Despite the Bobcats dropping their 3rd straight game to a mediocre team, I want to say they have gotten better. How?
I have no idea what the <censored> happened in this game. The Bobcats looked like crap until halfway through the 3rd quarter, went on a run to tie things up, then Shannon Brown decided to start jacking up ill advised 3 and went 6 for 6 in the 4th quarter and won the game pretty much all by his lonesome.
Instead of pondering this game (because it will melt your brain), I recommend watching a Craig Ferguson clip because he’s funny. It’s what I did in the first half of the game and it helped take the edge off my suicidal thoughts.
Against the Pacers, the Bobcats used the zone to throw off the Pacer offense. Tonight, the Mavericks used the Bobcats zone to destroy the Bobcats themselves.
Penetrating the zone and kicking out to open shooters who hit 16 of 25 threes, the Mavericks took control in the 3rd and never looked back.
It got so bad that Matt Carroll and Cory Higgins got in the game. Alas. Against a decent team, on the road, on the 2nd half of a back to back, reality happens.
If you’re a terrible offensive team, how do you win? Make your opponent shoot 39.8%, you hit more free throws, you turn the ball over less, and you have Kemba Walker drop 30 in the first 3 quarters. VICTORY!!!!!!!!!
It’s the pre-season, it doesn’t count, but here’s what I liked / did not like in the first game I got a chance to see this year. Good Things
- Despite starting out quite in a very putrid manner, the Bobcats never gave up and went away. They chipped away at the lead, taking a small lead late in the game
- Tyrus Thomas: 7-12, 14 points, 16 rebounds. Would be nice to get something approximating that performance every night
- Alpha Dogs – The Bobcats have 2 guys who are not afraid to shoot – Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker. There are problems here – see the next section
- Cory Higgins did not play
- Defense – after giving up 30 points in the first quarter, the Pistons were held to 17, 20, 18 on 37.3% shooting. If you can hold your opponents to that, you’re going to be in the game every night.
- 25 FTs. Can’t have too many of those
- Turnovers – had too many, but less than their opponent
- Ramon Sessions put in a workman life 13/6/3 in 20 minutes. I’ll take that out of a backup point guard.
- Offense – 36.3% shooting. Things have not improved since last year. They look lost on the offensive end. If they are running sets, they are not crisp enough to be identified as such
- Alpha Dogs – Walker and Gordon are not afraid to get up shots, but they went a combined 8-30. However, they were also the stimulus which got the team back in the lead late in the 4th.
- Gana Diop played – could have been worse, he only got in for 5 minutes early on
- Gerald Henderson – Hendo had one of those games where he disappears. 22 minutes, 6 shots, 1 make, 2 FTs, 3 rebounds, 1 steal/block. For the guy who is supposed to be the best player on the team, this is not what you want to see.
- Somehow, Jeff Taylor was +12 or +15 in 20 minutes, even though he took and missed a single shot, had 4 rebounds, a turnover and a foul.
- The crunch time lineup was Walker, Gordon, Sessions, Thomas, Haywood. Odd for some reason.
- I have no clue who the starting lineup will consist of.
- Kyle Singler does not look like a player who belongs in the NBA
Unfortunately the team doesn’t look that different from last year. What did look different was possibly the most important thing – effort. If the Bobcats went down by 20 last year, it was safe to turn off the television. In this game, they never seemed out of it, and they weren’t – they actually took a small lead towards the end of the game. This jives with what we’ve heard from the team’s front office – one that I spoke with at the open practice told me that even if the team doesn’t win a lot, it won’t be for lack of effort. Let’s hope that attitude is still in place at the end of the season.
Eduardo Najera has retried
Bobcats really don’t need more guys who can’t shoot.
Stuff I noticed:
Dunlap mostly said he was going to implement an attacking style on both defense and offense.
Interesting note: Dunlap got the job offer while flying home after the interview. I guess they really like him.
Dunlap mentioned multiple times that they wanted to brand the team via it’s style of play. How many teams have notable play styles? Suns, early 2000′s Kings, Spurs (?)…
He also referenced Malcolm Gladwell (10,000 hour rule) and building pyramids. Well, at least he seems to know what he’s getting into.
He does seem to realize that the Bobcats had huge problems with guys getting easy baskets at the rim, and the Cats not getting any. That was a huge problem.
Dunlap seems to think establishing solid relationships with each player, learning about them outside of basketball. That’s good.
Dunlap mentioned that fans want to see a winning team… or at least one that plays hard.
Interesting notes about “coaching for his dinner” in Australia. Dunlap isn’t a retread, but he has been around the block a few times.
He said because he’s “older” he’s got lots of connections which should help him build a assistant coaching staff.
Here Ben Swanson (who most of you know as CardboardGerald) discussing the Bobcats new coaching hire, where he expresses the same feelings as everybody else who watches the Bobcats: “Uhhhhhhhh I dunno?”
So a couple things have (or have not) happened today:
- Michael Jordan continued his history of publicly humiliating Patrick Ewing by telling him he was out of the Bobcats coaching race. This was most certainly a relief to me and anyone else who actually pays attention to the NBA.
- I didn’t see any of the Bobcats front office guys at the gym today. One can only imagine that they are currently involved in some very deep dark hoodoo ritual action right now, petitioning any supernatural presence that may be out there to help the ping pong balls drop in the most advantageous way. Of course, they are the Bobcats so they will lose this too.