Bobcats Edge Sixers; Thomas Out 8 Weeks


AP/Chuck Burton

The Bobcats rode a career high 31 points from DJ Augustin and 3 clutch buckets by Gerald Henderson to a 100-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night at the Cable Box.  However, news that Tyrus Thomas has suffered a meniscus tear and will be out for 8 weeks certainly casts a pall over the warm glow of victory.

AP Recap |  Box Score |  Highlights

News filtered out before gametime that Tyrus had woken up from a post-shootaround/pre-game nap with a balky left knee and wouldn’t play.  Then during the game, news broke that an MRI had shown a lateral meniscus tear.  Thomas will presumably have arthroscopic surgery in the coming days; the early estimate is that he’ll be out for 8 weeks.  It’s unclear when or how the injury occurred.

This is a big blow for several reasons.  First, even though Thomas’s raw stats aren’t all that impressive (21 minutes per game, 11 points/6 rebounds), advanced statistics show that he’s arguably the Bobcats most efficient player (Hollinger’s PER has him at a team-high 19.7).  Second, though Thomas doesn’t start, he almost always finishes games and has proven to be a clutch player, especially on the defensive end.  Third, with Gana Diop already gone for the season, this makes the Bobcats precariously thin in the middle.  Boris is going to have to play some 5, and Gerald Wallace and Dom McGuire are going to have to pitch in at the 4.

Back to the game.  DJ came out red hot, hitting three three-pointers in the opening minutes, then repeatedly getting to the hole for layups.  He finished the first half with 25 points on 10-11 shooting.  Isn’t Jrue Holiday supposed to be a really good defender?  In the second half, the Sixers adjusted by trapping DJ, who was only able to add 6 more points to his tally.  Nonetheless, a masterful performance and career high for DJ, with 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 8 assists/3 turnovers to boot.

As you might guess, this one was pretty close the whole way.  The Cats led by 8 a couple of times, including as late as with 8:30 left in the fourth, but couldn’t put it away.  Without Tyrus Thomas, the Cats were going with a small crunchtime lineup of DJ/Henderson/Jack/Wallace/Diaw.  With around 4 minutes left, Thaddeus Young took advantage with two straight buckets off offensive rebounds to put the Sixers up one.

From there, Gerald Henderson emerged as the unlikely hero.  Henderson had already hit a jumper from the right elbow off a simple curl play earlier in the quarter.  Down one, 1:40 left, the Cats run the same curl play for Henderson, who hits.  Sixers miss, then Henderson hits again from the right elbow, this time after dribbling around a Diaw screen.  Cats up 94-91, under a minute left.

Henderson almost blows it on the ensuing Sixers possession by fouling Igoudala on a three attempt, but Igoudala only hit two of the three free throws to pull the Sixers within one.  The Bobcats stayed with the hot hand on the following possession, feeding Henderson on the right wing again on the same curl play — and he hit again to push the lead back out to three and effectively end the game.

The comfort level and confidence that Henderson had in the fourth quarter was really nice to see.  Especially because it looks like that, whenever feasible, the Bobcats will likely go with a small lineup including Henderson in the fourth quarter while they’re without Tyrus Thomas.


  • Best game from Nazr Mohammed in awhile: 15 points on 7-12 FG and 7 rebounds.  Obviously it would be nice if Nazr can step it up over the next few weeks.
  • Stephen Jackson’s shooting slump continues: 5-16 FG and 0-3 3 PT.  Quiet game from Gerald Wallace also: 6 points, 3 rebounds.  (/////Dr. E drums fingers on desk, looks around, wonders if anyone is thinking what he’s thinking.)
  • Bobcats are 17-24 — good for 7th place in the East currently.
  • Next game is Saturday night, at home, against the Hawks, 7 PM ET tip.

-Dr. E

Weekend Links: Chris Paul Madness Edition


Chris Paul with Black Shoe

Chris Paul trade news/rumors continue to dominate the NBA news-and-blog-o-sphere as we head into the weekend.  But there’s still some other interesting stuff going on, including Gerald Wallace making a push to be included on Team USA’s final roster this summer.  Here’s your required reading for the weekend.

Chris Paul

  • ESPN’s Chris Broussard provides an update on Paul’s wishlist, along with the reality check regarding which teams on the list could actually come up with a decent package to return to New Orleans in a trade.  Broussard does mention that the Bobcats are one of the teams with interest in pursuing Paul — first time I’ve seen a national, mainstream, traditional media member acknowledge the Bobcats being in the mix.
  • Paul will be sitting down with new Hornets coach Monty Williams and GM Dell Demps on Monday to discuss his future with the team.  Peter Finney from The Times-Picayune opines on how Williams and Demps should approach that meeting.
  • Fresh off his run of blistering pieces critical of Lebron’s “Decision”, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski warns that Chris Paul has succumbed to too much influence from Lebron/Worldwide Wes/CAA/LRMR/etc. and needs to check himself before damaging his reputation.
  • NYT’s Howard Beck reports that Paul, perhaps cognizant of the above sentiment, has not yet hired James’ LRMR marketing firm — though my guess is that this is just semantics/a formality.

Stephen Jackson/Home Invasion

  • There are no new developments in the story of the home invasion/armed robbery at Stephen Jackson’s house Wednesday morning, but here’s the link from the Observer if you never got around to reading up on the story.
  • Rick Bonnell did offer a few additional thoughts on the story on his blog.  The whole thing is a shame — just when Jackson’s image was turning the corner after the Bobcats’ success last year, here comes bad news again.  Not suggesting that being targeted like this is in any way his fault, but you have to be concerned when trouble just seems to follow some people.  Also, nice job by ‘the gates’ in his gated community.  Strong work.  Here’s hoping that Jack’s wife is OK and that the bad guys get caught.

Gerald Wallace/Team USA

  • Gerald Wallace is still out in Vegas at the Team USA camp.  When he was initially named to the squad, I thought it was a nice acknowledgement of how far he had come as a player, but didn’t think much of his chances at making the final cut to represent the US at this summer’s FIBA World Championsips in Turkey due to his marginal outside shooting ability.  But with all of the Redeem Teamers begging off, Amare Stoudemire’s crip-eye, and injuries to David Lee and Robin Lopez, it’s starting to look like Gerald has a real shot.  ESPN’s Chris Sheridan feels that Wallace has the inside track to make the squad, owing largely to his size and defensive tenacity.  On the other hand, I asked Ric Bucher about Gerald’s chances on Twitter and he DMed me back “unlikely”.
  • has a bunch of Gerald/Team USA content here, including video interviews with Coach K.  I have mixed feelings about Gerald making the squad.  First, as mentioned above, I personally feel he’s kind of a long shot due to his mediocre outside shooting — you just have to be able to knock down deep and midrange shots in international ball.  But Wallace’s primary competition in making the cut is probably Andre Igoudala, who isn’t exactly a deadeye shooter himself, so we’ll see.  Second, Gerald has played a ton of minutes over the past few years, and will no doubt be relied upon for big minutes again in 2010-11 for the Cats.  His ‘balls-to-the-wall’ style of play means potential injuries loom around every pick and attempted block anyways, and extended minutes means nagging injuries continue to nag, or even worsen.
  • Team USA sang Happy Birthday to Gerald yesterday as the team prepared for tonight’s intrasquad scrimmage that will be televised live on ESPN2 at 10pm ET.


  • Shaq is still a free agent, and has a list of preferred destinations as well.  As the Bobcats now only employ Nazr Mohammed and Gana Diop (I’m assuming Dampier is not on the roster opening night) at center, and with last year’s stopgap solution Theo Ratliff off the market, there has been some sentiment around the Bobcats blogosphere that Shaq might be an acceptable short-term pickup.  NYT’s Howard Beck updates us on the ‘dwindling’ market for Shaq, with Atlanta, Dallas and Miami having passed on the Diesel.
  • Shaq reportedly wants a two-year deal for a good bit of money and a chance to compete for a championship.  He may have to settle for one or the other, and Fanhouse’s Tim Povtak is reporting that the Celtics are at the top of O’Neal’s wish list of destinations.  Boston would be nice, if only for the eventual Shaq-Nate Robinson buddy cop comedy that would grow out of it.

-Dr. E

Bobcats Coast Past 76ers


Charlotte Bobcats vs 76ers, 3/31/10

The Charlotte Bobcats posted an easy win over the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-84, on Wednesday night at the Cable Box.  The Cats improve to 39-35 but remain in seventh place in the East, a game-and-a-half behind Miami, who also won Wednesday night.

AP recap here |  Box score here

After feeling out the Sixers in the first few minutes of the game, the Cats took control, building a double digit lead by early in the second quarter.  The Sixers briefly cut the lead to single digits before the half and again right after, but the Cats dominated the rest of the way.

Gerald Wallace led the Cats with 24 points (8-11 FG, 3-3 alley-oops, 2-3 3PT, 6-10 FT), 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.  Tyson Chandler had easily his best game since returning from injury (and probably one of his best games all year, really) with 15 points (4-5 FG, 7-8 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal in 23 minutes off the bench.

The Sixers generally looked like the Bad News Bears.  With Lou Williams, Rodney Carney and Thad Young all out with injuries, and Andre Igoudala reportedly dealing with plantar fasciitis, the Sixers didn’t have much of a shot to begin with.  They settled for jump shots (only 11 FTs compared to the Bobcats 35), turned the ball over an astonishing 25 times (rookie Jrue Holiday accounted for 7) and were probably lucky they didn’t get beat by 30.


  • Bill Simmons called Elton Brand’s contract (4 years, $66 million) the second worst in the league, (behind Gilbert Arenas: 5 years, $96 million), but Brand might vault ahead of Gil soon.  Dude is just dreadful.
  • Had a question from @kimosabe71 on Twitter about Raymond Felton tonight and wanted to expand on it a bit here. Felton is quietly having his best season ever.  A look at his stats shows that he’s sporting a career best 15.4 PER (had been in the 13.5-13.9 range the past three seasons), mostly due to shooting a career best 46% from the field.  That, in turn, is due to better shot selection, which itself is largely due to the presence of an alpha-dog offensive threat in Stephen Jackson.  So what I’m saying is that when Raymond gets a fat contract this offseason, he needs to treat Jack to a steak.  Or a Bentley — whatever NBA players do these days to thank each other.
  • Post-game locker room jibber-jabber.
  • It’s really starting to look like the Cats don’t have much of a chance to catch Miami for the 6th spot.  That’s a shame, because we really would have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs against Atlanta or Boston.  Orlando, not so much.  And don’t even get me started on the inane suggestion that we’d be better off slipping to the 8th spot and facing the Cavs in the first round.  That’s borderline moronic, our flukey 3-1 record against them this regular season notwithstanding.
  • Next game is Friday night at the Cable Box versus the surprising 5th place Milwaukee Bucks, 7 PM ET.

-Dr. E

Bobcats Eke Out Win Against Sixers


Charlotte Bobcats vs 76ers, 12/5/09

A Win Is A Win

The Charlotte Bobcats overcame a 10-point 4th quarter deficit to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 106-105 on Saturday night at the Cable Box.  AP story here, box score here.  The Cats played uninspired ball for most of the game, allowing Willie Green to go for a season-high 26.  But down the stretch, Raymond Felton and Boris Diaw were able to push the Cats past the shorthanded Sixers.

The Sixers led 99-89 with 5 minutes left, but would only get two field goals and two free throws the rest of the way.  Meanwhile, the Cats turned aggressive and clutch, going 7-8 from the free throw lie and 2-4 from 3PT over the same period.  The last minute of the game was notable for its drama and sloppiness.

With the Cats down 103-102, Stephen Jackson missed a three — Jack had a poor game and an even poorer finish to the game.  On the ensuing Sixers possession Jack completely whiffed trying to guard Igoudala, who was able to get into the lane with a head of steam.  However, the Cats interior D collapsed on Iggy, who lost the handle and gave the Cats the ball back with 24 seconds left.  After a 20 second timeout, the Cats inbounded to Diaw, who spun, drove into the lane and was able to get a pretty easy finger roll to take the lead 104-103 — but with 17 seconds left.

The Sixers took a timeout to set up a play; but they wouldn’t even need it as Stephen Jackson committed an inexplicable reach-in foul of Igoudala in the backcourt.  With the Sixers in the bonus, Igoudala sunk both free throws to retake the lead 105-104 with 13 seconds left.  With no timeouts, Raymond Felton had to freelance a play, which should make any Bobcats fan shudder.

Fortunately, Raymond was on point tonight and it was Sam Dalembert trying to guard him coming around a Diaw high screen. Dalembert committed the mortal sin of neither showing high, nor dropping back to defend the pick.  Felton was able to turn the corner, turn on the jets and get enough separation from Dalembert to get a clean, game-winning layup.

Boris takes player of the game honors with 28 points (10-12 FG, 5-6 3 PT, 3-3 FT), 5 rebs, 2 asst, 2 blocks, and a steal.  Nice to see you again, Boris.  Gerald Wallace continued his torrid rebounding pace with 24/14 and Felton played great with 18 points (6-11 FG, 1-1 3PT, 5-5 FT, 8 asst/2 turnovers and a +15 +/-.  Nazr Mohammed paced the bench with 9/6 on 4-5 FG shooting.


  • Retweet: The Cats gave away Stephen Jackson posters to the first five thousand through the turnstiles tonight.  There are leftover Stephen Jackson posters.
  • DJ Augustin logged his second straight DNP-CD.  He looked pretty bummed on the bench.  This is most unfortunate for DJ personally, but also for Bobcats fans that were hoping to see him take a couple steps forward this season.
  • It is fortunate for Gerald Henderson, who logged 20 minutes — some in crunch time.  He had a highlight reel block and dunk (see highlight reel), but was only 1-5 FG.
  • As mediocre and inconsistent as the 8-11 Bobcats are, they’re currently 7th in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Sports Guy can’t believe Gerald Wallace’s rebound numbers this year.  It’s a combination of things: 1) I believe Wallace has lost a step and some of his hops, and is conscientiously looking for other ways to contribute (good for him), 2) Diaw doesn’t like to rebound (so bourgeois) and Chandler hasn’t been much, 3) the Bobcats play good D, resulting in a lot of defensive rebounding opportunities and 4) the Bobcats play bad offense, leading to a lot of offensive rebound opportunities.
  • Next game is Tuesday night as the Nuggets (Thuggets?) come into town, 7:00 PM ET.

-Dr. E