Monday, December 04, 2006

Bobcats 97, Pistons 89

Before I forget: a few days ago, after the Mamba dropped 52 on the Jazz,’s Ric Bucher wrote that people need to appreciate Kobe, despite all the ways he’s so completely hateful. Acknowledging that most people will never like KB24, Bucher rebutted with: “But how many times does one man have to drop iodine tablets into the same village well to make it potable?” Damn straight, Ric! How many times does one man have to keep purifying the water with iodine tablets? You took the words right out of my mouth with that one. But next time, try to come up with something more original, okay? At this point, I’m absolutely sick of the old “iodine-tablet-in-the-well” cliché.

Anyway, except for maybe being chronically forgetful about putting the toilet seat down, I’m nothing if not loyal; I flipped away from a scorchingly good Giants-Cowboys game to watch what I assumed would be a Pistons blowout of my Cats. And by the way, I really appreciate these Sunday afternoon Bobcats games, NBA. Way to put them right smack in the middle of football games. Explain this rationale to me: we won’t play any afternoon games all year, except the one afternoon of the week in which we’ll compete against the most popular sport in America. This policy makes about as much strategic sense as attacking a tank with a Vespa.

Okay, NOW onto the game. The nay-sayers keep, er, saying that the Pistons are in trouble because they have no bench. But when you think about it, what team in the East even has a good starting five? And Flip Murray was back in action for Detroit on Sunday, which—in addition to making the Pistons probably the only team in sports that you have to clarify which “Flip” you’re talking about—gives them a pretty decent bench, in my opinion. McDyess, Davis, Hunter—that’s not too bad. And don’t forget Delfino…well, okay, you can forget Delfino.

So Detroit started out on a 6-0 run, and we started out shooting 3-for-12. In other words, all was right with the world. But lo and behold, the game got competitive! Detroit, having won its last eight, was looking a little road-weary. And Matt Carroll was looking a little coked-up. Maybe I’ll start calling him “Meth” Carroll for his random bursts of hyperproductivity. He came in off the bench in the second quarter and hit 12-of-14, including ten straight points, and propelled the Cats to just a 1-point halftime deficit.

And what more can be said about Derek Anderson? Quite a bit, actually. Talk about a guy who needs a nickname! After emerging from the underground and shutting down Joe Johnson the other night, and then thwarting Rip Hamilton and Tayshawn Prince on Sunday, I’m leaning towards calling him “DA Team.” What the Bobcats should do is this: the moment the arena announcer sees Coach Bickerstaff motion to Anderson on the bench to get ready to come in, they should start playing some sort of modified version of the opening theme to The A-Team: “If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you should hire: DA Team.” 11 points in 18 minutes, including a gi-normous 3-pointer-and-one in the fourth quarter that pretty much sealed it, BA—I mean, “DA”—has been our 6th Man of Fortune.

I suppose the only downside was (1) Okafor sat a lot in the first half, for reasons that remain unclear. But he did play most of the second half and was good for 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Also, Adam Morrison was once again a non-factor, with just 2 points. But Felton had 15 and May had 17. And Gerald Wallace was a human floatation device, with 10 rebounds and a big steal. G-Dub landed on the floor an awful lot on his sides, though—his hips have got to be killing him 24-7. If someone ever wanted to torture him, a good way would be to--immediately after the game--force him to watch a Shakira video.

So at last we took it to a tired Pistons team. Detroit is still good, but I don't know about that bench. A great win nonetheless, and just in time for me to flip back over to the NFL to catch Jay Cutler’s debut. And the Panthers didn’t play! Hard to imagine a better Sunday, really…

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