Lakers shorts

Miami Heat: They went 0-for-the-weekend and have lost four in a row overall, dropping their record to a second-next to league-worst 8-23. On Friday night, Miami wasted a 48-point, 7-rebound, 11-assist performance by Dwyane Wade in dropping a 121-114 overtime decision to the Orlando Magic. Things got worse on Saturday night, when the Heat scored only 74 points in a 22-point loss to the Washington Wizards. Said Pat Riley after the game: "One positive point about tonight's game is that this is the last game of 2007. It's been a bad year."

Dwyane Wade: As noted above, Wade was spectacular on Friday night. Unfortunately, he played like stale ass on Saturday night: 12 points (5-12) and 7 turnovers. That's right; he had more turnovers than field goals.

Shaq: Where was The Big Injury during the Heat's lost weekend? Nursing a sore hip. [Insert old age joke here.] I think Shaq's yearly 20-game in-season vacation has officially begun.

Jason Collins: On Friday night, he went scoreless for the 18th time in 28 games. He also notched the exceptionally rare four trillion. That, it seems, was the end of Lawrence Frank's patience, because Collins never got off the bench on Sataurday night.

Casey Jacobsen: The Memphis guard-forward and former McDonald's All-American scored a five trillion against the Rockets. Stanford must be proud.

Andres Nocioni: Think Noc misses his former coach? In the three games since Scott Skiles was fired, Nocioni has shot 1-for-11, 2-for-12, and 1-for-4. Math experts will agree that adds up to a 4-for-27 stretch. Ugly.

Adrian Griffin: He squeezed out a one trillion against the Knicks on Sunday.

San Antonio Spurs: The defending champs are the odds-on favorites to win the NBA title again this year, but a quick peek at their roster exposes a group of older and, in some cases, marginal players. That rarely matters, thanks to the combined efforts of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. But they sure looked old and lame on Friday night, shooting 31 percent and scoring 73 points in a 10-point loss to the Toronto Raptors. They're still very, very good, but they're hardly invincible.

Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs followed up a hope-lifting win against the Mavericks on Thursday with a low-energy effort in a 1o-point loss to the Hornets on Saturday. And frankly, the game wasn't really as close as the final margin. Larry Hughes was the team's biggest loser, scoring 2 points (1-9) and committing 4 turnovers.

Milwaukee Bucks: Let's see...0-for-the-weekend, three losses in a row, they've lost 7 of their last 10 games and they're 11-18 overall. It's hard to believe that at one point they were 7-4 and leading their division.

Andrea Bargnani: Is this kid going through a sophomore slump or what? His scoring, shooting, and rebounding numbers are all down from his rookie season, and he had a not-so-good weekend: On Friday he scored 11 points (3-9) and committed three turnovers, and on Saturday he went scoreless (0-5) for the third time this season.

Utah Jazz: Another 0-for-the-weekend for the Jazz, who played their own rendition of "We Hate the 80s." First they got blown out on the road by the Lakers, and then they lost to the Celtics at home despite shooting 55 percent from the field. They've dropped to 16-16 and their next game is against the red-hot Trailblazers. Sub-.500 could be in their very near future.

New York Knicks: Four days of rest didn't do them much good; they looked lethargic and disinterested while getting blown out by the Bulls. Think Isiah's lost this team? Don't rush to answer that one. First read these comments by the recently benched Eddy Curry and then make your decision: "I'm definitely not embracing [coming off the bench], but what can I do? I have to use the minutes that I have and try to be productive and if I don't play a lot of minutes, I don't play a lot of minutes. There's nothing I can do. I can't sub myself into the game. I'm not going to go to him crying and whining about playing and starting and all that stuff. It definitely bugs me. I think I'm a starter in this league, but I guess not on this team." Yeah. That's pretty much the opposite of good morale.

Sacramento Kings: They went 0-for-the-weekend, they've lost four in a row, they're 11-18 overall, and now they've lost Ron Artest to elbow surgery. In case you're counting at home, that means the Kings have lost their three best players (Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin are also out) to injury. Go ahead and leave this team for dead.

Los Angeles Lakers: They went retro by wearing 80s-style short-shorts against the Celtics, but that was the only thing that was 80s-like about the Lakers on Sunday. The Celtics were playing their fourth game in five nights, it was their final stop on a four-game Western Conference road trip, and their starting point guard wasn't available. Despite that, they still blasted the Lakers 110-91 in L.A. Kobe Bryant shot 6-for-25 and was in foul trouble all game. The Celtics basically pushed the Lakers around all night, and there was nothing L.A. could do about it, even though the refs called technicals on Kendrick Perkins, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Doc Rivers. Even sweeter: Boston delayed Phil Jackson from going past Red Auerbach in total career wins.

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WotN - Noah

The Miami Heat: After the Heat's 96-85 loss to the 76ers, Dwyane Wade said: ""It's tough to lose, but it's tougher to be the worst team in the Eastern Conference. You don't know what you're going to see from one night to the next." That statement was so stunning that I actually had to go and double-check the standings, and it's true: Miami (8-21) has the worst record in the Eastern Conference, and second worst (to Minnesota) in the league. They were the 2006 NBA champions, and now they're en route to a possible top three pick in the 2008 NBA Draft Lottery. I cannot believe that a team with Shaq and Dwyane Wade could be this bad. Pat Riley needs to fire himself immediately.

Fun Fact: Shaq took four shots last night. Four. He's had double-figure shot attempts in only three games this month (he's averaging 9.7 FGA on the season). He's scored 20 or more points exactly three times this season. At this point, the Heat need to trade Shaq. I know it sounds crazy, but he came to Miami and won his championship, thus "proving" himself. About the only thing that would motivate The Big Washed Up is a change of scenery. And while even that might not work, the Heat need him off their roster ASAP. I know public sentiment might be in his corner, but as Jason Williams has taught us, NBA players are just high-paid prositutes. Speaking of which...

Jason Williams: The NBA's self-proclaimed high-paid prostitute didn't get his high-paid butt off the bench last night.

New York Knicks: Every Knick players is secretly grateful for the existence of the Miami Heat, because it means they aren't the worst and most disappointing team in the East. Anyway, Isiah's latest gimmick failed miserably. Yeah, he brought Zach Randolph off the bench and it gave the team a short-term boost -- up by one point at halftime! Sadly, they still suffered another double-digit butt-kicking.

Eddy Curry: Sure, he started at center for the Knicks, but he played two minutes before getting benched. Then he played only two more minutes in the second half before heading to the bench for good with his 2 points, zero rebounds, zero blocked shots, 2 fouls, and 1 turnover. Said Curry: "It's extremely tough to sit that long. I'm not used to that at all and I hope it doesn't continue. I just think at some point I'm going to have to be out there for us to win the game." Because we all know how much Eddy contributes to winning environments.

Jamaal Tinsley: This guy is a career 31 percent three-point shooter, and he's only hitting 30 percent of his treys this season. But that didn't stop him from hoisting up eight threes last night -- and missing all of them -- on his way to a craptacular 6-21 shooting performance.

Fun fact: The Atlanta Hawks (15-12) have won five games in a row, and eight of their last 12. Wow. Maybe these guys actually can make the playoffs.

Jason Kidd: He's one of the best point guards of all time, which explains the constant rumors about where he may or may not end up if the Nets decided to trade him away. But his poor shooting ability has always been a problem. He's currently shooting a career-worst 36 percent from the field, which wasn't helped by last night's 0-for-8 showing against the Pistons. Considering how weak the supporting cast is, the Nets need more than 2 points from this guy if they want to compete with anybody, let alone one of the league's elite teams.

Jason Collins: Last night's zero-point, 1-rebound performance was just more of the same for Collins. He's now gone scoreless in 17 of the 27 games he's played this season. He's also had eight 1-rebound games, and four zero-rebound games. And this guy was starting as recently as four games ago. He's making over $6 million this year, by the way, and he'll be making about the same next season too.

Darko Milicic: Darko's slide into oblivion continued last night: 13 minutes, 2 points (1-2), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers. Have I mentioned that the Grizzlies are starting Stromile Swift ahead of him? Yeah, it's gotten that bad.

Jeremy Richardson: This undrafted forward out of Delta State notched a super-ultra-rare four trillion last night. In fact, he came within 10 seconds of making it a five trillion! That's not easy to do.

Chicago Bulls: Finally free of the iron-fisted tyranny of Scott Skiles, the Bulls once again put forth the kind of lackluster effort that got their coach fired and has made Kyle Orton the talk of Chicago. Released from Skiles suffocating offensive sets, Luol Deng shot 5-of-15 and Andres Nocioni hit 1-of-11. Ben Wallace, who chafed under Skiles' Draconion rules, submitted a 2-point, 4-rebound gem while being totally outplayed by Matt Bonner (12 points, 9 rebounds). But despite their newfound freedom and the sense of hope it brought, the Bulls still got blown out by a Spurs team that didn't have Manu Ginobili and suffered through a poor game from Tim Duncan (8 points on 2-of-9 shooting and 5 turnovers).

Jason Terry: Zero points on 0-for-10 shooting in 22 minutes of action?! And this from a guy who's role on the team is supposed to be instant offense.

DeSagana Diop: Maybe that posterization by Grant Hill hurt Diop more than anyone suspected. Last night he submitted the impossible line of 6 minutes...and nothing else. A six trillion! DeSagnana, you're seven feet tall. Couldn't you at least foul somebody or commit a turnover or something? Speaking of which...

Eddie Jones: He managed to avoid a three trillion thanks only to a timely turnover. He's getting pretty good at that.

Milwaukee Bucks: Did somebody grease the ball the Bucks were shooting with? Michael Redd (1-8), Andrew Bogut (2-8), Yi Jianlian (2-11), Bobby Simmons (1-7), Charlie Bell (1-4)...were you guys even looking at the basket?

Fun fact: You know, I might actually need to put the "D" back into the Enver Nuggets name. They may be giving up 103 PPG, but they're seventh-best in the league in field goal defense (44.5), and the four teams directly ahead of them are all tied (43.9).

Boston versus Sacramento: Any game that ends with a score of 89-69 probably wasn't very exciting, and this one was no exception. The teams shambled awkwardly out of the blocks (18-16 after one quarter). The Kings then scored 13 points in the second quarter, and the Celtics countered by scoring 13 points in the third quarter. Not to be outdone, Sacramento put the period on this yawnfest by going for another 13 points in the fourth.

Golden State Warriors: I'm not sure why the Warriors struggled so mightily to fend off a 4-win team at home despite a career-high 35 points from Monta Ellis, but I'm pretty sure the fact that they don't play defense, can't get to the freethrow line on a consistent basis, and live-and-die off jumpers has something to do with it.

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Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to (bleep) 20,000 (bleep)s on Sunday, reaching the mark 12 days quicker than Wilt Chamberlain.

Bryant (bleep)ed 39 (bleep)s following the Los Angeles Lakers' 95-90 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, eclipsing 20,000 (bleep)s during (an offensive term for a naughty multi-person encounter).

He reached the milestone at 29 years, 122 days, while Chamberlain was 29 years, 134 days old when passing the mark. Michael Jordan, the only other player to reach the mark before turning 30, was 29 years, 326 days old.

"It is special to do 'it' here," Bryant said. "The culture of basketball here, it is the Mecca, it is special to play in Madison Square Garden. This is my favourite place to (bleep)."

Chamberlain, who is fourth on the NBA's all-time (expletive deleted) list with 31,419 (bleep)s, holds the record for fewest games needed to reach 20,000, reaching the mark after 499. Bryant needed 811.

Bryant, who entered the NBA in 1996 out of Lower Merion High School in suburban Philadelphia, is 31st on the NBA's career (expletive deleted) list with 20,019. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time (bleep)er with 38,387.

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Until now, I've taken the Bulls annual early-season nose dive with a grain of salt. I chalked it up to the heavy reliance of jump-shooting combined with November rust, topped off with a crippling stretch of road games to accommodate a traveling sideshow. The past three years, the Bulls started off 9-16, 12-19, 3-9. We've been down this road before.

I shrugged it off and casually said to the man they call Basketbawful, "If the Bulls are still under .500 in January, Skiles might be in trouble". In retrospect, that statement isn't entirely wrong. The Bulls are looking down the barrel of a sub-.500 December, and are coming off back-to-back losses by nearly 20 points. A 14-win January? Were the 2007 playoffs that long ago?

The question: Is Scott Skiles responsible for Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, and Ben Wallace devolving into Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, and Michael Cage? Is Skiles accountable for the Kwame Brown-like work ethic of Tyrus Thomas? Was Skiles the one that dealt LaMarcus Aldridge for this guy?

To some people, the answer is yes. Scott Skiles is canned and there will be a little more bourbon in his egg nog tonight. That sound you hear is Isiah Thomas laughing. At all of us. Again. Happy Holidays!

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Well, like New Yorkers have a tendency to do with all of their sports teams, they've taken the Isiah Thomas debacle to its illogical extreme. (Hey, I, Evil Ted, am from Boston, so I know a little something about taking fandom to an illogical extreme).

Straight out of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, New York Knicks fans have worked themselves into an hyper-organized frenzy in their attempts to get Isiah Thomas fired. Now, instead of merely scribbling "Fire Isiah" on readily available items like white Madison Square Garden food platters, they gathered Wednesday morning outside MSG to display an 8-foot-tall pink slip, complete with signatures by New York Knicks "fans" to support Isiah's dismissal.


Long Island Dentist Art G. Nathan (in the snappy blue hat) supposedly organized the high-profile lynching...
I mean, protest.

Look at that Pink Slip. You know how much it costs to print up something like that? And check out all the signage. These are no longer scribbles - there are apparently legions of graphic designers now in on the campaign to get Isiah fired. This is more mass-produced zeal and mobilization than Hillary and Barack are getting combined.

So here's a question: do you think disgruntled New York Knicks fans crafted all this elaborate signage themselves? Or has it yet crossed anyone's mind that the Knicks organization itself had a hand in this? Let's face it, people, this team is going nowhere. The fans know it, and management knows it. You know what management is doing? It's turning the innate desire of New Yorkers to fire it's coach into a PR campaign.

So, with that in mind, do you think Isiah is going to be fired any time soon? Do you think Knicks brass want all of this to just "go away"? All of this attention, of this gathering, all of this buying tickets just for the chance to boo and hiss and join in a "Fire Isiah" chant? Do you think they want all of this to end and make their crummy, overpaid 8-17 team the center of attention? Do you think they're looking down from their MSG offices at the "Pink Slip" crowd and ruing the day they ever hired Isiah? Of course not. They've miraculously stumbled upon a way to make their awful organization relevant, and they're going to ride that fortuitous wave for as long as you, New York, will allow it.

Instead of "Dump Isiah," your professionally-produced signs might just as well say "I'm a mindless corporate pawn incapable of discerning that the Iraq war is more important than this."

And poor Isiah. I say that not with sarcasm, I say it with genuine sympathy. Hey, I never liked him - he's part of the "bad boy" Pistons who knocked my beloved Celtics off their 80's pedestal. And he's always come off to me as a whiny, vindictive, petty human being. But just like the masses outside MSG, he's being used. As soon as the fervor dies down, as soon as people have grown so apathetic about this Knicks team that they just stop caring whether or not Isiah is fired - that is when he will go. That is when his one and only value to this team will be gone, and management will discard him without a second thought, perhaps ironically citing "public outcry" as the reason for his dismissal.

So, New York, figured it out yet? You really want to fire Isiah? Really? Well then, dummies, do what fans all over the world do when their team is abysmal and not worthy of attention. Ignore them. Go see a Broadway show. Take a walk in beautiful Central Park. Go online and make a new friend from another country. Visit them in that country. Have them visit you. Take up carpentry. Try a new restaurant. Have sex. Read with your kid. Bake cookies. Learn a new language. Take your "Reserved for Knicks Tickets" stash of cash and give it to a Hurricane Katrina or California wildfire charity.

But don't picket your coach. It's not worth your time, and it's keeping Isiah employed.

- E.T.

P.S. to New York> And please don't try to rationalize this fervor by saying that it's because of Isiah's sexual harassment conviction. We ALL know that if Isiah were coaching a team with a 20 and 3 record, he could be an axe murderer and Knicks fans would still tote him around on a golden throne, and fans would be chopping complimentary blow-up hatchets at Knicks games.

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Mankind continues to search in vain for answers to life's greatest mysteries. Does God exist? Are we alone in the universe? What the hell happened to Michael Jackson's face? And how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

But one of my personal favorites is this: What could possibly be cooler than playing the air guitar? Well, we finally have the answer: Playing air guitar and actually making real guitar sounds. Researchers at CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology in Geelong Australia have invented the Wearable Instrument Shirt. The WIS allows you to play your air guitar by waving your arms around like an idiot and pretending your a super mega rockstar.

"Bwaaarrrgh, bum, waaaarrrgh, waaaarrgh!!"

Dr. Richard Helmer (pictured above), lead engineer on the WIS project, had this to say: "Our company's spellcasters have stolen the souls of countless aspiring musicians and used the dark art of necromancy to lock them into these shirts, which come in sizes small, medium, large, and extra-large. We then attached a wearable sensor interface to bend these disembodied spirts to our will. The result is an easy-to-use, virtual instrument that allows real-time music making that sounds much like the wailing cry of a thousand lost dreams."

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So the Celtics had their first "real test" of the season last night, taking on the Detroit Pistons at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Item: Could maybe the City of Boston pony up a few hundred grand and turn the "Insert-Corporate-Name-Here" Garden back into the Boston Garden? Ever since they succumbed to the whole cheerleader thing (they give them the euphemism "dancers"), I guess all of the "These-could-be-your-father's-Celtics" bets are off. Regardless, I, Evil Ted, shall simply call it "The Garden" until such time.

Basketbawful wanted to write about this, but is unable, so I'll give a go. Bawful felt Paul Pierce overshot, and played like someone trying to be the hero of the game. The result? 11 points on 5-for-16 shooting, and 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

Here's the deal, Paul, you're not just part of a team game, you're part of a Boston Celtics team looking to make a legitimate (not Pierce-Walker legitimate, like REAL legit) run at an NBA Championship. And Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are your teammates. If you're not feeling it, pass the rock. It's ok. We've all pretty much decided in our heads what your talents are. Now the only way for you to put a historical relevance to your talent (a la Peyton Manning) is to win a ring - no matter how much or how little you personally score in the effort.

The good news for Celtics fans? Despite a poor showing by Pierce, the Celts put up a good fight, and showed that they are neck and neck with the Pistons for best in the East (the West? That's yet to be decided). We all know that close games are won and lost on a play or two, so Tony Allen running into Chauncey Billups at the end for the two-free throw loss is irrelevant. In fact, if anything, it provides motivation to the Celts for the next meeting, and maybe even for the...playoffs? PLAYOFFS?

The Celtics-Pistons rivalry is back, and it's good for the NBA.

See the game highlights here.

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Think Joel Pryzbilla and the Blazers have
been Odenized? You'd better believe it.

Odenize (od'-n-iz') verb. To find one's center, or inner peace, in the face of an emotional, physical, or otherwise challenging situation. Odenizing oneself in times of overwhelming sadness, joy, or despair can prevent the situation from getting worse.

Usage example: "After the Blazers started the season 5-12, they took a deep breath, Odenized themselves, and have since won 8 straight."

Word History: "Odenize" and its accompanying definition were created by Portland Trailblazer fan Jeremy Myrland. The term first appeared in print on TrueHoop (see The Power of Odenized Thinking), and it later made it's way into this ESPN the Magazine commercial:

Odenization isn't just some nonsensical hocus pocus, like Ouija boards or Scientology. It's real. Jeremy used its awesome power to resist shedding even a single tear during his wedding, making him the first human being to ever accomplish this feat. And the Blazers themselves, even without the injured Oden, have totally Odenized this season. Left for dead and fully expected to fail spectacularly, the Blazers have overcome a 5-12 start to win eight games in a row. Jarrett Jack may have called it "contagious confidence," but we all know it's really the power of Odenization in action.

How to Odenize: Life got you down? Don't worry. You too can harness the miraculous power of Odenization. But how, you ask? Just follow Jeremy's simple, step-by-step instructions: "It involves closing your senses to the outside world and only thinking of Greg Oden, his monotone voice, and how great it is that he’s going to be a Portland Trailblazer." This may require you to become a Trailblazer fan, so if you aren't one already, start now.

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According to the world's leading food experts, breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. In fact, based on their latest findings, if you didn't eat breakfast this morning you're probably too dead to read this. Ironically, these same experts were so busy informing us of the impending food-pocalypse that they had to skip breakfast themselves...and are now dead.

Let's face it, most of us skip breakfast (and yes, the burning sensation in your gut is called "hunger"). Why do we do it? Because after hitting the snooze button 11 times, we barely have time to make it to work, let alone brew coffee, fry an egg, and burn some toast. But can you imagine a Utopian future where you could make your breakfast in one step, and do it fast?

Well, welcome to paradise my friends. The mad scientists over at Japan's Chuo Sangyo have invented the world's first toast-coffee-egg maker. It's called the Wake Up Morning Set. It allows you make your entire breakfast in under 10 minutes using a single appliance. It also looks like something you'd see in "Back To The Future." Which means it would have looked totally rad back in 1985. But still.

They say this appliance has "everything."
But I don't see a "View Porn While
Waiting For Breakfast" button.


Pau Gasol and tennis star Rafael Nadal would do anything for a TIME FORCE concept wristwatch. And I do mean anything. Would they whack each other in the face with their (tennis and basket) balls? Yes. Would they compete (and lose) in a tricycle race with a chihuahua? Double yes. Would they allow themselves to be terrorized by a rampaging sumo warrior? Oh, hell yes.

These commercials may be in Spanish or whatever, but they're still hilariously worth watching. If you absolutely need words to enjoy them, just imagine the dialogue from any episode of Three's Company. Anyway, Gasol's facial expressions are truly classic. He's like the Spanish Jim Carrey.

Note: Gasol is the 25th highest paid player in the NBA this season ($13,709,375) and Nadal is currently the number two tennis player in the world, but they apparently have summer jobs as bartenders at some Spanish beach. Who knew?

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One of life's greatest joys, other than yoga for men, is the practical joke. It combines ingenuity and humiliation with the added bonus of making you look a little bit smarter than the person you just punked. I was a notorious prankster in college, where my favorite joke involved dumping a bucket of cold water over the bathroom stall door and onto someone taking a dump. Good times, goot times...

Those days are long gone, however, and I've found that practical jokery in the workplace has to be a little bit more, well, subtle. And that's where the Annoy-a-tron comes in.

"This'll teach you to use my coffee mug, bitch."

This nefarious little device is tiny (2.5" x 1.25" x .3") and has an embedded magnet, so you can hide it pretty much anywhere that anything is. It then generates a short beep every few minutes. Even better, the beeps vary in intervals ranging from 2 to 8 minutes, which should make the noise harder to anticipate and (therefore) harder to find.

So plant the Annoy-a-tron, sit back, relax, practice your "muwahahahaha"-style laughter, and wait for your friend/co-worker/family member/hated rival to go slowly but surely insane.

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fire Isiah

The Knicks offense: They scored 92 points on 38 percent shooting (30-79) and committed 18 turnovers. During the second quarter, the Knicks went nearly 11 minutes without a field goal. And I feel the need to point out the obvious here: An NBA quarter is only 12 minutes long. New York bricked 20 shots during that 11-minute Gulag. It very rarely gets any uglier than that.

Fun fact: The Knicks are last in the league in assists (17.2).

The Knicks defense: They surrendered 119 points on 58 percent shooting (49-84). Moreover, they could only stand by and watch in bleary-eyed wonder as Mike Dunleavy Jr. dropped a career-high 36 points (13-18) on them, including 22 in the third quarter alone. You cannot trust teams that give up career nights to Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Fun fact: The Pacers are the sixth highest scoring team in the league (104.6 PPG), and the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference. They're second in the league in field goal attempts (86.8), fourth in three-point attempts (22.4), and sixth in assists (23.3). An up-tempo offense in Indiana? Quite a change from the Rick Carlisle days.

The Knicks: They have the second-highest payroll in the league, yet they've lost six of seven games and are 7-17 on the season (including 1-9 on the road). Their own fans have turned on them and they're regularly booed at home. They're selfish, don't play defense, their coach/general manager is a laughingstock, and there's no hope whatsoever of anything improving in any significant way any time soon. The three words that best describe them are as follows, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk."

Zach Randolph: He lead the Knicks in points and rebounds (26 and 9), but during the second quarter he displayed the kind of behavior that epitomizes a little bit of everything that's wrong with his team. While apparently trying to argue a call, Randolph completely turned his back and left his man (Troy Murphy) wide open for a three-pointer that gave the Pacers a 12-point lead with 1:20 remaining in the first half. Here's some advice, Zach. Argue with the refs when play is stopped or even not at all.

Renaldo Balkman: Isiah Thomas' tenure as the Knicks' GM has been a cautionary tale in abject failure, but drafting Balkman was supposed to be one of his rare successes. Well, I think you can officially scratch that idea. Balkman went scoreless (0-5) against the Pacers. It marks the seventh time in 20 games this season that he hasn't scored a point. He's currently averaging 2.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG. Of course, he's only playing around 13 minutes per game. Interestingly enough, he grabbed 9 rebounds last night in only 12 minutes, which tied him with Randolph (who played 38 minutes) for the team high. Balkman might actually be the team's most effective rebounder, but at 13 MPG, we'll probably never know for sure.

Cleveland Cavaliers: It took them two overtimes and a little luck to win a home game against the Bucks, a team that's lost 10 of their last 13 games. I know they say a win's a win, but sometimes a win feels an awful lot like a loss, doesn't it?

Charlie Bell: Remember, this is the guy that the Bucks wouldn't let bolt to the Heat. He's averaging 4.6 PPG and 2.8 APG on the season. Last night he scored zero points (0-3) and had 1 personal foul in 10 minutes.

Bobby Simmons: Speaking of contract errors, the Bucks' big free agent acquisition of a couple years ago didn't play much better than Bell: He had zero points (0-1), 1 assist, and 2 personal fouls in 15 minutes.

Utah Jazz: They let the Hawks -- the Atlanta Hawks -- score 116 points on 57 percent shooting. They also gave Atlanta the gift of 50 freethrow attempts. Naturally, the Hawks did their best to give that gift right back by missing 14 foul shots and committing 20 turnovers. But in the end, there could be only one loser, and that loser was the Jazz, who have now dropped seven of their last 10 games.

Miami Heat: Yes, they won a game, technically speaking. But they struggled with all their might to finish off the worst team in the league, at home no less. Dwyane Wade shot the ball like he'd just had his hands cut off at the elbow (6-22). Fortunately for him the officials were having a 2006 NBA Finals flashback, the end result of which was 20 freethrow attempts for Wade and a slim escape for the Heat. Shaq actually managed to stay on the floor for almost 30 minutes, but he fouled out again and looked pretty helpless against Al Jefferson (22 points, 20 rebounds). The Big Turnover also lost the ball 5 times.

Fun fact: Shaq recently said, "I'm a great passer from the post" as part of his argument for getting more touches. Well, that might have been true once upon a time. But now? Not so much. On the season, Shaq has committed 68 turnovers while dishing only 33 assists.

Darko Milicic: Another bad night for Darko: 2 points (1-2), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 8 minutes. Even with Pau Gasol out, Darko couldn't stay on the floor. Not only has he lost confidence in himself, his team's starting to give up on him too. I bet every time he closes his eyes, he sees Rasheed Wallace laughing at him.

Erick Dampier: He had one of his best games of the season, with 8 points and 7 rebounds. And the sad thing is, I'm not even kidding. It really was one of his best games of the season. How in the name of Lincoln's Wart is this guy third in All-Star voting among Western Conference centers (behind Yao Ming and Amare Stoudemire)??

Fun fact: Dampier's contract runs through the 2010-11 season and will pay him an additional $33 million after this season. Mind you, Mark Cuban bought Dampier with the money he wasn't willing to spend on Steve Nash.

Phoenix Suns defense: They won a hotly contested game with the world champs, and they became the first team to beat the Spurs in San Antonio this season. I'm sure you sense there's a "but" coming, and that "but" is the Suns' crummy defense. Amare Stoudemire basically shrunk away in fear as Tim Duncan ate his lunch (season-high 36 points, 15-25 shooting, season-high 17 rebounds). But even more disturbing was the fact that Jacque Vaughn looked positively Tony Parker-esque (14 points, 7-10 shoting, 4 assists). You cannot trust teams that make Jacque Vaughn look good. Also troubling is that, not only did the Suns get killed on the boards (again), Steve Nash actually led them in rebounding with 8. That should really never happen. Think the Suns miss Kurt Thomas? Think they aren't secretly wishing Steve Kerr had pulled the trigger on that Stoudemire-for-Garnett trade?

Robert Horry: Another rough outing for Ben-Gay Bob: Zero points (0-1), 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 foul in 13 minutes. However, he did find time to thug Steve Nash again.

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I have virtually everything a man could reasonably ask for: My very own sports blog, an invisible unicorn sidekick that helps me fight crime, and almost 50 percent of my original teeth. However, I can't help but feel that something is missing. I mean other than a harem comprised of obedient Lynda Carter clones. And today I finally figured out what that "something" is: A Flying Monkey With Scream Sound!!

monkey 1
One part flying daredevil, one part
screaming monkey, all awesome.

According to the product description, "The Flying Monkey is nothing short of outrageous!" Since Webster's dictionary defines "outrageous" as "grossly offensive to decency or morality," I couldn't agree more. It's basically a slingshot for which the only ammunition is, well, itself. And since the idea of a flying monkey is a little silly, the toy makers added a touch of class by dressing it in a little cape and Zorro mask. Just put your fingers in the two handpockets, pull back, let go, and watch your monkey soar into adventure. Or up to 50 feet. Whichever comes first.

monkey 2
"Prepare to soar into adventure, Flying Monkey.
And by 'adventure,' I mean my dumb bitch sister."

At a mere $4.99, the Flying Monkey is already a steal. But wait, there's more!! The product description says: "As an added bonus, every time you shoot him, he let's out two loud monkey calls." Well, sure. Who doesn't?

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The Spurs' apathy towards Beno Udrih was a bit puzzling. I can only assume Gregg Popovich's love/hate relationship with Beno Udrih began in a comedic sequence of misunderstandings, not unlike a Ben Stiller movie or any episode of Three's Company. Or maybe it's difficult to endear yourself to a guy named after a popular flatulence aid. We may never know.

After stringing together a series of respectable campaigns off the bench in 2004 and 2005, Gregg Popovich rewarded Beno with the opportunity to split his 12 minutes per with famous vegetarian and scrimmagin' dud Jacques Vaughn. The inevitable alcoholic depression led to Beno posting career lows in every conceivable statistic (even his technicals were down).

Beno's NBA career came to an apparent end when he was dealt to Minnesota for a protected second round pick (i.e. the Spurs and the Wolves agreed that trading Beno for a throwaway 2nd rounder was a bit of a gamble). Spurs fans rejoiced. Wolves GM Kevin McHale took a long look at the Marko Jaric-Sebastian Telfair tandem, concluded that there is nothing to improve on, and waived Udrih before his plane landed in Minneapolis.

Beno was sitting at home in Slovenia (we assume he was crying softly into his Laško or playing Bordunske Hero III on the Playstation, but we're probably wrong) when the Kings called. One month later, Beno is making minimum wage and posting stats nearly as good as that $13 million dollar Mike Bibby guy he replaced. Did I mention he was out of the league a month ago and is making the league minimum?

But our good friends at Sactown Royalty remain unimpressed. While they agree Benomania is making Mike Bibby expendable, they don't think he is the long-term solution at the point. I think this is a bit harsh. After all, Beno is giving them 15 ppg and 4 assists per while shooting 38% on threes, all without the benefit of a training camp, pre-season, or even knowing the King's offense. He's still young (25) and, as of Saturday, has only notched his 21st career start. If he doesn't improve one iota over the next five years, he's already light years ahead of the slugs teams are hanging their hats on this year (Earl Watson, Sebastian Telfair, Steve Blake, Rafer Alston, Anthony Johnson, Jason Williams, etc.).

(hat tip: Hemotivo)

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Tony Parker: French model Alexandra Paressant claims she did the nasty désobligeant with TP. This is going to totally shock you, but Parker's denying it: "I love my wife. She's the best thing in my life, and I have never been happier." Here's the funny thing, though: Parker "said" all that in a statement from Longoria's spokeswoman, Liza Anderson. So Parker, a three-time world champion and last season's NBA Finals MVP, has to defend himself through a statement issued by his wife’s spokeswoman? I guess we know who wears the Pretty Pink Princess panties in that family.

Philadelphia 76ers: It's not like we really expect anything out of Philly, but is it too much to ask for the Sixers to protect their homecourt against a team that was 0-9 on the road? Apparently so. Not only did they let the Kings to shoot almost 54 percent against them, they committed 21 turnovers and simply stood by and watched as Mikki Moore and Brad Miller just destroy them (combined 49 points on 19-for-23 shooting, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists).

Milwaukee Bucks: When I heard Ray Allen was going to miss the Bucks/Celtics matchup, I thought that maybe Milwaukee could keep the game competitive. After all, the Celtics' lack of depth is their Achilles' heel, right? Well, I wouldn't call a 22-point blowout competitive, even for a team as bad as the Bucks.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Another winless weekend for the hapless Timberwolves. How bad are they? On Friday, the Sonics scored 11 points in the first quarter, shot 43 percent for the game, and committed 19 turnovers, but they still beat the T-Wolves by 10. In Minnesota. Meanwhile, the city of Minneapolis sheds a collective tear of grief every time the Celtics win.

Jermareo Davidson: The Charlotte forward submitted a three trillion in a blowout loss to the Magic. Yet, amazingly, he had a +/- score of +1, best on his team.

Pau Gasol: Looks like he's going to miss a week of more due to a toe he jammed in practice. Does anybody know the Spanish word for "pussy"? Sans Gasol, the Grizzlies lost their sixth game in a row on Friday night, then miraculously stunned the Magic on Saturday without him.

Eddy Curry: If he wanted to show the Bulls what they were missing without him, he failed most spectacularly: Zero points (0-5), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, and 2 fouls in 13 lethargic minutes. Even better -- and by "better" I mean "more humiliating" -- he had not one, but two dunks blocked by the much smaller Andres Nocioni. Then Isiah benched him for the rest of the game. That's what we call the Ego-ectomy Deluxe.

Utah Jazz: They shot 39 percent as a team, missed all 13 of their three-point attempts, and coughed up an 11-point second half lead en route to losing their sixth game in a row to the Blazers, who were missing their leading scorer and rebounder, LaMarcus Aldridge.

Los Angeles Lakers: The media and, especially, Lakers fans spent the week bragging about L.A.'s nine-game winning streak over Golden State, and talking ad nauseam about how Phil Jackson owns the Warriors with his little mind games. Well, where was that vaunted psychological advantage when the Lakers coughed up a 6-point lead with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter? Where was Kobe Bryant, the Lakers' deadly "fourth quarter assassin"? (He was shooting 6-for-23 and committing 5 turnovers, that's where.) The refs even tried to give the Lakers a gift in the final minutes by calling a cheesy touch foul on Stephen Jackson (who might have barely brushed against Kobe after the shot was released), and then calling an absolutely ridiculous loose ball foul on Al Harrington (who got run into by Derek Fisher). Of course, we got a little cheater's proof when Bryant and Fisher both missed one of their ensuing freethrows. I'm sure Lakers fans will be quick to mention Kobe's pulled groin, but that happened with about six minutes remaining, and Bryant hadn't been playing (or shooting) any better before that. Face it: The stat curse is always gonna get ya.

Miami Heat: After a 106-103 loss to the Pacers, the Heat slunk to 6-17, and only 2-8 at home. Shaq fouled out with 12 points and 3 rebounds in only 25 minutes of awkward, bumbling action. Dwyane Wade matched his season-high with 8 turnovers (set in last Thursday's loss to the Wizards). How low have Wade's expectations for his team fallen? "Everybody needs to figure out a way they can help with this, doing something 1 percent better. If everybody does something 1 percent better, we'll be a better team." That's right: Wade isn't hoping for a big win streak or a miraculous turnaround; he's hoping for a 1 percent group improvement. Udonis Haslem was the team's best player against Indiana -- 24 points (10-14), 7 rebounds, 3 assists -- but that brought him no joy: "I keep repeating myself: We don't play defense. That's our problem." (Actually, Miami held the Pacers to 44 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers; they just sucked too much to take advantage of it.) When asked it coach Pat Riley could say anything to help turn the team around, Haslem said: "Nope." Speaking of which...

Pat Riley: What did Riles have to say after his team’s latest defeat? "There's a lot of pain. It's very painful. Sometimes you wonder. I'm not trying to get on a philosophical bent here, but when you're given everything that you've ever wanted in your profession, you wonder why that you feel such pain. You say why, why give me all this and make me feel pain?" Uh...what the hell? Seriously, that insipid rant is one of the most pathetic things I've ever read. Maybe it's just me, but I think that after winning 6 championships (1 as a player, 5 as a coach) and becoming a mega-millionaire, you officially lose all rights to whine like a little bitch unless a loved one is diagnosed with terminal cancer or you get sodomized by hillbillies during a rafting trip through Alabama.

Bobcats versus Hawks: If you tuned into this game, I have only one question for you: Why? The only thing even remotely notable about this game is that Charlotte’s Ryan Hollins and Atlanta’s Shelden Williams both notched a one trillion.

Orlando Magic: Okay, who stole their mojo? The Magic have now lost four of five games, and three of those losses happened at home. And Saturday's loss to the Pau Gasol-less Grizzlies was absurd and embarrassing: The Grizzlies (7-16) marched into the Amway Arena -- yes, the Magic's homecourt is named after the world's most famous pyramid scheme -- and scored 123 points (on 53 percent shooting), including 38 in the decisive fourth quarter. Who lets the Grizzlies drop 38 on them in the fourth quarter at home? Sad. Speaking of sad...

Rashard Lewis: Orlando lost to Memphis because of their lousy defense, so Lewis wouldn't have made much of a difference since he doesn't play any. But he missed the game with a sore neck? I know this has been mentioned once or twice before, but he signed a $126 million contract this summer. You're telling me he can't afford to go out and buy some Ibuprofin? And while he's out, he should probably pick up some Vagisil for his tender vagina.

Darko Milicic: This was supposed to be Darko's breakout season. But after his performance against the Magic -- 4 points (2-5), 3 rebounds, 5 personal fouls, and several inhuman posterizations by Dwight Howard -- the only thing broken is Darko's ego: "My confidence level right now is really low. It's horrible. It's weird. I'm with a team now that needs me, and has given me every opportunity to play. I've got a nice contract, but for some reason I can't even do the things I used to do. I don't know what's wrong with my game." Uh, quick reality check: Darko’s career numbers are 5.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG. So based on that, his numbers this year (7.9 PPG and 6.8 RPG) suggest he’s having the best season of his career. Sadly, his best kind of sucks. Anyway, I don't know how his confidence could possibly be any lower than it was in Detroit, where the coach wouldn't play him and most of his teammates wouldn't even look him in the eye.

Kings versus Wizards: Both teams scored only 12 points in the fourth quarter. That must have been painful to watch, assuming anyone could actually sit through that brickfest. The Wiz won the game, but only because somebody had to; the NBA doesn’t allow ties. Sacramento is now 1-10 on the road, but at least they aren’t winless away from home (thanks to the Sixers).

Cleveland Cavaliers: So much for that "Lebron James for MVP" talk. For now, anyway. Despite the return of their superduperstar, the Cavs went winless for the weekend, against two teams with a combined record of 20-24 no less. Even worse, on Saturday night they lost at home to the 76ers, the same team that the previous night had gifted the Sacramento Kings with their first road win of the season. Said Lebron James: "We're not playing very good basketball. Right now, we're not a very good team." There’s your presumed 2008 MVP, folks!

Larry Hughes: Like James, Hughes returned to the Cavs lineup this week and got everybody excited with a 36-point outburst against the Pacers. He then proceeded to shoot 5-for-24 over the next two games, both Cleveland losses.

Ira Newble: Ira set a new personal record for futility by notching a three trillion against the Sixers.

New Jersey Nets: One night after an impressive win over the Cavaliers, the Nets fell on their face against the Knicks (7-16). Not a single New Jersey player had a psitive +/- score. That's positively craptacular.

Jason Collins: His line for the weekends read thusly: 2 starts, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 5 fouls. He has 28 total points on the season, and he's gone scoreless 16 times. How is this guy still starting? Wait, forget that. How is this guy even still in the league?!

Zach Randolph: He had his third blocked shot of this season against the Nets! Somebody schedule a tickertape parade! Now he's only three blocked shots behind little Freddy Jones.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns' mini-slump continued this weekend when they lost to the Hornets; it was the team's third loss in four games. And rumor has it Steve Nash isn't feeling very healthy these days. Danger Will Robinson: The Suns have road games against the Spurs, Mavericks, and Lakers in the next 10 days.

Matt Bonner: From 25 points and 17 rebounds, to zero points and 3 rebounds, to a DNP-CD. Maybe he should give Britney Spears a call for advice on how to deal with a quick and tragic downward spiral.

Enver (no "D") Nuggets: Are the Nuggets completely helpless on defense? Well, let me put it this way: In back-to-back losses, Fabricio Oberto lit them up for 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting and then they gave up 116 points (on 54 percent shooting) to the Blazers. Hey, wasn't Marcus Camby Defensive Player of the Year last season?

Robert Horry: Ben-Gay Bob just keeps shuffling along. This weekend he scored zero points (0-3) and had 1 personal foul in six minutes of "action." At this point, watching Horry play basketball is like watching my grandfather try to mow the lawn. Not pretty.

Erick Dampier: He had 2 points and 2 rebounds in almost 30 minutes of playing time against the Rockets. Has a man who’s around seven feet tall ever seemed so invisible? I mean, other than Jason Collins.

Tracy McGrady: It wasn't just the paltry statistical output against the Mavericks -- 12 points (5-18), 5 rebounds, 3 assists -- it was also his complete and utter lack of impact on the game. He also had, by far, the worst +/- score (-20) on the team.

Steve Francis: The Franchise made his third start of the season on Saturday and "rewarded" the Rockets with 3 points (1-8) and 5 turnovers in 23 minutes.

Seattle Supersonics: The Sonics proved to be the perfect cure for Utah's six-game losing streak. The Seattle players were shooting like somebody had greased the ball and set their hands on fire: Kevin Durant was 3-for-11, Earl Watson and Chris Wilcox were both 1-for-8, Damien Wilkins was 3-for-8, Jeff Green was 0-for-5, and Luke Ridnour was 3-for-7. The Sonics scored only 13 points in the second quarter, and that wasn't even their worst quarter of the game; they scored 9 points in the fourth.

Matt Harpring: He missed Utah's game against Seattle with what was listed as "gastric distress." I’m sure it's horrible, really, because Harpring’s a pretty tough dude. But still, that just sounds kind of wussy to me.

Baron Davis: He was the Warriors' hero in their win over the Lakers, but he transmogrified into their goat against the Pistons: 2 points (1-8), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, and a +/- score of -23. To put it bluntly, Golden State cannot compete when Davis plays like that.

Los Angeles Clippers: Is anyone on this team even trying anymore? Well, aside from Chris Kaman that is? Some teams mail in games, but the Clippers send them via Fed Ex.

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Like many people, I greatly enjoy the dulcet sounds of piano music. It is both beautiful and soothing. Sadly, I don't have a shred of musical talent. After a full year of 4th grade music class, I couldn't even play Mary Had A Little Lam on the recorder. So what are my options? I guess I could always kidnap a pianist and force them -- through the regular application of electric shock and water torture -- to perform for my twisted pleasure. But then I'd have to feed and water them, maybe even take them out for the occasional walk. And if the pile of rotting dog corpses outside my back door are any indication, I'm really not any good at that.

Fortunately, Japanese scientists have once again worked a miracle by inventing The Pianist, a disembodied robotic hand that can play the piano for you while also looking totally creepy.

piano hand
I wonder if it can also play the Meat Flute?

The Pianist has been programmed to play a variety of classical piano concertos, such as Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Chopin's Minute Waltz. However, there is a slight problem. While unbelievably rad, it's still a robot. I've seen The Terminator enough times to know that animated robot hands are almost universally dangerous. Even worse, The Pianist is sound-activated (much like The Clapper), and then it just operates on its own. What if it misinterprets my "play Scott Joplin's The Entertainer" clap for my "destroy all humans" clap? Can mankind afford for me to take that chance...?

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Crap on TNT

Miami Heat: How best to sum up Miami's latest loss (which dropped them 10 games below .500)? Well, for starters, Chris Quinn (??) was their leading scorer with a career-high 22 points. Shaq was limited to 26 minutes due first to foul trouble and then to plain old ineffectiveness as the Heat played better using a small lineup (i.e., without him). The newly crowned MDE (Most Decrepit Ever) finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and three turnovers. Dwyane Wade continues to prove that he isn't back to 100 percent after returning from shoulder and knee injuries. And worse, he's trying too hard to do too much, as evidenced by his season-high 8 turnovers. It's the ninth time in the 15 games he's played this season that Wade has had at least 5 turnovers. And let's not overlook Jason Williams, who contributed zero points (0-3), 1 rebound, and 2 assists in 14 Eric Snow-like minutes. Have we mentioned the Heat's embarrassing lack of depth? Daequan Cook came off the bench to play 10 mintues and all he could manage was zero points (0-1) and 2 personal fouls. Seriously, it's getting to the point where reading through a Miami Heat box score is like perusing the obituaries. Actually, I have more fun reading obituaries, but maybe that's just me. Speaking of grave, the Heat are now 2-7 at home, the second worst road record (to the Timberwolves) in the league. Have we mentioned these guys are just a couple seasons removed from an NBA championship?

Fun fact: Wade's career-high in turnovers is 12. It happened on February 1, 2007, in a 92-89 win over the Cavaliers. Of course, at least he scored 41 points (thanks in part to his 25 FTAs) and led the Heat to a victory in that game.

Dominic McGuire: As bad as the Heat were -- and they were very, very bad -- I still noticed that Washington's rookie guard notched a one trillion last night. Congratulations, Dominic! But I suppose we shouldn't expect that much from a second-round draft pick with a career-high of 2 points. And hey, he scored as many points as Jason Williams and Daequan Cook, and those guys actually got some PT.

Shaq: Okay, I can't let this go. I've brought this up several times over the last couple years, but the Big Washed Up once promised us that he would retire if he was ever "only as good as David Robinson." Well, I'd absolutely and without question take the end-of-his-career David Robinson over today's Shaq. At least The Admiral was still a sturdy rebounder and (more importantly) a defensive presence. And he could stay on the floor more than 20 minutes a game. Moreover, Robinson was able to understand that his skills were declining and accepted a lesser role for the betterment of his team. Shaq, on the other hand, thinks the Heat's problems would be solved if he was getting 20 shots a game. Yet when you watch the Heat consistently make runs with a smaller, faster, more defensively-oriented lineup, it becomes clear that's just not true. In fact, the question doesn't even seem to be whether Shaq should be getting more shots, but whether he should be starting or backing up Alonzo Mourning. The Diesel has officially entered into the "Washington Wizards Michael Jordan" phase of his career; he's no longer even close to what he once was, but he can't accept it, and yet for some strange reason nobody feels completely comfortable in writing him or his team off. Speaking of which...

Fun fact: Tomorrow is the five-year anniversary of the night Michael Jordan matched his career-low with 2 points (1-9) in Washington's 95-82 win over a terrible, Vince Carter-less Raptors team.

Tony Parker: Sprained ankle? Sprained ankle?! Yeah, I kinda don't think so.

Los Angeles Lakers: Their game log for this season will forever show a win against the world champs, which will look impressive to the untrained eye. But what I saw last night was a Lakers squad that struggled mightily at home to finish off a Spurs team that was missing its two best players (Tim Duncan and Tony Parker) and suffering through an off night for its third best player: Manu Ginobili shot 5-17, including 1-7 from three-point range, and committed a season-high 7 turnovers. Of course, that was in part because the officials let the Lakers grab his arms and push him around. But whatever. The fact is, LA almost let Bruce Bowen's offense -- yes, his offense -- beat them. Suffice to say, I'm not impressed. I predict a classic revenge game for the Warriors when the Lakers travel to Golden State tonight.

Andrew Bynum: Bynum earned himself double technicals and an ejection for popping Fabricio Oberto in the face with an elbow. And it didn't happen in the heat of action; it happened during a dead ball situation while Oberto was making his way downcourt. What made the situation even more pathetic was how Bynum raised his hands after the fact to make it look like he didn't actually intend to hit Oberto, then actually complained about getting teched up (which earned him a second technical). And of course Kobe had to stick his nose into it, running downcourt to argue with the the ref. And of course Phil Jackson, ever the smug one, commented to the sideline reporter between the third and fourth quarters that the officials had evened things out between the two teams (since Duncan and Parker were out) by kicking Bynum out of the game. See, these are perfect examples of why it's so easy to hate the Lakers.

Matt Bonner: He followed up a 25-point, 17-rebound game with zero points (0-2) and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes against the Lakers. I guess he's back to being a poor man's Brian Scalabrine.

Ruban Patterson: The man once known as "The Kobe Stopper" (by himself at least) was waived yesterday. By the Clippers (8-13). Patterson, who was coming off a "career year" (14.7 PPG and 5.4 RPG), was the Clippers' big free agent acquisition last summer, and the Clips were freaking excited about it. Vice President of Basketball Operations Elgin Balyor said: "We are thrilled to add Ruben to our team. Ruben plays hard every single night. He is an aggressive defensive player and has a real enthusiasm for the game. He gives 100 percent every game." The gushing continued when head coach Mike Dunleavy said: "I am really excited by our signing of Ruben Patterson. He is a great competitor. I have always admired the intensity he brings from game to game. His versatility will help improve our team." Apparently, all of that changed in the brief span of 21 games. So...what? Patterson wasn't giving 100 percent every game? He doesn't play aggressive defense anymore? He's no longer intense and enthusiastic? How about this: He was statistically unproductive in the 16 minutes per night that Dunleavy felt safe giving him. The fact is, Patterson is the prototypical Intangible Man. If the Clippers had a healthy Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston, a quality role player like Patterson would be a perfect fit. But right now the Clippers are searching for answers...and a guy who can contribute in the kind of ways you can actually see on a stat sheet.

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Perverts of the world rejoice! A UK-based grad student named Joe Malia has invented a device that will allow you to post to your sports blog at work or view online porn at the public library. It's the Techno Privacy Scarf!!

Hood 1
Who needs dignity and self-esteem
when you have porn and privacy?

Want to send a naughty text message on the train? Maybe watch two frisky co-eds make out while sipping coffee at your local Starbucks? Or read last night's NBA capsules over your lunch break? You can do all this and more while both maintaining your privacy and making a fashion statement. Sure, that statement is "I will die very, very alone" but why should you care? You can watch Internet porn whenever you want. They're called priorities. Look them up.

I showed these pictures to a friend, and he brought up an excellent point: What happens if you sneeze? Which led me to wonder, how the hell do you breath in that thing? Well, it just so happens that the scarf provides zippered flaps for air intake and (presumably) mucas expulsion:

Hood 2
See that little flap? That'll be your
only contact with the outside world.

Mr. Malia really thought of everything. He even included a special speaker in the back of the hood so that you can maintain some form of contact with your friends (if you have any left) and loved ones (assuming they still love you). Of course, that "contact" will be bizarre and dysfunctional, eventually transforming your existence into a shadowy, isolated half-life that will no doubt lead to institutionalization or suicide. I'm so glad we have people like Mr. Malia around to empower you people.

Hood 3
Nothing says "personal" like a speaker
in the back of your privacy hood.

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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.

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Those of you who have been in a crowded dance club, on a busy commuter train, or involved in an all-out NBA brawl can probably appreciate this truism: Sometimes you want to be groped, and sometimes you just want to be left alone. But how do you get that subtle point across, short of a cruel and punishing nutshot?

Well, wonder no more. Here's the latest in "back the hell off" technology: The No-Contact Jacket!!

No contact
"Touch me again and I will
flash-fry your ass, douchbag."

The No-Contact Jacket is not only stylish and form-fitting, it also turns you into a street-walking stun gun. Press the switch in either palm and you can blast friends and foes alike with an 80,000-volt electrical pulse. In case you missed that, allow me to repeat: 80,000 freaking volts. Now, personally, I never made it past 3rd grade math, but that sounds like a lot to me.

Believe it or not, all that juice comes from a regular 9-volt battery that's plugged into the jacket lining. Speaking of which, the jacket is fully insulated with a layer of rubber, so you can burn your attacker to a sizzling crisp without jacking yourself up by mistake.

The No-Contact Jacket is the perfect for any NBA season ticket holders on your list. I'm pretty sure the Ron Artests and Stephen Jacksons of the world would think twice about rampaging into the stands if they knew the fans could incinerate them at will.

A few last thoughts. First, the company "would not recommend activating [the jacket] in wet or rainy conditions unless absolutely necessary." Sound advice. Second, and most importantly, if you get this jacket and at some point need to use it against me, I only ask that you say something like "Shocking!" or "Let me light up your life, scumbag!" while doing it. Oh, and please say it in an Austrian accent. That would totally rock.

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J and V

Al Horford: Yeah, I know it was an accident and everything, but Horford's foul on T.J. Ford looked pretty bad. Not only that, it ended with Ford -- who missed the entire 2004-05 season after neck surgery -- getting carried off the floor on a stretcher. Ford is going to be hospitalized overnight, so we'll know more tomorrow, but Raptors spokesman Jim LaBumbard confirmed that Ford "had feeling in his upper and lower extremities when he was taken off the floor." So let's keep our fingers and toes crossed for this kid.

Fun fact: I feel kind of like a jerk for saying this, but you know, Ford might not have gotten hurt if the refs had just made the call on what was a pretty obvious travel. I mean, he took three full steps after his last dribble.

Josh Smith: Maybe Smith had a hot date after the game or something, because his mind sure wasn't focused on playing basketball. The Hawks' second-leading scorer (18.4 PPG) had put up 28, 25, and 25 in his last three games, but tonight he scored only 5 points (2-11), committed 7 turnovers, and fouled out in 28 minutes of action.

Fun fact: Raptors rookie Jamario Moon hasn't attempted a freethrow since November 30. In fact, he's only gone to the line in 8 of the Hawks 21 games this season for a total of 18 freethrow attempts.

Indiana Pacers: These guys just can't seem to stay above .500. They were down 21 after the first quarter (37-16) and never seriously threatened after that. Lebron James finally returned from his tender vagina sprained left index finger, but the real story was the return of Larry Hughes. In only his second game back from an 11-game absence (bruised leg), Hughes scored 36 points (13-17) in only 26 minutes of action. Said Pacers coach Jim O'Brien: "I thought they had two Lebron Jameses out there."

Fun fact: With Lebron and Hughes both out, Eric Snow had actually been getting some big minutes (for him). Now that those guys are back, I figured he'd be back on the bench, waving towels and passing out Gatorade during timeouts. Fortunately for him, Daniel Gibson missed the game with "a wisdom tooth problem," and so Snow was once again called upon to provide a warm body: 2 points (1-1) in 29 minutes. He's now scored a grand total of 10 points this season on 2-15 shooting.

Antoine Walker: I was tempted to bust on Minnesota's Chris Richard and his line of 9 minutes, 1 rebound, and 1 foul. But to be fair, the kid's a rookie who was drafted in the second round. But Walker -- who played 8 minutes, scored 2 points (1-6), grabbed 1 rebound, and committed 2 turnovers -- that guy's a three-time All-Star and a...a...a former NBA champion (yes, I just threw up in my mouth a little). Now he's playing garbage minutes on the worst team in the league. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Fun fact: On December 17, 2001, Walker shot 0-11 from three-point range, thus setting the record for most three-point attempts by a player in one game without a make.

New Jersey Nets: They shot 32 percent (26-81). Kidd had one of his patented triple-doubles -- 11 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists -- but he and the rest of the Nets' "Big Three" (Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson) shot a combined 14-46 from the floor. Think Kidd wants out? You'd better believe it.

Fun fact: Jason Collins went scoreless again, marking the 14th time in 23 games that he hasn't scored a single point. He has more than twice as many fouls (62) as points (26). Keep in mind, the man is seven feet tall, 260 pounds, and a starting center in the NBA. Even Greg Ostertag wasn't this bad.

Brevin Night: Remember how a few seasons ago he was averaging 12 points and 9 assists per game? Heck, he was second in the league in assists to Steve Nash during Nash's first MVP season. Now he's transformed into Eric Snow 2.0. His line against the Nets was: 29 minutes, zero points (0-3), 2 rebounds, 7 assists. He also had his first blocked shot of the season, which puts him only one blocked shot behind Zach Randolph.

Seattle Supersonics: You know, young, unproven teams are supposed to bring hustle and passion to every single game. That's how respect is earned. Well, apparently, the Sonics don't feel like they have much to prove. The whole team looked lethargic in their 27-point loss to the Bulls. After they were outscored 40-18 in the second quarter, they basically just gave up and went through the motions until the final buzzer. As an aside, Chicago is in the midst of a little mini-surge. They've won three of four and actually look like the Bulls of last season.

Fun fact: Some people have been leaving comments that I've been unfair in my criticism of Kevin Durant, so I decided to watch him very closely last night. And you know what? I wasn't that impressed. It's not all negative; he runs the floor well, has a real nose for the basket, and is generally able to get his shot off when he needs to. But he's completely one-dimensional; he's a scorer and that's it. He had one lonely rebound, and not once did he crash the boards or even commit himself to blocking out his man. He defense was substandard at best. And he really doesn't create for his teammates. I know this was only one game, and not one of his better games of the season. Even so, I'm just not seeing anything from this kid that I haven't seen before from volume shooters.

Utah Jazz: They lost their fourth straight game to the suddenly surging Blazers (9-12). To make matters worse, they lost at home (where they had been 8-1) to a lousy road team (they had been 1-9) that was missing their leading scorer (LaMarcus Aldridge). Most of the Jazz were misfiring all night: Deron Williams (4-14), Mehmet Okur (3-10), Matt Harpring (1-5), Gordan Giricek (1-8), Jason Hart (2-7), and C.J. Miles (2-7). But Utah's biggest problem was the fact that Andre Kirilenko transformed into the Invisible Man: 25 minutes, 3 points (1-3), 4 rebounds, zero assists, 2 turnovers. Yes, Carlos Boozer and Williams are the twin engines that run the Jazz, but Kirilenko is the catalyst, the game changer, the defensive stopper. When he's not doing what he does, the Jazz become a pretty mediocre team.

Fun fact: Jaron Collins must be having a Suck-Off Competition with his brother Jason. Jaron's line was 2 points (0-1), 2 rebounds, and 1 foul in 13 mintues of action. I don't know what's more pathetic, that stat line or the fact that it was vastly superior to Jason's line (see above).

San Antonio Spurs: Playing without Tim Duncan finally caught up with them. Pretty much everybody on the team sucked last night except...Matt Bonner?! Yes, that's right, Bonner was fantastic: 25 points (9-16) and 17 rebounds. But before you run off to pick him up for your fantasy team, keep in mind that those numbers are about 25 points and 17 rebounds higher than his season averages.

Fun fact: When Bonner was drafted in 2003, Jay Bilas referred to him as a "poor man's Brian Scalabrine." Three years later, in his NBA preview on, Chad Ford ironically called Scalabrine a "poor man's Matt Bonner." And life comes full circle.

Robert Horry: Hm, 8 minutes, zero points (0-1), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and several applications of Ben-Gay. Yeah, I'd say he's showing his age.

Troy Hudson: He went above and beyond the call of duty, notching the exceedingly rare two trillion.

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Remember the science kits we had as kids? All they allowed us to do was induce sad little "chemical reactions," most of which involved transforming a poop brown substance into a poop green substance. If you were really lucky, you maybe got to make water bubble. And sure, you could have accomplished the same things by slightly altering your diet and farting in the bathtub, but this involved SCIENCE.

Kids today have it so much better than we did. For example, they can use the Smithsonian Crime Lab Investigation Kit to figure out who beat them up and stole their lunch money. Or they can use the CSI Facial Reconstruction Kit to lovingly recreate an image of Heather, the little girl they had a crush on but wouldn't return their feelings, then disappeared and was never seen or heard from again. You know, for example.

But just amazing:

science kit
Find out who your dad really is.

That's right. Kids from ages 10 and up can use the Discovery DNA Explorer Kit to "extract, view and map real DNA the way forensic scientists do." Sure, sample experiments include looking at plant DNA, but with a little creativity and ingenuity, you can finally track down your real biological father. Personally, I plan to clone an army of unstoppable Wonder Women warriors/sex slaves. So if you don't want to gift me with this wonderful miracle of science, could you at least forward me Lynda Carter's current home address? Thank you.

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WotN - Hedo

Orlando Magic: Okay, let me get this straight. The Magic broke out of the gates at 16-4 -- which included an astounding road record of 11-2 -- then lost back-to-back home games to the Pacers and Hawks? Stunning. And make no mistake about it, this was a team loss. As a unit, the Magic shot 39 percent from the field (29-73), missed 20 three-pointers, bricked 12 freethrows, and had more turnovers (19) than assists (18). Jameer Nelson shot 2-for-8; Dwight Howard hit only 6 of his 14 foul shots and committed 5 turnovers; 10 of Rashard Lewis' 13 shots were three-pointers, and he missed 7 of them; Brian Cook submitted a stat line of 4 minutes, 1 turnover, and 2 personal fouls; and finally, Pat Garrity and J.J. Redick didn't get off the bench. Only Hedo Turkoglu -- 22 points (7-15), 7 rebounds, 5 assists -- gets a free pass tonight. To top it off, Rashard Lewis showed the kind of fighting spirit for which he was infamous in Seattle when he said: "It's frustrating, of course, but it's not the end of the world." Mind you, this is the same guy that sat out three and a half games of the 2005 Western Conference Semifinals with a sprained left big toe (as Craig over at The Association likes to point out).

Fun fact: The Magic are 11-2 on the road but only 5-4 at home. Fortunately for them, their next two games are on the road against the Bucks (8-11) and Bobcats (7-12).

Houston Rockets: Hold on, let me check the Official Tracy McGrady Injury Chart. Okay, it's mid-December, so it should be about time for an ankle injury...hey, right on schedule! Once again, the Rockets looked absolutely helpless without T-Mac, and were down 26 to the Sixers (9-13) going into the fourth quarter before garbage time ensued. Two fourth quarter minutes for Louis Amundson? That's a little thing we like to call The Human Victory Cigar.

Fun fact: Yao is having himself a season, scoring 22 PPG (on 51 percent shooting), grabbing 10 RPG, and blocking a couple shots per game. But it feels like those are just numbers, you know? He never really dominates a game or leads the team, which is why the Rockets are usually better off with Yao missing time than McGrady.

New York Knicks: Another loss (their third in a row) and another night of getting the business from a home crowd that hates them. On the bright side, they actually lost to a winning team this time, which is a step up from their back-to-back losses to the 76ers. For the record, Eddy Curry (who shot 3-11 and had only 3 boards) got outrebounded by Zach Randolph, Fred Jones, Quentin Richardson, David Lee, Dirk Nowitzki, Erick Dampier, Jason Terry, and Josh Howard. Eddy's about 7-feet, 280 you know. The bigger problem, though, was the Knicks non-existant defense: They "held" the Mavs to 54 percent shooting and forced only 9 turnovers, including 4 steals and zero blocked shots.

Fun fact: Another night with zero blocks for Zach Randolph. That's a fat two on the season for the East's littlest big man. Speaking of which, for the last several weeks we've had a running gag going about Zach Randolph's prolific shot blocking abilities relative to other players around the league, particularly guards (for instance, see here, here, here, and here). Guess somebody else noticed too.

Dallas Mavericks: They let a 23-point lead dwindle to seven before closing the game out. That wouldn't have been so bad except that the team who did the coming back was the Knicks. Should the Knicks ever come back against a good team? Probably not. And Avery Johnson was not happy about it: "We had a big enough lead and we should have kept it. The last two minutes or three minutes of the third quarter was absolutely pathetic. The guys who were in there let the whole team down." Sounds like the Little General is a little stressed out about his team's lackadaisical defensive efforts.

Fun fact: Dallas ($93,628,1768) and New York ($88,877,161) have the highest payrolls in the league by a lot. The next closest team is Denver ($80,253,547). For the record, I think Mavericks spent their money a little more wisely than the Knicks.

Phoenix Suns: I'm not ready to hit the panic button just yet, but the consecutive losses to Minnesota (3-15) and Miami (6-15) are a little disheartening. As for their latest embarrassment, well, I'll put it this way: 40 points is usually a good half for the Heat, but they had 40 in the first quarter against the Suns. Furthermore, Miami averages 92 PPG on 45 percent shooting this season, but those numbers inflated to 117 points on 58 percent shooting against Phoenix. Worse, it was the second of back-to-back road games and the final stop in a six-game road trip for the Heat. There's no excuse whatsoever for the Suns to have lost this game. I'm going to put on my Bill Walton mask and state that their defensive performance was a disgrace to the sport of basketball and everything James Naismith ever stood for.

Not so fun fact: Another rotten game for Boris Diaw: 2 points (1-3), 1 steal, and 1 turnover in 16 minutes. I think Brian Skinner has officially stolen Diaw's spot in coach D'Antoni's rotation. No, seriously.

Milwaukee Bucks: The poor Bucks lost their fourth game in a row, and their eigth in 10 tries, to fall to 8-12 on the year. Remember when this team was 7-4 and the talk of the league? The Bucks have just been finding new and crushing ways to lose since their giddy start. This one was a classic come-from-ahead loss, as they got outscored 30-19 in the fourth quarter and lost by 3.

Fun fact: Have you ever heard of Royal Ivey? He plays about 12 MPG for the Bucks, believe it or not. One of Royal's official Yahoo pictures is an image of him getting schooled by Austin Croshere. Anyway, he used to play for Atlanta, where he got the nickname "Cheese", in reference to the Royale with Cheese exchange in Pulp Fiction.

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