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Blogcat's Take, 2/6

I’m desperately trying to get last night’s disaster against Miami out of my mind, but the image of it continues to dangle in front of me like full-frontal Harvey Keitel nudity. It was painful for so many reasons, but most of all because I hate the Heat. I despise them, almost entirely because of Dwyane Wade. His pouting, his glaring, his old man ball, his cheap shot knee to Ramon Sessions’ groin that I apparently will never get over…Anyway, the saddest part of that loss wasn’t even my all-consuming desire to see Wade in defeat; it was the blown opportunity to have our first signature Marvin Williams win.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but we haven’t had one of those yet. And yet there are two this year that COULD have been The Marvin Williams Game but weren’t. The first was that otherwise noxious loss to Houston back in December. Marv didn’t have an especially good game (hell, the entire sport of basketball didn’t have a good game in that clunker), but he dropped this hydrogen clutch bomb of a 3-pointer late in the 4th quarter:

It tied things up at 88 and capped a comeback in which the Hornets started the quarter down by 9 and trailed by as many as 13. When Charlotte took a brief lead after that with just 90 seconds to go and Dwight Howard Dwight Howarded himself right out of the game, I thought it might finally lead to a victory of Good over James Harden. Alas, Harden, in the exact opposite of a plot twist—it was like a plot erection—got a bunch of calls and made some ugly shots, Jeremy Lin missed 3 freaking free throws down the stretch, and we sputtered to a loss…much like last night! Except this time poor Marv put up a bona fide great box score throughout the game AND blasted home two 3-pointers, plus an arguably harder floater, and then a jumper to get us a 3-point lead with under 2 to play. And we sputtered again. At least it was Marvin himself who was cleanly beaten by Chris Bosh for the Heat’s game-tying layup, and it was Marvin who fouled Bosh on said layup for the Heat’s go-ahead free throw. Come to think of it, maybe a big fourth quarter Marvin Williams shot is actually a sign of impending tragedy? Next time Marvin makes a huge 4th quarter shot the PA booth should consider playing “Song Cry” or “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

But like I said, I don’t even want to think about that loss, much less write about it. I want to treat it like Manu Ginobli’s groin injury and banish it from my mind. Instead I’d rather happily reminisce about the Wednesday night win over the Cavaliers. I hate hyperbole, so when the final buzzer sounded, my coldly dispassionate and logically rational reaction to that win was that it was the greatest Hornets victory ever. Am I crazy? Wait, let me rephrase that: am I crazy to think that particular thought? After all, god knows we don’t have a playoff win, so our biggest win in franchise history could only be a regular season upset. And within that context, we’ve never beaten the Thunder after Kevin Durant became KEVIN DURANT. We haven’t beaten the Spurs in years. And of course, we hadn’t beaten LeBron in almost 6 years exactly, and I’m such a pathetic enabler of this team that I didn’t even need the internet to remind me of that, because I clearly remember that week. I say “week” because I spent that February 2010 week pondering that win, and also—and I swear to you I did not look this up just now—how the Bobcats immediately squandered that win with losses to the Bucks, Clippers, and the Carlos Boozer (the Dwyane Wade of his time)-led Jazz.

So I actually did some research into this. I knew for sure that we had beaten the Spurs in overtime in the 2006-07 season, and that was definitely a huge deal at the time. To give you an idea of what a lifetime ago that game was, Adam Morrison led all scorers with 27 points, and Brevin Knight had a game-high 9 assists. This is also back when I had enough time to recap every single game on my old blog site. You can actually read it here if you’re interested in seeing a young Blogcat rave about the certain Hall of Fame future of Emeka Okafor. Anyway, that was a big win, because the Spurs would go on to win the championship that year, and their Big Three of Duncan-Parker-Ginboli all played 40+ minutes, so it wasn’t a cheap win against substitutes. But I would deduct points (on whatever bizarre scorecard I’ve conjured), because it was only the 8th game of the season. Plus, the Bobcats were only in their 3rd season and hadn’t yet lined up all of my hopes and dreams on a stripper’s thigh and completely snorted them. And hey, they were absolutely loaded with future legends Morrison, Felton, Okafor, and May—things were looking up! I remember being very appreciative, but not like I was on Wednesday night.

So I might still argue that this Cleveland win was the greatest in Hornets/Blogcats history, or at least since that Spurs win. Not only was it a win over huge stars in LeBron, Love, and Kyrie, it was fairly deep in the season, and—to get somewhat scientific—if you subtract our win percentage (.490) from Cleveland’s (.729), it’s a .239 difference, so there’s a nice upset factor as well. I started working my way backwards to see if I could find anything like this Cavs win before hitting that Spurs win. If you go back to last year, we DID overcome a larger gap in win percentage against the Hawks late in the season (.322), but of course that was against the Hawks bench, not any Hawks who counted. And if our season wasn’t completely dead at that point, it was a living vegetable. And we barely won. In fact, that entire game was like watching two poor people celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at the Golden Corral; it was way more sad and uncomfortable than festive. We also beat the Hawks quite early in the season (the Lance Stephenson bank-shot winner), but that was too early to count and nobody knew Atlanta would go on to have an incredible year. Nothing else last season was significant.

Likewise, in 2013-14, the playoff year, I could not find a win over an elite team playing at full strength (let me know if you could). The best I could find for 2012-13, in the final days of Mike Dunlap’s reign of terror, was a win over the Knicks in the penultimate game of the season. This was Knicks Fever year, when they finished 54-28 and Melo peaked, but again, this win was over all of their backups. Obviously, the year before is out, unless you want to argue that every one of our 7 wins was a wondrous miracle (in a sense, that’s true, because I can remember most of them due to how rare they were).

It wasn’t until I hit the previous year, 2010-11, that I found it: game 71 against the Celtics. This was this the year that Paul Silas played Gerald Ford to Larry Brown’s Richard Nixon as the emergency replacement in the wake of his ouster. We’d had a tiny taste of joy the previous season, and then the whole team immediately aged 10 years en route to getting traded or released, and the Bobcats went into a bigger funk than George Clinton. We came into this game 28-42, yet somehow still in the playoff race, but with no Stephen Jackson, and with a completely motley starting crew of DJ Augustin, Gerald Henderson, Boris Diaw, Dominic McGuire (author’s note: WHO!?), and Kwame Goddamn Brown. Meanwhile, the 50-20 Big Three + Rondo Celtics were defending Eastern Conference champions and all still in their prime and very much in that year’s championship hunt. The Celtics didn’t pull any punches in this, either, because they were in a seedings battle with the Heat and Bulls; the Big Three all played 30+ minutes and Rondo played 40. We came back from 13 points down in the 4th quarter and beat them by 2, with a pre-weed-smoking-/-BB-gun-shooting Dante Cunningham getting us the game winner. The difference in win-percentage (.296) exceeds that of Wednesday’s Cavs game (.239), so you could give it an edge in the upset category as well. However, there were no emotional demons exorcised in this one on par with ending the long losing streak to LeBron. In fact, we’d actually beaten the Celtics earlier that season, albeit when they were shorthanded. And we’d beaten them in 2OT in the 2008-09 season when they were the defending champs. So unless and until we can beat a full strength Thunder or Warriors team, I would still categorize as this Cavs win as at least belonging in the (dilapidated, rat-infested) pantheon of greatest Hornets wins.

There’s one other element that makes this Cavs win sweet, at least to me. Check out this screenshot I took of the highlight reel:
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Every one of those circles is a Cavaliers bandwagoner in our home crowd, wearing a Cavs jersey or some such paraphernalia. I know there are worse things in life, like genocide, rape, and…there are at least two things worse in life—maybe more—but to me, bandwagoning like this is an utter obscenity. I don’t blame little kids so much for this, because little kids are stupid. It’s people who are 20+ years old—and there were plenty of them in this crowd—who would shamelessly claim to be Cleveland Cavaliers fans that absolutely sickens me. These are the same kind of people who gave up Anne Frank’s location, and who are going to one day betray mankind to conquering aliens. And now that I think of it, even if I don’t blame the little kids in Cavalier LeBron jerseys, where were their parents at? Plus, given their prime seating locations at this game, they’re extra hateful, because they’re no doubt all scions of hedge funders getting rich off of collateralized debt obligations derived from sex-slave trafficking. I sincerely hope that when they got home that night they were so pissed that their “favorite team” lost that they absent-mindedly forgot to tell their maids to sort their laundry, and the colors from their stupid sell-out Cavs jerseys bled over and ruined their white Warriors Curry #30 jerseys.

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    That Cav game was really somethin'

    (or it's really a thing, ~lol~)

    I don't mind bandwagoners so much (having been one myself, and being a noob here at HornetsPlanet), but that last paragraph is so full of awesome and hilarity, lol. Well written, and the screenshot... freakin' priceless!

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