5 Things We Know about the Bobcats: Training Camp Edition

"Not Again."

Training camp wraps up this week as the Bobcats prepare for their preseason opener against Cleveland on Tuesday and after a solid week of sound bites, blurbs and opinions here’s what we know so far:

1. Raymond Felton is a great teammate.

Everybody is saying it out loud now that Ray has officially resigned with the team but we knew this already.  The way in which Raymond handled his contract negotiation with the team this summer was the same way he handles himself on the court: the guy’s a class act.
Of course the hope is that he finds a way to impress as much with his game.  Hollinger said it in his ESPN.com team preview and for the time being at least it’s still true: Felton wouldn’t start for most of the teams in the League.
The Raymond | D.J. Augustin dynamic is the most intriguing storyline going into the season.

2. Alexis Ajinca is gonna shape up or ship out.

Larry Brown isn’t going to let Alexis off easy.  Unlike Darko Milicic, who was an inherited problem-child forced upon Brown by Joe Dumars, Ajinca was hand-picked by Larry as he sacrificed a future first-rounder to select Ajinca a year ago.  If it’s one thing that you DON’T do to Larry Brown, it’s tarnish his reputation.  Expect Larry to stay in ‘Lex’s face all preseason as Boris Diaw, Vlad Radmanovic and Tyson Chandler all miss time to injury.  We’re looking forward to seeing how Ajinca responds.  In the meantime, Alexis Ajinca is on Facebook.

3. The team wants to run.

You’ve heard about it for the past week, the Bobcats want to run the floor this year.  At least they’re conceding that it’s a cheap way to score points.  As Chandler said, getting the ball past half-court with twenty seconds on the shot clock gives you at least two or three looks from the set offense.  Unless they find a big-time scorer via trade soon, they’re gonna need every single one of those opportunities.

4. We’re bullish on Gerald Henderson.

Not only is Gerald “well-spoken” but he’s also intelligent and has been well-coached.  Best of all, Henderson gives the team a super-athletic SG with a penchant for defense that the Bobcats haven’t seen since… Bernard Robinson?  Seriously, a case can be made that if the ‘Cats had Henderson late last season, they could’ve finished a lot stronger after Raja went down.  If Coach Brown and Assistant Coach Capel can work with Gerald on his jumper and free-throw shooting, we may be looking at an All-Rookie candidate.

5. Optimism abounds.

This is the time of year when everybody looks good.  The guys have come into camp looking fit and relaxed.  Seeing the new faces mixed in with the old fixtures makes it easy to get excited about this young squad.  And why shouldn’t we?  Regardless of what you might read elsewhere, the Bobcats have never entered into a season with so much quality depth.  There’s at least ten players who could make any roster in the League.  Don’t laugh, this is actually a big deal for the Bobcats.  And depending on how their preseasons play out, Ajinca or Derrick Brown may add themselves to that list of quality guys.  How’s that for optimism?


5 thoughts on “5 Things We Know about the Bobcats: Training Camp Edition

  1. Let's add a 6th thing. . .

    The Charlotte local sports radio station WFNZ now has a reason to share interest in the Bobcats. Actually, as the radio broadcast partner, they are invested in the community's shared interest in the Cats.

    I'm high on Gerald Henderson right now, as well. He's had the mentoring of an ex-NBA player (his father) and a great college coach (Coach K). Though, I guess the same argument could have been made when everyone was hyping Sean May.

    The best byproduct of the Alexis Ajinca attention will be the lack of attention on Vlade. He can work his way into the system without being berated by his coach. I'm sure he had plenty of that with the Lakers.

    Raymond may be a great teammate, but he might be looking for a new team if passed up a $7 million/yr contract. Let's continue to hype him up so that his trade value rises as a "locker room leader."

  2. I'm totally engaged in the Ajinca/Sean May parallels this preseason.

    I mean, last year it was a guy who couldn't take off enough weight to perform properly and this year it's a guy with the metabolism of a squirrel.

    What's going on here?

    Larry, will you ever be happy?

    I've got an idea.

    Maybe if you draft a guy who is in NBA shape NOW, maybe he'll come to camp in NBA shape?

    That's why I like the Henderson pick so much. At least he looks like an NBA player. Unlike Adam Morrison, Sean May or Jared Dudley (and to a lesser extent D.J. Augustin).

  3. reggie


    valid argument right there. but the difference between morrison, may, dudley, and augustin, is that even though augustin wasnt necessarily "in nba shape", he could actually play basketball.

    and dudley wasnt a very bad pick. he falls into a no-mans land. a very poor man's diaw.

  4. Reggie-

    Don't get me wrong, D.J. is an athlete (did you see him sporting tickets to the gun show during training camp?) but he is and always will be 5'10" which is a good height for most of us but not so great when you have to play against Human Redwoods every night.

    Dudley is a hustle-stats guy who'll probably get a second contract but he's a role player. You'd like to start hitting solid doubles or triples with your draft picks and selecting prototypical NBA athletes is a first step.

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