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February 07, 2013

Wow. One horrible Bobcats performance

            The Charlotte Bobcats narrowly avoided what would have been their tenth loss of 30 or more points since the beginning of last season.

            Let that sink in: Nine losses of 30 or more points over 114 games. That doesn’t include several near-misses like Wednesday night, when the Bobcats trailed by as many as 33, only to come back a touch against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

            Those are the 15-34 Cavaliers, a team that entered this game with a 1-5 home record this season against teams with sub-.500 records. They were so fragile in these situations that coach Byron Scott jumped on them for several off days that if they lost to the Bobcats it would invalidate an upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

            The Cavaliers responded by rocking the Bobcats early. They led by nine in the first eight minutes, 20 18 minutes in and as much as 28 in the first half.

            Someone from the Cleveland media graciously asked Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions, an ex-Cavalier, if this resulted from the end of a long road trip.

            Sessions said it’s never easy to be on the road for 12 nights straight, but that couldn’t possibly explain this result. I concur. Travel is tiring no matter what, but the NBA scheduled at least one day off between each of the Bobcats’ five road games. Dead legs can’t wash this one away.

            The Bobcats were swept on this road trip. After a misleading 7-5 start, they have lost 32 of their next 37 and have the worst record in the NBA. As we all recall from last season, finishing with the worst record in no way guarantees the top pick in the draft lottery.

            A couple of fans sent me messages that Mike Dunlap is failing as a first-year NBA head coach. I think Dunlap has a ways to grow in this job. But tossing the blame on him is a waste of time.

    Dunlap and his predecessor, Paul Silas, are about as different in skill sets as two coaches can be. Dunlap is very technical in his approach, too stiff in his manner. Silas has strong people skills, less of a tactician.

    Silas got beaten frequently and by a lot. Dunlap gets beaten frequently and by a lot. At some point it’s about talent and experience of the players being coached.

    I get everything the Bobcats are doing, investing playing time in young guys. But here’s the conclusion beyond the obvious I drew from the Cavaliers pounding the Bobcats:

    We all know Kyrie Irving is better than any Bobcat. But maybe so is power forward Tristan Thompson. The Cavs might have the league’s fourth-worst record, but I sure like their direction.

    The Bobcats have burned through 10 lottery picks in nine drafts with remarkably little to show for it. That’s no one person’s fault. But something has to change.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 7, 2013 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

Comments

Echoing what the fans are saying. I think we picked a very unfortunate couple of years to be bad. While I know being in the middle class of the nba is no way to be great, it would've gone a long way to build a backing for this team. We can't jerk and change courses now but it's pretty impossible to build good will when you are a joke of a franchise which is what we are. It's frustrating to know that nobody can come in to help us next year, no free agent will sign here, our players current players are gone as soon as they hit free agency, and we have no pieces to trade except expiring deals. The stats about lottery picks is inexcusable. Brook Lopez was a giant miss on our part. As a fan since the inception it's painful to watch the decisions from the outside, they sold the public on it will be bad but this is inexcusable.

Posted by: Spaceman mike | Feb 7, 2013 12:34:17 AM

"Something has to change"...

...yup, been saying that for a good while -- glad you agree.

Also agree Kyrie is better than anyone we have, including Shorty.


Our front office is an embarrassment and they will experience a run on the bank in terms of high level ticket buyers non-renewing after this year is complete. A guy I know had 4 floor seats from DAY 1, floor seats, on the hardwood, players in your lap seats -- he threw the towel in after last year, couldn't find people to go to the games!

This is serious business, the BOOBcats are going to hit a fiscal wall that's going to give them a headache worse than MKG had earlier this week.

Bottom line, until ownership changes this franchise is toast.

Posted by: NASTAR15 | Feb 7, 2013 1:48:17 AM

as bad as things are on the COurt, Forbes sill shows Franchise value up 14% in a year....

Posted by: bobfan1 | Feb 7, 2013 5:34:10 AM

charlotte hornets 2.0 coming 2013-14 season.

Posted by: brendan | Feb 7, 2013 6:02:31 AM

This is a good sports city...a very smart sports city. We love good basketball...basketball played at a very high level. If the current Bobcats played the Kentucky Wildcats with Noel in the paint, I would have to lean to Kentucky. We are putting a pretty good college level team out there to play against some incredible all-star players and it's not fair. I have not seen one thing that the past or current ownership group has done that leads me to believe they are smarter than anybody else in the NBA. I'm not saying the Panthers have done this either. But, I remember the days that you always knew Bob Bass would make a trade for the Hornets that just knocked your socks off. We always...always seemed to have at least two or three really great players to watch. Letting the opposing team score 122 is shockingly bad basketball. I don't need a championship...I don't need playoffs immediately. But, I do expect a good team to watch and a good effort.

Posted by: Kenny "the gatman" Gattison | Feb 7, 2013 7:47:00 AM

It's painful at this point I can't watch anymore this year. I've thrown in the towel. Please go back to the Hornets. The bobcats stink needs to be removed from the city and the NBA. I'm a fan but at what point does this become fun? It's miserable and life is too short to watch them not be a NBA caliber team. Knowing our luck Stern will shaft us with the 4th overall pick.

Posted by: Timmnewman | Feb 7, 2013 7:57:23 AM

Congratulations to Tyson Chandler on his All-Star selection.
It's all about the 4 and 5 position with this Charlotte team. Kemba, Flash, and Ramon are all in the top 88 in NBA Efficiency. Gerald Henderson is going to be moved by Cho, due to not fitting the scheme and needs of Dunlap. Charlotte needs to package Henderson with either some combination of Thomas, Biyombo, and/or draft picks to acquire a proven Center, a la Al Jefferson. The 2013 NBA Draft will do nothing to solve Charlotte's woes, so it's all about acquiring some big bodies that can crash the boards. Yes, Mullens is expendable, too. When you are consistently the WORST team in the NBA, your players are of little value. It's all about crating the right mix and chemistry...something Larry Brown knew all too well.
So sad that Ownership and to go on the cheap and break up a perennial playoff team, as the 'Cats would be top 4 at this juncture.

Posted by: Scorpion | Feb 7, 2013 8:29:37 AM

oops: creating.

Posted by: Scorpion | Feb 7, 2013 8:31:15 AM

And just what are Dunlaps needs? He has a little undersized pt gd that can't defend or create. Mkg who has no jump shot and is being developed horribly , not to his own doing, and as the 3 part of the core , Biz , who can't guard a pf or center who moves and is pitiful on offense. Trade the only two way player that can score other than Mkg. Real smart. If you got him some plays inc lobs , alley oops and back door cuts , he and Mkg will flourish.

Posted by: Iron man | Feb 7, 2013 9:05:33 AM

This NBA thing is easy when Kevin Durant, Russell Weestbrook, and James Harden falls in your lap.

Bottom line- we need another year of being the worst team in the NBA to even have a chance at competing.

We need to let Byron & Gerald walk if they ask for $1 more than their QO's.

We need to Amnesty Tyrus.

We need to preserve that Cap Space so we can take advantage of favorable Salary Dumps ( Like Cleveland did, where they got a free picks and Maresse Speights for 1 year of their cap space)

Despite what Rod Higgins said- we don't need to sign a MAX free agent not named Dwight Howard (who wont sign here anyway). The worst thing we can do now is panic and throw a MAX contract at a Non- Max worthy player and kill our cap situation for the next 4 years.

If we stink again next year and luck into the #1 OA pick we can have this as a potential roster going forward.

PG- Kemba
SG- Wiggins
SF- MKG
PF- Noel or Bennett
C- Biz or Free Agent

That's a young roster that will grow and compete.


Also- Get rid of the Orange, Bring Hugo home and lets fill Time Warner Hive to the rafters.

Go Hornets!

Posted by: I'm Not Rich Cho | Feb 7, 2013 9:05:58 AM

I think Dunlap is partial to blame here. The lineups are not really making sense. The Bobcats routinely get off to a bad start due to lack of experience on the floor. So they end up have to fight back for the rest of the game.
Then the over-aggressive defensive style is not only leaving jumpshooters wide open, but its causing alot of fatigue over the long haul.
Whatever the case may be, they need to do something, because the games are beginning to become unbearable again.

Posted by: Smitty | Feb 7, 2013 10:10:34 AM

Rick finally hints at what we've known; the Cat's drafts have generally been poor. Kemba has shown some improvement for sure, and he has his moments on offense. His defense is not up to NBA PG standards, and may never be. MKG has a broken shot that will never get "fixed", but he is very young and should improve. Biz was a major reach by Cho, and his moments of success are far outshadowed by poor hands & footwork, zero offensive game and being forever undersized at his best possible position (center). Henderson is a solid role player in this league but no starter. Sessions is a quality PG, but Gordon is a low % shooter who occasionally gets hot. Others are marginal role players (Mullens, Haywood) to downright bad.

You just can't mess up in the draft and expect to get better. Getting a star or two helps, but all the players are important. We need 3 impact players right now; a PF who can score, rebound and defend, a SG who can light it up with a deadly jumper but not give it up on defense, and a center that can make it hard to get to the bucket while cleaning up the boards and scoring down low. We have nobody here to do that. Our plan should be to get 1 via a trade, 1 via the draft and 1 via free agency. Nobody on this team should be untouchable for the right player, including Biz and MKG. Pair these 3 with some of our youth and add a few tru blue-collar guys who bring it every game, and we might climb out of this hole.

And yes, bring back the Hornets next season!

Posted by: Bassman | Feb 7, 2013 10:19:26 AM

Preserving lots of donated blood sounds wonderful but if the patient dies before you get him on the operating table for the big transfusion it's all for naught.

Michael Jordan has assembled an executive management team (and I use that term VERY loosely) that simply is not capable of competing successfully in the NBA -- period.

MJ is dumb, and has surrounded himself with dumb people. Clearly Cho possesses reasonable intellect but he is completely marginalized by the dummies that wield all the power.

Until MJ is removed as owner this team will always be a failure. Most people don't remember this but at one point Bob Johnson's partners started refusing capital calls and chose to be diluted instead -- if this isn't already happening to MJ, it will be soon.

No business can lose money in perpetuity and the BOOBcats have never posted a profit in a decade of operation...

...something has to change.

Posted by: NASTAR15 | Feb 7, 2013 10:43:00 AM

Some very good observations in comments and article for a change!!
Bottom line is dead last two years in a row (on pace) means everything should be fair game.
Keep Kemba, Sessions , Taylor, and MKG. Hendo or Mullens sign at min offer and not a dollar more or unload now for something please.
All others can go.
3 years in a row dead last regardless of name change will be too much to bear for me.
We need a big FA signing over the summer (why not pay a few years at max, who are we going to spend it on anyway). Amnesty TT (no brainer and then even more room). And hopefully add Noel or Shabazz or Kansas stud.
If that team finishes last it is coaching.
PG - Kemba backup Sessions
SG- Hendo or Shabazz
SF - MKG or Tayor
PF - FA or draft
Center- FA or draft

We need at least one bona a fide star

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Feb 7, 2013 10:55:47 AM

I agree with iron man's post.

pg: kemba/ sessions
spg: wiggins or jabri parker in 2014 draft
sf: mkg/jeff taylor
pf: noel or bennett in 2013 draft/mullens
center: bimbo or free agent center

Things are horrible now but things will look alot better starting with the 2014-2015 season. I know we will need a new coach and a new owner.

Posted by: thomas | Feb 7, 2013 10:59:50 AM

MJ must clean house,First get rid of Rod Higgins for nepotism alone. He was so interested in his son getting a check he neglected the teams need for a big man.Next remove Dumblap as head coach because he has lost this team.Make Cho President and GM and save some money.Look at trades for 4s and 5s like Gortat from the Suns, Kevin Love, Blair from the Spurs, JJ Hickson and others. If something isn't done we will become the LA Clippers of the 90s.

Posted by: Big FAN | Feb 7, 2013 11:12:45 AM

NASTAR is correct on the capital call issue. A simple web search on the Bobcats and capital calls brings up some interesting stories on the topic.

The NBA site for the Bobcats still has a link for the "open letter" from MJ to Charlotte dated 3/21/10, makes for some interesting reading:

nba (dot) com/bobcats/jordan_letter (dot) html

MJ: "Owning this team is my number one priority".

(that doesn't seem to be the case)

MJ: "I'm here to build a legacy as an owner by turning this into a model franchise that's focused on winning and creating a great fan experience".

(failing, only a fool would replicate this "model")

MJ: "We've got a Hall of Fame coach and a team that plays the right way".

(we sure did, until you blew it)

MJ: "...we've got just eight home games left in the regular season to make one final push for out first-ever playoff appearance".

(we made it, and it was great! you immediately turned around and betrayed your players and fans alike)

Ed Koch (RIP) used to have a great saying/question, "how am I doing"?

MJ, you ain't doing worth a darn.

Posted by: Spider S. | Feb 7, 2013 11:20:38 AM

The lineups don't make sense because the roster doesn't make sense.

It will improve with time. You can't undo 8 years of mistakes in 1 year. But coaching is far from the issue. Coaching would be the issue if we had a stacked team that failed (a la the panthers this year). That's not the issue.

Anybody that had higher expectations than THIS coming into the year was lost. We lost this game simply because kyrie irving went off. He is an elite player already. We keep losing and drafting high until we land a guy of that caliber. In the meantime we groom our young guys and accumulate assets.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 7, 2013 11:20:38 AM

^^^^^

"you can't undo 8 years of mistakes"

Dude, we had a playoff team 3 years ago!

Since then it's been nothing but an endless series of mistakes!!

We are compounding our problems with new mistake after new mistake after new mistake. This "we are accumulating assets" thesis is just nonsense, what we are accumulating is LOSSES at a pace which has never been seen before!

Posted by: Spider S. | Feb 7, 2013 11:32:17 AM

I completely disagree with Iron head's comments. Of course, you can see the Duke allegiance oozing out of him, along with his redneck nonsense. Gerald Henderson is one of the WORST starting shooting guards in the NBA, easily among the bottom 5. Get your head out of your ass and look around. You think Henderson has these great numbers, when all it does is show just how untalented the Bobcats truly are. As one NBA Exec stated, "The points have to come from somewhere." Gerald Henderson is a joke! Former Cats Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley, both of the Phoenix Suns, are significantly better than Gerald Henderson, as Gerald couldn't hit a 3-pointer to save his life.
Henderson may be a rotation guy who can come off the bench for another team, but for you homers to even think this former Duke scrub is a starting Shooting Guard in the NBA is simply comical. In fact, give up watching the NBA, go wash your F-150 and jam out to Kat Kountry tunes, all while drinking Buds and smoking....sheez.
Trade Gerald Henderson and get something of use in return.

Posted by: Scorpion | Feb 7, 2013 11:34:08 AM

@Scorpian - your off base...Henderson isn't that bad. With a point guard who can create and players that don't gun (i.e. Ben Gordon) and shoot the team out of games he wouldn't be so bad. People like you think Kemba is a top 5 point guard and the Boobcats need to spend a top 5 pick on Shabazz or Noel!!!

Posted by: fakethis | Feb 7, 2013 12:36:40 PM

I'm no expert but I do know a little bit about good bball. I hate the way people in this area over look the problem with this team. The team doesn't play like a team first off. When LB (Larry Brown) was here we played like a team because of high IQ players like Diaw and Stat Jack who knew who to pass to opener players, etc.!!! For those who hated Diaw when he was here 'lol' you see how good he is in San Antonio. I was for that overachieving team being broken up because I understood it was going to fold soon because of high contracts and lack of a young core of players to build around. But front office made they're moves and only brought a young core of players back in that were just like the low IQ guys we had (i.e. D.J. Aug, Raymond Felton and to some degree GForce). Kemba has a below average IQ because he hardly ever passes or at least he doesn't make a point to do that. This team needs a skilled complete point guard and not a small 'me first' shooting point guard. I think if we had one all these years we'd be better and wouldn't go through these changes. Raymond, D.J. and now Kemba make teams bad when they don't have talent around them. I guess those two draft picks we could of traded to get the pick to get Chris Paul were worth 8+ years of pain.

Posted by: fakethis | Feb 7, 2013 12:54:33 PM

As I read these comments and agree with most I continue to see "GET RID OF THE BOBCATS BRING BACK THE HORNETS"!!!! Ok Im with changing the name back to the Hornets or to the Hornets but unless something else changes in ownership, front office personnel and players, coaches, our newly named Hornets team will still be a team we ALL collectively will say SUCKS!!! That name change wont win games but I guess for some here, it will make the losses much better......yeah right!!

Posted by: Big Daddy | Feb 7, 2013 12:56:53 PM

People like me? No, I don't even think Kemba Walker should be starting. He is a Michael Adams-type PG, yet without the outside shooting touch. I wouldn't have drafted Kemba to begin with.
The 2013 NBA Draft is wretched, as Shabazz is the EXACT same player at MKG. We have enough Small Forwards! Charlotte doesn't need another 6'11" stick (Noel), like they already have in Mullens. There's no push or beef inside, no banging presence at all.
Since Charlotte will have 2 draft picks in 2013, package the number 1 pick and get a veteran Center. If Charlotte hangs onto the number 1 pick, the team drafts Shooting Guard Ben McLemore to replace Gerald Henderson, as the team needs 3-point shooters.

Posted by: Scorpion | Feb 7, 2013 12:57:58 PM

And to anyone who is high on Noel or Shabazz...please stop it!!! I too was for Shabazz when he was in high school. A sf with a stroke and that looks the par. But with a closer look (i.e. his first year in college) you notice he doesn't play any Defense, he isn't quite a leader yet and has a below average IQ and a odd stroke on his jump shot too. And don't get me started on Noel. He is compared to Marcus Camby on DraftExpress...noth said!!! This team needs more than another defensive stopper I hope they know that by now (i.e. MKG or Bismack). If this team drafts either of them they're doomed. They need to look at players with complete games like Alex Len, Marcus Smart or Ben McLemore.

Posted by: fakethis | Feb 7, 2013 1:06:38 PM

Michael Jordan is constantly trying to pick the next great player out of college. It's not working. Why doesn't he use his immense marketing clout (amazing given how long it has been since he has played) to sign a proven free agent player or players and tie them into Brand Jordan (or better yet, create their own brand)?

Posted by: Old Skool | Feb 7, 2013 1:33:28 PM

^^^^

MJ doesn't have any "marketing clout". Nike has marketing clout and has created a brand around MJ's name and image -- but off the court MJ was simply a bystander in the process, a paid employee.

Mj has no ability to be creative or tell Nike who their next *branded player* will be, MJ works for Nike, not vice versa.

Current players view MJ as a hypocrite and sell-out and there were a torrent of tweets/comments from NBA players during the lockout saying just that.

MJ is just in over his head an needs to step aside.

Posted by: Spider S. | Feb 7, 2013 1:55:41 PM

Draft Ben and not Noel and trade Hendo and Biz for someone down low who is top 10 at least.
Weak draft (watch us get #1 this year) but at least we can get someone decent with the 14 or so pick from Blazers.

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Feb 7, 2013 3:15:18 PM

I totally agree with Spaceman Mike. I was a season ticket holder for five years, but no longer. Their 44 win season they won something like 31 at home and it was really entertaining to attend. This year I bought an 11 game package and it is doubtful I will show up again this year. As far as the Hornets name, that is ancient history. This team need new players, not a new logo.

Posted by: Claydog | Feb 7, 2013 5:11:29 PM

re: spider......we had a dead end 8 seed 3 years ago. still made mistakes going into that year that lead to the situation we're in now. that was the year we made the tyrus thomas deal and that was a year after the diop deal and shortly before the dampier deal. we definitely made mistakes that year also. and it wasn't sustainable growth. look at memphis. they looked like legit title contenders this year early and now you're hearing that zach randolph is on the block.

you have to be built to last. OKC had to give up harden, but managed to get good value and have the rest of their core intact long term. indiana is probably giving up granger but they have their core in tact.

that's the scenario that gives you the best chance to win a title.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 7, 2013 7:47:32 PM

Rationalize it until you're blue in the face but getting beat in the first round most years is going to be the peak for this franchise.

MJ doesn't have the smarts, the basketball personnel, or the money of an elite owner like Holt down in San Antonio -- there's a team that's won a title. OKC is doing well too but they've not won the title, clearly they do have a chance.

As long as MJ is owner we have no chance, it's as simple as that. So, he should have stuck with the good thing that he had.

In 6 years you'll realize that MJ did the wrong thing, and you were wrong to believe him. Write it down.

Posted by: Spider S. | Feb 7, 2013 8:34:11 PM

i don't know when I said he was mistake free.

all i know is.....we had a weak 8 seed team that got destroyed in round 1 and we either had to pay luxury tax to keep that team together or clear the deck and rebuild.

and it's hard to say he's not going to have the right cash to run the organization. at 49 he's one of the younger owners. he has a ton of income every year that he makes off of endorsements and brands as opposed to off of investments and actual business work. not to mention he's one of the few owners that you don't have to worry about him moving the team. and you know he's competitive and actually cares about winning. has he failed thus far? absolutely. but are you really going to bet the house against him? he's learning from his failures at this the same way he probably did with playing when he was junior high-college aged. since his ownership, they hired a real GM, increased the scouting and player personnel staff dramatically, etc. etc. etc.

when EVERY year there are contenders in the bottom 5 in payroll, money has little to nothing to do with it.

it's this simple.........they keep drafting high and they either eventually land a savior and ride him for 15 years dirk/durant/reggie miller style or they accumulate the assets to trade for one harden style. it is the only way for a small market team to legitimately contend. i don't know where the satisfaction is in being the 16th best team every year and picking 15th in the draft.


and you can look at all our under 25 players and you can't find any of them that won't be in the league for the next 10 years. it's not like we're drafting rafael araujo or michael sweetney or tskitishvili top 10. even in biyombo, he was 18 when we got him and he was top 10 in blocks as a rookie and is improving his rebounding pretty significantly this year. that's your worst pick in the last 2 years and he's pretty clearly going to be a top 20 rebounder/shotblocker for the next 10 years, hopefully with an expanding offensive game as he adds weight.


what is there really to complain about with the rebuild of the past 2 drafts going forward? they're finally moving in the right direction and there's no patience.

as if a lineup of felton/jackson/wallace/diaw/chandler was going to win any championships or even come close this year or last. they might have made the playoffs last year. they definitely would have been a 7 or 8 seed the year prior. and we would have been paying luxury tax for that. awesome.

patience is on the menu. eat it up. if they continue down this path....it will work.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 8, 2013 5:28:21 PM

So, you are saying:

*It is hard.
*The NBA is against us.
*We are better having five years of horrendous losing than five years of hit or miss playoff teams.
*Small market teams can't contend.
*If we just keep being a lousy team, eventually we will make a good decision or hit the player lottery in the draft. (Law of Averages).
*MJ makes a lot of mistakes but he will eventually learn.

So, where are the fans who just want to watch some competitive basketball in this scenario?

Posted by: Gil mcgregor | Feb 10, 2013 8:52:40 AM

charlottean, there is some logic behind your comments but the problem is Air Minimum cannot execute.

If we knew each other I'd propose this bet....every year the BOOBcats advance past Round 1 of the playoffs I will pay you $5000. Every year they do not make the playoffs you pay me $1000. We start with a 10 or 20 year term, your choice. If MJ sells the team the bet stops.

Would you take that bet?

Posted by: Spider S. | Feb 10, 2013 10:50:45 PM

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