WotN Kaman

The Chicago Bulls "defense": The Pacers -- who are shooting 44 percent as a team this season -- shot almost 56 percent against the Bulls last night. In the decisive third quarter, they shot 71 percent and outscored Chicago 40-25. Marquis Daniels and Kareem Rush, who usually combine to score about 13 PPG on 42 percent shooting, killed the Bulls with 40 points on 74 percent shooting (17-23). Overall, the Bulls surrendered season highs in points (117), field goals (44), three-pointers (11), and shooting percentage (55.7). Said Kirk Hinrich: "It was like we forgot everything we knew how to do defensively.'' Memo to the Bulls: A hand in the face can actually affect the accuracy of jump shooters.

Fun fact: Ben Gordon was repeatedly posterized by the Pacers jump shooters. Scott Skiles kept moving him around, from Daniels to Rush and even to Mike Dunleavy. But Gordon, who's listed as 6'3" but can't be more than four feet tall, can't defend opposing guards because he's a wee tiny man. The Bulls lack of a low post scorer is the sexy excuse for why they get off to slow starts and flame out in the playoffs, but the big reason they struggle against teams like New Jersey (in the regular season) and Detroit (in the playoffs) is that Gordon and (to a lesser extent) Hinrich cannot defend opposing backcourts (Kidd/Carter, Billups/Hamilton) that are composed of big, athletic guards.

Wayne Larrivee: I always get a kick out of listening to the Bulls' hometown announcing team of Larrivee, Johnny "Red" Kerr, and Stacy King. They're unabashed homers who absolutely freak out any time a call goes against the Bulls or an infraction committed by the opposing team goes unnoticed by the officials. But Larrivee took his bias to a new and strange level last night, after Mike Dunleavy Junior got smacked in the face by Joe Smith: "Dunleavy pretended he got hit in the eye there. He no more got hit in the eye than the Man in the Moon." Maybe I've been sniffing too much glue lately, but that comment made no sense to me whatsoever.

Fun fact: This has nothing to do with basketball, but South Korean scientists have cloned glow-in-the-dark cats. Let me repeat that for you: Cloned cats that glow in the dark!

Troy Murphy: For reasons unknown, Troy Murphy drank his Brad Miller juice and decided to go all tough guy on Tyrus Thomas. News reports claim there was a lot of shoving, but trust me, it was more like a slap fight. Anyway, I suspect both players will be fined and suspended, and the league will probably issue a statement denouncing the altercation as "inappropriate" and/or "disgusting."

Dallas Mavericks: Everybody knows the Maverick's defense hasn't been all that this season, but at least they've been ruthlessly efficient on offense. Until last night, anyway. Scoring 76 points (on 38 percent shooting) isn't going to beat very many teams in the NBA. Maybe the Nets or Heat, but that's about it. Seriously, what's going on with Dallas? Their record is only 14-9, and they don't even look that good.

Fun fact: On the subject of low scoring teams, can you believe the Nets are last in the league in points per game (90.1)? It's absolutely stunning to me that a team with Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson can't score.

Los Angeles Clippers: The Clips' descent into oblivion continued last night with a loss to the Bobcats (8-12). That's eight losses in their last 10 games. The Clippers, searching for answers, turned to Brevin Knight for a spark. They didn't get it. Knight started but played only 20 minutes, contributing 2 points (1-3), 1 rebound, 3 assists, and 3 turnovers. No offense to Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, but you have to wonder about anybody who tries to jumpstart their team by starting Brevin Knight.

Sacramento Kings: Did you know the Kings fell to 0-9 on the road this season after losing in Boston last night? Did you know that was the first of a five-game road trip for the Kings? On the bright side, the trip includes games against the 76ers (9-13), Nets (9-13), and Bucks (9-12), so the Kings stand a pretty decent chance of notching their first road win sometime within the next week. Maybe. Anyway, the saddest part of the loss is how the Kings got manhandled by rookie Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who started in place of the injured Kendrick Perkins, scored 16 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and really got the home crowd going with his spirited play.

Fun fact: The Bobcats, Kings, Knicks, and Timberwolves are a combined 3-33 on the road this season.

New York Knicks: Going into last night's game, the Supersonics were 5-17 on the season, including 2-9 on the road, and they were fresh off a blowout at the hands of the Bulls. But, of course, the Knicks still couldn't capitalize. If the Bulls defense hadn't been so awful, I'd say the Knicks played the worst defense of the night: The Sonics scored 117 points on 58 percent shooting (47-81). Said Knicks coach Isiah Thomas: "Right now we're not playing good basketball and we're not a good team right now." No kidding? Thanks for the newsflash, Isiah. According to some reports, Thomas was clenching his fists while talking to his team about their lackadaisical play. Something tells me that Isiah is about ready to choke a bitch.

Fun fact: The Knicks are next to last in the league at forcing turnovers (12.7 per game). Only the Mavericks are worse (12.5).

Orlando Magic: Yikes. That's three losses in a row. And last night they lost to the Bucks (9-12), who themselves had lost four in a row and five of six. Hey, losses happen, but the Magic have not played well the last three games. Against the Bucks, they shot 33 percent (26-77), missed 15 freethrows (24-39), and committed 18 turnovers (Jameer Nelson had 6 and Dwight Howard had 5). My take is that they're a young team that maybe got a little too complacent after a quick start.

The Houston Rockets' freethrow shooting: The Rockets got a big win against one of the league's best teams (Detroit), but they very nearly lost the game at the line: They missed 14 of their first 15 shots freethrows and finished 6-22 (27 percent). Said Tracy McGrady: "It's mental. It's just you and the basket. And the fans definitely don't make it easy on you. Every time you miss, (they say), 'Awwww!' 'Awwww!' That's the worst thing you can do to a player -- especially at home." The fans must have really gotten to T-Mac last night; he missed all five of his foul shots.

New Orleans Hornets: They lost a tough road game to the Nuggets, which isn't anything to be ashamed of. But what I'm trying to figure out is why they let Jannero Pargo shoot the ball 17 times. That just seems like the sign of an offense gone wrong.

Golden State Warriors: Maybe the Warriors were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Blazers are a hot team (five wins in a row), and they're hard to beat at home (8-3). But man, the Warriors let Joel Przybilla torch them for 15 points (6-7), 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. No offense, but it's never a good sign when you're team gets pushed around by Joel Pryzbilla. Meanwhile, Jarrett Jack explained the magic behind the Blazers' win streak: "I think it's just a contagious confidence."

Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, Pryzbilla's nicknames include The Thrilla, Joelthrilla, Joelzilla, and Przyballa. Update: Reader John E. Sanford reminded me of two more: Vanilla Gorilla (which I should have remembered from this old Statbuster post) and Ghostface Pryzbilla (cointed by SLAM magazine).

Utah Jazz: That's five losses in a row now, and their next game is at Portland (which, as noted, is a very tough place to play). In other words, it's likely the streak will reach six games. You can almost see the vein in Jerry Sloan's head throbbing on the sideline. But the Jazz didn't play that badly last night; Steve Nash just beat them: 29 points (10-12), 11 assists, and a surprising 6 rebounds. All that despite a chipped tooth courtesy of an errant Carlos Boozer elbow. Said Nash: "I just kind of took an elbow or something and it chipped off. So I get to spend some of my day off at the dentist, as luck would have it." Kudos to Nash for having a sense of humor about it. Had it been someone like Kobe Bryant or Lebron James, I'm sure the reaction and resulting press coverage would have been needlessly grim and melodramatic (e.g., "Despite the pain and anguish of a broken tooth, Kobe reached down deep and found the winner within, scoring a bunch of points and blah, blah, blah."

Fun fact: Does anybody remember how Nash's tooth got broken the last time? That's right: An errant elbow from Karl Malone (as also noted by Nash after the game). Of course, Malone was an evil Laker at that time, but we know he was always a Jazz man at heart.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Blogger flohtingPoint said...
All that despite a chipped tooth courtesy of a errant Carlos Boozer elbow.

I crashed out early last night but caught the sportscenter segment this morning about this. I loved Nash's sound effects while the reporter was like, "Yea, we asked them for the chipped tooth for memorabilia". Nash's reply sounded eerily like the bastard child of Bill Cosby's "Puddin' Pop" DAAAAH and Moses Malone just talking normally.

Anonymous manic said...
The soldier of the night: Mr. Nash. Chipped tooth and all, the man knows how to ball anyone up. Going back to last year's playoffs, I think Stevie has had some of the most brutal basketball injuries and still played the rest of the game. Last year against San Antonio, Nash collides heads with Parker and splits his nose open. He stands right back up while Tony rolls on the floor like the lady he is and ends up without a scratch. Now last night. Had this happened to some other superstar, lets say..perhaps D Wade, then they might have needed to get the wheelchair out for him again.

Anonymous John E. Sanford said...
Awesome post as usual. Pryzbilla might have the most nicknames in the league. He is also called the "Vanilla Gorilla" & I know on the Slam website, they've called him "Ghostface Pryzbilla".

Blogger LooseChange said...
manic: one of my favorite quotes from the nash & parker head-on collision came from robert horry, which hurts me very much to say because normally horry makes me want to bash my own head in.

anyway, some texas papers reported that when parker went back to the bench, he had blood on his forehead which he thought was his. horry laughs at him and says: that's not even your blood, so get up."

that may be the only joy bob will ever give me. damn him and his seven rings. now i'm depressed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Keep in mind that Karl Malone is Boozer's all time hero, the guy he wanted to emulate!

Wouldn't it be great if Deron Williams started wearing those short shorts.... it would be just like the 90's!

Blogger starang said...
Nash might be part robot, like starang. Which technically he'd be a cyborg. But if they let cyborgs start playing...then they have to let the robots play too. Then, we have some exciting basketball to watch...as in THIS EXAMPLE.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I can only assume that the "man in the moon" comment refers to Molière's iconic silent film "Le Voyage Dans La Lune", wherein some Frenchies launch themselves into the eye of the man in the moon via a big cannon. Good stuff.

Anonymous bookworm529 said...
Bulls use two sets of announcers. On WGN it's Wayne L. and Red Kerr, no Stacey King.

On Comcast it's Tom Dore, Kerr and King. Dore is a terrible homer and seems to bring out same in Kerr. King is a waste of good oxygen.

Wayne L and Kerr are a good team. Homers? Yes, but not in an obnoxious way. Lots of humor.

Just for the record.