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July 03, 2010

An early-July Bobcats scrimmage

 Some quick thoughts off the Bobcats' Saturday-night scrimmage at an Orlando high school:

-- This won't surprise many of you, but it should be said: There's nothing about the way Alexis Ajinca plays right now that separates him from a D-Leaguer. The problem is he doesn't recognize and react quickly enough to exploit his length and genuine athleticism. He let a guard score a layup over him in transition, as if he was nailed to the floor.

Here's how I'd describe the problem. Jimmy Connors wouldn't have beaten anyone in a foot race, but he was so good at reading the tennis ball as it came off his opponent's strings, he was where he needed to be when he needed to be there. Ajinca has none of that feel for what is about to happen, and it so limits what he might be.

-- This Australian center, Nathan Jawai, has a real nice feel for the game. Anyone who can miss the first four practices (travel problems), then fly 14 hours and then look sharp in two practices in one day, has something to offer. The problem is the last thing the Bobcats need right now is one more center. But guaranteed contracts aside, I could see Jawai being more useful to the Bobcats than Ajinca or Gana Diop.

-- Shawne Williams has behavior issues, but you can tell he has NBA talent. He recognizes situations, he can shoot over long arms (Ajinca guarded him) and he tries on defense. If the Bobcats traded Boris Diaw or lost Tyrus Thomas in free-agency, I could see him making the team.

-- Sherron Collins isn't as talented as Jameer Nelson. No -- let me clarify -- Collins doesn't have anything resembling Nelson's shooting, passing or presence. But he has a similarly strong body, a solid handle and a desire to improve.

He could be a late-bloomer, and obviously the Bobcats will be open-minded in looking at point guards.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 3, 2010 at 09:20 PM | Permalink

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