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Undefeated, but rough stretch ahead.

The season just started and I spent all day analyzing the Milwaukee game and you saw it (or maybe you didn’t), our cats came out on top looking MIGHTY FINE. I must admit, it sounds pretty good to my ears, that we are undefeated late in December. But like the Milwaukee fans after last game, the league doesn’t really seem to like us much, so they are throwing 2 games vs the Heat and 1 vs the Magic in our next three games. Are we looking at 1-3 after four games? I’m afraid it looks that way, but I know better than to write off the Bobcats at any point.
This season we play the heat 3 times, and though I never say never, I have my doubts that we’ll sweep them and go 66-0 this season. So for the guys not as optimistic as Ziggy was in his post, our next few games, might be the toughest and most important ones of the season.
Winning against the Bucks was a blessing for our young rookies. Being on a small market team like the Cats with not much but losing records and M.J. to show for, winning is alpha and omega. Against the Bucks, we saw just how much our future star point guard wanted just that and I was extremely impressed with both him and the rest of the bobcats (though we were far from perfect). But beating the Bucks at home is not the same as taking on the Heat twice and Orlando once in 5 days, and for this stretch more than ever, our coaching staff needs to get to work. I go on and on about confidence, and its stretches like this after a great win in our opener that can take the sky high confidence of a rookie and crush it like a bug. I think it’s extremely important to teach these rookies and young players how to deal with their ego and confidence, and here I go trying to break down this next three games and how to preach to our guys.

Heat @ Bobcats 12.28.2011.

Tonight the Bobcats are facing arguably the most dominant team in the league. What needs to be understood is that no one expects us to win, quite frankly people don’t expect us to be in the game at any point. The Miami Heat are going to come in extremely aggressive, trying to put the game away long before the 4th quarter, to give their superstars rest, and their bench some minutes. There is no way to shut down their offense with Bron and Wade running the show so our focus should not be on how to stop the Heat, but how to make the Heat try to catch up. If the Bobcats can leave pressure at the door, and focus on executing their own plays I think our chances of winning will be far greater. Our guys need to view this as a building process like everything else, because if they do everything right, they have a shot, but if they don’t, they will have to learn and get better.
What to tell our guys in the locker room?
Focus on our gameplan, focus on our teammates, and focus on our execution. Our key tonight is our Coaches. If we can put our trust in the gameplan, and execute our own game, we will do mighty fine tonight. But if we try to play catchup, or try to shut down their star trio, we will fail utterly. There is no way we match that trio’s individual talent at this point, so don’t try to play that game.

Magic @ Bobcats 12.30.2011

This game might be our wildcard. We have no way to stop Dwight Howard, but the Magic are a troubled team these days. They don’t know where D12 might go, they don’t really have championship plans (it seems), they are getting old, and they are lacking consistent scoring options in nearly every position on the floor. This game should be what we aim for. Our fans have seen the Magic beat us enough to make this our most important game in the stretch.
What to tell our guys in the locker room?
Don’t be afraid to take it to the rack. Dwight Howard might get 10 blocks, but he also led the league in fouls a couple of seasons ago, and that is what we should aim for.  Getting Dwight in foul trouble is a major setback for the Magic. Another thing is that this team lives and dies by the three, so double teaming Howard could burn us. I say we don’t do that, rather foul hard every time he tries to score. 2nd after Howard, we need to stop Redick from going hot, that guy can really shoot and we can’t give him an inch on defense. If we play this correctly, all of our bigs should be in foul trouble at the end of the game, and our scoring come from our backcourt. If we can do this to Dwight and Redick, they will have to rely on J-Rich and Turkoglu for scoring and looking at our roster, I think we can somewhat contain them.

Bobcats @ Heat 1.1.12

I’m having a hard time being optimistic with this game. The Heat at their homecourt? C’mon… Regardless of how things go tonight, I am sure they will play harder and tougher in this game, and we should focus on playing time. Let our backup guys play and hope they surprise us. Rest or starters a little more than is good for us, and maybe writing this one off, is just enough to catch them off guard. This might be a good way to experiment with some different lineups. Maybe give, D.J., Walker, Hendo, Thomas, Biyombo, all good minutes together in an ultra athletic and fast lineup?
What to tell our guys in the locker room?
Other than just working on executing the plays, try to limit turnovers. . Play relaxed and slow down the pace as much as we can, and maybe we can get the heat frustrated. Our guys must be relaxed in this game if we are going to have even the slightest chance.

What do you think needs to be done in this difficult stretch? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about these games? I consider myself very optimistic hoping we go 2-1 the next three games, but as a cats fan I know that anything is possible..