Ever wonder what the passengers who couldn't catch
a lifeboat off the Titanic looked like? Well, this is it.
The Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets: More social proof for the Atlanta Hawks: They beat the Bullets, who were outscored 50-22 in the paint and 21-3 on the break. See?! The Hawks can beat anybody! Credit the Bullets for actually making a game of it after falling behind by 22 points. Meanwhile, Antawn Jamison (25 points and a career-high 19 rebounds) is apparently trying to lock up the Mitch Richmond memorial "Tragically Good Player on an Awful Team" award. Speaking of Antawn...
Antawn Jamison, quote machine: "That first half, I'm missing shots that I make with my eyes closed. During the course of the season, you're going to have games like that." First, why are you taking shots with your eyes closed, Antawn? Second, a lot of things suddenly make a lot more sense to me.
Jamal Crawford, supreme confidence machine: "If I miss my first 10 shots, that doesn't faze me. In the fourth quarter, I make my shots." Quick quiz: How many playoff games has Jamal Crawford appeared in during his career? Quick answer: None.
The Phoenix Suns: Apparently, the Suns are trying to set the record for most double-digit leads surrendered in a single season. Their latest choker was kindly giving away a 24-point lead before losing 122-114 to the Indiana Pacers. As if that wasn't bad enough, Mike Dunleavy Jr. went 9-for-14 from the field, 4-for-7 from downtown, and 8-for-8 from the line on his way to a season-high 30 points in only 26 minutes.
Nice defense, guys.
Oh, and Nice offense in the third quarter, when you shot 26 percent and got outscored 39-23. Oh, Dunleavy has 18 of his points during that 12-minute stretch. Well, at least Steve Nash snapped his streak of 5+ turnover games. He lost the ball only once while finishing with 20 points, 9 assists...and 7 stitches.
The Pacers -- who in their last game came back from 23 points down against the Raptors -- now have the second and third-biggest comeback wins this season. The first-biggest, of course, is Sacramento's 35-point return from death against the Bulls.
By the way, the Basketbawful Best Suggestion of the Night goes to reader Johally:
I have a ridiculous proposition.
Someone should confront Steve Nash and convince him to grow a mustache. Then we could abbreviate his name into 'Stash'.
The conversation would go something like this: "You already have a terrible haircut. Why not grow a mustache to match so we can abbreviate your first and last names together to create 'Stash" for the latter part of your career. What have you got to lose? Seriously.
I know what you're thinking. There is no way he'd say no to that...
Actually, I was thinking best idea ever.
Knicks-Sixers: The Basketbawful Game of the Night lived down to expectations. There was tragedy (Sam Dalembert is from earthquake-devastated Haiti, David Lee's grandfather just died), bad offense (neither team scored more than 93 points), the purely inexplicable (Allen Iverson turning down a potentially game-winning shot) and a crocodile-tear-inducing one-point loss for the home team (Philly).
The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued as the Boston Celtics -- sans Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace -- scored a season-high 71 points in the first half, had seven players in double-figures, and built a 36-point lead before winning 111-87 in New Jersey.
Oh, and "team leader" Devin Harris chewed out his teammates during halftime.
Said Chris Douglas-Roberts: "Everybody was pretty upset at halftime. Devin was pretty upset. (Coach Kiki Vandeweghe) came in with a speech basically saying we've got to turn things around. Devin, it wasn't a speech. He was just letting off some frustration. It was good. It was the first time I've seen him let of frustration like that. I'd rather see that."
The Los Angeles Clippers: Well...it turns out they are who we thought they were after all. On the same day they lost number one overall draft pick "Blake Superior" to season-ending surgery, The Other L.A. Team got groin-punched 108-94 by the Hornets in New Orleans. The Clips, who shot so poorly from downtown (1-for-14) that David Stern nearly revoked their three-point shooting rights, have now lost two straight after winning four in a row. I know...shocker, right?
Said L.A. coach Mike Dunleavy Sr.: "We just didn't have a good game." Thanks for the insight, Mike.
By the way, how long before the U.S. Surgeon General legally declares playing for the Clippers to be hazardous to a person's health? The answer: Not soon enough.
Every team that passed up on DeJuan Blair: On the same day the number one overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft got scratched for the season before playing a single game, the 37th pick set new career highs with 28 points and 21 rebounds (in only 31 minutes!!) to help his Spurs pull out a one-point win in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City. And the ancient Spurs were playing without Tim Duncan in the second game of back-to-backs after blowing out the Lakers in San Antonio the night before.
I officially offer the most sarcastic golf clap ever while shaking my head in disgust at the many GMs who bypassed The Beast.
By the way, this nomination came from Basketbawful reader J.R., who said: "Sure Blair's legs may fall off within the next five years, but how many guys from the 2009 draft class are ever going to post a 20-20? P.S. I think we can pencil in Number 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet (completely owned in college by Blair) as a 'no.' But at least Thabeet is only making five times as much as Blair this season."
The Dallas Mavericks: So, uhm, are we still supposed to believe the Mavs are contenders? The Lakers were playing on the second night of back-to-back road games, Pau Gasol was still out, and Kobe "Broken Finger" Bryant hobbled through the game with back spasms. What Mamba hurting? Well, he took only 11 shots, so what do you think? Of course, the Lakers actually seemed to play better when Kobe wasn't gunning it and the L.A. bench contributed 31 points...so maybe a lesson was learned
Despite his lack of field goal attempts, Kobe still hit the go-ahead shot with 28 seconds left, thanks in part to the Mavericks' single-coverage defense.
Said Ron Artest: "In the second half I said, 'Are you OK?' and he said, 'Yeah, I'm good now. But Dallas didn't know that, so they played him one-on-one and he hit that big shot."
Awh. He looks so sad...I love it!
The Mavs now have a better record on the road (13-6) than they do at home (12-7)? WTF is up with that? Dirk Nowtizki, who went over 20,000 career points last night, said: "I don't know what's going on but we've got to figure it out. The amazing thing is, we're still second in the West, right there with everybody else. It's not time to hang our heads." Yeah. You hold your head up high, Dirk. Second in the West really means a lot. Just ask the Denver Nuggets. Weren't they second in the West last year? Or the Hornets, who were second in 2007-08.
Dwight Howard: Allow me to quote from the AP recap:
The Denver Nuggets knocked Dwight Howard out of his comfort zone with tough, physical defense and by using an array of defenders against the Orlando Magic's star center.
Howard ended up having one of his worst games of the season, and the Nuggets fed off their defensive effort, getting 27 points from Carmelo Anthony and 24 from Chauncey Billups in a 115-97 victory over Orlando on Wednesday night.
Karl said the defensive effort against Howard was especially important to Denver's dominating performance.
"We were trying to be physical with him," Karl said. "Turning him over five times and not allowing him to make many shots was huge."
You know, I'm starting to understand why Shaq gets his panties in a bunch every time somebody compares Dwight Howard to Young Shaq. Let's be honest: Young Shaq was a force of nature. Did he regularly come into the season out-of-shape, take midseason vacations of 15-20 games, and occasionally coast through meaningless regular season contests? Absolutely. But even while doing all that, Young Shaq was one of the most dominant, unstoppable forces in NBA history. He destroyed and intimidated teams in ways even Michael Jordan never did. Simply put, when Young Shaq got the ball down low, opponents could only foul, flop or pray for divine intervention. Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- ever pushed Young Shaq around. And they don't push Old Shaq around, either.
Take a close look at Howard's line: 8 points, 1-for-7, 13 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 blocked shots, 5 turnovers. No offense to Denver, but a team like the Nuggets never could have bullied an in-his-prime Shaq into a game like that. And while not ever team does it, or even can do it, the teams that get physical against Dwight can shut him down. The Celtics have done it. The Bulls did it. Now the Nuggets. Look, I like Howard, a lot. But he's not tough enough or skilled enough to overcome physical, swarming defenses.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Their game in Houston against the Rockets might have been The Game of the Season (so far). But if there was a team that overcame a 17-point deficit, hit a halfcourt buzzer beater (from Corey Brewer) to tie the game at the end of regulation, got an historic performance from their best player (Al Jefferson set a franchise record by pulling down 26 rebounds), and fought bravely through three overtimes only to lose anyway...wouldn't the Timberpoops be on the short list of "Teams You Just Knew That Would Happen To," alongside the Clippers, Nets and Wizards?
Of course they would.
The Milwaukee Bucks: Chalk up another injury woe for the Frail Blazers. Brandon Roy missed most of the second half of last night's game against the Bucks because of a sore right hammy. Fortunately, the Bucks were in town, so it mattered less than. Portland shot better than 60 percent from the field and led by as many as 33 points before settling for a 120-108 win.
Said Bucks coach Scott Skiles: "We had an awful lot to do with them shooting well. They were just in another gear than us and for most of the night, other than first two, three minutes of the game. They were quicker, more athletic went by us pretty much at will. (LaMarcus) Aldridge just turned and shot over us without much resistance and they built a 30-point lead and deserved it."
Andrew Bogut: After some recent strong play, I read a series of article about how Bogut has arrived and is finally justifying his high draft selection. So naturally he turns in a modest double-double (10 points, 11 boards) and a game-high 4 turnovers against Juwan Howard, whose current age is unknown but estimated to be slightly older than dirt.
Here is the actual, honest-to-goodness cation from this photo: "PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 13: Cameron Browne #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers sits down to eat Salsa Verde #96 of the Milwaukee Bucks during a game on January 13, 2010 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon." Could I look into this to find out the real story? Maybe. But leaving this one alone just feels right.
The Golden State Warriors: Allow me to once again quote from the AP recap:
Dwyane Wade knew a sprained wrist wouldn't be enough to keep him out of a game. The fact that he delivered his best shooting performance of the season with it might have been a bit of a surprise.
Wade shook off the injured wrist to score 35 points and the Miami Heat rolled past the Golden State Warriors, 115-102 on Wednesday night.
Wade shot 10 for 15 from the field -- his highest percentage this season. He also made all 15 free throws, the most he's ever made in a game without a miss. He added nine assists and seven rebounds to help the Heat bounce back from a loss Monday in Utah.
Not only did Pookie have his most efficient shooting night of the year despite a sprained right wrist, Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal scored a season-high 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting. Is anyone at all surprised these two things happened against Gol_en State? If so, it must be your first time visiting Basketbawful. Welcome!
Don Nelson, who must hold some kind of intellectual copyright on bad defense, said: "That was an incredible performance with a bad wrist. He played hurt, 35 minutes, controlled the game, nine assists. That guy was incredible. You can compare him with anybody in the league if you want to. I wouldn't argue with you."
Really? Anybody in the league? How about Brian Scalabrine? Wait! You said you wouldn't argue!
Jermaine O'Neal, quote machine: Despite the fact that the Warriors didn't even both to put a hand in anybody's face, the outcome of this game was still in doubt before The Drain hit a couple clutch fourth-quarter shots...increasing his career total of clutch shots to nearly 3.5. Said Jermaine: ""When I get an opportunity to make a big shot at the end of the games, that's what I do, that's what I strive for."
As a longtime Indiana Pacers fan, I call shenanigans so hard I think I just had aneurism. Seriously, something inside me burst when I read that quote. Maybe it was my hate bone.
Golden State's "other" starters: Vladimir Radmanovic, Stephen Curry and Andris Biedrins finished with 15 points on 6-for-20 shooting.
The Pac-10: From Basketbawful reader J.T. Magee: "I forgot there was college basketball outside of John Wall, but found this interesting. Exactly zero teams from the Pac-10 are in the Top 25. That includes 'powerhouses' Arizona and UCLA, who stand at 8-8 and 7-9, respectfully. The only Pac-10 team to receive any votes for Top 25 consideration, Arizona State, only received 5 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. They didn't receive any in the AP Poll. And they don't even have the best overall record in the Pac-10! Outside of Oregon's Michael Dunigan, UCLA's Malcolm Lee and UW's Abdul Gaddy, there aren't really any NBA-prospects in the Pac-10. Ah, how the mighty have 'bawfully fallen."
Lacktion report: If you're wondering whether Chris' lacktion report includes a Mario West sighting, the answer is: Yes, yes, yea Gods, yes!
Bullets-Hawks: Dominic McGuire has aimed for a regular spot in the report all season long, and he riddled the ledger tonight with a +3 suck differential via brick, rejection, and giveaway in 4:54.
Meanwhile, in THE Mario West's return to the hardwood, he scored a Wario - TWELVE MINUTES OF PLAYING TIME, I KID YOU NOT, AMERICA!!!!! Mike Woodson thus was forced to a second option for non-contribution, with Jason Collins flying into the ranks with a +1 via foul in 4:14 that also garnered a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Spurs-Thunder: Nenad Krstic made one block as starting big man - but for the rest of his 8:54, he bricked twice and fouled once for a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl.
Magic-Nuggets: Johan Petro provided George Karl his human victory cigar of the night, with a +5 in 6:46 via two fouls, one turnover, and two bricks (once from Larimer Square) that also was worth a 3:0 Voskuhl. Amazingly, despite Petro's constant presence in the ledger last season, this is his very first appearance this year on the negative side of the recap!
Bucks-Blazers: Kurt Thomas took a foul and lost the rock once for a +2 in 4:56, which counted for a 2:0 Voskuhl as well. Portland's Shavlik Randolph missed one shot in 1:41 for a +1.
Heat-Warriors: CJ Watson bricked once in 4:34 to give East Oakland a +1.