Bobcats coach Paul Silas keeps saying that once his roster is back at full strength, they’ll be a competitive NBA team.
Sunday in Indiana said otherwise — resoundingly. With all but shooting guard Gerald Henderson back from injury, the Bobcats trailed by 40 points or more for most of the fourth quarter in a 108-73 loss. They return to Charlotte for a rematch with the Pacers Wednesday before a week-long All-Star break that should evoke some soul-searching.
The Bobcats broke a 17-game losing streak, a franchise record, with Friday’s victory in Toronto. If they expected that would represent a reversal of fortune, then Sunday was a dramatic wakeup call. They trailed 20-2 to a Pacers team that had won just one of its last six games.
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The Bobcats have back point guard D.J. Augustin and small forward Corey Maggette from injury. They could get back Henderson as early as Wednesday, after he’s missed about three weeks with a hamstring strain.
The Bobcats have another month until the NBA’s lockout-delayed trade deadline. Though this franchise has always been an active trader, it’s unlikely they would make any major changes this time, since such a deal would probably eat heavily into the $20 million or more the Bobcats could have under the salary cap next summer.
The Bobcats are undefeated this season when they shoot 50 percent or better from the field, but that accounts for only three games this season. They have to shoot that well because they give up about 48 points per game in the lane.
The Bobcats have lost all 20 games this season when they fail to outshoot an opponent. Considering they typically shoot worse than 40 percent of late, that’s a tough standard to reach.
F Boris Diaw was again a reluctant shooter. He took just three attempts against the Pacers, missed them all, and went scoreless. Diaw is producing way short of what coach Paul Silas expected from him this season.
F Tyrus Thomas is owed more than $26 million in guarantees over the next three seasons, and it’s hard to imagine why he would have the largest guarantee even on this awful roster. He’s a long way from earning his keep.
G Kemba Walker will be the Bobcats’ only representative at the All-Star Weekend, playing in the game that matches rookies against second-year pros. The only other Bobcats rookie who has played in that game was Emeka Okafor.
G Gerald Henderson (right hamstring strain) could be back Wednesday for a home game against the Pacers, his last chance to play before the All-Star break.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I was very seldom calling plays. He was calling them, himself.” — Bobcats coach Paul Silas on his faith in returning point guard D.J. Augustin.