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October 28, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson 'questionable' for opener

CAgbH.St.138While Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson is still optimistic he’ll play in Wednesday’s season-opener in Houston, the team is listing him as “questionable’’ with a sprained right ankle.

Jefferson was hurt early in the preseason when he stepped on the foot of Miami Heat center Chris Bosh and landed awkwardly. He participated in most, but not all, of Monday’s practice after sitting out nearly three weeks.

“He did some contact, some 5-on-5, but not everything,” coach Steve Clifford said following practice.

Jefferson said “in my head” he’s ready to play Wednesday against perennial All-Star Dwight Howard, who the Rockets signed over the summer. The two have played since their mutual rising senior summer in high school. Both turned pro out of high school in 2004.

“The ankle felt good,” Jefferson said following practice. “My lungs were hurting more than anything, my wind.”

Jefferson said he understood why Clifford and the team’s medical staff might be cautious in projecting whether he will be ready for the opener. Part of the issue will be how Jefferson’s ankle feels overnight, now that he’s tested it in practice.

Assuming there’s no setback, Jefferson said, he’ll participate in an eight-minute full-court scrimmage Tuesday to test his mobility and conditioning before the team flies to Houston.

The Bobcats signed Jefferson over the summer to a three-year, $41 million contract. He’s among the best low-post scorers in the NBA, averaging 16.4 points and 9.0 rebounds over nine pro seasons.

Jefferson’s absence this preseason has been challenging, since the Bobcats offense runs very differently with and without him.

In other news, Clifford said power forward-center Jeff Adrien and small forward James Southerland have made the opening-night roster. Both are playing under unguaranteed contracts.

Adrien, who played for the Bobcats last season, wasn’t much of a surprise, particularly with center Brendan Haywood out 12 weeks with a stress fracture. Southerland, an undrafted rookie out of Syracuse, was less expected.

“He has size, he can really shoot and he’s a good worker,” Clifford said of Southerland.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 28, 2013 at 02:00 PM | Permalink


Glad to see Adrien get another shot. He has earned it.

Posted by: GO CATS!! | Oct 28, 2013 2:37:44 PM

Heard from ASSTAR the former Bobcats employee that Kemba is headed to the Italian League. Any truth to that?

Posted by: Bobnet | Oct 28, 2013 2:38:11 PM

Hey slurpers, look what Bonnell said about Kidd-CantShootStraight-Gilchrist...

"...Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t appear to be progressing. His jump shot is still flawed, and at times this preseason he passed up open looks."


"...there’s no way, based on performance since the end of last season, that Taylor should play fewer minutes than Kidd-Gilchrist."


Basically Bonnell is saying only reason MKG might start is to justify the #2 pick, which is plain wrong. The best player should start.

Nice article Bonnell, didn't think you had that sort of thing in you.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 28, 2013 3:05:31 PM

I can't believe a 25 year old is ahead of a 19 year old in development. I have never heard of that happening before. I have also never seen a rebuilding team start a young player to speed up his growth.

and no. Kemba is not in the Italian League. There so many dumb comments on Bonnells blog they are touhg to keep up with.

Posted by: James | Oct 28, 2013 4:00:01 PM

^^^Thank you for the clarfication on Kemba. I must have recieved some bad information.

On Taylor and MKG. Welcome to the world of Asstar. Where it is inexcusable to give minutes to your 19 year old #2 draft pick on a team that is playing for the future.

Posted by: Bobnet | Oct 28, 2013 4:31:16 PM

Foot injuries never really heal...til the offseason. If this dude doesn't play it's just another season of mediocrity.

Posted by: willy loman | Oct 28, 2013 5:59:10 PM

Who the hell ever said Kemba was going to the Italian League? Where does this ridiculous stuff even start? The guy averaged 17 and 8 last year. WTF.

Posted by: Johnny Rocket | Oct 28, 2013 5:59:26 PM

Wow no boones farm jer nastar? You know I think you just like posting negative stuff because I haven't seen you on the panthers board at all....so pick on the ummmmm BOOBcats right?

Posted by: mfreeze3152 | Oct 28, 2013 6:18:15 PM

3152 you better start paying closer attention ;) It really is amazing that poor Charlotte has been cursed with Booney and Air Min, bottom of the barrel owners in both leagues...just terrible luck.

Turn pro and collect that first paycheck, the age argument goes straight out the window -- put up or shut up...

...Bonnell has put Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho on the spot, are they going to dictate to Clifford and force him to start M-CSS-KG over Taylor?

What say ye Slurp Nation?!?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 28, 2013 7:39:07 PM

Someone thinks Kemba is headed to the Italian League? Cmon. You would have to be a complete idiot to ever say that.

Posted by: Mike T | Oct 28, 2013 8:06:45 PM

Foot injury? That guy must be getting his info from Asstar. Anyone notice how much he likes to talk about slurping? Might be another reason he was fired. That could not go over well in an office place.

Posted by: Bobnet | Oct 28, 2013 8:15:25 PM

willy, in case you missed it this was Rick Bonnell's outlook:

" My prediction on the Bobcats’ record: 30-52."

Heck, I'm not so sure that would even constitute a "mediocre" result...but rather, something less.


A question for Slurp Nation, are we in the business of playing the players who are playing best, and trying to win as many games as possible...

...or not?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 28, 2013 8:26:44 PM

Think OKC could have found a player that could have helped them win a couple of more games when Westbrook was leading the NBA turnovers? The ignorance on this board is absolutely astounding.

Posted by: Mike T. | Oct 28, 2013 8:40:49 PM


Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 28, 2013 8:57:25 PM

M-CSS-KG could go through a 0-100 stretch...

...and Slurp Nation would find a way to excuse it.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 28, 2013 8:59:36 PM

People, this is nothing short of a call to arms by Bonnell:

->Taylor’s confidence soaring; minutes distribution should match.<-

Will Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho force Clifford to start M-CSS-KG in a face saving move because they picked him #2? Or not?

This is gonna be interesting...by all rights our #2 and #7 should be coming off the bench. Heck, it's a tossup on the #9.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 28, 2013 9:10:44 PM

I thought the guy was busting about you being fired. I guess not. Some serious anger there. You do know if Taylor turns out to be a player, they drafted him as well. Zeller also. I guess those don't count. Damn. Someone is in pain, crying out for help.

Posted by: Mike T. | Oct 29, 2013 1:03:04 AM

Again. Taylor is 25. Is it really a surprise he is more game ready than a 19 year old? Looks like they drafted 2 good players that year. Should be considered a good thing. If they want to dvelop MKG, great. They are not a playoff team. If they want to a play Taylor. Play Taylor. Not exactly a controversy on a team that is at least a year away.

Posted by: James | Oct 29, 2013 8:15:26 AM

"Is it really a surprise he is more game ready than a 19 year old? "

Given their respective draft positions, yes.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 29, 2013 10:29:51 AM

Ps...they are 20 and 24.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 29, 2013 10:30:47 AM

I guess it would be a surprise to you. Does not appear that you are very sophisticated on how the draft works. You have never seen young players taken based on potential.

Posted by: James | Oct 29, 2013 10:36:14 AM

Michael Kidd Gilchrist is indeed 4 years younger) than Jeff Taylor (not 6.
The important difference between them is that Taylor stayed four years in college, while MKG was "one and done".

Evidently, three extra years of NCAA play mean that Taylor is three years ahead of MKG in his development. Even Jeff Taylor's development is far from complete, he'll keep getting better.
Then, when you pick a player 2nd overall, knowing how raw he was (offensively), of course you give him playing time to develop him.

Finding the right balance between competing to win, and continuing to develop our young players, will require allowing about even playing time to MKG and Taylor (that's as an average; their actual minutes can certainly vary from game to game).

Just like MKG needs to improve his offensive game (and he definitely has the potential for improvement), so Taylor needs to figure out ways to improve his rebounding; he's capable of doing so.

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 29, 2013 10:55:11 AM

Can people stop trying to reason with Asstar. He was F I R E D by the Bobcats. Hopfully he will land on his feet soon so he has somehting to do.

Posted by: Bobnet | Oct 29, 2013 11:30:31 AM

the moral of the story is that ben gordon shouldn't have any minutes so that henderson/taylor/mkg can maximize the available minutes on the wing.

and yes taylor is 4 and change older, not 6. way to go with facts guys.

i'm surprised southerland is still around, but I guess it's better to fill the roster with a few non guarantees than the leave empty roster spots and have the talent pool dry up with euro and china signings. he will struggle to get out of a suit, but here's to hoping he follows the likes of alan anderson, shannon brown, jason kapono, etc. who had brief stops here before going elsewhere and succeeding.

if biz has 20 rebounds and 4 blocks tomorrow night would that move him up to 7th or 6th on the depth chart nastar? is that before or after tyrus thomas and patrick o'bryant?

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 29, 2013 12:41:19 PM

Excuses, excuses...

"Evidently, three extra years of NCAA play mean that Taylor is three years ahead of MKG in his development."

If true, why was MKG the starter?

When will MKG pass him, when he's 30?

MKG was the better player in college and drafted accordingly. Taylor was an excellent player in college but not good enough to warrant a 1st round pick.

MKG has hit a wall and is not meeting expectations. Taylor has continued to develop and is exceeding expectations. As Bonnell said, Taylor is now the better basketball player and as such...

...he should be he starter.

Anyone who attempts to rationalize that after having a full NBA season under their belt it's normal for a #2 pick to be a lesser player than the #31 pick...well, they'd be a slurper extraordinaire!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 29, 2013 12:45:12 PM

it's not attempting to rationalize, it IS rational to say that both should play starters minutes.

taylor has clearly earned it and MKG has shown at times why we drafted him 2nd overall last year. he's STILL one of the youngest guys in the league this year. he was the youngest player last year, do you know how many guys are younger now?

nerlens noel (by about 6 months) who won't play this year, Giannis Antetokounmpo (who probably shouldn't even be eligible for the league as he isn't 19 yet, supposedly), sergey karasev (by a month), livio-jean charles oh wait....he plays for asvel still, archie goodwin by almost a year. 2 guys that are expected to wear a jersey this year, neither of which are expected to clock many minutes at all, let alone start.

mkg is 2 weeks older than dennis schroeder who was one of the youngest guys in THIS draft class.

keeping in mind that MKG played 2025 minutes and got 77 starts compared to taylors 1507 minutes and 29 starts.......

mkg had 35 games in double figures last year including games of 21, 22, 25 and 25. those last 2 being a 19 year old going for 25 and 12 twice as a rookie. yeah he should be starting. 12.5 points per 36 minutes.

taylor had a high of 18 with 17 games in double figures. 11.3 points per 36 minutes.

mkg shot better from the field and from the line but with less range giving taylor the better TS%. mkg gave you more rebounds assists and blocks per 36 while taylor had a 1.1 to 1.0 advantage in steals. PER favors MKG. he has a lower usage which is better to play with the starting unit where jefferson, kemba, and hendo should make up the pecking order while mcroberts and mkg make plays for them.

taylor SHOULD be coming off the bench, but playing starters minutes. he should get Almost all of gordon's minutes and be the go-to guy on the second unit along with zeller and sessions. if he starts dominating regular season games like he did summer league, then we need to talk about him starting over EITHER henderson or mkg.

but on that note.......mkg dominated summer league LAST summer (2012) when he was 18. made back to back 3 pointers in a game too.

you guys jumping off the mkg bandwagon might want to slow down a bit. there are 30 jeff taylors for every mkg. the same logic applies to zeller and biyombo as all 3 are 20-21 and need time to grow. but those dudes are going to be critical components of this team becoming a legit playoff team year in year out.

you don't sit the guy because the 24 year old looks more ready than the 20 year old. if the same remains true next year, you debate it. but for now, this should be about taylor over gordon or general taylor needs more minutes......not taylor over mkg.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 29, 2013 1:59:42 PM

Bonnell said: "Perhaps more importantly, Taylor needs to play down the stretch of close games, whether it’s alongside Kidd-Gilchrist or replacing him. The Bobcats were 29th among 30 NBA teams in scoring this preseason (90.4 points per game) and 25th in field-goal percentage (41.3 percent). They need Taylor’s offensive skills when games are decided."

So starts MKG for show because he was a #2 pick but replace him with the better player who gets more minutes and the critical minutes during crunch-time.

How does this fly in Slurp Nation?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 29, 2013 3:15:05 PM

you don't get development do you?

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 29, 2013 4:33:15 PM

You'd probably prefer they didn't keep score and everyone gets a trophy wouldn't you?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 29, 2013 7:17:21 PM

hahahaha........right because i'm against being a 35 win team as opposed to being a 50 win team? i'm not about mediocre. i'd be glad to suffer through a few years (as we have done) in order to be really good for a really long time rather than constantly being up and down in mediocrity.

sustainable success is a lot better and a lot more likely that a team can break through and steal a title from a lebron/KD/whoever is next reign. ask dirk.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 29, 2013 8:20:34 PM

I asked Dirk and he said definitely doable as long as you have an owner with a Howitzer Checkbook who is willing to stroke BIG checks for that decade...

...to the tune of $150,530,433 in luxury tax payments in the case of Mr. Cuban.

Reminds me of the quote from Cuban when Air Minimum bought in:

"Welcome to my world, Michael," he said. "Get out the checkbook."


This team will never have sustained success similar to Dallas as long as Michael Jordan is owner -- write it down.

Heck, Cuban probably spent as much on customizing the players lockers as it's going to cost Air Min to switch the name to Hornets -- but Cuban didn't have to bring in a "national consultant" to tell him it was the thing to do!


Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 30, 2013 12:06:29 AM

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