Kenyon Martin: Last night was the first time I got a close look at the lips that have been inked into Martin's neck. As far as I've been able to determine, the tat's an homage to his hottie girlfriend Trina...but my question is this: Why choose such a gay tribute? He might as well have gotten a tattoo of a penis or Richard Simmons. But who knows? Maybe Trina made him get it to keep all the NBA groupies away, because I'm pretty sure he'll be getting the John Amaechi treatment from now on. [The picture is from The Sports Hernia.]
Daniel Gibson: Gibson, who pulled out of his 5-for-26 shooting slump by going 7-for-11 against Enver, unveiled his latest masterpiece of hair-cuttery: A Superman-style symbol with a big "B" in it. He explained the hieroglyph thusly: "I talked to my Dad the other night and he said he hadn't seen my smile in a long time. I guess I was being 'Daniel' out there on the court, so I got the 'Boobie' symbol to remind me that I need to be out there having fun and enjoying the game again." Hey, who cares if you look like an idiot as long as you're having fun! I don't have a picture, unfortunately, but here's one of his last hair-stravaganza: Bat-Boobie.
The Enver Nuggets: The Nuggets had been playing better defense this season -- entering their showdown with the Cavaliers, they were allowing only 98.7 points per game -- but last night the "D" got chucked faster than a college freshman's dinner on penny beer night. The Cavs shot 57 percent and had 30 assists on 47 field goals en route to lighting up the scoreboard for 110 points. Doug Moe would be proud.
Tom Withers, AP Sports Writer: Basketbawful reader rmcdougall eagle-eyed the following typographical blunder: "From tonight's AP recap of the Denver-Cleveland game, a quote from Coach Brown: 'The first team that decided to defend in the second half was going to get the win,' Brown said. 'And we did. The first half was a rate race. R-A-T, R-A-C-E.' If you're going to quote the coach as he spells the words, you might as well spell them correctly yourself. Or it just makes it seem like Brown's spelling them for you, AP Guy." Great job, Tom! I'm sure you'll be getting a call from the Chicago Sun-Times any day now.
Joey Crawford: Joey strikes again! The ref with the infamously itchy whistle-finger hit Kenyon Martin with a flagrant 2 foul, which means an automatic ejection this season. Good call? Bad call? Ridiculous call? I'll let you be the judge.
Martin was understandably indignant after the game. "It's basketball, man -- it's a contact sport. It's not bowling or table tennis." No, it's certainly not. Fans can actually stay awake through most NBA games (assuming the Spurs aren't involved). What made the call even more ridiculous is that Dahntay Jones and LeBron got into a shoving match earlier in the game...and nothing was called. Not even a tech. Ah, NBA officiating: A model of inconsistency.
Sasha Pavlovic: Remember his big holdout at the beginning of last season? Well, he still hasn't recovered from it. Sasha's currently playing less than eight minutes a game (down from 23 MPG in 2007-08) and averaging 1.4 PPG. His supposed specialty is long-distance shooting, but he has yet to hit a three-pointer this season...and he's only attempted three of them. Last night, he played 11 and a half minutes without even attempting a shot and finished with 1 assist and 1 steal. But hey, at least he's making $4.5 million this season (and $4,950,000 in 2009-10). I hope he invests wisely.
Tarence Kinsey: Tarence, who once played for the Fenerbahçe Ülker in Turkey, had a 15-second Mario against the Nuggets.
The Chicago Bulls' first six minutes: They fell face-first into a 19-point first-quarter hole. Make that a first-six-minute hold. The Bulls missed 12 of their first 13 shots while teh Mavs were hitting eight of their first nine. And you could say the Chicago crowd was getting a bit restless.
Derrick Rose, quote machine: "There is no such thing as a 17- or a 19-point shot." True. But if there was, I'm willing to bet Antoine Walker would be shooting them right now.
The Dallas Mavericks' last 42 minutes: That 25-6 lead disappeared in a hurry and the Mavs -- who shot 36 percent for the game -- were outscored 92-66 after the hot start. Jason Terry was 5-for-14, Josh Howard was 7-for-23 and Herr Nowitzki was 5-for-17. Jason Kidd had more turnovers (5) than assists (4). And you know the deal with their bench. The Mark Cuban Freakout Clock is officially ticking. Loudly.
Jason Kidd, quote machine: "We don't play defense. That's been our problem. First six minutes we were playing defense and found ourselves up and that was it. We have as many offensive weapons (as anyone) in the league, but we got to find some guys who want to play defense."
Joakim Noah: From Basketbawful reader AnacondaHL: "Holy crap. I'm not a big fan of +/- in basketball, but how the hell do you get a -15 in only FOUR minutes, AND a +3 suck differential? Fantastic bawful 2nd start at center there, Joakim Noah." And from Junokasm: "Joakim: 0-1, 2 personal fouls in 4 energy-filled minutes; suck differential +3. What a clown." And Ricky: "Joakim Noah deserves a WoTN special award. How bad was he last night? He almost had a 4 trillion (in 3:58 all he had was one lousy FGA and 2 fouls) and ended up with a +3 suck differential. I mean seriously how is it possible for a 6-11 'energy guy' / center to not even get a rebound in 4 minutes. And if that doesn't boggle the mind, then look at his +/- score: -15! In 4 minutes! That means that, during the period Noah was on the court, the Mavs scored almost eight baskets more than the Bulls. Is a -3.75 per minute average a record? Can we get Hollinger to look at this? This was officialy one of the worst days ever for the Noah family since Yannick Noah sang 'Saga Africa.'"
Update! Bulls fans: I was reminded of this by a comment left by Basketbawful reader your favorite sun. With the game decided, the Bulls decided to dribble out the clock on the last possession of the game. The only problem is that Chicago had scored 98 points...two points short of winning the fans some free food. Denied their free taco excitement, the crowd actually started booing the home team, despite the win. Not nice, people.
However, your favorite sun noted that Bulls play-by-play man Neil Funk stat cursed the team out of scoring 100. "The Bulls play-by-play man deserves a mention. When Chicago got to 98 points with about four minutes left, he mentioned how everyone in the crowd gets a free hamburger or whatever when the team reaches a hundred points. He says, 'They'll get to 100, it's only a matter of when.' The Bulls, of course, went completely scoreless after he said that and finished with 98 points. No freebies for the crowd. He'd been jinxing the Bulls all night, basically guaranteeing that Dallas would go on a spurt every time he ripped their offense. But gypping people out of a free taco or hamburger? That's cold."
Stephen Jackson: "We cant win if I go out and shoot 6-for-20. It's going to be hard for us to win, point blank." So said Captain Jack, who shot 5-for-19 last night.
Rip Hamilton's Yahoo profile picture:Check out the mangy beard. It's like he had the picture taken in the middle of putting on an Abraham Lincoln costume.
Walter Herrmann: He compiled 3 personal fouls -- and nothing else -- in his 2:45 of PT. That's impact. A piece of fuzz falling lightly onto a feather pillow impact, but impact nonetheless. And, as always, it's a bad sign when your player profile only has two pictures of you getting scored on.
Michael Curry: He started Kwame Brown last night. Let me repeat that: He started Kwame Brown. However, he was smart enough to only play him for about nine minutes. So that's something.
Update! Kobe Bryant: He gave his wife a dutch oven. Then he did it to his daughters too.
Update! Michael Jordan: "Don't be mad at me, I'm just too good for you. Y'all think I had this camp just so y'all could beat me?" That's what His Airness said right before he lost a game of one-on-one to Ariel Investments CEO and Chairman John Rogers at his "Flight School" basketball camp back in 2003. Way to stat curse yourself, Mike. (Thanks to Wira for the link.)