Thanks to Sturla for providing today's top picture.

Elton Brand: His addition to the Philadelphia 76ers was supposed to transform them from plucky overachievers/up-and-comers to Eastern Powerhouse and potentially The Team to challenge Boston for conference supremacy. Yeah. That didn't work out so well. And the day after his injury, this is what I had to say: "Now, here's a little theory I have. Let's assume Brand misses, say, a month. You just watch. Philly will start fast breaking again -- which was their bread and butter last season -- and go on a little mini-streak in Brand's absence. Seriously."

Then they struggled through that 1-5 road trip and I felt like an idiot. Well, turns out it just took the team some time to adjust. But now they're running again and knocking down their threes -- including a season-high 11 of them against the Blazers -- and, wouldn't you know, they're on a season-best five-game non-losing streak. And the streak has included three victories against winning teams (Houston, Atlanta and Portland). So the evidence is right there in front of us: The Sixers play better and with more confidence minus Brand. Seriously, there were some grumpy mugs on that team up until they sped things up and Brand's shots got redistributed. Now, everybody's so darn happy again. Just ask Andre Iguodala: "Guys are just playing with a lot of confidence right now. We feel like we can make any shot. We're shooting with a rhythm, we're shooting with confidence, and more than likely, it's going to go in." Translation: "We don't have to walk it up the court and force-feed Brand anymore...and he's not really a 20-10 guy anymore anyway. Running and shooting is brought us success last year. Not a clunky halfcourt game." It'll be interesting to see how they'll work Elton back into the mix, and whether he'll be able to accept a lesser role in an offense that's running more and operating in the half court less.

The Portland Trail Blazers: They were down 16 after one quarter, 22 at halftime, and despite a 10-0 third-quarter run, they ended up losing by 21. That cost them the chance to move 10 games above .500 for the first time since 2002-03. Hopefully Darius Miles will play his 10th game soon so they can put that distraction behind them. [drips sarcasm]

The Detroit Pistons: One night after failing to close out a game against the Bobcats (15-24), th Pistons failed to close out a game against the Pacers (14-25). Okay, hold on. I have to throw up in my mouth a little because Charlotte has a better record than Indy. BLOARGH! Okay. I'm done. Anyway, just add "back-to-back losses to teams that are hovering around 10 games below .500" to the list of Reasons Why The Allen Iverson Trade Destroyed The Pistons. (And I only mean that the trade killed their chances to contend for the Eastern Conference crown. They're still 22-15. Just not a scary 22-15.) Rodney Stuckey, who had a game-high 30 points on 12-for-20 shooting, said: "We've got to finish game. That's pretty much it. We're kicking ourselves in the butt. We keep losing games like this, it's going to hurt us at the end of the season. Hopefully, we can figure it out and get it turned around."

Danny Granger: The Pacers might have put the Pistons away a little earlier had it not been for Danny's 6-for-20 shooting. In fact, I was positively cringing Granger was setting up the shot that sent the game to overtime. It was definitely one of those "NO, NO, NO...YES!" shots for me. Which was a good feeling, since the Pacers have typically had "NO, NO, NO...NO!" fourth quarters this season.

The Toronto Raptors: In the titanic showdown slapfest between two 16-teams, only one squad can reach win number 17. And normally, I'd pick the home team, particularly since the away team only had four road wins on the season. But, once again, the Craptors proved me way wrongo. Toronto fell victim to a 17-point fourt-quarter supernova from Derrick Rose. The Great Poohdini finished with 25 points (12-for-20) and 10 assists. But then, he HAD to step up his game in the absence of...

Big Shot Larry: Look who earned himself a DNP-CD last night. So, in the wake of his complaints about PT, Hughes has played seven minutes and zero minutes in back-to-back games. And here's what Bulls coach Vinny D had to say when asked about the situation after the game: "We'll figure it out as we go. Kirk will be out there. He takes pressure off Derrick [Rose] and puts defensive pressure on the ball. And we always get leadership." Notice the conspicuous lack of the words "Larry" and "Hughes" in Vinny's response? Yeah, me too.

Chris Bosh: He had a chance to tie the game with under 10 seconds left but, instead, all he got was an outpatient ego-ectomy from Dr. Joakim Noah. Yeah. Start watching at the 1:50 mark.

The Washington Wizards Generals: The Generals' freefall to nowhere continued last night as they shot nearly 60 percent from the field and scored 122 points. And lost. Mike James said: "It was almost like pickup basketball. We were talking at halftime. Some people said they've seen more defense on video games. You joke about that, but it's not a laughing matter." Unless you read Basketbawful, in which case it is very much a laughing matter. But I find that comment pretty interesting, coming, as it did, from a man known as "The Amityville Scorer." James, in case you're interested, has a career defensive rating of 109. That's points allowed per 100 possessions. This season, his defensive rating is 114.1 For some perspective, the worst defensive rating in the league (123.2) belongs to Golden State's Jermareo Davidson. And James is six spots ahead (which means behind) defensive stalwart Ricky Davis (113.1). I'm just sayin'.

In other news, Nick Young scored 33 points for Washington, setting a new career high for the third time in four games. Why, exactly, aren't they starting this guy? Do they just enjoy losing that much? And one last epithet: The Wizzers are now tied with the Thunder in wins with 7. But more on that below...

The New Jersey Nets: They shot 38 percent, committed 19 turnovers and got blown out in Boston by 32 points. Said Nets coach Lawrence Frank: "They kicked us real good." That's not strong enough an analogy. Better to say, I think, that: "They kidnapped us, tortured us, and kept us locked up in a hole like the Gimp in Pulp Fiction." Okay. Fixed.

Paul Pierce, justification machine: Regarding Boston's "resurgence" against the Raptors and Nets after their 2-7 slump: "I thought we had a really big bump in the road these last couple of weeks with consistency, something we didn't have a year ago. Maybe it's something we needed to give us a gut check. When you go through something like that, you really find out what kind of team you are." You mean, like, not as talented or as deep as last season and suddenly a few steps behind the Cavaliers, Lakers and Magic in the race for this year's league title? That kind of team?

The Utah Jazz: This is the kind of travesty that the phrase "I'll be cow-kicked and hornswoggled" was invented for. As well as several other foul four-letter words I won't type out right now. A 21-point loss to the Klahma City Thunder?! I wouldn't be surprised to hear John Stockton dropped dead after he heard about his most shameful of losses. Heck, even Felton Spencer was probably embarrassed. And so was Deron Williams: "They outhustled us, they outrebounded us. We just didn't play tough at all." Think the Jazz missed Paul Milsap, who was out (again) with a bruised right knee? Put it this way: Nenad Krstic had 14 points and 11 boards. I guess Mehmet Okur isn't much of a frontcourt stopper. Speaking of which...

Mehmet Okur: After he scored his career-high 43 points against the defenseless Pacers, BadDave emailed me to say: "Okur blew his wad...for his career." His words seem pretty prophetic after Mehmet's follow-up against the Thunder: 9 points on 3-for-12 shooting.

The Klahma City Thunder: How can I tag them with WotN honors after they clobbered the Jazz? Because of something Dan L. wrote in to say: "The team that used to be the Sonics actually beat the Jazz last night, but the ESPN headline about that game read: 'Three reach 20's as lousy Thunder thump Jazz.' They are so bad that even when they win by 21 they're still called lousy." Yup. Ouch.

Dwyane Wade: The Heat won, yes, but I could hardly overlook his 17 points on 5-for-20 shooting, could I? But there's a reason! Just ask Pookie. He'll tell you. "Every shot I shot they hit me on my arm. That's why my shots were short." Awh. That gives me sad face, Dwyane. On the bright side, Wade had only 4 turnovers, so that's something. He continues to lead the league in that category, by the way.

Mario Chalmers: Did he accidentally drop his game in the toilet or something? The kid is falling off the map and out of Erik Spoelstra's rotation. He's 1-for-13 in his last three games and has scored zero, 4 and zero points. And he played less than 10 minutes in the two zero-point outings.

The Dallas Mavericks: Oh, hey, look. They lost at home to a better team. That's a surprise. And Jason Kidd's 7/7/7 line looked pretty feeble next to Chris Paul's triple-double (33 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists...plus 7 steals!!). According to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "We just didn't play as good as a game that we needed to play." That's some pretty succinct insight, coach. Thanks.

DeSagana Diop: I haven't beaten this dead horse in a while, but some days you wake up cranky and just want to beat a dead horse. So here goes. I noticed that Diop earned himself a DNP-CD last night. It was his third in the last five games. On the season, Diop has scored 56 points and committed 55 personal fouls. He's averaging 3.5 rebounds and has accumulated only 25 blocks. Think Mark Cuban regrets signing DeSagana to that five-year, $32 million contract over the summer? Don't worry. It's just one of the many regrets he should have regarding his mismanagement of the Mavs over the last several years.

David Guthrie, Michael Smith, Sean Corbin: Much as it pains me to defend the Lakers, they got hosed by the officials twice in the final 12 seconds of the fourth quarter last night...which kind of sucks because it really detracted from a very exciting and well-played game. First, Roger Mason drew foul on Derek Fisher on what I like to call the Jump Flop, that move (invented by World B. Free and perfected by Reggie Miller) where a jump shooter kicks out his legs and flails during the shot. Fisher clearly tried to evade contact but got tagged with the foul anyway. Mason dropped the free throw to give the Spurs a one-point lead. Then, on the Lakers' final possession, Trevor Ariza got called for a travel after taking only two steps. Plus, it sure looked like he got tripped up a little. Go ahead and take a gander at both plays.

Now, the Ariza play might not have mattered all that much since he missed the shot and the clock would have expired during the ensuing battle for the rebound. But Mason's three-point play turned out to be the game-winner. If the ref hadn't fallen for his Jump Flop, then AT WORST (for the Lakers)the game goes to overtime. Big win for the Spurs, but it doesn't exactly convince me that I'm wrong to say they aren't a true contender anymore. I mean, L.A. was playing the second of back-to-back games with a bench shortened by injuries. I'm just sayin'.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Hey, look, the Clippers lost by 17 at home. We all know who they are.

The Golden State Warriors: They dropped a triple-overtime decision to a Kings team that, coming into the game, was stuck on nine wins. Home court fail.

Yahoo! box scores: According to the box score from the Kings-Warriors game, Jamal Crawford had a Super Mario. All I can say is: Wow...35 points in six seconds? Without doing any research whatsoever, I have to say that's the most efficient performance in NBA history. Thanks to Panki for sending in this graphic:

Crawford box

Lacktion report: Via Chris, who I think has become the official Basketbawful intern:

Blazers-Sixers: Ike Diogu earned a solid two trillion jackpot for Portland, while Philadelphia's Kareem Rush was a +1 (brick) in 2:38.

Bulls-Raptors: Jake Voskuhl is once again the Craptors' repeat offender for the lacktion report, turning the ball over once and taking a foul for +2 in a 2:42 nonperformance.

Wizards-Knicks: One foul and a missed three turned a potential Mario for Washington's Oleksiy Petrov into a 38 second session of suck at +2.

Heat-Bucks: Yakhouba Diawara continues to log lacktion for the Heat, taking a foul and throwing three bricks from downtown for +4 in 7:21. With 30 seconds to go in the game - in a game Miami was only leading by TWO POINTS, mind you - he entered the game again to relieve Chris Quinn, presumably to increase his total duration of on-court catatonia. And in a bizarre exchange of bench jockeys, Diawara went back to the pine with 16.4 remaining for Quinn to return, only for the two to switch off again with 14.7 ticks on the clock left (in the middle of two D-Wade free throws). That wasn't the end of it though, as Diawara went back to the bench with 9.8 seconds remaining, after a timeout. Oh, and Yakhouba's teammate Mario Chalmers put in a surprisingly unimpressive near-lacktion sequence as a starting guard: one rebound barely provided a positive effect on the scoreboard, with a brick, foul, and three giveaways littering a nine and a half minute run of fail.

Jazz-Thunder: In a shocker, the Klahoma (one O!) City Thunder thwacked the Jazz around, 114-93. Morris Almond and Jarron Collins played the role of sucky siblings for the night, each giving Utah a +1 in 2:07 of concurrent pointlessness (Almond via a missed shot, and Collins via turnover).

Hornets-Mavs: Hilton Armstrong turned the ball over once and fouled twice for New Orleans, a +3 SD in 4:16.

Lakers-Spurs: The world of lacktion does not revolve around Sun Yue, and in 1:21 of floor time, he showed why by breaking up a potential trillion with one annoyingly positive contribution (a steal). However, in one of the bigger names to show up in the lacktion report so far, Bruce Bowen missed from downtown and fouled twice for +3 in 6:04!
Kobe Bryant: After the game, Kobe turned to Luke Walton and said, "Hey kid, sorry I've been so hard on you lately. Wanna go out, maybe get a beer, just kinda get to know each other better?" Luke, taken aback, said: "Really?" To which Mamba replied with a sneer, "Hell no, not really. How could you have possibly thought I was being serious? Jesus." Then Kobe walked away shaking his head. The he came back a few minutes later, looked Luke right in the eyes and said, "You really thought I was serious?" Then he walked away again, looking even more disgusted.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Also, from the box score, it appears that Azubuike and the King's entire starting lineup except for Thompson played more minutes than there are in a regulation basketball game.

I guess they had to play that much in order to overcome Crawford's amazing performance.

Blogger Babyshoes said...
How about Jerryd Bayless' 1-11 "performance"? That is not the way to get yourself into Nate McMillan's rotation, young man.
Bawful, is this the sign of some coming apocalypse? I mean, defending the L*kers, wow!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I love how that video starts:,"Like a head-butt to the groin...."


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I watched the last 5min of the Spurs/Lakers and yeah, they got royally hosed on the last 2 possessions. I think the NBA refs have some 'splainin to do. I thought Ariza was clearly fouled on his way to the rim when Manuer Ginobili came over and bumped him (should have been a blocking foul)

What made it ueber-hilarious was the fact that after his 3 with 12sec left, Kobe did the Sam Cassell "big balls" gesture to the crowd, and 1.5sec later, Mason hit the game winning shot/free throw. Whoops. I also noticed that after that shot, the Lakers were celebrating on the bench like the game was already over. Again, whoops.

Seems to me like that Laker team got beat because SA played like they wanted to win, and LA played like they thought they deserved to win. If they bring that weak-sauce to the playoffs, they could get bounced in the first round by, say, Utah.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
going a bit easy on the lakers this year bawful. xmas hangover or something? as much as it pained me to see mason hit from almost the same spot as vs phoenix on xmas day, i think the proper person to blame on that play was fisher. i'd take my chances playing mason with a hand in his face while stuck in the corner rather than gambling for the steal on the inbound. san antonio, where karma happens for dfish.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh yeah- and I know it took 3OT and all but:

Brad Miller: Animal Style Double-Double 30pts 22rebs

Thus proving the age-old saying that even a stopped watch is right twice a day.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
game went into triple OT genius

Anonymous Anonymous said...
shouldn't you give the Bucks a WOTN for LOSING to the Heat when Pookie went 5 for a million? also, they let the Heat hit their first 8 threes...and daequan cook went 6 for 6 in the first half

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I know some of you may laugh, but I honestly think that OKC's addition of Nenad Krstic was huge, and he is going to make a significant and immediate impact on their team.

Looking at their other bigs, Krstic is the only big that has an offensive game that consists of more than just dunks and put-backs. If you have any two of Collison/Swift/Wilcox on the floor, they crowd eachother and get in eachother's way since they are pretty much the same player. But throw Nenad in with any one of their bigs, and now you have a guy who can step out and hit a jumpshot and draw the opposing team's shotblocker away from the net. Now the paint isn't crammed with tall trees and Durant/Green/Westbrook can drive to the hole with relative impunity, and when they kick it out, Krstic can actually HIT A JUMPER... omg, this sounds like OFFENSE!!

Laugh all you want, but I think that his presence will make a huge difference. And believe me, I HATE this team- I was and still am a Sonics fan, so I hope they lose every game for the rest of the season.

But with Krstic, I think they end up winning 25 games this season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You're a tough man to convert, Mr. Bawful. I personally think that the Spurs did a fine job against both the Magic and the Lakers, and fought hard - especially considering it's still January.

Regarding the fouls, they were some iffy calls. However, I think calling a block on Gino in the final play would've been just as iffy as Fisher's foul was. The travel call was inconsequential. I can't really tell whether Fisher gave Mason a little bump, but regardless of that he shouldn't have put himself in that position.

I can't wait for the NBA to say tomorrow that the call was a mistake, and that Mason's FT shouldn't have been valid. It'll do the Lakers just as much good as it did for us after game 4 of the Conference Finals.

I honestly think that the Lakers are a pretty good team, and we'll have a hard time beating them in the playoffs if we don't get another big. That said, you could also look at the glass half-empty, and point out that it took two herculean efforts from Kobe to win against Houston and nearly win against SA.

...Then again, it's Kobe we're talking about. I hear he's kind of clutch.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
anyone see Kobe slap the towel guy's hand almost clear off?

what a jackass.

Blogger Dan said...
Not only did Crawford score 35 in 6 seconds, but he only had a +/- of +1. That was a really damn high scoring 6 seconds.

And the Lakers got totally hosed. Had that been Manu instead of Ariza, he would have flopped on the shot and gotten the call.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Spurs as a whole are more evil than Kobe Bryant himself. That's saying a lot

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think what's killing the Pistons is playing "small ball". When Rip was out and they started Stuckey, Iverson, Prince, Johnson, and Wallace they were much better defensively and consequently a better team. Hamilton's refusal to come off the bench and Micheal Curry's refusal to have testicles is what's hurting the Pistons right now. Not to mention Hamilton has been sucktastic when he plays with Iverson. (Stuckey update! He is now averaging 17.4 PPG on 50% shooting, 4.1 RPG, and 5.8 APG since starting which are some Billups-esque numbers)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jeez, no mention of Knee-Mac taking another two weeks off? Or is it so common at this point it isn't even worth taking note of?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
herman -- Yeah. There were three OTs.

Babyshoes -- I know, I know. But I like to believe that I calls 'em how I sees 'em. And trust me, I was rooting for the Spurs and was gratified by the Lakers defeat. But still...my basketball brain was whispering, "Yeah, but..."

AK Dave -- You win! I was wondering who would notice that first. Loved that. I also noticed Kobe's "big balls" move. But it was like he stopped halfway through and I was like, "He did not just do Sam-I-Am's patented big balls dance."

big tuna -- Hm. Yeah, you have a point. That's the problem with gambling for steals. It gives people the chance to get open for a shot.

AK Dave -- Animal Style DDs against stat-padders like Golden State don't count. Just like you probably wouldn't be in awe if I scored 60 points aginst 5th graders.

Anonymous #2 -- You know, I thought about it. But I'm just not sure what to make of the Bucks this season. Are they really bad or just kinda mediocre? I don't know. They aren't flat-out bad enough (like the Clippers or Thunder) to consistently mock but not good enough to belittle for losing.

AK Dave -- Dude, you with the comments today! But I agree about Krstic AND IN FACT meant to put in a little paragraph about how I bet Danny Ainge is kicking himself for not looking into Gonad before the Thunder nabbed him. The Celtics could really use a solid backup big man.

Latin_D -- I am tough to convert. But I'll tell you what. In all sincerity, if I end up being wrong about the Spurs, I will eat my words and print a full retraction. And they don't even have to win the title. If they make it as far as the NBA Finals, I will admit my wrongness. Fair?

Again, not to make excuses for L.A. -- God, I think I'm going to vomit soon -- they are missing some of their key reserves. And you'll note that I've made comments throughout the season stating that, this season, the Lakers bench has been their MVP. As for the Spurs, it took a herculean effort and some iffy calls down the stretch to pull out a home game against a team playing their second game in as many nights with a shortened bench. You know? My gut still tells me that games like this, similar to Bird's 49-point effort against the Blazers in '92, is more last hurrah than sign of continuing contention. But, again, if I'm wrong...

Marc -- Dude, I did! In fact, Kobe seemed unusually grumpy last night. I noticed him scowling around several times. Anybody got video of his towel slap? I couldn't find it on YouTube.

Dan -- Well, Mason did kinda flop the play before and got the call. Home cookin', dontcha know.

La Dolce Vita -- That's the thing. Dissing Knee-Mac for being out with an injury is like criticizing KG for breathing. It's an inherent part of Tracy's nature.

Al James -- Ack, you're exactly right, and I meant to mention those thoughts in the post. Rip needs to take a page out of Kevin McHale's book (or even Detlef Schrempf's) and tell himself that it's okay for All-Star-caliber players to come off the bench. It would make the team amazingly better. But he won't, and Curry, as you pointed out, has no balls.

bsdrat -- Hm. I dunno. I still think the Dark Lord Mamba has the evil edge.

Blogger Cortez said...
Has anyone else noticed that Mario Chalmers look very awkward while he is in motion?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I would have thought it was crappy if the refs had called a blocking foul on Ginobili on Ariza's last shot attempt, cause that's no way to have a game decided. The Lakers have themselves to blame for the loss for falling behind by 11 in the 4th quarter, but I'll excuse them a bit because of the injuries. The only reason I give them a pass due to injuries though is just because the Spurs 3-pt shooting success I think was largely due to those injuries. I know the Spurs are the league's best 3-pt shooting team, but the Lakers only having two guards and only three players who are shorter than 6'9 can lead to some troubles in racing around to guard the perimeter. At one point the Lakers were playing a lineup with Trevor Ariza (a SF) and Lamar Odom (a PF) as the backcourt, out there with Vlad Radmanovic, Josh Powell and Andrew Bynum. So the Lakers missed having some quicker guys to rotate on the perimeter better, and that probably helped the Spurs get better looks from 3 all game (it should be interesting to see whether Orlando similarly lights up the Lakers tomorrow).

All that said, if I was a Spurs fan I'd be worried right now (unless you're a realistic Spurs fan and have already given up any hope of winning the title this year). The Spurs are no longer anywhere near as good on defense as they used to be, and didn't show any real signs of being able to stop the Lakers at all. That's a significant difference from even last year's playoffs, when LA's scoring average in the first two rounds plummeted in the WCF against San Antonio. The bottom line is that if the Spurs can't stop teams like they used to, then it's highly doubtful they're just gonna be able to outscore them. They were looking pretty good on offense against LA's D last night, which isn't top notch to begin with, and which was missing key pieces (as I detailed above); but I have to wonder how the Spurs would fare against Utah or New Orleans in a series, and maybe even Houston or even (gasp!) Phoenix if they can't play D.

BTW, I don't think Son of Walton was in San Antonio last night, so Kobe probably couldn't have asked him to go out for a beer anyway :(

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful, also did espn really have to show kobes big balls motion about 15 times after it happened, then van gundy is talking to the others and has a sound in his voice like he wants to mention it but knows he can't. Also WHAT A FLOP manu had, I hope someone has a video of that. The mason one was great, but MANU flopped to the basket right as he was leaving the ground and wasn't touched. It wasn't even like he flopped after it looked like or had contact he just jumped sideways and landed on his back and made the basket and the refs actually called that? wow.

Blogger Andrei said...
A little man love submission. Perhaps this can replace his evil deed for the day. http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08vqelI2VN2e1/610x.jpg

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or a more recent example in Manu Ginobli.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Check out Nate Robinson with the ricockulous block on Javaris Crittenton at about the 22sec mark.

He looks like Luigi from SMB 2 with his little legs flailing away during a super-human jump/flight.

This guy is without a doubt the most athletic player pound for pound ever to play this game. If he was 6'7" with these hops he would be unstoppable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
At first I was worried when I saw your sarcasm dripping all over the place - my shots aren't up do date. As it turns out though, that post-NBA drip watered the tree that bore the fruit of....FELTON SPENCER!

Hey - I think you're due for a banner revitalization. Run a contest or something - winner gets your jumping shoes that are sitting in the corner of your garage...

Blogger DDC said...
I'm a realistic Spurs fan here, and it's true they don't have it. Even if they were miraculously able to win the West, I don't see them beating Cleveland/Boston/Orlando in the Finals. They get KILLED on the boards, especially when attempting to get caroms on the defensive end and they can't get stops at key moments like 2-3 season ago. Another thing I've noticed is a trend with the stars of today making excuses more often. You have LeBron explaning his crab travel...I mean dribble. Then you have Wade talking about how he missed shots last night because he was getting hit every shot. Then there's Me-Mac talking about not having his legs in the final minutes of their playoff series against the Jazz last season. This has to be unprecedented. I realize there is more media coverage nowadays, but I don't ever recall Magic/Bird or even guys like Clyde Drexler making comments of that ilk. I wish these guys would go back to that type of mentality.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
14,000 points per 40 minutes. Not a bad performance at all.

I don't get how you can call Fisher's foul bogus. He ran right into Mason's legs while Mason was in midair. He basically undercut him and knocked him to the ground. The Ariza travel call is definitely more iffy, but I can see how at full speed they could make the travel call. Even in slow mo, I thought he might have taken three steps.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How is it possible for Jamal Crawford to play 60 minutes and not record a single foul? Does he stand off to the side on defense or something?

Blogger Jon said...
How come no one is talking.. anywhere, that it took a good 6-7 seconds for Matt Bonner to even get the ball to Mason for the game winner?

I'm a Lakers fan, and I'm, believe it or not, not here to bitch about the loss. the Lakers deserved to lose that game because they didn't play defense consistently and were outscored 19-10 in the last minute of each quarter totaled.

what I am saying though, is that the missed call should at least be mentioned/acknowledged by someone

Blogger lordhenry said...
I hope the spurs hold this victory close to their heart, they need it. Hope some of L.A.'s people get healthy soon, last I heard we were supposed to be playing for a championship this year, or something.

Luke Walton wakes up to find himself tied to his bed with Sith Lord Mamba standing over him. There is a large board between his ankles and Kobe has a sledgehammer next to his right ankle. "I just wanted to ask you, Luke," says the Sith Lord, " DO YOU HAVE ANKLE INSURANCE?"

Blogger Mintz... said...
@ lordhenry

that kobe ankle breaking video is hilarious...

On a less funny note... I'm outraged at the travel call on Ariza.... I'm not a Lakers fan, but that was one of the worst calls I've ever seen. Not only was Ariza's move completely legal, but he was quite obviously bumped by Ginobili on a shot attempt. I don't care how many seconds are left on the shot clock... a foul is a foul.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful, I sincerely didn't write my comments to make you write a retraction. Even if you end up being wrong, you did a honest analysis of the team as you see it. And lots of people agree with you. There's certainly nothing to need to retract. (I think my opinion is more far-fetched by default, because I think a team will win it all, and you just say a team won't win it all. If that made sense.)

Maybe I sound like I'm positive the Spurs will win the championship. I _hope_ it happens, and think we're one of the best teams, and have a chance. But right now, we're not the best.

That said, the Cavs just lost to the Bulls, proving they're still very much dependent on LeBron. Is that not a possible weakness during the playoffs? Or the Magic's lack of bench? Or the Celtic's, for that matter? To me the Lakers are the team to beat this year so far. But they're not impossible to defeat - unless Kobe goes nova.

I want to get mad at all the Spurs-bashing in these comments, but somehow I can't. I have a feeling I'm going to miss this when Duncan retires and we no longer matter.

Oh, and Wild Yams, why o why would anyone want to be a realistic fan? Where's the fun in that? I can enjoy the season because I always think we have a puncher's chance of winning the ring, year after year. Maybe it's the decade of good basketball we've enjoyed in SA, I don't know. But even if we lose this year I'll immediately delude myself into thinking that we'll rebuild in 2010 and come back for more, and continue rooting for them.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
DDC: I like those points. It makes me happy that my favorite young players are Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

Also, Me-Mac is now an essential part of my basketball lexicon.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It was a bad day to be Grant Hill.


Here is a good example of the "crab flop". A 250 pound crab vs. a 190 pound shrimp. Watch...


Blogger AnacondaHL said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Spurs never ever play well until after the all star break and even then, they kick it up a whole gear come playoff time. SO many people thought SA would be out in round 1 against the Suns last year since they got Shaq to match up with Duncan. And let's face it, SA was getting their butts kicked by ever pklayoff time towards the end of the seasont hat they had virtually no momentum whatsoever. At the end of the day had Ginobili not had a bum ankle who knows how far they would've gotten? The Lakers had to come back from 20 point and 17 point deficits as well as win game 4 on an iffy no call (what goes around comes around).

If the playoffs were to start today would the Spurs go all the way? Hell no, the defense is mediocre at best (even Ginobili said he was happy to get the win mostly because the Spurs defense was so terrible) but you really don't think Pop will have these guys prepared come April and May? That's why he's such a great coach. I still think the Lakers will come out of the West, but make no mistake about it, if anyone is gonna knock them off in the West it'll be the Spurs.