I've just finished watching the Bobcats lose a home game, 101-83, to Detroit. A few impressions:
** As Bobcats' coach Larry Brown said afterward: "They're just better. It shows you how far we have to come." And that's very true.
Even though Detroit was playing without Chauncey Billups (traded earlier in the day) and Allen Iverson (yet to arrive), the Pistons were taller, deeper, smarter and more talented. In games like these, Charlotte desperately needs big scoring nights from both Jason Richardson and Gerald Wallace, but those two shot a combined 5-for-20. Richardson and Wallace, who more than anyone else control the rise and fall of the Bobcats on a night-to-night basis, are the subject of my column in Tuesday's Charlotte Observer.
** I would estimate there were about 5,000 fans in the building at tipoff -- if that. The official number of tickets sold was eventually announced at 11,023 (the Bobcats announced Saturday night as a sellout -- 19,238). So this was a dose of reality after Charlotte's superb opening night at home vs. Miami.
** Two of the largest cheers of the night came when the Bobcats' in-house cameras found former wrestler Ric Flair (who mouthed a "Whoooooo," of course) and current Panther receiver Muhsin Muhammad. Incidentally, that would have been a heckuva wrestling match back about 15 years ago -- Flair vs. the Moose.
** Here's a surprise: Rasheed Wallace got a technical foul for Detroit.