Amazingly, the Bobcats continue to break new records in humiliation. I personally thought they topped out by losing back-to-back blowouts to the Cavaliers and Wizards last week, but it turns out they were just getting warmed up. In fact, those games were mere wedgies and “Kick Me” signs compared to the bucket of pig’s blood that was Monday’s Hornets game.
But before getting to that one, I don’t want to take away from Sunday night’s loss to the Celtics, because it was marvelously putrid in its own right. For starters, the C’s rested their “Big 3” of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. It made no difference, though, because right now the Bobcats couldn’t beat the band Boston, let alone the basketball team. PG Rajon Rondo (20-16-6) had his way with the entire team, frequently tangling up Kemba Walker and DJ Augustin in screens like Batman villains on the old 60s TV show. Rondo was hardly alone, though. Greg Stiemsma, a cross between Serge Ibaka and Eminem, blocked 6 shots and owned the paint. Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass combined to go 18-for-33 from the field. Ryan Hollins played 20 minutes. That’s how bad it was.
And then came the Hornets game, which was the NBA’s answer to the Pete Campbell-Lane Pryce fight. In a spectacular display of joint-incompetence, both teams threatened to break the all-time lowest scoring mark held by the Celtics and the Hawks…That would be the Milwaukee Hawks of 1955, back when the league was populated by guys named Dickie, Whitey, and Adolph. Poor Spencer Percy’s recap of this embarrassing monstrosity for ESPN’s Daily Dime read more like a cry for help. “That was painful, pitiful, pathetic. Take your pick,” Percy wrote, “I’m just not so sure this team isn’t really the worst ever. Every night it gets harder to watch the Bobcats play.” Percy should just make a hologram of himself reading his recap and send it to David Stern, Princess Leia-style.
Believe it or not, there actually was a positive moment in this game—for me, at least. Early in the first quarter, I temporarily misunderstood announcer Steve Martin’s referral of Derrick Brown as “D. Brown” to mean that the Bobcats had acquired Dee Brown. Dee Brown, some of you may remember, was a PG who was so terrible that the Wizards probably still don’t regret cutting him a few years ago, even though his replacement, Javaris Crittenton, almost singlehandedly destroyed the franchise through a combination of firearms and murder charges. Brown’s height also wouldn’t surpass 5-10 even if he grew an afro the size of Haywood Nelson’s at the peak of What’s Happening. So I momentarily panicked, thinking that our backcourt of Frodo and Samwise had just been joined by Lord Tyrion. Fortunately, though, I realized that Martin was just talking about Derrick.
On the other hand, even though they didn’t sign Dee Brown, the Bobcats did sign Jamario Moon. Moon’s role is presumably to fill in for Corey Maggette, who is now out for the rest of the season (his injury was complications due to a bloated contract). So far, though, the only skill of Maggette’s that Moon has replaced is the ability to wear a headband. Moon has not only gone 0-for-5 in 23 minutes of total playing time, I don’t think he’s even hit the rim yet. Perhaps the coaching staff should tell him to close his eyes and pretend he’s playing the Bobcats, because he averages about 13 and 10 against them.
All in all, it’s pretty hellacious. The desperation is even evident in the telecasts. Against Boston, DJ White was honored with the “Toyota Play of the Game” even though we were still in the first quarter. It was as if the producers knew they needed to pick the first half-decent play they saw, because it would probably be the last. Meanwhile, Martin’s cheerful understatements sound more and more absurd. During one of the many cold stretches against the Hornets, Martin noted that the “Bobcats’ offense leaves something to be desired.” Yeah, hope.