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September 25, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats' Steve Clifford's candid take on first season as an NBA head coach

    New Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says he’ll be fair and open with his players. That doesn’t mean Clifford sees his job as making every player happy with his role.

            “Whenever coaches say every player has the chance for playing time, they’re lying to you,’’ Clifford said during a Wednesday luncheon with Charlotte media.

            “This can’t be like intramurals (where everyone gets in games) because guys stink when that happens. Some guys are going to have to play well with less minutes.”

            This is Clifford’s first season as an NBA head coach. It’s clear he has strong convictions. He and his bosses -- front-office executives Rod Higgins and Rich Cho – believe this team’s biggest strength can be its depth. But that creates complications as far as different players’ minutes expectations.

            Clifford said his job is to figure out which combinations maximize the chance to win a game. That isn’t the same as playing the most talented players all the time.

            “I’m playing guys who it feels right in here,’’ Clifford said, pointing to his heart. “I told the guys I will play players who give us the best chance to win. Not necessarily the best players, but the players who give us the best chance to win.”

            Training camp opens Tuesday at UNC Asheville. Clifford told the Observer last week he’s penciled in four players as starters: Point guard Kemba Walker, shooting guard Gerald Henderson, small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and center Al Jefferson.

            The power forward spot is up for grabs between rookie Cody Zeller, the fourth overall pick, and veteran Josh McRoberts, re-signed this off-season. Clifford wants to see how Zeller and McRoberts each fits with the four starters. But he’s not coy in saying sooner or later Zeller has to excel for this team to reach its potential.

            “If we’re going to be really good in the next two to three years, Zeller has to be in the middle of it. He’s more talented,’’ Clifford said.

            McRoberts dramatically improved the Bobcats’ ball-movement after a mid-season trade from Orlando to Charlotte. As Clifford described, “McRoberts makes people better by the way he plays.’’

            However, it’s clear Clifford is sold on Zeller’s future: “He’s the most talented rookie in the league. And his intangibles are off the roof.”

            Clifford inherits a team that went 28-120 over the past two seasons and is on its third head coach in as many seasons. Clifford’s predecessor, Mike Dunlap, did a good job developing young players, particularly Walker. But some of the veterans – shooting guard Ben Gordon and center Brendan Haywood, for instance – seemed to be marginalized.

            Clifford says he sent the message they all come in with a clean slate.

            “There are guys I’m going to like more than the previous (coach),’’ Clifford said, “and guys I’ll like less.

            “You need to help Ben Gordon turn back the clock five years (to when he excelled with the Chicago Bulls). And for McRoberts to have a year he hasn’t yet had. We had a good off-season and we upped our talent.”

            At times last season Dunlap went small to try to overcome a limited roster. Sometimes that meant playing point guards Walker and Ramon Sessions together. Other times it meant playing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at power forward.

            Clifford said going small is not typically a winning formula. He mentioned that nine of the past 10 NBA champions finished top-10 in the NBA in defense.

            “To play great defense you must have great size,” Clifford said.

            Clifford said he’s developed relationships over the summer with the players so that Tuesday in Asheville shouldn’t feel like the first day of school.

            “Not like they don’t know me and I don’t know what they can do,’’ Clifford described. “Coaching is about people: Communicating with your players. If they don’t think you have the knowledge, they don’t listen anymore.”

Posted by Observer Sports on September 25, 2013 at 04:15 PM | Permalink


Be honest, be consistent, and be persistent. That's the winning formula for this team. I don't have huge expectations, but I do want to see improvement. We have quite a few of the high motor/young low skill types that need to find ways to produce. I think Coach may be the guy they all believe in and are willing to give it their all for. Let's go Cats!

Posted by: Merritt | Sep 25, 2013 5:39:48 PM

A Sleeper! GO CATS!!!

Posted by: BobcatsFanD | Sep 25, 2013 8:07:30 PM

Not a single mention of Biyombo....

...all while Cho is never mentioned on his own or in advance of Higgins -- internally Cho owns the Biyombo selection (#7, failed) and the Dunlap selection.

Guarantee you Higgins is doing everything he can to get Cho showed the door just the same as he was in Portland.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 25, 2013 10:22:36 PM

BTW, how the heck did BOOBcat management hire Dunlap when Clifford was available all along?

His Minimuness has usurped the mantel of NBA's worst owner from Donald Sterling...really unbelievable when you think about it!!!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 25, 2013 10:28:02 PM

Reading the comments earlier in the week, it sounds like Clifford sees Biyombo as a defensive specialist who will probably come in for Jefferson when the team needs a rim enforcer. As much of an improvement as Jefferson is on the offensive end, he's not and never has been a defensive fulcrum. Biyombo and Haywood will have to swap in and out to bolster that.

Posted by: Bull City Dog | Sep 26, 2013 12:29:18 AM

Cho owns the Biyombo pick and picked Zeller, but he has no power internally? There are some real idiots on these blogs. Who cares if Biyombo plays or not. Glad every NBA draft pick is starting and contributing for their team. They finally freed up enough cash to get Jefferson and drafted Zeller. Looks like the making of a pretty good frontcourt. Biyombo and McRoberts coming off the bench. Much better than they have ever had there.

Posted by: Mac | Sep 26, 2013 5:17:35 AM

I like Steve Clifford's approach. He's honest, very experienced in this league, he has clearly structured plans, and he manages to sound both as an authoritative figure, and as having good people skills, at the same time. He doesn't sound at all like a "rookie" head coach.

To be honest, similar articles about Dunlap in last year's pre-season made me to wonder if he's up to the job, or if his approach can work in the NBA.
I chose not to post anything negative on him before the season started. I thought "let's wait and see", while hoping it will work out. We saw; it didn't work out, and there were reasons for that. Yes, MJ goofed up with that choice, but that's all past now.
Coach Clifford looks like a so much better choice for this (super tough) job.
I wish him lots of success with our team.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 26, 2013 10:01:41 AM

Evidently, "made me wonder", not "TO wonder".
I hate typos, especially my own...

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 26, 2013 10:04:19 AM

dunlap improved the winning % significantly while getting younger and sticking with development over win-now. could not have asked for more.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 26, 2013 10:31:40 AM

Yes Mac, that is correct, Higgins and His Minimumness will always assign ownership of failed choices to powerless underlings all while keeping themselves above the fray -- you really don't see this?

We'll never know how good (or bad) Cho really is because the control group (Air Min/Higgins/Polk) will never give Cho any autonomy. Personally I don't think he possesses much horsepower anyway, didn't even last a year in his most high profile job. And don't go blowing any "he built OKC" smoke this way, Cho was a back-bencher there, at best.

Sit back , shut up, and pay attention....you'll learn something, loser.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 27, 2013 12:14:21 AM

PS...Cho didn't "pick Zeller", quit making stuff up moron. Cho does NOTHING without approval!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 27, 2013 12:16:35 AM

I don't need to make things up. Unlike you who apperantly has inside access that even Chad Forde doesn't. I will go with his sources over yours. Looks like you are the real moron here. Sit back, shut up and learn how to read. you might learn something. Thank you for wasting my time proving you are an idiot even though it is clear from your comments and likely your next one as well.

"That wouldn’t be the case if Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rich Cho had his way. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Cho is enamored with Zeller and would select him with the Bobcats fourth overall selection if he could, but he’s apparently meeting resistance from the ownership group."

Posted by: Mac | Sep 27, 2013 7:29:45 AM

"dunlap improved the winning % significantly while getting younger and sticking with development over win-now. could not have asked for more."

Who did Dunlap develop? All he did was give Kemba the green light. I wouldn't call that develop. How about Biyombo? Did Dunlap develop him? What about Taylor and MKG? Didn't see any development with them either.

As a matter of fact, this team did not start to develop until McBob got here and Henderson got more minutes consistently.

That winning percentage mostly happened in the first quarter of the season. When teams were still figuring each other out. Once the NBA knew Dunlap's gameplan (small ball, zone defense 90% of the time, unable to adjust) those wins deceased.

But yes, your right once again charlottean, we could not ask for more!

Posted by: D.W.G. | Sep 27, 2013 8:53:41 AM

Wow. More misinformation posted by Nastar. There is a big surprise. I am surprised ESPN, Yahoo or the AP hasn't picked up on all his inside info. Pathetic hating fool.

Posted by: Bobnet | Sep 27, 2013 10:36:27 AM

I cannot believe there is a person in the world that believes Dunlap did a good job.

Posted by: Jeff Otah | Sep 27, 2013 10:58:22 AM

Mac, you need to take a deep breath, slow down...you can't keep up this pace...

If you were paying attention you'd know that I believe Cho has a seat at the table and can bring ideas to upper management, and he just might have a good idea now and then. In fact, I am certain his presence has lifted the average IQ at that table (easy to do)...

...but Cho has no unilateral ability to make any picks -- period.

At least Cho's most recent idea was for a guy who can catch and dribble and we know exactly how old he is and...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 27, 2013 2:32:12 PM

Unilateral ability? I can see you know how professional sports work. Think Nelson runs stuff by Cuban? If anyone needs to take breath it is you. Might want to read about how sports franchisees work. Unilateral? That is funny. If yo dont own a team. There is no such thing. Pretty good seat at the table when you can convince everyone who to select. Sit back and relax. You might learn something. At least you now know who is making the draft picks over there. That isa good start for your class project.

Posted by: Mac. | Sep 27, 2013 2:46:09 PM

henderson and walker thrived under dunlap the way they didn't under anyone else.

and they form one of the best backcourts in the league. while you might not have seen development in the form of gaudy stats from biyombo or MKG......they were definitely given a lot of minutes and a lot of attention. MKG was putting up GREAT numbers before his concussion. and biyombo too benefited from mcroberts being there instead of mullens.

dunlap invested a LOT in mullens early and ultimately, mullens proved not to be worthy of it. the guy lacked balls. talent out that waz but no balls. he showed flashes of greatness and long stretches of mediocrity. so dunlap ultimately pulled the plug on that.

but you CANNOT deny the fact that we won .106 % of games in 2011-12 and .256 % of games in 12-13.

and our age per minute played dropped in the process.

he was mandated to play the young guys and coach them up. I absolutely think he did that. he wasn't given the chance to show the growth long term, but I bet if he had been.....we would have seen more improvement over the next 2 years. instead clifford will surely get all of the credit when the team starts winning more with a much improved roster and also due to dunlap's year of building up hendo/walker and MKG and biz getting a ton of experience.

and let's also keep in mind mcroberts wouldn't have stayed had we traded for him and he been backing up mullens and adrien for 2 months. dunlap gave him the keys to the car all the same and saw something there.

credit where credit is due. .106 to .256

that's more than double by my math. or any math. you guys do know math right?

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 27, 2013 4:38:46 PM

Mac must be new. Stop feeding the troll. It is like when a Gremlin gets wet. The arguements just change and multiply. Eventually ends up disproving his own points and just keeps going. Don't bother. I will refrain as well. Thank you.

Posted by: Bobnet | Sep 27, 2013 9:17:34 PM

Mac, the Cho Slurpers are the ones out there saying Cho is large and in charge, running the show.

You really are new aren't you?

So big boy, when does this franchise win a playoff series in back to back years? That is what His Minimumness promised after all...

What's your reaction to a combined 28-120 record in Air Min's 6th & 7th years of complete control?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 27, 2013 9:36:22 PM

charlottean, I think you list some great facts there and put forth a cogent argument on Dunlap's behalf.

Personally I thought Dunlap was a ridiculous hire from the get go but setting that aside, and recognizing the nice list of facts you listed...

...why did Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho turn tail and screw Dunlap like they did?

What's to prevent Air Min & Yes Co. from doing the same to Cho? Dolan just did it to his GM and if there's one other owner in the league as inept as Dolan it's definitely Michael Jordan (exacerbated by MJ being underfinanced).

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 27, 2013 9:43:00 PM

Dunlap is not NBA head coach caliber. That's why he was fired, and that's also what most fans think. Of course, to ANY widely shared reasonable viewpoint there will ALWAYS be dissenters.

The Cats' last season was very uneven, it can't be seen as "one piece of work".
The first part of it was very encouraging: 7-5. The refreshing changes of both coaching staff and in the roster brought about an enthusiasm among players - as it was reported at that time - which resulted in overachieving.
The final part of the season was pretty good. These were the 19 games when Josh McRoberts started, and the team went 8-11.

What happened in between?
In between, most of the season was played. There were 51 games, when the Bobcats went 6-45.
The initial enthusiasm waned, and at least as important, teams caught up with Dunlap's defensive schemes (which were easy to defeat by any well coached team).
This was the majority of the season: long losing streaks, repeated blowouts and a .119 record.

Yes, 6-45 is .119 for the core of the season. This was big time underachieving - just like 7-5 was overachieving.
This is when Dunlap was doomed, and even Josh McRoberts' great impact in the final part of the season couldn't save him.
He only has his own coaching to blame for it. This man will never be a head coach in the NBA again, guaranteed.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 27, 2013 9:44:12 PM

The only Bobcat who significantly improved last season was Kemba Walker. Kemba's hard work gave results, and he's not done, he didn't reach his ceiling yet. Dunlap also gets credit for this.
That's it, for his achievements.

There was no big improvement for Biyombo, only a mixed picture. I posted earlier a detailed comment, supported by stats, showing this.
MKG's development was not at the expected rate. Ranked 8th in the Rookie of the Year ladder for our 2nd overall pick - this is below expectations, and our thanks go to the “youth developing” head coach.
Also, Jeff Taylor's development was far from meeting expectations last season. We saw this summer what Jeff Taylor can do, at this point in his career already.

Mike Dunlap's coaching wasn't good at all for Gerald Henderson. It’s a very different story from Kemba’s.
Hendo's strong finish of the season was 100% his own doing, and IN SPITE of Dunlap's coaching.

BEFORE the All Star break, Hendo played the way Dunlap asked him to play, i.e., putting an emphasis (unusual for this player) on 3 point shooting. The result: Hendo improved his 3 points percentage, but he wasn't taking a lot of these shots (that was due to a very careful shot selection, in order to maintain that good percentage), and his overall scoring declined.
Before the All Star break: 12.5 ppg.

This changed drastically in March and April. Hendo remembered he's in a contract year, he stopped playing according to Dunlap's wishes and went back to playing to his strengths: more mid-range shooting and drives to the basket, while caring less about 3 pointers. His 3 point shooting went south again, but who cares, his overall scoring increased tremendously.
Last 27 games of the season: 19.3 ppg!

So, playing "the Dunlap way" was actually detrimental to Hendo. Playing again “the Hendo way” accounted entirely for his strong final part of the season.
Sessions' injury helped him a lot, because it left Dunlap with no choice but to increase Hendo's minutes (even when the player, to his credit, ceased trying to please M.D.). Pargo couldn't justify, by far, getting all of Ramon's minutes, and Ben Gordon playing for Dunlap ... no need to add here.

This is one of the remarkable differences between our new coach and the one who’s gone.
Steve Clifford’s statements show that he sees using players to their strengths as one of the keys to success. This notion is foreign to Dunlap.
Both in his statements and in action, Dunlap showed a belief in trying to re-mold players’ ways to fit his ideas and his preferences - his “conception’ of the game. This approach showed in the worst ways with Hendo (as long as the player did his best to please him) and with Sessions (on whose last season, as unfavorably compared to all of his previous ones, I posted twice very detailed comments, so I’m not gonna repeat the stats and the points made there).

Coach Clifford inspires a confidence that I could never have in Dunlap (even though, as I already mentioned, I really tried to be positive and hopeful last season - before the losing streaks and the blowouts).
This intangible - the ability to inspire confidence - matters a lot to players, always.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 27, 2013 10:13:06 PM

Wow. Was that info was spot on. Presented with facts instead of conjecture around Cho and the discussion changes to the Bobcats record. Well at least you are predictable. You have that going for you.

By the way. Any idea how the salary cap works? Jordan's under funded team is one of 23 that are roughly spending the same amount on players. 7 are projected to be over the cap. 4 of which have zero shot at a ring. Do you know that this season is the first with the aggressive luxury tax rules from the new CBA? There is one owner that doesn't care and he has shown zero ability to know what it takes to win a title. You really know nothing about pro sports. Sit back, listen and read a little. You will be better for it. Maybe later I will help you understand MLB and how the Priates finally broke through this year.

Sorry for feeding the troll. I mean Gremlin.

Posted by: Mac | Sep 28, 2013 6:16:23 AM

^^^^don't know if you noticed, but there are about 3 maybe 4 people that post on Ricks blogs consistently. You are attempting to educate a very small group. One with little influence or they would not be wasting time here. Might want to find another outlet. OK. Now back to an actual life.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 28, 2013 9:07:39 AM


i know where you stand on dunlap....i'm not even going to continue that. your expectations weren't reachable by any coach put in that situation.

on the note of henderson though....you're completely ignoring the fact that his scoring went way up when sessions got hurt and when mcroberts joined the team, plus he started the season coming in injured missing several weeks with the sprained foot. you aren't factoring in any of those variables and just attributing the uptick in scoring to a phantom "decision" by henderson to ignore the coach and play his game. he played his game the entire year. that careful shot selection is exactly why henderson is better than half the "fans" make him out to be.

let monta ellis chuck away if you want, but i'd much rather have henderson's calculated approach early in the shot clock. his 3 pt shooting was consistent throughout the season. he consistently did not shoot a bunch of them and consistently made a respectable %, nothing more.

bottomline is.....clifford may or may not be a good/better coach, that all remains to be seen. but he will absolutely reap the benefit of some of the work dunlap did. and while biyombo may not have had that "big leap" last year at age 20.......if he has it this year.....is that all due to clifford and ewing? are the growing pains no longer part of the process? is it dunlap's fault that he was so young and inexperienced last year? does it make clifford the better coach because he's getting a 2 year vet who played a lot last year as opposed to a 2nd year player?

there's levels to this ish©mr. mills.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 29, 2013 11:15:16 PM

charlottean, there's a problem with your comments, that keeps recurring. You say what you like to believe, with the result of making lots of unverified assertions. To the contrary, I'm not stating what I like (e.g., I really wished success to Dunlap one year ago, as I already mentioned - it just didn't happen), but I go with the facts.

Just so you'll know: my starting point is always in what I see on the hardwood floor, and next, I verify my opinions against stats.

Besides, are you aware that Dunlap himself stated very clearly his preference for 3 point shooting and his corresponding lack of interest in shooting much from mid-range (the exact opposite of Larry Brown, by the way)?

Before the All Star break, Henderson shot 39% from behind the ark, and just 43% from the field overall. 12.3% of his field goals attempts were 3 pointers. Average in that period: 12.5 ppg.

In his last 27 games of the season, his 3 point shooting percentage went down to 26%, but his overall shooting from the field went up to 47%. In this last part of the season, just 10.5% of his field goal attempts were for 3 pointers, while his overall field goals attempts went up from just 10.87 FGA/g (reluctance to take mid-range shots, which I clearly noticed in the games) to 14.8 FGA/g in the last 27 games. His average for this period: 19.3 ppg.

This is exactly what I wrote before.
There was a significant shift in his manner of playing - from a focus on 3 pointers to a return to a much increased mid-range field goals shooting - with a resulting great increase in his effectiveness.

Now, compare these facts with your unverified assertions:
"he played his game the entire year.
his 3 pt shooting was consistent throughout the season.", you said. False, and false.

(And evidently, I mentioned above that Sessions' injury helped him a lot, in the sense of securing his minutes. However, the change in his manner of playing is Hendo's merit 100%).

- - -

About Biyombo, plastering over the inconvenient facts doesn't do any good to anyone. The facts are that he didn't show significant improvement from his rookie to his sophomore year; just a mixed picture, with some modest steps ahead together with some stepping back. This is, of course, verified against stats, which I already posted previously.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 30, 2013 2:01:22 AM

you clearly don't actually look at the stats while you are typing them.

12.3% to 10.5%. are you effing kidding me? that's % of field goal attempts. dude wasn't chucking 100 shots per game. so we're talking about the difference of 2 3pt attempts for every 100 shots. not the difference of 3 attempts per game to 1 attempt per game. nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

we're talking about the difference of.........approximately .25 3 pt FGa's per game. you are calling that a "change in his game". you clearly never studied statistical analysis.

just look at his game logs from last year. it's consistently 1-2 attempts per game with the few aberrations where he took 4 or 5. it's not like he was averaging 7 attempts per game and then 2.

12.3% to 10.5% of his total shots is misleading as that only represents that he took MORE 2 point attempts, not less 3 point attempts. he took more attempts overall in the 2nd half because.........sessions was out, kemba cooled off a bit, henderson heated up, and ben gordon and mullens were in the doghouse. I don't know what cut off point you were using for "half" whether it was half of his games, or half of the teams.

henderson played 68 games last year. the first 34 he took 46 3 pt attempts making 19 for 41.3%

last 34 games he played.... he took 54 3 pointers and made 14 for 25.9%.

he took more attempts in the 2nd half of HIS season than he did in the first. you're just making ish up at this point.

i don't recall dunlap saying he preferred 3 pointers to 12 footers, he very clearly said the worst shot in the game was the 20 footer. that effected mullens way more than it did henderson and it hurt the team overall when mullens was chucking away to horrible %'s. but if mullens goes out and shoots 38% from 3's for the clippers this year, doesn't dunlap get credit for letting him chuck away this year? he was tasked with player development. not every player WILL develop. frank vogel didn't make paul george great. what he did was put paul george in a position to succeed. dunlap did the exact same thing with mullens last year. mullens is not paul george. and that's what we ultimately found out. if mullens had been paul george, you would have been raving about dunlap's development of paul george. you're placing blame where it doesn't belong.

as for the 3 ball and henderson......dunlap tasked henderson with developing that part of his game. everybody under the sun has said that to henderson since college. not sure how that makes dunlap a bad coach. henderson came out of the gate hot and cooled off......but he still posted his highest % and highest amount of attempts in his 4 years. and again.......if he goes out and shoots 38% this year........did dunlap not develop that?

and again, about biyombo....i agreed that he didn't show improvement. but he's still 20. and i made the comment that.......if he shows major improvement this year.....is dunlap not credited with giving him the experience last year? the worst thing that dunlap did was maybe he found out for sure that biz wasn't what we want him to be. at 20.....i still think there's 4-5 years to find out. but what dunlap did last year was: found out that mullens definitely wasn't, found out that henderson and walker definitely were, and found out that MKG definitely was (prior to concussion/rookie wall).

you can't expect EVERY guy to expand his game in ONE effing year. again, the expectations were ludicrous. you're expecting a miracle worker if you think that.

i keep spitting facts and you keep calling them "unverified assertations" eff off dude. he took a team that was winning .106 and won .256 the following year and had a younger age per minute played average. these are the facts. he wasn't allowed a 2nd year to address all of your other concerns. clifford gets the chance to do that instead. dunlap took lemons and made lemonade and you're complaining that the lemonade doesn't taste right. no ish sherlock.......the lemons weren't matured enough yet. clifford has better and older lemons.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 30, 2013 12:09:19 PM

Very entertaining, ch.
Unfortunately, getting red hot angry doesn't help you make any more sense; quite the contrary.

"half"? What "half"? My comparison was between how Hendo played before the All Star break and his final 27 games of the season.
It shows how much attention you paid.

My games observation, fully supported by stats, was that in that former period of the season (not "half") he was very reluctant to play his regular game, and instead was looking for the open 3s, whenever he could get them (1 out of every 8 FG attempts). In the last 27 games, he played his known game, taking lots more mid-range shots, and being less careful with his shot selection from behind the ark, while these shots became little more than 1 in 10 of his total shots.

The steep decline in his 3 points percentage (from 39% to 26% between those two periods) shows exactly what I said:
in his last 27 games of the season, he cared less about his 3 point shooting and its accuracy,
and instead he increased massively his scoring by emphasizing his strengths (more mid-range, driving and, as a result of this very different emphasis, more free throws too).
The results of this clear change of emphasis: his shooting increased by 4 FGA per game, while his scoring increased by close to 7 ppg between the two periods considered (nothing to do with those insignificant "halves").

Sorry you missed it, but Dunlap stated his preference for more 3 point shooting and less 15-20 feet shots as a general idea, not just as directed at Mullens.
By the way, I remember very clearly how, in Larry Brown's first year in Charlotte, you started arguing against the notion that LB doesn't like 3 pointers and he prefers open mid-range shots, AFTER Rick had reported not only on that coach's said preference, but also on LB's stated reasons for it.
Not only you argued against the facts, you proceeded on ascribing your own theory, about "good" and "bad" 3 point shots to coach Brown !! It was ridiculous, I corrected you on that, and then, you ceased arguing.
I'd bet anything that, by now, you conveniently "forgot" that exchange. So be it, but I'm not making it up, it's absolutely true.

As usual you are arguing stubbornly, putting twisted interpretations - and denying the straightforward ones - on any possible facts to suit your beloved prejudiced notions, and losing your temper and getting rude when you see that you can't impose your silly prejudiced ideas.
It's like your life depended on imposing your prejudiced ideas on anyone who crosses your way. It's sad.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 30, 2013 3:59:36 PM

you remember that? please find that. pleeeeeeeease show me where i said that. right.....and i'm a big proponent of adam morrison and gerald henderson.....both of whom........live off the mid range.

i have never in my life been an anti mid range guy. that's the most off-base thing I've ever heard. and i've always been a larry brown supporter (outside of the short sited trades and signings) as far as coaching goes.

dunlap CLEARLY stated that he didn't like the deep twos. pull quotes. he never said he didn't like a mid range game. he.....like many coaches at that level.....preached about knowing where you are on the floor and never shooting a jumper with your foot on the line or just inside. it's the least valuable shot in the game. he never said "don't take mid range jumpers". not once.

larry brown will tell you he hates deep 2's also.

regarding the before and after all-star break...you're right i didn't pay clear attention there.....i just saw "last 27 games".......i went with the first 34 and last 34 for my example, so you're nitpicking there. big time. he shot more 3's in the last 34 than he did in the first 34, just made a lot less. he got cold. he didn't change his game like you are professing.

so by your example.....he shot 42 3's in the last 27 or 1.5555 per game. in the first 41, he shot 58 3's or 1.414 per game.

i'm stating facts, you're just making ish up.

and no i'm not mad. I'm absolutely far from it. disappointed in you, not mad. extremely disappointed. now go to your room and learn some stats before dinner time.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 30, 2013 4:20:27 PM

You get funnier by the hour.

Look, you really misunderstand what you read.
This is a most unfortunate fact, not a cheap put-down.

For one thing, you keep going with your "halves" of the season, which is completely insignificant and not what I said.
The difference in emphasis in Hendo's game took place in March and April (plus the last two games in February, which were in the same mold). This is when it happened, this is what I'm talking about. But thank you anyway for brushing off my stats, which support my observations.

Next: ch., pay attention: Of course I didn't say you are against mid range shooting. I said that you argued "against the notion that LB doesn't like 3 pointers and he prefers open mid-range shots". I.e, I was reminded of your misunderstanding of LB's standpoint by your current misunderstanding of Dunlap's opposite standpoint.
These are totally different things: what I said, and what you read in it.

You already agreed that Hendo's strengths are the mid range game and the drives, right? Now you sure can call 12 feet mid-range, if you please. But that's not where Hendo lives most of the time. His favorite ranges are in the paint (on the drive) and also 15 to 18 feet, where he does most of his damage. That's because this intelligent player knows something about facing crowded defenses when you try jump shots from 14 feet or closer (which is quite different from breaking defenses when driving to the rim).

Well, "Dunlap's way" is what we saw from Hendo before the All Star break.
I used the words "emphasis" and "preference" I don't know how many times, but of course, i couldn't get through to you. It's about emphasis on, or preference for, 3 point shooting over taking jumpers inside the perimeter (especially in the 15 to 18-19 feet range). It's not about "exclusivity" or "prohibition", but a clear emphasis.
Just as for coach Brown there was the opposite emphasis, which never translated into a "prohibition" of 3 pointers.

In March and April, Hendo was back to playing the "Hendo way" (i.e., not trying to please Dunlap the way he did before the All Stars). It happens to be very much like the Larry Brown way, and it brought Hendo great success.

Listen, you're way too much with your arguing. If you don't even get that your last comments where based on flat out misunderstandings of my points, there's nothing else I can do or say.

Besides, I'm getting bored, because I don't believe in treading water.

Posted by: Sandy | Sep 30, 2013 5:46:03 PM

you definitely didn't read the stats in my last comment. i gave you both the 34 and 34 stats and the 41 and 27 stats. however you want to slice it, you just made up that he changed his game when he didn't. he took more 3's at the end, and made less. he just got cold from deep.

and again......dunlap had a problem with deep 2s. not midrange. he wasn't harping on 15 footers. he made that clear. he highlighted the 20 footers mullens lived off of year before last. he never said eff the mid range. you are just making ish up. he said no deep 2's. almost every coach in the nba with a brain says that. anybody that has ever played ball at a high level has been bitched at by a good coach for shooting with the foot on the line or just inside the line. it's a bad shot. it's not midrange.

he asked henderson to shoot 3s as a completely different argument. you couldn't decipher the 2 things. 1 is player specific and the other is a general rule of the game. hendo needed to add range to get better. he never stopped running plays for him in the midrange. go back to the tape. and say something factual for once.

he shot more 3's per game the last 27 of the season than before.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 30, 2013 8:09:18 PM

There is a difference between Dunlap's approach and Larry Brown's approach to offense; actually, they are opposites. You don't get it. Henderson's game fits much better the latter than the former. Still, the stats showed he made an effort most of last season to fit in the former; when he was back to the latter [it was about a shift of emphasis in his game, showed by those of my stats which you happily ignored], it was with much better results. You don't get this either.

Another point was that some coaches believe in using players to their strengths, while others try to re-shape their game to fit their "conception". Again, this too is a difference in emphasis (it's not a black-or-white contrast), which affects different players to different degrees. In this regard, Dunlap is with the latter category; I think the other approach, that Steve Clifford prefers (and which made Paul Silas very successful with the Hornets) is better, by far.

So, what was it all about? It was about the need you feel to defend against criticism a man who is not NBA head coach material.
I couldn't care less that you disagree with me and with most fans on this issue. But when you also proclaim that you know better than the management, and - against facts and reason - maintain that only you know better how capable this Dunlap guy was, and how wrong it was to fire him, your stubbornness becomes ridiculous.

Besides Hendo, you made every excuse possible for Dunlap, for his overall record (conveniently ignoring what I said about the underachieving core part of the season, which justifiably doomed him), for his developing of our young players (good enough for you, not good in the real world, with one remarkable exception), for his poor people skills (this is one of the things you ignored, but were part of the decision to get rid of him).

OK, enough of this. Please don't forget to remind us three years from now, and five years from now, and so on, how insanely wrong the management was to lose such a capable coach, and how ignorant fans were to support this decision - just like you do periodically about some of your favorite ex-Bobcats.

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 1, 2013 2:14:37 AM

you are absolutely delusional. i didn't ignore your stats. they didn't back up your theory.

he took MORE 3's the last 27 games than he did before. he just also took SLIGHTLY more 2's also. dropping from 12.3% to 10.5% is not a statistical trend. and again.......the attempts per game went UP not down. you are just absolutely delusional about this.

made up some theory about henderson changing his game midseason which did not happen.

first 41 games he shot 1.414 3's per game. last 27 he shot 1.555 3's per game.

stop making ish up.

and larry brown's offense is NOT that different from dunlaps. defense, yes. offense was not. the only difference you see is personnel. brown ran the ball through diaw and jackson where dunlap was through walker and henderson by default. when mcroberts came on board, he was used eeeeerily similar to diaw in the side pick n roll, high post game.

the big difference you saw was dunlap gave guys like mullens the green light where brown would never have played mullens like that. he doesn't do rebuilding. you're confusing different personnel with different philosophy. you heard dunlap talk about 3's because it was the biggest weakness. before you heard brown talk about getting to the bucket because we had a ton of guys shooting jumpers (carroll, bell, morrison, augustin, jackson, murray, even diaw) and no kemba, hendo, sessions, mkg, type guys getting to the rim and the line.

but yeah....keep pointing out 1.8% change in shot attempt type as being a trend. learn how to read a stat chart dude.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 1, 2013 8:57:55 AM

ch., you show again your inability to understand what you read.

Not surprising. You're very closed minded. Not only you're firmly convinced that you're always right, and any different, or opposite point of view must be wrong, but also, as a result, you're totally incapable of respecting differences of opinion, and worse, you're incapable of following a different line of reasoning. You're so busy with dismissing anything you disagree with, and with clinging to your prejudiced ideas, that you're literally incapable to understand those opposing views. But you're very capable of attacking them!

My original post referred to several issues, all leading to the conclusion that Dunlap is not NBA head coach material.
Of course that was going to make you mad! What do you do next? You start picking on one of these issues (Henderson), and go on with it endlessly.

Now, about this particular player: the point I made, and by which I firmly stand - that Dunlap's coaching wasn't good for him, and all that Hendo achieved in the last part of the season is 100% his own merit - was based on game observations supported by about five or six different statistical comparisons.
What do you do? You start picking on ONE of these comparisons, put your own spin on it, and declare it doesn't "prove" my conclusion!

Well, it wasn't meant to. It's only the ensemble of all the various observations and comparisons that can support that conclusion, not any one or two taken in isolation.
By the way, I remember this from all sorts of past arguments with you. You start picking apart one part of a whole reasoning, keep harping on small parts taking on isolation, and nothing makes any sense anymore, because the general line of reasoning (depending on the unity of its parts) is totally lost.

- - -

It's really bad when you misunderstand not just any fan's, but also coaches' standpoints. You're building your own re-interpretations, i.e. misinterpretations, of these, and you go with those.

Rick Bonnell reported very clearly on Larry Brown's philosophy of the game (based on his conversations with the coach), and I also read such accounts on other b-ball sites. Rick's account was probably the best: the most comprehensive and clear. That was years ago, and you still go by your own personal misinterpretations - both on Coach Brown and on Dunlap's standpoints.

- - -

Stubborn, closed minded, repetitive, all these great qualities make you boring.
Any discussion with you that starts as an interesting one quickly turns into repetitive, tedious and worthless (due to your closed mindedness) arguing.

It's obvious that you want so badly to impose your opinions, it's like you live for this. Deny this as much as you like. The huge amount of comments you keep posting, their repetitive character, as well as the campaign character of your posts on some issues particularly close to your heart show this.

When imposing your viewpoint doesn't work, you get angry and rude. Among those many things you can't understand : hurling insults at those you argue with only reflects negatively on you.
I couldn't care less about all of your verbal mud pies and stink bombs, but I definitely can't have any respect for someone who is not capable of doing better than this. You may have heard this saying: "respect and you shall be respected". That's why, you shall not be respected.

mr. boring, I'm done with you. As usual, I'm positive I couldn't get through to you with anything.

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 1, 2013 5:02:00 PM

there is NO stat that supports that henderson stopped shooting 3's the latter part of the season as you claimed. that's just factual incorrect. as are many of your insane assertions.

you just make ish up. your the guy that claimed that 12.3% going to 10.5% represented a change in his game. not me.

.106 to .256 while getting younger per minute played showed improvement that wasn't good enough for people like you.

i'm just stating facts. you're claiming i'm mad. not hardly. i'm just pointing out that you made that ish up. and you did.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 1, 2013 5:41:11 PM

factually incorrect*

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 1, 2013 6:41:15 PM

Mac, the fact is Cho has no control at all.

As for the salary cap/luxury tax, sit back and watch the billionaires completely disregard it... If there's one consistent theme it's that NBA championship franchises are routinely over the cap and regularly paying the tax. Guarantee you Prokohorov has a better chance at leading his team to the title than Air Minimum does. LOl.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 2, 2013 9:27:00 PM

I wasn't back here for three days.
As expected, nothing changed in ch.'s mind's feverish ways of working.
Also, the rebuttals of his last comment are obviously already included in my previous comments.

So, why would I bother to respond, after having concluded above "mr. boring, I'm done with you. As usual, I'm positive I couldn't get through to you with anything."? Isn't my answering again to this monumentally absurd string of twisted, closed-minded and repetitive posts kind of an absurdity on its own?!
That would actually be a quite strong point against what I'm doing right now. The only way I can explain this (maybe ridiculous) investment of some more of my time time into another response to mr. super-stubborn/boring is that, at this particular time, I STILL find some fun in doing it.

I watch basketball for many years because it's fun. I read about basketball because it can be fun. No, reading ch.'s endless repetitive arguments is not fun. The more persistent this guy gets in his endless arguing, the more it kills the fun of discussing the game (which fun can be present even in discussions between people holding different points of view).
ch.'s feverish, furious arguing: it's sad, sad, sad.

- - -

Now, here is why I found some fun in answering ch.'s latest production, though reading it was as boring as can be.

First LOL:
"there is NO stat that supports that henderson stopped shooting 3's the latter part of the season as you claimed."
I never claimed that, of course.

I just said that he moved from about 1 in 8 out of his FGAs being for 3s to close to 1 in 10 of his FGAs being for 3s. It's not so much? It's not a huge difference indeed, but it's still meaningful when it's confirmed over a 27 games streak.
Also, that was only ONE of my stats, and, as I already said while ch. was napping, it "proves" nothing, taken in isolation (as you did).
A bigger difference was that between going down from 39% to 26% for 3 pointers (second stat).
You explained that away by saying "he just got cold from deep." Yes indeed. Just as his overall shooting percentage went up from 43% to 47% from the field (third relevant comparison), just as his shooting from 15 to 18-19 feet range was hot, at the same time he mysteriously went cold from 3 point range. Very cold: 26% over 27 games. Shooting very well and in much higher volumes from his "comfort zone", yet showing such a steep decline from just a few feet farther out, in the same period of time - it just doesn't make sense to say "he went cold", because well ... his shooting just didn't go cold in that period. It's all about a shift of emphasis, a shift in what he really cared about MOST in each of the two periods under consideration.

About that increased volume of FGAs, it went up from 10.9 to 14.8 game (fourth comparison), which was due to his increased mid range shooting. This "return to the player's comfort zone" (which also resulted in drawing more fouls and thus, in an increased number of free throws {fifth comparison}) resulted, unsurprisingly, in a dramatic increase in his effectiveness: 12.5 ppg to 19.3 ppg.

As already mentioned above, I'm starting always from game observations, and then I verify them against stats; not one or two, but six different comparisons between the period before the All-Star break and last 27 games.
Now, compare this with your flat-out false assertions :"he played his game the entire year.
his 3 pt shooting was consistent throughout the season."
My main idea (based on "connecting the dots" between my observations and stats) is:

"BEFORE the All Star break, Hendo played the way Dunlap asked him to play, i.e., putting an emphasis (unusual for this player) on 3 point shooting. The result: Hendo improved his 3 points percentage, but he wasn't taking a lot of these shots (that was due to a very careful shot selection, in order to maintain that good percentage), and his overall scoring declined."

"The steep decline in his 3 points percentage (from 39% to 26% between those two periods) shows exactly what I said:
in his last 27 games of the season, he cared less about his 3 point shooting and its accuracy (which was a serious effort he made, of pleasing that coach, before the All Stars),
and instead he increased massively his scoring by emphasizing his strengths (more mid-range, driving and, as a result of this very different emphasis, more free throws too)."

Abandoning the 3 point shot? Of course not.
A shift of emphasis in how he played the game? Certainly.

I wish I didn't have to quote my own previous posts, but this is the way to show that ch. argues stubbornly, making assertions that already had their responses and rebuttals.

- - -

IF anyone lasted that long, second LOL:

".106 to .256 while getting younger per minute played showed improvement that wasn't good enough for people like you."

Well, I already said that ignoring the three, very different in character, parts of last season is a complete distortion of the overall picture. Again, back to my previous comments:

"you made every excuse possible for Dunlap, for his overall record (conveniently ignoring what I said about the underachieving core part of the season, which justifiably doomed him)".
That "underachieving part" was most of the season, was its core (51 consecutive games), of which I wrote: "... long losing streaks, repeated blowouts and a .119 record.
Yes, 6-45 is .119 for the core of the season. This was big time underachieving - just like 7-5 was overachieving.
This is when Dunlap was doomed."

Of course, far from ignoring the better parts of the season (first 12 and last 19 games) I explained (in my earlier post) why these three parts of the season differed in character, and accordingly, why that core majority of it justifiably doomed Dunlap.

For anyone who thinks that displaying how ch. keeps going back to square 1, ignoring my prior rebuttals of his assertions, while he's also making some flat-out false statements (which I directly quoted above) wasn't fun enough to deserve such a long post, OK.
I promise the next one will be shorter, and more fun too.

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 5, 2013 12:42:48 AM

ch., can you remember, when have I posted first time a comment that Dunlap's coaching wasn't good for Gerald Henderson?
Is your answer: "no, and why should i care?".

I have a surprise for you.

This is one of those things I remember.
It was just during the All Stars break.

"And how is Hendo doing, our best player in the awful last season? He's taking steps backwards, directly thanks to Dunlap. It's because this coach wants to fit Hendo in his plan ("shoot 3s if you wanna play!"), instead of using him to his strengths (driving and mid range shooting). See the results: yes, Hendo improved his 3 points percentage, but he's not taking a lot of these (or else, you'd see that percentage go south a lot!), and his overall scoring declined."

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 16, 2013 11:36:23 PM

Your answer came about one hour later:

"I agree about henderson (i've said the same things on that note)"

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 17, 2013 12:56:09 AM

Within little more than one hour, you stated your agreement with me on Dunlap’s bad impact on Hendo’s game!
If that wasn’t enough, you also took credit for having said THE SAME THINGS!

And now, you’re obsessing in post after post after post in denying those clear facts!

- - -

If you’re gonna look up those posts, you’ll see that we already had very different viewpoints on Dunlap. Even though you argued with me on that coach, at that time you stated your clear agreement with me on my criticism regarding Hendo.

Why? What happened?

What happened in the meantime was that Dunlap was (thankfully) fired, and that seems to have made sticking up for him even more important for you. So, you’re going into denial in what you yourself believed as long as it was relevant, i.e., up to the All Star break.

AT THAT TIME, there were reasons to worry about Hendo’s decline (stats repeatedly quoted above).
But afterwards, since Hendo had a very good final part of the season, as a result of an indisputable return to his “comfort zone”, there was nothing more to worry about him.
All that was left for you to do now (in this regard) was to step up and protect Dunlap’s “good name”, even at the price of a denial of what you believed at the relevant time.

1. This is such an obvious proof of how emotion clouds your judgment (in this case, your pro-Dunlap emotions at this time).

2. Really, there is no reason to worry about Dunlap’s “good name” in and around the NBA; there isn‘t much left of it after last season.

3. Will you keep arguing?
Even after the quotes above?
Knowing you, that would be no surprise at all.
Is there any limit to your passionate/absurd arguing?
None known so far. Can you prove otherwise?

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 5, 2013 1:27:21 AM

In case that was unclear: in the context, "Can you prove otherwise?" means "Can you prove that even you have some common sense, that even you are capable of stopping from going on and on with more absurdities?"

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 5, 2013 1:34:44 AM

i haven't been arguing at all. i just keep repeating the facts. you keep making ish up. i don't want the people to be mislead.

he shot more 3 pointers per game during the stretch in question and you say he changed his game because there were a handful more 2 point attempts and overall field goal attempts. from 12.3% of his overall shots to 10.5%.

take a statistics class please, you're playing yourself.

the part that I agreed with in the quoted conversation was about him taking more shots would lead to a decline in %. Everyone was yamming it up about his 50% 3 point shooting early on and I pointed out it was an aberration, not a trend.

keep not stating facts dude. good job.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 8, 2013 5:42:16 PM

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