Monday, November 13, 2006

Nuggets 108, Bobcats 101

Everyone lock your doors and grab your cups, Reggie “Nutcracker” Evans is coming to town! Evans, who gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “ball-handling,” actually raises an interesting existential question: if you had to pick one, whose playoff legacy would you rather have—Bill Buckner’s or Reggie Evans’? Buckner was a decent player, but will forever be known as the guy who cost his team the championship by bungling a routine ground ball in the playoffs. Evans, a similarly decent player, didn’t cost his team the championship, but will almost certainly be remembered only as the guy who willfully grabbed another man’s testicles in the playoffs. Discuss.

I’m having some extended fun with Reggie because fun was in short supply on Sunday night. The Bobcats played their worst game of the season (at least I’m pretty sure it was) against a team that itself isn’t very good. With the loss, the Bobcats are now one of three 1-win teams. The Celtics and the Grizzlies are the other two, and of course both of their victories came against…the Bobcats.

The only other remotely enjoyable aspect of this game was Denver coach George Karl. Due to his famously short fuse and old-school demeanor, I have a hard time imagining what Nuggets practices are like. Can you imagine him dealing with Carmelo, Kenyon Martin, JR Smith, and Nene on a regular basis? It’d be like Bill Parcells having four T.O.’s on his team. Seeing him percolate with barely-contained rage last night as Smith chucked a slew of ill-advised 3-pointers, Andre Miller’s guarding ability was so bad that 5-footer Earl Boykins was actually brought in as a defensive upgrade, and Martin and Nene didn’t even play, I imagine that with HDTV you could actually watch individual hair follicles on Karl’s balding head slowly loosen and detach. And what was up with Marcus Camby? He’s a 7-footer, but he kept drifting around on the perimeter, brought the ball up-court repeatedly, and once or twice even tried to drive with it. One play actually featured Camby feeding Boykins down low!

Who knows, and never mind, because the Bobcats truly outdid themselves on this one. They had more problems with turnovers than a fast-food joint. They committed a whopping 16 turnovers…in the first half! And they gave up a—I don’t know, whatever’s greater than “whopping”—18 offensive rebounds. Their defense mirrored that of the San Diego Chargers’ secondary last night, as Nugget after Nugget was mysteriously wide open right under the hoop. I can understand how little Earl Boykins slips through the cracks every now and then, but what about Eduardo Najera? He’s got to be the world’s only 7-foot metrosexual--how do you lose track of him? Sean May had 5 fouls before we were even midway through the third quarter, and then got T’d up from the bench! Somehow Matt Carroll managed to pick up 4 fouls, even though I don’t think he played more than four minutes. And Adam Morrison had two points. Total. He looked awful; he had that lost, A-Rod-in-the-postseason look of confusion and hopelessness. Trust me, it was bad.

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