I’ll start off with a full confession: I didn’t see the second overtime of the Bobcats win against Washington, because I had recorded the game and only gave myself a half-hour buffer afterward. But even if I had been watching the game live I might not have seen it, because I probably would have passed out from the agony of the regulation and the first OT—I was the Steve Austin to that game’s Bret Hart, and I was caught in the sharpshooter. Thus after dealing with the several minutes of suspended, tortured horror that was Chris Singleton’s free throw sequence to end the first OT, I had to do the thing in which I raced to the computer to look up the score…and the computer was loading really slow…and when the screen finally populated, the first thing I saw was this totally indeterminate picture of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist:
Finally, though, I saw Rick Bonnell’s headline and write-up, and thus did Rick deliver me from my suffering. You’re beautiful in your way, Rick, ‘cause God makes no mistakes.
But first, let’s tackle the Atlanta Hawks game, which took place the night before. Even with a good visiting team in the house, the crowd was somewhat listless, which I chalked up to Black Friday fatigue. It’s so depressing to see such mindless consumerism devour people’s souls, a fact I noted to Siri in my brand new iPhone 5. As it turned out, the crowd didn’t miss too much, because Atlanta was firmly in control of this game from start to finish. Seemingly every time the Bobcats got it close, Atlanta it would answer with a devastating 3-pointer. You know what, I don’t even think it was “seemingly,” I think it was literally:
- Devin Harris made it 29-21 after the Bobcats had cut the lead to 5
- DeShawn Stephenson made it 39-33 after the Bobcats had cut it to 3
- Jeff Teague made it 42-36 after the Bobcats had cut it to 3
- Kyle Korver made it 60-53 after the Bobcats had cut it to 4
- Korver made it 65-57 after the Bobcats had cut it to 5
Ramon Sessions noted after the game that Atlanta has “a lot of continuity in their offense, guys who know what to do together.” He’s exactly right, but it’s ironic because the Hawks have been the picture of discontinuity all off-season; they dumped Marvin Williams, they had to reincorporate Al Horford after he missed most of last year, and they had to give major PT to the flighty Lou Williams. And of course, most importantly, they got rid of Joe Johnson, who was basically their alpha and omega, their yin and their yang, their Earth, Wind, and Fire. Nonetheless, this is a cohesive unit, down to and including Stephenson, who did things on Friday that I didn’t even know were part of his game, such as passing.
The Bobcats, normally the beneficiaries of a strong transition game, were the victims of it against Atlanta. “Our D-Tran gave up easy baskets,” said coach M-Dun in the press-con after the G-to-the-A-M-E. Bismack Biyombo epitomized this with three goaltending penalties, each one more terrible than the last. In the final one on Teague, I’m pretty sure the ball never even made it above rim level, but that didn’t stop Biz from swatting it anyway while it was well on its way down. The Bobcats were also either powerless to stop Horford or had rollicking sex with him, depending on how in the gutter your mind was when you saw these quotes from Dunlap and Hawks coach Larry Drew: “Our backside didn’t pick him up on his roll…he’s a power down there,” said Dunlap. Added Drew, “I saw that (Horford) was in a rhythm and wanted to really try to ride him as much as I could.”
Moving right along, I looked upon the Wizards game with nothing but total dread, because the Bobcats were the natural ones to give Washington its first win of the season. This is why I recorded the game; I just couldn’t deal with it live. This sort of discomfort doesn’t bother me in any other walk of life, by the way. As you’ve probably gathered from my disturbing number of references to flesh eating zombies, I’m a lover of The Walking Dead. I often read about how it’s the grossest program in history, and that one needs a “strong stomach” to handle it, and I always find these lines funny, because this is a show I frequently watch while having dinner. But whatever you do, keep me away from these meaningless early-season basketball games.
Anyway, I encourage you to study the Book of Bonnell’s scriptures for the heart-devouring specifics of the Wizards game, but I did want to point out one thing: Washington brought both Trevor Ariza and Nenê off the bench, because…why? Were they grounded or something? Ariza ended up only playing 22 minutes, although he did have 4 fouls, so that sort of explains it. The bigger mystery was Nenê, who only put in 29 minutes (with only 3 fouls in a 2OT game!?). I recognize that he’s not in game shape due to injuries, but he was a +22, which was tied for the best of anyone on either team on the night, and he completely dominated every time the Wizards gave him the ball—which was not nearly as often as they could have, I should point out. In fact, anytime they did use him, it was almost as if it were a last resort; you could practically see the light bulb going off in Jordan Crawford’s head when he deigned to pass to the Brazilian big man (“Instead of shooting this contested 3-pointer, I’m going to give the ball to Nenê. It’s so crazy it just might work!”). I’m at a total loss on this one. The man was so clearly the best player out there—going 8-13 with Bobcats bouncing off of him like biplanes off of King Kong—that I just, I just…want to thank Wizards coach Randy Wittman, I guess.
That win was our 7th of the year, a number that seems to stand out for me for some reason, though I can’t remember exactly why. We might be stuck on it for a while, though. The Bobcats are visiting OKC on Monday, which the NBA of course managed to schedule on the same night as the Panthers’ lone MNF game of the year. Was the NBA scheduling committee coming off a 2OT rec league game when they planned the Bobcats season?
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