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March 12, 2014

Charlotte Bobcat Gary Neal says he made a "mistake." Benching won't continue beyond Wizards game

WASHINGTON – Neither the Charlotte Bobcats nor shooting guard Gary Neal discussed specifics on why Neal was held out of Wednesday’s 98-85 victory over the Washington Wizards.

            But it was behavioral, rather than medical, and Neal said he made amends.

            “I made a mistake,” Neal told the Observer post-game. ‘Me and coach talked about it and we’ll move forward from there,”

            Coach Steve Clifford called this an “internal team matter.” He said it was over after the game and Neal’s minutes won’t be affected when the Bobcats play the Minnesota Timberwolves at home Friday.

            Neal, who watched the game in uniform, interacting throughout with teammates, sounded contrite.

“Just a mistake, something that happened in the confines of the team,” Neal said. “We talked about it, we discussed it and it’s behind us now.”

            Neal, who arrived from Milwaukee along with point guard Luke Ridnour at the trade deadline, was coming off his best game as a Bobcat. He made seven of nine shots (including 3-of-3 from 3-point range) for 19 points in Monday’s home victory over the Denver Nuggets.

            Sitting Neal opened up minutes for Chris Douglas-Roberts, who played well as a fill-in starter while Gerald Henderson recovered from a calf strain. Henderson returned to the starting lineup Wednesday, moving Douglas-Roberts to the bench.


Posted by Observer Sports on March 12, 2014 at 09:55 PM | Permalink


This coach just seems to handle every situation the right way.

Posted by: Hank | Mar 12, 2014 10:10:45 PM

Yes, Clifford definitely showing more pros than cons since his hire.

All the bloody whiners going on about MKG can't play; the dude held Ariza to less than half his season average tonight. MKG is rapidly approaching elite defender status.

I'd say one of Clifford's few cons is not playing MKG enoough... Biyombo too.

Posted by: The Truth | Mar 12, 2014 10:27:43 PM

MKG and Biyombo are both limited offensively. They can't play together because it would kill the offense. MKG is not an elite defender and Biz has terrible hands. MKG starts, but he doesn't play starter minutes. No one in the NBA fumbles more passed than Biz. MKG and Biz both belong in the NBDL.

Posted by: Bob | Mar 13, 2014 12:55:08 AM

Told you so...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Mar 13, 2014 1:30:12 AM

MKG get 30 minutes. Has a double double. Shuts down Ariza. And he is 20? Next question please.

The coach is doing a wonderful job winning and managing minutes. There is no law that says how much a young player needs to play to develop. These young players are learning how to contribute on a winning basketball team. Not to mention they all played well in the minutes they had last night. You really have to work hard to find negatives when a team tracks from 21 wins to 31 already this year.

Posted by: Dan | Mar 13, 2014 6:20:21 AM

Great win last night over the Wizards. It would be nice to move up to the 6th seed and play Toronto in the 1st round.

Posted by: Tyrese Jones | Mar 13, 2014 8:09:55 AM

I still don't think they should have traded Sessions. Gary Neal and Luke have yet to add up to Sessions offensively.

Posted by: Pradigy Musicman | Mar 13, 2014 8:31:47 AM

MKG will be fine. He is still developing (only 20 as mentioned above), and is starting to show flashes of the player everyone thought the Cats drafted. While not an elite defender yet, he is well on his way to that status. If other scorers are present (Kemba, Al, someone in this draft), MKG doesn't need to average 18-20 pts a night to be an impact player.

Posted by: RB Ron | Mar 13, 2014 8:34:21 AM

Coach has been nothing but class act and doing wonders with the talent he has. A+ choice so far.
As for MKG and Biz we need to seperate the two in discussions.
MKG is great on defense and get's hardest assignments each night who are also usually great defenders. He hustles and is 110% every play it seems. Yes his short is horrible and for #2 pick do I want more totally but only 2nd year so give some slack.
As for Biz I think it's time to bone up this was a bad choice. Hands of glass and defense is not as good as it was. Trade him for something in my mind

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Mar 13, 2014 9:10:30 AM

Well if you talk to Charlottean the only thing wrong with Bizmack is that Clifford doesn't play him enough. I'm not buying that. Look at Cody. He's not getting much PT but he's developing just fine. Biz might still develop into a role player, but I don't think he's ever going to be the star that Cho envisioned.

Great win last night. I hope we can keep the momentum up and that the "mistake" with Neal was a one-time deal and not a chronic problem. It would be so great to make a little noise in the playoffs, have a strong off-season, and come back as player in the East.

Posted by: apauldds | Mar 13, 2014 10:31:26 AM

Was Ben Wallace a star, apauldds?

Posted by: The Truth | Mar 13, 2014 12:50:59 PM

I loved Ben Wallace. Biz is no Ben Wallace. Wallace could play both C and PF. Wallace was picked up after going undrafted out of college. Biz was the 7th pick. I repeat, Biz was the 7th pick.

Posted by: apauldds | Mar 13, 2014 2:55:54 PM

Guess what? Wallace had the same #'s as Biz until he started getting 27 minutes a game his 3rd year in the league.

Posted by: The Truth | Mar 13, 2014 3:38:47 PM

Ben Wallace was a total anti-talent offensively, and thrived on his defense only. How many NBA players managed to have a 16 years career, average 5.7 ppg and 41% for free throws (!!) - and still be a four times All-Star?! No coincidence, he also was four times defensive player of the year.
This is probably unique in the history of this league.

I guess even Biz has higher offensive potential than Big Ben ever had.
And Biz is also very good at shot blocking, rebounding and interior defense.

I don't think the Hornets would ever be able to survive having Biz as a starting center.
But, for his defensive potential, I always thought he can be a very useful rotation player. As for him being picked 7th overall, that's water under the bridge. You can't change that, so you need to find the best ways of using this player now and onwards.

Last night Biz had one of his worst games ever - in offense and defense alike, nothing seemed to work for him.
He looked like he lost his confidence. This is a player who was brimming with high motivation and confidence. I'd even say he tended to be over-confident in his rookie year, like he had no idea what long ways he still had to go to be a legit NBA player.

I think this is due to being benched too often, for too many minutes, and I also think he needs some encouragement from the coaching staff. Again, for those things he can do well, the Bobcats can use his services.

Posted by: Sandy | Mar 13, 2014 5:12:39 PM

neither MKG or biz are anywhere near as offensively limited as they are advertised here. MKG is gerald henderson without a green light. gerald is a mid range specialist and MKG is way better around the rim and in post up. if he was taking 15+ shots a game, he would be effective and that jumper would fall more times than it currently does since he gets.....1 attempt a game or so.

you can't be that offensively limited and score in bunches the way the two do when NEITHER are a part of the offensive scheme. pretty soon we're going to start hearing about how offensively limited cody zeller is.

somebody near the top said clifford handled this neal situation correct and almost every other situation as well.....i would agree that he's been great about everything EXCEPT player development. the whole benching biz because of misreading bad stats and not playing to cody's strengths AT ALL to get his confidence up has been baffling.

the guy can coach. he has been borderline PHENOMENAL out of timeouts at getting buckets which is an area where most coaches out-think themselves.

but everything we're doing is to the level of mediocrity with little room for growth towards next year. al isn't getting any better next year. kemba is only getting marginally better next year. there aren't a lot of free agent prospects this summer and we let most of our trade chips expire at the deadline.

the 3 guys that have to get better and COULD get better......mkg, zeller, and biz.......do not appear to be in clifford's plans at all.

and i would NEVER argue that biz played a great game against washington in his whopping 12 minutes of playing time.......but he was getting hacked to death as was zeller. he pulled down an offensive board and drew a rebounding foul on another. wasn't THAT bad. ridnour's played far worse lately.

MKG somehow managed his first double double of the season while barely touching the ball. I used to think that kid's offensive ceiling is like 15 ppg. no.....he could score 20-25 ppg in a few years. anything rudy gay or demar derozan can do.....he can do better. he's only offensively limited because everyone says he is. all perception. give the dude the ball and let him grow. that kid can play ball.

we are probably going to finish well above the 36 win projection with this recent hot tear. 17 left and we could easily win 10 of them to finish .500. much better than we looked for most of the season, but it's still on the backs of a bunch of veterans so it isn't something I would put a ton of stock into as leading to better things in the future. especially when everybody below us is better positioned and giving games away this year. and nobody above us is getting older except miami (and we aren't betting against lebron anytime soon, are we?)

not playing the young guys NOW means not only are we missing an opportunity to develop now before the playoffs, but they're going to be rusty in the ~ 10 mpg when we need them and the vets are going to be less rested going into the playoffs. so we aren't just sabotaging next year, but this year also. only complaints i have with clifford are playing time/development/statistics based comments.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 13, 2014 7:17:42 PM

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