After getting blown out on Sunday by the Pacers, the Bobcats lost again on Wednesday to those same Pacers in the most hotly-anticipated sequel since The Human Centipede 2. For Charlotte fans, this season has long been an exercise in coping, and now the same can be said for journalists, too. In his recap this morning, Rick Bonnell took the rather remarkable step of ignoring last night’s game completely and focusing instead on Bismack Biyombo’s improving performance. Kudos to Rick for thinking outside the box, and I encourage future recaps that don’t actually recap anything. Maybe he can just list his favorite Muggsy Bogues moments or Matt Devlin catchphrases.
Might as well, because what is there to say about the action on the court? The team is so shit-your-pants embarrassing that we take solace when they only lose by 14 as opposed to 35. Picking apart the Bobcats’ performance on Sunday would be like identifying all of the bad scenes of Gigli. The Pacers bench was in full-scale laugh-and-point mode midway through the third period.. The team was outrebounded 40 to 26 and turned the ball over 18 times; even Lance Stephenson got in on the act, racking up steals as if they were felony assault charges. Meanwhile, Tyrus Thomas was back to his old tricks, firing off his long-range 2’s that even had Pacers fans groaning. The Bobcats also put the Pacers in the bonus in all four quarters, including a possible record-setting effort in the third quarter that took just 3-and-a-half minutes to complete. That’s twice I’ve mentioned the third quarter in this paragraph, by the way, in which the team was outscored by 20. I know it’s never cool to compare people to Hitler, but what about basketball quarters?
Wednesday’s game was incrementally more palatable. But still, both games featured ample doses of Tyler Hansbrough strafing the Bobcats’ frontcourt and getting to the line a combined 16 times. It’s especially painful to behold someone like Hansbrough stomping all over our testicles, because his game is uglier than JR Smith’s haircut, and he shoots free throws like Mitt Romney sings America the Beautiful. It’s also completely humiliating with the Pacers coming off of an overtime win the night before. The Bobcats managed to keep it close for about 30 minutes, despite a comedic second quarter of Egon Spengler-style marksmanship (5-for-19). But midway through the third quarter, Charlotte’s rebounding collapsed on top of its shooting, killing them both (the Cats were outrebounded 35-to-18 in the second half). DJ Augustin and Kemba Walker have fallen off the wagon again, electing for impossible finishes rather than dishing it off: the two combined for 8-for-23 shooting with just 8 assists. The only functioning part of the offense is Corey Maggette, but even he infuriates with his long 2’s, especially that curl route at the top of the key that he stubbornly tries and fails at least three times a game; like Darryl Jenks, the man refuses to give up on the curl.
Thus the first half of the season ended on a highly appropriate note, with the team more in the toilet than Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. I don’t think they’ll finish with the league’s all-time worst winning percentage, but it’s staggering to think that just two years ago they were playoff-bound. How I’d love to go back to complaining about Gerald Wallace attempting too many 3-pointers or Tyson Chandler mishandling too many passes down low! Of course, their record was just 44-42, so I suppose I shouldn’t get too misty-eyed. At this point, I’m like a hobo looking back on his glory days as an up-and-coming panhandler.