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February 11, 2011

Effort miserable in Bobcats loss

By Rick Bonnell

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com

          The New Jersey Nets – losers of 12 straight road games before Friday – define low-hanging fruit in the NBA.

          Which means last night the Charlotte Bobcats choked on an apple core.

          This is a game they absolutely needed and understood was within their grasp. Yet they showed up with collective effort so far below what’s expected of professionals that they trailed start to finish in a 94-89 defeat at Time Warner Cable Arena.

          This was the first time since the coaching change that they simply didn’t show up. The final score was cosmetically close, after the Bobcats trailed by as many as 19 points, but that didn’t fool coach Paul Silas or co-captains Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace.

          All three understood the shrinking margin for error to qualify for the playoffs, and the offensive lack of effort displayed.

          “To not even show up at all is embarrassing,’’ said Jackson (21 points). “It’s sad that a coach has to ask guys to play hard…to care.’’

          “We acted like the other team was just going to fall down. There are only two or three teams in the league (good enough) that they can be like that. We’re not one of them.’’

          Or as Wallace (20 points and nine rebounds) added, “We just gave away a game in Indiana (Wednesday). We can’t keep doing that.

          “We haven’t lost two (straight) games; we gave them away with our (lack of) effort. A coach should never have to ask for that.’’

          The Bobcats trailed 12-2 in the first four minutes, missing their first eight shots from the field. The shooting improved – they actually outshot the Nets 43 percent to 40 percent by the end – but the signs of poor effort and concentration were everywhere.

          The Bobcats had more than twice as many turnovers as the Nets (13-5) including instances in the second half where Jackson and Shaun Livingston threw passes straight out-of-bounds.

          Worse yet, Nets reserve power forward Kris Humphries single-handedly beat the Bobcats in offensive rebounding, seven boards to five. So when Nets center Brook Lopez wasn’t scoring (31 points on 14-of-27 shooting), New Jersey was ringing up 20 second-chance points.

          That left Silas saying there was “absolutely nothing’’ redeeming about this one.

          “We played harder in practice yesterday than in this game,’’ Silas said, with his team facing the Hawks in Atlanta tonight.

          “If we play (in Atlanta) like we played tonight, we’ll lose by 40.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on February 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

Comments

dismal performance worst yet this year, when we really needed a win. MJ was sitting at his seat shaking his head in disbelief all night long. He will trade someone soon if he can get a decent return or an expiring contract which can get us a good free agent. This team is doing all it can to land in the lottery. This season is over.

Posted by: easye | Feb 11, 2011 11:15:54 PM

I dont think we will be in the lottery, but I did wish we had Cleveland's record because if play like this down the stretch basically all for nothing. Frankly gettin tired of the upand down season. Look for MJ to make some changes in the roster. This is a pathetic effort tonite. Charlottean I remembered you saying you didn't trust Philly. But I will put it out there they are making the playoffs in beating San Antonio. Heck the Pacers and Bucks will be in the running for the final spot. I thought the Cats would come and play after the loss but they look effortless. Even the Cavs won tonite wow....

Posted by: tbird | Feb 11, 2011 11:30:26 PM

I have typed and erased so many times I am sick!!!!!!!!!!!

I did not look at the shot chart tonight!!, but in the past(past 2 nights)... Seriously something is wrong with what they are doing and what we are doing!!!!!! I don't know just upset, that we........... WTF............ SOB......... The Nets and we are FLAT!!!!!!!!!!! DJ AND DIAW HAVE GOT TOOOO BE aggressive(missed or not MISSED SHOTS)!~!! NO matter what... F--IT! I am beyond upset!!!!We get RIPPED last game(REF.S) and this is our MENTALITY, IS DEFEAT????? WE SHOULD HAVE CRUSHEED, THESE GUYS IN OUR SLEEP AFTER THAT CRAP THE OTHER NIGHT! Just very frustrated right now, forgive me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Feb 11, 2011 11:47:49 PM

yea, I'm thinking tenth place. I'll go to games and hope and enjoy what there is to enjoy but wow.

DJ surely didn't make us feel better about not getting Lopez in the draft or Harris by trade. Also, they have shooters. Larry Brown loathes shooters. What happened to Kwame? Or Nazr. Najera took the 5 spot. Can you imagine your confidence then? Same with DJ. Shaun is exposing his weakness and he's not adjusting. DJ is better at 3s & alley oops. Do you, DJ.

I don't wanna see Shaun or GForce or Jack traded. 4th best is between Hendo and Eddy, in terms of hustle and effort.

Sitting at that game, I was bored and depressed.

Posted by: SternFreeJackson | Feb 11, 2011 11:53:37 PM

k! That was ugly(last post). Serious frustration! If you try and be a smart guy, off distraction(frustration). you are a Serious delinquent!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Feb 11, 2011 11:54:47 PM

Sternfreejack

Thanks for the heads-up..

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Feb 11, 2011 11:57:53 PM

Coach Silas' comments strike me as self righteous and one-sided. They also bring back memories of Larry Brown lashing out at players publicly. Before he lost the players, Gerald and other players were ready to take the blame and agree with him about the lack of effort in ugly losses.

Yes, there was a lack of effort leading to this horrible loss, but, it's not the whole story.

First, about the lack of effort: the Bobcats had a long lethargic stretch of the game, beginning with the last three minutes of the first quarter (besides the slow start, but they made up for it quickly with a nice run) and going through the middle of the 3rd quarter, when they went from being 1 point down (17-18) to 19 points down (44-63). That's when they were putrid, that's when they lost the game. But, after that, they really tried hard, they outscored the Nets 45-31 (now, tell me that's not effort); this just wasn't enough to win.

After the middle of the third quarter, coach Silas' rotations were hampering the players' effort.
When the team was bad, Diaw was awful: 2 points in the first two and a half quarters.
Then, Diaw suddenly wakes up, scores 5 points in 1 minute, and is immediately benched for the following 10.5 minutes! This was absurd, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. When he was finally allowed back on the floor, he scored 5 more points in the final 5:30 minutes. We're talking about 10 points in 6:30 minutes, when the team was trying to catch up; yet, in the middle of that effort, he was kept on the bench for a long time.
And who was playing in the final quarter? The great basketball player D. McGuire, who totaled 0 points in 10 minutes played, with 5:20 minutes in the last and decisive quarter! If that's not bad enough, in the beginning of this quarter Najera was also playing. Two non-scorers, along with a non-playmaker as PG (Livingston). Is this how you're supposed to win in the NBA?

I'm worried too about D.J.Augustin's current slump. But Livingston didn't prove so far that he can be a starting PG. His best thing is to create for himself, and make, mid-range jump-shots (and occasionally also attack the rim). But he did very little as a playmaker for the Bobcats; he averages 2 assists per game (in 16.7 mpg). Just watch him; really mediocre (or sub-mediocre) playmaking. Also, tonight, he was no less of a turnovers machine than Jax; actually, he was even worse per minutes played.


Posted by: Sandy | Feb 12, 2011 1:28:31 AM

Sandy, very thorough, insightful, and correct. In mid second quarter we we're down four and I don't feel like it was horrible. However, as you pointed out, we outscored them to close out the game and that's what we should've done all night. On dvr, I see effort. At the game, the crowd and players seemed elsewhere. Shaun has a consistent shot and defense(how do you grade defense..either you do or you don't defend) and his playmaking isn't great but confidence does a lot. DJ lacks all right now.

It seems Silas is going to his own offensive plays as we try and phase out Larry Browns plays and I understand why but the growing pains are slowing down the offense. We're scoring like 20ppg less than early June I think.

I'll take serious delinquency over serious delusion. A trade has to happen for us to get above tenth. Check all the power rankings you can find, I'm not alone on these thoughts.

Posted by: SternFreeJackson | Feb 12, 2011 2:30:49 AM

There were absolutely no redeeming qualities to this putrid performance.

Posted by: Claydog | Feb 12, 2011 6:56:20 AM

Sternfreejack

you are right and i was thanking you for the heads up on, the sportscenter question.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Feb 12, 2011 8:00:43 AM

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