Yeah...I'll use this forever because I just don't like Stan Van Gundy.
Some games are hard to describe. Others, words can't express. Still others leave you speechless. This can be caused by the sheer awesomeness of the game, or the lack thereof. Tonight's game...well...let's just say that Wednesday's game pumped me up for what turned out to be a very lackluster game tonight as the Bobcats fell to the Magic with a score of 100 - 79.
I'll try to paint a picture after the jump
So, after being blown away by the fan support shown at the Miami Heat game on Wednesday, and also seeing how competitive we played them, I was ready for an all out brawl tonight with the Orlando Magic. Well, I knew something was up as soon as I reached the arena. No where near as many fans were in attendance. It seemed a bit odd, but I let it go. I hung out with the SuperFans for a bit, and I finally was able to meet Matt Thomas and his wife for the first time in person. Great people and I hope to hang with them again in the near future. I took my seat and was ready to do battle yet again.
Well, the arena wasn't really buzzing. The crowd wasn't really into it...then, the Magic and the Bobcats took the floor...Fireworks right? Wrong. I like Dwight Howard...I really do, but when the Magic comes to town ,boring happens.
Let me give you the standard issue "Magic vs Bobcats" recap because it always seems that the only thing that changes are the faces:
Bobcats struggle to get things going as jump shots fall for the Magic. Magic pull way ahead by X points, then the Bobcats start finding their offense and begin to catch up. Mario Van Gundy calls time out and inserts some 3-point shooters. The shots begin to rain down and the Bobcats begin to scramble. If we contest the 3-point shots, Dwight scores easily. If we play Dwight, 3-pointers start adding up. At some point we will make a bit of a run, but it will be smothered by a barrage of 3-point shots, followed by some pretty good substitutions that make the Bobcats look inept as can be. Somewhere in there we'll go on a romp where we continue to trade our 2-point baskets for their 3-point baskets.
Final score results in the Bobcats losing by 15-20 points.
I don't mean to be glum about the loss, but the truth of the matter is that either the Magic just always have our number, or we just don't know how to defend against what Van Gundy has his team do to us. Tonight's game consisted of poor shot selections by us, poor calls by the refs, (yeah...again)and just a lifeless crowd. It is hard to get the players or the fans into a game when it just appears that no shot will fall short for the opposing team. The Heat shot almost 43% from 3-point land. That wouldn't be bad if it were a few shots that went in, but when everyone from the PGs to the PFs (starters and bench)can drain the 3 point shots, there leaves little hope to catch up. That 43% from 3-point land? That was on 12 of 28 shooting. You're reading it right. 36 of the Magic's points were from 3 point shots. Yet again, we are left scratching their heads as to how to defend that team. At first I was mad that Stan left the starters in for the final minutes of the 4th, but as I drove home, I began to think, what did it matter? I mean honestly, no one was missing a shot. When one team shoots 38% from the floor and the other team is shooting 43%, it becomes pretty clear as to what the outcome is going to be.
I did find it ironic that Howard finished with 20 points, 24 rebounds, and not a single foul. I'm not even sure how that's possible...but then again, the one female referee that was calling the game...if she could have flirted with Dwight any harder, I'd swear that they might have been high school sweethearts. Bad calls were made the entire game...mostly in Orlando's favor, and the raining 3's dampened everyone's spirits tonight. There was just dead air in the arena. Hopefully we can bounce back in the next game as we face Miami again. I can only hope that tonight's game didn't lull our guys to sleep. If we could run with the thrice in Charlotte, we need to run with them in South Beach.
Pull it together, regroup, and let's win our first road game of the season...and of 2012.
I will say that our strong showings have come when the team has well balanced scoring. That didn't happen tonight, and the result was a loss.
I give tonight's Gamebreaker award to Gana Diop. Gana can't get a shot to fall to save his life right now, as he fights to get back into playing shape, but bless his heart, he's doing what we need him to do. He had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. When He was in the game, Howard struggled the most. He also reminded Jason Richardson that he has gotten a year older, and that he might should lay off of trying to dunk. I loev me some blocked dunks. Congrats to you Gana, and keep dropping those pounds. My New Year's Resolution is to do the same. Stay tuned Bobcats fans. My starting point is 257lbs. Let's see where I can fall to, and feel free to ask.
Happy New Year!