First of all, I’m so pissed that Michael Pena of Red 94 stole my thunder. I was all over that line from Houston Rockets color analyst/balding community icon Clyde Drexler about Tyrus Thomas not having “enough sand in his pants.” The game was well into the third quarter and the Bobcats were already down by a million, so I was counting on the fact that I was one of the few people still watching, and therefore that gem of a line was going to be my reward. But Michael beat me to the punch! So instead, I’ll call up another zinger from ol’ Glide a few years ago when he compared some easy task (I forget exactly what it was—perhaps getting Bonzi Wells to overeat at a Cheesecake Factory) to “clubbing baby seals.” Yikes! Where was Drexler raised? A ditch in Antarctica?
Second, I disagree with Rick Bonnell’s post-Rockets game assessment that the Bobcats are “barely going through the motions.” I think their motions have actually been quite robust; I just think they’re a terrible team. None of the starting five should actually be a starter, and only Thomas and Corey Maggette are performing noticeably worse than their career averages. Also, after all of the 30-point blow-outs, why does Bonnell suddenly now think that they’re barely going through the motions? Against Houston, Charlotte only lost by 20 on the road to a playoff team that just beat OKC—hey, for Bobcats fans, that means it’s Miller Time! With this level of talent, opposing teams should be crushing Charlotte every night. As Drexler would say, it’s like beating up a crippled nun.
Against Dallas the following night, the Bobcats’ motions, um, through which they went, continued to be assertive, and, ahh, not barely gone though. At all. Also, they apparently didn’t lose to the Mavericks as much as they did to the 3rd quarter. “The third quarter gives us problems,” coach Paul Silas pointed out afterward. Indeed, the third quarter held us to just 5-for-21 shooting. The third quarter was particularly effective against Corey Maggette, forcing him into three turnovers. In all seriousness, the Bobcats had an out-of-nowhere 1st half in which they went 6-for-9 from 3-point range, including a bonkers running bank shot by DJ Augustin to end the first quarter. Rather than treat their success like the flash-in-a-pan that it was, the Bobcats responded like addicted gamblers, firing up so many errant long-range shots in the second-half that I’m surprised two greasy guys in tracksuits didn’t emerge and try to break Maggette’s legs. With all of the empty one-and-done’s by the Bobcats, the Mavericks superior talent eventually won out. As the popular saying goes, it was easier than shoving an ALS-stricken dwarf in a wheelchair down a steep ramp that ends in a crowded freeway.
At least Tyrus Thomas (5-for-7, 8 boards) for once played like something resembling our minimum expectations. Poor announcer Steve Martin is so desperate to praise Thomas that his earnest cheerleading almost sounds condescending. Martin would tell on-air anecdotes about Thomas successfully getting his pee in the cup during a urinalysis if he thought it would boost his confidence.
Finally, with the trading deadline over, we Bobcats fans should feel very fortunate about two things: the Hornets kept Chris Kaman, and the Wizards swapped JaVale McGee for Nene. In both cases, it strengthens each team’s ability to continue winning more games than the Bobcats. In the age-old debate about whether or not you should root for your losing team to finish dead-last in order to get the top draft pick, I always choose a third way: I root for those teams just ahead of mine to keep winning. This way everything stays positive and your conscience is clean. So good luck, Andray Blatche, we’re counting on you. (Gulp) Our future is in your hands. (Gulp) I know you’ll…make us proud. (Side note: I just realized that between cheering for the Panthers and the Bobcats through the years, I’ve sadly faced this “to-tank-or-not-to-tank” dilemma enough times to have developed a rigorous working philosophy about it. Pass the nail-gun.)
Quirk-a Latina: Que demonios!
Today’s Spanish-English quirk is the inconsistent translation for “hell.” The Spanish do have a translation for the physical “hell”: infierno. However, when they use “hell” in anger on telenovelas—as in, “What the hell has my evil twin done to me?!”—the the expression isn’t Que el infierno?! Nope, it’s apparently Que demonios! Literally, this means “What the demon?!” Not “What the devil” either, because then the word would be “Diablo.” Nope, it’s not “hell” or even the head honcho “Devil” the Spanish ask about; it’s just some random demon within the hell hierarchy. Weird. Nor can you angrily wish someone to hell: I’ve seen both Al demonio con tu! and Al Diablo con tu! which are “To the demon with you!” or “To the devil with you!” (note: in this case the devil is sometimes invoked, and I imagine the “Diablo” one would carry more impact, right?), but never “To Inferno with you!” And finally, I’ve never seen the Spanish equivalent of plain old “Go to hell!” Is that just out of bounds for Spanish people? It is a largely Catholic-based society, so maybe you just don’t go there…Anyway, out of curiosity I typed the phrase in English into Google Translate and got back the equivalent of “Go to shit!” which seems both drastic and incoherent.