Hey, look! It's the proposed 2009-10 NBA Coach of the Year...now 0-2.The Philadelphia 76ers:
The Orlando Magic were without Rashard Lewis, who was suspended for 10 games after testing positive for an elevated level of testosterone (I always knew he was on 'rhoids!), but it hardly mattered. The Sixers had to outscore the Magic 37-22 in the fourth quarter just to make the final score (120-106) look respectable. Philly actually enjoyed a 30-17 advantage in free throw attempts -- on the road no less -- but they missed nine of them, in addition to letting Orlando shoot a blistering 57 percent from the field and 55 from downtown. I guess "hand in the face" is a lost art in the City of Brotherly Love.Can't you feel the love tonight?Elton Brand:
Philly's big free agent acquisition of 2008 was a big splatter of fail last season, but the return of a healthy Brand was supposed to make the Sixers a vastly improved team this season. Har, har. Elton looked just as bad as he did in the games he actually appeared in last year, scoring only 8 points on 2-for-7 shooting to go with 6 boards. For all the bad luck of the Clippers, it now appears that Brand's backstabbing farewell in free agency was actually a good thing.The Indiana Pacers:
Danny Granger (31 points, 10-for-18, 5-for-10 on threes) was brilliant in a double-digit loss. I may have to cut-and-paste that line for 50 or so Pacers games this season.Best out-of-context picture of the night:
This one is still making me laugh, especially the ref's fist pump.Fun with box scores:
RensTheRipper writes: "ESPN are into it already, giving a beautiful double negative 'non-unsportsmanlike technical' to Solomon Jones as he rampaged against his old team. I can't believe he committed a sportsmanlike technical. Thank you ESPN, I can't not non-dislike you for brilliant commentary."The Cleveland Craboliers:
So...the preseason pick for "best team in basketball" is now 0-2 for the first time since the 2004-05 season. But...but...they have the reigning Coach of the Year, the reigning MVP, and the supposed Most Dominant Ever! After getting punked by the Celtics at home in the season opener, the Crabs traveled to Toronto and lost to the Raptors by double-digits despite a 23/11/12 triple-double from King Crab. The Mistake by the Lakers shot a woeful 35 percent from the field despite adding one of the best inside players of all time. Speaking of which...Shaq:
The Big Creaky scored 12 points and grabbed 7 boards. Not exactly MDE material. He also failed to register a block or hit a free throw (0-for-3). Meanwhile, Chris Bosh -- whom the Big Mouth last season referred to as "the RuPaul of Big Men" -- had 21 points and 16 rebounds. Note that Shaq had by far the worst plus-minus score of the night (-25).
More bawful from Shayan of the Raptors blog Mediocre Forever
: "What a season opener here in Toronto. I remember reading recently on Basketbawful about a comment from a reader saying how Big Z and Shaq are the slowest front court EVER to grace an NBA floor. And then tonight, I watched Andrea Bargnani, who went bonkers and was unstoppable (actually the referees stopped him with BS fouls forcing him to the bench), run circles around Big Z and the Big Geritol (God I love that nickname). It was like back in elementary school on the playground where everyone's outrunning the fat kid." Jinkies.The New York Knicks:
I thought canning Isiah after the 2007-08 season was supposed to improve the Knicks? If last night's 22-point drubbing -- during which New York shot 38 percent, missed 29 three-pointers, and let their opponent shoot nearly 57 percent -- is any indication, it's going to be a looooong season for Knicks fans. Again. Especially when you consider they have basically no chance whatsoever of landing LeBron next summer. Sorry, but you know it's true.Nate Robinson:
0-for-8 from the field, 0-for-5 from beyond the arc, 1 point. Remember all the "The Knicks really need to resign Nate Robinson" noise from the offseason? As always, I'm just sayin'.The Los Angeles Clippers:
Can I get a "they are who we thought they were"? Despite playing at home and shooting almost 56 percent from the field, the Clippers lost 109-107 to a Suns team that now has to start Channing Frye at center. The biggest reason The Other L.A. team failed yet again was because they couldn't contain Steve Nash, who scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead layup with five seconds left in the game. The second-biggest reason the Clips lost? Probably the 12 missed free throws (15-for-27).Fun fact:
The run 'n gun Suns had 2 fast break points...for the game.Steve Nash, quote machine:
On his game-winning shot: "I went to the old-white-guy-at-the-YMCA shot and I was lucky to make something happen."The Memphis Grizzlies:
Opening the season at home, the Baby Bears shot 36 percent, bonked nine free throws and got hammered by the Pistons 96-74. And here's a sad little factoid for you: "The Grizzlies set an NBA record with their ninth consecutive season-opening loss, breaking the previous record of eight set by Atlanta from 1999-2006." Historic fail.Lionel Hollins, inspirational quote machine:
Here's what the Memphis coach had to say after his team got drubbed: "It was generally a bad night shooting. [Our players] just have to come down to Earth and realize winning in the NBA is very difficult, and it takes a lot of work and effort. Our young guys were like deer in headlights."The New Orleans Hornets:
It can't feel good to shoot 50 percent as a team and lose by almost 20. But hey, scoring only 13 points in the first quarter can do that to you. Remember how, two seasons ago, the Hornets were the Team of the Future? I guess the future was now for the 2007-08 Hornets. Too bad they didn't know that at the time. But hey, Chris Paul is awesome, so they still have that going for them...which is nice.Peja Stojakovic:
He came off the bench to play only 20 minutes, scoring 4 points on 1-for-2 shooting. Hey, wasn't Peja supposed to be a pretty big cog in the New Orleans machine? Too much whoring around, I guess
.All the teams that didn't draft DeJuan Blair:
How in the world did this kid slip to the second round of this year's NBA draft? I was screaming for the Bulls to choose him -- twice -- but hey fell and fell until the Spurs gleefully plucked him out of the pool of dwindling talent at 37. Good call. Last night, Blair played 23 minutes off the bench, scoring 14 points (7-for-10), grabbing 11 boards (5 offensive) and even dishing out 3 assists. Hornets coach Byron Scott called Blair a "monster" and added: "You know, a 6-5, 6-6 center who comes in and plays 22 minutes and gets 14-11 is pretty impressive," Scott said. "Especially for a rookie.""Nobody can go 82-0" is the new early-season excuse:
I heard or read this about a dozen times the last few days after season-opening losses: well, teams can't go 82-0, so losing is kinda-sorta okay. Eh?! The latest of these quotes comes from Chris Paul, who said, "We hoped to go 82-0, but we knew it wasn't too feasible."The New Jersey Nets:
Dear God, this team sucks. They were bad last season with Vince Carter...and replacing him with Courtney Lee didn't exactly cause a spike in their talent level. And so it's not shocking that they opened the season by losing to a lowly Timberwolves team that wasted the fifth pick in this year's NBA draft on a kid who's probably never going to play for them and had to squeeze 20 minutes out of Brian "How In The Hell Is This Guy Still In The League" Cardinal (who actually had 7 points on 3-for-4 shooting to go with 4 boards, an assist and a steal). Mind you, Minnesota shot only 36 percent from the floor and went only 1-for-7 from the Land of Three. Of course, New Jersey was 0-for-8 from downtown, so I guess long-distance shooting was a bit of a wash.
The Nets might have won if they hadn't given up 18 offensive boards and committed 22 turnovers for 24 points going the other way. Brook Lopez -- who had 27 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks for the Nets -- said: "We just got kind of careless with the ball. I definitely did. I turned the ball over three or four times. The last little span ended up costing us the game, obviously."Fun fact that's not all that surprising:
The Nets haven't won a game in Minnesota since November 23, 2002.Fun fact that may cause milk to shoot out your nose (if you're drinking any):
Get this: "The Timberwolves finished the game on a 24-6 run and are now 9-2 in their last 11 season openers. They're also 11-2 all-time in season openers played at home, the best such record in the NBA." Who knew?! If only opening night was every night for the poor T-Wolves.Rafer Alston:
This dude was so stoked last year when he got traded to the Magic. Well, if last night's box score is any indication, he's much less stoked to be playing for the Nets. Alston logged 23 minutes and finished with 3 assists, 3 turnovers and zero points on 0-for-2 shooting. I hereby dub him "Skip 2 My Gak."Update! The Minnesota starting frontcourt:
: "Bawful -- I think some praise is much deserved for the Minnesota starting front line. Not only did Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes combine for 19 points (5-for-20) and only 8 boards with 7 fouls, they also managed to get outrebounded by every small T-Wolf except Sasha Pavlovic. In addition, they even made Man Chair...errr Chairman Yi look good with 17 points and 12 rebounds." Praise given.The Charlotte Bobcats:
The runner up (to the Clippers) for last night's "They Are Who We Thought They Were" award. I would say that the Bobcats travelled to Boston for a historic defeat, but I'm not sure any of the Charlotte players actually, you know, showed up. Let's go ahead and call 'em the Charlotte Body Doubles okay? Alrighty then, so the Body Doubles shot 31 percent from the field, got blanked from downtown (0-for-10), missed 12 free throws (13-for-25) and committed 21 turnovers (which the Celtics transfigured into 24 points). By the end of the night, the BDs had scored only 59 points. Not only was that a franchise low for one game, it was the lowest point total for an opener in NBA history since the advent of the shot clock (1954-55). Guh. I think that just made all the milk in Charlotte curdle.Larry Brown, quote machine:
When asked whether he'd ever coached a team that scored in the 50s, Brown said: "I don't known if they call that coaching. Our team wasn't prepared. Weren't ready to play. That's nobody's fault but the coach." Those are nice sentiments, and it's sweet that he would try to cover his players' asses, but you don't coach height, and Tyson Chandler -- who's supposed to be pretty close to seven feet tall -- went 0-for-5 and didn't score. (It sure is harder to dump in points when Chris Paul isn't feeding you alley-oops, eh, Tyson? I can tell you this much: his performance last night probably earned Chicago Bulls management a huge sigh of relief. "See," John Paxson must have been thinking, "we were right to get rid of that guy way back when.")
Also, fellow starters Gerald Wallace (3-for-9), Boris Diaw (3-for-7), Stephen Graham (2-for-11) and Raymond Felton (3-for-11) all shot like hell and combined for 14 turnovers and only 5 assists (2 for Diaw and 3 for Felton). Their combined plus-minus score was -120. Seriously.Brian Scalabrine:
Veal earned a DNP-CD in a 33-point blowout? Really?! And remember: the Celtics are already down one member of their frontcourt rotation (Big Baby). Can somebody explain why the guy who got several starts when Kevin Garnett went down last season can't even get off the bench in garbage time? I mean, garbage time is Scalabrine Time, baby! I mean, right? Not last night, it wasn't. Update!
My bad. Apparently, he's hurt.Update! Tommy Heinsohn:
An anonymous commenter said: "I think Tommy Heinsohn should get a mention for WotN. During a loose ball, Kevin Garnett landed on Raymond Felton's head, opening up a pretty nasty cut on his lip, which required 15 stitches. While Felton was laying on the ground motionless covering his face, Heinsohn was yelling, "That should be a three second violation on Felton!" It's funny in retrospect being Felton wasn't seriously injured, but I think Tommy finally crossed the line last night that separated passionate home announcer and sociopath." The only thing I can say here -- and it's not really a defense of Tommy -- is that Heinsohn crossed the line into sociopathy yeeeeeeears ago.Stephen Jackson, "he just doesn't get it" quote machine:
After dissing his team and demanding a trade during the offseason, Captain Jack was met with boos in the Warriors' home opener. Said Jax: "It is what it is. I don't expect everybody to love me. I heard it but I didn’t let it affect my game at all. To each his own. I've been booed many times. This isn't the first time." And, uh, doesn't that sorta tell you something, Cap?The Official Lacktion Report by Chris:
Not everybody can get a little action, but plenty of NBAers can get a little lacktion...
Crabs-Raptors: While Tarence Kinsey's crawling has been sorely missed on the shores of Lake Erie, Toronto's human victory cigar Marcus Banks admired a Power Glove for 25 seconds to accrue a Mario.
Knicks-Heat: New York's Jordan Hill climbed a brick wall in 1:45 on his way to a suck differential of +1 via missed shot.
Kings-Thunder: Donte Greene of the Kings averaged one miscue a minute - a brick, giveaway, and foul - for +3 in 3:37.
Suns-Clippers: Steve Novak turned the dial all the way to eleven on Guitar Hero for his Wii, pounding out 11 seconds of rhythm in his first Mario of the year.
Jazz-Nuggets: Jerry Sloan may never win Coach of the Year, due to his smart usage of a staff of lacktators. With Kyrylo Fesenko slumping into usefulness, Sloan quickly assembled a trio of time-wasters to warm the bench for the new season, starting with Wesley Matthews, who was crushed with youthful disappointment through a brick and block in 5:12 that resulted in a +2. The Jazz's 2009 first rounder, Eric Maynor, became the first baller to earn an interview with Robin Leach, after taking home a 2.85 trillion fortune. Finally, the ever-unmemorable Kosta Koufos spun into a brick in just 45 seconds, leading to a Mario AND a +1!
Labels: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Elton Brand, I can't believe so many teams passed on DeJuan Blair, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Shaq