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Cavaliers 104, Bobcats 101: Blogcat's Take

Cue the theme to The Jeffersons: I’m so excited to announce that I’m now a member of the “Bobcats Planet” staff! From now on, my loyal readers—both of them—can catch my recaps either on my own web page or on www.bobcatsplanet.com/joomla/. There are several great aspects of this. First, the name: “Bobcats Planet.” Let’s face it, if there was a requirement to name our site in accordance with the team’s present fan base level, we’d probably be forced to call it “Bobcats Village” or possibly “the Township of Bobcats.” But the guys at Bobcats Planet have a dream. And that dream is to make every man, woman, and child on God’s Green Earth a Bobcats fan. Now cue “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” or if you can’t find it, “America the Beautiful." And I share in that dream. And we’re going to make it happen. New York Yankees, Manchester United, I’ve got two words for you: we’re coming.

Second, getting picked up by a site brings me one step closer to my other dream: writing about televised sports for a living. I am praying for the day when my wife asks me to do something and I get to tell her (with a straight face), “Sorry, I’m working,” and the “work” consists primarily of watching television. Early in my childhood, perhaps while watching a rerun of Three’s Company, I heard my calling, and I realized that—if I worked hard at it—I could go down in history as one of the greatest television watchers ever. I know, I’m sure you’re thinking: what are the odds of someone living out such an ambitious dream? All I have to say is: shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you might hit a star.

Onto the game! We were in Cleveland Wednesday night, where they actually enforce a fairly strict dress code for fans. Apparently, you're not allowed in the door unless you’re wearing an Anderson Varejao wig, and either a “LeBron James” jersey or an Ohio State sweatshirt. The Varejao wig-thing was cute about the first 1,000 times they cut away from the game to show fans wearing it, but the last 20,000 times or so it became kind of annoying. We’re talking little boys, little girls, old ladies, guys in suits, midgets in wheelchairs—EVERYONE was wearing the stupid things. I’m halfway surprised Coach Bernie Bickertaff didn’t get in on it. Hopefully they’ll try something else next time we’re in town—how about Zydrunas Ilgauskas wig night? Cleveland actually has quite a few standout haircuts, now that I think of it: Varejao’s wig, Donyell Marshall’s Medusa look, Scot Pollard’s Mohawk. At one point when all three of those guys were out there it looked like the Bobcats were taking on the band Rancid.

Anyway, no News14 coverage tonight, so I had to make due with Fox announcers Fred McCleod and former UNC Tarheel Scott Williams. We know Williams played for UNC, because he mentioned it approximately every 6 seconds. And anytime Sean May and Raymond Felton were on the floor for the 'Cats at the same time, Williams went into UNC-name-dropping-hyperdrive, unleashing a staggering array of UNC-related anecdotes, quips, home improvement ideas, cooking recipes…good lord! Okay, you went to UNC, Scott, we got it! It’s easy to imagine Scott having a son and naming him “Roy Williams Williams.” Also, whenever he wasn’t doing PR work for UNC, Williams demonstrated he has an absolute fetish for the “Points in the Paint” statistic. I’ve never seen such timely P.i.t.P. updates; all the Fox Broadcast team was missing was a continuous ticker loop running along the bottom of the screen. Is it me, or is there entirely too much made of this statistic? So what if one team has more points in the paint? What exactly is that indicating? Are they worth more? They must be, because Williams treats them like they’re a Gallup Poll.

So I don’t know exactly how the all-important paint-related point stats ended up, but as for the rest of the game, the Bobcats kept it fairly close. It was really a 7-point loss, because Matt Carroll hit a what-the-hell 3-pointer with no time left and no one guarding him. But considering this was on the heels of three straight blowouts, I could barely stand the tension of such a nail-biter. Much to the delight of the crowd, and much to my disgust, Varejao figured fairly prominently in the win (16 points, 10 rebounds). He also got to the free throw line 10 times and could have had a lot more if he’d been passed to all the times he was WIDE FREAKIN’ OPEN under the hoop. Honestly, it’s hard to understand how the Bobcats left Varejao open so much, considering (a) the crowd noise level shot up anytime they sensed he might receive a pass, and ( :cool: the man resembles a 7 foot-tall potted fern. There was also Larry Hughes, who dropped 16 of his own to go with 4 steals. He and Fern-Head effectively ended the game with a steal and a dunk, respectively.

Other than a downright putrid 2nd quarter, it’s hard to fault the Bobcats too much for this one. There was the huge free-throw discrepancy (35-20), standard at this point, and it was essentially due to the fact that anytime LBJ missed a shot, the referees couldn’t seem to come up with any other rational explanation for it except that he must have been fouled, so they blew the whistle. The 'Cats limited their turnovers as well (10). Really, the team’s only problem seems to be their half-court offense; the Bobcats stand around entirely too much. They’re downright relentless about it. They stand and stand until--due to time constraints--someone just chucks one from long range (and misses). Coach Bickerstaff ought to get some sort of megaphone that makes cow “mooing” noises to get them to quit grazing. Occasionally Felton gets pissed, decides to just cut out the middlemen, and takes a kamikaze drive to the hoop. But unfotunately, he’s the anti-Dwyane Wade when it comes to getting foul calls. I’m still trying to figure out why they don’t just get it to Emeka Okafor more often for either a foul or a lay-up. Seriously, guys, try it; there’s no shame in it.

May’s game is coming along nicely as well—he’s got to be the most pleasant surprise this year. I like how Coach Bickerstaff talks constantly about how much more effective Sean is off the bench, then substitutes him in only about 3 minutes into the game and leaves him there the rest of the half. I have to admit that for whatever reason, that slight 3-minute delay seems to make all the difference. Morrison also snapped back to reality tonight with 16 points.

Next up is Orlando, and according to the schedule it’s on...TNT? What? No, that can’t be right…