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Blogcat's Take, 3/29


Before I do anything, I have to acknowledge the stupidest ESPN.com headline I’ve ever seen in my life, or at least this week. It’s on their main page right now: “LeBron on Cabrera deal: 'Wow'.” Why one pro athlete’s generic exclamatory response to the revelation that another pro athlete in a different sport signed a huge contract is considered headline-material is unclear. I guess the headline did its job, though, because I clicked through to see what other newsworthy insights King James had to offer (in addition to “wow”). They were as follows: amazement, a little jealousy, a desire to eliminate the NBA’s salary cap, a stated belief that Miguel Cabrera is the best player in baseball, and a confirmation that he (James) would sign a deal similar to Cabrera’s 10-year, $292M contract if he were hypothetically allowed to do so...and that’s it. In other words, the entire spectrum of James’s commentary perfectly matches that of any random person on the street. I don’t even think this article would have gotten an A at UNC’s African-American Studies department; it was that inane and pointless. It illustrates ESPN’s core belief that whenever possible, the best way to overhype a superstar is with another overhyped superstar.

Shifting gears—and by that I mean throwing it in reverse while going 100 mph—the Bobcats broadsided a Mack truck full of fertilizer last night by inexplicably succumbing to the Orlando Magic in OT. And I give them credit for accidentally constructing a customized version of hell for yours truly. That’s because I was at an airport, which meant I spent my time first in the terminal and later boarding the plane by following the game via Rick Bonnell’s tweets. As you can imagine, my emotional trajectory went from relief that I was missing a carefree blowout that I would happily watch later on my DVR, to concern that the game had become close, to outright horror that the Bobcats were now inexplicably trailing, to frail hope that they might prevail in OT...at which point I was told by the airline crew to put my devices in “Airplane” mode because we were taking off. So for 90 minutes I had to dangle off an emotional cliff, not knowing how things had turned out. It was basically the sports version of a family waiting for days to find out about loved ones in a natural disaster with gradually diminishing hope. Needless to say, when my flight (which was surprisingly NOT numbered 370) landed and Bonnell gently broke the news to me, I was broken and devastated. Ultimately, I decided NOT to watch the game when I got home; although I’m insane, I’m not masochistically so.

And though I didn’t personally see it, I don’t think I’m being unfair by saying that Luke Ridnour played poorly. His box score of 1-for-5 shooting, 2 points, and a +/- of -17 over 15 minutes does not suggest athletic dominance. Since he’s joined the team Ridnour has been savagely atrocious, carrying around a 7.0 PER and a -0.1 win-share like dead cats, per Basketball-Reference.com. For the season, the only players with comparable playing time who are putting up Ridnour’s -0.01 per-minute win-shares are in Philadelphia or Utah. The Bobcats have managed to hide Ridnour like drug money by limiting his minutes almost exclusively to when Kemba Walker’s resting (the two have played a grand total of about 16 minutes together) and frequently surrounding him with three shooters (mostly Gary Neal, Josh McRoberts, and Anthony Tolliver) and Bismack Biyombo as the safety net for when he gets napalmed off the dribble. As a result, Ridnour’s net +/- ratings while on the court are better than Cody Zeller’s, Biyombo’s and Neal’s. But that’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

Ridnour’s turnover rate with the Bobcats is at a career-worst 17.9% and his assist rate is at a near-career worst of 22.3%. But even smellier than those two vomit bags is Ridnour’s TS% of .389, a spectacularly low number that is only surpassed by guys like Jamaal Tinsley, who I honestly thought was dead. Beyond some proficiency in the right corner, Ridnour has displayed almost zero shooting functionality. And this doesn’t make any sense, because if nothing else (and there usually hasn’t been anything else), Ridnour’s been a solid mid-range shooter as recently as last year.

Hopefully Ridnour is just going through survivor’s guilt right now for having escaped Milwaukee. Prior to last night’s Shamble in Orlando, Ridnour’s previous game against the Nets was the first he managed to get through without breaking anything, so perhaps he’s trending upward. Still, I can only imagine what it’s like to be Jannero Pargo, sitting on the bench and watching Ridnour eat up all of the available PG minutes. He’s probably thinking, “wow.”

(Reminder: Please don’t forget to check out my e-book at the following link


  • 3 Comments

    i love these write ups.

     

    my friends, casual fans who i make watch the games with me, hate ridnour. i think that speaks pretty strongly.

     

    teams consistently attack him on offense and defense, it's gotten pretty bad.

     

    #FreePargo

    Pargo is better than Ridenhour 7 days out of 7. 

     

    I agree with your hashtag:

     

    #FreePargo

    You make your friends watch Ridnour? I'd hate to see how you treat your enemies!





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