Well worth the trip! Wasn't sure I'd make the game, but I got out of the doctor's office with enough time, and it turned into another exciting night at the TWC.
As usual, it started out with an horrific start that made me question why I'd gone, but then Ryan Hollins and DJ enter the game, and weird things start to happen, and it's suddenly a game at the half...
As for Bell, I hate to say, but the best thing to happen for us was for him to get the boot; not sure why he's pressing so hard, but he's been a disaster outside of being able to rebound the ball. Hopefully, he can go out on the road and knock a shot down Friday night because the longer and longer he goes without hitting a shot, the more stressed out he's going to get, which is no doubt what led to his short fuse tonight.
(I wonder if Keetch knows what obscene names he called the official to get tossed from the game so suddenly?!?)
As bad as Bell is looking Boris is looking that good. He's a master of off-the-ball movement with his pick'n pops, pick'n rolls, picks to set up the offguard for a shot. Then there's his deft high post passes to Mek, and that beautiful bounce pass to Juwan in the post, who had sealed off his man leading to a Bulls foul. What a beast to come in and log the minutes he logged in back to back games....well over 80 minutes(!!!!!) after riding the bench in PHX. Also, he and Lexy had a mini-one on one going during pregame shootaround which was fun to watch.
As usual, after I'm ready to ship Raymond off, he comes back with a really really good game that makes me never want to see him leave. Seeing him walk out of huddles with his arm around DJ or Boris or Matt....he may not always make the right decisions, but he just wants to win and be a better teammate, and those intangibles....I'll just really miss him when/if he's gone....
Mek earned his paycheck, not for the sweet 20/13 game, but that block on Rose at the end of regulation...never seen such a clutch defensive play from the Bobcats....those shots always go in for the other team (and this one would've probably too) but Mek made sure the ball wasn't going to get a chance to get near the rim. Like I've said before, the body language is no contest to where it was last year, and he looks (as much as the reserved Mek can) like he's having a lot of fun and it's showing in his numbers the last few weeks!
Kudos to Juwan for coming out and producing after the time away from the game. Looks like we finally found our bench 4 for the rest of the year!!! He really struggled with defensive rotations which led to Thomas getting 4 dunks in the first half, but I think that'll come around as he learns the system. Plus he gets a pass for busting his ass and diving on the floor for a lose ball, which got as an extra possession in the first half. He earns major respect points from me just for that play alone.
Now onto the Saint...yes, it's time to annoit DJ, Saint Augustin; he's earned it! Although it doesn't do Rick Barnes or any UT fans out there any good, DJ put his humilation at the hands of Derrick Rose in last year's tourney well behind him tonight, and, actually, turned the damn tables on the number one pick. It was so much fun to watch our star rookie take it to their (and the nation's) star rookie, highlighted by the Rose fould on DJ's 3....and what does the Saint do? Knocks down all 3 without touching the damn net! The kid's not human.....
Just a hell of a whole lot of fun tonight: from the guy over in 211 who kept clapping at random and yelling out stuff like "Let's go Bobcats," and "Come on defense," and "You got it, DJ," and "We need this one, baby. Come on. Let's go Bobcats," the entire game, to the stuf mentioned above, to the outcome...especially the outcome.
Maybe....maybe it's time to put some wins together; but if not, good game tonight!