Some quick thoughts and links after the Bobcats preseason win over the Bucks, 94-87 at the Cable Box on Tuesday night:
- AP recap here, box score here, Bonnell’s Observer story here, Observer’s photo gallery here.
- No Bell (more on that later), no Ajinca. Chandler was suited up, though. Cats started Ray, DJ, Crash, Diaw and Chandler.
- Chandler only played 16 minutes and didn’t contribute much on the stat sheet, but looked fine. Great energy cheering from the bench, too (for real, not facetious).
- Box score lists the attendance at 7500 — amazing pie-in-the-sky number. In reality, there were no more than 2000. Even that may be generous. It will be interesting to see the attendance for first Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night game against a non-marquee Eastern Conference foe during the regular season.
- Nazr was awesome in the second quarter, going for 12 points with several dunks and some o-rebs.
- Gerald Henderson was easily the most impressive Bobcat, going for 14 points (on 7-8 shooting) in 14 minutes and a big +17 +/-. He had a sweet baseline move with a great finish that the Observer photographer captured nicely — check it out in the photo gallery.
- Bucks thoughts: check out Ridnour’s -24 +/- in 16 minutes — ouch! I thought Hakim Warrick signed with the Bucks basically because he would be the default starter at PF — but he came off the bench for only 5 mins — just resting, or in Skiles’ doghouse already? I was actually impressed with Brandon Jennings — that year in Italy may have done him some good after all. Save one bad turnover in the first half, he played under control and did a seemingly good job running the show for the Bucks starting unit.
- Referee thoughts: with word leaking to the media that the NBA is on the verge of coming to an agreement with the refs, the replacements are getting their last hurrah. Aside from a couple of bad calls (Scott Skiles took umbrage a coupe of times, garnering a tech for his troubles at one point) I really couldn’t notice a huge difference with them. As a matter of fact, it was nice that they were rather anonymous and that the vets/coaches were not palling around with them.
- Raja Bell’s injury news casts a huge pall over the few positive bits in this preseason win. After the game, Larry Brown revealed that Raja has a torn ligament in his left (non-shooting) wrist. There is a chance he could rehab it and play this season, but he may need surgery that would require 2 months of recovery and 2 months of rehab. That means we’d be without him for the bulk of the season. Anyone want to bet on the rehab? Because I’ll double your bet and place it on the surgery. Raja’s going to a specialist in Chicago for a second opinion; a specialist whose specialty is to do surgery on wrists — what do you think his second opinion is going to be? Good news if you’re Gerald Henderson or Flip Murray. Bad news if you’re hoping for a playoff berth.
- Speaking of playoff berths, here’s ESPN’s roster of “experts” predicting the season for the Cats. While I don’t necessarily disagree that the Cats are going to struggle on the fringes of the 8th playoff spot, I just have to point out some of the more ridiculous assertions here: both David Thorpe and John Hollinger make me wonder what video/statistics of Emeka Okafor they have when they assert that losing Okafor hurts the Bobcats offensively. Jalen Rose wonders if the Cats will re-sign Felton — I assume he means next off-season, which has no bearing on this season whatsoever. Chad Ford has probably the most accurate take, and Chris Broussard the most biting.
– Dr. E