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November 14, 2012

A post-script on the Charlotte Bobcats' 3-game winning streak

    Post-game thoughts on a game-saving night by Kemba Walker, extending the Charlotte Bobcats’ win streak to three.

                --Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap saw former Connecticut star Walker play pre-NBA a lot more than most NBA coaches, since he was an assistant at Big East rival St. John’s. Dunlap has often said Walker’s greatest talent is the ability to make “incredibly hard shots.’’ Wednesday defined that ability. That Walker waved off Tyrus Thomas’ pick-and-roll option, simply breaking down 6-foot-6 Alexey Shved for that 19-foot game-winner with less than a second left, was impressive.

                --There’s no maybe anymore that power forward Byron Mullens has bought into defense. Look at his numbers Wednesday: 15 rebounds and four blocks to go with 12 points. Dunlap had a funny line about changing Mullens’ mindset:

                “We found out a long time ago with Byron that threats work.’’

                Yes, that was intended to be funny, but I can tell you Mullens is intensely concerned with not letting down Dunlap. He told me as much a week ago.  I asked Dunlap in the post-game about Mullens trying so hard to please. Dunlap replied that bond was established firmly in the off-season.

                “Byron and I worked out all summer,’’ Dunlap said. “That relationship is more than player-coach. He’s very young and I’m used to coaching those guys (from his college experience).  We buy into each other.’’

                By the way, Mullens had an X-ray on a sore ankle after the game. No fracture detected.

                --Without being asked, Dunlap brought up some player displeasure with his long practices earlier this season: “We’ve heard some squawking about that. Hopefully that quiets down, now that they’ve seen the results.’’

                --The Bobcats held an opponent under 40 percent from the field for the second straight game. Much of that was about the 12 shots the Bobcats blocked Wednesday. It wasn’t a team record (16), but it sure was impressive.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM | Permalink


Are they really over .500? This is ridiculous. Great work Coach Dunlap.

Posted by: Stevo | Nov 15, 2012 6:46:51 AM

This is great stuff. We have all these young players and a coaching staff that is teaching them how to play NBA ball, and it's paying off. Of course we're getting lucky playing all these teams without their best players, but it's certainly gone the other way enough around here, especially for the Panthers. So we'll take it.

I wonder if we're due for a major blowout loss against Memphis. That will happen sometimes. I definitely think we're going to win 25-28 games.

Posted by: J | Nov 15, 2012 7:45:12 AM

We weren't exactly at full strength either with Henderson still hurt, and Ben Gordon not available.

Posted by: Rick Barnes | Nov 15, 2012 8:30:49 AM

Great Win, Great Energy, young guys learning to win. We wouldve dropped this game last season. I felt like a proud dad last night watching my kids learn a lesson and triumph.

Posted by: Spaceman Mike | Nov 15, 2012 8:48:06 AM

I was prepared to weather another rough season knowing that there were going to be growing pains with these young guys. I'm not weathering anything right now and I love what I'm seeing.

When one guy is having issues, someone else stepped up. MKG was in foul trouble the past two games, and T-Time did what needed to be done. Kemba is just a beast.

Posted by: Carr | Nov 15, 2012 9:39:27 AM

I'm happy for this team, all the young kids and the coaching staff.

Last season's team would've been 1-6 by now, but these kids show some heart and determination.

For all those who are crying about Minny missing six players of their rotation, remember a few things:

Minny is a team with good depht, a future hall of fame coach and with an amazing amount of talent, that are contending to be a powerhouse in the tough West Conf.

The Bobcats are an extremely young team, with an unexperienced rookie coach, half of the rotation is under 25, they come from being the worst team in NBA history and were missing their starting SG, their 6th man and their newly acquired combo Forward, plus they were playing on the road on back to back nights.

Posted by: RobC | Nov 15, 2012 9:52:35 AM

Ok I will be the 1st to say it. We are playing like a 8-9th team right now and that's almost to good. lol. But I want one more top draft pick!!
Kemba and Sessions are a great combo. Sign Kemba to an extension long before Biz. Mullens is solid again and love Haywood. If we can get a good true PF in the draft to get some down low presence watch out. It will also help our front court.
Bottom line tons of excitement this year and the coach and team should all be really commended. Even if we only win 20-25 games the change is epic!! Great job team!!

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 15, 2012 9:53:02 AM

Well deserved win, well deserved praise for Kemba's and Mullens' performance last night.

I wanna add a few good words on Tyrus.
He's definitely playing better than he did last season. I think he already proved wrong those who questioned his effort or desire.

Look at the last two Cats' wins: Tyrus scored 10 points in each game, and he totaled 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in 39 minutes of playing time.

I'm not saying this is enough to justify his very big contract; but, that's not his problem, that's the problem of the management who signed him on such a deal.
I'm saying that I'm glad to see his improvement, and I hope he stays healthy and keeps it up.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 15, 2012 9:58:37 AM

The play of the "Cats" has been great so far this season. A few games a season does not make, but if they stay the course amazing things will come their way down the road. It isn't always pretty but it sure isn't always ugly! Keep clawing!!

Posted by: Pat Smith | Nov 15, 2012 11:02:20 AM

Chasing the 8th playoff spot is a good thing!

Posted by: joe cool | Nov 15, 2012 11:37:02 AM

I don't think we need any changes to our core.

walker/taylor/mkg/mullens/biyombo/henderson/sessions/haywood/williams/thomas could work. You give some of these young guys 2 or 3 years to mature into their primes......wow.

walker had a great game going and then had 2 turnovers and a horrible shot attempt blocked down the stretch that majorly contributed to minny's comeback but he nailed the shot in the end and that is a HUGE confidence booster for him and his teammates. want to see him manage the situation better but PATIENCE is on the menu with this group.

keep the entire group in tact, only guys on the roster that could go are diop, gordon, and higgins. the rest just needs to stay developing together.

to the guy comparing biyombo and kemba.....kemba is over 2 years older and plays an entirely different position. you like haywood? look at how haywood was at age 20 and think about what he could have been with biyombo's shot blocking ability. biyombo isn't going to be olajuwon, but he could absolutely be a better version of brendan haywood or deandre jordan or even joakim noah. The fact that he takes a little longer to blossom might actually benefit this team more than hurt it. he resigns for a little less and then blossoms is better than playing his way out of charlotte because we can't afford to keep all of these guys.

mullens needs to stay no question and i think he will, but henderson will be a growing question mark depending on what happens when he comes back. would love him to take gordon's role on the 2nd team and keep taylor in the starting lineup but I have little faith in that happening.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 15, 2012 2:04:28 PM

Walker played 45 minutes and I believe he played the entire second half. Likely a factor in those late turnovers. It was also clear no one else was going to make a play late in this game. Kudos to LKemba for being a leader and taking charge of the game when he needed to.

Posted by: Bball Expert | Nov 15, 2012 4:44:29 PM

After enduring the last several seasons, really enjoying watching the Bobcats compete this year.

Rick - hope all is well. Quickie - any rumblings about whether the Warrick trade may be setting up another move?

Posted by: Zed Naught | Nov 16, 2012 5:24:28 AM

I am completely blown away by this team. I have to admit I was very skeptical of Dunlap. I knew the energy would be there, but just the change in these guys. You don't see the stupid passes, laziness, crazy shots with time running out, just sloppiness. All the elementary stuff that happened in the past years. Just look at the turnovers, hell 14 to used to be apretty good night.
With Lb and silas, LB of course even when the guys were playing well he had a gripe about the smallest of detail plays ago, no praise it got old. Anyway to my point, when LB and Silas would call a TO for bad/sloppy play you would see a change few possesions later, may be not and if so maybe a little change. When Dunlap calls a TO for the same, MAN it is like a switch is flipped.
Tuesday night I believe we were up 13 or 14 and was coming out of the opponents TO, someone was lollygagging not getting in position to resume play and Dunlap said "ALRIGHT that's enough get over here!!". I was like hell yeah. NO NONSENSE but he praises when they are doing well.

Kemba- Glad to say I was wrong so far. A little of the old kemba started to poke through Wednesday night, but he controlled himself and finished like we need him to.
Mullens- It has been there. He looked like a beast. Kemba said this morning(610 AM) Mullens can do it, they just have to keep "encouraging" him. "He falls in love with the Jumpshot"(basically).
Taylor- looks wow, lock down "D".

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Nov 16, 2012 10:20:18 AM

I understand alot of these guys are not the same players.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Nov 16, 2012 10:34:10 AM

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