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September 29, 2010

Count to 10, Bobcats-style

Ten things worth noting from the Charlotte Bobcats' Wednesday-night scrimmage at training camp:

1. Guest of honor had to be former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, Larry Brown's mentor. Smith has gone through a rough time, health-wise, of late, But at least from afar (the media monitors night sessions from upstairs and there aren't post-practice interviews), he looked well in a Tar Heel blue warmup jacket.

When Smith attended Bobcats training camp two seasons ago, he told Brown he wasn't sure that Bobcats team could win the ACC. Only four players remain from that team and one of those -- Matt Carroll -- left and came back.

2. Brown says Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw are setting the pace at practice. It showed in the scrimmage, when Jackson hit the floor trying to keep the ball in-bounds with such force he slid about 15 feet.

3. Power forward Tyrus Thomas sat out his second straight practice with a sprained right ankle. Looked like Thomas tried to play at night, based on his taped ankles.

4. Javaris Crittenton made a really nice transition play, stealing a Diaw pass, dribbling off in the opposite direction, then beating the last defender with a backward bounce pass to Derrick Brown, setting up a dunk.

5. I've noticed, at least in practice, that Shaun Livingston moves gingerly when the ball is loose and bodies are flying. Can't blame him for that -- after that horrific knee injury, the last thing he needs is to fall awkwardly -- but it is noticeable.

6. Darius Miles might not be real fast anymore, but he has absurdly long strides. I saw him go from above the foul line to the rim in about three steps.

7. Gana Diop twice dropped touch passes that should have led directly to dunks. I thought I was watching Dwayne Jarrett.

8. Brown was more feisty Wednesday than Tuesday. At one point he screamed out, "That's how to get a basket! Don't dribble! Pass to the open man!''

9. Brown prefers drives to jump shots, but that doesn't mean he likes good shooters turning down open looks. "Shoot the ball, Matt,'' Brown screamed at Carroll. "You've been shooting your whole life!''

10. Only one (inevitably longer) practice Thursday, a late-morning session.

Posted by Observer Sports on September 29, 2010 at 08:37 PM | Permalink


How does Gerald Henderson look, Rick? Glad to hear Coach Smith is doing OK.

Posted by: Ari | Sep 29, 2010 9:04:54 PM

Deano prolly thought it was 1962.

Posted by: james reed | Sep 29, 2010 9:22:20 PM

Henderson looks fine, but he doesn't stick out positively the way I anticipated, based on how he dominated summer league.
An example, based on watching two evening scrimmages from up-high (where you can appreciate spacing better) at UNC-Wilmington's gym.
The difference in experience shows, not just relative to Stephen Jackson, but also to Matt Carroll. There was a play tonight where Derrick Brown left Carroll to help in the post, and Matt instantly thought to move five feet to his left for a wide-open 3-pointer. That sort of recognition doesn't yet register on Henderson.
That's not a knock on Henderson, but it is an acknowledgement of his relative inexperience. Jackson would see that opportunity. Carroll would see opportunity. Larry Hughes would see that opportunity.
Henderson, for all his ability, is still figuring out how to play against NBA competition in real time. That's tough.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 29, 2010 9:31:11 PM

Is Shaun Livingston getting any first team reps? Is it an open point guard spot or have the bobcats already said dj would be the starter?

Posted by: Jared Ross | Sep 29, 2010 10:41:18 PM

SMH Gana.He's done, stick a fork in him.Which leaves Nazr,Doris and possibly TT rotating at that position.....WEAK.

Posted by: FlipFlops | Sep 29, 2010 10:55:43 PM

Henderson should play more this season, We need the bench to play Larry. Wallace can't be old crash, I love it as much as anybody else....but we need a 82 Gerald season. I predict Carroll's role will be bigger than the first Larry goaround. I'm just curious who is going make up for felton's scoring and clutchness. DIAW????? get diop&some other high payroll for a double figure scorer....Maybe we need AI. I doubt he would be the answer, but who knows

Posted by: JC | Sep 29, 2010 11:37:53 PM

Rick, last I heard UNCW was under water - how'd the team make it practice?

Posted by: DooWayne | Sep 30, 2010 7:16:31 AM


Thank you very much for these updates. This is exactly the info we want to hear day by day. It helps us get a frame of reference on how the team is developing. It does not surprise me to hear of Crash and Jack setting the pace. You also included Diaw. Yes, you've been singing about him in several articles, and I've been critical of his faults. Tell me, what is Diaw doing to set the pace? I only read about an intercepted pass. I'm hopeful he proves me wrong by playing at his potential every game, but I want evidence first.

I'm also concerned about Livingston. It's very early for the knee to be giving him trouble. Hope we didn't sign a lemon to a 2 year deal. Nice to hear of Javaris making plays. What's DJ showing?

Posted by: Bassman | Sep 30, 2010 8:02:56 AM

I remember in his first season, Matt Carroll lead the league in 4 pt plays. Can't wait to see him bombing some from downtown.

Posted by: Musson | Sep 30, 2010 8:59:05 AM

Rick, having lived in Wilmington, know that folks must be using rowboats to get around. How far are players living from gym and how are the getting about?

Posted by: eduardo | Sep 30, 2010 9:27:03 AM

Hey Rick

I just read that Toronto really wants Diaw, I know they were trying to get him earlier. Do you think they have anything that the bobcats would want, to make this happen.

Posted by: Deon | Sep 30, 2010 9:44:04 AM

D.J. will get every chance to be this team's starting point guard. And should under current circumstance. It probably wouldn't be in Livingston's best interest to play starter's minutes, relative to his knee.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 30, 2010 10:17:05 AM

Rick, Love the "10 Things" format. Keep it coming!

Posted by: uahal | Sep 30, 2010 10:42:51 AM

C'mon Rick, you should know the one thing Jarrett does exceptionally well is CATCH passes. It's his route running and ability to obtain separation that has been constantly brought into question.

Posted by: Newsinz | Sep 30, 2010 11:43:34 AM


Do you know if the Bobcats may revisit the idea of resigning Erick Dampier. It seems like we desperatly need more help in the Center spot, and Dampier is running out of options. Could that be a possibility or is that completely out of the question?

The rest of the MLE ($2.2M Per Year), could probably be his best option right now. Hawks, Bucks, Raptors and maybe even the Heat seems to have giveup on him. That leaves the $4M/2Yrs from Houston, which is $2M per year. I think the Bobcats are as good as Houston and he'll have more playing time with the Bobcats.

However, I'm not sure what is Brown, Higgins and MJ's perception on that option, it seems like it may not be an option. But I think he'll be an upgrade over what we have, or worst case scenario, he'll be like having a taller, bigger and more defensive Nazr, which will be great at this time.

Posted by: RobC | Sep 30, 2010 12:08:53 PM

Drop Djop. Drop him now.

Posted by: sascol | Sep 30, 2010 12:10:48 PM

Concerning Diop: We can't just "drop him now" or "get diop&some other high payroll for a double figure scorer." That's not how NBA trades or contracts work. We could buy out his contract but that would be way too expensive. No team in their right mind would trade for him, especially not for him and another big contract in return for a double digit scorer.

Posted by: Yo | Sep 30, 2010 1:00:09 PM


Having grown up as a huge fan of the '90s basketball era, I about died when you mentioned that ANTOINE WALKER is at our camp. Can you give me an update on that situation? Is he actually playing?

Thanks for the article Rick, I really enjoyed it. Keep it up.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 30, 2010 1:28:54 PM

Darrius Miles....?

sheez...lets find JR Rider or shawn kemp

Posted by: Scott | Sep 30, 2010 1:38:40 PM

I really liked point 9. Matt Carroll needed this kind of encouragement from Larry Brown (after the 2009 trade). He needs to know that he has Coach's back, even though he's not the typical Larry Brown SG. Matt's shooting ability can help the 'Cats.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 30, 2010 1:47:45 PM

I also read that the Raptors want Diaw again but I think this is a terrible trade if we can't get the C. Bosh trade exception and they can't take Diop with the trade for Diaw

Posted by: I'mSo85South | Sep 30, 2010 6:28:48 PM

hate to nitpick but 3 steps from "above the free throw line to the rim" doesn't sound all that impressive given how many guys can dunk from the free throw line. and especially when he's 6 foot 9ish. gerald henderson and derrick brown probably dunk after taking 2 steps from the 3 point line regularly.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 1, 2010 12:14:01 PM

Are there any practices or events that are open to the public? I would love to watch Coach Brown at work during practice?

Posted by: Charlie Bumgarner | Oct 1, 2010 12:43:30 PM

There's an intrasquad scimmage at UNC-Wilmington Sunday night. But no open practices.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Oct 1, 2010 4:48:34 PM

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