Bobcats/Raptors preview 3/16
Three straight losses all against the West? This isn't the Bobcats of the last 2 weeks! Ok, I can understand San Antonio and Houston but Minnesota? You realize they woke up Kevin McHale to coach this game?
How the hell does one man look that tired all the time? Oh yeah, he's been the GM for Minnesota for about 9 years and the coach for 3/4 of the season. I can't put my finger on it, but it was bad. The 'Cats couldn't buy a basket, I mean even with that loan that the commish has worked out with BofA on behalf of the teams.
Seriously though, how bad is it when the NBA collectively asks for a loan to support fledgling franchises? The local TV, the national TV, the "official" everything of the NBA, were these all negotiated on a sliding scale? I know you have to lower ticket prices, and I know people aren't turning out in droves like the '90s but wow. There are more high $ seats in every arena now, so even if you're not selling out games, you have to be paying the bills right? I know the Bobcats in particular aren't making any money off of TV and if they are being paid by the Latin Radio station to broadcast the dulcet tones of Scott Lowry, the one man wrecking crew, it can't be much.
I got an email update from "corporate McOwnership" in my industry today and the big man basically said "Our market is shrinking by 40%, I still want our piece of the pie, even if the pie shrinks by almost half. Sell more stuff." The economy is bad but hey, NBA in Charlotte, NC hasn't been this good in 10 years!
So tonight, the Bobcats look to bounce back from 3 somewhat understandable losses, that truly didn't set them back much in the playoff hunt. One and a half games back of the 8th seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The Official Bobcats' website has a headline of "Important week begins against the Raptors" and goes on to say how this week, there are 4 games all against teams with losing records and 3 of which are at home (please show up at the arena). This is a very important time. The Bucks face Orlando, Portland and Toronto. The Bulls face Boston, OKC and LA Lakers. New York gets NJ, Sacramento and Orlando. New Jersey will see Denver, New York, Miami then Cleveland in a Home and Home. It stands to reason that the Bobcats could make up their 1.5 games against Toronto, Sacramento, Toronto again and Indiana. Obviously the easiest stretch of any of the teams in the 8th - 12th.
The season series hasn't gone the Bobcats' way. Chris Bosh has absolutely dominated in the previous 2 meetings. 30 in the first and 39 in the next one at their place with rebounds galore. It got so frustrating to me that I believe I claimed he single handedly beat the Bobcats. Bosh may be waiting for that 2010 free agency year or something. They have not given him great running mates in the past few years. #1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani has come out of his shell a bit, scoring a team high 27 against the Pacers the other night. Shawn Marion has been tossed around a lot to be, what seemed to me, a cornerstone/building block in Phoenix, going from Phoenix to Miami to Toronto but he's no slouch. At the same time he's not a big time offensive weapon to spread opposing team's defense. After his breakout year last year, Jose Calderon has sort of dimmed this season, at least in the national eye. He's still a quite solid PG.
I really don't have a feel going into tonight's game. I know it will be a long week if this weather doesn't get better and the 'Cats don't make me a believer against some "weak" competition in this stretch. Toronto isn't that good, not beat us 2 times like their our horrible step dad that says "aye" too much good. They are way back in the East and better start building for next year or taking losses to try and win the draft lottery. Let's hope the flop job starts tonight! Actually, no. Let's hope they put up a good fight and the Bobcats, or Bobs as the woman from Gaston Count in my section Friday night called them, pull away in the 4th to a 98-82 victory!