Even when the Bobcats play the game they're trying to play, it doesn't always work out. Such is life for NBA teams painfully short on talent. They slowed down the pace, stayed roughly even in rebounds, put Greg Oden in foul trouble, and still lost, 80-74.
There are plenty of things I'd change about the way the team is coached -- kick up the tempo a notch, make a concerted effort to eschew all but only the most open threes, play Gerald Henderson more, to name a few -- but the system isn't flawed so much as the players running it simply haven't been executing. This offense has worked for fifty years, at all levels of the game. When the team shoots 37% from the field, something's going horribly wrong.
Highlights and lowlights after the jump.
-- 37% shooting from the field. That includes a surprisingly competent 6-19 shooting from three, though. That means Oden and Joel Przybilla anchored a robust interior defense, because the Cats, even with their lack of post offense, should still do better than 24-63 (38%) on twos.
-- Tyson Chandler, I like your rebounding, and I keep reading great things about how you're a defensive leader as much as a producer, but dude, seriously, you've got to enroll in Hakeem Olajuwon's classes, or something. It's not a good thing when Nazr Mohammed is legitimately your offense-defense platoon partner. 4 points in 25 minutes is awful.
-- D.J. Augustin: still slumping. It's good that he got more than 19 minutes, but 3 points on 1-5 shooting, 0 free throws, and 0 assists doesn't cut it.
-- We knew the deal with Flip Murray. 1-8 shooting nights are part of the package.
-- Gerald Henderson with the DNP-CD again.
-- Applause for Boris Diaw, who won his matchup with LaMarcus Aldridge. Diaw scored 21 points on 18 shots in his 41 minutes and was the primary force holding Aldridge to 11 points on 4-11 shooting and only 7 rebounds.
-- Good to have you back, VladRad. I know it sucks that we're asking you to play power forward a lot this year, but think of playing it the way Boris does. You can still take threes and do your thing on the perimeter.
-- Derrick Brown got real playing time! More than 7 minutes!
-- Stephen Graham got a DNP-CD. His presence on the roster serves no purpose. I get that he's probably a great guy and he works hard in practice, but that's the kind of guy you want on the Spurs or Cavs or any other real contender. With us, he's just taking up a roster slot that could be used more productively. Please release him and start cycling through D-Leaguers with ten-day contracts until one really sticks. It shouldn't be hard to find a young swingman who belongs in the NBA. The D-League is littered with such projects. Hey, I found one in thirty seconds!
-- The Trail Blazers won despite tallying only 8 assists.
-- Juwan Howard? 12 minutes? Really?
-- I watched the last two rounds of Pacquiao's dismantling of Cotto while sitting next to Greg Oden. I generally leave celebrities alone when I run into them in public, but I couldn't resist asking him if he'd done well in the game. He looked perturbed and mumbled, "I did all right." That's it. That's the story.
-- Oh, and after the fight, the crowd at Fox and Hound started chanting "Mayweather! Mayweather! Mayweather!"