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 left...to 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.)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.Update:
Apparently the funnyordie.com "embed video" function sucks, so:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS SPOOF. And if you likey, vote "Funny."
Labels: Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, NBA marketing, Portland Trail Blazers, Vinny Del Negro, Worst of the Night