So the Bobcats are currently on a three-game losing streak and it hasn’t been pretty the last two games. Both the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat had their way with Charlotte, abusing the Bobcats for four quarters. Now comes a much easier opponent in the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs (2-2) will not challenge the Bobcats like the Heat and Magic did, and this game will be a good indicator of how Charlotte will fare this season.
If the Bobcats are unable to beat the Cavs I think it is safe to say that the opening night win over Milwaukee was a bit of a fluke. As fun as that win was a loss to Cleveland would wipe away any optimism that was felt about this season. Nobody expected the Bobcats to compete with the likes of the Heat and Magic this year but teams like the Cavs Charlotte should be able to hang with.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s contest and some other thoughts that have been roaming around in my brain.
Matchup to watch
Too bad D.J. Augstin’s ankle didn’t stiffen up on the flight to Cleveland. If it would have we would have been given an awesome battle between first round picks in Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving. Instead we are going to be stuck watching Augustin duel it out with the first overall pick in this past draft. But that isn’t the matchup to watch in this game.
I’m going with the sometimes lackadaisical Boris Diaw vs. the always energetic Anderson Varejao. Varejao has three inches on Diaw and is a pest on the glass. This will be a big test for Diaw who too often sleepwalks through games. In order for the Bobcats to have a chance to win they are going to need a double-digit rebounding effort from their center.
I get that Paul Silas wants to bring along Walker and Bismack Biyombo at a slow pace, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it, right? Walker played more minutes than Augustin last game, although the majority of them came in garbage time when the game was already out of reach, and Biyombo was also relegated to mostly garbage time. I honestly don’t see the point in not giving Walker 25 plus minutes at this point in his career. He brings a confidence to the court that this team lacks and an aggressiveness that Augustin doesn’t have.
More importantly, the Bobcats are going to be awful this season. So why not give Walker and Biyombo meaningful minutes going forward? The two are going to be a big part of the franchise in the years to come and their development will be vital to the team’s long term success. It isn’t beneficial for the two of them to be sitting on the bench for the majority of the game on a bad team. Play them and live with the rookie mistakes that they make.
Now back to the Cleveland game.
Root for a win???
I’m sorry for the lack of a traditional preview. I’ll do better in the future but I haven’t seen Cleveland play this year yet–thankfully–so I don’t know what to expect out of them. Irving has been getting some pretty good burn early on and has put up solid numbers through four games. But what I really want to address is whether or not fans should want the Bobcats to win. Yes, it’s early in the season and you can still dream of a miraculous playoff run in which Walker takes over the starting point guard roll, develops into a game changer in his rookie season and magically leads the Bobcats to the playoffs. But that isn’t going to happen.
Which is why I ask the question of do you want the Bobcats to win?
Rooting to lose this early in the season may sound asine until you look at Charlotte’s roster. With plenty of impact players expected to be available when the draft rolls around it would be huge if the Bobcats had a Top 5 pick. This could be one of the better draft classes in recent years if most of the top underclassmen declare. Just imagine having an Andre Drummond next year or Anthony Davis on the roster. The thought of finally landing a legitimate franchise player gets me all giddy inside.
Even though the idea of getting a top player in the draft has me excited I still won’t root for the Bobcats to lose. I can’t. It’s not in my blood nor will it ever be. Rooting for my favorite team to lose in any sport is something that I’ve never been able to do. From when the clock starts till the last second I will pull for my team to win regardless of the circumstances. Sure, there are times when I wouldn’t be upset to see my team lose but that doesn’t mean I don’t root for them to win.
I’m well aware that the Bobcats are going to need to lose a lot this season in order to get better for the future. But I also am one of those idiots who holds out hope for the impossible. I hold out hope that somehow someway this team could make the playoffs and Dwight Howard may decide that Charlotte is an area he wouldn’t mind relocating to for the remainder of his career. I do this because I am a fan. Turning off being a fan isn’t an option when the game starts for me, but it is something that I can do after.
I can’t root for the Bobcats to lose, yet I know it ultimately has to happen in order for them to ever be a legitimate title contender.
The question that I’m most interested in is if you are rooting for the ‘Cats to lose. Leave a comment and let me know.