What...the...fuuuuuu...The Denver Nuggets:
This is what I had to say about the Nuggets a few days ago
Nuggets fans want to believe their team has what it takes to overthrow the Lakers in the West. Really, Nuggets fans? Really? Because looking at Denver's schedule, I see only a few legit wins (against the Blazers, Lakers and maybe the Spurs), victories against a bunch of bums (versus the Craptors, Grizzlies, Knicks, Nyets, Pacers, and Warriors) and some head-scratching losses (to the Bucks, Clippers, Timberwolves). And now they've suffered a double-digit loss to a team that gave the 0-18 Nyets their first win just last Friday.
It makes you wonder.
Maybe it was one of those "second night of back-to-back" things. The Nuggets weren't crisp (18 turnovers for 21 points going the other way), and their slap-happiness led to 37 free throw attempts for the Bobcats (which is about 10 more than Charlotte's season average). But somehow, given the circumstances, they just don't seem very contender-y to me.
So how did the Nuggets follow up their fail against the 'Cats after a day of fitful rest? By losing to the Detroit M.A.S.H. unit, of course! The Pistons were already
without three of their best players (Ben Gordon, Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince) and then
they had to sit Will Bynum because of a sprained left ankle.
That means Detroit was mising four, four rotations guys, ah, ah, ah
Despite the lack of fresh bodies -- and the fact that the Pistons gave up a whopping 24 points off only 15 turnovers -- Detroit won after trotting out a starting lineup of Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jerebko, Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins and Rodney Stuckey and getting 38 key minutes out of Austin Daye and Kwame Brown.
Like I said: not very contender-y.
Said Chauncey Billups: "We're not a great team. We're a good team. We should be winning games like this, and the Charlotte game."
Added Denver coach George Karl: "We did what we've consistently done in losses -- we give young teams hope and confidence early. I didn't think we took them seriously in the first half. Our scouting report was focused on Stuckey and Charlie, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that they were the ones scoring."
Young team? The Ghost of Ben Wallace's Shriveled Husk had 16 rebounds and 3 steals, George! (Speaking of which, isn't Wallace playing a helluva lot better than Shaq this season? Who knew that the Crabs got the worst of that trade?)Chauncey Billups:
Mr. Big Shot actually could have tied it with a layup at the buzzer, but he was mugging too much for the refs' attention. And he knows it. Said Billups: "I got what I wanted. But I tried to get the foul too much."The Washington
Wizards Generals second quarter:
They put of a surprisingly feisty fight against a much better team. But, despite a spirited comeback in the second half, the Generals lost this game in the second quarter, during which they let the Celtics outscore them 37-22 (on 62 percent shooting) and -- get ready for this -- they failed to pull down a single rebound. I repeate: the Generals had zero rebounds in the second quarter. I'm...I'm stunned. As Stephanie G. would say, my gast is flabbered.
According to STATS Inc., that hasn't happened in the seven years it's been keeping records. I wonder if it's ever
happened.Update! Gilbert Arenas:
From NarSARSsist: "Bawful, no love for Agent Zero? Hibachi fired up his woks for this game with a solid 11/23 shooting day, but went 1/6 from the line, including shanking both free throws with 26 seconds left and down by two." Love earned, love given. Here's some bonus bawful from the AP recap
: "Arenas was embarrassed about his poor free-throw shooting. Entering this season, he was a career 81 percent foul shooter. Now, he's shooting nearly 10 percentage points lower than that, and jokingly said his team might soon be called the 'Hack-A-Wizards.'"Reggie Miller, All-Star Announcer:
Our old buddy Reggie kicked things off (as Will
pointed out) by describing Rasheed Wallace as being "very long down low". But Miller wasn't finished, oh no. As The Dude Abides
Guess who elicited a minute of stunned silence from Marv Albert and Mike Fratello tonight by asking an asinine question? Yes, it was Reggie Miller. What prompted him was the flagrant foul called on DeShawn Stevenson when he shoved Kendrick Perkins on a fast-break layup. After Perkins missed the first flagrant foul free throw, Reggie asked, "Why is Perkins shooting? Doesn't Boston get to pick who it wants to shoot these free throws?"The "Let's get this done and go home" Celtics:
...crickets from Marv and the Czar.
Really, the Generals never should have made it such a close game. Doc Rivers has noted that his team -- despite leading the league in point differential heading into last night's game -- hasn't exactly been killing itself against lesser teams. Last night felt like a "let's just get it done" affair. Even KG didn't have his usual intensity. (It's impossible not to compare last night's showing with his "Fuck the beast!" performance against the Spurs last week.)
I dunno. Boston just seemed very going-through-the-motions-y to me. Oh, and their 11 missed free throws -- including four shanks from Paul "I think I'm the best player in the world" Pierce -- kept things more exciting than they needed to be.
Kendrick Perkins Caron Butler: Welcome to Caron Butler's poster, population: you.
Kendrick Perkins will not
be in your poster, Caron.Throw it down, little man!The Orlando Magic:
Beware the obviously talented but just as obviously underachieving team that got smacked in the mouth during its last game and then gets a chance to redeem itself at home. That's what happened with the Jazz last night. The previous night, the Lakers embarrassed them into a 6-point fourth quarter that started when Deron Williams was getting a much-deserved breather.
Well, Williams didn't get much of a break last night, logging 42 minutes and responding with a season-high 32 points, 15 assists (one shy of season high), and 8 rebounds. And 21 and 11 of those points and assists came in the second half.
Mind you, Utah was jogging along on weary legs in the first half, and ended up falling into an 18-point hole during the second quarter. Amazingly, the Jazz committed only 6 turnoverss -- 4 in the first half and 2 in the second -- on the night. Which kind of exposes one of the weaknesses of the Orlando D: they rank 27th in forced turnovers ast 12.5 per game.
Even more damning, though, was the fact that Mehmet Okur's defense -- which has been legally declared "statuesque" by many leading statue scientists -- seemed to really bother Dwight Howard after the first quarter. It might help if Howard learned a few post moves, but I digress.
Look, Orlando had the Jazz practically down for the count in the second quarter...and they let up. And it's not the first time that's happened with the Magic this season. Said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy: "We jump out well, then relax and let everybody back in the game. The difference is Utah is a better team."
Ouch.Tracy McGrady, would-be All-Star:
An anonymous commenter said: "I don't proclaim to know much about basketball, but why does Knee-Mac have 281,545 votes
when he hasn't played a single game this year? For that matter, when was the last time he actually played a game?"
Well, as Wild Yams
pointed out: "According to BDL
: 'His hundreds of thousands of votes are presumably coming from China, where fans of Yao Ming tend to also back other Rockets on the ballot. (Case in point: Aaron Brooks has more votes than Chauncey Billups, Brandon Roy and Deron Williams.)' So there you go."The Pittsburgh Steelers:
Footbawful crossover! From the AP recap
The defending NFL champions lost their fifth straight and had their playoff hopes thrown for a loss by the lowly Cleveland Browns, who ended a 12-game skid against their bitter rival by beating the Steelers 13-6 on Thursday night in subzero wind chills.
Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times and lost for the first time in 11 career games against the Browns (2-11), who extended Pittsburgh's longest losing streak in six years and defeated the Steelers (6-7) at home for the first time since 2000.
"To lose five straight coming off a Super Bowl from last year is embarrassing," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "There's nothing fun about losing games, especially five in a row. We're better than that. We should play better than that. With three games left, you're going to see who really wants to go out here and play for the pride of this organization and this city and who doesn't want to be around here."
It's probably not healthy for me to enjoy Pitt's misery so much...but who wants to live forever?
Here's some bonus bawful from ESPN Stats and Information: "The Steelers are in the midst of the longest losing streak by a defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history. Their current five-game slide ties the 1987 Giants' previous mark."Lacktion report:
Here's Chris' (mostly) nationally televised lacktion report:
Nuggets-Pistons: Johan Petro took down two boards in 10:55, only to foul thricely and lose the rock once for a 4:2 Voskuhl.
Celtics-Generals: Despite an assist, Fabricio Oberto had the cameras shining on his fabulously bawful sole appearance in the 2nd quarter, in which he fouled three times in 1:59 for a 3:0 Voskuhl before being exiled to the pine for the rest of the night!!!! His immediate replacement JaVale McGee (the first man to join the lacktion ledger in the Association this season) didn't fare much better, taking one foul and giving away the ball once for a +2 in 3:21 that counts as a 2:0 Voskuhl. Can someone amongst our readership tell me if we've had two players in a row commit Voskuhls before in such a short period of time?!?!?
Magic-Jazz: In this come-from-ahead loss for Orlando, Brandon Bass played a perfect baritone to earn a banknote of 1.6 trillion (1:37), while fellow illusionist Marcin Gortat earned a 3:2 Voskuhl in exactly 4 minutes by negating two boards with three fouls. The real rise in Stan Van Gundy's blood pressure tonight though came from Mickael Pietrus, whose starting stint at forward led to a 12:33 of surprising suck: three fouls, one giveaway, and two bricks (one from the ZCMI store) for a +6!!!!!!!
Labels: Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Worst of the Night