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October 24, 2012

Five thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats

Five things worth noting about the Charlotte Bobcats fifth (yes, fifth) loss in the preseason:

  1.  The defense is ahead of the offense to the extreme. That’s intentional and not without good purpose. Defensive principles get you through bad times and offense come-and-goes with the whim of an open shot missed. But there have been abundant sub-40 percent quarters, and the idea that will magically change in the regular season (with legitimate opponent scouting reports) is preposterous.
  2.  I’ve decided rookie Jeff Taylor is a corn maze. Ever been in a corn maze? It’s fun and entertaining this time of year. You’re confused, yet you learn from each wrong turn.  Eventually, when you find your way out, you’re better for the challenge. Taylor has shot horribly this preseason after shooting so well in Las Vegas. Coach Mike Dunlap loves his defense. I’d love to find a sucker to bet Taylor won’t make it.
  3.  I thought paying Ramon Sessions’ $10 million total over the next two seasons was a ridiculous premium for a guy looking for a job. I was willing to be open-minded because point guards – even high-end backup point guards – are so hard to find. I still wonder if Sessions is worth all that. But the two-point guard set Dunlap ran in the second half got the Bobcats back in the game. Maybe this was desperation in the preseason, and it won’t work with games on the line. Sessions makes a lot of money, but he does make the Bobcats better.
  4. Many of you were gratuitously mean in your disdain for Cory Higgins. If his name was Cory Smith, there would never have been so much venom. But I’ve seen nothing this preseason that says he’s going to be better than we’ve seen. If a third point guard is their last contract, they should look to the waiver wire. Because they need a reliable 3rd point guard, and Cory isn’t that guy.
  5.  Why doesn’t Tyrus Thomas grasp the concept that he’s on borrowed time?  He had six points and four rebounds in 28 minutes. He’s owed, what, $23 million? He played well in Detroit, yet tonight’s performance says this cannot end well.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 24, 2012 at 12:58 AM | Permalink


Tyrus Thomas is not on borrowed time in his mind.

He's young, he's lazy, and has a garanteed $23,ooo,ooo still coming to him no matter what happens next.

That's not borrowed time, that's called having a huge garanteed contract.

Life is great for Tyrus.

Posted by: Clay | Oct 24, 2012 6:02:12 AM

"Many of you were gratuitously mean in your disdain for Cory Higgins. If his name was Cory Smith, there would never have been so much venom."

You are exactly right, and that validates our point rather than refuting it. When you are the top personnel guy over the worst team the NBA has ever seen, the one thing you need more than anything else is better players. So if the top personnel guy in that situation uses nepotism to fill a precious roster spot, he's going to get called on it. If the nepotism brings ina player that has no business on anything but a D-league roster, he's going to get called on it even louder. Any sane personnel guy would have looked at last year's Bobcats roster and said there was no good reason for Cory Higgins to be on this team or any team. Yet training camp/preseason arrives and he's still on the team. If Rich Cho really is the final say on this team's roster, he needs to call Rod into his office and tell him, "I appreciate how much you want to see your son succeed. However, he's not doing a good enough job to be on this team. See this scouting database I built last year? See how Cory ranks last in every category? Rod, we have to go in another direction. Cory is going to be released."

Posted by: J | Oct 24, 2012 7:30:32 AM

J. That is better than I could have said it. Can't believe the media doesn't call out Higins more for this. The Boncats have done a lot of embarrassing things, but this one tops them all. Hoped things would change with new owner, cho, etc. guess not.

Posted by: Davo | Oct 24, 2012 8:07:00 AM

Spot on J... There's no reason why Cory Higgins should be on the Bobcats, or any NBA roster.

Posted by: PantherDave | Oct 24, 2012 8:43:32 AM

Tricky Ricky you could've left off #4 and #5 and had a nice post. Instead you botch it up with those inane comments.

If the Bobs at least compete this year I will be happy. Last year they just quit.

Posted by: Sambo | Oct 24, 2012 8:53:41 AM

Indeed J, that is EXACTLY why we were so hard on the decision to keep Higgins. This year? Going into free agency, Higgins was ranked last...DEAD LAST, among all available free agents. Even Rick B is now calling him out for being unworthy to take a roster spot on this team. We all knew it far earlier, but that doesn't matter...as long as Cho does the right thing and cuts him.

BTW, we also need a real power forward who can operate on the post. We passed on Robinson in the draft cause we fell in love with a quality role player and (according to Cho in a behind the scenes video for the draft) we would be overloaded at the 4. Guess what? We still have no quality PF. Mullens is OK, but his best role is "6th man jump shooting big". Tyrus is trying, and we presume healthy, but some people just never put things altogether, and he never will. Biz? A giant reach by Cho that will never payoff. That young man works his tail off, but you can't teach touch and instinct on offense, and he has neither. So, get ready for another season of lamenting why our front line gets abused every night.

Posted by: Bassman | Oct 24, 2012 9:05:25 AM

If Corey's last name were Smith, he'd not be on this team...period.

Posted by: eduardo | Oct 24, 2012 9:27:33 AM

What about MKG? He was the #2 overall pick, but has he shown anything so far outside of the 1st preseason game? I see the boxscores and hes getting only 2-5 ppg. We desperately need scoring, our defense alone will not be able to win a lot of games. I hope we didn't make another draft day mistake

Posted by: Rob | Oct 24, 2012 10:13:57 AM

This team is worse than last years team!

Posted by: joe cool | Oct 24, 2012 10:24:51 AM

I love how Kemba Walker continues to get zero credit from the media for his improvement.

Posted by: Bro Jackson | Oct 24, 2012 11:06:58 AM

I liked Rick's first two points. About Tyrus, I don't know, it's only preseason and it's too early to jump to conclusions.

As for Ramon Sessions: his great big salary is below the NBA average. He's an above average point guard, in terms of talent and potential. He didn't reach his full potential yet; IMO his ceiling is above all the starting PGs the Bobcats had in previous seasons (Brevin Knight, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin). Still, I liked this line on Sessions: "he does make the Bobcats better".

Will he be given the chance to maximize his potential in Charlotte? I doubt it, since the plan is to bring him off the bench, and put all the emphasis on starting and developing Kemba. As for the experiment of playing the two point guards together (as used to be done with Brevin and Raymond), how long will that go on after Ben Gordon will be back healthy ?

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 24, 2012 1:23:25 PM

Wemt to the game last night to see the Heat. Came away impressed by Walker and Sessions. Kemba did most of his damage in the 1st half agains the Heat starters. He was all over the court. Ray Allen is going to put the Heat over the top again. When he was in with Lebron, there was no way to handle LBJ and all those shooters.

Posted by: Benjiman | Oct 24, 2012 2:35:07 PM

Are there any boards the resident squatter country bumpkin ex-waterhomo Deliverance hillbilly moonshiner perv does not vandalize or smudge up with piles useless dung? Mitt will def take away that free lunch mommy ho lied to get using mental disabilty free check in the mail monthly at the cornfield trailor.
That self conversationalist perv is one reason pro sports fail so badly in the QC with 500 bogus names and 99% drivel.

Posted by: the real Jman | Oct 25, 2012 11:14:10 AM

re: sessions........it reminds me of the panthers with jimmy clausen. not comparing sessions to clausen but walker to clausen. if we had matt moore the entire season, 2010 would have been better and probably sped up the development of gettis/lafell/edwards/etc. but instead 2010 was a lost season once moore went down and we didn't have ANYBODY but clausen. if we had nobody but walker, it could hurt the development of mullens and henderson and bismack when he's playing bad and there's no alternative. not to mention we HAD to pay a premium to get ANYBODY to come here after last year. especially to not be guaranteed a starting job. considering augustin's QO was only a little bit less, they didn't exactly go on a spending spree there.

re: higgins....agree. my hate is not towards cory, it's towards his dad. i would be indifferent towards him in any other setting but his dad has hurt this franchise to an infinite degree and for him to reward his son with ANOTHER free ride in the nba is disgusting and disrespectful to the people that pay their salaries. it's all about his dad's incompetence there. i'm sure people would hate on a dude named adam hitler if his grandfather happened to be.........rod higgins is not hitler but the point is the point.

as for kemba, it's hard to write about any improvement at this point after summer league was ATROCIOUS. dude shot like 31% from the field against little competition. he's shooting like 42% right now in preseason though so it's definitely a move in the right direction from last year. hopes and prayers are that he turns into AT LEAST a middle pack starting pg that augustin was. if he isn't, we lose another year in the rebuild unless we manage to pull off a trade to replace him. it would be best if he has a great year and we can keep him on rookie scale for 2 more years and then resign.

here's to hoping the bobcats actually develop their draft picks and keep them. tyrus will be fine. effort was NEVER the issue. anybody saying that just doesn't watch the games. keep in mind these guys like he and henderson and mullens and walker and bismack and even MKG.....ALL of these guys have had 3 coaches in 3 years. They all need some continuity and leadership from the organization before we can REALLY say who is and isn't damaged goods.

that pick we gave up for thomas is probably either going to be a top 8 protected in 2015 or an unprotected in 2016. chances are this doesn't hurt us much. this dude just turned 26. his numbers year before last (before he got hurt) were really solid. 18.2 PER and per 36 numbers were definitely starter quality. chalk up last year to the lockout and give him a clean slate for this year.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 25, 2012 12:04:17 PM

damn we were just talking about kemba's improving play and he had a GEM of a game through the first 2.5 quarters and then he and gordon and sessions decided to shoot us out of the game.

dude had like 16 and 7 right after half time and finishes with 20 and 7 taking like 8 more shots in the process. I'd rather he turn into mike conley than brandon jennings. Hope that's his mindset too.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 25, 2012 3:33:45 PM

Boy alot to process here. My feelings so far

Kemba is improving. Look at assists and turnovers!! Yes he has other areas to still work on but folks he looks way better than last year already.
Sessions- he is cheap for that many years and as decent as he has looked. He can at least score.
Mullens for his pay and what he was suppose to be he has blown past any expectations. Yes he should not be the star of the team but still for expectations...great
Coach - ok team is engaged and energy is there and they are exciting to watch and games are fun again even if we lose. That is huge!!

MKG - umm no one saying much on this but he is not blowing me away at all so far. Energy is great though
Hendo- I want him to be good and he can be so much better but boy he just should be blowing it out and he isn't.
Biz- love him also but boy foul trouble, no points how long do we have to develop and pray?? Great energy but boy we need someone down low.

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Oct 26, 2012 9:46:20 AM

^^^ need more patience.

Mullens could be a star. dude is 23 and last year was basically his rookie year after sitting for 2 years. This guy can be REALLY GOOD. I think you go all in on him this year and gauge whether or not he can gain consistency at the end of the year. you don't lose much by doing so but you possibly gain a #1 or #2 franchise guy. and we desperately need scoring and that, he can do. 6 games of 20 or more last year.

he had a 5 game stretch last year that went: 20 and 9, 20 and 14, 8 and 7, 31 and 14, 17 and 3. if that's the regular output over 82......that's your guy. (mind you we won none of those games) 23 years old. not 28. can't teach size.

biyombo is what? 20?
MKG is 19. i didn't love the pick on draft night. I hated it at 2. HATED it at 2, didn't hate it overall and even less after seeing dunlap coach them at summer league but yes he has been underwhelming. but only sullinger and lillard and beal have been anything worth noting. barnes has had a few big games but mostly he's just solid.

outside of those 4....robinson hasn't been much to talk about. waiters hasn't. drummond is exactly what most expected although he's way ahead of biyombo for the age and drafted essentially in the same spot. ross isn't showing much. henson and zeller and marshall have all looked good but not outstanding. rivers has been hurt, royce has been off the reservation. compared to his counterparts, MKG looks fine.

several of the pre season games he put up good numbers in small minutes. he'll be fine. the positive attitude is HUGE. the physical skills are HUGE. everything else can come.

walker has played good in preseason but he was horrible in summer league. here's to hoping that the recent improvement is the result of extensive work in august and september. if he is what we thought we were getting when we drafted him, we are much better off as a franchise.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 26, 2012 12:24:08 PM

Horrible in Summer League? Kemba had 29 assists to 5 turnovers. Scoring will not be his issue and his shot already looks like it improved. But to pick a a part his shooting % and disregard those assist numbers and say he was horrible is very short sighted. Not to mention, the trend of his improvement in that area looks like it is continuing. Imagine if he had anyone in the low post to feed for easy assists.

Posted by: James | Oct 26, 2012 3:58:11 PM

you're right about the to/assist ratio and that IS the most important thing for our point guard. but that IS his job. and he has to do it in the regular season like the guy he's replacing did.

35% fg and 8% on 3's is horrible. no way to dress that up on a top 10 pick. HOWEVER......his preseason has definitely picked up. His problem last year and in summer league is that his shot selection was absolutely horrible. The shots were so bad that his %'s were actually inflated because his makes were absolute luck.

I've been one to be really hard on him, mostly because I think augustin's ceiling is/was higher and we failed to develop him properly just like every single draft pick before him. but he's got to take better shots and make the easy ones more consistently to be an nba starter. he was a 3 year college guy and this is year 2. he's not 19.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 26, 2012 6:35:22 PM

Confirm, horrible in summer league if you had watched, stats are stats. Would drive deep in and jump and look like he was trying out for Cirque Du Soleil.
However he has looked like he is improving SO far this preseason.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Oct 26, 2012 8:38:20 PM

until last night apparently. annd yes i watched all of summer league. cory higgins looked like a prospect next to walker.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 27, 2012 10:12:29 AM

was agreeing with you. "Watching" was directed at James!

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Oct 27, 2012 10:44:38 AM

i dont care, you should have never traded g wallace,stephen jackson and dj, along with hendersen, we would be in the playoffs, maybe an 7th or 8th seed, but we would be there..we will never get there now..fml

Posted by: pantherworld | Oct 27, 2012 12:46:09 PM

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