A day after the Bobcats lost on the road to the Chicago Bulls they received some good news. Paul Silas was granted a one-year extension removing the interim label. Silas replaced Larry Brown on December 22 after the Bobcats got off to a miserable 9-19 start.
As for the game, the Bobcats didn’t have much left in the tank after running the Lakers out of Time Warner Cable Arena the night before. The Bulls pulled away 106-94 to send the Bobcats on their All-Star break 24-32. It was the Bulls first win against the Bobcats in three tries.
Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan sat courtside with his former dynamic duo Scottie Pippen; together they led the Bulls to six NBA Championships in the 90’s.
Despite being a bit sluggish and tired, the Bobcats erased an 11-point deficit in the second quarter trimming the Bulls lead to 43-42. But Chicago responded with a 10-point burst to close out the half 52-45.
Lou Deng had a game-high 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Derrick Rose recovered from a slow start (five points in the first half) to finish with a double-double, 18 points and 13 assists. Carlos Boozer added 16 points and nine rebounds.
In the third quarter, the Bobcats scored seven consecutive points to the cut the Bulls lead to 76-73, but that was the closes they would get. Deng and Rose got hot and took control in the 4thquarter.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 22 points. Stephen Jackson scored 20 and Boris Diaw contributed 18.
The Bobcats are 4-13 in the second game of back-to-backs. They trail the Indiana Pacers by a game and half for the final playoff spot in the East.
Even in defeat, the Bobcats’ ownership recognized the team’s hustle and hard work. This prompted General Manager Rod Higgins to grant Silas an extension. It wasn’t just this game; the team has taken on a whole new character with the smooth demeanor of Silas.
The Bobcats are 15-13 under Silas and he believes they have a strong chance of making the playoffs for the second straight year.
“My main goal when I took this job was to change the atmosphere, change the attitude and make the team more confident,” Silas said. “I think we’ve begun to accomplish those goals.”
Under Silas the players like Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin have blossomed.
Details of Silas’ extension were not disclosed, but he will coach the team through next season.