Stat of the day: 99.2 Pace Factor

The most important stat from yesterday's game: 99.2 Pace

For a while, now, I've been advocating that the Bobcats change their style of play. It's a stone-cold fact that Larry Brown's Cats have played very slowly, and this season they exceeded a 91 Pace Factor only once all season, the first game, against Dallas. As noted previously, too, there's plenty of reason to play slowly if the team simply doesn't stack up well against the opposition's talent, but at this level, where the worst teams are still closer in talent to the best teams than, say, an average MEAC school is to an average ACC school, a desire to grind out possessions has to be balanced with the style for which the players' skills are best-suited.

While the Bobcats didn't exactly run away from the Timberwolves, they did play a game that appears more in tune with what the individual players do best. Gerald Wallace is best when he's a runaway train on the break. Tyrus Thomas is best operating in a frenzied environment -- he makes sense when chaos reigns. Stephen Jackson thrives on the edge of chaos, that space where his opponent believes Jax might do anything, including punch him in the mouth.

This game could have been an aberration. The past two years are evidence that even though LB did tell his favorite sounding board, Rick Bonnell, that he doesn't think of himself as a slow-pace-style coach, and thus, he probably got around to telling his players to speed things up, he likely hasn't seen a light and likely hasn't changed.

Keep an eye on how fast or slow they play when Charlotte goes to Miami on Friday. I'm guessing that fear will kick in, and when governed by fear, people stop overriding their emotional reactions, and Larry Brown will be unable to fight his urges to call every play down the floor.

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