The NBA scheduling geniuses:
Last night was the kind of evening I like to refer to as scalper's night off
. I mean, Clippers-Spurs and Knicks-Mavericks? Those are two games so boring that TNT refused to show them. Okay, I'm not sure that's why the games weren't on National TV. And I don't care. These games sucked all the hope and motivation out of me.The New York Knicks:
They had a decent chance to steal this one, but their offense disappeared in the second half. Which is a problem when offense is all you have. Their field goal accuracy dropped to 25 percent in the fourth quarter and they missed their last six shots. They also committed 19 turnovers and had only 15 assists. But hey, at least they aren't the Clippers.Nate Robinson:
The wee tiny man scored only 9 points on 16 shot attempts and hit only 1 of his 9 three-point attempts. In fact, he's 3-of-30 from downtown over the last five games. But keep shooting, Nate! The Law of Large Numbers states that they'll start dropping...eventually...or not.Dirk Nowitzki:
The Clanking Dutchman scored only 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting, which included an 0-fer on his last seven field goal attempts. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle claimed Dirk was playing with a temperature of 101 degrees...despite the fact that it was clear Dirk was ice cold. Nowitzki, for his part, said he had a "head cold" and said his poor shooting was the result of the Knicks' double-teaming defense. Hah! Like the Knicks play defense. Said Nowitzki: "When it was winning time, I didn't have a great rhythm shooting the ball. I was able to get some assists when they double-teamed me." True. He finished with 7 dimes, which tied Chris Duhon for the game-high.Jason Kidd, quote machine:
According to the AP game recap
: "With Dirk Nowitzki not feeling his best, Jason Kidd did something Thursday night that he prefers to leave to others. The pass-first point guard elected to shoot the basketball." Thus Kidd tied Josh Howard for the team-high in field goal attempts (15) and hit a couple big shots in the fourth that helped the Mavs hold off the Knicks. And this is what Kidd had to say about it after the game: "You have to erase your floppy disc and become a shooter." Uh huh. For the record, Kidd currently ranks 7th all-time in three-point field goals attempts
with 4174. In fact, he also ranks 80th all-time in field goal attempts
(13258). Don't think 80th sounds that high? Well, it puts him ahead of a lot of noteworthy scorers/gunners, including guys like Chris Mullin (83rd), Stephon Marbury (85th), James Worthy (86th), Dirk Nowitzki (87th), Tim Hardaway (90th), Paul Pierce (91st) Jerry Stackhouse (99th), Antawn Jamison (103rd), Rasheed Wallace (110th), Kevin McHale (111th), Chuck Person (113th)...need I go on? So really, Jason, I don't think any floppy disk adjustments were necessary.The Los Angeles Clippers:
The Clips are still without Baron Davis (bruised tailbone), Chris Kaman (sore left foot), Zach Randolph (bruised left knee), Ricky Davis (serving a five-game suspension) and Mike Taylor (broken right thumb). So here's the question: If they weren't any good WITH those guys, how bad d'you suppose they are WITHOUT them? And here's the answer: Their loss to the Spurs last night was their ninth straight. The Spurs shot 51 percent and led by as many as 24 before settling for a 22-point win...despite the fact that Tim Duncan, like most other NBA fans, took the night off (8 points, 4-for-11). Believe it or not, the Clippers actually built a 9-point lead in the second quarter before -- in typical Clipper fashion -- things fell apart. Said Clippers prisoner Eric Gordon: "In the second half, they hit everything they shot. We have to change the way we play our game, like playing better on defense." Yeah. For starters. But not all was dark and dreary. Cheikh Samb scored his first basket as a Clipper! Oh, you hadn't heard about that trade
? I'm not surprised.
You know how bad the Clippers are? According to their team report
: "Their current nine-game losing streak is the longest skid by any NBA team this season." But here's the thing: The Timberwolves suffered a 13-game losing streak
from November 29th to December 23rd. Even the Clippers' team report sucks! It also stated that the Clippers may be interested in Darius Miles. Which would be perfect, if you think about it, because then the Suck Cycle would be complete. Of course, the Clips might be in trouble if they try it, because of...The Portland Trail Blazers:
Blazers president Larry Miller recently sent the following email
to representatives of every NBA team: "The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct by a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers contract rights and perspective economic opportunities. Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation."
Don't know what all the hubub is about? Well, it breaks down like this: Originally, everybody thought that Miles had to appear in 10 regular-season or postseason games for the $18 million Portland still owes him to get dumped back onto the Blazers' payroll. However, the league office ruled that the six preseason games that Miles played for the Boston Celtics counts toward the 10. Before the Memphis Grizzlies waived him, Miles played two regular-season games for them that raised his season total to eight. So he could be one 10-day contract and a couple trillions away from crushing the Blazers' hopes of landing a big time free agent next summer AND pushing them into the luxery tax bracket.
The Blazers are trying to both play the role of victim and bully teams into night signing Miles, but the real victim here is Darius. He just wants to continue his career. And the Blazers -- who chose to trade of their own free will -- are trying to stop him for their own selfish reasons. As one Eastern Conference executive said: "The point that everybody is missing is that this isn't about Portland's salary cap. It's about whether this guy [Miles] is healthy enough to play or not. He obviously is healthy enough to play. It doesn't matter how good he plays. He can still play, and they said he couldn't. Portland received benefits when [Miles'] injury was ruled career-ending. If he can play, they don't deserve to have those benefits." Exactly.Sasha Vujacic:
I found this on the OC Register
via Ball Don't Lie
. It's a day late, but I feel it needs to be reported here: "Sasha Vujacic has a new high-profile nemesis: Chris Paul. Vujacic's unique resume that already featured being choked by Carmelo Anthony now includes being called by Paul a five-letter word that starts with 'B.' That's what Vujacic said Paul called him late in New Orleans’ victory over the Lakers on Tuesday night. 'He called me names on numerous occasions,' Vujacic said. For yelling back at Paul -- even though Vujacic insisted all he said was: 'What did you say?!' -- Vujacic got a technical foul from referee Joey Crawford. (Then Vujacic got an earful from teammate Kobe Bryant, who was more than a little peeved that this game in which he was so absurdly hot with his shot was slipping away.)"
Not exactly surprising. Here's a brief recap of Sasha's colorful history. 'Melo choked him down
. Baron Davis gave him a shove
. Renaldo Balkman elbowed him in the face
. Rafer Alston went out of his way to humilate The Machine
. And these incidents aren't limited to opponents. Kobe Bryant once elbowed him on the bench
and Andrew Bynum told him off during a preseason game
. Oh, and let's not forget this season's little tiff with Trevor Ariza
. My skin crawls every time I have to watch this guy play. Which, as far as I can tell, is true of just about everybody who isn't a Lakers fan. Let's face it, Sasha's the most annoying guy in the NBA right now. With the potential, I might add, to go down as an all-timer.
Labels: Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs