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October 28, 2010

Some post-opener thoughts

 Some thoughts on the latest of many Charlotte Bobcats losses to the Dallas Mavericks:

 -- It's hard to picture, on numbers alone, how a team could give up 55 percent shooting and not think they lost this one on defense. But that's not what blew up the Bobcats Wednesday.

Turnovers were this team's flaw all last season, and nothing changed in the season-opener. Twenty-one turnovers led to 28 Dallas points. As a tennis guy (no double-fault is good, but some are far worse than others), I buy Larry Brown's principle that there are acceptable turnovers (daring passes, intended to make for easy baskets, that just don't work out), and unacceptable turnovers (lazy ballhandling at mid-court that leads to easy opponent scores).

Wednesday the vast majority of the turnovers were the ones that scorch you. Especially so with a Jason Kidd pushing the ball for the other team.

-- Speaking of Kidd, he controlled the game as well as a point guard can. I only saw Magic Johnson play a couple of times live, but he wasn't better than Kidd Wednesday.

The guy had 18 assists to one turnover. You know that plus/minus stat? Sometimes it can be horribly misleading. Not this time. The Mavericks outscored the Bobcats by 30 when Kidd played. Which means in the 16 or so minutes Kidd sat, the Bobcats outscored the Mavs by 15. Enough said.

-- Tyrus Thomas was really good in 30 minutes Wednesday: 22 points, six rebounds and 8-of-15 shooting. But I thought he'd be more impactful at the defensive end. His length and quickness should have helped in containing Dirk Nowitzki, yet Nowitzki still finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds. I'm not saying Thomas guarded Nowitzki a lot, or even had that much chance to play help defense. But Nowitzki's size and high-arc shooting might make his shot the hardest to contest in the NBA.

-- I'm guessing you'd never get Tyson Chandler to admit this, but I think he's a little ticked off by the season he spent with the Bobcats. He tried to rough up Gerald Wallace a couple of times in the fourth quarter. Maybe that was just Tyson competing, but I wondered if he was thinking about that time, early last season, when Wallace questioned publicly how hard Chandler was playing.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 28, 2010 at 01:23 AM | Permalink

Comments

hey, maybe its a good thing nobody outside of Charlotte can see these games. another year of mediocrity. hooray

Posted by: lolcats | Oct 28, 2010 1:44:09 AM

yeah, lolcats:
One of 82....the season is over.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Oct 28, 2010 1:56:57 AM

I thought the positives were fighting back from that ridiculous run the Mavs had to start the game, the play of Tyrus Thomas, and the fact that Boris Diaw looked pretty assertive shooting the ball, even if the final numbers weren't great.

Unfortunately I don't think this group will ever get a handle on the turnover problem.

Lastly, even though I love the NBA, one big negative is the fact that you can already tell who will be there come June after the first game. Whatever the NFL did to produce such amazing parity, I wish the NBA could somehow copy it, but with smaller roster sizes and an individual star driven game that might not be possible. Of course, when the best players collude to team up on just a couple of teams that doesn't help either.

Posted by: Ari | Oct 28, 2010 2:00:03 AM

@lolcats You're right. One game (tough one at that) determines how they will play the next 81. Dumb

Posted by: Kane Rowell | Oct 28, 2010 2:00:16 AM

Rick,
Is there any sites that post stats about assist that weren't assist because shooter got fouled and got free throws instead? Also, I tend to think a hockey-type assist is underrated; like the outlet pass in a fast break. Am I misguided here?

As to the game, I was impressed that they fought back for the lead and particularly so with Boris doing work. I was really hoping GForce was working on his outside shooting, dribbling lower into traffic, and using his off arm to protect his shot from blockage. DJ seemed very disrupted from Jason Terry sticking with him instead of Kidd. Tyrus needed his hands actually up while guarding Dirk. Seems that would've helped; awesomeness otherwise. jack needs to manage his anger better. Seems he's substituting yelling at refs for yelling at teammates. Hopefully, Kwame helps but I'm surprised Diop was out.

Posted by: Altheus | Oct 28, 2010 2:25:53 AM

Why doesn't Fox Sports Carolinas cover the games? There are more fans other than the ones in Charlotte who would like to see the games without having to get a dish

Posted by: Eric | Oct 28, 2010 6:59:41 AM

where was jack - and why hasn't there been any explanation, anywhere? you don't arbitrarily sit your best offensive player for the last 15 minutes of a game. something seems off.

Posted by: wondering | Oct 28, 2010 7:41:54 AM

@rick Its not like this game was on outlier. It was standard Bobcats basketball. Turn the ball over, take bad shots, and constant mental lapses. It's not 1 game, its like...3+ years now. New season, same ish. Its not gonna change until they learn how to draft.

Posted by: lolcats | Oct 28, 2010 8:06:51 AM

I had a hard time finding the game on DirecTV. The game wasn't listed on the channel guide, so I went to directv.com and found out what channel number it was and manually punch in the channel, but that worked just fine. Any of you with directv that had trouble finding it, this may be what you need to do. I beleive it was channel 649-1 if memory serves me correctly.

In last night's game, seemed like when we were on the "upswing" we were driving the ball in, and when we were on the "downswing" we were relying too much on perimeter shooting which was so typical last season. Do they stop driving because they are tired?

DJ had moments of being really good, but too often he would pick his dribble up to quick to pass just to be passing, instead of trying to set up a play, but I did see some really good play from him and hopefully that part gets better!

Tyrus Thomas played great. If what we saw last night is any indication of how he's going to progress this year then he's going to be a beast!

Any word on Wallace's injury?

Posted by: redhotdave | Oct 28, 2010 8:22:33 AM

Tyrus looked fantastic. Jack looked pissed, our point guard play was a joke, our defense was great. Typical day in the life of the Bobcats. Dallas is a top notch team, we will be fine.

Posted by: GO BOBCATS, GO TO HE(( Panthers | Oct 28, 2010 8:44:04 AM

I want to put it like this besides the bad shooting in the beginning of the game. I like the fight the cats put up we will get them in Charlotte. I know Terry and Dirk shot lights out, but I believe the refs gave them some boost. They barely called fouls on them as opposed to the cats on the other side defending. And good question wondering where was Jackson I mean do we not need offense to get back in the game...

Posted by: tbird | Oct 28, 2010 8:48:14 AM

@redhotdave. Hit the menu button on your directv remote and go to Search for Shows. Then just type Bobcats in. It will give you every channel they are playing on. I watched some of the Dallas broadcast just to get a different point of view.

Posted by: FuriousStyles | Oct 28, 2010 9:27:26 AM

@redhotdave - Wallace's injury was just a cramp, charlie horse I think actually. He'll be fine for Friday night.

Rick - maybe you should put a sub-title at the top of all your postings that says: All Bobcats games will be on SportsSouth (with exception to 2 on ESPN). Check with your local cable provider to see if this channel is available. I will tell you that DirectTV in Fort Mill has it. And Time Warner Cable in Charlotte/Mecklenburg has it. This is NOT controlled by the Bobcats. It's controlled by the satellite/cable provider.

Posted by: PantherDave | Oct 28, 2010 10:00:40 AM

I blame LB. Last year the only person we had that could guard Dirk was Tyson Chandler. Putting Diaw on him is a joke and we should have known Dirk would win that match up based on experience. We got scorched by Diaw's man (Dirk) and DJ's man (Terry)

DJ looked horrible. Dribbling the ball across half court and passing it to a wing two feet inside the three point line isn't enough of an impact to justify a starting job. Unless DJ can make an impact with his shooting or play making we are better off without him on the floor.

Posted by: GoBobs | Oct 28, 2010 10:06:42 AM

Oh one thing I forgot to comment on, despite the loss... how about the Bobcats Free Throw shooting? That was the best I've ever seen. I believe they were 23-24. That was one thing that hurt us a lot last year and in years past. Hopefully that continues.

Posted by: PantherDave | Oct 28, 2010 10:14:05 AM

1.) Stephen Jackson sprained his ankle, but according to the commentators he should be fine for tomorrow.

2.) Wallace had a cramp and also should be fine for tomorrow.

3.) Diaw was not suppose to be guarding Nowitzki, Thomas should guard a guy like that. However, Nowitzki was simply on fire, he was hitting every shot, even the most uncomfortable ones, he only missed 2 shots in the entire game.

4.) I like DJ, but he better toughen up and be WAY more aggresive, also, his defense was not just bad, it was horrible.

5.) I like the fact that all the runs the Bobcats made to get back in the game occured while Gerald henderson was in. He might not be good on offense, but he was the only one who actually made Kidd work to get his game going.

6.) Finally, even though Dallas would have won this game anyway, they are not 15 pts better than the Bobcats, even after shooting 55% and the Bobcats having 21 TO. The officiating especially during the first half was completly one-sided in favor of Dallas. I counted 6 times that led to 9 Dallas points were the officials made horrible calls, including to charges Wallace took, one Nowitzki and one on Carroll and were called fouls on Wallace. I know I have DVR and there are some calls were is tough for the officials to get it riht, but those specific 6 instances, the calls were obviuos and ridiculos. And then, the players, nor the Coach can say anything because they will be thrown out of the game. I can understand the NBA wants for players to respect the referees, but the officiating in the NBA seems to be worst and worst every year. The star treatment has become a joke. It also happened in the CHI-OKC game, Durant will be given a foul every time he missed a shot, it looked like it was automatic. Durant missed 10 shot inside the 3pt-line and in 6 of those 10 times he was sent to the line. Chicago couldn't even look at him or they would be called for a foul.

Posted by: RobC | Oct 28, 2010 12:10:49 PM

Sorry - I meant "Caron" as in Caron Butler, instead of Carroll, in my previous posting.

Posted by: RobC | Oct 28, 2010 12:12:10 PM

I blame LB...He didnt even use his bench. shaun livingston didnt play. Dj didnt even show up. Tyrus thomas should be starting with the check they gave him this offseason. Larry brown might be a hall of fame coach but he dont know how to use the talent around him. Start Livingston

Posted by: walker | Oct 28, 2010 12:29:00 PM

Walker:
Shaun Livingston committed three turnovers and missed both his shots in 14 minutes on the court. It was painfully obvious he'd never played a game with his new teammates. That's understandable, and certainly excusable, considering Shaun's injured preseason. But to suggest Brown coached poorly by not playing Shaun more last night is laughable.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Oct 28, 2010 1:50:05 PM

turnovers at the pg position, typical game, we not win many games this year if we don't have solid pg play, at least felton was decent at the point..look for some trades coming very soon..lb will not keep this team together for the entire season, and we should have kept chandler, they guy was coming off injury last year, we can use him badly now..we are in trouble

Posted by: bobcats fan | Oct 28, 2010 1:52:00 PM

Good comments.....I think Larry age may be a factor in all the trades he has made since being a Bobcats. The best of these trades so far is only Thomas & Jackson. Speaking of Jackson, he's the team leader in scores and turnovers....why? Whenever Jackson handles the ball, the game stops. Wallace is good, but he's another leader for turnovers....his shooting is really poor. Both Jackson and Wallace are our best players, and if there are areas they need to improve; Jackson will be limiting his turnovers, and Wallace, his shooting and turnovers.

I know this team has sacrifice talents to save the big contracts. Believe me, these core of players are good to be support cast on a superstar team, but not to take this team to any glory. MJ played the game and he should know this by now. Jackson, Wallace, DJ, Thomas, Diaw....these talents are complimentary talents, and not winning talents

Posted by: nunu | Oct 28, 2010 2:26:34 PM

Yeah, Livingston was a nightmare in his 14 minutes. Although, maybe a few more minutes and he would have lit it up, right Walker? Brown should have recognized this...lol.

Posted by: HAve2650 | Oct 28, 2010 2:38:51 PM

Re: Rick C's comment No. 6 about the officiating. I'm a Mavericks fan and understand your frustration. I would point out, however, that the Mavericks were called for 18 fouls to the Bobcats' 15. Charlotte shot six more free throws than the Mavericks. So I'm not sure your claim that the officiating was one-sided in favor of Dallas is valid. Otherwise, I agree with your points and acknowledge that Nowitzki gets as much star treatment as any player in the league.

Posted by: Cameron | Oct 28, 2010 2:51:07 PM

My response should have been directed to PantherDave. My mistake.

Posted by: Cameron | Oct 28, 2010 2:53:09 PM

Rick, any word on Jackson's ankle? I don't recall seeing him on the floor past the middle of the 3rd quarter. Did he tweak something, or was sitting him more of a precautionary measure since things were getting a bit out of hand at that point?

Posted by: Mike | Oct 28, 2010 3:13:20 PM

Cameron,

In fact your response was correctly addressed to me, even thoug is RobC.

Also, you cannot look at the number of fouls called, why? If you saw the game, and I'm assuming you did, you should have noticed that everyone in the Maverick team is a jump shooter. Almost no one with the exception of JJ Barea and maybe Nowitzki (who did it like 2 or 3 times), drove to the basket. All the Mavericks did was shoot jump shots all night long, and yes, they were on fire, that's why I said the Bobcats would have lost this game anyways.

On the other hand, all the Bobcats do is drive to the basket, (Larry Brown's signature) which by consequence results in a greater amount of free throws and fouls. You don't get foul calls shooting jumpers, although Caron Butler got a call on a CLEAN block by Diaw, and the official call it foul. Diaw touched Butler's hand after blocking the ball. The rule clearly specify that in a case like that (because of follow thru) the hand is part of the ball (dell Curry a former shooter, actually explained the rule very well and cited it). That is not only 1 foul, but is actually 2 extra points for Dallas and it completly messes up the momentum. This happened right after the Bobcats grabbed the lead, late in the second quarter and soon after that the Maverick ended the half up by 4.

Again, I'm not saying the Bobcats lost because of this, but it had a lot to do with how the "little" rythm they actually found in the 2nd quarter was completly disrupted. Then they lost Jackson and became desperate and lost a game against an elite team. The total amount of fouls called is not an indication in this case, when the Top 4 scorers from Dallas (Nowitzki, Terry, Butler and Kidd = 75Pts total on 60%FG) only shot jumpers all night long, because they were indeed on fire.

Posted by: RobC | Oct 28, 2010 3:31:27 PM

it was all turnovers and poor shooting in the game. we actually played them very well in most ways, if you just subtract the turnovers that led to transition buckets for them, they were shooting mostly contested jumpshots in the half court.

we missed a lot of point blank shots. nazr and tyrus both missed atleast 3 a piece that were gimme's. just an off night. tyrus played with great energy and delivered a 30 point game but only executed 22 of em. still a positive sign. especially when he was 3 of 6 on jumpers. 5 of 9 in the lane works but atleast 3 of them were routine buckets that he'll make 9 of 10 times.

DJ isn't going to shoot 2 of 10 either.

nice of gana diop to earn a game jersey atleast. it's good to know that even with our 2nd team center out, he still can't crack the lineup.

all in all we showed a lot of rust but A LOT of potential. if thomas is gonna play every night like this, once we get brown back to have a legitimate backup center, and livingston gets going to give us 15-20 solid minutes every night, we're going to be scary. henderson had a nice block and a jumper too. he could develop into what shannon brown has developed into. that would be nice.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 28, 2010 3:42:08 PM

Cameron,

Also, to prove my point on jump shooting teams versus teams that attack the rim. Last season the Bobcats were 5th in the Regular season in FT attempted with 27, and Dallas was 25th with 23. That's a plus 4 by game. The Bobcats had a plus 6 yesterday, which is in line to their stat and even more when Dallas shot a huge amount of jump shots, a little more than normal.

Posted by: RobC | Oct 28, 2010 3:44:33 PM

cameron,

your assessment of the officiating is the exact problem with officiating. dallas is a jumpshooting team while we aren't. we were going at the basket and getting fouled regularly. the refs seemingly are taught that a well officiated game ends with the fouls being close but that's just not how the game is played. the team that gets fouled more should have more fouls.

it should have been atleast another 5 fouls mostly on drives by augustin and wallace and i remember a pretty blatant one they didn't call involving thomas.

it wasn't horrible officiating but i say that because i've grown accustomed to horrible nba officiating. but again, what you said just backs up the argument that the officiating was bad.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 28, 2010 3:51:10 PM

Cameron,

Here is the link to the "Shot Chart" of the game: http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=301027006

Bewteen: Kidd, Terry, Butler & Nowitzki, 20 out of the 31 FG made were jumpers.

Posted by: RobC | Oct 28, 2010 3:58:37 PM

Chandler had eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes. The Mavs outscored the Bobcats by 15 points with him on the floor.

"I love him," Carlisle said of Chandler. "I mean, he really has an infectious spirit as a person and a basketball player. He really brings some toughness to our team, particularly our starters, because he brings a dynamic of athleticism that we haven't had here at that position.

we will miss chandler, i think we gave up on him to soon, mark my words...

Posted by: panthersall day | Oct 28, 2010 4:12:29 PM

the thing was, felton for whatever reason, didn't utilize chandler the way chris paul did. jason kidd will. he's horrible in every aspect on offense EXCEPT as an automatic allyooping machine.

the trade would have been a really nice move if we hadn't taken back both the suits. i mean carroll atleast gave us depth we somewhat needed as there aren't any other shooters on the roster outside of augustin. najera is our.....5th string power forward? ask cuban if he would have done the deal without najera and carroll. that's the difference between real front office's and ours.

on that note, last night would have been a good spot to see what ajinca could do. imagine if we had ajinca instead of diop. not saying he's a stud or anything but he's better than diop. and cheaper. and in regards to our roster he's better than carroll or najera. more useful rather.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 28, 2010 4:26:42 PM

Charlottean,

I completely agree with you and have all summer. We jumped the gun on the Chandler trade. Cuban thought he had a great asset in Damp's contract but when the salary cap line came in higher than expected, no one was really offering anything big. If we would have waited a month, I bet he would have done the deal straight up.

Posted by: Mason | Oct 28, 2010 4:44:25 PM

i know he would have. he was going to spend the money regardless and he wasn't going to give it to damp. he was going to trade the contract for a trade exception if he had to. he was looking to upgrade from dampier and get younger. dumping the contracts was a bonus in the process.

and i understand taking back 1 bad contract. i get it, but the 2 AND giving up on lex as young as he is....it just didn't make any sense at all.

for all you that rile about how mediocre the guy was in summer league, i'm right there with you. BUT, i counter with sebastian telfair having a nice game last night and possibly having carved out a niche in the nba after all. telfair is 25. lex is....22? and for a rookie scale contract, you can't get a skilled 7 footer any cheaper. he was a d-league all-star last year. gana diop is eating 7 mil off our payroll this year and he couldn't make the all-d-league 3rd team if they even had such a thing (they might, idk).

it was just a horrible horrible horrible move. unluckily for lex he's still on their roster because there's no way he plays behind dirk, haywood, chandler, marion, etc. they're the yankees of basketball or rather the dodgers since they're spending it without the rings. maybe he'll luck up and get picked up by somebody who loses a big guy early on and he'll get a shot. even if he doesn't i bet he makes an nba impact at some point. let him hit 25 and add 50 pounds of life and he'll be a machine. a machine that definitely made sense to spend a 1st round pick on to develop and made absolutely no sense to throw into a BS deal that would have gotten done without him. dallas didn't even want him, they just wanted him and the trade exception included so they could dump BOTH of their useless contracts.

sorry you got me riled up there mason. i'm trying to forget and move on but it's hard. i keep seeing useless players on the bench that keep reminding me of how horrible our front office is and has been.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 28, 2010 5:49:47 PM

Early in the game, I called Timewarner Cable in the Triad to ask what channel I could find the Bobcats game in HD. After about 30 minutes of trying various channels that they mentioned; they came back and said "Sorry, we don't carry Sportsouth in HD." I tried watching the game but the picture was terrible. By halftime, I decided screw it and watched Kevin Durant on ESPN HD instead. That was much better. So there we are; New season, same old issues. At least a few of last years games were carried in HD on FS Carolinas; this year, apparently none.

Posted by: Keetch | Oct 28, 2010 8:07:26 PM

you sound like a diva. watch the game like a normal person and stop crying. your 3D glasses are going to get soggy.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 29, 2010 2:47:39 AM

There were 2 games in HD on FS Carolinas last year...

Real fans want to watch games they don't care if it's HD.

Sorry your superevolved senses have moved beyond standard definition if its the only way to see your team play. Thanks for jumping on the bandwagon after the playoff run last year at least you lasted 30 minutes.

Posted by: bosham35 | Oct 29, 2010 4:20:34 PM

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