Charlotte Bobcats @ Heat 12/8/08

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1. Sans Gerald Wallace, the Bobcats drop another winnable game to the Heat tonight, 100-96.  AP story here, box score here.  The Cats drop to 7-14, the Heat improve to 12-9.

2. Quickly, apologies for the lack of a post after the Cavs game.  I’ll just reiterate what others have already said: the Cavs looked absolutely dominant.  They were by far the strongest team I’ve seen at the Cable Box this year.  The Bobcats match up surprisingly well with the Celtics and always play them tough, so the Cs never seem that impressive to me.  The ’08-’09 Cavs look unstoppable, however.  One thing that I haven’t seen stressed enough is how well they defend the basket.  They blocked or altered so many shots early in the game that the Bobcats seemed discouraged from playing aggressively the rest of the night.

The only highlights of the Cavs game for me were (1) seeing David from Rufus on Fire coming up just a bit short in the minibike race and (2) discovering Soho Bistro just a couple blocks from the the arena (no need to patronize the P.F. Changs chain outlet in Phillips Place anymore) – strong post-game dinner.

3. The Cats were in the game tonight until the last 30 seconds, when Jason Richardson choked on two potentially game-tying free throws, then quickly fouled Yakhouba Diawara, who hit his two free throws to give the Heat a four point lead… Game Over.

4. The Cats did a decent job keeping Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley in check tonight, but had no such luck against Dwyane Wade, who went for 41 points on 12-22 FGs and 15-19 FTs.  Not to take anything away from Wade, but that dude could probably drop his shorts at midcourt, take a shit, and get three free throws out of it.  Maybe someday, technology will have advanced to the point that robots will be able to officiate sporting events, but I kinda doubt it.  So I think we’ll always be subjected to the star system whereby the more scintillating, confident players (and, by extension, the teams they play for) get the benefit of the doubt nearly every time down the court.

And speaking of scintillating, Wade had a dunk on Okafor to tie the game up with a few minutes left in the game that probably goes in the top 10 dunks of the year to this point.  Hopefully, it makes its way into the highlight packages.

5. Before he choked with the game on the line, Jason Richardson had played a pretty strong game, with 24 points on 7-16 FG and 4-5 3PT.  He actually started the game on fire, with 13 points in the first few minutes to help the Bobcats out to a 20-12 lead halfway through the first quarter.  He picked up his second first quarter foul a few minutes later, had to sit, and was never able to get his heat back.

6. Okafor had a nice stretch early in the third quarter where he scored 10 straight points (seriously, here’s the play-by-play).  One of those buckets was a sweet-looking turn-around baseline jumper, another was a spot-up baseline jumper from a little farther out.  Mek looked totally confident on those shots, which was weird to see.  Every once in awhile (usually against an inferior defender – Joel Anthony in this case) Mek gives you these tantalizing offensive performances: 19 points on 9-11 FGs and 12 rebounds.

7. Morrison had a decent game off the bench, with 13 points (3-5 3PT) and 6 rebounds and 2 assists.  Morrison is kinda like the anti-Wade when it comes to the refs, though.  He seemingly can’t come within 6 inches of an opponent when defending or rebounding without drawing a whistle.

8. Raymond had a typical Raymond game, which is to say he shot miserably (2-11 FG), fouled a lot (DQd late in the fourth quarter), but did lead the team in assists (8).

9. But hey, at least one Charlotte team got it done tonight: the Panthers dropped the hammer on their division rivals on Monday Night Football, beating Tampa 38-23.  Awesome performance; if the O-line keeps playing that well and the 1-2 punch of Williams and Stewart stays healthy, the Panthers are poised to make some noise in the postseason.

10. Two more tough road games this week, against New Orleans on Wednesday and a Dallas squad that’s starting to click on Thursday.  We’ll likely be without Gerald Wallace for both of those games as he takes care of his family in the wake of his grandmother’s passing, so here’s hoping that Ammo, JD or Shannon Brown can step it up in his absence.

-E

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4 Responses to “Charlotte Bobcats @ Heat 12/8/08”

  1. Adam S. Chin
    December 9, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Yeah, I call total B.S. on the officials on this one. That charge call on JD at the end of the game just took me off of the DWade bandwagon forever. It sucks too because Dwayne is an outstanding player but unfortunately, we'll never know how outstanding because of the REFEREE HANDICAP that he receives every game. It actually diminishes his reputation. Mark Cuban is right. David Stern, "Your League is freaking rigged."

  2. mike15
    December 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm #

    D Wade is incredible. Early on, I was worried that we'd never see how good he truly was because of the crawling pace of play desired by Pat Riley. Over the summer, he really shined for the Olympic team and now he's back to playing with NBA rules. In the format of the League, he excels. Not only does he drive with his head down, but he's strong enough to put up a shot after getting bumped or bumping someone else. The appearance of shooting after contact (foul or not) will constitute a whistle nearly 90% of the time. He's honed his game perfectly for the NBA officiating tendencies.

    While we can gripe about his influence over the referees, we would be in love with any Bobcats player that were nearly as effective. So, how do we sign D Wade?

    Until then, let's welcome Juwan Howard!

  3. Adam S. Chin
    December 10, 2008 at 5:00 am #

    Oh, I would sign DWADE in a second. My problem is is that he gets preferential treatment. I hate to say it but if Raymond Felton got the same calls, he'd be averaging 18 free throw attempts a game.

    The star system isn't a blanket "this is how fouls are called in the NBA" approach. It's a "this is how fouls are called in the NBA if you happen to be one of the top 7-10 guys" separate but equal mandate. Stern needs to correct this ASAP.

  4. mike15
    January 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    Here's Phil Jackson's take on the Dwayne Wade advantage:

    He's just getting an extra step

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