Trust me, it makes sense. You just have to keep reading...
The Washington Wizards Generals: Last night's come-from-ahead loss -- at home to the Milwaukee Bucks -- was the 12th defeat this season they've suffered in which they've held a lead in the fourth quarter. The collapse dropped them to 7-30 and officially broke Antawn Jamsion's will: "We know it's a problem, but it's something that hasn’t been fixed yet. Until we get it done, we're going to continue to struggle and continue to be one of the worst teams in the league. We're accustomed to a certain atmosphere in this organization, and right now this is not what we're accustomed to, so this is the toughest it's been for me. I hate losing. I don't think anybody can take anything positive about what we've accomplished so far and where we're at. So we've just got to do what a lot of teams have done -- fight, plug away, make changes and go toward the future, I guess." Whenever somebody finishes a diatribe like that with "I guess," they've either given up or they're right there.
And who can blame him? The 7-win Wizards are a single win ahead of the Thunder. In losing to the Bucks, Washington dropped its fifth straight game...a streak that includes four straight failures against a sub-.500 team.
Ed Tapscott, quote machine: One thing you can count on when a team loses as often as the Wizards is that the analogies for failure given by the coach during the postgame press conference become increasingly creative as the season progresses. In that spirit, this is what Tapscott had to say last night: "Don't you get the feeling like we’ve seen this movie before?. We're like a writer with writer's block. We can get the first couple of chapters written fairly efficiently and fairly well, but getting to the ending -- we just can't seem to write the correct ending." Hey, no wonder Antawn is so depressed! It's like he's reliving the ending of Signs over and over and over again. That would bum me out too.
The Toronto Raptors: I guess we'll have to start calling them The Slump Busters. The previously slumping Celtics won their second game in a row by defeating the Craptors in overtime in Boston. And just as Ray Allen torched them for a season-high 36 points on Sunday, Paul Pierce lit them up for a season-best 39 points on Monday. I hope nobody on Toronto's roster comes anywhere near a dead serial killer like Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees; we don't need them bringing one of THOSE guys back to life too.
Now, while it's true that "No Way" Jose Calderon and Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal were still out with injury, the already depth-less Celtics were missing Kendrick Perkins and Tony Allen, and Perkins' absence forced them to start (get ready for it) Brian Scalabrine for the second straight game...and Veal had 8 "clutch" (according to the AP recap) points in the third quarter. Oh, and Truth scored his 39 on a bum knee. But hey! They held Ray Allen to 12 points! And Roko Ukic was pretty excited about that: "Ray Allen, except for a three (in overtime) didn't really do anything, but they're a deep team." They're a deep team? Does anybody know of Roko actually follows basketball at all?
Kevin Garnett, quote machine: Regarding Pierce's awakening from his offensive coma: "Y'all need to start playing some of that 'Superman' theme music in the building when he's going like that. I'll be Batman. I'll be Robin. I'll be anybody you want me to be. I’ll be the garbage man. But this is Clark Kent right here.”
Chris Bosh: Okay, so if Pierce was Superman and KG was Robin, then I guess Bosh was Aquaman...by the end of the game, he needed somebody to rescue HIM. Garnett pulled a David Copperfield and made Bosh CB4 disappear, limiting Mr. Toronto to to 1-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter and completely shotless in overtime. Said Bosh: "You work hard to get open, then [Garnett] overplays you. And then he has help behind him." Awh. Sorry you have to perform against an NBA defense, Chris. Hopefully, next time, they'll just let you shoot.
The Klahma City Thunder: It's like, at this point, they're TRYING to find new ways to lose. Last night's folly was (in addition to the 23 turnovers) giving up a career-high 31 points to...Brook Lopez?! Oh yeah. Lopez was 10-for-17 and also chipped in 13 rebounds and a couple blocked shots. And now the Thunder are 6-33. But unlike Antawn Jamison and Ed Tapscott, the Thunder players and coaches seemed upbeat and almost giddy about the loss. Said Thunder coach Scott Brooks: "It was a good effort on the road. We had a chance to win with a half-second left. We'll take that. The effort was good." Added Russell Westbrook: "We're putting ourselves in every game." We're just one step away, one shot away from winning the game. If we just keep doing that, we'll be all right." Uh huh. I hate to tell him, but his team isn't going to be "all right" any time soon.
Lawrence Frank: The Nets had to take the game into overtime to overcome the Thunder, but they should have won it in regulation. And they WOULD have...if not for Frank's little boo-boo. Vince Carter caught a pass from Devin Harris and hit what appeared to be a game-winning three-pointer with nine seconds left. Only the shot didn't count because Frank had run onto the court to call a time out. You can watch it play out starting at the 1:23 mark:
Said Vinsane: "It was set up perfect for me but he thought we were scrambling. He wanted to get a good play. We did a good job in overtime to find a way to win. It would have been a terrible way to lose a game." No kidding. And Frank knew it. "Oh man, I felt horrible. We were a little bit scattered. I called the time out when Devin had the ball, and then obviously he passes and Vince hits it." Harris missed a jumper with 0.5 seconds left and the Thunder couldn't even get a shot off after that, so the game went to overtime and, fortunately for Frank, the Nets pulled it out.
Amusingly enough, K.C. Jones once did that to Larry Bird...
The New Orleans Hornets: I know I dubbed the Craptors "The Slump Busters" several paragraphs ago, but the Hornets are trying to usurp that title. The Knicks were on the last leg of a four-game road trip -- following losses to the Thunder, Mavericks and Rockets -- yet still managed to upset the Hornets in New Orleans. David Lee had 24 and 8, and New York held the Buzzers to 38 percent shooting while dishing out 30 assists. For some perspective, the Knicks had accumulated 45 assists total in their previous three games. Said David West: "When they came out and made us defend them, they were moving the ball with five, six or seven passes every trip they made. They really dug in and made that third and fourth effort. They've got a bunch of guys that can really shoot the ball." So...they played good basketball and you were completely unprepared for it? Okay. I mean, yeah, I know they're the Knicks and all, but, uh, yeah.
(West was 6-for-20, by the way.)
Eddy Curry: They just wouldn't be the Knicks without a shameful and embarrassing distraction, right? And wouldn't you know: It's another sexual harrassment suit! Yes! And it counts! But this one is even more bizarre than the last...if you can believe it. Curry -- who who made his season debut on January 8th at Dallas and then missed the next two games with right knee soreness -- is being sued by his former driver, David Kuchinsky, for, well, you know what? I can't possibly embellish this one any further, so here's the scoop:
Knicks center Eddy Curry was slapped with a shocking sex-harassment suit Monday by his former driver, who claims the 6-foot-11 hoopster tried to solicit gay sex from him.
The stunning court papers claim Curry, a married father of three, repeatedly approached chauffeur David Kuchinsky "in the nude," allegedly telling him, "Look at me, Dave, look" and "Come and touch it, Dave."
Curry also made Kuchinsky perform "humiliating tasks outside the scope of his employment, such as cleaning up and removing dirty towels [Curry had ejaculated into] so that his wife would not see them," the Manhattan federal court suit says.
Kuchinsky, who is straight and Jewish, also alleges racial discrimination, saying that Curry hurled slurs at him including "f---ing Jew," "cracker," "white slave," "white devil" and "grandmaster of the KKK."
And in a disturbing episode reminiscent of some of the evidence in the manslaughter case against former Nets star Jayson Williams, Kuchinsky further claims in his suit that Curry pointed a "fully loaded" gun at him on at least two separate occasions to keep him from complaining about his treatment.
"Look, I have one in the chamber," Curry allegedly said.
Oh, I just BET he had one in the chamber. As much as I don't like Curry, these allegations are a little hard to believe. I mean, first of all, based on the way Eddy plays defense, he's clearly intent on avoiding any and all contact with other men. Then there's the whole thing about Kuchinsky being a convicted felon. Yeah, Kuchinsky once received a three-year prison sentence for a 1992 burglary in New Jersey as well as three years' probation in a 2004 resisting-arrest case. Kelly Saindon, Curry's lawyer, is naturally denying everything and trying to discredit Kuchinsky based on the whole "criminal past" thing. Said Saindon: "It's shocking that Eddy opened his home to a convicted felon out of prison, and gave him a job when he couldn't find a job, and this is what comes out of it. The entire thing is preposterous."
Preposterous? Yes. But that doesn't mean it's not true. In fact, in my experience, it's usually the most absurd and unbelievable things that end up being true. More on this case as it continues, and many thanks to everybody who wrote in about this.
The Chicago Bulls: They held down Brandon Roy (11 points on 3-for-13 shooting) and LaMarcus Aldridge (8 points on 3-for-8). That's good. But, nonetheless, they lost by 15 at home to the Blazers. That's bad. The loss might have had something to do with Travis Outlaw (season-high 33 points) and Greg Oden (17 points and 13 boards). Memo to the Bulls: You have to defend EVERYONE on the opposing team. Well, in most cases. Okay, more like 50 percent of the time. But still. And the Bullies can't lay this one on injuries; Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich both returned, although their play was a little spotty (Deng scored 14 points on 3-for-10 shooting and Captain Kirk was 2-for-5 for his 4 points).
Oh, and Larry "Trade Me, Trade Me, Please God Trade Me!" Hughes? He logged a mere seven minutes. See what happens when you complain about PT, Larry? You get punished. Although somebody should mention to Vinny and John that sitting him isn't going to do anything to increase his trade value.
The Indiana Pacers: Okay, seriously, can they guard ANYBODY?! The Jazz are still missing Carlos Boozer and were also without Boozer's replacement, Paul Milsap, who was out with a bruised knee. And their bench got outscored by Indy's reserves by an astonishing 46-9. But it hardly mattered since Mehmet Okur dropped a career-high 43 points to go along with Andrei Kirilenko's season-high 23 (with 12 rebounds) and Deron Williams' double-double (23 points and 11 assists). The Turkish Assassin was 13-for-19 from the field, 3-for-4 from downtown and 14-for-15 from the line. Remember when MJ dropped 63 on the Celtics in '86 and Bird famously claimed "It was God disguised as Michael Jordan"? Well, I think this was Michael Jordan disguised as Mehmet Okur. That's the kind of terrible power the Pacers' defense wields over time and space.
Lacktion report: Here's more lactivity from Chris. Hey, Chris, you're doing a great job with these things. Now come and look at me, Chris. Look. Touch it, Chris. (I'm kidding. Really.)
Bucks-Wizards: Although Dan Gadzuric ruined a 5.6 trillion treasure via one rotten rebound, his Milwaukee teammate Tyronn Lue gave his all to rack up some non-effort statistics, taking a foul and bricking a three for +2 in 2:13.
Thunder-Nets: Klahma lacks O's, and in their unsuccssful overtime game against the residents of Brendan Byrne Arena, Chucky Atkins made sure to keep the O's locked away with a 49 second stint that netted him +1 (foul). The home team wanted in on the lacktion though, with repeat offender Chris Douglas-Roberts sneaking in a 3 second Super Mario!
Raptors-Celtics: The Raptors have served as a good cure for what has ailed the Celtics lately, and in response, Doc Rivers felt it necessary to bring out the shortest-fused human victory cigar of late: Patrick O'Bryant, who racked up ONE SECOND for a remarkably forgettable Super Mario!
Pacers-Jazz: One foul gave Utah's Morris Almond a +1 in 3:49.
Kobe Bryant: Mamba spent the entire practice saying "You want fries with that?" every time one of the Lakers said something too him, even when one of the trainers was explaining his grandmother just died.