Poor Rick Bonnell. Did you catch his recap of Wednesday’s latest loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves? There are no quotes or analysis; it’s more like a set of bullet points:
The Bobcats outscored the Timberwolves 20-9 in Najera’s seven first-half minutes
Najera scored only two points, but he grabbed eight rebounds and play rugged defense.
Henderson scored 11 points in the first half, getting to the foul line six times.
Reserve point guard Walker added nine points, earning four trips to the foul line and making them all.
Not exactly a page-turner. I can hardly blame him, though. What are you supposed to do when your team is 7-41 and has the league’s worst FG%? Oh, and then when you ask Corey Maggette about it, he gives you quotes like this: “We’ve got guys who can score. We just haven’t been making shots.” I’ll tell you what you do: you write recaps that read like police reports of murdered prostitutes.
Or you start supplying hilariously unnecessary definitions, like he did in his recap of the recent 76ers game:
“The Sixers…more than doubled the Bobcats in second-chance points (24 to 11). Second-chance points are all scoring resulting from offensive rebounds.”
I found this one especially amusing because it comes at the bottom of the article, which left me wondering the following: what person out there would a) care enough about basketball to read this entire recap of one of the worst teams of all time losing another forgettable game, but b) not know what the phrase “second-chance points” means? Anyway, the point is, we all do what we can to keep from turning into a JetBlue pilot. So hang in there, Rick, make sure your bunker is secure, and remember to keep your iodine tablets handy for when you run out of potable water.
As for me, I’ve been watching these games with a hardened face, stoically staring down the inevitable abyss of doom. About halfway through each game, a single tear trickles down my cheek, like Denzel Washington in Glory while he’s being whipped. Still, there have been a few bright spots. Reggie Williams, for instance, did some nice work against the Celtics as a fill-in point guard. Not only did he register 4 assists and no turnovers, it was just nice taking a break from watching two 1’s who couldn’t post up Danny DeVito. Of course, the Bobcats responded in the following game by pretending like it never happened, and we were back to 48 minutes of DJ Augustin and Kendall Walker. Luke Ridnour should thank the coaching staff, as the otherwise pedestrian PG went for a double-double and repeatedly sailed unobstructed to the hoop faster than Lil Wayne to a bag of Cotton Candy Kush.
Meanwhile, in other positive news, DJ White replaced Tyrus Thomas against the Timberwolves and went 5-for-7 with 5 boards. But really, his best stat was that he wasn’t Tyrus Thomas. Every time I start to feel bad about bashing Thomas, I remember that his most annoying trait is entirely voluntary: those awful long-range 2-point shots that he takes. According to HoopData.com, the Bobcats lead the league in FGA’s from 16-23 feet, in both overall attempts and as apercentage of shots. (I have to admit I felt comforted when I saw this; it’s always a relief when your hatred is backed up with stats.) As most people know, this is the worst shot to take in all of basketball and Thomas has led the herd right over the cliff with it. He’s probably beyond hope at this point; asking him to stop chucking it would be like asking Vince Carter to stop milking injuries.
Quirk-a Latin-a: Cuenta conmigo
I saved my favorite Spanish-English quirk for last (Assuming I haven’t shot myself in the face after the Bobcats fall to 4th in the draft lottery, I’ll bring a new batch of these next March). Cuenta conmigo is just Spanish for “count on me,” and like the other phrases I’ve listed before, the telenovela population is a big believer in this expression. Characters in soaps are constantly telling one another to “cuenta conmigo,” often before then pushing that same character off the top of a roof and running over him with a bulldozer. The funny part of this phrase, however, is the way it translates back into English. Because con usually means “with,” many Mexicans say the phrase with a “with” rather than an “on” in English. I know this for a fact, because I happen to have a bunch of Mexico-based colleagues at work. And sure enough, every time I thank one of them for something in an email, I always get an email back that reads, “No problem, count with me!” or “You’re welcome, you can always count with us!” This never ceases to amuse me.