Bobcats 96, Hawks 75: Blogcat's Take
If you had told me beforehand that the Bobcats win a game without Raymond Felton, Sean May, Brevin Knight, and Primoz Brezec in the lineup, I would have said, “So what, we’ve got Ryan Hollins.” No, of course not, I would have said you’re crazy. I would have recommended you get on some serious medication, and then I would have asked you for some. But that’s exactly what happened last night—er, Charlotte winning, not my drug addiction (which simply continued)—as the Bobcats went on the road and blew out the Atlanta Hawks in front of a packed audience.
Actually, with a pair of 13-win teams squaring off, it was less a “packed audience” and more a “group of innocent bystanders.” The Hawks have Joe Johnson, budding force of nature Josh Smith, and not much else. Royal Ivey (whose first name sounds the same way Samuel L. Jackson pronounces “Royale with Cheese”) actually started at guard for them with Tyronn Lue out. This is a predicament that has to grate Atlanta fans, although I’m not sure why—c’mon, it’s not like there have been any good point guards in the last few drafts. (side note: Isn’t it interesting that in the past two years, New Orleans has drafted two great college players, Reggie Bush and Chris Paul, who were both inexplicably passed over by other teams? If only their flawed levee system hadn't been passed over by the government...)
The Bobcats, meanwhile, got Gerald Wallace back (!). After missing seven games with a dislocated shoulder, G-Dub appears to have re-located it, going for 18 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 steals. Gerald looked like he was still in a little pain (and was wearing some sort of special protective black t-shirt with ripped sleeves that made him look a little like he was a contestant on You're The One That I Want), but he put in 30 minutes. Down low, Emeka Okafor was unguardable (or perhaps simply “unguarded”), notching 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.
The icing on the cake, however, was the rookie Hollins, who didn’t just put up four points—well, okay, with just a rebound and a blocked shot, I guess he did pretty much just put up four points—he also showed some great post-up moves and threw down a slam that was positively Shaq-tastic. I have to admit I didn’t know much about Hollins prior to his debut a few nights ago (especially if you define “not knowing much” as “only vaguely aware he was even on the team”), but he’s showing incredible potential. Imagine if we could turn him into a 10-point/10-rebound guy by the season’s end, how awesome a surprise would that be!? It would be like answering the door, thinking it’s the mailman, and then finding out it’s a strip-o-gram. Do we have anyone working specifically with this kid? We’ve seen what Kareem has done for Andrew Bynum with the Lakers, so we need some sort of special outside consultants over here, stat. Does McKinsey Group have a division that can design winning strategies for 7’ low-post specialists? You know the PowerPoints would at least be pretty cool.