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Blogcat's Take, 4/26

I’ve gotta hand it to Chris Bosh. And this pains me, because the only thing I normally want to hand Bosh is an exploding colostomy bag. I’ve never liked Bosh. His “hilarious” campaigns for All-Star games reeked of desperation; his repetitive video bombs reflect only a dog-like desire to please; his decision to join Miami was a third wheel move of historic proportions—he ought to win some sort of lifetime Golden Tricycle Award for it; his crying after losing the 2011 Finals looked faker than Demi Moore’s face. I basically think he’s a gigantic phony always trying to get in with whoever he thinks is the cool crowd, and I’d be surprised if the rest of the Miami Heat doesn’t stick him with the tab every time they go to the Cypress Room. But give him his due, because he filleted us on Wednesday with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Not only that, in one of the more underreported stories of the year, Bosh nearly tripled his 3-point attempts from 74 in 2012 to 218 this season, yet still increased his 3P% from .284 to .339. Could you imagine Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tripling his mid-range attempts and simultaneously increasing his accuracy by about 20%? He’d be averaging 10, 11 points a game easily.

Anyway, in a phrase that probably also sums up his existence in general, Bosh is the symptom and not the disease. With two down and—let’s face it—probably two to go, the Bobcats have no hope of inoculating themselves against the mad cow that is LeBron James. I’m not sure if it’s possible for a 4-time MVP to be underappreciated, but just consider this: LBJ’s TS% of 64.9% was topped only by Kyle Korver’s 65.3% this year, but with the gaping caveat that James’s usage rate was 30.9%, compared to Korver’s to 14.1%. Going back as far as NBA.com will let me (ie 2007- 8), nobody other than Kevin Durant is in the 30-60 club. Nobody’s really even close, actually, other than LeBron himself. You usually have 4-5 players a year in one category, and a different group of 4-5 players in the other category, with both stats having an inverse effect upon each other and generally making for a terrible Venn diagram. Therefore, having made the 30-60 club three times (2009, 2011, 2013), LeBron is contagiously awesome, and soulless, opportunistic snake-oil salesmen like Bosh get to prosper in the epidemic.

Between LeBron’s unceasing destruction and the tragedy of Al Jefferson’s plantar fascia ripping like a CD in the first quarter of the first game, it’s almost too much to deal with in one sitting. It’s having to watch a brother forcing himself on his sister under the coffin of their dead lovechild. It’s even more painful when the Bobcats have been competitive anyway. Besides LeBron running freer than a drunken British Premier League streaker, the Bobcats have actually done a solid job in many key aspects. They’re giving up 43.5% 3-pt shooting to the Heat through two games, but that’s only slightly worse than the 36.9% they allowed during the regular season. Rick Bonnell in the Charlotte Observer has made a big deal of the Cats’ turnovers, but that’s because he continues to commit journalistic malpractice by not adjusting for pace. Once you do that, you see that they’re only up mildly so far from 12.9% in the regular season to 16.0%. Meanwhile, the Bobcats have been even better on the defensive boards than ever, hoarding rebounds like moldy copies of Mad Magazine from 1975 to the tune of 86.1% (up from 77.6% during the regular season). The problem is that the Heat (specifically you-know-who) are crushing it in the paint by scoring at a 70.83% clip (all these stats, by the way are per NBA.com). It’s also a quantity-quality thing, too, because 42.5% of the Heat’s shot attempts have been from the paint. The Bobcats were one of the best in the league in keeping teams out of the paint during the regular season. In fact, by allowing the 9th fewest attempts and the 5th lowest shooting percentage in the restricted area, they couldn’t have protected the paint better if they’d wrapped a giant condom around it. The inevitability of Dwyane Wade stepping up his playing time, combined with the slight uptick in turnovers and Big Al’s weakened state, and LeBron James’s omniscience, has created overall defensive turmoil. The Cats’ once intrepid defensive efficiency of 101.2 in the regular season is now totally trepid: they’re at 109.2 so far in the playoffs. And I don’t think there’s a remedy. James is the black plague to our unvaccinated medieval village.

Believe it or not, the only thing that makes me feel slightly better in all this devastation is the performance of the Wizards and Hawks. I have unexpectedly found myself rooting hard for our Southeast brethren, and when the Bobcats do eventually bleed out, I really hope at least one if not both of them advance, and I’ll be genuinely cheering for them if they do. This is not like me at all, by the way; I’m not one of those “division pride” kind of people. For instance, whenever the Panthers seasons have ended, I never then cheered for the Saints, Falcons, or Buccaneers. I guess in this case, though, because all of our games with both Washington and Atlanta this year seemed like they were extremely close, it validates our season if they can move onto the next round.

So there you go: a completely defeatist attitude and a treasonous desire to cheer for rivals. I admit it’s not flattering. But though I may be pathetic, at least I’m pathetically honest. I’ve seen what pathetic suck ups look like, and it’s not pretty.


    root for whomever you want. this is pro basketball, root for who is pleasing to watch.


    personally, i root for the grizzles and kevin durant and westbrook. i love the way the griz play but can't stand the way scott brooks remains employed.


    i root for the blazers because i can't stand watching the rockets play basketball.


    i root for the spurs because as i get older i appreciate age. and that is also why i loved the vince carter three.


    you don't have to defend anything.


    and, i also really like chris bosh's game.