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rufuspaul 10-06-2009 02:17 PM

Preseason
 
From Bonnell's column today:

Quote:

5 Bobcats questions entering preseason

Rick Bonnell
rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Monday, Oct. 05, 2009

Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown, left, directs Dontell Jefferson, center, and Nazr Mohammed, right, during practice at NBA basketball training camp in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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The preseason is about experimentation and problem-solving. The Charlotte Bobcats have plenty of problems to solve and some experiments to conduct, starting with tonight's preseason opener in Cleveland vs. the Cavaliers.



Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell considers five open questions as a week of training camp concluded:


1 What do you do for a power forward?

This was a head-scratcher before Boris Diaw and Vlade Radmanovic sprained their ankles. Radmanovic is back and listed as the starter against the Cavs, but Diaw will likely sit out the first four exhibitions.

Alexis Ajinca is getting a ton of attention, as they try to coach him up to a rotation player. Radmanovic has the height of a power forward, but is more a lengthy jump shooter than a conventional post player or rebounder. Coach Larry Brown has said Gerald Wallace and Stevie Graham might slide over to power forward on occasion, making the Bobcats' lineup quite small.

2 So is Ajinca up to heavy minutes?

This is certainly the time to find out, when the games don't count. They need him to start producing, to avoid another Sean May situation where a former first-round pick fits an obvious need, but doesn't contribute given great opportunity.

The telling statistic for Ajinca might be fouls committed. He was frail last season, and that made it difficult for him to hold position in the post, either offensively or defensively, without fouling. The coaches want him to start playing like he's 7-foot, which means fewer 20-foot jump shots and more rebounds and blocked shots.

3 How will the injuries impact building team chemistry?

This was the question Gerald Wallace posed in an interview Monday. With Diaw and center Tyson Chandler both recovering from ankle injuries, the Bobcats will spend much of the preseason playing without their projected starting big men. Can the starters jell quickly in the last 10 days before the season-opener, once these two are healed?

I passed Wallace's comment on to shooting guard Raja Bell, who offered this perspective: While it's never good for starters to miss long stretches of the preseason, Diaw and Chandler are the right people to catch up on the fly.

Bell said Diaw and Chandler are particularly cerebral players, so they probably can keep up from the sidelines of practice as well as anyone could.

4 How much will the rookies play?

The Bobcats were genuinely excited about getting Gerald Henderson in the first round and Derrick Brown in the second. But two free-agent acquisitions just before training camp might push them out of the rotation.

Flip Murray is a scorer, which the Bobcats obviously need, having finished last in points per game last season. That will eat into Henderson's minutes behind Bell. Stevie Graham is rugged and a veteran, which makes for a crowd at Derrick Brown's small forward position.

5 So Graham makes the regular-season roster?

That's the way the wind is blowing. When Larry Brown calls you his new “George Lynch,'' as Brown said of Graham recently, it's a sign the guy is a keeper. Graham is tough enough that he could play some power forward in a small lineup.

onewickedlady 10-06-2009 02:37 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Are the pre-season games televised? I couldn't find anything on today's TV schedule.

rufuspaul 10-06-2009 03:16 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onewickedlady
Are the pre-season games televised? I couldn't find anything on today's TV schedule.


I don't know. I think I remember hearing that some of them will be on. The last preseason game I remember watching on tv was when Ammo blew out his knee, so maybe it's not so good an idea. :oldlol:

BeebCats 10-06-2009 03:21 PM

Re: Preseason
 
I am so hyped, I REALLY hope Ajinca impresses and can become a rotation player.

onewickedlady 10-06-2009 03:39 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Checked bobcats.com and looks like the game is televised on Fox Sports Ohio. Not here! But we can listen. There is a "Listen Live" link on the bobcats.com web site.

onewickedlady 10-06-2009 08:45 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Cats @ Cavs:

Nazr playing his hind end off. Too many Bobcat turnovers. I couldn't get any sound.

Half time: This would have been a fun game to watch. Hope Thursday night's game is fun.

BeebCats 10-06-2009 10:13 PM

Re: Preseason
 
I just got back from the gym, checked for a link... and lo and behold!!

http://atdhe.net/9516/watch-charlotte-vs-cleveland

Just in time for the last part of the game. Let's go cats!

:party:

onewickedlady 10-06-2009 10:21 PM

Re: Preseason
 
We were tied with the Cavs at least twice but now seem to be ten points behind. I'm watching on---------
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2009100605.
Sorry I didn't put the link here earlier.

BeebCats 10-06-2009 10:26 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onewickedlady
We were tied with the Cavs at least twice but now seem to be ten points behind. I'm watching on---------
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2009100605.
Sorry I didn't put the link here earlier.


Why follow by boxscore, when there's a streaming link?

Ajinca with the hook shot :D I hope he cracks the rotation. Derrick brown had a nice up and under earlier too.

And another hook by Ajinca! He's working the post some more, I love to see that

And an alleyoop from dj to ajinca :cheers:

onewickedlady 10-06-2009 10:30 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BeebCats
I just got back from the gym, checked for a link... and lo and behold!!

http://atdhe.net/9516/watch-charlotte-vs-cleveland

Just in time for the last part of the game. Let's go cats!

:party:


Thanks for the link!!! I had no idea. It would be terrific if you could post these for all the preseason games if you can.

BeebCats 10-06-2009 10:32 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onewickedlady
Thanks for the link!!! I had no idea. It would be terrific if you could post these for all the preseason games if you can.


No problem, hope you caught that alley oop :D

Just bookmark this link: http://atdhe.net/

It usually has a bunch of games (if they're on TV anywhere, which I think this game is being shown in Ohio).

Man... we keep stealing it, but can't convert to points!

rufuspaul 10-06-2009 10:38 PM

Re: Preseason
 
And it's over.

BeebCats 10-06-2009 10:38 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Would've liked the win, but heck, anything is better than the way we started last year (40-9 first quarter, anyone?).

Glad the NBA is back, this season is going to be a blast!

rufuspaul 10-06-2009 10:39 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Saw some good things from the guys. Considering we're down to 3 starters I feel pretty good.

~spectre~ 10-08-2009 07:11 AM

Re: Preseason
 
For game links...over at Bobcats' Planet in the game threads we're frantically looking for them right before the game. More times than not if there is one someone will have put it up in there.

I thought we looked pretty good! All the rooks showed promise and Nazr was a flat beast vs. their starters!

I'm even more optimistic now than I was this summer.

acidbasesalt 10-08-2009 11:31 PM

Re: Preseason
 
I think Augustin is almost ready to take over the starting PG spot from Felton. Augustin's lightning quick, shoots well, and not afraid to drive the ball. I find offense a cumulative thing, so when someone plays good offense, the rest of the team also plays better offense because of a positive influence. As long as the opposing team doesn't have a superstar PG, Augustin should be fine.

I don't expect Felton to finish with the Cats this season unless either Augustin can't play or he explodes. It's just a feeling that I find Felton no longer has the value of a "prospect" but an average starter. Combine Felton and Diop or Radman or Mohammed for some backup PG + sixth man PF will fill the team's need.

I was pretty delighted when Felton did not accept the $40+ million deal. That deal can destroy Augustin's development.

rufuspaul 10-08-2009 11:51 PM

Re: Preseason
 
I still say keep them both. They compliment each other well. Look at the box score from tonight. Augustin had 22 pts. in 29 min. Raymond, however had 1 more assist (5) in less than half that time. Felts brings a lot of intangibles to the locker room as a leader and he will bring it every night. I say leave Raymond as the starter and when DJ comes in it's a new offensive threat to throw at the opponent. Other teams will be envious of our strength at point.

How about our rookies so far? Brown tonight was a perfect 6-6. We're playing pretty well with Diaw and Chandler watching from the sidelines. You know Chandler must be thinking to himself how much his ppg is gonna improve with Boris and Raymond feeding him.

onewickedlady 10-09-2009 01:23 AM

Re: Preseason
 
I wonder how Emeka felt last night sitting on the bench watching his new team play his old team? Just like LB said, I too feel like the game took four hours. Augustin was impressive as was Graham. Vlad seemed much more confident shooting the ball during the first quarter than I've seen him in a long time. Nazr's efforts to show that he deserves playing time weren't reflected in his stats but he's replaced Mek as the guy who can't guard bigs without fouling out. I'm not impressed with Diop nor some of the younger guys but it's only two games into the pre-season so maybe it's really too early to judge the newer guys, and I keep wondering what Ajinca is doing in the big leagues until he does something like that spectacular slam dunk.

All-in-all I was glad to be at a Bobcats game and will probably go to the free practice session on the 15th.

Good to see you, TarCat!!

BeebCats 10-09-2009 02:11 AM

Re: Preseason
 
I was at the game tonight as well, good lord gerald wallace got the crowd up on his feet. That cross over was nasty, and the finish??? OH man :rockon:

Great to get a preseason win this season :D I feel really optimistic about the season!

TarCat 10-09-2009 04:18 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onewickedlady
I wonder how Emeka felt last night sitting on the bench watching his new team play his old team? Just like LB said, I too feel like the game took four hours. Augustin was impressive as was Graham. Vlad seemed much more confident shooting the ball during the first quarter than I've seen him in a long time. Nazr's efforts to show that he deserves playing time weren't reflected in his stats but he's replaced Mek as the guy who can't guard bigs without fouling out. I'm not impressed with Diop nor some of the younger guys but it's only two games into the pre-season so maybe it's really too early to judge the newer guys, and I keep wondering what Ajinca is doing in the big leagues until he does something like that spectacular slam dunk.

All-in-all I was glad to be at a Bobcats game and will probably go to the free practice session on the 15th.

Good to see you, TarCat!!


Great to see you also :applause:

~spectre~ 10-09-2009 04:35 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rufuspaul
Augustin had 22 pts. in 29 min. Raymond, however had 1 more assist (5) in less than half that time. Felts brings a lot of intangibles to the locker room as a leader and he will bring it every night. I say leave Raymond as the starter and when DJ comes in it's a new offensive threat to throw at the opponent. Other teams will be envious of our strength at point.


Felton was also halfway to a triple double in a little over 13 minutes while playing stellar defense on Paul. In the game before Mo Williams didn't score a bucket on him.

Well said rufus. Tho I do think DJ is coming along very nicely (I already see an improvement in his D & his leadership on the floor) I love the PG depth we have. Other teams would kill to have that.

onewickedlady 10-09-2009 06:44 PM

Re: Preseason
 
From what you guys are saying it definitely seems like a good idea to keep both Augustin and Felts. I also agree that it wouldn't hurt us to try and trade Vlad and Diop for strength where we need it. So that we can push ahead beyond the first round of the playoffs.

~spectre~ 10-10-2009 08:36 AM

Re: Preseason
 
I'll admit that I've never been a fan of Vlad...but Bonnell's latest blog post makes a lot of sense:

A divergence in path for 2 big men

He was THE offense in the first couple of minutes vs. NOLA and he gave West fits. Whenever I worry about the lack of a true backup PF I see him making guys like West lose his cool. In today's NBA a lot of teams run with PFs like West & Diaw...and if Vlad is determined to "play the right way" then maybe I need to reevaluate my views on him.

Gana...he is looking to be a disappointment. He does however rebound well and plays very good D. In particular vs. NOLA I remember him playing very good help D on the Paul pick and roll plays; like LB teaches he "rushed" Paul and helped Felton pretty much bust up the play.

All things being equal...he's better in that then Mek ever was in that regard, so even though I doubt he develops into a strong force like our FO seemed to have hoped I think he does have a role with us.

His salary is the problem.

acidbasesalt 10-10-2009 01:29 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

All things being equal...[Diop's] better in that then Mek ever was in that regard [defense]...


Can't agree more with you. Okafor's half Mohammed half Diop.

onewickedlady 10-10-2009 02:03 PM

Re: Preseason
 
I was just watching Time Warner Cable News--it's called News 14 Carolina out here--and there was a few minute sports report on the Bobcats preseason. The sports guy mentioned the Cats/Hornets game, showed some of the guys play, interviewed Felts and LB briefly and said that the Cats are shaping up to have a good season. Maybe he even said a very good season. I don't remember. It must have been the shock of a local TV sports reporter actually being positive about the Cats. That's good. Should get more folks interested in the Cats this season and maybe even becoming fans like us! Too bad that I will miss watching tonight's game. Betcha our guys will play better than they did last Tuesday!

onewickedlady 10-10-2009 10:49 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Is there anywhere to catch the rest of tonight's game?

BeebCats 10-10-2009 11:17 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onewickedlady
Is there anywhere to catch the rest of tonight's game?


Was looking everywhere for streaming links, but then realized I actually got sports south :D

Close game, too bad we couldn't close it out. Lexy looked good, he had a nice putback slam (in traffic too). Win or lose, it's just good to see the bench get lots of burn. It's so much better than last year's bench, hands down.

onewickedlady 10-12-2009 07:59 PM

Re: Preseason
 
How to watch tonight's game?

BeebCats 10-12-2009 09:37 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by onewickedlady
How to watch tonight's game?


All I got is an audio feed :(

http://radiotime.com/WebTuner.aspx?StationId=22287&

LB just got ejected, haha... even the hawks announcers are talking about how bad the refs are.

onewickedlady 10-12-2009 10:46 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Terrible game. We should be getting better, not worse.

rufuspaul 10-13-2009 09:06 AM

Re: Preseason
 
The league had got to be worried about the ref situation. If these subs are still here on opening day we're in for some long frustrating games.

onewickedlady 10-13-2009 02:07 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rufuspaul
The league had got to be worried about the ref situation.


my sentiments exactly. much as i'm convinced that the regular refs are biased, the only thing worse than these replacement refs would be no games at all.

Timmeh 10-13-2009 05:52 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Which is worse: Biased refs or Stupid refs?

onewickedlady 10-13-2009 06:17 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Timmeh
Which is worse: Biased refs or Stupid refs?


Biased refs. Bias is selectively applied giving teams unfair advantage or disadvantage. Stupid refs probably affect all teams more or less evenly. At least that's my initial thought.

Timmeh 10-13-2009 07:28 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Then if stupid refs are better, we have an advantage. How many biased refs have we had that blew calls against us simply beacuse we're the lowly basement dwelling Bobcats.

Stupid refs would help us if we didn't have stupid big men (AHEM Ajinca, Diop)

onewickedlady 10-13-2009 11:23 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Timmeh
...How many biased refs have we had that blew calls against us simply beacuse we're the lowly basement dwelling Bobcats...


Probably most of the refs.

Timmeh 10-14-2009 07:35 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Exactly. I'll take stupid refs.

However, Larry Brown apparently wants the old refs back. $60,000????? That's ridiculous. Why doesn't the NBA just go ahead and dock us a few games, take away some draft picks, and spot each player 4 fouls for the first few games?

onewickedlady 10-14-2009 10:13 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Timmeh
Exactly. I'll take stupid refs.

However, Larry Brown apparently wants the old refs back. $60,000????? That's ridiculous. Why doesn't the NBA just go ahead and dock us a few games, take away some draft picks, and spot each player 4 fouls for the first few games?


Is that 60K what LB was fined for the Ts?

acidbasesalt 10-14-2009 11:02 PM

Re: Preseason
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Timmeh
Exactly. I'll take stupid refs.

However, Larry Brown apparently wants the old refs back. $60,000????? That's ridiculous. Why doesn't the NBA just go ahead and dock us a few games, take away some draft picks, and spot each player 4 fouls for the first few games?


Perhaps Brown enjoys arguing with the refs. Or perhaps he thought by getting himself ejected can raise the morale of his team, similar to what baseball managers do. Btw did Brown swear at the refs? If he did swear then no matter what league he's in he will be fined.

rufuspaul 10-15-2009 09:59 AM

Re: Preseason
 
The NBA is ignoring the problem and blaming the messengers.


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