! Cat's we can do this! Play our style of ball! Go Cats!!

Posted by: jah p | Apr 13, 2010 12:15:19 PM

I wouldn't call that anywhere near a fight with Thabeet and Barnes. As for Kobe, the guy has thrown arms and elbows at people for years my friend and i'm sorry but the "punks" are the ones that take it and do nothing about it. I've watched the guy "barnes" play alot and i can tell you that he's a hard nosed, no nonsense, take Sh!t from no one player. Wish there were more of them in the NBA, spices up the game... BY the way i believe Orlando won that game when BArnes and Kobe were going at it and Barnes hit a dagger 3 right in front of Kobe late in the game, he's a punk thou.... I'm just saying....

Posted by: observer | Apr 13, 2010 12:19:13 PM

I can see where folks would think that about Barnes "bully/punk" but that's only because they've heard people on talk radio and ESPN maybe say that about the man. If you watch him yourself "decent # of games" you'll see that he's not a highly skilled offensive player but on D HE WILL make guys work, plays extremely hard and will not back down. If you know basketball you appreaciate guys like that..

Posted by: observer | Apr 13, 2010 12:23:39 PM

matt barnes v. stephen jackson to decide the age-old question: who's got the bigger head?? i can not wait to watch jackson pound this kid into youtube infamy

Posted by: tmack652 | Apr 13, 2010 1:19:30 PM

Yeah because that guy "jackson" thinks he's just as good as Kobe. Didn't he say that this past year"99.9% sure he did. In all seriousness Stephen is a very good player, he's doing exactly what Charlotte had hoped when they paired Gereald and Jason richardson together. They found out Jason was starting to decline and made some trades.. I think since Coach Brown got to the team they started making good trades for once... pickin up Tyrus, gettin Theo" who for he's age is still a good big and trading for chandler was a good move for them...

Posted by: observer | Apr 13, 2010 1:46:40 PM

Yeah, I just listen and watch espn for all my sports knowledge. I watched the game live on my TV and could tell Barnes was instigating. I'm not saying he's a bad player; I understand he is very adept defender and gets the most of his offensive skills. However, just because he doesn't take smack from nobody doesn't mean he isn't a punk. Who fakes an inbounds pass at another players' face? It's unsportsmanlike! Since when does a refusal of taking crap from people mean you have to act like a certain part of the male anatomy? Gerald Wallace doesn't take crap from nobody but he doesn't have to get in anyone's face. Neither did Alonzo Mourning. Matt Barnes is just Mini-KG: not as skilled as KG but just as willing to start confrontations during games.

Posted by: Yo | Apr 13, 2010 2:13:25 PM

If you could have heard the trash talking Kobe was giving Barnes, you might understand the pump fake Matt gave him. Kobe talks more trash than any "super star" ever, he makes Barnes llok like a choir boy.

Posted by: Rasheed Wallace | Apr 13, 2010 2:25:27 PM

RKB, I think you read way too much into what the Magic did before your game up there. You clearly have never seen the Magic anywhere except at your arena. They always mess around like that in pregame warmups. They do it at home, too. They are not trying to show anyone up. That's is their pregame ritual in warmups. They like to keep loose. They do that to keep each other loose, not for any other reason. They aren't laughing at the crowd. They are joking with each other and laughing at each other. Don't really know how you could personalize it that way.

Posted by: hoopitup | Apr 13, 2010 2:44:21 PM

Check out this video. This is how the Magic act pregame.


Posted by: Rasheed Wallace | Apr 13, 2010 2:57:40 PM

Exactly. They do that before every game. At home, too. And they joke around together doing some crazy-looking things even before many other people are at the arena. You can get there 45 minutes before game time, before the players go back to change into their game uniforms, when they are working on things like free-throwing shooting or 3-point shooting. The guys who are out there act the same way. It has nothing to do with the other team or trying to embarrass anyone. It's totally about them. They just like to have fun -- and to entertain. I'm sure they never dreamed that anyone would take it as some kind of personal insult.

Posted by: hoopitup | Apr 13, 2010 3:32:53 PM

I'm a Bobcats fan, but the Orlando warm-up routine is worth the price of admission. They weren't talking smack, they were putting on a show and having fun. Good stuff, can't hate on that.

Posted by: ScottNC1 | Apr 13, 2010 4:36:58 PM

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