One of the basic tenets here at Rufus on Fire is that the pessimistic truth is usually more valuable than the happy lie. More subtly, the pessimistic outlook based on a more complete assessment of facts is usually more valuable than the happy outlook based on a few positive indicators gleaned from among the many negative.
What that means for the Bobcats is that even though they'd lost seven games in a row and even though they'd won four games in a row, that doesn't necessarily change the total assessment of their abilities. Recent performance matters, and it should be weighted more heavily than performance from long ago, but only so much. When guys have established over the course of their careers who they are, it takes a lot to prove that they've materially changed their talent levels and that we're not just in the midst of a hot streak.
Boris Diaw is a great example of this. Despite his excellent run right after coming to Charlotte via trade, he settled into his established level of performance and has been there, with minor ups and downs, ever since. He changed his style significantly last season, but the results were the same on an individual level. Perhaps that change helped others raise their games, but I'm not so sure we can tease that conclusion out of the actual results the team generated.
So, for now, we lick our wounds after a particularly galling defeat and go on thinking about the Bobcats. I think I overestimated them in my preseason previews, but the addition of Stephen Jackson brings them back to the talent level they had for much of last year, which makes them, roughly, a 32-37 win team. What evidence have we seen to tell us any different?
BULLET POINTS BECAUSE THEY'RE QUICK LIKE BULLETS
- They went down by more than twenty with Gerald Wallace out of the game, yet played only -3 when Gerald was in. Thin-slicing, I know, but I'll find anything to confirm my faith in Gerald.
- Has Good Felton finally overtaken Bad Felton? (Give it twenty more games. Give or take.)
- Is anyone else tired of Larry Brown blaming lack of effort? Again, you're going to look bad at times against good teams. It's probably not effort, but a lack of skill that was exploited. Don't act like the players would be the greatest team on earth if only they'd play exactly like you tell them to. That's what video games are for.