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Blogcat's Take 4/1

I watched the Bobcats last night for the first time since the loss to Memphis—not because I really wanted to, but because the slate of games last night was horrific (at least, in the 7 to 9 PM time slots).  I felt like I was trying to select dinner off a Jack-in-the-Box menu.  The choices were so appalling, that it was either this game or Indiana-Miami, which had only the potential allure of a Britney Spears/VMA-fiasco comeback performance from Jermaine O’Neal.  Seeing my beloved team for the first time since the season officially went up in smoke was sort of like those scenes in sci-fi/action movies wherein the humans who escaped the alien attack return home and start sifting through the rubble. 
Indeed, I clearly wasn’t the only one who’d given up: the Arena was deserted.  As soon as I saw the vast emptiness in the lower bowl, I spontaneously began whistling the theme to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  Commentator Steve Martin charitably attributed the vacant seats to a “late-arriving crowd,” but as they failed to fill up, it became obvious that we were dealing with a “non-arriving crowd.”  “I thought Rasho (Nesterovic) and Chris (Bosh), I could hear them talking on defense,” Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said after the game.  So could the television audience, Sam.  It’s not too hard to communicate when you’re practically the only ones in the gym.
Defense was mostly theoretical in this one.  Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed continue to be either unwilling or unable to drift outside the post to cover big guys with range—guys like Stoudemire, Garnett, Carlos Boozer, and, oh yeah, Bosh, who lit us up like jack-o-lanterns for 32 points.  TJ Ford also had the creative freedom to penetrate in and then drift back for unopposed fade-away jumpers.  Jamereo Moon stuck it to us on 6-of-7 FG attempts, Anthony Parker shot 8-of-14…Andrea Bargnani would have done some damage too, except he’s not very good. 
The Bobcats also got theirs on offense.  If we had just gotten a couple more 3’s to drop (8-of-24 overall)—and believe me, we were open enough—this would have been a different story.  In fact, I’m not feeling great if I’m a Raptors fan right now.  On the outer bubble of the playoffs and playing a road-weary team with absolutely nothing going for it (certainly not a crowd advantage), they could barely squeak out a 4-point win.  Even Earl Boykins was playing some effective keep-away.  Steve Martin noted as much when he observed, “Boykins is looking more and more a part of things every day.”  Great, but when did we get him?  Early February?  I would have preferred if Martin had been saying this about a month-and-a-half ago.
Anyway, when Martin began describing the plot of the romantic comedy Pushing Tin to clueless booth partner Henry Williams, that was my cue to flip the game off (for reasons that were never made clear, Williams worried whether or not Quentin Tarantino directed).  Before I forget, here’s the Helpful Office Tip of the Day: if you’re ever riding in an elevator and the only other passenger is female, whatever you do, do NOT start humming Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator.”  It was on the radio that morning so it was in my head, I’m all the way up on the 34th floor, I wasn’t paying attention…I’m just glad that all I got was a funny look and not a lawsuit. 


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