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February 27, 2013

Thoughts on Bobcats-Clippers

Five passing thoughts on a Bobcats game that showed promise, then got utterly brutal in the second half against the Clippers:

            --I’m not going to punish rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for being 19 years old with a flawed skill set. If any team in the NBA should have a long view on talent development, it must be the Bobcats. Still…

            He was invisible Tuesday against the Clippers in a way that sticks out even on the NBA’s worst team. He played 22 minutes, and I suspect if he weren’t drafted so high, he would have played seven. He was scoreless with one rebound and one block. Usually when MKG has a bad game, it’s foul trouble. He never committed a foul Tuesday; he was just invisible.

            Three educated guesses what’s going on: 1. His inability to make jump shots is widely known, so teams guard him exclusively for the drive. 2. He’s now played virtually the equivalent of two college seasons and he looks exhausted. 3. I don’t know if he has a great coping mechanism when things go south. When you play in high school with Kyrie Irving, then play on a Kentucky team that overwhelmed everyone, you’re used to things going well.

            --I respect that coach Mike Dunlap’s only power is playing time. But some of his decisions feel a little mean.

            Tyrus Thomas hasn’t gotten a uniform in a half-dozen games. Ben Gordon didn’t play, by coach’s decision, in two of the last three games. I get that both of these guys are culpable; Thomas doesn’t contribute much, particularly relative to his contract, and Gordon has been insubordinate at times.

            I also get that when in doubt, play the young guys.

            But humiliating these veterans – very expensive veterans, by the way – is beginning to have a sense of overkill.

            --Gerald Henderson’s mid-post game – he could easily elevate over Chauncey Billups – was good for 24 points off 12-of-19 shooting. Sometimes I think fans are far too dismissive of Henderson’s abilities.

            I’ve gone 180 degrees on Henderson. I think he’s matured greatly into that guy you always want in your locker room. And he’s a player, with an edge on the court the Bobcats generally lack.

            --Rough night for Bismack Biyombo, huh? DeAndre Jordan goes 6-of-6 from the field. Biz goes 1-of-4 with no blocks. He missed a six-foot jump shot so badly Iwanted to scream “duck’’ from the baseline.

            --Remember Ryan Hollins? He played four minutes of mop-up for the Clippers. Back when he was a Bobcat, he was just good enough to be a tease. Being that tall and a genuine athlete means he always gets a second chance…and a third…and a fourth.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 27, 2013 at 03:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (62)

February 24, 2013

Video: Rick Bonnell analyzes the Charlotte Bobcats' 113-99 loss to Denver

The Bobcats got a strong performance from rookie Jeffery Taylor, but fell to the Denver Nuggets, 113-99. The Bobcats have now lost 11 of 13. The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell reports.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 24, 2013 at 01:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

Video highlights: Denver Nuggets 113, Charlotte Bobcats 99

The Bobcats were handled by the Denver Nuggets, 113-99. Kemba Walker posted his fourth straight 20-point game. The Bobcats committed 18 turnovers in the loss and now begin a four-game road trip.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 24, 2013 at 01:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 23, 2013

Video: Chicago Bulls rout Charlotte Bobcats

With Michael Jordan watching from the crowd, the Bobcats proved to be no match for the Chicago Bulls in a 105-75 loss. Kemba Walker had 27 points. The Bobcats shot just 33 percent from the field.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 23, 2013 at 01:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

February 21, 2013

Some background on Warrick-for-McRoberts swap

The Charlotte Bobcats did a deal at the trade deadline, but it won’t exactly change the course of the franchise.

            The Bobcats moved one little-used power forward, Hakim Warrick, for another little-used power forward – Orlando’s Josh McRoberts.

            This makes the Bobcats a bit younger: McRoberts, who played at Duke, is in his sixth NBA season, while Warrick is in his eigth. It also shaves a couple hundred thousand off the Bobcats’ salary cap.

            But this is essentially a bit player for a bit player. Warrick played in only one of his last 11 games as a Bobcat. McRoberts played in three of his last four games with the Magic, never for more than 14 minutes.

            McRoberts’ contract ends at the conclusion of this season. Warrick has a $4 million team option for next season.

    The 6-10, 240-pound McRoberts was one of the country’s top recruits when Mike Krzyzewski signed him. He went in the second round of the 2007 draft to Portland and has bounced around to three other teams – Indiana, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Magic.

            He averages 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds this season. His shooting has fallen off considerably this season, from 50 percent for his career, to 39 percent in 2012-13.

            The Bobcats acquired Warrick early this season in a trade that sent Matt Carroll to the New Orleans Hornets. The Bobcats needed depth and more scoring at the power forward position.

            Warrick started 14 games while Byron Mullens was out with an ankle sprain in January. Coach Mike Dunlap made a switch to Jeff Adrien in late January, shortly before Mullens’ return. That dropped Warrick out of the rotation entirely – he played in one more game, six minutes at the end of a blowout loss at Cleveland.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 21, 2013 at 03:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (104)

February 20, 2013

Video: Charlotte Bobcats 105, Orlando Magic 92

The Charlotte Bobcats used a 24-point effort from Kemba Walker to defeat the Orlando Magic, 105-92 on Tuesday night. The Bobcats return home to face the Detroit Pistons tomorrow night.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 20, 2013 at 01:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

February 19, 2013

SI: NBA trade deadline expectations

SI.com's Chris Mannix explains who could be on the move and why ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 19, 2013 at 05:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 15, 2013

Video: A message to Michael Jordan on his 50th birthday

Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff talks about Michael Jordan on the 6-time NBA Champion's 50th birthday.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 15, 2013 at 06:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 14, 2013

On the Ben Gordon flap...

    An incident Monday morning between Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon and coach Mike Dunlap appears to underscore the tension between those two.

            An Observer source confirmed a Yahoo Sports report that Gordon was disruptive during shootaround before the Bobcats’ Monday night victory over the Boston Celtics. The source confirmed Gordon kept bouncing a ball while Dunlap was going through preparations for the Celtics.

            When Gordon wouldn’t stop being a distraction, Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins had to intercede to resolve the situation.

            Neither Gordon nor Dunlap could be reached Thursday, with the team off for the All-Star break.

            This was not the first indication Gordon is frustrated with his role. When Dunlap pulled him from a game in late January, Gordon took inordinately long to leave the court and his expression showed considerable frustration. The two have met at least twice concerning Gordon’s role.

            Gordon came to the Bobcats in a June trade. Charlotte got Gordon and a future first-round pick from the Detroit Pistons, who took back small forward Corey Maggette. Gordon is now the Bobcats’ highest-paid player, making $12.4 million this season and $13.2 million next season.

            The Bobcats and Brooklyn Nets have discussed a trade that would send Gordon to New York in return for power forward Kris Humphries. The Nets have put those discussions on hold, as they explore other options before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

            With the Bobcats in a youth movement, nine-season veteran Gordon hasn’t been particularly featured. He averages 12.6 points and 22 minutes off the bench in a crowd of younger guards – Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and rookie swingman Jeff Taylor,

            If Gordon was disciplined following Monday’s flare-up, it didn’t involve missing a game. He played 14 minutes against the Celtics Monday night, missing five of six shots. He played 16 minutes in Indiana Wednesday, missing seven of nine attempts.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 14, 2013 at 05:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (41)

February 12, 2013

Video: Byron Mullens, Charlotte Bobcats surprise Boston Celtics

Byron Mullens posted 25 points and 18 rebounds in the Charlotte Bobcats' 94-91 win over the Boston Celtics. Kemba Walker added 18 points and six assists. Bismack Biyombo blocked four shots.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on February 12, 2013 at 12:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)