At least that would explain the barrage of inaccurate shit-balls this team keeps smearing in the general vicinity of the backboards this year. Occasionally one will plop into the net, but mostly they splatter every which way, before being hauled in by Kris Humphries, Al Jefferson, and various other non-Bobcats—because the team can’t rebound, either (28th in rebound rate). The Bobcats are shooting 41.4% this season, which is not only last in the NBA, it would be last in the National Monkeys Hurling Their Own Feces At Each Other League if there were such a thing (to my knowledge, there isn’t). In fact, in every conceivable sub-metric of shooting, the Bobcats are soiling the record books.
And that 41.4 percentage is falling fast. Against, the Nets on Friday, Charlotte couldn’t even crack the 35% barrier. Worse, we can’t even blame this on Boris Diaw, because his playing status—which was often questionable even when he was on the court—is now official: he’s going to sit until he’s bought out or traded. This, by the way, is one of the most comical trade demands of all time. I mean, if a team really wanted a large fat Frenchman, why not just take Gérard Depardieu? I bet he’d be a lot cheaper and you could probably get free copies of Green Card. But never mind, my point is, even when Diaw did play, he really only played-ish, taking just 8 shots a game. Unfortunately, this scatological shooting performance is one of the few things in life that isn’t all Diaw’s fault. It’s the fault of the 3-headed monster DJ Augustin, Kemba Walker, and Corey Maggette, which collectively shoots 35.3 times per game and collectively makes just 37.7% of them. Statisticians don’t need a calculator to add all this up, they need a ream of toilet paper.
In the last few games Maggette has at least started to compensate by getting to the foul line more. But against the Nets, he backslid and took a pitiful 4 free throws. Plus he committed two awful turnovers by—get this—passing the ball. I mean, just what was he hoping to accomplish with that stunt? After the second terrible pass I would have liked Coach Paul Silas to knock some sense into him and tell him that his job wasn’t to help his teammates or share the ball or whatever hippie nonsense was running through his head-banded noggin, it was to go the damn cup! But alas, Silas decided to let his son Stephen take over for the night. I love how Silas told reporters that when he asked management if it was okay to let his son coach for the night, they were “all for it!” Um, it’s never a good thing when your bosses are “all for” you not working. Anyway, Maggette wasn’t really the problem vs. the Nets; it was those other two heads, plus a 2-for-21 performance from honorary heads Gerald Henderson and Byron Mullens. The Nets weren’t exactly Steve Nash themselves, shooting just 36.1% for the night. Without Deron Williams, who pulled up lame early on, it was such a dreadful game to watch that during an interview with Nets assistant coach PJ Carlesimo, I couldn’t help but think that his mind had drifted back to better days, like the time he was getting strangled by Latrell Sprewell.
And if it’s not the shooting, it’s something else. Against the Jazz, the Bobcats actually outshot and out-assisted Utah, so what happened? Al Jefferson happened. Early in the third quarter, with the Bobcats trailing by just 4, Jefferson commanded a 19-5 run in which he tallied 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, and 1 shattered Bismack Biyombo soul, because Biyombo responded with 1 missed layup and 1 turnover. It was never competitive after that, although the Bobcats went on a 10-2 run in the final 90 seconds of the game to make it cosmetically close (they ought to call those “Cher Runs”). Biyombo fouled out late, after befouling the arena all night with 2 points, 5 turnovers, and 9 boards. He was seen in the locker room afterward weeping in coach Silas’s arms—broken, defeated, a shell of a man.