If you like basketball, Monday afternoon's Bobcats' game was not a waste.
Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Charlotte's D.J. Augustin and Kemba Walker provided an array of virtuoso moves.
There were four quarters of old-school, run-the-court NBA basketball.
There was occasional defense, including 11 Charlotte steals (compared to six for the Cavaliers) and eight Charlotte blocks (compared to five for Cleveland).
There was the Charlotte coach staying for the entire game instead of abandoning his reserves on the court and leaving early for the locker room.
There was another loss, the 11th in 14 games for the Bobcats. Cleveland won 102-94.
There's also this: Charlotte is one of the worst teams in the NBA and likely will continue to be. The Bobcats don't always come together when they need to.
There was Irving, the outstanding rookie point guard from Duke, cruising the lane for a layup, and the Bobcats reacting as if they were content to have a view.
Important players disappeared. Veteran Tyrus Thomas played 16 minutes, none of them, to coach Paul Silas' credit, in the fourth quarter. Thomas' line: Three blocks, three fouls, one point, one rebound, one assist and one steal. He had a greater impact than I did, but it was close.
After the game, which the Bobcats led by 14 in the third quarter, Silas sat heavily, put his hand on his head and asked, "Questions?"
How good can this group be?
"Around midseason I really believe that we're going to be very good," said Silas.
Guard-forward Gerald Henderson said the Bobcats have the right players. To improve they need to play with "more precision," become "more efficient" and "play with each other better."
Antawn Jamison, the former Providence High and North Carolina star, said chemistry takes time to develop. He said veterans would help, and named Eduardo Najera, a Charlotte forward and Jamison's friend, who is hurt.
You're a veteran, I told him.
Michael Jordan essentially is starting over, Jamison said. He's filling the roster with his players. Time will be required before they mature and successfully compete.
The Bobcats are the 2010 Carolina Panthers, except they put points on the scoreboard. Rather than annually contend for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, they chose to get worse so they could get better, so they could get a high pick in the next draft and acquire pieces that ultimately could mean more than No. 8 in the East.
I like the decision. It works if Walker, the rookie guard, and Bismack Biyombo, the rookie big man, become at least solid players. Preferably they will become stars.
Walker, so far, has done everything but shoot well (14 points with 21 field-goal attempts Monday, five rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks). He can get a shot any time he wants it, and he is willing to take them.
Biyombo, in terms of basketball experience, is a child, and Monday he was grounded. He didn't play.
Maybe the Bobcats become terrific late this season. More likely, they improve marginally.
This is, as Jamison pointed out, the first season of whatever comes next. Plenty of good seats will be available.