Has It Really Been Five Years?
So I just watched the first half of the Bobcats vs. Hornets game on TV. Earlier in the day, I thought briefly of going to the game--until I realized lower-level tickets cost at least $50. Really? For an NBA game? That makes no sense to me. I can see paying $50 for a Panthers game, because NFL games mean something. But NBA regular-season games mean very little, especially when the team is destined to miss the playoffs. So going to a game is nothing more than something to do that night. And I can think of a lot better things to do with $100 (because I ain't going alone) than go to a meaningless Bobcats game.
But still. Chris Paul is playing. And he's great. And he's matched up against old ACC foe Raymond Felton, who isn't great, but occasionally can be fun to watch.Â
So I just watched the first half, as I mentioned, and Chris Paul is indeed great. He hit killer shots, made the solid as well as the spectacular pass, and generally proved that he is one of the top players in the league. And he had only an average half. Felton proved that he has a ways to go become a good NBA point guard. And the Bobcats are getting beat by 18 points. All of this is related.
But here's what struck me: Announcer Steve Martin said the Hornets left town on May 15, 2002. Two-thousand and two! I can't believe it's been that long. A little later in the game, the cameras showed Muggsy Bogues, who's now the Bobcats radio announcer. He's wearing a purple sportscoat. And he was texting someone. It was just a strange sight. On a strange night–I'm pretty sure I hear fans start a call-and-response "Wake" "Forest" chant. That would be the thousand of Deac fans in town for the bowl game tomorrow.Â
As for the Bobcats, they're still a few players short. The starting five is not too bad. But they have no bench. Zero. Losing Adam Morrison and Sean May for the year hasn't helped. Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson are really good players. They're a little weak down low. Newly acquired Nazr Mohammed is little more than a journeyman, and Emeka Okafor appears destined to be a decent power forward who can block a few shots, grab some boards, and score on occasion.
The clear weakness is at point guard. Felton, with the exception of the last month of last season, has proved he's not the answer. He's not much of a shooter, he can't find scorers in their spots, and he can't control a game. My theory is that his college coach, UNC's Roy Williams, ruined him. Ol' Roy continuously pushed Felton to play as fast as he possibly could, then a bit faster (perhaps to mask Felton's game-management weaknesses). Unless you're Steve Nash and play for the Phoenix Suns, that doesn't work in the NBA. As a result, Felton developed no game-management skills. It'll be interesting to see if Sam Vincent can help out Felton in that area.Â