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March 07, 2014

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford: Pulling Kemba Walker off Kyrie Irving defensively would be "a complete insult"

I asked Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford in the pre-game media availability if he’d consider guarding Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving in the fourth quarter with a bigger player, as the Bobcats did last season under then-coach Mike Dunlap

            I got a better answer than I ever anticipated.

Clifford said he’s told point guard Kemba Walker “you should consider it a complete insult” if he’s ever pulled off the other team’s point guard for defensive reasons.

“I don’t see any reason we should ever have to take him off the other team’s point guard.” Clifford said.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 7, 2014 at 05:45 PM | Permalink

Comments

They shoot 29 3's tonight we'll get creamed! SMH
Thank goodness Al,Kemba and Zeller know how to get in paint.

Posted by: DShtg!! | Mar 8, 2014 7:38:11 PM

Seriously frustrated. I dont see this changing Tolliver, Ridenour,Neal, CDR ALL JACKING THEM UP! They dont get it!
Missing Sessions right about now.
I dont need to hear about this or that, we were lucky to win last night. DRIVE THE GDAMN BALL TO BASKETT. Simple!
Forgive me. I can see unless CLIFFORD stops it now, not gonna worry about playoffs. Not as many 3s tonight but these guys dont know how to score without jackin it up. Tolliver had some nice cuts..... ITS NOT HARD. Ridnour get ur ass down the lane. SORRY super irritated.

Posted by: DShtg!! | Mar 8, 2014 10:23:09 PM

Between tolliver, ridenour and neal 23 shots 5 assists.

Posted by: DShtg!! | Mar 8, 2014 11:23:37 PM

Rick, thank you for finally asking a serious basketball question --and then reporting about it- you should do A LOT more of that.

Personally, I think Kemba is a terrific player, but a defensive liability and, although he seems to be about distributing more since coming back from injury, still has a shaking shooting % this year.

Posted by: The Dude | Mar 9, 2014 12:56:06 AM

Yeah was a little emotional last night.

Posted by: DShtg!! | Mar 9, 2014 8:40:32 PM

Go hang yourself, Rick. You have now officially alienated all of WFNZ. Good job running yourself out of town by insulting THE number one radio station in Charlotte.

Posted by: Marc James | Mar 9, 2014 9:22:05 PM

Marc.....whadya talkin' about?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 9, 2014 10:14:22 PM

Go look on rick's timeline on twitter. 3:30 am on Saturday. Bashes the drive and WFNZ saying that ESPN radio getting a good host will make first time there is a decent radio show in Charlotte. A lot of people at WFNZ then reacted. Rick is done here

Posted by: Marc James | Mar 9, 2014 11:15:58 PM

The guy has burned a lot of bridges. You don't put down the number one radio show in the Carolina's. Let's just say it made its way all the way to the top of the station. Rick will be fired soon enough.

Posted by: Marc James | Mar 9, 2014 11:18:17 PM

Good heads up Marc...think he deleted what you are speaking of...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 10, 2014 12:13:44 AM

wfnz IS pretty weak though. i definitely wouldn't say it on twitter if I was in rick's line of work, though.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 10, 2014 4:03:19 AM

Not the greatest thing for Marc to do either. Looks like we have some real professional media members in this town.

Posted by: Dan | Mar 10, 2014 7:37:10 AM

There are comments about the loading up of three ball shooters around Jefferson . That's what was asked for . But don't expect much dribble drive penetration from them . They get easily run off the three point line and rarely can finish well in traffic or have any mid range game . Neither do they have much defense either usually being below league average . They went 5 for 23 or thereabouts Sat . Shooting 29 %. They shot 30% fri night . Sat , the shots were all contested which makes it a much harder conversion . Clifford seems to have gone to rely on it as Dunlap did which was his undoing . In any event , Jefferson and Kemba must be willing , efficient and decisive passers to these guys for it to work . Kemba can't get into the mix with going 1 for 5 either . He must continue to facilitate and play defense . The on ball and help defense by Jefferson and McRoberts again was putrid Sat .

Posted by: Iron man | Mar 10, 2014 8:36:51 AM

Don't look now but Shorty has hit 32 of his last 33 FT's and 56 of last 61, not bad. This was a glaring weakness that clearly he is addressing, let's see if he can keep it up.

Sports radio in Charlotte blows -- buncha rednecks who think they are comedians. Did anyone else catch Marc James's diatribe on women's basketball?!?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 10, 2014 9:51:18 AM

Not much of a Marc James fan to begin with. Obviously a little thin skinned if he is coming on here complaining about something like that. Got his feelings hurt on twitter and calls for Bonnell's ouster.

If Kemba's glaring weakness is shooting 80% from the line for his career he must be one hell of a player. Also means Love, Westbrook, Joe Johnson, Aldridge, Rubio and many more need get to work. Kemba is better than all of them from the line.

Posted by: Real | Mar 10, 2014 12:27:20 PM

I doubt that's really Marc James.

Just because other players suck from the line doesn't make it ok. Until this recent surge Kemba was under 80% and that's just unacceptable. High school girls all over Indiana shoot over 90% from the line and Kemba should as well.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 10, 2014 1:10:27 PM

Good to know that high school girls in Indiana are so good. Might want to bench mark him against players in the NBA. There are only about 30 players in the entire NBA better than him. To say that makes it a glaring weakness is a glaring overstatement. Sorry. That is just Real.

Posted by: Real | Mar 10, 2014 5:11:02 PM

it probably is marc james. you think he's above that? hahahaha.

regarding kemba's free throws.....i would say it's a weakness. "only about 30 in front of him" how many of them are starting point guards/primary ball handlers for contenders and how many of them are the guy he replaced?

if you're going to be 5'11 in the nba and play 36 mpg....you gotta make 85% at least as a primary. DJ's knocking down 10% better than he is. and that's WITH the improvement.

Nastar is insane with his commentary, but suggesting that kemba needs to improve his shooting is just fact. noting that he HAS improved this year is also fact. but we gave up on the guy that is making 42% from 3 and 92% from the line AND giving you more assists, less turns per 36 for kemba to shoot 34% from 3, 82% from the line.

let's also note that he's been dishing it right now also. the guy MIGHT be starting to get it and you have to wonder if mark price is rubbing off on him. but he's gotta be a lot better than he's been if he's going to be a #2 guy on a good team. he's the #2 on a mediocre team right now.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 10, 2014 6:30:24 PM

I love it when the coach says. "Go foul the 80% free throw shooter. It is a glaring weakness we need to exploit" The insane commentary must be contagious.

Posted by: Real | Mar 10, 2014 7:30:01 PM

"if you're going to be 5'11 in the nba and play 36 mpg....you gotta make 85% at least as a primary.

Nastar is insane with his commentary, but suggesting that kemba needs to improve his shooting is just fact."

See, charlottean can both read, and think -- what a novel concept!!

The rest of you slurpers get so wound up by the tone ;) you're incapable of deciphering the message...

...like clttn said, 85% is the bare minimum.

Seriously, the only thing standing between Shorty and 90% from the line is dedication and hard work -- show us what you got Shorty.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 10, 2014 8:41:25 PM

If only Tony Parker worked harder he might be able to get to Kemba's career free throw %.

Posted by: Johnson | Mar 10, 2014 8:55:28 PM

Mark Price missed 227 FT's in his ENTIRE CAREER (12 seasons)....90.4% for his career. During one 3 year stretch Price shot 652 FT's and only missed 34 -- think about that. At Shorty's pace the misses would have added up to 130+...

...who has more athletic ability, Shorty, or Mark Price? Who has a better work ethic?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 10, 2014 9:15:48 PM

Walker has improved every year in almost every category. Work ethic is not a topic of conversation when you are talking about a player that gets better every year. Unless it is to say how great it is or you are just being a jackass.

Posted by: Johnson | Mar 10, 2014 10:12:15 PM

Well. I had the Bobcats for 30 wins this year. Looks like I was a little low. Nice jump from last year. 35 would have to make them one of the more improved teams in the NBA.

Posted by: Mike T. | Mar 10, 2014 10:18:42 PM

Excuses excuses...

...put it this way, what's keeping Kemba from shooting 90% from the line?

Is there some physical defect or limitation he has that prevents it?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 10, 2014 10:48:49 PM

^^^^now that literally may be the dumbest thing ever written here. Congratulations. There are exactly 2 players in the entire NBA shooting 90% from the line. The entire league must have physical defects. I guess it's possible. But I think there might be some mental defects in play with comments like that.

Posted by: Real | Mar 11, 2014 7:42:52 AM

The Bobcats have not missed Gerald Henderson. Is this a telling sign that Henderson is not a starting guard for the Bobcats? MKG has not shown any improvement. He played only 16 minutes last night.

Posted by: Jon | Mar 11, 2014 11:03:04 AM

^^^So the Bobcats are better without Henderson or will they be even better when he returns? or does it even matter. Neal looks like a nice fit. Just add another piece or 2 in the off season and they will make another jump. Would be great if MKG pans out, but if not they have created enough flexibility to continue to improve whether he does or not. Very important off-season coming up that will determine whether this team can take the next step or if they will just be in 7th and 8th seed purgatory.

Posted by: Mike T. | Mar 11, 2014 1:57:18 PM

I'm not sure if we're better without Hendo or that we are deep enough now and our players have the ability to step up to where it isn't as much of a disadvantage to have him out.

It's not even remotely possible this season, but the crowd shouting "MVP" last night was kind of cool. We've got a legitimate star in Big Al.

Posted by: apauldds | Mar 11, 2014 2:23:56 PM

COOL?! try delusional. MVPs don't go to mediocre teams' star players.

the guy is an absolutely elite offensive talent, but he never wins 50 games in a season or does any damage in the playoffs because he's a 1 way player that is too slow to play the 4 and not enough of a rim protector to play the 5. he's brook lopez with less size and better feet.

why is it that Noah can carry a bunch of no names into the playoffs every year while rose is out and previously deng was too? and boozer eats up 20 million a year, too?


charlotte: the city where boris diaw gets booed, al jefferson gets "mvp" chants, and everybody swears that 20 year old Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a bust before he can even buy a beer. even though he's starting on a mediocre nba team and contributing positively. and where adults care more about what color jersey's they wear than whether they're competing on any real level.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 11, 2014 3:55:40 PM

Relax dude. It's just basketball.

Posted by: apauldds | Mar 11, 2014 4:59:52 PM

Real, you need a dose of reality son. For now you're being rewarded with the title of Head Slurper...but don't screw up or you could be demoted to Slurper in Training at any time.

52 girls in college ball shot 88% or higher. 21 shoot 90% higher.

You're telling me Shorty isn't capable of keeping up with girls who play college ball?

Why not?

Seriously, what is standing between Shorty and 90% from the line?

Head Slurp, answer the question, now...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 11, 2014 10:24:40 PM

BTW, fat Frenchie deserved to get booed. He didn't like being in a rebuild so he just quits. A big FU to the fans.

Posted by: apauldds | Mar 12, 2014 4:48:21 PM

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