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Blogcat's Take, 2/4


I love it when the Bobcats wait until precisely 5 minutes after I submit an article to make a figuratively (if not literally) “big” personnel move, thereby rendering all of my observations instantly obsolete.  Earl Boykins had been healthy and unemployed for several months, during which time I repeatedly listed him by name and wondered why we hadn’t made a play for him.  Then out of the blue we sign him to the league minimum, and he plays that night (Earl must have been as desperate as us, considering it’s been days since Pau Gasol went to the Lakers and he still hasn’t played for them).  Except for the fact that I’m not a) a slutty sister, or :cool: a flamboyantly gay best friend, I feel like the knowing sidekick in a romantic comedy in which the boy and girl are obviously right for each other but are the last to realize it.
 
So I think it’s a great move, although I have no idea what took so long and what suddenly made management realize that we needed a backup point guard.  It’s not like Jeff McInnis’ production has been steadily declining.  In fact, he’s been a remarkably consistent non-presence all year.  Check it out:
 
Nov: 23.4 mpg, 4.2 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1.5 turnovers pg
Dec: 23.5 mpg, 3.3 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1.7 turnovers pg
Jan:  29.4 mpg, 4.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 1.1 turnovers pg
 
Talk about flat.  Plot those lines, color them red and green, and you’ve got Freddy Krueger’s shirt pattern.   Maybe it was the fact that Raymond Felton now has more sprains than he has ankles that got management moving, but at least they eventually did the right thing.
 
At least I think they did.  Maybe Boykins felt bad about joining the team after I could react, because he sure didn’t do much.  In his debut against Golden State on Friday, his very first act was to get blocked by Matt Barnes.  He then proceeded to miss a jumper and make a bad pass, all en route to a 2-for-11, 5-point, 3-assist night.  Perhaps he doesn’t want to show Jeff up right away.
 
Speaking of “showing up,” that’s about all we did on Friday night.  Our performance against the Warriors was so bad, we actually got blown out twice: once on a 49-29 run to end the half, and then on a 26-6 assault spanning the 3rd and 4th quarters.  In the ultimate insult, Golden State brought in Brandon Wright--whose draft rights we traded to them--and he jammed home a thunderous left-handed dunk to finish off the game.  In fact, Wright (6 points and 3 boards in 12 minutes) arguably outperformed the superstar we got for him, Jason Richardson (10 points and no boards in 28 minutes).  The Warriors scored 37 fast-break points, hit 25-of-30 free throws, stole the ball 9 times, and almost out-rebounded us (43 to 45, and probably the only reason they didn’t beat us there was because they shot 55%).  Then Felton and Gerald Wallace both went down with ankle injuries, with Wallace apparently now gone for a week.  The only way this could have been worse was if the commercials were nothing but previews for Over Her Dead Body.
 
Next came Denver.  Without Wallace in the lineup, you knew the loss was going to come in either one of two flavors: Yummy Blowout Surprise or Letdown that Melts in your Mouth.  It turned out to be the latter.  “We knew they were going to make a run here at home, but we thought we were going to answer back,” said Richardson about the late Denver comeback.  Actually, they Answered back: AI finished with 24 points, 12 assists, and 5 steals.  We also got burnt by the unstoppable Linas Kleiza.  In fact, with us leading by 10 points as late as eleven minutes into the 3rd quarter, Kleiza alone nearly matched us point-for-point the rest of the way, 21-20.  This is the same Linas Kleiza, ladies and gentlemen, who can’t even confidently declare that he’s confident: “I don’t think I lack confidence right now,” Kleiza said afterward.
 
The Wile E. Coyote moment?  Had to be when Ryan Hollins clearly shouted, “Get that $#!@ outta here!” while blocking shot.  Not a good idea.  And even though it happened in the first half, I knew it’d just be a matter of time.  “Tough game in Golden State last night, late-night travel, high altitude, but we don't want to make excuses,” concluded Sam Vincent, who just came up with three pretty good ones nonetheless.





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