Jazz 120, Bobcats 95: Blogcat's Take
The Bobcats are currently running a promotion called “Guys Night Out,” in which you get 2 hot hogs, 2 sodas, and 2 t-shirts. I’m not sure what’s so “guy” about this, so they ought to consider changing the title to “Come for the hot dogs, stay for Gerald Wallace.” Really, what other reason is there to attend a game at this point? And heaven forbid G-Dub gets injured or it’s discovered he’s ordering HGH online or something, because then you’d be left with, “Come for the hot dogs, stay for the condiments.”
It was another sensational effort by an increasingly haggard-looking Gerald Wallace last night, as he put up 33 hard-fought points in the latest Charlotte loss. In the third quarter, after G-Dub tripped over Gordon Giricek hustling for a loose ball and then skidded to a halt on his stomach, it looked like he might pull out a pillow and take a nap right there on the court. Wallace actually sounded delirious in the post-game interviews—either that or whoever was interviewing him was hard of hearing. "They (Jazz) run, they move, they cut, they slash and they have great passers and they've got guys that can make shots," Wallace said. Then, just a few paragraphs later, he follows up with almost the exact same words: "They never stop moving. It's hard to help when your guy's always cutting and slashing. I think they did a great job at executing; they got the ball to the guys that were making shots." Somebody get this man an IV-drip.
We are keeping Gerald Wallace, right? I see he’s generally considered the third most coveted free agent for the upcoming off-season, behind Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis. And no offense to those two, but G-Dub wakes up in the morning and pisses excellence. Other than Josh Smith, I challenge you to find a more consistent stat-stuffer. G-Dub is everything I deserve for being such a good fan. Anyway, before I start serenading him with “Underneath Your Clothes,” I suppose I should mention the game from last night.
So, newsflash: the Bobcats lost. Besides being out-moved, out-cut, and out-slashed by guys that can make shots, they were also out-rebounded by a comical margin, 48-21, allowing the Jazz more second-chance opportunities than Dwight Gooden. They also put the Jazz on the line 47 times. In fact, those two disparities fused together awesomely during a stretch early in the second quarter. With the Bobcats down 8 and still more or less in the game, Jarron Collins gets a lay-up and a foul, but he misses the free throw. However, Collins grabs his own rebound to keep the Utah possession alive, and then Jake Voskuhl commits a defensive 3-second violation. Giricek then makes the technical, and then Matt Harpring gets fouled and hits both his free-throws. Bam! The 8-point deficit is now a 13-point deficit in 9 seconds of elapsed time (although it felt something like 2 hours in human time), during which the Jazz only made one field goal.
Although Utah didn’t need any outstanding individual performances to win this one, they apparently didn’t get the mehmet—er, memo. I still for the life of me can’t figure out how to pronounce Mehmet Okur’s first name (and apparently neither can commentator Henry Williams, who actually gives the “Meh”-part a hard “c”, making it sound like something off a McDonald’s menu), but if he keeps this up maybe should call him “2Pac Okur,” because the dude is a prodigiously out-of-control handful. He had 9 rebounds and hit 13-of-15 for 32 points, scoring every which way: long-distance, cuts, and backing it on up like a U-Haul truck. Poor Wallace’s efforts to try to keep the much larger Okur away looked as ridiculously futile as my dog attacking its reflection in the mirror.
Harpring also had 19 points off the bench, and Deron Williams went for 12 and 6. If there’s any positive to all of this, it’s that management has finally realized that they might be better off just going 4-on-5 like a penalty kill than they are putting Primoz Brezec out there--there would at least be fewer fouls.