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December 08, 2011

A fresh look at Bobcats' D.J. Augustin

            Charlotte Bobcats point guard D.J. Augustin doesn’t suddenly look like an NFL safety, but he sure doesn’t look like a runt.

            Augustin spent the off-season in Houston, working on his upper-body strength and playing daily with NBA veterans Rashard Lewis, Tracy McGrady and T.J. Ford. He was back in Charlotte Thursday to work out and clearly looked more solid from the chest up through his shoulders.

            That’s key, because it was obvious he wore down last season, fighting through screens. It showed in his shooting slump the second half of last season.

            If an NBA player had to wait out a lockout, Houston was the place to be, as it was during the 1998 lockout. Pro basketball players tend to congregate there in the off-season, The pickup games were world-class.

            “A lot of good competition, 15 minutes a quarter,’’ Augustin said on the eve of NBA training camps Friday. “Guys got good conditioning -- I feel like everybody who played with us is in shape.’’

            Three years removed from the 2008 NBA draft, Augustin is the current Bobcat with the longest continuous service. (He pre-dates the trade for Boris Diaw by a few months.) That reflects how quickly and radically the franchise turned toward a youth movement. The core now appears to be Augustin, Tyrus Thomas, Gerald Henderson and two rookie lottery picks: Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo.

            Biyombo’s contract entanglement with a Spanish team might preclude him from signing in time to participate in the Bobcats’ first practice, late Friday afternoon. But Walker has been in town over a week.

Another point guard of similar dimensions, Walker said the day after he was drafted that he intends to push Augustin every day in practice.

All for that, Augustin replied Thursday.

            “He’s going to make myself better, going to make himself better, going to make our team better,’’ Augustin said of Walker, who led Connecticut to the national championship last season.

            Coach Paul Silas hopes to play Augustin and Walker some together in what would be a quick but small, backcourt.

 “Myself and Raymond (Felton) played together a couple of years ago,’’ Augustin said. “If we can play tough defense and get some help from our bigger guys, we’ll be all right.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on December 8, 2011 at 05:27 PM | Permalink


Good stuff!! Glad to see DJ working so hard! He's an amazingly likable guy, and can be a real play maker! Go Bobcats!

Posted by: Hoagie58 | Dec 8, 2011 6:29:31 PM

Is the Biyombo thing going to be a long, drawn out affair or are the Bobcats ready to help him buy off this Spanish outfit?

Posted by: eduardo | Dec 8, 2011 7:15:19 PM

The most disappointing news out of the Bobcats is that they have discontinued their drum line. This was one of the best features of the games, in my opinion, as they livened up the place, even on those oh-so-frequent losing nights. To management: Please reconsider your elimination of this crowd pleasing act. They made the pre game shows and halftimes so much more fun.

Posted by: Tomhere | Dec 8, 2011 7:39:36 PM

Here's my view on the new CBA, which should help small-market teams.


mike t.

Posted by: Michael C. Teniente | Dec 8, 2011 8:40:09 PM

DJ put up some decent numbers in his first full season as a starter. Interesting to see if they improve again.

Posted by: Gary | Dec 8, 2011 9:41:39 PM

I hope Augustin plays lights out. Would make him a nice trade asset to gain perhaps more draft picks to help in.our rebuilding project.

Posted by: Jason Warren | Dec 8, 2011 10:28:15 PM

I like the commitment to the youth movement instead of being content with the 9th or 10th spot. We need to get Dante Cunningham back though.

Posted by: Clay | Dec 9, 2011 7:50:35 AM

You don't trade augustin. Walker isn't going to be a true pg in any sense of the word. If you move augustin you have to get a tall legit pg back. It would make more sense for walker augustin and henderson to each play 32 min a game permanently.

There are 30 nba teams and dj is between 15 and 20 statistically in his first year as a starter. You don't give up on that guy or his minutes until you are SURE that walker is what he was in college. I see walker being more jason terry than iverson and that's not a knock at all. That would be awesome for us. Maybe not starting, but closing.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 9, 2011 8:33:01 AM

This Walker-playing-with-DJ stuff is a bunch of hypothetical offseason hooey. These guys have zero standing reach and will A: never get a hand in anybody's face to bother a shot...and B: Get their own shots bothered far too frequently.

Walker is a short version of 6'1", unlike Raymond Felton, who had a far superior reach. It's not gonna work. So let's be content to give Kemba or DJ 20 minutes a game.....If they both deserve more, one of them has to go.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Dec 9, 2011 12:07:32 PM

but you aren't talking about playing them together for 30 minutes. most teams in the nba do not have an elite go-to scorer at the 2. and if they do, you have hendo going pound for pound with them all game. only when that player is on the bench do you play augustin and walker together.

think about the suns.....nash and brown. boston.....rondo and allen. orlando....nelson/arenas/reddick. chicago unless they sign a legit 2....it will probably be michael redd. portland......felton and matthews. cleveland? irving and sessions? indiana....i don't know what they're doing but i'm assuming it's going to be collison, hill and ....? in a rotation. stephenson? brandon rush?

there are a ton of teams with week enough 2's that we can zone em up, or put walker on em. for 10 minutes a game. if hendo, DJ and kemba play 32 minutes a game each that leaves 16 minutes a game they play together. you play them together against the backups. you play hendo heavy against good 2's. you have another 2 to bring in if either gets in foul trouble. remember that maggette can guard most 2's also. but the notion DJ and kemba can't co-exist is ludicrous.

nelson and arenas. nash and brooks. kidd and terry and barrea and beaubois.

another thing to keep in mind....if walker turns into a superstar and we trade DJ.....then who do we have when walker wants to play for the knicks?

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 9, 2011 2:39:10 PM

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