clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lose to the Suns, Lose Ground in the Standings

The Bobcats didn't play an utterly terrible game; it just wasn't good enough. If the Suns are built to do anything well, it's disrupt their opponents' defensive plans. And Phoenix not only scored a bunch of points, they scored at a far more efficient rate than Charlotte could afford, eventually outlasting the Bobcats, 112-102.

Boris Diaw had probably his best game of the season, with 27 points on 10-12 shooting, and 9 rebounds, and Raja Bell chipped in with 23 points on 9-14 shooting, but neither of those performances could make up for pedestrian games from Felton and Wallace, a foul-marred game from Okafor, and only Radmanovic having an interesting game off the bench, with 8 points and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes.

For the Suns, Grant Hill did not play well, but they got good production out of four starters rather than two, which made the difference. All that, despite only playing one guy, Barbosa, more than 33 minutes, because they're headed to L.A. for the second half of a back to back after this game. Compare to Larry Brown's rotation, in which he played three guys more than 40 minutes, and foul trouble kept Wallace and Okafor from getting there. That choice will almost certainly have an effect on the Sacramento game, as Bell, Diaw, and Felton can't be expected to be at full strength the day after a hard fought battle against a run 'n gun squad.

===

One of my favorite insights about cynicism is from Chuck Klosterman. I don't have his book, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, in front of me, but to paraphrase: Real cynics would never actually admit they're cynics because they believe they're being pragmatic. Saying you're cynical is code for something else.

I'm not a Bobcats cynic. I'm a pragmatist and a fan of blunt truth. So here it goes: We can't hang with decent Western Conference teams, and we can't hang with upper level Eastern Conference teams, and, barring major changes to the roster that don't seem likely due to the shrinking cap and the undesirable contracts we've been gathering, this is our foreseeable future.

Going 10-15 the rest of the way is no lock. That record down the stretch would ensure a tie for the franchise lead in most wins per season, but the way the Bobcats have been playing, it wouldn't shock me to see us fall into Sam Vincent Territory come season's end.

Note that Larry Brown has been sniping through the media again. I'm a players' apologist, so take this for what it's worth, so I can't imagine what it must be like for Okafor to hear his coach is taking shots at him through the local major paper. And not just any shots. Barbs that are directed at a part of his game with relatively low importance. It's Brown protecting himself by hinting to reporters that he's not to blame for the mess he'll leave in two years.