I had a chance to sit down with the great Andrew Barraclough from Roberto Gato to discuss tonight’s mat cup between the Bobcats and the Bulls.
1. The Bobcats aren’t the Bulls and that’s a gross understatement. What’s wrong with the Bobcats, a team that just hasn’t really been good with the exception of one year. Will they ever turn it around or will the be the Seattle Mariners of the NBA where each year they have potential but never go anywhere?
Wow, tell me what you really think Josh! Why don’t you just say “Hey, you have an ugly baby. Do you think she might grow up to be hot?” (I don’t have a baby) Yeah, the Bobcats and Bulls are on opposite ends, but not polar opposites. The Bobcats haven’t been good but they’ve never finished last in the division. There have been lots of draft picks that show flashes but no one that’s caught on. The problem, if you have to boil it down to one thing, is lack of direction. There were the Bernie Bickerstaff years (former Chicago assistant), there was the Sam Vincent experiment (former Chicago player), there was the Larry Brown era (holy rosterbation, Batman) and now there’s the Paul Silas era. There have been two majority owners already, neither has been as involved as people want them to. There have been 3 GMs, and while Rod Higgins is still around and Rich Cho is here, no one knows the real focus of what they want the team to look like. We all know it’s rebuilding right now, but what will it look like after it’s built? It seems like the Bobcats have always been building then rebuilding and rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Maybe not the Titanic, but a boat that isn’t going anywhere. So the short answer is, yes, the Charlotte Bobcats are bad now, and no, I don’t know if and when they will be a consistent winner.
2. How good is Bismack Biyombo? Is he a guy the Bobcats can pin the future on or at least partially do so?
Biz is a really interesting guy. Everyone is really high on him right now because he had his first ever double-double against Dwight Howard earlier in the week. I’m tempering my excitement a bit. While he was 5-5 in that game and his FG% is fairly high, he still looks lost on offense. He’s figuring it out. I think he’s a smart enough guy. Paul Silas said he was the only tough-guy on the squad right now, which I think speaks more to the rest of the roster and not as much about Biyombo, but he stood up to Dwight and played with passion. He’ll always block shots, and if not block, he’ll alter it if it comes within arm’s reach and for him, there is little that isn’t within arm’s reach for him. He’s got the physical attributes, the perspective of what it has to take, and hopefully some good coaches for the next few years to help his development. I’m happy to say I was wrong in that my feeling was Biz needed to be in the D-League this year, and he’s obviously holding his own on a bad team in the NBA right now. The future is bright for this guy, and no one knows his ceiling yet.
3. We collaborated on a piece about Tyrus Thomas this offseason that actually inspired our ‘Do You Remember?” series. But is it time for the Bobcats to do what the Bulls did with him and trade him?
Tyrus is a frustrating player. He’s again, got the physical attributes, but he is so often injured and so rarely consistent that you question what he’s being paid and if he warrants a starting position. D.J. White started in his place to start the season, as Tyrus had an ankle injury. I still think D.J. White should be starting for the Bobcats. Tyrus hasn’t shown that he owns the starting power forward position on the Bobcats and D.J. White shows incredible efficiency and more toughness than we have come to expect from Thomas. I think the front office should definitely think about what they could get for TT in a trade but they probably don’t want to be seen as actively shopping the guy.
4. D.J Augustin was once a guy who may turn around this team. Now the Bobcats have drafted a guy that may be viewed as his successor. Will the Bobcats move on from Augustin and use Kemba Walker as the future or will the find a way to implement them both in a Point Guard by committee style of game plan?
Right now, they’re starting together. Paul Silas alluded to it during the lockout but I thought he’d use them as a different look not as a unified starting backcourt. DJ Augustin is in the same draft class as Love and Westbrook and is due for an extension here in about 2 weeks or so. That decision hasn’t shown itself to be an easy one. DJ is playing well but so is Kemba. If you watch the games especially in person, when Walker would sub in for Augustin it was a completely different feel. I agree you can’t stick with both and one or the other will be so much more valuable in trade than he is on the floor with the other that the decision will be easy. The difference is Kemba is a star and Augustin is not.
5. Alright onto the game at hand. Chances are the Bobcats won’t have to face Derrick Rose. Does he play a major factor or do the Bobcats stand little chance regardless of whether or not they see Rose? What’s the final score?
Final score 89-98. Bobcats have a shot every night. I know that sounds delusional but it’s true. Thibs’ defense might crush the young Bobcats and it will be more like 79-92 but the Bobcats start fast and if they can hold on through the third quarter they could make this game really interesting. DRose is such a special player so I hate we wont see him but it does help the two pgs the Cats have make more of an impact. Expect this one yo be closer than you might think but still a Bulls victory.