The Cleveland Craboilers: The good news is the Crabs kept pace with the Celtics, Magic and Lakers last night. The bad news is they did so by losing to the Pacers in Indiana, just as Boston, Orlando and LA have earlier this year. King Crab LeBron turned in the kind of performance that normally raises the ire of journalists and fans alike when Kobe has them: lots of points for himself, few for his teammates, few assists, and a loss to boot. Tough to chide LeBron for this one though: 47 points on only 21 shots and 13-14 from the line; but the rest of his team was downright putrid, and when you've got a reputation for being one of the best in the business at making your teammates better... well, scoring half your team's points in a loss doesn't speak too well on that front. Speaking of LeBron's fellow Crabs...

Mo Williams: If Mo wanted to show Stern that he finally made the right call by putting him on the All-Star roster (replacing Chris Bosh), performances like this are not the best way to do so. 15 points on 18 shots in 42 minutes is pretty bad, but so is zero assists. Especially when you play point guard. And your team's leading scorer just scored 47 points. Say it ain't so, Mo! Come on, LeBron goes off for 47 and the team's PG can't get him the ball for even one of those baskets? Luckily the Crabs' backup point guard, Boobie Gibson, came to the rescue by dishing out one assist in 26 minutes of PT (hey, I told you LeBron's teammates were putrid last night). You know something's amiss when Ben Wallace has more assists than your first and second string point guards combined.

Danny Granger: Indiana's All-Star representative didn't do much to quiet the critics of great players from teams with bad records being selected. Granger turned in a Mo-esque performance with 16 points on 18 shots (though he did have one assist!); but unlike Mo, Granger let his defensive assignment (LeBron) lay tire tracks all over his squad. Granger also almost caused this one to go into OT, except, well, see for yourselves:

I dunno, maybe two wrongs make a right after all? Next time ref, just let all that nonsense go. Nobody likes to see two dubious calls made in the last .4 of a game like that.

Update! LeBron, Mike Brown and the Media: Basketbawful here. I just have to say that the Cavs-Pacers game really should have been decided by T.J. Ford's 17-footer with 0.8 seconds left. But King Crab got a classic superstar call with 0.4 seconds left. The refs, apparently suffocating in their own guilt, found one last blast of wind and whistled James for the exact same foul with 0.1 seconds left. Both calls were ridiculous and basically canceled each other out. But that didn't keep LeBron from stomping off toward the locker room afterward, nor did it keep Cavs coach Mike Brown from freaking the hell out: "That last call, on the run, is the worst call that I have ever been a part of. I cannot imagine another worse call than that. It was an awful call and for him to take away a basketball game from a team with .4 seconds on the clock is irresponsible." You know, Mike, I bet the Pacers were feeling the same way before the makeup call.

But Brown wasn't done: "I don't care if I get fined. It is what it is. I saw the two plays; just a bad call determined the outcome of that game. If they want to fine me for telling the truth, fine me. This isn't me. I never do this." Now, me, I love when coaches blow up and then claim they never do it...WHILE THEY'RE DOING IT. Oh, one last tidbit from Brown: "It was predetermined from the call that was made at the other end of the floor, and it is very unfortunate. We got the game taken away from us. Absolutely horrible."

LeBron wasn't quite as irate as Brown, but his view was Nixonian: I didn't do it. "The last call against me was not questionable at all. No contact was made. The pass was short. You couldn't go to the rim. I was able to get a hand on it." What's worse, even the Associated Press was whining on King Crab's behalf: "But NBA stars, especially those in the realm of James, aren't supposed to be treated this way --especially in a game they've dominated." Oh, well gosh, if a superstar dominates, they certainly shouldn't be victimized by a call. They should only DO the victimizing. It's only fair. Except it's not. (By the way, here's a special wag of the finger to Michael Marot, the AP writer who penned that line. Isn't the AP supposed to limit the expression of opinions? Especially when those opinions are "Superstars should always win, especially when they're playing well"?)

Update! Via TrueHoop: Remember a few years ago when the Crabs lost a heated playoff game to the Pistons after LeBron didn't get a favorable whistle in the final seconds? The whole team was pissed, but they got a grip and refused to complain afterward. Said Brown: "We're a no excuses team." So what changed? They're now an "excuses team"?

The Washington Wizards Generals: The race to the bottom continues! Atlanta was fresh off of being blown out by the Clippers (yes you read that right) last weekend, and apparently wanted to show the world who really belongs down there in the dungeon with The Other LA Team: your Washington Wizards. The game flirted with being close for the first 13 minutes before the Wiz decided to end the suspense and go 8 minutes while scoring only 4 points. While that's generally a poor recipe for victory to begin with, it doesn't help if you start such a stretch already down 8 points. By the time the Wiz got their offense back in gear they were now down 20, and that was all she wrote. But look on the bright side: from that point forward they were only outscored by one point the rest of the way.

Dominic McGuire, Darius Songalia & Mike James: There's a lot of blame to go around for this one, but I've only got so many fingers, and three of them are pointed at this trio. Let me just say this: it's never a good sign when three of your starters combine for only 9 points. Nuff said.

The Miami Heat: Wade's Warriors must have felt like Sisyphus out there last night. Playing at home, they dug themselves a big hole to crawl out of going down by 20 just before the half, then valiantly fought back to cut the deficit to only 4 with 10 minutes to go in the game... before letting the Nuggets go on an 23-10 run to end it. This was the Nuggets' 4th straight win in Miami and 8th straight win over the Heat.

Miami's frontcourt: Miami's power forwards and centers, specifically Udonis Haslem, Jamal Magliore, Joel Anthony and Michael Beasley, managed to combine for this anemic statline: 13 points and 13 rebounds. Kenyon "Neck Lips" Martin managed to outplay these four players all by himself, going for 18 & 10. Miami's starting backcourt of point guard Mario Chalmers and shooting guard Dwyane Wade outrebounded this quartet of ineptitude 14-13.

The Denver Nuggets: Despite what I just wrote above, Denver was outrebounded on the night by Miami.

The New Jersey Nets: They lost to the Spurs, which is to be expected, but they get a mention here for letting The Red Rocket, Matt Bonner, light them up for 22 points on 10 shots. In a game where Manu Ginobili only goes for 9 points while Vince Carter and Devin Harris combine for 46, that's a game you've got to win. New Jersey, however, instead decided to lose at home by 15. The loss allowed the Spurs win to stretch their win streak over the Nets to 13 straight.

The Raptors - Timberwolves game: This entire game gets a mention today because even though a week ago this was already shaping up to be an abysmal matchup, it was even worse without Al Jefferson and Chris Bosh. The only noteworthy things about this game were that Jake Voskuhl had himself a Voskuhl and that Rashad McCants missed the game with flu-like symptoms. Of far lesser importance, the Craptors won.

The Detroit Pistons: I have a feeling this game got some more in-depth coverage elsewhere (hint hint), but this was a game which probably felt all too familiar to Rasheed Wallace. Just like in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals, Rasheed saw his team give up a 15 point 4th quarter lead and lose on the road, calling into question whether both teams in fact did play hard. It was a great night for the Bulls faithful who were there to honor Johnny "Red" Kerr, as the game had appearances by Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and none other than Barack Obama (via satellite) to pay tribute to the Bulls' first coach. The refs even chipped in with a little home cookin', giving Chicago 16 more free throws. It would have been a perfect night for the Bulls except for...

Derrick Rose: Derrick Rose was great down the stretch, scoring buckets and dishing to Ben Gordon for the game winning three. But on the Pistons' last chance on offense he ran into a hard pick set by Antonio McDyess, and his reaction was to start crying like a little girl with a skinned knee. This prompted Chris Webber back in the studio to mock him mercilessly for about three minutes straight. It was definitely the highlight of the night for anyone watching NBATV's Fan Night.

The Sacramento Kings: Honestly, if you're still expecting much out of the Kings, you've probably been in a coma for the last 7 years. The Kings didn't get those 42 losses for nothing, you know. Maybe Sacramento has already given up on the season and have entered the early stages of tanking. If so that would explain the complete lack of defense they showed last night. 118 points for the Mavs on 55% shooting and getting outrebounded 47-28 doesn't show many signs of effort. Neither does allowing Jason Kidd to singlehandedly almost match your whole team's assist total (Kidd - 12, Kings - 15).

Kevin Martin: Remember preseason how there were a lot of people predicting that this would be Kevin Martin's breakout year, and this would be the year he'd finally show people what a great, efficient scorer he was now that he didn't have to share the ball with Ron Artest? Seems like a long, long time ago, and nights like this are why. 18 points on 15 shots while letting Antoine Wright go off for 23 points on 14 shots is not a good night, especially for your team's MVP.

The Golden State Warriors' "defense": Where to begin? Two Knicks starters only combined for 12 points, but NY still managed to score 127 points. I'm guessing the fact that they shot 54% from the field had something to do with that. The 51 bench points probably contributed a smidge or two as well. So it looks like Mike D'Antoni's boys executed the one part of the game he cares about. Now, how'd they do on the other end of the floor...

The New York Knicks "defense": Not so good. Anytime you give up 144 points you're just doing yourself a disservice. 55% shooting, including 55% from 3-pt range for the Warriors, and scoring 120 points in the 1st, 3rd and 4th quarters combined tells you all you need to know about this game. With defensive dunces Mike D'Antoni and Don Nelson squaring off, what did you expect?

The Oklahoma City Thunder: The news that their new mascot is a bison was trumped today by the outbreak of tornadoes in the OKC area. Luckily for we basketball fans this game was played in LA, but like the LA announcers said last night "there's a reason the national weather service has its headquarters in Oklahoma City". Oh yeah, they also got beat by the Lakers. Who could have seen that coming?

The LA Lakers: Coming off their big road trip and wins in Boston and Cleveland, it's not unexpected that they seemingly weren't too up for a game back in Staples against one of the league's worst teams; but when you're playing a team that has a road record of 3-20 and you've got the best record in the league, it's pretty bad if the game is still in doubt with under a minute to play. Especially when you've got a game the next night in Utah. The All-Star break is a couple days away, why not just rest up then?

Update! Lacktion report: And now, Chris's unending lacktion quest continues...
Cavs-Pacers: Darnell Jackson has proven an effective replacement lacktator in Tarence Kinsey's absence, crawling his way to a 58 second Mario (with one brick) for the Crabs!

Spurs-Nets: Chris Douglas-Roberts' push to be an All-Lacktion starter continues, after he passively procured a 1.45 trillion for New Jersey. Maurice Ager has been learning well from Chris's example, using the same 1:27 of floor time to take a foul and miss a shot for a suck differential of +2.

Nuggets-Heat: Yakhouba Diawara flamed out with a rebound that ruined a potential two trillion, but lucky for him, fellow lacktator James Jones got warm and baked some masonry for +1 in 7:13. That wasn't Miami's only milestone of mediocrity, as Joel Anthony earned a slight Voskuhl of 6:5 (fouling and giving the ball away three times each, against five rebounds and a brick) in a full 35:39 of action!

Raptors-Wolves: Jake Voskuhl was pegged as a likely non-factor in the Battle of 34-Loss Teams, and he delivered on that meager promise for the Craptors, giving Minnesota the ball once and fouling once as well for a +2 in a forgettable 4:21. Not to mention that a lack of shot attempts earned him his namesake stat -- a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 2:0.

Pistons-Bulls: Walter Herrmann barely got time to press the "Start" button on his night before sitting back down, generating a 15 second Mario for the Pistons.

Kings-Mavs: At halftime, this one looked competitive -- but Suckramento's snoozers never woke up for the 3rd quarter, leading to an all-too-common blowout loss at Dallas. Devean George got to play the part of human victory cigar with a +3 in 3:50 that he secured with a miss from downtown and two fouls.

Knicks-Warriors: When Nellieball collides with Mike 'antoni's coaching, hand-in-the-face work to protect one's own halfcourt gets supplanted with the inevitable fan facepalms, after nary an attempt to make a defensive stop. Yet in this extreme display of offense -- 271 points scored in only four quarters! -- Golden State pulled ahead enough to bring in their human victory cigar, Anthony Morrow. Morrow dropped a 51 second Mario on the floor, the only player who did not contribute at all to those 271 points!

Thunder-Lakers: 6:06 of playing time helped Chris Mihm earned a bit of a Voskuhl of 3:2, with three fouls against two rebounds and two missed shots.
Kobe Bryant: Lord Mamba, well known for endlessly practicing all of his moves in the gym before he uses them on the court, revealed that he uses Luke Walton to try out all of his kung fu moves in practice first before employing them in the games.

About the author: Wild Yams is a frequent reader of Basketbawful and many other basketball blogs, and is just as much a pain in the ass here as he is on those other sites. Like LeBron James, he likes to refer to himself in the third person, but unlike LeBron James, he has not mastered the crab dribble.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear ET,
I'm a total aficionado of your blog man, but the fact that you call last night's Laker-game "still in doubt with under a minute to play" is a joke and just shows that you didn't bother watching it. And of course, your endless disdain for the franchise. In reality, 'Klahoma was done midway through the fourth.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dear Anonymous -- First off, this is not Evil Ted's blog, it's my blog. Evil Ted only writes the occasional post here or there. Second, this post was not written by me or Evil Ted, it was written by Wild Yams, who, as it happens, is a big Lakers fan. So, basically, you were wrong on all counts. Just FYI.

Blogger Cortez said...
"...but unlike LeBron James, he has not mastered the crab dribble."

No worries, he hasn't mastered it either!

Blogger chris said...
So according to the Associated Press, once a superstar dominates a game, all rules should stop applying to him? That's a new one to me. Someone should've told Wilt this at Hershey in 1962 so that he could've just crab dribbled his way to 100 points sooner, instead of having to contend with the Knicks fouling him late to slow the onslaught down.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you obviously didn't watch the laker game, only the final score was in doubt, lakers had it from the beginning of the 4th quarter.

Blogger Brandon said...
Isn't the AP supposed to limit the expression of opinions?

They're supposed to, yes. And they rarely do. It's one of my pet peeves. I'm a journalist, and while it can be boring to just report the facts and avoid interjecting your own spin on things, it's part of the job description.

I brought this up in the comments of a post of yours from last summer. Can't hardly trust the AP to give an unbiased report anymore.

Blogger chris said...
As for Suckramento's terrible performance at American Airlines Center...I saw most of the second quarter while at my favorite restaurant here in the state capital, and they looked like they were rebounding well, capializaing on chances, even taking a lead at one point after a 9-0 run.

Then they let the Mavs go on a 9-0 run of their own and I don't think the purple props ever were in front again. I get home and see House Party Live and the common complaint was, gee, "poor rebounding." Sheesh, does this team have a faulty on/off switch that activates after only 24 minutes?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
For the record, yes, I watched the entire Laker game last night. Now, granted, it would have taken a couple clutch shots by the Thunder and either a turnover or some missed free throws by the Lakers for OKC to win that game, but the fact is the Thunder trailed by only 5 with less than a minute to play, so like it or not, that's technically "in doubt". If it wasn't in doubt, how come the Lakers played the last five minutes of the game with Kobe, Odom, Gasol, Fisher and Ariza out there when they've got another game tonight in Utah? Seems like that would have been a good time to rest the starters, wouldn't you say? Be honest: if you're a Laker fan, were you really pleased with their performance last night? I did say it's somewhat understandable why they wouldn't be that up for the game, but they pretty clearly mailed it in.

I will say this: I'm noticing that in games at home against teams that are supposed to be pretty poor, Phil Jackson goes to the end of his bench a lot in the first half. It seems to me like he'd prefer the end of the bench guys get in the game while it still matters rather than wait till the Lakers run it up and then just put them in for garbage time. This probably is smart for the long term in getting those guys ready in case he needs them later, but it is a gamble, and can end up risking the outcome of the game. Last night Phil had to put his starters back in for the last 5 minutes of the game because LA simply had not put the game away, and now they'll be a little more tired tonight in Utah. Phil probably knows what he's doing though.

Blogger chris said...
LOL, DJ Gallo writes a great satire of NBA trade philosophy which makes me think "Cheikh Samb" -

Salary cap space expected to be dealt before NBA trade deadline

The NBA’s trade deadline is next Thursday and while big names like Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion could be dealt, most teams have set their sights on the biggest potential prize on the market: cap space.
“There are a lot of great players out there, but none of them are as good as cap space,” says Chicago Bulls general manager John Paxson. “Cap space is something we can build around for the future. It’s a once in a generation thing. I’ve always felt the key to a championship is a good floor general, defense, rebounding and then, most of all, cap space.”
Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo says he would love to hold a press conference to introduce cap space to his team’s fans.
“Cap space gives hope,” says Colangelo. “I’ve already had our marketing department brainstorm some ideas touting cap space to spur ticket sales next season. But it’s not too hard to sell cap space to savvy fans. It looks amazing out on the court.”

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Nice try, Yams. Admit it: You're just a hater. The only way that game would have been "in doubt" was if the Thunder had been UP five points, and the only "doubt" would have been how Kobe would have scored the six points necessary to win. I'm thinking a crazy reverse layup, two FTs and a dagger three.


(I had way too much fun writing this comment.)

By the way, I was hoping, nay praying that Rose had a broken nose or maybe a fractured zygomatic arch the way he was carrying on. I'm still hoping for some mild brain damage or something...just so he can save a little face.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Star treatment" aside, I think Lebron might have actually fouled Granger-- and Granger definitely didn't foul Bron. Don't get me wrong, the pass was to Granger was short, and if I'm the ref I'm making neither call. But if you look closely, Mr. Crabby definitely knocks into Granger. He's going for the ball, so, like, it's unclear whether it's a definite foul. But the call on Granger wasn't even debatable..

Everyone can agree that the Pacers deserved to win that. Except maybe Mike Brown. Oh, and AP.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
You got me nailed, Mr. Bawful :)

I really wish I'd recorded Chris Webber's reaction after the Bulls game ended, because it was priceless. You can see he's a big Detroit fan and doesn't like the Bulls, cause he just eviscerated Rose, doing a whole crying impression of him and blubbering for a good 2-3 minutes while Gary Payton almost fell out of his chair laughing. I waited for NBATV to replay it as they loop back around, but of course they sanitize the replays and removed all of that. I'm praying someone out there recorded it and put it up online.

Derrick Rose really should be embarrassed though. He was crying much, much harder than I've ever seen anyone cry in an NBA game before. He was crying like someone who'd just seen their whole family killed right in front of them or something; and then they showed the replay and he just ran into a hard pick, the kind of thing you see all the time. Better toughen up, rook.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Yams - See how much fun it is to deal with knee-jerk negative reactions to everything you say in a post, even when you're trying to be unbiased? Not so easy, is it... ;)

Brandon -

I was this close (I'm holding my thumb and forefinger a half-inch apart) to writing a follow-up about the lack of AP journalistic integrity in posting such a blatant (and bad) opinion in a story.

Instead of a news OUTLET (the Advocate) modifying an AP story (as I had written about before), in this case, the AP ITSELF was stating an opinion, which is far worse.

Upon further reflection, however, I decided that the line was most likely written with a tongue-in-cheek tone:

"But NBA stars, especially those in the realm of James, aren't supposed to be treated this way --especially in a game they've dominated."

This line came in the context of discussing Brown's and James's discontent with the call, and seemed to be more a comment on the expectations of those involved and watching NBA games. I think this writer meant something to the effect of: "Most people involved in a game where one NBA star dominates entirely would not expect a call to go against said star in the last second of a game."

Is it appropriate for an AP writer to write tongue-in-cheek like that? Questionable. I think the sentence could have been written more clearly, with less room for interpration - which is what you'd expect from the organization that provides "the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed."

Blogger Brandon said...
Fair enough, E.T. I didn't pick up on the TIC-ity (if it's there), but like you said, the writer is treading a dangerous line either way.

I recommend you start watching AP articles in general for examples of opinion being written in. It happens quite often.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: I guess the All-Star Game needs a new contest, a crying match between Rose and Big Baby? :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Are you all really contending that LeBron James wasn't fouled on that play? He jumps and doesn't even make it up to the rim and somehow ends up 3 feet under the basket. Do you think his aim is that bad? I think the ref pretty much had to make that call.

The play at the other end is similar but not the same. Granger's trajectory on his jump is much more lateral than James's, so that their jumps are in the same direction. Granger also lands 3 feet inbounds. It does look like there is contact, though.

I just don't think the situations are the same. At both ends, James establishes a superior position. When James is on offense, Granger contacts him side-to-side to push him out of bounds. When James is on defense, he has box out position and intercepts the pass without undercutting Granger.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Look (diatribe warning) - modern media has corrupted the intent of media. Simply put, they're not objective anymore because objective doesn't sell. Americans WANT drama, strife, opinion, bullshit. Its what we pay for.

Expecting objective reporting and coverage is just not realistic. It's also why I think the press either need to be removed from the constitution as the only private enterprise. Or, if you choose to keep them in, make them earn it - devote *unedited* airtime/# of inches of print to each legal candidate free of charge. I can't even watch caucases/state of the union addresses etc. anymore because I get bullshit analysis from some douchebag in a blue suit with a red tie. (Or douchebaguette in similar female suit)

Yams - nice post. Welcome to the hard-work world of blogging post. You did great.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
DKH -- It really depends on what you call a foul. Body contact goes uncalled all the time in the NBA. Let me stress this: ALL THE TIME. Particularly in end-game situations. Just ask Brent Barry, who got tackled at the buzzer by Derek Fisher in last year's Western Conference Finals but didn't get the whistle.

But if the officials are going to make the decision to call body contact, fine. Just make it consistent. Which they did when the made the same call the other way. Granger bodied LeBron, and then LeBron bodied Granger. Trajectory doesn't matter. Body contact with an offensive player on a shot attempt is either a foul or it's not. So they are both fouls, or they are both not fouls.

Furthermore, you really need to go back and rewatch the video. It's even inserted in the post. When King Crab was fouled, he landed on the out-of-bounds line and stumbled further out of bounds. When Granger was fouled, he landed just inside the out of bounds like and stumbled (as 'Bron fell on him) further out of bounds. There's little difference in the calls. As I say, they're either both legit or both bogus. Period.

Blogger JMizz said...
''I thought the one call on me against Granger was questionable. There was definitely some contact, enough for a whistle to be blown,'' James said. ''It could have went both ways. The last call against me? Not questionable at all. No contact was made. The pass was short, he couldn't get to the rim. It's tough, especially for me, being the competitor I am. It hurts. It hurts a lot.''

Manufactured phony this guy is. What, the loss is worse for him? No real competitor needs to say they are such a great competitor.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - The difference is that I actually am unbiased! Just kidding :) It is funny to be called out for my clear anti-Laker bias like that though.

Chris - Trust me, Rose would win a crying match with Big Baby, hands down. Big Baby just had the tears coming down his cheek and a slight quiver to his lip, but Rose was full on bawling. I thought he was about to turn his head to the rafters and yell out "Why?!!!!" the way he was boo-hooing.

BadDave - Thank you, it's definitely not as easy as it looks. I'm in awe that Mr. Bawful is able to do this day after day.

Finally, on LeBron's latest Crab Drama, I think it's pretty obvious that the same call was made on both ends; so whether you thought the calls were ticky-tac or were legit, it doesn't really matter because they evened out. If Granger hadn't been called for that first foul, he would have swatted the lob attempt away and the game would have been over with the Pacers winning, so in the end the two calls didn't effect the outcome other than to make it a one point Pacer win rather than a two point Pacer win.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The initial Anonymous again

@ Yams: I agree that the game was technically not closed out, but dudes were merely playin for free tacos for the last three minutes - that was my impression at least. Therefore, I was also surprised that Jackson had that many starters in so late. To me, at no point did Oklahoma seem to be able (nor, and worse, willing) to turn this one around and the Lakers just looked bored. So I stick to my point - the mere stats don't tell the story here.

@ Basketbawful:
1. Sorry I got your alias wrong.
2. Didn't mean to be hating. But last night's game in which you saw a Laker-team that obviously didn't give 100% was an example of finesse and by no means deserved a WotN-mention: Coming from a long road trip with a tough game ahead in Utah they controlled the game throughout without needlessly burning themselves out. Efficient play is also an ingredient to a great team.
3. Your response to Yams' reply was right on the money. Laker-fans, me included, are so used to winning they won't consider a game "in doubt" even if they're down by 4 with two-tenth of a second to play. I genuinely apologize to all Pacer-fans for this blatant arrogance - but man, we can't help it.

PS: By the way, Kobe did indeed have a reverse layup in the last minutes.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Crap I can't find any footage of Rose crying! I need to see this! Somebody out there post it on YouTube, for the love of GOD!

Blogger Unknown said...
I'm sorry, I wasn't able to watch any basketball last night because ****ing ESPN only had A-Fraud's face on 24/7. Good lord, can baseball be filled with more whiners? Honestly, if Shaq came out and said "Yes, it's true, I, The Big Abacactus did steriods" and ended his confession with "CAN YOU DIG IIIITTTT?", nobody would care.

Blogger David said...
Wild Yams: "King Crab LeBron turned in the kind of performance that normally raises the ire of journalists and fans alike when Kobe has them: lots of points for himself, few for his teammates, few assists, and a loss to boot. Tough to chide LeBron for this one though: 47 points on only 21 shots and 13-14 from the line; but the rest of his team was downright putrid, and when you've got a reputation for being one of the best in the business at making your teammates better... well, scoring half your team's points in a loss doesn't speak too well on that front."

First, I wouldn't describe 4 assists for a small forward as "few assists," especially in a game in which he scored 47 points.

Secondly, and more importantly, why was 70% of the entry supposedly about the Craboliers actually about how unfair everyone is towards Kobe?

As for the Lebron-Granger controversy:

In the second to last play, Granger bodychecked Lebron. Note how Lebron changed direction mid-air at 5 seconds.

In the last play, Lebron knocked the ball out of Granger's hands with minimal contact, then stumbled back without touching Granger again. If you watch the highlights (, as opposed to the low quality youtube version, the minimal contact is more obvious.

Both players fell out of bounds, but for different reasons. Lebron would have landed inside, but Granger bodychecked him. Granger, on the other hand, was curling around a screen, and running towards the basket and then tried to outjump Lebron. He was off balance when he landed. Lebron didn't even touch Granger after landing.

While each player made bodily contact with the other, Granger got Lebron a lot harder than the other way around. Granger gathered himself and rammed his hip into Lebron, and then Lebron brushed into Granger as he was knocking the ball out of Granger's hand.

Wild Yams: "I think it's pretty obvious that the same call was made on both ends"
Yes it is, but it's not obvious to some people, myself and DHK included, that the same call should have been made. Is all bodily contact the same or are barely touching someone and bodychecking him not equally deserving of a foul call?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Basketbawful: I think that analysis of the calls is fine, and it's probably how the ref looked at it, and I'll buy that they were equivalent fouls. However, I also think that LeBron had the superior position in both instances (a factor I consider important but maybe others don't), so I don't think his stance on the matter is unjustified.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
David -- I don't agree that LeBron "knocked the ball out of Granger's hand with minimal contact." It was significant contact, as both players were airborne, and it cheated Granger of the chance to catch the ball. Granger, since he curled around the screen, got to the spot first, so 'Bron jumping into him and causing the contact, however minimal you believe it was, affected the play and was a legit foul. I've seen calls made with less contact.

DKH -- But see, I don't agree that LeBron had position when he fouled Granger. Danny curled around the screen and got their first, while LeBron, playing catchup, jumped up and into him as the ball was arriving.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
David - I wrote that because I think it's valid. Everyone loves to compare LeBron and Kobe to one another, well let's look at last night's game. Ask yourself how you'd react if this happened to Kobe:

Following a nationally televised game where his team lost and he played really, really poorly, Kobe comes out in the next game and has a scoring explosion. Yet, at the same time he has half his average assists, none of his teammates have a good game, Kobe scores half his team's points, but Kobe commits a foul with .2 seconds left that costs his team the game.

You telling me that the media wouldn't roast him alive for that? Look at what Bill Simmons wrote about Kobe after last weeks game against the Knicks:

"Kobe's 61-point game represented the best and worst of basketball to me. His shotmaking was transcendent: a steady onslaught of jumpers, spin moves and fallaways made in his typically icy style, as efficient an outburst as you'll ever see. On the other hand, his teammates stood around and watched him like movie extras. In 37 minutes, Kobe took 31 shots and another 20 free throws. He finished with three assists and no boards. He may as well have been playing by himself on one of those Pop-A-Shot machines."

Keep in mind that was in a game where a teammate of his, Pau Gasol, had 31 points and 14 boards en route to being named the Western Conference Player of the Week, and it was a game in which the Lakers won rather handily. Is LeBron exempt from this type of criticism because even though his team lost, he had one more assist than Kobe did?

Note that I'm not saying that LeBron should be blamed for last night's loss at all. In fact I said it's tough to chide him for his play. All I was saying was that his game last night is exactly the kind of game that makes people spit all kind of venom in Kobe's direction when Kobe does it. If you don't think that LeBron deserves any criticism for last night's game, then I can only assume you don't think Kobe does either when he has similar games.

Blogger Ziller said...
Re: Kevin Martin --

On the season: 24 points/16 FGAs = 1.5 pt/FGA

Last night: 18 points/15 FGAs = 1.2 pt/FGA

Kobe on the season: 27.5 points/20.9 FGAs = 1.3 pt/FGA


Martin's awful shooting nights are almost as good as Kobe's average night.

Martin's defense is atrocious, his ball-handling suspect and his leadership abilities invisible. There are plenty of bad traits to point out before his shooting efficiency.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I know better than to argue with Ziller, especially when it comes to the Kings :) If it makes you feel better, I had to come up with something for that game, and figured Martin's lackluster performance was the easiest target. I don't feel too bad for picking him though, he was singled out by ESPN's Daily Dime as last night's worst player, saying:

"During one stretch against the Mavericks, he missed nine shots in a row, finishing just 4-for-15 from the floor. Sacramento had a +/- of -26 with him on the floor."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I've made this point before, and apparently Matt doesn't agree with me, but I agree with Ziller:

If you make 50% of your field goals, you will score 1pt/fga, assuming you don't take 3's and don't get fouled.

50% shooting is a damn good percentage, I don't care who you are. Nobody in the NBA will get blasted for hitting 50% of their shots. More than likely, you will receive high praise.

Therefore, if you score as many points as you have in shot attempts, I call that a good game. Yeah it's better if you score 20pts on 10fga, but that's an extraordinary game. If you go 5-10 from the field and score 10pts, if I'm your coach, I'm satisfied with your shooting, period. It's not GREAT, but it's certainly not BAWFUL, and therefore not deserving of mention on this website.

Here are some examples:

13/26, 30pts- Good game!
10/15, 25pts- Awesome game! Congrats!
4/8, 8pts- Satisfactory. You didn't hurt the team.
4/12, 10pts- Ugly game
4/16, 8pts- Bawful game. You deserve a mention on

So in the words of Bill Maher: NEW RULE: you can't harp on a player's shooting night if he has as many/more points as he has FGA. Is that so illogical? Who's with me?? We're going streaking through the quad!! Snoop-a-LOOP!!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Damn it, Yams. I let you do a WotN and you piss off Ziller. It's a good thing that the Celtics weren't playing, or Bill Simmons might be breathing down our necks. Wait, make that YOUR neck.

But come on, Z-Man, even you have to admit that Speedracer shooting a career-worst 41.8 percent from the field (if you throw out his 45-game rookie season, which I did) is something of a disappointment, all things considered. Plus, he's only hit 50 percent of his shots three times in the last 15 games. Yes, he's second in the league in FTAs (9.7 per) and he hits a good percentage of them, but I'm an old-school guy, and I really appreciate an efficient FGP.

He is shooting a career-best 42 percent from distance though! (Although you know what that says about his two-point shooting...)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear Basketbawful, Evil Ted, Wild Yams, etc.,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let the crab dribble/Craboliers/King Crab thing go. I'm not in any way defending Lebron or the Cavs. I thought it was funny as hell when it first happened too. But it was a couple weeks ago that I first noticed it wasn't even modest smirk-inducing funny anymore. Now it's starting to make me a little embarrassed for you guys.

There was a guy cruising around my neighborhood in Brooklyn last night trying to look badass and impress the ladies by blaring the "Crank Dat Soulja Boy" song and everyone he drove by just laughed at him because the song was so played out and had really always been kinda shitty to begin with. Please don't be that guy. Like Saturday Night Live, there was a time when it was quite funny, but that time has passed.

Anyway, other than that keep up the great work. Seriously, if I didn't generally think you guys did a fantastic job I wouldn't have bothered writing about this.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AK Dave -- In all fairness to me, and I'm not trying to throw Yams under the bus here, I typically only harp on FG shooting as a key item (as opposed to lumping it in with turnovers and other boo-boos) when the player finishes with fewer points than FGAs.

For instance, this game from October 29 in which Kevin scored 17 points on 5-for-19 shooting. But, near as I can tell, Martin almost always ends up with more pointage than shotage, prolly 'cause of those 9.7 free throws he attempts per game.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, first I put you in a position where you had to apologize for Kobe, and now this! My humblest apologies, I will now go commit Seppuku :)

And AK Dave, in all fairness to me, I also mentioned Martin's lack of defense, and then also pointed out ESPN's mention of his -26 +/- for the night, so it wasn't just the 4-15 shooting that got him the mention.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!

Seriously, can someone photoshop flohtingpoint's idea of Shaq on the dude from the scene from the Warriors? That would be awesome.

Blogger chris said...
Al Harrington and Don Nelson continue to act like an unhappy formerly married couple:

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- That sounds fair. Don't forget your frisbee!

Chris -- Wow. That article makes a great point: For a guy who let's guys just shoot 'em up, he sure is hated by a lot of his former (and current) players.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's aaaaaaaaaallllll gravy, son. I'm just sayin'... you can shoot 4/15, but get fouled like crazy, hit 10 free throws, and still end up with 18pts on 15fga, which I say is a pretty good night. Not a great night- but a pretty good one.

Anyway I was merely using Martin to illustrate the point about points/FGA, not to defend Kevin Martin specifically. Personally I think he's kind of a bum and should be one of those Eddie House-type players that come off the bench for scoring, not a starter.

In any case, Martin DOES play for Suckramento, and therefore could get a daily mention on this blog for one thing or another.

Oh, and regarding the OKC Bison and the whole M. Bison from SF2 thing that AnacondaHL posted yesterday:

Before it was translated into English, the names of the 4 Bosses (Balrog, Sagat, M. Bison, and Vega) were different. In Japan you fought (in order):

M. Bison

The names were changed in the US translation to:

M. Bison

Due to the fact that the boxer known in the US as "Balrog" looked enough like Mike Tyson to risk copyright infringement if he were to go by "M. Bison" in the states. The solution was to change the names around in the American version.

So, maybe Mike Tyson could be the OKC mascot? That would be awesome. If he's not in Jail, he should really think about it- I hear he could use some work these days...

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Maybe in every baller is an inner desire to play defense, something which Nellieball's copious addiction to scoring forces them to crush, thus making them less complete men? :p

I can't think of a real reason how "shoot and keep shooting" leads to ego clashes, whining, et al. Just look at how Steve Nash still pines for the days of 'antoni as evidence of how strong the temptation of non-stop offense can be!

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
This is the most back and forth in any comments section I've seen here yet. I'm so jealous that I wasn't a part of it.

Blogger chris said...
AK Dave: I was thinking the SAME EAXCT THING when I saw "Bison." Wow.

BTW, going back to Kevin Martin, it seems to me that his "K-Mart" moniker (which the Bee loved to use last year when touting him as the next foundation of the franchise) has become an appropriate analogy for his career: mildly effective, but leading the way into forgettability, like the discount store chain he takes after.

Blogger chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
This is pretty Bawful-worthy (Bad Porn via TrueHoop).

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
Yams, take a look at the obviously teenaged argument going on in the comments section of that video. And you aren't lying about that. I know rec-league guys that call that travel.

He was like an ice-skater movin' his feets 'cross that der floor. I'm Karl Malone, and dat der is a travel.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: I'm even more amazed that Maggette thought that he could be given the special "superstar treatment" for his attempt at a crab dribble. Don't you have to be, uh, a superstar first?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Chris, not only do you have to be a superstar to get the benefit of the call on a crab dribble, but you must also actually dribble the ball at some point. Standing there holding the ball while shuffling your feet back and forth like you're a boxer is not crab dribbling.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wildyams seems very knowledgeable about crabdribbling for someone who hasnt mastered it yet. Lets hope that you can perfect it soon.

Blogger lordhenry said...
King Crab LeBron turned in the kind of performance that normally raises the ire of journalists and fans alike when Kobe has them: lots of points for himself, few for his teammates, few assists, and a loss to boot.

Yay, Yams draws first blood on Simmons! And I'll say it again, unless Bill Simmons is recommending movies or actresses, don't listen to him:

The Wrestler: He said it was good, and it is.
Christina Hendricks: said she was hot and is.

And that is the limit of his wisdom.
And to the M. bison thing:
Lord Mamba says, "A couple of nights ago I noticed a pic of myself kicking someone in the face, it was incorrectly labeled: ""Kobe was kung-fu fighting."" Fools, that was M bisons deadly scissor kick that I have been perfecting in honor of street fighter 4, just wait until I master the Psycho-crusher!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
re: Kevin Martin's shooting discussion, didn't watch the game so have no idea how well he played but is 4/16 fg with 8/8 fts really equivalent to 8/16 shooting?

For some reason I seem to remember that when you are fouled on a missed shot attempt that attempt isn't counted towards your total on the boxscore. Is this true?

The point is if it is true the two statlines would not be equivalent because the free throw shooter would be taking up more possessions to get his points. Thus the free throw shooter above would looke more like 8/20 fg shooting if we converted those fouled missed attempts into shots. No incredibly bawful but it satisfies the bawful criteria of 16pts to 20 attempts!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you're light-years behind that conversation, scro.

Clearly it was a tasumaki-senpu-kyaku (hurricane kick). +1 for busting out with "psycho crusher"- hahahaha I forgot that's what that move was called when he flys across the screen. Damn... it's been a great run with the SFII references (/sniff) I'll miss these conversations when they're done!


I'm breaking down and buying an Xbox in honor of SF 4. It's done. I must own it. Feb 17 release date baby!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, you'll definitely want to include this in tomorrow's WOTN: once again Kobe cursed the Lakers by doing the big balls dance too early, this time after nailing a three point shot to give LA its first lead in 18 minutes with 90 seconds left in the game. So what happened? The Jazz went on to win by four. It's certainly becoming a big no-no to do the big balls dance, as that's now three times in a row that a player has done it and wound up losing.

Also, not to take anything away from Utah, but I can't help but wonder if the Lakers might have won this game if they'd been able to rest their starters a bit yesterday by taking care of the Thunder early... I'm just sayin'.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Come on people. Kobe was obviously practicing Chun-Li's kick in that picture (I wasn't as big a SF junkie in my childhood, so I don't know which of these if any is the kick I'm referring to, it may just be light kick but it looks exactly like what Kobe's doing.)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Man, check out ESPN's Daily Dime today - John Hollinger makes every excuse in the book for the Laker loss last night. Here's a couple samples:

""Loss due to attrition in scheduling" is the term Phil Jackson likes to use for games like this, but he wouldn't go there Wednesday.

I will. Playing their eighth game in eight cities in 14 days, Jackson tried every trick in the book to get one last gasp from his troops heading into the All-Star break."

"Ultimately L.A. couldn't cash in, missing three potential game-tying 3-pointers in the final 29 seconds. And the fact it came down to those shots was a result of their lethargy at the other end."

"The fatigue showed in other ways too. When some calls didn't go their way and the typical Things That Happen in Utah started happening -- shoving off the ball, contact around the rim and the like -- L.A. uncharacteristically got too focused on the refs and not enough on the game."

"Meanwhile, Gasol picked up some of that flu Kobe had in Cleveland. He had just three defensive boards to go with his 16 points and lost Okur on a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left that put the Jazz ahead for good."

"Gasol has also played far too many minutes since Andrew Bynum went out -- he's played at least 41 in all six contests, averaging 43.3"

It goes on and on. Man, I guess Utah doesn't get any credit for beating the Lakers despite missing AK-47 and Boozer? When did the Lakers put Hollinger on their payroll?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
BTW, you should also check out today's Daily Dime because our own Mr. Bawful gets quoted heavily there :)