The Charlotte Bobcats head into Portland to take on the Trail Blazers tonight in a game that will be televised oat 7:00 p.m. Pacific on CSNNW.
The Blazers had better watch out. The Bobcats are on quite a roll in March. Of course "quite a roll" for Charlotte mean having lost only two games. Don't laugh. They lost 9 of 11 in February, 7 of 10 in January, and an astonishing 14 of 15 in December. That's a grand total of 6 wins in the last 3 months total. Watching Charlotte's season is like watching Peter Jackson's recent film adaptation of The Hobbit. It's disjointed, shot poorly, bright spots are few and far between, and it just goes on...and on...and on. You can dress it up in the newfangled CGI of an NBA uniform but this is far from quality basketball and it shows.
Like Jackson's movie, the root of the problem lies in conception. The Hobbit was a children's book, a kind of proto-attempt at making J.R.R. Tolkien's detailed mythology come to life in a digestible, accessible manner. As such it doesn't lend itself to the same treatment the more fully-formed Lord of the Rings demanded. The Bobcats roster is the same kind of proto-attempt at an actual NBA squad. They have a couple good characters. Kemba Walker is a fine young point guard. Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon have their moments. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be a really good all-around player someday. But they just can't hold up the burden of two hour game. Almost all of their top scorers are guards who can't really score. Their young center prospect Byron Mullens doesn't do anything that well. Bismack Biyombo is as raw as Gollum's fish snacks. Brendan Haywood might as well be in a sack under a troll's butt because can't even get on the court anymore. The bench has all the luster of a dwarven opera.
As I type Charlotte just lost to the Sacramento Kings...by 36 points. The Hobbit analogy doesn't even cover it anymore. It's as if Jackson filmed a four-hour arm wrestling contest between Gollum and Jar Jar Binks and charged you NBA prices to see it.
The Bobcats can only score in two ways: on the fast break or at the free throw line. Both require the cooperation of the opponent. If it's not forthcoming they're not getting to 90. Their defense is putrid in every way imaginable, up to and including being the worst defensive rebounding team in the league in addition to allowing high percentages and points from every spot on the floor.
Going on with this isn't fair to you, me, or the Bobcats. The Blazers need to repeat their performance against Minnesota, giving a little extra effort on the offensive glass, and this game should be a cakewalk. The Bobcats are the worst team in the league by far. Playing anywhere near their neighborhood would be a worse abomination than turning Gandalf the Grey, wisest of all the Istari, into a half-baked, smack-talking action hero.
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