Sunday, March 16, 2008

Interview with the Enemy: BobcatsPlanet

In our continuing quest to educate ourselves about every single team in the NBA, we turned to Ziggy at to learn more about the Charlotte Bobcats. He was kind enough to answer a few questions, which we greatly appreciated.

1. In the preseason, many of the experts were predicting that Charlotte would make the playoffs this season. They are currently 3 games outside of the 8th spot in the East. Do you think they can make up that gap or are they just not ready to make that leap yet?

I think that there is still hope. Even after two tough losses against the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets the Bobcats are 5-3 since they released Jeff McInnis. Waiving Jeff allowed Raymond Felton to get the bulk of the point guard minutes instead of being forced to play out of position as an undersized shooting guard. If they can continue their recent pace over the next 17 games, then its possible that they may be able to make up those 3 games and sneak into the #8 seed in the east.

2. Gerald Wallace recently returned from a concussion and told the coaching staff that he won't last much longer if they continue to play him out of position at the PF spot. Given the financial commitment they made to him in the offseason, will they have to move him over to his natural SF position, creating a time crunch at the wings among Wallace, Matt Carroll, Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley? Also, is this the best move anyway once Sean May returns to full health?

Its definitely in Gerald's best interest to play the SF position. Gerald has had 4 concussions since hes been a Bobcat along with a couple of other frightening injuries, If he continues to match up with guys that are 3 inches bigger and 30 pounds heavier then its only a matter of time before something bad happens again. With that being said, and despite Gerald's request to get away from the PF position, our coach had him playing PF minutes in his return game against the Mavs and in Friday night's game against the Rockets.

Playing Gerald at the SF does create a time crunch at the wing. Jason Richardson and Gerald Wallace should be the starters, but rookie Jared Dudley deserves minutes and you have to get Matt Carroll on the court also... And how does this all work out next season when Adam Morrison returns? It should be interesting, I wish I had the answer.

We're taking a wait and see approach on Sean May's return next season. Because of his knees, he has been able to play only 58 games in 3 seasons. He has to prove that he can keep his weight down and stay healthy.

3. Emeka Okafor didn't sign a long term extension this past offseason and will be a restricted free agent this summer as a result. Do you think the Bobcats will make it a priority to re-sign him or will they let another team sign him to an offer sheet and then decide whether or not to match?

This situation is troubling. Emeka was offered $13 million per year over the summer but he turned it down. I think that they will let another team sign him to an offer sheet, that would take some of the pressure off of the Bobcats as far as determining Emeka's market value.I also wouldn't put it past Emeka to not sign anything this summer which would allow him to be an unrestricted free agent next summer. At that point, he could seriously cash in.

4. What do you see as the biggest need for this team in the offseason?

Of all the questions, this is the easiest. We need better coaching.. Some of our coaching decisions this year have been bizarre to say the least.

* making a borderline D-League backup your starting PG for the majority of the season (Jeff McInnis)
* burying Walter Hermann on the bench early in the season
* repeatedly using a small lineup which forces Gerald to play PF
* until very recently not playing Nazr Mohammed and Emeka Okafor on the court at the same time

In a recent poll on our site, Sam's approval rating was a whopping 13%, and thats up from 6% prior to the Bobcats 5 game winning streak.

BallHype: hype it up!

No comments: