Charlotte coach Larry Brown searches for the right words. The Bobcats shot a team-worst 19 percent in the first half.
11/2/09 Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace (3) drives to the basket against the Nets Monday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Wallace leads the Bobcats in scoring through four games. JEFF SINER - firstname.lastname@example.org Buy Photo | Store
Bobcat Gerald Wallace, right, fights his way to the basket against the New Jersey Nets' Brook Lopez on Monday in Charlotte. Though Wallace is shooting only 33 percent from the field, he's averaging nine trips to the foul line per game.
The Charlotte Bobcats might not be much offensively, but they're adapting to what coach Larry Brown means when he says play the game the right way.
Two statistics in particular demonstrate that: The Bobcats are second in the NBA in rebounding and average dramatically more free-throw attempts than their opponents. In both cases, small forward Gerald Wallace is the key reason.
Through the first four games, the Bobcats are averaging 46.25 rebounds, compared to 39.75 for their composite opponent. That's second in the league (to Memphis), both in rebounds per game and rebounding differential. Wallace is averaging 14 rebounds per game, second only to Toronto's Chris Bosh at 14.7
Meanwhile, the Bobcats are nearly doubling opponents' free-throw attempts (116-69). Wallace's drives are essential to that. Though he's shooting only 33 percent from the field, he's averaging nine trips to the foul line per game.
Brown has always pointed to rebounding and free-throw attempts as markers of a team's effort and efficiency because rebounding limits opponent possessions and foul shots are bonus opportunities to score. Brown would also place turnovers on that key-stat list, and his team doesn't fare so well there.
The Bobcats average 19.2 turnovers, compared to 14.8 assists. NBA teams at minimum need to break even on assist-to-turnover ratio to succeed.
Point guard Raymond Felton has been a big factor in the Bobcats' turnover troubles this season. His 5.0 turnover average is second only to Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook at 5.5.
Speaking of stats, Wallace leads the NBA in minutes played at 42.8 per game. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant is second at 42.6. Trick-shot wizard
If new Bobcats guard Flip Murray challenges you to a trick-shot contest, beware. You're about to be hustled.
Murray sat behind the baseline after Bobcats practice Wednesday, launching 20-footers over the corner of the backboard and through the hoop. He made about 3-of-10, including two in a row.
But that's not his specialty. In the preseason, at the Los Angeles Clippers' training facility, Murray was launching one-handed shots, in a football-pass motion, and swishing from about 60 feet. So if the Bobcats desperately need a basket at the end of a quarter, now you know who'll get the in-bounds pass. Augustin sits
Point guard D.J. Augustin was limited in practice Wednesday by a sprained left ankle. The injury doesn't appear serious, and Augustin was able to participate in shooting drills at the end of the session. ]