Honestly, I can't really stomach following tonight's game against Charlotte, after hearing the news about Gilbert today. The optimist in all of us is probably pointing to the past two games as evidence that this team can play decently without him, but I don't think any of us really believes that. It wasn't just his scoring that was so important; his presence diverted attention away from other members of the team. Even while he was struggling earlier this year, he was still doing that.
Obviously, there are so many questions that need answers. How did he go from playing 40 minutes a game to needing surgery? How did he go from day-to-day to three months? What went wrong in his rehab? Did he rush back too quickly, both over the summer and during the season? Will he do so again after surgery? What does this mean for the roster? We were already so thin with Gilbert...what happens without him? And, of course, what about the future? Do we re-sign him with the knee injury fresh in our minds?
All these questions need answers, and I'm sure more will come out in the future. In the present, though it'll be tough to watch this team, these three months are important. We need to really know what we have in our youngsters, particularly Andray Blatche and Nick Young. We need to see if Caron Butler can be a star, or if he's topped out as a good second option. We need to see if Antawn Jamison has anything left, or if Brendan Haywood, if he stays healthy, can develop offensively. Wins and losses really aren't that important -- I mean, they are, but seeing what we have for the future is more important.
The questions begin to get answered tonight in Charlotte. This is your open game thread, so search for those answers here.