I just hate this guys' face. Is that wrong of me?The Detroit Pistons:
Let's see if you've heard this one before: Detroit was already without Ben Gordon (strained right groin), Tayshaun Prince (sore left knee) and Will Bynum (sprained left ankle), and then they lost Richard Hamilton to
an upset stomach. The remaining Pistons fought bravely -- heck, Ben Wallace had a season-high 16 points -- but they lost to the Bricks in New York anyway to make it nine defeats in their last 10 road games. In related news, David Stern is considering renaming the team "the Shorthanded Pistons" for the remainder of the season.The New York Knicks:
From the AP recap
: "The Knicks improved to 17-24 at the halfway point of their schedule, the same record they had last season before finishing 32-50." It's good to see how much they've improved under Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni. In related news, David Stern is considering renaming the team "the New York Expiring Contracts" for the remainder of the season. Speaking of D'Antoni and the Knicks...Larry Hughes: Big Shot Larry's feud with his coach continues
Larry Hughes is once again letting it be known that he's not happy with his role with the Knicks and that head coach Mike D'Antoni won't talk to him. Saturday after the Knicks lost to the Pistons, Hughes said D'Antoni's rotation is "a joke, a joke."
D'Antoni wasn't thrilled with the "joke" remark on Sunday.
"It's not really funny," D'Antoni told the New York Post. "I didn't catch the punch line. Everybody has their self-defense mechanisms. He's in a tough situation. But I got to try to do what I got to do."
Hughes met with Knicks president Donnie Walsh on Thursday, but says he won't tell D'Antoni who to play.
"Mike and I are on the same page with this team," Walsh told the New York Daily News Sunday. "He coaches the team. He makes the substitutions. I understand why he does it. We talk about it. I met with Larry and listened to what he had to say. That's my job. I told Mike about that. But I didn't tell him before the game. I don't order Mike to play anybody. I don't do that. Never have. I don't tell the coach who to play."
Well...I'm glad that's settled.The Portland Trail Blazers:
You really couldn't expect the Frail Blazers to keep winning, not without Brandon Roy and, like, four or five other rotation guys. But still...losing to the
Bullets is always a kick in the groin.Flip Saunders, breakfast chef to the stars:
From the AP recap: "To get his team energized for an early game, Wizards coach Flip Saunders arranged breakfast for the players. 'Hopefully, that'll put a little fuel in their tummies,' he said. Not all of them got the memo -- Butler arrived in the locker room carrying a McDonald's bag and cup."
Okay, first of all, what NBA coach uses the word "tummies"? I mean, really. Second, this is what Caron said last October
: "It's helped out a lot. I just watched what I put into my body because my body is my temple and I’ve got to take care of it. I don't put garbage in my body anymore. I try to eat as healthy as possible and try to stay away from the sodas and fast food. I think it worked out great for me because I feel better than I ever have." If he doesn't put garbage in his body anymore, what was he doing with a McDonald's bag? The last time I checked, Egg McMuffins aren't health food. Why not just eat trash right out of a dumpster? It's just as good for you, and you might find some nuclear weapons material from World War II
somebody threw out by mistake. Or a baby
. Or eight human bodies
. Or a movie script
. The point is, dumpster diving is always a better idea than eating at McDonalds.The Sacramento Kings:
Make it four losses in a row and 11 of 13 since their 35-point comeback in Chicago. Actually, it makes a lot of sense to bring up that game against the Bulls, because the Kings came back from a 24-point deficit and almost stole this one from the Bobcats. The key word being "almost."
The Freak had another huge game, dishing 7 assists and scoring 14 of his career-high 34 points in the fourth quarter almost-comeback. Too bad he did all that in a game that dropped Sacto to 10 games below .500.The New Orleans Hornets:
The Spurs had a 38-12 advantage in free throw attempts...in New Orleans?!
That should never happen to a team playing at home.Emeka Okafor:
He had 2 points and 2 boards while being limited to only 14 minutes because of foul trouble. By the way, Okafor won last season's Yinka Dare Award
for his unwillingness to pass the basketball. Well, it looks like Emeka is going to lose his crown to this season's leading candidate, Hasheem Thabeet, who has 2 assists in 389 minutes of PT
.The New Jersey Nyets:
The tragic comdey of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets
continued against the Clippers in L.A. One thing some people missed as the Clips went from a four-game winning streak to a four-game losing streak is that Chris Kaman -- only the team's leading scorer and best percentage shooter -- missed all those losses with an injured back. Well, doens't it just figure he made his return against the poor Nyets, scoring 22 points (10-for-16) to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in a 106-95 Clippers win?
Said New Jersey interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe: "This is a totally different team with Kaman in there. They're a very aggressive team that hurts you in the paint, and we did not meet their force with force."
Losing to The Other L.A. Team dropped the Nyets to 3-37. But the history-setting suck doesn't stop there. New Jersey has now started a calendar year 0-8 for the first time since 1981 under interim coach Bob MacKinnon. The franchise record in that infamous category is 0-11 under Kevin Loughery in 1977, their first season following the NBA-ABA merger. They also started 1991 with an 0-7 mark.
Added Vandeweghe: "There's no way to describe it, except that we're in a dark tunnel. There's no question it was a tough situation to come into, and there's no sugarcoating it. But you have to stay positive. Being negative does not help."
Uh, I'm not sure anything's helping right now, Kiki.Kiki Vandeweghe, Captain Obvious:
"You can't give up 39 points in the first quarter and expect to win a basketball game. I did not see any effort on the defensive end. The guys played OK the last three quarters, but you can't play for just three quarters -- not in this league." But if there was
a league for teams that played only three quarters, the Nyets would totally rock.The Philadelphia 76ers:
The Timberpoops trailed the Sixers 51-31 with three minutes to go in the first half. It didn't look good for the home team, especially since they were without Kevin Love (flu-like symptoms!). Fortunately for them, they were playing a Philly squad that has only four more wins than they do. Minny outscored the Sixers 59-42 in the third and fourth quarters to force overtime, during which they pulled out a 108-103 victory.
I can almost smell the fresh ink on Eddie Jordan's termination papers. After all, Philly team president Ed Stefanski recently refused to guarantee Jordan would last the season...and the Sixers have lost to the Knicks (16-24), Wizards (13-26) and Timberwolves (9-33) since then.
Elton Brand, the $80 Million Dollar Bench Player, scored only 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting. Afater the game, Brand said: "It's an old cliche that players win ball games. [Jordan's] doing the best he feels he can do. We don't just want to win for him, we do want to win for him, we want to win for us, too, and the city. We were right there, and we thought we turned the corner. It's just a disappointing loss."Allen Iverson:
Despite playing 23 more minutes, The Cancer (11 points, 4-for-12) was nearly outscored by Brian Cardinal (9 points, 2-for-3). Oh how the mighty have fallen...The Chicago Bulls:
The Golden State Warriors rank next to dead last in Defensive Efficiency, yet the Bulls shot only 36.5 percent from the field. Why? Well, for starters, Golden State suckered them into playing Warriors basketball...too many one-on-one plays, too little movement without the basketball, not nearly enough passing and waaaaaay too many jump shots. The Warriors let their opponents convert 65 percent of their shots at the rim -- that's the second-worst mark in the league, by the way -- but Chicago was content to jack up 69 jumpers despite being one of the league's worst shooting teams.
The Bulls also fell victim to another classic Nellie strategy: Isolating his best players over and over and over again. And it worked. Vinny Del Negro couldn't figure out what to do against Monta Ellis (36 points, 8 assists, 4 steals), Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette (32 points, 11-for-14, 10-for-11 from the line) and rookie Stephen Curry (26 points, 5-for-8 from downtown, 6 assists). And then there was Andris Biedrins, who channelled his inner Bill Russell in grabbing a season-high 19 rebounds while blocking a career-high 8 shots.
To top it off, the Bulls shanked 11 free throws. About the only thing they did right was not slipping on a banana peel.The Phoenix Suns:
A visit from the defense-free Suns meant stat-padding time for the Rudy Gay (31 points, 11-for-20, 9 rebounds), O.J. Mayo (28 points, 11-for-21) and Zach Randolph (27 points, 10-for-22, 11 boards)...and another win for the Memphis Grizzlies. The Suns (24-18) are now only a couple games ahead of the Griz (22-18). Holy shit, right?
Phoenix is now 10-15 since starting the season 14-3, mostly because they can't win away from home. The Suns have lost four straight and 11 of their last 12 road games. Said Steve Nash: "I've never been on a bad road team, so it's strange for me. I don't know what it is." Well, let's see. How about bad defense and turnovers? Not only did Memphis shoot better than 50 percent from the field, the Suns gave them 23 bonus points off 18 turnovers.
Said Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry: "Look at the turnovers. You can't give up 23 points on your turnovers. You can't defend the turnover. That got us in trouble again, and then we have to be able to come up with stops."
Pretty much, yeah.
By the way, the Suns have now lost 18 straight games on TNT.The Boston Celtics:
What does still not having Kevin Garnett mean to the Celtics? It means extended stretches in which Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Brian Scalabrine are asked to defend Dirk Nowitzki. That's like jamming a baby in a shark's mouth...you're just asking that baby to get shredded like fresh mozzarella cheese on nature's furious chainsaw. Which is what happened to the C's, as Dirk shelled them for 37 points on 14-for-22 shooting. Mind you, Nowitzki scored 15 of 19 Dallas points after Rasheed Wallace committed his fourth foul and went to the bench with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
Said Doc Rivers: "That's when the floodgates opened. The fourth foul really hurt us. I thought Rasheed was doing a terrific job on Dirk. Not having Kevin tonight, knowing Rasheed was the only other guy, that put us in a tough situation."
Did I mention the Mavs lost by 22 points in Toronto the day before?
Still, it shows once again that KG isn't just critical to Boston's defense...he is
Boston's defense. Without Garnett going apeshit in the paint, the Celtics will continued to be exploited like the sweaty Malaysian children who assembled Agent Zero's handguns. Maybe every team won't hit 57 percent of their shots like Dallas did, but still...The Orlando Magic:
Sure, they whacked Kobe Byrant's sore finger and held Mamba to only 11 points on 4-for-19 shooting -- Kobe's second-lowest point total of the season -- but they probably should have kept an eye on that Shannon Brown kid. Brown scored 9 of his career-high 22 points in the final 12 minutes as the Lakers came back from a 9-point third-quarter deficit to win 98-92.The Pumaman
had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots...but only one field goal in the second half. Said Howard: "I don't think they put the clamps on me [in the second half]. They just double-teamed, and I had to pass it out to guys who hit shots. We just turned the ball over too much in the second half, and they went on a big run."
Thanks, Dwight. I almost forgot to mention you guys gave up 21 points off only 13 turnovers. The Lakers lost the ball 9 times...but gave up only 7 points off those turnovers.Stephon Marbury:
I wouldn't be minding my duties if I didn't mention that the former self-proclaimed "best point guard in the NBA" will soon be peddling his skills (and his shoes!) in China
. Starbury's new team is ranked 15th of 17 teams in whatever bush league they play in. The team's big boss, Wang Xingjiang, said on the team Web site: "The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games the rest of the season."
You read that correctly. Xingjiang is paying back his fans by signing Stephon Marbury. I wonder what kind of terrible, unspeakable things the fans did to him if that's his idea of payback? He's like a Chinese Mel Gibson
I'm not sure Dr. King ever dreamed there would be this much lacktion on his special day, as Chris reports...
Pistons-Knicks: Chris Wilcox negated a steal and board with one foul and one giveaway (along with bricking four times) for a 2:1 Voskuhl in 8:21.
Blazers-Bullets: Dante Cunningham loaded up a brick and foul to give Portland a +2 suck differential in 4:39. Nick Young launched a brick for a +1 in 2:21, while Dominic McGuire continues to snipe at Steve Novak's status as top Association lacktator by chambering a Duck Hunt cartridge for an 18 second Mario!!!
Thunder-Hawks: Byron Mullens earned a 4:0 Voskuhl in 5:39 for Oklahoma City by countering a steal and board with a trio of fouls and a turnover.
Maurice Evans plucked a pair of fouls and bricks to give the dirty birds a +4 in 8:19, while Jeff Teague missed twice for a +2 in 3:54.
Kings-Bobcats: Hilton Armstrong's 10:08 debut for the purple paupers included a reservation in the ledger - one block and assist seemed to imply a mild level of productivity at first, only to be countered with a giveaway, rejection, and brick for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Sixers-Wolves: Ryan Hollins had one block and board in 6:45, but he also bricked once, lost the rock twice, and fouled five times for a 7:1 Voskuhl!!! Fellow clothesliner Oleksiy Pecherov committed two turnovers for a +2 in 1:34 that also counts as a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Spurs-Hornets: Matt Bonner dropped a brick in 6:01 for a +1, while Emeka Okafor buzzed his way into the ledger by way of a 5:4 Voskuhl in exactly 14 minutes - fouling four times and giving the ball away once against one made field goal and two boards.
Nyets-Clippers: Josh Boone drank up a fortune on the hardwood tonight, earning 3.8 trillion (3:50) in rubles! For Team Dunleavy, Mardy Collins scored a +1 via brick in 3:38.
Bulls-Warriors: Despite a block, Chris Hunter took down a brick, rejection and foul each for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl in 8:51.
Suns-Grizzlies: Marcus Williams made bank tonight with a 2.65 trillion (2:40) while Hasheem Thabeet earned a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl in 4:36 by fouling once, against one block.
Mavs-Celtics: Dallas's James Singleton and Boston's JR Giddens and Bill Walker spent 42 seconds on court together as Mario Brothers! Giddens also earned a +2 via brick and rejection.
Magic-Lakers: DJ Mbenga spun one brick in 1:39 for a +1.
Labels: Worst of the Night