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Bobcats 100, Bulls 85: Blogcat's Take

Before I get to the game, I should acknowledge that the Bobcats conducted a rare personnel move on Tuesday, at last parting ways with Melvin Ely.  I’m really not sure what went wrong with Ely, as I was encouraged by his performance substituting for Emeka Okafor last year during Emeka’s extended injury absence.  But Charlotte management soured on him in the off-season with about as much explanation as a moody girlfriend, and things just never improved.  So farewell, Mel, we hardly knew ye.  At least we hooked him up by shipping him off to San Antonio.
In return we get Eric Williams, and I’ve prepared the following in-depth scouting analysis on him: Ummmmm…It’s spelled “E-R-I-C.”…And I see he went to Providence…And I see he was born in 1972—crap, he’s old…And, let’s see…Oh here’s something: He averaged almost 13 points last year with Toronto—cool!  Oh wait, make that almost 13 minutes; sorry, I read it wrong. 
Oh, who am I kidding?  I haven’t a clue who this guy is (although in fairness, that’s probably exactly what fans are saying in San Antonio about Ely).  And almost on cue, as I’m typing this, commentator Matt Devlin says over the TV broadcast that the key to this deal is that Charlotte also copped a 2nd round draft pick in 2009.  Christ, that’s the key, a second round pick in 2 years?  Not exactly a blockbuster move (or a ringing endorsement of Williams’ potential impact, for that matter).  Makes me wonder why Bernie Bickerstaff was so busy conducting this trade that he stood up Chad Ford’s interview appointment; I’ve heard of managers completing bigger deals in ten minutes while sitting on the john.
As for the game itself, I feared my ability to pay attention would be impaired by the drooling presence of our new dog, Lincoln, whose purchase I agreed to—more like “accepted the fact”— this afternoon (in return for the naming rights).  Fortunately, Lincoln spent the majority of the game quietly mesmerized by his own reflection in the mirror, doing things like cocking his head, then flinching when the reflection cocked its head, then flinching at the reflection’s flinch, etc, etc.  Watching him is like conducting an experiment in which you’re attempting to measure the speed of stupidity.  
Anyway, onto the game.  Eric Williams did not play—actually, let me rephrase that: he wasn’t in the arena (who knows if he’ll play even when he does show up).  For the Bulls, Andres Nocioni remained injured, which of course drastically reduced the chances of any Bobcats suffering injuries involving punches to the face.  Ben Wallace was present however, snagged 9 rebounds, and—more importantly—answered all the critics who doubted his ability to wear his afro out without the use of a headband (although it did make him look as if he'd gotten electrocuted).              
And that was about it as far as Bulls highlights, because this game belonged to Charlotte.  Gerald Wallace poured in 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots, thereby adding another game to this year’s portfolio of transcendent performances.  Meanwhile, Okafor had 15 points, 21 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots.  In one spectacular 4th quarter sequence, Okafor blocked a jump shot by Ben Gordon, then one by Luol Deng, and then G-Dub blocked one by Tyrus Thomas.  The Bobcats then finished out with strong shooting (bringing their total FG% on the night all the way up to 49%) to stymie the Bulls’ comeback attempt.  Enjoy your All-Star (make that All-Un-injured Star) Break...
All I hear about are what draft treasures Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are, and how teams should be scrambling for them like one’s the Lost Ark and the other’s the Holy Grail.  Yet I’m wondering how great they could possibly be.  I remember in 1999 it seemed like everyone was going crazy about two things: (1) the first of the new Star Wars movies, and (2) the threat of Y2K chaos.  When I commented on this to a buddy at the time, he shrugged it off by saying that “people are easily frenzied.”  This seemed to me like a somewhat fascistic outlook on the world, but at the same time, what’s Oden going to do, put up 30 points and 20 rebounds a night?  Is Durant going to average a quadruple-double?  I’m sure they’ll be great, but I guess I’m so weary of hype, especially when we in Carolina actually have two phenomenal athletes right now who we ought to appreciate more in Wallace and Okafor.