10/20/09 Bobcats vs. Bucks (Preseason)


Some quick thoughts and links after the Bobcats preseason win over the Bucks, 94-87 at the Cable Box on Tuesday night:

  • AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell’s Observer story here, Observer’s photo gallery here.
  • No Bell (more on that later), no Ajinca.  Chandler was suited up, though.  Cats started Ray, DJ, Crash, Diaw and Chandler.
  • Chandler only played 16 minutes and didn’t contribute much on the stat sheet, but looked fine.  Great energy cheering from the bench, too (for real, not facetious).
  • Box score lists the attendance at 7500 — amazing pie-in-the-sky number.  In reality, there were no more than 2000.  Even that may be generous.  It will be interesting to see the attendance for first Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night game against a non-marquee Eastern Conference foe during the regular season.
  • Nazr was awesome in the second quarter, going for 12 points with several dunks and some o-rebs.
  • Gerald Henderson was easily the most impressive Bobcat, going for 14 points (on 7-8 shooting) in 14 minutes and a big +17 +/-.  He had a sweet baseline move with a great finish that the Observer photographer captured nicely — check it out in the photo gallery.
  • Bucks thoughts: check out Ridnour’s -24 +/- in 16 minutes — ouch!  I thought Hakim Warrick signed with the Bucks basically because he would be the default starter at PF — but he came off the bench for only 5 mins — just resting, or in Skiles’ doghouse already?  I was actually impressed with Brandon Jennings — that year in Italy may have done him some good after all.  Save one bad turnover in the first half, he played under control and did a seemingly good job running the show for the Bucks starting unit.
  • Referee thoughts: with word leaking to the media that the NBA is on the verge of coming to an agreement with the refs, the replacements are getting their last hurrah.  Aside from a couple of bad calls (Scott Skiles took umbrage a coupe of times, garnering a tech for his troubles at one point) I really couldn’t notice a huge difference with them.  As a matter of fact, it was nice that they were rather anonymous and that the vets/coaches were not palling around with them.
  • Raja Bell’s injury news casts a huge pall over the few positive bits in this preseason win.  After the game, Larry Brown revealed that Raja has a torn ligament in his left (non-shooting) wrist.  There is a chance he could rehab it and play this season, but he may need surgery that would require 2 months of recovery and 2 months of rehab.  That means we’d be without him for the bulk of the season.  Anyone want to bet on the rehab?  Because I’ll double your bet and place it on the surgery.  Raja’s going to a specialist in Chicago for a second opinion; a specialist whose specialty is to do surgery on wrists — what do you think his second opinion is going to be?  Good news if you’re Gerald Henderson or Flip Murray.  Bad news if you’re hoping for a playoff berth.
  • Speaking of playoff berths, here’s ESPN’s roster of “experts” predicting the season for the Cats.  While I don’t necessarily disagree that the Cats are going to struggle on the fringes of the 8th playoff spot, I just have to point out some of the more ridiculous assertions here: both David Thorpe and John Hollinger make me wonder what video/statistics of Emeka Okafor they have when they assert that losing Okafor hurts the Bobcats offensively.  Jalen Rose wonders if the Cats will re-sign Felton — I assume he means next off-season, which has no bearing on this season whatsoever.  Chad Ford has probably the most accurate take, and Chris Broussard the most biting.

– Dr. E

15 thoughts on “10/20/09 Bobcats vs. Bucks (Preseason)

  1. spectre

    This puts major pressure on Hendo to step up. Last night he did pretty well but I've been pretty disappointed with him up to this point. Even last night he was going up against their scrubs vs. their starters (and even then it's not like Redd is some defensive force).

    The alternative is Flip…and even tho I was happy to acquire him as a backup for depth I'm not crazy about starting him.

    The DJ/Felton pairing should only be used in situations where it gives us the advantage, but I'm afraid we'll see more of that too.

    Losing Raja sucks.

  2. spectre

    AsChin I don't think there's any restriction keeping us from trading Felton until December…him playing under the QO isn't like getting a new contract.

    We still need his permission, but I'm no longer sure that BYC would come into play; is his current salary figured as "last year's" or does it still go back to the 4 and change?

    "so I wonder if Dumars can persuade MJ to take on Rip’s massive deal in exchange for Nazr and Raja. Short term gain for long term pain? What would you do?"

    Yes. We'd even shave about 350k off this season's salary. I'm cringing at depending on Gana to fill Nazr's minutes…but I think that's probably the best basketball move we could make.

  3. Well, we knew that Raja was going down eventually. It was a question of "when" not "if."

    What does this mean for the Bobcats? For one, Gerald Henderson is getting minutes immediately. Don't know if he'll start or if Brown will go small with Ray and D.J. and sub in Gerald as the 6th man but either way, The Sequel is gonna start putting in time so it's great news that he's played so well this preseason.

    This probably also means that either Nazr, Bell's expiring or Felton will be dealt soon for more depth at the 2-guard. Raymond can't be traded until December so I wonder if Dumars can persuade MJ to take on Rip's massive deal in exchange for Nazr and Raja. Short term gain for long term pain? What would you do?

    As for losing Raja, he'll be missed because of his veteran presence and defensive abilities but let's face it, if you are gonna lose a starter on this team, you want it to be Raja. He barely registered a double digit PER last season and isn't getting any younger. The only reason the team dropped off last season without him is because his backup was Cartier-freakin'-Martin. I wish we had Raja as a role player but it's not the end of the world if he's out for a few months. Starting Gerald Henderson now might lose you a few games in November but will win you a few in March/April. The other option of bringing in another quality veteran would do nothing but improve the quality at SG.

    Still bullish. Think they finish with 40 wins and squeak into the Playoffs.

  4. Also, as Bonnell pointed out, we don't know what's a bigger risk for Raja: Not playing and being seen as damaged goods going into free agency or playing and further aggravating the injury.

    I'm with you on surgeons with vested interests though. I wonder if I go into an Apple Store, would someone try to sell me a Windows PC?

  5. spectre

    BTW…did anyone here go see the game last night? I would LOVE to hear a description on that TC dunk (was it a high lob/grab/dunk?).


  6. I agree that Rip would make sense for us and he's probably available, thus the talk makes sense. But let's get real — no way this would happen. With the ownership situation, there's no way we bring on that kind of contract for what, a few extra wins and the 8th playoff spot.

    Bringing on Rip and his contract is something a contending team does to shore up for a title run. Not appropriate for the Cats.

    Spectre, I was at the game but missed the first couple of minutes — that must have been when the Chandler dunk occurred b/c I don't remember it. The sweetest plays I saw were Henderson's baseline drive/under the hoop finish and DJ's stutterstep move on the break that I believe is referred to in the AP recap — that was a thing of beauty.

  7. RobC

    Spectre I agree with you. There is no restriction on trading Felton, other than we need his permission.

    And as for the Hamilton trade, I'm all for it. Hamilton is a great scorer (all-star caliber) a great defender, 1 or 2 years younger than Bell and a "little" bit more durable than Bell. He has played 75games/season during his career vs 73 from Bell.

    And with the $350K savings, I'll sign Pops Mensah-Bonsu as a backup PF for one year and the minimum (unguaranteed). He currently has an unguaranteed contract for $800K with the Rockets and its possible he might be cut from the roster. The Rickets need to cut 4 guys and they have a lot of guaranteed PF in their rosters (Landry, Scola, Dorsey & Cook).

  8. spectre

    "For example, Seattle signed Vladimir Radmanovic to a one-year qualifying offer on September 21, 2005. Therefore, Radmanovic could not be traded at all until December 21, 2005. After December 21, 2005, he could only be traded if he consented to the trade (he did consent and was traded to the Clippers). He became a Non-Bird free agent with the Clippers in the summer of 2006 (and signed instead with the Lakers)."

    From NBA FAQ.

    I stand corrected.

  9. spectre & RobC-

    Good comments. I'm still not sure about Raymond's status. Your point about his not getting a new deal sounds right but I think when he signed the QO, it was reported that we had to wait three months to trade him. Let you know if I uncover something definitive.

    The Hamilton deal would obviously makes us better NOW but there is the issue of adding another $30 million plus to the payroll after ownership just unloaded Emeka's massive contract.

    I wonder if Joey D would say yes to a combination of Raja and Gana Diop? This softens the salary blow for the Bobcats but might not be as enticing to the Pistons. Maybe a protected first rounder (non-consecutive to the one the team owe's Denver) might swing him in this version of the deal. Thoughts?

    Still excited about Henderson. Maybe my expectations were too low coming into camp but I think he has a real future in the League.

  10. spectre

    If only Gana hasn't sucked SOOOOOO bad! Right now he looks worse than Jake Voskuhl who doesn't even have a job (or did someone pick him up?). I doubt Joe would even consider taking on that.

    Also, I agree it's a stretch to think Johnson would take on the salary as it'd hurt his chances of selling the team. If they could get that done (wasn't it rumored to be near?) then maybe we can re-address that trade idea.

  11. DCW

    im all for trading for rip but i wouldnt involve a draft pk though. what does dumars really want in exchange for him other than cap relief.

  12. Dr E-

    Thanks for raining on our parade!

    Actually, I don't think that it's impossible that LB and MJ could get Johnson to pull the trigger. Ultimately, Hamilton would cost the 'Cats a lot less money than Okafor did and while he's not a household name he is a recognizable player who has proven that he can be consistently effecting the League. Plus you'd be able to dump one of your overpaid backup centers in the deal to boot.


    Yeah, Nazr came from Detroit put the deal we're presenting is basically a salary dump for Joe Dumars if he wants to cut payroll and get more PT for Ben Gordon. Nazr now only has this season and next on his deal and Raja's deal is over this summer.

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