Well, it’s finally here.
That point in the season where a team lays everything on the line, leaves it all on the court, and heads into the locker room after the final buzzer with their heads high, knowing they did their best.
…Unless that team is the Charlotte Bobcats and after the final buzzer tonight they’ve become the worst team in NBA history.
48 minutes. That’s all the ‘Cats have left to avoid that dubious title.
They had their chances against Orlando on Wednesday, but in the end they were just bad enough to let JJ Redick drop 30+ on them and lost the game by seven.
Because of that loss, the opposing Knicks have no shot at the sixth seed, and need either a win tonight or a 76ers loss to clinch the seventh spot. A loss would push them down to eighth.
Even if they cared about staying at seven and playing the Heat (instead of the Bulls if they fall to eighth), the ‘Bockers probably won’t play their starters for more than a half. Baron Davis certainly needs the rest, Carmelo Anthony could use some time off to ice his shoulders (he put da team on his back, all Greg-Jennings-like the past few weeks), and the Knicks bench is just better than the Bobcats starting lineup.
The keys to winning against the Knicks are almost the same as they were for beating the Magic. Bismack Biyombo has to stay out of foul trouble and have a very good game against Tyson Chandler (who gets my vote for defensive player of the year), the ‘Cats have to finish close to even in the rebound battle, and for God’s sake, will someone tell Byron Mullens that he’s probably going to be matched up with Steve Novak for most of the game? Because Novak is dreadful on defense and not much better on the boards. If seven-feet-of-smooth comes away with just one rebound tonight, I might just spontaneously combust.
No need for speeches, trophies or any other motivational mumbo-jumbo… If Charlotte doesn’t win, it will go down as the worst team in the history of the NBA.