Antoine Walker: Basketbawful reader Jochem de Graas was quick to pick up on the rather laughable pretext for Employee #8's absence from the Timberwolve's matchup against the Raptors: "The reason Antoine Walker didn't play last night: Minnesota forward Antoine Walker didn't travel to Toronto because of what Wittman called 'a passport problem.' On the bottom under game notes. That's more creative then flu-like symptons." True enough, Jochem. If the NBA ever expands to Europe, I predict that "passport problems" will become the new "flu-like symptoms." You heard it here first, folks.

The Orlando Magic starting backcourt: Jameer Nelson and Maurice Evans combined to score only 2 points (1-for-6) in 43 minutes of lack-tion. Nelson at least dished out 7 assists; Evans' line of zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal and 1 foul made me wonder whether something tragic had happened to a close family member. His mind obviously wasn't in the game, and his body was barely there either.

Kevin Martin: We did mention that he's The Man in Sacramento now that Mike Bibby's gone, right? Well, when's he going to start playing like it? Speedracer scored a mere 6 points on 2-for-9 shooting against Bibby's new team. And the rest of his stat line was just as uninspiring: 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 steals, 2 personal fouls, and a +/- score of -19...worst on the team. Also, the Atlanta backcourt lit the place on fire (Bibby had 24 points and 12 assists, Joe Johnson scored 26). I do like me a good revenge game. Congrats, Bib. It's too bad that, at the end of the day, you're still a Hawk.

Kirk Hinrich: Captain Kirk set his phaser to "suck" once again. Two night after getting ejected for arguing an out-of-bounds call, Hinrich got benched 56 seconds into the third quarter -- for Larry Hughes, no less -- and never returned. Said Chicago coach Jungle Jim Boylan: "I said there's competition out here. Bring your 'A' game or come down and sit next to me. That's the way that went tonight. I just didn't like the way the first couple possessions went. Everybody's accountable and there are no exceptions." Hinrich scored 6 points (2-for-3) and dished 3 assists in the 16 minutes and 35 seconds he was on the floor. After the game, he left the locker room "quickly without commenting."

Shawne Williams: According to the AP game recap, "Pacers F Shawne Williams (personal reasons) left at halftime and didn’t return." Well, here are those reasons: "A man wanted for murder in Memphis, Tenn., was arrested Wednesday night after leaving the home of Indiana Pacers forward Shawne Williams on the Northeastside, according to Indianapolis metropolitan police." It doesn't get much more "personal" than harboring a murdering fugitive from justice, does it. For his part, Williams said, "I feel like I let my organization (and) my teammates down, along with the Simon brothers (team owners Mel and Herb) and my family." Williams also said that he "wasn't very close" with Rollins, and would be more careful in the future. Mind you, this incident comes only a few days after a woman was allegedly raped at Marquis Daniels' home (though not by Daniels) during a "small gathering." Man, the Pacers really need to start making better friends.

Travis Diener: This is how I put it in my NBA Closer column over at Deadspin: "After Larry Hughes lit the Pacers up for 29 points (10-for-19) in Chicago's 113-107 victory, Dick Diener's little nephew shamelessly abused the English language by stringing the following nonsense words together: "[Hughes] is a good player. There's a reason he has a big contract. They don't just throw money away to [bad] players." Oh yes they do, Travis. They most certainly do. Exhibit A: Stephon Marbury is currently making $20,109,375 (the third highest salary in the league). Exhibit B: Raef LaFrentz (1.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG) is making $11,813,750. Exhibit C: Antoine Walker and Kwame Brown are both making around $9 million this season...and Employee #8 still has three years and $30 million left on his contract! (Have fun choking down that buyout, Kevin.) So I think it's been pretty firmly established that "they" do indeed reward bad players with fat contracts."

Wally Szczerbiak: Wasn't Wally World supposed to be an upgrade over Larry Hughes? On a night in which Hughes led his new team to victory on the road by scoring 29 points on 10-for-19 shooting, Szczerbiak scored 12 points on 3-for-13 shooting...a performance so close to the Cleveland Cavaliers version of Larry Hughes that I'm starting to wonder if the two players didn't just switch bodies or something.

Dwyane Jones and Billy Thomas: These two men arose from the Cleveland bench to play 29 seconds a piece and go zero-for-everything. Yet, amazingly, they both had a +/- score of +5, which tied for second-best on the team -- and much, much better than LeBron's -13. So I guess that means the Cavs would have won if those guys had just gotten some more playing time, right? Riiiiight. I just love these New Age stats.

Brian Scalabrine: A few weeks ago, Brian was Boston's starting power forward. Now that Kevin Garnett has returned to the lineup, he's racked up six straight DNP-CDs. Of course, we're supposed to believe he has a strained right groin and not a case of the "Thanks for filling in and everything, but now that KG's back we don't really need you anymore."

LeBron James: The King scored the 10,000th point of his NBA career, becoming the youngest player in league history to reach the 10K mark (23 years and 59 days). But James' misguided shooting (7-for-24) sunk the Cavs' chances of upsetting the Celtics in Boston. (And yes, I know he sprained his ankle.)

The Charlotte Bobcats: They didn't just lose to the Knicks, they got blown the hell out. Sure, Gerald Wallace was out and Jason Richardson left early because he got poked in the eye. But we at Basketbawful have exacting standards, and every loss to New York warrants a mention in Worst of the Night.

Eddy Curry: On a night when the Knicks were lighting up the scoreboard like an old-school pinball machine, E-City scored zero points (0-for-3) and grabbed 3 rebounds in 15 minutes of listless lack-tion before getting intimately acquainted (again) with the Madison Square Garden bench.

The Phoenix Suns defense: This is probably a bogus Worst of the Night entry, since there is no Phoenix Suns defense. Also, Boris Diaw continued to suck, so badly in fact that I'm not even going to give him his own entry. He is officially dead to me.

Rasheed Wallace: 'Sheed had another one of "those games," shooting 2-for-12 from the field and 0-for-5 beyond the arc. There's no word as of yet how many of those three-point attempts were left-handed.

The Seattle SuperSonics defense: Yet another nonexistent D. The Sonics played defense with the passion and fire of a bunch of cardboard cutouts of the Wizard of Oz munchkins, giving up an NBA season-high in points (138) and a Denver franchise record in field goal percentage (67). If we find out later today that Bill Walton's head exploded last night, I promise you this game will be the reason why.

Kevin Durant: I just hate this guy's game. I hate it. I read yesterday that a TrueHoop reader compared Durant to Pistol Pete Maravich and I swear to my savage pagan gods that I projectile vomited on the spot. Are you kidding me? No, seriously, are you kidding me?! The comparison is valid only insomuch as any high-scoring, heralded rookie who has a rough start in the league could be compared to Pete. The exact same thing could have been said about Adam Morrison last year. The difference is, Pete Maravich was an absolute sensation in college, and in the NBA, even if his first season went much more poorly than expected. Durant does not possess the Pistol's artistry nor his flare for the dramatic, not to mention his crazy handles. Maravich was one-of-a-kind..he revolutionized the way the game was played! Yeaargh! Okay. Okay, I'm done. Michael from Seattle, I know you'll never see this, but please, for the love of all that's pure and good about the sport of professional basketball, do not ever blaspheme the name of Pete Maravich like that again. (Sidenote: Durant scored 16 points on 17 shots last night. Potential ROYs should be able to average at least one point per shot, in my book.)

Blazers versus Clippers: This ended up being a very exciting game, but the first three quarters, well, they weren't exactly easy on the eyes. As Matt from Hardwood Paroxysm put it in an email to me: "Hragnn...Clippers...39...Portland...42...with 7:45 3rd quarter...negativ basketbooool, maiking...meee stooopid..."

Shaq tired-001

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Blogger flohtingPoint said...
(Sidenote: Durant scored 16 points on 17 shots last night. Potential ROYs should be able to average at least one point per shot, in my book.)

Potential ROY's should also be able to at least put up ONE rep of 185 at the draft camp.

Anonymous Billy said...
I think you might have missed Aaron Afflalo's craptastic almost-but-not-quite 7 trillion effort last night:

I bet he was thinking Man, I don't wanna get ripped on Basketbawlful! and then chucked up a shot from 47 feet, unknowingly making his stat line an equally unimpressive 7 trillion, 10 billion.

Blogger Justin said...
The whole Durant thing is such a shame. He's looked like a skinny Antoine Walker in the NBA, just hurling up whatever damn thing he pleases and making roughly three out of every ten. He was really something else in college, too, but I guess that can happen when you get drafted by a team that subsequently trades their two best players for, uh, wait, uh...who do they have now? Point is, the Sonics aren't even a team anymore. They're a bunch of dudes with expiring contracts, an underachieving, presumptive rookie of the year throwing up cinderblocks all night, and Robert Swift, who can't suck any more hilariously than he does.

Point is: I hate his game too. But I used to love it. I think he'll be a legit NBA talent when he has another legit NBA talent or two running with him. No offense, Earl Watson.

Anonymous shrugz said...
man I'm just sick of the people giving him a free pass cuz his team blows
ohhh he has lesser players blah blah blah

I know damon stod won it with 40$ shooting but he had 9 APG as well and almost 40% 3P%

durant was never ROY in my eyes

Anonymous Farfa said...
I guess Bill Simmons ruined for the second straight year a lottery pick (a year ago, it was Adam Morrison). Then, last summer he started praising Bryan Colangelo for drafting Bargnani.
Now I understand why you criticize the Sports Guy so much. He's a damn jinxer! And to think, he's a quarter Italian.
Well, I guess Italian in basketball quite rhymes with "sucks". Shame on me, I'm more Italian than pizza.
Anyway, am I the only one who believes the Suns could recede to the 7th-8th spot in the West, and then burst in a gigantic pile of Shaquille O'Shit? And, why in the hell do two big black guy (Shaq and Jermaine) share the same Irish surname? I would be less dazzled if Katherine Heigl was named "Al-Maliqa Tahamel".
Enough of my ranting, now I can go to bed swearing to the very name of Steve Kerr.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
flohtingpoint -- Freakin' ay they should. I'm just a mildly swarthy white guy, and I could bend Durant in half. That shouldn't happen.

justin -- You described the Sonics' current state about as well as it could possibly be described. Durant used to thrill me when he was in college, but I got the same feelings about him I had while watching Glenn Robinson. That is, he's an amazing physical specimen with a knack for scoring but zero basketball IQ and even less of a work ethic. I hope I'm wrong. I'm hoping he goes into the off-season with a Kobe-like thirst for personal improvement and comes back gangbusters next season.

shrugz -- Dude, if I had a vote, Al Horford would get it. Twice. I love that kid.

farfa -- Simmons is a curse unto everything he touches. I'm serious. His stat curse ability stuns even me. As for the Suns...I really hate to say this, but yeah, I get that same "sinking down the playoff standings" feeling about them. I don't want to call the Shaq trade a failure yet, because there's still a lot of basketball left to be played. But, it's looking bad. Worse even than I originally imagined.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
It could be even worse than just a 7-8 seed for Phoenix if they're not careful. Checking out their remaining schedule I noticed this: they still have to play Denver three times (twice on the road), Portland three times (twice on the road), Golden State twice (both at home), and Houston twice (split home/road).

All games are pretty much must-win for all the top West teams at this point, but these games in particular are must-wins for the Suns, since these are the teams they're fighting for those last playoff spots. Right now Phoenix is only 4 games up on 9th seed Denver in the loss column, and since they play each other 3 more times that could easily be made up by the Nuggets if they win those games (which would also give them the tie-breaker). Similarly they're only up 3 games on the Warriors in the loss column, and with two games against them left that deficit could be made up with two GS wins (once again, giving the Dubs the tie-breaker).

Phoenix needs to get its shit together, and fast. They've looked downright miserable against the good teams, and have looked just about on par with the bad teams (check the tightly contested wins over Seattle, Washington and Memphis since Marion was traded). They get what should be an easy game on Saturday against Philly, but then next week it's back to the tough teams with road games in Portland and Denver, as well as home games against Utah and the Spurs. It could get ugly real quick if Phoenix continues to struggle like this.

Blogger Alex(andra) Cavnar said...
Tonight: Mavs @ Spurs I bet the dude at starbucks $1 that the mavs would win.....was this a stupid bet?!?!?!?!?!??!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kurt Thomas 4 Trillion
Sean Williams 2 Trillion
Dorell Wright 4 Trillion

hat trick!

Anonymous Farfa said...
- alex(andra): it wasn't, but say hello to your dollar. Fear the Manu!

Blogger stephanie g said...
Why is Shaq's face melting?

My word verification: mboob

Blogger Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...
I fully expect Avery "I'm such a control freak I'd rather bench the playmaker I traded away the future of the franchise for" Johnson to be in your Worst list tomorrow. Even lost tribesmen from the deepest jungles of Africa who'd never seen a television before, much less basketball, could tell you that was a stupid move.

Anonymous JAY UNO said...
can someone please tell jason terry, that he is not, there´s no way in hell, he is not clutch. ther is no way that he is gonna make a game winning shot. he should be happy if he´s just missing it, instead of getting swatted by bruce bowen ... that´s definately a top spot in the next worst of the night, aight?

please let dirk or howard or even freakin eric dampier shoot instead of this guy...
thanks, i feel better now

Anonymous Farfa said...
How many years of coaching are still in the tank of Avery Johnson, before his need of control makes him selfcombust?
Is his high-pitch voice a direct result of his urge to control if his "man attributes" are still there? I guess he squeezes them a thousand times a day. Still, since I can't stand the Mavs, I'm happy he is their head coach.

Anonymous Melvin said...
hahahha.. hilarious/....

LOL that HP email is so hilarious i think i have to start regularly reading him too

Blogger Basketbawful said...
billy -- Man, I totally meant to reply to your comment. And you're right, that's exactly what Aaron did, that cheap bastard.