After the Bobcats lost to Milwaukee on Saturday, Rick Bonnell wrote that it “was the 20th time in a 7-38 season the Bobcats have lost by 20 or more points.” Well the joke’s on you, Rick: it’s only been 15 games. How do you like them apples, sucker? I actually went back and counted to verify it, which is a totally depressing exercise, by the way; it’s like counting your herpes sores. (Remember that 112-68 loss to the Trail Blazers!? Holy Jesus. Holy Buddha. Holy Zeus. Holy Mormon Garden of Eden in Jackson County, Missouri.)
Anyway, the fact that we haven’t lost as many games by 20 points as I feared was about the only good news to come out of the Milwaukee game—that and Stephanie Ready’s outfit. I didn’t know that Burberry had recently merged with Skittles. I guess this was in support of the latest retro-Cougars outfit night, but she should always do that; even her face was a refreshing burst of fruit flavors. The rest of the game was not only nightmarish, it was prolonged unnecessarily by Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles’ inexplicable need to take 4 full timeouts, including one when they were ahead by 23 with four minutes to go. Skiles’ moods range from frothing-at-the-mouth to silently seething, but I would have have thought that even he must have felt something approximating satisfied.
Without an experienced center, the Bobcats’ interior defense has emptied out faster than Charlie Sheen’s medicine cabinet. Tyrus Thomas and Bismack Biyombo are constantly sliding to help the beaten guards, and neither of them boxes out very well. And Thomas isn’t good at covering his own man, let alone helping others. The end result is 72 points for the Bucks in the paint (or maybe it was only 65—not sure if I can ever trust you again, Rick), led by Drew Gooden, who continuously swooped down like the Avenging Angel of Offensive Rebounds to smite the Bobcats. Bobcats color commentator Dell Curry used the phrase “all alone” to describe Milwaukee’s bigs and back-door cutters so often he sounded like he was reading from the Craigslist personals section.
The trend continued the following night in Charlotte’s fourth game against the Nets, which I was about as excited to watch as the fourth “Police Academy” movie. Once again, the Bobcats made journeymen bigs Kris Humphries and Sheldon Williams look like Wilt Chamberlain and Moses Malone. This time they “only” allowed 50 points in the paint, but the Nets still crashed the glass like Steve Austin’s entry music (16 offensive rebounds). Speaking of “crash,” at least we got to see Gerald Wallace again (now wearing #45 but still rocking the same dred-mullet).
I should point out that defense isn’t our only problem. The offense is more stagnant and smelly than Lake Eerie. Other than Corey Maggette, Charlotte has no one who can put the ball on the floor and create something. So DJ Augustin or Kemba Walker dribble around until they run out of gas, then they dump it off on someone for a mid-range jumper. Because the Bobcats have the worst shooting percentage in the league, that mid-range jumper will usually miss. And because the Bobcats have the third-worst offensive rebounding percentage in the league, that mid-range jumper will not lead to a second chance, either.
Finally, Biyombo must be leading the league in airballs from inside the paint. Oh well, I suppose I should just be happy with how far he’s come, because honestly at the beginning of the year he seemed more likely to bite someone than score a basket.