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Bobcats Suffer Sucky Loss to the Knicks

Facial Hair

It's Drew Gooden's beard. At least he's smiling.

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The Bobcats' loss to the Knicks last night, 93-89, was the kind of game that gives pro basketball a bad name. David Lee probably had the best night of anyone on the floor, with 13 points and 16 rebounds. And that includes the arena technicians who had to go through the nightmare of malfunctioning clocks and buzzers during the entire first half. The Knicks stole at least two inbounds passes after a made basket. Matt Carroll again contributed 14 minutes of pure suck. Also, for some reason that still continues to elude me, Larry Brown thought it was a good idea to play Singletary, Augustin, and Felton together for a stretch, with Singletary on Nate Robinson, Augustin on Duhon, and Felton on... the 6-7 Wilson Chandler.

In the end, we couldn't close. We couldn't hit our free throws, and Gerald might be the only one on the Bobcats who's going to get a foul call driving through the lane in crunch time. So, of course, Raymond took that attempt, and that was it.

I really hate to be a nattering nabob about this, but the Bobcats simply don't beat good teams, and they lose more than their share to middling and crappy squads. Their best win all season was probably the one over New Orleans, followed by the win at New Jersey over a Nets team that's expected to stay hovering around .500 the rest of the way, at best. They won four out of five--against the dregs of the league. Boris Diaw is gradually sliding back to being the Diaw we know and love so well from every season of his career that wasn't 2005-06. In 9 games with the Bobcats, he's been like Vlade Divac--the 35 year old version that couldn't jump to rebound anymore. It was a terrible trade for the present, and just as bad for the future, unless we can get rid of Diaw for someone who will expire by 2011, which would be nice, except that we already had that in Richardson.

I bag on Augustin a lot, because I'm a defense kind of guy, but with DJ, JRich, Wallace, Okafor, and a good scorer whose price is depressed by allegedly poor defense, like Troy Murphy, that's the kind of team that could light it up any given night, or get lit up. Even if it's not a big time winner right away, it's fun, it would be a team with an identity and purpose on offense, and an outside shot at the playoffs.

You wanna get out of the Vortex of Suck? Start with a plan. Articulate a sound philosophy and stick to it. It's not that hard.

I love Gerald Wallace, and I wholeheartedly believe he can be the second best player on a championship team, but let's say we decide on a basketball philosophy that is not conducive to Gerald's success because we're building around Emeka. Well, we've gotta trade Gerald for someone who actually fits that philosophy. Commit to something.

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-- A broad tip o' the cap to Corn Dog of Hardwood Paroxysm, who spent the third quarter with the Official GF of Rufus on Fire and me. I may make a piece or two out of topics from our conversation. Good times were had by all.

-- Tomorrow is another off day for Rufus on Fire, as the Official GF and I will be spending time imbibing potent potables, consuming delectable delicacies, and destroying her friends at Scrabble. Be safe, everyone. Take a cab. Crash on the floor. Don't do anything stupid.