What has changed under Paul Silas?

Paul Silas is 2-0 as Bobcats coach. In both games, the Cats jumped out to big leads early, and held on in the end as their opponents narrowed the lead in the second half. Also, D.J. Augustin has shot 20-29 from the field in those two games, including 9-12 from three.

Those are just the facts, but even the most optimistic among us has to accept that it's way too early to draw hard conclusions from those games. Don't let winning two in a row over teams with a combined 19-45 record blind us to what might be really happening.

1 -- The Cats may look different, but they're not playing a "faster pace" the way Silas said he wanted to play. Against Detroit, the pace factor was 94.3 and against Cleveland it was 88.1. Including those games, for the season, Charlotte has played at a 91.0 pace factor. Detroit plays slower and Cleveland plays faster than that. Go figure. I don't think there's a pattern there.

2 -- There really isn't any conclusion I can draw about Augustin's performance, and I'm just in awe of that shooting line. There might not be anyone reading this who could shoot 9-12 from NBA three in a practice setting. Granted, we're talking about some pretty terrible defensive teams, and there's no way we should expect Augustin to be that good moving forward, but as long as it's a step toward maximizing the skills he already has, we should all be happy for it.

3 -- The same caveats apply to the following -- it's only two games, and the Cats won, didn't they? -- but I'm at least disappointed that Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson sat for most of the Cleveland game. Henderson got serious burn against Detroit, but then played less than 4 minutes against Cleveland, while Brown played 8 and 5 minutes, respectively.

The team doesn't owe us any kind of explanation, but I'd really like to know if they intend to gun for the playoffs again, or if they're planning for 2014, or if they're trying to do both because of forces pushing them to get butts in the seats at the same time they cycle in new blood for old.

Bah, it's too early to get worked up over any of this. In the immediate future, we have a relatively soft schedule until a stretch beginning on January 22, when the Cats host the Atlanta Hawks. From there, they go on a six-game west coast road trip, and return to face, in order, Miami, Dallas, and Boston at home, That's brutal, and the best course of action for management may be to hold off on unplugging playoff hopes for this season until after they see how the team does in that stretch, which ends February 7, a week before the trade deadline.

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