I trust everyone had a great weekend and have had their fill of turkey for a while. If not there's probably a game or two on tonight which can help you out in that department.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Nothing like a little man love to get things going:

Maybe the Clippers aren't exactly who we thought they were...

OK, firing the coach didn't seem to make any difference. Now what?

More of that basketball ballet I guess.

Hey Mike, do you ever wish you were still coaching in Phoenix?

"It's mine, my own, my preciousssss..."

Nationally Televised Game:

Pacers at Warriors - Once again I'm forced to wonder if one of this blog's regular readers is programming the games over at NBA TV, since yet again the only nationally televised game is tonight's Basketbawful Game of the Night.

All the Other Games:

Bulls at Bucks - Chicago's Magical Mystery Tour (aka "the Circus Trip") mercifully comes to an end tonight. Here's what ESPN has to say about the game:
Sounds like a great matchup! Too bad Eric Gordon plays for the Clippers :sad trombone:

76ers at Mavericks - The good news for Philly fans is that Elton Brand is supposed to make yet another return from an absence due to injury for tonight's game. The bad news is that Elton Brand hasn't done squat since arriving in Philly last year, and that includes the games he's played in. In other bad news, the Sixers are thinking about signing Allen Iverson. Sorry, that's kinda piling on there. My apologies.

Grizzlies at Jazz - Ahhhh... there's nothing like a midnight flight to Utah after getting outscored by the Clippers 33-7 in the 4th quarter of a loss. On the bright side for Memphis, at least they know it can't get much worse than this. I mean, unless of course they lose tonight.

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So thankful for his hair
Above all else, I am thankful for Ron Artest's hair.

I spent Thanksgiving weekend furiously celebrating the many things I'm thankful for. This blog. The people who read it. My disproportionately large manhood. Ron Artest's hair. And of course the fact that George Lucas will spend an eternity being tormented by the demons in Movie Hell for making Greedo shoot first in his updated version of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

So instead of the usual Friday-Saturday-Sunday breakdown, I'm going to do a quick hits Worst of the Weekend post where I actually comfort the weekend's biggest losers...reminding them about all they have to be thankful for.

Antoine Walker: Forced into retirement because no team wanted him. Arrested under suspicion of DUI. Arrested again for allegedly writing bad checks on gambling debts. Financial crisis. And just when you thought things couldn't get any worse: slumlord. Just goes to show you, Former Employee Number 8 wasn't only careless about his shot selection. But be thankful, Antoine, because you currently rank seventh all-time in three-point field goal attempts (4,264). So what if you only made 1,386 of them! After all, hitting 30 percent of your threes is as good as hitting 50 percent of your twos.

Ricky Rubio: Not only did he kinda-sorta sink the hopes and dreams of Minnesota fans, he participated in this nipple-revealing photoshoot. (Thanks to Geert for the link. I think.) But I'm sure that nipple fetishists everywhere are very thankful for Ricky's, er, modeling career.

The Cleveland Cavaliers: Sure, they lost to the Bobcats in Charlotte as Gerald Wallace (31 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals) outplayed King Crab (25 points, 6 turnovers), but at least they got Shaq back! I'm sure him coming back and them losing is purely coincidental...

Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler: Boris looked fantastic when he was playing with Steve Nash. Tyson looked amazing when paired with Chris Paul. But against the Crabs, these two starters combined for 4 points, 6 rebounds and 9 fouls. But they are tall! And that is something you cannot teach.

The Miami Heat: The Heat suffered through a winless weekend, losing in Miami to the Washington Wizards Generals (who had been 1-6 on the road going into the game) and the Boston Celtics. The Heat are now only 6-5 at home. But at least they have a home.

The Philadelphia 76ers: Like the Heat, Philly endured a double dose of fail, dropping a home game to the Hawks (100-86) and a roadie to the Spurs (97-89). But remember: they stole Elton Brand away from the Clippers back in the summer of 2008. (If you can call overpaying him by about $30 million "stealing." In related news, Brand missed both games with a sore right hammy.) And if that's not enough to be thankful for, the Sixers are mulling over the possibility of unretiring the recently retired Allen Iverson! It's not often a superstar gets the chance to disappoint the same franchise twice. Let's king our fingers crossed that this happens.

The Boston Celtics: Rajon Rondo may hitting only 38 percent of his foul shots, and Rasheed Wallace might be shooting a dismal 28 percent (27-for-96) from three-point range, but back-to-back wins over the defenseless Craptors and the struggling Heat should make everybody forget about those things. For now.

Update! Dan B. e-mailed in another reason we should be thankful for 'Sheed. Quotes like this one about Hedo Turkoglu: "They've got to know that he's a damn flopper. That's all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn't get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him. That's not basketball, man. That's not defense. That's garbage, what it is. I'm glad I don't have too much of it left."

Ray Allen: 'Sheed's misguided long-distance shooting has been pretty good camouflage for Ray Allen's brick-a-rama. After Sunday's 1-for-7 three-point bonk-a-palooza against the Heat, Jesus Shuttlesworth is knocking down only 30 percent (22-for-73) of his treys. So Ray-Ray should be thankful that Wallace is taking all the heat on this front.

Rajon Rondo: This is about the worst possible play a team could ask for from their supposed All-Star point guard...but damn if it didn't make me gigle. Thank you for that, Rajon.

Paul Pierce: The Truth may have come off as a classless thug by kneeing Chris Bosh in the man region and then giving him the stink eye...

...but that dunk had grace and power! It had me jumpin' outta my seat! (Please tell me somebody recognizes this reference to NBA Live 2007. Please.)

The Indiana Pacers: Their 113-92 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks was Indy's fifth loss in six games -- and the sole win in that stretch was at home versus the Clippers -- but the Pacers do play in the same city as Brad's Brass Flamingo, home of the $10 lap dance. Strip club connoisseurs will realize what a great value that is.

The New York Knicks: Sunday's 114-102 loss to the Magic in New York dropped the Bricks to 3-14 on the season (including 1-8 in Madison Square Garden). But when they lost 128-125 in Denver, they gained a little notoriety. Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 50 points against them, which means "two of the last three 50-point games have come against the Knicks (Anthony, Dwyane Wade last season) and four of the last 10 such games have come against the Knicks, dating back to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James' performances at Madison Square Garden last season." People of New York rejoice! People love playing against your beloved Bricks! Rejoice I say!

The Minnesota Timberwolves: When the Suns blistered them 120-95 at home on Friday night, the Timberwolves dropped their 15th straight game following a season-opening 2-point victory over the still winless New Jersey Nyets (more on them later). It marked the second-longest fail streak in franchise history, leading rookie Jonny Flynn to lament: "Losing is like a form of depression. It wears on you and it drains energy out of you. You can see it all on your face. I think tonight it really started getting to us."

Well, apparently it got to them in a good way! The Denver Nuggets had won 11 straight against Minny and 17 straight at home. On Sunday, Carmelo Anthony dropped 19 on the T-Wolves in the first quarter, and the Nuggets led by 17 in the first half and by 14 at the break. But...the Timberwolves won 106-100! I really think this is the win that will turn the Minnesota's season around. Okay, not really.

The Memphis Grizzlies: They may have ended the weekend by choking away an 18-point lead, getting outscored 33-7 in the fourth quarter and losing 98-88 to the Los Angeles Clippers, but they started the weekend with a 106-96 road win over the Portland "Team of the Future" Trail Blazers. That's one more win than anybody probably expected the Griz to finish the weekend with.

Mike Dunleavy Sr.: He sucks and we all know it...but he still became the 21st coach in NBA history to win 600 games thanks to back-to-back wins over the injury-plagued Pistons and the Iverson-free Grizzlies. They can take his pride, his dignity and even his job. But they can never, ever take that away from him. Ever.

Oh, and as Wild Yams pointed out: "According to basketball-reference.com Mike Dunleavy may be "celebrating" another coaching milestone as soon as this week, as he is only two losses shy of 700 for his career. Go Mike go!"

The Portland Trail Blazers: Their winless weekend may have consisted of an ugly, double-digit home loss to the Grizzlies and an uglier, double-digit road loss to the Jazz, but they are so young that they could still be the Team of the Future two or three seasons from now! Eventually, their present is going to catch up with their future, and the NBA had better watch out when that happens.

Greg Oden: His 9 personal fouls over the weekend boosted his league-leading total to 78...a full 10 fouls more than second-place Dwight Howard. Sure, it looks bad, and it kinda is bad, but at least he gets to lead the league in a category. How many players can say they ever led the league in any one category? I know, right?!

(Actually, Oden also currently leads the league in FG% and total blocks. But still.)

The Atlanta Hawks: On Sunday, the Dirty Birds faced off against a Pistons team that was without Ben Gordon, Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Detroit used a starting lineup of Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jerebko, the Mummy of Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins and Rodney Stucky...and won! The Pistons owned the trenches, outrebounding Atlanta 53-27 and outscoring them 60-38 in the painted rectangle. The Mummy of Ben Wallace snared 18 boards, including 11 on the offensive end. By comparison, the Hawks as a team had 6 offensive rebounds. But on the bright side, Atlanta will continue to be overrated by fans and experts right up until their inevitable playoff elimination. And not many teams get to be overrated for a full season.

The Toronto Raptors: Their 113-94 home loss to the Phoenix Suns may have been their fourth straight double-digit defeat, but the Craptors rank 29th in Opponents PPG (109.1) and 30th in Defensive Rating (116.9 Points Allowed Per 100 Possessions), marking them as perhaps the worst defensive team in the league...quite a feat in a league with the Bricks and Warriors.

The New Jersey Nyets: Honestly, I'm not sure what the Nyets have to be thankful for at this point. That their genitals aren't on fire? That they aren't covered in crawling insects? That they aren't Clippers? And even those are all a bit of a stretch...because New Jersey's winless weekend -- which included a blowout loss to the Kings in Sacramento -- made it official: 0-17 to start the season, a.k.a. a tie (with the 1988-89 Miami Heat and the 1998-99 Los Angeles Clippers) for the worst start in NBA history.

Apparently, 0-16 finally trumped the 13-0 start to this coaching career, because Lawrence Frank was finally fired after the Nyets' loss to the Kings. And yeah, I'd say it was long past time for a reboot. Larry finished his coaching career with a record of 225-242...212-242 since his initial 13-0 surge, which holds the league record for "Greatest and Most Successful Dead Coach Bounce of All-Time."

By the way, Chris suggested via e-mail that this could still be part of the Devin Harris stat curse. Last season when the Nyets started out 11-8, Devin uttered this immortal line: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." Of course, the Nyets then finished 34-48 and well out of the playoffs. And with this 0-17 start, New Jersey is now 23-57 since Harris' fateful prediction. For those of you who like math, that's a winning percentage of FAIL.

It's gotten so bad that even the soulless Kobe Bryant said: "You don't wish that on anybody. That's tough."

But I suppose the Nyets should be thankful they're "only" tied for the worst start ever. As long as they beat the Mavericks at home on Wednesday...

Update! Rafer Alston: Basketbawful reader Rainbow Brite provided a comment of thanks for this ego-ectomy of Rafer Alston. It's not shameful when, say, LeBron James swoops in from behind to swat your layup. But when Jordon freaking Farmar does it? You have failed, Rafer. You have failed.

Friday lacktion report: From Chris: "So Thanksgiving became the first day of the 2009-10 National Basketball Association season in which lacktion did not occur. That one-day vacation from vacuousness proved temporary however..."

Crabs-Bobcats: Delonte West ordered 2.45 trillion (2:28) in bling for the royal crustacean's entourage!

Hawks-Sixers: Zaza Pachulia gave the dirty birds a +2 suck differential in 4:27 via giveaway and foul, also counting as a 2:0 Voskuhl.

Raptors-Celtics: Sonny Weems made a significant fossil fuel find for a 2 trillion for the dinos, while Brian Scalabrine negated an assist in 2:08 with two fouls for a 2:0 Voskuhl.

Clippers-Pistons: Steve Novak continues to rack up the riches with a 2.05 (2:04) trillion that brings him to 7 trillioncombined in two straight games! Teammates Mardy Collins and Ricky Davis took some of Novak's new-found wealth to purchase a couple of Game and Watch collectors sets as 14-second Mario Brothers.

Spurs-Rockets: Theo Ratliff's stock options expired with a 1.05 trillion (1:04) return in capital gains, while fellow San Antonio resident Malik Hairston rode Yoshi briefly for a 19 second Mario.

Bucks-Thunder: Francisco Elson had a nationally-televised +1 via foul in 6:17, which also counted as a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl.

Suns-Wolves: Jarron Collins earned two boards for Phoenix in 8:42, only to give up the rock once and foul twice for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Nyets-Kings: Sean Williams made two blocks and two boards in 12:26, but bricked once and added a turnover and three fouls for a 4:2 Voskuhl.
Saturday lacktion report: Did I mention that I'm thankful Chris kept sending lacktion reports from vacation?

Bobcats-Generals: As Larry Brown took a break from begging the Canswer to return to his life as a professional SWAC, using some free time to coach Charlotte's basketball charlatans, he found his evening a relaxing and pleasant vacation from his current vocation due to the "matchup" against Washington. Gerald Henderson bricked once in 3:53 for a +1 suck differential, while DeSagana Diop joined the fray as a human victory cigar with a +2 via brick and foul in 2:41 that also counted as a 2:0 Voskuhl.

Mavs-Crabs: Matt Carroll did Mark Cuban proud by finding himself in a wonderland of wealth after a 2.8 trillion (2:47) takedown, while teammate Rodrigue Beaubois started a sloppy 9:14 stint with three bricks (one from the Terminal Tower) and a rejection for a +4. Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson did not live up to his name tonight by pinching out a needless assist, so fellow crustacean Jawad Williams stepped up to the plate and cooked a catch of 1.8 trillion (1:48).

Blazers-Jazz: Kosta Koufos provided celebratory tobacco for Jerry Sloan tonight, bricking once in 2:15 for a +1.

Magic-Bucks: Dan Gadzuric's starting appearance as Milwaukee's big man netted him a board in 4:01, but two bricks and four fouls led to a 4:1 Voskuhl.
Sunday lacktion report: And finally...

Hawks-Pistons: Joe Smith tossed an unmemorable brick in 4:48 for a +1 suck differential.

Suns-Raptors: As solar power put the dinos to extinction yet again, Robin Lopez gained enough garbage time to accrue negative stats, losing the rock four times in 6:26 and adding two fouls for a +6 that provided what appears to be an Association-leading Voskuhl ratio of 6:0!!!!!!!!

Grizzlies-Clippers: Steve Novak makes it three straight nights of lacktion by setting Tetris on turbo mode for a 9 second Super Mario!!!!!

Magic-Knicks: Brandon Bass used sleight of hand to pull 2.4 trillion (2:25) out of a hat.

Celtics-Heat: Despite a field goal in 6:29, Miami's Joel Anthony fouled thricely for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Hornets-Kings: Ime Udoka unwrapped his copy of Ms. Pac-Man for a 30 second Mario to celebrate Sacramento maintaining its .500 record.

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Is it just me or does this look more like ballet than basketball?

Man, what a horrid pair of games that was last night. The Hawks had one great run near the end of the first half, but then just got obliterated the rest of the game. They made it look like they were the ones who had played the day before, when in fact it was the Magic who were on the second night of a back to back. Maybe it was the new 'ATL' jerseys they were using, I don't know. Then the Bulls came out and got flattened from start to finish against a Jazz team that's hovering around .500 for the season. My guess is that by this point the Bulls are feeling like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and can't wait to get the hell home. Unfortunately for them they gotta stop in Milwaukee first before their Circus Trip comes to a close.

On to tonight, and it seems fitting that we've got these games up for 'Black Friday' as it looks like some pretty horribly lopsided events are lined up for this evening.

Nationally Televised Games:

Wizards Generals at Heat - The Wiz look for their second road win of the year (and for a chance to shed that "Generals" tag) against a Miami team that were last seen beating the Magic on a possible offensive goaltending call.

Bucks at Thunder - Kudos to ESPN for having the pre-season foresight to decide to broadcast this one, as it looks like a much better matchup now than it must have looked back in September or October. Update: Turns out they didn't have such foresight after all (good catch, Anon).

All The Other Games:

Hawks at 76ers - Just one of the many potential blowouts on tap for this evening, unless the Hawks are as tired tonight as they looked yesterday.

Crabs at Cats - Sorry, couldn't resist saying "Crabs at Cats" for this Cleveland v. Charlotte beatdown game. Who knows, Shaq might even put in a rare appearance.

Raptors at Celtics - On paper this one looks like it could get ugly, but then again Boston's coming off of a 3 point win over the lowly 76ers and a buzzer beater OT win against the horrendous Knicks (not to mention a loss at home to Orlando), so maybe this one will actually be competitive. Tune in and see.

Clippers at Pistons - After the Clips epic performance against the Pacers the other night, I'm tempted to dub this the Basketbawful Game of the Night just by default, but I think there's a worse one on tap just a little further down...

Mavericks at Pacers - The potential for one-sided games continues with this matchup. Look for Dirk du Soleil to lead Cuban's boys to an easy win tonight.

Spurs at Rockets - San Antonio still doesn't have a road win this year, and Houston is still scrappy. At least the Spurs are getting healthier, thought they'll most likely still be without the seemingly always-injured Manu Ginobili tonight.

Knicks at Nuggets - This one could get ugly. Who am I kidding? My guess is we'll be seeing at least two quarters of garbage time in this one.

Suns at Timberwolves - In Kurt "Clothesline" Rambis's first turn as a head coach, he started off going 11-1 (with the Lakers in 1999). My guess is after tonight, his second stint as head coach is gonna be marked with a 1-15 record. It's looking like Phoenix already has more wins this season than Minnesota will get all year.

Grizzlies at Trail Blazers - See what I mean about there being a ton of potential beatdowns scheduled for tonight? Still, Marc Gasol's playing pretty good this year, so the Oden Watch will definitely be in effect for this one.

Nyets at Kings - Ahhh, last but not and least, it's tonight Basketbawful Game of the Night!

Saturday's Games:

Bobcats at Wizards - Odd that the Basketbawful Game of the Night is the only one that's being broadcast nationally (on NBA TV). Maybe one of the readers here is a program director over there?

Mavs at Crabs - Drew Gooden returns to the place where he attempted to popularize the back of the neck goatee (what the hell was that thing called?). If that's not enough to get you to watch, there's always the annual Shaq vs. "Erica" Dampier drama (provided either one is healthy enough to play).

Magic at Bucks - Look for Stan Van Gundy to be extra grumpy about having to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Milwaukee.

Trail Blazers at Jazz - Ostertag is still retired, and Mehmet Okur's almost entirely a perimeter shooter, so the Oden Watch may get a night off for this one.

Lakers at Warriors - Stop the presses, it's a Laker road game! Too bad this one isn't nationally televised, otherwise we'd all be able to tell our grandchildren we were actually around to see the Lakers play on the road during the 2009-2010 season.

Sunday's Games:

Celtics at Heat - We're actually gonna get a chance on national TV (NBA TV) to see if the Celtics are really struggling or not by having to play a road game against a better than average team.

Hawks at Pistons - The Pistons are starting two guys (Ben Wallace and Jonas Jerebko) who combined average less points per game than any single player in Atlanta's starting lineup averages by himself. Might be a bad sign.

Grizzlies at Clippers - As if there was any doubt, this is your Basketbawful Game of the Night.

Suns at Raptors - Steve Nash returns to Canada where we'll get to see if he, like Dracula before him, has extra super powers when he's on his home soil.

Magic at Knicks - The New and Improved Eddy Curry (strangely similar to the Old and Unimproved Eddy Curry) gets to try out his new lean physique against Dwight Howard. Good luck with that, Eds.

76ers at Spurs - Luckily for Spurs fans, this game is being played in San Antonio, where the Spurs have actually won basketball games this year.

Rockets at Thunder - Trevor Ariza vs. Kevin Durant may not have the star matchup cache that Kobe vs. LeBron does, but give credit where it's due: these teams are two of the real pleasant surprises in the West thus far this season.

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets - I'm plagiarizing someone here (though I can't remember who), but this has all the makings of a snuff film.

Hornets at Kings - Peja Stojakovic returns to his old stopming ground and the home of his glory days. I'm sure that fact warms the cockles of chris's heart.

Nyets at Lakers - The league's only winless team could be looking to equal the Clippers' two 0-17 starts by taking on the defending champs. Either that happens or stephanie g will get her wish of seeing the Nyets narrowly avoid history at the hands of some epic failure by the Lakers. Also it should be pointed out that Staples Center gets to host the Grizzlies, Clippers and Nyets all in one day, due to both Clipper and Laker home games there on Sunday. That's gotta be some record of bawfulry which may park a black cloud over the arena for a while.

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We can't give you a turkey. But we can give you an impersonation of a turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! As I continue to digest my ridiculously huge dinner, I would like to remind you we're mere days away from the greatest of all holidays. It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I know there's plenty of family stuff to do today, but I didn't want to leave bad basketball completely undocumented. And I'm sure some of us will be watching the TNT games tonight, so feel free to drop by and post your thoughts in the comments. I might even share my legendary sweet tea recipe if you're lucky.

Update! Ron Artest, Welfare Defrauding Machine: Crazy Pills and his sister are the focus of a welfare fraud investigation. Is it possible to be surprised and completely unsurprised at the same exact time? It's an oxymoron, but it's how I feel right now. Sorry for burying this phenomenal news in another post, but I don't really have anything else to add at the moment.

Worst of the Night Season So Far:

The LA Clippers at the Indiana Pacers: You know what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving? I'm thankful that because it's a holiday and I have holiday crap to attend to, I have an excuse for not having to write much about this horrible, horrible, horrible game. Just look at the box score. Sonofabitch. Also, consider this quote from Bawful last night: "Clippers-Pacers makes me want to never stop punching myself in the groin ever again."

Lacktion Report: Since we're not doing a full Worst of the Night post thanks to the holiday, I'm passing along Chris's lacktion report here. Neither Thanksgiving nor a vacation cruise can stop lacktion, and Chris was well aware of this when he wrote it late last night: "One more day before Thanksgiving...and we have plenty of lack to be thankful for!"
Clippers-Pacers: Steve Novak continues to prove himself a challenger to Dominic McGuire as least productive player of the year, with a 5 trillion (5:01) that no doubt has Donald Sterling thinking of charging him for the team bus's electricity some time soon.

Sixers-Celtics: Lester Hudson seems to come from the same family that brought us "Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu" in cartridge form, as evidenced by tonight's celebratory 21 second Mario!

Crabs-Pistons: Chris Wilcox became the latest to don a Tanooki Suit, with a 4 second Super Mario for Detroit!

Bucks-Hornets: Milwaukee's Jodie Meeks spent a mere 7 seconds with the power-up mushroom for a Super Mario. (EDIT, 11/30/09 - apparently Meeks's night-before-Thanksgiving performance made him the 100TH LACKTATOR OF THE 2008-09 SEASON! Congratulations!) Morris Peterson spent three of his nine lives on bricks (twice from the French Quarter) in 4:17 for a +3 suck differential.

Nuggets-Wolves: Wayne Ellington was in a sentimental mood for some lacktion as he bricked once from Hennepin Avenue and lost the rock twice in 2:58 for a +3.

Warriors-Spurs: Malik Hairston missed a field goal for a +1 in 3:41 for San Antonio.

Grizzlies-Suns: Alando Tucker dug out some desert diamonds with a 2.6 trillion (2:35) mountain of moolah for Phoenix.

Nyets-Blazers: As the team from Jimmy Hoffa's final underground swimming hole continues to experience its struggles, Sean Williams tried to stem the tide with one board, steal, and block in 14:40 - but four fouls have kept him longing for rubles in a potential Long Island future.
Nationally Televised Games:

Magic at Hawks: Mike Bibby is a game-time decision. His sprained ankle led to this fantastic quote from Marvin Williams: "Bibby's our quarterback. It's tough when your general goes down like that." So we have a football reference and an army reference. I thought Bibby played basketball?

Bulls at Jazz: The Utah fans violently booed their own team during the third quarter of their home loss to the Thunder on Tuesday night. What's the latest on that Greg Ostertag comeback idea? That'd help the fans get back into the game, right?

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Cheer up, Danny Granger. You get to play the Clippers at home tonight!

Welcome back to BAD, fellow hoops junkies. Happy Day-Before-Thanksgiving! To help you prepare your stomach for the unreasonable amounts of turkey you'll surely be consuming tomorrow, take it easy on the snacks tonight. That'll probably be hard to do, since I'm sure you'll feel compelled to go to the fridge just to get away from the TV for a few minutes during some of these less-compelling games. Consider it a test of your will. Pounds of glorious white and dark meat covered in gravy will be your reward for passing.

And just so you know, posting may be a little limited here the next few days. We're celebrating the holiday weekend just like the rest of you. But don't be afraid to stop by and post in the comments section from time to time. Good conversation is always appreciated.

Nationally Televised Games:

Heat at Magic - Dwyane Wade owns the Magic when it comes to putting up big numbers. His career scoring average there is higher than against any other team. Yet the Magic have won 12 of the past 13. That's an excellent reminder there's more to winning basketball games than individual scoring efforts.

All The Other Games:

Clippers at Pacers - The Pacers have lost four straight. The Clippers have won two straight. But they're still the Clippers, and Donald Sterling is still delusional.

Raptors at Bobcats - Toronto is averaging 107.4 points per game. They are also losing quite a bit. When oh when will NBA teams learn that defense is good?

76ers at Celtics - The Celtics may be slowing down, and Sheed may be jacking up threes without second thought, but these 76ers just aren't very good. Andre Iguodala leads his team in points, boards, assists, AND steals. Doesn't Elton Brand play for this team? Didn't he used to be kinda good?

Bucks at Hornets - Alright, I'm halfway on the Brandon Jennings bandwagon. He had a crappy night his last game, but he's still impressive. Unfortunately, he gets to play against the rejuvenated Hornets tonight. And the Hornets have won seven straight against the Bucks. Good luck with that, Brandon.

Crabs at Pistons - Remember when the Pistons were good? 2004 sure seems like a hell of a long time ago now, doesn't it?

Nuggets at Timberwolves - Remember when the Timberwolves were good? Yeah, me neither. But they're one win ahead of New Jersey!!

Mavericks at Rockets - Does anybody else expect the Mavs to be angry enough after losing to the Warriors to play hard early on in this game? Unfortunately, they're tired, and the Rockets have plenty of rest. Not good.

Warriors at Spurs - The Spurs may not be an elite team at the moment, but they at least have more rested players than the six player lineup the Warriors trotted out last night.

Grizzlies at Suns - Memphis has won four of five games lately. Phoenix has won fourteen consecutive home games. For some reason, I can see Phoenix coming out ahead in this battle of statistics. (By the way, Steve Nash is kind of a good point guard. Who knew?)

Nyets at Trailblazers - Oh, no. New Jersey on the road? Really? This would be my pick for Bawful Game of the Night, except for...

Knicks at Kings - New York and the Maloofs, everybody!

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Big Trouble for WotN

This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there. I'm taking over today's Worst of the Night post, so you people sit tight, hold the fort and keep the home fires burning. And if I'm not back by dawn... call the president.

The Indiana Pacers: Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it." Well, turns out the Pacers aren't Jack Burton. The Raptors -- well, Chris Bosh aside -- gave the Pacers their best shot and pretty much knocked 'em the hell out. Everybody not named Bosh shot 66 percent (38-for-58) for Toronto, so the Raptors scored 74 points in the first half and eventually beat Indy 123-112. It was the Pacers' fourth straight defeat...and not really the way their coach wanted to follow up their double-digit loss to the Bobcats the other day.

Said Jim O'Brien: "I'm very disappointed. I thought we were horrible at Charlotte and I think the first half here was just like Charlotte. We just did not play with any defensive force and, as a result, we got pounded. ... You can't play one good quarter on the road and expect to win." Added Troy Murphy: "This was an unacceptable performance for us. We have aspirations of making the playoffs and this is definitely not getting us going in the right direction. We have to come out and play a lot better. ... We have to stop it, regardless of what it is. We have to figure it out quick."

Yeah, good luck with that, big guy.

Here's something I like to think of as a "secret stat" from the Pacers-Raptors game. Both teams committed 13 turnovers, but the Pacers gave up 20 points off theirs compared to 12 for the Raps. That's probably pretty meaningful.

Chris Bosh and Danny Granger: Two teams, two stars, plenty of bricks. These guys combined to shoot 16-for-46. Hey, you know what ol' Jack Burton says. If you can't hit a damn thing, it's time to either stop shooting or find a new gun. So my advice to these two guys would be "stop shooting." For God's sake, stop shooting.

The Philadelphia 76ers: The Wizards stopped bickering like little girls fighting over the last Rob Pattinson poster long enough to pull out a 108-107 home win over an equally lousy Sixers team. What turns the tide in a battle of two bad teams? In this case, there was apparently something supernatural at work. See, Washington owner Abe Pollin kicked the bucket a few hours before the game, so the Wiz wanted to win one for the Gipper, if you catch my drift. And when Philly's Louis Williams threw up a three-pointer at the buzzer and it rimmed out, the only reasonable explanation seemed to be that ol' Abe's ghost slapped it off the rim.

Said Washington coach Flip Saunders: "I guess Mr. P, he probably contested that last shot better than anybody." Added Philly coach Eddie Jordan: "Maybe Abe's spirit knocked that out."

I know what you're probably thinking: is that even possible? Well, ya see, I'm not saying that I've been everywhere and I've done everything, but I do know it's a pretty amazing planet we live on here, and a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we're alone in this universe. So, yeah, it's possible. Of course, it's equally possible that the Sixers lost because they shot 40 percent, gave up 52 points in the paint, let Washington's backup center JaVale McGee block a career-high 6 shots, and just plain old suck. But, sure, it coulda' just been the ghost thing.

The New Jersey Nets: When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if you paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yessir, the check is in the mail."

Speaking of which, are the Nets mailing in this season or what? Their 101-87 defeat in Denver was their 14th straight loss to start the season. That's pretty bad, right? The Nets are a few games away from going 0-17, which'll match the Clippers 0-17 start from back in the day. And you don't need ol' Jack Burton to tell you that you don't wanna do anything the Clippers ever did. Unless you want a one-way ticket to hell.

New Jersey got Courtney Lee back from injury, but that was about the last thing that went right for 'em. They shot 39 percent, got outscored 60-32 in the paint, got outscored 29-13 on the break, and gave up 20 points on 24 turnovers. Just think about everything you know about basketball, and then imagine the opposite. That's what the Nets did last night. At this point, I'd sooner admit one 'a my dumps clogged my buddy's toilet than tell people I was a Nets fan. But New Jersey coach Larry Frank is trying to put on his happy face: "It's your choice what you're going to focus on. What we choose to focus on is just today -- get better today. ... The future -- who knows? But right now, we know we have today and we're just going to focus on that."

What? Am I supposed to buy this shit? Fourteen games and you haven't gotten your focus straight? C'mon, Larry, you must be doing something seriously wrong!

The Utah Jazz: I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things, not the least of which has been the dual rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder and fall of the Utah Jazz. The Jazz use 'ta be pretty near invincible at home, but that ain't the case any more. Take last night's 104-94 loss to the Thunder for instance. Utah was down by 19 at one point in the fourth quarter. Yeah, they came back, but they still lost by double digits.

Looks like they got pretty careless with the basketball, too, 'cause they gave up 25 points off 24 turnovers. That ain't what you expect from a Jerry Sloan team, is it? And their star players, Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams, combined for 12 of those TOs. You know what ol' Jack Burton says. When the shit hits the fan, it's time to put the ball in your main guys' hands and roll the dice. Well, the dice came up snake eyes for the Jazz.

The Dallas Mavericks: All I know is, this Monta Ellis character comes out of thin air in the middle of the goddamn court while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds, and he just stands there waiting for the Mavericks to try and get a hand in his face with light coming out of his mouth! At least, uh, at least that's what it felt like. Ellis scored 13 of his season-high 37 points in the fourth quarter, and Stephon Curry added 11 of his 18 points in the final 4 minutes as Golden State -- who had been down 96-87 with just over seven minutes to play -- finished the game with a 24-7 run to win 111-103. And they did that in Dallas, putting the breaks on the Mavs' five-game win streak despite becoming only the third team since the 1976-77 ABA/NBA merger to play six players in a game. You heard me. Six players...and one 'o those guys was Vladimire Radmanovic.

Said Dirk Nowitzki: "There are bad losses, and this is one of them." Well, no shit, big guy.

Monta Ellis: Ellis didn't just set a new season-high in scoring. He also committed a career-high 11 turnovers, which made him the first Golden State player to have that many bumbles since Chris Mullin threw the ball away 13 times against the Jazz on March 31, 1988. Ol' Jack Burton, he says, better slow down there, Monta. Like I told my last wife, I says, "Honey, I never drive faster than I can see. Besides that, it's all in the reflexes."

The New York Knicks: How did ol' Jack Burton feel going up against Lo Pan? Felt pretty good. I wasn't, uh, I wasn't scared at all. I just felt kind of... felt kind of invincible. I figure that's what it's gotta feel like playing against the New York Knicks. Those guys couldn't defend somebody with a loaded shotgun and a bag full 'o dynamite. I bet somebody like Kobe Bryant, he must circle games against the Knicks on the schedule and say, "Yeah, I'm gonna score 30 against those guys." Which is what he did, going off for 34 on 14-for-20 shooting. The Lakers also used their size to get in the Knicks' mugs, forcing New York to shoot about 38 percent. Oh, and the Lakers outrebounded them 60-34, which totally made up for the fact that L.A. coughed up 20 points on 25 turnovers.

"Big Shot" Larry Hughes, who was his typical 3-for-9 self, said: "We were trying to be tough and aggressive on the defensive end and make it tough for them early in the game, but they used their length and were able to get a lot of looks right in front of the basket. We took a lot of contested jump shots and didn't score, and it puts pressure on us when we're not getting stops." When you're not getting stops? Well, shoot, then I guess you're always under pressure. You know what ol' Jack Burton says when somebody needs to get stops? Try a hand in the face sometime.

Eddy Curry: I'm gonna tell you about an accident, and I don't wanna hear "act of God." Eddy Curry played six minutes last night, and he's already hurt. Tweaked a knee. Hell, if some crazy Chinese wizard used his amazing magical powers to transform Curry into, I don't know, an egg shell or a piece of peanut brittle, I think Eddy would actually be tougher than he is now.

Lacktion report: Ol' Jack Burton says here's a lacktion report from ol' Chris.

Sixers-Generals: DeShawn Stevenson conjured up a 1.6 trillion (1:36) for the not-so-magical illusionists (whose illusion of being an Association-worthy team has vanished much of this season).

Nyets-Nuggets: Sean Williams bartered a mere board in 10:47 (as well as two blocks), but fouled and lost the rock thricely each for a sucktackular 6:1 Voskuhl!!!!

Thunder-Jazz: Kyrylo Fesenko found a trove of 2.1 trillion (2:07) as the rest of the beboppers in Salt Lake City failed to improvise a win around such a lacktive arrangement.

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I... have no idea.

Ready for another night of BAD basketball? (You damn well bet I'm milking that Bawful After Dark acronym for all it's worth!) Posting in late afternoon, it's technically not dark yet, but I've gotta get going in a hurry tonight. And looking at tonight's schedule, it's probably for the best that I won't be at home near a computer or TV.

(Sadly, this post was not written on a Shaqintosh. However for all we know, Shaq might be looking at it right now on his Shaqberry phone, so that's something.)

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Hey, you'd laugh too if you were playing the Kings.

I feel compelled to just say "Ugh" when I see this picture.

Nationally Televised Games:

Thunder at Jazz – Amazing stat from the Stats LLC preview: "Oklahoma City, which is 4-4 on the road this season, didn't win its fifth away game in 2008-09 until March 10."

All The Other Games:

76ers at Wizards - Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin passed away earlier today at age 85. No jokes this time -- R.I.P. Abe.

Pacers at Raptors - The Dinos have dropped four of their last five. A visit from the slumping Pacers might just help with that problem for the moment.

Warriors at Mavericks - According to Accuscore simulations, New Jersey has an 18% chance of beating Denver. Golden State only has an 11% chance of beating Dallas. So, um, yeah...

Nyets at Nuggets - You know, with a season average of 84.9 points per game for Jersey so far, that 18% chance sure seems like an awfully small 18%, doesn't it?

Knicks at Lakers - Bawful history lesson for the day: On 2/2/2009, The Knicks gave up 31 points to Pau Gasol and 61 to Kobe. Per ESPN.com, "Bryant made 19 of 31 shots and all 20 free throws to set a Madison Square Garden record."

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Normal for chillin' around the house. Not normal when appearing on a nationally televised talk show. But I will never forget hearing Ron Artest uttering the term "freeballing." Thank you, Ron, for making my life better with every crazy-ass thing you do.

[Hat Tip: The Big Lead via 49er16.]

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Bulls suck

The Chicago Bulls: The Bulls sunk to 1-3 on their annual circus road trip, with the sole win coming against the sadsack Kings and the three losses coming in hapless blowout fashion against the Lakers, Nuggets and Trail Blazers. Last night's game in Portland perfectly illustrated that the Bulls are marshmallow soft on the inside.

Chicago was outscored 50-32 in the paint and outrebounded 47-27 (including 14-8 on the offensive glass). Greg Oden committed only 4 fouls (is that a season low?) while matching his career-high by scoring 24 points (7-for-8 from the field, 10-for-12 from the line). Oden also snared 12 boards, blocked a couple shots and neutralized Joakim Noah (7 points, 8 rebounds, 5 fouls). Meanwhile, LaMarcus "I would have been a Bull if John Paxson hadn't traded me for Tyrus Thomas on draft night" Aldridge tortured his coulda-been team (not to mention poor Taj Gibson) with 24 points (10-for-16) and a game-high 13 rebounds. Hell, even Joel Przybilla (8 points, 3-for-3 from the field, 2-for-2 from the line) lit up the Bulls in limited minutes.

After getting outscored 35-23 in the second quarter, the Bulls came out smoking in the third, hitting their first nine shots to get back into striking distance. But the Blazers ended the quarter on a 10-5 run and then won the fourth quarter 32-18 to win by 24. Said Derrick Rose: "We have to find a way to polish the game off and finish. It's very hard to rebound when you have someone like 6-foot-6, 6-7 boxing out 7-footers. We have to find a way to get rebounds and run."

The Bulls bench: Chicago's reserve corps got outscored 47-24, and that number would have been even worse if Jannero Pargo hadn't had one of his patented scoring outbursts. It doesn't help that Tyrus Thomas is out with a fractured forearm. But still.

John Paxson: Remember when he traded Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas on draft night in 2006? I'm just sayin'.

Sacramento Kings: Only a few short games ago, they Kings were on fire. Now? Well, let's just say it turns out they are who we throught they were. Four -- count 'em -- four straight losses. Their opponent, the almost equally depressing Memphis Grizzlies, shot 54 percent from the field and had a 42-23 edge in free throw attempts. (The Griz ended up +14 in points from foul shots.) But the problem that's been plaguing the Sactowners -- turnovers -- once again reared it's ugly head. The Kings bobbled the ball away 21 times, including a game-high 5 for point guard Tyreke Evans (versus only 4 assists) and 4 each for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes.

Kings fail

Said Sacramento coach Paul Westphal: "If we can't throw the ball to our team, it's going to be a long year. We started out the game turning the ball over and kept it up for most of the first three quarters. ... We just couldn't get anything going because our ballhandling was so atrocious."

Kings-Grizzlies interior defense: The two teams combined for 122 points in the paint. Was anybody protecting the rim? Oh, wait, Zach Randolph was playing. Never mind, then.

Allen Iverson: Anybody else notice the Grizzlies have won four of their last five games? Ditching The Not Answer has actually improved Memphis in the short term. I say "short term" because it's a long season and they'll have plenty of opportunities to start sucking again. But for now, waiving Iverson sure feels like a case of addition by distraction subtraction.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Dan B. forwarded me this tidbit from Marc Stein in his ESPN.com Power Rankings:

"It must be worrisome for the Wolves, to say the least, that they've played
almost into Thanksgiving and somehow Ricky Rubio has tasted victory in the NBA
only one fewer time than fellow Wolves lottery pick Jonny Flynn."

Ouch. Major Ouch. But pretty much on the money.

If it weren't for the still-winless New Jersey Nyets, the Timberwolves would easily be the league's most pitiful team. If watching these guys play doesn't make you want to sit in a bathtub full of warm water, turn on Radiohead's How To Disappear Completely, and slit your wrists, I don't know what will. Last night's 91-87 loss to the Clippers was Minny's 13th consecutive loss. And Baron Davis -- who got benched for a couple turnovers in the third quarter and entered the final 10 seconds 0-for-9 from the field -- swooped in for the game-clinching layup with 8.5 seconds to go. DEFENSIVE FAIL.

Being a Timberwolf sucks

Kurt Rambis' offense is so bawful it makes me want to pour something toxic in my own eyes. The Timberwolves have been held under 88 points in six consecutive games since their 145-105 loss at Golden State back on November 9. And let's face it, scoring 105 points against the defenseless Warriors is like scoring 80, maybe 85 points against pretty much anybody else. But, as has been the case so often this season, Rambis was ready to place the blame squarely on...his young players. "We were taking sloppy shots during the fourth quarter and we were not executing. We tried to do too much at one time. We play as individuals and not as a whole team, and that's when we get into trouble." And by "we" he really means "they." Shot selection wasn't the only thing that was sloppy, as the T-Wolves gave up 22 points off 21 turnovers.

Triangle sucks
"You're offense sucks. You know that, right?"

Minnesota is now 1-13 and hasn't won since opening night. Oh, and in case you've forgotten, that one, lonely "W" was a two-point victory over...the winless New Jersey Nyets. Oh yes, it really is that bad. The T-Wolves have now matched the worst 14-game start in the franchise's 21-year history and they're closing in on matching their 14-game losing streak from last season and possibly surpassing their worst-ever losing streak of 16 games in the 1991-92 season. By the way, that '91-92 campaign also featured losing streaks of six (twice), seven, nine, and 11.

Mike Dunleavy: From the AP game notes: "The victory was Dunleavy's 200th as Clippers coach during the regular season -- against 307 losses -- and put him within two wins of 600 overall. He is one of only four coaches to guide the Clippers to the playoffs during their 26 years in Los Angeles, including Larry Brown and Bill Fitch." Coach of the Year! Coach of the Year! Yeah, right. Make no mistake, kiddies. His Clippers almost lost at home last night to as hapless a team as they're likely to face this side of the Nyets. Seriously, the Timberwolves took a lead into the fourth quarter for the first time this season. It was only one point, but still. I will never understand how Mikey Boy still has a job.

Lacktion report: From Chris: "Still on a boat...and still musing over the mind-numbing mediocrity that is today's lacktion."

Kings-Grizzlies: Ime Udoka can now sit in the same suites as the Maloofs, with a 2.7 trillion (2:41) for the purple paupers; for Memphis, Marcus Williams powered up his Game Boy Advance in a mere four seconds for a Super Mario!!!

Bucks-Spurs: Malik Hairston lost the rock once in 3:26 for a +1 suck differential.

Bulls-Blazers: James Johnson bricked twice (once from the Sears Tower) and fouled once in 7:20 for a spin into suck differential territory of +3.

Wolves-Clippers: Brian Cardinal dedicated two fouls for the Clotheslines for a +2 in 2:20, while Steve Novak bricked once from Broadway for a +1 in 3:04.
Bill Simmons: Wild Yams forwarded this one to me: ESPN grounded Bill Simmons from using Twitter for two weeks. Boston Bill referred to Boston radio station WEEI as "deceitful scumbags." (Here's some history.) However, they are deceitful scumbags that have a partnership with ESPN. Whoops. Not too surprising, really. Simmons is the same guy who bends stats and even reality to sync up with opinions he's alrerady formed, and who incorrectly reasoned he could talk himself out of any speeding ticket in Seattle because "Seattle loves me for defending its Sonics after Clay Bennett hijacked the team and moved it elsewhere." He can also turn water into wine...hadn't you heard?

Update! Here's Bill's side of the story.

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Shaqintosh (via NBA Offseason)

Not a whole lot of games going on tonight, but luckily for all you lactationers and fans of ye olde bawful, there are a pair which promise a virtual cornucopia of crap hoops - more on that below. But first...

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Luckily Vince was looking the other way, otherwise Medusa there might have turned him to stone

I bet you they're not thinking about how much they miss Allen Iverson

Steve Nash reveals why he's so good at basketball: he's actually a magical leprechaun

Pau Gasofa gets the YMCA chant going

Nationally Televised Game:

Bulls at Trail Blazers - Dan B. will be none too thrilled to find out that yet again the nationally televised game is on NBATV, so he probably won't be watching this one. That's OK though, cause you probably won't be watching either. If you do tune in though, you may want to go check out the Daily Dime chat over at ESPN just in case Mr. Bawful puts in an appearance. He is the ESPN Bulls blogger after all. We thought about turning the Oden Watch into a drinking game (one drink for every Oden foul), but we thought better of it when we realized that six drinks in under 15 minutes could probably lead to alcohol poisoning.

All the other games:

Bucks at Spurs - Who would have thought that the Bucks would be three games up on San Antonio after almost a month into the season? Probably the same people who would have predicted the Spurs would be under .500 just days before Thanksgiving while still searching for that first road win, while also predicting that the Bucks would be setting the world on fire with fewer losses than the Celtics at this point in the year. In other words, nobody. Tune in tonight to see if the Spurs restore the natural order of things.

Kings at Grizzlies - On many nights, this would be the Basksetbawful Game of the Night, but not tonight because there's a special treat on the schedule (see below). The Kings have been on something of a tear since losing Kevin Martin, and understandably the Grizzlies have improved since Allen Iverson's dark cloud has moved away from their franchise. Still, two sub-.500 teams meeting like this should provide plenty of fodder for chris's lacktion report tomorrow.

Timberwolves at Clippers - You know, it almost doesn't get any better than this. After all, this is without question the Basketbawful Game of the Night. If you are one of the rare few who tune in, try to keep from being mesmerized by all the empty seats and actually pay attention to the lacktion going on on the court. And also, please don't rat on the announcers if they go off script for a minute or two on the wise presumption that nobody's watching anyway.

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Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith: In case you've never heard of these two yahoos, Lawler is the Clippers longtime play-by-play announcer and Smith is their color analyst. Well, these two idiots -- in true Clippers facepalm fashion -- were suspended one game by the Fox Sports Prime Ticket cable network for their comments about Memphis center Hamed Haddadi. Here's a transcript of the conversation:

Smith: "Look who's in."

Lawler: "Hamed Haddadi. Where's he from?"

Smith: "He's the first Iranian to play in the NBA." (Smith pronounced Iranian as "Eye-ranian," a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: "There aren't any Iranian players in the NBA," repeating Smith's mispronunciation.

Smith: "He's the only one."

Lawler: "He's from Iran?"

Smith: "I guess so."

Lawler: "That Iran?"

Smith: "Yes."

Lawler: "The real Iran?"

Smith: "Yes."

Lawler: "Wow. Haddadi that's H-A-D-D-A-D-I."

Smith: "You're sure it's not Borat's older brother?"

Smith: "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."

Lawler: "Here's Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball."

Smith: "Especially the post players.

Lawler: "I don't know about their guards."
Mind you, Lawler has been doing this for 31 years, and Smith has been around for 12. How could they not know better than that? I mean, sure, they probably assumed that nobody was watching because it was a Clippers-Grizzlies game, but still. I mean, at least two or three of the players' moms were probably tuning in. They should have realized that and limited their conversation to the discussion of farts and penis jokes...or whatever Clippers fans talk about to distract themselves from the pain.

Yahoo! injury reports: Basketbawful reader William D. sent in this unintentionally hilarious injury report from Yahoo! Sports. Note that Manu was out with a stained groin. As William said: "I guess the Spurs are stately enough that players who can't hold it in get time out."

stained groin

Danny Granger: As hard as it is to believe, the Pacers stood a pretty good chance of knocking off the Craboliers on Friday night, especially after holding Cleveland to only 11 points in the third quarter. Only the Pacers then got outscored 28-13 in the fourth. Granger, who was gobbled up by LeBron James (40 points, 9 boards, 7 assists), snuck out the back door during that final quarter. I'm kidding. He played, but it might have been better for Indy if he had taken off. Here's a summary of what Granger did in crunch time: missed 26-foot three-pointer, foul on J.J. Hickson, assist to Troy Murphy, missed 24-foot three-pointer, missed layup, defensive rebound, missed 22-footer, missed 26-foot three-pointer, foul on LeBron James, 1-for-2 at the line, foul on Mo Williams, missed 26-foot three-pointer.

Remember: he's the Pacers star player...a title he wrested away from the dearly departed Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal.

Mike Brown, truth machine: Regarding the "coaching" job he did as LeBron put the Pacers away by scoring 10 points in the final seven minutes: "When you have a guy as talented as him, sometimes your best coaching on the offensive end of the floor is staying out of his way." Seriously, that's Brown's offensive coaching philosophy in a nutshell.

Shaq: From the AP recap of the Crabs-Pacers game: "Cleveland center Shaquille O'Neal missed his fourth straight game with a strained right shoulder. He did not travel with the team, and Brown didn't give a timetable for his return." Okay, now raise your hand if you're even remotely surprised about this? No, not you, Shaq. We know you're "injured." Speaking of Shaq...

Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Early on, it looked like coming off the bench behind The Big Geritol was killing Big Z's game. Turns out Big Z's game was dead already. Offensively, anyway. Against the Pacers, Ziggy scored only 4 points in 29 minutes, going 1-for-12 from the field and a Shaq-like 2-for-6 from the line. On the season, Ilgauskas is shooting 37 percent from the field. Memo to the glue factory: get ready. We're going to have a big one for you soon...

The Philadelphia 76ers: Eh? A home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies? Gak. It was the Grizzlies' first road win of the season. Talk about a head scratcher. Philly had 15 steals, 7 blocked shots, and scored 34 points off 23 forced turnovers...and still lost to team that showed up in Philadelphia with a 3-8 record. Then again, the Griz did just waive Allen Iverson, so maybe that was addition by subtraction. Anyway, the Sixers now have to play seven of their next eight games on the road, where they are 2-4. And those two wins were against the Bricks and Nyets...so it's more like 0-4.

Bonus quote: Said Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan: "It was about team versus non-team." When you're the "non-team" to the Grizzlies' "team," well, it doesn't get much worse than that.

The Miami Heat: Get this: the Craptors shot 58 percent from the field (41-for-71) and 60 percent from downtown (9-for-15) in beating the Heat. It's like the game was a costume party and the Heat came dressed as the Golden State Warriors. But defense wasn't the only problem for Miami. Their bench was outscored 36-10. And now the Heat have gone 1-4 after starting the season 6-1. But don't worry, Heat fans. Dwyane Wade isn't...

Dwyane Wade, quote machine: After losing to the Craptors, Pookie said: "One thing you learn in this league is you don't get too high, you don't get too low. When we were 6-1, if you'd asked me I'd say we've got to continue to get better. Now we're 7-5 and we've got to continue to get better." Actually, after they started out 6-1 I thought they needed to get better. Now I think they have to stop sucking. Big difference.

Trevor Ariza: With Yao Ming and Knee-Mac still out of the lineup, the former role player is now The Man by default. Ariza has responded with career-highs in PPG (18.3), RPG (5.4), APG (3.7) and SPG (2.14). BUT...he's shooting a career-worst 38.8 percent from the field, including only 36.1 percent for the month of November. In Houston's 105-103 loss to the Hawks, Trevor was 7-for-21 from the field and 2-for-8 from downtown.

It's official: Trevor Ariza has become Ron Artest. Scary.

(Hmm. I wonder if heytrevorarizapleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com is taken...?)

The Boston Celtics: I wonder how 'Sheed feels about predicting 70 wins now? Because the Celtics' 83-78 home loss to the Magic was a pretty sure sign that the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won't have to worry about their record getting broken any time soon. For the most part, Boston's defense was solid. They held Orlando to 41 percent shooting and scored 21 points off 21 turnovers. But their offense was a flaming bag of poo. The Leprechauns shot 34 percent from the field and missed 17 of their 19 three-point attempts. None of the Celtics starters played particularly well. None of them had a positive plus-minus score. In fact, they were -59 combined (compared to +34 for their bench).

Said Boston coach Doc Rivers: "I think that our team is playing awful. I've been saying it for a week now. We're going to win some games still, but we're not going to win against good teams." He's not wrong.

Vince Carter: From Basketbawful reader Robert M.: "Looking at the Magic vs. Boston box score on ESPN, I noticed that Vince Carter did score 26 points (on 10 for 29 shooting), but he also had 6 turnovers, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds. Does constitute some sort of basketball Satanic curse? Ironically, because none were offensive rebounds, even his stats came up 666, albeit for a different reason (defensive rebounds/total rebounds/assists)." This isn't as surprising as you might think, Robert. Toronto fans have known for years that VC is pure, dag-nasty evil.

Rasheed Wallace: 'Sheed not only stat cursed the Celtics with that whole "70 wins" malarky, he's also helping to shoot them out of games. Versus the Magic, Wallace was 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, dropping him to 22-for-75 on the season (29 percent). It might be time for Doc to have a little discussion with 'Sheed about shot selection...

The Washington Wizards Generals: The story remains the same: Gilbert Arenas is back but nothing has changed. The latest proof was their 127-108 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Current record: 3-8. Remember when the Wiza, er, the Generals were the league's feel-good story a few seasons ago. It kinda feels like that never even happened now.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Everything's coming up sevens for the Bobcats: seven losses on a row and 0-for-7 on the road thanks to 17 missed free throws in a seven-point loss to the Bucks. And they say seven is a lucky number.

Said Gerald Wallace: "This was one of the first times we actually shot pretty good from the field. [But we] missed 17 free throws. We're at this point right now where we dig ourselves out of one hole and end up finding ourselves off in another hole." I hate to tell you, Gerald, but that "hole" is called a grave. Your season is already dead.

The Portland Trail Blazers: Just when you start to think the Blazers have arrived, they crap the bed against a craptastic team like the Warriors. Portland had a serious case of the butterfingers, giving up 32 points off 23 turnovers to a team that had only eight players available and started Mikki Moore at center. That's some major league fail right there. The Blazers also forgot how to put the ball in the basket, as they shot only 33 percent over the last three quarters.

Said Portland coach Nate McMillan: "Everything we talked about doing, we didn't do. The way [the Warriors] play, you can't continue to make those turnovers. They do a lot of things that can get a team frustrated and I think we lost our composure." Can you really trust a team that loses its head against the Warriors? I'm just sayin'...

The Oden Watch: From the AP recap: "...and Greg Oden had 16 points but was plagued by foul trouble throughout the second half for Portland..." Big Greg finished with 4 fouls and played only 29 minutes.

The Denver Nuggets: They lost to the Clippers. 'Nuff said. (But I will also say this: despite making a fourth-quarter comeback, they were down by 19 in the third quarter. To the Clippers. The Clippers. The Los Angeles Clippers. Despite 37 points from 'Melo. Yikes.)

Friday lacktion report: Despite a tropical vacation, Chris came through with this report on a heavy night of lacktion:

Crabs-Pacers: Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson burned up the court tonight by launching a fire flower for a 5 second Super Mario!!!

Grizzlies-Sixers: Jamal Tinsley tediously took up a spot in the lacktion report, fouling once in 4:55 for a suck differential of +1.

Rockets-Hawks: Maurice Evans lucked into becoming tonight's human victory cigar for Atlanta, taking home a 2.05 trillion! (Based on a correction by Soydeedo in the comments: Evans came in at the start of the 4th when the Hawks were only up by 5. He came right out when the Rockets tied the game up at just under 10 minutes left. That's not really a victory cigar. That game went down to the wire too.)

Magic-Celtics: Orlando's JJ Redick flew into the ledger with a +1 via foul in 5:52, while Jameer Nelson's first appearance after an injury provided Stan Van Gundy with a payment of 1.4 trillion!

Generals-Thunder: Okay, Oklahoma City is over 500 and thus able to trot out the tobacco, and the Wizards still want to lack it up in a losing effort? The scouts for the all-lacktion team (read: myself, Dan, NarSARSist and AnacondaHL) certainly should've had a twenty seven-year-old Zenith TV antenna'd up for this festival of forgettability:

For Washington, Dominic McGuire continued to make his case as the Association's most valuable lacktator with a perfect 1 trillion, sharing the spotlight with two +1-via-brick suck differentials in the same timespan from Javale McGee and Nick Young (the latter coming from Bricktown).

For the ex-Sonic-zombies, Nick Collison crashed into a +1-via-foul in 2:21 (also earning a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl).

Bucks-Bobcats: Charlotte's Gerald Henderson spent 33 seconds in Castlevania for a Mario. Inspired teammate Stephen Graham wanted to get a newer video game system, and had a 64-second stint for a Mario 64! (Of course, since that's not ACTUALLY a Mario, he will be credited with the market value of the gaming system - 1.05 trillion.) For Milwaukee, Dan Gadzuric made a shot in 15:18 and took down three boards, only to lose the rock twice and foul four times for a 6:5 Voskuhl.

Blazers-Warriors: In 5:15, Mikki Moore had four assists as a starting center - but pairing that with three fouls results in a 3:0 Voskuhl.

Nuggets-Clippers: Mike Dunleavy had his long-standing hunger for a victory celebration satisfied, sending Steve Novak on the court to yell out "Yo Noid!" for a slice of pizza in a 34 second Mario. And Denver's Malik Allen helped provided the Clippers some rare momentum, as noted by LotharBot in comments:

How can you have missed the most truly bawful player from the Nuggets@Clippers game?

Malik Allen came in with the Nuggets leading 26-14. By the time he left 7 minutes later, the team was trailing 39-32. The Clippers went on a 25-6 run during that span, and the momentum held for the rest of the game.

Malik Allen got dunked on by DeAndre Jordan twice in a row, conceded 3 layups, and put Craig Smith on the line, for a total of 12 points he gave up by not playing a lick of defense... and he looked worse on offense. He was totally lost on both ends of the court.

In 7 minutes, he negated a rebound and an assist with a missed shot, 2 turnovers, and a foul (a Madsen-level 3:1 Voskuhl) and had a game-worst -18 in a 7-point loss.


Nyets versus Bricks: Get this: "According to STATS LLC, there hadn't been an NBA game matching teams who had each played at least 11 games and combined to win so few of them since Dec. 3, 1994, when Minnesota was 2-13 as it hosted the 0-14 Clippers." Wow. Talk about scalpers night off. But, since the NBA still forces teams to play until one of them wins...

The New Jersey Nyets: Their 98-91 loss to the hapless Bricks dropped them to an even more hapless 0-13. And things aren't going to get better any time soon. From the AP recap: "The Nets inched closer to the NBA record of 17 straight losses to start a season, held by Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers. They'll try to avoid it during a difficult four-game trip out West that starts with back-to-back games at Denver and Portland, capped by a visit to the Lakers." They aren't going to avoid it. There. I said it. The 2009-10 Nyets will soon rank among the most bawful teams in NBA history.

Said Chris Douglas-Roberts: "I've never been in a situation like this. I really can't describe the feeling I have right now. I take every loss very hard, but this many losses without a win, I really don't know what to feel. I don't know where I'm at right now. Mentally, it's tough." Uh oh. Sounds like it's time to empty CDR's medicine cabinet of anything stronger than lip balm.

Update! Nate Robinson: Ugh! How did I forget about this one! Thanks to Ian for reminding me about how Nate Robinson shot at his own basket! FAIL.

The Philadelphia 76ers: They capped off a winless weekend with a come-from-ahead loss to the Craboliers in which they were outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter. Philly has now lost six of their last eight games. And if you're looking to lay some blame for the late-game collapse, look no further than...

Andre Iguodala: Iggy scored only 12 points on 22 shots and went 1-for-7 in the all-important fourth quarter. I make fun of Elton Brand and his $80 million contract, but let's not forget that Philly gave Iguodala a six-year, $80 million deal too. I'm sorry, but that's not money well spent. Unless Iggy lays golden eggs or something.

Shaq: Make that five straight games.

The Atlanta Hawks: The dead coach bounce is finally kicking in! After snapping Atlanta's seven-game winning streak, the Chris Paul-less Hornets now have back-to-back wins against the teams that had the best record in the NBA. I guess CP3 was the problem after all. The Hawks might have helped themselves by putting some hands in some faces, as the Hornets shot an eyebrow-singing 70 percent from three-point range (12-for-17). Meanwhile, the Atlanteans hit only 18 percent of their treys (4-for-22).

Trevor Ariza: Has Ariza's shooting hand been possessed by the ghost of Chuck Person? Because T-Rev's crazy shooting continued against the Kings: 7-for-19 from the field, 1-for-6 from downtown. Remember how efficient this guy was last season? Somebody needs to put this dog back on its leash before it keeps knocking over trash cans.

The Houston Rockets: They're making a mockery of my "second game of back-to-backs" theory. After losing on Friday, they won on Saturday. Houston is now 4-0 on the second night of back-to-backs this season. Hey, screw you guys. You're making me look bad.

The Washington Wizards Generals: Things are turning ugly in D.C. Two weekend games meant two straight blowouts for the Generals. It was their eight loss in their last nine games, which dropped their record to 3-9. And Grumpy, er, Gilbert Arenas ain't happy. He almost never is these days. "Everyone's got their own individual goals, I guess. Hidden agendas," Arenas said. "You can't win like that. I guess when you start losing, everyone wants to start pointing fingers everywhere else. I converted my game to try and get people involved. I think the only person who actually had to sacrifice [to win] was me."

Added Brendan Haywood: "Move the damn ball. Play some defense."

Finished Washington coach Flip Saunders: "We're very much in a bad situation. A lot of guys are frustrated, including me."

Bad times.

The Chicago Bulls: The Windy City Stags built a 14-point lead against Denver by the end of the first quarter...then lost by 19. They were repeatedly exploited on defense by good players, whether it was Chauncey Billups (14 points in the second quarter), Carmelo Anthony (30 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists), or J.R. Smith (12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter). Chicago also got bullied in the paint, where Denver converted 14 layups, threw down 8 dunks, and outscored the Bulls 52-34.

Derrick Rose scored a team-high 28 points, but he also committed a game-high 5 turnovers while dishing out only 3 assists...not a good ratio for a franchise centerpiece point guard. John Salmons scored only 5 more points than I did after going 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-3 from downtown. Johnny is now shooting 34 percent on the season (and 31 percent in threes). Oh, and Kirk Hinrich was 3-for-10, so maybe he caught a dose of whatever Salmons has.

Home cookin': Utah's 100-97 overtime win over Detroit was the team's fourth straight victory. It sure helped that the Jazz had a 44-25 disparity in free throw attempts. So for Utah, the free throw line was more like a conga line. I'm just sayin'.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Minny coach Kurt Rambis' metaphorical clothesline by Kevin McHale continued as his Timberwolves got spanked 106-78 by the Trail Blazers for their 12th consecutive defeat. Kurt's triangle offense has been more like a parallelogram so far this season, as Minnesota ranks 28th in PPG (88.8) and 29th in Offensive Rating (93.7 Points Per 100 Possessions). Against Portland, the offense went into a deeper funk than a teenage girl who wasn't allowed to go see the new Twighlight movie, as Minny got outscored 16-0 to start the fourth quarter. For the game, the T-Wolves shot 37 percent and had more turnovers (12) than assists (11). Man, every game Minnesota plays makes Ricky Rubio feel a little bit better about not joining the NBA this season.

After the loss, Rambis said: "We're not secure as a team, we're not together as a team, and we don't have enough experience as a team. When we get in these tough situations, we don't know what to do." Uh, Kurt, I thought "knowing what to do" was something the coach was supposed to take care of.

Saturday lacktion report: From Chris: "Live from a boat, it's Saturday Night Lacktion!!!!"

Knicks-Nyets: In the battle for the worst team this side of the Hudson River, the Knicks somehow lost out by, well, winning. (Despite an intentional own field goal!) Sean Williams's foulout in 15:41 combined with five bricks and two giveaways earned him a 8:5 Voskuhl for the ruble-run enterprise.

Sixers-Crabs: Royal Ivey crowned himself the king of wishful thinking by a hopeful shot from Euclid Avenue, resulting in a +1 suck differential in 4:05 for Philadelphia.

Bucks-Grizzlies: In 9:05, Dan Gadzuric scored a basket and made two rebounds, but four fouls and a giveaway edegd him into the Voskuhl category with a 5:4 ratio.

Kings-Rockets: Jon Brockman banged a question mark box with his head for a 18 second Super Mario!!!!

Pistons-Jazz: Austin Daye dawned into the Oakland County who's who with a 1.45 trillion (1:27) for Detroit.

Bulls-Nuggets: Lindsey Hunter modeled some expensive garb in his 2.6 trillion (2:37) take tonight.

Wolves-Blazers: Wayne Ellington improvised a couple of bricks (one from the Marquam Bridge) for a +2 in 3:46.

The Boston Celtics: They barely managed to avoid a winless weekend, and only because Kevin Garnett hit a 19-foot buzzer-beater in overtime to secure a 2-point win over the lowly Bricks. New York scored 100 points against the mighty Celtic defense. It was the fifth time the Bricks have accomplished that feat, which is the longest active 100-point game streak against Boston.

The New York Knicks: Let's hear it for defense! The Bricks totally boned that final play where Garnett beat them with the 19-footer. First off, David Lee switched off to help on Paul Pierce, leaving KG wide open. Said Lee: "I am expecting Pierce to try and make a move and pull up. Good play by them and it's just unfortunate to lose a game like this."

But it's even worse than that. New York actually had a foul to give on that final play...but failed to use it. Said All Harrington: "We wanted to give the foul if Paul Pierce was going to the hole but that never happened. It's frustrating, but we played extremely hard." Awww, diddums play hard, Al? Here. Have a cookie. http://tryingtoohard.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/leave-the-cookie-alone.jpg

Rasheed Wallace: His 0-for-3 performance from downtown dropped him to 22-for-78 in threes on the season (28 percent).

The Indiana Pacers: The Pacers played the role of Slump Busters, letting the Charlotte Bobcats snap that seven-game winning streak and break 100 points for the first time since 'Nam. Leave it to Jim O'Brien's defense to roll over and give up 104 points to the league's lowest scoring team. To make matters even worse, the ancient and mummified Nazr Mohammed utterly dominated the paint, scoring 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting and blocking 2 shots. Said Danny Granger: "Their bigs probably shot 90 percent, 80 percent from the field. We couldn't stop their pick-and-roll, even though we knew it was coming."

DeSagana Diop: I usually leave things like this for the lacktion report, but Diop earned a perfect three trillion against the Pacers. I laugh almost every time I read Diop's line in a box score, mostly because Dallas Mavericks fans were so upset when DeSagana was included in the Jason Kidd trade. I swear, some Mavs fans -- and even some so-called experts! -- were more upset about losing Diop than Devin Harris. It's like those people had never actually watched Diop play basketball.

The Detroit Pistons: It's not all Detroit's fault. They Pistons were playing the final game of a four-game road swing on the second night of back-to-backs, and they had gone to overtime in the previous night's game against the Jazz. Oh, and Rip Hamilton (ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (back) are still out (and they've combined for only four games this season). That said, this was a 26-point loss that felt more like 50 or 60. Detroit never had a chance, and both Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash got to watch the fourth quarter from the sidelines. And the AP recap accurately described the Pistons' 0-4 road trip as "fruitless."

Anyway, Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry -- whose team drilled 57 percent of their shots and canned 61 percent of their treys -- understood what was up. "I think we were playing a tired team. It was the last game of this trip for them. I thought we did a good job of trying to jump on them early and get off to a good start."

Added Detroit coach John "Who?" Kuester: "There's no excuses in this league. You've got to be ready to go. Everybody keeps talking about the last game of the road trip. I think our frame of mind going into it was right. Sometimes you've got to lie to your body and just say 'Hey, you've got to go.' Unfortunately, tonight we didn't have the juice that we've had."

Ben Gordon: Apparently, nobody on the Pistons was more tired than Air Gordon, who went 3-for-11 (1-for-6 from beyond the arc) and finished with almost as many combined fouls and turnovers (9) as points. He did have 4 assists, though, which might even be a career high. I wonder if they happened by accident...

The Oklahoma City Thunder: Their defense was strangely competent -- the Lakers bonked 12 of their 14 three-point attempts and shot 40 percent for the game -- but their offense needed a bib and a crash helmet, because it was special in that short bus kind of way. Oklahoma City hit 37 percent of their field goals and shanked 20 of 23 from the Land of Three. They also gave up 25 points off 19 turnovers.

Kobe Bryant's three-point shooting: After Mamba knocked down a shot from behind the backboard against the Thunder, teammate Lamar Odom explained Bryant's shooting philosophy: "You see him do things just fooling around with all kinds of shots in practice that you won't normally see. But you expect the impossible, because he's not scared to take any shot from anywhere on the court. So that's why that's the result. It's never a bad shot to him. That's his mentality. He's not afraid to shoot it."

Too true! But maybe Kobe should spend a little more time practicing threes instead of trick shots. After going 0-for-2 from downtown against the Thunder, he is 5-for-28 (18 percent) for the season. Of course, this could be an extension of the fact that he's averaging only 2.1 three-point attempts per game this season, which is pretty low for him. But the Lakers can only benefit from Kobe shooting fewer bad threes, which has been one of his worst habits over the past four or five seasons.

By the way, here's that behind-the-backboard shot:

Truly amazing. But it's worth noting that Larry Legend did it first:

Update! Sunday lacktion report: The late lacktion update from Chris:

Celtics-Knicks: Toney Douglas gave Madison Square Garden a show of mediocrity with a +1 suck differential via giveaway in 6:10.

Pacers-Bobcats: In 8:23, Indiana's Jeff Foster composed three fouls against one board for a 3:1 Voskuhl. Michael Jordan's experiment in team mismanagement shockingly came out victorious, thus allowing for Larry Brown to trout out the celebratory human tobacco. Alexis Ajinca took down a rejection and a brick for a +2 in 3:18, while DeSagana Diop dove into a treasure trove with a 2.55 trillion (2:32).

Hornets-Heat: Joel Anthony avoided pure lacktivity with a block in 7:20, but fouled twice and lost the rock on two occasions for a 4:0 Voskuhl!

Pistons-Suns: Jarron Collins stirred together a foul and a brick in 3:15 for a +2, also counted as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.