Ahh, a classic topic header of mine returns for a second season. Pity it isn't by popular demand.
We're now 3 preseason games into the Larry Brown Annual Evaluation For Butt Chewing Candidates.
Here are some things I'm seeing. Basketball related matters will be after the jump.
1. Preseason coverage SUCKS. Yahoo didn't even tell me there was a game today so I missed it entirely.
2. I still can't find any solid information on which games will be televised to the ravening masses.
3. It's going to be a busy season for my laptop viewing.
On to more serious matters.
I'm loving the aggression I'm seeing from DJ Augustin. His scoring is comparable - if not even a little bit better - than Raymond Felton's numbers from last season.
I'm HATING the one deadly trend I'm seeing from the Bobcats. Our assist totals are not just subpar, they're all but nonexistent. DJ is lucky to wind up with more than one per game. This wouldn't bother me if I knew the offense was being run through Diaw and Jackson, but there's no way for us to see that and evaluate at this point is there? But even if the team were running the offense through DJ, Coach Brown's multiple pass offensive sets would result in less assists for the point guard. Of course, back in the good old days of RayRay, the offensive sets ran back through the point, so there really is no excuse whatsoever for the team to have such pitiful assist figures.
It's preseason, so we needn't look at the stats of TT, Gerald Wallace, or Jackson. We know they're not only on the final squad, we know what they will be doing once the season starts. We need to be looking at those players that are either new, on the bubble to make the team, or that we have hopes will be returning with something worthy of an NBA franchise.
In game 3 Gerald Henderson lit the scoreboard up. He bagged 9 points in just over 10 minutes on 4-6 shooting and managed to draw a foul for an add 1. To quote Deniece WIlliams, "Let's Hear it for the Boy." One game is certainly not enough to form a judgement, but this was quite an impressive debut.
DJ continues to score better than his famous sophomore slump period. However, once again he managed only 2 assists in almost 28 minutes. I really need to see the team play to see if there's a reasonable explanation for such a low output. Defensively he doesn't seem to be showing much flair either - at least going by his (and his opponent's) stats. I'm encouraged, but concerned as well.
Diaw has proven to be... well, Diaw. Do we really intend to keep paying this man for 1 out of 4 games he decides to act like an NBA player? We have to get him the hell off of our squad. Mike? Rod? C'mon guys. Put him on Ebay or something. Otherwise he's going to become this year's Chandler and start missing games with "back spasms" or some other phantom injury every time LB or Jackson gets in his grill.
Diop got a taste of what it's like to be on a team without a true starter at the 5 spot. I can't recall the last time he played 23+ minutes in an NBA game. In that time he managed a whopping 4 points, proved he still couldn't hit a free throw if they gave him a dozen do-overs, and pulled down a blistering pair of rebounds. Bobcats fans? Be afraid. Be very afraid. Point guard may just work itself out but our Center situation just became the San Andreas Fault - a massive disaster just waiting to happen.
On to the bubble players...
Critts barely played today but his performance in the first two games has been impressive enough that not only do I want to see him there on opening night, as you can see, I've already made a first feeble attempt to dub him with an official Bobcats nickname.
Sherron Collins put in a respectable 20 minutes which is a good start, but he only managed to score 2 points on 1 for 8 shooting. On a more positive note, he did manage to rank second in assists behind Wallace, but once again, between the two of them they got more than half of the entire team's assists for the game. Two year contract? Really? On a team with a pair of 5' 11" guards, one of them has got to go and as much as I'm pulling for Collins, the numbers have to improve in a hurry or he's going to get thrown on the trade bait pile.
Diaw and Collins are looking like the type of trade bait that nobody will want. Our problem at center is now exposed to be much bigger than most of us had feared - and we were already scared (insert brown word)less. With Diop on the court our opponents can simply leave him standing alone under the basket without worrying and then pound us to death in the paint at the other end.
Derrick Brown is still proving himself to be one of the savviest second round picks in recent years. He is a badly needed shot in the arm off the bench and if LB fails to use him than LB deserves a badly needed shot in the head.
One game does not a player make, but Gerald Henderson looks like he is about to arrive in the NBA.
If we cannot bring at least one solidly defensive big in to play center (shedding at least 2 to 3 of our marginal players in the process) this team is in serious doo-doo. It will take the other 29 NBA coaches about 5 seconds to find our Achilles Heel and exploit it and after that the fecal matter will strike the oscillating cooling device night after night after night.
I don't give a crap that we're now 0-3 in the preseason. Coach Brown is using this time to examine his options and weed out the scrubs. What I do care about is two things. First, the looming disaster at the center spot. Second, the number of references to ca-ca I managed to "dump" into the latter part of this lengthy post. As many may have already surmised, apparently I'm full of shit and too scared to actually say it. Anyone got an extra Ex-Lax?