In the last ten days, the 76ers (26-49) have given us three respectable efforts in a row (W’s over MIL and ATL; L to OKC), so you had to figure they were due to return to their former train wreck ways at some point in the very near future.
Well last night against the playoff hungry Bobcats, in the second game of a a back-to-back set, the real 2009-10 Sixers reappeared and sleep-walked their way through another game. The Cats were more then happy to take advantage of the Sixers half-hearted effort as Larry Brown’s team took control of this one early on, put on a show for the home fans and then cruised to a 103-84 victory that wasn’t even that close.
Instead of tearing the injury depleted 76ers apart for last night’s ugly loss (25 TOs; 5-21 on 3PAs and 4 fast break points), let’s take a different approach and praise the Charlotte Bobcats for their solid play.
With Larry Brown at the helm, the Bobcats have bought into “playing the right way” and it is a thing of beauty to watch. Of course the opponent last night was a Sixers team that is tired and owns a broken spirit, so the Cats probably looked better then the actually are, but still we have to give them some credit for the drubbing they put on Philadunkia’s home team. On defense the Bobcats are solid on the ball, provide excellent help-side rotations, handle the defensive glass and most importantly they protect the lane. On offense they value you the rock, make the extra pass, take high percentage looks, capitalize on turnovers and get to the free throw line. However the most important thing going on in Charlotte is the fact that the Cats believe in each other, their coach and his system. That’s is a big key for success in the NBA.
Want some evidence outside of Charlotte’s 39-35 record and their on court play that this team is all on the same page? Well then read this quote from the Bobcats Stephen Jackson after last night’s game, “It was a game that we needed to win to get back on the winning track,” Jackson said. “We still aren’t playing as perfect as Coach would want us to, but we’re finding ways to win.”
That’s right, S-Jack once considered one of the biggest locker-room cancers in the League is now drinking the Larry Brown Kool-Aid down in Charlotte.
It amazing what good coaching can do for a franchise.