Wednesday practice: Notes and Quotes
- Players seemed enthusiastic and excited today as practice wrapped up and the team prepared for their trip to ATL. One player in particular was very upbeat. That guy was Bobcats newcomer, via trade, center Byron Mullens.
- Byron pointed out the different kind of role that Coach Silas will want him to take on here as more of a “face up, step out to the sweet spot kind of guy” on pick-and-pop plays. I asked Byron about the opportunity that he was going to have here in Charlotte opposed to OKC and whether or not he thought he was going to have a chance to propel his career and take the next step in this league.
- “Yea, definitely. This is a great place, great coach, great organization. Coach Silas really gives you the confidence to play,” said Mullens.
- Mullens added, “He (Silas) pointed out some guys like Kwame Brown who came in here and got a bigger contract, but it’s all about playing and it’s all about feeling good and feeling confident on the court.”
- “I already feel great and already can’t wait to go on Thursday. I got to get the plays down and stuff, so it’s going to be a great opportunity for me,” Mullens ended with.
- I also caught up with Corey Maggette and talked about Coach Silas wanting him to be the leading offensive threat on this team and if he was ready for produce that kind of output.
- “Of course I’m willing to take it on and it’s going to take a collective effort. We have the caliber of players that can do it, as well as Gerald, Kemba is going to step up, DJ Augustin is another big guy, and Boris man, so you got some guys that can really fill up the scoring role,” said Maggette.
- Sensing the enthusiasm in Corey’s voice as he talked to me, I proceeded to ask him about the most productive season he has had so far in the league just two seasons ago in Golden State and whether or not he thought this opportunity with the Bobcats and the confidence the coaching staff has in him will help reach those numbers again. 09-10 season: 19.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 51.6 FG%, 29.7 MPG.
- “Well I mean last year was a season where I did contribute coming off ankle surgery and where I didn’t have an opportunity to train. This is a season where I have had a chance to recover totally and can be in a position where I can be more effective in the situation where we play,” Maggette commented.
- Maggette added, “This (Charlotte) is very similar to the sets in Golden State. At the end of the day, you just got to make the shots.”
- Maggette also told me that he is hoping to play tomorrow night and that he really wanted to get on the court before the season starts Monday, but also acknowledge that Coach Silas will ultimately make that decision. Maggette received an epidural on his back and had a week to recover before his first practice back yesterday.
- “This year is a shortened season, so whoever has the most energy is going to win games. Not the veteran club, it’s the team with the most energy,” commented Maggette when I asked him what he thought about many across the league predicting a bad year for the Bobcats.
- Clearly Maggette believes that the shortened season will help this team and he concluded, “Man, we got young guys on this team that’s definitely going to help. We got guys, you know, 24, 23, 22. That’s fresh legs, I mean I’m the only old guy on the team. We got guys that can really contribute.”
- Tyrus Thomas (left ankle) will not play tomorrow night in ATL. Augustin (elbow) expected to play. Maggette (back) “hopeful” to play.
- Bobcats waived Will Blalock, Ronald Dupree, and Ismail Muhammad today. This takes the roster down to 18 and Charlotte will have to get it to 15 before the season opener. Three players to likely be left out when final cuts are made: Taylor Griffin, Durrell Summers, and Ben Uzoh. If Bobcats feel like taking a chance on one of those three guys they can since Melvin Ely’s contract is not guaranteed, so Ely is the wild-card to watch here.