The coaching change has helped.
The faster pace of basketball has helped too.
The easier schedule has been a huge benefit as well.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a 4-2 record under interim coach Paul Silas, but things are going to get a little tougher beginning this week. The (13-21) Bobcats will face their toughest task since the Silas era began roughly two weeks ago with four good teams in six days.
The undertaking begins today at Time Warner Cable Arena against (17-20) Memphis Grizzlies. The Bobcats will also play Wednesday at home against the Chicago Bulls (24-12), end the week playing Boston Celtics (28-8) on the road and finishing at home against the New Orleans Hornets (21-16) on Saturday night.
Co-captain Stephen Jackson said the team is going into the Memphis game with a lot of confidence. He said it helps that the team has won two straight games and is in a better mindset since its 33-point loss to the Grizzlies last month.
“They beat us by 30 (points) last time, but it was more of the play at that time,” Jackson said about the Bobcats under then-coach Brown. “It was a lot of stuff going on and a lot of people didn’t want to play because of different situations. We had a lot of stuff going on, and people were up and down about being on the team. I think coach Silas came in and brought us new life. And hopefully you will never see that team again.”
Jackson believes it helps the Bobcats that three of those four games are in Charlotte. He even said the Bobcats now have a coach that believes in the team and prepares it to win. Jackson believes Silas has allowed the young players to build confidence.
Gerald Henderson, who had a career-high 19 points Saturday night against the Washington Wizards, said the new system has benefitted the younger players because they can use their athleticism. Henderson believes that is why he has thrived in the faster pace.
He is looking for his own shot and has become more than just a defensive player. And Henderson has done a good job of filling in for injured Gerald Wallace as well.
“G (Wallace) is one of our best players, he and Jack,” Henderson said. “But when I get in the game I just want to contribute the best way I can. If that means me starting and taking on a bigger role I will be ready to do that. When G comes back I will come off the bench and bring the same energy.”
Silas has noticed Henderson’s play has improved and also points out that point guard D.J. Augustin has benefited from the new coach’s arrival. He said the young players’ personalities have been coming out more, and Augustin is leading the way.
He said the third-year pro is joking more and is vocal in practice. He said Augustin’s confidence continues to grow while hitting big shots in games.
More importantly, Silas believes his team has progressed overall since his taking over. But he believes there is still room for improvement.
“I think it is a ways away, and I’m still getting to know them, my rotation who I can rely on and can’t,” Silas said. “We haven’t had a full complement of guys, so you take when Gerald Wallace gets back defensively we have to make some adjustments because Jack now gets the (No.) 2 guarding him now. Gerald gets (No.) 3, so we are going to have to pick it up offensively a little bit more. There are a lot of things to think about and deal with trying to get there.
“Plus the fact, we have some tough games coming up. Memphis is playing great, Chicago and then we go to Boston. Those are tough games for us to play, and it all depends how we come with it.”
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