In the last two seasons of NBA basketball we have witnessed an incredible amount of hype and media attention surrounding the league’s superstars, including LeBron, Howard, Nowitzki, Melo and so on. It seems that a championship recipe these days involves two or three superstars and one full roster of washed up veterans for minimum wages, and it’s done. To some extent, it gets you almost all the way. We all saw the Heat fail to win a championship last year with a roster that included Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, arguably one of the most overpowered big three’s in the history of basketball. At least it should be, and remember, when KG, Allen and Pierce got together, they were past their prime and these guys are just entering theirs. So while all eyes are on Dwight Howard, CP3, and the extremely over-hyped FA pool, I look the other way, knowing I won’t be blinded by this hysteria.
After my previous, um, “article,” I guess you could call it, Vance asked me for my predictions for the Bobcats this season. Prediction number one will be that my streak of referencing Mr. T ends at two. Really, after BA Baracus and Clubber Lang, what does that leave you? DC Cab? Come to think of it, there was also the moderately popular cartoon series Mr. T, in which the mohawked protagonist (obviously in animated form) somewhat improbably coached a crime-fighting gymnastics team…But I digress. Let’s talk about another team with an improbable coach, the Bobcats. Here are my predictions for this year’s ferocious felines:
Prediction: Kwame Brown will be our biggest free-agent signing all year
How funny/depressing is it seeing headlines on ESPN or CNNSI that say stuff like, “Chris Paul to Lakers!,” “Pau Gasol to Rockets!,” “Dwight Howard to Nets!,” and then you go to the Charlotte Observer and it’s “Bobcats Hopeful Kwame Brown Re-Signs.” Way to crank up the blockbuster excitement, MJ. Our team is so far out of the spotlight that if the NBA were a movie cast, we’d be the key grips. Nobody talented is coming here unless it’s by some sort of wacky accident, Home Alone-style. Even our other “big-time free agent,” Corey Maggette, is at best a C-lister. Did you see that line Bonnell had about him on his profile a few days ago? Bonnell wrote that Maggette “got lost in coach Scott Skiles’ Bucks rotation. By the end he was playing sporadically.” If our biggest free agent got lost in the star-studded cast that is the Milwaukee Bucks, I think I’m going to hold off on breaking out the champagne and strip-o-grams. On the other hand, at least we didn’t sign someone just for the sake of signing someone (yet). Bonnell also wrote, “(Dante) Cunningham’s restricted free-agency might have become a moot point had the Bobcats been successful in their pursuit of free agent Mike Dunleavy.” Wrong, Rick, the Bobcats WERE successful in their pursuit of signing Dunleavy…because it FAILED. Anybody who’s stupid enough to sign Dunleavy and his shot knees to a multi-million dollar deal is the unsuccessful one.
If—when—the lockout does end and the season begins the Charlotte Bobcats could end up being one of the more exciting teams to watch. Considering that the team has been under .500 more than it has been over during its short NBA life, that may seem hard to believe, but it is.
Last season the team did something that is very hard for any team to do. It had tucked its tail between its proverbial legs and dealt away the team’s top talent.
Sound crazy? On the surface, maybe it is. In reality, the moves that were made could not have been better for the future of the team.
DJ Augustin’s play this year, has been full of peaks and valleys, much like the Charlotte Bobcats’ season. On Monday night in New Jersey, DJ broke the hearts of the Nets’ faithful by draining the game winner with just over one second to play in the game. Both teams exchanged blows throughout the night and alternated lead changes a few times. In the end though, the Bobcats prevailed due to outstanding efforts from youngsters DJ Augustin, Daunte Cunningham and Gerald Henderson. Cunningham, who was acquired from Portland in the Gerald Wallace deal, dropped a team-high 21 points, as he is looking to turn some heads on the Bobcats coaching staff for next season. Gerald Henderson continues to show that he was more than worthy of his draft selection two years ago as he contributed 14 points. Augustin finished the game on a double-double with his 19 points and 11 assists. For the Nets, Brook Lopez led all scorers with 31 points as he abused Kwame Brown and Boris Diaw down on the block all game.
The Bobcats have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Orlando. The ‘Cats were once again playing without the injured Stephen Jackson, but Gerald Henderson shined with a 32 point night for Charlotte. The Bobcats had four starters, DJ Augustine the lone exception, score in double figures. Surprisingly, offense was not the problem for Charlotte as they shot a reasonable 46.4% from the floor and an outstanding 90% from the free throw line. They could not stop an Orlando team that shot 53.9% from the field. The loss does leave the ‘Cats fan base looking toward the draft now that the playoff hunt is officially dead.
Its a sad day for Canadians everywhere.
Yesterday afternoon the Charlotte Bobcats behind DJ Augustin and Gerald Henderson defeated the Toronto Raptors 95-90 on the road. Even though the Bobcats recently suffered a 6 game losing streak, this win helps them climb back up to #8 in the Eastern conference playoff race ( tied with the Indiana Pacers ). There are some “fans” that say they would rather see the Bobcats miss the playoffs and get a lottery pick in this year’s draft rather than eek into the playoffs and face a potential first round sweep against the Celtics, Bulls or Heat. I on the other hand completely disagree because I feel that the experienced gained from a playoff series ( even if it’s in defeat) far outweigh any lottery pick that you might get… Especially in this year’s draft.