Before you read anything further, just go here and watch and enjoy. And re-watch it and re-enjoy it. And re-re-watch it and re-re-enjoy it until years have passed and you realize you’ve spent your whole life as a detached brain in a vat in the matrix. I’ve seen this film more times than Pulp Fiction now, because who knows when we’re going to see anything like it again? It’s so crazy and so awesome that it moved Scott Fowler to quote Twain. I’d make fun of him except all I was moved to make was Audrey’s squeak in Little Shop of Horrors. Fortunately, we have Gerald Henderson himself to break down the play’s more nuanced, technical details: “I just threw it up and it went in,” he said of his game-winning miracle hoist. Having suffered with this team for years, I’ve seen the Bobcats throw up more prayers than Jimmy Swaggart at an escort service, and they almost never work. But this one did, and the orgiastic frenzy that ensued is almost as pleasurable as the shot itself. I particularly love the cheerleader who legitimately could’ve been assessed a technical foul for jumping on the court:
This win seems even less probable in light of many ominous harbingers. First, fiendish Spaniard Ricky Rubio played Bismack Biyombo for a fool just moments earlier to hit the presumed game-winning reverse. Also, the Bobcats had been unable to handle unstoppable athletic freak Luke Ridnour all night long (22-7-7 for LeLuke). JJ Barea drilled the type of monster 3-pointer to tie it up at 93 that makes his marriage to Miss Universe much less non-nonsensical. And of course, the Bobcats had a vomit-inducing cataclysm that produced an 18-point deficit. Or as they like to call it, “the first quarter.”
About that first quarter, things were so bad that coach Mike Dunlap was forced to try everything from a zone defense to Tyrus Thomas. After that his only option would’ve been voodoo. In fact, they could have shown him shirtless with a grass skirt, a necklace made of teeth, and a bone through his nose and I wouldn’t have blinked; it was that bad. Seemingly every shot from Minnesota was an alley-oop or a wide-open 3-pointer, and the Timberwolves piled up 34 points with more possessions than Satan.
Dunlap wisely reversed course in the second half by doubling down on his guards. Really, what choice did he have? The frontcourt/backcourt production on this team is so unbalanced it’s like watching Calista Flockhart on a seesaw with Chris Christie. Thomas hasn’t just been bad; he can’t even perform basic tasks anymore. He flubbed a slam dunk but was bailed out by Biyombo (in a jumbo shrimp-sized irony). And then, on the very next offensive possession, he threw a terrible 3-foot bounce pass that was stillborn on delivery, stolen by Rubio, and eventually converted into a Ridnour jumper. Faced with this crisis of inequality, Dunlap opted for a lineup of Henderson, Kemba Walker, Ben Gordon, and Ramon Sessions all out on the floor at once.
And don’t forget MKG! It was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who kept everything alive on that last possession. Henderson got stuck in the key and either lost the ball to or had it stolen by his own teammate, Biyombo (neither of which would have surprised me), who then either lost it, had it stolen, slapped it, or simply flung it mindlessly out of bounds (again, none of these would have surprised me)…where it would have ended up had MKG not managed to save it and desperately heave it back out toward mid-court, where Walker caught it and got it back to Henderson (although not before first dribbling it off Barea’s foot and deep into the Bobcats’ own backcourt—have I mentioned that was quite a final sequence?) for the game-winner. MKG had the best 2-point/0-rebound/0-assist/4-PF game I’ve ever witnessed, thanks to that save.
The Bobcats’ 16-game home losing streak is now over with two games to spare before tying the NBA record. And that’s a good thing, because when it comes to making negative history, the Bobcats are rivaled only by the country of Chad.
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