Teej chats with SNY’s TheKnicksBlog.com Radio host Anthony “Rice Balls” Donahue about the upcoming home and home with the Knicks, Raymond Felton and Isaiah Thomas. Follow Anthony at TKB Radio on theknicksblog.com or on twitter @AnthonyMSG.
Teej and Swedd call up Hoopsworld.com’s Bill Ingram for a chat on this upcoming season. Be sure to follow Bill on twitter @therocketguy and read his columns on Hoopsworld.com!
Check out Part 1 of today’s show, where Teej and Swedd rank and debate all 30 NBA teams in BCP’s first edition of Power Rankings. Check out HoopsWorld.com’s Bill Ingram in Part 2!
I don’t want to say I’m devastated, but color me disappointed. With a sellout crowd of over 19,200 on hand for the annual Charlotte Bobcats Nascar night, featuring 4-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Ladycat Jordan’s boyfriend Denny Hamlin, I would’ve hoped for a big win and settled for just a win. I mean, with a crazy home record of 18-4 coming in, what else should I expect? And at the end of regulation, it seemed that was what was going to happen. But instead, the Bobcats came out totally flat for overtime and were outscored 14-3 in the period to lose by a final of 106-95, after coming back from a 16 point deficit in regulation.
The game started off rather tepidly, with Charlotte losing each of the first three quarters and entering the 4th down by 10. About the only bright spots up to that point were Nazr Mohammed (12 points/9 rebounds) and Raymond Felton (14/5/4 assists) playing solidly on both ends of the floor. Soon to be named All-Star Gerald Wallace was held scoreless for much of the game, although he did finish with 9 points and 10 rebounds. In the fourth, along with Wallace, DJ Augustin (22/2/1) and DeSagana Diop (6/4/2 Blocks) asserted themselves as key players in the comeback. Diop would’ve had 8 points, but a jumper from about 10 feet out was called off for a shot clock violation. Down 92-90 with 6.8 seconds left, the ‘Cats came out of the timeout and Stephen Jackson (15/5/4) hit a floater from under the basket to send the game into OT. After that, well, lets just say it wasn’t pretty.
If you want to find places to put the blame, there are plenty. The Bobcats missed 6 free throws in 22 attempts, shot just 39.8 percent from the field (including a combined 10-38 from Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson, and Gerald Wallace), and outside of DJ Augustin’s 5-9 3 point shooting, the team was 4 of 18, which comes out at an atrocious 22.2 percent. They had their shots blocked 11 times and were outrebounded by 7. And while it appears that the officials cannot count to three when the Magic have possesion, the Bobcats could have won despite bad officiating – which had Stephen Jackson complaining all night long, including him being assessed with the game’s only technical foul – that allowed Howard the freedom to have dinner and dessert in the lane. They had their chances and let it get away.
Charlotte now starts a six game road trip:
Monday in Denver (facing former Bobcat Malik Allen and G/F Stevie Graham’s brother Joey) – Sportsouth 9:00 ET
Tuesday in Pheonix (facing former Bobcats Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley) -FSCR 9:00 ET
Friday in Golden State (facing former Bobcat Vladi Radmanovic and announcer Dell Curry’s son Stephen) – FSCR 10:30 ET
Saturday in Sacramento (facing former Bobcat and tub of lard Sean May) – Sportsouth 10:00 ET
Monday the first in Portland (facing former Bobcat Juwan Howard) – Sportsouth 10:00 ET
Wednesday the third in Los Angeles against the Lakers (facing former Bobcats Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison) – Sportsouth 10:30 ET
Notes: Tyson Chandler missed the game once again, and while he is supposedly “day-to-day” I don’t think we’ll be seeing him anytime soon….DJ Augustin appeared to regain his confidence for at least the fourth quarter, expecting to make shots instead of hoping….Larry Brown played his centers 46 out of a possible 53 minutes, which is one of the highest amounts in a long time….Brandon Bass, the player many Bobcats fans have been clamoring for in a trade, had a DNP-CD, so don’t expect to see him in a Charlotte uniform….Dwight Howard was the only player with a double-double, collecting 10 points and 20 rebounds….The Bobcats wore special NASCAR themed uniforms, with checkered side panels; Jimmie Johnson recieved a special #4 “Johnson” jersey at halftime in honor of his 4 championships….
Wow. What a game. Every time I see this team play, they have more and more chemistry, and that is helping them smother teams on the defensive side of the ball. Last night, your Charlotte Bobcats took on the San Antonio Spurs, who coming into this game were 5-0 in Charlotte and 10-1 all time against the ‘Cats. But, by the end of the night, that would change.
Depsite the spectacular performance, the first half was boring, slow, and featured under 40% shooting for the ‘Cats, giving the Spurs the halftime lead, 42-38, and no player for either team was in double digits. But my, was that second half impressive. From the end of he third quarter to the beginning of the fourth, the ‘Cats went on a 19-2 run, and the Spurs went 1-14 in that stretch. Gerald Wallace (21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 blocks, and 4 steals) had several huge defensive plays, including one where he got the steal on the defensive end, and took it coast to coast for the posterization of Manu Ginobili. That was far and away the play of the game (and Wallace’s skying blocks may have been 2-5) but the player of the game was, believe it or not, Boris Diaw (26 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks). Yes, that guy that everyone has wanted benched or traded for the last month (including me). But for tonight, and quite possibly the future (more on that in a minute) the Frenchman was the best player. He kept Spurs star Tim Duncan to just 10 points without any help defense, and was the game’s high scorer and the best ‘Cats rebounder. If this keeps up, and I think it will, then the ‘Cats are going to coast into the playoffs.
Now, as for why this should keep up. According to Bobcats.com writer Matt Rochinski, Boris sat down with Stephen Jackson (16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) before this homestand to talk about Boris’ role and how he could help the team by being more aggresive. Not only was Boris fine with that, but he’s taken it to heart, on both ends of the floor. His defense was just as impressive as those 26 points, and Diaw was finally taking those wide open threes he’s been passing up since he got here. If Diaw is in line, the next target should be Tyson Chandler, and if all 5 are living up to, or even close to their potential, the 5 seed might be a bit low. After the game, Jackson talked again with Diaw: “I told him after the game that we’re going to be hard to beat if he’s aggressive,” Jackson said. “There are not too many 4-men in this league that can handle the ball, shoot, pass at that size. I think he frees up a lot of stuff on the offensive end for me and Gerald [Wallace] when he can pick and pop or make plays for us.” Meanwhile Co-Captain Raymond Felton (4 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block) was shouting Diaw’s praises across the locker room.
Notes: Chandler missed his 10th game in a row, though he says that he doesn’t feel pain, just slight discomfort from the stress reaction in his left foot. Rookie Gerald Henderson played 1 minute and 40 seconds after not playing since Dec. 28th against Milwaukee, racking up 7 DNP-CD’s. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said “It’s a typical Larry Brown team, just tenacious, physical, pressure defense. Creating turnovers, creating offense out of turnovers. You knew it coming in. But we reacted poorly to it.” The Bobcats have won 3 in a row, and 6 straight at home.
Tonight, the ‘Cats take on the Phoenix Suns at Time Warner Cable Arena. The game starts at 7 p.m., and though there is no local tv, it will be broadcast nationally on NBATV. Since there’s no local tv, even those in the FSCR blackout zone should be able to watch the game there. The radio broadcast is on WFNZ tonight.
Video recap here: Bobcats beat Spurs 92-76
After a disappointing loss in Oklahoma City, the Bobcats were home last night to face the Milwaukee Bucks, who they are battling for playoff position. This would be the final game played at Time Warner Cable Arena this decade (the Bobcats play one more game before New Year’s, but that’s in Toronto), and the Bobcats didn’t disappoint.
Charlotte started the game of rather tepidly, with only Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton scoring the first 16 points and going into the second quarter with just a 23-20 lead. But in the second quarter, the ‘Cats took off, outscoring Milwaukee 33-14 and entering the half with a 22 point lead. In the second half, Bucks coach Scott Skiles attempted to send a message to his team by sitting stars Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, and they were able to pull within 10, but never closer. Gerald Wallace scored 21 and had 14 boards, while Stephen Jackson had 12 points and Raymond Felton had 11. But tonight was all about the bench. Flip Murray dropped in 16, Stephen Graham contributed 11, and DJ Augustin and DeSagana Diop both had 7. Diop was credited with just one block, but from watching the game, he had at least three. This may have been Gana’s best game as a Bobcat, and he only played 12 minutes.
Post Game Quotes
Gerald Wallace: “I think, you know what, the first half was an A, the second half was a C. I think, the second half we got lazy, they got a lot of transition layups, a lot of transition wide-open shots, I think we got lacksadaisical with the lead, that we had. But I think the first half was great, we put ourselves in great position for the second half, and we were able to hold on.”
Gana Diop: on having more than the one official block – “Yeah, I got more than one, but I mean, I’m kind of used to that, from Dallas.”
on the bench: “We brought a lot of energy, you know what I’m saying, a kind of slow tempo of energy. Flip was real good on the break, we got a lot of rebounds, pushed the ball, and got a big lead in the first half.”
on coming in after watching all year: “Oh, I mean, it’s hard. But, being able to be out there and help the team, you know, being on the bench trying to cheer on my teammates, and work hard, come in for early practice, try to stay in shape, so I can get in there, I can do my job.”
on having inspiration to contribute: “Oh yeah, you got to. I mean, going early in the gym, with Cape [Assistant Coach Jeff Capel] and young guys, even though I got 9 years, DJ Augustin’s killin me. But yeah I just try to stay in shape and be ready for moments like this…it’s a long season, 82 games, you just gotta stay ready.”
Stephen Jackson: “We’re gettin better. That’s all you can ask. Still got room to grow but we’re gettin better. We’re gettin better as a team.”
on how important it is to beat another team in playoff contention: “Yeah, cuz we’re gonna be fighting for that last spot, you know, the last couple spots, should I say, at the end of the season, so it’s good to get one up on them. You know we lost one at home [in Milwaukee] against them already, so to even it out feels good.”
Larry Brown: “You know the first half we were great. I know they missed some shots, but I thought the first half we played great defense. The second half, just thank God for Stephen Graham and Gerald Wallace.”
on Stevie Graham: “I just, you know, I can count on him. He runs on the break, he tries to defend, rebounds, plays with energy. He gets better every game…I can play him almost any position, he can guard almost any position, I love guys like that.”
Next Up: Toronto
The Bobcats manhandled the Raptors the last time they played, winning 116-81 in Charlotte, the widest margin of victory ever for a Bobcats team. But the Raptors are on a roll right now, and the Bobcats are tied for the fewest road wins in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets (1 apiece). When asked about the upcoming game, Gerald Wallace said “We’re like 1 and forever on the road. We gotta figure out something or we’re gonna be watching the playoffs, because, I mean, it’d be good if we could’ve won all 41 home games, that’d give us a pretty good chance but I don’t think we’re gonna do that. We gotta figure out something on the road. Toronto, they’re a great offensive team, they have shooters all the way out to their assistant coaches, so we’re gonna have to figure out something for us as a team to prepare mentally and physically and what we can do to come out and be better on the road.” The game can be seen locally on Fox Sports Carolinas and heard on the radio on WBCN