Sasha 2

Ameer Ali: I'm not big on including NCAA stuff here, but sometimes I have to make an exception. Like in the case of Ali. His team (Morgan State) was in the process of getting blown out by Blake Griffin's team (Oklahoma) when the two men got tangled up. So Ali did what any self-respecting Cobra Kai would have done: He showed no mercy, flipping Griffin -- who was just named's Player of the Year -- WWE-style over his back.

Mind you, Griffin missed most of two games this season getting concussed on February 21. (Not surprisingly, the Sooners lost those two games.) If you want to earn a reputation for extreme superdickery, go ahead and flip-slam the Player of the Year, who recently suffered from a concussion, on national television during March freaking Madness. That's about as brilliant as an inflatable male mannequin groin. And yes, they exist.

Ali was ejected and Griffin suffered a bruised tailbone. And even though it's pretty clear that this wasn't an accident, Ameer idiotically insists that it was: "Nah, it just looked worse than it was. I didn't do it intentionally. Just got locked up." Right. And O.J. accidentally cut his ex-wife into fish bait. Whoopsie! (I'm just kidding. We all know O.J. was innocent.)

Jordan Hill (Arizona) unintentionally dirty man love quote machine: Okay, one more college submission. AnacondaHL provided this quote from Hill, regarding Utah's Luke Nevill" "He's real long, real big -- way bigger than me." Takes a real man to admit that. Update! More from AnacondaHL: "Bawful I think you took the wrong stance on what I was trying to imply with Jordan Hill's quote. It's more like, 'Uh, did he just imply that he's not only seen Nevill's stuff, but has compared them to his own? Hey, anything can happen in a 5-12.'"

Dallas Mavericks: If some uber-powerful superbeing could make it as though the second and fourth quarters of last night's Mavericks-Hawks game never happened, Dallas totally would have won. As it was, the Mavs were outscored 33-16 (which included an 18-0 run) in the second and then forgot how to shoot the ball in the fourth. During that final period, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry went 2-for-10 and, and Terry and Jason Kidd combined to miss all eight of their three-point attempts. (Dallas missed 25 of their 31 threes on the night, by the way.)

Said Kidd: "I think we got off to a good start in the first quarter. We kind of forgot all of that in the second quarter, and that's when the game shifted in the Hawks' favor. From then on, it was an uphill battle. We were able to get some stops defensively, but we just couldn't make any 3s when we needed to." But that didn't keep you from chucking them up did it, Jas?

To be fair, the Mavs were missing starters Josh Howard (sore left ankle) and Erick Dampier (swollen left knee). And I'm sure Dampier's long-range marksmanship could have tipped the balance. How's that for subtle-as-a-brick sarcasm?

Rick Carlisle: Rick Rude got tossed by Derrick Stafford with 2:46 left in the second quarter. The cause: Bitching at the officials. Said Carlisle: "I thought Dirk was being held and pushed and got fouled repeatedly. I kept asking for a foul to be called, but it wasn't. I turned to the official and just got thrown out." I'm not sure that accomplished much. Dirk finished the night with four free throw attempts...only two more than the Hawks got to shoot for Rick's double technicals.

The Portland Trail Blazers: Despite King Crab's seventh triple-double of the season (26 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists), the putative "Team of the Future" very nearly almost just about put the second blemish on Cleveland's amazing home record. It might have helped their cause if they'd done a better job pressuring the ball: The Crabs committed only 2 turnovers, thereby setting a franchise record and matching the mark set by Milwaukee against Indiana on April 1, 2006. Bonus trivia: Andrew Bogut and Toni Kukoc committed those two turnovers for the Bucks. (I know, right? I couldn't believe Kukoc was still in the league in 2006 either.)

Mo Williams: It's not so much the 12 points he scored on 15 shots, it's more that he committed both of the Crabs turnovers last night. Don't be so careless with the ball next time, Mo!

Danny Ainge: Considering all their frontcourt injuries and how unimpressive Mikki Moore has been for them so far, Ainge's lack of patience in waiting for Joe Smith to be released by the Thunder is looking more and more damning, right up there with trying to save a few million dollars by letting James Posey walk. Last night, Smith gave Cleveland 12 points, perfect 5-for-5 shooting, 3 rebounds and 2 blocked shots off the bench. And every shot he hit made me think he totally could have been this year's P.J. Brown for the Celts.

The Los Angeles Lakers: On Sunday, the Lakers blew a 15-point lead and had to rally from 6 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Mavericks. On Tuesday, they choked away a 14-point advantage and lost to the Sixers on a buzzer-beating three by Andre Iguodala. Last night, they frittered away an 18-point lead and (thanks to a three-point miss by Kelenna Azubuike) barely held off the Warriors. And these were all home games, by the way. I know a win's a win and all that, but they aren't playing well. All things being equal, they should have destroyed Golden State. Instead, they built a cushion and then got sloppy, committing 22 turnovers for 23 Warrior points. And while they won the rebounding battle 50-42, they still let Golden State -- a notoriously poor rebounding team -- grab 12 offensive boards, despite the absence of Andris Biedrins, their leading rebounder.

Said Phil Jackson: "We talked about that yesterday. We had a list of seven items up there on the boards that were haunting us, starting with turnovers in transition plays and offensive rebounds, which are dead-giveway types of things, and understanding our rotations that we have to do when we get into screen-roll situations." Seems like that talk didn't get through. It'll be interesting to see if the Lakers get their focus back on this seven-game road trip they start on Saturday.

Ronny Turiaf: Posterized by...The Son of Walton?! Getting YouTubed by Cool Hand Luke just might earn Ronny automatic entry into the Basketbawful Hall of Shame.

Kobe Bryant: Mamba shot 9-for-25 and committed a game-high (tied with Bad Porn Maggette, anyway) 5 turnovers (compared to only 2 assists). Not a strong showing against a team that doesn't practice, play or have any regard whatsoever for defense. And was it just me, or did he look a little, I don't know, tired last night?

Lacktion report: Chris -- a little less conversation, a little more lacktion, please.

Mavs-Hawks: The Mavs' Matt Carroll bricked twice from downtown in 2:49 for a +2 suck differential. And while THE Mario West ruined a potential four trillion with a board, Acie Law laid down a 1.1 trillion as Atlanta's human victory cigar.

Blazers-Cavs: Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson's double-zero jersey represents how many field goal attempts he made tonight in 6:13, fouling twice to claw out a +2 suck differential for the Crabs!

Warriors-Lakers: With Los Angeles facing the efensive-minded Nellieballers, Phil Jackson once again had the occasion to bring out a human victory cigar. But as anyone knows, the master of zen likes to one-up the rest of the Association when he can, and he did so tonight by bringing out not one, but two addictive bench celebrators! DJ Mbenga technically didn't lack it up with a block and two boards - but in 7:24, that wasn't enough to overcome a foul and three giveaways against no shot attempts for a 4:2 Voskuhl. Meanwhile, Shannon Brown went all out as a lacktator with a brick and foul in 5:12 for +2.
Spencer Pratt: I have no idea who Spencer Pratt is, but apparently he's an actor who appears on "The Hills," which seems to be a TV show that -- and I'm just guessing here -- is probably loved by people I can't stand. Anyway, he attended the Warriors-Lakers game. It's bad enough he looks like a douche, but check out that shirt. What, does his agent insist that Spencer get paid in food stamps or something?


If I'm every making enough money to afford primo tickets to a Lakers game in L.A. and I show up to the Staples Center dressed like Bill Bixby in a 1970s episode of "The Incredible Hulk," you have permission to kill me by atomic wedgie.

Donte Stallworth: Since Footbawful is taking an offseason siesta, I have to mention this here. I never thought anybody would make Plaxico "I shot myself in the leg at a dance club and then tried to cover it up during a season in which my team was trying to defend its NFL title" Burress look not-as-stoopid this quickly. But that's what Stallworth -- who recently inked a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Cleveland Browns -- did when he struck and killed a pedestrian at seven in the morning while, you guessed it, driving under the influence. Seriously, when are professional athletes going to learn to stop jumping behind the wheel after a bender?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
And i will be there to deliver that lethal atomic wedgie

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful I think you took the wrong stance on what I was trying to imply with Jordan Hill's quote. It's more like, "uh, did he just imply that he's not only seen Nevill's stuff, but has compared them to his own? Hey, anything can happen in a 5-12."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
hawks win again...wins against new orleans, utah, dallas, and portland during the streak.. looks like your stance on the hawks was premature. fail

Why did Turiaf try to block the shot with his left hand? Looks really awkward and not very smart.

Blogger Junior said...
I think you should post about the fact that your theory about the Hawks is 100% correct, since there are now on a seven-win streak, that is happening during a seven home-game streak
coincidence? nah

Blogger DocZeus said...
Spencer Pratt is not an actor. That's doing a disservice to actors. He's the male equivalent to Paris Hilton only he's probably even more of a jackass.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Axel Foley -- Thank you.

AnacondaHL -- Updated.

Anonymous -- Riiiight. Let's see here. Last time Hawks fans started getting all uppity was during the team's eight-game homestand. Then, as I predicted, the Hawks started to struggle because they suck on the road (currently seven games below .500). Now they go off during a seven-game homestand and now you people are back claiming I've failed. All you had to do was wait a couple months until they got another long string of games at home. (And for the record, it's exceedingly rare to have two homestands that long during a season.) Whatever. I'll accept your humble apologies when the Hawks get bounced in the playoffs because they can't win on the road against good teams.

Zonker -- Isn't it obvious? He didn't want to take the chance of touching Luke with the hand he uses for important stuff.

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

Blogger eljpeman said...
i just love it when people do the "what-did-i-do?" shrug after something like that bodyslam. yes, superdickery at its finest. too bad we didn't get to see if he did the duncan face.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Seriously, when are professional athletes going to learn to stop jumping behind the wheel after a bender?"

As soon as their overinflated sense of self-worth, ability, and importance due to years of praise and coddling comes to an end.

...which will be never.

Blogger DDC said...
Bawful, you outdid yourself as usual. Are you going to do playoff previews for Deadspin this year?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm starting to think that the recent comments by one of the Mavs (was it Jason Terry?) that they would stand a good chance when they play the lakers in the playoffs, is a statcurse.
The Suns' schedule looks much easier- they have 7 gimmie games, while Dallas has 5, so the head to head game could be huge. I'm hoping for Dallas to get bounced, just so we can see another Dirk hissy fit, and another off-season with stories about Jason Kidd being unhappy and wanting a trade.

Blogger mg said...
What is the reason for Corey Maggete's awesome nickname??

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm just curious...every Cavs game I watch all I hear about it how "you want to stop Lebron from getting to the basket and force him to shoot jumpers," since his jumper is "inconsistent." Yet, his FG% is higher than Kobe's, who is a "lights out shooter." Does this make sense to anyone?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Portland-Cleveland was a really good game yesterday, but somebody said that LeBron has developed a chronic Duncan-face affliction and they were right.

At one point, Greg "I'm a nice guy and kind of tragic but ultimately very likeable" Oden and Lebron got tangled up under the rim after a basket, and LeBron gave him a look-of-death that would make my ex-girlfriend cringe. Then on the next few possessions he was either whining to the ref or glaring at Greg Oden, alternately. It was like a game within the game!

I also thought it was funny in OT when Pavlovic came in and was whistled for 3 VERY quick VERY questionable touch-fouls, in which multiple players might have been called for a foul (or an offensive foul could have been called)- which gave me an idea you might want in a new WoTD:

Whipping boy: the player on your team who is called for a foul in every case where it is uncertain who committed the foul or if a foul is necessary. This keeps superstars out of danger of fouling-out and prevents the other team from complaining about not getting a foul called.

Every team has one- he's the guy always raising his hand when the whistle blows to try and dupe the refs into calling the foul on HIM instead of the superstar. In Sacramento, I clearly remember Scott Pollard doing this to keep Chris Webber out of foul trouble. Robert Horry was also a professional whipping boy for LA and SA. Luke Walton: total whipping boy. Fabricio Oberto: whip it good!! The entire Chicago Bulls roster was a group of whipping boys for Jordan, and so on.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
elgpeman -- Yeah. I hate the what-did-I-do shrug. I guarantee if somebody pulls that move, they just did something they shouldn't have and they know it.

Cortez -- Yep, pretty much.

DDC -- Unlikely. So you'll have to read 'em here.

Ruben -- I officially cannot discuss the Suns in any rational way until they're either in or out of the playoffs.

mg -- That name semi-originated here at Basketbawful, thanks to reader Mark L. See this post: "They've started to call him 'Bad Porn' at various Warriors boards. Their justification? 'Sure, there's penetration and scoring, but are you really happy with what you're seeing?'"

La Dolce Vita -- Well, it's because most of LeBron's conversions are at the basket. According to, King Crab hits about 64 percent of his close shots and only 42 percent of his jumpers. His close shots drags up his shooting percentage. He's only hitting about 33 percent of his threes, and he's really, really streaky.

Part of it, too, goes beyond the numbers. Just watching the two guys play, you can tell that Kobe has better shooting form than LeBron. Part of Kobe's problem has been and probably always will be those stretches he goes through when he insists on taking terrible shots.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The most bawful thing about Mo Williams' turnovers is that the second one came with only a few seconds left when he tried to throw a cross court pass and it hit the side of the rim. Doug Collins pointed out that a 90% foul shooter should just hold the ball at that point. If he hadn't done that the Cavs would have ended a 53 minute game with only 1 turnover.

Blogger chris said...
Mike T: Wasn't the other one a five-second inbounding violation or sometihng, too? So had Mo Williams been on his game, the Crabs could have pinched out every possession without a single giveaway.

Blogger Clifton said...
All I know about Spencer Whateverhisnameis is what I learn from watching The Soup, which is like pop-culture Cliffs Notes, allowing me to interject things at parties like, "And seriously, what's up with Spencer's creepy flesh-colored beard?" (which is what Joel McHale points out every time he's on the screen).

As for his shirt, don'tcha know that's what's "in" right now? Hell, when I go to Starbucks or Einstein's Bagels in my work clothes, I've gone from people giving me a five-foot buffer zone in line to having people admire my mad style.

Oh, and @ the Lakers, I warned about a month ago: Woe betide the team that lulls itself into thinking it's good enough to just turn it on when it needs to. See '92-'93 Sonics, and whoever else you wanna name.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Clifton, I have to ask: why are the 92-93 Sonics a good example of a team that felt they could turn it on at any point? They were 55-27 that year and finished 7 games behind Barkley's Suns; then in the playoffs they lost in 7 games in the Western Conference Finals to that same Phoenix team. Are you implying that the Sonics were the better team that year but lost due to laziness? That Suns team was pretty damn good, along with Barkley (during his MVP year) they had Kevin Johnson, Danny Ainge, Tom Chambers, Dan Majerle, and Cedric Ceballos, and they won 62 games that year (the best record in the league). The Sonics had a good team too, but I think it's a stretch to say they definitely would have won if only they'd tried harder during the year.

In any event, I'm not sure the whole "Woe betide the team that lulls itself into thinking it's good enough to just turn it on when it needs to" thing is correct anyway. Look at 1992-93 as an example: the Suns worked hard every night, got the best record in the league and had home court in the Finals and still lost to a Bulls team which won 10 fewer games than the year before, and which wasn't even the top seed in their own conference. The Bulls in 1998 similarly had a rather sharp dropoff in wins from the previous year (7), yet beat a Utah team in the Finals that had home court. Also see the Lakers in 2001 & 2002. In 2001 the Spurs had the league's best record, yet they were swept in the Western Conference Finals by a Laker team that won 11 fewer regular season games than the previous year's team had. Then the next year Sacramento had the league's best record and had Game 7 at home against LA, and we know how that went. Look at 2004 when the TWolves and Pacers had the top two records in the league (Detroit beat the Lakers in the Finals). Look at 2005 when the Spurs cruised in 2nd to Phoenix in the Western Conference playoff seeding and walked away with the title. Look at 2006 when the Pistons with their 64 wins lost to the Heat, who with 52 wins topped the 60-win Mavs in the Finals (who had beaten the 63-win Spurs in the WCF).

Sure, the Celtics won last year playing pedal-to-the-metal basketball from start to finish, but they seem to be the exception, not the rule. You gotta remember, an NBA season followed by 2 months of playoffs is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes it pays to pace yourself a bit. Keep in mind that Phil Jackson is not George Karl and might know what he's doing when he plays scrubs like Shannon Brown and DJ Mbenga in games like he has the last two (5 minutes on Tuesday, 12 last night). I've said before that by doing so he flirts with having the Lakers lose some games, or at least risks keeping the other team in games the Lakers should be winning handily; but at the same time maybe there's a longer term payoff involved (keeping those guys ready and buying some rest for the starters). I've questioned his tactics before, but he probably knows how to win more than I do.

That said, the Lakers are practicing some very bad habits lately. In addition to just plain carelessness with the basketball (18 TOs on Tuesday, 22 last night), Kobe is taking a lot of really, really poor shots in the 4th quarter lately, going 2-10 in the 4th quarters of the last two games. Kobe's propensity to want to take ill-advised three pointers which would presumably deliver a "knockout blow" to the other team if they went in, are instead burying the Lakers and/or allowing the opposition to hang around in these games when he misses.

Also, here's something else to ponder: in the last three games Pau Gasol has shot a combined 30-40 from the field. That's good in that he's shot 75%, but it's bad in that he's only averaged 13 shots a game. When a guy is scoring with that kind of efficiency, you need to get him more than 13 shots. Kobe, meanwhile, has gone 25-60 in the last three games; and when a guy is only shooting an Iverson-esque 41% from the field he shouldn't be taking 20 shots per game, not when he's got a guy on his team who's scoring with the efficiency that Gasol is. Last night while Kobe was going 9-25 (36%), the rest of the Lakers' starting five was shooting 24-42 (57%). When the guy who is shooting the worst is taking the most shots, that's not a recipe for success. Especially when your team turns it over 22 times.

If the Lakers can stop making the lazy passes and if Kobe can stop playing like an idiot, then the Lakers will probably be OK. If not...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Clifton might be referring to the '94 Sonics which lost in the first round to Denver as a #1 seed...

As for your last sentence, I can only say:

If the Lakers can lock-down on D, shoot at a high percent, get everybody involved, take good shots, knock-down free throws, stay out of foul trouble, hit clutch shots, and outscore their opponents, they will probably win in the playoffs.

I'm John Madden and I approve this message


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'd say the two or three seasons following Detroit's last championship are a pretty good example of a team thinking they can just turn it off and on.

I agree it's hard if not impossible to play pedal-to-the-metal basketball for 82 games and have anything left for the playoffs (except for a bunch of injuries) but there's a difference between teams like San Antonio who use the regular season to tool around with their offense and defense while resting their stars at the expense of a few wins in order to get the most out of their roster by the time the playoffs hit and a team like the Pistons who consistently fell behind by double digits by playing sloppy basketball because they felt they were talented enough to simply make up the difference in the fourth quarter.

And yes, Gasol has been on fire. He hit 10 in a row in the first half 3 games ago and was given a grand total of 3 shots in the second half. He's been doing it with jumpers, post-ups, offensive rebounds and on the break so the Lakers can't even argue other teams have "figured him out".

Blogger lordhenry said...
Damn, woe betide the lakers......blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I know they haven't played the best ball lately, but everyone is looking weak right now. Boston has dropped a bunch of stupid games they should have won, even w/out KG. The bulls? Seriously? And Cleveland looks dominant, until you realize their only way to the finals goes through Boston or Orlando---teams with big men, and the Cavs are missing their best presence under the hoop, Ben Wallace. Home Court won't guard the paint for you.......So I'm keeping the faith, I want my Lakers/Celtics rematch, providing LA makes it there. I have no doubt that the C's will destroy the Crabs inside and have the savvy to mess up Superman bigtime. My only doubt is if this crappy play continues LA will become the next 07 Mavs.......Doubts, but I'm still hopeful. I have to be, my other team, the Mavs-----SUCKS.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AK Dave, if he meant the 94 Sonics, then is a team that finished with the league's best record really a good example of a team that cruised through the regular season playing lazy ball? The 94 Sonics finished 63-19, a full five games ahead of anyone else. They did get upset badly in the first round, but I daresay it's not because they didn't put in the effort during the regular season. I mean, does anyone think the reason the Mavs lost in the first round in 2007 is because they didn't play with enough intensity during a regular season in which they won 67 games? Like I said, it's a marathon, not a sprint, so there might be some wisdom in pacing yourself.

Note that the Lakers playing like crap last week was probably not an example of "pacing themselves". I'm not defending their rather poor efforts, I'm just debating whether it is always good policy to play with all out effort the whole year.