The Philadelphia 76ers: Despite an efficient game from Allen Iverson -- he scored 22 points on 7-for-13 from the field and 7-for-7 from the line -- Philly gave up a three-point play to Chris Bosh with 8.4 seconds left and lost 108-106 to the Craptors. Technically speaking, the Sixers got a final possession, but it was a mad, aimless scramble that ended in a wild misfire from 28 feet out by Lou Williams. Yeeeeeah. I'm sure that's not the play Eddie Jordan drew up in the team huddle. Well...pretty sure.
Mind you, the Sixers led by 11 at halftime. But giving up a double-digit has been Philly's thing lately And by "lately" I mean "this season." From the AP recap:
The Sixers have led by 10-plus points in each of their last three losses and are 7-8 this season when they hold a double-digit lead at any point.
The 76ers wasted an 18-point lead in a loss to Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards on Tuesday. They watched an 11-point halftime lead evaporate against the Raptors in the third quarter.
"We're jumping out and holding leads and we just can't hold them," guard Allen Iverson said. "We play well for a while and then it seems we just lose focus."
Philadelphia team president Ed Stefanski, quote machine: With the Sixers sucking so badly all season, everybody has been wondering when Eddie Jordan is going to get canned. Not if, but when. Jordan's chances of finishing out the season didn't improve any when Stefanski refused to endorse his coach before Philly lost at home to the Craptors. However, Stefanski isn't holding Jordan solely responsible for his team's craptasticness. Said Ed: "It's not just the head coach. It's the coaches, the players and myself. No one is happy here."
I can't blame them. I wouldn't be happy in Philadelphia either. Especially after what happened to the Eagles in Dallas...
The Orlando Magic: After Orlando's 104-97 loss to the Agent Zero-less Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets, the nation's leading funk scientists have legally declared the Magic as being "in a deep, deep funk." Orlando has now dropped four in a row for the first time since February of 2007. Oh, and all four losses have come to sub-.500 teams. Gak.
Blame shooting woes. (No, I'm not talking about Gilbert Arenas. As far as you know.) The Magic missed 20 of their 27 three-point attempts and shanked 12 free throws. Said Stan Van Gundy: "It gets worse. It's terrible. We didn't have one guy on the floor that could make a shot."
To make matters even, uh, worser, Orlando didn't just lose the game. They lost Vince Carter for at least a few games with a "mild" shoulder separation. But while I usually don't revel in player injuries, I make an exception when they lead to quotes like this...
Vince Carter, unintentionally hilarious quote machine: Regarding the play in which he got hurt: "I just remember going down, and I was laying there and I looked back, and I just see everybody running by me. I'm like, this is crazy. Don't run me over."
For some reason, that quote just killed me.
The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy that is the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continues. Despite holding a one-point lead going into the final 10 seconds of their game against the Hornets in New Orleans, the Nyets gave up a three-point play to Chris Paul and then blew their final chance to score when Yi Jianlian got totally jobbed by the refs ran over Devin Brown like a mack truck that runs on rice and fail.
Make it 3-33.
Said New Jersey coach/captive Kiki Vandeweghe: "It's always disappointing when players don't finish the game. We're all disappointed, but [New Orleans] is a very good team. They played hard and they've won a lot at the end. We have nothing to be ashamed of."
Nothing to be ashamed of? Uh, Kiki, 3-33 teams have loads to be ashamed of...
Chris Paul, out-of-context quote machine: "I'm bowlegged, but I don't think I'm that bowlegged."
Drew Brees' hair: The Saints' star quarterback was on hand to see the Nyets fail...and his hair looked fucking awful. What, did he wear his helmet to the game or something?
I'm going to put on my Mark Jackson hat and say: "Drew Brees, you're better than that." I bet this is why Peyton Manning beat Drew out for NFL MVP.
The Indiana Pacers: Despite the return of Danny Granger (19 points, 7-for-19 from the field, 3-for-10 from downtown), the Pacers were put down by none other than the Minnesota Timberpoops. You know, the second-worst team in the league.
Now, I'm not going to cry "home cooking!" or anything, but Minny had a mind-blathering 45-17 advantage in free throw attempts. And it's not like the Timberpoops usually form a conga line to the charity stripe or anything. They rank 22nd in the league (23.5 FTAs per game).
Ah...what am I saying. We all know how awesome NBA officials are.
The Chicago Bulls' free throw shooting: Do the Bullies have trouble putting the bisket in the basket? Well, let's see. They rank 28th out of 30 in scoring (92.3 PPG) and are next to dead last in Offensive Efficiency...the latter of which means the only team less efficient at scoring is currently 3-33 and on pace to be the worst team in NBA history. Furthermore, they currently rank 28th in Field Goal Percentage (43.1) and 29th in both Effective Field Goal Percentage (45.3) and True Shooting Percentage (49.7).
So yeah, scoring is an issue. Which is why knocking down their foul shots is so important. They're free points! But the Bulls apparently don't want charity, since they bricked 10 free throws -- including four in the fourth quarter -- before losing by three points. Of course, I could also blame the fact that Chicago went almost eight minutes during the fourth quarter without hitting a field goal...but that sort of thing is kind of expected with them (see above).
The San Antonio Spurs: They lost at home to the Dallas Mavericks, who rode Erick Dampier's hot hand straight to victory. No, really. Dampier -- who returned after missing two games with a knee injury -- was perfect from the field (6-for-6), the free throw line (1-for-1) and even from beyond the arc (1-for-1)! That's right. Dampier nailed his second career trey.
Clearly something supernatural was going on...and how were the Spurs supposed to fight against supernature? Gregg Popovich was so freaked out he got himself ejected. He obviously wanted to be as far away from the location Dampier hit that three for fear the ground might open up so some hellbeast consummate Erick's deal with Satan.
The Phoenix Suns: Hmmm...they couldn't control the boards down the stretch and gave up 23 points off 17 turnovers. It's Phoenix Suns basketball folks! In related news, they suffered a 109-105 home loss to the Miami Heat.
Steve Nash, turnover machine: As AnacondaHL correctly pointed out, Captain Canada has now committed at least 5 turnover in five straight games (5, 6, 7, 6 and 6). Nash is currently second (to Monta Ellis) in TOs per game (3.9). What I want to know is: what's Monta's excuse? He doesn't pass the ball.
The Los Angeles Lakers: The Fakers lost their ninth straight game in Portland as Brandon Roy (32 points, 9-for-11, 13-for-14 from the line) gave a lesson in offensive efficiency to Kobe Bryant (32 points, 14-for-37, 2-for-4 on foul shots). Sure, L.A. was missing Pau Gasol, but they aren't going to get any sympathy from the Frail Blazers, who were without Greg Oden, Joel Przybilla, Nicolas Batum, Travis Outlaw, Rudy Fernandez and even Steve Blake (who was recently hospitalized with pneumonia). I mean, freaking Juwan Howard had to play 35 minutes at center!
They sure d...wait, what?!
The Clevland Cavaliers: It's like the other Crabs are trying to force LeBron out of Cleveland by the sheer power of suck. And while King Crab's game-high 8 turnovers were pretty crippling, he might not be trying to do everything himself if his two "All-Star" teammates -- that's right, Shaq and Mo, I'm looking at you -- would pitch in a little help now and again. Or, for that matter, if "Coach of the Year" Mike Brown could draw up a single offensive play.
Did I mention the Nuggets beat the Crabs without 'Melo? Well, they did.
Overall, Cleveland bricked 11 freebies and gave up 23 points off 19 turnovers. Said LeBron: "We gave ourselves an opportunity to win, but one thing we can't do is turn the ball over a lot like we did, including myself. Me, personally having eight turnovers, probably five or six of them unforced. We can't do that on the road." He then made Jawad Williams spontaneously combust using the power of his mind.
Shaq: Just thought I'd throw a little spotlight on The Big Hacky, who finished with 10 points (4-for-5) and 5 rebounds but almost fouled out in 16 minutes. Did I mention that leading geologists have categorized him as "glacier"?
Kings-Warriors: From Chris:
You know, when you are leading against a completely defense-less team (especially the prototypical 'on Nelson efense that you find in East Oakland) by a full eighteen points in the third quarter, that's a recipe for a routine victory, right?
Getting outscored 62-40 in the second half isn't a recipe for successful ball, and a dominant performance early on was (once again) wasted by the purple paupers, resulting in a feel-good loss. (Too bad feel-good losses aren't positives on the standings sheet!)
Friday lacktivity report: Chris washed the bitter pill of the Sactowner fail with a refreshing glass of lacktion:
Magic-Bullets: Nick Young blasted three bricks for a +3 suck differential in 13:54, while fellow projectile Fabricio Oberto negated an assist by chambering two fouls for a 2:1 Voskuhl in 2:39 - the fabulous one's second Voskuhl in two games!
Jazz-Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet blocked two shots and had a board for Memphis in 4:52, only to foul four times for a 4:1 Voskuhl.
Celtics-Hawks: Brian Scalabrine scratched off a winning ticket worth 4.7 trillion (4:41), while JR Giddens got a clean bill of health from Dr. Mario after a 17 second checkup! Meanwhile, Zaza Pachulia garnered an assist and board in 9:05, only to take a rejection, three pieces of masonry, and four fouls for a 4:1 Voskuhl.
Mavs-Spurs: DeJuan Blair made one shot in 7:31 as starting big man and also earned himself one board, only to foul thricely and lose the rock once for a 4:3 Voskuhl. Teammate Theo Ratliff signed off on yet another expiring contract, worth 3.6 trillion (3:37)!!!
Bulls-Bucks: Kurt Thomas bricked twice, took a rejection, and fouled twice for a +5 in 5:52 that doubled as a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Lakers-Blazers: As the Frail Blazers continue to exact their revenge for a certain 2000 playoff game, lacktion was fast and furious on both sides of the hardwood at the Rose Garden. Phil Jackson had DJ Mbenga scratch out four fouls in 6:04 for a +4 and a 4:0 Voskuhl, while Sasha Vujacic fouled once and bricked twice (once from the PacWest Center) for a +3 in 3:20 - his second straight game of suck. Nate McMillan had Jeff Pendergraph celebrate yet another notch in the win column by taking one foul in 5:17 for a +1.
Kings-Warriors: Chris Hunter sniped out a foul, rejection, and two bricks for a +4 in 4:18 for Team Nellieball, as well as a 1:0 Voskuhl.
Crabs-Nuggets: Daniel "Boobie" Gibson pinched out one piece of masonry from Civic Park for a +1 in 1:50.
Frank Martin: A college coach slapped a player during a game and then tried to pass it off as a high five? Oh yes. And dig this crazy apology: "That's a mistake on my part," Martin said. "I'm an old-school guy, but I understand the times are real sensitive now. I love him. I don't know what to tell you. It's wrong on my part and is completely out of line and has no part in the game. I need to apologize for that." I'm an old-school guy, but I understand the times are real sensitive now...I bet Martin has a diploma from the Bob Knight Coaching College hanging in his office.
The Atlanta Hawks: I guess back-to-back wins over the Nyets and the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics didn't qualify as "being back" for the Dirty Birds, who got their beaks handed to them by the Magic in Orlando.
If you're actually reading your way through this weekend's recap, you may remember that the Magicians had lost four straight games to sub-.500 teams, but they had the Hawks down by 29 at halftime and then cruised in for a 32-point victory.
Did I mention Orlando was without Vince Carter?
It didn't matter. J.J. Redick started in Vinsanity's absence and scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Meanwhile, Atlanta couldn't find the range from the field (39 percent), from beyond the arc (4-for-17) or from the line (15-for-25). They also gave up a whopping 25 points off only 16 turnovers. Maybe if they had spent more time taking care of the ball instead of bitching at the refs...
The Detroit Pistons: So, uh, remember when Joe Dumas sent Chauncey Billups and Tony McDyess to Denver for Allen Iverson? And the thinking was how he had this big plan for saving money via Iverson's expiring contract, and how he was going to use that extra cash to rebuilt his team on the quick? Then he spent all his money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, which is kind of like winning the lottery and then spending every cent on swampland in Florida.
And now here we are: a mostly healthy Pistons squad lost at home to Philly after scoring only 10 first-quarter points and letting Sixers shoot 57 percent for the game. Said Detroit coach John Kuester: "I thought we were passive at times."
The Pistons have now lost 12 straight games for the first time since April of 1994...which, not coincidentally, was Isiah Thomas' retirement campaign.
It was a totally preventable loss against a lousy team. And Villanueva knows it: "It's very discouraging that we had no sense of urgency -- none -- in the first half. We were down 26 to the Philadelphia 76ers, not to take anything away from them. We played with some fight in the second half, but it was too late."
Btw, Allen Iverson didn't play after coming down with a case of Pistons-itis.
Grizzlies-Bobcats: From AnadondaHL:
Need big mentions of this Grizz-Cats game in Worst of the Weekend. Memphis wasted a 31-17 2nd quarter run to be down by 3 with a minute left. Z-Bo misses both freebies, Mayo steals it from Felton, Mayo blows the layup, but Felton misses both freebies. Mayo hits the three to tie it.
With time running out, Felton misses the layup, only Gerald "Don't Test Me for Rebound Enhancing Drugs" Wallace follows with the putback and time officially runs out, Charlotte win.
Gerald Wallace, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "I was like, 'Man, did I get it off?' Then I looked at the replay on the JumboTron and I was like, 'Man, that wasn't even close.'" I...didn't know they showed that kind of stuff on the JumboTron!
The Minnesota Timberwolves: About 20 paragraphs ago, I provided several stats that illustrate how much the Bulls struggle to put up points...and then they score a season-high 110 points in a blowout of the Timberpoops. Coincidence?
The Dallas Mavericks: Beware the dreaded back-to-backs! After beating the Spurs in San Antonio on Friday night, the Mavericks got blown out at home by the Utah Jekyll-and-Hydes on Saturday night. Mind you, Utah also played on Friday, losing to the Grizzlies in Memphis. But Deron Williams (20 points, 9 assists) came back against the Mavs, which I guess made the difference, because the Jazz shot 53 percent for the game. Of course, it probably helped Utah that Josh Howard and Drew Gooden sat this one out.
The New York Knicks: After starting out red-hot (63 percent shooting in the first quarter and 56 percent for the half), the Knicks went ice-cold in the fourth quarter (17 points). The Rockets, on the other hand, did the opposite, hitting 41 percent (18 of 44) in the first 24 minutes before shooting 58.5 percent (24 of 41) in the second half...and winning 105-96.
And I think Mike D'Antoni is a little bitter: "We should've won this game. They started scoring every time in the second half and we didn't shut them down. Our defense wasn't as good as it should've been."
You know, D'Antoni blaming his team's defense for a loss is like somebody neglecting to potty train their dog and then bitching when the pooch keeps shitting in the house. I'm just sayin'.
Nuggets-Kings: From Chris: "I could talk about Tyreke the Freak burning up Kenyon Martin - especially on the game-winning possession with .9 seconds left. I could talk about the comeback from a 13 point deficit at the half, and the sheer relief of seeing the paupers finally rewarded for consistently tough play. But instead, I think this video of JR Smith bawful (courtesy of AnacondaHL and Kcan) sums up Sacramento's second straight victory over the Nuggets..."
Saturday lacktivity report: Chris took a brief rest from rewatching J.R. Smith's greatest boner to report Saturday's lacktion:
Grizzlies-Bobcats: DeMarre Carroll fouled thricely and tossed a brick for a +4 suck differential in 7:06.
Hawks-Magic: Jason Collins took a foul and a missed shot for a +2 n 4:27 that doubled as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Wolves-Bulls: With the Timberpoops curing yet another team's slump, Vinnie Smallz sent out Janeero Pargo to Michigan Avenue for one celebratory brick in 3:02 that resulted in a +1.
Jazz-Mavs: Jerry Sloan felt like twirling a Wiimote in Mark Cuban's face as a celebration, so he had Sundiata Gaines and Kyrylo Fesenko tonight as 56 second Mario Brothers (with Sundiata avoiding pure lacktion with a one-shot 100% shooting percentage)!!!
Knicks-Rockets: In the rematch of the Hand Check 1994 Finals, Marcus Landry took one foul for Team D'antoni, resulting in a +1 in 3:33.
The Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets: I guess the "star player suspended indefinitely bounce" lasts only one game. Who knew? Man, it must really suck to lose at home after shooting 58 percent from the field. But then again, few teams in this league know more about sucking than the Bullets.
Kwame Brown: Check out his hilarious dis on "Stone Hands" from the AP recap of the Hornets-Bullets game: "[Brendan] Haywood has made 13 consecutive field goals over two games, the longest such streak by a Wizards player since No. 1 overall draft pick flop Kwame Brown in March 2004. When told that stat, Haywood replied: 'I don't want that record. I don't want to be with him.'"
The Toronto Raptors: Remember how Toronto's defense was historically bad, then Jose Calderon got injured and it got better immediately? Well, Jose is back, and you know what that means. The Kevin Garnett-less Celtics scored had their fourth-highest point total of the season (114) behind Rajon Rondo's third regular-season triple-double (22 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists) and 'Sheed's season-high 29 points (9-for-12 from the field, 5-for-6 from downtown). Boston shot better than 50 percent from the field and all five starters had at least 16 points.
However, Jarrett Jack defended his team's lack of defense: "They hit shots as soon as the game started. It's not as though we were just giving them layup after layup and it was like the Globetrotters. They hit from distance with the two 3's." Uh, you do still have to defend long-range shots, Jarrett.
The Boston Celtics: Make no mistake: despite all the scoring, Boston didn't play great basketball. They missed 11 free throws and gave up 26 fast break points. Which means it's probably lucky for them that they were playing the Craptors...
The Miami Heat: In this weekend's BAD comments section, kazam92 said: "My heat are bipolar. When we write them off, they thump the Hawks. When we think they've turned the corner, they blow 19-point leads to the Bobcats and allow someone how cant shoot a jumper to convert an alley-oop with .6 seconds left. I hate loving this team."
As if in response to those very words, the Heat followed up a big win in Phoenix with a tough loss to...the Clippers! And even as The Other L.A. Team pulled to within one game of .500, Miami fell to only one game above .500. The fact that the Heat are even Jekyll-and-Hyde-ier than the Utah Jazz seems to be getting to Dwyane Wade.
Said Pookie: "We've had two teams all year. We've had Miami, and we've got the Heat, and this was Miami today. We came out the wrong way. That team's been playing very well at home, and very well of late, so you can't come out flat. We got behind the 8-ball early and never could recover."
That 8-ball was a 19-point first-half deficit. Again, to the Clippers, who I'm stoked to see are building up expectations. Usually, they just fail all season and it's business as usual. I'm glad to see they're setting their fans up for a bigger fall than normal. They probably learned that from the Chicago Cubs.
By the way, you've gotta love the mass fail by D-Wade's supporting cast. Quinton Richardson went 1-for-7. Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal was 0-for-4 and had only 2 boards in 20 minutes. Newly signed Rafer Alston scored only 4 points on 2-for-6 shooting. Etc.
The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy that is the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continues. The highlight of this latest loss was the fact that New Jersey's bench got outscored 59-14 by San Antonio's reserve corps. Of course, some of that had to do with the fact that Kiki Vandeweghe was riding his starters like it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Said Kiki: "We did play the starters a lot of minutes. So the bench, except for Jarvis [Hayes], didn't get a lot of minutes. That's a little bit by design, and perhaps we could have gotten a little tired in the third quarter and we may have substituted a little too early."
Make it 3-34.
Said Chris Douglas-Roberts: "It's very frustrating."
Quick reality check for the Spurs: They are 19-2 against teams below .500...and 3-11 against good teams.
The Portland Trail Blazers: The Frail Blazers fell way behind the Crabs (17 points) before coming all the way back (tying the game at 87-87 with 6:55 left) only to lose by double-digits anyway (106-94). But it's hard to give them too much crap for the loss. I mean, they had to play Juwan Howard at center for 38 minutes.
Shaq: Remember one sentence ago when I pointed out Juwan Howard's 38 minutes at center for the Blazers? Well, Shaq finished with only 11 points. (Although, to be fair, he took only four shots.)
Despite the fact that he couldn't go "Shaq Cola Classic" on Howard, there was a classic Shaq moment when The Big Kissing Bandit planted a smacker on "actor" Daniel Baldwin:
The Milwaukee Bucks: Forget the fact that they shot 34 percent from the field and got blown out by the Lakers in L.A. The Bucks gave up 48 points to the Lakers' lousy bench. And remember: Lamar Odom is starting because of Pau Gasol's injury. Here's some extra salt for the wound...the Laker bench outscored Milwaukee's starters by 24 points. Seriously.
Kobe Bryant: Outscored by both Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown? Say it ain't so, Kobe! And, after his 4-for-21 shooting performance against the Bucks, Mamba is 37-for-111 from the field (33 percent) over his last four games. Well, one thing his broken finger has taught is for absolute certain is that nothing will keep him from shooting. Nothing.
Milwaukee starting guard Michael Redd left the game because of a sore left knee and didn't return. He was scoreless in nearly 12 minutes. He is scheduled for a MRI on Monday in Phoenix.
"I felt a pop making a turn. It's not as swollen as it was when I tore my ACL, which is good. But at the same time, it still hurts," he said. "It's very frustrating."
I bring this up only because of the many experts who are always trying to speculate about which championship contender might land Redd. It's a great idea in theory, but this guy's body is clearly staging a game of one-downsmanship against Greg Oden's body.
Sunday lacktivity report: Chris provides the final sprinkle of lacktion on this weekend's recap:
Celtics-Raptors: JR Giddens and Brian Scalabrine each made brief trips to GameStop for Doc Rivers, with 24 and 17 second stints respectively as Mario Brothers! (This represents Giddens's second straight purchase of a plastic gray cartridge!)
Hornets-Bullets: Dominic McGuire pointed his NES Zapper at center court and fired off an 8 second Super Mario!!!!
Heat-Clippers: Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal had a lackluster night as Erik Spoelstra's starting center - in 19:36, he negated two blocks, two made free throws, and two boards with four bricks, three giveaways, and a pair of fouls for a 5:4 Voskuhl! DeAndre Jordan also got into the Voskuhl column tonight, countering a block in 3:18 with a foul for a 1:0 Madsen-level ratio.
Crabs-Blazers: Steve Blake bricked once from the Paramount Theatre for a +1 in 7:21.
Bucks-Lakers: Michael Redd becomes one of THE more notable names in the lacktion ledger this year, accruing a whole load of negative stats as a starter as his Bucks faded in the bright headlights of Figueroa Street: four bricks, one giveaway, two rejections and a foul for an Association-leading +8 in 11:38!!!!!! Redd is the fourth lacktator this season to achieve this ignominous total, along with Chase Budinger, Charlie Bell, and Terrence Williams. Well, Michael Redd had a knee go sore, so he went out of the game, and, hmm. Yeah, he may have just gotten a doctor's note out of the lacktion ledger after all.