Grant apparently caught of whiff of something nasty?Ah, it's probably just the standard old man stank.Update! Celtics-Timberwolves:
From Basketbawful reader A
No Celtics-Timberwolves bawful? Oh Lord, speaking as a Celtics fans, let me count the fail:The Phoenix Suns:
Paul "Best Player in the World" Pierce goes off against the Timberwolves' "defense" to the tune of 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting. 4 of those 10 points came from superstar calls, such as when Pierce shouldered Oleksiy Pecherov in the chin and inexplicably went to the line.
Speaking of Mr. Pecherov, he apparently lost the memo that the Celtics were the Best Defensive Team Evah, scoring 24 points to lead all scorers on very efficient 9-of-14 shooting, adding 8 rebounds to the stat line. Oleksiy Pecherov. I wish I was making that up.
The Wolves, though, were not immune to the rampant suckage. Apparently deciding that home victories against elite teams are highly overrated, the Wolves decided to let Rajon Rondo go off to the tune of 14 points in the third quarter, letting the Little Big Man singlehandedly bring the flat, lifeless Celtics back into the game. I guess the first 6 points he scored weren't enough, they just had to let him tack on 8 more.
Boston, after shooting lights out from beyond the arc against Philly, lay a 5-for-19 brick wall around the Target Center. Rasheed Wallace -- whose field goal attempts were all threes, by the way -- contributed by bricking 5 of his 7. And he picked up his second technical of the season. From the bench.
And still, the T-Wolves could have won the game, if Corey Brewer -- who played a pretty good game -- understood that the best way to get a high-percentage, game-tying shot isn't to go right at Kevin Garnett. Because I hear that this Garnett guy is pretty good at defense.
Sure, they were missing Leandro Barbosa (sore right wrist), but the Magic were minus two former All-Stars: Rashard Lewis (suspension) and Vince Carter (sprained ankle). That should have evened things out, right? Wrong. The Suns simply couldn't keep their men in front of them, letting Orlando shoot 52 percent from the field and from beyond the arc. Phoenix kept things close in the first half, but fatigue rendered oldies-but-goodies Steve Nash (12 points, 5-for-11, 4 assists, 3 turnovers) and Grant Hill (0-for-5 for zero points, 3 boards and an assist) ineffective as the Suns lost by 22. By the way, their combined plus-minus score was -42.
Note that I called this in the comments section of yesterday's post. It's not that I don't like the Suns. I root like hell for them. But I've watched a lot of my favorite players get older: Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Reggie Miller, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley...so on and so forth. Even when they were "old" in basketball terms, those guys could still rip off big games and lead their teams to 50-win seasons. In fact, their teams might have won close to 60 if not for long road trips and back-to-back games. But scheduling is a bitch. I couldn't help but notice, while watching those players age, that they would struggle mightily on the second night of back-to-backs, especially on the road. Bird's Celtics and Malone's Jazz lost to some truly awful teams and got destroyed by good teams under those circumstances. On paper, with all things being equal, those teams should have been competitive every night. But all things aren't equal. Fatigue sets in. Now that I'm into my 30s, I get that in a way I never understood before. If I play basketball on back-to-back nights, I'm hurtin'. (It doesn't help that I'm one of those "dive for every loose ball" and "sprint down the floor on every possession" guys.)
At any rate, as long as the Suns rely so heavily on Steve Nash, they're going to be at their best when Captain Canada has a little rest going for him.
As a sidenote, Phoenix gave up 25 points on 18 turnovers. That didn't help.The "We're not going to go 82-0" watch:
Said Suns coach Alvin Gentry: "Well, dreams of an undefeated season have gone down."
By the way, Dwyane Wade joined the "We're not going 82-0" club yesterday via his Twitter page
. Thanks to Basketbawful reader gf for the head's up and the pic:Stan Van Gundy, unintentionally dirty quote machine:
"We don't let people bang on them like that." Van Gundy was actually talking about how his team defends perimeter players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.Vince Carter:
He looks a little too happy to be not playing...doesn't he? By the way, nice fucking suit, but I feel sorry for the homeless guy you mugged to get it.Because nobody can point out your failures if you don't play.Gilbert Arenas:
The Agent formerly known as Zero scored a team-high 32 points, but he went 9-for-27 and missed six of his eight three-point attempts. He also blew two crunch-time plays: losing the ball on a layup attempt with 17 seconds left and tossing a lob pass off the rim at the end of the game. Of the latter play, Gil said: "It hit the rim. That's it. It's not rocket science -- it hit the rim." And see, that last quote is the real reason I'm including Arenas in WotN. He just become so joyless
these days. Sure, sometimes his clowning around seemed counterproductive to winning, but it was also part of what made him so much fun to follow and watch. The league has enough grim and depressing heroes. I miss the old Gilbert Arenas.DeShawn Stevenson:
Speaking of goats in Washington Wizards uniforms...DeShawn shanked two free throws with 44 seconds left, after which Dwyane Wade knocked down the go-ahead jumper.Mike James
The Amityville Scorer started 50 games for the Wizards last season. This season, he has five DNP-CDs in five games.The Detroit Pistons:
You know what I love? When, early in an NBA season, a team pulls out an improbable win and therefore generates buzz it probably can't live up to. That's what happened the previous night when the Pistons -- minus Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton -- beat the Rashard Lewis-less and Vince Carter-less Magic in Detroit (thanks in part to some pretty serious home cookin'). Well, a change in venue didn't agree with the Pistons last night. In Toronto, they were outscored 44-28 in the second quarter and that was pretty much the game. Ben Gordon, who had a season-high 30 points, said: "Needless to say, you let anybody in the league score that many points and it's going to be tough to counter that. It seemed like every possession they got a good shot or got to the free throw line. It's tough to win like that, when you're not really stopping them at all. They're either going to get a good look or get some free throws."The New Jersey Nyets:
Folks, when you watch the Nyets, you may be watching the worst team in professional basketball. And I'm including the pro clubs in countries like Kerplackistan. Yes, yes, I know they were minus Devin Harris (groin strain) and Yi Jianlian (right knee sprain), and I also know they were playing a team on fire (the Denver Nuggets). But 28-point home losses give everyone The Sad. The biggest lowlight of the game was when the Nyets were outscored 44-26 in the third quarter. Said Eduardo "Yes, I'm still in the league" Najera: "Every game, including the preseason, we struggle in the third quarter. I don't know what it is but we have to figure it out. We can't come out every third quarter and basically let the other team do whatever they want." True, Eduardo. But, then, you can't really stop them either...because you guys suck. I'm just sayin'.
Fun fact: The Nyets are off to their worst start in franchise history, matching the 0-5 mark of the 1996-97 squad. HISTORIC FAIL.The New York Knicks:
Going into last night's game, the Pacers were winless and, frankly, looked hapless. But nothing acts like an antidote for crappy play quite like a trip to the Big Apple! In an ugly game that featured a combined 6 fast break points (4 for Indy and 2 for New York), the defenseless Pacers held the Knicks to 39 percent shooting. How can this happen to a team coached by Mike D'Antoni, a.k.a. "The Man WHo Made Steve Nash"? I mean, the Knicks went without a field goal for the final nine-plus minutes last night. That's some serious offensive fail for such a genuis of offense.
Said David Lee: "Our problems in this game started and ended on the offensive end. We talk a lot about our defense, but our offense in the second half, for us to shoot under 40 percent isn't a good sign." Added D'Antoni: "For whatever reason, it seems every time we get stuck or whatever, instead of having a little more determination or patience, we just jack one up and that kind of got us in trouble in the second half." I thought just jacking one up was the D'Antoni Philosophy at its most crystalline. Oh well. For the record, Chris Duhon, who supposedly became nearly as good as Nash under D'Antoni last season, finished with 10 points (4-for-13) and 6 assists.Dirk Nowitzki:
How did Der Blond Bombermeister do last night against defenders not
named Mehmet "The Prop" Okur? Here's how: 12 points, 4-for-15 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 fouls. So can we please all just calm down about that 29-point fourth quarter against the Jazz? I could probably score 29 points in a quarter if I was being guarded by a Turkish statue.Dirk objects -- no, strenuously objects -- to beingguarded by someone other than Memo Okur.Jason Terry and Juan Jose Barea:
The Mavs had a 97-94 lead over the Hornets with 10 seconds to go. And they could have clinched the game had Terry and Barea been able to connect on a free throw. However, Terry missed a technical free throw and Jose Barea missed two more foul shots, setting up a game-tying three-pointer by Stojakovic (who had been 0 for 5 from long range before that by the way). Dallas then went on to lose in overtime. Said Terry: "It's a lost opportunity. We showed a lot of heart and a lot of determination. The key things we talk about all of the time and the little things ... free throws, getting out on shooters and fouling when we are up three. Those things are what championship teams do. Obviously, we're not there yet. We'll learn from this." Wait, wait, wait...hasn't this team been to the NBA Finals? Hasn't your point guard, Jason Kidd, been to two more NBA Finals? Yet you guys need to learn to hit foul shots, get out on shooters and not foul when you're ahead? Really?!Ron Artest:
Bottom line...he's still crazy. Here's some prose from the AP recap of the Lakers-Rockets game:
Artest guarded Ariza from the opening tip, and the two were immediately jawing at one another. They earned offsetting technical fouls with 9:11 left in the first quarter.
At one point, Ariza said Artest tried to put his hand around Ariza's neck.
"I don't have hard feelings," Ariza said. "It was emotional, I guess you could say."
Artest said he thought about giving Ariza a hard shot, but backed down for fear of a fine or a suspension.
"You know if somebody hits me, I'm going to react," the famously temperamental Artest said. "I got hit with about three elbows. It's just not fair. I don't want to fight, I don't feel like doing it. If you throw an elbow into Ron Artest's chest, do you know who you're hitting?
"But I give up, I just give up," he said. "I'm not fighting anymore. You could elbow me, smack me, use me as a punching bag. I'm not reacting anymore, I'm tired."
Poor, poor, poor Ron Artest: the most persecuted man in the NBA. By the way, Ron, trying to put your hand around someone's neck? That's called "reacting." Just, you know, FYI.Derek Fisher:
Can't believe I missed this one, but 49er16
didn't: "In the Lakers game, Derek Fisher some how played 34 minutes and recorded no points, assists, or rebounds. He did pick up two fouls and two steals."Update! Trevor "Arizona":
: "No love for Trevor Ariza, Bawful? In this first A-A meeting between he and Artest, he was absolutely desperate to stick it to his former teammates. The problem is, he was gunning so poorly that I couldn't help but wonder if the Lakers did it to plant a mole in the Rockets. The Rockets did nab 17 offensive boards, so maybe he was just serving up some KBAs learned from his old pal MambaKobe (in fact, 9 of those shanks resulted in offensive rebounds). It's just amazing to me that with five teammates shooting 4/10, 5/12, 7/15, 7/9, and 9/12, he opted to just jack up shots like crazy. Sure he made the game-tying 3PT in regulation, but you know, had he been serving up real assists instead of KBAs earlier, the Rockets might have, you know, won? Thank you, Ariza, for helping the Lakers win yet another game."The Memphis Grizzlies:
The Golden State Warriors have officially exited the ranks of the NBA's winless teams, thanks to a victory over the Grizzlies. Memphis got strangely efficient shooting from Allen Iverson (8-for-12...off the bench!), but there was no defense to be seen or heard as Golden State shot 54 percent from the field and 58 percent from downtown.Pictured above: FAIL.
Now here's where I go on a rant. It's not secret that NBA teams circle games against inferior defenses and go into those games with an attitude that, "Hey, I'm gonna drop a season or career-high on these guys." I've heard and read countless anecdotes to that effect. But you know what you rarely ever hear or read about? Guys going into games against poor, inefficient or undisciplined offenses and saying, "We're gonna lock their asses down." That happens with teams like Boston, Cleveland and San Antonio...and that's about it.
The Warriors are one of the least disciplined offensive teams in the league. Yeah, they can drop a lot of points, but usually only on the unprepared or unwary. If I was facing the Warriors, I would take delight in shutting them down. Wouldn't that attitude lead to a decent handful of wins every year, even for sad sack teams like the Griz?Lacktion report:
Chris continues to work harder on lacktion reports than many NBA ballers work in the games
Pistons-Raptors: DaJuan Summers seasoned up his Excite Bike cartridge with the Game Genie, for a glitchy 40 second Mario!!!!
Suns-Magic: Jarron Collins took down one board in 12:24, only to foul twice for a Madsen-level 2:1 Voskuhl.
Heat-Wizards: Dominic McGuire's streak of suck came to an ignominous end tonight with a DNP-CD, but teammate Javale McGee provided a walking, breathing analogy for the biggest industry in the nation's capital, missing a shot for a +1 suck differential in 8:16.
Celtics-Wolves: Brian Scalabrine has returned to his tobacco-friendly ways, serving as the human victory cigar in a rather close match by fouling once for a +1 in 3:50. On the other end of the court, Minnesota's Wayne Ellington elegantly conducted a song of securities tonight, earning himself a 3.9 trillion.
Lakers-Rockets: Despite a board, David Andersen earned a Voskuhl of 3:1 due to three fouls and a brick in 5:51.
ALSO, in comments, Rich Muhlach writes:
"Hey Chris, dunno if you watched the Lakers vs Rockets game last night but former Laker Brian Cook did enter the game during a free throw (if I remember correctly, it was when Chuck Hayes fouled out) and the commentators were even saying something like he was a former Laker a few years back. But then after the free throw, he was subbed out again. That's why the box score reads DNP-CD, coz he never actually got playing time. But what do you call that Mario of getting sent into the game during a dead ball and getting subbed out again before the clock even starts?"
Rich, I think Mr. Cook here has just powered up his Wii for the greatest Super Mario Galaxy in the history of the Association. But is "Super Mario Galaxy" vast enough to describe what Rick Adelman just created last night!? Stay tuned.
Dan B. chimes in...
"A dead-ball situation Mario, so short that it doesn't even register on the game clock... maybe we should call it a Luigi since it's like a Mario, only less relevant?" Promising suggestion right there, man...
Mavs-Hornets: Quinton Ross got a stock tip from Mark Cuban and returned from the boilerroom with a 2.5 trillion. Meanwhile, Hilton Armstrong checked into the chamber of contribution with a steal and an assist in a 6:35 stay, only to foul twice and brick thricely for a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Hawks-Kings: Although the purple paupers were reduced to poverty by the birds from Georgia, Paul Westphal made sure to provide as much lacktion as he could. Desmond Mason had a barrow on Market Boulevard but didn't bring home wealth, instead fouling once for a +1 in 3:24 while Sean May provided the Maloofs' their inspiration for the evening with a 5.85 trillion.
Grizzlies-Warriors: Memphis's Hasheem Thabeet turned the rock over twice and fouled once for a +3 in 3:51, also good for a 3:0 Voskuhl. Trey Gilder sprinted on RC Pro Am for a mere 42 seconds, leading to a Mario.
Labels: DeShawn Stevenson, Detroit Pistons, Dirk Nowitzki, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Terry, Juan Jose Barea, Memphis Grizzlies, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, old teams, Phoenix Suns, Stan Van Gundy