Sadly our beloved Bobcats dropped their sixth game in a row tonight to the Bulls with a score of 101 - 84. Am I going to repeat what I've said in the past few recaps? NO!!!! Why? Well, I have every reason in the world to be excited? This was the best TEAM performance I have seen since the trade went down. Let me tell you every reason I witnessed tonight. Pay attention please
First off, I want to start by saying that according to at least 1 radio station and one TV station, we aren't even good enough to beat the ACC champions. This was their words that I heard last night, not mine. Keep this in mind. Now imagine if you play for the Charlotte Bobcats. Think that there is a chance that you may hear what the news media in your HOMETOWN is saying? Yeah, I think so too. I don't seem to recall the local media question if the NCAA football champs could beat the Carolina Panthers in their past few years of struggling. I don't know if I've heard 1 snide comment towards them. All I know is that the Charlotte Bobcats fan-base and its own local media is tearing Michael Jordan, the Front Office, and the team itself apart. Guys, have you checked the record? Has anyone noticed that we are 1 game out of the playoffs and the team ahead of us is struggling as bad as we are? Wait...we haven't had our leading scorer for several games? We haven't had T2...the Tyrusasarus...Taz...Tyrus Thomas in many, many games? You say we're only 1 game out? We'll have those guys back Friday? Hmm...why make fun of a team that has lost their past 6 games playing strong teams such as the Bulls, the Lakers, the Trailblazers, the Nuggets, The Blake Griffins...wait...we should have beat the Clippers...but are you getting my point? We have faced some pretty steep competition, and in most cases, we have hung around for 3 quarters against most of them. Our BENCH PLAYERS have hung around with some of the NBA's starters on strong teams.
I've been negative over this stretch of losses, but I have a fire. A FYRE! A burning fire...nary an Inferno!
Inferno you may ask? Yes...an Inferno! Dante's Inferno. Tonight was the first REAL chance we got to see him in some extended minutes and boy did he deliver. In 33 minutes he had 15 points and 6 rebounds. I love to see guys come off the bench and contribute like that. I'm seeing a guy with LOTS of promise for our team. A guy that will hopefully be a presence on our bench next season. Sorry Dominic McGuire, but you'll be gone next season. You'll be White-ed out of the roster. DJ White-ed. This guy...wow what a pleasant surprise he has been. He gave us 10 points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes of play. Take DJ White and Dante Cunningham's numbers and compare them to Dominic McGuire's numbers of 2 points and 3 rebounds in 19 minutes of play, and I'll be asking why we're even seeing him suit up for games. Even Eddie Najera gave us 7 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes of play.
OK. Enough love for Dante's Inferno and Dub (I am giving DJ White a nickname, and it is Dub...for the "W" in his last name) DJ, I hope you like it...I think it is much better than DJ #2. Let me talk about the starters for a bit. G-G-G-G-Gerald Henderson, aka Hendo, gave us 20 points, and 8 assists tonight. The guy brought his A game tonight, and except for some sloppy play by everyone in the 4th quarter, he looked like he is a "ready for prime-time" player. He's the starting SG we need to start seeing more of, and his play every night makes his game improve by so much. DJ had a quiet night tonight with 6 points and 2 assists, but the scouting report would tell you to stick to him on defense because he's our #2 scoring option. They did just that, and we got very little from him. Kwame Brown had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Boris Diaw had 10 points and 4 assists, which is about all we can expect from those 2.
So...Trade Street Post Game Breaker Award...I blew a lot of smoke about Dante's Inferno and Dub, but I have to give this one to Hendo. You earned it my friend. You're slowly beginning to understand that you have to attack the basket when a sliver of a lane is there, and you have to make your jumpers. The 3 pointer as the shot clock ran out, and your reverse in traffic tonight are 2 key plays that stand out in my mind. There's a sign up in the locker room that says, Help Wanted - NBA team looking for a shot of adrenaline at the SG position. You have the athleticism, the lock-down defense, and you're developing the range to be that guy. I actually believe I saw Michael Jordan shredding that sign after the game tonight.
Congrats my friend, and welcome to the NBA "Starters" Club.
Back up towards the top of my scribbling I made mention of how everyone was trashing MJ for his moves. After tonight's game, even though it was a loss, are you getting the understanding of what is going on here? It is a youth movement. ANd the youth we picked up looks quite promising. They have a head coach in Paul Silas that provides what a player needs; confidence in himself. You have an assistant coach in Charles Oakley. This guy has so much he can teach you, and is still in good enough shape that he can get on the court and SHOW YOU exactly what he's explaining. Dante's Inferno and Dub will be climbing the talent roster for the rest of the season, the summer camp and the preseason. I'd count on seeing both of these guys coming off of the bench next year, and perhaps more. The sky is the limit. Factor in the 1st round picks that we have obtained, and I'm blown away. We're showing enough talent that we could be in the playoffs and be making some noise with our young talent, and next season, if the drafting goes well, you'll probably see us in that 6-8 seed again next year (this is barring the CBA doesn't blow the season up). We're going to see that the moves the MJ made, no matter how painful it has been in the short-run, will pay dividends in the long run. OK...I'm off my soap box now. Can you tell my optimism is BACK?!?!
Carlos Boozer left the game in the 4th with some sort of leg injury. They gave Kwame Brown a Flagrant 1 foul, but per replay, it appeared to just be a good hard foul with Kwame going for the block. I am no NBA official , so my opinion doesn't count.
Friday we welcome back Gerald Wallace. Gerald, thank you for the memories, thank you for what you brought to the team, and enjoy your run with the Trailblazers in the West. You guys have a chance to go deep into the Playoffs, but with that said, look out. We'll be glad to see you and we'll let you know how appreciative we are for all you did for us and the city of Charlotte, but don't be surprised if you see us adding a W to our stat line. With the return of our top scorer in Stephen Jackson and the return of Tyrus Thomas, you're coming into a very dangerous Cable Box. We might just blow the top off of it this Friday.
I know...we can't all agree on things, so if anyone is interested in what is being said about our match-up against the Trailblazers Friday, just visit www.beyondthebeat.net or www.blazersedge.com and see what they have to say. As for me, I plan to cruise over to www.rufusonfire.com and see what our Charlotte Bobcats Brother site has to say about the next game. I just hope they are as fired up as I am.
This is another 4 point question:
What Charlotte Bobcat did not score a single point in the playoffs last season?
I would like to also say that there are 2 weeks left in the Bobcats Social Network Challenge. We are still in 1st place, however there is a competitor roaring up through the standings. I just have to ask everyone one more time to visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/pr
Again, thanks to all of our fans, and help us put this challenge AWAY!