See?! Steve Nash does so play D!!Joseph White, AP Sports Writer:
A reader who calls himself spiderbeef23 -- I love it, by the way -- emailed me a link to White's recap of the Bulls-Generals game, saying: "For a moment there I thought I was reading a Bawful blog entry at By The Horns
. Are we sure his middle name isn't 'Troll'?" And here's what spiderbeef23 was talking about:
Onward goes the Chicago Bulls' mediocre march toward the playoffs. After all, nothing says postseason like nearly blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead against the worst team in the East.
Uhm, Mr. White, you DO know that's MY shtick, right? Can you please return to the soulless, mind-numbing style of writing that is the AP's hallmark? Thanks.The Chicago Bulls:
The Bullies are fighting to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. And get this: They're only a few games behind the Pistons -- whom they play tonight at the United Center -- and Detroit is struggling with injuries (to Rip, 'Sheed and the Not Answer) and losses (six in their last nine games). So, given the circumstances, taking on the woeful, worst-in-the-conference
Generals, who were missing their second-best player (Caron Butler) should have been a lead-pipe cinch. But not for this Bulls team, who can beat almost anybody at home while losing to pretty much anybody on the road. Seriously, Vinny Del Negro needs to pray to Lord Baby Jesus so that He can use His Baby Jesus powers to do something about their "road game." It smells terrible and the dogs are always bothering with it...
Anyway, Chicago fell behind by 12 points early, then fought back to take an 11-point with just over six minutes to play. Then Antawn Jamison -- who lit them up for 32 points and 12 rebounds (but zero assists) --
scored 8 straight and turned the game into a dogfight that came down to the final buzzer. Oh, and I should probably mention that Javaris Crittenton, who averages 4 PPG, also scored eight straight Wizards points during the second half and finished with a season-high 18 on 8-for-12 shooting. So put him on the "Zaza List" of players who have notched a season-high against the Bulls this season. Oh, and file this one under "Wins That Aren't As Good As Others."Tyrus Thomas:
So, he shot 4-for-10. He was 3-for-4 in the paint and 1-for-6 from outside, which included misses from 19 feet, 18 feet (twice) and 17 feet (twice). Tyrus, for the love of all that's good and holy in this world and the next, STOP SHOOTING JUMP SHOTS. That is all.Gilbert Arenas drama:
Imagine my surprise: Drama surrounding the possible return of Hibatchi
Agent Zero's comeback day is Saturday. Definitely. Perhaps. Maybe. Depending on whom you ask.
Gilbert Arenas used a variety of means Monday to indicate that he could make his season debut for the Washington Wizards this weekend against the Detroit Pistons.
"I'm playing Saturday against Detroit," he said in a text message sent to Comcast SportsNet.
Asked if it was really so, the three-time All-Star told a Washington Post reporter at the Verizon Center: "It's only true if I play on Saturday."
Arenas then told The Washington Times by phone that playing Saturday is "the plan" -- but isn't set in stone.
Arenas took a fourth approaching -- playing coy -- when approached by The Associated Press before Monday night's game against the Chicago Bulls: "Everybody's talking about Saturday, man. I don't know how you can talk about Saturday when it ain't here."
Somewhere in the middle was interim coach Ed Tapscott, who could only say that it's a "possibility" that Arenas will play Saturday. Scooped by his own player, Tapscott said he's only had a brief conversion with the mercurial star about the latest developments.
"It's wonderful that he wants to come back and play," Tapscott said. "And what we all have to do now is get together and coordinate plans and make sure that all the responsible parties weigh in so that we can do this in a way that is beneficial to everybody. That's the process we're going through now. We're hopeful that we'll have all our ducks in a line so that that will be a reality. We're not yet 100 percent sure."
Now, seriously, is all this cloak-and-dagger stuff really necessary? The
Generals are a 16-win team, so unless David Stern decides to extend the season by 40 or 50 games, they're pretty solidly out of the playoffs. Hey, I like Gil and everything, but he hasn't been relevant for the last two seasons...unless you count the catastrophic damage he's done to the
Generals' salary cap, not to mention their team psyche. So he plays the last eight or nine games, during which he'll probably average around 15 PPG on 40 percent (or less) shooting, and Washington maybe scrapes out two or three more victories. So what? It's non-news.Update! Wild Yams
had this to add on the Agent Zero brouhaha: "Wouldn't it be great if Gilbert Arenas comes back and the Generals go undefeated with him and that severely hurts their lottery seeding? That way Agent Zero's destruction of Washington's season would be complete." There would be a certain poetic resonance...The Minnesota Timberwolves:
The update: Now 3-18 since Al Jefferson was lost for the season. Dear Lord Baby Jesus, lying there in your...your little ghost manger, lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental...videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors...please help the Timberwolves.Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal:
From the AP recap
: "Playing without starting forward Jermaine O'Neal, who sat out as a precaution with a bruised right hip but is expected to be available Wednesday when the Heat visit Indiana, Miami blah, blah, blah...." One day I hope to track down the glass factory where The Drain was made and ask them why they don't make a better, stronger brand of glass.The Memphis Grizzlies:
They fell behind 11-0 at the start and then 30-16 after one quarter and it might as well have been "Game Over" at that point. As Hakim Warrick said: "They really jumped on us from the start. When you're playing against a team that's fighting for playoff position and playing as hard as they play, it's tough to come back from behind." Also, when you're the Grizzlies and you commit 21 turnovers, it's hard to come back from behind, or hold onto a lead, or do anything resembling winning against any team at all. But hey, they might be only 17-53, but at least they got Pau Gasol's contract off the books last season!The New York Knicks:
Okay, seriously, the AP is really trying to replace me. Here's an excerpt from their recap
of the Magic-Knicks game: "Nate Robinson scored 19 on just 6-of-23 shooting for New York, which dropped its fifth straight in a late-season collapse after entertaining hopes of a playoff spot a week ago. The Knicks honored seven players from their past at halftime, then extended their dismal present by clinching an eighth straight losing season, tying a franchise worst."
Okay, that's it. I'm officially obsolete. But I'll try to offer up at least a little more semi-useful data. According to nearly 10 seconds of research, I discovered that the 2008-09 Knicks currently have 164 blocked shots on the season. That would rank as an All-Time Worst by five blocks if the season ended today. But even if they manage to surpass the 169 blocks compiled by the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls, they will still, technically, acheive an All-Time Worst since that Bulls team played during the lockout-shortened 50-game season. Next up on the list is the 1998-99 Washington Wizards, who blocked 193 shots during the lockout season. And there's no way the Knicks are catching those guys.
Wow, huh? And check out the Top Ten Fewest Block Seasons
. Eight out of 10 happened in 1998-99, and the other two are this year's Knicks team and...last year's Knicks team.
Mike D'Antoni, worried about today machine: After his team suffered a fourth-quarter collapse at MSG against the Magic -- who outscored the home team 36-23 in the fourth quarter to win by 4 points -- D'Antoni said: "I'm not worried about what happened the last seven years, I'm worried about this year. I'm not very happy the way things are going right now, but we're playing pretty well, we're playing hard, and as long as we can do that, keep trying to get a little bit better." So far, a "little bit better" is all that's happened: This year's squad is currenlty up only five games over last year's Isiah Thomas-coached team. But in all fairness, they didn't have Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph this sea...BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh, I thought I was gonna make it through that without busting up.The Los Angeles Clippers:
Look, they are who we thought they were, okay? I have no idea what to even say about this team anymore. So here's a fun fact: 98 percent of us will die at some point in our lives.Stephon Marbury:
Last night he contributed 3 points (1-for-6), 3 assists, a steal, 2 fouls and one blocked shot against in almost 20 minutes of PT. And sadly, that might be his third or fourth-best game as a Celtic. Now, I'm not a stat geek or anything, but I will allow that PER is basically a way to compress a player's stats -- which do need to be viewed and analyzed independently -- into one tidy little number. Well, Steph's PER is currently 0.9. Now, according to Hollinger's PER reference guide
, a score of 11.0 suggests "Scrounging for minutes," a 9.0 means "Definitely renting," and 5.0 equates to "On next plane to Yakima." And that's it. The guide doesn't go any lower.
Now, this spurred me to do a little extra research and, believe it or not, Starbury only has the 15th lowest PER in the league. Seriously
. The bottom 11 actually have a negative PER, with Courtney Sims notching a -26.2 (in only one game). Our buddy Jake Voshuhl has easily appeared in the most games (32) of any player in the bottom 15, and he has a PER of 0.4.
For one last bit of perspective, Mario "The Mario" West currently has a PER or 13.9, which would make him a significant upgrade over Marbury. Think about THAT.Glen Davis / Me:
Basketbawful reader Ruben astutely observed that: "By saying you would choose Big Baby over Darko, you stat-cursed Glen Davis into a 1-for-11 shooting night, while Darko went 4-8 in a good impression of a decent back-up center." Yeah, yeah. Sorry about that, Glen.Me again:
An anonymous commenter corrected an omission from yesterday's Worst of the Weekend post: "How can you post that 'He was a good horse' line from George Karl without the (un?)intentionally dirty next line -- 'He was a guy you could ride and feel really good about.'" Wow. What a boner on my part. Now, Ruben followed up this comment by saying: "Will 'Good Horse' become J.R's new nickname?" Yes. Officially. From this day forward.Update! The Denver Nuggets: Wild Yams
provided some Nuggety tidbits from today's Daily Dime
: "Winning in Phoenix has not been a strength of the Nuggets franchise. Denver has lost eight straight, 17 of 21 and, going even further back in the annals, 37 of 44 in the Valley of the Sun. ... The Nuggets have not defeated a team with a record over .500 since March 4, when they beat the Trail Blazers in Denver. Their last road victory against a winning team was Feb. 18. Right now when I look at the Denver Nuggets I do not see a team capable of making a run to the Western Conference finals, as was once thought to be the case. I see a team that will once again be one-and-done, and that is a tough pill for Nuggets fans to swallow." I guess all that strong play after the Billups-for-Iverson trade was, what, a dead player bounce?The Phoenix tease:
Oh sure. After dropping five in a row -- thereby dooming any realistic playoff hopes -- the Suns win five in a row to make us all think, "Hey, maybe...." Well, I call shenanigans. It ain't happening. That fact kills me, but it's the truth. At this point, the Suns and the playoffs go together like Chinese food and chocolate pudding. Shaq, delusions of grandeur machine:
He hit four of five free throws in the final 5:04 -- and seven out of eight in the game -- and then quipped: "That's what I do, baby. I'm Shaq-ovich. We needed them. I'm known that when you really need them, I'm going to make them." When you really need them...like last year in the playoffs against the Spurs, when Gregg Popovich was employing Hack-a-Shaq? Like then? Because I seem to remember The Big Forgetful going 6-for-13, 5-for-11, and 2-for-8 in three of the Suns' losses in that series. I'm just sayin'.Lost opportunities:
Bad news for Kevin Arnold as well as any "Wonder Years" fanatics out there: Winnie Cooper is off the market
. Good to know there's life after 80, or however old she is now.Lacktion report:
Wolves-Hawks: Shelden Williams came off the shelf for Kevin McHale and accrued suck differential markers at an efficient rate, going one-per-minute with a +4 in 3:54 via two bricks, one rejection, and one foul. Kobe Bryant:
In the midst of yet another record-padding home stand, the Hawks opted to give Mario West more playing time than he probably has ever seen in his life, a full SIXTEEN MINUTES! Such a drastic shift in lacktator strategery required a reallocation of bench resources like none other, as the rest of Atlanta's non-contributors were needed to fill the void. Thomas Gardner cultivated a two-brick +2 in 2:07 from downtown, while Othello Hunter acted ot a +1 of his own in that same time period through a foul. And Randolph Morris had +1 via brick in 1:21!
Grizzlies-Heat: Chris Quinn mightily made 2.1 trillion for Miami.
Suns-Nuggets: Stromile Swift quickly established himself as an effective lacktator tonight, giving up the rock once in 4:47 and fouling three times for a +4.
Mamba called up Danica McKellar's new husband to congratulate him, then added, "But you know I had her first, right?" Then he called up Fred Savage and said the same thing.
Labels: Associated Press, Chicago Bulls, fan submissions, Washington Wizards, Worst of the Night