Stephen Jackson has rekindled his relationship with pressure, well when you do what he does to it, it may not be a relationship per se but hey, he did what he did to it and the Bobcats finished on top. He also put on the belt. In the way of first time Super Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers and many a WWE SuperStar before him he made the motion to put on the championship belt. Kind of over and over, like it got awkward. I guess when you get down by 16 in the third and battle back to be down by 3 with 15 seconds left, you hit the three pointer to tie with :00.6 on the clock, yeah you can go ahead and put on the belt.
Other than the end of the game, the story was Gerald Wallace, or lack there of. He was, in my friend Shrader’s estimation, a complete ghost. He didn’t attempt a shot until a minute and a half into the fourth quarter and that one got blocked. He ended the game with 7 points, 5 in the fourth, 2 in overtime. 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks don’t make up for that antipathy towards scoring or attempting to score. He somehow had the final shot and luckily DJ Augustin was there for the offensive rebound and kick out to Jackson for the tying bankshot.
DJ Augustin had 9 of the Bobcats’ 20 overtime points. Seriously serious play out of the point guard. 27 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds (including the all important to close the game) and 4 steals. He played well against the stout Golden State backcourt on defense. I wouldn’t attribute holding Monta Ellis below his average completely to him, but he certainly had the hands out on the perimeter to get in passing lanes and break up attempted passes. DJ is really impressive under Silas. You can tell he is one of those flow of the game/confidence guys who need the freedom that Silas allows. Larry Brown taught him certain fundamentals, sure but the halting practice and minescule adjustments and working every play through to its completion, regardless of outcome, all added up to DJ Augustin not living up to his full potential under Brown and the team suffered.
Golden State has issues. I’m not sure how they can work out two young guys who basically do the exact same thing really well. Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis coexist because they have to, each scoring around 20 points per game, Curry with 18 and Ellis at 25, sort of like Jackson and Wallace or Wallace and J-Rich when he was here. One or the other is going to get the majority of the points on any night but the other isn’t going to be too far behind. Seemingly at the same position where size might help the Warriors but that’s not what they have. They have David Lee now, who was first of the second tier free agents this past off season, behind the LeBrons, Wades, Bosh and Amares of the world. He’s a solid big that put up big time numbers and made the all-star game last year in New York. His numbers are down this year, about 4 ppg off last year’s 20 and rebounds are down by 2 off of last year’s 11.7 per. Was it a contract year fluke? Remains to be seen, he’s been injured since he left Team USA camp so, not sure myself.
The Bobcats are on a definite run. It’s 3 straight wins for only the second time this season and all coming on the road make me happy for the future. Needing something to keep the team going, they found it last night in the third quarter to close it out on an 11-0 run. Gerald Wallace wasn’t it. Stephen Jackson had his issues shooting certainly, after his hot first quarter where he had 12 of the Bobcats first 13 points. It was guys like Gerald Henderson, Nazr Mohammed and DJ Augustin that kept the ‘Cats in it through the thin times and Jackson put it on his shoulders in the final ticks. It was all around strong and brilliant and motivating at the same time.
It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, I’ll remind you, Gerald Wallace didn’t attempt a shot for 37 and a half minutes. It prompted me to draft the tweet “Did Gerald Wallace get traded before the game and he was the only one told?” towards all the NBA “insider” types, I didn’t send it though because that seemed like just the fanboy, knee jerk, drama-hopeful reaction that would get me crazy if it were tweeted @ me. Gerald just perfered to pass last night, as evidenced by his assists (6, compared to his 2.3 season average). He just enjoyed that spot down in the corner on offense and he liked to watch his mark on defense, Dorell Wright jack up shots and finish with 21. I am just baffled by it, and he was left out there by Coach Silas, keeping pace with his team leading points per game.
No matter, Jack saved us in the end and DJ and he had a great overtime. Buoyed by Henderson, Mohammed and Augustin, who to me is the breakout star of this team and doesn’t need little asides in the postgame comments from Stephen Jackson. But nice of him to throw the guys a bone.
Next game? The Clippers. Blake Griffin and the Clippers. He’s a force in the league. Highlights every night like we haven’t seen from a guy in years, numbers that don’t lie. It’ll be fun to watch him. Mike Cranston brought up a good point: Something will have to give tonight.#Bobcats have never won 5 straight road games. #Clippers last won 8 straight at home 18 years ago.
Should be fun to watch and damn, if the ‘Cats lose, I’m gonna chock it up to late game and overtime and travel weary and all the things you can other than….play.