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November 12, 2013

Brutal third quarter, MKG vanishes and why Ben Gordon doesn't play

    Some post-game thoughts on the Charlotte Bobcats’ 101-91 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks:

            -- I’ve covered some awful NBA basketball, and that third quarter was among the worst the Bobcats have performed. They gave up 72 percent shooting and shot just 33 percent. As coach Steve Clifford put it, “We came out in the third quarter with absolutely nothing – disorganized at both ends of the floor.”

            No debate there. Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, the former Wake Forest star, unraveled the Bobcats that quarter while scoring just four points. He so effectively penetrated Charlotte’s defense that quarter that he totaled nine assists.

            Aside on Teague: The Milwaukee Bucks signed him to an offer sheet, and Teague really wanted to leave to be reunited with ex-Hawks coach Larry Drew. Hawks GM Danny Ferry was wise to match the offer sheet because it’s so hard to find another point guard with Teague’s speed and varied skills.

            -- The thing that was redeeming about the second half for the Bobcats is they didn’t quit after that horrible third quarter. They trimmed a 14-point deficit to six several times but couldn’t get closer. That speaks to the improved talent and fight this team has.

            -- I thought Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was headed for a huge night when he scored 16 in the first half. Five of his six first-half field goals were layups or dunks, which is the only way he’ll be an offensive threat in the near future.

            Then in the second half, zilch. In 17 second-half minutes MKG went scoreless and missed his only shot from the field. Asked what became of MKG after halftime, Clifford said, “His energy dropped. Our team’s energy dropped.”

            -- Two Bobcats questions I’ve been asked the most recently: When is Al Jefferson coming back and why isn’t Ben Gordon playing?

            Jefferson is back and Gordon registered his sixth DNP-CD (Did not play by coach’s decision) in seven games.

            I answer your Gordon question all the time: Clifford thinks Jeff Taylor’s defense, versatility and size trumps Gordon’s track record as a scorer/shooter. You might not like that answer, but it’s obvious that’s how Clifford feels. Don’t blame me if you disagree.

            -- I won’t write a lot here about Al Jefferson’s return because I wrote about that a lot in my game story and I’ll write a lot more about re-integrating him into the offense in the coming days and weeks.

            But one point about Al: He admits he deserved the nickname “black hole” in Minnesota. He became a more willing and adept passer with the Utah Jazz. His passes tonight, particularly the one to Gerald Henderson for a dunk, says he gets it about the importance of ball-movement.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 12, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

Comments

Keep attacking MKG. I think that's only going to make him better. He has been this teams most consistent player. Kemba and Gerald have been playing like trash.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2013 12:23:20 AM

"...layups or dunks...is the only way he’ll (MKG) be an offensive threat in the near future."

Posted by: Bonnell Said | Nov 12, 2013 2:10:31 AM

Same old song and dance...inconsistent shooting, lack of an inside game, and weak defense. On a positive note, MKG's numbers are slowly rising.

Other players need to step up. The Bobcats are not fun to watch right now.

Posted by: Airbrush2020 | Nov 12, 2013 6:18:17 AM

@airbrush give them awhile to get used to Al on the court and for him to get back in shape

Posted by: Spaceman mike | Nov 12, 2013 6:33:44 AM

Gordon is locker room poison. His on court persona is always negative as he thinks of himself as an All-Star being held back. Trade him now. Trade him for whatever you can get. We will be much better off without his attitude.
On Al, he just needs time to get into shape. He is slow, overweight, and gets winded after two runs up and back. We are not built as a half court team. He may have cost us a ton of money, and he may assimilate at some point, but as is he is not helping this team.
Now for Hendo. How many garbage shots can one guy take and still be on the court? He shot a lightly contested turnaround jumper off the TOP OF THE BACKBOARD last night. How can a pro do that? He is allergic to playing defense. The rest of the team knows full and well that when you pass him the ball, you are not going to see it again unless it's a rebound. He is Tom Chambers Jr.

Posted by: Go Cats! | Nov 12, 2013 8:13:11 AM

I'm starting to think that Hendo is not a starting 2 in this league. Maybe we can package him along with Gordon's expiring.

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 12, 2013 8:36:20 AM

the thing about those layups and dunks is that he can get them at will if he's given the ball in the right places. his post game could be developed in a glenn robinson/jamal mashburn type mold too. he's not the shooter of those 2 but he has the frame and skill level to demolish 3's on the block.

taylor looked really good early on and then he just got the yips and started turning everything over. that 1 turnover mark is just wrong. he had a stretch of 3 in a row in the third. how they credited those to other people (mcroberts, kemba, and i think another to tolliver) is just poor book keeping.

jefferson DID have some nice passes last night that surprised me. the one to kemba early on was the best IMO. how that guy can consistently choose NOT to contest shots right in front of him is just unacceptable. obviously don't foul somebody pulling up for an open jumper, but AT LEAST GET AN EFFING HAND UP AND ACT LIKE YOU WANT THE GUY TO MISS.

the only reason gordon should ever play is to boost trade value (which would get hurt severely if he got injured). as it stands, i think a gordon for granger and a pick or 2 is destined. I don't think there's a harden'esque deal on the table this year unless it involves evan turner and we clearly don't have the balls to make that move - it's been dangling for the past 2 years and we haven't made it.

gordon for turner and richardson seems like an appropriate deal for both sides. you could throw in henderson if need be, philly has the room to absorb. could throw in a 1st if you wanted. there's no reason why turner should end up elsewhere. no reason. it's the most blatantly obvious way for the team to make a major move up.

stephenson isn't going anywhere for anything short of a godfather offer, thompson isn't going anywhere and while barnes could get moved, he would only fit if you plan on playing MKG at the 4 a lot. doesn't seem like a valuable move for us unless they give him away (they won't).

no other upper echelon young wings available. unless you roll the dice on eric gordon's max contract (don't).


evan turner campaign reboot?

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2013 9:25:49 AM

Forgot Josh looked good. He is like what we all wanted Byron Mullens to be but wasn't. He makes 3's and only shots them when wide open and obvious and he passes a bunch.
Is it sad that our PF lead the team is assists and does often it seems????

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 12, 2013 9:26:56 AM

Two observations in addition to the above- Kemba's inability/unwillingness to 'assist' and Gerald Henderson's obvious over-evaluation as major contributor. Bet FO would love to have that contract back.

Posted by: eduardo | Nov 12, 2013 10:10:55 AM

Was Gordon always a bad guy?

Or did he just become a bad guy since coming to the Boob's?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 12, 2013 10:38:02 AM

LOVE the Tom Chambers reference! But don't sully Big Tom by referencing Gerald Henderson (or any of the Boob's for that matter) in the same breath (or sentence).

Big Tom averaged 20.5pts and 6.6rbs per game for a decade, we could use us a little (or lot) of that because our offense sucks!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 12, 2013 10:53:34 AM

NASTAR, Just quoting Chuck Barkley about the "black hole" nature of their games. Tom was productive, but he was not known as an assist guy if ya know what I mean.
CLTN, agreed on Grainger, even with his tired legs. He is a HUGE up from Gordon or Hendo. I want no part of Evan Turner, we already have to players who struggle to score, he would be another project. I think Harrison Barnes is our only real option. He is doing NOTHING on the bench for GS.

Posted by: Go Cats! | Nov 12, 2013 11:00:48 AM

Sessions is TERRIBLE!! Everytime he goes in as the SG, the team collapses. When he plays PG, the team regressess. He constantly drives and misses lay up, after lay up, after lay up, never looking to pass. Clifford's rotations are also becoming very suspect.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Nov 12, 2013 11:09:42 AM

How about a time-out during 10 point runs? We aren't the Spurs, we won't work through those runs. Use the T.O. Clifford!

Posted by: Doug | Nov 12, 2013 11:19:32 AM

Go Cats, fair enough ;)

D.W.G., I travel a lot so last night the broadcast I watched happened to be with the Hawks team announcers, Dominique is the color guy (like Dell for us). If 'Nique said it once, he said it 7 times....."the Bobcat offense grinds to a halt when Sessions is out of the game". (paraphrased)

Yeah yeah, I know, you know more about it than an NBA Scoring Champion who was also a 9-time all-star and 7-time all-NBA selection.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 12, 2013 11:20:22 AM

turner is "struggling" to score 23 ppg thus far this season.

at over 50% from the field, with 6 boards and 3 assists. only reason we would swap gordon for granger is for a pick and the ability to trade granger later in another deal. both are expiring contracts, indiana needs a healthy scorer off the bench (their bench wings are pretty weak).

and gordon became a bad guy when he got wayyyyy overpaid by detroit and then underutilized at the same time. he is only one type of player: go to scorer who doesn't play defense. if he is not on your team to do that and that only, he doesn't belong. we only took him because he came with a draft pick that would have been a really good pick before detroit made enough moves to make it a mid first rounder. still might be a lottery pick and it's only top 8 protected this year so it's probably that we have our pick (lottery) plus their pick (9-17 worst case) and possibly even portland's which is top 12 protected. ideal scenario for us is.....we win the lottery this year, detroit and portland keep theirs protected, we get detroit's next year as a #2 pick, and we get portland's in 2016 as a top 5 pick when it's unprotected. but that's fantasy world. far more likely we have 3 outside of the top 5 this year.

gordon not playing has little to do with his ability, even little to do with his lack of defense, and everything to do with the fact that he won't be here next year so why waste minutes trying to win with a guy that won't be here when it matters? why is that concept so hard to understand? next year matters. this year doesn't (wins wise). we want to get taylor and mkg and henderson as many minutes as possible and if we're picking between gordon and sessions for the scraps, i'm going sessions all day. keep in mind sessions is a trade asset also.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2013 11:38:39 AM

Its time to admit the mistake in drafting MKG & package him & Gordon for H.Barnes(GS)or D.Williams(Minn)or T.Evens(NO). & why Taylor is not our starting SF? He can shoot, lay up & play D better then MKG. Lets face it Adam Morrison would be a better pick lol

Posted by: tre'4boi | Nov 12, 2013 12:04:01 PM

It's a sad day when Cartier Martin is the better shooter on the court (a former Charlotte call-up from D League).

Posted by: Airbrush2020 | Nov 12, 2013 12:07:04 PM

tre4boi you obviously haven't watched the games thus far. the guy is probably playing the best ball out of anybody on the team thus far.

i wanted barnes on draft day. I still wouldn't mind having barnes. that said, MKG has the exact same level of potential. what he lacks in shooting, he brings so much more in intangibles than barnes. barnes isn't running down melo and swatting shots and taking them back the other way for dunks. he isn't diving on the floor for loose balls left and right either. that ish wins games.

trading for turner gives you the scorer without giving up MKG in the process.

and don't get me started on morrison. not a bad pick, he got hurt. i don't understand how NOBODY ELSE remembers that part of the equation. brandon roy wasn't a bad pick because he got hurt afterwards. morrison just got hurt sooner.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2013 12:20:52 PM

Ben Gordon has been drinking coffee and looks so uniterested during the games it is classic.
MKG was great 1st half and not 2nd because no one really passed him the ball. They went out of way in 1st qtr to get him involved. 2nd half they tried with Big Al. Who by the way looked so rusty!!!
Kemba and Hendo struggling

Top 4 pick here we come!!!

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 12, 2013 1:45:59 PM

Forget the 3rd qtr, we were down by 6 in the 4th when the Bobcats missed on 4 straight possessions and those were close at the bucket shots.

I agree Sessions commands the court better than Walker but no way Taylor shoots better than Gordon.

Posted by: The Fact is this... | Nov 12, 2013 1:51:03 PM

I think Kemba is best suited as a 6th man scoring pg off the bench.

Posted by: STH | Nov 12, 2013 2:09:40 PM

@charlottean you mean to tell me you head does not hurt every time MGK take a shot other then a lay up or dunk?! what he is now on the court is what he will be in 5 yrs...6th man/hype man. when you speak of intangible shane battier comes to mind...not him. guess i & maybe only me would be happier if he was the 6th man & had that same energy

Posted by: tre'4boi | Nov 12, 2013 2:13:02 PM

Again...

Was Gordon always a bad guy?

Or did he just become a bad guy since coming to the Boob's?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 12, 2013 3:16:33 PM

^^^^ he went 3 for 5 on jumpers against new york, 1 for 4 last night.

considering how effectively he scores at the rim, I could care less. the jumper will improve but you can't teach the mental toughness (and physical toughness) required to score at the rim with ease in the NBA.

and the kid is the 5th youngest in the league RIGHT NOW at age 20. the other 4 guys aren't doing much of ANYTHING. look at karasev, goodwin, antetekounmpo, noel because that's the group that's younger.


how many of these guys have scored 16 points in an nba HALF? how about 25 and 12 twice as a rookie? only been done by a few legends and MKG.

you guys are entirely too impatient with the kid. he's an absolute stud of a talent and this is, again, coming from a guy who REALLY wanted barnes on draft night.

he and zeller and biz are going to make a lot of charlotte "fans" look dumb for complaining about them when they are 24-25 years old and dominating the league.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2013 3:22:36 PM

shawn marion has a HORRIBLY ugly shot but makes a solid % of them. MKG will do the same. it will always be an ugly shot, but he'll make enough of them.

he'll never shoot like durant, but durant will also never defend like MKG.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2013 3:26:28 PM

Gordon was such a "good guy" in Detriot they threw in a first round pick to get rid of him. Seriously?

Posted by: Steve | Nov 12, 2013 4:40:47 PM

The biggest problem the Bobcats have is that their point guards (Kemba and Sessions)
shoot too freaking much and won't past the ball. McRoberts had more assists last night that Kemba and Sessions did combined.

Posted by: Jon | Nov 12, 2013 5:16:03 PM

kemba took 11 shots in 32 minutes last night. him shooting too little was more of a cause of the loss than him shooting too much.

there was a guy named iverson that did just fine chucking away to the tune of 3 more attempts per 36 than kemba averages.

we were beat by atlanta SIMPLY because they shot the ball better than we did. usually the game comes down to rebounds or turnovers (who gets the most shots in the game) but in this example, we actually got a few more shots than they did but they shot so well it didn't matter. 10 for 27 from downtown and 46% overall is going to get a win in almost any game. especially when the rebounding and turnovers are close. we out rebounded atlanta slightly, had 1 more turnover but the shooting killed us.

but the young guys (including kemba) will figure it out with time. especially if they land another top 5 pick this year coming up.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 12, 2013 6:56:29 PM

Morrison stayed hurt and was handed a Laker ring. What a bizarre character he became.

Posted by: Sports don | Nov 12, 2013 7:49:57 PM

Anthony Davis is only 20 and he has a beautiful stroke and has only missed more than 1 free throw in one game all year -- overall at 87%.

We don't have a single BOOB shooting 81% or higher....

Was Gordon a bad guy before he became a BOOB....or has this "franchise" completely destroyed another elite player?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 13, 2013 12:31:59 AM

Ben Gordon is/was an elite player? Decent in Chicago. averaged 12 or so his 3 years in Detroit per game. Hopefully the real reason they traded for him turns into an elite player from this years draft. Which looks better every day.

Posted by: Mike T | Nov 13, 2013 3:39:55 AM

I have heard Gordon called alot of things. Elite is not one of them. The great part is that he turns into a 13 million dollar roster spot they can fill and 1st round pick. Now that is a magic trick! Alakazaam.

Posted by: McBob | Nov 13, 2013 7:18:59 AM

And another thing. Enough about Al's low post scoring. How about an update on his ankle? How did he practice. Any swelling or lingering issues after his first game back? Does anyone do an actual reporting?

Posted by: McBob | Nov 13, 2013 7:23:36 AM

gordon was and always will be an elite scorer

but with that comes a lot of dumb tunrovers, absolute disregard for defense, major attitude problem and a 13 million dollar price tag.

we didn't ruin gordon, detroit did. the guy was the #3 pick for a reason. he was given a ton of money for a reason. how it went from there to him being a cast-off was pretty wild. that said, he's doing what he's supposed to do right now: sit so we can develop the young guys that will be here next year. gordon probably won't make it through the year here as he'll either guy traded or bought out at some point.

dunlap was told to play the young guys and then he was criticized for not playing the vets enough. let's see how clifford does this year with a more experienced and 1 year older young core + mcroberts for the whole year. I expect jefferson will cost him as many wins as he brings, but that may not be the case.

either way, i think we had the right coach and bailed on him too early.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 13, 2013 7:44:50 AM

Nastar
Ben Gordon was such a bad guy in Detroit that they not only gave up a first round draft choice to get rid of him but only received Corey Maggette in return. Corey Maggette is no longer in the NBA so that means that Ben Gordon was so bad that Detroit traded him for nothing and gave up a valuable first round pick...how in your twisted mind did the bobcats make Ben Gordon a bad guy?

Posted by: MJ | Nov 13, 2013 9:26:55 AM

on the bright side, they offered the exact same deal for charlie villanueva and we said " no thanks, we'll take gordon"

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 13, 2013 10:12:43 AM

After watching the college games last night I think Randle, Wiggins, and Parker would all start today on our team and be the best player.
I hate to say it but sign me up for tank mode if needed. A pick like one of them would improve the team drastically.
Comments on above:
Gordon is either all or nothing and ball hogs. Attitude in toilet.
Sessions is great at drawing fouls because he always drives and never passes. If his layups drop and the foul get's called its wonderful. During Hawks game neither really happened.
Kemba and Hendo have been off and cold.
MKG has looked way improved. I don't know what games folks are watching or going to but his defense is amazing and his offense has improved. 20 years old, he will never be elite by any means but best player in 4 years. Possibly if we don't improve

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 13, 2013 11:27:36 AM

I agree with McBob on Dunlap. As to Gordon, his attitude, selfishness and one dimensional play were the Reasons the Bulls let him walk to Detroit where he became even more of a Cancer. The guy is Toxic. I don't understand why Zeller doesn't get more minutes every game. He is more of the future than Biz. Jefferson's appearance will be Less Shots for everyone else.
I wonder how that will sit with the Perimeter players used to playing with the 3 Inside Stiffs from last year.

Posted by: hootEvers | Nov 13, 2013 12:53:38 PM

I am so confused with the Kemba Walker comments. He passes the ball but no one can beat there man one on one the ball comes back to him. He is then forced to make something happen. Kemba is a starting pg but he has no sg or sf that has an outside shot. The best shooters in the starting 5 is Kemba and Josh who plays PF. Watch GM Cho will get Kemba some shooters in this years draft then Kemba will shine like the star he is.

Posted by: Dada | Nov 13, 2013 2:49:36 PM

I didn't say the Boob's made Gordon a bad guy...I asked if he was a bad guy before he came here...

...thanks for clearing that up for me MJ.

So, Gordon was a known locker room cancer, a bad bad guy, and we stir him into the mix when we are try to mold and groom young players? Is that good policy? We knowingly added the basketball version Richie Ingconito to our roster?

That doesn't seem like a good idea at any price.


Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 13, 2013 3:05:42 PM

Air Min doing us proud again...

...won't beat Robert Pera out of $1 million for a Charlotte local charity but he's up for Beer Pong!

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/michael-jordan-age-50-spotted-playing-beer-pong-180823029--nba.html

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 13, 2013 3:44:35 PM

NASTAR99

We got a good looking first rounder (hopefully) from the Ben Gordon trade so I think it is totally worth the cost!

Posted by: Jonathan Maxwell | Nov 13, 2013 5:21:07 PM

NASTAR is an idiot. Sounds like he was fired by the Bobcats. No other legitimate reason to waste as much time as he does trashing the "Boobcats" and Jordan. Anyone that would question the Gordon trade as part of a rebuild obviously has an axe to grind, I guess he could just be a straight up troll, but that is alot of time to waste just trolling.

Posted by: McBob | Nov 13, 2013 7:02:08 PM

An extra first round draft pick and a deal that expires this year for 13 million is a bad deal for this team? That is another classic for the NASTAR list. Pure comedic gold.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 13, 2013 7:32:03 PM

31-124 in the Kemba Era...yeah, they got it all figured out ;)

slurp slurp...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 13, 2013 7:41:56 PM

31-124 in a rebuild. how is that hard to comprehend?

bulls were 68-96 jordan's first 2 years and that's JORDAN.

okc was 43-121 durant's first 2 years.

MKG just hit another jumper and jefferson made a surprisingly slick pass to walker earlier. he had a few the other night too.....that dude learned how to pass from kevin love.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 13, 2013 8:02:48 PM

jeff taylor just made a name for himself.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 13, 2013 8:13:03 PM

1334 team/season campaigns in the history of the NBA and the Boob's "rebuild" produced the, single, worst, EVER -- comprehend that.

Taylor just played almost 18 minutes in 1H and M-CSS-KG checked in at barely over 11....what's up with that?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 13, 2013 8:56:53 PM

MKG was/is in foul trouble. taylor was/is productive. literally everybody except kemba looking good tonight.

and if the mission in rebuilding was to have a bad record to guarantee a top 5 pick.....mission accomplished. why is that a bad thing? the whole "worst season ever" thing is skewed.....shortened season. augustin and henderson had minor injuries that kept them out stretches because the games were so bunched together.

rod higgins is NO DOUBT one of the worst GM's ever if not the worst. but since cho was hired....there has been a significant rise in intelligent moves and MAJOR decline in bonehead front office decisions.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 13, 2013 9:24:14 PM

Well we do agree on a few things ;)

I'm sure the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th worst teams in history all had "skewing" caveats as well, but we still managed to wrap up the grand prize!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 13, 2013 9:54:20 PM

somehow that was a ugly, gutty, grind it out win where we looked good doing it. HUGE bucket by MKG late, as was the block. walker had an UGLY game but made the plays that mattered down the stretch. huge rebound leading to that break. free throw problem appears under control this week. if jefferson played any ounce of defense, i'd be a HUGE fan. it's painful watching. makes ben gordon look like gary payton. with boston having 1 foul to give, a timeout, and up 4....there's no reason biz shouldn't have been on the floor that last possession.


boston has something going for them with crawford at pg. sullinger being out helped us big time. amazing how everybody forgot about how good jeff green can be (until this week i guess). he's a former #4 pick now 27 and out of all shadows.


gotta love the sports town that IS boston. big 3 era over, rivers gone, rondo out, playing the bobcats on a wednesday in november and the arena is rocking like it's a playoff game. i miss that kind of basketball.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 13, 2013 9:57:27 PM

Hey NASLURP. Is that your response every time you've called out for saying something ignorant. Not sure why you resort to that. You seem so intelligent otherwise. Not.

Posted by: McBob | Nov 13, 2013 10:43:15 PM

Big Al! And that is him still not in shape and completed integrated into the team. This will be interesting to watch develop. Looking forward to the Heat game Saturday to see it in person.

Posted by: David | Nov 13, 2013 11:01:13 PM

Nice road win for the Cats. I was worried with McBob out. Hope he's back Sat. His passing combined with Big Al's will be a pleasure to watch.

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 14, 2013 7:36:26 AM

A very good win, in a road game, against a team coming from a four games winning streak.

Al Jefferson, plus very good defense throughout the game, won it for the Bobcats.

Also, the Cats did a very good job at rebounding and free throws (even as the jump shots were not falling).

- - -

Al Jefferson is not yet in best shape physically, and the point guards still have to learn how to use him best. And still he gave us a 22 points, 11 rebounds winning game.

Maybe this was less noticed: Big Al is a willing passer. Last night his 3 assists in 32 minutes equal the combined number of assists of our two point guards: a total of 3 assists in 52 minutes played by them!

And all that charlottean had about him was a negative comment.
Very predictable. I knew that this was coming; for ch., his own prejudiced notions prevail above anything else.

I saw Jefferson putting real effort in the interior defense. It was an honest effort; that's not "painful watching".

Coach Clifford - known for his open, truthful, manner of speech - said after the game that Jefferson played much better defense than expected.
This is very different from implying that he's not playing an "ounce of defense" (which is what happened in charlottean's world)...

ch., such barbs, such imbalanced and distorted comments, are better reserved for opponents' players, not for our starting center - especially, not after a win that has his fingerprints all over it.
But, I knew that's all that can be expected from you.

Always prejudiced and unrealistic.
Always overestimating some players, and underrating and berating others.
Always the same, regardless of what actually happens in games.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 14, 2013 9:48:41 AM

I caught the Celtics feed and they were genuinely happy to have Big Al back in the building.

The Big Boy gave of an excellent preview of what he is capable of and when he gets into shape his post repertoire is gonna be slicker than owl snot on a glass doorknob. Love having a big man who can actually catch, and shoot.

Hypothetical, if we win 35 games where will we draft?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 14, 2013 1:02:57 PM

The bummer is with all of this that we may be back to exactly where we wanted to avoid which is a constant 8th seed at best.
35 games may be close to making playoffs in east and then we lose our 1st round pick.
This was the draft for us to finish dead last for.
We got MKG as #2 and next year its likely Parker or Randle. Thats a massive difference.
They need to go back to whoever doesn't make playoffs goes in to lottery with equal % chance. Otherwise teams will start being extreme of elite and tank. No one will want to ride the middle. Which is what are current team looks capable enough to do but nothing more.
Oh and what is up with Kemba since MSG game. He has just been horrid.

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Nov 14, 2013 1:11:21 PM

I said the following:

"...jefferson made a surprisingly slick pass to walker earlier. he had a few the other night too.....that dude learned how to pass from kevin love."

and

"if jefferson played any ounce of defense, i'd be a HUGE fan. it's painful watching. makes ben gordon look like gary payton."

oh and how about "literally everybody except kemba looking good tonight."


but yeah be sensitive and cry about that. there's no way you watched that game and saw good defense from him. anthony tolliver was acting as the rim protector more than jefferson was. green and crawford (especially against kemba) were getting right to rim uncontested with regularity.

the guy played solid offense last night. the passing is insanely better than it was in his early years. that's the biggest take away thus far. 22 points on 21 possessions used + the 3 assists is solid and if that's what we're getting from him regularly (as is close to his career numbers) he'll be exactly what he has been. but you CANNOT ignore the fact that those numbers have never won him anything and that has A LOT to do with his lack of defense. you can't win without interior defense. dirk had chandler, michael had rodman/grant/longley/wenninton/purdue. kobe had shaq. duncan, robinson, nesterovic, elson, etc. KG/Perkins/Powe all gave an eff on defense. Lebron has birdman, haslem, anthony, and bosh at least TRIES on defense.

it IS absolutely painful to watch. the offense is old school and skilled to death, but the defense absolutely lacks effort. it's as if he intentionally doesn't contest to stay out of foul trouble because of how badly he used to get in foul trouble early in his career. like he came out trying....and then just gave up.

the optimist that I am is holding out hope that he develops defense the way he developed passing. he teaches biz how to regularly make that sweet A$$ running hook he netted, some free throws, and all the up and under footwork, and biz teaches him how to give an eff on the other end and actually put a hand up when a guy is shooting a jumper RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.


zeller had a really nice game with a pretty ugly stat line. that first turnover wasn't on him - book keepers thus far have been suspect about attributing steals and turnovers to the right guy.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 14, 2013 1:22:34 PM

35 wins would have us roughly slotted 11th of the 14 lottery teams. and the pick is only top 10 protected. so we could finish with 35 wins AND get the top pick with a ton of luck. and we could also get 35 wins and give the pick to chicago.

Which is exactly why i hated the signing of jefferson - season ticket holder for now.

He puts us in mediocrity one year too early and at a price tag too expensive. I would have rather jordan kept 10 million off the books this year and next and splurged with some tax money when we need it.

i still wouldn't put money on us winning 35 games this year though. it's completely possible, but not probable with jefferson's defense. he's only won more than 35 games like twice in his career. it's not coincidental. he could be david west or luis scola'esque if biz/zeller/mkg/walker/taylor/hendo were where indiana's core is right now but that's at least a year away if not 2.


like i said a million times.......it was a half step when we needed a full step or patience. it's not the end of the world though......we may be able to find a desperate trade partner next summer when the free agent pool is empty. and that was the logic behind signing him. there wasn't going to be an option the following summer unless you overpay greg monroe (which may be the better option) and a trade there may still be an option given detroit has no idea what they want to be.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 14, 2013 2:09:34 PM

That "slick pass" and "literally EVERYBODY ... looking good", that really did justice to Big Al's offensive dominance last night.
Yeah, right...

And about defense? Just forget coach Clifford's comment, ch. knows better. His prejudiced notions will always trump game observations.

Absolutely no effort in defense? False, totally false.
If you didn't see what I've seen, like Big Al's effort when contesting shots in the paint, and you don't care about what others have seen - beginning with Coach, it's your problem.
With fans like you, who needs enemies ?

Tolliver protected the rim, AJ didn't ?! LOL. I liked Tolliver's contribution last night: made three 3 pointers. I'm always rooting for former D-League players, I like to see them successful in the NBA.

But, back to the topic: Al Jefferson led the team in the blocks category too: 2 blocked shots. But I suppose you're excited about blocked shots only when Biz has them.

Did you notice the rebounding? You're fried in defense without good defensive rebounding.
AJ: 9 defensive rebounds last night. Tolliver also had 1 of them... And Biz had 3, let's hear it for the boy! [Btw, it's not like me to pit some of our players against others, I actually hate doing this. But that's what I HAVE TO do, to answer you].

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 14, 2013 2:28:38 PM

that's the sad part. you don't. you're making it him vs. him, i'm not. and you aren't even good at doing so either.......biz played 15 minutes. jefferson played 33.

I DO remember one of jefferson's blocks and it being a solid block. i don't recall the other AT ALL. I watched jefferson's defense the entire game. It's like watching a train wreck, no you know what........it's exactly like watching biz's offense.

i watch biz on offense all the time, and root for him as the underdog in that situation.......the guy has horrible footwork on offense yet miraculously great footwork on defense. al is the exact opposite. his defense looks like biz's offense.

does biz have his moments like he did with the hook last night or the sick dunk against the half court against atlanta? yeah. and al has his block here and there.


the rebounding can not be ignored. he rebounds the ball. always has. he and biz have the same career rebound rate. small sample size on the season thus far, but he has him beat there too.

when someone says biz is horrible on offense, i point to the positives and say it'll get better he's only 21. but i don't deny the fact that he turns the ball over way more than he should and is nowhere near the proficiency of a jefferson.

you could do the same with al's defense. point to the rebound and the occasional dunk, but don't deny the fact that it's bad.


now if al and biz could make a baby.....that might be the greatest center of all time.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 14, 2013 2:52:49 PM

No way we win that game without Al last night. We were not going to hold Boston to a lower field % and he was the onyl reliable offense we had. He may not be a great defender, but the team defense sure didn't suffer last night. Love to see some of the other guys start picking it up from the floor. They could actually be a decent team.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 14, 2013 3:00:04 PM

^^^ he took 21 possessions. we very well could have spread that out and gotten 22 points out of it the same.

can we do that on the regular? no. al can. that's the difference. he's dependable and consistent.

and yeah, the team defense as a whole WAS good last night. not everybody on the team is going to perfect, no doubt about it. but as mentioned above.....where does the 35 wins get us? because he won't get us 50 wins without playing better defense.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 14, 2013 3:21:40 PM

Damn, why's everyone so pissed off after a win? On the road! It's preposterous to think we win that game without Big Al, regardless of his deficiencies on defense. You're not going to make up 22 points when your shooters (I use the term loosely) are only making a little more than a third of their shots.

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 14, 2013 3:36:06 PM

i'm not the one mad after the win. i was/am ecstatic about the overall effort. i'm not even making THAT argument about us winning without al. i don't know where it turned to that.

like i said above........everybody except kemba had a great game in one way or another. and even kemba made some big plays late.

I am, however, still of the opinion that having jefferson gets us no closer to becoming a contender. wins a few more games this year that as noted above could cost us a valuable draft pick where the top 4 picks are almost surely going to be superstars. all so we could win a few more games this year.

when this draft class turns out to be 2000, we will all feel good about it. when it turns out to be 2003, it will haunt every true basketball fan in charlotte for a while.


now if we win 50 games with al jefferson as the focal point.....i'll just be completely wrong about all of this.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 14, 2013 4:17:08 PM

Would be great to get one of the top players in the draft. But why can't we build a team with Big Al and another 20 million in cap space to sign a free agent or facilitate a trade. Win 35, add the right pieces and win 45 without long term committments and maintaining flexibility. I don't have a problem with that model. Just don't go all Larry Brown and bring in marginal players.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 14, 2013 4:43:32 PM

charlottean, you started from being totally oblivious to Big Al's special offensive performance (oh, there was that pass to Kemba, thank you), and also totally disparaging his defensive effort, to having to move half-way towards the truth.
Just half way, but that should do it, it would be inhumane to ask more than that from you.

In offense, we were lost without him. Several players (some starters included) had a bad shooting night.
In defense, you had to acknowledge that he's not an absolute disaster. Yeah, he had two blocks (but you didn't see one of them - like that matters anyway), there was his stellar defensive rebounding, and oh yeah, he was part of our collective defensive effort.

This is the best part about our defense, there's great team work, players are working together and helping each other. Big Al is not watching the others do it, he's part of this effort (if you bother to watch him with an unprejudiced eye).

Our defense kept the Celts at 37.7% shooting from the field and 38 points in the paint.
This defensive effort includes Al, who is very competitive and team oriented.
I'd never say he's another Tyson Chandler or Emeka Okafor at that end of the floor; but denying his effort in D is a prejudiced notion only.

I made this comment once before: don't be surprised if his contract will be renewed after its current three years. I'm not playing prophet, I have no idea whether this will, or will not, happen (nobody knows now); but, it's perfectly possible.

Don't hate, appreciate (and there's a lot of appreciation that Big Al has earned).

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 14, 2013 5:31:30 PM

I'm tellin' ya, slicker than owl snot on a glass doorknob...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 14, 2013 6:24:44 PM

delusional. no effing way you watch that dude play defense and feel any different than when you watch ben gordon. i never said anything negative about al's offense EVER except for the passing which absolutely was a flaw in his early years. he's always been a high volume, high efficiency post scorer. and a horrible defender. being HOMERO Simpson numero uno de la ciudad........i am openly welcoming improvement from him on that.

and as stated previously, when it happens, I'll be his biggest fan. nazr mohammed was once horrible here. and way overpaid. and he improved to the point where it sucked to see him go. i was pro barnes over MKG.....hated the fact we didn't do the deal with cleveland straight up and got barnes/mkg + a pick.


steve - i agree with the notion that you could go from 35 to 45 with the right free agent/trade acquisitions. 45 isn't good enough, but it would be enough to where then when zeller/biz/mkg/kemba hit their stride......we could be special. the problem is........there aren't the free agents available this offseason. not unless we overpay someone like a greg monroe or lance stephenson. but i think this was the idea in signing jefferson. we still have the cap room next summer and kemba and biz extensions won't be crazy expensive the following summer either. but it's dependent on a fire sale occurring at some point. otherwise here's the list:


http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9947573/nba-free-agents-2014-2015

i mean i think evan turner is the no brainer and we should be putting a package together NOW so that we hold the cards this summer. henderson and whatever plus a pick and take back richardson and whoever else they want us to. they don't have anything that would hurt us to take back.


but when you look at wiggins, randle, parker and exum........and then look at that list.....you understand why it's questionable.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 15, 2013 12:40:22 PM

Boss, boss, De Plan, De Plan is not coming....

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 15, 2013 2:59:14 PM

Boss, boss, De Plan, De Plan is not coming....

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 15, 2013 3:03:35 PM

no bynum, probably no waiters......but kyrie is wearing the mask.....this will be interesting.


i don't really care the result, but I kinda hope bennett has a huge night tonight. it's painful watching a #1 pick suffer more than kwame brown. and he isn't 7 feet tall so he won't get 9 lives.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 15, 2013 6:41:00 PM

big game from mkg.

there's no way we could have won this game without big al.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 15, 2013 9:48:00 PM

We would have been much easier with Big Al.

Posted by: David | Nov 15, 2013 9:55:35 PM

The plan looks like it might be ahead of scheudle.

Posted by: DD | Nov 15, 2013 10:16:14 PM

Didnt get to see any of game... wish i had, Mcroberts 8 3pt attempts??

Just an observation(dont Stone me).... If we could Ever! get chance to get some chemistry With All parties available, maybe pretty nasty!

Im not understanding the Al thing!

Posted by: 10-4!! | Nov 15, 2013 11:40:06 PM

Sorry... dshtg!!.
anyway why are we trying to rush the guy back if not ready? Weak ankle equals serious injury if not careful! I know. My ankles are worthless if on feet too much because of over and over injuries to them.

Posted by: dshtg!! | Nov 15, 2013 11:52:28 PM

considering how bad kemba and gerald have played thus far vs. last year......i'm starting to sweat that draft pick going to chicago this year. at least the debt will be paid at that point.

really going to be depressing if we're sitting out the superstar giveaway party in june. that said......I'm still insanely confident in walker/taylor/henderson/mkg/zeller/biz + 4 years.

but yeah....that top 10 protection looked like a sure thing - now not so much. detroit top 8 protected seemed like we'd be getting that for sure.......now i'm not so sure. we could wind up with 1 pick in the 20's where we thought we'd be getting a top 5 or 6 + 2 in the teens. weird. and the weirdest part is how we're doing it without al, and without kemba or gerald playing particularly good. just rugged defensive team basketball. very 2004 detroit.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 16, 2013 12:06:57 AM

I didn't bother to come back here until now.
So ch., you're back to your old nonsense. You forgot quickly AJ's blocked shots and defensive rebounding (which you had to acknowledge earlier), just as you continued ignoring AJ's being part of the team work in our excellent interior defense against the Celtics, as well as those shots he contested in the paint (which I've seen while you were busy planning our next off season).

Above all, you continue ignoring coach Clifford's statement on Big Al's defense.
Well, of course, you always know better...

Sick. Your stubborness is sick.
Keep going with your twisted prejudiced opinions. IF I'll ever argue with you again, I'll only have myself to blame for such a ridiculous waste of time.

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 16, 2013 2:37:38 AM

clifford said "he's wayyyyy better than i thought he was, defensively"

he did NOT say "he's a good defender" he did NOT say "he's playing great defense"

but yeah....i'm the one that's off here. watch the effing tape, the guy did NOT contest many shots. I watched the game twice. he contested like 1 out of every 5 shots right in front of him. he was even worse in the atlanta game where he was just ole'ing left and right.

you are arguing that the guy is a good defender. you're on the wrong side of history, as you usually are. and super sensitive as always. i welcome jefferson improving on his defense, i'll be his biggest fan at that point and we will get our money's worth in his contract.

but the tape doesn't lie. WATCH the effing tape. stop making ish up about him contesting every shot and playing hard defense.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 16, 2013 4:53:27 PM

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