November 29, 2012
A postscript on Bobcats-Hawks
Some post-game thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats’ 94-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks:
--Never have I been a “moral victories’’ guy. Having said that, I’m not going to dismiss the persistence they demonstrated in pushing this game to the last possession, after a 114-69 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A game like that would have dragged last season’s team down for a week. I’m not saying they were quitters, because they weren’t. I’m saying you get thumped often enough by massive margins and you sooner or later get beaten down.
Tonight they wanted to show they’re better than that. Not coincidentally the two players who kept them in this game were Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions. They’re veterans, they’re pros and they don’t get rattled easily in competition. They didn’t have anyone like that last season. Or at least anyone with enough NBA experience to exude those qualities.
--On Gordon: What you’ve seen over these 14 games – two explosive, dynamic games and 12 others that are something less than that – is who he is and has been for a while. When Gordon gets hot, it’s white-hot. That will only happen every 5-7 games, but when he’s in that zone you just find him and watch with wonder.
--So much happened at the end of the game that my story didn’t get into this, but the Bobcats gave themselves a chance to win tonight by shoring up the interior and transition defense.
They gave up 50 points in the paint Friday in their first game of the season against the Hawks. Tonight they gave up 32 points in the paint. That involved some zoning-up to protect the rim.
I got some tweets during the game, fuming over the Bobcats giving up 12 Hawks 3s. You need to understand this was a trade-off. The Bobcats knew they’d lose if Al Horford and Josh Smith went wild in the lane. They had a shot to win by packing it in and challenging the Hawks to make their 3s.
And, by the way, the Bobcats shot 12-of-24 from 3-point range.
--Yes, Kemba Walker was 4-of-15 from the field. But he finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and a ridiculous block. I have a lot of friends who are NBA scouts. You know what’s the first question they ask me? “What makes Kemba Walker so remarkably different this season?’’
--Back to that, “Why did the Bobcats give up a bunch of 3s?’’ kvetch: Smith and Horford combined for 12 assists tonight. Aren’t your odds dramatically better when you turn Smith and Horford into passers, rather than scorers?
--Every single Bobcats-Hawks game I wish Bernie Bickerstaff took Zaza Pachulia in the expansion draft to keep him, rather than trade him. “Joey’’ Zaza (Godfather reference, for you fellow movie fans) rocks people with his picks and hard fouls. You’ll notice Primoz Brezec is out of the NBA. Pachulia is not.
--Wizards win! Wizards win!...I have good friends in that organization. Would like to see good, smart people not lose their jobs.
--Portland is bad, but I love their future: I’d trade any player on the Bobcats’ roster for LaMarcus Aldridge. I’d trade the next-best player on the Bobcats’ roster for Damian Lillard. The NBA is about quality, more than quantity. That situation will improve dramatically.
Posted by Observer Sports on November 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM | Permalink
Zaza "moving pick" Pachulia.
If Biz had better hands, Bobcats win that game. Lost rebounds, mishandled passes. Not too mention that missed layup. I hope he improves. Either way, they are one quality big from being a decent team.
Posted by: Spencer | Nov 29, 2012 6:39:30 AM
Nice bounce back from the debacle in OKC. Let's get Hendo back and get a quality win against the 76ers tomorrow.
Posted by: apauldds | Nov 29, 2012 7:50:50 AM
Dang, I had completely forgotten about Primoz Brezec. Surprised Indiana didn't re-acquire him to complete their championship-caliber team (sarcasm).
What I love about the Bobcats - adjustments. They got whipped by the Hawks last week, then adjusted the game plan for the second game, and nearly pulled out a win. Apparently, the Bobcats actually have scouts and coaches that know how to adapt. Memo to the Panthers - send someone over to the Cable Box for instructions on how to make real, tangible adjustments, since no one in your organization has ever made one.
Posted by: J | Nov 29, 2012 8:33:54 AM
Bring back the Buzzzzz!!!!
It's going to happen!!!!!
Posted by: Bring back beeers | Nov 29, 2012 8:57:20 AM
My only issue is that it seams we're leaning on Ramon and Ben for most of the production. These are veterans on two year deals. Our core guys needs to step up as well. When Hendo returns that will help.
Posted by: Nick | Nov 29, 2012 10:13:08 AM
Thought for sure we were going to pull it out! This one hurt me more than OKC, wanted to show Atlanta that we ain't nobodys.....
Anybody else screaming OH NO when Biz shot the shot from the freethrow line? Would been great had he made it, but not the best decision by Sessions. TT and Biz make a huge difference in our team for all the negatives on these guys. Played well and think that we will have a chance in most every game this season, except maybe the Heat,OKCs etc. of the world and that is going to be more mental than talent/ability.
Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Nov 29, 2012 10:15:56 AM
Great game with chance at the end to win. In fact several chances. That's a good rebound for the team to me also.
I hope before trade deadline we get rid of a few folks and pickup some draft picks or a solid player down low. We have the outside well covered in my mind now. Need someone down low in paint as Mullens and Biz aren't rock stars. Maybe solid moments but we need a stud down low.
Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 29, 2012 10:22:17 AM
I'm not sure why the team is wasting a good roster spot that's being occupied by Cory Higgins. If this was a company with numerous shareholders, management will have to explain why keep an employee on the job when they can not perform. I mean, this is business.....his contract is not guarantee and waive him so you can get a player that can contribute to the success of this team.
Posted by: bobcats | Nov 29, 2012 10:38:26 AM
In 10 years the scouting report on Biz will be "he's raw, a project, with upside."
Posted by: Sambo | Nov 29, 2012 11:13:07 AM
Only 4 of our team made the worst 50 players in the NBA list. Last year would have been more.
Biz, Diop,Higgins, and Warrick.
But we do have two competing for ROY and MIP in Kemba and MKG so guess it is evened out a bit.
Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 29, 2012 12:13:55 PM
Sooo disappointed in Warrick. I thought he'd contribute immediately, but he looks completely lost out there. Starting to see why he's already been on quite a few teams.
Did I see Diop shoot the ball from like 15 feet away? Twice??? And did he break the backboard with that hook? How in the world did this guy sucker these people for such a great contract???
Shorty's gotta shoot better if we're going to win these kinds of games.
Posted by: St. John's assistant coach? Seriously? Damn right! | Nov 29, 2012 1:38:25 PM
Nick, I think you hit on a good point. We seem to get a lot from those two. The long term benefit from that will be the (hopefully) increased trade value for those guys, especially Sessions. I would be shocked if Cho didn't move him before the deadline, hopefully by then MKG, Kemba, etc will have jelled enough to lessen the impact of a trade on the Bobcats ability to compete this season. Maybe I am giving Cho too much credit, but adding guys like Sessions and Gordon that flourish in the expanded roles that come with playing on a team at the start of a rebuilding effort is just another way our team improves down the road. It seems like a great management strategy for a rebuilding club to sign the right free agents that turn into the highest possible draft picks.
Posted by: Jeremiah | Nov 29, 2012 2:05:27 PM
Didn't think of it that way. I agree with you we need to sign Ramon to a long term deal or get some value out of him. My worry is they get us to average and then leave.
Posted by: Nick | Nov 29, 2012 3:08:58 PM
Why ever get rid of sessions!! We should sign him to longer for a touch more pay perhaps if we can.
Gordon , Higgins, Diop, Williams, Tyrus, Warick can all be raded for anything at all in my mind.
Gordon did well but for the price Sessions is more valuable at about 1/3rd the price.
Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 29, 2012 4:37:34 PM
I never considered the possibility of signing Sessions long term. I would be interested in Rick's take on that. He's got a lot of upside and at 26 will still be at or near his prime in 4-5 yrs when all of this rebuilding will hopefully turn into contending. It just seems to me that if we can get a protected one (might be a stretch), we basically just manufactured an extra draft pick by making a very smart free agent signing. If he stays, I agree with you in that I think he'll help us compete for some time.
Posted by: Jeremiah | Nov 29, 2012 7:28:31 PM
you have to build around 8 guys in this league and we've got 8 guys worth keeping and another 1 probably worth keeping.
the only guy we have to eventually replace of the bunch is haywood because of his age, but he's easily got another 3 years in him, maybe more. he just turned 33. his contract will expire with him 35. as a backup big he could easily get 3 more years in after that.
everybody else is young enough to have for another ~10 years. tyrus thomas might even be worth keeping. we hate him because he makes 8 million a year. if he made 4 we would love him. he just turned 26. he'll be 28 when his contract expires, 29 the following year. his contract should be pretty valuable as a trade chip when it is expiring but if the perfect deal doesn't come up....i would keep him with this group on the cheap. we've seen his jumper get better and better with time, i could easily see him being kurt thomas esque with the open jumpers and being the shot blocker he is. he's overpaid but he's worth keeping.
that group of 9 can win. depending on how far walker/mkg/mullens/biyombo can develop determines whether it's atlanta hawks or okc level of contention. considering how young these guys are, i think they can definitely be in memphis' shoes in 3-4 years. but with better salary situations. probably more depth too.
Posted by: charlottean | Nov 30, 2012 11:49:26 AM
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