First of all, sorry for the delay—I’m even later than usual with this recap, and it’s not because I’ve spent the last 36 hours in orgiastic celebration over our road victory over the Nuggets. Nor is it because I was semi-mourning the fact that our win prevented me from opening with the phrase, “Things to do in Denver when you’re dead tired.” No, the reason is quite simple: after sputtering around for a few weeks, my 5-year old Dell (which means it’s, like, 80 in computer years) finally crapped out. Definitely can’t say I didn’t see this coming, as it was getting steadily more decrepit and senile over the past few weeks. So after getting tired of carrying around a beadpan for it, I decided to pull the plug. And now that I’ve got my cute new laptop (I feel like Carrie in Sex in the City), here we go…
According to Wachovia, the Pivotal Moment of the Game was Gerald Wallace’s block of Carmelo Anthony’s layup late in the 4th to help preserve the Bobcats’ stunning road victory over Denver. I disagree. I say the pivotal moment came about midway through the third when Wallace got no call from the refs while driving to the hoop, despite the fact that he was leveled by Allen Iverson, who did everything but strangle G-Dub with one of Francisco Najera’s kneepads. Watching at home, I was terrified that Wallace, already operating with one technical for arguing an equally ridiculous charging foul earlier, would get up, proceed to start swinging at the officials—possibly armed with one of the arena’s numerous “Pepsi…Perfecto” billboards—and get himself ejected.
Instead, in a great camera shot that someone needs to send to NFL Films so they can repackage it in slow motion and set it to an appropriately dramatic score, Gerald sat in place, took a breath, resignedly shook his head, and continued on. It was apparent that Gerald had accepted his fate and understood that in basketball, as in life, certain VIPs get better treatment than the rest of us. So G-Dub turned the other cheek and kept playing.
And at least last night, practicing non-violence paid off. Gerald had one of the greatest games of his career (25 points, 13 boards, 2 steals, 2 assists) and the Bobcats beat a top-caliber team that fields two of the League’s reigning superstars. It was downright inspirational. Oh yeah, I’ll say it: I’m inspired!! I wish I had something to get inspired about right now. Let’s see…I have a case study to prepare in one of my marketing classes…there you go! By god, this is going to be one of the greatest marketing case studies ever seen!
We beat a Denver team despite putting Iverson on the free-throw 12 times. In fact, if the game plan was to force AI to beat us, we were definitely successful. Often he was so omnipresent I thought he was cloned (although that's also possibly because everyone on Denver seems to have a headband and does look vaguely alike on my crappy late 90s TV). He was their entire team (31 points, 8 assists, 4 steals), and as I mentioned, he is a foul-drawing savant. He’s practically slutty about it; he doesn’t care who fouls him, and it seemed like everyone had a piece of him. I think even Sean May got called for a reach-in, and May didn’t even suit up.
And speaking of May, I hate to sound like a whistle-blower here, but what’s going on with him? I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I would guess he missed approximately a million games last year with sore knees, and now he’s got them again? Perhaps after seeing Carl Pavano and Dan Morgan essentially miss two straight seasons with my beloved Yankees and Panthers, I’m a bit paranoid. But as talented as May is, if we’re only going to get Tony Soprano-level work hours from him, I’d rather he be on someone else’s payroll. May’s absence was exacerbated by yet another missed game from Primoz Brezec, out with a bulging disc (though I fail to see how anything on him “bulges”). On the other hand, Jake Voskuhl played some key minutes, and appears to be all the way back from his stomach illness, which must have been less serious than originally thought (perhaps all he’d done was see that new Ben Stiller movie).
I’ve gotta be nervous right now if I’m a Nuggets fan. They’re like a sit-com with two great actors but a pretty poor ensemble; they’re the NBA’s 227. Granted, all the roles are represented: JR Smith is the 3-point shooter, Marcus Camby is the shot-blocker, Steve Blake is the decent point guard, Nene can be the rebounding center, and Reggie Evans is the wacky next-door neighbor, but will any of them step up and be the surprise scene-stealer—the Jackee, if you will? Remains to be seen…