Lopez Dominates, Augustin Sits in New Jersey’s First Win of the Season.
The Bobcats have done a great job of illustrating the many different varieties of “EMBARRASSING” thus far during the ’09-’10 NBA season. There have been road blowouts, home blowouts, needing three overtimes at home to beat the Knicks but tonight’s apathetic approach towards the winless Nets might be the most painful. Just seventeen months ago, Bobcats management made the questionable decision to draft D.J. Augustin over Brook Lopez and this game demonstrated that it was the second worst draft day decision in franchise history.
1. Fact: Michael Jordan Sucks in the Draft Room
Brook Lopez is a force in the middle for the Nets. He’s currently averaging 18pts and 9rb and a little over 2 blocks a contest. He has the best low post game of any center in the Eastern Conference and if weren’t for the fact that his team stinks, he’d be a sure-fire All-Star in just his second season. Tonight Lopez exploded for 31 points and 14 rebounds and thoroughly dominated Tyson Chandler on the block.
Also in this game D.J. Augustin received his first ever DNP CD (Did Not Play Coach’s Decision).
Augustin has struggled all season and after showing flashes of brilliance during his rookie year, has never looked the same since coming back from an abdominal injury last Spring. D.J.’s miserable 5ppg / 2apg averages are only surpassed by his 35% shooting from the field. His current PER is just 7. Lopez currently rocks a steady 19.
Why the Bobcats selected Augustin ahead of Lopez, I’ll never understand. You can’t teach size. We all know that. And given Jordan’s pathetic draft record, why not go for the safe bet in Lopez? Selecting D.J. over Brook and Adam Morrison over Brandon Roy (as well as the Kwame disaster in D.C.) are marks of either a gambler or a moron and I am very afraid that this franchise is being run by some horrible combination of the two.
Remember: If the Bobcats select Lopez, not only do they have their shot-blocking, rebounding, intelligent, low-post presence for the next decade plus, they also don’t have to move Emeka Okafor for an overpaid Tyson Chandler and could instead experiment with them together in the frontcourt or find a solid PG in exchange via trade. Ugh.
2. Boris Diaw: “Rebounding is so bourgeois.”
Is Diaw passive-aggressively demanding a trade? He knows what Larry Brown expects of him and injury or no, Boris needs to at least provide the consistent effort that he’s capable of or Brown will ship him out for someone who can.
Both Golden State and New York would love to have him and I’m sure the Suns wouldn’t turn him down. There’s been some chatter of a Jared Jeffries/David Lee deal out there and I could definitely see the Bobcats jumping on that one provided they get a feel for Lee’s intentions going into a contract year this summer. A Brandon Wright/Ronny Turiaf package from the Warriors might be enticing as well and Bobcats GM Rod Higgins seems to be running both front offices anyway so that might work.
Either way, when the team’s SF is outrebounding you 20-3 and you are averaging under 5 boards a game as an NBA starting PF, it doesn’t matter how good of a passer you are. I’m a big fan of Motivated Boris but Lazy Boris? He’s gotta go.
3. Silver Linings
Raymond Felton played a superb game going for 28 points on 11-14 shooting. He only turned the ball over twice in just under 40 minutes and went on a personal 9 point run for the team when nobody else could score in the 4th quarter. Again, Felton is not an elite PG but he’s starting to find his niche as a Derek Fisher-type who takes care of the ball and makes open shots. Great effort by Raymond.
I mentioned it earlier but Gerald Wallace had 20 rebounds tonight. Crash has never averaged more than 7.8rpg for his career and is suddenly pushing 12. Simply outstanding. Another incredible effort from The Original.
Stephen Jackson is doing exactly as advertised: 28 points tonight on a high volume 10-23 shooting over 43 minutes. JAX makes baskets, plays good D and logs a ton of minutes. Say what you want about Jordan’s drafts picks (THEY ARE WORSE THAN TERRIBLE) but his trading skills aren’t so bad.
The sad irony in Larry Brown shortening his bench to just 8 players this evening is that he DNP’d all of his youngsters. Neither Derrick Brown, Augustin or Gerald Henderson sniffed any PT. This is especially disconcerting since the top six players tonight for the Nets were under the age of 26 and are paid a combined $16 million dollars. The Nets top two players this evening (Brook Lopez and Courtney Lee, who exploded for 27 points and basically sealed the win with a steal late in the 4th) are on rookie contracts. Chris Douglas Roberts and Josh Boone are late round draft picks. Terrence Williams is this year’s lottery pick. The Nets may be bad now but their future looks a heck of a lot brighter than the team they beat tonight.
Enjoy the Loss Bobcats Fans