Cats Win; City Rejoices
The Charlotte Bobcats, in Steve Martin’s words (announcer. Not the actor/comedian), led almost wire to wire against one of the top teams in the East. Philadelphia and the Bobcats traded the lead the whole 2nd half. At halftime, when I started paying attention, the Bobcats were smoking Philly on FG % but tied. That kind of confused me. I looked on down the stats and saw that Philly had 12 or so more points in the paint and about 10 more on fast break. Leading scorer at that point: Raymond Felton. The word point there is intended as a pun. As the AP story starts, Raymond is no longer the starting PG. DJ Augustin, first start: 26 points; 2nd start: 7; 3rd start: 25. Whoa. Ok, show us what you’ve got kid. He and Raymond played almost flawlessly together. Maybe Ray can be a 2. Stephanie Ready (Fox, sexy woman) interviewed Ray after the game and he was happy to say, “I don’t care if I’m the 1 or the 2. I just want to be on the court and I’ve got to do whatever it takes to stay on the court.” You can read every thing this morning and see the love for the 2 guard system that was employed last night. ‘Cats got the win, so I love it too.
I am not a fan of playing 2 “PG” type guards at the same time, especially 2 that are in the 6’ range. It’s not like we’re rolling Magic Johnson out there, who in a pinch can and has played every position on the court. Both players got posted up on defense. Both rolled late on help defense against the much taller Philly guards and they found the cutter or the big men for an easy bucket. I don’t mind giving up the easy shots once in a while. If they find a cutter and it takes them 18 seconds on the shot clock, that’s fine. I feel like the quickness of DJ and Ray makes up for the defensive deficiencies. Actually, I just looked at the numbers. The “deficiencies” I think are there, only allowed 18 from Brand, 8 from Dalembert and 17 from Iguodala. You know what those 3 guys’ totals add up to? 43. You know what Augustin and Felton combined for? 48. Cats win.
I actually enjoyed the last 3-4 minutes of the game. Those minutes were actually a Bobcats run of 11 to the Sixers’ 4, I think. I do so hate the fouling at the end of the game. I think refs should make a rule, unwritten or not, that if you’re down by 10 or more in the last 2 minutes of a game you can’t foul without drawing blood or almost causing a fight. It just makes the game drag. As a fan, I don’t like it. I understand it’s necessary for subs and you do have to hit those free throws but man I hate to watch it and it so rarely works.
Is this 2 “PG” system going to work for us every night and suddenly we’re on a streak? Doubtful. Raymond is so streaky. Looking at DJ’s 3 starts he might be a yo-yo type. 20+, single digits, 20+, single digits? Remains to be seen. I felt good about the way these guys played and possibly the greatest testament to the game last night is this quote from Elton Brand: “They deserved to win this ballgame,” Brand said. “They outhustled us on a few loose balls and they knocked down timely shots.”
Reminds me of the talk from Larry Brown following Saturday’s loss. He said basically (can’t find quote again, sorry) he is trying to change the way our guys play. He wants them to play hard, go after every loose ball, rebound, solid D, just intense basketball. Looks like it worked last night.