Bobcats fall to New Orleans
New Orleans is another one of those good teams, coming into last night's game 24-16, that the Bobcats have to beat. Well, they had a chance but squandered it by regressing. Too often last night the 'Cats fell into old habits of complaining, protesting calls, slowing down the offense and allowing easy baskets off of turnovers. Biggest single example? Tyrus Thomas giving the ol' crook of the arm to former Bobcat Emeka Okafor. The play resulted in T-Time's ejection, 2 shots for Okafor (which he made...go figure) and the ball for the Hornets. 81-77 when the rebound occured and 85-77 at the end of that exchange. Two and a half minutes to go in the game and one act of stupidity results in an additional 4 points that the offending party wouldn't be around to help get back.
In the game chat here at BobcatsPlanet.com, spectre had a great line: "I thought (flagrant) 2s were supposed to be intentional...not dumb." Tyrus Thomas will do a few things in the course of the game that make you go "Ack, what an idiot." He's high-energy and highly-athletic and sometimes his decisions make you think he might be high. He has helped immensely in the 4th quarter in several games, the block on one end, dunk on the other to get the crowd back into it, he does that kind of thing all the time but he absolutely killed any momentum and possibly the chances the Bobcats had of winning that game last night.
As much as his cocking the elbow and bringing it up and around was dumb, it was inversely smart on the part of Emeka Okafor. By keeping his face in the path, Okafor decided the outcome of the game. Okafor was the first ever draft pick for the Bobcats and the cornerstone of the franchise in its infancy. I kept telling myself last night how little I missed him because he simply disappears. He gets as many rebounds as he used to but he still has no offensive game whatsoever. It's like playing 4 on 5 with him on the offensive end. So that's why I was so pissed when he kept his head in there to take the contact from Tyrus, the juxtoposition of his intelligence with no intensity to Tyrus's intensity with very little thought behind it.
The Bobcats just couldn't pull away at any point, they simply kept pace with the Hornets. David West was outstanding, doing his outside/inside one man game and getting to the line late. Chris Paul was quietly good and the Bobcats, as stated, kept pace enough to not let it get out of hand. DJ Augustin got an early tech, arguing a call that he didn't even know which way it had been called and Stephen Jackson got another called on him for complaining. Interim Coach Paul Silas's quote was brilliant: “There’s just too much nonsense going on out there with the talking to the referees,” he said. “It just takes your mind out of the game when you complain about a call.”
As Yogi Berra said, the game "is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical." The Bobcats have to figure out how to win big games, their season and future of the fan base depends on it.