Over the last few games Charlotte Bobcats rookie Bismack Biyombo has shown everyone a small glimpse of what we have to look forward to from him. In the last 3 games he is averaging 10.3 rebounds and a jaw dropping 5 rebounds per game. When a rookie puts up those kind of numbers, everyone takes notice. Take a look at what people are saying. And remember you can watch every Bobcats game in 2012 with NBA League Pass on DIRECT TV.
After getting blown out on Sunday by the Pacers, the Bobcats lost again on Wednesday to those same Pacers in the most hotly-anticipated sequel since The Human Centipede 2. For Charlotte fans, this season has long been an exercise in coping, and now the same can be said for journalists, too. In his recap this morning, Rick Bonnell took the rather remarkable step of ignoring last night’s game completely and focusing instead on Bismack Biyombo’s improving performance. Kudos to Rick for thinking outside the box, and I encourage future recaps that don’t actually recap anything. Maybe he can just list his favorite Muggsy Bogues moments or Matt Devlin catchphrases.
Might as well, because what is there to say about the action on the court? The team is so shit-your-pants embarrassing that we take solace when they only lose by 14 as opposed to 35. Picking apart the Bobcats’ performance on Sunday would be like identifying all of the bad scenes of Gigli. The Pacers bench was in full-scale laugh-and-point mode midway through the third period.. The team was outrebounded 40 to 26 and turned the ball over 18 times; even Lance Stephenson got in on the act, racking up steals as if they were felony assault charges. Meanwhile, Tyrus Thomas was back to his old tricks, firing off his long-range 2’s that even had Pacers fans groaning. The Bobcats also put the Pacers in the bonus in all four quarters, including a possible record-setting effort in the third quarter that took just 3-and-a-half minutes to complete. That’s twice I’ve mentioned the third quarter in this paragraph, by the way, in which the team was outscored by 20. I know it’s never cool to compare people to Hitler, but what about basketball quarters?
Here in our Bobcatsplanet Forums we’ve come up with a term for all of the losing that the players and fan base have had to suffer through this season. We have given this painful process the title of The Cho Objective. Now we didn’t give it this name out of anger or in a ‘Lets run Rich Cho out of town’ mentality, This title is actually named out of respect for what Rich Cho is doing…
Yep, you heard me right. The Bobcats are planted firmly at the bottom of the league’s standings yet we as fans are very happy with what he has done, And this is why. As an organization in a small to mid-sized market in today’s NBA, moving players that will not be a part of your long term plans ( like Gerald Wallace or Stephen Jackson ) for draft picks is the right thing to do. If you look at it from a long term perspective, moving a player that won’t be helping your team 3 to 4 years down the road for additional spots in the draft is like getting Free Picks.
Rich Cho understands all of this perfectly. He realizes that the NBA of today that unless you’re the Knicks, Heat or Lakers then you have to get decidedly worse before you have any chance at all of getting better. Small to mid-sized markets like Charlotte will never get their hands on the type of game changing free agent that can single-handedly turn around a team’s fortunes. It simply will never happen. Rich Cho realizes that having a mediocre team and pinning your hopes on nabbing that free-agent savior to push you to that mystical next level is a fantasy.
TORONTO—In a shocking announcement on Friday night, the Charlotte Bobcats declared to the world that they had won a basketball game. In a chaotic press conference, spokesman Kemba Walker stated, “The Charlotte Bobcats have now amassed enough knowledge and technology to acquire a basketball win. What’s more, our goal is to acquire multiple basketball wins within a period of 60-70 days. We are now fully operational.” Though there were few eyewitnesses willing to come forward, grainy footage was released showing Mr. Walker, along with several prominent leaders of the “Bobcats”—a radical splinter group of the organization known as the “NBA”—that appeared to back up his claim. Walker denied accusations that his organization had committed a hostile act by procuring this win, claiming, “We are merely taking the necessary steps for our organization’s future security.” Asked by one reporter what the next step might be, Walker would only say that “all options are on the table.”
Actually, Kemba Walker’s real comments after the game were as follows: “Even though it’s only our fourth win, it’s just a win.” He also helpfully added: “A win is a win.” Nevertheless, I was so dumbstruck by what had just happened that I needed read and re-read his quote as if it were from Basketball Prospectus. The Bobcats won! Here’s the other great thing: they actually played well. There’s one huge caveat to this statement, which is that the Raptors shot an abysmal 2-for-16 from 3-point range; in other words, they pulled a “Tyrus Thomas.” But nothing else about the Raptors’ play was abysmal; in fact I’d say it was pretty abysmal—average shooting percentage, turnovers, etc. There had to have been an emotional letdown—let’s face it: the Lakers, the NY Lins, and the Spurs had just come to town, so following that up with Charlotte is like following Led Zeppelin up with Right Said Fred. Oh yeah, Toronto also didn’t have Andrea Bargnani. But hey, we didn’t play Gana Diop, so I’d call that even. Yup, I think this was a legitimate win. Hell, who cares; at this point the win could have been more illegitimate than Frances Quinn Hunter and I’d take it.
Wow, I finally feel like I’ve found a team more hopeless than the Bobcats. Though the Phoenix Suns prevailed on Saturday night, 95-89, the game was close until about midway through the 4th quarter. Moreover, the Suns are an old team who could make up their own “What Ever Happened To?” trivia category (with the answers being Grant Hill, Michael Redd, Sebastian Telfair, Josh Childress, and Hakim Warrick). And in a situation that eerily parallels Phoenix’s housing crisis, the Suns are saddled with terrible contracts and busted prospects. They are also lorded over by Robert Sarver, a hated owner who overpaid for them in the first place and is compensating for it by running them on the cheap (Sarver’s actually managed the impressive feat of being hated more for his association with the Suns than with Western Alliance Bancorporation). Add it all up (or maybe, “subtract it all up”), and I’m honestly happier to be a Charlotte fan, which is something I never thought I would say this season.
Not that this revelation made it any easier to sit through this game. The AP recap focused on the 9-point spark provided by Robin Lopez in the 4th quarter, but to me the real difference-maker was a tactical decision by the Bobcats to constantly double-team Steve Nash and Telfair. For some reason, coach Paul Silas was obsessed with doing this at every chance. Clearly Silas gave these orders to Bismack Biyombo before letting him out of his cage, because Biyombo would be up on Nash/Telfair almost immediately after they crossed half-court, and doing so with the type of energy and passion that he usually reserves for committing personal fouls. This made absolutely no sense to me, because Nash and Telfair are among the few guards who are actually slow and small enough for Kemba Walker to cover. And Nash, being Nash, was smart enough to recognize the double-team and dump the ball off to a now wide open Marcin Gortat or a now wide open Redd; it’s similar to what happens when defenses constantly blitz Tom Brady. Thus, the only reason this game wasn’t more of a blowout was because Gortat went just 5-for-11 (way too many misses, considering all of his shots were in the paint), and the Suns missed 12 wide-open three’s. Indeed, I’m surprised Redd waited so long after his injuries to sign with the Suns; technically he could have played his role while still on crutches; all he had to do was park in a corner and wait.
I’ll give you three guesses, but if you need more than one then you must not follow the NBA or watch FOX on Sundays (or any other day thanks to syndication; love them reruns). What’s the answer? Easy—
Whether you are the optimistic or pessimistic type it is kind of hard not to agree with that. Coming into this season it was pretty easy to see that this season was likely going to be a rough one for the guys. While all the young talent is something to be excited and encouraged about, the team has no definitive leader or focal point.
The good thing is that in time a leader can develop. The problem is going to be in figuring out whom it will be and how long will it take for him to step up. Hence the theme of the post—low expectations (go ahead comedians let me have it).
I would not want to do this often, and I’m glad it is happening in a strike shortened season, but I don’t mind having a year like this. It may sound crazy, but hear me out a little.