This is how pitiful I am: anytime the Bobcats have a lead in the fourth quarter, I start calculating how soon they could theoretically win if they did nothing except commit 24-second violations for the rest of the game. Then I’ll start changing variables, like how fast the other team scores and whether they shoot 2’s or 3’s. For example, if the Bobcats are up by 8 and we assume the other team scores a bucket every 10 seconds, we could implement a 24-second violation-only strategy starting with 1:42 left. Or let’s assume the opposition hits 3-pointers but it takes them 15 seconds, we could implement Operation 24 with 1:18 left. I’d actually like to see a table of this, like they have for NFL coaches and when they’re supposed to go for the 2-point conversion. Anyway, lately I’ve started doing this earlier and earlier in the game: last night against the Magic, I think I started with about 8 minutes to go in the 3rd.
That’s because the Cats were improbably ahead by 7 and Gerald Henderson had just gone to the bench. I knew something was wrong, because it was way too early to sub in for him, considering Hendo had been scoring more efficiently than a Fembot. He left the game having gone 8-11 for 17 points and never returned; apparently his back seized up on him. Fortunately, the Bobcats persevered and managed to maintain their slim lead throughout the entire second half, although watching it whittle and whittle was the basketball equivalent of watching Nathan Thurm’s cigarette ash in those old Martin Short bits.