Bobcats Prevail Over Pistons, Finish Trip 4-2

Photo by J. Dennis/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by J. Dennis/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Bobcats used a 20-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to defeat the Pistons 97-87 in Detroit on Wednesday night.  Stephen Jackson poured in a season-high 39 points (14-26 FG, 3-7 3PT, 8-10 FT) to lead the Cats as they finished their 6-game road trip at 4-2.  The Cats are now 21-27 and hanging on to the 8th playoff spot heading into a brutal three game home-stand against Miami, Dallas and Boston.

AP Recap |  Box Score

The last game of a long road trip is always dangerous; it’s human nature for the mind to start wandering towards putting the keys in your own door and sleeping in your own bed whilst being blown out.  But with Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell out with injuries, Rip Hamilton exiled to the end of the bench, and their fans stuck at home under a foot of snow, the Pistons were hardly in position to take advantage of a possible letdown by the Bobcats anyways.

Stephen Jackson got the Bobcats off to a nice start despite DJ Augustin’s early foul trouble.  Sherron Collins picked up seven first quarter minutes and played well, going 2-2 from the field and presiding over a 19-11 Bobcats run.  The Cats maintained a small lead through the second quarter as Jack poured in the buckets and Kwame Brown hit the boards.

The Pistons came out strong after halftime and ran out to an 8 point lead before the Bobcats calmed things down.  Towards the end of the third quarter, down 65-64, the Bobcats embarked on their epic run.  Amidst a barrage of jumpers from Steven Jackson and dunks/layups from Kwame Brown, Gerald Henderson and Nazr Mohammed, the Pistons couldn’t get anything going.

Up 84-66 with 8 minutes left after Jackson’s three free throws capped the run, the Bobcats took their foot off the gas a bit.  The Pistons went on a small run of their own to cut the lead to 7 with three minutes left, but Jack put an end to that with a strong drive into a layup.  From there, a few DJ Augustin free throws iced the game.


  • Quick and easy numbers: The Bobcats shot 50.7% to the Pistons 43.6%, outrebounded the Pistons 46-30, and went 20-25 at the line to the Pistons 12-17.
  • Quintessential Boris Diaw line: 36 minutes, 0 points on 0-3 FG, 4 rebounds, 9 assists/2 turnovers, and a team high plus-minus of +15.  Just embrace it.
  • Quiet game for DJ after his early foul trouble trying to match up against the stronger Ben Gordon.  DJ scored 5 points in the final 46 seconds to get to double digits at 10 — but overall didn’t play well.  Nice to see that the Bobcats could get a win despite that.
  • Another double-double for Kwame Brown: 14 points/10 rebounds.
  • So while the quality of the opponents (Sacramento by 5, Phoenix by 7, Golden State by 8 in OT, Detroit by 10) leaves something to be desired, a 4-2 road trip is a pretty impressive feat for this team.  As noted above, the Bobcats now face a three game home-stand against a murderers row of opponents: Miami on Friday, Dallas on Saturday, and Boston on Monday, all 7 PM ET starts.

-Dr. E

be sure to follow Dr. E, ASChin, and Cardboard Gerald on Twitter

Rip and Tayshaun for Wallace and Okafor?


Rip and Tayshaun for Wallace and Okafor?

Some fans over at posted some comments earlier today theorizing a potential Rip Hamilton for Emeka Okafor swap.  Then came a second hypothetical scenario in which the Pistons and Bobcats would also swap Tayshaun Prince and Gerald Wallace in the same deal with the Bobcats getting a little something back in compensation such as a prospect or a future Piston 1st Rounder.

At first, this deal sounds ludicrous.
You’d be dealing a 26 year old Top 10-15 center and a 27 year old face-of-the-franchise forward for a 31 year old shooting guard who’s owed over $48 million over the next four seasons and a wispy 4th option small forward whose biggest impact in the League came almost a half decade ago.

But then I started to think about it…

Why trade Okafor for Rip?

  1. Rip Hamilton is on the hook for $49.5 million over the next four seasons.
  2. Emeka Okafor is owed $62.7 over the next five.
  3. The Bobcats have two players behind Okafor who make the full mid-level and the team has recently inquired about the availability of Samuel Dalembert.  The other two centers (Gana Diop & Nazr Mohammed) are basically unmovable due to bloated contracts.
  4. Even though Rip will be 36 when his contract expires, his game and his build is much like that of Ray Allen or Reggie Miller.  He should be productive for at least the first three of those seasons, after which he turns into a huge expiring contract.
  5. The Bobcats desperately need scoring and since Larry Brown tends to favor players he’s coached before, it would not be a reach to suggest that a deal for Hamilton would be attractive to LB.

Ok, so that kind of makes sense but Wallace for Tayshaun!!!???

  1. Larry Brown likes defenders at the SF and likes guys that he’s familiar with.
  2. Tayshaun’s contract pays him $21.5 million over the next two seasons.
  3. Gerald’s contract pays out $41 million over the next four seasons.
  4. Over the past 5 seasons, Tayshaun has played in 82 games every one of those seasons.
  5. Over those same 5 seasons, Gerald has logged: 75/55/72/62/71 games played.

Yeah I know, Gerald is the face of the franchise and it would really suck to lose two of our home-grown guys for players whose prime may or may not be behind them.

But what if JoD sweetened the pot with this:

Nazr Mohammed’s contract for Jason Maxiell.

ESPN Trade Machine: Rip/Okafor PT1 Trade Machine: Rip/Okafor PT2

Could it be anymore perfect?

Although the Bobcats would take on an additional $250k in the deal, over then next five seasons, they’d save arond $35 million in payroll (which is apparently a good thing for a franchise up for sale).

In the meantime, Charlotte could compete immediately in the Eastern Conference with a balanced, veteran squad and would be in position to go after whomever they wanted in Free Agency during the summer of 2011.
With Hamilton on the roster, Raja would be expendable so there would be a potential for the ‘Cats to package Vlad Radmanovic and Bell together in order to complete the long rumored Dalembert trade (another big expiring deal in 2011).

Rip Tayshaun and Dalembert - First Unit

The first unit would feature five strong defenders and a dependable wing scorer (for once) in Hamilton.

Rip for Okafor - Second Unit

The reserves would feature two very promising younger players (Augustin and Maxiell), a potentially promising 1st rounder in Gerald Henderson and a dependable, defensive-minded center in Gana Diop.

A Win-Win Deal

From Detroit’s perspective, they hit a homerun.

  1. They get a HUGE upgrade at center in Okafor (to replace Kwame Brown).
  2. They get a dynamic wing player in Gerald Wallace to team with Charlie V and Emeka in a completed revamped frontcourt.
  3. Suddenly, Detroit’s core players go from early-mid 30s to all under 27.  Amazing.

It all sounds great but I’m still kind of torn.  If the Bobcats had decent (or settled) ownership, maybe it would be a better idea to hold on to Emeka and Gerald and build for the future.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case and the organization finds itself needing to make the playoffs and grow the fanbase while not adding to the payroll.
If the above scenario unfolds, those things just might happen.