I'm not sure how I missed this a few days ago, but NBA.com released the Bobcats' Top Ten Plays of 2008-09. What a trip down memory lane!
After the jump, a breakdown of each play in the video.
10 -- Who knew Raja Bell could fly? Bonus points to Al Harrington for completely ignoring a rebound opportunity and starting to run up the floor as Boris Diaw grabbed the board, then dished to a cutting Bell for the slam.
9 -- Raymond floats an alley oop to Emeka on the break, and he gets fouled, and one. The great underrated part of Emeka's game the past couple years has been his decided lack of "big stiff"-ness combined with his durability. This dunk shows a kind of core flexibility one doesn't expect from a guy who suffered from back injuries early in his career. Yoga works.
8 -- Beno Udrih isn't known for finishing strong, but Gerald Wallace still made a ridiculous play to block Beno's layup attempt. Even though his blocks are down since concussions forced him to slow up a bit, Gerald still plays with an essential reckless power that defines his game on both ends of the court...
7 -- ...Just like in this play, where Wallace made a play that only he, LeBron (yes, I went there), and maybe Derrick Rose (yes, I went there) can make. Rebound, then sprint past everyone to the other goal and finish with a monster dunk as everyone else seems to stand around.
6 -- A combination of number 9 and number 7, the Cats' get a steal, then a two on one with Felton and Wallace. This play is a great example of how the alley oop is really a tactical maneuver with real strategic advantages, not just a flashy play. How is anyone supposed to stop that play without fouling? You'd have to stop the alley, which hardly ever happens.
5 -- If you're not impressed with Gerald's athleticism in these highlights, then I don't know what to say. Sure, as they say, Brent Barry has the greatest highlight reel ever created, but dude was ridiculous back in the day. And when Gerald goes all out as few NBAers do, he's unstoppable for a few moments. Look at him work for the rebound and then, again, outrun everyone else to the hoop for a flying jam.
4 -- So it was fancy. I still like Gerald's full-floor sprints better. It's the difference between admiring a locomotive operating at 80 mph and a show pony leaping over a five-foot bar.
3 -- One of my favorite attributes in examining NBA bigs is the ability to put the ball on the floor from twenty feet out and beyond. And then, when they do, I love that move--like Tim Duncan does at times--where they palm the ball while taking two power steps through the key and then throw it down almost like a hook shot at the rim. Boris has that move, as you can see.
2 -- Raymond tries to take it in himself, but misses the layup in traffic. Here's where I'm hoping Tyson Chandler will be better than Emeka: it won't be mostly up to Gerald to slam home the putbacks.
1 -- Could there be any other? Gerald just about hits his head on the backboard while grabbing a twenty-two foot lob. I don't think I could pull that off in a video game.