It seems like the long drought of non-NBA action was so long ago now that NBA Preseason is underway. The Bobcats have shown some good signs of growth as they’ve put together two competitive games so far against the Cavs (loss) and the Hornets (win). For anyone who caught the last, local TV broadcast on the FS Carolinas nextwork, it may have seemed like a surreal Charlotte-NBA concoction. The list of oddities is tough to summarize, but I’ll try – The Hornets played against the Bobcats in Greensboro’s teal saturated arena, both wearing pinstriped uniforms, with Steve Martin and Dell Curry calling the game for the TV broadcast.
BOBCATS PRESEASON NEWS
Emeka Okafor has always presented himself as a great professional and has conveyed as much sophistication as any athlete. He told reporters that we was surprised by the trade that sent him from Charlotte to New Orleans. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer has more on Okafor’s return to NC this past Wednesday.
Brian Hendrickson of Sports Illustrated has written an encouraging piece about the Bobcats current situation. Rarely does SI shed a positive light on the organization, but Hendrickson seems to see the team getting past all of those errors and obstacles. Read it at SI.com.
The Bobcats have finally posted real images of their jerseys on the online team store. I have to say that the home uniforms are looking great. The road jerseys might take a little more time to settle in. This Diaw jersey might be a good purchase.
The Bobcats lost their first preseason matchup 118-80 to the Magic tonight. If you watched this debacle, my apologies. If you didn’t, and want the post-mortem, continue reading:
Not much for the Bobcats. Adam Morrison looked surprisingly competent for a very brief stretch in the second quarter, as he was able to bury a couple of shots when everyone else was ice cold and totally out of sync.
DJ Augustin’s handle. It’s fun to watch Little Miss Giggles dribble… seriously. He’s one of those guys that just has exquisite control of the ball at all times – just don’t let him shoot (0-5 tonight).
Dwight Howard, the best big man in the world (sorry Yao and Amare), was utterly dominant in limited action. 20 points, 8 boards and 5 blocks in 25 minutes — yep, that’s a good night’s work. And 8-10 from the free throw line? Has Superman conquered his Kryptonite?
(I can’t believe I’m writing this) JJ Redick. Redick shot really well tonight and looked surprisingly quick and decisive. He looked like a guy who is prepared, and a little desperate, to prove himself.
The Bobcats fell behind 40-9 by the end of the first quarter, due to awful shooting and sending the Magic to the line for 20 free throws. Thankfully, I missed the first few minutes of the game.
For the remaining three quarters, things generally continued along those lines: the Bobcats ended the game shooting 28.4% and the Magic ended the game with 53 free throw attempts (they hit an astounding 48 of them, good for 90.6%).
The Bobcats rotations were all sorts of wacky, as should be expected with a new coach, some new faces on the squad, and some old faces carefully working their ways back from injury.
Alexis Ajinca. He’s 7’2″, runs and moves like a small forward, and has a decent face-up short-to-midrange shot. But that’s all that he’s got going right now. This guy is not even close to being ready for prime time, with no sense of timing or basketball IQ. Don’t believe for a minute that Ajinca is going to play regular minutes in the regular season this year. He needs major work in the D-League. Ryan Hollins, your spot is safe for one more year.
The guys at the end of the bench playing for the 15th spot. I didn’t see anything remotely interesting or promising out of Andre Brown, Donell Taylor or Marcus Williams. I can’t see any of these guys making the roster out of camp, though Brown has the best chance simply due to his size.
The Magic’s new unis. Now I’m usually a sucker for any new uni, particularly when it has either a cool, modern feel (I’m one of those horrid people who actually likes Oregon’s football kits) or a decidedly throwback aesthetic. And the Magic’s new uniforms definitely have a cool, modern sensibility with the contoured pinstripes. But I’m just not feeling them – maybe because their previous unis were perfectly fine.
Amway Arena. Not that there’s anything physically wrong with Orlando’s building, but I get a kick out of it every time I hear “Amway Arena” (I know the Magic’s owner is the co-founder of Amway, by the way). Seriously, do they have the “Ponzi Scheme Practice Court” at Amway Arena? Then I remember that the Bobcats play at Time Warner Cable Arena, and I can’t decide which corporation I respect less.