Friday

The New Jersey Nyets: The NBA's only winless team remained winless (0-9) after scoring only 72 points on 32 percent shooting against the Magic in Orlando. They have now officially wrested the title of "Worst Team in the League" away from the Clippers. At this point, every game the Nyets play simply extends the worst start in franchise history. HISTORIC FAIL.

Brook Lopez: Lopez has been playing like an All-Star this season, and he had averaged 22.7 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in New Jersey's three games before facing the Magic and Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Then, suddenly, Lopez looked like the second coming of Greg Kite, finishing with only 4 points on 1-for-12 shooting. Brook finished with a plus-minus score of -26 in 31 minutes. Lopez was also outrebounded 12-5 by Nyets guard Terrence Williams. Williams, by the way, gets dishonorable mention for shooting 3-for-17.

The Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers were facing a Jazz team that had only nine players available -- Utah was missing it's best player (Deron Williams) and Ronnie Price (sprained left big toe), Kyle Korver (left knee surgery) Matt Harpring (ankle/knee/old), and C.J. Miles (left thumb surgery) -- and yet still lost by 22 points at home. And it wasn't even as close as the final score indicates. Total homecourt fail. Speaking of fail...

Elton Brand: While Carlos Boozer was sizzling (24 points, 11-for-16, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals), the 80 Million Dollar Man was fizzling (11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal). Don't worry, Philadelphia fans. You only have three-plus seasons left of this at about $15 million per year.

The New York Knicks: The Bricks not only got spanked 121-107 by the Golden State Warriors -- giving up 58.3 percent shooting, 58 points in the paint and 31 points off 21 turnovers -- they established the worst 10-game start in franchise history in the process. HISTORIC FAIL.

Bricks coach Mike D'Antoni, the man who made Steve Nash, somehow go only 5 points (1-for-7) and 7 assists out of Chris Duhon. (Please don't tell Bill Simmons...it'll blow all his anti-Nash theories.) After watching his team crap the bed, Mikey said: "I just thought our lack of fight was the most disappointing thing. It's bad, there's no doubt about it. We've got three days off, we'll practice hard and we'll try to figure out something better and see who wants to come forward." Added rookie Toney Douglas: "This isn't where we want to be." I don't blame you, Toney. Oddly enough, you're where at least one nutty baller does want to be...

Stephen Jackson, lost in his own reality quote machine: During the offseason, Captain Jack -- citing the fact that he was "built for championships" -- said he wanted to be traded from the Golden State Warriors to a contender...and then included New York as one of his preferred destinations. So, yup, he's still crazy. But he's not backing down from what he said, no matter how batshit it sounds. Said Jax: "This is one of the best places to play. If somebody says it's not, they're lying. Everybody wants to say they played in the Garden. Everybody gets up to play here and I'm no different than anybody else." No different th an anybody else? Oh, I beg to differ, Stephen.

The Boston Celtics: So the Leprechauns got punked at home by the Hawks...how'd that happen? Well, for starters, the C's were shooting blanks from beyond the arc (1-for-15). They also couldn't protect their defensive backboards, allowing the Hawks to score 22 points off 16 offensive rebounds. Furthermore, Boston was -10 in points off turnovers even though they only lost the ball two more times than Atlanta did. But the real problem is that the Hawks played with more determination and intensity. The Celtics didn't start taking the game really seriously until the final five minutes or so, by which time it was too late.

Rajon Rondo: Rondo bricked two free throws down the stretch. That was bad enough, but it brought to my attention that Rajon is shooting -- gak! -- 25 percent from the line this season! And he's a potential All-Star?! Not with FT shooting like that. When you're a guard and Chris Dudley could beat the hell out of you in a foul shooting contest, you aren't ready to be an All-Star.

The New Orleans Hornets: So much for the dead coach bounce, huh? Byron Scott may be gone, but the Hornets' problems are not. Playing at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans shot 36 percent (including a combined 2-for-15 from Chris Paul and Peja Stojackovic), got gangbanged on the boards 60-40 (which included giving up 30 offensive boards), and scored a season-low 78 points. Oh, and CP3 suffered an ankle injury that required him to leave the arena on crutches. It's going to be a long and unhappy season in New Orleans. Good thing they still have the Saints. (Go Drew Brees!)

The Minnesota Timberwolves: The running tally: nine losses in a row to drop them to 1-9. 'Nuff said. Although special mention goes to...

Ryan Hollins and Jonny Flynn: In the first half of the Mavs-Timberwolves game, Dirk Nowitzki had only 5 points and 5 boards. Then, in the third quarter, Hollins started throwing some elbows, and then Hollins and Flynn started working their jaws...and Nowitzki blew up. After picking up a technical, the Sour Kraut had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in seven minutes to put Dallas in the driver's seat.

Said Dirk: "[Hollins] elbows a lot and that's just how he plays," Nowitzki said. "I just felt like at some point it was enough." Added Flynn: "Sometimes you've got to pick your battles. You don't want to do anything to spark a sleeping giant like that." Better write that one down, rookie.

The Minnesota offense: Kurt Rambis is determined to make the Triangle offense work in Minnesota. Good luck with that, Kurt. The T-wolves currently rank 27th in Effective Field Goal Percentage (44.9), 27th in PPG (90.2), and 28th in Offensive Efficiency (91.6 Points Per 100 Possessions). Oh, and Rambis has transformed Al Jefferson from a 20-10 guy to a 15-6 guy. Golf clap.

Kevin Martin: From Apocalypse34: "Is it a little early to start a Kevin Martin watch? He played in the Kings' first 5 games, and Sacramento went 1-4. Since missing these last 4 games, Sacramento is 4-0. This comparison also features a 13 point loss to the Thunder with Martin, and a 13 point win over the Thunder without him. Granted, the competition hasn't been fierce without Martin (Utah, OKC, Golden State, and Houston) but the Kings usually struggle against, well, everyone." Hmmm...

The Los Angeles Lakers: Well, well, well...what do you know? The Lakers, playing on the road on the second night of back-to-backs, got their asses whupped by the Denver Nuggets. L.A. kept it close for a half thanks to 19 points from Kobe Bryant. But golly gee, what do you know, the Lakers ran out of gas in the second half. Big time. L.A. was outscored 29-8 in the third quarter and Mamba went scoreless in the second half as Denver rolled to a 105-79 win. According to the AP recap: "The eight points tied a Nuggets record for fewest points allowed in a single quarter, and it was just two shy of tying the Lakers' mark for futility in a single quarter. They scored just six points in a quarter against Chicago in 1977." HISTORIC FAIL.

As Kobe said: "They beat the hell out of us. I don't know if we had Pau it would have made any difference. They played extremely well."

Can we just agree that my point about fatigue in back-to-backs has been made? Good.

And so much for Ron Artest shutting down Carmelo Anthony. 'Melo was limited to 30 minutes because of first-half foul trouble, but he still finished with 25 points on 11-for-20 shooting. Speaking of which...

Carmelo Anthony, egotastic quote machine: After seemingly putting the "Artest owns 'Melo" theories to rest, Anthony said: "I don't really think it's possible to have a 'Melo stopper. No team in the NBA will just let me play 1-on-1 against them. They just won't do it." I'm not saying he's wrong, exactly, but players who say things like that to the press are tempting the fates.

The Lakers' bench: I've heard some rumblings about the general crappiness of the L.A. bench, and the Nuggets game didn't exactly disprove it, as Denver's bench outscored their Lakers' counterpart 43-16.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Their 104-89 home loss to the Toronto Craptors --during which the Clips built a 22-point lead in the second quarter -- once again proved that the Other L.A. Team is, indeed, who we thought they were. Blame turnovers: the Clippers gave up 24 points on 17 turnovers. Mind you, Toronto entered the game forcing the fewest turnovers per game (11.8).

The loss dropped the Clippers -- who have lost six of their last seven games against the Craptors -- to 3-7 on the season and did further damage to Mike Dunleavy's 2009-10 Coach of the Year bid.

LeBron James: Let me start off by saying that King Crab is entitled to his opinion. Everything he said about Jordan being the greatest and how all NBA teams should retire his number...well...like I said, he's entitled to his opinion. In case you didn't hear about or read what he said, here's the skinny:

“I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized in some way -- soon. There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade, you name all the best players in the league right now and the last 10 years, there would be none of us without Michael Jordan. It’s time. He’s the best basketball player we’ve ever seen. Mike does it on the court and off the court. If you see 23, you think about Michael Jordan. You see guys flying through the air, you think about Michael Jordan. You see game-winning shots, you think about Michael Jordan. You see fly kicks, you think about Michael Jordan. He did so much, it has to be recognized, and not just by putting him in the Hall of Fame. He can't get the logo {referring to the NBA logo that’s modeled on a silhouette of Jerry West), and if he can’t, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. Nobody. If I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it.”

Okay, first of all, Michael Jordan has been the most recognized player in the history of anything. He really doesn't need any more accolades...although he'll keep getting them until the end of time. Second of all, "you name all the best players in the league right now and the last 10 years, there would be none of us without Michael Jordan." Really? There'd be no Shaq, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett...there would be no great player if Jordan didn't exist? Really?! Forget the fact that Jordan owes guys before him -- like Dr. J, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson -- the same way Kobe or LeBron owe Mike.

But what kills me most is the "If I'm not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it." I shouldn't be surprised by this quote, especially considering it came out of the mouth of a guy who regularly refers to himself in the third person. But, I mean, damn.

The worst part of it is that he's switching to No. 6, which also happens to be Bill Russell's number. And Russell, of course, is only the greatest winner in team sports. And I mean greatest winner ever, and he always will be. Nobody else will ever dominate as a winner the way Russell did: 11 championships in 13 seasons, including eight straight. Plus, he coached the Celtics on their final two back-to-back titles of his era. Jordan didn't do that...never even came remotely close. If anybody's number should be retired for all time, it should be William Felton Russell's.

Anyway, again, LeBron can think whatever he wants. But he really does need to get over himself. At least a little.

Chris's Friday Lacktion Report:

Nets-Magic: New Jersey's Josh Boone farmed out a 2:1 Voskuhl in 5:13 by negating a board with two fouls, one brick, and a rejection.

Warriors-Knicks: Darko Milicic was free to foul once more for a +1 suck differential in 4:44, also good for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Hawks-Celtics: Jason Collins became a man in full tonight with a 1.2 trillion! For the home team, Doc Rivers had no victory to celebrate, yet still sent out the newest Little Three of Lacktivity -- Brian Scalabrine, Lester Hudson, and JR Giddens -- for a 38 second stint as Mario Triplets. Lester Hudson chose to be the odd one out, er, Toad, by bricking once from the Big Dig for a +1.

Blazers-Hornets: To celebrate their road win over an undermanned Hornets squad, Portland's Juwan Howard took a rejection in 1:25 for a +1, while Dante Cunningham simultaneously scrambled to score a 1.4 trillion. The buzzers responded by having Julian Wright out there as a Bee Mario for 55 seconds.

Lakers-Nuggets: In addition to being smacked down hard by Ty Lawson's garbage-time monster slam, Josh Powell found himself on the wrong end of a Voskuhl ratio, earning a 4:3 in a 13:13 stint after bricking and fouling four times each, against only one rebound and made field goal.
Saturday

The New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets' winless weekend was punctuated by a 23-point pimp slap by the Atlanta Hawks. Yes, I know, New Orleans was Chris Paul-less, but that doesn't change the fact that a) their head coach got canned this week, b) their star player is injured, c) the coaching change hasn't changed the team's trance-like play, d) their record just dropped to 3-9, and e) they suck. I mean, sure, their offense was bound to kind of suck without CP3 to guide them, but defense is really about determination, effort and intensity. And yet the Hawks -- who went tiny bird balls out to beat the Celtics the previous night -- shot 54.5 percent from the field. And yeah, that was a season-high for them.

David West: Huh...8 points on 17 shots. Pretty efficient.

The Boston Celtics: It sure doesn't look like this team is going to win 70 games, eh? Maybe the lack of sleep is killing my brain cells, but I don't remember the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls suffering any winless weekends, let alone dropping a gimme against a defenseless team like the Pacers. Although, to be fair, Boston was the most defenseless team in Conseco Field House on Saturday night. One night after Jamal Crawford lit them up for 18 points off the bench, Dahntay Jones -- he of the 5.3 PPG career average -- torched the C's for a season-high 25 points on 7-for-15 shooting and 11-for-15 at the line. That's right: Dahntay Jones got to the line 11 times against the Celtics. In fact, the Pacers shot 31 free throws and hit almost 53 percent of their field goals. Oh, and Indy's 113 points was easily the most points the Leprechauns have given up this season. In other words: DEFENSIVE FAIL. And wouldn't you know it? Boston, an older team, was playing on the road in the second game of back-to-backs. As always, I'm just sayin'...

The Washington Wizards Generals: Washington's sixth straight loss dropped them to 2-7. The defeat was highlighted by Gilbert Arenas deferring to freaking Earl Boykins, who 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, but still. In the grand scheme of things, I'm pretty sure the Generals are want the Agent formerly known as Zero taking the big shots. Arenas said teammate DeShawn Stevenson "got mad at me today, because in the fourth quarter I only took three shots. He said, 'Before, this wouldn't have happened. You would have taken over the fourth quarter, even if you had to take every shot.' ... told me to bring it back," said Arenas, who ended up with 19 points and 10 assists. "Everyone wants the fun guy back." That's for sure. If this loss actually pulls Gil out of his dark funk, I'll strike it from the Worst of the Weekend record.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Thanks to scoring only 74 points against the Trail Blazers, the 'Cats have now been held below 80 points in five of their nine games. Not surprisingly, they rank dead last in the league in Offensive Efficiency (89.6 Points Per 100 Possessions). Charlotte is like the Special Education class of NBA offenses. Maybe they could petition David Stern for extra wide rims?

The Oden Watch: Big Greg fouled out in 17 minutes against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The New Jersey Nyets: The Nyets were going to win! They really, really were! But then fate stepped in and said, "Yeah...it's not gonna happen for you tonight, boys." New Jersey was up by three (78-75) when Quentin Richardson banked in a three-pointer with 25 seconds to go. Despite falling victim to a crap shot, the Nyets went up by two (80-78) when Brook Lopez scored on a tip-in with 4.1 seconds left. This meant that, if they could simply play defense for four ticks, the Nyets would earn win number one of the season. But it was not to be:


Did you notice that Dwyane Wade actually fumbled the ball before sinking the game-winner? Somehow that made New Jersey's failure even more painful. They are now 0-10. Said Nyets coach Larry Frank: "I feel terrible for our guys. We lay it all out there and to get beat like that, I'm just sick to my heart for them. It hurts. I feel so bad because the effort was extraordinary. We just fell short."

The Minnesota Timberwolves: The Memphis Grizzlies entered their game with the T-Wolves losers of seven straight games. Sing it with me, people: When you cannot win...and you don't look good...who ya gonna call?! Slumpbusters! And that's the Timberwolves, who were without Al Jefferson (death in the family) and Kevin Love (busted hand). Oh, 10 consecutive losses for Minny, by the way.

The Golden State Warriors: It's got to suck to score 125 points on 56 percent shooting and still lose. Welcome to Warriors World, a strange alternate reality in which defense does not exist. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee's rookie point guard, dropped a double nickel on Golden State. That's right: a double nickel. Jennings' 55 points eclipsed the Bucks' previous franchise scoring record for a rookie set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 51 points on February 21, 1970. Not only that, it currently stands as the fifth-highest scoring explosion by a rookie in league history, trailing two 58-point outbursts by Wilt Chamberlain in 1960, a 57-point game by Rick Barry in 1965, and a 56-point performance b y Earl Monroe in 1968. And the Warriors let that happen after Jennings went scoreless in the first quarter! MAJOR HISTORIC FAIL.

The San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan and Tony Parker returned just in time for...a home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder?! What. The. Fuck. The Spurs were -10 in Points in the Paint, -9 on Free Throw Attempts, -7 in blocked shots, -2 in rebounds...I mean, basically, they got outplayed. At home. By the Thunder. I cannot wrap my head around this.

Update! Memphis GM Chris Wallace: From Wild Yams: "BTW, we should have some kind of mention on here for Memphis GM Chris Wallace and his signing of Jamaal Tinsley. Kudos, Mr. Wallace - it's pretty impressive to find a locker room cancer equal to the task of filling Allen Iverson's shoes the way you did on such short notice like that. I don't think I would have been able to come up with Tinsley's name if asked for potential cancers who could fill in that role that is apparently now vacated by Iverson, but that's why you're the NBA GM instead of me. I mean, who knew that the role of "locker room cancer" needed to be filled in the first place, or that it wasn't already being filled adequately by Zach Randolph? Way to go, Mr. Wallace, you truly exemplify Basketbawful."

Chris's Saturday Lacktion Report:

Hornets-Hawks: Sean Marks fouled once for a +1 suck differential in 1:51 for the Hornets.

Celtics-Pacers: Doc Rivers's self-coached team has now lost two games, but at least the lacktators are getting valuable experience with securities investments, with Lester Hudson and JR Giddens each scoring exactly 1 trillion and appearing in the ledger on consecutive nights!!!

Pistons-Wizards: DaJuan Summers spent 4 minutes on the floor for Detroit with two missed field goals (once from the steps of the Library of Congress) and two fouls for a +4. Meanwhile, Washington's Dominic McGuire is having a season of lacktion worthy of the REAL Washington Generals, this time tossing a Koopa shell for a 23 second Mario. Teammate Javale McGee did block two shots in 2:54, only to foul thricely and lose the rock and brick once each for a 4:0 Voskuhl!

Blazers-Bobcats: Travis Outlaw gave the rock up once to Bowser for a +1 within a 50 second Mario. (Lacktion negated due to injury)

Nets-Heat: In a nerve-wracking match that saw Miami nearly lose to the winless Red Army Guards, James Jones just had enough time to take down a 1.55 trillion.

Warriors-Bucks: As Brandon Jennings racked up the points, Dan Gadzuric racked up the wealth with a 3 trillion!
Sunday

Ben Gordon: The Pistons dropped a winnable game at home, losing 95-90 to the red-hot Dallas Mavericks. Detroit might have won this one if not for the failings of BG, who had one of the worst shooting/scoring nights of his career while getting lit up by rookie Rodrique Beaubois (14 points on 6-for-6 shooting, including 2-for-2 on threes). In 41 minutes of furious lacktion, Gordon scored 5 points on 1-for-16 shooting (0-for-6 from downtown) and finished with more turnovers (4) than rebounds and assists (3). According to ESPN Stats and Information, it was Little Ben's worst shooting performance in a game in which he took more than 10 shots. The exclamation point on Gordon's "D'oh!" of a night was when he crunked a potential game-tying three-bomb with two seconds left.

So sayeth Air Gordon: "I was getting great looks at the basket, but I could never get myself into any kind of rhythm. I was getting open, and I can't start turning down shots, but nothing felt good and nothing looked good."

It's so strange, too, because Gordon was so brilliant the previous night (29 points, including his team's final 8 points in a win). And yet, on the second night of back-to-backs...speaking of which, the loss dropped the Pistons to 0-3 on night two of back-to-back games this season. Dismissed as coincidence.

The Oklahoma City Thunder: Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this straight. One night after a big win over the Spurs, the Thunder returned home for the second game of back-to-backs and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers?! The same Clippers who had lost three straight and had choked away leads of nine and 22-points in their last two defeats?! The same Clippers who lost to the Thunder at home four days earlier?! How could that happen? I mean, Kevin Durant scored a season-high 40 points on 14-for-25 shooting, and the Clippers gave up an incredible 25 points on only 12 turnovers. Oklahoma City even snared 18 offensive rebounds. I don't get it. Hey, I wonder if it has anything to do with that whole "second night of back-to-backs" thing? Nah. That's just an excuse...

Mike Dunleavy Sr., quote machine: The predicted 2009-10 Coach of the Year is now 4-7 on the season, but it's a strong 4-7. Just ask him. Said Dunleavy: "We have the ability to play with anybody and win anywhere." He was kidding, right? I mean, he had to be...right?

Shaq: I felt the need to point out that Shaq -- who missed Cleveland's game on Saturday night with a, ahem, shoulder injury -- was traded away from the Phoenix Suns for trash (Ben Wallace) and more trash (Sasha Pavlovic) that was quickly discarded. And yet his replacement, castoff Channing Frye, looks brilliant (20 points and six three-pointers against the Craptors on Sunday night)...and the Suns are an NBA-best 9-2. Addition by subtraction when the player subtracted was the self-proclaimed Most Dominant Ever? It sure looks like it. Maybe that Shaq-for-Marion trade should have been Frye-for-Marion?

Note that Amar''''''''e Stoudemire bounced back from his 2-for-15 brickfest against the Lakers by scoring 30 points for the first time this season and grabbing 8 boards. Interestingly enough, STAT's breakout coincided with the Suns' first two-day break of the season after playing seven games in 10 days. Funny what a few days rest can do. Also note that Steve Nash continued his brilliant start with 23 points, 9 assists, and the game-winning three-point play. How? How is he doing it despite the absence of Mike D'Antoni, the man who made him, and the fact that he suffers from a chronic and painful back condition? Can somebody get Bill Simmons on the line so he can explain this away? Thanks.

The Los Angeles Lakers: Can it be? The Mighty Lakers lost at home to the star-less Houston Rockets?! Some might point to the continuing absence of Pau Gasol, Kobe's groin strain (which might have helped limit him to 5-for-20 shooting), the dual failure of starters Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom (12 points, 5-for-17 from the field) and the misguided shooting of the L.A. bench (6-for-19). But I don't want to offend anybody by making excuses for the Lakers, who played poorly (38 percent shooting, -22 on the boards) and deserved to suffer their first winless weekend in quite a while. But hey, at least Ron Artest had a solid night (22 points, 8-for-16, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) and got to flex and pose for the crowd.

An extra special congratulations goes to the Lakers for getting shown up by Rockets backup center David Andersen, who was 9-for-14 from the field and scored 19 points in only 25 minutes. Said Phil Jackson: "We obviously didn't know the scouting report that well on Andersen. We knew he's a shooter but we didn't see him playing at that level." Whoopsie.

Trevor Ariza: If Lakers management had any lingering regrets about not re-signing Ariza, last night's blundering performance probably wiped them out. Ariza -- who leads the Rockets in scoring with 19.4 PPG -- was 2-for-12 from the field, 1-for-7 from three-point range, and committed a game-high 6 turnovers. Seriously, he was playing so badly I started to think he was a Lakers plant.

Update! Ron Artest: Basketbawful reader DOH commented: "I nominate Ron Artest for throwing Trevor Ariza's shoe off the court. Backyardstyle. But, y'know, Karma is a bitch." Indeed it is.


NBA.com: According to their "Race for the MVP" feature, Steve Nash is one of the league's leading...rebounders?! Oh yes.

nashrebounder[1]

Thanks to chinoy316 and Gab V. for the head's up.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots: The Patsies -- widely regarded as one of the great clutch teams of the last decade -- led 24-7 in the first half and were up 13 in the fourth quarter...before ultimately losing 35-34. That sound you hear last night was a deep and gutteral "Muwahahahahahaha!!" from stately Bawful Manor.

Belichick has been taking some heat for choosing to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 with 2:08 to go. As well he should, because it was a bonehead move. But on the other hand, he was ballsy enough to go for the win, no doubt trusting "Tom Terrific," whose supposed one great advantage over Peyton Manning is his ability to convert under pressure. Well, the great Brady couldn't get his team the two yards they needed for the win, after which he had to watch Manning come through in the clutch. Let it be known that, in that fourth quarter, Manning led three touchdown drives to only one for Brady.

By the way, I'd like to nominate former Patriot Rodney Harrison for this week's Stat Curse award. Harrison and former Colts coach Tony Dungy are NBC analysts. Before the game, they were asked to answer the typical inane "Brady versus Manning" questions. Harrison, while looking right at Dungy, said Tom was better because "Brady finishes games. That's why he has three championships and Manning has only one." I swear, I think Tony Dungy was ready to choke a bitch.

Then, of course, Manning went on to finish a game Brady couldn't. I'm just sayin'...

pats fail
Fail.

Chris's Sunday Lacktion Report:

Clippers-Thunder: Steve Novak shot a brick from, well, Bricktown for a +1 suck differential in 11:54.

Raptors-Suns: Goran Dragic wrote a sorrowful tale of fail with one foul, two giveaways, and a miss from Van Buren Street for a +4 in 5:15.

Rockets-Lakers: Despite a block, Josh Powell accrued a trio of bricks and a pair of fouls in 7:10 for a 2:0 Voskuhl. Adam Morrison bricked once from the Four-Level Interchange for a +1 in 3:10.

Labels:

76 Comments:
Anonymous DOH said...
I nominate Ron Artest for throwing Trevor Ariza's shoe off the court.
Backyardstyle. But, y'know, Karma is a bitch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu1zMV5j0fo

Anonymous Barry said...
It's purely a marketing ploy, otherwise I can't quite wrap my head around it.

All props to Wade for that shot but was that really Trenton Hassell guarding him?

Blogger Cortez said...
"Can we just agree that my point about fatigue in back-to-backs has been made?"

It should have never been in debate in the first place. Which is why the Nuggets win shouldn't be worrisome to any Laker's fans. Playoff time, everyone travels on the same schedule and, overall, the Laker's players are simply better and more disciplined than the Nuggets.

"Anyway, again, LeBron can think whatever he wants. But he really does need to get over himself. At least a little"

God damn, I'm starting to hate this asshole on a personal level like a lot of you guys hate Bryant.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Big Greg fouled out in 17 minutes against the Charlotte Bobcats."

A few years ago my buddy asked me what I thought of Greg Oden when he was coming out of Ohio State and I responded, "Fuck a Greg Oden".

He then proceeded to tell me how Oden was going to be a beast and the future CENTER of the league. At that point I reminded him that he also liked

-Eddy Curry
-Tyson Chandler
-Tyrus Thomas
-Frank Williams

He failed to make the connection.

Blogger Dan B. said...
So, uh, think that back-to-backs have any effect on a team? I'm not sure you got that point across very well... (Cough)

When the announcers mentioned Rajon Rondo's free throw shooting numbers during that Hawks game, I actually said "Sonofabitch!" out loud to myself. That's how embarrassingly bad that statistic truly is.

And yeah, it's looking like I was wrong the other day when I suggested the Hornets might get a nice dead coach bounce. It's looking more and more like they didn't quit on their coach -- they just suck. A lot.

Regarding the footbawful, I doubt that it would have mattered if the Patriots punted instead of going for it. Their defense was just exhausted and playing poorly, while the Colts offense was clicking. It may have taken an extra play or two, but I imagine the Colts still would have scored, especially since they still had one timeout to burn.

NBA2k10 update! As you may remember from my previous review, I was still playing in the summer league at the time in My Player mode. Well, I made it to the D-League, wasting away on the truly terrible Maine Red Claws. I wasn't getting significantly better, and I felt like a serious liability on defense. I decided to start over from scratch with a new player. Instead of creating a scrawny 6'0, 150lb player like I am in reality, I created a 6'5" 200lb point guard, and went with Athletic playing style instead of 3 point specialist. I dominated the summer league and tried out for the Celtics. Despite averaging 17/12/3, I got cut because I let Eddie House just torch me the first game from outside, and let Lester Hudson repeatedly burn me on the same exact pick and roll the second game. Both put up 33 points on me. DEFENSIVE FAIL. After that, I finally learned about the Lock On Defense feature, and my defense became significantly better. I "only" gave up 17 points to Eddie House the next game because my teammates got into a bad habit of turning it over and I wasn't able to keep up with him on the fast breaks. It wasn't good enough though; I still got cut and picked up by the Idaho Stampede in the D-League. I've only played one game for them so far, but put up 10 points, 5 assists, and 1 rebound in 10 minutes for them coming off the bench, and pretty much shut my man down on defense. And I actually got to play point instead of being constantly assigned to the shooting guard spot like I was before, so that was nice.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- Regarding Oden: It cracks me up that every time Greg manages to stay out of foul trouble and submits something like an 18-8, Blazers apologists cry out "See?! He IS becoming a great center!" only to watch him get into foul trouble the very next game. People waiting for the Great Oden Breakout will be waiting for a long, long time...

Dan B. -- Congratulations on making the Idaho Stampede. That ranks among the Great Basketbawful accomplishments like...like...moving on...

I assume you were the kind soul who fixed my HTML goofs?

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
Steven Jackson is now a winner!

SJax for Raja Bell and Space Cadet. Watching Larry "play the right way" Brown and Steven "play my way" Jackson will be fun. We need to start a Whacky Bobcats Quote Watch.

Blogger BJ said...
You're joking!

(checks Rondo on Bball Reference)

You're not joking!
-BJ

Blogger Dan B. said...
Did I mention that the Stampede are apparently the Raptors NBA D-League affiliate? If that doesn't just cement how major of an accomplishment this was... Yeah, my character is probably crying himself to sleep every night while living in goddamn Idaho. So, yeah, uhm, high five?

(How much do you wanna bet that next season I get signed by the Clippers and immediately tear my ACL?)

And actually, I didn't fix your HTML goofs -- had to go take care of some stuff at work right after I posted my comment.

Blogger Cortez said...
"It cracks me up that every time Greg manages to stay out of foul trouble and submits something like an 18-8,"

I would bet that 18-8 typically comes against an opponent on the second night of a back to back!

Score another one for the grand unifying theory!

Blogger Leland said...
Stephen Jackson to the Bobcats. Wow he got hosed. Captain Jack said either, Cleveland, the Bricks, or a Texas team. Welcome to Charlotte. I can't wait to see how long it takes before Larry Brown kills him.

I guess the lesson is; if you act like a child you will be treated like a child and put in time out...err traded to the bobcats. i'd rather have time out for 9 months than play with those bums

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Damn. If I had known there'd be a footbawful crossover today, I would have posted some screencaps from the game. Actually, it's just a collection of timestamped Manning faces, Brady in the headlights, and angry Belichick pics, topped off by a smug Manning face with 0:09 remaining.

Honestly, burn your timeouts, then go for it on 4th on the wrong side of the field?

CUT THAT MEAT

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: No, I fixed your A HREF links this morning before I headed to work. :)

BTW, Ryan Hollins "inspiring" Dirk...begs a couple of questions.
1. What was this regular in the lacktion ledger THINKING by inciting Dirk's wrath?
2. So all Dirk needs to do to reach the next level is to key in on some overly hustlin' benchwarmer, and then suddenly he has all the motivation in the world?!

NarSARSist: Raja Bell, the same guy who Tim Donaghy claimed got calls against him for daring to play defense against Association stars. How is this supposed to fit in with Nellieball!?

Blogger chris said...
Leland: You know, this makes me think a recap of "Greatest Spite Trades" needs to happen sooner rather than later...

Blogger Edgar said...
"So, uh, think that back-to-backs have any effect on a team? I'm not sure you got that point across very well..."

Here's where I'd like to point out that my Hawks demolished the sorry Hornets at home the night after beating Boston on the road for the first time in eons. Atlanta is 8-2, best in the east.

As coach Woody unintentionally-dirty put it in the NBA.com recap Friday:

"If you don't bang, get loose balls, and rebound with them, you don't beat this team."

It's time for all you bandwagon fans to hop on board. The few of us who survived Walker/S-Jax/Shareef Abdur-Rahim era assure you: there is plenty of room for everyone.

Home games against Portland and Miami this week will go a long way toward informing us if the Hawks can be one of the top two teams in the East this year.

Blogger Jonathan said...
uhh I just saw this on espn's 2009-2010 Hollinger Projections which ranks players based on PER. Ok I know this is not the best way to rank players but seeing Kosta Koufos as the number 1 ranked player? really? better than CP3, LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Kobe and the others? seems ranking fail to me.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/rankings?&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fhollinger%2frankings

Blogger Edgar said...
Former Hawks S-Jax and Acie "draft FAIL" Law IV are headed to Charlotte to boost Bobcats scoring (which currently starts and ends with former Hawk Flip Murray).

The reason the deal couldn't get pounded through any earlier: the Bobcats refusing to part ways with former Hawk Boris Diaw.

I hereby dub this trade "The Ghost of Billy Knight Deal"

Blogger Jonathan said...
here is the direct screencap of the page where kosta koufos is ranked number 1 in 2009-2010 Hollinger Projections

http://yfrog.com/79koufosj

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
Bawful, Cortez - But...but...Greg Oden is #20 in the league in PER, behind only Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum at the center position. Plus, he has added as man wins to the Blazers as Ginobili or Duncan has added to the Spurs. Surely advanced stats are the end-all-be-all to basketball arguments instead of actually watching the games!

When will people finally put to rest the notion that Jason Kidd is a good defender in his old age? Detroit point guards Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey combined for 25/36 for 55 points. I couldn't watch the game, so I don't know how they torched the Mavs. However, if they scored those points mostly against him, that's pretty bad, and if he wasn't matched up against them, then maybe there's a reason his coach didn't use him to defend? I was watching him play against the Spurs a few days ago, and he was doing some pretty blatant stuff to rack up stats instead of doing what's important, like playing defense. On one play, when George Hill slipped a screen off ball and started going towards the corner, Kidd didn't even bother trying to go over there. Instead, he stood around right in front of Erick Dampier when the Spurs were still setting up for a shot. That's right, he tried boxing out his own center...

A night after having a block party sponsored by the Spurs, the Thunder didn't have a single block until 6:30 left in the game against the Clippers. I'm sure it has nothing to do with tired legs and everything to do with some whacky Bill Simmons theory where when one of his buddies puts his legs behind his back and then coughs on a waitress, the Clippers learn to avoid defenders in the air or something.

Anonymous CaptainHomeless said...
I'm trying to play the "My Player" mode in NBA 2K10, but the combination of the horrific load times between things like the various drills, and the complete lack of tutorials on things like "how to get around a dude who's boxing you out," is really making it frustrating for me. I know the basic controls pretty well, but waiting two minutes for a minute-long drill to load and then failing it because I don't know what the hell it wants me to do is ... not fun.

Blogger Leland said...
Chris, i wonder what Capt Jack is thinking right now? I wish he had twitter and tweeted his first thought at being traded. I imagine it went like this.

Capt Jack's Agent:"Stephen, i've got some good news and i've got some bad news. What do you want to hear first?"

Capt Jack: (since he's obviously an optimist) "I'll take the good news first, dawg"

CJA: "I got you traded!"

CJ: "WORD?!?! Nicccee...you mentioned some bad news. what could possibly be bad about this? I got traded from a team with a head coach who's plays with lineups more than the Charlotte Bobcats piss away offensive chances!"

CJA:"....ahem...*cough**cough* Yea about them Bobcats"

CJ: "i'm going to kill you dead, fool"

By the way...what happens first:

1. Capt jack demands a trade from charlotte

2. Larry brown demands that Charlotte trade capt jack?

I thinkn they happened simultaneously as the trade was announced.

Welcome to Sucktitude Capt Jack. Look at what you're bitchin and whinin got you!!!

Blogger chris said...
Leland: We've already seen a one-game stint this decade for a (relative) malcontent (Sheed in Atlanta) so...we've gotta start figuring out how long this arranged marriage will last.

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
Jonathan - The order is based on their current year PER, but also includes their projection. That's why it looks really bizarre, because Kosta's stats extrapolate to a 36 minute player that would score 20 and grab 18 rebounds. It's not so much a ranking fail as a "you should make sure a player plays enough minutes to qualify" fail.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Hi Bawful,

You need a new word of the day called something like "No Star Syndrome". This is where a team has no clear star so everyone on the team plays hard and wins.
-The prime example would be the 04 Pistons who got a ring, maybe it was 05?
-The Bulls a couple of years ago surprised everyone and made the playoffs after an 0-9 start.
-The Hornets when CP3 was new
-The Kings this year now with Kevin Martin injured
-The Rockets this year with Yao and Tracey out. Once TMAC is back I think they will start losing again.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
I think someone needs to change their number TO 23 just to say F U to Lebron's comments YEESH what a douche

Blogger Dan B. said...
CaptainHomeless -- What version of 2k10 do you have? I am playing the PC version, and load times are virtually nonexistent. But I do agree that the lack of information is annoying. If someone boxes you out, it's basically impossible to get yourself free to either try to get position for the rebound, or even just try to get away from him and move down the court to play defense.

But really, skip most of the drills and focus on just the shooting one since it's fairly easy, and you can rack up a crapload of skill points. Invest all your skill points early on into Consistency so that you can avoid getting in cold streaks when shooting, and make a couple close baskets before moving out to midrange and firing away until you start missing. Then go back in close to make a couple to get yourself back in a rhythm. Once you do this, usually you can get silver at the worst in the shooting drill and earn a nice chunk of skill points that can be applied to anything. I recommend defensive awareness and consistency as the first two things to emphasize since they have a huge impact on your performance but are very cheap.

Blogger chris said...
Michael Hsu: Isn't that all kinda covered by Bill Simmons' Ewing Theory?

Shrugz: If Ostertag comes out of retirement this year, I'd LOVE to see him in #23. :D

Blogger Jonathan said...
NarSARSsist - oh, thanks for the clarification. It just struck me too much I guess, totally unexpected to see him there.

Blogger Brandon said...
Please don't tell Bill Simmons...it'll blow all his anti-Nash theories.

I'm fairly sure Simmons loves Steve Nash. To which anti-Nash theories do you refer?

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
Three games into the season Isiah is already whining about a team playing their starters. In related news, Mardy Collins was seen stretching his calves and warming up his clotheslining muscles nearby.

CaptainHomeless - I don't really get long loading times either. Is it a console problem? Like Dan B, I highly recommend D Awareness too, because it pumps up your overall very rapidly. As a tip to anyone trying My Player Mode to make an NBA team and not cry in Fort Wayne or something, your performance is only one component of the decision. The depth chart plays a much greater role. For example, the Magic, who have Vince Carter and Mickael Pietrus, are very unlikely to take on an additional shooting guard (my friend tested this with a 99 overall SG that did extremely well in training camp). By contrast, I survived as a PG for the Lakers (because they counted Shannon Brown as a SG, they only had Fisher and Farmar + random scrub) with an overall in the low 60s by the end. At one point I was even above Farmar in the depth chart. I think there are players at certain levels above which teams absolutely will not drop them in favor of you, so picking a team like Chicago, who has 0 shooting guards officially, will probably give you a better chance of making the team.

Anonymous DOH said...
Also, nba.com is a bunch of non-believers. Apparently, Detroit won Sundays game.

http://www.nba.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0911/gameaction1115/content.2.html

(Here's a pic if they change it anytime soon.)
http://srv018.pixpack.net/20091116143825524_mzurbtuhic.jpg

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Brandon -- I never said Simmons hated Nash. He does enjoy and appreciate Steve's game. However, he has repeatedly stated that Nash was/is overrated because of Mike D'Antoni's offense and that his MVPs were bullshit. In fact, in his new book, Simmons identified Nash's MVPs in his "Bullshit MVPs" section and rated them as "ultimately unforgiveable."

He has used Chris Duhon's "comparable" stats under D'Antoni as proof that SSoL more or less created Nash, when 1) Duhon's stats, except for the random game here or there, are not comparable, and 2) SSoL didn't create Nash so much as allow him to fulfill his potential.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I thought the 4th down call was great. 2 yards for the win? Go for it. Any team that punts to Payton Manning with 2 minutes to go up by 6 is going to lose. Period. There is no way Manning doesn't orchestrate a winning drive. The offense should be able to pick up those 2 yards 60-70% of the time. I wouldn't bet a penny against Manning in crunch time.

Blogger Robert said...
Just wanted to point something out here. It's a little bit of a cover-your-karmic-bases thing, because I agree that Melo is tempting fate, and I'm a Nuggies fan.

But Melo is on the record as saying - and I can't find the article right now - that guarding someone one-on-one in this league is pretty much impossible in general, at the higher levels. Especially now, with the hand check rules.

Not saying he isn't riding the high pony a little bit. Just saying that he doesn't believe that only of himself.

'sides, he's backin up that swag deliciously.

Blogger Delon Ho said...
"The Golden State Warriors have banished disgruntled forward Stephen Jackson to Charlotte."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4659552

Nuff said.

LMAO.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - It would appear that you're making the argument (presumably against me) that teams play worse on the second night of back to backs, especially on the road. Allow me to clarify myself if you think I ever disputed that: you're right, teams will tend to play worse on the second night of a back to back, especially on the road. You happy now? Forget that I never said anything to the contrary, but way to make that obvious argument. What I said was that even if the Suns had been well rested last Thursday, that wouldn't have given them a way to defend the Lakers inside, and that if Pau Gasol had been playing and the Suns were fully rested I still think the Lakers would beat them handily. But hey, if you wanna spin that all into me saying that playing on the second night of a back to back never effects any team, well it's your site.

The Lakers did look absolutely gassed in that second half on Friday, and playing the second night of a back to back on the road at altitude in Denver will tend to do that to teams (which is why Greg Popovich didn't play Duncan, Ginobili & Parker at all in the same situation in a game there last year). The Lakers lost a game in Denver last year on the second night of a back to back in which the Lakers shot below 30% from the field. That altitude on the second night of a back to back clearly takes it out of teams. Nevertheless, I'll give the Nuggets a lot of credit, because even before the Lakers folded, Denver's defensive scheme totally took the Lakers out of what they wanted to do: give it to Kobe in the post. Doing that made Kobe have to work extra hard for his points, and by the second half he seemed wiped out. With that in mind, if the Lakers had maybe gone to Andrew Bynum a bit more (8-13 for 19 points & 15 boards), then things might have gone a little better.

Speaking of Bynum, that exact same statement goes for last night's loss to the Rockets. LA lost that game last night solely for playing very stupid basketball and choosing to shoot 23 three pointers against an undersized Rockets team which has great perimeter defense rather than go inside to Bynum (8-12 for 21 points & 11 boards), for which the Rockets had no answer. Kobe, Artest and Fisher all attempted more shots than Bynum did, and Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic combined to take 9 attempts of their own (hitting only 2). When your team features a guy who's looking like he is probably the second best center in the league and you're going up against a team that features a 6'6 center, you may want to try to get your guy more than 12 shots. I'm just sayin. No wonder the Lakers only shot 38% from the field. Way to make it harder than it needed to be.

I'm so long-winded I have to break this into two comments.

Anonymous CaptainHomeless said...
Dan B - Thanks for the tips. I'll give those a shot, although it seems like a great use for the "Drills" section would be to teach players how to play the game, rather than punish them for not knowing all the advanced moves (which may be listed in the instructions but are certainly not explained).

Oh, and I'm playing the 360 version, and between every drill it kicks you all the way back to the menu, and does this crazy routine where it autosaves like four different files, then contacts their stats server, then contacts their user rankings server, then does a few more things ... all of which it also does before loading the next drill. It's a little over the top.

I will give them props for one thing tho -- the new menu system is a hojillion times better than the old one.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
About LeBron James, I think he's crazy as well. He really doesn't think any of today's stars would be here if it weren't for Jordan? That's preposterous. I agree with what Charles Barkley was saying about that, that Jordan did help elevate the league, but it was really Magic and Bird that delivered it from essentially the scrap heap and brought it back to the forefront. In any event, I don't think that just because Gretzky's number is retired throughout the league in hockey that Jordan's number needs to be retired throughout the league in basketball. The reason is because good as Jordan was, he didn't come close to accomplishing in basketball what Gretzky did in hockey. Gretzky is so far above everyone else in the history of hockey that it's not even close, whereas you can make arguments that Jordan may not in fact be the best basketball player of all time (I think he is, but the argument can be made). I think that if you're gonna retire Jordan's number, then the case could be made that you should retire a couple other players' numbers: Russell (as Mr. Bawful said), Bird, Magic, maybe Wilt or Kareem. I don't know. The point is, I don't think Jordan was so far above those other greats that he deserves that kind of recognition. Believe me, Jordan's not lacking for recognition and praise.

There's so much to comment on in today's WOTW. I'm glad to see Shaq get mentioned here, just because he really does look like he was an anchor which dragged down the Suns. Phoenix is absolutely rolling ever since getting rid of him (for absolutely nothing, as was pointed out), and is back on top of the Western Conference. It should be pointed out that on the day that the Suns traded for Shaq from Miami, they were #1 in the West as well, though they rarely were again at any point during Shaq's tenure there. I think if the Crabs stumble much at all this year, Shaq may be this season's version of what Allen Iverson was last year. Just something to keep an eye on.

What's the earliest Stephen Jackson can be traded away from Charlotte? I think he can be traded by himself (but not in conjunction with any other player) for the next 48 hours, but after that it may be another 3 months till they can move him. I just can't see that working out down there in Charlotte. He and Larry Brown couldn't be any more opposite.

I wonder if Bill Simmons will consider posting a retraction of the whole "D'Antoni made Nash" article if Mr. Bawful keeps harping on him like this. I doubt it. Here's a question: is Simmons' book worth reading? It sounds like a lot of people say he's pretty much off his rocker with a lot of what he has to say in it. It sounds like a rather frustrating read.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yams: Shaq wasn't that bad for the Suns, but I'm perfectly fine with making him the scapegoat. If anything, his extra turnovers and poor FT shooting were not appreciated by fans in PHX. I'd rather praise Frye and Dudley for elevating this year's squad.

Simmons's book is good if you don't know much about the 50s to 80s. It's history with a grain of salt. So I've enjoyed it. The rest is just entertainment. Long, long entertainment.

Blogger jim said...
While DJ Mbenga's reputation as a player may not be too much greater than an automatic 'bawful anyway, I feel as though getting postered by Ty Lawson deserves a mention of its own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWkhvdCjUSs

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AnacondaHL - What was weird last year was that Shaq himself was good (he was a deserving All Star selection), but his being good seemed to be at the expense of the Suns. Not only was their record not as great as it had been in previous seasons and they missed the playoffs, but it seemed like everyone else's stats took a dip while his went up. Very odd.

BTW, we should have some kind of mention on here for Memphis GM Chris Wallace and his signing of Jamaal Tinsley. Kudos, Mr. Wallace - it's pretty impressive to find a locker room cancer equal to the task of filling Allen Iverson's shoes the way you did on such short notice like that. I don't think I would have been able to come up with Tinsley's name if asked for potential cancers who could fill in that role that is apparently now vacated by Iverson, but that's why you're the NBA GM instead of me. I mean, who knew that the role of "locker room cancer" needed to be filled in the first place, or that it wasn't already being filled adequately by Zach Randolph? Way to go, Mr. Wallace, you truly exemplify Basketbawful.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- Question: As a Suns fan, didn't it kinda seem like, once it was clear the Suns weren't going to contend for anything, Shaq started gunning a bit like he was auditioning for potential suitors (Cleveland, Dallas, etc.)? Because that's how it felt to me.

Yams -- Reading Bill Simmons' book is like reading one of his columns...only it's 700 pages long. There will be stretches where you're nodding your head and thinking, "You know, I never thought of that before, but yeah, that totally makes sense," and other parts where you're shaking your head and thinking, "They clearly teach Bizarro Logic in Bill Simmons' universe."

That said, there's an awful lot of interesting/entertaining things worth reading if you enjoy reading about basketball. Just understand that Simmons reuses a lot of his old arguments, concepts, and even excerpts from his old columns. (And even sections that supposedly weren't excerpts read almost verbatim like old columns.) Also keep in mind that Simmons' M.O. is to create an argument around one of his existing opinions, which leads him to standard Simmons-isms.

For instance, there's a section on bullshit MVPs where he discredits the concept of Nash-as-MVP because Nash was a defensive liability. Yet, strangely, he never once mentions Allen Iverson's MVP despite the fact that A.I. was one of the great defensive liabilities of his generation.

He also "proves" that Russell was better than Wilt by, in part, showing how many of Wilt's contemporaries disliked him and ragged on him in the press, books, etc. Then, later in the book, he uses the fact that Rick Barry was disliked by his contemporaries as proof that Barry was underrated and robbed of an MVP...because the players voted on MVP back then. Jumping back, he used the fact that Russell won MVP over Chamberlain the season Wilt scored 50 PPG as "proof" Russell was better...because players voted on MVP back then and they obviously recognized Russell was better.

Simmons didn't even consider the possibility that Wilt got jobbed on the MVP that season because, like Barry, he was disliked and envied by his peers and they might have liked nothing more than to deny him MVP despite his overwhelming stats.

In short, every Simmons argument is retrofitted to sync up with what he already believed. So, even though he spent years researching and writing this book, he did not have a single epiphany or moment where he was like, "Wow! I've learned something new about the NBA!" Nope, all that hard work just proved (to him) that he was already right about everything...and here's why.

Despite those critiques, I would still recommend it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I totally meant to mention the Tinsley pickup...so I just added your comment to the post. Thanks!

Btw, the back-to-back thing was a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge from the conversations I've had with you and AnacondaHL on the subject.

Anonymous DKH said...
I don't consider it so much Shaq's fault that Phoenix was bad as that Phoenix tried something to get better, it didn't work, and they reverted back to their old method.

When they made the Shaq move, I think it was clear that Phoenix wasn't going to win a title in their current configuration, whether because their system wasn't built for it, or because NBA refereeing is so bad that the Suns continually lose games because of it. So, yea, I think trying a different strategy is the right thing to do there. It didn't work because it involved putting square pegs into round holes, and Terry Porter wasn't a good enough coach to instantly make it work (would any coach be good enough?).

Anyway, it's nice to blame Shaq because of the win-loss rebound, but I think it's a matter of changing strategy and then reverting back because the other personnel are suited to run-and-gun. Does anyone think the Suns in their current configuration are a championship team? I think they have too many faults that will keep them out, but they are definitely fun to watch again and I'll be rooting for them.

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
Yams - We should root for the Bobcats to keep SJax. Imagine the fun and hijinx that would go on. They could keep basketbawful in business by themselves!

So here's the flip side of the question: What team would want Steven Jackson and have something to give in return? Here's the way I see it, and it doesn't look good.

Western Conference:
Dallas has Josh Howard and Shawn Marion
Denver has Melo and JR Smith
Houston has Ariza, when he's not gunning to try to prove himself, along with a whole slew of hustle guys, playing with great chemistry. No need to play with a combustion lab
Clippers have chemistry problems, not talent problems
Lakers have Artest and a whole bag of crazy already
Memphis has Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo and Zach Randolph gunning
Minnesota could use someone like Jackson, but have no talent they'd be willing to offer (Gomes, Love), and giving up expiring contracts hurts their future cap space, not to mention Bobcats didn't give up an expiring contract in Raja Bell just to pick up another less talented one.
New Orleans has expressed an interest in Steven Jackson, but they have no really tempting pieces in exchange. What are they supposed to do, trade James Posey? Mo Peterson?
Oklahoma City is not throwing a bomb into their young core that's working well together right now
Phoenix has a good thing going right now, no need to mess with it. Also, the only guy within even $3.5 million of Steven Jackson is Leandro Barbosa, and they're not parting with him. They're also not slapping the rest of their young core together just to get Jackson.
Portland is already having all kinds of whacky fun trying to distribute the ball and playing time around
Sacramento is paying Nocioni $7.5 mill to man SF already. Trading him for SJax straight up could work I suppose, but I don't really see the point. They might as well make another run at a 1st pick overall.
San Antonio already found their man in Richard Jefferson
Utah is already loaded with guys that can score. Plus, does Jerry Sloan seem that much more amenable to SJax than Larry Brown?

Eastern Conference:
Atlanta already has a He-Who-Shoots-Without-Conscience in Jamal Crawford. Adding Jackson could help make Joe Johnson's life easier on defense, but you'd have to get Larry Brown to buy in on Crawford. No wai
Boston surely can't get any deeper? Plus, they need guys that fit inside the system, not a SWAC
Chicago already has Salmons killing their dreams and hopes; I doubt they'll be complicating their issues, especially with Deng around
Cleveland could use another scoring option, but that would likely involve giving up Daniel Gibson and Delonte West, so I doubt they're shopping
Detroit has Ben "I keeps shooting" Gordon along with Charlie V, Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince. If anything, they want to unload one of them, not pick another player in that 2-4 spot up
Indiana has Danny Granger and (yes, I'm seriously including him) Mike Dunleavy
Miami has Beasley, and more importantly, has to consider next year's cap space
Milwaukee could use a little help...assuming Larry Brown likes Dan Gadzuric
New Jersey wants their cap space, though seriously, how funny would it be if SJax went to an 0-10 team?
New York is the same, only less humorous
Orlando has a glut of people and not enough PT, no need to complicate the issue further
Philadelphia has Andre Iguodala
Toronto has Hedo on deck for the next 5 years (you boys have fun with that) and drafted a 6'7" 220 lb guy with their first rounder
The Generals have Caron "I smile because if I don't I'll start crying" Butler and Soulja Boy. Seriously, what a combo!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - First, I'm glad you don't really think I'm oblivious to the effects that playing back to back games (especially on the road) has on teams. I was worried for a second there :) Second, thanks for including my comment on the Tinsley signing, but I'd really be curious to hear your thoughts on it, being that you're a Pacers fan and Bird Worshipper and probably have much better insights on what that could mean for Memphis this year (btw, I like that Tinsley may have turned down going to Cleveland so he could play for Memphis). Third, I guess I'll have to give Simmons' book a look-see, if for no other reason than so I can participate in the complaining about it.

DKH - While I do agree that the Suns needed to do something to change things up from the system they were running under D'Antoni, even at the time of the Shaq trade I thought that was the wrong thing to try. Couldn't they have traded Marion (who's stock was infinitely higher then than it is now) for more than a broken down old has been with an albatross contract like Shaq? I mean, the Suns in effect traded away Marion for nothing just so they could barely miss the playoffs for a season. What kind of trade is that? If they were just looking to unload Marion for anything they could, the least they could have done was not get a guy with one of the worst contracts in the league in exchange for him. JMO.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
If anything Shaq was trying less last March and April. 46 wins still had a chance. It's more like, "hey look, I can still score 45 points in Feb, trade for me yea?"

Oh, the eye injury last year also sucked. Ughh. Let's just enjoy this year's almonds and cashews and chicken and fish Suns.

BTW, Ben Wallace is playing 30 min a game, for 9.3 reb and 1.7 stl, 0.7 blk. Wtf.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
My two cents on the LA Denver game, artest never got the chance to match up with carmelo since the refs shelved carmelo the whole first half. Then they responded by tacking ron to the bench with 9 mins to go in the 3rd with 5 fouls of his own.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh my bawful Pau Gasol on CSI Miami tonight 10 EST

Clicky for teaser pic of awkwardness potential

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Michael Hsu -- I will give that one some thought...

Blogger chris said...
NarSARSist: Yes, the ads for the upcoming Kings-Bulls games make note of Scrappy and the Fish as "former Kings" in a reunion matchup. No joke. I'm not sure whether to guffaw or to facepalm.

Blogger chris said...
DKH: Is that the same rationale that brought Shaq to Northeast Ohio? It seems the crustaceans are reaching their boiling point, with their worries over King Crab's potential departure.

Unless somehow, "retiring #23 in Cleveland", Riley-in-Miami style, will keep him there magically.

Anonymous Jwoey said...
Damn, Rondo has missed his last 9 FT attempts. That's some suckage.

Anonymous Basketbawesome said...
Steve Nash is a joke of an MVP and that's that. He couldn't guard a chair. Every time he plays elite pg he gets owned. Just about every elite pg has his career highs versus Nash... If LeBron isn't going to wear 23 then no one else should either. And Russell winning all those championships is awesome in all, but if LeBron played in that honkey tonkey white man era, he would have averaged 100 pts, 50 boards, and 25 assists a half. Jordan would have avg 200 pts a half. All those short slow white guys would have got owned.
Steve Nash just won because he's not black and non-black basketball players always get hype. See Bird. Magic owned him every time they played. And that was a rivalry, please? He even owned him in college.

Anonymous DKH said...
chris: Not the same reason Shaq is in Cleveland. Cleveland thinks Shaq can improve their interior defense and add an interior threat to the offense that isn't there with Z/Varejao/Hickson/Ben Wallace. They are trying to work him into an existing system rather than bringing him in and partially remaking into a new system.

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
chris - So are Kings fans actually glad that sushi is now swimming upstreaming in Chicago and Scrappy Doo is lumbering around while crying in a red and black jersey?

Basketbawesome - You forgot to order Mardy Collins to clothesline people that disagree, make derogatory comments at a female employee, and OD on some meds and claim it was your daughter.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
You are on fire this season, McHale. Your hatred feeds you. Embrace it. EMBRACE IT.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Iverson to be placed on waivers. Just pathetic. I think the cats would have gotten him instead of making that trade now

Anonymous Fightnhippo said...
Chris Wallace is terrible. I bet he makes moves based on his NBA2k10 season simulator.

Blogger lordhenry said...
"God damn, I'm starting to hate this asshole on a personal level like a lot of you guys hate Bryant."

Welcome to the fold.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
WHOA WHOA WHOA. Allen Iverson is done AND Captain Jack and Acie Law got traded for Raja Bell and the Spaceman (a.k.a. Rad-Mo).

Is that enough of a winner for you, Captain Jack? Does everyone 'get up' for the Bobcats?

Allen Iverson is less surprising, but even worse.

Get these men starring roles on the banner pic RIGHT NOW.

Blogger William Dorr said...
In Travis Outlaw's defense, the only reason he played just 50 seconds against Charlotte was because he broke a bone in his foot and missed the rest of the game. If you're gonna jump on a guy for providing no impact to a game in less than a minute of playing time, at least do it to healthy players who are actually 'bawful. Laction report fail.

Blogger Ash Haque said...
Awesome WOTW edition!

Blogger Aaron said...
Funny that Big Al's numbers are down...torn up knee last year might be more to blame than a new system.

Blogger chris said...
William Dorr: Noted, I'll fix that later (lacktion doesn't count when injury occurs).

NarSARSist: I think it's more a sense of apathy, plus "hey, this Tyreke Evans guy is bringing us back to this heretofore forgotten concept of BEING OVER 500!"

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Aaron - I definitely think that has a lot to do with it. Look for Al to get going maybe in December or January. It just takes a while to get back to where you were after a big knee injury like that (unless you're Glass Oden, then there's nothing to get back to). However, the triangle does tend to take something like 18 months, supposedly, for players to pick up. I hope for Clothesline's sake the Minny F.O. is giving him a good two years to get that team going the way he's sees fit. If not then they should have hired a coach with a more typical system to teach.

Blogger geremy said...
i think i actually saw a troll post here somewhere in the depths above...

that's actually a first for this site in my experience.

Blogger Clifton said...
Yams: "What I said was that even if the Suns had been well rested last Thursday, that wouldn't have given them a way to defend the Lakers inside, and that if Pau Gasol had been playing and the Suns were fully rested I still think the Lakers would beat them handily."

Possible, perhaps... but then, what about Houston? Plus, as I mentioned only somewhat tongue-in-cheekily, our only interior big man (Lopez) is out hurt.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful, check this out:

http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/28379.html

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Glad to see the Oden Watch is alive and well, as Glass Greg racked up 5 more fouls tonight.

Clifton - The Rockets are a team that specializes in defense, something nobody would ever accuse Phoenix of specializing in (or even playing on most nights). Chuck Hayes is a damn solid post defender, show me who on Phoenix has that particular skill, cause Amare and Frye sure don't. Also, Houston had both Shane Battier and Trevor Ariza to bother Kobe's post game, while Phoenix has Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley. Nuff said. The Lakers still coulda eaten the Rockets alive inside though, all they had to do was give the ball to Bynum, the guy had great position all night. But instead the Lakers decided it would be better to play like idiots and challenge the Rockets' perimeter D by bombing away from three, while Bynum only got 12 shots (of which he hit 8, for 21 points). C'est la vie.

Blogger Clifton said...
Yams -- Okay, okay. I don't watch enough of other teams to effectively argue with you guys. Fair enough. I am slain. :-)

I'm serious about Lopez, though. I'm not saying he's going to be Dikembe Mutombo in there, but he's going to give them a different look. For better or worse, he's a wild card, and it remains to be seen exactly what effect he'll have when he returns. You can't really take too much on him from last year, because he never had a chance to really get into a rhythm when he was just fllling the gaps when The Shaqtus wasn't playing. The reason we didn't pick up another defensive big was because he was supposed to be The Guy, until he got nicked up, anyway.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Clifton - Fair enough, though it really does remain to be seen if Lopez is A) gonna fit into Phoenix's new run n gun scheme and B) if he's actually gonna be any good on either end of the floor. Against the Lakers he'd either be defending against Bynum or Gasol, and with the way Bynum's playing this year and the way Gasol always plays, that's a tall order for anyone these days. Add to which, he'd have to be productive on offense, or at least be able to rebound some if he's gonna take minutes away from shooting big men like Amare and Frye.

I think that the point is that if the Suns really did turn to Lopez a lot to match up with the Lakers, it would really threaten to pull Phoenix out of their up tempo style which Nash thrives in. If that happens, the Lakers already have something of an upper hand. In any event, it still doesn't suddenly produce someone for the Suns who can guard Kobe, either in the post or on the perimeter (unless Kobe's groin pull is persistent, naturally).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"How is he doing it despite the absence of Mike D'Antoni, the man who made him, and the fact that he suffers from a chronic and painful back condition? Can somebody get Bill Simmons on the line so he can explain this away? Thanks."

This is stupid. It's not D'Atoni, it's the system. Look at him last season where he had to throw the ball to the post. Look at him during his tenure in Dallas. Nash is a HOF in this run and gun system, and a good player in another. He is a system player, there's no shame in that.

You can't say the same for other current greats such as D-Wade, LBJ, etc. That's where the difference lies.

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
Anonymous - You might want to read basketbawful with a little bit more care and a little less critical thinking.

Yams - (unless Kobe's groin pull is persistent, naturally) So basically, the best way to challenge Kobe is not a hand in his face, but on his groin? I could swear that woman from Colorado tried that, and it actually just enraged the Dark Lord into playing better. I'm all for that.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"You can't say the same for other current greats such as D-Wade, LBJ, etc. That's where the difference lies."

You're forgetting a very important point: Wade and LeBron...they are given carte blanch to shoot, isolate, and dominate the ball as much and as often as they want. So it doesn't necessarily matter what system they're in because they are given the maximum number of opportunities necessary to do what they want.

Blogger benschon said...
I attribute the 4-0 Kings streak not to the absence of Kevin Martin, but to the presence of Ime Udoka. Ime is undefeated as a Sacramento King. He's got magical, Oregon-born, Nigerian-American ju ju.

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