Chris Bosh

So we haven’t done one of these in a while, but we like to take a swing around the world of basketball sometimes just to see what’s going on.

First off, taking place this weekend is the NBAPA Top 100 camp, an elite invite-only camp for the Top 100 high school basketball players in the country, or at least pretty close to the Top 100. Corey Pegram is covering the event for us, in addition to his normal recruiting work for Wake Forest’s BloggerSoDear and his own blog. You should follow Corey on Twitter so you can keep up with his update tweets from the camp.

The Bobcats continue to wallow through their coaching search and now they’ve lost the highest profile candidate as Jerry Sloan has pulled himself out of the running. Meanwhile, rumors floated that owner Michael Jordan was entertaining the possibility of trading the #2 overall pick, which the Bobcats have in this year’s NBA draft, to Oklahoma City for James Harden.

Brandon Bass, who is coming off a solid playoff series performance, despite the Celtics’ loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, has decided to test the free agent waters.

Gerald Wallace is also planning to opt out and go the free agent route as well.

Finally, the NBA playoffs are the focal point of the basketball universe, with Miami drawing even at 1-1 and gaining home court advantage as the series heads back to South Beach. But the real question isn’t whether the OKC defense can get the stops they need or whether Lebron will indeed get a ring. Chris Bosh has always been the ‘odd man out’ of the big three, talented enough to be in the Big Three for Miami but always the first name that gets tossed out whenever people start talking about trades and the Heat. If it wasn’t bad enough that during the entire Miami debacle that has become the Lebron/Wade era, Bosh has endured the same hatred while simply keeping his head down and working. Unfortunately, it just isn’t clicking for Chris, who can’t even get his team high-fives right.

By James Blackburn

Note: James scouted the Charlotte Bobcats vs. Oklahoma City Thunder match up a few weeks ago and offers some keen insight into the scouting reports for several players you may not be familiar with.

October 6, 2010

Thunder win 97-93

Game Notes

Notes- Shaun Livingston recorded a DNP as well as Kwame Brown for medical reasons.

Kevin Durant
Game Recap/ thoughts

1st Half

Bobcats lost the game because of turnovers (27 for the game) – first play of the game was a TO.
Too many of there TO’s were unforced as well.
Bobcat’s team defense looks terrible in first half- bad rotations- allowing too much dribble penetration- left shooters like Kevin Durant and Jeff Green wide open.
The Thunder’s PG’s ( particularly Maynor) are playing denial defense on the Bobcats PG’s in 1st quarter
Thunder is doing a great job of making the extra pass- are getting a lot of good looks from the field.
OKC picks up in a full court press at the beginning of 2nd quarter.
Thunder ran a lot of P/R action with their PG.
Bobcats look very tired and sluggish just before half- like a team that doesn’t want to be there. Thunder looks alive and active. Bobcats have no energy and no enthusiasm and are just going through the motions – the flight and travel from Cleveland last night could be partly to blame.
Thunder is ahead at the half 63-53 ( Bobcats are lucky to be down just 10)
2nd Half
The Bobcats look 10 times better from the start and full of energy – they are getting out in transition and scoring easy buckets as opposed to playing 1 on 1 basketball and settling in the 1st half. Gerald Wallace looks better in particular.
Observation- there are zero scorers for the unit for the Bobcats except Tyrus Thomas.
The Bobcats have to play the starters more minutes just to stay in the game vs. the Thunder 2nd unit.
The crowd is very quiet.
For the Thunder- Kevin Durant barely played in the second half.

Scouting Reports


DJ Augustine (21 min., 4-6 FG, 2-3 3pt, 6 ass. 1 TO, 10 TP)

Strengths- Ran the offense sets well, uses body well to shield taller defenders in the air and finishes well in the open court with good upper body strength. Is a solid 3pt. shooter. Primarily a scoring PG- will be counted on to score a good bit this season.

Weaknesses- Not the quickest or fastest guy on both sides of the ball- needs to improve passing ability, even though he did lead the team in assist tonight.

Overview- Augustine should be OK this season taking over the starting PG responsibility from the departed Felton. He is mainly a scoring guard- but so far this preseason has looked good and I think he is capable of leading the Bobcats back to the playoffs.

Sherron Collins (28 min, 2-8 FG, 0-2 3pt, 1 reb, 2 ass, 5 TO, 4 TP)

Strengths- Shows good leadership qualities and the potential to run a team. Is a decent shooter. Good upper body strength.

Weaknesses- Too may TO’s- he jumps in the air to pass and gets caught with no where to go- he also over penetrates too much at times and picks up his dribble. He does not look in shape- look winded early ( 220 lbs at 5-10, needs to lose some weight- At Kansas his playing weight was 200lbs). He is too small and not quick enough to be an NBA PG.

Overview- Collins has received the balk of minutes so far as the back up PG and has been given more than enough time to prove himself. D not be surprised to see Livingston take over the second string PG duties once healthy. The PG situation is no sure thing for the Bobcats after Augustine. They desperately need someone who can lead the second unit if they hope to return to the playoffs.

Javaris Crittenton (17 min, 0-2 FG, 2-2 FT, 2 reb, 4 ass, 2 st, 3 TO, 1 blk, 2 TP)

Strengths- Did a nice job of leading the break and made a nice pass to Brown for the dunk. Does a good job of attacking the rim.

Weaknesses- Needs to improve shooting. Has very slow feet on defense. Westbrook drove by him several times for the dunk. Needs to improve PG skills.

Overview- Crittenton is playing for a roster spot after cutting ties with the Wizards following the gun incident with Arenas. He could be a 3rd string PG or a 3rd string 2G- not good enough shooter but has good size for the 2- not good enough dribbler and does not have the speed to guard a 1. It will be interesting to see what happens. My prediction is that he makes the team.

Tyrus Thomas (20 min, 7-10 FG, 7 reb, 4 TO, 16 TP)

Strengths- Nice 15’ jumper with high release. Very long and athletic. Good rebounder and active defender.

Weaknesses- Forces the issue sometimes.

Overview- If he can stay in good favor with the coaches, Thomas will be the key and the X factor on whether the Bobcats return to the playoffs. Will be asked to take on the main scoring load for the second unit.

Boris Diaw (20 min, 6-6 FG, 2-2 3pt, 2 ass, 14 TP)

Strengths- looks trimmer and in better shape than the end of last season. He is running the floor well. Has a great spin dribble move. Takes good shots and is a great passer.

Weaknesses- Needs to make a bigger impact on defense and on the glass- 0 rebounds this game.

Overview- If Diaw can stay in shape- he is a still very underrated forward in this league, because of the matchup problems he causes. He can hit the 3 as well as put the ball on the floor and create. He has several unorthodox moves and loves the pump fake- very tough player to guard.

Matt Rogers (5 min, 0-4 FG, 0-1 3pt, 1-2 FT, 5 reb, 1 blk, 1 TP)

Matt Rogers is also fighting for a roster spot coming from Southwest Baptist, a D-II school. He had a nice block in the 4th quarter and is a decent rebounder, but other than that he did not really impress me.


Kevin Durant( 17 min, 5-10 FG, 2-6 3pt, 1 reb, 2 ass, 2 st, 12 TP)
Strengths- Great shooter with a high and quick release. Very long and athletic, with a quick first step. Quick hands on defends. Very composed player.

Weaknesses- Sometimes he looks a little too relaxed. Dribbles too high. Has slow feet on defense. He forces some shots on defense when he does not need too because his teammates do a great job of dribble penetrating to get him open shots. He sometimes holds the ball too long and plays 1 on 1 and then shoots a fade away with a hand in his face. Needs make himself more involved when he does not have the ball.

Overview- Great scorer and player- in my opinion he is a top 3 player in the world. He needs to realize that this years Thunder team is a lot more talented than the teams from the previous 2 years. He does not have to force shots and do it all himself as he used too. I agree with the GM’s and I think he will win MVP.

Cole Aldrich( 19 min, 1-5 FG, 7 reb, 2 ass, 2 st, 1 blk, 3 TP)

Strengths- Great rebounder on both ends- always grabs the ball with 2 hands. Boxes out well and sets good wide screens.

Weaknesses- Raw offensive game. Slow getting up and down the floor. Not the most athletic- but knows his limitations.

Overview- Big man, with good size who had a nice career at Kansas. Has skills that will translate to the pros. Could find his way into the rotation as a 2nd string C, with Collison out with injury.

Elijah Millsap (13 min, 0-5 FG, 6 reb, 1 ass, 1 blk, 1 TP)

Strengths- Athletic, hustles at both ends, good defensive player. Good rebounder.

Weaknesses- Has a lot to learn to make an impact at the NBA level. Not a great decision maker.

Overview- Rookie out of UAB. Good kid with a good work ethic who will be find a job in this league. I just don’t think there are enough roster spots on this deep Thunder team.

Jeff Green (27 min, 9-14 FG, 5-7 3pt, 4 reb, 1 st, 25 TP)

Strengths- Good scorer who reminds me of Carmelo Anthony in the fact that he can score from anywhere- off the dribble, shoot the 3, athletic player who will dunk on you. Well rounded.

Weaknesses- Needs to improve passing skills

Overview- Will be one of the top scorers behind Durant this season. He is a player Durant trusts. Will have another good year for a deeply talented Thunder squad.

Russell Westbrook (21 min, 2-8 FG, 6 ass, 6 TO, 9 TP)

Strengths- Very explosive and athletic. Reminds me of Derrick Rose.

Weaknesses- All right handed- no left. He is out of control going left. He needs to improve jump shot.

Overview- The Thunder have 2 great PG’s with Westbrook and Maynor. Westbrook continues to be overlooked as one of the games elite PG’s in the west.

Serge Ibaka (26 min, 5-13 FG, 11 reb, 1 blk, 12 TP)

Strengths- Is a BEAST on the boards. Has developed a nice 18-20’ midrange jumper that he can knock down with consistency.

Weaknesses- Raw back to the basket game- either a dunk or a mid range J.

Overview- Ibaka is going to surprise a lot of people this season. He has worked hard this summer and will make GM’s wish they had picked up this PF/ C in the 2008 draft.


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Things did not work out as well during the first season as Gerald Henderson had hoped. Drafted in the first round by the Charlotte Bobcats, the former Duke Blue Devils star battled for playing time with established veterans, but by the end of the season found himself on the bench far more than he would have liked.

But, as they say, that was last year, and for Henderson, it was just ‘Year One’ of his pro career, and this summer, he set about working to find his way into the regular rotation. After a solid summer league showing, he seems ready for the challenge and aware of what he needs to do to succeed. In this interview, he talks about his work over the summer and his thoughts on his first year and where he wants to go next.


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By James Blackburn

James continues his scouting of the NBA summer league games in Orlando, where many rookies are getting their first chance to prove themselves in the NBA. Kevin Durant Summer League

Game 2- 3:00 game
OKC (1-1) vs. Charlotte (2-0)
Bobcats win 86-85
Box Score

• Bobcats offense looks out of sync in first half, none of the PG’s for Bobcats look comfortable.
• Bobcats played great team defense- forcing the Thunder to the end of the shot clock several times.
• S. Ibaka did not play because of yesterdays injury.
• Jeremy Pargo won the game for the Bobcats with a turn around jumper in the lane as time expired.
• Funny exchange between D. Brown and A. Ajinca after a Ajinca foul late in the game. Brown said, why did you foul him Lexy, you already have 8 fouls. Lexy responded, “I didn’t mean too – I’m not trying to foul!”.

Scouting Reports

Derrick Brown ( 30 min, 6-12 FG, 2-3 FT, 8 reb, 14 tp)- Another great game from Brown, who continued to attack the basket ferociously. He has a quick first step and can go to his right or left ( he is left handed). Has strong moves around basket, also displayed a nice 1 dribble jumper. Had a crazy athletic put back dunk attempt that missed, but continues to wow people with his athleticism.

Alexis Ajinca ( 27 min., 5-8 FG, 4-6 FT, 6 reb, 8 fls, 14 tp)- Up and down game from Alexis. Did some good things on offense today, but 8 fouls with out 1 block on defense is not a good line. He struggles in the post with double teams, obviously not used to them. He needs to become a better passer. Displayed good touch on his outside jumper.

Gerald Henderson (34 min., 5-11, 1-1 3 pt, 10-11 FT, 8 reb, 4 ass, 21 tp)- Another great game from Henderson, who is trying to earn himself some PT next year. He lead the team in points in assist and also showed he can hit the 3. Is an excellent rebounder because of his athleticism. Had another big dunk in traffic, because of a lighting quick first step. Played excellent defense on James Harden today. Good lucking jumper displayed, and he is good at curling screens and making the right play, whether it be shoot, or dump it to the low post for assist. Is also good at drawing fouls, where he takes advantage at the line.

PJ Tucker (21 min, 4-5 FG, 2-3 FT, 3 reb, 1 st, 10 tp)- Very productive game from Tucker, who recorded a DNP yesterday. Tucker recorded the highest +/- on the team with a +13. He is very strong and physical which makes up for his lack on height. He played solid D on Harden and has quick hands for a forward. Very active in the post- sticks with it, very hard worker.


Eric Maynor (35 min, 5-9 FG, 1-2 3 pt, 7-10 FT, 4 reb, 5 ass, 2 st, 18 tp)- Maynor continued his solid play, and keeps himself in the running as best PG in league. Displayed a nice little floater in the lane. He is a good decision maker and an excellent dribbler. Good shooter and a good passer. He can throw the lob, and had a real nice no look drop pass for a dunk. Makes good reads with ball and anticipates well on D. Also showed ability to split double team on P and R.

Byron Mullens (28 min, 2-10 FG, 8-12 FT, 3 reb, 2 st, 2 blks, 12 tp)- Rough shooting day for BJ, but he made up for by going to the FT line 12 times. Had an athletic block on Ajinca, blocking his high hook shot. Does a great job running the floor for a big man. Is very strong and physical.

James Harden (34 min, 4-11 FG, 1-5 3 pt, 10-10 FT, 5 reb, 2 ass, 5 TO, 19 tp)- Harden showed some weaknesses today. He did lead the team in scoring and again showed he can get to the rim and finish through contact, but was sloppy with the ball today. He tries to force the issue a lot and takes bad shots or tries to dribble through people. The Bobcats did a great job defending him today by making him shoot more jumpers, an area where he must improve. He did still manage to get to the stripe 10 times where he is an excellent FT shooter. He needs to improve his dribbling, especially his R hand, he loves to go left, where he is very explosive.

Raymond Felton

The 2010 playoffs came and went from the city of Charlotte without without a victory to be seen. It was a tough site for long time Charlotte and North Carolina basketball fans accustomed to championship basketball from the ACC and former playoff contenders in the Charlotte Hornets.

To be fair, the Bobcats were not expected to defeat the Orlando Magic, who might be the team that knocks Cleveland out once again. But it also exposed several areas where the Bobcats are going to have to make some decisions if they want to build on this year’s success and actually win a game in the playoffs.

For one, the Bobcats made several moves over the past two seasons, pushing big roster positions away like Omeka Okafor and Jason Richardson, and brought in players like Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson. It’s not clear why these moves were made, in fact several moves did little to nothing except disrupt the continuity of the offense. One could perhaps argue that Jackson’s streaky offense is effective enough that he can single handedly win games, but it’s more likely that the Bobcats started winning once they realized that Gerald Wallace cannot be the number one scoring option.

While the top priority in the immediate aftermath of their early playoff exit seems to be if Larry Brown will stick around or head back to Philadelphia, Charlotte should instead be focused on getting more effective play from the shooting guard position. So far, last year’s draft pick of Gerald Henderson has not worked out, and with Charlotte’s options in the draft more limited, as in, they have zero 2010 draft picks as of now, with the first round pick traded to Minnesota via Denver and the second round pick traded to Phoenix, they will have to make another trade.

Yes, you read that right. The Bobcats made all of these moves, traded away their top players for relatively similar players and ended up with no draft picks to show for it. It should be pointed out that all of this happened before Michael Jordan officially bought the team, but Michael was involved long before he bought the team and Larry Brown was involved during all of this as well. It might be expected of Jordan, who once inexplicably picked Kwame Brown as the number one overall pick, but still, these moves don’t do much to encourage fans in Charlotte.

The truth is, the Bobcats need to keep their two point guards and try to get some better off guard depth to get the ball in the post. It will be nearly impossible for them to improve in the post enough to take on players like Dwight Howard, so they need to stick with what they have for now.

Only time will tell, but if we see the Bobcats making drastic moves like trading away Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton or DJ Augustin, it will not be a good sign.