I was there, on time, ticket in hand...
Open Practice was OK this year...Last year spoiled me. Ourday sent me an email at the last moment, and was not able to attend. My family and I were there, minus my sign. I did have on the De-Morrison'ed jersey
Details after the jump
So I begin with the negatives:
No players in the lobby for photos and autographs during pre-practice. I do, however chalk that up to the fact that once inside, Liv and Najera had joined in practicing. The more practice they could get in before they leave for Dallas, the better.
No free popcorn and drink. Glad we stopped at Wendy's
Now for the scouting report...
Seeing these guys live...well, they looked good, and LB didn't look too pissed at anyone, I even saw him laughing at one point...
I guess I'll cover by position...
DJ, yeah, no worries there. he was very loud and did well calling plays and taking the reigns. He is fearless in driving to the lane, and looks to be more and more comfortable knowing when to shoot and when to pass.
Sherron Collins...meh...He looked like a 3rd string PG...at best. I really think I could have hit some of the shots he took and missed. He was getting along ok with LB, so...who knows...
Best for last...Watching Liv play...
Man what fun this season is going to be. If he holds up, wow. Got to see some post ups and passes...sweet jumpers. I feel good with the PG positon for at least 2 deep...and that is good enough.
Jax...well, what can you say. He's Jax and he looked on his game. Doesn't look like he's lost anything this offseason except some fat. He looked quicker and more comfortable than last year. It can mean only good things for us.
Carroll...didn't see much of him. He looks like the Carroll of old. He will be a welcome addition...again
Hendo...well he was good at crossing his arms and watching plays. He did not participate much. His jumper looks somewhat better, but for an athlete like he is, you can tell that hamstring is really bothering him still. I thnk we will be solid at SG
Crash...Sharp as always. I really want to see more of his jumpers falling, but I'll take his strong defense and boards any day. He eventually began hitting jumpers with regularity.
Derr Devil...2nd round steal and possibly the best draft to still be on the team. He's still rough around the edges, but I could see him expanding to 6th man of the year and eventual replacement for Crash. He hustled throughout practice, was more accurate than Crash on his jumpers, and he's fast learning when to drive and when to pull up and shoot or pass.
Najera...where do you stick him? I'll lump him with the SFs for now. He;s very stiff and you can tell he needs to get out there and really get the rust off. He has a good jumper and you can see his basketball IQ SF is another solid position for us.
T Thomas...picking up where he left off. He got in a zone at one point and was hitting lots of jumpers, even a 3 from the corner. He also did a good job down low on the post and in transition/rotating around in the lane. Didn't see any staggering defense, but with Najera and Liv on the floor, I think they were focusing more on offensive movement.
Speaking of movement, Diaw showed up this evening. He looked like he was hustling on transition plays, he was driving to the hoop, and making passes as only he can make.
I guess that is it at PF? We'll be just fine
Naz can still shoot, and play defense...block a few shots, and get boards. We're getting the same guy we had last year. No worries other than long term durability.
Diop...what can I say. Her showed lots of hustle, good movement, great defense and can grab boards, but he's Diop. I saw him hit a foul shot, and I think a layup, but he still leaves jumpers short. He was clanging the front of the rim more than once.
Center position...still up in the air. I did not see Kwame at all, nore did I see McGuire, nor do I believe I would recognize him if he was there.
I now have Phil Ford's Autograph on my one Bobcats Hat to go with Larry Brown's. MJ, I got a spot on this hat for you. On my other hat, I got Gerald Henderson, Shaun Livingston, DJ, Derrick Brown, and Matt Carroll. A lady asked him what number he was wearing this year. He said 33 and I chimed in and said, "So you and Naz didn't get to play for #13. It actually surprised him that I knew that, and he thought it was funny that I knew.
What can I say guys? I still believe we make the Playoffs. I actually believe we are around a 6-7 seed as the team is constructed now. As for games over 100pts...I am going to have to go with 23.