The Bench, THE BENCH, scored 50 something last night and Gerald Henderson (remember him? the rookie from Duke?) had some NASTY to the third power dunks. I commented on twitter (can we not call it a “tweet”) that there has never been a line up that wanted to dunk more than Hendo, Ty Thomas and Ty Chandler on the floor. If you put Gerald Wallace and Ryan Hollins out there you’d have nothing but dunks. (I kinda miss Mr. Hollins. Athlete, dunk, block, foul machine) But who would pass them the ball? That’s where Raymond and DJ came in with 15 assists.
It was nice to beat the stinkin’ Nets for once this year, and soundly I might add. Poor New Jersey, don’t worry, next year might be better. IF you get a new coach and IF this group of young talent can gel and IF they bring in somebody who can play and IF they draft the right piece. They’re moving to Newark and if you’ve never been to Newark, check out Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (fast forward to the 5:45 mark):
Anyway, I’m not all about these games and resting guys. I know Gerald Wallace is nicked up, when is he not? Stephen Jackson is on the mend and Nazr Mohammed is coming back from injury. I don’t see Orlando resting guys. Then again, Orlando plays a different style. It’s nice to be able to have that cushion. We’re locked in and there is literally nothing to play for right now. Unless you want to spoil the Bulls season, which, I don’t know about you but I DO! Stick it to those Great Lake lovin’, Oprah watching (she tapes in Chi-town?) and MICHAEL JORDAN WANNA-BEs!
Larry doesn’t like resting guys. “That’s too important to both teams. We owe it to the league to do the right thing,” Brown said as his Bobcats earned their 44th victory of the season. (‘Cats will finish either +10 or +9 over last season, seems like a lot more) Hoopsworld breaks it down pretty well. A guy in the NBA isn’t going to get healthy continuing to play the minutes he’s been playing (league leader Gerald Wallace for example) and a guy who needs to get on track to possibly contribute (Gerald Henderson) can swap minutes in a “meaningless” game.
Wednesday, in preparation for the Magic and because the game has meaning for Chicago and Toronto, I expect to see a strong showing by the Bobcats, except for the balance of minutes game Larry tries to play. He’s not great at it. It’s go hard or go home and there is little or no rhythm to his lineups. Very frustrating for me as a fan because I want to be in the coach’s head and Larry Brown is an impenetrable wall of monotone. He says what’s on his mind but it’s rarely clear and hardly concise.
This leads to my next point: what to expect in the Playoffs. I have no freakin clue. Do you start Nazr? Do you start Tyson or Theo? How do you split minutes between Ray and Dj? I just don’t know anything about how it will play out. I’ve heard a whole lot of folks say “Not Orlando, Anybody but Orlando.” The big man, the one and only seemingly, Dwight Howard presents some problems but I’m not scared of him. They have pretty good point guard play from Jameer Nelson and White Chocolate Jason Williams but not worried about them either. I’m worried about JJ Redick. He’s 5th on their team in scoring. Rashard Lewis doesn’t bother me, Vincanity doesn’t bother me. It’s JJ and Gortat and Brandon Bass that bother me. You know what you’ve got with this team. One guy in the middle and 3 or 4 guys who are lights out behind the arc. It’s the stuff you don’t expect from them that bother me.
So, enjoy the rest but be ready for the weekend (hope for Sunday start to this series). It’s going to be something we (as Bobcats fans) and the city hasn’t experience before. The last real excitement for the playoffs this town felt was absolutely shat (tered) on by some nameless Cajun quarterback throwing 6 picks or something. The last NBA excitement was my freshman year in college and they had seats blocked off, whole sections near the top to see Barron and the Hornets wear headbands. So it’s been about 10 years and we’re ready, primed and we have the coach (for now) and ownership and a roster of talent to stand in the way of those creepy Magicians from Florida.