So, here at Trade Street Post, we have decided to each take a turn writing a piece on the Bobcats 2010-2011 season. So without further ado, presenting "The Season According to Matt Thomas". Stay tuned as Bruce, Bryan, and Andrew each give their own version of what they saw happen as well. Each have been written by the individual, with no peeking at one another's takes. Let's just see how similar we all think here on Trade Street!
With a rush of emotions following the Bobcats early and abrupt exit to the 2010 Playoffs at the hands of Jameer Nelson, the beginning of the 2010-'11 season was much anticipated. To those devout fans that follow everything, the summer league brought much hope and excitement. Gerald Henderson had found his shot, and Derrick Brown seemed to be developing into a dominant athlete. The trade that sent Tyson Chandler to
The start of the season looked very bleak for Gerald Henderson as he was nursing a knee injury and getting very little playing time once healthy. Derrick Brown looked impressive in more extended minutes, and ended up withering after a promising start. The players were looking depressed, LB looked depressed, and the fans were depressed. Something needed to change. After a summer of punishing trade talk with no results, and poor play, the team was in shambles.
Then like a rider upon a white horse, Paul Silas appeared. Larry Brown resigned (was fired) and in a flash, The Players Coach, was talking about this teams direction. A Gerald Wallace-less team (due to injury) managed to rattle of 5 wins and only 2 losses in the first seven with Silas. Tyrus Thomas, Kwame Brown, Gana Diop, and especially DJ Augustin suddenly sprung to life. Showing the promise and play we'd all hoped they had. The team was energized. Gerald Henderson emerged as a go-to player and showed that we didn't miss by picking him in the 1st round of the draft. Then with Diop's injury and Naz' rather inconsistent player, Kwame "Tiny Hands" Brown was forced into a starting spot. Low and behold, he did well!
The Bobcats were riding high. Playing hard and getting themselves back into position to compete for the 7th or 8th spot of the playoffs. Then, IT happened. The rumors were rampant, and the fan base had already been in denial for months about the events coming. The trade deadline. Everyone speculated. Everyone hoped. Absolutely no one could have expected what happened. I, for one, wanted Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson gone. Believing Jack to be our most tradable asset, and Boris to be nothing but an overpaid bench player, I was enraged****. Gerald Wallace, the original Bobcat, Crash, Predator, The Bobcats' only All Star, was traded. For what? For who? WHAT? WHY? #$@&*!!!!!!!! I was the first to jump on the RELAXXX!!!!!!!!!!!! bus (see: my article on the trades). Wallace was traded for what seemed like peanuts and cap relief. I nabbed the bright side and quickly began evaluating the players (and draft picks!) that we received.
The new-look Bobcats got off to a rather rocky start, but it was clear there was talent on the roster. Dub, Dante, and the Vanilla Gorilla quickly fell into place and things looked good again! Tyrus was back, we had 2 centers, and Jack was putting up MAD numbers (not to mention Shaun Livingston's recent development). Then, the cards collapsed. Jack was nursing an injury, but we didn't know how badly. It turned out the Tyrusauras had come back from his injury too soon, and re-aggravated it. The Vanilla Gorilla quietly disappeared into the injury list, and then the sky fell in. Shaun Livingston was injured, Kwame had a family emergency, and Eduardo Najera was injured. Who were we even suiting up? It got ugly, and it got depressing, but there was still a lot to watch for. Dante Cunningham hit a new career high with 21(twice) and managed double digit points more often than not. Dub continued to show why MJ was excited to get him here in
The injuries were not something this young team could over come as they fell just short of the playoffs finishing with a 34-48 record. Though a lot of people are disappointed and a lot of others are still screaming after The Trade, there is plenty of hope. I am not one of the pundits. I fully believe that if this team had been 100% healthy, with two functioning centers, Tyrus Thomas, Liv, Jack, and even Najera (for maybe 5 mins. a game), that they would have made the playoffs. The key here is the two centers. I don't think a lot of people realize just how much Kwame has done for this team. He's carried an IMMENSE load on his back. Considering his skill set, length of time in the league, and history of being rather unappealing to watch. He was a trooper about it, and I believe should get a lot of thanks from this team and city. So, with that, what do we have RIGHT NOW? We have Augustin, Diaw, Hendo, Tyrus, Najera, Carroll, Diop, Liv, and White. Dante is expiring (hoping we resign him). Kwame was a 1 year deal. Dominic McGuire was a 1 year deal. As you have seen,
With all that this is my prediction. Next season will start better than any season in Bobcats history. With no patented Larry Brown Slump to hamper the team. They get off to a decent start. Not hot, but not horrendous like before. They will maintain and whoever we draft will slowly work their way into contributing in a big way. The Cats trade off Boris Diaw's expiring contract for a pure shooting 2 guard to come off the bench behind Hendo, and finish at the 7th seed in the playoffs. Not the greatest year possible, but I think this Bobcats team is about to be a staple in the playoffs. I don't know about you all, but I am beyond excited to be a part of it. Thanks for reading!!