Silas blasts team after latest defeat

At the All-Star break, Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins said the rest of the season would be spent determining which players can be counted on to compete.

The conclusion, based exclusively on a 107-87 loss to the Rockets Wednesday, would be very few. The Bobcats matched a season high in opponent points in the paint (60) and looked flat and disinterested all night.

That frosted coach Paul Silas, particularly since the Rockets played the night before (the Bobcats didn’t) and were missing starting guards Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin.

“It’s not fair to themselves, not fair to (owner) Michael (Jordan) and the organization not to go out and play hard,” Silas said. “I’ll lose by 50 if they played hard. I’m just going to play the people who want to play.”

Silas is a stickler for effort and toughness, and the Bobcats severely lacked both Wednesday. Asked who gave him what he expected in this game, Silas could only single out reserve shooting guard Reggie Williams.

The Bobcats finish the four-game road trip Thursday in Dallas.

NOTES, QUOTES

-It’s a widely-held fallacy that the Bobcats’ biggest problem this season is shooting/scoring. Certainly they’re deficient that way, but the defense is far worse. The Rockets made 15-of-19 shots in the third quarter, and they weren’t doing anything special to score so efficiently.

-Despite the Bobcats’ propensity to trade — they’ve made 12 deals since the start of 2009 — the team figures to let the trade deadline pass quietly Thursday afternoon. If anyone goes, it could be Boris Diaw or D.J. Augustin.

ROSTER REPORT

-F Boris Diaw’s expiring contract could be traded, but if it’s not a buyout makes sense. Diaw’s friend and French national teammate, Tony Parker, says the Spurs would welcome Diaw if he reached free agency this season.

-G D.J. Augustin could be traded, if only because he’s a restricted free agent this summer and his size and skill set are redundant to rookie Kemba Walker’s. But Walker hasn’t done enough to suggest he’s ready to take over the point guard spot all by himself.

-F Tyrus Thomas is trying, but his execution is a mess. Early in the Rockets game he dribbled the length of the court only to throw a layup into the bottom of the backboard. Minutes later he threw up a 20-foot air ball.

-F Derrick Brown would not have jumped into the starting lineup had Corey Maggette (back spasms) been unable to play. Silas would have gone with veteran shooting guard Reggie Williams as the fifth starter.

QUOTE TO NOTE

“There’s an opportunity to excel, and I personally don’t think all the young guys are taking advantage of that.” — Bobcats small forward Corey Maggette.