Editor's note: 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 Wizards Generals: What a fitting end to a dismal season, as the Wizards 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 Wizard's 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:

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
Lacktion report: 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.

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.
Kobe Bryant: 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).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't forget the 35-10 free throw disparity in the Cavs game for the road team after taking out intentional fouls.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
That Kevin Garnett news is really, really horrible. You always want to see a champion get a shot to defend their title, and obviously this severely cripples that. Bill Simmons is saying he thinks this is a sign of things to come for KG, and that the injury is just a result of all the mileage in Garnett's career taking its toll on him. Then again Simmons is oddly fixated on this whole "passing the 1000 games played barrier" thing in thinking that no player who plays more than 1000 games is ever the same again. He believes it so strongly that he implied that Kobe Bryant is clearly a worse player now than he was a couple years ago, simply because he's played more than 1000 games, which I would have to disagree with. Anyway, I wanna say Boston may have a tough time with Chicago in the first round, but after last night's showing by the Bulls, I don't know what to think.

I'm inclined to agree with Andre Igoudala about what he said last night. I mean the out of context part of his quote where he said "we're going to get swept." No argument here.

I'm still shaking my head and chuckling at the Clippers. What a finale!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
How about a reverse stat curse, to all of the commenters last night making fun of your stat curse, only to have KG go down for the season? (Unless the KG news is an elaborate scheme to setup an emotional comeback).

Forget that, now it's time for...


Mario West 2008-09 end of season statistics!

Atlanta's Total record: 82 games, 47-35 (57.3%). Of course they finished much better than last year, so percentages should be looked at relatively.

Mario DNP: 29 games, 14-15 (48.3%)
Super Mario: 3 games, 1-2 (33.3%)
Mario: 17 games, 13-4 (76.5%!!)No Mario: 27 games, 15-12 (55.6%)
Wario: 6 games, 4-2 (66.7%!)

Clearly, giving Mario properly attributed Mushroom Kingdom games has kept the Atlanta season afloat.

More amazing lacktion numbers:

- Mario's Mario shooting stats: 100% FG%! 100% 3PT%! No wonder the win% is so high!

- Total season suck differential: only +6 over 6 games! Each was only +1!

- Total Voskuhls: 14. With this year's new Voskuhl metric, Mario recorded only one outstanding Voskuhl, 8:4. Additional, he had a 7:6, a 2:0, two 2:1, and nine 1:0.

And last, but not least...

- Total trillions: 0! Mario West has not once this season recorded a true trillion! (All 11 "trillions" were under a minute long, as Marios)! I am crying bawful tears of joy and honor right now.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: Mario West may be great at collecting the gold coins, BUT not at scoring the vast amounts of wealth required to produce the Super Mario Brothers film. Nice!

It seems like the Hakws are noticeably above 500 in any scenario that involves at least 10 seconds of playing time. Of course, we also know that his efficiency goes down after he moves up in playing time (as witnessed by his two three-point performances in those 30+ minute Warios).

But before coming up with the conclusion that "playing Mario in a Mario = win," also consider that that .765 winning percentage could also be the result of Mario celebrating his video game moniker as a human victory cigar...

Blogger BballViking said...
Garnett out for the season? FUCK YES

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Woosh. Uh...I guess if you didn't notice, if I start a sentence with "clearly" or "no wonder", I'm probably sarcastically making fun of correlation and causation.

Blogger eileen said...
I'm really bummed about KG- and holding out hope that Doc's being conservative and KG would be back for the second round.

And seriously, that pic of Kobe holding his Kobe Jr. is downright frightening.

Blogger Will said...
Love the picture of Yao. I'm hopin that he did that after he was called for the traveling violation that allowed my team to win my league's fantasy title.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: Oh, true, but hey...almost every championship team DOES have a designated lacktator. Causation, correlation, whatever, lacktion is a critical (if small) piece to any contender's lineup, and Mario West has been just as much a part of this Atlanta resurgence as Bibby and Joe Johnson.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Ruh-roh, Boston. I think all the bad karma and superdickery has finally caught up with Mr. "I planted a big one on the Celtic leprechaun's johnson after the finals"This means 2 things:

1) The Cavs are going to be doing more dancing during timeouts now that their only true challenge has been removed.

2) Orlando's 2nd round matchup just got a lot easier. They are all at Dwight's house right now having a disco party with hookers and cocaine to celebrate.

Chicago in 6. You heard it here.

Oh, and nice Castlevania reference Chris. I recently dusted off that game on an emulator... for a platform game it's pretty damn fun. Once you have triple shot holy water (sounds like a bar drink) you're invincible.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AK Dave, you don't think Orlando or LA represent "true challenges" to Cleveland?

Good point about KG's injury and the possibility of karma coming into play. For all the years prior to winning a title he was so roundly respected and admired, and he was always healthy; but after winning a title he seemed to turn into a superdick and now he's seriously injured for the first time in his career. Coincidence?

Anonymous Dan B. said...
Chris -- great job mentioning Castlevania. I'm going to be humming the music from the first level all day long now. (Doo doo do dooooo, do do do dooo doo doo do doooooooo...)

AK Dave -- my single greatest video game accomplishment still has to be beating the final Dracula boss in Castlevania 1 without losing a single hit point back when I was only like 6 or 7 years old. I don't think I could even do that today. (Hell, last time I played it on an emulator, I got my ass stomped by those stupid flying Madusa heads)

AnacondaHL -- I love distorting statistics. However, give Mario some credit. He managed to not screw up bad enough to cost his team the win. That's saying something, right? Right?

Anonymous Jai said...
That little pink girl puppet is Abby Cadabby, and she's a fairy godmother in training.

And hasn't a miniature all-star shooting guard already been done?

Kobe's such a hack...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous -- Hm. Good point. Refs must have been fans of the '86 Celtics.

Yams -- Yeah, it's a bummer, no question. It's not so much that it seals Boston's playoff fate that bothers me, it's that it ensures that the postseason will be less interesting.

BTW, someone should point out to Simmons that Karl Malone won an MVP after playing his 1000th game, and John Stockton was virtually unchanged on a per minute basis. Those guys, like Kobe, were simply ahead of the curve in terms of caring for their bodies.

AnacondaHL -- Now, dude, you realize this needs to be its own post, right...?

chris -- I'd have to go back and check the play-by-plays, but most of the time it seems like Mario's Marios come mid-game, like late second quarter, things like that.

BballViking -- I don't quite understand why you'd celebrate something that brings the level of excitement and competition in the NBA playoffs DOWN.

eileen -- I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for a little Willis Reed action. But I don't see it happening.

Will -- Dude, we need details.

AK Dave -- Yeah, Boston's in trouble, but not from the Bulls. Personally, I think it's amazing that this team finished with 62 wins, only -4 from last season's total, despite losing KG for 30 percent of the season...not to mention the other injuries to Leon Powe, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, etc. That's amazing. How many teams could do that after losing their linchpin?

Yams -- Yeah, it's just like when Karl Malone spent his entire career as an NBA iron man and then hurt his knee right after joining the Evil Empire.

Dan B. -- Ack! Now that music is going through MY head. By the way, I still think Castlevania III is my favorite of the series, mostly because of the extra playable characters. (I loved playing as Grant DaNasty, the pirate who could climb walls and change directions while jumping, or Alucard, Drac's son.)

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Sorry, sorry, I meant their only true challenge *IN THE EAST*. I think Orlando has to show me something before I'll believe they can get it done in the playoffs. LA is going to be a tough draw for Cleveland- they are the only team to win in the Q this year (when the starters played), and they match up well with them.

But you know, now that I think about it, I forgot about Boston's secret weapon- BRIAN FREAKIN' SCALIBRINE! His blinding whiteness should be enough of a distraction to bring Chicago's shooting percentage down 10%, min. Seriously though... I might be a bit crazy picking the Bulls. Boston won 62 games this year, and won 18 of 25 games without Garnett. And they have home court through the first 2 rounds. I think they might get to the Eastern Finals, but they don't have the firepower or defense to deal with the King Crab and his minions.

Matt can we expect some kind of Playoff Bawful special post? Thank god the postseason is here! From here on out, every game has "playoff implications" :D

Dan B.- I can beat Dracula's second form easily without taking damage, but the first form is a bastard. I have yet to beat that game without using a couple of save states. The Grim Reaper is near impossible without holy water and at least double shot. The medusa heads suck, but the little hopping hunchback/gremlin things that come riding in on birds used to drive me batshit crazy.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful - Of course. You'll have to come up with a fun title and pictures.

More Mario fun facts: I tried taking chris's challenge concerning lacktators on championship teams. What I ended up finding was a revolution in lacktion Mario is creating.

Do you realize how short the list is since 1946 of players averaging under 6 MP/G but playing over 50 games a season? Even shorter is players averaging 1.0 PT/G but playing over 50 games?

This is historic. Mario has most definately earned his first name stat.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Oh man here goes another video game tangent...

Castlevania III was the best NES game of the series by far- 3 new playable characters, multiple routes/optional levels, many ways to solve the problems the game threw at you, tough bosses, on and on. My only issue was that other than Grant, the other PC's were pretty weak. Alucard couldn't attack while climbing stairs, and the only sub-weapon he could use was the watch (weak!). His bat form was useful and fun, but it sucked down hearts like crazy. His standard attack was also the weakest and slowest of all the characters, in spite of its range. Syfa was weak to physical damage and tough to play, although the lightning spell could really do some damage on certain bosses. Trevor Belmont was far and away the most balanced and powerful character in that game. Grant was useful for skipping over areas and enemies by climbing walls, but his dagger had no range and he took heavy damage with each hit.

Castlevania II was lame (except for the daytime music in the towns, which will totally get stuck in your head for days if you're not careful) due to lazy programming, lack of boss fights, lack of gameplay challenge, and ridiculously hard puzzles (like having to kneel down in certain areas for 5sec while equipped with a f^cking crystal to reveal paths and no real clues as to where it should be done or even THAT it should be done. With out Nintendo Power's guide, nobody would have EVER beaten that game).

Anonymous Dan B. said...
AnacondaHL -- great stats (And God bless basketball-reference) And why am I unsurprised to see Eric Montross show up on that second list?

Bawful -- You're welcome. Here's a great video of some Castlevania 1 action, starting with the first level. (Check out the parts at 1:06 and 2:45 for example. He intentionally gets hit by enemies to bounce him up to another platform. Brilliant!)

CAPTCHA: "habla"

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: I think Mario West may thus be the first player who actually has been groomed for lacktion, as opposed to accidentally falling in the role. His efficiency-per-minute even reflects this!

For comparison, I wouldn't say that Buechler, Salmons, or Bowen were signed for that purpose, just that sometimes the glory of unproductivity comes naturally from the bench.

And interesting how that 2003 trillionaire champ being traded to Chicago ends up being one of the linchpins of a completely unexpected playoff run...as noted in my Wednesday report, in that context, it really isn't surprising now that Bowen's returned for some devotions to either the gray plastic video game box or extreme forms of on-court capitalism.

Anonymous La Dolce Vita said...
I guess Bawful's pre-season prediction of a Wizards vs. Clippers finals didn't really pan out.

Blogger chris said...
AND as for that sub-six-minutes fifty-game mark...notice who is also on that list from this season - crustacean human victory cigar Tarence Kinsey.

Maybe Kinsey was the missing link that turned all the talk in Cleveland from "watch out for 2010" to "Holy crap, we almost can't lose at home!?"

The question remains as to whether Kinsey or THE Mario West will be the winner of the Damon Jones Award at the end of this postseason. Hell, maybe we could start looking in past playoffs to see who would retroactively win the award (with the namesake of course taking it down in 07).

Blogger Will said...
OK so my matchup came down to who had the fewest turnovers and my opponent had both Yao and Ramon Sessions. I have Danny Granger, so I was freakin out when he had 6 turnovers. I thought I was gonna lose even though I was playing only 3 guys versus 6 for my opponent. So imagine my joy when first Yao travels with about 1 minute left in the Dallas game, and then Granger STEALS THE BALL FROM SESSIONS in the LAST MINUTE of their game to win TOs for me and the title.

Blogger Will said...
There are 3 guys from the '61-'62 Royals team on the -6min/game in 50+ games list. Does this make them the original Little Three of Lacktion?

Blogger ZaRocks said...
Kinda ironic that Bawful's "Real Men of Genius" ad couldn't inspire the sweat-mopper-uppers at Quicken Loans arena last night, as Boobie Gibson slipped and slid his way through the last 3 seconds of OT for the loss.

As for the game, it may have been the biggest nail-biter of the entire season. Darnell "lacktion" Jackson started out 5-5 in the first half and Wally World came close to a triple-double. The effort was there, but Andre Miller was an unstoppable force in the end.

Blogger chris said...
Will: Wow, the spiritual predecessors to the 2008-09 Kings!

The one caveat - and this will likely be one of the most difficult things to research - is that those 6/50 folks in '62 may have actually been productive; their averages (2.3, 2 and 1.5 points respectively) are a tad higher than the top 3 on the list (Kinsey's 2 pts per game, West's .8 and .9, and Brian Davis's 1.9).

Also notice that apparently, according to the 6/50 list, lacktion is something most teams count on their youngsters to deliver - Billy Paultz on the 1984-1985 Jazz was the only player older than 25 to be on that table, at 36 years old and in his last season.

Blogger Cortez said...
"my single greatest video game accomplishment still has to be beating the final Dracula boss in Castlevania 1"

The good old days.

Beating Bionic Commando was high on the list also.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- I'll do the graphics, but you have to draft the post. :)

AK Dave -- Okay, what you say about Castlevania III is technically accurate, but that's with an adult's hindsight. Those were major innovations for the day. Alas the loss of childlike wonder at simple things like being able to frog-climb the walls of a clock tower to avoid jumping from block to block.

Will -- Ha! Oh, those are the best fantasy victories...

ZaRocks -- Yeah, everybody mocks Mr. Court Wiper Upper Guy until somebody slips and hurts themselves.

Cortez -- Oh boy, you've envoked Bionic Commando, which was one of my most unreasonable 8-bit obsessions, right up there with Wizards & Warriors and Mighty Bomb Jack. I freaking loved BC, despite the fact that his bionic powers were comically limited.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Seriously...I "Bionic" hero who can't jump. That still kills me. But I still loved the game.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: Just looked at the list you posted for the 1.0PPG/50 crowd, and it's interesting to see that not only is Mario West the only non-28 year old on the list, but he has accomplished the feat two years in a row (at 23 and 24) - both seasons concluding with Atlanta appearances!

We may be seeing the potential greatest lacktator of all time entering his prime, especially after going for 6 points in 69 combined minutes of lacktion to close out the regular season.

BTW, 3rd on that list is Ryan "Definitely Not Bruce" Bowen who did lack it up a few times this year if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Bionic Commando FTW; good call. But I'll see your BC and raise you the Mega Man series; MM2 in particular.


He couldn't swim either. Of course, none of the "heros" of NES games could swim (except Mario... sometimes). I swear you'd think that the lakes and puddles of the 8-bit landscape were pits of liquid-hot magma. Then again, he could fire a rocket launcher in a perfectly straight line while swinging from a skyscraper on a mechanized extensible steel prosthetic limb... so he's got that going for him... which is nice. But a well-placed barrel and a high ceiling would completely stymie his progress. lol.

You know the funny thing is that I find many of those old 8-bit games to be more innovative and fun, with far better music (in spite of the primitive technology) than many games that come out today.


Did the playoffs start yet? Sorry for all the posts... slow day at the office ><

Anonymous kazam92 said...
How could you miss a classic 14-9 by the Big Cat Jamaal Maglore?


oh and don't you dare insult the greatness that is Chris Quinn. What an epic duel that was

Anonymous Dan B. said...
Damnit Bawful, why did you have to mention Wizards & Warriors? That game frustrated me to no end. I only managed to beat it once I believe. Well, actually, I remember making the final level, but don't even remember for certain that I beat it... and yet I still played it all the time. However, I am NOT familiar with Bionic Commando. Sounds like I have something to Google when I get home from work later...

Oh, and for the record, Guerilla War has to be one of the coolest games ever made. It's like an 8 bit version of the end of the movie Commando, except with tanks and rocket launchers and flamethrowers.

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

Blogger chris said...
Bill Simmons cries into his mug of Sam Adams as as he writes about the Garnett injury at length:


Blogger Basketbawful said...
AK Dave -- Okay, now, Mega Man doesn't count because it was always an A-List game where as Bionic Commando, Wizards & Warriors, et al. were definitely B-List games. Ladd was Bruce Campbell to Mega Man's George Clooney.

The music on some of those 8-bit games rocked, fo sho. BUT...some was so very dreadful. Like the Back to the Future port. Oh dear God. It was the same "Duuh duuh dududuuuh, duuh duuh dududuuuh" over and over and over.

kazaam92 -- Damn, I'm so bad at noting the Calvin Murphys...

Dan B. -- So sorry. (But not really.) Sadly, I beat W&W tons of times, and I don't think it made my life any better. Might've made it a little worse. Final Boss was a big wizard who disappeared randomly and shot stuff at you. Oh, yeah, and the Boots of Lava Walk sucked ass, as did the Cloak of Invisibility, which only made it impossible for you, the player, to see your character. Didn't stop the enemies from seeing you, tho'.

chris - It's like Simmons is the only guy who's team got screwed by injury.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
cout << BillWaltonSpeechEmulator;

I practically woke up with the news of Garnett's injury ringing in my ears.

It was like I was called forth from the depths of sleep, only to be cast deep into the shadows of basketball despair.

Garnett is truly a gladiator of the hardwood, and now that injury has defeated him (just as it defeated me), how can we even enjoy these playoffs?

He brought passion, grace, dare I say beauty and art to the game of basketball, only rivaled by the likes of Michael Angelo. The news has saddened me, and I'm not sure the league can survive a playoff without him, during these unspeakbly awful economic times. Let us use the powers of the Grateful Dead to soothe our souls.

Oh the horror! The basketball gods do not smile this day!


The precision of Walton that only a machiine can deliver.

Blogger Mike said...
The stage performance Phoenix phenom Goran Dragic (in addition to those by Lopez, Shaq, and others) deserves a mention!

(2:10 in the video below)


Blogger chris said...
Bawful - BS is taking this injury news probably a lot harder than the C's themselves are, they probably knew the truth about KG's knee in December and have adjusted as best they can (which, as we all know, may not be good enough for a title defense - but at least was good enough to get over sixty wins!).

As for classic Nintendo music? Some of those Super Mario 3 tunes are in my head right about now. Sweet. I remember I first played that game a couple of years after it came out - 1992? Sheesh, that really puts me way, way back on the timeline...

Anonymous hellshocked said...
I wanna thank y'all for making me feel young. The first console I owned was the SNES.

I really can't see the Bulls in 6. KG's injury certainly benefits the Cavs and the Magic, but it does nothing for Chicago. At best they win a game they wouldn't have otherwise. I don't think they match up particularly well with the Celtics and they don't have a post player who could take advantage of no Garnett.

The postseason just won't be the same without at least the possibility of Garnett being a dick to a nondescript white, typically european player.

Blogger chris said...
hellshocked: Is that the sound I hear of Varejao and Vujacic breathing sighs of relief?

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Bionic Commando was B-list? Man... that's like finding out that all of your friends thought your prom date was ugly, they just couldn't say it to your face! Here I thought that BC was one of the all-time greats...

Bionic Commando recently re-released the NES game for PC and XBox; you can buy it here.

And from what I recall, the original "Rockman" (the Japanese title of what became "Mega Man" in the USA) was something of a flop in the US and Japan, but they made Mega Man 2 anyway, and it was a huge success. So, maybe Mega Man was more like John Travolta than George Clooney (a loser early on, then later on in his life, he's the coolest guy on earth) >_<

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Has Simmons suddenly become an extremely pessimistic fan or something?

'This wasn't a case of "he tore his MCL, he'll be back in four weeks" or even "he's got some bone chips in there, we might have to clean them out." Really, the dude just has old knees. He put too many miles on them and played with too much intensity for too long. When the knees go, they go. That's just the law of the NBA. It's as simple as that.''The big picture outlook for the Celtics: If Garnett needs reconstructive surgery or (I can't even type the word ... dammit) microfracture surgery, they're absolutely screwed. Garnett's three-year, $56.5 million extension doesn't kick in until next season. For the 2011-12 season that might not happen if there's a lockout, he's owed ... (gulp) ... $21.2 million. The Celtics took great pains to structure player contracts so that Ray Allen's deal ($18.7 million) expired after the 2009-10 season, Pierce's ($21.5M) expired after 2010-11 and KG's ($21.2M) expired after 2011-12. The thinking was, "That's our foundation, and for three straight seasons, we can either negotiate extensions or shop these guys as expiring deals." Garnett's knee, if damaged, throws that plan out the window. Even this summer, with the cap going down and Garnett's future in jeopardy, the team now has to overpay to keep Davis -- whose play improved markedly over the past three months -- and also needs to ink Rajon Rondo to an extension. They're looking at a payroll of more than $80 million in 2009-10 (and a luxury tax penalty of $12 million, plus all the tax money they'd miss out on) if they want to keep this season's team intact. Yikes.'He sounds like he's not willing to wait to hear what the real diagnosis is, he's ready to jump off the cliff right now. Hey Bill, why don't you wait and see what the official word really is (it might not come till this summer) before deciding that the Celtics are "absolutely screwed."

Also, for all his hollow mentions of hope about still winning this year at the end of the article, that thing read like a eulogy. Come back in off the ledge, Bill. Sheesh.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: Don't forget Bill's obsession with that oh-so-terrible, career-altering 1000 career games mark, which is now making him get all nervous over The Truth's future.

Blogger Andrei said...
At least Simmoms didn't take the news as badly as Ainge


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn. It amazes me that former athletes let their health get so far out of hand. I mean, Ainge isn't excessively overweight, but you don't get an artery 100% clogged unless you're eating garbage and living a sedentary life. After being in amazing shape for so long as a player, I just can't understand how you get to the point of having that big of a cholesterol issue. I know it's partly genetic, but lets face it- Ainge looks like hell and has for some time.

Here's a tip from Wilfred Brimley: eat some damn oatmeal and exercise 3x a week minimum. Geez... I hope the guy ends up OK, but really, at 50 years old, if you have an artery totally clogged, maybe you should quit the Big Macs and Menthols. I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous Marc said...
Ninja Gaiden was the shiznit. Could never beat Jacquio tho.

NES Fanboys should check this:


The Ninja Gaiden run is downright epic.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"a starting lineup of Brian Cardinal, Mark Madsen, Jason Collins, Mike Miller and Kevin Ollie"

wow that´s one AWFUL lineup to close out the second quarter..

Blogger Andrei said...
I think it's pretty natural to get lazy though. These guys exercised in order to keep their jobs and when it was time to retire, I could see how you'd want to say "Screw it, I'm on a burgers and suds diet now." Also, they are used to consuming tons of calories a day, but gained no weight since they were constantly involved in physical activity. Once they're done with their careers they don't run and lift all the time, but keep their food intake the same. Even Jordan looks like the Pillsbury Dough Boy now.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Word. The Jacquio's 2nd form was controller-throwing, tantrum-inducing hard for a 10 year old. And if you died, you had to go ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF ACT 6!! AGH!!

If you're a Ninja Gaiden fan, you should watch ProtonJon's playthroughs. He is very skilled and ROFL hilarious. He astutely points out that Ryu Hayabusa is perhaps the worst ninja of all time. I mean, he falls for every predictable trap put in his way, even non-ninjas always get the drop on him, he never kills anyone when he has the chance, etc. etc...

In fact, this is my new favorite youtube video of all time.

Blogger lordhenry said...
I don't know if I have ever been sadder to read a basketball article as I was today. I'm realistic enough to know that there was something worse wrong with KG than simply a "sprained knee" but, I was still surprised to see that he might be shut down for the season. After seeing the cavs rick-roll the celts on sunday, I really thought the crabs had sealed their fate, there was no way the defending champs take that disrespect and LOSE in the playoffs right?

All season long, I have watched my team, L.A., and Boston, feeling a rematch of the finals was inevitable. A rematch that this time, my team would win. Sure, maybe the big 3 are a step slower, yeah, they don't have homecourt, and yes, KG had been in and out of the lineup and his effectiveness had been questioned as much as Timmy's going into the playoffs. But they are still the champs.

Last year, they were supposed to be finished because atlanta took them to 7, then they were supposed to be finished because of all the long series going into the finals. And still, after that, they were supposed to be a non-threat to the lakers for various reasons. If there is one thing I've learned about this Celtics team, it's never count them out. Not when it appears pierce's knee has exploded in game 2, not when they are down by 24 in game 4, and definitely not when they seemed outgunned and overmatched like many thought they were going into last year's finals.

Don't get me wrong, I want the lakeshow to prevail, I just wanted to beat the best team in the NBA for the title, not the team with the best record. Plus, I really felt the better series is between boston and L.A., not L.A. and cleveland. Seems like cavs/spurs all over again.

Call me crazy, but I still think there's a chance KG gets wheeled out that first night at the Q, and until I see a definite injury report, that's what I think.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
You forgot two of the most difficult games of all time. Silver Surfer and Battletoads. Those games would routinely lodge their foots up players asses they were so hard. I personally like the music from Mega Man X and TMNT 4:Turtles in Time.

Anonymous Threeball said...
I know this isn't exactly PC of me to say, but... did anyone else see the stories "KG done for the season" and "Danny Ainge has a mild heart attack" and just assume that the first story caused the second one?

Blogger chris said...
Wow, obscure: This site gets referenced in a message board on HIGH SCHOOL basketball!?


"Which brings me to Cousins and his 2-12 from the field, 3-8 from the FT line, and 6 TO basketbawful performance. He even capped of his day of lacktion with an ejection. Why he kept setting up on the low block when he was getting double teamed without the ball and quadruple teamed with it I'll never know. Especially when the guy has legit ball handling skills and could take anyone from midrange on the side. As a Bama fan I don't want this guy anywhere near a Crimson jersey. The guy seems like a bigger locker room cancer than Stephon Marbury."

2-12 from the field and 3-8 from the line? This guy clearly isn't cut out to be a professional lacktator in the future, he's too productive!

Anonymous milaz said...
Quote-machine: Chris Bosh: "I've been thinking about it," Bosh said. "I'm here right now, this is where I want to be, this is where I want to play basketball. I don't think I have to sit down really long and hard and just go on some kind of special trip to think about it. There's no pressure for me."

Take come kinda of special trip? I'll smoke a joint and decide?

Anonymous Ruben said...
The recap of the Bulls/Celts game had a very dirty quote about Garnett's sitting on the bench for the first half of the game... (Seriously, ear chewing?)

"That lasted for 24 minutes of fist-pumping, ear-chewing and butt-slapping before Garnett decided he couldn’t take it any more."

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