The Charlotte Bobcats are the worst team in the NBA this season, and may end up being one of the worst teams of all time. The Washington Wizards are pretty awful, though, and they invited the Bobcats into the Verizon Center on Monday night looking for an upset of the incompetent sort. No such luck.
The Wizards did what they could. They shot just 2-18 from downtown. They hardly got to the line. They allowed Jordan Crawford to start and whip contested jumpers off the back rim. They even unleashed their secret weapon -- Brian Cook and his uniquely diffident perimeter-lingering -- but it was too little, too late to make up for a pretty solid performance in other realms. As a team, Washington shot 55 percent from the field. John Wall tore up the court for easy finishes and kick-outs, weaving a 16-point, 14-assist game almost entirely out of transitions from long Charlotte misses. Jan Vesely finished many of those fast break plays and shot a perfect 8-8 from the field. Nene came off the bench and dominated the interior, posting an uber-efficient 18 points and six rebounds in just 21 minutes. Positive contributions like those just aren't gonna lose you basketball games in this league. Not against losers as gifted as the Bobcats are.
Charlotte, once again, distinguished itself as the class of the bottom-dwellers. Try as it might, Washington had nothing to combat D.J. Augustin's wild passes, Bismack Biyombo's utter disinterest in rebounding, Jamario Moon's prolific bricking, or DeSagana Diop's shelf of a backside. These men have made a business of sucking, and they responded appropriately every time the Wizards squandered some of their lead. We're talking about big, deficit-saving plays like Derrick Brown saving a loose ball directly into Wall's hands, Biyombo airballing a hook shot by roughly a furlong, or D.J. White turning his back on an entry pass meant for him. Tyrus Thomas got a flagrant-two ejection for elbowing James Singleton's nose on a rip-through move. Biyombo could be seen doing the George Michael Bluth sad walk after a turnover. Paul Silas just glowered.
These Bobcats are truly elite at losing -- the weed of the crop. They're two more losses away from being immortalized for their unparalleled incompetence: a season-ending record of 7-59 and a .106 winning percentage even sorrier than that of the storied 1973 Philadelphia 76ers. The Wizards, meanwhile, hit 18-46 with the win. Their .281 winning percentage means that they're just a boring, awful team, and a distant second to Charlotte's legendary dreadfulness. Sucks to be the Wizards.
For all of Monday's NBA box scores, check out SI.com's NBA scoreboard.