Once again, thanks very damned much to the NBA for scheduling this one right in the middle of NFL Sunday. I’m pretty sure no one I know is more of an NFL fan than me, and I’m positive no one is more of a Bobcats fan, and so here I am of all people forced into a totally unfair "Sophie’s Choice" of sports to watch. I can’t even tape something on the other TV either, because my wife’s claimed that one. And what’s really annoying is she’s not even technically watching anything, she just likes to have something on in the background while she studies. I’m tempted to call up her mother and have her mother tell her that she’s not allowed to watch TV until after she’s done her homework.
I just don’t get this policy!! What is Stern thinking lately, with his weird new balls and dress codes and scouring outer Mongolia to find new ballers when there are plenty in uptown Harlem, and now this bizarre push to make sure everyone’s got…their driver’s license and proper registration? Did I read that correctly? I guess as long as he’s doing this though, I’m curious, what are the stats on this one? Do most NBA players have their driving papers in order, or does, say, Dikembe Mutombo not even have a driver’s license, or is Rasheed Wallace still using his expired one issued by the state of Oregon, featuring a picture of him beardless? I could honestly see it going either way. That reminds me, I love how on a recent Q&A with ESPN.com Rasheed Wallace referred to Stern as “Dictator”—not even “the dictator,” just “Dictator.” I guess I understand that if you have to schedule Sunday afternoon games (although why would you have to?), you might as well make them Bobcats—or Raptors—games to try and minimize the potential audience affected. But man, it sure sucks when you actually happen to be in that minority.
Anyway, Phoenix was in town, and I figured we’d at least be able to get more than 62 points against them, but would we be able to hold them to under 161? The good news is the answer to both questions is “yes”! Umm, the bad news is we still lost by 30. I should probably be more distraught by the fact that we’ve lost the last three games by a combined total of 80 points, but it’s hard to be too upset after any contest against the Suns. They’re like the NBA version of a Jerry Bruckheimer film. Contrasted with Friday’s agonizing asphyxiation loss to the Houston Rockets, this blowout was much more exhilarating, like watching the Bobcats get sucked into a giant airplane engine turbine.
My biggest desire coming in was to get a look at Boris Diaw. After all I’d heard about how much weight BD’s put on and how out of shape he is, I halfway expected him to look like DeNiro at the end of Raging Bull. After what he did to us though (17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists), he sure seemed pretty fit to me. Amare Stoudemire is all the way back too, or at least he looks that way (22 points, 12 rebounds), and I’m happy for him. Except for one thing: it’d be nice if he didn’t slam every dunk so hard; it actually got annoying after a while, because it wasn’t really necessary (it’s not like we were putting up much defense or anything). It was kind of rude in a way—those are our rims, after all, not his. It’s like having a buddy over at your house and he puts his feet on your couch: “Amare, do you slam those rims like that at your home arena? Well stop doing it to ours!” It was also nice to see former Bobcat Jumaine Jones continuously laughing over on the Suns’ bench—talk about a guy finding himself in a much better place! Good for him, he always seemed like a decent dude. And he looked downright giddy with his new lot in life. He was giggling so much he reminded me of the fat guy in Office Space after he got hit by the car and won the huge lawsuit.
As for us, nowadays there’s Sean May (26 points, 10 rebounds, 1 blocked shot) off the bench, Raymond Felton (14 points, 9 assists, 1 steal) driving relentlessly...and that’s about it. Oh, Matt Carroll came back as well and deserves some props for his 12 points, 2 steals, and a block, especially considering he was playing with those injuries—how was he even doing anything at all? I’m the kind of person who’ll call time-out in a pick-up game if I notice my laces aren’t properly double-knotted, so I stand in awe of someone who is playing with a busted elbow and a splint on his finger.
Cleveland Rock City is up next, and not until Wednesday. Maybe we’ll have Allen Iverson by then, although if we were looking to woo The Answer, this was not the game to do it. Interesting side-note on that one, by the way: when Gerald Wallace was asked after the game if he thought Iverson could help us, he said, "I don't think Iverson would do us any good right now. He scores 30 (but) we're already losing by 30." I’m not quite sure I follow Gerald’s logic on that one. It seems to me that based on what G-Dub said, AI is exactly what we need: 30 more points. You figure he’d at least get us into overtime…