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NBA: Wallace calls out Bobcats teammates

December 21, 2009

It’s peer-pressure time for the Charlotte Bobcats. Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson took a cue from their coach following Saturday’s 110-102 loss to the Utah Jazz. Larry Brown had just said there are too many Bobcats with lacking effort. So Wallace and Jackson filled in the blanks. “The 4 and the 5 (Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler) got eight rebounds,” Wallace detailed. “Individually, we’re not taking pride in defensive assignments. We’re not taking pride in helping teammates. So is there a solution to this? “Can you fix somebody’s heart?” Wallace replied. “That’s a personal thing.”

“Too many times we’re saying, ‘This is bad. Just move on to the next game.'”

The Bobcats trailed by 19 before Brown benched every starter except Wallace (30 points and 13 rebounds). A desperate-measures lineup that included center Gana Diop and rookie Gerald Henderson cut the deficit to six before the home team ran out of time.

“The energy of the last group was a lot different from the energy of the (starters),” Brown said. “I think that’s been an issue a lot.”

Wallace and Brown weren’t alone in that impression. While Jackson (18 points, four steals and four rebounds) wasn’t quite so direct in whom he meant, he backed up Wallace.

“I know I’m going to play as hard as I can and I know Gerald puts his body on the line every night,” Jackson said. “We’re all so blessed to have these jobs. We owe it to ourselves and our teammates to play hard.”

So is there a solution to this?

“Can you fix somebody’s heart?” Wallace replied. “That’s a personal thing.”

Diaw had a strange night, scoring eight points in the first quarter and none in the last three. Chandler finished with two points and five rebounds.

Brown said he had an ugly feeling, entering this game, that his team’s resolve would be severely tested. The Jazz had trailed by 32 Friday night in a loss at Atlanta.

“I knew what we’d face,” Brown said. “They got blown out last night and Jerry (Sloan) cleared his bench.”

That’s essentially what Brown did Saturday. Maybe he was sending a message, setting up tonight’s game in New York.

Charlotte Observer

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