Yikes, has the first quarter ended yet?
If the NBA decided for some reason that the first quarter of all games tonight didn’t count, the Bobcats would have won. By one. 28 to 10 in the first quarter. I got the game late as usual and saw after hardly any time that the Bobcats were down 17-0. I went to the bathroom and I think it was 19 to 4? I don’t know. My buddy that sits behind me says “See what you did? You better get here on time one of these days.” I tend to agree.
The Mavs were not that much better. As Neil Everett asked at the beginning of the “highlights,” who do you think has the worse record, Dallas or Charlotte? The answer was Dallas. 3 and 7 not that great for a team with 2 Olympian starters, one of which was an MVP 2 years ago. You know what? When your leading scorers look like this:
Nowitzski 32 Augustin 21
Howard 21 Felton 11
Terry 15 S.Brown 11
You aren’t going to win the game most of the time, especially when you get outscored by 18 in the first quarter.
I’m not mad, I mean they just weren’t done scoring from their overtime 124-114 beating of the Knicks and they have a national TV game against the Rockets tomorrow night. I am pretty upset with the starters. Matt Carroll couldn’t find a shot. Sean May couldn’t cover anyone on defense and he couldn’t get back and move enough to get open on offense. Emeka Okafor had to step out and guard a 7’ former MVP who hits threes like Jason Terry used to. I do like the adjustments that were made in the second half.
Larry went small and young with DJ Augustin, who played huge tonight, Ray Felton, Ajinca, Gerald Wallace and Ryan Hollins? What? That’s two PG’s? Two 7’ guys who weigh less than Shaq, combined? They went to a full court press with Jason Kidd off the floor, got tons of steals and forced turnovers, made up some of the distance, never got closer than 13 though because Rick brought Kidd back in the game. I liked that adjustment.
Gerald had a particularly confusing game to me. I’m looking at his line and he sure does fill it up like usual but he didn’t put up big totals anywhere. He had a sick block on a breakaway by Jason Terry, who I thought had been around a lot longer than 9 years. He had some nice dunks and I’d look up and check to see how many points he had, 4, 6, 8? What? I thought he was all over the place but the production wasn’t there. I think that’s why I like him and also why a lot of people don’t. The eyeball test makes you go “Yeah, this guy is a great ball player. Worth whatever we pay him, I like him a lot.” The box score and win/loss total makes you say, “Could we do something with this guy?” I don’t want to trade him. He’s the guy on the way up the escalator that you see modeling the uniforms with the mayor at the unveiling (along with silly looking Jason Kapono). He will make you get out of your seat about 3 times a game. Gerald does great things in the community as a lot of us learned at the pre-game press conference last season. He’s not going to do it every night but bang for the buck you’re hard pressed to find a better guy, in my summation.
Back to this particular game. Larry, in his postgame presser, sounded down and dejected. Tone with him is a pretty big thing. He says what he thinks, almost to a fault. He didn’t totally rip on the starters but he barely mentioned them. He heaped praise on DJ Augustin and the bench players in general. He likes, as do I, what Shannon Brown brings off the bench. Speaking of bench, what happened to Adam Morrison? 12:42 minutes 2 points, one rebound? Yikes, not a good night for our white jump shooters, who people get confused a lot up in the two-one-six. Ajinca and Hollins get mixed up from that vantage point as well.
Speaking of my vantage point, I was looking right down on Mark Cuban the whole game. He’s a fascinating person, really. First thing I had to decide was if it was him, I thought he was balder and I was staring at his crown. Second, t-shirt tucked into jeans, with no belt? Come on you’re a billionaire, with a B! Get someone to tell you how you look. He was wearing jeans that as a heterosexual male, made me uncomfortable because they were so high and tight. He cheers, he high-fives the players, gets in the huddle. He pays attention to what the fans say, well not everything because I yelled “Hey Mark! Got any good stock tips?” at the end of the game, probably lame but I was frustrated. He turned around at one point on a questionable call under the basket on Dudley and let someone in the 5th row that he got whoever it was on the arm. Something made me want to watch him, maybe because he’s an approachable billionaire?
I just read the NBA.com, well I guess it’s from the AP, they called the Bobcats “undermanned.” How? There were only 3 inactive for the ‘Cats (I’m really trying to be “journalistic” and not say “we” or “us”) (and use parenthesis and quotation marks): J-Rich still with the knee, no worries there. Linton Johnson III and Alex(I think) Brown. Who else are we going to have right now? I don’t see any trades coming. I don’t see any guys coming in and helping. Undermanned and SOL if we have these kinds of matchups coming. Atlanta? Do they have bad match-ups for us, umm I mean the Charlotte Bobcats. Damn being objective, it’s us!