Tyler is Beside me, in the striped overalls and wielding claws. Thanks for the recap!
As everyone may know, last season I was introduced to the Captain of the SuperFans. Tyler Mann wanted me to see some Bobcats games from their point of view. I got to not only see that, but in the process I became part of the CatsCrazies. For thos of you who may not know, the CatsCrazies was an idea put together by Gerald Henderson and Corey Maggette last season to get a cheering section on TWC Arena that would give the arena a college-type atmosphere. The fans dressed crazy, and we stand and cheer the entire game. The goal is that the rest of the Bobcats fans in the arena will catch the "Crazy" and join in with the cheers. Last season left the Crazies very little to cheer about. Now that we have had our first game of the season, there aren't any Crazies in the arena. Last night's game was a sign of things to come though. The CatsCrazies could have really brought a lot to the arena and we could have inspired many, many fans to get Crazy with it. Until that can come about, we can only write about what we see and hope that what you read gives you the "Crazy" and you'll be in the arena screaming and cheering your tails off for our beloved Charlotte Bobcats.
Tyler Mann, our Cats Crazies Captain, wanted to try out this whole blogging thing, just in case the Crazies don't return this season (what a crime that would be). He wrote a recap for me, and let me just say...if you weren't at the game, this description is spot on as to how the game panned out. So, without any further ado, Trade Street Post Proudly presents Tyler Mann, Cats Crazies Captain and noobie blogger
Welcome back Bobcats fans! Tonight, our new look Bobcats take the court to open the 2012-2013 NBA season against a tough Indiana Pacers team. Before we get into tonight's action lets catch up on some of the changes the rebuilding process has brought this year. New coach Mike Dunlap makes his debut as the head coach and he looks to bring an up-tempo attacking style on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. We also have some new faces on the team this year starting with the 2nd overall pick in this past June's draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of Kentucky. Jeffery Taylor was picked upwith the first pick of the second round of the draft coming out of Vanderbilt. The front office has also added some key vets with the addition of Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions to the guard position after waiving D.J Augustin during the off-season. Big man Brendan Haywood makes his return to the Carolinas to help bring a much-needed low post presence to the team.
Lets look at tonight's opponent Indiana Pacers. Indiana is coming off a season in which they finished 42-24 and taking the 3rd seed in the playoffs where they defeated the Orlando Magic but fell to the eventual champs the Miami Heat in six games. The Indiana front office underwent a major shift as General Manager David Morway resigned and Larry Bird President of Basketball Operations stepping down the following day. Indiana stayed busy with securing some of their talent by extending some contracts and adding former Bobcat DJ Augustin. They also picked up Gerald Green and added Ian Mahinmi via a trade. Plumlee was drafted out of Duke and makes his NBA debut tonight.
Kemba opens the game up with a miss. Pay attention, however, because this will be the last negative thing I say about Mr. Walker for the rest of this summary. Indiana seems to be playing flat out of the gate. Kemba scores the first points of the season with a big 3-pointer only to be matched by Henderson with a big 3-pointer of his own. It looks like the number change is already doing wonders for these guys. Watching the team on defense really shows the players have bought into what Dunlap is teaching. A big fault of the Cats last season was the lack of communication this seems to have evaporated. Brendon Haywood reminds fans that there can be good fouls in the post after a touchy flagrant 1 is called on Ben Gordon. The Pacers seem to struggling from the line and not capitalizing on some early mistakes during a Bobcat drought. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist checks into the game and it isn't long until Byron fills up the lane on defense and sends a block into the hands of MKG as he drives the ball to the basket he misses but Byron runs the floor and hit's the follow up dunk great hustle by B Smooth but still not finding his shot especially the long ball. Dunlap said he wanted an 11-man rotation tonight and we are well on the way Ramon and Ben Gordon both check in and Gordon makes an immediate impact with some key shots to end the draught. The Pacers seemed shocked at the physicality of the Cats as Hendo and Green have a Gerald on Gerald collision and Green is shaken up. DJ Augustin enters the game to a mixed crowed but we all know he was happy to get out of here. The quarter comes to a close with another great defensive stop by the Cats containing Tyler Hansbrough but the Bobcats still were trailing the Pacers 20-17.
The quarter opens with some faint reminders of last season:
Missing assignments on simply boxing out on free throws, yes, I remember them all too well.
An air ball by Gordon during a 3-17 Bobcats dry spell, it's a new face but the same out come
Biz makes me think it's all about to end as he rises for the jam and misses on an open dunk.
Kemba is playing with a fire in his eyes Dunlap said earlier he trust his player and Kemba has definitely has responded to his coach's trust. I tag Kemba as the first of the Dunlap Disciples he is driving the ball and opening up shots for himself. Tyrus Thomas checks into the game as the Bobcats still trail it its going to be interesting to see how Thomas responds to an abysmal performance last season but his intensity can be key for the team to feed off of. Tyler Hansoboro is dominating the game right now I am sure coach is going to fix that at the half. The Bobcats close the first half strong but trail the Pacers 43-39 going to the break.
The 3rd quarter opens and the Bobcats open up strong and look to push up the games speed. This is going to be vital for a very young team to take advantage of those legs and hit the court running. Conditioning is going to be something these players really understand sorry Diop. Kemba keeps finding his shot and Gerald Henderson seems to enjoy that as it now takes off some of the burden he had to carry all last season as the only scoring threat night after night. The Bobcats take the lead as Indiana still seems to be struggling from the line and just not capitalizing on the times the Cats do make mistakes. Those mistakes have greatly improved as Walker has yet been forced into a turnover, which hampered him all last season. As a fan, I really respect Dunlap's rotation after the Bobcats secure the lead. He gets Kemba and Gerald on the bench for some much needed rest. Ben Gordon fills in very nice for Walker and Ramon takes some solid shots looks like as far as tonight the Bobcats show that letting go of Augustin was the right move. The quarter draws to an end with the score Pacers 70 - Bobcats 74.
The final quarter opens and the Cats look to hold the lead. Kemba has established himself as a team leader tonight and a smile returns to his face that hasn't been seen since he was cutting down the nets at Connecticut. Byron still never found his shot but his play on defense has kept this team in the game. His presence on the court has improved significantly which is great to see this earns Byron his Dunlap's Disciple membership. At about the half way mark of the 4th as the Bobcats just haven't been having shots fall their way but are still in it as the teams trade the lead back an forth. Kemba drives to the basket with 6:40 left on the clock and hit's the bucket and the crowd erupts and the excitement builds through the Cable Box. The look on the faces of the Indiana players tells the story of this game. Pure frustration it is evident they were not expecting the Bobcats to be pushing them at all but complete shock to still have to be competing in the 4th. Henderson gets the loose ball and heads down court and drives but fakes out his defender and dishes to Ramon for the big 3. Tyrus takes a bad shot but hustles down and makes a great block on the ball and shortly makes up with a big jumper that puts the Bobcats back up on top with little of a minute to play. Kemba has a career high of 30 and takes his 2nd bad shot of the game and gives the Pacers the ball. Accountability is prevalent. Players aren't holding on to bad plays and dwelling on them. They are hustling to go right the wrongs they have done. This new look Bobcats are playing Tougher, Faster, Stronger, but also a lot smarter. The Bobcats are 35 seconds away from a victory as we head into a critical timeout. This will give us an opportunity to see Dunlap now put on the spot to draw up a defensive stop to hold the Pacers off. The ball ends up fittingly into the hands of Augustin as the clock winds down he fires off a shot as the buzzer sounds and CLANK he misses and the Bobcats get their first win of the season and end a 23-game skid dating back to the middle of last season. This has been Tyler Mann bringing you the summary tonight, bear with me as this was my first effort into the blogosphere, but was also a lot of fun.
Thank you to the guys at Trade Street Post for letting me give this a try and look forward to the next time until then let me finish by saying it is good to be a Charlotte Bobcat!