The Bobcats notched another victory last night, this time over the Houston Rockets, 99-89. As noted before the game, these are the type of contests the Cats have to win, if they're going to reach the 7th or 8th playoff spot in the East: at home, against a sub-.500 squad.
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
Stevarino -- I'm not really too surprised with Diaw's 18 points, I'm amazed he has 9 rebounds.
-- Dominic McGuire and Kwame Brown are, by most accounts I can find, perfectly awesome dudes, on a personal level. And Kwame is even the kind of guy that most NBA fans will want to root for, especially after hearing the behind-the-scenes nastiness that happened in Washington. However, at this point, they're both wastes of space in the Bobcats' rotation, and should be relegated to the back of the bench on all NBA teams. Last night, they combined for 8 minutes, 0-2 shooting, 1 rebound, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 1 foul, and 1 turnover. Check the box score for the breakdown, but any way you slice it, that's horrific. The key, though, is that it's not unexpected. It's great to pick up Kwame off the scrap heap and hope he finds the magic that made him the number one pick, but he's been awful for years, and McGuire has never even had the shine of a top prospect. They don't deserve to play even that many minutes in a contested game.
-- I felt strongly enough about this to tweet it during the game: Bobcats employees, you're doing everyone a disservice when you start the wave during the game. At that point, you're calling attention to yourselves and away from the game. If some random jerks want to start the most hideous sports fan invention this side of vuvuzelas, then so be it, but team employees should never have a hand in that.
-- Apologies for the delayed recap post. There's nothing that can knock you out like a wave of nausea while driving home. The Official Father, Mother, and Brother of Rufus on Fire were relieved that I made it home without incident.
-- For long stretches, Boris Diaw was simply unstoppable. This will sound like blasphemy, but it's true: there was a stretch of the second half when he and Shaun Livingston played an isolated two-man game on possession after possession, and Diaw looked like mid-career Chris Webber on the pick and roll, threatening to shoot from the perimeter, up-faking and driving hard to the rim, passing with a deft touch few big men have, and positioning himself with tenacity on rebound opportunities. Based on how good he looked on the floor throughout the game, I wasn't really surprised that he ended up with 20 points and 10 boards on 9-14 shooting.
-- Gerald Wallace did everything an All Star does when he's having a tough game shooting (6-21). First, he played excellent defense, getting 3 steals and 2 blocks, and helping hold Shane Battier and Kevin Martin to poor shooting nights (1-9, and 6-17, respectively). Second, he rebounded, pulling down 14. And finally, he got to the line for 7-8 free throw shooting, getting points even though his shot wasn't falling.
-- Tyrus Thomas came off the floor early for treatment to his hand, but did return. When he played, he was exactly the kind of player I'd encourage him to be, given his skills. In 16 minutes, he was 2-3 from the field (restraint!), grabbed 5 rebounds, and blocked 2 shots.