I’m paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when I say that I have a dream that Fox Sports South never throws up a stupid jinxing graphic like this one again. As soon as I saw it flash at the end of the third quarter in the Bobcats’ latest excruciating loss to the Rockets, I knew that the Bobcats were toast—toast in Mrs. Hughes’ toaster. There’s nothing deadlier than those types of stats; they ought to have their own show on Fox primetime and be hunted by Kevin Bacon, who gets called in for one last mission but is in danger of getting too close—is he the hunter or the hunted?
Nah, that’s not true. Howlin’ Wolf ain’t superstitious, and neither am I. And I don’t believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstein, or Superman. Besides, why make up reasons for the Bobcats’ pants-wetting performance when there are so many real ones? Starting with James Harden. Harden finished with a line of 5-of-20 shooting, 0-5 on 3’s, 4 TOs, 7 assists, 7 boards, -1 plus/minus, and 19-of-21 from the free throw line. This is one of the strangest lines I’ve ever seen that didn’t belong to Bismack Biyombo and wasn’t made of cocaine. Harden had so many free throws you’d think he’d won a throw raffle. They were all of the infuriating Dwyane Wade-style, too. You know the kind: Harden relentlessly bum-rushes the rim and gets knocked down, so the ref has got to call something on someone. This afternoon that someone was usually Gerald Henderson, Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Jeff Taylor, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist—it was pretty much anyone other than James Harden.
Can you imagine what it would be like for the Bobcats to have a super-scorer on their team? I’m not going to start writing speculative fiction, but imagine if the Bobcats could just give it off to someone and let him barrel through the lane to either lay it in, get free throws, both, or dish it out to wide open guys with last names like “Beverley,” who drain 3-pointers like car batteries. I have a dream, indeed. Believe it or not, I thought we actually once did acquire such a player when we got Jason Richardson. I swear I am not high now nor was I then when I watched the Cats acquire J-Rich in the 2007 draft. This was a dude who’d very recently produced a 23 PPG season, had been a 2-time slam dunk champion, and was only 26. Plus all we gave up was Brandon Wright. “A starting backcourt of Jason Richardson and Raymond Felton?” I said to my 2007 self, “Being backed up by Matt Carroll and Jeff McInnis? This is a couple with obvious staying power, like Gillian Anderson and Julian Ozanne. Sold! Sold like advertising space for Heroes.”
Anyway, when Harden wasn’t doing his damage, the refs were. In a castrating sequence late in the fourth, Walker hit a sweet 12-footer to give the Cats a 94-93 lead. But then on the ensuing Rockets’ possession, (guess who) Harden lofted a pass cross-court to a camped out Carlos Delfino that had more hang time than Mr. Cooper. Ramon Sessions was en route to intercept and would have easily at least been able to get a hand up in Delfino’s face, but he was detained by Omer Assik in one of the most obvious moving picks I’ve ever seen (non-Biyombo division). Delfino splashed the three, and then on the very next possession, Henderson was called for a terrible charging foul on the aforementioned Delfino, who flopped harder than an Argentinian inflation control measure. What’s that, Mr. Official, you say Delfino’s feet were planted? Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of justice being raped!
Ugh, there was so much to hate about this game. Is there anything more annoying than when an opponent botches a layup but gets his own board, and when he goes back up again, he makes it, and this time he gets an and-one? That happened with Assik at the start of the fourth. When I go to hell, Satan’s just going to play that sequence on an endless loop, only it’ll be Carlos Boozer and he’ll be simultaneously tongue-kissing my sister. Oh well, I should probably cut off this MLK Day post before I mention anything else about hate, rape, or Satan. Or Heroes.
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