Posted January 31, 2012 on AP on Fox
Bobcats coach Paul Silas spent the better part of a week preaching to Kemba Walker the importance of passing first, shooting second. Apparently Walker's a pretty good listener. In just his fourth start at point guard Walker handed out 11 assists en route to his first career triple-double in Charlotte's 102-99 loss Saturday night to the Washington Wizards. It was a remarkable improvement over Walker's first three starts, in which he had just eight assists combined. Walker also scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. ''Let me tell you, it was just wonderful,'' Silas said. ''I didn't know that he could pass the ball that well or even see guys that were open like that. He hadn't done it before, but he's learning. To get a triple-double after 21 games, to me, that's just out of this world. ''I just can't think of enough good things to say about him and how well he's going to do in the future.'' Silas has been around the league long enough to know that one game doesn't make or break a player. As promising as Walker's breakout game was, he'd like to see the rookie the consistently take charge. The No. 9 overall pick in the draft out of Connecticut will get the chance to do that over the next four games with regular starting point guard D.J. Augustin already ruled out because of inflammation in his right toe. The Bobcats will look to snap an eight-game losing streak Tuesday night when they begin a four-game road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers. ''Honestly, I'm still trying to learn this game,'' Walker said. ''I'm a very unselfish player. I don't mind passing the ball at all. Coach told me he wanted me to get guys the ball and he showed me on film a lot of the opportunities that I have to get to the basket and distribute.'' Walker admittedly struggled during his first three starts. Silas urged him both publically and privately to do a better job of distributing the ball, hoping to get the point across. ''We talked to him about what was needed and we talked to him about how to distribute first and score second,'' Silas said. They watched hours of tape together. It culminated in what Walker said was probably his best game, but he downplayed the effort by noting his team's NBA-worst 3-18 record. ''I just want to win, whether that means getting assists or rebounds,'' Walker said. He said he is most comfortable playing the point guard position. ''I've been playing it my whole life,'' Walker said. ''I love playing point guard. But if I had to be out there playing the two spot it doesn't matter. I'm still going to be doing the same thing. I'm still going to push the ball and I'm still going to run some plays - just maybe not as much.'' The Bobcats' long-term future at point guard looks good. Augustin will be a restricted free agent next year, but has improved enough to where it would be hard to fathom the team not keeping him. Walker clearly will be a big part and it doesn't hurt having owner Michael Jordan as one of his biggest fans. For now, Walker is just trying to make his mark. On Tuesday night, he'll face off against one his heroes, Kobe Bryant. The Lakers star would make an annual visit to Rice High School in The Bronx, where Walker first gained national recognition. ''Kobe sponsored my high school, so once a year he would come down and talk to us,'' Walker said. ''So I've been around Kobe for a while. But to finally be able to play against him in the NBA is going to be exciting. He's one of the best players in the world. I'm really looking forward to it.'' Notes: Silas said guard Reggie Williams and forwards Gerald Henderson and D.J. White will be available for the Lakers game. Williams, a 3-point shooting specialist, hasn't played all season but returned to practice Monday and was deemed ready to play. The return of those three players helps, but the Bobcats remain without two key starters in Augustin and Corey Maggette.

Bobcats Insider: Can't beat Wizards? Then who?

Not beating the Wizards at home really places in question when the Bobcats will end this losing streak. Their upcoming trip includes the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Suns and Celtics. After that they play tough home games against the Bulls, Clippers and 76ers. The Bobcats have been particularly bad within the Southeast Division this season. They're now 0-7 against the other four teams...

Worst Free-Throw Miss in History (Video)

When it comes to poor free throw shooting you usually associate it with former NBA bigman Shaquille O'Neal. However, a new face of poor charity stripe tossing may have emerged from the pack on Saturday.Seen here is Charlotte Bobcats forward DeSagana Diop chucking a free throw attempt that some are calling, "the worst free-throw miss in the history of professional basketball...

Worst. NBA. Free Throw. Ever.

We won’t say DeSagana Diop is the worst player in NBA history, but the dude is totally a waste of space. The Cleveland Cavaliers made him the eighth overall selection in the 2001 NBA draft. He somehow stuck around with them for four years and he’s now wasting space for the Charlotte Bobcats, where he brings his gaudy career averages of 2.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Pretty...

Bobcats encouraged by Kemba's progress

Bobcats coach Paul Silas spent the better part of a week preaching to Kemba Walker the importance of passing first, shooting second.

DeSagana Diop sucks at shooting foul shots

Is this dude f'in serious? He didn't even come close to hitting the net! Wow!  

The NBA: Where Awful Is Happening A Lot This Year

Good news Wizards fan(s)! This season, the NBA is only playing 66 games! With that caveat, this years Wizards might not be one of the all time NBA losers. Even better news for the Wizards is that the Charlotte Bobcats, in the same division, are even worse.Who's worse? And are they among the NBA's worst ever?Since we're in a shortened season, we'll have to look at...

John Wall, Who Is 6′4″, Dunks On Tyrus Thomas, Who Is 7″ Taller

I missed this dunk from Saturday’s game. It is awesome. (via Stiletto Jill, which has a good still image of the dunk too)

Video: DeSagana Diop Airballs Free Throw

Former Cleveland Cavaliers lottery selection DeSagana Diop airballed a free throw last night. It was fairly epic. The best part may be that his second attempt went glass. Over 10 NBA seasons after being selected eighth overall in 2001, Diop has averaged 2.0 points per contest. The 7-footer is making $6.5 million this year. (h/t to Brian Boesch)

Charlotte Bobcats (3-19) at Portland Trail Blazers (12-9), 10 p.m. (ET)

The hapless Charlotte Bobcats will try to avoid a 10th straight loss tonight when they resume a four-game road trip against the Portland Trail Blazers in Rip City.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte Bobcats game preview

The Blazers and Bobcats square off in their lone meeting of the season, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Charlotte Bobcats headed for top NBA draft pick

The Charlotte Bobcats likely are headed for one of the top picks in the NBA draft. ... Here's an early view of what could be available in June.Click to Continue »

Henderson, White, Williams ready to go

The injury report improved dramatically Monday for the Charlotte Bobcats.Click to Continue »

Day 35 of 124: Where Kemba Walker Joins Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw

Line of the Night: It has been one wild ride this year for Tyreke Evans (2.57 WARP). Horrible shooting performances and single-digit scoring games followed by games like this against the Jazz: 31 points, with 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Evans owners would surely appreciate a little more consistency from Evans this season, but his highs keep them coming back for more. Honorable...

This is about talent, not about coaching

So, should the Charlotte Bobcats fire coach Paul Silas in the wake of a massive losing streak and a gigantic loss to the Portland Trail Blazers? It would be handy. It would be validating to management and ownership. It would...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.