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November 07, 2012

A post-script on the Phoenix Suns beating the Charlotte Bobcats

Some post-game thoughts on the Bobcats’ 117-110 home loss Wednesday to the Phoenix Suns.

                --Byron Mullens makes a valid point that last season, if the Bobcats were down 16, the night was over. They made up all 16 points to tie the game with 11 minutes left, only to have ex-Bobcat Shannon Brown burn them with four 3-pointers the rest of the way.

                Still I can see what encouraged Mullens. This group is tougher, both mentally and physically, than last year’s group. And he’s playing a role in that. Coach Mike Dunlap mentioned post-game that Mullens was probably viewed around the league as soft before this season, and now he’s acting gritty. Mullens had eight rebounds Wednesday.

                --Dunlap chose to start rookie Jeff Taylor in place of the injured Gerald Henderson. Taylor didn’t rise to the occasion. He missed his three shots and didn’t register on the rest of the box score in 10 minutes.  Give the kid time; he’s smart and a good athlete.

                --The other Bobcats rookie, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, was far more successful. Dunlap calls MKG a “line-filler’’ for the variety of things he does. Wednesday was the best example to date: Nine points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three assists.

                He does need to cut down on his turnovers: Seven in his first three games.

                --Speaking of turnovers, the Bobcats committed more than their opponent for the first time this season. The margin was only one – 13 to 12 – but winning giveaway/takeaway this season is important to overcome the rebounding problem. Phoenix beat the Bobcats on the boards 50-39. You give up 22 offensive rebounds and you make it awfully difficult to win.

                --Point guard Ramon Sessions had a strange night. He shot 2-of-10 from the field, but
he also generated 14 trips to the foul line to score 17 points.

                --In case you’re wondering, Mullens’ six 3s made Wednesday was not a team record. D.J. Augustin and Jason Richardson each had games with seven 3s.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM | Permalink


Bobcats gotta figure out how to rebound better and defend the 3 better. The Mavericks and Suns both were ridiculous from 3 land. Really, who knew Shannon Brown could shoot like that? He never did anything remotely that good when he was a Bobcat. Still, the energy is there and the team was playing hard. It was nice to see Tyrus Thomas make some big shots.

Posted by: JeffC | Nov 8, 2012 12:01:19 AM

The four BOBcat guards jacked up 41 shots and only made 13. This after being DOMINATED in the Dallas game. Not good.

Why do we have a team captain who does not play?

Posted by: George Hanson | Nov 8, 2012 12:28:00 AM

Kemba. 17 points, 8 assists and zero turnovers. Get some players around this guy and he will really be fun to watch. 110 points, that could not have happened too much last year. Enjoyable game. Better pace. Hopefully the coach can continue to get this kind of effort of them.

Posted by: Jammer | Nov 8, 2012 4:28:50 AM

Going to be a another long season. Can't wait until college starts so we can see who the top few picks will be. Noel and Zeller will be a good start.

Kemba is looking more and more like an NbA point guard. If anyone besides Mullens made s shot, he would have had 15 assists tonight. Until we find some scorers, he is going to have to shoot for the team to have any chance

Posted by: Stevo | Nov 8, 2012 5:01:10 AM

Will this team be as tough come February when they are 20 games under .500? That's when they will show how tough they are. If I recall they played with a lot of energy to start last year as well

Posted by: bdubb | Nov 8, 2012 7:07:18 AM

That's a good point bdubb. It will depend on a number of things: how the young guys develop, injuries, trades, etc. But ultimately it will come down to coaching. They've bought into what Dunlap is preaching and it will be up to him and his staff to instill an attitude that will carry through a losing season.

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 8, 2012 8:25:29 AM

Ok from last nights game a few notes.
We looked lifeless in the 1st half but somehow hung in. Unlike last year games was exciting and still came down to last minute before anyone left. Last season I left by 3rd qtr most games.
Kemba- is really coming along this season and with some others members who could shoot will be really good.
Rebounding - do we have any inside presence at all??
Biz- just looks really horrible so far this year. Like him so hope he starts pulling it together soon.
MKG- he seems to always be everywhere. Never gonna be the franchise 30 point a game player but will be a great 2nd stat guy.
Taylor- he was just spanked inside and looked weak on D. So far he is getting very very low grades. Hope he turns it around.
Gordon- such an improvement over CM and looks like a good trade given our cap space.
Sessions- start him next game not taylor. He hustles and team scores when he is on court.
Mullens- when he is on he is on. So strange watching our 3 pointer shooter being 7 feet tall so doesn't help no one inside to rebound if he misses. Folks if he can develop an inside game also he could be a 20 and 10 guy every night. May turn out to be our best trade ever at this rate.
Haywood - solid for what we pay him. But we need some inside brutes.
Dunlap- love the way he is coaching. Getting young guys time but rotating out when they struggle to long. Have no idea why each team is just lighting us up from 3 point land though. We were in faces a bunch of shots and they just all seem to drop.

Overall much much much more enjoyable to watch than last year win or lose. Guys we are a #1 draft pick and a trade or two from playoffs once this team gels. No not crazy but you add Noels or Zeller down low in PF or Center next year and give these rookies time to season then use massive cap space next year for a solid star...hmmm possible

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 8, 2012 8:49:32 AM

I was a good loss, they kept it very competitive...just have to think if the building was full could the 6 man made the out come different?!

Posted by: 336nda704 | Nov 8, 2012 9:13:50 AM

Rick...doesn't this zone defense seem worthless against a team with good shooters and full of Europeans? I was at the game and was screaming for Dunlap to scrap the zone. What do you think?

Posted by: Roger | Nov 8, 2012 9:31:39 AM

We get pounded from the 3 point line because Dunlap insists on playing zone defense. Enough already! Tyrus Thomas was playing extremely well, and he was pulled. We stayed in the zone and continued to let Beasely and Brown light us up from outside.

Coach, teach your guys to rotate on help side defense and let them play man to man. Watch Tyrus (he's actually quite good at this). College defense doesn't win NBA games.

Posted by: St. John's assistant coach? Seriously? | Nov 8, 2012 9:33:38 AM

At St. Johns...

I'm not sure if you really watched the game, but the Bobcats did not played zone that much, maybe this was the game when they played the least zone so far. They were just trying to be over agressive and clogging the paint to get defensive rebounds and that exposed some Suns to make 3's.

However, there are only 2 real reasons why we lost this game:
1.) We really missed Gerald Henderson more than people think. We were way too small at the wings and Phoenix was literally able to shot over defenders.
2.) Shannon Brown had the game of his life...that kid will never ever in his life have a game like yesterday. He made a ton of late 3's with great defense in his face and many time at the end of the shot clock. I'm pretty sure Henderson would have made his night a little bit more difficult, but he was making every single 3PT shot regardless of the clock, of how far away he was, or how well defended he was.

Posted by: RobC | Nov 8, 2012 10:59:08 AM

Hopefully the Bobcats will be as entertaining as they were last night, for the entire season.

I think we all know this team will have another Top 4 Pick in next years draft. In the addition to that the Bobcats have Portland's Pick (Top 12 Protected?) If that is the case is possible the Bobcats will have 2 very good picks in 2013.

If we can get Noels or Zellers, that will be great, if not get Shabbaz and go after Al Jefferson in the offseason. That way the Bobcats will significantly improve their scoring, both at the wing and in the post.

Shabbaz could become a poor's man James Harden and Jefferson will add solid rebounding and scoring down low, he is only 27, so he will have at least 4 more years of solid basketball. But hopefully we can get Noels or Zeller is avaliable when we pick.

Posted by: RobC | Nov 8, 2012 11:28:21 AM

It looks like Mullens is this team's first option on offense, and that's just embarrassing.

There was nothing "gritty" about Mullens performance last night. He floated around the arc, in fear of the paint, and shot threes. The entire first half was a Gortat highlight real. Did Mullens ever rotate to help the Center in the paint? He's always a step and a half slow, leaving a 2-on-1 for Haywood, Thomas or Biyombo to handle.

I hope Mullens uses this season to pad his numbers and get a solid contract this summer - with another team.

Posted by: Mike | Nov 8, 2012 11:52:22 AM

^^^^ we didn't get "pounded from the 3 point line" we were outrebounded and gave up a lot of layups early. we were pretty equal in 3 point shooting and that was with shannon brown going 6 for 8 on mostly contested 3's. we were outrebounded 50 to 39 and lost by 7. that's your ballgame. they got 6 more shots. they made a few more from the field, we made more free throws. the rebounds are the difference. the zone defense wasn't the problem, they played plenty of man and got burned as well.

kemba probably had his best game as a bobcat last night. that was VERY VERY solid. still not shooting well when you factor in he was 6 of 14 and at least 2 of his makes were on those awkward fade aways off the dribble that don't tend to go in often. He loves that shot but until he's making that with regularity, I hate seeing it.

Can't argue with the turnovers to assists. That's the kind of output we didn't see last year AND he had a few that should have been assists that open shots were missed or shooter was fouled. If he keeps up this kind of play with the kind of defense he's been playing, I'll be all over the bandwagon.

His play thus far has been a complete 180 from summer league and preseason and last year. him owning the position is huge for the franchise.

Biz looked really good last night. Thomas was active (but he always is) but knocked down some good shots too.

Can't be mad at mullens making 6 of 10 but I don't really like him taking that many regardless. I guess we should all just assume that at least for now, this is the game we will get from him. I can live with that assuming Dunlap is thinking "let's play to his strengths first and then start developing his post game" I think that's brilliant strategy in player development. Once he becomes well rounded offensively, he can be an all-star in this league. He's shown the dribble drive and the post up in flashes but when he can do it for whole stretches? woah.

Loved the fact that taylor started in place of henderson, this will help keep the rotations in tact if it continues. He got all of his shots blocked (arguably fouled on one of them) but he'll be fine in the long run. looks super nervous. rightfully so, went from not playing to debuting in the starting lineup at the nba level. big jump.

can't be too mad at this loss like dallas, somebody just got insanely hot. the only big downside was that the interior defense was HORRIBLE in the 1st quarter or so. Mullens, haywood, biz all to blame for that but it appeared mostly on mullens early. was a layup line. shannon brown making contested 3's like that is not something you can feel bad about.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 8, 2012 12:31:47 PM

I think Taylor needs more time on the bench, I would rather have Matt Carroll in there while Hendo is out. Maybe a bit of a liability on defense, but he has shown an ability to score, and we need that right now. I would rather replace half of Hendo's points than none. And hey, if he plays well he makes great trade bait with his expiring contract.

Posted by: Ocracoma | Nov 8, 2012 12:53:47 PM

I don't agree Charlottean Kemba had his best game when he played the pacers. I agree with Mullens could be an all star with proper development. This guy could become an all around player if he plays the post and becomes a better defender. I actually like this team in the exception of C. Higgins and Diop. Having my doubts about Biz nowadays hopefully the kid could get better.
But this team with MKG is quick and deceptive with the hoop. This guy also is going to be a great defender. I think that could have something special after the next trade or/and draft. Just got to believe...I honestly would like Ben Gordan to start on this team tho.....

Posted by: tbird | Nov 8, 2012 5:26:53 PM

Jeff Taylor just seemed mortified to be in the game....needs somehow to get 'in the flow'....would he benefit from some time in the D-League? Hard to imagine this is an all-SEC player.

Posted by: eduardo | Nov 8, 2012 5:44:39 PM

Gordon is a $12.5 million STIFF. He is one dimensional, plays NO defense, is not a Leader even though he has the most time in the NBA on this Team and refuses to change his losing attitude daily. He doesn't need more time, he needs to sit on the bench until he changes his warped view of himself. He won't ever change. Thus, sit him for the Season.

Posted by: HootEvers | Nov 9, 2012 12:56:03 AM

Acquiring "Flash" Gordon was a fantastic move,HootEvers, as it gave the Cats the chance to get rid of Maggette. Flash can stretch the Defense and hit from the outside. It's only the 3rd game, dude, so there's no reason to worry. No one has developed a rhythm or a comfort zone, as of yet, and no one is expected to after 3 games.
There are going to be many lineup changes, experiments, and rotation moves in the first half of the season, as Dunlap attempts to establish the perfect combination/rotation.
Getting rid of the STIFF Maggette is one of the BEST things the Cats have done. What a useless player. Gordon will be solid for the two years this team has him, once teammates and the coaching staff get familiar with one another.

Posted by: Wolverine | Nov 9, 2012 6:55:38 AM

it was a fantastic move because we moved overpaid maggette for overpaid gordon and a 1st round draft pick that literally, COULD be #1. That's why it was a great move. detroit is no doubt picking lottery this year, and completely conceivable they are picking top 8 next year....after that......are they making the playoffs? before miami, boston, jersey, new york, indiana, chicago, philly, etc. ? not likely. barring a major pick up or shake up in the east.

as for walker....he scored 30 against the pacers but nearly shot us out of the game with 5 misses at the end while we were ahead. here he scores 17, dishes out 8 and no turns. it was a game more in line with what you want from him. sure he shot better against indiana and 1 turnover to 30 points is NO SLOUCH. but 17 and 8 is what you want from the guy over 30 and 3. in the future it's the difference between us looking like milwaukee when jennings has a big game or boston every game.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 9, 2012 9:51:22 AM

I agree that getting rid of Maggette and acquiring a solid draft pick is a plus on the Cats side with taking Gordon. The points I made about Gordon are still true.

Posted by: HootEvers | Nov 9, 2012 10:01:39 AM

Just glad we can debate 3 games in, which game was better. Kemba has looked good.
No doubt the Gordon deal was great.. I would like to see him attack the basket more, definitly.
I want to see taylor more. Think he will be fine.
As far as Mullens... 6 of 10 is excellent. Lets see tonight if goes 1 of 6 what he does. IMO looks as if he looks to have to make those 3's, before he is confident. I believe this guy could dominate the post consistently now. I maybe wrong! I just want Mullens to get physical, get dirty then go out and put the "DAGGER 3" in'em!!!
Has anybody noticed that Mullens is asking for the ball down low but they choose to go elsewhere? I thought I may have seen this a couple of times. Wondered if anyone else noticed it.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Nov 9, 2012 10:43:31 AM

I've noticed that David Stern. I say give it to him and see how he does banging down low.

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 9, 2012 11:30:54 AM

Sorry HootEvers, but you have no idea what you are even talking about, especially after just 3 games. This team went 7-59 last season and added outside shooting and speed. Gordon fits both of those qualities and he'll have plenty of nights where he'll get into his groove and shoot the light out.
Still, don't expect this team to win more than 20 games this year. The Cats are a work in progress.

Posted by: Wolverine | Nov 9, 2012 2:38:26 PM

I would like to see Gordon get in a Defensive Groove EVERY game. That's been his career problem, he has occasional games where he does shoot the lights out but even then he does not compete at the other end. He is lazy, lazy, lazy. Why did the Bulls move him? This team will not compete unless it plays team defense every night. To rely on occasional Gordon offensive explosions is a recipe for another horrible season.

Posted by: HootEvers | Nov 9, 2012 2:49:00 PM

gordon with defense would have been an elite nba player. he's capable of being an elite scorer but you're right the defense has always been suspect.

true on mullens calling for the ball in the post. he will be a solid post up player as a 4 as opposed to as a 5 and when he adds some more weight to throw around? no question.

i just want people to be patient with dude when he has bad games. he's going to have bad games but clearly the ceiling and the attitude look great as far as identifying a potential franchise guy. and for a 23 year old? wow. can't teach size and you can't teach natural coordination.

as for kemba, no doubt it's awesome to be debating which game was better. like i said, complete 180. i honestly thought that by 5 games in sessions would be the starter for the remainder of the season and i don't like sessions THAT MUCH. that's not the case. it will take A MAJOR step back from walker to lose the starting job now. if he can steadily bring 15 and 8, that will be better than what we got out of felton or augustin but I would argue that came because of worse circumstances coaching and development wise. this team attitude and energy is insanely positive right now. they definitely bottomed out last year....nowhere to go but up.

bernie bickerstaff coaching the lakers....nuts. what up bernard.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 9, 2012 3:36:54 PM

Talk about being patient. When Kemba has a bad shooting night, people need to lay off. Guy is expending a ton of energy on the defensive end as his coach has demanded. Sometimes the shots just won't fall when you are working that hard. See Mullens first couple of games. But he is getting better and not that it is saying much, but he, Mullens and MKG are the players that have the best chance is staying through this rebuild. Lets hope Kemba continues o inprove and remember that DJ would disappear for weeks at a time when he was the PG.

Posted by: Stevo | Nov 9, 2012 4:15:19 PM

it's not so much the bad shooting that bothers me but the bad shot selection. and taking too many shots when he's off. but he's earned the right to play the year out no doubt. it's only 3 games but it's night and day from what we saw. honestly....after summer league, i had dude pegged for jimmy clausen and now he's looking way more cam.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 9, 2012 5:30:04 PM

Trying to keep the Kemba love going...from NBA's "scouting the Bobcats":

***Kemba Walker’s 8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is second best in the NBA, trailing only Jason Kidd’s 11-to-1.***

Still only 3 games in, but at the least we should now have some little confidence that he can get better and he should also get some latitude for any subpar games that is sure to come being on a team projected to win around 20 games.

Posted by: spectre | Nov 9, 2012 5:55:46 PM

No, you're right I get it about being patient, I am finished harping about it(no really). You can just see it!
No I know he will have those nights, just when he is missing that shot, don't let that stop him from being productive that night.
K! Now I'm done.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Nov 9, 2012 8:00:01 PM

now if only we had gotten to see year 2 of adam morrison.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2012 3:11:58 PM

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