Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Emeka Okafor: See above. Get a room, ladies.
The Associated Press: From last night's game recap: "Branded a one-man team in the past, the Cavaliers showed they can survive without their superstar." Uhm, yeah...against the Bobcats. The Charlotte Bobcats.
In all fairness, it wasn't just the AP. Zydrunas Ilgauskas was also really excited the Cavs could handle the Bobcats while LeBron was getting a long breather in the fourth quarter. "It was kind of weird seeing LeBron on the bench. We got away with it, and if we can do that it will only help us and help his career." Wait. Did I fall into a coma and wake up at a time when the Bobcats are actually good? That didn't happen, did it?
More from LeBron. "We had a lot of guys contribute and I got a lot of rest. Coach believes in our roster and I believe in our roster. I don’t have to average 42 minutes like I have in the past because of our depth." IT WAS THE BOBCATS, PEOPLE! They didn't even win a game during the exhibition season. Calm down. Seriously.
The Charlotte Bobcats: Ugh. Just...ugh.
Raymond Felton: Going 1-for-10 will always earn you a place in WotN. Congratulations!
Sean May: His long awaited return was...kinda sad, actually: 2 points on 0-for-6 shooting in 15 minutes. Three of his shots were blocked. Speaking of which...
Thanks to Basketbawful reader Garron for the video.
Linton Johnson: Brett from Queen City Hoops brought Johnson's line to my attention: 10 minutes, 1 foul, and zero-for-everything-else. Regarding this, Brett said: " I know he is not supposed to be scoring much, he was signed to bring some defensive intensity to a Bobcats squad lacking in it. Yeah, when he was on the court the Cavs scored 166.7 points per 100 possessions, as compared to 110.3 overall. Tough defense. I love supporting the Bobcats." If this keeps up, Basketbawful might have a new mascot.
Mike Fratello: Near the beginning of last night's Rockets-Mavericks game, the Czar of the Telestrator chuckled smugly and assured us that Josh Howard was probably in for a rough night, what with Ron Artest guarding him and all. Well, Josh struggled so badly that he scored 28 points (on 11-for-19 shooting), grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 4 assists without committing a single turnover. So, you know, good call, Mike.
(By the way, I remember thinking last season: "When was the last time Ron Artest really shut out an uber-talented offensive player?" I mean, he still plays aggressive defense, but is he still a lock-down defender? I'd have to go back and check the box scores, but it always seemed like the scorers usually got their numbers against him, and Kobe flat-out lit him up a couple times. I'm going to keep my eye on this as the season goes on...)
Yao Ming: He was great last night -- 30 points (11-for-15), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocked shots -- but two things bothered me. First, he didn't win the opening tip. I was like, "Whaaaaa...?!" How in the name of Lincoln's wart does a nine-foot man lose the tip to Erick Dampier? I mean, Damp was never one of the great leapers, and I'm not sure I've seen him actually leave the ground since '06. Shouldn't Yao be able to just stand there with his arms raised and win the tip against pretty much anybody? Then...there was this...
Stuffed by the rim, Yao? Really?! That would be like me getting my shot sent back by the Jordan Jammer. Again, a man who is nine feet tall should not have these problems. It makes no sense.
DeSagana Diop: I openly scoffed at all the people who said that Dallas had made a critical error by including Diop in the Jason Kidd trade. He was too valuable, they said, for defense and rebounding. Some even said he was the Mavs' Center of the Futures (TM). Am I the only person who sees Diop for the awkward stiff he is? Well, me and the Nets, because they sure didn't want anything to do with him when his contract expired over the summer. But the Mavericks tried to redress their "mistake" by re-signing Diop in the offseason. There reward for such amazing forward thinking will be many nights like last night, when he contributed zero points and one foul committed for each rebound grabbed (3 of each) in 11 lackluster minutes. Oh, and his defense was so great that Yao was shooting over him like he wasn't even there. And, really, he might as well not have been.
Jerry Stackhouse: Stack (2 points, 1-for-6, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul in almost 18 minutes) is D-U-N.
Reputation calls: In the fourth quarter, Josh Howard elbowed Yao Ming. Naturally, they got in each others' faces and Ron Artest rushed in to play peacemaker. Of couse, Ron-Ron got T'd up. Not cool. But on the upside, that proved to be a relationship building moment for Yao and Artest. The big guy defended Artest to the officials, and after the game he said: "Ron's a very good teammate. That happened once in the preseason and he did the same thing. He's trying to help a teammate, sacrificing himself." Has Artest finally grown up? I'll be keeping my eye on that this season as well...
The Phoenix Suns' handles: I once participated in a basketball drill where we had to work on ball handling and precision passing while wearing big, thick mittens. As you can probably guess, it's nearly impossible. Anyway, I'd like to pretend that's what the Suns were doing last night. They committed 24 turnovers that were converted into 21 points for the Hornets. Steve Nash was the primary culprit with 7 turnovers.
The Suns in the first seven minutes of the second quarter: Let's see...1-of-7 shooting and seven turnovers. No wonder they fell so far behind. Did somebody spike their Gatorade during the first quarter break or something?
Leandro Barbosa: The line: 2 points, 1-for-6 from the field, 0-for-5 from downtown, 2 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. It makes me sad that somebody so young, quick and talented can be so ineffective. It's the same kind of disappoint I feel when my pet monkey just sits there eating bananas instead of picking his nose or comically scratching his butt.
Robin Lopez: It was a rough night for Bozo the Rookie. He played one minute and 35 seconds, contributing zero points, zero rebounds, 1 turnover and 3 fouls. That's impact! The way accidentally setting your own pants on fire is "impact." By the way, that happened to my friend Dave D. once. He was goofing around with a pack of wooden matches when one he had just lit popped out of his hand and dropped under the table. We all just assumed it went out, but maybe half a minute later we smelled smoke: The match had lit the frayed edges of his pant cuffs. Fortunately, the fire was quickly extinguished and nobody was hurt. That kind of stuff always happens to Double D. Once, I swear, a wasp flew down the the neck of his shirt, then, when he yanked it open so the wasp could fly out the bottom, it went down his pants. Some people just have bad luck. He's one of them.
Mike James: The Hornets are good, there's no question about that. But they are not deep. That's their "Walton's foot." (By the way, I've decided that "Walton's foot" is going to replace "Achilles’ heel" in all future posts.) Yeah, they beat the Suns last night. But Terry Porter is clearly working hard on establishing a 10-man rotation. Trust me, that's going to make Phoenix better in the long run. The Hornets? They could very well run out of gas by the time the playoffs roll around. Chris Paul played 38 minutes last night while his backup, Mike James, put in about nine and a half minutes of -- you guessed it! -- lack-tion: Zero points, 0-for-2, 2 rebounds, and zero assists. Yeah. You'll might also notice that while CP3 had 10 assists, the rest of the buzzing bugs produced only 6...and 4 of those belonged to David West.
The New Orleans defense: Before you get all excited about those 24 forced turnovers -- most of which were the result of poor and misguided "passes" by the Suns -- keep in mind that Phoenix shot 54 percent from the field.
Update! Kobe Bryant: Oops. Almost forgot. Thanks for the reminder, Yams. Last night, Kobe spent the night collecting a huge pile of rocks to hand out to Trick-Or-Treaters tonight. He also took a few hours to complete his costume, which is make of real, living human flesh.
Update! Rec League losers: From Basketbawful reader Trev: "I got a Worst for the Night for you, even though it doesn't involve the NBA. Last night in our Rec League game, 3 of our 4 top guys for whatever reasons decided not to show up, leaving us with 4 guys. Me (29 and about 65 pounds over my high school, read prime, playing weight) 2 guys in their mid-30's and our 2nd best player overall, an actual real-life baller. Up against a team with not only the 5 starters that are usually a given but also 2 bench players (all of which where younger than me by the way). Anyway it's decided by the powers that be that we will play 4 on 5 and all was going as you would expect with team cinco going up by 15 at one point, but the old guys cut it to 8 by the half and then open the second half on something like a 16 to 2 run to not only improbably catch team cinco but actually take a 6 point lead. We held onto win by 4. How humiliated would you be to let a team with only 4 players hang around let alone beat you? Pretty bad right? Wrong!! Team cinco was talking trash THE ENTIRE GAME even though they had one extra guy on the court and where losing!! They even complained about an injury time out when one of our four got a bloody nose taking a charge. If that doesn't get a Worst of the Night I don't know what does."