Injury to Wallace Comes at Wrong Time for Bobcats
That's about to change. Wallace severely sprained his ankle in Friday night's win over the Clippers. At the end of the second, L.A. guard Baron Davis shoved Wallace from behind on a dunk attempt, and Crash landed poorly. Wallace didn't re-enter the game, and while an MRI came back showing no fracture or ligament tear, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports Wallace will indeed be out a few games.
The timing is pretty bad, so boo! to you, Boom Dizzle. Charlotte sits on the bright side of the playoffs cut, three games ahead of slumping Chicago. But the Bobcats face four playoff teams over the next week: Orlando Sunday, the Thunder Wednesday, Atlanta Friday and Miami Saturday. Indiana is also wedged in there (Tuesday), and all games but one (OKC) find the Cats on the road. This would be a rough week if Charlotte were fully healthy.
Bonnell reports Wallace would be back for the Atlanta game at the earliest. Ankles are fickle, and Wallace isn't exactly a spot-up shooter. To be effective, he must be active. To be active, he needs those wheels to be in good shape. Even if Wallace can play by next weekend, can he be effective? He's in a walking boot right now, for goodness sake!
Fear not, fair Charlotteans, as the Cats signed free agent Larry Hughes today. There's a reason Hughes is a free agent, though -- New York thought so little of him that coach Mike D'Antoni benched him in January and the team traded him to Sacramento in the Tracy McGrady boondoggle. Sacramento thought so little of Hughes it told him to stay on the East Coast, waiving him shortly after acquiring him. (He didn't even take a physical for the Kings -- the team waived that, too.) Hughes, of course, is not Wallace -- he's a shooter, and a bad one at that. He shot 36 percent in 31 games with New York this season. He's at just over 40 percent ... for his career. And now he's 31 years old, in potentially the worst shape of his career. ... I mean, he didn't even go to UNC. I don't understand.
Until Wallace comes back, it's up to Stephen Jackson, Raymond Felton and the mercurial collection of Charlotte big men to get things done. Against Orlando in particular the Bobcats must limit turnovers, something the team has struggled with all season (ranking 30th in turnover rate). Against great teams, the margin for error was already small. Missing Crash, it's minuscule.