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January 27, 2011

Four thoughts on Bobcats-Suns

FOUR THINGS THE SUNS GAME REVEALED:

          -- Interim coach Paul Silas watched plenty of Bobcats basketball in semi-retirement in Lake Norman. He knew panic when he saw it.

          “They didn’t get rattled and I applaud that,’’ Silas said of how the Bobcats stood up to the Suns’ barrage in the second half. “Because before they did.’’

          Sure, they got rattled. The term I’d use is fragile. They’d be really good for 10 minutes, then something bad would happen and doubt would prevail. Gerald Wallace, who can’t help but say what he thinks, believes the difference is two things: This coaching staff is continuously positive and it doesn’t switch everything up in the face of adversity.

          Wallace made it clear that wasn’t so under Larry Brown and staff.

          “It’s his demeanor,’’ Wallace said of Silas. “They let us know everything is OK. The coaches are making us calm. We don’t panic.’’

          Then, when asked how they adjusted defensively in the second half to Phoenix’s pick-and-roll, Wallace said they didn’t adjust.

          “In the past we’d change things. We’d panic,’’ Wallace said. “This time we stuck to our (defensive) principles.’’

-- Gerald Henderson will help fill the Tyrus Thomas void.

There’s no ideal replacement for power forward Thomas, Henderson included. But 6-4 Henderson is showing enough versatility defensively to provide Silas options.

          The problem is figuring out a way to use Boris Diaw at center, particularly late game. Over the last two weeks, Henderson has effectively guarded an All-Star point guard (Chicago’s Derrick Rose) and a former All-Star forward (6-8 Grant Hill). Those back-to-back blocks Henderson had in the second half Wednesday (on Hill and Marcin Gortat) were huge.

          After the Suns game, Henderson reminded me he regularly guarded 2s, 3s and 4s at Duke. That broad-spectrum defensive experience is handy right now.

-- Diaw gets revved against his former teams.

He’d beat up on the Hawks as a Sun and he again beat the Suns as a Bobcat.  That’s four victories in a row in this series.

          Silas sad a huge factor in this game was Diaw shutting down Marcin Gortat, after Gortat went off in the first half.

          -- They’re still so dependent on Wallace and Stephen Jackson.

Wallace played 84 minutes over two nights. Jackson played 82. They were literally exhausted in the post-game locker room, leaning against locker stalls with their eyes closed.

          It was worth all that to win these two games, but you wonder what they’ll have left the rest of the trip. As Wallace noted, it’s so much harder when each game is followed by a long plane ride.

          I thought one of Silas’s strengths, when I covered him with the Hornets, was balancing practice with rest. Off days figure to really be off days the rest of this trip.

Posted by Observer Sports on January 27, 2011 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

Comments

Cats played well, but forgot to give livingston his props. He did a good job.

Posted by: tbird | Jan 27, 2011 1:10:40 AM

TWC screwed my recording, while I was buying a GilZero pair of adidas with the Bobcat colorway!, so I really only caught the second half. I was baffled that coach Gentry didn't try to get back possession by fouling. Twas understandable, since the players wouldn't get a rebound & seemed to had given up. Nash owned DJ. DJ his his duffle bag boy now. Not that Deej was that bad but Nash is masterclass.

It was odd to watch the Kings game get called so closely and the Suns game called like a playoff game. Nearly no holds barred.

Good to see GForce and Stat Jack getting back to form. Hopefully they remember, for a while, what works.

6-0 on this trip feels more likely. The Suns were winning more regularly before coming against these Meancats and were likely the toughest to beat on the trip. Utah could be but they've seemed to have lost their way, despite a good battle vs the Spurs tonight.

Posted by: SternFreeJackson | Jan 27, 2011 2:45:46 AM

Way to go CATS!!!!

Posted by: Kebred | Jan 27, 2011 3:46:07 AM

SternFree, I wouldn't say Nash owned DJ. DJ had 10 assists and zero turnovers. Not many point guards can take Nash out of the game.

This team is so much more fun to watch under Silas. And while it kills me that half the league makes the post-season the way the NBA is set up, we're starting to look like a playoff team.

Posted by: Gargibnaz | Jan 27, 2011 4:27:35 AM

At Gargibnaz:

Playoffs? Playoffs? You talkin about Playoffs? With this squad?

Yes...Yes the are.

Posted by: Jordan | Jan 27, 2011 4:53:04 AM

114 from the Bobcats? Boy, things sure have changed!

Posted by: Courtside | Jan 27, 2011 8:23:12 AM

Good win. I was impressed with how they stood up to Phoenix's barrage. Henderson looked good, I'm going to have to eat my words about him earlier in the season the way he's playing lately. Let's make it 3 in a row vs. GS.

Posted by: Kevin | Jan 27, 2011 8:25:31 AM

I don't think that this team would be where they are now if Larry Brown were still coaching. Honestly Michael & the organization should've let Larry walk after he wasn't sure about returning. It's evident that Larry should've walked. Imagine where this team would be had Coach Silas had them from the start?

Posted by: bruinguy | Jan 27, 2011 8:29:25 AM

I would have to agree with Bruinguy.. The way they're looking right now.. You never know where this Team could be sitting in the Eastern Conferrence standings, if Silas had them from the begining...

Posted by: willie | Jan 27, 2011 9:09:55 AM

Great wins for the Bobcats! Now watch all the bandwagon folks jump aboard!!!!!!

Posted by: big daddy | Jan 27, 2011 9:11:19 AM

i want my team back...

Posted by: bob johnson | Jan 27, 2011 9:32:35 AM

As my wife and I watched this game... it was hard to believe we were ahead most of the game. Considering PHX's master of the pick and roll & the barrage of 3's in the 3rd quarter. Way to persevere Bobcats! It's been fun to watch, except when Jack &
G-Force hoist up jumpers!

Posted by: tdubs74 | Jan 27, 2011 9:49:11 AM

I say bring on the bandwagoners. There's plenty of room.

Posted by: apauldds | Jan 27, 2011 9:55:36 AM

great game, the bobcats held the lead for the majority of the game and scored over a 100 ts..wow..never on lb watch..and whoever said lb whole back players have never lied, see paul pierce, and now herald henderson, the guy is becoming more clutch..my questions is why did lb not play gerald at all??

Posted by: callingitlikeiseeit | Jan 27, 2011 10:17:04 AM

Bandwagoner here :-)

I'm glad the Bobcats are 2-0 in the West right now. I can definitely see us in the Playoffs and I give the team props because the Eastern Conference ain't no joke this year. So let's go CATS! I'm ready for that white out again this year.

P.S.

DJ Augustine should win Most Improved Player Award!

Posted by: WestNDNBeauty | Jan 27, 2011 10:19:42 AM

Kwame Brown such an unheralded gem!! A bargain basement addition that is paying huge rewards..great to see the guy coming into his own..I know it's early, but let's lock this jewel up soon to a longer-term contract.

Posted by: eduardo | Jan 27, 2011 10:24:48 AM

I looking over some Phoenix Suns and they are pissed over the Suns inability to beat the Cats. They Nash is the only one that can fill the arena. They have the love-hate relationship with Vince. Well my point I can under the frustration of fans because we are critical of our team. But days have been brighter. Silas should be considered for Coach of the Year if we make the playoffs. But we know that might be Coach Spoe. ridiculous with there talent it is not the coach. DJ is the improved player of the year but I would not be disappointed if Kwame got the award. He has stepped up, people were discrediting this guy and he waited to get big in the paint. Oak has to get credit as well. This team is making strides. Honestly people I still want to hold to Jax for another two years. But if there is quality enough player then do it. Because he is believe or not is the go to player for this team. As long as he play like he did last two games. Wallace as well should share a spotlight and Boris. Cut Sherron Collins and add spot up shooter.

Posted by: tbird | Jan 27, 2011 11:15:01 AM

A month ago, Bobcats fans were heckling Kwame Brown from the stands.

"Really? Kwame Brown, really? Is that the best you can do?"

I think Kwame has shut those doubters up good.

Posted by: Courtside | Jan 27, 2011 11:28:34 AM

Rick,
Any idea why MJ is accompanying the team, or has been with them against the Kings and Suns? Also, why MJ AND Higgins were together at the Suns game?

Are they working on trades with the Kings or Suns?

Posted by: Joey | Jan 27, 2011 12:04:27 PM

To answer your question Joey, MJ is accompanying the team on the trip as a show of support. Im sure they're doing talks on the side, but thats the primary reason. He's pulling a Mark Cuban, which I think fans thoroughly appreciate.

Posted by: emuns03 | Jan 27, 2011 1:50:07 PM

awesome win. the way they were hitting their 3s even steve and dell were surprised that we didnt panic.
there was one play i disliked where jack held on to the ball and stood there doing nothing. he needs to drive and kick or just give it back to dj.
anyways, it's nice to see 114 points scored. keep it up bobcats!

Posted by: byteAbit | Jan 27, 2011 2:14:39 PM

We always had talent. It's starting to show under Silas. Were very good post scorer away from being a top 4 team in the east bout where atl is sitting now

Posted by: chill | Jan 27, 2011 3:54:58 PM

1 very good post scorer is what I was saying. Lol

Posted by: chill | Jan 27, 2011 3:56:33 PM

I believe Jordan had business in Portland with Nike. He sure seemed to enjoy himself at courtside in Phoenix. As far as Jordan-with-team equals trade, cell phones work almost anywhere (except maybe my airport hotel in San Francisco).

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Jan 27, 2011 5:27:24 PM

The wine and cheese crowd will be back out in force if they keep playing like this (LOL). Hopefully they'll be out the next time we play Boston; last time they came to town I saw nothing but green!

GO CATS

Posted by: go Cats | Jan 27, 2011 6:01:07 PM

Bobcats are looking real good. Henderson is showing some serious potential - didn't Brown say he wasn't playing Gerald because he didn't work hard enough on defense? Wow - what were you thinking Larry?

Posted by: TopScout | Jan 27, 2011 7:21:15 PM

HOLY MOLY!!! Look at all the POSITIVE comments about the 'Cats! Someone pinch me. AWESOME! Avenge that earlier lost to the Warriors and BEAT GOLDEN STATE!!!!

Posted by: Will | Jan 28, 2011 1:13:49 AM

I think Jax will get some boos from his former team GSW... that should get him fired up and Light em Up.

Posted by: G Dub 3428 | Jan 28, 2011 7:47:28 AM

Larry Brown should never work in the NBA again. Same Bobcats players, same opponents, different results. Either Larry quit on the team or the game had passed him by. Either one should disqualify him from coaching again. Thank you to Paul Silas to getting this team back on track.

Posted by: Gary | Jan 28, 2011 8:47:53 AM

that officiating was attrocious. joey crawford should be buried alive for his lack of skill at life.

my favorite was when the ball CLEARLY went off kwame brown to the point where brown put his head in his hands in disappointment in the result of the play and then....joey crawford blows his whistle and waives his arm all *** and excited and there you go...bobcats ball. sure it goes both ways but there's just no excuse for that bad of quality of officiating. there are none.

bobcats winning on the road is extremely cool however.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 28, 2011 10:07:01 AM

Some people have said D. Brown has regressed as a player.
I don't D. Brown has regressed in response to Photo2, seems that we have a lot of wing players. Naturally that goes without saying you could never tell without playing time. I think he is a force inside the paint, and attacks the rim. He needs more development, but I think he could be an impact player on any team if given the opportunity. People said Kwame was a bust, but you don't hear that anymore. We need another big and maybe a starting pg. I like DJ and he doing a good job, but is a defensive liability. But he could be a good starter in the future. He can't put him in the category with the premiere players in this league. Rondo, Deron Williams, Kidd, Nash, Rose, Parker, and Westbrook unless you can impact both sides of the floor. But he is good and serviceable and very offensively gifted. I think a win tonite will give them ammo on the rest of the road trip. Let's beat the Warriors because we should have beat them the first time.

Posted by: tbird | Jan 28, 2011 11:50:35 AM

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