Not exactly what the NBA marketing department had in mind when they started that campaign...The New Jersey Nets:
Certain world events that have taken place during my lifetime will forever linger in my memory. The Challenger disaster. The September 11 terrorist attacks. Gigli
. And then there is the shocking case of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets.
Seriously. It's pretty unreal that the Nyets could steal the headlines on a day when it was revealed
that Ron Artest admitted he "used to drink Hennessy...at halftime" and said "When I was a 19-year-old father ... I was a single pimp!"
There were a lot of worsts last night, but each and every one of them pale in comparison to what the Nyets managed to do. Last night, New Jersey earned a permanent spot in the Basketbawful Hall of Shame by surpassing the 1988-89 Miami Heat and 1998-99 Los Angeles Clippers for the worst start in NBA history: 0-18. And, really, "surpass" isn't the right word to use when talking about anything this bawfulest of bawful teams has accomplished. Underpassed? I'm not sure that's a word, but I'm using it.
The best / worst part of what happened is how it happened. The Nyets entered the game ranked dead last in both scoring and shooting. Well, their defense was apparently jealous of their offense, because the D tried its damnedest to underpass the O. The Nyets meekly surrendered 49 points in the second quarter as the Mavericks shot 17-for-19 from the field. Dallas shot 81 percent in the first half. According to STATS, LLC., that makes them the first team to make 80 percent of its shots in a half since the Denver Nuggets kicked in 82 percent of their shots against (of course) the Clippers on April 4, 2006.
So, to sum up, the Nyets knew
going in that they were about to step into "Worst Team Ever" territory if they lost the game, and yet they gave up 77 points on 80 percent shooting in the first two quarters and were down by 27 points at halftime. Were they even trying
to avoid infamy? Or were they embracing it, kind of like how person will induce vomiting if they're drunk enough, because sometimes throwing up all over yourself actually feels better than not doing it.
Basketbawful reader Olivier K. sent in this image that sums up the Nyets DEFENSIVE FAIL of a first half:
The Mavs really pulled back on the throttle during the second half -- they scored only 12 points in the fourth, apparently because Rick Carlisle invoked the slaughter rule -- and still ended up scoring 117 points while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. And did I mention that, gulp, this massacre happened on the Nyets' home court?
Said Chris Douglas-Roberts: "At this point, I feel the streak has definitely gotten the best of us. It's really starting to get to us now. So when a team goes on a run, we kind of, it's almost like we give up, which is really unfortunate but that's what it looks like to me. We kind of give up and just lay down instead of trying to fight."
Added interim coach Tom Barrise: "I think what happens is you know it wears on you. It's not a two-game losing streak. We play four games a week in this league and it's every day and every other day, and you know you hear it and you start to feel it a little bit."
A little bit? Try a lot. Seriously, I've never seen a team look so beaten, so hopeless, so completely dispirited. And I've watched dozens, maybe hundreds of Clippers games. Speaking of which, here's a sure sign of just how bad things have gotten for the Nyets. There's not a single player on New Jersey's roster who wouldn't rather be playing for the Clippers right now. Think about that.
In a move that's utterly fitting, Nyets GM Kiki Vandeweghe has been hired as the new coach, although he was mysteriously absent from the sidelines of last nights historic pummeling. Convenient, no? Anyway, Kiki deserves the chance to clean up the mess he's made. After all, he's the man who's overseen the dismemberment of this once almost-proud (for a few years during the Jason Kidd era anyway) franchise. Let's hope he can back up his own strong words: "Nobody likes to lose. Period. And obviously we made it clear and you all know this is a developmental year, but nobody expected to be 0-17. That's just obviously not acceptable and I think that it's not acceptable to anybody and especially the players."
Then maybe you should have brought in a few better players, Kiki.
Who knows how long this doom and gloom will last for the poor Nyets. They have a home game against the Bobcats tomorrow night and a game in New York on Sunday. After that they face the Bulls in Chicago, the Warriors in New Jersey and the Pacers in Indiana. So at least they have a bunch of sub-.500 teams coming up. They have to win at least one of those games...right? Right?! Oh dear God.
Basketbawful reader Greg B. is either a super-positive thinker or simply a cruel bastard, because he wrote in to say: "While the Nets have fallen to a most unprecedented 0-18 to start the season, one thing they have to be proud of is that if the 2nd quarter was eliminated completely, they would have won the game! That counts for something...right?"
Bonus Bawful! Thanks to Preveen
for sending in this link to 18 ugly moments in Nyets team history
More Bonus Bawful! A NETS FAIL photo string:Nets "fans":
Way to support your team, Nets fans. Jesus Christ.John Hollinger:
It was inevitable, really. Somebody was going to tell the world that the winless Nyets aren't as bad as they seem. Well, number-cruncher John Hollinger has proclaimed that the Nyets are not the worst team in the league
. I repeat: Hollinger says the 0-18 Nyets are not
the worst team in the league. He says that honor belongs to the Minnesota Timberwolves...and maybe one of the worst teams in NBA history.
Look, my distaste of advanced stats is well-known, but I'm slowly coming around to seeing their use, not as end-all, be-all evidence of this or that, but as extra tidbits of information that can be used to analyze an incredibly complex system. But any numbers that absolve the Nyets of "Worst Team in the League" status are shamefully, even irresponsibly inaccurate. I mean, really, in the end, the only things that matter are wins and losses, right? At the end of a season, won-loss record the only relevant team statistic. And I'd be willing to bet my entire collection of vintage Larry Bird facial hair clippings that every member of the Nyets would trade their zero wins for the two the Timberwolves have.
Look, I understand Hollinger has more math skills in his nose hairs than I have in my entire body. But the Nyets have been haplessly destroyed in the last several games leading up to their infamous all-time worstie. There are people who have cut off their own arms to survive
...so you'd think the Nyets would have absolutely killed themselves to avoid this ignominy. Instead, they let the Mavs shoot 80 percent in the first half last night.
Bottom line: there is no worst team in the NBA than the Nyets right now. Any numbers that say otherwise are worse liars than Tigar Woods.Kiki Vandeweghe, captain obvious:
Stormin Lormin sent in this pregame quote from Kiki
: "We realize we're not a championship team this year." Well...The Toronto Raptors:
I thought the acquisition of Hedo "Turkododo" was supposed to make this team better? Is 7-13 better? Is giving up 146 points better? In putting up those points, the Hawks tied the Warriors for the highest scoring game of the season. Nine Atlanta players scored in in double figures. The NBA record is 10...and Maurice Evans finished with nine points for Atlanta. Meanwhile, Chris Bosh -- the Craptors' franchise player -- scored 2 lonely points.
The crazy thing is, Toronto shot 51 percent from the field and better than 62 percent from downtown, but lost by 31 points. Hey, Craptors, stop trying to steal attention from the Nyets, okay?
So, does anybody think Bosh will still be in Toronto next season? Craptors fans have a better chance of seeing God than seeing a dinosaur on Bosh's uniform in 2010-11.Jason Collins:
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm
e-mailed this to me:
Dear Jason Collins,The Phoenix Suns:
Hello dear friend! I am writing to you to inform you of glorious opportunity! My country has prepared for you a sum of several thousand dollars just for showing up to building. All you must do is enter a game in which nine of your teammates hit double figures, in which your team puts up 146 points against the worst defense in the league, in which you literally cannot shit without making a field goal, and put the spherical ball in the round hole. Do that and the glory and fortune are yours! All you must do is make one basket! Just one score, and you will be in glory! There is almost no way this plan can fail! To not score in this scenario is to fail to understand basic physical principles of human nature, like walking, or peeing in oil drum! Go, score, and claim this score! My warmest regards!
Imaginary Central African Prince
Dear Jason Collins,
YOU COULD NOT SCORE ONCE? WHAT ARE YOU, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN LIKE AMERICAN MOVIE AND TELEVISION STAR STEVE CARRELL? HOW COULD YOU NOT SCORE? YOUR TEAM SCORED 146 POINTS! EVERYONE THAT PLAYED SCORED BUT YOU! YOU PLAYED SEVEN MINUTES! STUPID! YOU SO STUPID!!!!
The Dude Who You Were Too Stupid To Be Ripped Off By
Last night was the second night of back-to-back beatdowns for the "Suns." I used quotes there because the Suns never really showed up for their game against the Crabs. Phoenix was outscored 33-14 in the first quarter and then 24-15 in the second. In case you don't like to perform simple addition, that means the high-flying, run 'n gun Suns scored 29 points in the first half. Dude, 29 points is a below average quarter for these guys. Not surprisingly, their 90 points was a season low.
A lot of people have been wondering how good these Suns really are. Well, really good teams don't usually lose back-to-back games by a combined 44 points, especially when one of the teams that blasted them probably won't reach .500 for a few more seasons. At least.
Mind you, I expected the Suns to lose, and to lose big. After all, I've already shared my feelings about how I expect this particular team to fare on the second night of back-to-back games. But I really didn't expect them to crap the bed so early and so completely. Steve Nash finished with more turnovers (6) than assists (5) and Jason Richardson went 2-for-11 from the field. Man, it really figures this would happen on the one night Amar''''''''e actually hit the boards (he finished with a game-high 12 rebounds). Speaking of STAT...Amar''''''''e Stoudemire, quote machine:
"They don't look bad at all. A lot of folks talk about how bad they look with Shaq. I disagree. I think they look fairly good." Yeah, well, when a team beats you by 17 points -- and the game wasn't even really that close -- they're gonna look "fairly good."The Milwaukee Bucks:
The Bucks get WotN honors not simply because of their 2-point loss to the
Generals, but because they got beaten by Earl Boykins. The same Earl Boykins who has to stand on a chair to get a cereal bowl out of his own kitchen cabinet. Boykins scored 11 of his 13 points in the final 10 minutes to sink the Bucks. I mean, he just owned the end of that game, so much so that the Verizon Center crowd actually started chanting "MVP! MVP!"
I'm just sayin'...when your defense inspires MVP chants for Earl Boykins, you earn an instant WotN entry.Nick Young, quote machine:
"He was being Earl. Making big plays, running the team well. He's out there being a mini mouse, just doing his job."The Minnesota Timberwolves:
The league's second-most depressing team lost again last night, this time at home to the Memphis Grizzlies. And it's probably worth reminding you that 50 percent of Minnesota's wins came against the winless Nyets. The worst part is, Minny didn't do anything so bad that it jumps right out at you. They hit 50 percent of their shots (to 45 percent for the Grizzlies). They outrebounded the Grizz 39-34. They had more assists. They canned 40 percent of their treys (compared to 35 percent for Memphis). They're just bad, you know? Just bad. Really bad.The Los Angeles Clippers:
Excuse me for not being as unimpressed as I should be, but considering what's going on with the Nyets, the Clippers' 102-85 home loss to the Rockets barely made a blip on the Bawful Radar. Let's just say they are who we thought they were and leave it at that, okay?Lacktion report: Chris
was pretty geeked about the Kings crawling back over .500...and last night's lacktion:
Raptors-Hawks: Jason Collins had two boards and assists in 6:47, but added four fouls and a giveaway to a mix of two bricks and a rejection for a 5:2 Voskuhl.
Bucks-Generals: With the designated opponents of the Association playing away from the script and actually winning, Dominic McGuire ended his streak of productivity to chime in with a 3.3 trillion (3:18) take for the alchemists, backed by the fabulous Fabricio Oberto's own 2.3 trillion (2:19) payday. Also lacking it up in celebration for Washington was Randy Foye, whose 4:44 was filled with two fouls, two turnovers, and one brick for a +5 suck differential.
Knicks-Magic: Marcin Gortat made one shot and one board in 6:28, only to foul four times and lose the rock twice for a 6:3 Voskuhl.
Suns-Crabs: In 5:13, Phoenix's Jarron Collins got a 2:1 Voskuhl via fouls against a singular board, while crustaceans Daniel Green and Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson each had surprisingly productive stints on the Wii, boxing out positive statistics in their 48 seconds as Mario Brothers (Green with a steal to negate a foul, and "Lacktion" Jackson with an assist and block).
Grizzlies-Wolves: Brian Cardinal made a one-foul vow in 4:14 to give the Clotheslines a +1.
Pistons-Bulls: DaJuan Summers took King Koopa's side briefly by fouling once in an 8 second Super Mario, also earning a +1! For Chicago, Lindsey Hunter had an all-star celebration in 11:02 for Vinny Del Negro's castoff collection with four fouls and a brick for a +5.
Rockets-Clippers: Steve Novak makes it SIX CONSECUTIVE APPEARANCES of complete nonproduction dating back to November 20!!!! Tonight, spurred on by Dominic McGuire's earlier lacktion, he worked on his non-game and bolster his case to be crowned as the Association's most unremarkable benchwarmer. Novak's 2.6 trillion (2:37) provides him with his third wealth-providing appearance in the last four games for Mike Dunleavy's frugal organization, as well as his tenth lacktive night in 2009. In addition, DeAndre Jordan provided a one-turnover +1 in 2:53, also counting as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Novak's amazing streak has him now at least 13 minutes and 29 seconds straight without a single positive statistic, his last contributory play being a rebound against the Grizzlies on November 18th. His last points in the Association came the night before in a loss to the Hornets (in which he somehow managed 10 markers, including 4 made field goals!), which followed an 11:54 stint that earned a +1 suck differential. From these calculations, he has been scoreless over 15 calendar days, and non-contributory over 14. Talk about a snapshot of lacktion history that will be unremembered for years to come!!!
Labels: New Jersey Nets, Nobody but the Nets is going to make a tag today, Worst of the Night