Nobody farted, J.R. You guys just stink.

The Suns versus the Mavericks: My oh my how things have changed. It seems like ancient history now, but does anybody remember when the Mavs and Suns were tearing up the league just two seasons ago? Their two-team regular season tour de force climaxed in an epic double-overtime showdown on March 14, 2007. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 30 points, 16 rebounds and 6 assists, but Steve Nash showed him up with 32 points, 16 assists, 8 rebounds. More importantly, Nash scored 10 points in the final minute of regulation, capped by a game-tying 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left. Honest-to-goodness, that was The Game of the 2006-07 season. The regular season, anyway. But, as everyone knows, the Mavs got upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, while the Suns got knocked out by the San Antonio Spurs thanks to some untimely suspensions.

It's been all downhill from there.

Both teams have fallen from being the class of the Western Conference to fighting for table scraps at the bottom of the playoff contender dog pile. And last night's 112-97 stinker was yet another reminder that what was once so amazing is now just an awkward, fumbling heap of mediocrity. It's like watching two over-the-hill porn stars making the beast with two backs. I literally couldn't make myself watch the game for more than a few minutes at a ime. Every time I turned it on, something I saw pissed me off. Like as Shaq's lumbering in the post/clogging of the lane. At one point, I flipped to the game and saw Amare Stoudemire blow a dunk and then, on the very next possession, watched Nash dish a turnover on a pick-and-roll. I blacked out at that point and woke up covered in blood with somebody's finger in my mouth. Best not to ask questions.

And kudos to Terry Porter for killing the transition game in the name of defense. The ne attitude sure is working out, isn't it? Dirk blew up on them for 39 (and might have had 50 if the game hadn't been a blowout). Dwyane Wade wacked 'em for 43 and Devin Harris spilled 47. Said Porter: "We haven't done a good job of taking the challenge and guarding their guys. There's no doubt we'll get better." No doubt, Terry? No way. I have doubt. Lots of it.

After last night's game, Nash said last season "feels like six years ago" and added "Right now, we're in a dark place." Thoroughly depressing stuff.

Amare Stoudemire and the Phoenix front court: From Wild Yams: "Amare needs to probably get a mention for tomorrow's WOTN for his 5 rebounds tonight. At least he didn't have more fouls (5) or turnovers (4) than rebounds tonight, but it was damn close. Just like yesterday though, the whole Phoenix frontcourt deserves to be taken to task. For the second straight game, Matt Barnes led the Suns in rebounds (with 6), and Shaq and Amare combined for only 10 boards in 59 minutes of playing time. Not only were they outboarded by Shawne Williams, a SF off the bench (12 boards in 26 minutes), but also by one of Shaq's favorite targets for ridicule: 'Erika' Dampier (14 boards in only 25 minutes). If the Suns keep this up they're gonna finish near the bottom of the league in rebounding; and it's tough to imagine a team that is routinely led in boards by Matt Barnes making the playoffs."

I couldn't agree more, even if you'd managed to insult Kobe in that paragraph of woe. However, you omitted a few important factoids. Like how Stoudemire had FOUR of his shots blocked. Or how Shaq took the previous night off so he'd be fresh for the Mavs game...then shot 1-for-6. Oh, and let's not overlook the fact that Stoudemire -- who regarding Terry Porter's edict that the Suns improve on defense said "We wanted this" -- was the guy defending Nowitzki. If you can call "standing around listlessly just kinda hoping Dirk would miss" playing defense. Seriously, I could not have been more disgusted if Amare showed up drunk at my house and threw up on me.

Robin Lopez: Two words: Four trillion. Another wasted draft pick for the Suns. Too bad they didn't take, say, Mario Chalmers or Ryan Anderson or George Hill or Luc Mbah a Moute (sorry, make that Jean Luc Richard).

Al McCoy, the human pain pill: Basketbawful reader Clifton let's us know how McCoy -- the "Voice of the Suns" for 620 KTAR in Phoenix -- helped him get through last night's debacle:
Re: The Suns, and wheels becoming dislodged. Tonight they had both Nash and Shaq... wonder what the excuse will be this evening? I saw elsewhere that Robin Lopez trillionated tonight. Sigh.

I was listening on the radio at work, and midway through the third quarter, when Dirk Nowitzki scored his 36th and 37th points, Al McCoy dropped this gem (not verbatim, but close): "Novinsky inside, and he scores! Wow. 37 for Novinsky tonight. I tell ya, Tim, it sure seems like the Suns catch a lot of these players when they're having career nights lately," speaking to color 'analyst' Tim Kempton. Tim mumbled some response about bad luck.

First of all, Al has always called Nowitzky "Novinsky." Shrug. But moreover, I've been listening to Al McCoy call Suns games since I was in the womb. On the surface, sure, that SEEMS like a Captain Oblivious statement. However, Al can get bitingly sarcastic when things aren't going so hot for "the Purple Gang," and his tone and timbre change just ever-so-slightly when he's being this way. The above statement was one of these references. S'why I love Al McCoy. He's as big a fan as the rest of us schmoes, and manages to find a loophole in his professionalism to vent his frustrations. I got it; Tim Kempton didn't.

You can also tell when he's making a comment about the officiating -- usually after the Suns have been boned repeatedly in that department -- right when an official is in front of the announcers' table (when they're courtside, anyway); he raises his voice a little and enunciates more clearly, as if speaking to a retard. He'll suddenly change track right in the middle of a thought and blurt out, "But you know, Tim, the Suns have only been to the free-throw line four times tonight...while The Jazz Have Gone Fifteen Times...THAT'S QUITE A DISCREPANCY."

Seriously. Al almost made tonight's game bearable. Almost.
And your comments almost got me through it too. Almost.

Denver Nuggets: Yes, Chauncey Billups has made them better. No, they are not contenders. I'm glad we've gotten that out of the way. Now, to let you know how our readers feel about it, here's Sam Sung: "Alright, I just got done watching the first half of the Nuggets-Spurs game. I think it should be a rule, if your team is down by 20 points you should automatically have to boo. Also, does George Karl ever call a timeout? We were down 18 points and the camera zooms to Karl and he is at his usual spot...on the bench. I think George Karl is the only paid fan in basketball. I don't want my ball club paying for someone to sit in their chair and watch a game. The game is about to come back on and I'm sure Karl never left his seat." Speaking of George...

George Karl, excuse machine: "To me you had a very angry team, a very mad team and we were a happy team. Arrogance, cockiness, happiness, contentment, they're all different, there are very thin lines and tonight we probably thought we were a little bit better than we were and we got embarrassed. Not embarrassed, but we got beat." No, Karl, you were right the first time: You guys got embarrassed. At home, no less. But at least your team is happy. They've got that going for them.

Chauncey Billups, stat curse machine: After the Nuggets extincted the Raptors, Mr. Big Shot said: "Throughout the season you usually get two or three of those games. Unfortunately, you usually get two or three on the other side, those games where nothing really works." STAT CURSE. After his team got it handed to them by the Spurs, Billups said: "I might have talked it up on us, I don't know. That was an ugly game. Games like that you have to wash them off in the shower and just forget about them as soon as possible. They picked us apart. They just outplayed us all over the place." Scrub hard, Chauncey. Scrub hard.

Kenyon Martin: Owned. Owned. Owned. Let me say it again. Owned. As Raza put it: "Since K-Mart said after the Nuggets beat the injury-ridden Spurs the classic quote "I don't let Tim do what he wants to do. Never have and never will," I was hoping you guys would bring up Duncan's stat line tonight (21 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks, and a steal) to go with that idiotic quote." Consider it done, Raza.

Mike Dunleavy: Maybe he's just bitter, or maybe he's trying to draw some attention away from his awful coaching, but Dunleavy called Dwyane Wade a cheater the other day. No, really. "His ability to carry the ball right now, he's getting away with that," Dunleavy said. "He [carries] left to right, right to left, but he just does it fast so nobody sees it, I guess." And I guess the Clippers are doing so well this season that Dunleavy can take time off from coaching to campaign against the D-Wade Palming Menace. Thanks for working so hard to make the world a better place, Mike.

Channing Frye, quote machine: From Basketbawful reader Brian S: "This quote was so funny it threw me into shock. I was unable to laugh or even respond with anything other than a open, gaping mouth. From Oregonlive, regarding the Blazers loss to the reviled Boston Celtics:
In the second meeting, Feb.24 at the Rose Garden, the Blazers built a 17-point lead in the second quarter only to see it turn into a 19-point deficit that ended in a 112-102 loss. "It was like being at a club and being with [the] baddest chick in there," Frye said. "Then you turn your head and she's gone. It's like, 'Dang, I should have had that! I should have done this or done that.' Because we had them. But I think everybody feels that way. That's why they are the world champs."
"There you have it. Channing Frye is a man's man in that he equates winning basketball games to hooking up with hot chicks at clubs." Yes, Channing certainly is a MAN-type man...even though, to me, that loss was more like an elementary school bully getting beaten up and having the lunch money he just stole from someone get taken away by a high school bully.

Jalen Rose: Basketbawful reader Geert noticed that Jalen thinks Tony Parker is the best point guard in the league. Which has no merit in my eyes, since TP isnt' really a PG at all; he's a tiny SG who handles the ball for the Spurs. And anyway, Jalen's argument is pretty lame: It's pretty much "Because he's on the Spurs." As Geert said: "Isn't that a bit like saying Brian Scalabrine is the best forward because he plays with the Celtics?"

Basketbawful reader Mark G: I received an email yesterday with a subject line of "Luke Walton minus the stalker." Inside was the following unusual request:

Dear Mr. Basketbawful,

I would like to be included in the 'Worst of the Night' section. WHY? Because I just realised I'm the second coming of Luke Walton.

I'm white, I have no range, I'm a small forward but my coach is letting me play UNDERSIZED PF like Luke, my father was WAY better than me (and still is while he's 35 years older), I barely average a point a game and on a positive note, I'm also thinking 'pass-first.'

But to make things worse than Luke's situation: I'm from Belgium, I'm never getting a ring, I'm playing MORE than Walton (but still have the same per-game averages!) and, oh yeah, did I mention that I have to pay to play instead of getting paid to sit??

I never thought I was going to say this but I wish I had a (ugly) stalker like Luke just to make me feel important.

Thank you for reading this.
Wow. Well, congrats, Mark. You're an official Worst of the Nighter here at Basketbawful. If you ever get a trillion, please send me the box score so I can post it. And I'm even going to give you a nickname: The Belgium Waffle. You rock! (But not really.)

The crazy, crazy world in which we live: This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, right? So explain to me why some poor kid had to escape from the couple who had imprisoned and tortured him for a year. Or why some dude posing as a baby sitter used a couple's two-year-old in a porn film. Or why Boy George of all people was sentenced for handcuffing a male escort to a wall and beating him with a chain because the guy wouldn't sleep with him. Or why a Florida man assaulted his girlfriend with a cheeseburger. Or why an Arizona man felt the need to attack a speed camera with a pickaxe. Or why Tina Turner had to take a huge, steaming poo all over my awesome Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome memories by appearing in concert as Aunty Entity. Oh yes she did.

Gak. At this point, I'd rather sleep with Master Blaster.

Update! Kobe Bryant: He had plans to steal Birdmas. Fortunately, that's impossible.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Brook Lopez? Did the Nets play an imaginary game that I didn't know about?! Or did he secretly trade places with his brother ROBIN LOPEZ?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
After seeing that picture of Tina I think someone needs to resurrect Ike and give him the biggest shoe they can find.

I had a long back and forth discussion with a friend of mine via email last night about the quandary that is Amare Stoudemire, and I've just come to the conclusion that the guy is way overhyped, simply because he has a shocking lack of skills for a guy who is so athletic and can actually shoot the ball. There's really no good position for Stoudemire on the floor right now, because whether you want to play him at the 3, the 4 or the 5, he's missing key aspects of the game that is required for those positions.

For instance, he could theoretically play small forward because he's only 6'9 and he's quick and agile so he could stay with other small forwards, plus he's great at slashing and finishing at the rim; except since he can't handle the ball in the open court and can't shoot from beyond the arc, he'd be a bad fit there offensively, and defensively he has never shown any ability to guard players on the perimeter. On the other hand, he's big and strong enough to play power forward, and his face up game from 15-18 feet is a great weapon for a power forward to have; but he has no post game, can't rebound on either end and can't defend in the post, so this makes him a poor fit at the 4 also. He's an even worse fit at center for those same reasons, and because you can't run your offense through him.

Maybe even worse than all these deficiencies in his game, however, is his ego and his desire to be considered in the same league as guys like Wade and LeBron. With the game Amare currently has, honestly he's just a complimentary player simply because like I said, you can't run your offense through him, and he can't create his own shot. All great perimeter players can create their own shot and can set up the offense, and all great post players can get great position and draw double teams that allow teams to run their offense through them. Amare does none of these things, and he's a liability defensively to boot. He won't get you big assists or rebounds either, so unless he's scoring on set jumpers when left alone or on drives to the hole when he's given a lane, he really isn't contributing anything else, and now he's developing a bad attitude and disrupting the team.

In my opinion the guy is overpaid for what he actually brings to the Suns, and it's no surprise he isn't mentioned anywhere near as much as LeBron, Wade and Bosh when it comes to big potential 2010 free agents. He's good at generating highlight plays and maybe he draws a lot of fans that way, but there's a reason Stoudemire was a -13 in +/- last night despite leading his team in scoring with 28 points on 11-21 shooting.

Blogger chris said...
Just saw a Bill Simmons blurb on some epic lacktion from Mark Blount last weekend that you may or may have not already covered:


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yeah, Kenyon Martin never really got his old mojo back after the microfracture surgery, did he? Or possibly he never had that much mojo to begin with, but instead was playing with Jason Kidd when Kidd was at his best? Let's recall KMart's free agency, and how much money he demanded. Rod Thorn was smart to let that one go....

Funny thing is that KMart is still a prima donna. Now, I'm OK with somebody being an ass when they truly own everybody. Well, except for Kobe, who is in an ass of his own. But to be an ass when you're really not that good anymore, and even at your peak you were probably being propped up by an all-time great PG? Well that's something different.

It makes you remember that K-Mart is actually a really crappy store, no matter how much they try to tart it up with Jaclyn Smith and Martha Stewart. Would you really want that as a nickname? Me neither.

Blogger Andrei said...
Someone else might beat me to this, but I believe it's Robin "Sideshow Bob" Lopez, not Brook who was drafted by the Suns.

Blogger BJ said...
'Bawful; did you see this?



Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow,I'm honored getting the nickname 'The Belgium Waffle'! Thanks. It's a shame I'm not more like Mbenga because he gets blocks and he has an interesting story about his life!

Keep up the good work!

Mark G.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Agree with Yams 100% on Amare.

He and Marion are both pretty much useless without somebody else creating a shot for them. The only situation where Amare can create a shot is in an iso with a slower big defending him.

I think Shaq needs to pistol-whip him whenever he gets fewer than 8 rebounds in a game. Then again, maybe Shaq should pistol-whip himself under the same guideline...

Oh, and uh, by the way, anyone else notice that Matt Barnes is having a career year playing with Nash (12ppg)? Coincidence? I think not.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Maggie -- My bad. You'd think I wouldn't be able to forget the name of a guy with Bozo hair, but, well, I'm all caught up in celebrating Birdmas.

Wild Yams -- I totally agree. STAT simply is what he is at this point. He's not going to get any better. He only gobbles up uncontested rebounds. He doesn't have any post moves. He's disinclined to play defense...or maybe he simply can't. Yet he wants to be The Man, not just on his own team, but in the league. Never. Gonna. Happen. He's gonna starve when he's not playing with Steve Nash.

chris -- Right. I almost forget Simmons hates Blount even more than I do...

Wormboy -- You know, Martin was just a lesser version of Amare Stoudemire, a guy who looked really good in an uptempo offense run by a HoF point guard.

Andrei -- Yup. I goofed.

BJ -- Yeah, I did. You know, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Porter got fired during the season. Things are turning ugly in the Valley. And not just on the court. I'm sure Porter commands some respect, but I also think the vets are already tiring of his "new direction"...even though the orders for that direction came from on high.

Mark G. -- Remember what I said. If you score any trillions, I expect you to scan the box score. Make sure if you ever score on a teammate in practice, tell them, "You just got TOASTED by the Belgium Waffle!"

AK Dave -- Sadly, Barnes has been the ONLY pleasant surprise for PHX this season. :(

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Is Amare nothing more than a slightly more gifted Maggette?

Blogger stephanie g said...
This season has shown me that the idea that Marion was the only locker room problem in Phoenix may not a safe assumption. Amare was much more of a ego maniac than I had been led to believe.

I also actually thought Amare would become a better defender/rebounder after he kept talking about it, how he was working during the off season and so on. He has the physical tools to be an elite big man. He obviously has a solid work ethic to come back strong from micro surgery and he's added facets to his game like the jumpshot and his great FT shooting. And I thought hey, he's played under an offense-only coach for his entire NBA career, so why couldn't he change given a new system and commitment? Plus he's been on the receiving end of exactly what he's trying to reach too many times, so he knows how important it is.

But nope. He's as bad as ever. It's disappointing.

Blogger Unknown said...
i think you guys are way too harsh on amare, sure he has deficiencies everyone does, the thing was in the SSOL era they had a game plan that covered up those deficiencies and emphasized has abilities. If you have a great center with great post game, you don't design your team to run up and down the court, just like if you have amare and nash who were great in the SSOL offense you don't make them into players they are not.

its bad coaching and bad personnel management. the players they have can be an excellent team they just don't know how to use them properly. The suns should consider a Laker type approach where in essence you have 2 different teams out there. The Lakers' starting unit is a half court team with 2 good post players and one of the best half court guards in the league armed with 2 outside shooters, the 2nd unit is atheletic, and can run up and down the court. Maybe the suns should consider a SSOL type unit with Nash, Barbosa, Barnes, Amare and Diaw then have another half court type team with Hill, Bell, Shaq amongst the primaries.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous -- Or a slightly more gifted Kenyon Martin.

stephanie g -- I knew Amare had problems after I read :07 Seconds or Less. But I hoped, and this was probably stupid on my part, that he grew up a little after recovering and rehabbing from the microfracture surgery. When Shaq offered to mentor him last year and he said, "I don't need a mentor," that was another bad sign. Sure, maybe he didn't need a mentor, but non-champions on contending teams should show a little respect for championship-winning veterans. I know Shaq can be a douche, but I'm sure he could have helped with...I don't know. Maybe he could have taught Amare the one post move he knows.

Anthony -- I understand what you're getting at, but it's like stephanie g was saying just above you: Amare has all the physical skills to fill in the gaps in his game. I mean, physically, there's no reason whatsoever he shouldn't be on the first or second All-Defensive team. He's strong, quick, athletic as all get out...yet he seems incapable of important little things, like staying in front of his man and blocking out. He never seems to get to contested rebounds. And there's no physical reason for those things, so the problem has to be mental: Either he can't maintain his focus or he's simply not choosing to do the things he needs to do to develop a complete game. And, based on what he has physically, there's no reason he can't be a complete player.

Now, I kind of like your "two different looks" strategy, but I'm not sure Porter has the guile of a Phil Jackson.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yea, there were rumors that Amare was working on a 3-pt shot last offseason. Ok.

I'd still blame the Shaq trade more. His production at the cost of his TOs was not what the Suns needed, since Marion always posted low TOs and high production.

As of now, 20 games, they have the league's highest TOV, higest TOV%, and lowest defensive TOV%. But they also have the highest FG% and highest eFG%. So every possession, either they turn the ball over or make the shot, no one's expecting to get an offensive rebound.

Add in the fact that the Suns are notoriously mentally soft, and are still shell shocked from the past few post-seasons, and that's a nice recipie for dysfunction.

Random inverse correlation: The loss of the fun Suns media stories and the rise of 2010 summer stories. There's nothing to watch on TV.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful, you have just reached a new level of awesome in my book for the props you gave to McCoy. I swear to you, sometimes the games are more exciting just listening to them rather than watching them, even when the suns are hot. If only the radio and tv were in sync, I could mute the losers who call themselves announcers and listen to somebody who actually knows what they're talking about. The only other somewhat intelligent announcer I've heard is Eddie Johnson, who makes remarks that are interesting and that you wouldn't think of unless you had more experience in the game, rather than the obvious and ever so common, "The key to winning tonights game is to put up more points on the board than the other guys. I mean, If you can do that, nothing else really matters tonight". Gee, thanks for that. Props, Bawful

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- Yeah. I feel pretty much the same way. I still think the Suns should have made a stronger push for Garnett last year. I honestly believe they could have pulled it off before the Celtics nabbed him. Would have been a perfect fit/addition/replacement. One of the biggest non-moves in NBA history. Right up there with Dikembe Mutumbo choosing Atlanta over Utah in the mid/late-90s.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I think Amare's problem is that he's never had the work ethic to match his athleticism. After all, he only developed a shooting touch because he was rehabbing for over a year and had nothing else to do. How hard would it have been for the guy to work on his ball-handling in the offseason at some point? How difficult would it have been for him to go to Pete Newell's Big Man's Camp one year? Or for him to hire a personal trainer in the offseason to teach him the low post game or the fundamentals of defense or rebounding? The guy is one of the best athletes in the game and is able to excel on that alone because he's such a gifted athlete, but basketball at that level is as much about preparation as it is about athleticism. That's what separates someone like Kobe from any number of guys who are every bit as athletic as he is who aren't even in the NBA.

Even though I've traditionally been really down on Shaq for being cut from that same cloth, and being content to just coast on his incredible athletic gifts, I'll give him this: he did actually work to develop a very good low post game. In his prime Shaq was great at getting the position he needed and at being able to drop step his defender, or move to the paint for a jump hook when he couldn't just dunk it. He also became quite adept at reading a defense and knowing how to draw a double team and pass out of it to open things up for everyone else.

These are things that Amare and Dwight Howard have never learned, and instead have remained in that "I'm good enough as is" mode. The problem with having a guy out there who's so gifted athletically but who hasn't mastered the key facet of their position is that it really puts their teams in a tough spot when it comes to running the offense. In the same way that Iverson never really learned how to run an offense the way a point guard should, his lack of size puts his team in a hole because it means they still have to have another person playing point guard alongside him otherwise the offense has no one to run it. With Amare and Dwight they're pretty much forced to have to play a position that's traditionally reserved for a post player, but by not being able to initiate the offense with a dump into the post it makes the offense a lot more congested and confusing. Greg Oden should probably be included in this as well, but at least he's just a rookie so it's easier to forgive his lack of a post game. There's more to being a focal point on offense in the post than just being big and strong.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Basketbawful - what about Kidd choosing to stay in NJ over San Antonio in 2003?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i think you should mention that Maurice Ager has a +13 suck differential (4 missed shots, 7 personal fouls and 2 TO) for the season(17 minutes in 7 games).
There should be a word for that, oh there is: FAIL

Blogger Wang McMuffin said...
I cannot believe that Dunleavy had the nerve to complain about Wade when the refs blew a call that essentially gave the clippers the game against Miami. Wade makes the steal and tosses it ahead before he goes out of bounds where there's at least one Miami player and no LA players (I think there were actually 2 or 3 heat players but I know there was at least one that Wade got it to) which would have been an easy layup. Instead Miami gets it sideline out with 7.9 seconds left and Wade failed miserably on a 3 at the last second. In addition to the home-cookin mentioned in wotw.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Props to Clifton for giving Al "The Real" McCoy his dues. Seems like he's getting crankier and crankier. I guess that makes sense since all us Suns fans are starting to lose our patience. We all love him here in Phoenix. Too bad he's not on TV any more, though.

Also, is it me or is there some sort of conspirancy against Stoudemire? I know the guy plays stupid most of the time, but IMO he gets the worst calls. It's like he's the second coming of Mark West in this respect. I searched the web hoping to find a page about Mark West getting called for a foul while he was on the bench (really did happen). All I could find was a reference to Mark West Syndrome, the condition of being called for a foul while not moving. I love Mark West and have a little man crush on Amare. Pisses me off to see such inconsistent officiating. Who's that female official? My friend and I think that Amare one-night standed her and she's out for revenge.

While I'm spewing nonsense, anyone notice how corporate the NBA is? Like if players & coaches don't tow the company line, then they'll most definitely be punished, probably by spanking from Mr. Stern.

Blogger Clifton said...
Jerkize-- I remember the Mark West bench foul. Classic. However, I really don't think Amaré is "the new Mark West." #41 really, REALLY didn't bring it on himself. He was big and kinda slow, and was an easy target when a star player flopped. Amaré tends to get the refs' dander up, and then they're gunning for him.

I remember how they drafted Oliver Miller to be West's eventual replacement, and then Big O decided to start eating... everything. One of my favorite Barkley quotes came in Miller's 2nd or 3rd season, when he'd started to pack on the pounds, and he and Chuck got into an argument about dunking; Chuck told him, "Your fat ass couldn't outdunk me unless they put a cheeseburger on the rim."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Stoudemire: yeah, he's just a somewhat more talented Kenyon Martin. Good analogy, Bawful. Monstrous athleticism, relatively low basketball IQ and work ethic. I might despise Kobe, but I'll give the man this: he has always worked his ass off to improve his game. It's true for all of the greats, no matter what their physical gifts. And I've always had a soft spot for those guys with average athleticism, but who succeeded simply by working like a dog. Bird must be the ultimate example there, but I tend to think of it them "Bobby Hurley players."

Also, I think Stoudemire's ref problems are really an extension of the same thing. You don't think the greats make a study of how to work the officials? Of course they do! It's one of the most important features of the game. True for all sports, really. You MUST know how to get the best possible outcome from the officiating.

And if you don't make a study of it, then it's just a knee-jerk instinctive response, and either you get it or you don't. My best sport was soccer, and my ref instincts were always wrong. I had a lot of problems playing at higher levels until I learned how to work them. Really, I'd say that 80% of the cards I got in high school were for my mouth. It wasn't until the end of my senior year and into college that I worked refs with as much consciousness as deciding an attack plan on offense.

And can I just drop my jaw at the irony of Barkley criticizing somebody about weight problems?!?! LOL Dude had one of the biggest cabooses in the league. But at least he usually had the muscle to move it well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oops, didn't mean to leave out any basketball stuff in that last comment...

BTW, that tina turner image has been blocked from my mind. Holy rusted metal.

On the Suns, I always felt that while Marion was an issue he was mainly being fueled by Amare - he probably hated how Amare acted and got so much glory while Marion really did do blue collar stuff (like, rebound and defend). Trading Amare for KG would have definitely been worthwhile. Sure Marion had issues, but he could have been dealt with. Amare is proving he can't be. I foretell a future of Shaq rapping amare into the hole.

The frustrating thing about Amare is not 'bad defense' its the 'has a look on his face like he is thinking about his stats or what he wants to do that night' type of stance he has while on defense. Nash gets burned about his defense, but he gives it his all. Shaq when young had a lot of players 'dotting an i' on him, but he was making an effort (supposedly). Amare truly just looks like he's staring in a mirror while playing defense -- all of his stances and moves on D looks as if he's just trying to look cool rather than be effective. Its really stupifying - no one would care so much if he was bad on D but just made effort.

Its like Kobe when he purposefuly didn't take a single shot in the 4th quarter of that 7th game against pheonix in the playoffs - Amare is like that on D every single game. You know he could, but he just won't.

BTW - players like Nash will always have a downfall that they make teamates better, but those teamates will decide they're so good they deserve more. All of those guys should get put onto a single team and see how they do. Joe johnson, Marion, Amare -- a team with those 3, how would they fare?

Blogger Clifton said...
Wormboy: And can I just drop my jaw at the irony of Barkley criticizing somebody about weight problems?!?! LOL Dude had one of the biggest cabooses in the league.

You may have never seen Oliver Miller, then. Louie Anderson could have called Big O "a little plump."

Suns barely eke out a win against a skeleton crew of Jazz players tonight. Anyone got the over/under on how many Phoenix players/coaches/mgmt. are quoted with some variation of, "Well, a win is a win," or, "We're just glad we got this one. We really need a win right now..."?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Sam Sung" might be the best name ever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is a classic quote from the Yahoo recap of the spurs vs. Warriors game that should be set to the sounds of a tiny violin.

"“It’s just one of those things,” said Corey Maggette, who signed a free-agent contract with the Warriors after playing eight seasons for the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I was dealing with this with the Clippers, where we had different situations going on. Trust me, it’s getting old. But we have to keep playing, and one of these days it will click.”"

The curse of the clippers is stronger than the Seinfeld curse.
Going through the yahoo photos today, i found a picture of Okur channeling the spirit of Greg Ostertag.

Also, speaking of GO, the caption for this photo is misleading- or insightful. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/gallery;_ylt=Aq68TuSP6sLcKX.PFzV0uBeQvLYF#photoViewer=urn%3Anewsml%3Asports.yahoo%2Cap%3A20050301%3Anba%2Cphoto%2C3a5088bd7d5d477ea2e0e22cb47d7bff.trail_blazers_raptors_basketball_cfwy109%3A1

Blogger M.L.H.R. said...
"Kenyon Martin: Owned. Owned. Owned. Let me say it again. Owned"

Hmmm...Is that how it went down?
Did you actually watch the game or did you rely on your buddy Raza to feed you more lies like you force feed your readers?

Let me break it down for all the sheep following this clowns blog/posts.

Tim Duncan scored 21 points.
7 of which were off free throws.
That leaves 14 points or 7 baskets.

He only scored 2 of those 7 baskets directly on Kenyon!!!

How in the 'F' did you arrive at the conclusion that scoring 4 points on your opposition is owning them?

Seriously, did you even watch the game?
Do you even watch NBA games at all?

Kudos to you Mr. Basketbawful!
You've proved brilliantly that you're just another example of a clueless, attention seeking blog owner, spreading lies and mis-information to the masses.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Matthew Lee H.R. -- Now Matt, you know you're always supposed to take your medication before bedtime, and always with food and a warm glass of milk. I'm going to have to ask you to stop commenting until you can follow the doctor's orders to a T.

As for the rest, I find it interesting, and even somewhat intellectually dishonest, that you failed to mention that two of Martin's three fouls were committed against Duncan while TD was in the act of shooting. But then, based on your crude analysis, you seem to believe that only field goals scored directly against a defender have an effect on the game. So please let me get this straight: Points scored on free throws that result from shooting fouls wherein a defender was unable to stop someone from scoring without hacking them, that has no effect whatsoever on a game nor does it reflect upon the defender's ability to guard someone? Is that right? Please let this clueless person in on the secret, Matt.

It's also interesting that you seem to think, again, that field goals are the only way that a player can impact the game. Or, conversely, that "defense" is only played against an opponent who is shooting the ball. Wow! That's the only time an NBA player must defend someone! Why the alias, Mr. D'Antoni? I'm honored to have you here!

So I'm sure that none of Duncan's 12 rebounds or 7 assists had any impact on the game. And that none of them came against Martin. Only, some of them did. But not that they matter, of course, because you have discounted their meaning entirely. However, you have brought to light yet another interesting factoid: Martin wasn't guarding Duncan the whole game. Which amazes me, based on Martin's comment that "I don't let Tim do what he wants to do. Never have and never will." If Martin's the Duncan Stopper he claims to be, why wasn't he checking TD the entire time? I mean, Duncan owned that game. If you can't see that, you're as blind as you are reactionary. So doesn't it stand to reason a Stopper would be dogging Duncan's every move?

Fact is, Martin couldn't handle Duncan when they were matched up against each other, so George Karl couldn't leave Martin on TD for the entire game. And it's not like there's some other dreaded scoring menace in the Spurs' front court he needed to reserve Martin for.

And regardless, even if Martin hadn't played a single second against Duncan, I would have said he was owned, because he fancies himself someone who can shut Timmy down when, in reality, he had one good game against Duncan and decided to run his mouth...then Duncan went crazy in the very next game against Martin's team. Coincidence? And nobody, not Martin, not Nene, not any number of double teams or defensive strategies, could shut Duncan down.

That's ownage. I'm sorry you can't see it and that you feel so insecure about yourself you need to try and strut your stuff in the comments section of my clueless, attention-seeking, lie-spreading blog that has only been linked to by ESPN.com dozens of times and gotten me mentioned in publications like SLAM, Esquire, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, etc. and landed me a job at Deadspin. Man, you really put me in my place, Matt. Congrats. Hopefully your biting commentary will convince the sheep on this blog to do better things with their time, like shaping Play-Doh and eating bath soap.

Blogger M.L.H.R. said...
Morning Captain Jack.
Still in denial huh?

No more sensational one liners to hook your viewers?
Suddenly you're this overflowing fountain of basketball knowledge and game insight.
Why the sudden change?
Good point on those FT's. So that brings TD up to a whopping 7 PTS against Kenyon!!!
Get the confetti and streamers gang, Martin got owned!!!

And I love this line :
"And regardless, even if Martin hadn't played a single second against Duncan, I would have said he was owned..."

And we your readers are the ones eating bath soap?

Next you'll be making arguments for that avatar photo of yours.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Matthew Lee H.R. -- I'm sorry your mommy didn't hold you enough during your formative years. I can kinda see her point, though. However, I promise that when I finish my time machine, I'll take a few minutes away from my awesome adventures in the past to talk her into giving you some of the love and attention you so dearly and desperately crave. Until then, I will pray to Kurt Warner's God that you can find some inner peace. Good luck in life!