Tonight, the Bobcats will go for their 32nd win of the season, which would equal last season's mark with 11 games to play. Washington has not defeated a Southeastern Division opponent this year, which doesn't mean much except to emphasize the Wizards' doormatness. And if you look closely, perhaps you'll notice a convenient symbol for the Wizards' woes lurking in the box scores.
Washington lost a tough one to Chicago on Monday, 101-99. Among the amazing aspects of that game, Antawn Jamison took 27 shots, and... at first I thought this couldn't be right... Dominic McGuire played 41 minutes without scoring a single point.
I'm kind of shocked McGuire's recent play isn't drawing more attention; I'd love to know the last time an NBA player got 40 minutes or more in a game without scoring a point. More amazing? He didn't score a single point in the previous game, either.
Dude scored in the second quarter of the game against Denver on March 20, then didn't score again over the next 20:12 he played in that game. On March 21, he played 22:33 without scoring. Then, on March 23, he played 41:25 without scoring. That's mind-melting. That's 84 minutes and 10 seconds--and counting--without scoring. By a small forward-power forward tweener. In a way, it's the ultimate in simultaneously selfless and nihilistic play, because it's categorically not helping the team, but it's not necessarily hurting, either, and if McGuire's expected to D up and work the ball around to Antawn or JaVale, then so be it.
Just for kicks, I looked up Dennis Rodman's game logs with the Bulls because he was a guy who would play a lot of minutes without being expected to score much, if at all, and it turns out he had a stretch of three straight games in 1998 in which he scored 0 points in each game and played at least 34 minutes in each. Of course, he was also grabbing double digit rebounds in two of them and didn't even attempt a shot in one. Of course, Michael Freaking Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on that team, too, so it's not like Rodman was being counted on to score. Of course.
More recently, Bruce Bowen has had plenty games in which he didn't score, but I didn't see back to back goose eggs, let alone a comparable stretch of scorelessness. What about Jeff McInnis, that scourge upon good basketball that set himself upon the Bobcats the past two years? Nope, nothing like McGuire's streak. Gana Diop has had long stretches without scoring, but nothing beyond about 45 minutes. This is something to keep an eye on.
Beat the Wiz. Get to 32. The franchise record is 33. Go Bobcats.