The Sacramento Kings: I love how the AP recap of this game is titled "Wallace, Bobcats beat short-handed Kings 104-88." Yes, the Kings were missing Kevin Martin (sick of how badly his team sucks) and Andres Nocioni (rabies), and then they lost Rashad McCants (who surprisingly scored 30 points) to an ankle injury late in the fourth quarter. But let's face it: This team was destined to lose no matter how many healthy bodies they had to throw at the Bobcats. When a team is stuck on 14 wins a few short days before the vernal equinox, it's long past the time for making excuses for their ongoing craptastrophe. Now, if you haven't read that Kings fan's open letter to Bill Simmons, you should. That's some serious fandom right there. I'm stunned, literally stunned, that someone could still feel that much well-reasoned passion for this pitiful squad.
Update! Ash Haque left the following comment: "So the Kings are now 0-28 games against Eastern conference teams, with games against New York and Philly left from that conference. If they go 0-30 they should get a season long Bawful award for getting shut out by an entire conference for a whole 82 game season." Done. There absolutely will be a special award given out should that happen.
Gerald Wallace: From dunkside: "In the Kings-Bobcats game, all 5 of the Kings blocks came against Gerald Wallace. And they came from 4 different Kings players. I wonder if it ever happened before that a team has at least 5 blocks by at least 3 different players and they are all against the same player. It's like a block gangbang or something. Don't get me wrong, I do like Gerald Wallace's game, but I found this funny (as in kinda weird), especially since he's pretty athletic so he should be harder to block than, say, Adam Morrison's shot." But there's a difference there. Opposing team's WANT Morrison to shoot, whereas they want to stop Wallace from doing it, so they're more likely to try and stuff Gerald than Adam.
DeSagana Diop: Dude has a serious, perhaps terminal case of Shaqnopsis. Diop airballed not one, but two straight free throws in a 4-minute span of the second quarter. He eventually did hit one (going 1-for-4 on the night), which elicited a frenzy of joy from the Charlotte crowd. He is now 5-for-24 at the line since becoming a Bobcat.
Heat-Celtics: No Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen or Dwyane Wade. I'm pretty sure that's not what ESPN envisioned when they scheduled this game for prime time. But hey, it went to overtime, so it was a good game. Right?
Bill Walker: Basketbawful reader Sturla is not a fan. "Meet Bill Walker, Suckmachine. He plays about 12 minutes against the Heat and his +/- is -24. Meanwhile Big Baby of all people is +27." Bill just needs more shots.
The Indiana Pacers: The Pacers clinched their fourth consecutive losing season by getting crushed at home by the Trail Blazers. (And trust me, the game wasn't as close as the final score indicates.) Indy has now dropped four straight games, the last three of which they've lost by a combined 47 points. So much for those dreams of a postseason appearance. Said coach Jim O'Brien: "We're quickly playing ourselves out of a playoff race is what it's coming down to. I would say the last three games it did not seem like we played with an urgency that the situation calls for. We as a group have to figure out why."
By the way, the Associated Press gets a wag of the finger in this entry for stating that the Pacers had clinched a "non-winning" season. Non-winning? That's still called losing, right? Or aren't we allowed to say that anymore? Maybe I won't say teams like Sacramento suck anymore. I'll just state that they provide extreme and consistent inward force. How's that?
The New York Knicks: They scored only 89 points and lost by 26 at home to a bad team that was missing an All-Star. They missed 15 of their 17 three-point attempts. They allowed the Nets to shoot nearly 60 percent from the field. Basically, it was an all-around failfest for the Knickerbockers. Said coach Mike 'Antoni: "It's very hard to point out one thing. I thought we were horrible in every facet of the game. We just didn't play." Not-so-random note: Larry Hughes scored 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting (i.e., he is who we thought he was).
The Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks got pounded 106-80 at home by the Magic last night, and, believe it or not, this is a team that's fighting tooth and nail to earn the East's final playoff spot. Or I thought they were anyway. Milwaukee is five games into their season-high six-game homestand...and they're 2-3 in that stretch. Coach Scott Skiles provided the following cryptic explanation for his team's latest stink bomb: "I think there's a lesson learned here for us. Most sporting events are over before they even start, based on the mind-set of the teams that are playing and the players that are playing in it." Translation: My players didn't try. And people wonder why Scott's teams turn on him. (I'm not saying he's wrong, either. Just that pro ballers don't like their deficiencies pointed out in honest ways.)
Update! Ramon Sessions or the refs (depending on your point of view): From Junior: "No comments about the play #7? For me it was goaltending, but since it wasn't called it, the play becames a ego-ectomy that Sessions will never forget and will think twice before trying a jumper in front of D12." That was a close one, so I can see why the refs blew it. (Unless, of course, it was a belated makeup call for that three-seconds violation from the Magic-Crabs game.) But, since the goaltending was allowed, then yeah, I'll go with the ego-ectomy.
The Memphis Grizzlies...or the refs?Rubes commented: "So I know it is easy to pick on the Griz. I fully expect them to be on the site each and every day. However they do not belong on your WotN list for blowing a 10-point lead at home to Denver. They played great and deserved the win, but the 4th quarter was decided by the refs. The best example is at the 2:06 mark when Balkman bear hugs Gasol. Foul? Haha of course not, it's a jump ball. Hopefully you can get video evidence." I could't. Anybody got our back on this one?
Chauncey Billups, quote machine: Regarding how his team managed to pull out a comeback victory over a 17-win squad: "Defense, like it always is. Just defense. Just grinding. Buckling down. Having pride." Note that the Griz scored 109 points by shooting close to 50 percent from the field and almost 60 percent from downtown. But I guess the Nuggets approach defense the way Shaq deals with foul shooting: They play it when it counts.
The New Orleans Hornets: A win's a win, I guess. But a 1-point home victory over the Minnesota Timberpups isn't exactly a confidence-builder. And mind you, the Hornets nearly lost this game. They were down a point until David West dunked one home with 12.6 seconds left. (Randy Foye missed a 17-footer at the buzzer.) Remember, this is a team with, essentially, a one-man bench (maybe a two-man bench)...and Peja Stojakovic has been out eight games with a sore back.
Timeout entertainment gone wrong: From the AP game notes: "A Hornets employee appeared to dislocate his ankle after using a trampoline to dunk a ball during a timeout in the third quarter. His left leg was folded under him as he landed awkwardly on padding below the hoop. His foot was turned sideways as he dangled his leg and he had to be helped off the court. Team officials said they could not discuss the injury because of privacy concerns." Update! There are some gruesome pictures available for you "Faces Of Death" types.
The Houston Rockets: The Pistons were missing Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson -- although A.I. being out might have actually helped Detroit -- and it still took the Rockets two overtimes to get the win, despite a mega-game from Yao (31 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots). Speaking of which, didn't Yao just miss a game with flu-like symptoms? Nice recovery...
Box score lulz: I couldn't help but notice that, in the Pistons-Rockets box score, Knee-Mac is listed as DNP-CD. That made me laugh for some reason.
Hubie Brown, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From Drake: "Hubie Brown can't seem to stay away from unintentionally dirty quotes. From last night's Rockets-Pistons game: '...he SPLITS it, and shoots it right in Scola's face' -- talking about a replay of Rodney Stuckey's drive to the hoop during overtime, but may very well be talking about a climatic scene in some gay porno. Hubie also had another gem in double overtime which I can't remember that well. It went something like 'he scored in his defender's face.'" Man, Hubie's hits just keep on coming. (Get it?) But you can't blame the guy. Remember, he was one of the first creatures to crawl out of the sea five billion years ago or whatever. I don't think God had invented homosexuality yet, so Hubie doesn't really know what he's saying.
The Philly defense: Clifton wrote in to say: "This shot from the Suns-Sixers game looks like pickup basketball defense at its finest to me. 'I thought he was your man!' 'Naw, man. I switched off of him when Backwards Hat Guy came in.'" He's not wrong. Check this out:
Actually, there wasn't much defense played at all in the Sixers-Suns game: Philly shot 55 percent and Phoenix shot close to 58 percent. But you've gotta love these quotes from the Sixers. Philly coach Tony DiLeo said: "We tried different defenses, zones, pick and roll defenses, and it just seemed like they were scoring every time. We just couldn't stop them." (Hey, Tony, which of those defenses were you guys playing in the picture Clifton sent in?) Added Andre Iguodala: "We just never got them out of rhythm. They just kept scoring and all their guys had it going, it seemed." Yes, it sure seemed alright.
Oh, and check out this tidbit from the AP game notes: "The Suns’ average of nearly 120 points per game since the All-Star break is the best in the NBA, nearly seven points better than any other team." You just know the author wanted to write "since Terry Porter got canned" instead of "since the All-Star break." Or maybe that's just me. Note also that the writer didn't mention how many points the Suns have been giving up in that stretch...
The Washington Wizards Generals: Beaten. Again. This time by the Clippers, who still are who we thought they were but, in this case, were lucky enough to play a home game against the Wicked Worst of the East. The Other L.A. Team shot nearly 60 percent from the field. I guess you can't really expect a bunch of millionaires on a 16-win team to "play defense" or "try to win winnable games" or anything like that. I mean, next thing you'll be asking for is the moon on a stick or mega-corporations that aren't run by hordes of rich and unscrupulous douchebags. In other words, the impossible. Random quote from a reader: Sturla emailed in to say: "Who gets blown out by the Clippers in the fourth quarter by 15 points?"
Oh and hey, Basketbawful reader Andy had this to say: "Thought I'd highlight this bit from the Wizards-Clippers sucktacular (which I'm privileged enough to get on CSN): 3rd quarter, Andray Blatche is dribbling right side just past the half court line and goes behind his back, faking his defender big time. However, he proceeds to bumble his dribble around for a few seconds before throwing a lazy, crosscourt, underhand pass which is easily intercepted. Clippers going the other way throw an alley-oop to Eric Gordon, who lets it slip harmlessly between his fingers for another turnover. The Clippers also get an extra dose of suck for letting Antawn Jamison look like Magic Johnson out there in the first quarter, throwing a no-look pass and getting 4 assists (he averages 1.9 on the year). The Wizards also look like they're afraid getting anywhere near Steve Novak, who has at least 6 threes so far, only one of which I've seen contested in any way." NBA action. It's FAN-tastic.
Al Thornton, quote machine: Regarding teammate Steve Novak, who nailed six triples against the Wizards Generals: "Novak is like a video game. His shot is a beautiful thing to watch, and I am definitely surprised he is left open and unguarded so much." Al was later rumored to have made sweet, sweet love to Novak's shooting hand.
Lacktion report: Chris provided the following spoonful of lacktion to help the bawful medicine go down.
Heat-Celtics: Yakhouba Diawara took home a 3.4 trillion prize from tonight's loss at the TDBanknorth Garden -- another case of an All-Lacktion selection living up to all the expectations!
Kings-Bobcats: Spencer Hawes' three bricks and lack of rebounds in a starting stint lasting over half the duration of the game (25:18!) led to one of the more staggering Voskuhls in recent memory, a 7:2 (fouling out with a turnover against two made free throws) despite a few positive stats.
Blazers-Pacers: Travis Diener missed once from downtown for a suck differential of +1 in 9:54.
Nets-Knicks: With the Nets devastating the Knickerbockers at their home court, Chris Douglas-Roberts had a 14-point slump participating in garbage time. So Maurice Ager served as a replacement human victory cigar for the night, taking a foul and a brick for +2 in 1:42.
The real story though was Cheikh Samb's reappearance in uniform after many weeks of uncertainty following the Clippers' dismissal of the All-Lacktion choice. In a brilliant return to unproductivity, he went all out for masonry in 3:34, bricking once on the shot clock and twice at the charity stripe for a well-earned +3. Welcome back to the Association, Mr. Samb!
Magic-Bucks: Francisco Elson eked out a Voskuhl for the Milwaukee M.A.S.H. Unit in an 11:34 appearance as starting big man, going 6:4 (five fouls and one giveaway against one made field goal and two boards).
Pistons-Rockets: Amir Johnson is starting to emerge as Detroit's favorite lacktator, tonight earning a 1.4 trillion .
Wizards-Clippers: Oleksiy Pecherov did get a rebound tonight, but that's not particularly relevant when he was busy wearing out his gamepad trying to knock out Glass Joe in Punch-Out after a 42-second Mario!
NBA.com standings fail: Rainier wrote in to say: "I didn't know the Wolves were second in the West...." Me neither. But NBA.com thinks so. I guess that's their reward for handing over Kevin Garnett to the Celtics last season.
ESPN.com front page fail: From Rob: "I just went to the ESPN NBA front page a couple minutes ago and I got kind of confused; the screen capture is attached. They corrected the error soon after, so I'm glad I got there in the nick of time." Take a look. It's funny. (Basketbawful reader -sEan also noticed this and emailed in to say: "Better signing for the Celtics: Stephon Marbury or Roger Federer? I'd say its a toss up.")
Kobe Bryant: Mamba stuffed Nermal into a box and tried to send her to Abu Dhabi.