Bobcats Season 10 – Week 2 Review


Charlotte finishes a strange week 2-2, a span that saw the team:

  • Successfully complete the second half of a back to back with a victory against the Raptors at TWC, 92-90.
  • Waste a near sell out home crowd in a (surprisingly) uninspired loss against the Knicks, 97-102.
  • Play exactly one great half and one terrible half against a mediocre Hawks squad in an unnecessary loss at home, 94-103.
  • Regroup to outlast the upstart Celtics in Boston for a Conference road win, 89-83.

A Week of Disruption

Just a day after presiding over Charlotte’s back to back wins against New York and Toronto, head coach Steve Clifford checked himself into the hospital, returning to the bench a few days later with two stents inserted into his heart. With former Panthers and current Broncos head man John Fox and Texans skipper Gary Kubiak missing time with similar ailments, it was a tough week for pro coaches.
Associate head coach Patrick Ewing stepped in as Clifford’s replacement, ironically coaching his first game against the team he starred for fifteen years. The New York media had a field day with the storyline but the ensuing results were less than newsworthy. Ewing’s rotations were off all game and his team lacked any sort of emotion. Ewing’s demeanor on the sidelines is reminiscent of Jeremy Lamb’s perpetual sleepy-time expression. While I think the Bill Self-style histrionics are out of place in the NBA, your head coach needs to at least give the impression that he’s engaged. Fortunately, Clifford missed very little time and all things seem to be business as usual just a week later.

Hello: My Name is Big Al

The Bobcats encountered another form of disruption on Monday night in the form of Al Jefferson. The team’s offense was clearly off balance in the second half against the Hawks, which incidentally was the part of the game that Al’s shots started to fall. In fact, the Atlanta loss felt like a microcosm of this team’s greatest challenge going forward: How to integrate the screen ‘n roll heavy free-wheeling style that the team has had a little success with the more traditional, more mature – and I’d argue – more sustainable inside-out offense Jefferson allows for.
The formula worked a little better in Wednesday night’s road win in Boston but that had more to do with Jefferson’s dominance inside (22 points, 11 rebounds) than an efficient team effort. We’ll surely be keeping an eye on this transition in the weeks ahead.

Kemba’s Struggles

When the Bobcats signed Jefferson during the offseason, they likely fantasized at the pairing of he and the quick penetrating AND suddenly sweet shooting Kemba Walker. While Kemba got off to a fantastic start over the team’s first four games, his shooting has taken a nosedive (29% over the last 5 games) since running shoulder first into Metta World Peace’s thigh last week. And it’s not just the jumper. Kemba has morphed into DJ Augustin around the rim, a spot he excelled in last season. In the Boston win, Kemba finished a disastrous 1-13 (including four misses in the paint) that would have sunk the team pre-Jefferson.
Let’s hope that this is just a temporary setback due to the shoulder contusion and not a full on regression.

Missing Shooters

Talk about clairvoyance. Clifford and the front office should be patting themselves on the back for having the foresight to sign Anthony Tolliver in what was then seen as an offseason afterthought. A 5 year veteran “stretch four”, Tolliver (44% 3PFG) and has been the team’s only consistent spot-up shooter in lieu of Jeffery Taylor’s long distance struggles and Ben Gordon’s demotion to 15th man. Barring a mid-season trade or an off the radar free agent signing, Tolliver is the team’s only consistent long-ball threat – a fact that could undermine the team’s offense for the remainder of the season.


Breaking News: Larry Brown Steps Down


AP/Bob Leverone

Just prior to 4:00 PM ET, the Charlotte Bobcats announced that Larry Brown has stepped down as head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.  Here are some initial links:

Official Press Release |  Letter to the fans

Sam Amick of AOL is reporting that the entire coaching staff has been let go.  Amick goes on to report that the new coach will be in place tomorrow.

This is a bit of a surprise.  I honestly thought that if Brown left, assistant coach Dave Hanners would get a chance as an interim coach.  I have no idea who will be stepping in.  Keep an eye out on this post and our Twitter feeds (Dr. E, ASChin, Cardboard Gerald) for updates and further discussion.

-Dr. E

UPDATE 5:00 PM: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! and Ken Berger of are reporting that former Hornets and Cavs coach (and current Charlotte resident) Paul Silas is the leading candidate to take over as coach of the Bobcats.  Former Hawks coach Mike Woodson, current Magic assistant/former Jordan rival Patrick Ewing, and current Pistons assistant Darrell Walker are also under consideration.

-Dr. E

Update 7:00 PM: And it’s official.  The Bobcats have named Paul Silas interim head coach.  Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Charles Oakley is likely to be added as an assistant coach.  Silas will be meeting with the media tomorrow at 1:00 PM ET and will have more details about the rest of his staff at that time.

Official Press Release re: Silas

-Dr. E