The Boston defense: Keep in mind that everything the Celtics have accomplished the last two seasons has been based on a foundation of defense. Tom Thibodeau was the mad scientist behind their Defensenstein Monster. But without KG cleaning up everybody's mistakes (much like Alice on "The Brady Bunch"), Thibs doesn't look quite so genius-y, does he? In a must-win home playoff game, the C's gave up 115 points on 50 percent shooting (40-for-80). And, yeah, they put a lid on Derrick Rose, but Ben Gordon had a playoff career-high 42 points (14-for-24) -- including Chicago's final 12 -- despite the fact that Boston knew it was going to him every single possession down the stretch. BG was steaming like an atomic pile. I get that. But you'd think that one of the best defensive teams in the league would be able to figure out a way to get the ball out of Gordon's hands.

It's also worth noting that the Bulls ran out for 21 fast break points, which seems like an awful lot to for slow-it-down, grind-it-out playoff basketball.

The Bulls' rebounding: Talk about wasting an opportunity. Chicago could have put the Celtics into a crushing 2-0 series hole if they could have just grabbed a few more rebounds. Instead, they got pounded on the boards (50-36). Most damning was the fact that they gave up 21 offensive rebounds...which allowed Boston to score 32 second-chance points. As Vinny Del Negro said: "I loved the grit and toughness of our team, but you can't expect to win when you get outrebounded like that."

A By The Horns commenter named Nate pointed out that: "This game was lost by the failure of the Bulls guards to rebound. Gordon and Salmons combined for 2 defensive rebounds in 83 minutes of playing time. That's absolutely pathetic." And, indeed, Rajon Rondo -- who overcame a mild ankle sprain to finish with a triple-double (19/12/16) and 5 steals -- had 7 offensive rebounds. Opposing point guards should never have 7 offensive rebounds. Ever. And his biggest of the game came with 30 seconds left. The Bulls were up 113-112 when Rondo short-armed a 17-footer but managed to chase down his shot and dish it out to Ray Allen for a go-ahead three-pointer. As critical end-of-game mistakes go, that one was a doozy.

Other random Bulls-Celtics notes from Basketbawful reader DKH: "Wow, Chicago held a block party in Boston with 14 blocks in their loss...but they should work on protecting the boards more, where they allowed 21 offensive rebounds. Think that might have something to do with losing by 3 points? Ray Allen played nearly 40 minutes, and had 30 points, and was +5. Stephon Marbury played 9 minutes, had 2 points, and was -19. Ben Gordon had 42 points on 24 shots...and no assists, and also no turnovers. So he didn't cost his team, but he didn't give the ball up, I guess."

Joakim Noah: It's not Jo's fault. Ray Allen hit a redonkulous shot. But still, Noah was dotted by a game-winning shot. Speaking of which, here's some bonus bawful! Ray Allen on his game-winner (via Chris):

I feel like these Northmass clips shouldn't be as funny as they are...

Update! Vinny Del Negro: An anonymous commenter mentioned something I got a little upset about at By The Horns: "I think Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro deserves a lot of blame for the loss for poor timeout management -- couldn't even advance the ball to get a decent play up. I'm betting, with the way Gordon was shooting, if he got even a semblance of a good look, game goes to overtime." It's true. And this was the second straight game Vinny ran his team out of timeouts at the end of regulation. It didn't cost him Game 1, but it was part of what potentially cost his team Game 2.

Update! Officiating blunders: From Basketbawful reader J.T. Magee: "Doesn't really matter anymore, but the refs should be added to that bawful list by botching John Salmons' 3-pointer at the end of the 3rd quarter. The shot clock still said 1 when he let it go. It went in. It would've given Chicago a one-point lead heading into the 4th quarter. The buzzer sounded and the ref next to Salmons, I believe it was Steve Javie, blew his whistle after hearing the buzzer, not thinking about whether or not Salmons actually let the shot go in time. A shame shot clock violations can't be reviewed, too. Wasn't it a Ray Allen 3 that won the game, too?"

Dirk must smash

The Dallas Mavericks: That crashing, banging, crumpling sound you just heard? It was the Mavs coming back down to earth. I guess they figured their job was done when they surprised the Spurs in Game 1. They barely showed up for Game 1. Dallas let San Antonio shoot over 53 percent and dominate the boards (44-28) like they were Zed and every rebound was the Gimp he kept locked up in the basement. And on the subject of non-consensual BDSM, Tony Parker gave them quite the spanking in what might be the first occurrence in human history in which anyone has ever surrendered to the French. TP Parker went wild for 27 points in the first half and finished with 38 points (3 points off his playoff high) on 16-for-22 shooting. Parker also dished out 9 assists and grabbed as many rebounds (4) as Erick Dampier, otherwise known as "The Mavs' starting center."

But wait, there's more. The five Dallas starters finished with a combined plus-minus score of -70, led by Jason Kidd's -21. That's the same J-Kidd, by the way, who was responsible for defending the Spurs' PG. You know, Tony Parker. Anyway, the 21-point loss -- and Dirk's 3-for-14 shooting -- temporarily restored order in the NBA Universe. Now we'll see what the Spurs can do in Dallas. Bad news for the Mavericks: San Antonio has come back to win four series after losing Game 1 since 2002.

Update! Mark Cuban: Basketbawful reader Mladen pointed this out: "Mavs owner Mark Cuban punched a water cooler as San Antonio pulled away in the fourth." RAAARGH!! MARK CUBAN SMASH WATER COOLER!!

Update! Mark Cuban (again): More superdickery from Marky Mark. Phoenix Stan of Bright Side of the Sun had the gall to ask Cuban a fair question -- go here for details -- and Mark's response was...rather typical: "Time to step away from the blog and get a real job." You've been SERVED, Phoenix Stan. Because there's no way blogging could ever be considered a real job...

Update! Mike Budenholzer, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From Basketbawful reader Mike T: "Prior to game 2 of the Spurs-Mavs series, the Spurs TV announcer asked Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer about adjustments that need to be made. Part of Coach Bud's response was: 'At the end of the day I think there was too much penetration, they were inside of us too much.'"

TNT: Another nomination from DKH. So...this is what TNT has come to? C-Webb challenging Charles Barkley to eat a piece of bread. That's it? Unless that bread was on fire, covered with crawling insects or attached to David Stern's mouth, I can't imagine how it could possibly rate coverage. Here's the shocking footage.

Update! Lacktion report: I should be added to Chris' I almost lacktioned it out of this post.

Bulls-Celtics: Tony Allen is on fire as Boston's lacktator of choice, getting the green flag from Laikatu to flutter away to the bench after a 4 second Super Mario! His two-game lacktion streak not only puts him in the lead for most lacktive minutes in the Association so far (at 8:27 of unproductivity); he's also managed to have the longest (8:23 in Game 1) and shortest non-contributory stints of the posteason!

Mavs-Spurs: With the former four-time champs back on track, Gregg Popovich culled up several human victory cigars to revel in this 21-point victory. George Hill climbed his way to a goldmine worth 4.95 trillion (making him the richest man in the playoffs so far), while Fabricio Oberto's one made field goal did not counteract the negative stats he accrued in that same 4:58, fouling twice and giving up the rock once for a ritzy 3:2 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Mark Cuban sent Matt Carroll into a wonderland of wealth, taking down a capital gain of 2.35 trillion. And in 4:58, James Singleton missed a lone shot from downtown, took only one foul, and accrued a mere turnover for a suck differential of +3 - his second lacktive appearance in a row!
Amanda Masker: Okay, get this. Masker, a resident of Scranton, Pennsylvania, set her apartment on fire while trying to heat up leftover chicken wings on the stove. When firefighters arrived, one of them "told her to get clothes and get out, Ms. Masker cursed at him, pushed him and then struck him in the chest with her fists, police said. [The firefighter] escorted the struggling woman downstairs, where she was arrested by officers who were called to assist." Nope. Not making it up.

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Blogger Shiv said...
Ryan started the fiiirrreee! Sorry, couldn't resist. She is in Scranton.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I disagree with the entire Boston defence paragraph. KG has a 7.3 On/Off differential this year, leaving the Celtics averaging 106.6 allowed when he's Off the court. Total list of all Celts this year here. Why is it so surprising that the Bulls scored 115 with a hot night from Gordon? KG really does clean up their mistakes.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I know the Celtics got the win, but I don't know whether to feel like everything is gonna be OK there or not, considering they really came a couple lucky shots away from being down 0-2. Furthermore I don't know whether to think that the Celtics are really hurting without KG, or whether the Bulls are just way better than I thought they were. I mean, the Celtics played pretty damn well down the stretch without KG, so it wouldn't make sense that they're suddenly not a very good team. On the other hand, while Chicago is definitely very talented, they didn't play very consistently down the stretch (on the road at least), so I don't know if they're just playing above their head or what. I do know this: if Chicago raises its game at home the way it did after the All Star break, there is a very real chance this thing could come back to Boston with the C's down 3-1.

Way to go Mavs, the Spurs are a good team to sleep on like that. I mean, you already got the split down there in San Antonio, and it's not like the Spurs have really ever done much of anything, so why sweat Game 2? Better to mail it in and just focus on getting the predictably easy home wins in Games 3 and 4, right? After last night's performance my guess is the Spurs get a split in Dallas and steal the home court back.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mr Bawful, it got to be horrible writing an bulls blog, while rooting for the c´s, right?

Blogger chris said...
There's just something about that shot of Dirk with those four Spurs' NBA banners smoothly in the background...he can't stand to look at them, that's for sure.

CAPTCHA: "forusho", fo sho! LOL

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Blogger Dan said...
Plus, about 12 (if not half a dozen more) of BG's jumpers were ill-advised with about 20 seconds left on the shot clock and hands in the face. He was taking shots like he would any night, this just happened to be one of the nights that his ridiculous shot selection actually worked out for him.

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
@Anaconda - aren't you agreeing with that paragraph, not disagreeing? Or am I just confused?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Shiv -- I wondered how long it would take for somebody to make that reference. The answer: Not long. First comment, in fact. You win five Basketbawful Bucks.

AnacondaHL -- The entire paragraph? Really? Now I know how Hulk Hogan felt when Macho Man refused to tag him out back when THE MEGA POWERS EXPLODED!!!!

Maybe I didn't explain myself well, but I have felt that far too much was made of Thibs as a defensive coach and about how everybody on the team was suddenly a crack defender. Seriously, I read stories about how Ray Allen was suddenly a stopper. Ray-Ray? Really? Yes, really. I read it. But the reality is, when you can funnel your man toward one of the best defenders in the league, that makes players look better and coaches seem smarter.

Boston's defense is a pale shadow of itself without was proved by how they got lit up by the Bulls and BG last night. And giving up 115 points at home (on 50 percent shooting) is a good way to get booted from the playoffs. (Just ask, ahem, the Suns.)

Wild Yams -- Well, the Bulls certainly are playing above their heads. I think that they got a mental boost from the fact that the C's lost KG for the series (and probably the entire postseason) and, let's face it, there was no pressure whatsoever for them to win in Boston. I mean, nobody expected them to anyway. It'll be interesting to see how they react at home, where they MUST win...and they know it. Will they play as free and loose, or will they tighten up? I think they'll tighten up.

As for the Celtics, no matter what they say, losing KG was a crushing blow to a team that has been playing shorthanded all season. Pierce logged a lot of minutes down the stretch, and it's showing. Now they're without Powe. They're a team for whom anything less than winning a title is meaningless right now, and they know in their hearts it ain't happening this year.

Also, regarding the Mavs, I read some comments by Dirk where he basically said, "Yeah, it would have been nice to win, but we got the split, and that's a big accomplishment." Or something like that. That's the kind of mental letdown that has haunted Dallas the last four or five seasons. Glad to see they've learned from their mistakes.

Anonymous #1 -- You know, it's not that bad. I'm actually a big fan of both teams, so it's fun getting to watch them play each other. And it's been an amazing series so far. And, I have to admit, I'm rooting for the Bulls right now. The Celtics are reeling and aren't going to win a title this season. I'd rather see my Baby Bulls get some much-needed playoff burn.

chris -- Yep. That's some sweet, sweet agony for the Dirkmeister.

Anonymous #2 -- Thanks for the head's up. I checked it out, and it doesn't seem like there was any malicious intent.

Dan -- That's absolutely true, but it's also part of the Ben Gordon package. He's a scorer. That's what he does. And obviously you don't want all the players on your team taking those shots, because the results would be ghastly. But shooting all those leaning, running, fading, falling away, ill-advised jumpers/runners/spinners/etc. is part of the Air Gordon magic. I've seen him do it so much that even I've stopped questioning it. It's like how having someone jam a bunch of needles into your body should be anything but therapeutic...but it is.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Anon: Awesome work. And whoever "Jay" is completely laid the smackdown.

Caleb Smith: "But you'd think that one of the best defensive teams in the league would be able to figure out a way to get the ball out of Gordon's hands." Well, actually no since Rondo has pretty clearly been the weak link of the starters, despite getting better this season. Again I point to the team's Off/Def numbers. Not to mention there was no mention of Ben Gordon allowing a triple double by Rondo. And how Boston missed 8 FTs (17-25) which could have made the result clearer.

There was nothing outstandingly bawful about Boston's defence. They did exactly what they were expected to do without KG, and countered Ben's hot night with everyone sharing the load (queue Samwise/Frodo gay innuendo), topped with freaking Big Baby shooting the ball the most for the C's (12-21 for 26 pts).

Tommy Thibs does deserve some credit for going all in, teaching the team how to utilize KG with team defence, but obviously forgot the backup plan. (You can check out Garnett last season, and his seasons in Minny for that). It's like, blaming the Suns's bad offence for a loss if they didn't have Nash.

I think Bawful wrote this all in bitterness as a Bulls fan, and I'm writing about Rondo in bitterness as a Suns fan attempting to build a time machine.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Harlan's "Woody Allen" does it again was particularly bawful. Freudian slip alerting us to his physical reaction after Allen hit the game winner?

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: Whoever Jay is, I think he should say hi to us in the comments. :D

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Charles Barkley eating the bread was awesome- made my day :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...

King Crab might be falling asleep in this picture

Blogger Dunpizzle said...
Erika promises to put Mr. Longoria on his back.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think the bulls coach Vinny Del Negro deserves a lot of blame for the loss for poor timeout management -- couldn't even advance the ball to get a decent play up. Im betting, with the way Gordon was shooting, if he got even a semblance of a good look, game goes to overtime.

Anonymous illwafer said...
can someone who didn't play get WotN mentions?

how about joe "beast" and his "freestyle" interviews?

"hung like dirk but not on the mavericks. cost the t-wolves mad draft picks."

Anonymous hellshocked said...
Dwight Howard: defensive player of the year. Seriously? Because he led the league in rebounds and blocked shots? The guy is a poor one-on-one defender in part due to laziness and in part due to a lack of fundamentals. He is a great weak-side shot blocker (though he could still stand to improve a bit in this department) but a great defensive player he is not.

This is a slap to the face of a guy like Kevin Garnett, last year's winner.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Official release. This feels oddly similar to how Candace Parker won the McDonalds All-American dunk contest the year after LEBRON JAMES won it...

(Bonus: He's not that far down the list, sure his differential is low, but it's more surprising Lebron and Howard didn't split the votes more evenly)

Anonymous AK Dave said...

That's awesome. Maybe Rick Carlisle should put a bounty out on TP's head. That would be even cooler! Here's what Damp should do- this is a great hockey move!Playoffs are awesome. Usually about this time (game 3), the stakes are really raised and tension mounts. Teams start to know eachother well and really hate eachother in the process. You can just SEE how much they dislike eachother and it makes every play a game within a game and every basket a statement. The crowd in Chicago is going to be going bonkers in game 3. Do you have tickets, Senior McHale?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the defensive player of the year award has become a pathetic award for guys who rack up stats, which are considered as defensive, while not including their teams success or lack thereof.

it has become an annual slap in the face of the likes of dennis rodman, dikembe mutombo, ben wallace and, dare i say it, bruce bowen.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- I hate to have to disagree with you, 'cause you're my boy and all, but the league average was 100 PPG this season (on 45.9 percent shooting). So to me, giving up 115 points (on 50 percent shooting) at home in a must-win playoff game when you're universally recognized as a great -- not good, great -- defensive team coached by one of the best defensive gurus in the business...that's the essence of bawful.

You know how many times the C's gave up 115 points during the regular season? Twice. And they lost both times. Typically speaking, there's a strong correlation between not giving up 115 points and winning.

Anonymous #3 -- "Woody Allen"? Seriously? I missed that because I switched over to the Bulls home telecast.

AK Dave -- Hm, then, since it brougth you joy, maybe I should remove its WotN honors?

Anonymous #4 -- Wow. Could 'Bron look any less happy to be there?

Dunpizzle -- Oh, wow, I bet David Stern is thrilled about that. Prepare for finage, Ericka. Also, interesting how he's getting all tough guy with an itty-bitty point guard. Funny, I don't remember him saying he was going to put Shaq on his back when they were going at it in the playoffs.

Anonymous #5 -- Agreed and added.

illwafer -- Yes they can. Can you get me any video perchance?

hellshocked -- Seriously. Like, I wasn't paying any attention to the DPoY, but nowhere did it enter my mind that Dwight would win it, let alone by such an overwhelming margin. Well, that puts him right there with Marcus Camby...which seems fitting somehow.

AnacondaHL -- What I find interesting is that Kobe got some votery despite the fact that, based on those numbers you provided, he's no better than fifth-best on his own team.

AK Dave -- I will indeed be at the game. And, if I'm lucky, drunk.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: I still can't believe you haven't mentioned Joe Beast's bawful rap album yet. ;)

Anonymous illwafer said...

oh, i wish i had a video link. i either saw it on tnt or nbatv last night...complete with video editing.

i guess this will have to do for now:

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- Ah, Mr. Beast. He got girls looking at he's like he's that dude, tall and sexy, he's so cute, plus I know he plays ball so he got loot, heard that before, put 'em all on mute. [crosses arms across chest]

What, no mention of Tyrus? He's their starting power forward, and he got TRIPLED UP on the boards by Rondo, the opposing team's point guard. Forget the guards needing to rebound.

Blogger chris said...
Botched shot clock? Hey, that's only the second time in a week it's happened in the Association! (groan.)

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
Defensive Player of the Year was a toss up to most of the media, and myself included.

I can't believe D-How blew it out of the water, and I really can't believe Lebron beat out D-Wade.

Dwayne was the first ever (I believe) to have triple digits in blocks and steals in the same season.

Too bad Pookie didn't exactly kill it in Game 1.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
im surprised i didnt see paul pierce on the WoTN for getting blocked by a much shorter rookie pg (rose) towards the end of the game. what made it so hilarious was that they intentionally set a pick so that rose would be switched on to guard pierce.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
Im surprised that Charles wasnt able to come away with the win there. I figured that he could do it easily. A Barkley quote from the book Tip Off, this was when he decided he didnt want to be drafted by the Sixers and tried to eat his way out. "We went out to eat dinner, and I had three desserts," Barkley said. "We got up the next morning, and I had three or four servings of pancakes, plus milkshakes. Then I ate on the plane the whole way and when we landed at the airport, I ate one more time. I weighed in at 296. I gained 15 pounds in 24 hours. Harold Katz looked at me and said, 'Are you nuts?'"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This year's DPOY? Juwan Howard ladies and gentlemen!

Blogger Mintz... said...
Just wanted to mention a tasteless article title i just saw...

"Nuggets' Birdman Soaring High Again"

Come on... you gotta bring up the mans history with drugs? Seriously?

Anonymous ak dave said...

I think he would have had it if he wasn't cracking up laughing. C-Webb even gave him an extra 5sec.

If Barkley can't even EAT like a champion, what else is left??

I bet Jordan will now try and eat the bread in 20sec, in front of Craig Ehlo, shoving off of Byron Russell, for the win- of $5k to his charity, just to spite Charles.

word verification: heasy

as in: off the ______

Anonymous ak dave said...
So it looks like Portland did the obvious and fronted Yao, effectively nullifying his game, which resulted in a Portland win.

Here's what's scary though if you're portland (from Yahoo Sports recap):

"Blazers center Joel Przybilla changed it up against Yao for Game 2, fronting him rather than playing behind him. And coach Nate McMillan used both Przybilla and Oden—both 7-footers—at the same time, something he’s done just once before.

Yao had 11 points and eight rebounds but got into foul trouble.

“We guessed what they would try to do, which was obviously fronts and double teams,” Yao said. “They used both tonight and tried to get the ball out of my hands. I think they did well.”

But Przybilla provided more than just defense, according to Outlaw.

“Joel pulled us together telling us we can do this,” he said. “We talked with each other. When we got down, no one would go into their individual mood. No one got out of their game. We played together."





Joel Pryzbilla is the galvanizing presence, the fearless emotional leader, the engine that turns the wheels for Portland??


Props to McMillan nonetheless for using both centers at the same time, a la "The Twin Towers" of Duncan and Robinson (lol). That was something I didn't think he'd do.

Anti-props to the NBA airing this game on the NBA channel. Bastards.

Anonymous James said...
I know how we have these stories some times like the Scranton chicken wings lady...

Well this one is from King James' town and involves a fight to the death (almost...) between two 50-year-old strippers.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
James: lol, Ohio. You forgot to mention the attack weapon was a stiletto shoe.

Bawful: Just wanted to make sure you didn't miss Greg Oden's outstanding 24.75 PF/48min performance last night (his season average was 8.7 (link says FT per 36, but it's PF per 48). Obviously we're going to have to invent the Oden metric of bawful.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Double post: Even more hilarious are some of the comments on that page. Link for the lazy who can't Ctrl+c Ctrl+v.

Anonymous hellshocked said...
I didn´t get to watch the Portland game last night (goddamn NBAtv here)so I don't know if the Rockets did it or not, but isn't playing Yao in the high post the natural adjustment to make if he's being fronted? This is what I meant the other day when I said the Rockets don't really maximize Yao's strenghts/minimize his weaknesses on a regular basis. He has trouble when fronted and has difficulty passing out of aggressive double teams, but he's a very good passer from the high post, can hit that jumper with ok consistency and can roll to the hoop on occasion and score or draw fouls.

Judging by the box score, I imagine Ron Artest reverted to his Tracy Mcgrady mindset where he takes contested jumpers with plenty of time on the shot clock which also minimizes Yao´s effectiveness since those long rebounds lead to fast break opportunities.

Is that what happened? NBAtv really fucked me over last night.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
If I was Portland I'd be most scared of the fact that their main advantage supposedly is their home court edge, and yet at home they got blown out in one game and barely won a second game in which their two stars had monster games while the opposing team's star hardly did anything. Portland's gonna get hammered in Houston.

Greg Oden is a scrub.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
Just to set the historical record straight, the French have actually been surrendered TO more than most countries (think Napoleon). The modern "surrender monkey" fallacy was promulgated primarily by the Bush administration to discredit the French criticism of the Iraq invasion in 2003.

Of course, it is all based on the rapid French capitulation to the Germans in WWII. But that wasn't cowardice,but instead a gross strategic error. French defenses were still centered around the WWI-style Maginot line of fortifications. The failure to change with the times to recognize the radical changes of mechanized warfare allowed the Germans to quickly run around the fortifications without ever engaging them. Consequently, the French heartland was left undefended. Aside from that catastrophic strategic error, the French were quite smart to surrender--wholesale slaughter would have resulted otherwise,with the same outcome.

So, while entertaining,the whole "French=surrender" thing is a crock of shit invented for a political hit job. As a German American raised to believe that the French can do nothing right, it pains me to say it, but there it is. Let's not revise history for modern political expediency.