The Bobcats looked less interested than a blind man at a peep show in their loss to the Hawks on Thursday. Then again, nobody seemed to care about that game, not even the Associated Press guy covering it. Check out this except from his recap: “The Bobcats were coming off a dispiriting home loss Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers in which they blew a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter…The Hornets were led (in their previous game against Atlanta) by Ben Gordon, who scored 20 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter.” First of all, they never blew a 7-point lead against the Clippers in the fourth quarter; they trailed the entire fourth quarter right through the final buzzer, at which point the game ended. I guess you could technically say that they blew a 1-point first quarter lead and were outscored over the game’s final 41 minutes, but that wasn’t any more dispiriting than normal. So I’m guessing the guy just cut-and-pasted something wrong. But calling them the “Hornets”? Man, that was just cruel—is he trying to jinx us?
Actually, if he was trying to jinx us, how would we even know? We’re talking about a team that has dropped ten games in a row, so putting a jinx on them now would be like throwing a black cat in front of a guy who just fell through a manhole and drowned in a sewer. I don’t mean to imply that the Bobcats have been unlucky, however, as luck has had nothing to do with it. Unluckiness hasn’t left all those opposing 3-point shooters more open than a Chinese restaurant on Thanksgiving, nor has it allowed opposing bigs to abuse the Bobcats’ frontcourt like painkillers. Nope, the Bobcats don’t have the personnel to compete offensively or defensively, and it looks like we’re in for another long season in the abyss.
The most we can hope for is competitive losses, such as what we got with the Clippers. I have to admit that that game went WAY better than I thought it would, because it had trouble written all over it—in blinking font and frowning emoticons. Chris Paul vs. Kemba Walker, Blake Griffin vs. Bismack Biyombo—everyone on LA had more of a mismatch than Wladimir Klitschko and Hayden Panettiere. Plus, like two naked rival soccer hooligans, the Cats and Clippers were streaking in opposite directions—LA was working on its 8th straight win. So credit our Cats for keeping it close (even though they couldn’t hold on to that first quarter lead). Credit should especially go to Biyombo: according to NBA.com, Mack played 33 minutes against Griffin and held him to just about his averages on a per-36 minute basis. It was the rest of LA that brought the pain, especially the always delightful Matt Barnes (19 points on 8 of 13 shooting), whose joy for the game shines through with each muttered threat.
I wish I could tell you that the following night’s game against Atlanta was a similar story, but I’d have fewer legs to stand on than Franklin Roosevelt. This one turned into an ugly blowout before the Hawks’ organist could get through his muzak version of “Call Me Maybe.” Byron Mullens defecated out a 1-8 performance and the defense allowed a feces-covered 57% shooting for the Hawks, including 48% from 3-point range. Devin Harris (4-8 from long-distance) was so camped out behind the arc that he was more in danger of actual bobcats rummaging through his garbage than of anyone on the Bobcats covering him. The whole thing was a disgrace.
I’m worried about the upcoming game with the Magic, because it’s one of the few in which there shouldn’t be a talent disparity. So winning it will be little more than a mild relief and losing it will be like failing remedial training.
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