Wild Yams and I have combined our awesome powers -- Marvel Team-Up
style! -- to complete tonight's WotN post. (Just so you know, though, in this analogy, I'm the Amazing Spider-Man and Yams is the bald chick.)The Sacramento Kings:
They finished the worst season in franchise history
on a high note...I guess...by snapping a nine-game losing streak with a win over a hapless Minnesota squad that rolled out a starting lineup of Brian Cardinal, Mark Madsen, Jason Collins, Mike Miller and Kevin Ollie. Woo hoo? The 17 victories made the people of Sacramento nostalgic for the relatively amazing success of last season's 38-win campaign. Said Beno Udrih: "We definitely have much more potential than we showed this season. Something just wasn’t clicking. I guess we have to figure it out a little bit and try to fix it in the summer and in training camp when we come back." You guess?!The Minnesota Timberwolves:
In what may be his swan song as a member of the Timberwolves organization, Kevin McHale got to stick it to the fans one last time. It was bad enough that they had to finish the season by watching two squads that combined to win just 41 games -- a total surpassed by 14 other teams this season! -- but they had to watch their guys lose to the worst team in the league because, as I said, McFail started Brian Cardinal, Mark Madsen, Jason Collins, Mike Miller and Kevin Ollie to "reward them for their consistent hard work and good attitudes." That's great, Kevin, but when your finish with 13 win on the road and 11 at home -- the only team in the league with a better "away" record -- then you have officially given a giant, flaming middle finger to your fans. All, what, 15 of them?Brian Cardinal:
A rare start and an even more rare 20 minutes of PT, and he finished scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting. Way to make those minutes count, Brian! Gene Keady is so disappointed.The Washington
What a fitting end to a dismal season, as the
Generals lost their final game of the season to the "Boston Celtics," who were playing without Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Washington got a season-high 39 points out of Caron Butler, but they forgot to get a hand in the face of Eddie House -- who hit 5 three-pointers in the fourth quarter -- and got outscored 36-24 in the last 12 minutes to lose by 8. Note that they barely finished with more assists (15) than turnovers (14), and Stephon Marbury had almost as many dimes (8) as the
General's entire starting lineup (13). Washington's 19 victories was the worst mark in the Eastern Conference as well as the franchise's lowest win total for an 82-game season.The Boston Celtics:
Bad, bad, bad news. Kevin Garnett: Probably done for the season
. So now their only chance to repeat is if LeBron James and Kobe Bryant both suffer season-ending injuries in the next week or so.The Milwaukee M.A.S.H. unit:
After building a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, it looked like the Bucks would salvage a least a smidge of pride after a disappointing year that was punctuated by a late-season collapse that saw them go from playoff contender to lottery team. Instead, they watched in what I can only guess was a sense of horror and despair as the Pacers out scored them 43-20 in the final 12 minutes, during which they also hit seven three-pointers. Travis Diener and Josh McRoberts were key components of Indy's comeback. Yeah, you read that correctly. Said Richard Jefferson: "I'm not a believer in luck or good fortune. I believe you either do things like you're supposed to or you don't do them. We played very good defense in the third quarter, combined with them missing some shots, and then we came out in the fourth quarter and didn't do those things. We just didn't do anything to make things go right for us."The New Jersey Nets:
The Nets sat both Devin Harris and Vince Carter with fake injuries in a 29-point loss to the Knicks in New York that dropped them to 23-40 since Harris said
: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." For the record, they finished 13th in the East. Playoff prediction fail! Statistical extra: New Jersey shot 31 percent and finished with more turnovers (17) than assists (12).Vince Carter:
You may or may not remember that, just a few short days ago, Vince said
: "We are playing to win. I don't want to disrespect the game. I want to give an effort and come to play." Well, last night, Mr. "I don't want to disrespect the game" sat out with was was described as a sprained right big toe. For the record, he was the 18th highest paid player in the league
this season, ahead of guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Yao Ming, Pau Gasol...The New York Knicks:
It's official. Despite a late run, the 2008-09 Knicks finished with only 204 blocked shots, which is eighth-worst all-time and first-worst for a full 82-game season, just surpassing last year's Knicks, who finished with 213. They are The Worst Shot Blocking Team in NBA History. Huzzah!The Chicago Bulls / Me:
As Czernobog astutely pointed out, this is what I said yesterday
after the 76ers lost to the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen-less Celtics: "The loss will almost certainly cost the Sixers the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs (unless the Bulls lose at home to the Craptors AND they manage to beat the Crabs in Cleveland), which will force them to face the actual Boston Celtics in the first round. So, you know, uh oh." You'd think that the guy who invented the term "stat curse" and spent the season mocking Devin Harris for dooming his team with that whole "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" comment would know better. Alas, I did not. Speaking of not knowing better, you'd think that a team that had to fight tooth and nail for two months to claw their way back to .500 would realize that they're not a good enough squad to just flip the switch, no matter how well they've been playing in general and at home in particular. But the Bullies decided to rest their starters against the Craptors...only the starters were PLAYING, and the game had serious playoff implications. Chicago fell behind by 14 points by the end of the first quarter and by 20 early in the second, and they never recovered. They got murdalized on the boards (57-40) and carved up by Shawn Marion (34 points on 15-for-18 shooting). And now they get to play the defending champs in the first round. Greeeeeeeat...
(And for the record, no, I did not pull that stat curse on purpose. I would much rather the Bulls play the Magicians at this point. My preference for Boston was at least in part due to the fact that I didn't want to watch the Crabs destroy the Bulls while everyone took turns fellating King Crab.)John Salmons:
Not only did he shoot 1-for-7, he was the guy who was supposed to be defending Shawn "This is my last chance to audition for a huge free agent contract" Marion. That's an offensive AND defensive fail. It's like somebody switched him with Larry Hughes or something.The Philadelphia 76ers:
The Crabs sat LeBron James, Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Joe Smith, and Delonte West and Anderson Varejao didn't play in the second half. And the best Philly could do was pull of a one-point overtime victory. The Sixers let Cleveland's scrubs shoot almost 52 percent and gave up a career-high 28 points to Boobie Gibson, not to mention a season-high 20 points (9-for-18) to Sasha "The 16-minute Man" Pavlovic. Not impressed here. Said Andre Iguodala: "Getting a win was important, but we didn't play good basketball. If the team plays the way we've been playing, we're going to get swept. We have to look at ourselves, step it up and cut out a lot of the BS. We've been a little selfish out there, not as far as guys trying score, but we've got to collectively be one unit." Speaking of selfish...Samuel Dalembert:
"Big Sam" doubled his assist total for the past 29 games by dishing out 1 lonely dime last night. He finished the season with 18 assists (versus 434 shot attempts and 117 turnovers) in the 2,036 minutes he played over 82 games. That puts his assist per minute rate at 0.008, which is positively Yinka Dare-esque. Congrats, Sam-Me!Pistons-Heat:
With everybody important either sitting out or seeing limited minutes, fans were "treated" to a career-high 26 points from Chris Quinn and what I'm just going to assume without doing any research was a career night from Kwame Brown (17 points, 13 boards, 3 steals). Quinn versus Kwame! Oh, that NBA action really is FAN-tastic! Wait, I'm sorry, I meant SNOOZE-tastic. My bad.The Houston Rockets
: They entered the night with a shot to win their first division title in 15 years and they also had a shot at securing the 2nd seed in the West, and for a while it looked like they might actually pull it off with a win in Dallas. Dallas started the night red hot, jumping out to a 10 point first quarter lead before Houston came back and wrestled the lead away from the Mavs behind their strong defense. Houston controlled the game for most of the 2nd quarter and for the start of the third, but after pushing the lead to 14 points early in the second half, Houston choked the game away by allowing the Mavs to finish the game on a 48-23 run. Houston played a relatively error-free game, only turning it over 9 times, and they weren't victims of home cookin' as the Mavs only shot one more free throw than they did. No, Houston did themselves in with some poor overall shooting, especially from distance. And usually when that happens, you know who's behind it...Ron Artest
: Ron-Ron's stat line wasn't all that awful, with 10 points on 4-13 shooting (0-5 from three), but it was really the timing of his misses that doomed the Rockets more than anything. In the first five minutes of the game Artest missed two long 3-pt shots and another 18 foot jumper, to start 0-3 as the Mavs were racing out to their early lead. Artest was then relatively quiet until Houston built that 14 point lead, at which point Artest missed another pair of long range threes, and a layup to boot. But in true Basketbawful fashion Artest saved his worst for last. With the Rockets trailing by 5 with 3:45 to go in the game Artest decided to take matters into his own hands and fire up an ill-advised three which missed badly. Dallas got the board and went down and scored to stretch the lead to 7. Then a minute later with the Rockets trailing by 7 Artest decided to go for an even more ill-advised three which he bricked even worse, and that led to a long rebound and fast break for Dallas to put the Mavs up 9 with only 2:30 to go in the game, and that was pretty much it.The Charlotte Bobcats
: Here's all you need to know about Michael Jordan's franchise: they lost their last game of the season to finish 12 games under .500... and they still managed to set a franchise record for most wins in a season with 35. Baby steps, I guess. It wasn't too long ago that the Bobcats were starting to get mentioned as a team that might bump the Pistons or Bulls from that last playoff spot in the East, but it seems like it was ages ago at this point, after having the Magic slam the door on their season with a 25 point drubbing in Orlando. Despite getting some help at the line (34 FTAs to only 22 for the Magic), the Bobcats did themselves in by only shooting 35% from the field and only 16% from 3. Still, the Bobcats might have had a shot to make this one more respectable if not for...Gerald Wallace
: Generally a team needs more than 3 points on 3 shots from their best scorer, but I guess Crash wasn't up to it tonight. To be fair, growing up I tended to typically mail in the last day of school before summer break too. On the bright side, at least he didn't suffer some kind of freak injury.The New Orleans Hornets
: The Hornets have been battling the Jazz for which Western team looks worse heading into the playoffs, and after the previous night's debacle by the Jazz in LA it looked like Utah had that dubious honor wrapped up, but last night's failure by the Hornets calls that into question. This was a back and forth affair all night until about the last five minutes of the 4th quarter when New Orleans looked like they were ready to pull away, going up by as many as six, and even leading by as many as five with less than 45 seconds to play. But Peja Stojakovic looked like he thought it was Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals as he bricked a three pointer with 20 seconds left following a Michael Finley basket, and that was followed by Rasual Butler missing one of two free throws after getting fouled while collecting the miss. David West then fouled Tony Parker who made two free throws, and the scene was set for the Hornets' failure. Up two points with the ball and only 7 seconds to go James Posey got fouled, but he too missed one of two free throws, and that opened the door for Michael Finley to send the game to overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pt shot
. After that the Hornets collapsed in the overtime period and San Antonio won the game and their first division title since 2006.Peja Stojakovic
: Missing what would have been the dagger three with 20 seconds left in regulation doesn't begin to tell the story of how poor Peja's night was, as the former 3-time All Star turned in the basketball equivalent of a flaming bag of dog poop last night. Only 4 points in 42 minutes with no made three pointers, no free throws and no assists. You can't help but think if Peja had shown up at all that the Hornets could have pulled this one out.The Atlanta Hawks
: For the second night in a row, not only was it scalper's night off at a Hawks game, but it was the Hawks rotation players' night off as well. In addition to giving Mario West another game with 30 or more minutes of playing time, Atlanta also dusted off barely used players such as Thomas Gardner (25 minutes), Solomon Jones (29 minutes) and Othello Hunter (27 minutes). Speedy Claxton even got another shot with 8 minutes. It should be noted that with the 39 minutes he got two nights ago and the 30 he got last night, Mario West has now played more than a quarter of his total season's worth of minutes in the last two games. Too bad he couldn't take more advantage of the sudden jump in playing time though as he followed up Tuesday's 3 point showing with another 3 points last night.OJ Mayo
: The man is showing he has a flair for ending his seasons on odd notes. You may recall that he ended his high school career by dunking and then throwing the ball into the stands so he could get ejected;
and it appears he was looking for a similarly sour note on which to end his rookie year in the NBA, going out with not just a technical foul, but with a flagrant foul to boot.Nellieball & SSOL
: It wasn't too long ago that a matchup of the Warriors and the Suns was one of the most exciting games the NBA could possibly imagine, what with the two most offense-only oriented teams going head to head in a crazy shootout. But even though the two teams combined to put up 230 points last night, the matchup kinda loses its luster when both teams have already been eliminated from the playoffs and there's nothing really to play for. Well, almost nothing. It should be pointed out that by playing last night, for the first time in his career Grant Hill played in all 82 games this season, and he was the only Suns player to manage to do that this year.The Denver Nuggets
: With Houston losing to Dallas before this game even started, Denver had nothing to play for, having already locked up the #2 seed in the West. And boy did they play like it, even if it wasn't on purpose. Despite the fact that Denver gave all their regular rotation guys their normal minutes in the hopes of setting the Nuggets' franchise record for wins since they've been in the NBA with 55, the Nuggets got absolutely hammered by a Portland team which continues to be incredibly tough to beat at home. Denver shot only 33% for the game (31% from 3-pt range), and had 20 fewer assists than the Blazers did en route to a 28 point blowout in the Rose Garden. It was one of those games where you wish you had more fingers to point at people because there were so many people to blame. Chauncey Billups "led" the Nuggets in scoring with only 13 points, and I don't know for sure but I'm guessing that's got to be close to some kind of record for fewest points scored by a team's top scorer on the night. Meanwhile on the other end of the floor the Nuggets allowed Portland to shoot almost 53% from the floor (and 59% from 3-pt land), and not one Portland starter was in double figures due to the lack of playing time, given that it was such a rout.The Los Angeles Clippers
: Much like The Other LA Team, I saved the worst for last. What a season it's been for the Clippers. They managed to fail in just about every way possible, and last night's 41 point home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder was the perfect ending for such a turd of a season. It was the cherry on top. Or as coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. said "It was the icing on the cake as far as the season is concerned." Combined with the 38 point loss the Clippers suffered at the hands of the Lakers on opening night back on October 29th, last night's embarrassment made the perfect bookends to one of the most disappointing seasons for the league's most awful franchise (the 63 Clipper losses this year represents only the 8th worst season in their history). We've been saying it all year around here, and it deserves to be said one more time: the 2008-2009 Clippers: They are who we thought they were.
Bonus bawful! From Basketbawful reader Jordan:
I'm just going to break it down like this:Lacktion report:
Clippers v. Thunder Fail: Check.
"Fan Appreciation" Night Fail: Check.
Getting beat by 41 points by the Thunder FAILURE: Check.
On Fan Appreciation night: Double check.
I really don't wanna keep going. It just got worse from there. Oh what the hell, just for the fun of it...
Coach Clip-a-suck-a-loffagus not even bearing to stand on the same floor as his "team" got owned by one of the NBA's premier JV basketball squads: Check.
And an extra dose of failure as he was ejected from the game: Check
Also, add me to WotN. I bought tickets for $40 to sit in a suite to "watch" the game with my girlfriend. The highlight of the night was finding an unclaimed 12 pack of corona extras in one of the cabinets in the suite. I snatched em up and walked right out of the arena. Jordan 1, Clippers Ecstacy of Suck -41
And now, Chris turns in his last lacktion report of the regular season...
The last day of the regular season -- the very last chance for key lacktators to pad their negative stats in order to receive consideration for the Association's All-Lacktator Team at the conclusion of the schedule! And while most squads have little to play for (with postseason matchups mostly set in stone), the prestigious goal of getting star lacktators their meaningless minutes served to motivate plenty of organizations this Wednesday.Kobe Bryant:
Spurs-Hornets: Melvin Ely's one assist in 10:45 off the bench could not overcome a two-foul and two-brick 2:0 Voskuhl! Teammate Devin Brown got himself a +2 suck differential in 5:07 via foul and giveaway.
And Bruce Bowen's lacktive renaissance continues with a +3 in 10:23 via two fouls and a brick from the San Antonio River Walk. Coach Popovich knows that in order to confirm victories for his aging squad this postseason, he must make sure that his professional tobacco expert has relearned his non-moves for critical late-game situations, hopefully serving as an effective mentor for the younger and significantly more overpaid Fabricio Oberto.
Kings-Wolves: Okay, huh? The Kings decided to not lose 66 games this year, but a mere 65? Golf clap! But this momentous and rare occasion of a win (which only occurred 20.3% of the time -- an 80% chance of it not happening during most of the year) required Kenny Natt to bring out a human victory cigar. Cedric Simmons was up to the task of celebrating this meaningless win with a +1 (via giveaway) in 1:30.
And in a starting stint, Mark Madsen bricked twice in 9:41 for a +2!
Rockets-Mavs: James Singleton spent 28 seconds in Castlevania for a pedestrian Mario.
Raptors-Bulls: Pops Mensah-Bonsu seems to have become the third cog in the Little Three of Lacktivity as Nathan Jawai has disappeared from the scoresheets. Tonight, Mensah-Bonsu parented a celebratory +6 in 5:04 via foul, rejection, and four bricks!
Hawks-Grizzlies: Randolph Morris used one of his nine lives to scratch out a slight Voskuhl in 7:44 -- three fouls and a giveaway against one made field goal and a board for a 4:3 ratio.
Sixers-Cavs: After Royal Ivey appeared to have abdicated his lacktive role in Philadelphia mid-season, he returned to prominence recently with a string of lovably irrelevant performances. Serving as the human victory cigar tonight in a shocking conquest of the crustaceans at the aquarium known as the Q, he bricked once from Euclid Avenue in 14:11 for a +1.
Mamba made an appearance on the long-running children's show, Sesame Street, where he dressed his penis up in a little puppet costume of himself. No, I am not making this up
A world of thanks to Basketbawful reader David for sending in the picture of Kobe and his "Miniature Kobe" (which I swear is what the little pink girl puppet called it).
Labels: End of the Regular Season, Marvel Team-Up, Worst of the Night