Charlotte Bobcats @ Utah 2/24/10
Charlotte can’t hold onto an eleven point half-time lead as Carlos Boozer and the Jazz TapouT™ the ‘Cats in Salt Lake City 102-93.
Bobcats start out strong in Utah, avoiding the usual Insta-Road-Deficit but were bullied by a physical Jazz team in the second half.
Jerry Sloan countered Larry Brown with an all-too-obvious adjustment at halftime by pounding the ball inside and destroying a small Bobcats lineup that was without centers Nazr Mohammed (back), Gana Diop (knee) and Tyson Chandler (testicles).
Without the $64 Million Dollar Men, Larry Brown was again forced to play Theo Ratliff north of 30 minutes for the second consecutive game – Ratliff had played a total of 37 minutes in 2010 before being traded to the Bobcats. The 36 year old veteran did his best but the Bobcats had no answer for former Dookie Carlos Boozer (33 points on 13 of 16 shooting). Even Boris Diaw, who is regularly singled out for his one-on-one defensive abilities by John Hollinger, had no chance against ‘Los. Boris’ -23 plus/minus pretty much sums up his night. THE RESULT: Jazz outscore the Bobcats 31-16 in the third, 29-24 in the fourth. LB would watch the rest of the game from the locker room after being tossed late in the final period (reportedly over being jealous of Kyle Korver’s tan).
QUICK NOTE ON TYRUS THOMAS:
I’m sure that the Bobcats believed that the acquisition of Thomas would allow them to throw different looks at opposing forwards. The problem is that Thomas is a much better help defender than a Dennis Rodman-like pest on the low block and although Tyrus put up a nice line tonight (20 points, 3 steals, 4 rebounds), he’s gonna need some coaching before he becomes anything more than a game-changing gimmick player off of the bench — much like Gerald Wallace during his first few years in Charlotte.
- Derrick Brown only scored two points in two minutes in this game but it was on a seriously rad dunk (check out the highlights above). Why he and Henderson aren’t getting any extended burn is beyond me.
- How is that this guy is two thirds of the way through his third NBA season and I’m just now finding out about Kyrylo Fesenko? A 7-foot, 300 pound “hoss,” Fesenko could feasibly stick around in the League for the next decade. If Marcin Gortat is worth the full mid-level, this kid is worth at least half that. Gotta commend the Jazz organization for loading up on quality bigs (Boozer, Milsap, Okur, Kirilenko, (last year’s) Koufus and now Fesenko. The Jazz not only have incredible depth at the 4 & 5 positions, they could also trot out enough Euro-Heavies to finally bring down Jason Bourne.
Help on the Way?
The Kings officially cut ties with Larry Hughes today which brought on an onslaught of speculation that the ‘Cats would sign him. On paper this makes lots of sense as Hughes seems to be from the Flip Murray School of Instant Offense. As a 26+ game rental, Hughes could provide the slashing and jump shooting that the team lost in Murray with the added benefit of being a much better defender. The team could ink him at the veteran’s minimum and still be under the luxury tax.
Bonnell has a nice write up of the logistics and probabilities of the move in his blog.
Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!
How funny is it that while the financial world lies shaken from the fallout of the Greek sovereign debt crisis, some Greek-American dude is about to take on one of professional sports’ most debt-laden franchises? You’ve probably read the quote before but the official line goes something like “most of the franchise’s value lies in it’s debt” — yeah, isn’t that how the world got into this economic mess to begin with?
The truth of the matter is that the Bobcats are going to be sold for far less than what Bob Johnson paid for it (before calculating inflation and all of the other money Johnson has thrown away during the past 6-7 years) and if George Postolos’ Group has the slightest inkling of how to run a major sports franchise, the team should be profitable within the next 3-5 years (pending a 2011 lockout).
Charlotte led the league in attendance for close to a decade, they have an incredible facility (controversially gifted to them by taxpayers), a quality city, educated fans, good weather, lots of home grown, regional talent and are the only NBA team in a region that spans south of D.C. and north of Atlanta. It would take a certified moron to screw up a situation like this (as we’ve witnessed). Barring a last minute rally from Michael Jordan’s “Ownership Group,” we’re likely to see Postolos take control of this franchise very soon.