He's so gangsta, I feel like I just got shot in the face.
Note: Thanks to Basketbawful reader Anfernee for the picture. Pure awesome.
LeBron James:In his own words, LeBron has "improved five times than I was in Game 7 of the Boston series." We already knew his grasp of the English language was a little shaky. Now we know his math skills are off as well. Bron-Bron's numbers were decent -- 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists -- but he shot only 9-for-21, went 0-for-4 from downtown, missed four free throws, had three turnovers and committed four personal fouls. He was also repeatedly burned on defense by Paul Pierce (27 points, 10-for-19), who kept walking around James like he'd been turned to stone.
Mo Williams: Instant offense? Yes. Any defense? No. Unless his five fouls count as "defense."
J.J. Hickson: The rook lost his spot in the rotation to Lorenzen Wright and registered a DNP-CD. Saaaaad trombone.
The Cavs-Celts' three-point shooting: Build da' house! These teams combined to shoot 6-for-29. And the peeps not named Williams (3-for-5) and Pierce (2-for-4) were 1-for-20. Gak.
Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett: Ray-Ray shot 2-for-9 from the field, 1-for-4 from Threeland, and had 4 turnovers to only 1 assist. KG shot 5-for-15 for his 11 points (which was equaled by Big Baby) and grabbed only 6 rebounds (only one more than Rajon Rondo). Good thing Leon Ka-Powe and Tony Allen bailed them out.
Glen Davis: Dude actually looks fatter than last year. How is that even possible? Glen, I have two words for you: Jenny Craig.
Boston's first-half defense: They gave up 50 points, mostly because their rotations were confused and sloppy, and they couldn't stay in front of anybody. They did clamp down in the second half, though, limiting the Cavs to only 35 points.
Update! Boston's freethrow shooting: Oops. Almost forgot about this, but Basketbawful reader Garron reminded me. "You HAVE to mention the Celtics' free throw shooting. I got floor tickets to the game, and man was it a crap show. Stats will show the celtics offense was lame in the first half. It kind of was with Ray Allen and KG clanging everything. But the reason they were behind? Free throws. It got so bad that even Ray Allen missed his first one." In all, the C's missed 3 'throws last night, with Rondo (four misses), KG (three) and Pierce (also three) being the main culprits.
Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller: They got all giddy and stuff about how deep Cleveland is because several of their bench players -- Varejao, Gibson, Szczerbiak and Pavlovic -- used to start. But, uh, guys...there are reasons they aren't starting now, you know? Kudos, though, to Fratello for calling out Reggie's insightful report on how the Celtic and Cavalier coaching staffs want their teams to run more this season. As Fratello noted, every team talks about running more during the preseason. It just rarely happens.
Brian Scalabrine:Wow. Reminds me of the time I got a free t-shirt because one of my buddies managed to finish off an eight-pound steak without throwing up.
Chicago television stations: Imagine my surprise last night when I flipped over to WGN to watch the Bulls game and was greeted by an airing of the new Beverly Hills 90120. A quick scan through the Comcast guide showed that the game wasn't on any of the other local stations either. So Derrick Rose's first regular season game doesn't rate a local broadcast? Really? Thank Zeus for League Pass. Update! At least one reader was able to watch the game on WGN. What happened to me, then? God, I hate Comcast...
The Milwaukee Bucks' defense: Let's see...the Bulls shot almost 51 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from downtown. They also grabbed 40 rebounds (14 on the offensive end) and dished out 27 assists. Oh, and they shot 44 [!!] free throws. Scott Skiles, not surprisingly, was vexed. "We were a step slow and we were slapping at people. Pretty much, every category they owned." No kidding. A stern and disapproving look would have been more effective at stopping Chicago than the "defense" Milwaukee played.
Andrew Bogut: The line: 9 points, 7 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers, 1 block, and 4 fouls in 25 minutes. Not exactly what the Bucks had in mind when they decided to pay him a bajillion dollars over the summer. Basketbawful's "Bogut Watch" has officially begun.
Andres Nocioni: Ugh. Only 7 points, 1-for-3 shooting and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. On a night when everbody else on the team was en fuego. Not a good sign. What happened to this guy? It's like he signed that 5-year, $38 million dollar contract extension last year and then forgot how to...oh, right.
Greg Oden: First pro game: 12 minutes, zero points, 0-for-4, 5 rebounds, zero assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 2 fouls. Oh, and one injury. SAD FACE.
According to Oden, the injury -- currently listed as a "sprained foot" -- occurred when he landed on Derek Fisher's foot while going after a rebound. Only Fisher said: "I don't remember a 7-footer on my foot." So what happened? According to ESPN's J.A. Adande: "Replays indicate that Oden landed with the weight on the front of his foot, then perhaps his heel hit the top of Fisher's foot, then Oden's foot twisted to the right, after Fisher had moved away."
Uh oh. X-rays taken during the third quarter were inconclusive, and Oden is scheduled to have an MRI exam today in Portland. But, as Bill Walton might tell you, the description of the injury could be...well, one of several things. Let's hope for the best.
Channing Frye: He put together a stellar box score horror of zero points on 0-for-7 shooting (0-for-3 on threes) and 4 fouls in 17 minutes. Then, he made it sound like the potential of losing Oden (again) was no big deal. Said Frye: "If [Oden's] hurt, that's part of basketball. We just moved on. Joel's not chopped liver." No offense to Joel Przybilla -- we know he's a Vanilla Godzilla and all that -- but he does NOT equal Greg Oden. (Although, to be fair, he's been a much better pro so far than Greg. So what I should have said is "He does not equal Oden's potential.)
The Portland Trail Blazers: How badly did they get spanked by the Lakers? Let me put it this way: Chris Mihm was revived and sent into the game. LaMarcus Aldridge described Oden as "unsure...scared" and that was before the injury. Aldridge continued by saying: "I don't think he was really scared, but everyone was passive. I can say for myself I think my whole mentality was to play off Greg, which is a different mentality I possessed from last year, so I felt like I was playing passive, as well." Channing Frye, who's on the verge of becoming a quote machine, said: "They disrupted our offense and threw a wrench in our whole system." Which is a slightly nicer way of saying "We sucked."
Lamar Odom: His, ahem, creative passing has been well-documented on this site. And last night, he struck again. As Basketbawful reader Freeman put it: "Hope you were watching the Lakers-Blazers game in order to catch Lamar Odom make a whirling move into the paint only to throw it to Sasha Vujacic who was standing there with his warmups on." Seriously, Lamar. Get off the ganj, okay? Here's the clip.
And Phil Jackson called Vladimir Radmanovic a space cadet...
Luke Walton: He was relegated to garbage time...only two minutes and 43 seconds of a blowout. He missed his only shot and finished with zero points and 1 assist. But don't worry, Laker fans. Only five more years and $25 million and this guys is totally off the books!
Kobe Bryant: This has nothing to do with what happened on the court and everything to do with something he did off the court. My sources tell me he sent a Terminator back in time to prevent Michael Jordan from being born. The plan failed thanks to the fact that Jordan caught wind of the plan and sent Charles Oakley to intercept and kick the Terminator's robot ass -- and he did. But still, it just goes to show that Kobe will do literally anything to usurp MJ's legacy.
Badass? Yes. But no match for The Oak.
Update! Adam Morrison: ADAM, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!