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September 16, 2010

More Bobcats pick-up game fodder

 Some observations from Thursday's pickup games among Charlotte Bobcats and various guests at Time Warner Cable Arena:

-- Several of you emailed to check if specific players looked in-shape (Kwame Brown, for instance). From what I could tell Wednesday and Thursday, everyone is in good shape. That doesn't surprise me in Season III under Larry Brown, because he's a stickler about that and word travels.

Mike Gminski, who played for Brown in New Jersey, told me when Larry took the job here that he has no tolerance for players who aren't in basketball shape. You could argue the contrary, concerning Boris Diaw perhaps, but Diaw has something else (a wide skill set) that is highly valuable in Brown's system. And Diaw did spend the summer playing for the French national team.

But I digress; my point is I saw nothing in the practice gym Thursday suggesting there's a Bobcat who's not physically ready for a tough training camp in just over a week in Wilmington.

-- The other inquiry I get a lot is about new point guard Shaun Livingston. I understand the curiosity, particularly since Livingston is still reclaiming a career from a severe knee injury.

Short answer: He looks fine. Longer answer: I wouldn't expect pick-up games to be where Livingston excells. Livingston was still a free agent of value for his length and his cerebral approach to the game. He never was a speed-demon before the injury and now he thinks his way through the game, somewhat like Derek Anderson did in the latter stage of his career.

Pick-up games, even among the world's best players, become mostly about running the fast break and going one-on-one. That's not what they'll be paying Livingston to do.

-- I like what I saw from D.J. Augustin Thursday (and they're obviously betting on Augustin's improvement at point guard). He was strong on several crossover dribbles and made a marvelous touch pass to Brendan Haywood in an impromptu screen-and-roll from the top of the key. Haywood, now a Dallas Mavericks center, is a regular in these games because he lives in Charlotte in the summer.

-- By the way, Augustin will be a different kind of point guard than Raymond Felton was; less of a dribbler, more disposed to getting the ball to Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace, then spotting up. Maybe he'll be more effective playing off the starters than running the second team.

-- Brown has been known to joke that Tyrus Thomas is his new Rasheed Wallace. By that Brown means he'll live with Thomas' quirks if in the balance he can develop all that talent. Case-in-point about Thomas' quirky, but intense, personality: Augustin overthrew him on a lob pass, and Thomas was a bit too emphatic in his reaction. But Thomas had the good sense on the way back downcourt to give Augustin a little hug that said, ''Didn't mean to overreact.''

-- Speaking of Thomas, one of the neat things about his athleticism is how long he can hang in the air. He almost hovers at the top of his leap, which means he doesn't need perfect timing to block shots. He had a heck of a block in the post of an Antoine Walker jump hook. Jump hooks are generally the toughest shots to block.

-- Darius Miles, who's been invited to training camp (I assume on an unguaranteed contract, if he accepts that) played in Thursday's pickup game. Miles obviously isn't the athlete he once was, but that doesn't mean he can't be effective. He's now more of a face-up jump-shooter and someone who breaks defenders down off change-of-direction, rather than pure explosion.

Posted by Observer Sports on September 16, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink

Comments

Can we get a list of names of who is in attendance at the games.

Posted by: Truth_cuts | Sep 16, 2010 3:26:57 PM

Truth-cuts:
It's a voluntary/optional pickup game; the names change daily. and they're not all Bobcats. This isn't like OTA's for the Panthers.

The Bobcats I saw over two days this week (they don't do it on Fridays, by the way):
Augustin, Livingston, Henderson, Carroll, Derrick Brown, Wallace, Mohammed, Kwame Brown, Thomas and McGuire.

Others I've seen play: Antoine Walker, Darius Miles, Brendan Haywood and Orien Green.


Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 16, 2010 3:54:56 PM

Thanks Rick for all your information! It really gives us an insight into what is going on...and possibly a little hope...

Posted by: Shane Stone | Sep 16, 2010 4:27:32 PM

Hi Rick,

How did Walker look today? Have you talked to him at all about any possible teams besides the Bobcats that he may be trying to get a camp invite from? I think if a team just gave him a chance he'd be a good addition.

Posted by: Devante | Sep 16, 2010 4:36:50 PM

Devante:
These are pickup games. It's not a practice, where there's media availabiity afterward. So, no, I'm not aware of who might be interested in Walker.
He looks like he's in shape and can still play. But I don't know that there'd be a place for him to play as a Bobcat.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 16, 2010 4:46:01 PM

good to have you back bonnell. hope your parents are ok. now you are back go tell that clown fowler to cover the local dart throwing tourney and leave the bobcats reporting up to the big boys. have you seen that collins kid out of kansas around the workouts?

Posted by: the voice | Sep 16, 2010 4:50:09 PM

Who is the coach?
still havent heard..?

Posted by: Jakeymon | Sep 16, 2010 5:30:10 PM

Yea, I'm real interested to hear some news about Collins too. Watching some of his play in summer league was great.

Posted by: PantherDave | Sep 16, 2010 5:40:50 PM

Poorly typed message from "the voice" but I agree; I can hardly stand reading Fowler's articles so it must really suck to have to work with him.

It's great to get some Bobcats news, thanks for keeping us up to date. Can't wait to see what the team can do this season.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 16, 2010 6:07:45 PM

Jakeymon:
Larry's the coach. He hasn't taken any blood oath, but that's his history.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 16, 2010 6:22:36 PM

Fowler stinks. He does the same thing every season: "Went to Bobcats game to see them lose the game that costs them getting the eighth seed, but they won." He will do that for a few games... then when the Cats go on a late season winning streak, there's Fowler, toasting his cup and giving high-fives with the fans via his shabby writing... "I told you these guys could do it!!!!"

I know we've been railing against the Carrol/Najera contracts.. and it's deserved. But I still have strong hopes for this season. I think Thomas and Jackson are going to be ready light it up and I even have hopes that Kwame will be serviceable in the wake of Chandler's departure. If it was "NBA Live", you would go with Chandler every time, but in real life the guy is too injury prone to be counted on.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Sep 16, 2010 7:10:41 PM

Mr Bonnell can u put pictures of the pick up games on this site?

Posted by: Jared Ross | Sep 16, 2010 10:40:14 PM

Rick, Thanks for the updates on the Bobcats pick up games. I think Kwame Brown is the best option at Center on the roster, good to hear the guys are building chemistry in a advance.

Posted by: Mike | Sep 17, 2010 1:39:52 AM

what are you talking about "Chris"? poorly written? you are a bigger clown than that ronald mcdonald want to be fowler. if you followed bonnells blog at all you would know that his parent/s have not been well and he was having to attend to them. or maybe you are suggesting my comment on fowler was poorly written? wouldnt surprise me. you clowns have to support each other. maybe you were thing my part about asking after collins from kanas was poorly written? why because his name is collins and he is from kansas? go get back into your clown car with you little pal fowler and find a circus to attend and leave the basketball talk up to those who know what it is they are talking about.

Posted by: the voice | Sep 17, 2010 8:42:48 AM

DJ is going to have to step up big time to help this team. I'm betting that Collins turns into the man, if LB lets him play. If Wallace gets hurt, this team is in deep trouble. Why are we trying out has beens like Miles and Walker? We should be focusing on Derrick Brown and the younger players.

Posted by: JC | Sep 18, 2010 6:01:59 AM

Rick, I hope your parents are doing better. Thanks, as always, for your work covering the Bobcats - even their pickup games. I check charlotteobserver.com primarily for Bobcats and Panthers updates, so it's great to have you back. Along with giving several guys another shot (e.g., Miles, Livingston), do you think the Bobcats are becoming a more attractive free agent destination now that MJ is in control?

Posted by: CF | Sep 18, 2010 9:31:43 AM

WELL,WELL,WELL THATS GOOD NEWS AND I HOPE WE CAN BE READY TO COMPETE BECAUSE HE COMPETION IS THERE WITH LEBRON,WADE,BOSH TO DEAL WITH,; I hopeful in your young players i feel that are going to excell into stars they just need a chance to, I would like to see, Henderson,and Derrick Brown,play more. BUT SPEAKING OF A YOUTH MOVEMENT

TRADE IDEA
MATT CARROLL
AND NAZA MOM
TO DENVER
FOR
CHRIS ANDERSON
AND J.R SMITH
TO BOBCATS

JUST LIKE THE BIRDMAN AND J.R SMITH IS A WAY BETTER PURE SHOOTER THAN MATT CARROLL

Posted by: RAHSHON GAMBLE | Sep 18, 2010 11:47:07 AM

This Trade is Successful!Start Over
Adjust Trade
Save Trade Share your tradePost trade to ESPN

Try This Trade
Trade to:Orlando MagicCharlotte BobcatsChicago Bulls
Trade Exceptions:
Orlando Magic Payroll

$93,472,415
Cap Room

-$35,428,415
Player
Salary
PER Being Traded To

Matt Carroll$4,300,000$4.3M N/A
SG2 0 3 Years

Being Traded To

Boris Diaw$9,000,000$9.0M 12.8
PF6 0 1 Year

Being Traded To

N. Mohammed$6,883,800$6.8M 19.6
C9 0 1 Year

Acquiring 3 Players
$20,183,800$20.2M
Orlando Magic Roster

Being Traded To Charlotte Bobcats Brandon Bass$4,000,000$4.0M 16.5PF6 0 2 Years Being Traded To Charlotte Bobcats Vince Carter$17,522,375$17.5M 17.1SG2


Charlotte Bobcats Payroll

$78,066,044
Cap Room

-$20,022,044
Being Traded To Denver Nuggets

Vince Carter$17,522,375$17.5M 17.1
SG2 0 2 Years

Being Traded To Charlotte Bobcats

Brandon Bass$4,000,000$4.0M 16.5
PF6 0 2 Years

Being Traded To Charlotte Bobcats

Joakim Noah$3,128,536$3.1M 18.0
C9 0 1 Year

Being Traded To

Luol Deng$11,345,000$11.3M 16.1
SF5 0 4 Years

Acquiring 4 Players
$35,995,911$36M
Charlotte Bobcats Roster
.
Being Traded To Orlando Magic Matt Carroll$4,300,000$4.3M N/ASG2 Being Traded To Orlando Magic Boris Diaw$9,000,000Being Traded To Orlando Magic N. Mohammed$6,883,800$6.8M 19.6C9 0 1 Year Being Traded To Chicago Bulls E. Najera$3,000,000$3.0M
$55,721,976
Cap Room

$2,322,024
Player
Salary
PER Being Traded To Chicago Bulls

S. Jackson$8,453,250$8.4M 15.7
SG2 0 3 Years

Being Traded To

E. Najera$3,000,000$3.0M 8.5
PF6 0 2 Years

Acquiring 2 Players
$11,453,250$11.5M
Chicago Bulls Roster


Being Traded To Charlotte Bobcats Joakim Noah$3,128,536$3.1M 18.0C9 No Reacquiring

BOBCATS GET VINCE CARTER A TICKET SELLER FOR TWO YEARS AND NC NATIVE, AND NOAH US A REAL CENTER AND LOU DENG WILL COST US A DRAFT PICK BUT WELL MAKE A PERFECT SIX MAN COMING OFF THE BENCH OR WE CAN USE HIM AND PACKAGE A TRADE FOR A PG IF DJ DOES'NT PAN OUT AND BRANDAN BASS FITS IN JUST RIGHT AND WILL MAKE LB DAY

CHICAGO GETS A REAL SG TO ASSIT DERRICK ROSE, AND GET PF/C IN E.NAJERA HIS A HUSTLER LIKE NOAH AND A DRAFT PICK 2ND ROUND

ORLANDO GETS ANOTHER 3-PT SPEACIALIST TO ADD TO THEIR FRONT COURT, A GREAT DEFENDER IN DIAW, DEPT AT THE CENTER POSITION AND RELIEF OF VINCE CARTER CONTRACT THAT IS WORTHLESS BECAUSE HE JUST DOE'ST FIT IN ORLANDO

BUT IN CHARLOTTE HE COULD BE THE MAN AGAIN AND THE OFFENSE COULD GO THROUGH HIM AND GERLAND WALLACE

Posted by: RAHSHON GAMBLE | Sep 18, 2010 1:48:37 PM

I would love that trade. But it will never happen, if only dreams could come true. Chicago is not trading noah for nothing.

Posted by: Deon | Sep 18, 2010 2:09:02 PM

"Hang time" is just another marketing slogan. Tyrus Thomas has not found a secret to overcome gravity; after all, what is it that such a player supposedly "hangs" from, anyway?

Posted by: Reality | Sep 18, 2010 5:47:23 PM

I buy it; but only if you can trade for Charles Oakley, too.

Posted by: The Dark Knight | Sep 18, 2010 7:45:17 PM

Sign Sharone Wright Priest Landerdale, and Chris MOrris

Posted by: Issac Austin | Sep 18, 2010 8:52:41 PM

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