Yeah...Hendo dunked on Howard...AGAIN!
I watched this game from wire to wire. The Bobcats played a great game the entire time. Unfortunately there are 2 things that will cost you a game. Well…in all honesty, there would be 3. The first would be not having the most points at the end of the game. Well, check that off the list for the night. There are 2 more that I’ll share with you after the jump. It just disheartens me when we lose a game like this…
The Bobcats really did play a great game. We scored 53 points in the first half, held the Lakers to 41 points, and forced all sorts of turnovers in that first half. If you look at the second half…more specifically, half way through the second half, you get to start witnessing the second thing that will cost you a game. That second thing is where the “star” team starts getting calls, and the “other” team starts not getting calls. That’s right, I’m saying it. We should have won this game. When the game is 5 on 8…there isn’t a whole lot that can be done. This game was handled a bit more subtly than others. The calls/non-calls started mid-way through the 3rd and it was in full effect by the 4th. The Lakers slightly outscore the Bobcats 28 to 25 in the 3rd…then blow us out in the 4th with a 31-15 quarter. As I mentioned, I watched the game wire to wire. Our intensity didn’t let down. We were playing at the top of our game the entire time. What did happen was that the Prima Donnas of the league started getting fouls called. I guess David Stern called and told the officials that the Lakers could lose to the Celtics, but no way they could fall to the Bobcats. I see it all the time. Good defense gets whistled for a foul. Henderson, Taylor, and Gillie the Kidd (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) fall victim to it all the time and tonight was no exception. The only difference tonight was that the fouls weren’t called so that substitutions would be made. They were called to get the Lakers to the line for foul shots. They needed some sort of help since the Lakers offense DOES NOT FLOW. The result? A lopsided 4th quarter that even saw Howard hip check Sessions on a drive, knocking him to the floor…and no foul was called (it would have been Howard’s 5th, by the way. The result of the no-call was Kobe on a fast break, scoring, then, complaining that he was fouled…while Sessions was sprawled out under the other basket from the hard contact. Yeah…I’m not a happy camper.
I made mention of one other thing that will cost you a game. That third thing is poor coaching. I loved Coach Dunlap when we got him. He’s excellent for player development. We can all see improvement in Kemba, Bismack, Mullens, Gillie, and Taylor. The problem is that this appears to be the only thing he is good at. The long stretch in the 4th when Sessions guarded Kobe instead of Henderson…what was that?!?! Henderson, known for being able to shut Kobe down, was switched off Kobe?? WHY? I mean we have seen over the course of the season that the zone defense Dunlap tries to run turns into the Bobcats clumped under the basket and at least 2 shooters open on the 3-point line. Tonight we saw Sessions and Gordon on the court for offense when we needed Gilchrist and Henderson in there for defense. Those guys can score the ball, but the defense prevents the urgency to do so. When the other team scores back-to-back baskets, don’t instantly call a timeout. If our strong suit is a fast paced game, let them keep playing. If nothing happens on that possession, foul and then take a timeout.
I’ve been patient, but if Dunlap was brought in for “Player Development”, they are as developed as they are going to get. Let’s bring in a coach that coaches strategy. We need a coach that will coach different from what we have seen in Larry Brown, Paul Silas, and Mike Dunlap. That style of game DOESN”T WORK. Check our record. Check losses tonight. If a head coach makes consistent bad decisions, unless they were brought in to tank another season, they get fired. Was Avery Johnson doing that bad of a job? He got fired for what? Deron Williams didn’t like him? Want a coach? Want to “Bring back the Buzz”? See what Coach Kurt Rambis is doing. I think he could probably fill a need here. He could even help our big men to a certain extent. Where is Avery Johnson? Bring him on in. It is time for a change in the coaching of this team.
In previous nights, we could blame the other team for the guards being shut down and we couldn’t do anything in the paint. Tonight, the guards were on, the paint presence was there, and we were clicking.
What’s the one constant in the equation? The coach.
I’m patient, but we all have our breaking points. Ball movement has improved…at least it had for tonight. Defense was good tonight. Shot selection was even reasonable. Timeouts, substitutions, defensive assignments…not so good. We’re seeing the team improve, but the execution is not improving. It’s time to shift gears MJ, and I don’t mean in that sporty white number you were driving tonight. Hire another coach quickly. If not, you may not even have fans to survey to see if they want the “Buzz” back or not. Wins bring fans, and with the talent we have, we should have more than we got.
Want my advice? Well, you’re getting it anyway. Hire another coach, FAST. Ask that coach what direction he wants to go in, and perhaps he can help us to trade to get the last couple pieces in Charlotte that we need so that next year we are a pretty good looking, mid-playoff picture hunting, team.
Just saying. I never expected Dunlap to be a playoff-contending coach, but I did expect us to break 25 wins this year. At this rate…I really don’t know that we’ll get there.
Want some numbers from our Battling Bobcats tonight?
Henderson=20pts/10 rebs/3assists/3 steals/1 block
Mullens=20pts/12 rebs/1 assist/1 steal/1 block
Walker=18pts/8 assists/2 steals/1 block
Sessions=12pts/7 assists/2 rebs
Biyombo=8pts/10 rebs/2 assists
Gilchrist=4pts/10 rebs/2 assists/2 steals/1 block
Another notable stat is that there were 30 assists by us tonight on only 10 turnovers.
Hmm…a Trade Street Post Game breaker award…tonight’s a tough one because we had Gillie the Kidd coming back from his concussion…and we had Mullens with his first start since the severe ankle sprain…
After defending Mullens after his first game back from the so-called fans, I’m giving the award to Byron Mullens. In his first start since the sprain he was 8-18 from the floor tonight (44.4%) with 12 rebounds, a steal, and a block. No word yet as to if he can lace his shoe all the way up yet or not, but I’ll take what he’s providing us right now. Congrats to Byron Mullens. I told you we were missing you. Glad to have you back in that starting lineup.
There was a rumor floating around pre-game of a possible Ben Gordon for Kris Humphries trade. The talks are a back burner topic for now, but let’s keep a watch on things. Trade deadline is in 2 weeks…who knows what may go down.