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December 02, 2010

Henderson expects to be back in 1 week

I spoke with Gerald Henderson last night about the tendonitis in his left knee. He went to Duke earlier this week for a second opinion on the injury, which has kept him out since early November.

The examination showed no additiional injury and the only real treatment is rest. Henderson hopes to start participating again in about a week.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 2, 2010 at 08:14 AM | Permalink

Comments

Henderson could help this team as well if LB keeps the lineup. Wallace, Diaw, DJ, Jack, and Nazr with henderson, brown, livingston, and tyrus. we could be ok.but you know he going to sit Nazr out the second half and play kwame the entire half. Terrible coaching I tell you. Jordan likes LB but loves winning better.

Posted by: tbird | Dec 2, 2010 11:21:40 AM

larry brown and horrible coaching go together like peanut butter and broccoli.

we really could have used henderson last night and he really could have used a game without jack to get 35 minutes in a pro game for the first time and see what he can really do at this level. i have faith the kid can be our starting 2 if we keep him long enough to get more refined offensively. but he's already made huge strides from college to now.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 2, 2010 12:27:01 PM

Henderson is a bust. Too soft. Move on.

Posted by: James Reed | Dec 2, 2010 9:37:40 PM

huge strides, really? I think he's okay. I think he was doing his best jack-and-wallace-lovechild impression in the summer league and showing Harden whats really good. but he drops off otherwise. was it really pain that ailed his efficiency? still, not impressed. but he hasn't been truly unleashed cause that's not LB. LB wants guys to have long careers and not burning em out to fast. I like that.

Posted by: altheus | Dec 2, 2010 10:12:23 PM

Yes, LB wants guys to have long careers. That's why he plays our thirty-somethings for 45 minutes a night.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 2, 2010 11:14:37 PM

I hope Gerald returns and get some minutes soon. We have to develop our young players. Ending up with a high lottery pick would mean very little since we all know that LB prefers veterans.

Posted by: murrell | Dec 3, 2010 12:25:36 AM

Murrell: LB likes vets, but if we get a lotto pick I doubt LB is here next year, so that's a moot point.

That said I don't mind moving on to another coach, hopefully one that rebuilds instead of explodes the team.

Posted by: tattoo | Dec 3, 2010 3:21:08 AM

LB has a contract for another year, so barring MJ granting permission to another team, I imagine he'll honor it. I guess at Coach Brown's age, you wouldn't be shocked if he retired, but fortunately he still looks in great health, and I don't think he's lost any passion for the game. I think he could coach for another 5 years, at least, if he truly wants (though given his history that might not be in Charlotte). I remember reading many an article about how miserable he was out of the game after the Knicks debacle, so I believe he will stay involved for several more seasons, at least in some capacity. I don't mind if he's in Charlotte. He's a HOF coach, one of the best ever. Coaching is the least of this team's problems. It's more a lack of talent, and an odd and inconsistent roster.

Maybe the only legit knock on LB is the fact that he's reluctant to give the younger guys minutes. He's almost always been old school in that regard, but I still think he will yield to more youth eventually, especially if the season really spirals out of control. I also have faith in him developing players in practice. If you look at his career, he usually gets the most out of guys, as long as they have some ability.

In that regard, good news about Henderson's impending return, about a week as Rick mentioned above. Still too early to call him a bust, and he was showing some signs of life prior to the injury.

Posted by: Ari | Dec 3, 2010 6:20:30 AM

henderson has definitely come a long way since college. did he ever make a jump shot in a duke uniform?

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 3, 2010 10:31:12 AM

Ari, this is a constantly recurring theme in your comments: the coach is great, the roster is mediocre, or weak, therefore, if anything goes wrong, blame it on the players.

You need to realize that the roster we have now represents, to a very large extent, Larry Brown's choices. For better and for worse, the trades, the draft picks and the free agent signings of the last seasons (the current and the two previous ones) are mostly based on his choices. NOT all the player personnel moves of this period of time are his choices, and also, he does NOT have his personnel wishes always granted (as Rick clearly explained).
Still, MOST of these moves bear the markings of his preferences. As a result, the team's current roster is HIS roster.

When the 'Cats made the playoffs last season, you were quick to praise the coach (I did too). Now, when things go bad, you're back to the old theme: "blame the players". Heck, no. Responsibility works both ways. The head coach is responsible (together with the players) for both success and failure of his team. Especially in Larry Brown's case, since his player personnel preferences impacted our team's roster to a very large extent.
As players have to be held accountable, so is the coach.

Now, please understand that I'm not branding this season a "failure", and accordingly, I'm not looking for scape goats either. It's far too early to draw conclusions. But, evidently, the team isn't looking very well now, and I'm taking issue here with your above-mentioned tendency to become defensive on LB's behalf, and to look for excuses for him. Please, don't.
At the end of this season, there will be no excuses. There will be praise for Larry Brown AND for the players IF they manage to turn things around, and win more than they lose from now on. There will be criticism - of coach and players - if things don't get better.

At this point, I think that this team, with this roster, is better than what its record shows (6-12, .333), and that implies that, so far, LB didn't get the best out of this group. The main problem, in my opinion, is the way he's using the available players. You acknowledged that his reluctance to use the younger ones is a problem, but, it's more than that. He's over-utilizing players that he finds most reliable (Wallace, Jackson, Diaw), and he's under-utilizing others - either younger, or not fitting his conception of the game (Mohammed to some extent, Carroll, especially while Gerald H. is out).

He was loading too many minutes on Wallace and Jackson last season, and this is continued this season. Players carry in their bodies their "mileage" from season to season, and this continued overload on some veteran starters leads to a counterproductive wear-out; I mean, it's not the way to get the best out of them. As for Diaw, I'm not for moving him to the second unit. But I think that a switch of, say, about 5 mpg from him (35 mpg) to Tyrus (21 mpg) can actually benefit the team - in view of their production this year.

I don't like to insist too much on this or that proposal for improving the team's performance. I fully recognize the coach's authority in this regard, and a lot of coaches have disputable preferences on how they use their players. But fans have a full right to criticize such choices, particularly when they appear to lead to poor results. We'll see how the rest of this season will develop for the Bobcats.

Posted by: Sandy | Dec 3, 2010 2:08:37 PM

Yes, charlottean. In fact, his mid-range fadeaway is probably where he got the majority of his points as a junior.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 3, 2010 4:27:11 PM

Sandy,

Fair point that the record is not good, now 7-12. As Bill Parcells used to say, "you are what your record says you are."

That said, while LB has helped remake the roster, I think he has made the best out of a pretty dire situation. He inherited just an awful team and has made them into a decent one, good at their best, and nowhere near great. They made their first playoff appearance last season, and I still think they have time to make another one this year. I see them as a .500 team, maybe a few over by year's end. That should be good enough in a pretty weak East.

Still, what annoys me is fans that have unrealistic expectations. Unless you build a young dynamic team through the draft, where the Bobcats have failed miserably (mostly before LB's arrival I may add) or have the luxury of stealing stars via free agency or salary driven trade dumps, like the Knicks, Heat, Lakers, and Celtics, it's very difficult to build a real winner in today's NBA, almost impossible frankly. If you honestly look at Charlotte's roster, what do you expect in a best case scenario? I've said all along that the best you can hope for is a repeat of last season. This team is not remotely close to competing for a championship or even advancing in the playoffs, and many fans will unfairly blame the coach for that in the end, especially one with LB's track record. In defending him, I admit he's one of my favorite coaches, but I'm looking honestly at this roster too. It's dependent on aging cast-offs (Diaw, Jackson, Kwame Brown, Nazr, and even Wallace) and raw, still largely unproven talent (D.J. and Thomas, although they are coming along pretty nicely). When your two best players were acquired via the expansion draft and through a trade after wearing out his welcome in yet another city, you have problems as team. Even Diaw has been on 3 teams. Yet, they still have made a decent go of the situation. So, I choose not to blame the coach.

I think many fans don't look at things rationally. I was thinking back to last season, and I remember some of the comments on Rick's blog concerning guys like Flip Murray, Larry Hughes, and Theo Ratliff. Some fans actually expected major contributions from these guys. Where are they now? Aside from Ratliff, barely hanging on with the Lakers, they aren't even in the league. Throw in the fact that 2 guys who played major roles on last year's team, Felton and even Chandler (when he was healthy at least), were lost for absolutely nothing, and you can understand why things have been a struggle. Some fans just lack perspective, regardless of the facts.

Posted by: Ari | Dec 4, 2010 9:02:54 AM

Ari, you know I'm not among the fans who have unrealistically high expectations. But, when you write in a derogatory manner about our players (as you just did above), that's also something I strongly reject.

The Bobcats are a new franchise that improved each season since its beginnings. Since the management wasn't able to upgrade the roster this summer, it's hard to expect a continuation of this improvement trend this season. However, our roster is good enough for a winning season, no less than the last one (44-38). That's the standard by which I'll evaluate this season, when it ends.

That's right, we lost two important players after last season, and this is why there were serious worries about the positions they vacated, before the season started (PG and C). However, I have to say that D.J. Augustin has improved beyond expectations, at a surprisingly fast pace, and he is already playing close to Raymond's level last season (I mean, overall - if you go into details, then you can find certain points of advantage for Ray, and some for D.J.). I'd say that Raymond plays even better in N.Y. this season, he's their second best player, but, it's in a different context and system; what's relevant to us is really comparing what we lost to what we have - Raymond as he played for us, and D.J. as he plays now - and we're doing fine. Also, Livingston as a back-up PG is an improvement over what we got last season from D.J. as a back-up.
As for center, filling the position by committee, between Nazr, Kwame and Diaw (as a part-time 5) works just fine. No real loss here; Chandler played alright in the last part of last season, but a great center he never was. Besides D.J.'s stepping up, Tyrus is also very capable to contribute more than last season, and his minutes should increase (even if he's coming from the bench).

So, expecting our team not to decline compared to last season is perfectly realistic.

Quite honestly Ari, we have a basic difference of perspective. You are Larry Brown's fan, and you care about the Bobcats only because LB coaches this team (much as I was a temporary Wizards' fan, just for the two years when Michael Jordan came back to play for them!). I'm a Bobcats' fan from day 1, I care about this team continuing to improve, and I never was LB's fan (though, I liked their team in Philly when he and AI managed to coexist there). I have a very high appreciation for LB as a teacher of the game (both at team work and at individual level), but I can also see his flaws, due to his incredibly quirky personality. In the end, results matter, and my assessment will hinge on that.

Posted by: Sandy | Dec 4, 2010 7:35:10 PM

Sandy,

I understand your frustration, certainly. I'm watching the Philly game tonight and it's making me sick, literally.

I did start following the Bobcats closely because of LB, as I've been following his teams very closely since the Indiana days. Still, I've come to appreciate Charlotte and the Cats, and of course love MJ, still the best player I've ever seen by far, so I think I'll continue to root for the Cats when LB is no longer around.

As far as speaking badly of the players. I try my best never to take personal shots at guys, and think I'm pretty good in this regard. It's not right, and I realize I don't know these guys personally, off the court. As far as their on-court performance, however, I think it's fair game to point out flaws, and I believe the Cats still have major ones on their roster. They do have some nice parts that hopefully work out in the long run, and they play hard for the most part, tonight not included. That said, I think we differ in opinion when it comes to the entire roster. Quite frankly, overall, I'm not that impressed by their talent level. I try to measure it against other teams. For example, whenever they take on opponents I ask myself, would I trade the entire Bobcats' roster for the other team's roster? Sadly, more often than not, the answer is an obvious yes. If everything goes right, which it certainly hasn't so far, Charlotte could still achieve your targets by year's end, but as I said in another post, is that really the best thing? Not that I will intentionally root for the team to lose, but if you want to build for the future, and not just settle for a low playoff seeding, you have to get lucky with young stars in the draft, or have enough cap room to attract franchise type players. So far, Charlotte hasn't been succesful in either regard.

Posted by: Ari | Dec 4, 2010 9:21:02 PM

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