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December 02, 2010

Tonight didn't sit well

Wow, is this a screwed-up team. I knew they’d lose tonight, but I anticipated that in an entirely different way than it occurred.

Here’s what I mean, and I know (in advance) this is my contrarian leaning:

They were on the road, they were missing their leading scorer, and several players (D.J. Augustin recovering, Derrick Brown in mid-infection) weren’t feeling well. I figured they’d have one of those 10 or 12 nights each NBA season you just crumble and toss into the waste basket.

That’s what happens in baseball, by the way, and nobody has a nervous breakdown when the Yankees occasionally get beaten by the Royals.

But this was different. And in its own way troubling:

They were very much in a game that, had they won, could have been when they broke their fall. Remember last season when they won, back-to-back, in Miami and Cleveland? Beating the Hornets tonight could have been them swimming toward the bubbles.

So they’re down two with nine minutes left, and they crumble. Crumble is an over-used word, and that’s a shame. Tonight was a crumble.

 When you score in three of your last 14 possessions, when you go five minutes without a point against a team you know you can beat, you really have to wonder what you’re doing, both in effort and in understanding.

Now, stop for a minute, and reset yourself: Most of you look for vengence in these situations. Fire the coach, trade everyone, the owner is an idiot. I'm suggesting something subtler, yet more constructive...

Larry Brown took forever to emerge from the locker room for the post-game interview, which is not his typical procedure. And yet, based on what I gathered from the players, there wasn’t a harangue.

As best I could tell, Brown told them – calmly, but firmly – that it’s unacceptable to not recognize the other team zoning up. They panicked big-time.

They’re 6-12. They’re better than this. But until the brain-locks end, or at least until they don’t make this a habit, they become a John Fox throw-away line.

You heard it forever: “They are what they are.’’

Never channel the team with the worst record in the NFL.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 2, 2010 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

Comments

What? More constructive? LOL. Is it not the coach job to recognize the zone? Is it not the coach job to redirect his players and managed the game? If not, why have a coach at all? Wallace 41 min 18 points. Diaw 38 min 13 points and a few rebounds. The guys you give the most minutes, producing so little. Time for LB to stop passing the buck, an blaming the players (after all he controls the minutes), an start to make adjustments. If not, Maybe it's time to admit that the game has passed LB by.

Posted by: joe | Dec 2, 2010 2:26:13 AM

The game hasn't passed Brown by at all, not by a longshot.

Any updates on Gerald Henderson, Rick? Thanks.

As for the Charlotte game, it looked like one of those where an undermanned team puts up a hell of a fight and maybe even upsets a big home favorite, for 3 quarters at least. I suppose you could take that as a silver lining, but watching it, I never really expected the Cats to have enough scoring in the end. Sure enough they were off to their old tricks yet again.

There's an important stretch coming up here vs. the Nets and Sixers. I've cought a few Nets games and they are much improved. They should have beat the Thunder last night, but blew it in 3 OTs. If Jack doesn't come out with a point to prove, and sulks, we could be in trouble yet again, and it could be a real long season. Still, I'd like to think this team has some fight left to it. You're still getting some nice contributions from players I had doubts would contribute at all. Hopefully, it gells with the whole roster soon.

Ironically, I was also thinking, however, that maybe the best thing for a team like Charlotte would be to land in the lottery come next June. I know a lot of fans might not like hearing that, but this team is still a few pieces away, and if you can draft another young and dynamic player, of course easier said than done given the history, the team would be in much better shape going forward. We had the thrill of being knocked out in the first round last season. It was fun, but the euphoria was kind of short-lived too.

Finally, as nice as D.J. is playing, Felton's probably been even better so far for the Knicks. I believe he has more talent around him than with the Cats too, making it easier for him to distribute the ball and create his own shot as well. I say this not to stir up any controversy. I was behind not throwing an astronomical contract Felton's way, but it is a shame that the Bobcats couldn't at least end up with any kind of asset in return. Somehow, I think they could have gotten creative and used him as a bargaining chip. There was a quote in one of the NY papers that Donnie Walsh even wanted to acquire him last season, but LB nixed the idea.

Posted by: Ari | Dec 2, 2010 2:53:37 AM

Starting mcguire?

Posted by: Deon | Dec 2, 2010 7:14:20 AM

I don't think illness is an excuse. Plenty players are battling flu or flu like symptoms at this time. Carmelo had stomach flu last night and they beat the Bucks. Felton had it Sunday and they beat the Nets in double overtime. If its an issue don't play if its not, suck it up and get out there. This team has no heart.I know its not true, but they play like they don't care whether they win or lose.

Posted by: digal704 | Dec 2, 2010 7:39:24 AM

Jax will be back, and our offense will be much better.
One question: did Stephen Jackson learn from last night's game that he has to stop arguing with the referees, even when they are unfair to him - because this hurts the team?
Second question: after dropping a few winnable games, do the Bobcats still have a chance to make the playoffs?
If the answer to the first question is yes (which remains to be seen...), then the answer to the second one should also be yes.

Ari, I see your point, but, isn't it too early in the season to talk about the lottery? The way I look at it, a team has to compete and do its very best throughout the whole season - regardless of any such calculations (about lottery picks, that anyway aren't always turning out right).
When a team gives up and stops playing hard, the fans lose interest. Then, the players are still being paid their big salaries - and the franchise loses money, lots of it. Very undesirable.

Posted by: Sandy | Dec 2, 2010 9:47:24 AM

I think LB needs to get himself ejected the next game and get some fire under this team. What's up with Gerald Wallace? He seems lost.

Posted by: apauldds | Dec 2, 2010 10:44:40 AM

I didn't get to see the entire game, looked like we did well up till the end of 3rd.

The most common thing night in and night out. Seems Simple and I know it's part of the game of Basketball!

Getting the ball in the baskett! I have not seen a team assembled that has such trouble every game, almost every player making ANY! shot ANY! where, 2 times in a row. The closer the worse it seems. This is what these guys have done their whole life, put the basketball in the hole.

Sure there are short stretches of made shots or we would not be in these games. Usually two good runs and the rest we struggle to trade basketts.

Seems simple... something is just not right.

Posted by: Frustrated | Dec 2, 2010 12:22:57 PM

Tyrus Thomas in games he plays > 28 minutes

1. 22 pts, 6 reb, 1 stl
2. 20 pts, 10 reb, 2 stl, 4 blks
3. 22 pts, 6 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk
4. 26 pts, 11 reb, 3 asts, 4 blks

That's right. 18 games into the season, our guy who we just signed for $40 MILLION has played 4 games over 28 minutes. He's averaging 21 mpg over these 18 games. Somebody please give me a reason he shouldn't be getting more time?

Posted by: taylor | Dec 2, 2010 12:35:11 PM

because boris is getting paid just as much if not more for the next 2 years.

and tyrus is far more limited offensively and he actually might be better off playing in less minutes. i mean he should be getting 20-30 every night no question. NO QUESTION. but its not like the guy has ever proven to anybody that he was a 40 mpg guy or even a 35 mpg guy.

i did like what somebody else said in another post about how his limitations offensively make him scramble when he's the "leader" of the 2nd unit, where boris would probably thrive in that role. i think it might be time to swap em out and see if tyrus playing with the 1's brings more out of everybody. something has to be changed and i can't really picture anything else being beneficial.

if you really want to point the finger at why we're losing and why we don't have more talent, depth, etc. we have 13.5 million soaked in the contracts of carroll, najera, and diop and none of that is going away next year. we have a future 1st going to chicago for thomas, we have little spending room and we have a couple solid pieces who will be becoming free agents this offseason.

there are going to have to be some major moves right now and this city can't afford to rebuild for the 3rd time since expansion. this is just depressing. we need new front office players.

something that looked like it was about to click early in the year is just not clicking and it's not even close. the only thing to describe what's going on right now is "blah".

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 2, 2010 12:58:49 PM

Fair points. Not sure how you can say Tyrus is less limited offensively. Maybe from a 1 on 1 perspective yes, but the pure energy and hustle of Thomas more than makes up for his lack of play-making. Is he going to take the ball and create a shot in most instance, No, but, will he out hustle and out work nearly everyone on our court, yes. I will run with that. Just look at the production.

Boris - 35mpg, 12ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 3 TOs, 64% FT, 52% FG

Tyrus - 21mpg, 12ppg, 6 rpg, 1 apg, 1 TO, 1 stl, 1.6 blk, 84% FT, 51% FG

Posted by: taylor | Dec 2, 2010 1:06:17 PM

how can you question whether he's offensively limited in comparison to diaw? you answered the question yourself when you said he can't create his own shots, or for others for that matter. it's not a knock, it's just a fact.

he has limited range, lesser ball handling and passing abilities. but like you say he out hustles and brings more energy. boris does have a little more bulk on him which can be useful defensively 1 on 1. thomas on the flip has more hops and blocks more shots and rebounds better. a point i've made about diaw before holds true here though.....there's a lot of plays where he doesn't get the rebound but we get the rebound because of diaw. there's a lot of plays where he doesn't get the assist but we scored a bucket because of diaw. not everything is defined statistically and while the same can be applied to everybody, there are definitely intangibles brought by both boris and tyrus in different realms of the game that aren't in the box score.

but we have to do something differently and i'm not opposed to giving tyrus a greater role. i'm not really opposed to anything at this point. i mean it's not hail mary time but it's shake it up time for sure. we have a lot of veteran guys that aren't playing well. generally speaking, our weakest positions haven't been the problem. it might be time to look at tyrus, DJ, derrick, and hendo, and think about moving some of the other guys. none of them including wallace are bringing a championship here so what's the point?

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 2, 2010 4:09:49 PM

There should be a package deal to send Diaw and either Carroll or Collins to the Jazz for Ronny Price Watson and Mehmet Okur. Then maybe add combo guard Flip Murray would upgrade this team real quick. I really think the Jazz are trying to acquire Diaw and that would make more since than Ak47 due to the glaring weakness at Center.

Posted by: tbird | Dec 2, 2010 4:13:20 PM

You guys are stupid Tyrus Thomas is a good mid range shooter and cuts to the basket which is exactly why he needs to be on the floor have you ever noticed Larry never plays him and DJ together? I think he needs to put them on the floor at the same time and use Diaw as a back up Tyus Thomas is averaging the same numbers or better in 15 minutes less. If you think Boris is a better player your about as wrong and a person driving on the other side of the road. Tyrus Thomas could easily average 18 and 9 every night and we desperately need that. We usually come close to winning or win when he is on the court more. Diaw would be a good back up and good offensive contributor to the 2nd unit and Thomas would give DJ another Target to go to in the Paint (Which is scarce on this team). We need a Center Trade Diaw for a good Center while he is still worth something we have good back ups in Brown and Mcguire who can play his role.

Posted by: Joshua | Dec 2, 2010 8:32:36 PM

Taylor:
I totally get your observation on Tyrus impacting the game a lot when he gets a lot of minutes. You conveniently ignored a central question:
1. Was he so productive because he got minutes? Or....
2. He was left in the game because he was helping more than hurting.
It's always dangerous to judge your impact purely from a box score. And in this fantasy-league generation, it's way too easy to judge a player's real value based on numbers.
Alan Bristow used to talk about fans prodding him to play Dell Curry more. And Alan would talk about the law of diminishing return.
Alan's point: Just because Dell was really effective 20 minutes a game doesn't mean he wouldn't commit 3 more fouls and give up five easy baskets at 30 minutes a game.
Tyrus Thomas is a big talent who makes a bunch of mistakes and doesn't manage his emotions really well. When he has it going, he plays a bunch. When he makes the mistakes and loses his temper, not so much.
I understand that and that's about more that Larry Brown's opinion. Look back at what Wallace and Jackson said to me in the preseason.
I'm not knocking Thomas -- not at all -- I'm saying most of you disregard what a work-in-progress he is.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Dec 2, 2010 11:10:12 PM

We are not nearly as good defensively as we were last year. As much as I like the way that DJ plays offensively, I think we have overlooked the pressure Felton (usually) put on opposing point guards. Even on nights they scored, his pressure on the ball really disrupted the offensive continuity of many teams. Disrupting the opposing PGs really helped trigger our top rated defense.

Posted by: murrell | Dec 3, 2010 12:18:36 AM

Rick,

Agree with your points. I played college ball and understand how you might think I'm a stat junkie and all I look at is the box score. Totally get that. But, that said, even when you look at more extended and accurate statistical analysis of our team, clearly Tyrus has been the top player across the board that we have (in the few minutes he's played). I'm referencing 82games.com specifically, link below.

http://www.82games.com/1011/1011CHA.HTM

Posted by: taylor | Dec 3, 2010 2:22:36 PM

In fact, let QC Hoops explain it better.

http://queencityhoops.com/blog/2010/12/03/larry-brown-and-tyrus-thomas-come-on/

Posted by: taylor | Dec 3, 2010 2:42:54 PM

Rick why are you deleting my comments, are you retarded. I thought the whole point of this website was so that fans like myself could argue our point of views, differences. If you don't agree or like what i'm posting then maybe YOU need a change of scenery like cleaning toilets and such, where you don't have to read what fans have to say about their team/players and franchise.

Posted by: I'm A Prickle | Dec 5, 2010 5:28:36 PM

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