Four hours of beer was not enough for this man.

Note: The first version of this post was listed as being published in 2003. How does that happen, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you: Sleep deprivation. Thank Odin (and George Washington) I have a three-day weekend...

Last night after work, I met up with Graydon Gordian of 48 Minutes of Hell (pictured above) at a little Chicago Loop dive called Stocks & Blondes. We shared three buckets of beer, a couple plates of random chicken parts, and several hours worth of intense basketball conversation, debate and gossip on a pretty wide range of topics. It was kind of like being on a roller coaster, where you know you’re not going to fall out but it kind of feels like you are.

The meetup did make me feel my age a bit: After nearly four hours of nonstop beerage, Graydon go out drinking with his buddies. Ah, to be in my early 20s again. But there was, at least, a good reason for the extended celebration: Graydon was just accepted to grad school at Northwestern. Congrats, Graydon. It was good times. The only downside, really, was that we had to watch...

The Chicago Bulls: The Bullies fell way behind against the Pistons earlier this week but managed to win after finishing the game on a 17-2 run. Apparently, the box office returns were high enough to warrant a sequel. But here's the things: Sequels are almost never as good as the original...with The Empire Strikes Back, Superman II, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, and The Dark Knight being notable exceptions. This was no Empire, though. It was more like Caddyshack II.

Chicago struggled their way back from a 14-point third quarter deficit to take a 86-85 with just over three minutes to go. Then they let Miami go on an 8-0 run. Then the Bulls went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 93-all. Miami had possession of the ball with less than 10 seconds left, but Kirk Hinrich stole Shawn Marion's inbound pass and quickly called timeout. Chicago had 6.5 ticks on the clock and a chance to make magic happen. But...

Vinny Del Negro: The man Tom Ziller nicknamed "The Notorious V.D.N." became even more notorious in the Windy City last night. Like I said, the score was tied and the Bulls had the ball and enough time to get off some kind of shot or, at worst, go into overtime at home. But Vinny inexplicably LEFT DERRICK ROSE ON THE BENCH AND PUT IN THABO SEFOLOSHA. What in the Nine Rings of Hell was he thinking? I hadn't seen a worse coaching move all season (although I would shortly).

So Thabo, who played all of six minutes and 15 seconds last night, ended up inbounding the ball to the best player on the court. Unfortunately, that was Dwyane Wade. Pookie called timeout with 3.5 seconds left.

Now, it's important to point out that the Bulls still had a foul to give. So Vinny should have instructed his players to foul almost immediately after the Heat inbounded the ball, just to burn a second or so off the clock. And even if they hadn't had that foul to give (or if Vinny for some reason chose not to use it), he should have instructed them to stay in front of whoever catches the ball (in this case Wade) and also guard the guy inbounding the ball (in this case Marion), because -- as Hubie Brown likes to say -- that's the most dangerous player in end-of-game situations.

So what did the Bulls do? They didn't commit the foul, they didn't say in front of Wade, and they didn't guard Marion. Wade penetrated, the Bulls collapsed, and he dished to a cutting Marion for the game-winning dunk.

Terrible coaching. Terrible.

Luol Deng: I really thought Luol was "back" a few weeks ago. He's been slumping ever since. Whoops. Last night he finished with 6 points (2-for-6), 3 rebounds and 2 fouls in 28 minutes. It's like the aliens I keep telling everybody about stole him, he escaped briefly, and then they stole him back.

Shawn Marion: I know he was happy about the game-winning flush. But did he really have to grab his genitals in celebration? I guess it's better than doing the Big Balls Dance, but still. (Thanks to Sky Flakes for the picture assist.)

Marion balls
The NBA: Where testicle-clutching happens.

The Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks were playing at home. They went up by as many as 15 points in the third quarter. Kevin Garnett's PT was limited due to foul trouble. Doc Rivers got ejected. The Celtics committed 19 turnovers (to only 8 for the Mavs). In other words, Dallas had every reason to win this game. But they did not. They shot like crap (39 percent), got pounded on the boards (50-31) and couldn't figure out what to do with Paul Pierce, who scored 18 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics rally for a 99-92 win.

When are the Mavericks going to figure out that Jason Kidd isn't a defensive stopper anymore? They use him on Kobe to no effect, and last night they let him man up on Pierce, and Pierce repeatedly destroyed him. There's probably an image of Paul burned into Jason's retinas today. Memo to Rick Carlisle: Send help! Make Rondo shoot a jump shot or something. I don't care if he had a triple-double (19 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists). I would rather give Rondo the green light than let Paul Pierce find his rhythm. There had to be a better defensive strategy than that.

(P.S. Remember what I said about J-Kidd's defense? Refer to Rondo's triple-double. That is all.)

The Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers were beaten by Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette (24 points, 9-for-16) and Ronny Turiaf (14 points, 11 rebounds). And for the record, that was Turiaf's first double-double in nearly two years. Way to play defense, guys. (Although, in all fairness, Portland did hold the rest of the Warriors down a bit; Golden State shot only 40 percent from the field.) The Blazers didn't help their cause by committing 23 turnovers, either.

Chris's Lacktion report: Today is of course the last day before the All-Star Weekend, but not a night that lacktators could lose the limelight!
Heat-Bulls: Thabo Sefolosha beefed up his clumsiness to put down +3 in 6:15 of hardwood grazing for Chicago, in getting grilled for a brick, giveaway, and rejection! And 9:57 of court time for Miami's Joel Anthony allowed him to earn a bit of a Voskuhl with three fouls and one giveaway versus one field goal and rebound each for a ratio of 4:3.

Blazers-Warriors: CJ Watson wanted to make the most of life as a lacktator, and thus spent 11:44 savoring a solid suck differential: one foul and turnover each and two bricks for +4!

Marketing madness: The NBA All-Star H-O-R-S-E competition was sold away and is now the G-E-I-C-O competition. And it will take place during a special two-hour Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai! In honor of this, Evil Ted and I prepared an even specialer video parody of Hyundai's current marketing campaign. Enjoy.

Apparently the "embed video" function sucks, so:
And if you likey, vote "Funny."

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Blogger chris said...
VDN putting in some late-game lacktion to hand it to the Heat. Not sure what coach's handbook suggests this - Isiah Thomas's!?

Blogger chris said...
BTW, unless we Bawful readers have DeLoreans in our lives now, it ISN'T 2/12/03. :p

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hyundai- we'll f*cking do anything

Nice video :D

Dallas is not a contender, that's for sure. Boston ran 50 straight isolation plays for Paul Pierce after running him off a pick and getting the switch, and he shot right over Kidd and Barea EVERY time. That's like when you're playing Madden and you march down the field on your buddy using the SAME running play and a hurry-up offense because he can't stop it and never calls a timeout.

Dirk played well at least. He's the only scorer they have left now that Terry is hurt and Howard forgot how to play.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
EGREGIOUS OMISSIONS: Godfather II, Terminator 2.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
UPDATE!!! It looks like Marion's dunk and subsequent crotch grab were his last acts in a Miami uniform as he has just been dealt along with Marcus Banks to the Craptors in exchange for The Drain.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: BUT BUT BUT Marion wanted out of Phoenix just a year ago to prove he could be THE MAN!

And now, he's not even The Man enough to merit The Drain on his own.

Not exactly vindication, even considering last night...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
In all fairness to The Matrix, I'm sure Marcus Banks was thrown in just to make the salaries match, as The Drain still has an insanely high contract. Matrix for Drain straight up probably wouldn't have worked under the CBA.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: So the Drain's nickname comes from how much he can soak out any available cap space? ;)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- I could have easily coached that last possession better than Vinny. And it's not like he's alone: Freaking Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff are sitting right next to him on the bench. Are they just trying to get him fired?

And thanks for letting me know about the date f'up. Damn.

Anonymous -- I couldn't believe the C's kept running that same play and it kept working. Why not throw a quick double-team at Pierce? It was obvious he was hot. Get the ball out of his hands. Man, Rick Carlisle pulled a Notorius V.D.N.

AnaconhaHL -- GFII, maybe. But I liked T2.

Wild Yams -- Incredible. His defining moment as a member of the Heat came hours before he was no longer a member of the Heat. What is Pat Riley thinking? The Drain? Really?! That's it. The same aliens who keep abducting our ballers got Pat Riley too! At least the real Magic Johnson will finally have another Laker to keep him company.

chris -- That is EXACTLY why we call Jermaine "The Drain" around here. BadDave was the one who named him that.

Blogger chris said...
Bafwul - I think we need to keep an eye out for every mind-numbingly bawful coaching move and give it a Notorious VDN rating...with something as hideous as Butch van Breda Kolff benching Wilt in the 1969 Game 7 of the Finals receiving the highest possible number of fail. Damn.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It would have been hilarious if PHX had traded Stat to Miami for Marion in one way or another.

Also, the vid was great - they're truly america's company

Anonymous Anonymous said...
ooh, and I now see ESPN is touting this as a big win for Miami.. 'does this make them contenders?'

(And btw yes, for sports news I first check basketbawful and *then* espn)

When Yams mentioned the trade, I assumed it was more of a 2010 move. Ya, Marion ends this year but in an odd twist, its easier to have a contract ending in 2010 because you won't be blamed for not spending money wisely in 2009 offseason.
Sure Drain will give them some good times, but if every headline mentions 'if healthy' I think its a safe guess this means 'we have to mention it, because he WONT be healthy, duh?'

Also, have to give a mention to Banks and how he's become just a useful contract for trades. I think at a certain point they should just remove certain names from rosters and replace them with 'contract 10-20' which stands for 2010 and 20mill, or whatnot. Also their jerseys should be changed.

Remember, Banks was who PHX 'banked' on (ha...ha..) after a contract season and they then gave up pics to save the money they spent on him. If they ever do create the 'rename player to contract1020' rule, for a player like Banks it would have taken effect as soon as he signed, showing just how bad of a signing that was.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
errr, sorry for the repeat comments, but while on espn's homepage right now there is a video interview with dwight howard about his plans for the dunk contest

At the beginning the espnguy says 'howard joins us now, courtesy of adidas'
Oh, how kind of you to lend your ..servant.. to us, lordy Adidas.

Really seems like the AllState game is coming sooner than later. Or should we predict, the Cash4Gold NBA Extravaganza

Points also for the ESPN guy stating that Dwight 'forged an image which will burn forever' when he wore the superman costume in the dunk contest. yeah. slow news day?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Shawn Marion's swan song with the Heat being a game winning dunk followed by a crotch grab made me think that's got to at least be in the neighborhood of Jordan's Finals winning shot in 1998 for "last play with a team". I'm having trouble thinking of other memorable last plays a player had with a certain team, but there are probably a bunch more. If anyone else can think of any, I'd love to hear some.

btw, it's hard to type with Dwight's superman image burned into my retinas.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jermaine O'neal if you can provide a mere 15 7 and 2 blocks, I will be more than pleased with this deal. I've had enough of shawn marion missed layups

and we get jamario moon - the poor mans shawn marion

Blogger Jundi said...
i thought this might be quote machine worthy ..

michael beasley on the rookie-sophomore game ..
“It is not cool when you lose,” he said before the game. “I like to be the cool guy. Cool guys don’t lose. I will play hard.”;_ylt=Aj6yYKnexW9GZoICiC68v_a8vLYF?slug=ap-rookiechallenge&prov=ap&type=lgns

Blogger Jundi said...
from the same article .. greg oden gets a not so subtle dis ..

"Portland center Greg Oden missed the game with an injury, which is not so rare."

Blogger chris said...
Arlen - Of course, the one "cap spaceman" I've followed this year, due to the ginormously pointless minutes he's received as a lacktator, is the clear centerpiece of the Iverson/Billups deal - Cheikh Samb!