D.J. Augustin, Darko Milicic

Paul Silas sets D.J. Augustin free (in a good way)

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Larry Brown is hard on young point guards, to the point they play tentative and scared. They are afraid to shoot, even when open. One mistake and they are in the coach’s doghouse — or he is in their ear — so they play trying not to make mistakes. Which never works.

That was D.J. Augustin.

New Bobcats coach Paul Silas has set Augustin free — just go play the game. Push the tempo, take shots when you have them and just have fun again. Which is what happened Monday against Detroit when Augustin dropped 27, Gerald Wallace told the Charlotte Observer.

“He was free,” said forward Gerald Wallace, who watched from the bench with an ankle injury. “He looked like a little kid at the park, just out there playing ball. When he’s aggressive, when he’s looking for his shot, it makes things a whole lot easier for all of us.”

Augustin was diplomatic but you could tell what he was thinking.

“Different coaches have different philosophies,” Augustin said. “We just tried to run the offense before. Now we run an offense and at the same time we’re free to shoot open shots. It’s OK to miss and to make shots.

“I felt really loose (Monday) night.”

The game was fun again for Charlotte against Detroit; we’ll see how it is Wednesday against Cleveland and Friday against Golden State. Those are both winnable games for the Bobcats if they play the way they did Monday.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.