Smith: "He's the first Iranian to play in the NBA." (Smith pronounced Iranian as "Eye-ranian," a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)
Lawler: "There aren't any Iranian players in the NBA," repeating Smith's mispronunciation.
Smith: "He's the only one."
Lawler: "He's from Iran?"
Smith: "I guess so."
Lawler: "That Iran?"
Lawler: "The real Iran?"
Lawler: "Wow. Haddadi that's H-A-D-D-A-D-I."
Smith: "You're sure it's not Borat's older brother?"
Smith: "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."
Lawler: "Here's Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball."
Smith: "Especially the post players.
Lawler: "I don't know about their guards."
Mind you, Lawler has been doing this for 31 years, and Smith has been around for 12. How could they not know better than that? I mean, sure, they probably assumed that nobody was watching because it was a Clippers-Grizzlies game, but still. I mean, at least two or three of the players' moms were probably tuning in. They should have realized that and limited their conversation to the discussion of farts and penis jokes...or whatever Clippers fans talk about to distract themselves from the pain.
Yahoo! injury reports: Basketbawful reader William D. sent in this unintentionally hilarious injury report from Yahoo! Sports. Note that Manu was out with a stained groin. As William said: "I guess the Spurs are stately enough that players who can't hold it in get time out."
Danny Granger: As hard as it is to believe, the Pacers stood a pretty good chance of knocking off the Craboliers on Friday night, especially after holding Cleveland to only 11 points in the third quarter. Only the Pacers then got outscored 28-13 in the fourth. Granger, who was gobbled up by LeBron James (40 points, 9 boards, 7 assists), snuck out the back door during that final quarter. I'm kidding. He played, but it might have been better for Indy if he had taken off. Here's a summary of what Granger did in crunch time: missed 26-foot three-pointer, foul on J.J. Hickson, assist to Troy Murphy, missed 24-foot three-pointer, missed layup, defensive rebound, missed 22-footer, missed 26-foot three-pointer, foul on LeBron James, 1-for-2 at the line, foul on Mo Williams, missed 26-foot three-pointer.
Remember: he's the Pacers star player...a title he wrested away from the dearly departed Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal.
Mike Brown, truth machine: Regarding the "coaching" job he did as LeBron put the Pacers away by scoring 10 points in the final seven minutes: "When you have a guy as talented as him, sometimes your best coaching on the offensive end of the floor is staying out of his way." Seriously, that's Brown's offensive coaching philosophy in a nutshell.
Shaq: From the AP recap of the Crabs-Pacers game: "Cleveland center Shaquille O'Neal missed his fourth straight game with a strained right shoulder. He did not travel with the team, and Brown didn't give a timetable for his return." Okay, now raise your hand if you're even remotely surprised about this? No, not you, Shaq. We know you're "injured." Speaking of Shaq...
Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Early on, it looked like coming off the bench behind The Big Geritol was killing Big Z's game. Turns out Big Z's game was dead already. Offensively, anyway. Against the Pacers, Ziggy scored only 4 points in 29 minutes, going 1-for-12 from the field and a Shaq-like 2-for-6 from the line. On the season, Ilgauskas is shooting 37 percent from the field. Memo to the glue factory: get ready. We're going to have a big one for you soon...
The Philadelphia 76ers: Eh? A home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies? Gak. It was the Grizzlies' first road win of the season. Talk about a head scratcher. Philly had 15 steals, 7 blocked shots, and scored 34 points off 23 forced turnovers...and still lost to team that showed up in Philadelphia with a 3-8 record. Then again, the Griz did just waive Allen Iverson, so maybe that was addition by subtraction. Anyway, the Sixers now have to play seven of their next eight games on the road, where they are 2-4. And those two wins were against the Bricks and Nyets...so it's more like 0-4.
Bonus quote: Said Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan: "It was about team versus non-team." When you're the "non-team" to the Grizzlies' "team," well, it doesn't get much worse than that.
The Miami Heat: Get this: the Craptors shot 58 percent from the field (41-for-71) and 60 percent from downtown (9-for-15) in beating the Heat. It's like the game was a costume party and the Heat came dressed as the Golden State Warriors. But defense wasn't the only problem for Miami. Their bench was outscored 36-10. And now the Heat have gone 1-4 after starting the season 6-1. But don't worry, Heat fans. Dwyane Wade isn't...
Dwyane Wade, quote machine: After losing to the Craptors, Pookie said: "One thing you learn in this league is you don't get too high, you don't get too low. When we were 6-1, if you'd asked me I'd say we've got to continue to get better. Now we're 7-5 and we've got to continue to get better." Actually, after they started out 6-1 I thought they needed to get better. Now I think they have to stop sucking. Big difference.
Trevor Ariza: With Yao Ming and Knee-Mac still out of the lineup, the former role player is now The Man by default. Ariza has responded with career-highs in PPG (18.3), RPG (5.4), APG (3.7) and SPG (2.14). BUT...he's shooting a career-worst 38.8 percent from the field, including only 36.1 percent for the month of November. In Houston's 105-103 loss to the Hawks, Trevor was 7-for-21 from the field and 2-for-8 from downtown.
It's official: Trevor Ariza has become Ron Artest. Scary.
(Hmm. I wonder if heytrevorarizapleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com is taken...?)
The Boston Celtics: I wonder how 'Sheed feels about predicting 70 wins now? Because the Celtics' 83-78 home loss to the Magic was a pretty sure sign that the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won't have to worry about their record getting broken any time soon. For the most part, Boston's defense was solid. They held Orlando to 41 percent shooting and scored 21 points off 21 turnovers. But their offense was a flaming bag of poo. The Leprechauns shot 34 percent from the field and missed 17 of their 19 three-point attempts. None of the Celtics starters played particularly well. None of them had a positive plus-minus score. In fact, they were -59 combined (compared to +34 for their bench).
Said Boston coach Doc Rivers: "I think that our team is playing awful. I've been saying it for a week now. We're going to win some games still, but we're not going to win against good teams." He's not wrong.
Vince Carter: From Basketbawful reader Robert M.: "Looking at the Magic vs. Boston box score on ESPN, I noticed that Vince Carter did score 26 points (on 10 for 29 shooting), but he also had 6 turnovers, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds. Does constitute some sort of basketball Satanic curse? Ironically, because none were offensive rebounds, even his stats came up 666, albeit for a different reason (defensive rebounds/total rebounds/assists)." This isn't as surprising as you might think, Robert. Toronto fans have known for years that VC is pure, dag-nasty evil.
Rasheed Wallace: 'Sheed not only stat cursed the Celtics with that whole "70 wins" malarky, he's also helping to shoot them out of games. Versus the Magic, Wallace was 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, dropping him to 22-for-75 on the season (29 percent). It might be time for Doc to have a little discussion with 'Sheed about shot selection...
The Washington Wizards Generals: The story remains the same: Gilbert Arenas is back but nothing has changed. The latest proof was their 127-108 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Current record: 3-8. Remember when the Wiza, er, the Generals were the league's feel-good story a few seasons ago. It kinda feels like that never even happened now.
The Charlotte Bobcats: Everything's coming up sevens for the Bobcats: seven losses on a row and 0-for-7 on the road thanks to 17 missed free throws in a seven-point loss to the Bucks. And they say seven is a lucky number.
Said Gerald Wallace: "This was one of the first times we actually shot pretty good from the field. [But we] missed 17 free throws. We're at this point right now where we dig ourselves out of one hole and end up finding ourselves off in another hole." I hate to tell you, Gerald, but that "hole" is called a grave. Your season is already dead.
The Portland Trail Blazers: Just when you start to think the Blazers have arrived, they crap the bed against a craptastic team like the Warriors. Portland had a serious case of the butterfingers, giving up 32 points off 23 turnovers to a team that had only eight players available and started Mikki Moore at center. That's some major league fail right there. The Blazers also forgot how to put the ball in the basket, as they shot only 33 percent over the last three quarters.
Said Portland coach Nate McMillan: "Everything we talked about doing, we didn't do. The way [the Warriors] play, you can't continue to make those turnovers. They do a lot of things that can get a team frustrated and I think we lost our composure." Can you really trust a team that loses its head against the Warriors? I'm just sayin'...
The Oden Watch: From the AP recap: "...and Greg Oden had 16 points but was plagued by foul trouble throughout the second half for Portland..." Big Greg finished with 4 fouls and played only 29 minutes.
The Denver Nuggets: They lost to the Clippers. 'Nuff said. (But I will also say this: despite making a fourth-quarter comeback, they were down by 19 in the third quarter. To the Clippers. The Clippers. The Los Angeles Clippers. Despite 37 points from 'Melo. Yikes.)
Friday lacktion report: Despite a tropical vacation, Chris came through with this report on a heavy night of lacktion:
Crabs-Pacers: Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson burned up the court tonight by launching a fire flower for a 5 second Super Mario!!!
Grizzlies-Sixers: Jamal Tinsley tediously took up a spot in the lacktion report, fouling once in 4:55 for a suck differential of +1.
Rockets-Hawks: Maurice Evans lucked into becoming tonight's human victory cigar for Atlanta, taking home a 2.05 trillion! (Based on a correction by Soydeedo in the comments: Evans came in at the start of the 4th when the Hawks were only up by 5. He came right out when the Rockets tied the game up at just under 10 minutes left. That's not really a victory cigar. That game went down to the wire too.)
Magic-Celtics: Orlando's JJ Redick flew into the ledger with a +1 via foul in 5:52, while Jameer Nelson's first appearance after an injury provided Stan Van Gundy with a payment of 1.4 trillion!
Generals-Thunder: Okay, Oklahoma City is over 500 and thus able to trot out the tobacco, and the Wizards still want to lack it up in a losing effort? The scouts for the all-lacktion team (read: myself, Dan, NarSARSist and AnacondaHL) certainly should've had a twenty seven-year-old Zenith TV antenna'd up for this festival of forgettability:
For Washington, Dominic McGuire continued to make his case as the Association's most valuable lacktator with a perfect 1 trillion, sharing the spotlight with two +1-via-brick suck differentials in the same timespan from Javale McGee and Nick Young (the latter coming from Bricktown).
For the ex-Sonic-zombies, Nick Collison crashed into a +1-via-foul in 2:21 (also earning a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl).
Bucks-Bobcats: Charlotte's Gerald Henderson spent 33 seconds in Castlevania for a Mario. Inspired teammate Stephen Graham wanted to get a newer video game system, and had a 64-second stint for a Mario 64! (Of course, since that's not ACTUALLY a Mario, he will be credited with the market value of the gaming system - 1.05 trillion.) For Milwaukee, Dan Gadzuric made a shot in 15:18 and took down three boards, only to lose the rock twice and foul four times for a 6:5 Voskuhl.
Blazers-Warriors: In 5:15, Mikki Moore had four assists as a starting center - but pairing that with three fouls results in a 3:0 Voskuhl.
Nuggets-Clippers: Mike Dunleavy had his long-standing hunger for a victory celebration satisfied, sending Steve Novak on the court to yell out "Yo Noid!" for a slice of pizza in a 34 second Mario. And Denver's Malik Allen helped provided the Clippers some rare momentum, as noted by LotharBot in comments:
How can you have missed the most truly bawful player from the Nuggets@Clippers game?
Malik Allen came in with the Nuggets leading 26-14. By the time he left 7 minutes later, the team was trailing 39-32. The Clippers went on a 25-6 run during that span, and the momentum held for the rest of the game.
Malik Allen got dunked on by DeAndre Jordan twice in a row, conceded 3 layups, and put Craig Smith on the line, for a total of 12 points he gave up by not playing a lick of defense... and he looked worse on offense. He was totally lost on both ends of the court.
In 7 minutes, he negated a rebound and an assist with a missed shot, 2 turnovers, and a foul (a Madsen-level 3:1 Voskuhl) and had a game-worst -18 in a 7-point loss.
Nyets versus Bricks: Get this: "According to STATS LLC, there hadn't been an NBA game matching teams who had each played at least 11 games and combined to win so few of them since Dec. 3, 1994, when Minnesota was 2-13 as it hosted the 0-14 Clippers." Wow. Talk about scalpers night off. But, since the NBA still forces teams to play until one of them wins...
The New Jersey Nyets: Their 98-91 loss to the hapless Bricks dropped them to an even more hapless 0-13. And things aren't going to get better any time soon. From the AP recap: "The Nets inched closer to the NBA record of 17 straight losses to start a season, held by Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers. They'll try to avoid it during a difficult four-game trip out West that starts with back-to-back games at Denver and Portland, capped by a visit to the Lakers." They aren't going to avoid it. There. I said it. The 2009-10 Nyets will soon rank among the most bawful teams in NBA history.
Said Chris Douglas-Roberts: "I've never been in a situation like this. I really can't describe the feeling I have right now. I take every loss very hard, but this many losses without a win, I really don't know what to feel. I don't know where I'm at right now. Mentally, it's tough." Uh oh. Sounds like it's time to empty CDR's medicine cabinet of anything stronger than lip balm.
Update! Nate Robinson: Ugh! How did I forget about this one! Thanks to Ian for reminding me about how Nate Robinson shot at his own basket! FAIL.
The Philadelphia 76ers: They capped off a winless weekend with a come-from-ahead loss to the Craboliers in which they were outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter. Philly has now lost six of their last eight games. And if you're looking to lay some blame for the late-game collapse, look no further than...
Andre Iguodala: Iggy scored only 12 points on 22 shots and went 1-for-7 in the all-important fourth quarter. I make fun of Elton Brand and his $80 million contract, but let's not forget that Philly gave Iguodala a six-year, $80 million deal too. I'm sorry, but that's not money well spent. Unless Iggy lays golden eggs or something.
Shaq: Make that five straight games.
The Atlanta Hawks: The dead coach bounce is finally kicking in! After snapping Atlanta's seven-game winning streak, the Chris Paul-less Hornets now have back-to-back wins against the teams that had the best record in the NBA. I guess CP3 was the problem after all. The Hawks might have helped themselves by putting some hands in some faces, as the Hornets shot an eyebrow-singing 70 percent from three-point range (12-for-17). Meanwhile, the Atlanteans hit only 18 percent of their treys (4-for-22).
Trevor Ariza: Has Ariza's shooting hand been possessed by the ghost of Chuck Person? Because T-Rev's crazy shooting continued against the Kings: 7-for-19 from the field, 1-for-6 from downtown. Remember how efficient this guy was last season? Somebody needs to put this dog back on its leash before it keeps knocking over trash cans.
The Houston Rockets: They're making a mockery of my "second game of back-to-backs" theory. After losing on Friday, they won on Saturday. Houston is now 4-0 on the second night of back-to-backs this season. Hey, screw you guys. You're making me look bad.
The Washington Wizards Generals: Things are turning ugly in D.C. Two weekend games meant two straight blowouts for the Generals. It was their eight loss in their last nine games, which dropped their record to 3-9. And Grumpy, er, Gilbert Arenas ain't happy. He almost never is these days. "Everyone's got their own individual goals, I guess. Hidden agendas," Arenas said. "You can't win like that. I guess when you start losing, everyone wants to start pointing fingers everywhere else. I converted my game to try and get people involved. I think the only person who actually had to sacrifice [to win] was me."
Added Brendan Haywood: "Move the damn ball. Play some defense."
Finished Washington coach Flip Saunders: "We're very much in a bad situation. A lot of guys are frustrated, including me."
The Chicago Bulls: The Windy City Stags built a 14-point lead against Denver by the end of the first quarter...then lost by 19. They were repeatedly exploited on defense by good players, whether it was Chauncey Billups (14 points in the second quarter), Carmelo Anthony (30 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists), or J.R. Smith (12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter). Chicago also got bullied in the paint, where Denver converted 14 layups, threw down 8 dunks, and outscored the Bulls 52-34.
Derrick Rose scored a team-high 28 points, but he also committed a game-high 5 turnovers while dishing out only 3 assists...not a good ratio for a franchise centerpiece point guard. John Salmons scored only 5 more points than I did after going 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-3 from downtown. Johnny is now shooting 34 percent on the season (and 31 percent in threes). Oh, and Kirk Hinrich was 3-for-10, so maybe he caught a dose of whatever Salmons has.
Home cookin': Utah's 100-97 overtime win over Detroit was the team's fourth straight victory. It sure helped that the Jazz had a 44-25 disparity in free throw attempts. So for Utah, the free throw line was more like a conga line. I'm just sayin'.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Minny coach Kurt Rambis' metaphorical clothesline by Kevin McHale continued as his Timberwolves got spanked 106-78 by the Trail Blazers for their 12th consecutive defeat. Kurt's triangle offense has been more like a parallelogram so far this season, as Minnesota ranks 28th in PPG (88.8) and 29th in Offensive Rating (93.7 Points Per 100 Possessions). Against Portland, the offense went into a deeper funk than a teenage girl who wasn't allowed to go see the new Twighlight movie, as Minny got outscored 16-0 to start the fourth quarter. For the game, the T-Wolves shot 37 percent and had more turnovers (12) than assists (11). Man, every game Minnesota plays makes Ricky Rubio feel a little bit better about not joining the NBA this season.
After the loss, Rambis said: "We're not secure as a team, we're not together as a team, and we don't have enough experience as a team. When we get in these tough situations, we don't know what to do." Uh, Kurt, I thought "knowing what to do" was something the coach was supposed to take care of.
Saturday lacktion report: From Chris: "Live from a boat, it's Saturday Night Lacktion!!!!"
Knicks-Nyets: In the battle for the worst team this side of the Hudson River, the Knicks somehow lost out by, well, winning. (Despite an intentional own field goal!) Sean Williams's foulout in 15:41 combined with five bricks and two giveaways earned him a 8:5 Voskuhl for the ruble-run enterprise.
Sixers-Crabs: Royal Ivey crowned himself the king of wishful thinking by a hopeful shot from Euclid Avenue, resulting in a +1 suck differential in 4:05 for Philadelphia.
Bucks-Grizzlies: In 9:05, Dan Gadzuric scored a basket and made two rebounds, but four fouls and a giveaway edegd him into the Voskuhl category with a 5:4 ratio.
Kings-Rockets: Jon Brockman banged a question mark box with his head for a 18 second Super Mario!!!!
Pistons-Jazz: Austin Daye dawned into the Oakland County who's who with a 1.45 trillion (1:27) for Detroit.
Bulls-Nuggets: Lindsey Hunter modeled some expensive garb in his 2.6 trillion (2:37) take tonight.
Wolves-Blazers: Wayne Ellington improvised a couple of bricks (one from the Marquam Bridge) for a +2 in 3:46.
The Boston Celtics: They barely managed to avoid a winless weekend, and only because Kevin Garnett hit a 19-foot buzzer-beater in overtime to secure a 2-point win over the lowly Bricks. New York scored 100 points against the mighty Celtic defense. It was the fifth time the Bricks have accomplished that feat, which is the longest active 100-point game streak against Boston.
The New York Knicks: Let's hear it for defense! The Bricks totally boned that final play where Garnett beat them with the 19-footer. First off, David Lee switched off to help on Paul Pierce, leaving KG wide open. Said Lee: "I am expecting Pierce to try and make a move and pull up. Good play by them and it's just unfortunate to lose a game like this."
But it's even worse than that. New York actually had a foul to give on that final play...but failed to use it. Said All Harrington: "We wanted to give the foul if Paul Pierce was going to the hole but that never happened. It's frustrating, but we played extremely hard." Awww, diddums play hard, Al? Here. Have a cookie. http://tryingtoohard.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/leave-the-cookie-alone.jpg
Rasheed Wallace: His 0-for-3 performance from downtown dropped him to 22-for-78 in threes on the season (28 percent).
The Indiana Pacers: The Pacers played the role of Slump Busters, letting the Charlotte Bobcats snap that seven-game winning streak and break 100 points for the first time since 'Nam. Leave it to Jim O'Brien's defense to roll over and give up 104 points to the league's lowest scoring team. To make matters even worse, the ancient and mummified Nazr Mohammed utterly dominated the paint, scoring 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting and blocking 2 shots. Said Danny Granger: "Their bigs probably shot 90 percent, 80 percent from the field. We couldn't stop their pick-and-roll, even though we knew it was coming."
DeSagana Diop: I usually leave things like this for the lacktion report, but Diop earned a perfect three trillion against the Pacers. I laugh almost every time I read Diop's line in a box score, mostly because Dallas Mavericks fans were so upset when DeSagana was included in the Jason Kidd trade. I swear, some Mavs fans -- and even some so-called experts! -- were more upset about losing Diop than Devin Harris. It's like those people had never actually watched Diop play basketball.
The Detroit Pistons: It's not all Detroit's fault. They Pistons were playing the final game of a four-game road swing on the second night of back-to-backs, and they had gone to overtime in the previous night's game against the Jazz. Oh, and Rip Hamilton (ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (back) are still out (and they've combined for only four games this season). That said, this was a 26-point loss that felt more like 50 or 60. Detroit never had a chance, and both Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash got to watch the fourth quarter from the sidelines. And the AP recap accurately described the Pistons' 0-4 road trip as "fruitless."
Anyway, Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry -- whose team drilled 57 percent of their shots and canned 61 percent of their treys -- understood what was up. "I think we were playing a tired team. It was the last game of this trip for them. I thought we did a good job of trying to jump on them early and get off to a good start."
Added Detroit coach John "Who?" Kuester: "There's no excuses in this league. You've got to be ready to go. Everybody keeps talking about the last game of the road trip. I think our frame of mind going into it was right. Sometimes you've got to lie to your body and just say 'Hey, you've got to go.' Unfortunately, tonight we didn't have the juice that we've had."
Ben Gordon: Apparently, nobody on the Pistons was more tired than Air Gordon, who went 3-for-11 (1-for-6 from beyond the arc) and finished with almost as many combined fouls and turnovers (9) as points. He did have 4 assists, though, which might even be a career high. I wonder if they happened by accident...
The Oklahoma City Thunder: Their defense was strangely competent -- the Lakers bonked 12 of their 14 three-point attempts and shot 40 percent for the game -- but their offense needed a bib and a crash helmet, because it was special in that short bus kind of way. Oklahoma City hit 37 percent of their field goals and shanked 20 of 23 from the Land of Three. They also gave up 25 points off 19 turnovers.
Kobe Bryant's three-point shooting: After Mamba knocked down a shot from behind the backboard against the Thunder, teammate Lamar Odom explained Bryant's shooting philosophy: "You see him do things just fooling around with all kinds of shots in practice that you won't normally see. But you expect the impossible, because he's not scared to take any shot from anywhere on the court. So that's why that's the result. It's never a bad shot to him. That's his mentality. He's not afraid to shoot it."
Too true! But maybe Kobe should spend a little more time practicing threes instead of trick shots. After going 0-for-2 from downtown against the Thunder, he is 5-for-28 (18 percent) for the season. Of course, this could be an extension of the fact that he's averaging only 2.1 three-point attempts per game this season, which is pretty low for him. But the Lakers can only benefit from Kobe shooting fewer bad threes, which has been one of his worst habits over the past four or five seasons.
By the way, here's that behind-the-backboard shot:
Truly amazing. But it's worth noting that Larry Legend did it first:
Update! Sunday lacktion report: The late lacktion update from Chris:
Celtics-Knicks: Toney Douglas gave Madison Square Garden a show of mediocrity with a +1 suck differential via giveaway in 6:10.
Pacers-Bobcats: In 8:23, Indiana's Jeff Foster composed three fouls against one board for a 3:1 Voskuhl. Michael Jordan's experiment in team mismanagement shockingly came out victorious, thus allowing for Larry Brown to trout out the celebratory human tobacco. Alexis Ajinca took down a rejection and a brick for a +2 in 3:18, while DeSagana Diop dove into a treasure trove with a 2.55 trillion (2:32).
Hornets-Heat: Joel Anthony avoided pure lacktivity with a block in 7:20, but fouled twice and lost the rock on two occasions for a 4:0 Voskuhl!
Pistons-Suns: Jarron Collins stirred together a foul and a brick in 3:15 for a +2, also counted as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.