Week In Review
Well, well, well. Here we are I haven’t blogged since last year, I hate that joke too. What a 2009 it’s been so far. Personally, one of the crappiest work weeks on record. Getting the F-word screamed in my face Monday, berated by a half-wit know it all on a conference call Tuesday, then dealing with everything else all the rest of it while still trying to keep a happy face because after all it is sales….can’t you just piss off an entire customer base and hope for the best? That’s known as the “Bob Johnson in Charlotte Model.” Sports were so up and down it was ridiculous. High highs and way, way low lows have punctuated a week that I’ve actually avoided the worldwide leader, and I think my sports psyche is better for it.
We’ll start with what has led up to what has me so down. The Arizona Cardinals beat the Falcons, showing the world that an 8-8 team can be significant in the playoffs and giving Panther fans everywhere a huge sigh of relief. We did not want to see Matt Ryan and Michael Turner back in Charlotte. Bolden was hurt too, hey things are looking up for the Panthers, who hadn’t lost at home and Arizona hadn’t won in the eastern time zone all year. Forget that Arizona just broke a 40 year playoff drought and hadn’t won 2 games in the playoffs since before my father was born (aka. before tv and most people having telephones). Sweet, yeah bring on the Cardinals. Meanwhile across uptown, the Bobcats are getting ripped by everyone for losing at home against after winning at New Jersey and then losing to the Knicks after being up in the game. Next up to Milwaukee to play Dickhead and Bogut and whoever else they have to trot out. Cats lose that one by almost 30 and come home to face the same team.
Has this ever happened before? 2 home and home series on consecutive Friday/Saturday’s? I don’t remember it happening to the ‘Cats before, but it can’t be rare in the NBA…but it doesn’t really make sense in today’s travel “green” conscious world…whatever. Cats beat Milwaukee but Redd scores piles again, at least Dickhead didn’t do much. If you don’t know who I am referring to, Dickhead is what we here at Bobcatsplanet have deemed one Richard Jefferson. He lights us up every time we face him and he’s generally a dickhead while doing it. Also, he kind of looks like a dickhead, you know, shiny dome, goofy look on his face. A career 17ppg guy, Dickhead has only scored less that 17 three times in 17 tries against Charlotte. I hate him, you should too. Anyway, the point is, the Bobcats were playing good ball then they lose at home to NJ and then the Knicks then the Bucks, Beat the Bucks, then Tuesday. There is no rhyme or reason to it.
Tuesday was a big day. 2 conference calls to make some one feel important, stress over that for a while, I don’t think I ate all day. I went and renewed my lease for another 15 months. It expires in 2010, which sounds like the future. I’ll have this apartment forever…2010. Yikes. The guy I split season tickets with got hold of his guy in the office at the arena and asked if we could move up for Tuesday night. We could but it would cost us some of those points that were announced earlier in the year or something. Either way, we moved from 216 to 104(I think), 2nd row right behind the basket. These seats were available morning of the big game against the World Champion Boston Celtics. We saw Julius Peppers walk by, saw Jamie McMurry and Denny Hamlin. Most of all we saw and heard most everything Michael Jordan said and did. It was highly entertaining.
The refs tried to give that one to the Celtics. It was a particularly chippy game. Juwan Howard the enforcer came in after he disagreed with some calls and put Big Baby Davis on his ass about 15 feet from where I sat. I stood up for most of the 4th quarter while some ass behind me shouted “Sit down! Hey! Can’t SEEEEEEE!!” This is a 4-5 point, chippy, tough, physical game and you want me to sit down? You sir, whoever you are, are an ass. Anyway, you make the playoffs, play on national TV, lead off Sportscenter and are the main NBA topic on shout at another sports “personality” of the day show, you’re going to get calls and you’re going to get the ear of the referees. However, in the words of the head screaming/shouting head on ESPN, if you have the greatest player of all time, the guy you have posters of, the guy who they made a cartoon movie around, if you have him on your bench and he starts to tell you to call it fair, I think even Dick Bavetta has to listen.
MJ was on his feet, shouting, calling guys over, pumping up Ray and Gerald, getting in the ref’s ear a bit and generally being as great as we could ever ask him to be for us as a fanbase and franchise supporter. If he’s involved in a game like that, I have to hope he’s involved in day-to-day trade, draft and personnel discussions. We’ll see how he continues to change in that capacity, but from my seat all I could ask for was answered and more. Funny moment when Juwan was trying to keep the bench guys off the court. He starts saying “Hey, Hey, get back” they all sort of step back and look down the bench and MJ looks back and says something to the effect of “I ain’t moving, are you serious?” To which the whole bench laughed and Juwan sort of said “No, no, I didn’t mean you.” Anyway, they closed it out in overtime against the damn Celtics and their bitching and whining and posturing for the cameras and half-intimidation. DJ was clutch, not missing a free throw all night. Gerald with some dunks and timely passes and Raymond Felton ran the show. Good or bad, lots of both (25 pts, 8 ast but 7 to’s, a couple that could have cost the game), he took over. No one else is going to take over like that. Okafor? DJ? Diaw? Wallace is the only one that’s attempted but he usually gets really out of control. Ray did take over and helped this team win, but he wasn’t alone and he may never really do it again. Not a consistent enough threat to really affect the outcome of games night in night out.
This week saw the re-emergence of Adam Morrison. Scoring 13 and 11 in the wins against Boston and Washington. He only had 5 against Milwaukee and 2 against Cleveland. Oh, did I forget to mention Cleveland? What a debacle, and I actually didn’t watch it. I know, I know. It’s Lebron, Bobcats were coming off a big win, whatever. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:45 or something, right before tipoff. I woke up and it’s like 106-70 in the fourth and I thought I was dreaming. What the hell happened? Overtime and travel and most of your best guys playing 44+ the night before? Was it all Lebron? Is Cleveland that good? The? I don’t know, I didn’t watch it but hey,
Limping into Philly didn’t fare much better. Philly looks like they are on the rise and they beat the Bobcats on fast break points 25-2. I don’t know exact numbers but that seems right. Easy baskets vs. bad defense = win for the team getting easy baskets. Apparently the ‘Cats won in Washington last night but I wouldn’t know because I was highly involved with the Panthers. Ahh, the Panthers. The team that was so hot against the worst playoff team ever. This would be nice. It actually started nicely but then Kurt “I’m afraid of my wife” Warner and Larry Fitzgerald hooked up on a great pass and catch between 2 Panthers defenders and Jake Delhomme, wait, word just in he just threw his 22nd pick and got the ball back and fumbled it again on the same play. I’m not going to analyze the game but I’ve never felt the bubble of a town burst like that. My own bubble was burst. Before I started this blog I was talking with a female friend (I’m working on it ok fellas?) and she said “Poor Panthers.” To which I responded “Poor ME!” Because chicks dig it when you make it all about you, I swear it works every time, show them your calfs too. Poor me because now the Panthers season is over and the Bobcats are making me so sick with the roller coaster that I don’t know where to turn in sports.
I hate hockey, unless it’s thirsty Thursday. College basketball isn’t important until March and even then it’s a fluke as to who gets hot at the right time. I have to stick with my Cats and the NBA I guess. I mean I did make an elegant soliloquy on one thread a while back about how basketball is the one sport that is three dimensional and how the game is unlike any other. But the Bobcats in my analysis are very easily played to rather than setting the game and competition. This week is a great example. Milwaukee is average, so we split games with them. Boston is on a slide, so we beat them but it took overtime because they are still a very competitive team. Philly is on a streak, unless they lost last night, and I don’t think they played. The Bobcats were their 4th win in a row. Very talented roster and a who knows coach but they were hot and beat the cats. Washington is terrible and the Bobcats tried to give that one away with Tony Blatche being the high point man for them, because they play down to competition, but luckily in the end they prevailed. There is not much to get behind on this team. No killer player, no instinct to win, no energy guy that truly matters (Gerald is called Crash for a reason); We have an aging coach and a group of nice guys that are pretty talented but not great.
I need to be impressed and quick by this team. Personal life aside they are not making waves in this town or in the NBA on a national level. They are still the lowly Bobcats and still very average. Set yourselves apart as a franchise, team, game experience and get some wins. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long month until NASCAR cranks it up. Yeah, so? I said it, I’ll leave this team for NASCAR in a heartbeat! Damn you for making me feel solemn Panthers!