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Dunlap preaches patience amid 16-game losing skid

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm •  Published: December 27, 2012

"That's not good, is it?" Dunlap said, pointing out the obvious.

Dunlap said the problem revolves around a lack of ball pressure and poor rotation.

"In the NBA you have to cover guys that are getting beat off the dribble," Dunlap said. "The only way you can do that is to leave your man and that is a hard habit to break at this level because you're depending on the trust factor. If you lose games there is an undermining of 'Should I leave my man or not?' There are question marks in the eyes."

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said things aren't as dire as they might seem in Charlotte.

In fact, he sees plenty of promise in what Dunlap, president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho are building with the Bobcats.

He said it's only a matter of time before the Bobcats are turning close losses into wins.

"It's always tough when you're going through a year like they are," Spoelstra said. "But they are getting great experience for the young players. Their players are as good as anybody's in the league — they just don't have as much experience. But they can hurt you on any given night. The thing is they compete and play hard. You notice that on film."

On Tuesday night, the Bobcats hung with the defending champion Heat for three-and-a-half quarters. Charlotte trailed by two points with 7:16 left in the game before Miami went on a run and pulled away for a 105-92 victory.

Of Charlotte's 21 losses, 12 are by 10 points or less. That's a far cry from last year's team which wasn't even competitive, losing more than one-third of their games by 20 points or more.

Dunlap said he sees "promise amid the adversity."

Still, Walker doesn't take much satisfaction the Bobcats are more competitive.

"Losing is losing," said Walker, the team's leading scorer. "Hopefully we can stop it soon. But it's no different at all from last year. We lost last year and we're losing this year and it's not a good feeling at all."

Walker realizes the Bobcats don't have a roster with a ton of proven NBA experience, but he refuses to use that as an excuse.

"We have young guys, but at the same time it's the NBA," Walker said. "So we have to find a way to win. That's what we're going to try to do — find a way."