There was little reason to tune in to yesterday’s Bobcats-Bulls game. First, there would be no Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was out with a scratched cornea. Second, when they showed Kidd-Gilchrist sidelined on the bench, he was annoyingly not wearing a pirate eye patch. Third, the Bulls have the fifth-slowest pace in the league and were without superstar MVP and frequent public weeper Derrick Rose, which saps the drama considerably. Fourth, Chicago turns the ball over less than Mitt Romney turns over his tax records (3rd-best in the league), thereby narrowing Charlotte’s chances of winning to the size of a hobbit turd. Fifth, the Bobcats hadn’t won in 6 weeks and hadn’t beaten Chicago in nearly two years…really, if you wanted to see an enjoyable underdog story, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were better off watching Red Tails and counting the number of times Cuba Gooding, Jr. puts a pipe in his mouth and grins.
But if you did tune in yesterday and witness the Bobcats—as Steve Aschburner put it perfectly in his NBA.com Hang Time blog—“pinching off another run of futility,” it was pretty savory. This was by no means a work of art, or even a work of The Wanted. I wouldn’t use this game to try to get non-fans excited about basketball any more than the CIA would use Safe House as a recruiting video. The Bobcats made a horrifying 21-of-38 free throws and turned it over 18 times, while the Bulls shot just 35% from the field and had a lousy performance from their one All-Star candidate, Joakim Noah. But the Bobcats triumphed and did so where they’ve failed so often before: in the fourth quarter. And the other three quarters. And usually overtime, though that didn’t apply here, but probably would have it had come to that.