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Rick Bonnell has a collection of Dunlap's most intriguing quotes here.
Dunlap hopes to change the Bobcats' offensive modus operandi from last year, which centered on high post screens to create space. However, it did not create space at all and teams crowded the paint forcing the Bobcats to take midrange jumpshots. In fact, they took the most shot attempts of any team in the league from 16 to 23 feet. And they also made the fourth-worst FG percentage from that location. Dunlap knows this, too. "I'm not big on middle jumpers. The Bobcats took more of them last year than anybody in the NBA. They're the least-valuable shot you can get, where the most valuable is the free throw."
Rather, he wants to bring the offense back to the paint, getting shots at the rim and taking advantage of open three-pointers. Offensive efficiency is the name of the game. Another part of this is free throws. As he said, they're the most valuable shot in the game. Unguarded 15-footers and they have a negative effect on the opposition.
We have to go into the pick-and-roll game on the move - keep the defense moving. A lot of times older players in the NBA don't like (guarding) a cutting offense. ...Our talent is good enough to be competitive offensively and defensively. But we have to bring a different package to the NBA because we don't have (such) talent that we can just sit them on their spots and allow our opponent to rest. We have to go after them in a fitness way.
Do you like screens? I hope so, because I expect a lot of them. Pin-downs, double-screens you name it, it seems Dunlap wants the Bobcats to implement a lot of physical offensive standards to free his players in the paint for vertical passing rather than the horizontal that they got stuck on last year.
Defensively, he aims to bring the pressure we have expected. Dunlap wants a high level of conditioning, and at this point he says most are at that level, but a few will need to improve their fitness.
I hope that we pressure the heck out of the ball. And I hope that when we get deflections or steals, we run. But we have to run smart. We can't turn over the ball after working that hard to get it.
In this way, Dunlap wants his team to be a cohesive unit, capable of starting the offense from the defense without much hindrance. This will of course require much dedication and discipline, but Dunlap is no stranger to that.
Biz is about to get busy!
That was Biyombo's first quote from the livechat. No question was asked, that's just how he began it. This guy.
He said he's been working on his post game, namely his hook shot. Biyombo added that they've been doing tennis ball drills to help with his hands catching the ball. As far as what he learned in his first season playing against the NBA's best, he said he learned he had to get stronger.
BISMACK BIYOMBO: i'll say things have been improving - Biz has gotten better
Either someone else is writing these or Biyombo has taken a liking to talking about himself in the third person. And I think it might just be more likely that he's become a big fan of the third person, honestly.
There was nothing more important from his chat than this bombshell:
#1catsfan: is there another nickn.ame you like better than mkg?
MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST: nope
Wow. More on this at 11.
On why he decided to pick Charlotte:
Coach Dunlaps style of play really fits my game. To play for my favorite player of MJ too is great, and I'm closer to home. Everything worked out at the right time
He also mentioned how he continues to want to try to improve his three point shot to keep defenses honest.
Well, that wraps up the livechat highlights. I'll check around for other quotes and see what other tidbits of interest are out there.
On what he worked on this offseason:
defense and rebounding [...] I'm working on my post game but still working on my jump shot as well. playing with Biz helps out both of us, but playing with Brandon is going to be good as well
Some really good stuff on what he brings to the team as far as helping the younger players improve
The advice i have for the bigs is to be vocal and physical inside. as the last line of defense you have an obligation to tell your teammates what is going on on defense - if a screen's coming, if they're isolated, etc - so you always want to be vocal as a big
What I've improved upon most is my 3-pointer and my conditioning. I'm also working on my leadership skills. the position that i'm in on this team I have to be able to communicate with different guys. I have to get it done on the court too
He also has apparently lost a little weight, having implemented a gluten-free diet and can now jump a little higher, he says.
Milt: Are you ready to turn the corner and become a super star?
GERALD HENDERSON: yes
Well that's all we need to know there!
On what he likes about the team:
I like the fact that these guys work hard and are competititve. a lot of these young guys have had winning experiences in the past. hopefully those core values these guys have will help translate into us winning more games
On if he can play alongside Kemba:
I think we can. his abiility to get in the lane and make passes on the move are the same and our abilities to create our own shots with play well together
/starts singing "Double Vision" by Foreigner
Reggie: For Kemba: your shoe's colors are amazing. which pair of have been your favorite to wear?
KEMBA WALKER: Honestly color doesn't really matter to me
Wow. I love the allegory to post-racial society in that answer. Man, I never knew he was so deep. /standing ovation
As far as offseason improvements, Walker said he looked to improve his "shooting and passing - my ability to find the open man," which he believes will be aided by Dunlap's system:
It's going to help me a lot because he has me being a lot more aggressive and getting to the paint and become a scorer as well as find my teammates [...] It's going to effect my midrange - he definitely wants me to get in the paint more, so my money shot is definitely going to be in that midrange area
And now a question from davis: "how many games are you guys going to win this season?
I'm not going to say a specific number but it's going to be a lot
Well that settles that.
On if he has legs:
Yes I am back and I do have my legs
On what he improved in his offseason:
everything - i don't think that I needed to focus on one specific thing. i just wanted to improve all-around
This is a fair point. I think too often we view offseason improvement as a video game process of adding points to one category until they level up, while in fact they do work on a variety of things. Anyway, yeah Tyrus has some room to improve all-around. A lot of room.
Milt: You have always been seen as a player with a ton of potential. Are you ready to turn that potential into tangible product on the court?
TYRUS THOMAS: yeah, sure
Sounds confident. What an in-depth answer.
Spain Cats: I like your new hair-style!
TYRUS THOMAS: i'm growing something special
/new Tyrus Thomas Jordan Brand commercial: "Is it the hairdo?" "It's the hairdo, right?" "Money, it's gotta be the 'do!" /worst-selling hairdo of all-time
Reggie found last season tough with his surgery and said he wants to return to form "knocking down 3's, getting to the cup and scoring and finding [his] teammates." He also noted how last year's team had a lack of chemistry with the lockout and this squad should have better cohesiveness.
On what he can bring to the team:
I think I'm a good defensive player who is able to guard a lot of different positions on the perimeter. I can also be a solid knock-down shooter
On if he can stop Michael Jordan:
Then he'll always have a spot close to MJ's heart.
The Bobcats are hosting a livechat on their media day with a lengthy Q&A session with the players. It's quite funny and with insights on the offseason and coming season. Here's part one of the highlights I think have been particularly fun.
In a new way to flip the script, Cory Higgins has decided to be the guy to announce he's added weight to his frame over the offseason -- 12 pounds, in fact! I don't know if that's good or bad! Go Cory!
The good news is he decided to learn how to play his position in his first year in the league! What a great time to learn that!
I really learned how to play the PG position last year and how to slow the game down and have been working hard to improve my 3-point shot
I think we're going to be better inside. We got bigger with Brendan coming in and Tyrus getting his weight back up. Getting another year for Biz and Byron is big too
It's hard to be worse than last year. Also, the 'adding weight' count is up to two! Also, some incredible insight reminding us that Byron is a large human being.
patrick: Gana what improvements have you made to your game during the offseason?
GANA DIOP: I just had to get back in shape. I was disappointed not being in shape last season but now I'm ready to play
FEEL THE EXCITEMENT.