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Tag:Charlotte Bobcats
Posted on: September 22, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 3:26 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Charlotte Bobcats

Posted by Matt Moore

Charlotte lost its starting point guard and its starting center, and didn't really add any players of huge significance.So what's going to get them through this year? Larry Brown and defense, the formula proven to work. The big thing to watch with the Cats this season is if they make another trade. Larry Brown has opted for a trade to his roster every year in a big way, and despite initial criticisms, the deals have been huge successes for the most part. We continue our Preseason Primers with a stop at the Cats. 

Training camp site:
  UNC-Wilmington

Training camp starts:  Sept. 28 

Key additions:  Shaun Livingston (free agency), Matt Carroll (trade), Eduardo Najera (trade), Dominic McGuire (free agency), Kwame Brown (free agency)

Key subtractions:  Raymond Felton (free agency), Tyson Chandler (trade), Alexis Ajinca (trade), Theo Ratliff (free agency)

Likely starting lineup:  D.J. Augustin (PG), Stephen Jackson (SG), Gerald Wallace (SF), Boris Diaw (Boris Diaw position), Nazr Mohammed (C)


Player to watch:
 Tyrus Thomas. Thomas is at yet another "time to show what he can do" moment (seemingly the ninth of his career). With the new contract the Bobcats rewarded himself with, he's no longer the young'n working on becoming legit. He's got to actually develop and identity. He doesn't need to be Josh Smith with his overall athletic dynamism or a premier lockdown defender. But he's got to develop a set role on the floor that translates with his abilities. And stop shooting that mid-range jumper! But if he's able to effectively translate that athleticism he still has into production, consistently , it'll go a long way to putting him in a higher tier among NBA forwards. Time for Larry Brown to work his Magic again.

Chemistry quiz:
It's a delicate act the Cats have put together. Gerald Wallace is the strong, mostly silent type. Captain Jack is very much not. Tyrus Thomas is surly and brash. D.J. Augustin is well-natured but has bore the brunt of Larry Brown's particular attitude towards young point guards. The Cats have a fascinating cast of characters, and that's before you factor the possibility of Antoine Walker making it to camp. The Cats though don't really have many chemistry quirks. They have the alpha dog in Stephen Jackson, a franchise mainstay leader in Gerald Wallace, and a roster that understands it has to buy what Larry Brown's selling or they'll never see the light of day.

Injury watch:
 The Bobcats loaded up on centers last year, only to watch all of them wind up injured and missing time. Gerald Wallace bounced back from a disastrous 2009-2010 season that featured a collapsed lung and missed only six games last season. Boris Diaw has, ahem, conditioning issues. And, oh, yeah, their backup point guard suffered one of the most devastating knee injuries in recent NBA history. So they've got a number of things to keep a trainer's eye on.

Camp battles:
 Point guard is going to be a messy, messy affair without Raymond Felton around. D.J. Augustin has been the player the Cats had hoped would overtake Felton for years, and he's never gotten there. Now he's got no real choice and if he doesn't get it together this year their clock may run out on him. Shaun Livingston has a great opportunity to really push for a starting gig, but his body hasn't been the same since the injury. 

Power forward's another interesting spot. Diaw has the best skill set, but Tyrus Thomas has the new contract and the potential. That one could get messy as Thomas has become more authoritative this summer about his career. He's no longer unsure of himself now that he's out of Chicago.

Biggest strength:
 Defense, plain and simple. The Cats were best in defensive efficiency last season , and that's how they made the playoffs. The Cats managed to work effectively in both man situations and man-help. They communicate well, have athletic players all over the floor, and gun it 100% of effort, the most important element. The want-to is there and that's how they win games. Losing Raymond Felton will do some damage in that regard, as will their question marks at center. But they have enough talent, and most importantly, they have Larry Brown at the helm.

Glaring weakness:
 Talent. The Bobcats brought in an offensive weapon to save their putrid scoring last year in Stephen Jackson, but he's no spring chicken. Gerald Wallace is a tremendous talent, but not great at creating his own shot. And other than that, the Cats don't have a single consistent offensive weapon, and they are far from having a superstar. They've elected to build through trades, and that means improving value each time, but also watering down the talent level. Unless Gerald Henderson makes a huge leap, the Cats won't change much in that regard this season.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 5:14 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 5:15 pm
 

Javaris Crittenton looking at NBA training camps

Former Wizards guard suspended in Arenas gun altercation exploring options for NBA training camp, including Charlotte Bobcats. Posted by Matt Moore

The agent for Javaris Crittenton says the former Wizards guard is exploring several options for NBA training camps to attend, including the Charlotte Bobcats. Crittenton, the 6-5, 200 lb. guard out of Georgia Tech is best known at this point as being the other party in the altercation with Gilbert Arenas involving firearms in the Wizards locker room. But before that he was a promising prospect that wound up buried on the Lakers' bench, then traded to Memphis in the Pau Gasol steal. He found out quickly that the NBA is a business

Crittenton was suspended for the remainder of last year and plead guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge because of the incident. He was given one year's probation.  It was Arenas that allegedly starting the argument that lead to the altercation, refusing to pay his share of a gambling debt he and Crittenton incurred in a card game. 

Crittenton's agent Mark Bartelstein told CBSSports.com that Crittenton has several options for NBA training camps to attend, specifically mentioning Charlotte as an option. Charlotte would make sense, as they are extremely light in the back court after the departure of Raymond Felton in free agency. Larry Brown has a history of working with players coming from bad circumstances with other teams, including Rasheed Wallace, Stephen Jackson, and Tyrus Thomas. Brown treats the players as professionals, and that approach seems to get through. If Crittenton does attend camp, it could be an opportunity to get his career back on track. Bartelstein says Crittenton is in "great condition" and ready to put the events of last year behind him and focus on this season. 

Maybe a second chance for Crittenton is in the cards this time. 

Posted on: September 17, 2010 9:51 am
Edited on: September 17, 2010 10:27 am
 

Shootaround 9.17.10: La-Z-Boys are awesome

Landry's La-Z-Boys, Duncan's slim fit, and Ainge's cliff in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


Of all the endorsement opportunities you can get, I don't want Nike. Nor do I want Pepsi or Coke or McDonalds. No, I want the same endorsement op that Carl Landry just got. La-Z-Boy . Now that's a quality endorsement. I bet he has a La-Z-Boy in each and every room in his house. I wonder if he gets the ones with the cupholders and refrigerators underneath. Are they custom-sized for his frame? So many questions.

There were a lot of questions about the Bobcat's decision to waive Erick Dampier's crazy valuable $13 million expiring non-guaranteed contract. Turns out the contract is guaranteed if Dampier is injured , which means the Bobcats would be on the hook for the $13 million, and that was a risk they simply couldn't afford to take.

Tim Duncan is getting up there in years. That impacts his ability to stay on the floor, especially given how many games he's played with playoffs included. But it appears he's reacted that situation by losing some weight, as Greg Popovich told reporters Thursday that Duncan has shown up for camp slimmer and faster than in years past, this after showing up last year 15 lbs. lighter. That move could partially be based on the improved depth the Spurs have, which means Duncan doesn't have to play the part of traditional big-man center, especially with Tiago Splitter on board. It's possible Duncan could be playing more in traditional power forward sets for the Spurs this year.

Jon Scheyer is going to camp with the Jazz. This concludes your "most appropriate undrafted free agent signing" of the week.

Monta Ellis wants to make things work with Stephen Curry, and regrets his comments about the rook last year. There's a thought that the two can coexist, but if that's going to happen, someone's going to have to determine a pecking order. And the better Ellis gets, the more complicated that issue comes, and that's before we factor in David Lee. Still, it's good to see Ellis recognizes his failure to lead last year.

The Celtics opted for the status quo this year , but they had options. It's a difficult question that Danny Ainge faces, the question of when exactly to pull the plug and begin the move towards the future. That's a cliff no one wants to jump off, which is why so many are shoved off.

Greg Oden is like some sort of really powerful Magic The Gathering card . I tend to think of him more like one of those really difficult to unlock video game secrets that when you unlock it, really isn't that cool anyway. It's cool, it's just not worth the work you did to get there.

Let's all have a giggle at the idea of Derrick Favors starting to begin the season .

An image of the Cleveland skyline will replace the "We Are All Witnesses" banner in Cleveland. That's still going to sting fans that look at it each night.

The jerks in Sacramento defaced the Casspi mural again . Sigh.
Posted on: September 13, 2010 9:59 am
 

Shootaround 9.13.10: 'Toine's got an invite

Bobcats aggressively looking to move Damp, the Magic's new arena is smarter than you, and Oden's progress going slow. Posted by Matt Moore

The Bobcats have what their GM is calling "probably one of the most valuable contracts in the league " in Erick Dampier. Dampier's contract is a non-guaranteed, voidable deal for $13 million, meaning a team can dump one or several players for Dampier, then waive him and clear off money immediately. If the Bobcats can find a taker, they might be able to solve some of their considerable problems. Like the fact that they have no viable point guard in place. You know.... that.

Speaking of valuable partially guaranteed expiring contracts, Magic Basketball takes a look at whether Vince Carter can be moved this season by himself for a wing upgrade. The prospects are not great.

Most new arenas are nice. But the Magic's new arena is smart . They're able to target advertising in real-time, flexible responses, and the ticket systems can load cash for concessions if ticket gift-givers want to provide a meal along with the basketball.

There's an unwritten rule, one that should be written for a lot of first-time credentialed press members from team blogs, that you don't root in the press box. Unless, apparently, you're abroad for an international competition .

Samuel Dalembert is not so much a fan of the Canadian national team's coach . Okay, that's kind of an understatement. To say that he pins all their problems on Leo Rautins would be more accurate. Dalembert has had a year with what happened in his home country of Haiti. This is just one other failure he's venting about.

Greg Oden will not be in attendance during team scrimmages this week. I know, you're shocked. Try and lay down for a bit to deal with this news.

Antoine Walker has actually been invited by a real life NBA team to participate in some practices and scrimmages. The Bobcats have made no assurances he'll make it even to camp, though.

Andre Iguodala reflects on the entire FIBA World Championship experience and winning the gold.

Guess who's available? Pops Mensah-Bonsu! Contract rescinded, back on the street , ready to come in and play five or six minutes at a time with rebounds and missed dunks at your disposal. Kidding aside, Bonsu's a solid bench player that deserves a run.

The NBA just inked a deal with a Spanish bank for $100 million for sponsorship across the NBA, WNBA, and the D-League. That's a pretty big chunk of change. The league keeps talking about losses, and keeps ratcheting up big deals.
Posted on: August 30, 2010 9:15 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 11:30 am
 

Shootaround 8.30.10: Can't read BJ's poker face

Dragic slowed up, Jordan giving out, and Brandon Jennings does Lady Gaga. For real.
Posted by Matt Moore


So Brandon Jennings lost some sort of bet, and as a result, was forced to do a video online of him dancing to Lady Gaga . Yes, it is as bizarre-looking as it sounds.

Goran Dragic has been great so far in the FIBA World Championships, but found himself in foul trouble on Sunday in Slovenia's loss to Team USA. Twice, Dragic got caught trying to sneak up on a player's weakside off the inbounds. It's like Dragic got too comfortable playing non-NBA players and forgot just how well-trained even this inexperienced Team USA team is. And Chauncey Billups is anything but inexperienced.

Sam Amico of NBA.com reports that the Nuggets are looking at the Nets, Wolves, and Kings as possible options for trading Carmelo Anthony. But this assumes the Nuggets have all the leverage, which they don't .

Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats donated a quarter of a million dollars to middle-school athletics in Charlotte. It's another instance in a continuing theme of Jordan looking to invest in the Charlotte area. If he's planning on being the absentee owner many thought he would be, he's at least making a good show in the other direction.

FIBA play isn't necessarily the place for post play. But as NBA Playbook points out, establishing position is just as important there. Also, they provide a look at Ante Tomic, the Jazz draft pick who looked good for Croatia.

A resources company in Cleveland is cashing in on a former LeBron James ad campaign with a 'Witness' campaign of their own. Yet another indication that the bridges he burned in Cleveland won't be rebuilt in a day.

As a reminder, Brandon Rush got tagged with a five game suspension for violating the NBA's drug policy. The interesting note? He's yet another Kansas or Kansas State player found in trouble with drugs. You'll remember Mario Chalmers' problems at the rookie transition program, along with Michael Beasley.

Bryan Colangelo is on the hot seat in Toronto. The question is, why isn't Jay Triano also feeling warm in the butt? It's been Triano's defense that has been systemically bad, despite good man-defenders in Amir Johnson and Antoine Wright. It's been Triano's team unable to close out games, despite having Chris Bosh. Everyone looks at Colangelo as the problem, but as Raptors Republic points out, Colangelo has yet to to hand pick a coach in Toronto.

Wanna know just how far back your team's good (or bad) decisions go? Take a look at these flowcharts . The Knicks one is especially hilarious/tragic.

Rich Cho says there's no way to know how Greg Oden's knee will respond until it's "under stress." Pretty much, Greg Oden's not going to be considered healthy until he's considered healthy. It's a binary question.




Posted on: August 25, 2010 8:56 am
Edited on: August 25, 2010 8:59 am
 

Shootaround 8.25.10: Damp in Miami?

Posted by Royce Young
  • If you didn't watch "Jordan Rides the Bus" last night, make sure to catch one of its 500 re-runs. Absolutely terrific stuff. My favorite tweet of the night about it though came from SLAM's Russ Bengtson: "Kobe's calling the Dodgers right now."
  • Bobcats GM Rod Higgins says Erick Dampier might be traded rather than waived: "It's going to take a while," Higgins said. "Now that we've got another center, waiving him for the sake of waiving him doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us. We're going to continue to talk to teams to try to improve our roster."
  • Want to watch the best dunk-off of all time? Watch the best dunk-off of all time:
  • Brett Hainline of Queen City Hoops on Kwame Brown: "Kwame's signing puts the Bobcats at 4 centers on the squad - one of whom I have confidence in taking a shot that is not a dunk (take a bow, Nazr). While it was certain the Bobcats are going to waive/trade Dampier, this makes it appear unlikely that he will be re-signed following his eventual waiving, as he had previously indicated an interest in doing."
  • Matt Hubert of D-League Digest writing on Hornets 24/7 about Mustafa Shakur: "But the biggest takeway from this signing is the fact that the Hornets appear to be turning over a new leaf under new general manager Dell Demps, formerly of the Austin Toros. His D-League experience may prove to open new doors for an organization that previously had very little involvement with the D-League, and the signing of Shakur could be just the beginning."
  • John Krolik of PBT with an outstanding breakdown of LeBron James off the ball: "According to Synergy Sports, LeBron took 125 field goal attempts off of a "cut" last season, and converted 101 of those attempts. That's an 81% conversion rate. That, folks, is the definition of unstoppable, and that's how LeBron shot 65% from the field in international play. LeBron is great at scoring in isolation or pick-and-roll situations. He may be just as good at making plays for other in those situations. But he's unquestionably at his most effective when he can build up a head of steam and attack the rim against a defense that isn't waiting for him."
Posted on: August 23, 2010 2:54 pm
 

Kwame Brown to reunite with Jordan in Charlotte

Posted by Royce Young

It's hard to forget the last time Michael Jordan and Kwame Brown negotiated a contract. Brown was taken first overall in 2001 by Jordan and the Wizards, and promptly busted. Now, they're together again.

Marc Stein of ESPN reports Brown will sign a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats for the league's veteran minimum. It's been 10 years since Jordan took Brown No. 1 overall in a move that seriously altered both of their careers. But the Bobcats are looking for a little frontcourt depth and for what he is now, Brown can help provide some of that.

Mark Bartelstein, Brown's agent, told Stein that Brown is trying to "create a new chapter" in his relationship with Jordan. Right now Charlotte is pretty thin up front with Erick Dampier's contract almost certainly to be bought out. Other than that, Charlotte has Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas and Nazr Mohammed on the inside. So it's safe to say that Brown found a team that he should at least find minutes on.

Last season Brown played for the Pistons appearing in 48 games, averaging 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game.
Posted on: August 16, 2010 3:26 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 6:07 pm
 

The Bobcats are finally winning off the court too

"" Posted by Royce Young

For the first time since the NBA returned to Charlotte last season, the Bobcats had some on-court success. Behind a frantic, swarming defense, the team made a surprising playoff run and finished 44-38.

All of this was during a season in which ownership changed hands as well, with former owner Bob Johnson handing the reins to Michael Jordan. Under Johnson, the team lost tens of millions of dollars each season and fell into the kind of mediocrity that can absolutely suck the life out of a fanbase. But under Jordan, not only did the team start to actually win, it began to show some improvement financially as well.

The Charlotte Business Journal reports during the past 12 months, the Bobcats have increased the number of team sponsors to 90 (up from 50) while posting serious gains in new season-ticket sales and renewals that rank among the top 10 off-season performances in the 30-team NBA. That's like, whoa for a franchise that only a year ago was probably in the top five worst situations in the league.

But a major misconception about the NBA (and really sports in general) is that all money comes from ticket sales. While that's obviously very, very important, corporate sponsorship is where the real dough comes from. And not only are the Bobcats bringing in new ones, but they are doing well with existing sponsors also. To date, the franchise has renewed 85 percent of expiring sponsorships this summer. In past years, the team struggled to have even a 60 percent renewal rate with corporate partners.

Not to say the improvement in sales isn't a great sign as well. The report also mentions the franchise's goals of reaching 100 corporate sponsors and selling 10,000 season tickets (using full-season and partial-season combinations). And for the first time in franchise history, those two things actually appear doable. By opening night for the Bobcats, the franchise expects to have around 8,000 season-ticket plans sold. Last year around this time, the team had sold fewer than 400 new season tickets versus 1,500 during the current off-season. That's right there, is what you'd call improvement.

Obviously having Michael Freaking Jordan as your chief salesman to corporate sponsors helps. Gaming company 2K Sports became a sponsor for next season after it signed MJ as its coverboy for this year's NBA 2K11. The business journal also reports Hanes , who Jordan is a major endorser for, is close to becoming a Bobcats partner.

This huge for the NBA in Charlotte. When the Hornets resided there, Charlotte was known as one of the absolute top home court advantages in the league for a time. The teams with Alonzo Mourning, Mugsy Bogues and Larry Grandmama Johnson were fun, fast and exciting. Its fanbase was fanatical and opposing teams feared playing there. But owner George Shinn moved the team to New Orleans because of disputes over a new arena and because the once lively fanbase lost faith in ownership and quit coming. The NBA knew Charlotte was a terrific NBA city and North Carolina a great basketball state, so a franchise returned there but struggled to get off its feet. Struggled for seven years in fact. Now, finally the organization is gaining some traction and fans are returning their loyalty.

But the Bobcats aren't there yet. Actually, not by a longshot . This is just a major improvement from where the team was. When you're near the bottom, even a minor step up is a big one. The franchise is still far from breaking even and hasn't regained the trust from a disenfranchised fanbase . Deficits were in the double-digit millions so recovering from that won't be easy. And if this rise to even is going to continue, the team has to continue to do the most important thing: win.

But for once in the Bobcats brief tenure in Charlotte, there are some lights to be seen as the end of a long, long tunnel.
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com