I’ll say this about the latest two Bobcats games: as bloodcurdling as they were to witness, they provided us all with perfect clarity. I had been holding out a shred of hope that the team could somehow avoid the worst record of all time, and now I no longer do. If we can’t beat the Wizards at home (with no Nene) or the Cavaliers on the road (where they had just dropped two games by 35 and were without Kyrie Irving), then the Bobcats really are the NBA’s Death Star, and we are headed straight for it; we’re in its tractor beam, and there’s no escape. I liken these past two games to the scene in Independence Day in which they talk to the aliens for the first time. After most of civilization has been destroyed, President Bill Pullman nonetheless tries to negotiate with the creatures. “Can there be a peace between us?” he asks. “No peace,” is the answer. “What do you expect us to do?” he follows up. “Die,” is the response. Yep, that’s about where are with the Bobcats, and in a weird way, I’m thankful for the team for driving that point home.
Really, to think anything positive about this team is purely delusional. Not after the Bobcats welcomed back Cartier Martin to the NBA by watching him go for 19-and-6. The man was more open from downtown than a peep show at midnight, going 4-of-8 from distance. Meanwhile, Jordan Crawford, with his strange, hunched gait, nevertheless poured in 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting. And even if the guys on the floor haven’t quit, management sure has. I imagine an Airplane-like discussion must have taken place prior to the Wizards game regarding the decision to have Corey Maggette start on the bench:
- Paul Silas: “Shouldn’t we start our best player and most consistent scorer?”
- Stephen Silas: “No, that’s just what they’d be expecting us to do.”
Against the Cavs the following night, the results were less gruesome, but only relatively—instead of watching Saw I watched The Fly. Losing to the Cavs hurts especially because I think they have three chuckers who are still in the league strictly because their stats are padded by playing the Bobcats: Daniel Gibson, Antawn Jamison, and Anthony Parker (in fact, if I were to start a team of these guys, they’d be my PG, SF, and SG, respectively, and rounding out my starting five would be Marvin Williams at the 4 and big Johan Petro at center).
But getting back to my earlier subject, which was hopelessness, this team is a smoldering disaster that won’t improve anytime soon. Diagnosing the Bobcats’ problems is like diagnosing Son of Sam—where to even begin? They’re last in every category on both sides of the ball. If you put a gun to my head and forced me to pick, though, I’d say they’re worse on defense. ESPN’s David Thorpe pretty much agreed in an article today (side note: although the title of it was “Bobcats Need Anthony Davis,” he could have just as easily called it “Duh”). Unfortunately, what Thorpe failed to point out is that even if the Bobcats are fortunate enough to win the draft lottery (and by the way, if they don’t win the lottery, well then just have an alien stick his tentacle up my ass and use me for a ventriloquist dummy, because I’m done), Anthony Davis would have to spawn another few arms to make an immediate impact. This is because the main problem with the defense—or, more accurately, the worst problem—is that our two tiny guards couldn’t stick with their opponents if they were covered in snot. It doesn’t matter if it’s John Wall (12 assists) or Lester Hudson (25 points, 6 assists), the frontcourt is forced to cover for DJ Augustin and Kemba Walker on nearly every possession, and Davis (or Thomas Robinson or whomever) would just be falling into the same black hole.
Thus, one of the two guards is going to have to go before we see any real improvement—presumably Augustin, because he’s older and his contract is coming up sooner than Walker’s. The team will then need to find someone with at least Jason Kidd-size and Jason Kidd-strength (and preferably without Jason Kidd-history-of-punching-wife-in-the-face-in-a-dispute-over-french-fries) who can give the bigs a break. Where this mythical figure will come from? And when? I don’t know. But at least I know where we stand right now. It’s just too bad it’s in a Sarlacc.