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November 10, 2012

A post-script on Charlotte Bobcats' loss to the New Orleans Hornets

    Some post-game thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats’ 107-99 loss to the New Orleans Hornets:

                --The problem is no longer scoring. If the Bobcats finish the season averaging 99 points (sixth in the NBA), that should be sufficient. But as Ben Gordon said post-game, you can’t keep giving up 111 points and expect to beat most anybody.

                They’re a small team on the perimeter that plays that much smaller with Gerald Henderson hurt. That’s a factor in the zone defense they intermittently employ. The problem with playing zone in the NBA, as opposed to college, is most NBA teams have strong enough shooters to exploit the open looks a zone gives up. As well as Anthony Davis played inside for the Hornets, the hidden stat in this game was Ryan Anderson making five of 10 3-point looks.

                --Bismack Biyombo got his first start of the season because Brendan Haywood missed the game with a family emergency. Biyombo played well with 13 rebounds and three blocks.  But Friday illustrated something I’ve thought for a while; you have to leave Biyombo at center, not power forward. The further he has to roam from the basket defensively the less effective he is.

                --I get a lot of questions why Ben Gordon isn’t starting in place of Henderson. Dunlap wanted to leave Gordon in the role of leading the second unit offensively. He gets starter’s minutes (34 Friday) and will play in the fourth quarter when games are close. Starting is a bigger deal to fans than players.

                --Gana Diop played for the first time this season. He looked lost: One rebound and no points or blocks. The guy makes $7.37 million in this, the last season on his contract.

                --I’m more impressed with backup point guard Ramon Sessions all the time. He’s efficient – look at Friday’s numbers: 13 points off eight shots from the field, plus four assists in 24 minutes.

                --Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a solid game: 12 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. But wow, what might have been had the Bobcats gotten the No. 1 pick. Davis is already a great NBA player.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM | Permalink


Mullens is a bench player. His defense is bad.

Posted by: crymeariver | Nov 10, 2012 2:05:24 AM

I'm glad we didnt get davis. He has a little lebron in him that i am not a fan of. He absolutely went off in that stretch. Rest of the game he was quiet.

Don't know how those 5 threes were a hidden stat. More impressive was roberts going 7 for 8 from the field.

Biz looked good. Gordon was fun to watch. He has such an old school pick up basketball hooper style to him. Gotta love it when he's on like that. Mkg....the blocks...the dunks. He's better than gerald wallace, let's end that comparison. Wallace never had the handle or the physicality mkg has. That trade officially worked out. We move wallace, we lose a ton of games....we get a newer improved younger version and 2 more picks, 1 who became biyombo.

Taylor looked great, nba refs need to understand the diff between defense and fouls. That dude can D up.

Mullens was off, several just rattled in and out, would have loved for him to get the ball a few more times on the block. Biyombo too, but with gordon going 14 for 21, hard to complain.

Line of the night: steve martin going "HE TIED SEAN MAY!!!" Funny on so many levels. That dude is borderline senile with the amount of errors he makes. Quite hilarious. Jason taylor. I'm glad he still remembers that game 15 years ago when biyombo blocked ariza at the buzzer.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 10, 2012 2:11:34 AM

"But as Ben Gordon said post-game, you can’t keep giving up 111 points and expect to beat most anybody."

How ironic as he had the biggest +/- of any other player...which is quite amazing really for a guy who went 14 of 21 for 34 points. Gordon literally could not stay in front of his man AT ALL.

We played right there with them while the starters were playing in spite of Mullens but everything went to crap when we subbed in all bench guys. I think we ultimately would have been better off giving a lot of Gordon's minutes to Taylor who did look pretty good tonight in his limited minutes.

Posted by: spectre | Nov 10, 2012 5:17:59 AM

Ben Gordon damn near gives up as many as one third of the points he scores. He rests on defense and refuses to run out on any open guy. You can't play Kemba and him together as they give up too much being so little. Teams look to put them in pick and rolls for easy scores once the switch is made. Teammates have to be pissed bc it looks like they're being scored upon but it's one of them many times off a switch.

Henderson starts to avoid teams warming up and blowing the Cats out early w no hope of competing. A unit of Henderson, MKG and Haywood is pretty fair defensively . Vasquez and
Rivers have no defense either , so it was easy for Gordon . He can flat out shoot but to win games you must have some two gd defense ... Kemba has to stop shooting so much . Sessions needs to get bigger minutes to get the team flowing . He creates much better for the team if given minutes .

Posted by: Ironman | Nov 10, 2012 5:52:29 AM

This team is still too small. Haywood not playing made a big difference. Henderson too. The main problem is the same problem that has been with this team for awhile now. No one can score volume points consistently. Kemba had 30 in game one, now he's disappeared. Their best offensive option is shooting. Most of the people that drive to the basket can't finish. Cat's blundered a lot of opportunities away in this game.

Posted by: defensewinsgames | Nov 10, 2012 6:00:51 AM

Why Dunlap take the starting 5 out in the second half.That was a strong lineup at the time.Soon as he took them out it went down hill.

Posted by: Tru | Nov 10, 2012 7:44:21 AM

Dunlap is still catching on but he needs to realize that the preseason is over and the wholesale lineup changes are not productive. With Hendo and Haywood, I think we possibly win this game. I agree with defensewinsgames that it is really frustrating to see how many misses we have in the paint. As far as Diop, I don't care if they pay him 70 million, he should never again leave the bench, even if they have to play 4 on 5

Posted by: Claydog | Nov 10, 2012 8:27:25 AM

Mullens is a Jekyl and Hyde...never know who will show up....just too, too soft around the boards.

Posted by: eduardo | Nov 10, 2012 9:29:37 AM

The Cats need a scoring in the paint back to the basket vet that plays some defense. They know it. Biz n Mullens are not the answer but they want to get in the lottery again. This guy could finnaly finish on a pick and roll unlike any big on this team, cause to be doubled in the block and kick out to shooters .Plus he could get to the foul line. Biz, Thomas n Mullens don't make up a half a decent player. ESP on defense .

Posted by: Ironman | Nov 10, 2012 10:22:10 AM

LOL @ charlottean saying he's glad he didn't get Davis. Sure you are. LMBO.

Posted by: Mo | Nov 10, 2012 11:05:22 AM

If we had gotten davis, we would be winning a lot more games this year = worse draft pick coming up + no development of mullens + no MKG. Davis looks really good, but he also has a SOLID group of talent around him in anderson, aminu, lopez, vazquez, rivers, and eventually eric gordon. I'm not saying if we were drafting #1 you don't take him, I'm saying I'm good with the way it turned out. I don't like divas and he's already looking like a diva.

the guys going to be great, but I wouldn't want lebron on the bobcats. I don't care how good he is. I'd rather have a mediocre team I like than a championship team I despise.

I don't understand the comment of biyombo vs haywood = worse defense. we gave up far less layups in the past 2 games with biyombo on the floor than when he was off. Haywood gave up a layup line against the suns. He provides more bulk, but he's never been an elite defender. biz is on his way to being that. not so much 1 on 1, but team defense.

also.......don't reference +/- individual stats as ever having merit. it doesn't. worse stat ever recorded. +/- only holds merit if you are analyzing LINEUPS as a whole over a large sample.

for example, if at the end of the season we saw that the bobcats were +8 points per 48 minutes with a lineup of walker/henderson/mkg/mullens/biyombo vs. a lineup of walker/GORDON/mkg/mullens/biyombo then you have an actual comparison. If you isolate 1 player who could happen to be on the floor during 2 opposing team runs it doesn't mean it's entirely at fault of that player. can be purely coincidental and usually is. too many different variables in play for it to mean ANYTHING really. that said.....gordon can't play defense. but his offense more than makes up for that. brian roberts was being guarded by sessions and walker too during his hot streak and vazquez/mason/rivers combined for 13 points on 20 shots and 3 free throws. the free throws caused by biyombo.

we lost the game because they made 3 more shots. that's coincidental. if we played horrible defense or horrible offense, there would be a LARGE discrepancy in turnovers/rebounds/foul shots/etc. equaling more shots/possessions. that didn't happen. they made 3 more field goals than we did on 83 attempts.

I think we're giving up a lot of points right now because teams are coming into the game confident. they don't shoot that way against other teams who are equally bad defensively. It'll change over time. they looked REALLY good last night all in all.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 10, 2012 2:37:39 PM

Ironman...Gordon & Kemba? When Kemba/Gordon played together the team went -5, Session & Gordon together went -9. Also 4 of the points while Gordon was playing with Kemba can be directly attributed to Gordon...remember when he came in the 3rd quarter and immediately turned it over 2 times in a row? Directly led to 4 points.


All right there in black & white.

The group that got burnt defensively were all bench players, mainly Gordon & Sessions. Dunlap was doing basically a 5 man sub, then putting one starter (usually Biz, Mullens or MKG)in with them. Every time the starters would get it close and then the bench group would let it get away.

MKG's bigger +/- negative was due to him playing with the bench in the 2nd quarter.

Our bigs are already weak defenders. Add in Sessions and Gordon who are both known for subpar defense and it just gets really bad. Kemba, MKG, Hendo and Taylor are by far our best defenders out along the perimeter.

Posted by: spectre | Nov 10, 2012 4:22:26 PM

Actually I have that wrong...Kemba & Gordon on the court together was only a -2. Without the two TOs it well could have been a net positive.

That combination isn't the problem. It's Gordon & Sessions.

Posted by: spectre | Nov 10, 2012 4:25:34 PM

charlottean I am analyzing whole lineups as that's how Dunlap has been subbing. I'm not a big proponent of that stat either but last night it was very telling as you could see the runs happening when the groups were subbed out.

I agree with you on Biz tho. Last night I thought he had a very good game defensively and on the boards.

Posted by: spectre | Nov 10, 2012 4:30:47 PM

Bobcats have too little scoring capacity from the Center and Forward positions. They are not going to win many games until that gets fixed.

Posted by: Airbrush87 | Nov 10, 2012 5:06:46 PM

disagree....i just don't think they are utilizing biz or haywood. either can be dropped the ball in the post and give you 50% chance of a bucket or free throws. they just aren't going to that in the offense. they will with time I'm sure.

mullens will have big games and games like last night, but I think as the season goes on, you'll see more ~18 point games.

last night was great. MKG validated his draft status already. he's already established an early floor to his potential with games like that. he's already well ahead of where gerald wallace was when he got here and he's younger and better built for the bruising.

for all the bad shots and turnovers and lack of passing on various possessions that kemba had, you HAD to feel like he more than made up for it with the clutch buckets and the steals. dude was ON THE FLOOR for the ball every few seconds. I'm already on the bandwagon, but if he can straighten out the decision making on shots vs. pass and better selection, i'll be driving the bandwagon.

biz should have played more...was he hurt? I know they went on a run while he was on the floor, but our starters did the same against their starters. it wasn't like it was all on biz either. carter was draining 3's. murphy too. diop played entirely too much at 9 minutes. that was like 10 minutes too many.

I LOVE watching people leave in the 4th quarter with a few minutes left down 7 only to go back to their seats because it went into overtime before they made it all the way out the building. hilarious. stay til the end ALWAYS. you never know what you could miss even in a worthless game. That's why you pay for the tickets to begin with.


That's exactly what I'm talking about (referring to MKG being the only starter on the floor during a big run) +/- isn't some new invention. it's just older stat heads knew it was a worthless measure all this time so they didn't note it. the lineups are valid. there's no doubt about it. if a group clocks 300 minutes together and they have a significant difference of +/- vs a group with at least 300 minutes together......that's a comparable trend. isolating individuals within that is very difficult.

even with gordon. while I agree his defense is horrible. one could argue that it's sessions fault or that it's biz' fault or whatever. you COULD say that gordon is better suited guarding point guards to begin with. I'M NOT saying those things, i'm just pointing out how difficult it is to use +/- as an accurate measure. Turnovers vs. steals and true shooting % are the best looks in my opinion and rebound rates but again, these things can be affected greatly by lineup combinations. I'm still not 100% sure about PER because there are a ton of guys that have high PER's on HORRIBLE teams that they are supposed to be the guy on (i'm looking at you brook lopez). at the end of the day....the team that gets the most possessions (shot attempts/free throw attempts) usually wins. players that contribute to that are most valuable (offensive rebounders, careful ball handlers, shot blockers, guys that get loose balls and steals).

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 11, 2012 6:00:29 PM


Thing is tho I wasn't looking at the +/- in a vaccuum; I was observing and chatting about it on another forum, saw it happening and went to the stats page and the +/- backed up what my eyes were seeing.

And now I get too focused on watching Gordon trying to play D which I shouldn't as it takes away from enjoying the overall game.

Honestly I was glad he fouled out vs. Dallas. I'm a strong lover of defense and I suspect having Taylor in there instead is a lot of what got us that win.

So yeah, in general I'm not a fan of the stat. It just really jumped out to me in the NOLA game and in the 1st half vs. Dallas. We didn't leave the blue team in together as much in the 2nd half either which I think probably helped us take the game.

Sessions. He's not a great defender...but he at least TRIES. I can stomach that.

Posted by: spectre | Nov 12, 2012 1:49:54 PM

I don't know.....i'm far from a fan of gordon's defense but i've seen him play hard a few possessions and i've seen sessions slack plenty. i don't think either are here past next season (if they last that long). hopefully taylor continues to play well and continues to get minutes when henderson gets back. if the young'ns can prove that they can score without gordon.....i don't think dunlap will at all feel obligated to play him.

i wasn't implying that you weren't right about gordon allowing buckets, i'm just saying individual +/- is a completely irrelevant stat.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2012 3:09:41 PM

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