There may be no coach harder on point guards than Larry Brown.
Monday night D.J. Augustin was freed from that yoke — Brown was out and Paul Silas was in. It seemed to make Augustin a new player — one who attacked, drained jumpers, scored 27 points and had no turnovers.
Augustin was having fun, not thinking just playing, and it showed. All the Bobcats were having fun — the ball was moving and they were off and running to a big lead, then they hung on at the end to win 105-100.
Silas shook up the roster. DeSagana Diop get a lot of minutes in the middle, while Gerald Henderson and Matt Carrol got more run (and Brown favorite Dominic McGuire sat).
The new Bobcats were faster, four possessions a game faster. A pace more reminiscent of the Toronto Raptors or Indiana Pacers.
The Bobcat bench played a lot faster in the second quarter when they went on a 24-2 run that gave the Bobcats a 23 point lead. A run that was fueled by turnovers and sloppy play by the Pistons — but the running Bobcats were able to take advantage of it. Stephen Jackson had 23 points and was 4 of 7 from deep. Tyrus Thomas also was part of that, playing well
The Bobcats were up 23 and controlled most of the game until the fourth quarter, when the Pistons made their run. Chris Wilcox — yes, Chris Wilcox — was a key part of that with seven fourth quarter points. Charlie Villanueva had seven in the fourth quarter as well, on his way to 25 and the Bobcats had no answer for him.
All is not right with the Bobcats — they still turned the ball over on 24.5 percent of their trips down the court (almost one-in-our trips down the court) and their defense was nowhere near last year’s level. When you can’t stop Villanueva you have problems.
But for one night, let the Bobcats have heir fun. And the win.