NEW YORK When youve lost 17 in a row, you dont get a lot of compliments, so you need to take whatever you get.
The Miami Heat seems to think the Charlotte Bobcats are bullies. Imagine that. The champs think the Bobcats roughed them up Wednesday, and somehow that justified the kick to the groin that got Dwyane Wade suspended from Fridays game against the Detroit Pistons.
Lets back up a bit: To try to follow this absurdly fractured line of reasoning, the reader needs some context.
Wednesday night the Bobcats came back from a 19-point first-half deficit. They eventually would trim Miamis lead to two before losing by double digits. During the course of that second half, Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions was called for a foul while guarding Wade. At the end of that play, Wade clearly flails (the NBAs word) his leg up into Sessions groin.
No foul was called on Wade. I asked Sessions, a stand-up guy, what he thought. He said he had no doubt Wade did this on purpose.
So Thursday the NBA reviews the video and suspends Wade for a game. End of story, right? Nope. Wade keeps claiming what he did wasnt what it appeared. And the Heat first through coach Erik Spoelstra, then via a two-paragraph prepared statement implies the Bobcats somehow goaded Wade into this act (though it never really happened, right Dwyane?)
Spoelstra claimed theres an organized game plan floating around the NBA that advocates an excess of hard fouls against our guys.
My simplest reaction to all this: How can the reigning champions suggest theyre not getting a fair shake when Miamis superstar, reigning most valuable player LeBron James, gets called for a foul roughly once a week?
To call the Heat whiney is the kindest way I can describe what has transpired. The only thing worse than a bad loser is a paranoid, self-indulgent winner.
I thought the Bobcats handled this just right. Sessions said the league had to act and did, and he has no hard feelings. Coach Mike Dunlap considered it a compliment the Heat thinks of the Bobcats as a physical team.
Dunlap expressed admiration for Wades accomplishments and character but concluded. obviously, from the film, they had to do something.
Thats called perspective, people. Its remarkable the Bobcats exercised as much in the midst of the NBAs longest losing streak this season, while the concept escapes the team with the title.
Five passing thoughts on the NBA and the Bobcats
• Fired Nets coach Avery Johnsons teenage son took to Twitter on Thursday, reacting angrily to his fathers quick ouster, weeks after Johnson was named Eastern Conference coach of the month. Admirable intent, but I suspect the kid ripping Nets management did his father no favors as far as future employment.
• Despite their seemingly mediocre record, I suspect the Denver Nuggets will be a tough team in April. They played an inordinate number of road games over the seasons first eight weeks.
• The Bobcats were somewhat the opposite of the Nuggets. Their schedule had 15 home dates in the first 23 games. The payback will come in February and early March, when they play 10 of 15 on the road.
• Much as center DeMarcus Cousins might be exasperating the Sacramento Kings with his behavior, I bet that franchise will set a high price for giving him up in trade. Obviously theres a different market for quality centers. However, I dont know how many teams are willing to inherit the hassles the Kings have experienced.
• Im sure the NBA did the right thing by postponing that Chicago game in Indianapolis last week because of a blizzard. But it had to be frustrating for the Bulls to get to town, only to not get the game in.