The Washington Wizards absolutely crushed our Bobcats Monday night, winning 108-75. The Cats were just outclassed all around, especially our starting five. The most surprising thing? We were only down by five at the half. The second half was Wizards 58, Bobcats 30. WE LOST BY 33 TO THE WIZARDS WITHOUT JOHN WALL. Now, everyone please follow these instructions: 1) Hold out your palm 2) Bring your palm up with velocity 3) Palm your forehead.
Seriously. Perhaps the best descriptive word here is “eviscerated.” If you combine the scores of the first and third quarters, which are played by mostly the starters, the score is 63-36. Let’s see, what else before I go into the Yays and Nays? Oh yeah! Nazr Mohammed, who may be the most level-headed player on the team, was ejected after getting a pair of technical fouls when he was called for a questionable offensive foul. What else, hm… How about our TWENTY-NINE TURNOVERS. That’s the most turnovers in a game since November of 2006. Let’s give our team a hand!
- Bench – Don’t get too excited by this. They weren’t superb; they were just much better than the starters. I was also just extremely pleased our young players got extended playing time – I was just ashamed it had to come as a result of this game. Tyrus Thomas was excellent by usual, scoring 10 points on 5-7 shooting and 4 rebounds. Kwame Brown embraced a crowd that lived to boo him and got to the line often, somehow making eight of eleven free throws and adding a bucket for good measure to total his points at ten with 5 rebounds. Derrick Brown played well to boot, adding 9 points on 3-4 FGs and 3-4 FTs with 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 rebound. Gerald Henderson looked like he was still shaking off some rust in his 15 minutes on the court. Even DeSagana played moderately well with two points, two rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block.
- Nope. Nothing else.
- Our starters – They were awful. Dominic McGuire followed up his 17 rebound performance from the last game with zero points, 6 rebounds and one block, though I do credit him with controlling his itchy trigger finger by taking only two shots. Nazr Mohammed played fine but only tallied 10 minutes before getting tossed. D.J. Augustin struggled (more on that in a second). Stephen Jackson showed no heart in dropping 13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Oh and he had 6 turnovers. Jax now has the fourth most turnovers for shooting guards. Boris Diaw was merely adequate with 9 points on 4-11 shooting and a free throw. He added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 turnovers.
- D.J. Augustin – If this wasn’t a setback in the D.J. Augustin for future Bobcats starting PG, I don’t know what was. On offense, he passed lazily and had tons of trouble with his shot. He made one shot in the fourth quarter and didn’t make another until 2:56 left in the 4th quarter. He added unnecessary fouls in transition defense to help the Wizards get the and-one. And to add insult to injury, Kirk Hinrich destroyed D.J.’s defense. Augustin had trouble fighting through screens and just generally staying with Hinrich. Livingston did a much better job on Hinrich, forcing Kirk to foul and retreat to the bench. Liv’s defense also added through the usual factors: disrupting passing lanes and helping defend jump shots.
- Turnovers – 29. The Wizards scored 32 points off of those turnovers. Conversely, the Wizards had 14 turnovers, off which we scored 16 points.
- Fast break – The Bobcats had 6 fast break points to the Wizards’ 26.
Before this game, I was thinking about buying tickets to the Thunder game tonight. I no longer want to do so. It’s not that I can’t stand to watch a blowout. I’ve sat through huge drubbings, including a 35-point loss to the Pacers in the 08-09 season. The problem I have with this team is that I’m not seeing any heart from our starters. I’m seeing it from the bench players, but when the coach can’t or won’t recognize that there are guys on the bench that are more talented and with more heart than the guys who get the start, it’s more often than not a moot point.
Yes, the Bobcats were missing Gerald Wallace, but I don’t see that making that big of an impact. Even if Gerald had started, the defense was a team failing and Dominic McGuire’s playing time would have just preempted Derrick Brown’s or Tyrus Thomas’ minutes who were some of our most productive players in this game.
Also, if you have a sports-centric masochistic streak like I do, you stuck around through the whole game and then stayed to watch the Larry Brown post-game presser. In case you missed it, I transcribed it:
LB: The worst part? You know, we’re just not a team. We’re not well-coached. We don’t play hard. You know, that’s my responsibility. And I feel bad, you know, to put a team out there like that and to look that way. That’s totally my responsibility.
Reporter: How do you explain that third quarter and – [cut off by LB]
LB: The first half, the first quarter – the first quarter was the game. They scored like, what, the first ten times down the court? That was the game. Then we started the second half with the same group. You know the bench got us back in the game. So we were down 5 – it was a miracle down 5 at halftime – and then same again. And that’s a coach’s responsibility. To look like that, I feel bad for the young kids cuz it looked totally disorganized. You know, Flip’s team executed, shared the ball, played hard. That’s what teams are supposed to do, not the way we do. And that’s totally on me. It looked like it was the first day of practice and maybe it was a pickup team playing against an NBA team.
It’s a nice gesture, I guess. It felt sincere. But we have known that for weeks. As Dr. E noted on Twitter, “What kind of loss or losing streak will it take for Bobcats front office to realize that the team has quit on Larry Brown?” That sums it up perfectly.
I’m just waiting for better days. It won’t be soon, unfortunately. I just hope to not lose sleep over this. After all, I have no control over the Bobcats’ personnel decisions.
– Cardboard Gerald