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December 10, 2010

Some post-game thoughts

-- I wonder if Friday was the beginning of the end of Larry Brown in Charlotte.

I don’t mean to make too much of this, but Brown’s reaction to this loss was a little odd: He wasn’t mad, he was dispirited; like he’s resigned to the fact that he can’t turn around what this group isn’t delivering.

 I’ve seen him dramatically more disappointed here, but never more dejected. Like what he’s seeing is unfixable (and I know he’d debate me on that, but Brown, by nature, is a fixer).

Many of you will be happy when Brown leaves, because you love new. I get it. But I have this uneasy feeling (see Leonard Hamilton, see Sam Vincent) that MJ’s choice of the next coach might not be as good as his choice of the current coach.

-- Gerald Wallace’s foul-shooting has been putrid lately. Over the last four games, he’s 13-of-28. It’s a shame, because he puts in so much work after practice at the foul line with assistant coach Jeff Capel.

-- There’s a real preoccupation among some of you about whether the Bobcats are providing enough minutes to draft picks Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson.

Did you notice how many minutes North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough played Friday for the Pacers? Zero. Minutes in the NBA aren’t a birthright and the draft becomes less crucial to a team’s development all the time.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 10, 2010 at 11:50 PM | Permalink


Interesting comments, Rick, but I have some disagreements.

Your comment on Larry Brown's manner of speech after this game is very accurate, but... isn't it way too early in the season to talk about any kind of "beginning of end"? I mean, there are 60 games to go in the regular season, the players and the coaching staff are being paid a boatload of money to compete throughout the season, and they sure owe it to the fans - and to MJ! - to do their best to turn things around. Whether LB will be, or won't be, back next season is something I'd rather not touch upon now. I'd like to see the effort to improve and play hard, not to declare the remaining three fourths of the season garbage time.

When he used to play, Tyler Hansbrough proved he's capable of being a good NBA player. But now, Jim O'Brien prefers Josh McRoberts over him. Why? Because McRoberts is a big who can shoot threes, and O'Brien loves the 3 point shot as much as our coach dislikes it. When McRoberts got to rest, no PF replaced him; O'Brien played small. It's pretty similar to what Stan Van Gundy was doing last season at Orlando: playing Ryan Anderson over a better PF, Brandon Bass, because Anderson is a big who can shoot threes, and that's important in the Magic offense. However, SVG is no fool; this why this season the minutes balance at PF changed dramatically, in Brandon Bass' favor. I hope Tyler's time will come again, whether it's in Indiana or elsewhere.

Posted by: Sandy | Dec 11, 2010 12:33:34 AM

He also hired LB and Doug Collins. Most of these players are here today because LB wanted them in the first place. He always leaves after destroying a team.

Posted by: crymeariver | Dec 11, 2010 1:08:14 AM

1 answer... Raymond Felton. This years squad has lost its "fire" ... guess who is loving that fire we lost? The Knicks. You need a leader who makes others around him play harder. I feel this team just doesn't try as hard as last years. If we don't make a trade soon i feel it will be too late. I always thought this may be browns last year. I think this seals it.

Posted by: matthew | Dec 11, 2010 1:19:55 AM

Ball movement. A good amount of their threes were contested and those that weren't were off of screens. Everyone knows from the playoffs that we defend everything as well as you can...but threes not as much. Trapping is effective until a shooter is left open. Meanwhile, believing a good closeout will save the day.

Then on offense, it's known that Crash will charge you and that Jack will turn it over a 1/4 of the time when doubled.

Consider, we lost by four possessions. We lose alot of games by closer than that. Trouble with open shots are that others make them and we don't. I'm always at the games and at shootaround the cats never make as many in a row as the opponents. And no ones guarding them! However, we've seen this team outscore a rival about 20-10 in the last four minutes of a game.

So, with a lot of games left, I just hope these guys are working on shooting way more in practice than just defense. Just give me four more ten footers, or three 3-pointers, made.

Posted by: Altheus | Dec 11, 2010 3:01:40 AM

Hope it's not the end for LB with the Cats, but, in a sense, I could understand his pessimism. Like I've been saying pretty much all along, the Bobcats are a team that it's difficult to get very high on, in terms of both the present and the immediate future. When Jack is the guy you seemingly built the team around, how far can you really expect to go? I appreciate his ability, but at the same time, almost every team you take on has a more talented, younger, and more fluid go to guy/star. I can't hold the Stephen Jackson trade against the organization, because, yes, their hands were tied by terrible drafting and a lack of cap room, true much by their own doing. The trade did improve the team, especially at the time, leading to the first playoff appearance. That shouldn't be entirely discounted, but it was an upgrade that turned a pretty abysmal roster into a decent one. Throw in the losses of Felton and Chandler, as well as perhaps a step back for Wallace, and the usual mind-boggling up and down play of Diaw, etc., and there you have the current record. I agree with Sandy that things can still be turned around. Charlotte is probably closer to the 8th spot this year than they were at the same time last season if I remember correctly. Yet, this is more the result of the poor play of other teams to be fair, and even if you can save the season to some extent and return to the playoffs, the writing is on the wall for this group. Maybe it would be better long-term to be back in the lottery, and make the right pick this time, because you still need to add to the young core. Speaking of which, I hope Henderson can show something when he gets back, and build on the few flashes he showed earlier. If he doesn't pan out, things really could be bleak down the road. Derrick Brown could be a player too, but remember, he was a second-rounder. Anything he gives can almost be considered gravy. You really need the high draft picks to work out, especially when you don't have the luxuries of cap space and a big name town to draw in free agents.

Posted by: Ari | Dec 11, 2010 3:21:02 AM

This is not the beginning of the end of Brown, it's the beginning of the end of the current Bobcats roster. MJ will make a trade to turn things around, don't worry!

Posted by: BRONSYN | Dec 11, 2010 4:00:14 AM

Larry has lost these guys. He is the one who can't adapt to the players he has. This McGuire thing is a joke. I thought he said D Brown was more of a 4? Then his 4 gets hurt and Brown plays 5 minutes. The coach contradicts himself at every turn. It is clear he has lost these guys. Wallace is playing with no passion. The best thing he could do is admit that all the players he had to have can't play and step aside so this franchise can move forward. It doesn't matter what players he has any more, it is his system. At best he can build a 7 or 8 seed. His teams will never go any furtner. No team in the NBA plays the way the Bobcats play and for good reason.

Posted by: Gary | Dec 11, 2010 8:49:55 AM

i said this a million times, when we lost felton we lost our playoff chances, everybody on this blog said i was crazy, but i knew a strong leader at the pg is essential..yeah dj can shoot, but he dosenot have the fire like raymond and yeah he can't guard no pg in the freaking league like felton can..i miss felton and now the bobcats do too..i know mj is kicking himself for not signing felton..wow

Posted by: teemac1974 | Dec 11, 2010 9:29:12 AM

This is what we know:

Jordan subtly held LB hostage this year by requiring picks from teams with interest in luring him away from the Bobcats

LB stated that he doesn't enjoy coaching games, but enjoys practice.

LB has begun to play the blame game; referencing Felton and Chandler.

The team is playing with little passion or cohesion.

What can we deduce:

LB is a fantastic teacher, but his coaching skills have waned.

LB doesn't want to be here this year.

LB is resigned to the fact that this team can't be "fixed"

End result?

Trickle down apathy. When you have a coach that doesn't like to coach, doesn't want to be here and doesn't believe in the team, why is it any surprise that our players are passionless and disjointed? Why is it any surprise that people would want to replace him? There's a leadership vacuum right now. Our head coach seems to be resting on his Hall of Fame laurels.

Posted by: Zed | Dec 11, 2010 9:43:37 AM

I am surprised that you are just noticing this. He has felt this way for a minute. He might be the coach but I doubt he has as much say as he would like. MJ needs to fall back. He's going to run this franchise in to the toilet! He was a great player but he sucks at managing. His ego is his too strong to admit that he is not omnipotent. He needs to hire good people and let them do their jobs. I agree that the next coach won't be as good as Larry. He'll probably just promote Dave. If Larry lasts all season it will be a surprise. He definitely won't be back next season

Posted by: Digal704 | Dec 11, 2010 11:31:50 AM

Who cares if Brown leaves? Instead of building this team, he destroys it from the onset. He values defense at the expense of offense and so what are you building. The best acquisition since Brown took over is Jack, but Jack game seems to be fading this year likewise Allstar Gerald Wallace, who's playing horrible this season. Brown is replaceable.

Again, Raymond Felton is gone and he shouldn't be made a hero here because he play terrible. I think DJ is actually an upgrade over Felton (look at the stats). Young players will have to be developed and Brown don't seems to value this in his game. I think Brown is overrated than he actually coach. Jordan himself need to stand up to rescue this team.

Posted by: aaron | Dec 11, 2010 11:45:45 AM

Losing Felton and Chandler have really hurt this team. That is two top shelf players that were replaced with spare parts. There is no way to get around that. LB is a great Coach and I hope he stays but the man needs some talent to work with.

Posted by: James Reed | Dec 11, 2010 11:56:05 AM

Teemac1974 i understand you wish you went to chapel hill but i clearly remember raymond felton being offered a pretty nice contract that he turned down the year before he went into free agency. take off your baby blue glasses and see that the reason we are not a very good team is that we cant shoot the ball. i specifically remember raymond felton being abused by jamer nelson from the 3 point line. When it rains 3's and we have no answer it doesnt matter who our point is. Trade gerald, boris and our 1st rounder to denver for Carmelo, trade stephen jackson to memphis for OJ Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet, gets us younger and shooters

Posted by: Space Cowboy | Dec 11, 2010 12:05:27 PM

Aaron, where did you go to school?

Posted by: rico2221 | Dec 11, 2010 12:06:20 PM

in the last few years Brown has wanted to trade everyone away, which they did, and they are no better off. Why do we insist on calling Brown a good coach? He used to be, but he hasn't helped the bobcats at all.

Posted by: brandon | Dec 11, 2010 12:32:11 PM

What's with all this Felton love? Because he's playing so well in an uptempo Mike D'Antoni offense? I find all of this incredibly strange. Ray turned down a contract the year before his free agency. The fact is that DJ is a 3rd year player who is playing extremely well given the current situation. I'm not in love with the fact that Ray is gone because sure, he does bring an added element of leadership. But he would never see the numbers he is seeing this year in Larry Brown's system. DJ has a tremendous amount of upside STILL and everyone should just be patient with the PG situation. We're clearly not competing for a championship this year so why in the world should we be so hard on DJ when he is CLEARLY still developing. All of this point guard talk is just so pointless. Ray is gone. That's it.

As far as the coach. If this is really the end of Larry Brown's tenure in Charlotte, what's wrong with bringing in another defensive minded coach? Mike Brown has a career .663 winning percentage and he's coaching his son's 8th grade football team. Sure he had LeBron, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he is a solid coach who at least deserves a look. I mean after all he was coach of the year in 2009. It's always at least worth investigating a Gregg Popovich product.

Posted by: Uhm | Dec 11, 2010 12:50:20 PM

Can we stop the Raymond Felton talk. He would have never put up the numbers here that he is putting up in NY. That is more proof that the coach needs to go. He does not get more out players. He gets less. Having a 70 year old coaching a bunch of 20 to 30 year old players makes cannot work.

Posted by: Gary | Dec 11, 2010 12:51:36 PM

If I see that garbage Dominic McGuire out on the court again I will not see anymore Bobcats game. He can't shoot, he can't defend, he flat out needs to be in the D-Legue. D-Brown should be playing instead. Shaun Livingston is not doing a good job either, he has a terrible +/- rating this season and its mostly because of his lack of defense. On the other hand, lets trade for a guy like Rudy Fernandez he is disgruntled in Portland and we could use a REAL perimeter shooter to open up the game for us.

People those of you who say we are not as good because of Ray Felton not being here is BS. Felton can have a fantastic year in NYC and it's because of the system, the same system that turned Steve Nash into an MVP. We are not as good this year because Wallace and Jackson's struggles. They keep shooting from the outside without even trying to attack or look inside, but the biggest difference between this year and last is our defense. Tyson Chandler made a HUGE difference last year and we don't have that anymore.

Posted by: Panthersand Bobcats | Dec 11, 2010 1:40:03 PM

Good grief! Everyone needs to calm down and take a breath! We are 22 games into the season, after our 1-6 start we are playing .500. Not terrible. And looking at the standings, we are currently in 9th place; ONE game out of the playoffs. Just chill guys and girls.....it's too early to panic.

Posted by: Joe | Dec 11, 2010 2:01:03 PM

By some of these comments, I question how many of you were born before the year 2000. And of those that were, how many have seen a basketball game. All I hear us parroting of how MJ is such a bad basketball mind and he needs to take a step back. 1) This isn't Washington and this isn't the 90's. I feel like he's done a decent job retooling the team and bringing in LB, Adam Morrison be damned. 2) His added interest in the team has made a difference on the floor. As LB himself said, "I can tell a guy something 3 or 4 times...Mike says it once and it sticks." 3) Mike has done a good job with trying to reconnect with the community and god knows we needed that. The team might as well have been in Toledo for the last few years judging from community interest.
As for LB, I'm glad to have him, but I must say, I've never been a fan. He can take a terrible squad and get them to play above their talent level, ala Philadelphia. But who in the hell would WANT a team with Eric Snow, Theo Ratliff, and Willy Green starting? Well, thats pretty much what we have now...a squad full of ugly players playing ugly ball. I wouldn't want to see LB go right now, cause I think we'd take a big step backwards...but if we want to do anything in the future, LB has to go, we need to go get Kevin Pritchard and let him retool the squad and get a good young coach. Otherwise, get used to 35-40 wins and 10-12,000 at home games.

Posted by: Thatherton | Dec 11, 2010 2:30:00 PM

We need another SHOOTER!

Posted by: bryant80 | Dec 11, 2010 2:42:04 PM

Responding to rico2221. I attended a very good school and I don't need to tell you anything. Address the topic of the blog and not the personalities that address the blog topic. Thank you!

Posted by: aaron | Dec 11, 2010 3:08:55 PM

Guys, who do you think is responsible for Mcguire being here? When LB first came here the team started slow and he went to the media. He said "if you want me to be coach you have to get me the players that I want". The cats FO proceeded to get LB type of players. He has been using Bonnell everytime he wants to preasure the FO to make a trade. Well Larry, it ain't gonna work this time. MJ's money is on the line now so he is not going to bring in the overpaid has beens that you desire just so you can pack up and leave whenever you feel like it. Goodbye.

PS If a new coach comes in, he has to be given a chance until the cats can get rid of these LB players.

Posted by: crymeariver | Dec 11, 2010 6:32:56 PM

and yeah spacecowboy i went to usc, the SEC, the best in the nation. maybe jameer dog felton in the playoffs but we didnt get blew out of the gym,. all the playoff games was close, this year we won't even make the freaking playoffs, playoffs..are you talking playoffs..are you kidding.playoffs!!

Posted by: teemac1974 | Dec 11, 2010 7:19:20 PM

We want to see LB gone, cause we love new. LOL. That's a funny line Rick, but not even close to being true. Many of us see a old coach who refuses to change and adapt. We see a coach who only looks at defense as if offense is a dirty word. We see players come off the bench play well, an then go back to the bench while the great 3 play 40 min games, an average about 30 points combined. We see a coach who hates the 3 pointer, when it's just another scoring option for other teams. We see players who don't play hard, an throw each other under the bus. We see no pride in most of the players, except a couple of bench players. If LB is the leader, an he is failing to rally the troops, then maybe he should go. But we don't want new, we want success.

Posted by: joe | Dec 12, 2010 3:19:17 PM

I'd try one last trade, by sending Diop, Diaw, Carroll and Najera to the Clippers for Davis and Kaman. Trust me, Donald Sterling would love to move Davis even if it means including Kaman. This would remove all of our weak players for a chance at a more cohesive and talented team. Stephen Jackson respects Davis and his leadership and I believe everyone else will fall in line. Kaman is a top five center when he is healthy. This would be a slightly older group of players, but the core(Davis,Jack,Wallace,Kaman)could gel well together with two years remaining on their contracts to be something formidable. In the interim, Charlotte needs to do better in the draft so that in three years, when the core is gone, a new breed of talent can take the baton.

Posted by: Larry | Dec 13, 2010 9:18:17 PM

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