First we have to recognize that this was only one game and could be the worst overall performance of the season for this team, so things will likely only go up from here. For those who didn't stay and watch the entire broadcast Larry brown was quick to point out that he was without two starting quality shooting guards in Raja Bell and Flip Murray. I don't know if I would agree with calling Murray and Bell starting quality shooting guards at this stage in their careers but their shooting ability would have improved the spacing and made Boston's defense work harder last night. Also we have to remember that Boston is a pretty darn good team, known for their suffocating defense. And finally before I go into all the red flags I saw please keep in mind that Tyson Chandler and to a lesser extent Boris Diaw are not in optimum playing shape right now. It was clear especially in the case of Chandler that he didn't have much of a rhythm or chemistry with the guys out there and that will certainly improve in time. Now for the problems I saw
1. Just a few minutes into the game I found myself asking why is Stephen Graham taking so many shots? I don't know if was by design or just by the way the ball was moving but Graham put up 5 shots in the first quarter alone and tied Raymond Felton for the most number of shots taken in the game with 11. That just can't happen. It's clear he's playing out of position at the two because of the Bobcats injuries but he needs to idle himself down a bit offensively
2. Turnovers again. I can excuse Tyson Chandler's offensive fouls because to be honest the officials were not very consistent with the moving screen calls that were made and that took away any chance for Tyson to get a rhythm. But Raymond Felton's miscues are inexcusable. If this team is going to run more they're going to need a steady hand running the fastbreak and Raymond didn't provide that at all. Neither did DJ and that will be a big issue because as Brett has already pointed out Charlotte had a 15% turnover rate last season and that was bad, 20% would guarantee them the worst offense in the league and another spot in the lottery.
3. Speaking of DJ, he has to play better and by better I mean more than 10 points a game better if this team is going to compete. I'm not certain If he has the green light to fire off the dribble from 20 feet if he's open but with the Bobcats needing offense Larry Brown is going to have to find a way to feature his shooting ability to make opposing defenses work
4. I know Tyson will get better and there were more possessions in the New Orleans-San Antonio game, but it's hard not to look at Emeka Okafor's 18 points and 10 rebounds and think Charlotte could have used that production on a night when the leading scorer had just 10 points. As Boris gets in better shape he'll have to provide a guy that the Bobcats can throw it in the post to, because that really isn't Chandler's game.
Finally I'll say I'm not that shocked at the final outcome with Charlotte struggling to score and DJ and Raymond clearly off their games. The bad news is that even with Raja and Flip back the best case scenario will be an average to slightly below average Charlotte offense, but if the defense can be one of the best there's still hope Charlotte can turn this thing around.