Posted on: September 22, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 3:26 pm
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
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
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
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
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 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.
New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.
Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.
Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:
Tags: Blazers, Bobcats, Boston Celtics, Cavaliers, Cavaliers, Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Jazz, Knicks, Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Magic, Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, schedule, Utah Jazz
Posted on: July 13, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 3:47 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Assuming this one actually officially goes through, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger confirms that the Mavericks have traded Erick Dampier, Matt Carroll and Eduardo Najera to Charlotte for Alexis Ajinca and Tyson Chandler.
Rob Mahoney of the outstanding Mavericks blog The Two Man Game has some reaction :
This move isn’t a particularly good one, and it’s not going to thrust the Mavs into the title discussion. However, like the Ian Mahinmi signing, it stabilizes the frontcourt rotation and gives Dallas some depth in the middle. It’s important, but definitely underwhelming. Dampier’s contract was thought to be much more valuable than this.
If the Mavs could have picked up Chandler circa ‘07-’08, when he was one of the game’s elite interior defenders and a Chris Paul sidekick? This would be a definite upgrade. Yet as it stands, it’s actually very debatable whether Chandler is better than Erick Dampier at all . Even gifting Chandler the advantage, it’s entirely possible that Damp’s contract, which was supposed to add a significant, long-term piece for the Mavs, could have no direct roster impact past next season. The Mavs may choose to let Tyson walk next summer, and for all of the hullabaloo, that’s awfully anticlimactic.
Hard to argue with that. Damp is 34 and averaged 6.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg in 55 games last season for Dallas. Chandler is 27 and averaged 6.5 ppg and 6.3 rpg in 51 games last season for Charlotte. Plus, Chandler has all those injury concerns.Previously, the Bobcats had a deal in place bringing Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans to Charlotte, but owner Michael Jordan backed out on that. Reportedly, coach Larry Brown didn't like the initial deal very much. The Bobcats are "very likely" to waive Dampier, Adrian Wojnarowski reports .
Obviously Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo has got to be pretty miffed right now. He had a great deal in place that would immediately help his squad and alliviate some of the pain in losing Chris Bosh. Instead, Jordan and the Cats backed off and Colangelo lost his trade. Basically, the Bobcats went for cap space and expiring contracts rather than roster help. Such is the NBA world we live in.
Posted on: July 13, 2010 10:09 am
Edited on: July 13, 2010 2:53 pm
Posted by Royce Young
UPDATE : The deal is reportedly dead .
Yesterday, a reported trade sending Charlotte players Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw to Toronto for Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans appeared to a feather in Raptor GM Bryan Colangelo's cap.
But today, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is having second thoughts.
Being traded and then not being traded is nothing new to Chandler who if you'll recall was part of a rescinded deal in 2009 involving his former team the Hornets and Oklahoma City. But this time, it's his team that's having second thoughts about trading him.
Ken Berger makes a great point about the potential deal : In the make-believe world of NBA trades, this one actually makes sense. The Raptors get rid of Turkoglu, who was never happy with his role in Toronto, and get a playmaker in Barbosa with only a one-year commitment. They use a portion of the $14.5 million trade exception received in the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade to make the deal pass muster under the 125 percent rule required to validate trades between teams that are over the salary cap. Turkoglu is on the books for $9.8 millon next season. Chandler and Diaw further bolster the Raptors' efforts to reload after Bosh's departure to Miami."
Wojnarowski says the trade isn’t dead, but the two sides will talk again on Tuesday morning and the Raptors will try to push the trade through.