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Old 11-06-2007, 09:40 AM   #1
TarHeelBorn
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Default Touche article

Quote:
McInnis sheds troublemaker image, calms Bobcats

RICK BONNELL
IN MY OPINION

"Jeff McInnis, calming influence." Did you ever think those words could fit together?

From here on, maybe they should. The most pleasant surprise in the Charlotte Bobcats' 2-0 start is the poise and maturity McInnis has demonstrated as the backup point guard.

McInnis was Charlotte's own wild child most of his basketball life, but he always knew the game. Knew it too well. He bounced around seven teams in 10 NBA seasons in a recurring drama that was mostly about intolerance. He understood basketball at the calculus level, and occasionally humiliated teammates who couldn't add 2 + 2.

I heard that again and again from coaches and players. Even his agent acknowledged McInnis' prickly side. So when the New Jersey Nets traded him to his hometown team (after essentially banishing McInnis as a troublemaker), I had my doubts.

The doubts have evaporated. At 33, he's playing with an authority the Bobcats need. He's the first player off the bench -- actually playing more minutes than starting center Primoz Brezec -- and coach Sam Vincent's backcourt of choice late in a close game is McInnis-Raymond Felton, with Jason Richardson shifting to small forward.

McInnis takes ball-handling pressure off Felton, freeing him to score off the wing. More importantly, McInnis has courage to take huge shots and live with the consequences. The look on his face, when the Miami Heat intentionally fouled him Sunday, radiated conviction. He hit both free throws like he was alone in the practice gym.

That was calm in the chaos, and it was hard in the past to link McInnis with anything calm.

I've seen this before. Remember Anthony Mason with the Charlotte Hornets? Smartest guy on the court, and he made sure everyone knew so. He'd grumble, he'd roll his eyes, and then after a loss he'd mock coaches and teammates.

Even when he was right, Mason was wrong, because team sports are about collaboration. For all his intellect -- this guy was recruited by Ivy League schools -- Mason never got that.

McInnis seems to get it. Maybe it was the year he spent in limbo, being paid not to play for the Nets. Or maybe it's realizing, at 33, that he could be out of the league altogether.

He's now on a one-season, veteran-minimum contract, after his multi-year guarantee with the Nets expired.

But I'd like to think this is simply about acquiring wisdom. Smart people aren't always wise, and wise people aren't automatically smart, but when you find someone with both, you've really got something.

Right now, the Bobcats have something in McInnis.

http://www.charlotte.com/sports/story/350253.html
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:43 PM   #2
onewickedlady
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Default Re: Touche article

Thank you, THB.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Touche article

Jordan probably threatened to have the "Carolina Family" disown his butt if he didn't fly straight.

Touche' has done well, and being back at home probably has something to do with it. He realizes this is his last chance to turn all that talk around on it's ear.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Touche article

Yes I was surprised by his playtime but if he plays solid D and is willing to give the core players more touches, then he's doing his job and appears to be doing it well. He won't put up big numbers but his most important number appears to be the play time he's given as when he's on the court he does deffer to the better guys around him rather than Brezec who just costs us posessions or does nothing out there at the moment taking the ball away from those who should have it.

Don't get me wrong I don't mean McInnis is being carried I just think he's doing exactly what he's asked to and not trying to do more than we want him to.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Touche article

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeUK
Yes I was surprised by his playtime but if he plays solid D and is willing to give the core players more touches, then he's doing his job and appears to be doing it well. He won't put up big numbers but his most important number appears to be the play time he's given as when he's on the court he does deffer to the better guys around him rather than Brezec who just costs us posessions or does nothing out there at the moment taking the ball away from those who should have it.

Don't get me wrong I don't mean McInnis is being carried I just think he's doing exactly what he's asked to and not trying to do more than we want him to.

McInnis knows his role and if he works hard perhaps he figures that he might get signed for one more year as backup to Felton because his current contract exires at the end of this season. Plus it's obvious that the guy is actually enjoying being out there.
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