Gilbert Arenas and That Other Guy:Banned for the rest of the season. Now let the debates begin! Some people think the ban is too tough, others not tough enough. Which is fine, 'cause everybody is entitled to their opinion and all that. But can we please put to rest the argument that, "Well, if I took handguns to my job...." Newsflash! The NBA is not the "real world." Never has been, never will be. For instance, if you get sick and missed several months of work, you job doesn't have to keep paying you your full salary. People don't pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year to come and watch you crunch numbers, or pick up garbage, or develop software, or whatever it is that you do for a living. Nobody is wearing a "Matt McHale: Technical Writer" jersey. We need to stop expecting the NBA to operate like normal rules apply. They don't.
The Los Angeles Clippers: Okay, you know it's coming, so let's go ahead and get it out of the way early, shall we? They are who we thought they were. Can human language possibly describe the sheer amount of fail involved in losing 103-87 to one of the worst teams in NBA history? Is it even possible?
Said Baron Davis (6 points, 2-for-10): "Words can't even describe this."
I guess not, then.
To make this kick in the balls even more kick-in-the-balls-y, The Other L.A. Team let the Nyets shoot better than 53 percent from the field despite the fact that New Jersey was without their starting backcourt of Devin Harris (sprained wrist) and Courtney Lee (oral surgery).
Meanwhile, the Nyets made anti-history by avoiding the worst 44-game start in league history and snapping a 29-game losing streak to Western Conference teams. Heading into their matchup with the Clips, New Jersey was tied with the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks for the NBA's worst record after 43 games...one more loss would have made them history's worst team after 44 games.
Fortunately, they were playing the Clippers.
Quick quiz: Is this loss by the Clippes better or worse than the worst office freakout of all time? Discuss.
Brook Lopez, quote machine: After the Nyets won for the first time this decade, the crowd (all 29 of them) went crazy, the public address announcer started screaming, "NETS WIN! NETS WIN!", and the arena started playing "Celebration" over the loudspeakers. Just imagine how much those people would be freaking out if the Nyets had won five games this season. Said Brook Lopez: "Did we need this? Are you kidding me? I mean we were 3-40. That's not a tough question to answer."
Kris Humphries: Congrats to Kris, who apparently had a career-high 1 assist last night. Thanks to Basketbawful reader Dmitry for the screen capture:
The Philadelphia 76ers: Despite a spectacular 3-for-10, 4-turnover performance from All-Star Allen Iverson, the Sixers lost 91-88 to the Milwaukee Bucks, who were outrebounded 51-35 and went 2 of 8 from the free throw line in the final six minutes. It helped that Philly missed three shots that could have tied the game in the last 11 seconds.
The first two shots were bonked by Elton "The 80 Million Dollar Man" Brand, who scored a season-high 26 points and absolutely could not miss...until it really mattered. Said Brand: "I missed the chippie. So, I'm thinking, 'OK. I got it back.' Could have gotten a better shot, but the shot clock and everything, I thought I could just knock it down. I was making everything. So, I was pretty confident in that [second] shot."
Overconfidence can be a downfall.
Anyway, after Luke Ridnour hit shanked a free throw that would have put the Bucks up by four points with 2.2 seconds left, Andre "The Other A.I. and The Other 80 Million Dollar Man" Iguodala bricked a long three-point attempt at the buzzer. Game over...and another near miss by the Sixers.
Said Charlie Bell: ""Hopefully the basketball gods even it out and toward the end of the year we'll start getting some more to go our way."
Uh, yeah. Good luck with that, Charlie.
The Shorthanded Pistons: Another night, another home loss for the Shorthanded Pistons, who are without...you know what? It doesn't matter. This team is terrible. Joe Dumas and his plan to dismantle the team so he could vastly overpay for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva has been sucking big, sweaty gorilla balls. And yet, despite that, the Pistons were right there and could have beaten a pretty good Grizzlies team...except that Marc Gasol scored the game's final 8 points over the final three minutes as Memphis pulled out a 99-93 win the the Land of Short Hands.
According to the AP recap, Chucky V. was still sitting at his locker in full uniform with a towel over his head 20 minutes after the game ended. Meanwhile, Tayshaun Prince refused to talk to the press. And really, what was there to say? Other than this...
John Kuester, quote machine: After his team blew a 2-point lead in the final minutes, Kuester said: "We played almost 48 minutes tonight, so I'm pleased." The coach being pleased because his team "played almost 48 minutes" just shows how far this team has fallen.
The Indiana Pacers: Some people gave the Pacers a chance in this game because the Lakers have been iffy on the road this season. But those "some people" must not watch the Pacers, because they're pretty bawful...as the final score of 118-96 indicates. Andy Bynum and The Spanish Marshmallow combined for 48 points and 25 rebounds as L.A. outrebounded Indy 62-42 and outscored them 54-32 in the paint. I guess that sort of explains the turncoat behavior of...
Indiana fans: One common theme around the NBA in recent years has been the home crowd of bad teams chanting "M-V-P!" when an opposing superstar lights up their squad. And that's what happened in Indy last night as Mamba scored a game-high 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Remember the good old days when home court was actually an advantage? That never would have happened pre-Conseco Field House.
Jim O'Brien: It's fair to say the Pacers coach made a, ahem, tactical blunder by starting Danny Granger at power forward against Gasol and Troy "The American Marshmallow" Murphy at center against Bynum. And nobody was more shocked -- or pleased -- than Phil Jackson: "I don't know whether Jim was baiting us or not, but he started Murphy on him [Bynum]. Drew is a plus-7-footer with probably 30 pounds, 40 pounds on him at least. It's almost an impossible feat for them to cover Drew."
Murphy didn't sound real pleased about being the sacrificial lamb: "We went with a small lineup against a big front line. It's tough. You're going to give up things inside, and that's what happened."
Oh well. Winning's for losers.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: It was probably too much to hope for both of the league's worst teams to pull out wins on the same night, and the Crabs made sure that didn't happen. By a lot. The Timberpoops actually stunned the world by competing for a full 12 minutes before Cleveland put the clamps on in the second quarter. By games end, Minny had shot 38 percent from the field, given up a career-high 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting to J.J. Hickson, watched LeBron dance a jig with one of the arena's ushers, and of course lost 109-95.
"I hate to tell you this, but the Triangle? It's not working.
LeBron James, ego machine: Although he didn't talk in third person last night -- as far as I know -- he did have this to say about Hickson's big game: "One thing I try to do is just stay in his ear, positively. I'm going to continue to let him know how easy it can be for him if he just does what I tell him to do. Seriously, man."
Shaq, quote machine: King Crab wasn't the only person who's been giving Hickson advice. Said Shaq: "I told J.J. when I first got here, 'J.J., you could be Cedrick Ceballos. Of course, he doesn't know who that was. I played with Cedric Ceballos, who never got any plays called for him, but he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds. I think J.J. can do the same thing."
The Golden State Warriors: News flash: The Warrors gave up 123 points in another double-digit loss!
Kevin Durant: He finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 boards in the Thunder's home loss to the Chicago Bulls, which might make you think he played well. He did not. Facing some tenacious defense from Luol Deng, the league's third-leading scorer suffered through a stretch in which he went ice cold during a stretch when his team missed 16 straight shots and the Bulls slowly built up a double-digit lead. Durant went on to score 12 of his points during the fourth quarter, by which time the game had already slipped away.
The Atlanta Hawks: Heading into last night's game against the Spurs, the Dirty Birds were facing off against history...having not won in San Antonio since 1997. That's a really long time. And the streak remained intact after the 105-90 ass-blasting they received from a Spurs squad that has been struggling and even lost Tony Parker to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.
The Spurs are back, baby!! Okay, not really. However, they did score a season-high 66 points in the first half while holding Atlanta to 39 percent shooting.
Said Josh Smith: "I guess we weren't ready to play."
The Portland Frail Blazers: No Brandon Roy, no chance of beating the Jazz...who shot 60 percent from the field, won by double-digits despite missing 11 free throws, and have very quietly moved up to the fourth spot in the Western Conference.
Craig Bolerjack, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Basketbawful reader Hajt submitted this beauty from Utah's announcer: "Each night Jerry Sloan looks for a hot guy and rides him to the barn." Thanks to the readers who commented and wrote in to identify him.
Lacktion report: Chris proves once again that for every action there is an equal and opposite...lacktion:
Wolves-Crabs: WOW - brothers in lacktion for the crustaceans! In a rather obvious stint of celebration, Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson and Cedric "Lacktion II: Electric Boogaloo" Jackson (who are probably not related) rescued Princess Peach together as Mario Brothers of 15 and 10 seconds respectively!!!!!!
Lakers-Pacers: Adam Morrison ate a two-brick sandwich (once from the Gateway station) for a +2 suck differential in 3:19.
Heat-Raptors: Joel Anthony negated a trio of boards in 12:23 with two fouls, two turnovers and a brick to earn a 4:3 Voskuhl.
Grizzlies-Pistons: Hasheem Thabeet is making his case to be Darko Milicic-lite for Memphis, as in 4:58, he fouled twice and lost the rock once for a +3 that doubles as a 3:0 Voskuhl. Conversely, Lester Hudson may be proving to be the missing piece of the puzzle in the Grizzlies' transformation into a potential playoff team - his status as the team's Jud Buechler-like lucky charm continues after a two-second dose of lacktion prescribed by Dr. Mario, specifically that of the Super Mario variety!!!!!
For Detroit, Chris Wilcox had a routine 3:2 Voskuhl via three fouls and two bricks against two boards in 13:45. And in non-lacktive statistical news, 14 points and 9 boards gave Ben Wallace a Calvin Murphy!
Clippers-Nyets: Marcus Camby, as a starting big man, countered two boards and an assist in 6:55 with two fouls, two giveaways, AND no shot attempts for a bawful 4:2 Voskuhl! Meanwhile, in a shocker, the Nyets were given reason to party it up with Snooki and Sammi Sweetheart tonight (by ruining their perfect decade!) and had Josh Boone take a trip to the farm of lacktivity via a single-giveaway +1 in 1:21 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!!!
Bulls-Thunder: James Johnson tossed a singular brick from...uh...Bricktown...and added a foul and giveaway to the total for a +3 in 5:09.
Hawks-Spurs: Randolph Morris can now buy all the pallets of Nine Lives he wants, after taking down a fortune of 2.05 trillion (2:04)!!!! For San Antonio, Ian Mahinmi fouled once and missed twice from the free throw line for a +3 in 1:54, also in the ledger as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!
In non-lacktion, Josh Smith AND Tim Duncan each scored Dantleys, Duncan going perfect on 11 attempts at the line!
Jazz-Frail Blazers: Jeff Pendegraph drew a board in 6:17, but fouled thricely for a 3:1 Voskuhl.
Hornets-Warriors: Sean Marks continues his current run of non-contribution by cashing out for a second straight game with 3.1 trillion (3:07)!