Funleavy

New York Knicks: This team set a new standard in Worst of the Weekend history. On Friday night, they ended the Grizzlies' 18-game road losing streak by getting blown out 120-106 at Madision Square Garden. On Saturday night, they played in Minnesota and got abused 114-93 by the Timberwolves. That's 35 points worth of losing to two of the worst teams in the league. Let's just rename them the Washington Generals and call it a season, okay?

Isiah Thomas: Zeke still thinks he has a future in New York, even though Knicks owner James Dolan met with -- and was subsequently turned down by -- Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh, who apparently prefers the mess he and Larry Bird made in Indiana to the trash heap Isiah built in New York. Good call, Donnie. Meanwhile, The Smiling Assassin is officially tanking the rest of the Knicks' season by benching Zach Randolph to get a look at the the team's "project" players, like Randolph Morris (who scored 6 points on 2-for-15 shooting this weekend). Said Isiah: "This is definitely a growing and a learning experience for me and this is a very tough time. But you try to grow and learn from the tough times also." Yeah, right. If you could grow and learn from sucking this badly, Isiah would be about 75 feet tall and could crush granite blocks with his amazing mind powers. When asked about his future with the team, he simply said, "I plan on being here." He may be the only one.

NBA.com box scores: This box score image from NBA.com was sent in by Basketbawful reader j men, who described it thusly: "Wow. The Heat are so short handed now that they have a new player that doesnt even have a name!" The unnamed player is/was a kid named Blake Ahearn. Don't bother to memorize his name, though. I doubt he'll be sticking around longer than the end of this season. Note: The box score was updated. But you still shouldn't memorize his name.

Andrea Bargnani: He had a rough night against the Cavs on Friday, scoring zero points (0-for-5) against the suffocating defense of Egghead Zydrunas Ilgauskas. (Psst. Andrea was a number one overall pick.)

The James Gang: LeBron is starting to find out that one truly is the lonliest number of all. On Friday, the Cavs beat the Raptors despite the fact that Bron Bron's teammates couldn't have found the basket even if someone had decorated it with chocolate-coated supermodels (Sasha Pavlovic was 3-for-11, Delonte West was 1-for-3, Ilgauskas was 5-for-14, Ben Wallace was 0-for-0, Damon Jones was 3-for-9, etc.). The story was pretty much the same against the Bucks on Saturday, only Cleveland didn't win. At 40-31, the Cavaliers chances of reaching 50 wins -- and LeBron's chances of getting the MVP -- seem pretty remote.

Enver Nuggets: The Nuggmiesters are four games into a five-game road trip during which their best defensive effort was to hold the Raptors to 100 points on 50 percent shooting. Over this four-game stretch, they've "held" their opponents to 116 PPG on 55 percent shooting. But they're currently seventh in defensive efficiency, which proves, if nothing else, that numbers can lie.

Portland Trail Blazers: They were 2-0 for the weekend, but those two wins came against the Clippers. And on Friday night, the Blazers let L.A. score 102 points on 56 percent shooting, despite the fact that Al Thornton shot 2-for-10 and both Chris Kaman and Corey Maggette missed the game with tanking injuries. On Saturday, Portland "won" an ugly 83-72 game that made me hate God for giving me eyes. Both teams shot in the high 30s and the Clips hit only 9 percent of their threes (1-for-11).

Los Angeles Clippers: Well, I could hardly leave them out, could I? I mean, first they shoot 56 percent and lost, then they couldn't throw it in the ocean and lost. Oh, and did I mention they're tanking? Well, they're tanking.

C.J. Watson: He had a cool three trillion in Golden State's 109-106 loss to Houston.

Seattle SuperSonics: The Sonics did their best Nuggets impersonation against the Lakers, giving up 130 points and 60 percent shooting -- including 52 percent in threes -- in an ugly blowout loss. I only regret that the team name doesn't have a "D" in it so I could take it away. So I guess I'll have to take it from Kevin Urant instead.

Miami Heat: They went 0-for-the-weekend as Pat Riley missed both games to scout college players in the NCAA tournament. Do you realize that they're 12-57 and may not win another game for the rest of the season?

Sacramento Kings: Another 0-for-the-weekend performance, including a loss to the Grizzlies in which Darko Milicic burned them for 19 and 12. Webster's Dictionary should probably add an entry under "Shame" that includes "Burned by Darko Milicic."

Chicago Bulls: They should just change their name to the Chicago Fourth Quarter Collapses. The latest debacle was vomiting up a 13-point fourth quarter lead to the woeful Indiana Pacers, who outscored the Bullies 35-17 in the final stanza to win 108-101. In Chicago. Speaking of which, the Jerry Reinsdorf has decided that fans weren't paying enough money to watch this crap and therefore raised ticket prices for next season. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get me some Bulls season tickets so I can love it live!

Andres Nocioni: On Saturday night, Chapu became the latest Bulls player to flip the hell out when he started cursing at Chicago coach Jim Boylan for benching him after less than three minutes of PT. In fact, Noc was venting so loudly from the bench that Boylan banished him to the locker room for the rest of the game. Nocioni issued an apology afterward, of course. It's probably also worth noting that Noc's family was "in Chicago and at the game for a rare visit," which might have had something to do with the outburst.

Mike D'Antoni: The Suns are winning, and looking good while doing so. But D'Antoni has been using a seven-man rotation for, like, four years now. He does understand that his team is, you know, kind of old, right?

Jerry Stackhouse: Uh, Jerry? I know Manu Ginobili can be a little annoying, but that doesn't mean you're allowed to pull him down from behind and then choke him. David Stern really frowns on that sort of thing. Besides, "crazy" is the exclusive province of Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson. They're not going to appreciate you borrowing their schtick.


Basketbawful: Okay. Maybe I was wrong about the Kidd trade. God the Mavs are in trouble. Especially if the team doctors can't but Humpty Dirky back together again.

Detroit Pistons: Here's a paradox for you: The Pistons have the second-best record in the league (49-20), yet they're only 10-7 since the All-Star break. Am I the only person who's noticed that something's wrong in Detroit?

ESPN headline writers: Joe from Magicballs noticed that ESPN's frontpage headline for the Denver/Toronto game -- A.I., Melo combine for 69, Nuggets hold off Raptors -- would definitely provide a chuckle or two for the maturity challenged. Such as myself.

Need more of a fix? You can always get more me from the NBA Closer column at Deadspin.

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23 Comments:
Anonymous Shrugz said...
well lemme put the jason kidd trade in perspective

they traded a very good shooting PG that can pass and works well in a strict system (Devin Harris) for a pass-ONLY PG that does well with freeflowing offensive

Dallas, however, is an ISO team with two very good one on one offensive players in dirk and Josh howard that can pass out to the PG for open shots

I wanted to type something else but I don't remember maybel it'll come to me later LOL

Blogger Wild Yams said...
What's most amazing about D'Antoni is that his incredibly short rotation apparently is part of his coaching scheme and not just his reaction to having a small talent pool. The main example of this is Brian Skinner, who was playing so well for Phoenix all year that you had to think that by adding Shaq to the mix the Suns would now have a couple big guys to throw out there. But what has D'Antoni done with Skinner since Shaq arrived? He's sat him on the bench. Thanks for keeping things afloat in the frontcourt for most of the year, Brian, but now that Shaq is here, your services are no longer needed. What's even more amazing about D'Antoni is that by employing this wafer thin rotation year after year, it's incredible that he hasn't had more of those older players just break down later in the year.

Dallas is in serious trouble if Dirk is down for a while (which is almost a certainty after looking at that fall yesterday). It is absolutely stunning how little Jason Kidd offers the Mavs when he is on the floor. Maybe he wasn't tanking in New Jersey after all this year? He looks plain awful out there. Kidd has combined now for 15 points in the last 4 games while shooting 25% from the field (18% from 3-pt range). The Mavs are in serious, serious danger of missing the playoffs right now.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
I'm used to a Spurs player aggressively initiating contact then acting like he's been raped when the opposing player responds in kind. But more often it is the league's dirtiest player, Bruce Bowen, rather than Manu Ginobili. Kudos to Manu getting coached by Bowen to broaden his game!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
please get your german right, it hurts my eyes
simply dont trust the google translator and change the headline to Das Schlechteste vom Wochenende

Anonymous Victor said...
Oh man Kidd had no confidence in his shot vs San Antonio. I remember him passing up at least 3 wide open 3 pointers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
as of now the headline says "the worst upon the weekend"

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Shrugz -- I agree. I think the intent was to alter the nature of the team, you know, get them away from the "ISO-only" mentality. Hasn't really worked, though, because that's not really a quick fix type of scenario.

wild yams -- I couldn't agree more about D'Antoni, particularly as it pertains to Skinner. Brian may be limited offensively, but he's a big body to puts the wood on people and blocks shots. There's not reason D'Antoni couldn't get 10 minutes or so out of him off the bench, and it would sure make his regular big men a lot fresher come playoff time. D'Antoni reminds me of K.C. Jones when he was coaching Boston in the 80s...terrified of using his bench.

As for Kidd, as I said to Shrugz, inserting Kidd into the existing Dallas system doesn't totally work, since they are, primarly, an isolation team and by all accounts, Avery isn't updating his offensive schemes to suit Kidd. So the team and the player are in limbo, probably for the rest of this season at least. Kidd does need to work on his shot in the off-season, though...

wormboy -- I'll admit, I don't like some of the Spurs cheapshot tactics. However, in this case, Manu jumped into Stack for the boxout. It wasn't any more physical than the rest of the game had been. Stack just snapped and tried to choke another player. That's a little above and beyond, in my book.

anonymous 1 and 2 -- I took four years of German in high school and two years in college. I knew exactly how it "should have" been said. However, I often purposely use bad translations in my posts. I mean, it's the "worst of," right? If I didn't bone the translation, it would just be an inexplicable foreign language title. It's an odd joke, and maybe only I get it, but...well, I do most of this for myself anyway...

Victor -- You're right. And the Spurs played him to give up the shot. It's amazing he's never worked to improve his shooting...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
As a huge Detroit fan, I am gettin a little worried, but not too much. It's funny though, D'Antoni reminds me a lot of Flip, afraid of that bench. The only reason he uses it know is cause Joe D finally put his foot down after two years of wearing the starting five out. If Flip doesn't make it to the Finals this year he's out, And fun fact of the day, if that happens we will be looking for the 6th coach since Joe took over in 2000....interesting.

Anonymous Kyle said...
on detroits troubles

flip is tinkering with his line-up. he's using dixon and ratliff to drain any comfort or confidence the young bench had developed.

this season the pistons have regularly played better when there was at least one young bench player on the court. now that youth has been replaced (much to saunders relief i'm sure) with veterans who don't have the same energetic effect on the starters.

basically he's looking at afflalo, amir and even maxiell to a certain extent, extending his middle finger and saying "thanks, we'll take it from here"

i'm sure the more he strays from the bench and loses the more angry and dissatisfied certain players will be.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
all I can say is playing 7-8 players year round isn't too bad
not like the crap shoot Raptors play with in the 4th quarter

if your name isn't bosh or Anthony parker who knows if you gonna be closing out the 4th quarter

Anonymous Anonymous said...
About the Nuggets, FG% can be kind of misleading. If the Nuggets are getting tons of steals/forcing turnovers then they're still a pretty good defensive team, despite the FG%.

I have no idea if that's the case, just throwing it out there.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- That is an interesting little tidbit. Yeah, Flip hates his bench. You definitely don't want him coaching if you're developing talent.

kyle -- I agree. Veteran leadership is important for some teams, but the Pistons aren't a bunch of young bucks. They don't need an influx of canny leaders, they need youth, energy, enthusiasm. That's the only real way to keep experienced teams hungry and passionate.

shrugz -- You really are a bitter Raps fan. Not that I blame you. I don't know what's wrong with those guys this season.

anonymous -- You have a valid point. The turnovers they force limit the number of possessions their opponents get. BUT...if you play a disciplined opponent who takes care of the ball, you're in trouble. And whenever the Nuggets lose, it seems like it's because they couldn't force turnovers and otherwise can't stop anybody.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I disagree about the comment that playing 7-8 players year round isn't bad. If you plan to make serious runs in the playoffs, it most definitely is bad, just because you're risking injury and just wear and tear to those 7-8 guys if you give them that much burn all year long. In the playoffs a 7-8 man rotation is acceptable or even preferable, but during the 82 game season you gotta rely on your bench to soak up some of those minutes and give your key guys some rest. Teams should be going at least 9-10 deep during the year, even if those guys beyond 7th or 8th in the rotation are only getting around 10 minutes a game.

I think that D'Antoni's bizarre rotations will ultimately come back to bite him in the playoffs. His team is getting used to playing two ways right now: with Shaq on the floor, and without Shaq on the floor. If they get into a game against a big team with an inside presence (the kind that used to kill them) and Shaq or Amare gets in foul trouble, they're going to be screwed, cause suddenly calling Skinner's number after months on the bench is probably not gonna work any better than going small against a team with a post presence will.

Anonymous manic said...
Is Jerry Stackhouse gonna have to choke a bitch!?!? He should have put up his arms in the "I didnt do it" Bruce Bowen stance, then maybe he could get off easy. Just an idea.

Blogger Shrugz said...
yes i am AHHAHAH

all i can say is that after the colangelo took over I expected to wait two years for something like a 6-8th seed so I guess those old expectations are met

oh they took down that youtube video had to go search for it
only 2 left someone's been ordering them to take them down LOL I wonder who that could be

Blogger Shrugz said...
hahaha scratch that youtube thing apparently my internet's a little screwy

Anonymous Sun Devil said...
You might want to note that the Clippers allowed Przybilla to play like a Vanilla Godzilla and grab a mind-boggling 25 rebounds. I get that Fazekas is their tallest player, but man, this team fell apart before the season started.

Blogger 80's NBA said...
You gotta love Riley... He was probably sitting on that "scouting" excuse since January.

Do you think he realizes that whoever he's "scouting" will not want to play for his sorry-ass Heat?

Anyway, looking at the schedule, it looks like he will have to suffer through a classic match-up Wednesday (against the Knicks), then he can go "scouting" again just in time for the games at Detroit (Thursday) and Boston (Sunday).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm hurt that basketbawful won't publish the error I found in nba.com. :(

Blogger Basketbawful said...
sun devil -- I'm totally going to use that "Vanilla Godzilla" line!

anonymous -- Wait, which NBA.com error is that? Because this post has the Heat box score error? Just remind me which one you're talking about...

Anonymous Al James said...
Recently, Billups was saying that he would like the team to play in the Western confrence where all the games now mean something. Flip was later quoted saying something to the effect of "That's crazy talk". However, in the last six games the Pistons beat the likes of three very motivated Western confrence teams (New Orleans, Denver, and Pheonix) and lost to three potential early playoff opponents (Philly, Cleveland, and Washington). So you see, Detroit should be a Western confrence team (Detroit IS in fact a Western confrence team in hockey, so it would make sense, sort of). In regards to Flip, he is using his bench more, including the young guys an appropiate amount. The only players who don't get consistent playing time are Amir Johnson, Aarron Afflalo, and Juan Dixon (with Lindsey Hunter coming back to the lineup, I'd be suprised to see Dixon ever again.) So far, the bench line up is as follows: Stuckey, Maxiell, Hayes, Hunter, Ratliff/Johnson, and Dixon. That's plenty.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How can you call Dirk nowitzki - "Humpty Dirky"??! People love to call Dirk names and call him soft but the fact is that he has only missed 26 games in 10 years of his career. You guys really need to look some things up before you start trash talking.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- Dude, chill out. Have you ever actually read a nursery rhyme? Humpty Dumpty only fell apart once. Just like Dirk. Now let's see if all Cuban's men can put him back together again.

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