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Blogcat's Take, 1/31

Apparently, the Bobcats can no longer beat anyone unless the opponent is missing at least two of its best players.  We dealt with Chicago (Gordon, Deng out) and the Clippers (Kaman, Maggette, Brand out), but alas, Philly and Sacramento had the nerve to play all their guys—no fair!  I forget whether ESPN.com’s John Hollinger’s Playoff Predictor system accounts for injuries or not (it either does, it pisses everyone off, and he has to spend a week afterward explaining/apologizing; or it doesn’t, it pisses everyone off, and he has to spend a week explaining/apologizing—I forget which), but I’m imagining our postseason outlook isn’t good regardless.  In fact, after last night’s somnambulant effort in Sac-Town, I don’t even want to look at the odds; I keep picturing one of those “######” thingies you get in an Excel spreadsheet when the cell isn’t big enough for the number.
And really, why should they be under triple-digits at this point?  The Bobcats needed a (frankly) miraculous 2-minute sequence in the third quarter against the Clips in which Wallace, Richardson, and Felton—twice in a row!—hit three-pointers just to get us a seven-point win.  They also needed the Clippers to go 0-for-8 from long-range themselves.  Jeez, no Kaman or Maggette, all those 3’s for us and none for them, Al Thornton fouling out in just 19 minutes…I’d say we racked up quite a tab with the basketball gods in this one.  I half-expected to see Coach Sam Vincent genuflecting on his knees during the game.  Instead, he…just sat there with his index finger on his temple and stared blankly, like always.
Against the Kings last night, it was time to pay the bill.  On paper, the Kings actually have a pretty decent roster, as long as they’re not asking to be traded (Mike Bibby), not pretending they’re Peja Stojakovic (Brad Miller), not pouting with dubious injuries (Bibby again), and not totally insane (Ron Artest).  They’ve even got lots of depth on the bench with Udrih, Salmons, and Garcia.  And then there’s Kevin Martin, easily the unlikeliest-looking superstar since…ever, possibly.  This would make for a great online poll, actually.  Has anyone ever looked more out of place as a premier NBA athlete?  Even Damon Wayans in Celtic Pride was more believable.  I’m trying to come up with a comparison.  Imagine if Clay Aiken was a Hollywood action-movie star.  Actually, I know it’s awhile ago now, but at the time it was really weird to hear the news that Michael Keaton was going to be playing Batman in the blockbuster 1989 remake—anyone old enough to remember that one will recall a national collective head-scratching.  There’s your Kevin Martin-as-playmaking-god analogy, feel free to toss it out to your friends at work (Martin and Keaton even have the same natural jheri-curl going).
So anyway, the awe-inspiring majesty of the Kings marquee roster aside, other than Gerald Wallace, we had nothing going in this one.  Maybe the news that California had failed to pass health care coverage legislation bummed us out.  Perhaps we were expecting the Fed to cut 75 basis-points off the overnight interest rate instead of a mere half-percent.  I don’t know, but the 41% FG shooting was awful, and unless Gerald Wallace finds out he’s one of the Cylon models and starts bringing duplicates of himself to games, we’re in for a rough second half. 
The Charlotte Observer charitably wrote that the Kings needed a “late run” for the win, but we were never within 6-points during the second-half and were frequently trailing by double-digits.  And even the first-half had all the characteristics of a stock market bubble about to burst, considering we shot 58% and were still trailing by 3 at the break.  And of course, there were the second-chances—13 offensive boards allowed to a team that’s 25th in the league in that category—that have become the calling card of our suckage.  At least Sam Vincent picked up a tech, thereby showing some signs of life.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Nash has got more technicals at this point.    
We also have a new villain, ladies and gentlemen: Mikki Moore.  Not only did he grab 3 of those O-boards, he also decided to play his one decent game of the year.  That’s not why we should hate him, though.  We should hate him because Sacramento stupidly forked over $5.35 mil for him.  At 32, Moore should have been preparing for a second-career as a kung-fu movie villain (he’s got the hair and the flops down; I’m picturing something in which he leads a group of evil Manu Ginobli clones that attack one-at-a-time and bounce and dive off Jackie Chan or whoever).  Instead, he’s Exhibit A in Emeka Okafor’s case for a huge raise.