DJ Augustin

Bobcats cut Augustin loose, Pacers sign him to deal


So Indiana just traded Darren Collison then paid $1 million a year more to have D.J. Augustin backup George Hill? Interesting decision.

But that’s what the Pacers have done (and got backup center Ian Mahinmi in the process).

Here’s how it went down. On Wednesday the Pacers traded Collison to Dallas for Mahinmi. On Thursday, the Bobcats reached a one-year deal with Ramon Sessions to play point guard for them (along with Kemba Walker). That led the Bobcats to quickly pull their qualifying offer to Augustin, reported Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Pacers needed a backup PG and jumped on it fast, reported Mike Wells of the Indy Star. It didn’t take long and he was tweeting this.

Pacers have agreed to a 1 year deal with DJ Augustin, according to a source.

That is a one-year, $3.5 million deal. Collison, who had been with the team, will make $2.3 million. And Collison had been a part of this team and is a better shooter.

Augustin will make a fine backup in Indiana. He’s solid. But was the extra money and step back in shooting in backup point guard worth it to get Mahinmi? Depends on if you still believe in Mahinmi’s potential.

Bobcats about to make it official, keep Paul Silas around another year

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We told you yesterday of the report that the Charlotte Bobcats were about to lock up coach Paul Silas for one more year.

That will become official at noon, according to a tweet from Mike Cranston of the Associated Press.

The Bobcats are 15-13 under Silas this season, a big improvement from the 9-19 they had been under Larry Brown. Silas sped up the Bobcats tempo and tried the crazy concept of injecting confidence into young point guard D.J. Augustin. It worked, he has pushed the Bobcats into playoff contention in the East (they are currently the nine seed, 1.5 games out of the playoffs).

This is a smart move by the Bobcats. Not their long-term move, Silas is 67, but he has earned another year.

Two years ago, Silas had blood clots in his leg and body that almost cost him his life, he told Cranston.

(In 2008) He said doctors performed exploratory surgery to determine why he was feeling poorly, which led to blood clots in his lungs.

The clots then moved to the quadriceps muscle in his left leg.

“I would walk down steps and I would just fall down,” Silas said. “It was touch and go.”

Things got worse and Silas was hospitalized on Christmas Eve 2008 and sedated as doctors tried to solve his medical problems.

“I was in intensive care for about six weeks,” Silas said. “I was out. It was scary for my family. I don’t remember anything during that six-week period.”

Damn scary. Most people after that experience would be happy to spend their days at home with family and watching Law & Order reruns. Not Silas, he is helping re-energize an NBA franchise. That’s impressive.

Stephen Jackson says Bobcats had to fire Larry Brown

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The Charlotte Bobcats are 4-2 since Larry Brown got fired.

This was a listless 9-19 team that was being ground down by Brown. Point guard D.J. Augustin was playing trying not to make a mistake, because every time he did Brown was all over him. Or benching him. That same attitude seemed to permeate the team.

Stephen Jackson said Sunday the Bobcats had to let Brown go.

“It’s kind of like losing a team. Nobody wanted to play no more,” Jackson said. “Everybody wanted to play a different style than we were playing. We didn’t agree with what was going on. Obviously, it wasn’t working, so we needed a change. We had to figure something out….

“We’re younger and we have to play a little faster,” Jackson said. “The makeup of the team is different and I think now with Paul (Silas) as coach the young guys have more confidence to go out there and play basketball and not worry about coming out of the game.”

Silas is letting the players make some mistakes without fear of repercussions. The tempo has picked up and so has the offensive efficiency.

The Bobcats are a long way from contending and will very likely not get back to the playoffs this year. The roster needs work. But at least now Silas is getting more out of what the Bobcats have — and they are entertaining to watch again. Which hasn’t been true for a couple of years.

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.

Game of the Night: For one night at least, the Bobcats were fun

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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.