OMG, they weren't kidding...Boris smells horrible!
Another night, another loss. It's really hard as a Bobcats fan to run a blog site as professional as possible and to not get carried away by fast starts and solid wins. In the same breath, however, it's hard to not drift back into the mentality that I had last season. That mentality was one where I didn't see the need for a recap on a night that our beloved Bobcats would lose. I didn't see a need because we were losing so many. We're on a skid now, and while the fan in me is leading towards the latter, the professional side of me can see reasons for the loss and can smile enough to go to Monday's game as a Cats Crazy and not give tonight a second glance to a 132-102 loss. Keep reading if you're curious as to why I'm cool with the losing streak.
Cool with a losing streak...no, I really am not OK with it, but I'll live with it. I not liking it don’t make it go away, so, we play Monday and see what happens.
The Eastern conference is the weaker of the 2. Ask any "professional" basketball analyst or sports writer and they'll tell you the same thing. Without looking, I can tell you that the Thunder, Spurs, Lakers, & Grizzlies are all strong teams that I expect to be in the playoffs. In the East...it just isn't there. Knicks, Heat, maybe Atlanta...I really don't know who I'd pick to be an Eastern conference powerhouse. For the Bobcats, this is where the problem lies. We've been blown out by the Thunder and now the Spurs. They are both powerhouse teams that I could easily see in the NBA finals. In the East, we took the Knicks to task, and turnovers cost us the game (blowing a reasonable lead didn't help either). The next night, the Knicks beat the Heat. Could we beat the Heat this year? It's very possible. The spot where I question that philosophy is where we have blown leads and barely won, or we have been beaten by teams less talented than us. Call it youth or call it inexperience, but whatever you call it, keep in mind we will get better as the season progresses. That is a good thing, but if we get too good, and we make playoffs, it may derail our rebuild. Snagging MKG and Taylor in the draft was great, and they are ahead of schedule in terms of development. That's good, but if we don't get a mid to high draft pick this summer, we drift back into the mediocrity of low playoff seeds forever. Jordan wants a team in Charlotte that is always in the playoffs and is usually in the running for a championship. We're in year one of the rebuild. No one expected us to come out of the gate as fast as we did (the fan in me expected it but the professional didn't). Reality has set in that we are not winning a championship this season. That's fine and I didn't expect that. What we are doing, though, as Bobcats fans, is enjoying a team that is fun to watch and is growing as a team. I sat through most all of those blowouts last season, and it was not fun. I sat through tonight's game and it wasn't much fun either. The difference is that there have been fun games and there will be more. We learn in these blowouts what our team needs are and our rookies learn what they need to do more of, less of, and what to work at being better at.
Why am I on this tangent and not in a full game recap? Well, to be honest with you guys, when you get blown out, it's better to explain why it is expected than to explain what went wrong. If you're into that sort of stuff, the Spurs had assists north of 30 and hit 19 3-point shots. 53 points off of 3-pointers and you are not going to win games. 30+ assists by an opposing team and you aren't going to win games. We aren't playing worse in these games per se, we're just missing little things that cost us big. When we guard the paint hard, we tend to let 3-point shots go unguarded. When the other team is nailing them (and by team, I mean most of the team was hitting 3s) you have to cover that shot. If you look under the basket and Tim Duncan is there, well, you have to worry about him too. Honestly, staffing issues create problems on the floor. If you're not pounding the ball in the paint jumpers are expected. If you aren't hitting jumpers, the paint ne'er opens up. If you're hitting jumpers, the paint can open up for easy points. If jumpers are not falling, you have to work the paint. If working the paint works, it frees up shooters to work on hitting 3-pointers. It's just a part of basketball.
If we could draft a phenom center this summer, or sign a big name free agent center, we would be real close to being an east coast terror. The talent we have in MKG, Taylor, Kemba, and Hendo, if you add a huge threat in the middle, we're easily a 3-4 seed every season from then on. I didn't mention Biz in this just because he's a project that could be really good eventually. Put a superstar center on the floor for us and Haywood is a great guy coming off of the bench. Our backcourt will be solid as Kemba, MKG, and Taylor evolve. Henderson improves on whatever weakness is pointed out to him every season. Add 1-2 pieces to our puzzle and Jordan can sit back and enjoy being an owner. Haywood and Sessions were excellent off season acquisitions, and this summer should be fun as well.
Let me jump into a dream sequence:
Imagine if you will a certain West Coast team, with conflicts between superstars, a super high staff salary, and a free agent that really might just walk this summer. If you were offered a $7.3 expiring contract, a $2.3 expiring contract, a strong prospect that plays center/forward and perhaps a first round pick and something else, would you do it? Would you want to get something for that player or can you handle seeing your star walk and get nothing in return for him? Yeah...you want something for him. You can't let him walk...
This just in...The LA Lakers send Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard to Charlotte for Gana Diop, Reggie Williams, Bismack Biyombo, a 1st round pick, and cash considerations. Michael Jordan then gives Howard a max deal. Your Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets starting lineup is now:
Second unit is:
Metta World Peace
Towel boy - Cory Higgins
....wha...what happened...last thing I remember was needing to write a recap of tonight's Bobcats game.
It sure is getting late, so let me just award Kemba Walker with the Trade Street Post Game-Breaker award tonight for another solid performance. You keep that up and major stars will want to come join the Bobcats...or Hornets. I should share some stats from our guys tonight:
Walker = 23pts / 3 assists / 1 steal
Henderson = 13pts / 2 steals / 1 block / 1 rebound
Sessions = 12pts / 4 assists / 1 steal
Taylor = 10pts / 2rebs / 1 assist / 1 block
Kidd-Gilchrist = 8pts / 5rebs / 6 assists / 3 blocks
Biyombo = 4pts / 8 rebs / 2 blocks
We face the Golden State Warriors on Monday and I'll be in the house going Cats Crazy! Harrison Barnes will have a return to the Carolinas as well as Davidson's own Steph Curry
I wonder what a max deal for Dwight Howard would be...in theory we will be WAY under the cap after this season...we've never gone after a free agent that big before...ah...I'm probably just dreaming