Oh brother, didn’t we just play these two teams? Cheering for the Bobcats is starting to feel like cheering for Law & Order reruns. The Bobcats played the Bucks and the Hawks each for the second time in about 5 minutes, and the outcome on both occasions was the same as always: miserable, humiliating failure. This is no diversion from my regular life at all; in fact, it’s just like real life: tedious and repetitive. I don’t know why I keep coming back for more. And yet I do. What can I say? When the night falls, my loneliness calls…
Perhaps it’s the fun of deciphering coach Paul Silas, who in an article with Hardwood Paroxysm, offered up this analogy for Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo: “It takes at least two to three years before they really understand how to play. So the guy might have a lot of athletic ability, but it’s like a baby. A baby and a two year-old, it’s quite a difference.” Much to my surprise, the next line in that quote was not, “Now hand me another bottle of glue to sniff.” Besides just being deeply weird, does that analogy even work? After all, how much more sophisticated is a 2 year-old than an infant? A 2 year-old is still largely immobile, cries heavily, and defecates itself. In fact, even its few advancements are mostly undesirable: it can now bite, scream, refuse, and destroy.
Unfortunately, against the Bucks on Friday, Walker played little better than an actual 2 year-old, spitting up 6-for-26 shooting and drooling out 4 turnovers. On the other hand, at least one of our players looked like he’s ready for middle school, and that would be Byron Mullens. On the strength of his 31-and-14 effort, the Bobcats managed to grope their way to a 1-point lead late in the game, causing the Bucks announcers and the entire Milwaukee crowd to collectively push the panic button.
This was actually the second time in the game this had happened. The first was with about 4 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, when Biyombo led a fast break that ended in a hilarious, shambling dunk that reminded me of the falling Mad Men icon. The Bucks announcers, who came out of halftime sounding the alarm about their team’s apparent 3rd quarter woes (as a Bobcats fan, this was rich, by the way—I felt like a homeless guy listening to someone complain about his Gulfstream), went into crisis prevention mode. Unfortunately, it was not to be for the Bobcats. Perhaps it was the overwhelming harassment of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis; perhaps it was Ersan Ilyasova, who crashed the boards like a Navy jet into a Virginia apartment; perhaps it was the confusing slogan of the omnipresent Frontier Airlines billboards (“A Whole Different Animal”? Does coach Silas also moonlight as an ad exec?). Whatever it was, the Bucks squeaked out a 5-point victory.
The only real positive thing about the Atlanta game was that we got the home announcers (as I mentioned last time, Dominique Wilkins makes Dell Curry sound like Dick Vitale). Otherwise, there was nothing to cheer for, other than the return of Corey Maggette (but disappointingly not wearing a green headband—does he not care about the environment?), and Cory Higgins, who checked in from Jupiter and got 22 points. The Bobcats defended against the Hawks like the Statue of Liberty defended against Cloverfield: Atlanta got 56 points in the paint and shot 52% from the field. Offensively, the Bobcats were equally dismal. Mullens played like he was in some bad action movie in which a sniper threatened to kill him unless he shot the ball at least 25 times. And most embarrassingly of all, 4 of the Hawks starters played under 23 minutes—there’s nothing like watching your team get an atomic wedgie put on by Willie Green, Jannero Pargo, and Ivan Johnson to really make your weekend complete.