Bobcats Turn Home Opener Over To Pacers


AP/Chuck Burton

The Charlotte Bobcats dropped their home opener 104-101 to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.  The Cats led most of the game, and by 5 with 3:18 left, but crumbled after that.  Both DJ Augustin and Stephen Jackson got decent looks at potentially game-tying 3s on the last possession, but neither found the mark.

AP Recap |  Box Score

There were multiple problems down the stretch.  The Cats had several fourth-quarter turnovers.  With 3 minutes left, Gana Diop got stuck on Danny Granger after a screen; Granger nailed a 3 (his sixth of the game) and goaded Diop into a soft foul for a 4 point play.  DJ Augustin couldn’t contain TJ Ford on the pick-and-roll.  Gerald Wallace missed two free throws.  And Tyler Hansbrough, of all people, scored the last four clutch points for the Pacers.

This is the kind of game that the Bobcats won last year.  At home, against a team of the Pacers caliber, they would have put the hammer down in the fourth quarter — instead they gave up 31 points in the last 12 minutes (not to mention 104 overall).  At the very least, last year’s Bobcats would have made a big play or two in cruchtime to eke out the win.

But this year’s edition of the Bobcats is not as tough defensively with DJ on the court, and isn’t getting the decent play from the center platoon that it did last year.  Those issues aren’t surprising; but one thing we hadn’t predicted was Stephen Jackson’s slow start.

Following his lackluster performance Wednesday night against the Mavs, Jack got into early foul trouble against the Pacers, limiting his first half minutes.  In the second half, he still couldn’t really get anything going.  Jack finished with just 10 points on 4-13 FG (0-3 3pt), though he did add 6 rebounds and 6 assists.  It’s not clear what the problem is, if there’s a problem at all.

Maybe it’s the ankle he tweaked earlier this week in practice.  Maybe the threat of quick technicals is mellowing his harsh.  Whatever it is, let’s hope that Jack breaks out of his funk Saturday night in Milwaukee.


  • As expected, the Bobcats exercised their team options for next year on DJ Augustin and Gerald Henderson, as per their rookie scale contracts.
  • Nice tidbit from Bonnell: Time Warner Cable, the predominant cable supplier in the Charlotte area and naming-rights sponsor of the arena, will be adding the HD version of SportSouth in the coming weeks so that fans can watch the Bobcats in HD.  Of course, it’s ludicrous that this wasn’t in place weeks ago; but for a franchise that’s still digging out from the curse of C-SET, we’ll take what we can get.
  • Next game: Saturday night in Milwaukee, 8:30 PM ET start.  Go Cats.

Gerald Wallace T-Shirts @ Cavs Game + More Trade Links


Hello Baseliners — no rest for the weary.  After a crazy trade deadline day, we’re already looking ahead to Friday night’s big matchup with Lebron, Antawn, Shaq and the Cavs at the Cable Box.  I’ll be there, Tweeting live from the game as long as the arena’s WiFi plays nice with my phone.

The Cavs lost at home in overtime to the Nuggets on TNT Thursday night to end their 13-game winning streak, so they’ll be looking to start a new streak on the second night of a back-to-back.  Antawn Jamison did not suit up for the Cavs on Thursday night, but is expected to be activated for the matchup with the Bobcats.

In addition to seeing the big game, you’ll also have the chance to check out our Gerald Wallace “SarcophaCrash” t-shirts on Friday night, and even pick one up at a discount if you’re so inclined.

I’ll be bringing a handful of t-shirts and will be outside the arena early from about 6:00 to 6:30 PM.  Look for me to the left of the big crush at the main entrance with the lines and ticket scalpers.  I’ll be a little further around the building, close to the season ticket holder’s entrance, sporting the t-shirt.

With shipping, the t-shirts end up being around $28 via the website here. In person, they’ll be $25, so you’re saving a few bucks — please bring correct change. See you there.

Last but not least, here’s a few more links to wrap up the trade deadline madness from Thursday:

-Dr. E

TJ Ford Trade Narrowly Averted



Phew!  On the heels of the Tyrus Thomas trade, rumors started flying via NBA insiders on Twitter a little after 2 PM ET that the Bobcats were in discussions with the Indiana Pacers to obtain guard TJ Ford for DJ Augustin.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski was all over it via his Twitter feed, quickly following up that the proposal had expanded to TJ Ford + Brandon Rush for DJ + Nazr Mohammed + Gerald Henderson.

This seemed to me like grand larceny for a guy who was pretty much deemed untradeable in recent months.  Ford has fallen to third on the Pacers PG depth chart and was benched for all of January before breaking back into the lineup in February, presumably to audition for prospective trade partners.

We’ve watched DJ go through a brutal sophomore slump this year, and we’ve known for several weeks that the Bobcats were dangling him in trade talks.  We’ve also watched Gerald Henderson struggle in limited minutes in this, his rookie season.

But to give up both these young guards PLUS Nazr Mohammed, who has been so solid in this renaissance season, sounded way off to me.

Fortunately, as the trade deadline loomed closer and closer, Wojanarski’s tweets seemed to indicate that the Cats were pretty far away from making this trade a reality.  Finally,’s Chad Ford stopped the madness with a Tweet just a few minutes before the 3 PM ET deadline that the trade wasn’t happening.

The post-mortem from Wojanarski and Ford clearly indicates that the Pacers would have been ecstatic to get this deal done, while the Bobcats, not so much.

It’s unknown exactly what the Bobcats saw in TJ Ford or Brandon Rush, if anything.  But the Pacers (along with several other teams including the Knicks and Celtics, reportedly) certainly see something in DJ Augustin.  Maybe the Bobcats should take their cue, even if it’s just as insurance with Raymond Felton’s free agency coming this summer.

NOTE:  I’ve long included TJ Ford on my “All-Sourpuss Team” of guys who play with a perpetual scowl and just look like they don’t enjoy playing basketball (along with Rashad McCants and Steven Jackson), so I was stunned to find snaps of TJ flashing his pearly whites so easy to come by.

-Dr. E