What a wonderful weekend it was for yours truly. First, on Saturday I got a late-arriving Christmas present consisting of gift cards for iTunes and Starbucks. This is like giving Eddie Money two tickets to paradise. I love both companies; roughly 75% of my paycheck goes to their products. If I were an NFL wide receiver, they would be my baby mamas. And even better, on Sunday the Bobcats do the unthinkable by defeating Detroit!
I say “unthinkable” because Detroit is all wrong for Charlotte, even if they’re a lousy team. Tayshaun Prince can’t seem to do anything against anyone except against us, and sure enough, he went perfect for the first quarter. Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight tend to expose our backcourt defense like Angelo Mozilo to a tanning both, and Charlie Villanueva cripples us like polio with 3-pointers. And then last year they added Greg Monroe, and then this year they added Andre Drummond, who’s more money than Phillip Drummond. It’s just too much; the game hadn’t even begun yet and I’d already pre-quit.
Fortunately, the Bobcats didn’t follow my lead. They somehow rode an almost entirely backcourt offense to victory. 77% of the Bobcats’ scoring came from the 1-3 positions (and with players like MKG and Jeff Taylor manning the SF slot, I have no problem including them as part of the backcourt). At one point in the second quarter, after yet another driving layup from Ramkemben Gorsesswalk, Pistons commentator George Kelser noted, “You might be able to double that pick-and-roll, especially with Brendan Haywood providing the pick.” Truer words haven’t been spoken since Jay-Z claimed that “life is short, then you on life support,” and the Pistons soon got wise. I expected Detroit to start cutting off the Bobcats’ guards like a beard in an Amish shearing attack, but they were either unwilling or unable. Walker, Gordon, and Sessions kept going 1-on-4 at the rim, kung fu movie-style, and it kept working.
We should definitely give a little credit to two of the more maligned Bobcats alive: Tyrus Thomas and Bismack Biyombo. Thomas, who’s been gone so long that I can’t remember if he tore a calf or gave birth to one, returned for the Cleveland game. For most of that game and this one, it looked like his only function would be to help out Biyombo with his goaltending duties. But he had 13 points (on 14 shots, so I’m not about to start creating a YouTube montage for a Most Improved Player campaign), including 6 in OT, and 3 big offensive boards. And Biyombo, bless his possibly 35-year-old soul, had a 10-and-17 (and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the charity stripe), including a free-venti-latte-out-the-nose-inducing 7 offensive boards. Good news on the rebounding front, by the way: we’re no longer last in opponent-offensive-rebound-rate percentage! We’re second-to-last. Eat it, Sacramento!
But really, this game belonged to Kemba, whose circus shot to tie the score at the end of regulation had more English on it than a crumpet. And it belonged to Gordon, who’s lately been hotter than Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. Gordon’s TS% is second only to MKG’s, and both his TS% and PER are the best they’ve been in 4 years. Even more bizarre is that his defense has been, well, existing. The Cats have allowed 11.3 points less per 100 possessions with Gordon on the floor, and he’s holding opposing guards to a roughly 16 PER, which is totally respectable. I don’t get it. It’s not a contract year, so I don’t have any rational explanation for this. Is it professional pride? Like I said, I don’t have any rational explanation for this.
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