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Heat knock out Bobcats, 96-82 -- Brief box score analysis

The Bobcats lost to the Miami Heat, 96-82. Though an expected result, it still stings to see the Cats so thoroughly dismantled, and it emphasizes the gap between the elite teams and the fringe playoff contenders.

Skimming the box score*, here are several observations. Those of you who saw the game, please chime in with your thoughts.

-- Tyrus Thomas thinks of himself as a wing player. Thus, he shoots jumpers. Which is crazy, because even if he's capable of playing a hybrid wing/post "position", he shouldn't be shooting from so far out, and he definitely shouldn't be shooting as often as he does. His shot location stats this season are kind of insane: 67% at the rim, 33% close in, 35% from close midrange, and 51% from long midrange. That won't last. He has good enough sense not to take any threes, so he's at least somewhat aware of his abilities and limitations. If he's going to be the best player he can be, he can't shoot 14 times in 22 minutes, because he's going to have way too many 4-14 nights, like this one.

-- Is D.J. Augustin an improved player now that he's freed from Larry Brown? Or is this just a fluky jump in performance? We'll have to wait and see, but it's well worth monitoring, because the way Augustin was going under Brown, it looked like he'd be relegated to a reserve role -- or out of the league -- soon enough. Now? He's playing like a guy who'll get signed to be a starter after his rookie deal's done.

-- The Bobcats don't play again until Wednesday, but all twelve guys played. Forget Najera. He's the only one with no reason he should get minutes. In short, Kwame Brown, Boris Diaw, Matt Carroll, and Dominic McGuire might get minutes in order to showcase them as bit players before the trade deadline, and Gerald Henderson, Derrick Brown, Shaun Livingston, and Sherron Collins are all playing for a spot on future teams.

*I know everything is amazing in this wondrous modern age, but no airport I visited today had free WiFi, so I couldn't post until well after the game was over. GHWB Airport in Houston (which I passed through on my trip to the west coast) has it right: 45 minutes free, per day, for anyone, but power users on long layovers have to pay a fee. I'd even reduce that to 15 minutes free, and charge the people who want to do work. (/PeterKing)

Anywho, now that my west coast swing is over, we should be back to our regularly scheduled programming.