The last couple of games the Charlotte Bobcat offense has been… how can I put this in a family-friendly way… ugly. Phyllis Diller without plastic surgery ugly. Keanu Reeves doing Shakespeare ugly. No Gerald Wallace anymore and without Stephen Jackson and Tyrus Thomas due to injuries, the Bobcats just had no good way to generate offense.
But that is about to change Wednesday.
Jackson and Thomas are expected to return to the lineup against the Bulls, according tweets from Mike Cranston of the Associated Press. Jackson missed a couple games due to a strained hamstring, Thomas had missed 23 games after knee surgery. Here was what coach Paul Silas said to Cranston:
“It’s a godsend that (Jack) and Tyrus are coming back at the same time because I think we’ll have a chance.”
That would be a chance at making the playoffs. The Bobcats are currently the nine seed in the East, 1.5 games back of the Pacers for the eight and final playoff spot. (They are not catching anyone ahead of that, the Sixers are hot, the Knicks are just better.)
They do have a chance. The Pacers are 3-7 in their last 10 and are fading (especially on offense) after the new coach smell has worn off the team. The Bobcats are 4-6 in their last 10 and having Jackson around to take on the offense the last couple games and that might be higher.
That the Bobcats have a legit shot at the playoffs speaks more to the depth in the East than anything. But that doesn’t matter, if you get an invite to the dance you get an invite (and you can bet Michael Jordan would love that extra revenue from a couple home playoff games.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.