It's the preseason, it doesn't count, but here's what I liked / did not like in the first game I got a chance to see this year.
- Despite starting out quite in a very putrid manner, the Bobcats never gave up and went away. They chipped away at the lead, taking a small lead late in the game
Tyrus Thomas: 7-12, 14 points, 16 rebounds. Would be nice to get something approximating that performance every night
- Alpha Dogs - The Bobcats have 2 guys who are not afraid to shoot - Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker. There are problems here - see the next section
Cory Higgins did not play
- Defense - after giving up 30 points in the first quarter, the Pistons were held to 17, 20, 18 on 37.3% shooting. If you can hold your opponents to that, you're going to be in the game every night.
- 25 FTs. Can't have too many of those
- Turnovers - had too many, but less than their opponent
Ramon Sessions put in a workman life 13/6/3 in 20 minutes. I'll take that out of a backup point guard.
- Offense - 36.3% shooting. Things have not improved since last year. They look lost on the offensive end. If they are running sets, they are not crisp enough to be identified as such
- Alpha Dogs - Walker and Gordon are not afraid to get up shots, but they went a combined 8-30. However, they were also the stimulus which got the team back in the lead late in the 4th.
- Gana Diop played - could have been worse, he only got in for 5 minutes early on
Gerald Henderson - Hendo had one of those games where he disappears. 22 minutes, 6 shots, 1 make, 2 FTs, 3 rebounds, 1 steal/block. For the guy who is supposed to be the best player on the team, this is not what you want to see.
- Somehow, Jeff Taylor was +12 or +15 in 20 minutes, even though he took and missed a single shot, had 4 rebounds, a turnover and a foul.
- The crunch time lineup was Walker, Gordon, Sessions, Thomas, Haywood. Odd for some reason.
- I have no clue who the starting lineup will consist of.
Kyle Singler does not look like a player who belongs in the NBA
Unfortunately the team doesn't look that different from last year. What did look different was possibly the most important thing - effort. If the Bobcats went down by 20 last year, it was safe to turn off the television. In this game, they never seemed out of it, and they weren't - they actually took a small lead towards the end of the game. This jives with what we've heard from the team's front office - one that I spoke with at the open practice told me that even if the team doesn't win a lot, it won't be for lack of effort. Let's hope that attitude is still in place at the end of the season.