Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Keep losing, Bobcats (but just enough)

I wasn't at all unhappy to see that the Charlotte Bobcats blew a home game Monday night against Toronto, 103-101.

Why? Because I am hoping that the Bobcats end up in the playoffs as the No.8 seed, and that loss made it a little more likely that they would do just that. The Bobcats still lead Toronto by two games with nine to go in the current NBA standings for the No.7 spot, but if the two teams tie, Toronto now would win the tiebreaker.

Here's my reasoning for why eight is great. First of all, I think it would be fun for the Bobcats to make the playoffs -- as a sports columnist, it gives me more to write about. And I would like their first-round playoff series to be competitive. That would be most likely, I believe, if a No.8 Bobcats team faced the best team in the Eastern Conference -- Cleveland, which will be the No.1 seed.

Plus, there's the LeBron James factor. LeBron is so magnetic that the series would be elevated another couple of notches just because of his presence. I'm not sure a Hawks-Bobcats playoff game would sell out around here, but two LeBron-Bobcats playoff games in uptown Charlotte (and there would be at least two) would bring the scalpers out in droves.

If the Bobcats make it, they would play one of four teams in the playoffs -- Cleveland, Orlando, Atlanta or Boston. Courtesy of the Bobcats' fine PR staff, here is how the Bobcats have done against those four teams this season and in Larry Brown's two seasons as Charlotte's coach.

1. Cleveland: Charlotte is a stunning 3-1 vs. the Cavs this season (and 3-4 overall under Brown). Charlotte is the only team to have beaten Cleveland more than once in the Eastern Conference this season. It's weird, but it isn't a fluke. Charlotte knows how to play the Cavs.

2. Orlando (the most likely current opponent for Charlotte): 1-3 vs. Orlando this season and 1-7 overall under Larry Brown. The Bobcats did just win the teams' most recent matchup two weeks ago in Orlando, but facing Dwight Howard for a whole series?! Ouch.

3. Boston: 0-3 vs. the Celtics this season and 1-5 overall under Brown. The Bobcats have lost four straight to the Celtics. Like Orlando, the Celtics seem to be a really bad matchup for Charlotte.

4. Atlanta: 1-2 vs. the Hawks this season (with one game left); 2-5 overall under Larry Brown.

So bring on the Cavs. Obviously, the Bobcats won't lose on purpose over the final two weeks of the regular season -- once you get on that sort of roll, you might never stop, and Charlotte could get passed entirely by Chicago (currently three games behind the Bobcats) for the No.8 spot.

But if the roulette wheel stops on a 1-8 matchup pitting Cleveland and Charlotte starting in mid-April, I think we're in for a great time.

19 comments:

John said...

Could not agree more!

Anonymous said...

Scott....I would love to see the 'Cats matchup against Lebron and Cavs, but they can't lose the kinds of games they did last night. We still need to win at least 6 games to secure a playoff birth, and why not try to win all 6 all at once to at least get in. Once we are in, then we can play for position and who we want to match up. If the 'Cats are really playing to lose on purpose just to get to #8, they have another world coming to them thinking they are a shoe-in, 'cause CHI will be on a tear vying for that last spot! They have their players back in healthy form and will be pushing their limits to get to that spot. The Bobcats better watch out, because no lead is safe right now until they hit that win #6.

Anonymous said...

No no no, Scott I couldn't DIS-agree with you more. Playing Cleveland would all but guarantee us not making it past the first round (and perhaps not winning a game period). We want to WIN playoff games and make it as far as we can, not just settle for getting in and hoping we can watch the leagues best player dominate us. It doesn't matter how well we played them in the regular season, this would be the playoffs and Lebron will be bringing his A+ game. A much better scneario would be to play a team that is not as good and have a chance to beat them and move to the 2nd round which would be ANY OTHER team than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Anonymous said...

No playing Cleveland in the first round would not be ideal. Not because we couldn't beat them in a playoff series which I think we could, but because no way the NBA allows a major superstar like Lebron James to exit in the first round especially with Cleveland having such a strong record. This would be a ratings nightmare for the NBA and therefore the refs would do whatever was necessary to make sure cleveland took the series.

Anonymous said...

Cleveland is hottest team in the NBA right now. The Bobcats will lose whatever first round match-up they are in. So yes I would like to see LeBron and company, the potential Champions, destroy the Bobcats in the first round.

Anonymous said...

The last 5 articles Fowler has written I have disagreed with. You do not want to play Lebron James in the 1st round. He will not be allowed to lose and will get all the calls. The Bobcats best chance is against the aging Celtics. The Bobcats would beat them IMO.

Anonymous said...

No matter what seed we are, we are in for the fight of our lives. That's number one. But here's why it WOULD NOT work if we were to end up playing CLEVELAND.

Do you actually think the King himself is going to go out in the first round....to the Bobcats?

Do you think the NBA would be happy with Cleveland going home in the first round? With no Lebron to watch on TV for 2 months of post-season play? I just don't see the officials treating us fairly in a match-up that puts us against Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on LBJ and Cleveland getting the benefit over the Bobcats from the NBA ref's. The Bobcats don't have enough experience to win yet in the playoffs. But I feel they could play some exciting games against any team. But playing the media darling LBJ would be frustrating as he gets touch calls while Jack and G-Force get smacked with no calls.

Anonymous said...

Hey CRACKHEAD .... the reason to be in the playoffs is to WIN....

get real Fouler...this is not about ticket sales...this is about winning!!

wanker

MJM said...

Yeah, you think Jack is whining now, wait and see how much he is whining when the Cavs come into town and LBJ gets every call in the book and is allowed to shoot over the backboard!

Anonymous said...

The Cats would actually have a chance of beating Atlanta in the first round because the NBA doesn't have a dog in that hunt.

There is NO WAY -- Repeat: NO WAY -- that the NBA will allow Labron to exit in the first round. EVERY close call will go the Cavs way no matter who they play.

Simply can't agree. The playoffs are completely different than the regular season. Cavs will advance no matter what. Cats need to play Atlanta to have any chance of advancing.

Anonymous said...

There's no way the NBA lets it's marquee player lose to a team that can't even fill up their stadium or get a local tv deal. He'll get every call and be able to hack us without ever getting a call.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Cav's fan and I cringe at the prospect of the Bobcat's getting the 8th seed. The 'Cat's are a matchup nightmare for LeBron and company. I do think that some of the posters claims that the fix would be in with the refs would be a factor. But they won't let the Cav's get away mith murder (c'mon this is the NBA). It would be interesting to see if and how much more LeBron can elevate his game and impose his will in Cats vs Cavs plyoff series. We'll see. Good Luck Bobcats

Anonymous said...

They're not in yet people....let's not get greedy and start making up scenarios! Let's just hope they get in!!!

Anonymous said...

That is a losers mentality...lame

Anonymous said...

Scott has never played a sport in his life. Have you ever heard of a thing called 'momentum'....

Anonymous said...

Scott, you should find something else to write about because you clearly have no clue about sports and the idea of competitiveness and momentum. And jinxing. Thanks man.

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys are delusional about the bobcats playoff chances. You don't go from not making the playoffs to winning in the playoffs, these things go in stages.

They have approximately zero, ZERO chance of making it past the 1st round, and it DOES NOT MATTER who they play, they're going to lose. So you may as well pray for the most interesting matchup (bronbron).

Anonymous said...

Shoot for #8 and you'll likely wind up #9.