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March 31, 2011

Jackson, Thomas, Livingston out?

Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas anticipates playing the Orlando Magic Friday without three rotation players – Stephen Jackson, Tyrus Thomas and Shaun Livingston.

          Jackson (strained hamstring) and Livingston (bruised tailbone) didn’t practice Thursday. Thomas did participate in shooting drills, but his left knee was heavily bandaged and Silas said Thomas is too sore to play against the Magic.

          That leaves them quite shorthanded, particularly inside against center Dwight Howard, the premier low-post player in the game.

The Bobcats announced this afternoon that center Joel Przybilla is out the rest of the season. That was expected; Przybilla (acquired from Portland in the Gerald Wallace trade) has had chronic soreness in his right knee, after undergoing two surgeries on that joint last season. He’ll have another procedure to remove wire that was inserted to help repair a tendon.

          I asked Silas if there was any merit in waiving Przybilla to sign a fill-in big man. Silas doubted that made sense this late in the season, particularly if such a player was not eligible for the playoffs.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 31, 2011 at 01:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (17)

Interesting stat

Interesting statistic from the victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers:

          Charlotte Bobcats Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin became the first pair of teammates to each record 10 or more assists in the same game, without committing any turnovers, since Elias Sports Bureau started recording individual turnovers in the 1977-78 season.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 31, 2011 at 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 30, 2011

A post-script on a wild game

-- I hope fans appreciate how exceptional the defense was on that last Cavaliers possession. The trap was so solid, it forced Cleveland into a timeout with 2.8 seconds left, after the Cavs had wasted more than 11 seconds looking for a shot.

          In-bounding the ball wasted more time, and that was crucial to Dominic McGuire blocking Anthony Parker’s runner. McGuire said he didn’t have to worry about staying with Daniel Gibson in the corner because Parker didn’t have the time to both drive and pass to Gibson for a spot-up shot.

          That defines efficient team defense.

-- That’s two one-point victories in a row and the total margin of victory in a four-game winning streak is 12 points. Sure, it’s some luck, but it’s also some excellent late-game defense.

          -- I feel for Paul Silas, because he’s coaching his butt off in a situation where trades and injuries decimated his depth. Add Gerald Wallace to this mix and they’re in the playoffs (yeah, I’ve heard all the spin about sacrificing the present for the future – we’ll see). You don’t think Nazr Mohammed would be useful? There’s no such thing as a backup center right now. When Kwame Brown leaves the game, they have the size of a quality college team.

          I’ve used the analogy in the past that Silas approaches the game like a baseball manager (Dusty Baker, minus the toothpick). Wednesday was like using up all your pitchers at the last out, but it worked.

          -- Before you ask, no one knows how long Stephen Jackson, Tyrus Thomas and Shaun Livingston will be out. They’re all injuries that are about pain threshold – can you put up with how your body is feeling, and still be effective?

Posted by Observer Sports on March 30, 2011 at 11:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (24)

Jackson out for second half

Charlotte Bobcats leading scorer Stephen Jackson will miss the second half of Wednesday's home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, after aggravating his left hamstring strain.

Jackson suffered the injury in the first quarter, tried to play through it in the second quarter, but was ineffective. Dante Cunningham started in Jackson's place in the second half.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 30, 2011 at 08:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Livingston, Thomas out

Shaun Livingston (bruised tailbone) and Tyrus Thomas (sore knee) will definitely not play tonight for the Charlotte Bobcats, according to coach Paul Silas.

Though an MRI showed no new damage to Thomas' left knee, he's just too sore to play against the Cleveland Cavalers, according to Silas. There's no timetable as to when Livingston or Thomas will be back.

As expected, D.J. Augustin (left ankle sprain, right knee bruise) will start tonight.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 30, 2011 at 06:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Morning injury updates

Looks likely that Shaun Livingston will miss tonight's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers (bruised tailbone). However, D.J. Augustin is participating in shootaround, so he should be a go.

The question now is Tyrus Thomas, who left shootaround with a sore knee. He'll be a gametime decision.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

March 29, 2011

Augustin, Livingston miss practice

The Charlotte Bobcats practiced Tuesday without either of their top two point guards, so it’s conceivable that third-stringer Garrett Temple could be the starter Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

          D.J. Augustin has a bruised right knee and a sprained left ankle. Shaun Livingston has a bruised tailbone. Augustin told coach Paul Silas he expects to play Wednesday, but Silas has misgivings about how effective Augustin can be with two leg injuries.

          Temple, newly signed for the rest of the season, filled in well in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks Monday, after Augustin and Livingston left the game. He defended Brandon Jennings effectively and hit a big 3-pointer.

          The Bobcats expect to have back center Kwame Brown, who left the team Monday to tend to an ill daughter in Georgia.

          -- SportSouth will televise the Bobcats’ final regular-season game, April 13 against the Atlanta Hawks, a Fox spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

ESPN was originally scheduled to televise the game nationally, but decided Monday to instead televise a New Orleans Hornets-Dallas Mavericks game that night.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 29, 2011 at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Two post-game thoughts

-- Everyone who thought Garrett Temple would be essential to beating the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, raise your hand….OK, Garrett’s mom and Garrett’s agent, put down your hands…

          This was fun to watch, and while the Bobcats were certainly lucky to win – that was Paul Silas’s stated impression – I appreciated the Bobcats’ perseverance.

          To all of you who say the Bobcats should be tanking games, that’s not how athletes think, and you don’t want to set that precedent.

          -- I got an email today from a reader saying I should stop writing about playoff implications and that the Bobcats would be much better off chasing lottery luck.

          I get that email a lot, and frankly it disregards how the weighted draft lottery works these days. If you’re one of the last teams to reach the playoffs, you have a miniscule chance of a top-3 pick (about a 1 percent chance for each of those picks). Meanwhile the Bobcats would have a far greater chance (about nine percent) of actually moving DOWN in the draft order.

          The playoffs are fun, and even if they were clobbered in the first round, the Bobcats would gain experience by participating. You can’t convince me finishing ninth in the East is better than finishing eighth. And you sure don’t want to send the message to players that losing is ever better than winning.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 29, 2011 at 12:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (20)

March 28, 2011

Kwame Brown out tonight

Charlotte Bobcats center Kwame Brown had to rush home to Georgia to tend to his sick daughter today, so the Bobcats will be without their starting center against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight.

Coach Paul Silas said he'll likely start Tyrus Thomas, just back from missing two games with bruised ribs. The Bobcats will also have back Eduardo Najera, who missed a game with a sore shoulder.

The Bobcats needed Brown's size against Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut. With Joel Przybilla out (sore right knee) the Bobcats have no other true centers.

Silas said Brown's daughter has been hospitalized after passing out this morning.

The other issue could be Shaun Livingston's left ankle sprain, suffered against the Knicks. Silas expects Livingston to play, but isn't sure how effective he'll be.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 28, 2011 at 05:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

ESPN drops Bobcats-Hawks

ESPN has dropped its plan to televise the Bobcats' final regular-season game on April 13 against the Atlanta Hawks. ESPN will instead do the New Orleans Hornets-Dallas Mavericks game.

No word yet on whether Fox would step in to televise Bobcats-Hawks, which could potentially decide the Bobcats' playoff fate.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 28, 2011 at 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)