Mike Woodson: The Dallas Mavericks came back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and pull out a 110-103 win over the Hawks in Atlanta. To pull it off, the Mavs needed a few breaks...and Woodson gave 'em one.
Regarding his veteran-ly move, J-Kidd said: "The coach is not supposed to be on the floor. You see that a lot in games. The NBA has so many rules, and there is a coaching box, and some of the coaches do stretch that box. For me, it's just a reaction. Make something happen. It was a big play for us."
Woodson got a little, eh, chippy after the play, but Kidd let him know what's what: "I said, 'You can't be on the floor. You don't have a uniform on. It was just a play. We move on. ... The officials got it right. I thought from there, mentally, we took control of the game. That play just presented itself. It's just a reaction and just understanding what the team needs. Rules are rules. The coach isn't supposed to be on the floor."
Too Woodson's credit, he didn't whine about the call after the game: "He made a heck of a play. Jason Kidd is an All-Star. He's a (potential) Hall of Fame guard. He's had a hell of a career. He did what he had to do. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to favor the team. I've got to take the hit for that."
The Atlanta Hawks: They can talk all they want to about the tech that got called on Woodson, but it was only one point, and the Hawks led 86-71 with a little over eight minutes to go in the game. It's their own fault they couldn't do anything with Dirk Nowtizki (37 points, 15-for-26) and Kidd (19 points, 16 boards, 17 assists). And especially Kidd, who had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in the final 4:53 of the fourth quarter.
The Dirty Birds missed their first eight shots in OT before Josh Smith finally knocked one down with under a minute left. Too little, too late.
Atlanta's supporting cast: Joe Johnson (27 points, 11-for-21, 10 assists) found out that one really is the loneliest number, as Jamal Crawford, Al Horford, Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams combined to go 17-for-54 from the field. Not exactly the best way to convince him to re-sign this summer, guys.
DeShawn Stevenson: Basketbawful reader Brian submittted this video of The Locksmith's ego-ectomy.
New York versus Washington: The WizardsGenerals Bullets have devolved into one of the most depressing franchises in the NBA. The Bricks have been there for a while. And I must say, this game totally lived down to everything we don't expect from both teams. Neither team played any defense -- which explains why the game was knotted at 112-112 at the end of regulation -- but these two Squads of Suck combined to shank 13 of their 16 field goal attempts in overtime. But since one of these two Pooper Scoopers had to win, the Bricks pulled it out when David Lee hit a layup with 1.6 seconds left.
Said Lee: "What was strange about it is, both teams are having trouble getting stops on defense in regulation, and when it came time for overtime neither team could score." Imagine that.
Added Bricks coach Mike 'Antoni: "I'm still shocked right now. We're probably lucky to get away with it, but they would have been lucky to win."
The Bricks are now 2-9 in February. Both wins were against Washington.
The Portland Trail Blazers: Weeks from now, the Frail Blazers will probably still be waking in a cold sweat and wondering how they let the Bull shoot almost 58 percent from the field.
Halftime entertainment at the Pepsi Center:Vanilla Ice. 'Nuff said.
The Cleveland Cavaliers: So the Crabs shot over 51 percent from the field, had six players in double figures, scored 30 fastbreak points, and got another stat-padder from King Crab (36 points, 16 FTAs, 6 boards, 9 assists) and yet they barely beat the Chris Bosh-less Craptors in overtime?
We'll give 'em the "second night of back-to-backs" mulligan, but still.
Hedo Turkoglu: The Craptors actually had the ball and a chance to win the game with 13 seconds left in regulation. But Turkododo decided, "Why try to create a high-percentage shot to end things when I can almost air ball a three instead?"
Said Hedo: "I was feeling good and I wanted to take it, but in that situation I could have taken a better shot instead."
How much did Toronto agree to pay this guy again?
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Another night, another blowout loss for the second-worst team in the Association. That'll happen when you let your opponent shoot better than 54 percent from the field.
Said Minny coach Kurt Rambis: "[Oklahoma City] isn't the type of team that you're going to come into this environment and outscore. You're going to have to find ways to get stops, and we weren't doing that."
Darko Milicic: Basketbawful's favorite human victory cigar had 6 points and 9 rebounds in 25 minutes of PT for the Timberpoops. It may have been one of the best games of his career.
Said Rambis: "Even by his own admission, he didn't keep himself in NBA basketball shape. So, right now, it's almost like he's come to training camp without doing any summer work." And that's how you fail in the NBA, kids.
The Memphis Grizzlies: The only wins the Griz have been able to pull off lately have been against the Bricks, Bullets, Nyets and the Chris Bosh-less Craptors. And what's worse, their loss to the Bobcats was their sixth in a row at home, and their first loss this season to a sub-.500 team. And Memphis basically gave this game away: Charlotte scored 28 points off 20 forced (and unforced) turnovers.
Said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins: "The turnovers were a big part of the game. It wasn't just the turnovers, but the 28 points they scored off of turnovers. The turnovers were huge."
R.C. Buford: On July 12, 2007, R.C. Buford traded Luis Scola (along with Jackie Butler) to the Houston Rockets for Vassilis Spanoulis and a 2009 2nd round draft pick (Nando DeColo). It was a money-saving move, plus, some people in San Antonio's front office didn't think Scola could fit in to their system.
That must have made Scola's 30-point, 13-rebound performance -- which included 14-for-14 foul shooting -- in Houston's 109-104 win over the Spurs a little extra gratifying, right? Add in the scoring outbursts of Kevin Martin (33 points) and Aaron Brooks (31 points), and it was the first time in Rockets team history that three players scored at least 30 points.
The Los Angeles Clippers: Well, we can go ahead and add "single-handedly destroyed by Robin Lopez" to The Other L.A. Team's resume of fail. Lopez exploded for a career-high 30 points on 13-for-16 shooting. Robin was 7-for-7 at the rim. In fact, the Suns were 22-for-25 at the rim as a team.
Good thing the Clips traded Marcus Camby away.
Chris Kaveman: While Lopez was going nova, Kaveman was taking half the night off. He scored 12 first-half points, but then he picked up two quick techs 20 seconds into the second half. And you know what that means: ejection.
Said Clippers coach Kim Hughes: "I told Chris I thought he let the team down and crossed the line with what he said to the referee. He wasn't getting calls and I agree with him, but it's not going to do him any good what he said to the official. He can't put the team in a position like that. He's too valuable to be thrown out. It was just a bad basketball play."
Added Baron Davis: "Chris has to keep his cool, especially being an All-Star center. He knows we need him. It was just an unfortunate situation."
Kaveman had no comment about his ejection. He had plenty to say when he thought Pau Gasol was going to keep him off the All-Star team...but nothing to say about his ejection.
The Orlando Magic: The fact that the Chris Paul-less Hornets came back from an 18-point whole was amazing enough on its own. But what makes it a little "just ate the neighbor's poodle" crazy is that the win hinged on Aaron Gray's defense on Dwight Howard.
Yes. Aaron Gray.
Howard finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but he scored only 5 points had only one of his eight dunks after New Orleans coach Jeff Bowewr sicced Gray on him during the third quarter. The Magic went on to shoot 4-for-18 in the fourth quarter as the Hornets outscored them 28-13.
Said Bower: "I'm really happy for Aaron that he was able to play a large role in a great win. We thought his size would be factor. He was very effective tonight. His intensity and effort were outstanding."
Added Gray: "I just tried to keep a body on him, be physical. I knew that in order for us to get back into this game, we had to slow him down a little bit. We did that and I think that got him a little frustrated, especially when they were missing shots. It's a huge win and God knows we needed it."
Another factor in the loss was the 18 points Orlando gave up off 18 turnovers.
Said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy Ron Jeremy: "We looked for opportunities to relax, lose focus and let down, and we deserved to lose. We've gotten to the point where Dwight can't merely be very good. He has to be absolutely dominant for us to win. It was awful basketball. Hopefully we learned something from it."
The Utah Jazz: I would say most people already know about the Paul Westphal/Spencer Hawes drama, but that would require people to follow the Kings and, well, yeah. So if you missed the blurbs in last week's posts, here's a dramatization:
Well, Westphal was all about workin' things out before the Kings faced the Jazz.
Said Westphal: "If you want to see that again you'll probably have to go back to YouTube. I doubt I'll pull that one out for a long time. It's been three days of reading about the coach and player hating each other and that was never really it. It [the routine with Hawes] was just kind of fun."
Added Hawes: "We're moving on, what happened is now water under the bridge."
Awww! I think those two crazy kids are gonna make it work!
All those feel-good vibes apparently stymied Utah. Well, that and a season-high 25 points from Beno Udrih. Oh, and the Jazz could barely find the bucket (40 percent) while Sacto was red-hot (54+ percent).
Friday lacktion report: Allow chris to celebrate a rare Kings win with a little lacktion...
Crabs-Raptors: Jawad Williams scratched out a +2 suck differential in 8:52 via brick and foul.
Knicks-Bullets: Shaun Livingston launched a brick and took a rejection to give Washington a +2 in 2:01.
Bobcats-Grizzlies: In the first game of the Post-Thabeet Era, replacement backup center Hamed Haddadi (a fan favorite in Memphis, mind you!) countered a pair of boards in 6:32 with four fouls for a 4:2 Voskuhl.
Frail Blazers-Bulls: Martell Webster (formerly the highest-drafted D-League demotee, before Hasheem Thabeet) defined himself as a lacktator tonight, fouling twice and tossing one brick from Wacker Drive for a +3 in 5:10.
Brad Miller scrappily negated one made free throw and two boards in 19:10 with three bricks, two fouls, and two giveaways for a 4:3 Voskuhl.
Mavs-Hawks: You just KNEW it would happen someday, and at the end of the 2nd quarter - with Mike Bibby needing a sip of Gatorade from the bench - Mike Woodson pressed the select button for THE Mario West, who stepped onto the floor for a mere half-second to earn himself his first SUPER MARIO GALAXY of the season and possibly his career!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Spurs-Rockets: Michael Finley provided some suckiness as a starter - two bricks in 9:41 for a +2, next to Matt Bonner's 1:0 Voskuhl off the bench in 7:35 after negating an assist with a giveaway. For the Rockets, David Andersen bricked, fouled, and lost the rock once each for a +3 in 3:22 (that also earned a 2:0 Voskuhl), while Garrett Temple fouled once in 4:36 for a +1.
Temple's maiden pilgrimage to the lacktion ledger made him the 200TH NON-CONTRIBUTOR OF 2009-10! CONGLATURATION, A LACKTATOR IS YOU!
Clippers-Suns: Taylor Griffin - yes, the brother of injured #1 overall Blake (across the hardwood tonight in the Clipper infirmary!!!), went climbing up ladders in a mere 33 seconds for a Mario!
Sixers-Lakers: Josh Powell got some tips from Toad in a three second SUPER MARIO!!!!
The Boston Celtics: The New Jersey Nyets entered their game against the Celtics in Boston with a record of 5-52, including 2-27 on the road. But hey, we all know this story, right?
Sure, the Celtics have been on the ropes lately, but there's no way they could lose to the Nyets, right? And certainly not in Boston!
Oh dear sweet Spiderman's balls.
The Nyets scored 25 points off 18 Celtics turnovers, had a crazy-ass 41-11 advantage in free throw attempts -- again, in Boston!! -- and built an 18-point fourth-quarter lead before the C's mounted a failed comeback. The final score: Nyets 104, Celtics 96.
Look, this is way bigger than Paul Pierce being out. There's no way the Celtics should have lost this game. No way they should be 13-15 since Christmas day. But they are. The flaws have been exposed. KG is never going to be what he was. Ray Allen will have the occasional good games and that's it. Paul Pierce is far (read that: very far) from being the best player in the world. Rasheed Wallace still doesn't give a shit. And Doc Rivers was widely considered one of the worst coaches in the league before he got handed two great players at the tail end of their respective primes.
Kendrick Perkins (via ESPNBoston): "How many wake-up calls you going to get? We've got a lot of them, to be honest with you."
Kevin Garnett (via the Globe): "Doc gives us direction. Guys have to go out there and follow the plan and execute. That's all it is."
Rasheed Wallace (via the same Globe story): "We can't sit up here and say, 'Oh, it's Doc's fault that we lost.' Or 'Doc's not doing this' or 'Doc's not doing that.' Doc's not on the floor. It's the five guys that's out there. So we have to come up with ways to win."
KG again, via the Herald: "We're a team that takes a lot of pride in getting stops. We got to get back to that. Hearing it is starting to make my ears ring, but that's what it is. And we will. We have no choice."
The Miami Heat: After the way Celtics were shamed, watching the Dwyane Wade-less Heat shoot 35 percent, score only 71 points (including only 26 in the second half) and lose by 25 at home to the Bucks barely registered on my all-purpose Bawful-o-meter.
But, just for posterity, I should note that the Bucks are now 3-0 against the Heat this season, and they've won those games by a total of 50 points.
Said Rafer Alston: "Every time we play them, they pretty much hand it to us."
Added Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "I don't think it was an indicator of a lack of effort or focus. They simply outplayed us and outclassed us, and to be honest they've done it for three games. ... Offensively they played with a higher motor and a higher pace than we're comfortable with, and you can see it."
This win means Milwaukee has won the season series for the first time in seven years.
New York Knicks: As Basketbawful reader Czernobog put it: Zach Randolph gave it to the Bricks prison style. I'm talking 31 points and a career-high 25 rebounds against the team that sent him to the Clippers. For that, the Bricks probably lucky Z-Bo didn't set MSG on fire on his way out.
Since New York has no idea how to guard anybody, it's not totally surprising they got squashed by Randolph and the rest of the Grizzlies' frontcourt. Marc "Underrated Bitches" Gasol added 25 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists, and Rudy Gay added 27 points. Memphis also outrebouned the Bricks 52-32.
Said Mike 'Antoni: "I just thought we got wore down by their strength and their height and their weight, and we paid for it a little bit.
The Griz also tied a franchise record by notching their fourth straight road win. Which is kind of funny considering they've lost six straight at home.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Another night, another blowout loss for the second-worst team in th...wait...it feels like we've been here before. And we have. Over, and over, and over.
On this night, the Timberpoops were owned by Portland's Nicolas Batum, who set new career highs in points (31) and three-pointers (5). He also dished out a season-high 7 assits. Regarding the point total: Batum had never scored more than 20 points in a game before. Also, he was born in France. Ouch.
The Blazers have won 12 straight over the Wolves, including four victories this season by a combined 93 points. Double ouch.
And now for the triple ouch...
Al Jefferson: Apparently, Minny's loss drove him to drink...and drive. Oy.
The Houston Rockets: I guess it's safe to say the Jazz were a little riles up over that loss to the Kings, because they spanked the Rockets something harsh. Deron Williams had 20 points and 6 assists...
...in the first quarter. Utah shot almost 70 percent for the game and won 133-110. Way to play defense, Houston. The Rockets are now 2-7 in their last nine games. So much for Moneyball.
The Detroit Pistons: Even a 14-point second-half lead against the woeful Warriors wasn't enough for the woeful-er Pistons, who went 11-for-26 from the foul line. What the fuuuuu....were they blindfolded or something? Was the ball set on fire before each foul shot. Note that much of that truly foul shooting was by...
Ben Wallace: Big Ben went 1-for-9 from the charity stripe. To make matters worse, Don Nelson went to the Hack-a-Ben strategy down the stretch and it totally worked, as Wallace went 1-for-6 after three intentional fouls in the last 3:52. Included in those misses were consecutive air balls in the final minute.
Saturday lacktion report: As we head into this lacktion report, it's worth asking: Now that Boston has lost to New Jersey, how much better are the Celtics, really, than the Kings?
Nyets-Celtics: The Nyets were able to prevail at the TDBanknorthConvalescentGarden and two bawful big men performances from Boston are evidence as to why. Kendrick Perkins, as starting big man, made one of three shots and garnered two boards in 19:29, only to foul and lose the rock three times each for a 6:4 Voskuhl. Brian Scalabrine sprayed two rebounds onto his statline in 16:58, but bricked twice (once from Filene's Basement) and added two fouls and two turnovers each for a 4:2 Voskuhl.
Bucks-Heat: Milwaukee's Primoz Brezec bricked once in 3:33 for a +1 suck differential.
Bulls-Pacers: Mike Dunleavy lived up to his family name by bricking twice from the Chase Tower for a +2 in 4:28.
Frail Blazers-Wolves: Darko Milicic did manage two field goals and four boards in 22:49, but also fouled out and lost the rock thricely for a 9:8, his second straight Voskuhl.
Rockets-Jazz: Kyrylo Fesenko is back to his usual failtacular standards in a 3:23 stint as Jerry Sloan's human victory cigar, shanking four attempts from the charity stripe and fouling twice for a +6 AND a 2:0 Voskuhl!
Pistons-Warriors: Chris Hunter took four fouls and bricked twice in 7:19 for a +6 that doubled as a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Now we have a new entry into the Suns-Spurs lore, as Jason Richardson -- a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion, by the way -- blew a game-tying dunk with about 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. And not just any dunk. It was an uncontested breakaway dunk. Two-time slam dunk champ!!
Not surprisingly, Phoenix went on to lose despite the fact that the video game version of Amar''''''e Stoudemire showed up to play (41 points, 15-for-28, 12 rebounds).
Said Richardson: "I don't like to miss dunks, especially in crunch time like that, but it's one of those things that happens. You can't do anything about it." You mean other than actually connect on the highest percentage shot in professional basketball?! Yeah, other than that, you can't do anything about it.
Somewhat fittingly, Nash hit a nutso three that brought the Suns to within a point with 4.6 seconds left and then -- after to Manu Ginobili free throws -- had a chance to attempt another three-pointer to tie it at the buzzer but mysteriously passed it to Channing Frye...who wasn't even in three-point range. As an anonymous commenter said: "I'm sure the fact that the Gold Medal hockey game had started had nothing to do with Nash's decision to pass instead of taking a shot that would send his game into overtime. I'm just sayin'."
Richard Jefferson: Believe it or not, Richardson played a key role in San Antonio's win, but he was victimized, posterized, facialized and any other -ized you can think of by this Stoudemire jackhammer:
Thanks to Basketbawful reader manic -- who may very well have the best profile photo in the history of Western Civilization -- for the link.
The Denver Nuggets: The Nuggmeisters have owned the Lakers all season and they controlled most of Sunday's game in L.A. But they never really capitalized on their double-digit lead, committing some foolish turnovers and missing several first-half free throws. Sure enough, the Lakers came back down the stretch made their statement: The Nuggets won't be beating us in the playoffs.
Kobe Bryant: Many people were predicting that Kobe would drop 30 or 40 points on Denver. Not just because he wanted to drop the hammer on the Lakers' only real Western Conference rival, but also because J.R. Smith made the following bold statement on Twitter last week: "Dont get me wrong kobe is great but not when he play me."
But instead of laying the royal smack, Mamba -- who did have 14 points and 12 crucial assists -- went 3-for-17 from the field...which was his second-worst shooting performance ever. Interestingly enough, three of Kobe's seven worst shooting games have come this season. The Lakers have won all three.
The New Jersey Nyets: As if to prove that their big win over the Celtics was basically meaningless, the Nyets coughed up a 14-point lead and lost at home to the Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets.
Yi Jianlian: Actually, the Chairman had a huge game: 20 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. BUT...he missed two critical free throws in the final 1:19. One of those misses would have tied the game, the other would have given New Jersey a one-point lead.
But wait, there's more! With the game tied at 83, Randy hit a baseline jumper to give Washington a two-point lead with 44.6 seconds to play. Roy then drilled another J from almost the same spot with 13.5 seconds left to extend the Bullets' lead to four points...which effectively ended the game.
His defender? Yi Jianlian.
Said Yi: "What happened is what happened. I missed the free throws and on the last two defenses the guy hit the shot. That's the game. Learn from it."
Devin Harris: In all fairness to The Chairman, Harris was partially to blame for this latest Nyets fail. He had 18 points and 14 assists but shot 1-for-8 in the fourth quarter. Clutch!
Said Harris: "I had a bunch of wide open layups and jump shots, but in the fourth quarter we couldn't buy a basket." Notice his clever pronoun shift from "I" to "we"?
The Milwaukee Bucks: Leaving Chicago has really agreed with John Salmons, who scored a season-high 32 points in Milwaukee's near-win over the Hawks in Atlanta. Now let's focus on that "near-win" part. The Bucks took a quick 5-point lead in OT (97-92) and then, well, they choked. Luke Ridnour threw a bad pass that eventually became a layup going the other way. Andy Bogut had a layup stuffed by Al Horford after which Joe Johnson drilled a three. After a bad miss by Ridnour, Johnson knocked down another shot to give the Hawks a 2-point lead. Then Salmons threw the ball to Atlanta's Marvin Williams, which led to another field goal for Johnson that proved to be the knockout blow.
Said Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles: "We were up five points [in OT], and that's where we've got to be smarter than that. ... We made two, three or four mistakes that were really costly right there. We played good enough to win. We had the chances to win. We just didn't get the win."
The Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade is back! The Heat are still losing by double digits! This despite the fact that Dwight Howard scored only 7 points (1-for-7) and logged only 25 minutes due to foul trouble. I'd point at this or that key factor, but, you know, Miami just isn't that good.
The Toronto Raptors: The Craptors' 119-99 loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City once again underscored the importance of Chris Bosh, without whom Toronto may never win again.
After scoring just 7 points on 3-for-8 shooting, Hedo "Five-year, $53 million contract" Turkododo said: "Without Chris, we just needed to step up. When he comes back, we're going to be much stronger. His presence will be great throughout the game on both ends of the court. We hope that he comes back soon and puts this team in a better situation."
Of course, we -- and by "we" I mean "I" -- hope Bosh leaves the frozen North for the frozen-for-five-months-of-the-year Midwest this summer. Just throwin' that out there.
The Los Angeles Clippers: After three straight wins against the Kings, Bobcats and Pistons, people were actually referring to the Clippers as "surging," which is yet another sign of how silly and reactionary the media can be. The Other L.A. Team is in a permanent surge...and it's the same kind of surge my bowels do after an all-night alcohol-and-burrito bender.
Fact: The Clippers are and will always be who we thought they were. I don't care how many current and former All-Stars they have, how many lottery picks or how much cap space they have. This team will suck forever. I would like to propose legislation to prevent any and all writers from ever getting excited enough to use the word "surging" when the Clips win a few consecutive home games over sub-.500 teams. Especially when they follow up that "surge" with a blowout loss in Phoenix and then another loss to the Kings (20-39).
Said The Other L.A. Team's interim coach Kim Hughes: "I think we took the first half off. I don't believe we're a good enough team to play the first half like that with poor energy. I thought we competed in the second half. I was disappointed in our bigs and I thought we turned the ball over way too many times . I think we gave up 25 points on turnovers and we got six."
Sunday lacktion report: And now the final lacktion of the weekend:
Suns-Spurs: Matt Bonner and Malik Hairston battled over one Game Boy, with Bonner only getting 7 seconds of Goomba stomping in a Super Mario, while Hairston found himself tossing Koopa shells for a full 38 second Mario!
Bullets-Nyets: Fabricio Oberto countered four boards in 23:16 with a giveaway and five fouls for a 6:4 Voskuhl, while Nick Young bricked twice and lost the rock once for a +3 suck differential in 6:02. Mike Harris got a rebound, but also had to contend with a Piranha Plant in a 28 second Mario.
Bucks-Hawks: Charlie Bell rang up the end-of-level flagpole in a 5 second Super Mario!!!
Clippers-Kings: Bobby Brown belted out a ballad in just 9 seconds for a Super Mario!
Hornets-Mavs: DeShawn Stevenson tossed a brick and fouled once for a +2 in 6:20.
Ahhh!! Okay, who let Chuck use the hot tub time machine???
Special thanks to Chris for taking care of the Friday game previews for me again. (I've added my own commentary on a couple of them, but it still saved me a lot of work.)
Want to start your weekend off right? Read this ridiculous article. An Orlando columnist tries to convince us that the Pumaman is having an MVP season. You know, despite the fact that the Magic are prone to underperforming, he's never put the team on his back and carried them, he can't consistently score in the post, and his blocks aren't really that effective at measuring his overall contribution to the game. Look, it may sound like I'm a Dwight Howard hater. I'm not. I like the guy. I just feel disappointed by him. He's got the potential to be so much better, but doesn't seem to have the right mentality for it.
Also, here's a quality article from Bomani Jones explaining why we need Hasheem Thabeet to stay in the NBA: he's got the potential to be posterized more than Ostertag!
Worst of the Night in Pictures:
Is Carmelo coming on to me, or plotting my murder? I honestly can't tell. Either way, I'm scared.
Kendrick Perkins: Ball-humping Machine
Stephen Curry shows us an example of Don Nelson's patented _efense
I feel sorry for this kid. I really do.
(Thanks again to Chris for covering the Friday games) Nationally Televised Friday Games: Mavericks at Hawks: If the Mavs win again, will Dirk be asked by the post-game crew once more to profess his adoration of Jay-Z and Beyonce!?
Magic at Hornets: So the Hornets have won 3 of 4 against the alchemists...but they're lacking CP3, so pretty much this one comes down to whether Pumaman can dominate in the paint and whether Orlando's unconscionable shots beyond the arc will swish in.
All The Other Friday Games: Knicks at WizardsGenerals Bullets: Hey everybody, the highly unanticipated rematch of the 1971 NBA Leastern Conference Finals!! Just like old times! Well, except that the Bullets no longer play in Maryland, and, um...yeah. (And this sounds like the Basketbawful Game Of The Night by default.)
Crabs at Raptors: After pinching the Celtics so hard that KG was forced to press the *word that KG utters on national television*-ing LifeAlert button for emergency oxygen, they will be facing the Dinos, who may be without Chris "Future Teammate Of King Crab" Bosh tonight. Considering that Toronto has lost 14 of their last 17 against the crustaceans, tonight could be a tough shell to crack... [Dan B.:Cleveland, you sent down Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson. You are dead to me.] [Chris: LATE BREAKING UPDATE FROM AN ANONYMOUS COMMENTER:
Good news. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson has been recalled by the Cavs. Lacktion for everybody!
So that means that Darnell needs less seasoning in the D than Hasheem!!!!]
Frail Blazers at Bulls: At this point, it won't be surprising if the postgame headline starts off with "Portland Big Man Visits Doctor."
Timberwolves at Thunder: Oklahoma City's most recent win was against the Timberpoops, but they barely squeaked by in that match by a field goal. Will they get clotheslined in this potential trap game?
Bobcats at Grizzlies: Hey, remember when Z-Bo was being called "MVP candidate?" I won't say that he has earned his way back into the Bawful Banner, but...maybe Hasheem Thabeet deserves memorialization.
Spurs at Rockets: Looks like Discount Store has led the Rockets straight into a clearance sale, with the Spurs likely more than happy to continue to pick up half-price victories against Clutch the Bear's overworked sales associates.
Pistons at Nuggets: Mr. Big Shot gets to wave hello to a facepalming Joe Dumars again. What's not to like about that mental imagery?
Clippers at Suns: Anyone recall when this was a playoff matchup in the not-too-distant past? [Dan B.: I'm tempted to go re-read Seven Seconds or Less now...]
Jazz at Kings: The Purple Paupers don't exactly have a home-barn advantage, and are about as deep in talent as a child's sippy cup, so all that's left to ponder is whether this will be a "loss that isn't as bad as others" or "the precursor to another funny animated Hawes-and-Pauly W video."
76ers at Lakers: The last time this was truly a matchup worth watching, one of the Sixers was busy getting having Electronic Arts pair him with Larry Legend for virtual one-on-one...
* * *
Nationally Televised Saturday Games: Rockets at Jazz: I almost got excited about this game, but then I remembered that the Rockets are a shadow of their former selves. So, when's Yao going to be healthy again? (Yeah, that was a trick question. Just making sure you're paying attention.)
All The Other Saturday Games: at Celtics: While the Nyets are a season-long tragicomedy, the Celtics have given me zero reason to be confident about this game. I'm just going to check the box score for this one the next day.
Bucks at Heat: So, anyone else curious to see if Brandon Jennings manages to continue his downhill shooting performance and averages under 30% from the field sometime this season for an entire month?
Bulls at Pacers: Wow, this is a bad game.
Grizzlies at Knicks: ...and so is this one.
Frail Blazers at Timberwolves: What the hell? This is an awful game too.
Pistons at Warriors: David Stern, you are a sick man for allowing so many horrendous games in one day. (Okay, let me clarify. Two, three, or even four of these games could be close, but that doesn't make them good.)
Anyway, four-way tie for Basketbawful Game of the Night. I'm pretty certain that's our new record! Woohoo!
* * *
Nationally Televised Sunday Games: Suns at Spurs: The Spurs are old, and the Suns don't play defense. This game balances out pretty well. Good times. (Too bad I'll be busy watching the US Open because I'm one of the twenty eight diehard bowling fans left.)
Nuggets at Lakers: After previewing all of those awful games just above this, I had to do a double-take when I saw a matchup between two high quality teams. Bizarro NBA, anyone?
Heat at Magic: I am nervously shaking my leg right now. I simply cannot wait for Monday morning to see the latest batch of hilarious Stan Van Gundy pictures! (Oh yeah, and there's a basketball game going on too. That's kind of interesting.)
Hornets at Mavericks: Yes, the Mavs have been red hot lately. However, what will happen now that Caron Butler can't chew straws on the sideline?!?!
All The Other Sunday Games: Bucks at Hawks: Still can't figure out this Hawks team. Beat the Jazz on the road, but get held to 80 points by the Suns' defense? That's just unfathomable.
WizardsGenerals Bullets at : Could we see a repeat of the last game between these two? Botched inbounds passes, turnovers, bricked shots, and an exciting game-winner by a comparative midget?
Raptors at Thunder: The prospect of Kevin Durant playing against the Raptors' _efense always makes me giddy.
Clippers at Kings: It's the battle of (2/3rds of the) sucky California teams!
LeBron dislikes when the spotlight isn't on him, and poor Yuna is concerned with what's happening in that banner
Welcome, Basketbawful's loyal readers, to an exciting emasculated AHL edition of Worst of the Night! Let's just be honest here: you're damn right I watched figure skating last night. I love me some dominating performance, just like I wish for the Knicks/Bulls/Heat super team next year. Anyways, lets get to the bawful.
That game literally no one watched: It was a sports filled night, with the TNT slate of superstar suckup, a gritty USA-CAN gold medal hockey showdown, and Yuna Kim dominating her pathetic competitors with sassy yet humble confidence. (You know you love it.). Brandon Jennings scored 9 of the 'sconsin Male Deer's 13 points in the last six minites to hold off a Pacers mini comeba-...ugh, this is just depressing to talk about.
Brandon Jennings: Speaking of The Gumby, you guys have been following this rookie's splits, right? No? Check out his monthly FG% progression: 51.6%, 42.0%, 37.6%, 32.4%, to 30.3% this month. So I guess technically his 6-18 shooting performance was an improvement.
But fear not, readers! This Yung Buck rookie Euro-trotter is figuring his stuff out. Via AP, “I’m starting to learn more as I go how to take care of the ball in late situations,” Jennings said. “Fourth quarter, with three minutes or four minutes to go, I want the ball in my hands.” The mic cut at this point, but I'm pretty sure I saw him mouth that he wants more air-fives in Andrew "20-20-5" Bogut's hands.
The Cleveland Cavaliers: Although they put up a few lazy mini-pushes here and there, mostly consisting of LeBron jacking up threes, the game was pretty much over after the 1st Quarter, where the TNT mics picking up the *word KG actually says during the game very loudly* seemed to inspire the Boston team. Sadly, I missed LeBron's missed dunk due to egregious channel surfing, but was able to catch some nameless skater biff it on a triple axle. Shaq left in the 2nd with a pulled pork sandwich significant right thumb sprain.
There's so many ways to skin this crab. The Cavs are 1-4 with Whiner "Waah I Deserve To Be An All Star" extraordinaire Mo Williams back, 1-2 since Jamison's 12 miss performance, 1-3 since the heart and soul of the team was traded, whichever.
March 21st: Speaking of trades, this would be the day Big Z can return to the Cavs. Which everyone and their mother is already talking about as an inevitability, possibly due to all sports media's contract to fellate LeBron every 49 minutes. This 30 day rule is a joke.
...wait what? The Cavs kept whittling away and fought back? And won by how many points? And Mo Williams played goodish? Ughhh, *KG word*-it, I'm not re-writing the above section...
The Boston Celtics: Speaking of leaving, as in leaving a 44% 3pt shooter wide open multiple times and leaving your offensive game plan to get locked down by the Cavs defence, way to score 30 to Cleveland's 58 in the 2nd half to blow the lead towards a pathetic 106-88 outcome. Now I haven't followed the Celtics as close as Bawful has, but I think they are doing someting similar to Suns style blown leads recently. Well Celtics fans, there's my inkling of sympathy for your situation. Just watching a striking contrast in effort by those Nordic Combined skiiers compared to the Celtics down the stretch could make even the least patriotic puke a little in their mouths.
But now that they actually played a not sucky opponent like the Knicks, seems like they're going to really be missing Paul Pierce. 16 4thQ points Tuesday, and 14 tonight, so I guess you could say that.
Arkansas: For losing to the LSU tigers, where former Tigers alums Big Baby and Big Geritol discussed pregame their alma matter not being winless in the SEC anymore at the Razorbacks expense. Way to fight for that dance spot.
PAC-10: Projecting just California to make it? What the hell guys.
Every skater not named Yuna Kim: You all fail. For not being Yuna. Just stop trying. This is a massacre.
The Golen State Warriors: Speaking of missing the first half of this game, maybe the high pace Warriors were too busy rooting for one of the other skating scrubs as they entered halftime behind 61-42.
...wait, what? They cut it to 65-56? eventually leading to a... oh they still lost. But boy, the crowd is incredible. There's no obnoxious house pop music, and you can actually feel the excitement when Curry pulled off his fakeout swoop shot, then left-handed hook in the 3rd. And when they boo, it's not shallow and angsty like Dallas or Phoenix crowds. Or maybe they're more Taco Bell'd, and just simply accept their 112-127 loss.
Says Barkley: "They're like an untalented Phoenix team". Then again, Sir Charles also claims he's leaving recreational golf for tennis. Anyways, I was curious how often the SSOL Suns gave up 127 points. Turns out, 24 times with a record of 4-20, including OT games. 18 games where 127 was reached in 4 quarters. Golden State over the same time? An uncanny 27 times with a record of 5-22. So I guess my advice to Warriors fans is, even if you end up with an All-Star loaded roster, somehow you'll still get screwed by crappy management and freak injuries.
The "Mr. Big Shot" nickname: Speaking of crappy, okay, does sinking 3s in the 3rd quarter to extend a lead still qualify you for this nickname? Ugh to everyone.
Dirk Nowitski merchandising: Oddly, this is actually pretty bawesome, in a so-far-beyond-the-donut-shaped-universe-it-circles-back-onto-itself way:
Lacktion Report: While not parsing lacktion in Element and Component scores, chris double checks that Russian judge for tonight's short program.
Chris: Before we begin tonight's ledger of lame, I would like to make a shout out to 2009's 2nd overall pick (same spot as Sam Bowie, Shawn Bradley, Stromile Swift and Darko Milicic!) Hasheem Thabeet, the HIGHEST PICKED PLAYER EVER DEMOTED TO THE D-LEAGUE.
Thabeet's career of lack (the 36th player in the Association to garner unproductivity) started on November 2nd with a 54 second Mario, followed with two more somnambulent appearances in the next four days. While he did not go completely unproductive again until February 10th, he earned 6 Voskuhls to that point.
Thabeet's fifth and final appearance in pure unproductivity so far this year was rather recent - a 59 second Mario on February 21st (which also included a +3 suck differential and a 3:0 Voskuhl, giving him a +7 suck differential total for the season). Let's hope it's not the last time his draft bust status reveals itself in the big show!
But wait...there's more - enjoy this quote of motivation and hunger from a man whose current best night in the Association totaled a mere TEN POINTS:
Me being the No. 2 pick doesn't mean I have to go and contribute right away. There's a reason they drafted me. I just have to work hard, get better and then one day be able to answer the call.
Hey, not every 2nd overall disappointment gets the opportunity to earn one more ring than John Stockton or Reggie Miller by sulking on the bench for a championship team! Of course, instead of sulking on the bench, he'd rather Tweet from the mall, so no surprise here...
UPDATE: So this is supposedly only a ten day stint in Dakota. Like ten days are needed to see how astronomically bawful this guy is? One minute perusing the lacktion report is more than enough, I say...
Bucks-Pacers:Royal Ivey may now be in southeast Wisconsin, but that doesn't mean he's abdicated from his spot on the ledger - two fouls combined with two bricks from the charity stripe led to a +4 suck differential in 5:23!
Crabs-Celtics: In 2:50 of garbage time, the senior citizens appropriately played out the ancient fariytale of The Three Lacktators - former Knickerbocker Marcus Landry bricked twice from the Custom House Tower for a +2, while Brian Scalabrine glowed in the wake of a 2.8 trillion prize, and Shelden Williams countered a steal and block with two fouls for a 2:0 Voskuhl.
This is horrible news, but also unsurprising considering that the Crabs are the same team who decided it was a good idea to set a world record for "largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets." Yep, Snuggies.
Speaking of facepalms, we need something to cheer us up, and this ought to do it. AnacondaHL has decided the New Jersey Nyets need a new team logo. I agree, and wholeheartedly approve of his effort:
Worst of the Night in Pictures:
Caption This! How in the world does Stan Van Gundy keep showing up so often in my Caption This! photos?
This post is an homage to one of my all-time favorite movies: The Boondock Saints. If you're a guy and haven't seen this movie, it's time to nut up or shut up. If you're a woman and haven't seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. I promise a 13.7 percent increase in bust size by the time it's over. (And guys, if you needed another reason to watch it on "date night," that's it.)
But be warned: The language is probably NSFW.
I will begin with my favorite quote, which I unfortunately could not work into the main post:
"Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, the glory, now and forever. Amen."
This movie had lots of other great quotes I couldn't include. Give your brain a cookie and check them out.
"What if it was just one guy with six guns?" Okay, talk about your statistical breakdowns! Check out this crazy nugget from ESPN Stats and Information: "According to Synergy Sports Tech, Kobe Bryant entered play on Monday tied for fifth in the NBA in points per play on isolations at 0.98. On Wednesday, Nowitzki ran nine isolations and had a 1.78 point per play average, while Bryant ran 16 isolations for 0.88 point per play average."
Ooooookay. Well, whatever the case, Dirk had a game-high 31 points (10-for-19, 11-for-11 from the line) while Kobe struggled to score 20 points on 23 shots. Mind you, L.A.'s starting backcourt went 12-for-36 (including 2-for-11 on threes) while their startin frontcourt went 15-for-25. Oh, and Lamar Odom was 8-for-11. Why were Kobe and Derek Fisher jacking up so many shots? I guess you'll have to ask Phil Jackson. Why didn't Kobe -- who was 9-for-23 for the game and 2-for-6 in the fourth quarter -- pass the ball more?
Said P-Jax: "I thought he got other guys involved. He was probably a little fatigued and tried to help the other guys get going."
So 2 assists (and 2 turnovers) versus 23 shot attempts is getting other guys involved? Oh. Okay. Got it. Man, I know nothing about this earth game called "basket ball." I must find this human and use my Plarxor Ray to force him to teach me more!
Many thanks to Basketbawful reader K for sending a link to this pic:
Hey, Kobe. How does Marion's ass taste?
"This guy takes a blunt object, fuckin', waah! Hits the guy with the bandages around his head, right? Why? 'Cause he's smart. He knows the guy with the bandages around his ass, he ain't goin' nowhere. He's goin' fuckin' nowhere." This one goes out to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who fell to 14-45 after their 98-92 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks thanks to Josh Smith's season-high 27 points.
"Where you goin? Nowhere!" Ditto for the Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets, who put up a pretty valiant fight but still lost 99-94 at home to the Memphis Grizzlies. Mind you, the Griz were coming off a tough 99-98 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night and had lost nine of their previous 12 games. Oh, and Memphis came into the game 2-11 on the second night of back-to-backs.
In other words, the Bullets probably won't face too many opponents this vulnerable.
"Fuckin'- What the fuckin'. Fuck. Who the fuck fucked this fucking... How did you two fucking fucks...fuck!" The Curse of Bowie and Walton is real. It's real! Just ask Marcus Camby, who barely had time to break a sweat in his new Portland jersey before discovering what being a big man for the Frail Blazers is all about. Was he hurt badly? No. It was "only" a sprained ankle. So far as we know. But still...weird, right? Well, unless you consider the Camby Man's history and realize he's never, ever played 82 games in a season. Or even 80 games.
But hey, Portland took care of a Chris Bosh-less Craptors team in Toronto on the second night of back-to-back road games. And all things considered, the fact that they're 34-26 out West is pretty darn impressive.
"They can suck my pathetic little dick, and I'll dip my nuts in marinara sauce just so the fat bastards can get a taste of home while they're at it." That's gotta be how John Salmons feels about the Bulls about now, right? The Fish Man was underperforming in Vinny Del Negro's offense, which I like to call "The Long, Contested Jump Shot" system. But he's back to last season's form -- both with Sacto and Chicago -- now that he's in Milwaukee. He continued his hot streak last night by scoring 18 points and going 8-for-8 from the line.
Said Salmons: "Getting traded in the middle of the season is crazy." One assumes he mean's "strange" and not "I have a box of foreheads under my bed" crazy.
Speaking of hot streaks, the Bucks have been smokin' since trading for Salmons. That continued last night against the Hornets. Darren Collison continued his Chris Paul-lite trend by goingfor 22 points and 9 assists, but the rookie's stellar play couldn't overcome Milwaukee's inside dominance. The Bucks scored 72 of their 115 points in the paint. Holy sweet Jesus it was like a conga line to the rim, led by Andy Bogut (26 points, 13-for-20). Kinda weird Bogut had no free throws, but whatever.
The Hornets shot 5-for-19 in the third quarter, during which they were outscored 28-17, and never recovered.
Said Collison: "We just didn't have enough fight, which is inexcusable for a team like this. Mentally, we weren't in it on the defensive end. They were executing really well. I give them credit. They ran their plays to perfection."
He may be a rookie, but he's giving quotes like a second-year player. Amazing!
"It looks like we've got us a cowboy." Hello, my name is Carlos Boozer, and I'm playing for a new contract! No, seriously, Boozer has become a double-double machine lately. He recently had an Animal Style 20-20 DD, and last night he dropped a 33-point, 16-rebound hammer on the Charlotte Bobcats.
You can't stop him. You an only hope to contain him. Until some idiot gives him a max contract this summer.
In he meantime, Tyrus Thomas continues to illustrate the bizarre conundrum of playing him. On the one hand, he scored 20 points on only eight shots, which is pretty impressive. On the other hand, he had only 3 rebounds in 31 minutes despite his superior height, length and athleticism. In related news, the Bobcats were outrebounded 42-35 and outscored 50-32 in the paint.
"I'm having a shitty day. I'm depressed. Tell me a funny joke." Pacers fans sure feel that way -- especially after the Super Bowl -- but the only joke in town is their basketball team. The Pacers are a porous defensive team that tries to compensate with a bipolar offense that works only if they're hitting three-pointers. Check this. Indy missed 20 shots at the rim and went 0-for-12 from 16 to 23 feet. However, they went 13-for-29 on threes and 23-for-25 at the line. So despite barely hitting 40 percent of their field goals, they had an Effective Field Goal Percentage of almost 50 and scored 110 points.
Too bad they gave up 120.
"Ahh, fuck you! I'm sweatin' my ass off draggin' your fuckin' rope around. Must weigh thirty pounds." The Houston Rockets were playing above average ball all season, thanks to hard work and a plucky, can-do attitude. And nobody embodied that ideal any more than Carl Landry, who, as you probably already know, was sent to Sacramento at the trade deadline.
His "replaceent," Kevin Martin, has...ahem...struggled a bit. Kind of like a worm covered in salt. Not that I ever did that as a kid or anything. The Blue Light Special went 0-for-5 in the first half, after which Houston was down by 20. He was 1-for-9 late in the thirq quarter before scoring six straight points in a Rockets mini-run. But the end result -- a 110-92 loss in which Dwight Howard went 11-for-11 from the field nd broke Shaq's old franchise record by recording his 19th straight double-double -- wasn't even remotely shocking.
Said Shane Battier: "It's obvious we are a team in search of a new identity and it's like an exhibition game for us but they count. We were trying to get guys on the same page. We will get it. I am confident we will get it."
Added Rockets coach Rick Adelman: "We have to figure out how we're going to win. We just lost whatever confidence we really had. We just kind of lost everything, I think with everything that's happened we just don't seem to play with the same energy and enthusiasm that we had before. We have to find a way to get that back."
Sorry, Rick. No takebacks. Landry is gone.
"Oh, fuck you! I'm not the rope-totin' Charlie Bronson wannabe that's getting us fucking lost!" When the Philadelphia 76ers resigned Allen Iverson, he was supposed to add a little Charles Bronson to their team: scoring, swagger, toughness. But he's nowhere to be found. For "personal reasons." So the Sixers are shorthanded -- no Willie Green (left shoulder), Francisco Elson (hernia surgery), or Jason Smith (right ankle sprain) -- and the Suns strolled in for one of those "take care of business" wins.
Steve Nash returned from a one-game absence to watch the Canadian hockey team play deal with bask spasms, scoring 20 points (8-for-9) and dishing out 13 assists. It was his 11th game of the season with 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. Not bad for a little, old dude with a bad back and a bum abdomen.
And how 'bout those Suns (36-23)? They've won 10 of 12 and are 13 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2007-08 season. Phoenix is 5-1 since the All-Star break and 18-2 when Jason Richardson scores at least 20 points.
He's not going to come anywhere close to winning the MVP, but, really, considering their personnel and the circumstances, this is Captain Canada's best work.
"Wyatt-Fuck'n-Earp!" This one goes out to Kevin Durant, whose streak of games with 25-plus points ended at 29. According to ESPN Stats and Information, it was tied for the third-longest 25-plus point streak in NBA history by a forward and was the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan's 40-game streak in 1986-87.
Look, nobody was any more critical of Durant the last few years than I was. Didn't like his game, didn't like his pansy rebounding stats, didn't like the fact that his team seemed to play better without him. Well, dude has blossomed into a superstar. I concede that...and really enjoy watching him play.
Now that I've eaten a little crow and kissed a little ass, let's watch Manu Ginobili send KD's shit back on a critical possession.
Okay. I feel better now.
Said the Durantuala: "All clean, I can't take credit away from him. He made a great block. When I was at the rim, he just met me there, his hand was inside the rim and he got it."
Uh, yeah, for the record: Not inside the rim.
"You know what they say: People in glass houses sink sh-sh-ships." No NBA house has been glassier since, well, ever than the one the Clippers live in. But -- this season, anyway -- the Pistons are more than a match for team dysfunction. But I guess that's what happens when your GM pulls a classic Clipper-y move and spents $90+ million on two bench players. Why not just take bags of money to the zoo, soak them in chum and feed 'em to the animals?
The Motor City Stank is definitly rubbing off on Rip Hamilton. The Phantom of Auburn Hills entered the game having hit 51 free throws in a row -- 11 short of the franchise record held, ironically, Joe Dumars himself -- and then went 2-for-8. Even worse, he shanked all three fouls shots after getting fouled on three-point attempt with 7.9 seconds left in the game. Six missed freebies -- including those critical three bonks -- by a guy who never misses is kind of a big deal in a six-point loss.
Said Rip: "At one point in time, I thought I couldn't miss a free throw. And then tonight I miss six. But it happens. That's the game for you. Just when you think that you can't miss, a game like this happens. It's crazy."
Added Tayshaun Prince: "It shouldn't have come down to that, but that's what happened. That's why you've got to play good for 48 minutes and not let the other team hang around long enough to make big shots and big plays at the end of the game. We stopped our flow, and that was it."
Bonus stat: The Pistons came into this contest shooting a league-worst 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. Mind you, this was after they spent $55 million on Ben Gordon, one of the league's premier three-point assassins.
Personally, I think Larry Brown would rather drown in his own vomit after eating a plate full of tuna burritos than have to deal with one more career NBA fuckup. But then again, Michael "I once used the first overall draft pick on Kwame Brown and later took Adam Morrison with the third overall pick" Jordan is co-running this team, so anything is possible.
"Good shooting, shitty shooting." That quote kind of describes Matt Bonner's career. One night he hits, the next night...well...not so much. But he has a secondary career as a food reviewr. I shit you not. Check out the archives of [cue Indiana Jones music] The Sandwich Hunter! Thanks to chris for the link. Speaking of chris...
Lacktion report: Here's his lacktion report.
Wolves-Hawks: Darko Milicic, now free to lack it up, did make four blocks and two boards in 10:14 - counting that however with a brick and three fouls for a 3:2 Voskuhl. Alexsandar "Sasha" Pavlovic bricked twice in 5:55 and took a rejection as well as a foul for a +4 suck differential.
For the dirty birds, THE Mario West continues to be the most famous videogamer in the Association, getting burned by Fryguy with a foul in 21 seconds for a namesake Mario that ALSO earned him a +1!
Frail Blazers-Raptors: Patrick Mills and Jeff Pendergraph tossed spiky shells at each other for 51 seconds to serve as Mario Twins!!!!!
Grizzlies-Bullets: DeMarre Carroll is really racking the 1UP credits these last three nights, this time with a 7 second Super Mario (his third straight 8-bit appearance) that also involved a foul for a +1! And Quinton Ross, providing the same null-star qualities in the District that he once showed for Mark Cuban, fired off three blanks (one from the Old Post Office) for a +3 in 11:07!
Magic-Rockets: Jordan Hill climbed into the ledger tonight with a +1 via brick in 2:02.
Thunder-Spurs: Byron Mullens fouled once in 5:57 for a +1, also worthy of a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl. Matt Bonner shared the same statline in just 1:22!
To start your evening, go check out this link. Now. Do it. It's Brian Scalabrine getting a spray tan (which we will get to see in action tomorrow night!). (Thanks to JE Skeets for passing that link along on his Twitter feed)
We all know the Kings Purple Paupers are a mess. Remember when Excremento was playing .500 ball for several weeks? Now they're only slightly better than the Nyets. Coach Paul Westphal has taken a little heat from his players about this, and now he's bullying Spencer Hawes, while Tyreke Evans gets off scot-free, even though he had much harsher words for Coach Westphal. Great way to build team chemistry and improve morale, Coach!
The fine folks over at Cowbell Kingdom have put together a recreation of just how this conversation may have gone down. Take a look:
Worst of the Night in Pictures:
I guess the good news is that he only sprained the ankle instead of turning it into a fine paste of shattered bone and shredded ligaments. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
Woah! That hand is even more screwed up than mine!!
"Oh my God. I see this team every day and even I can't believe what I'm seeing."
Wow. Yi's dunk face is about as scary as a Teletubby. ...Then again, I dunno. That purple Teletubby looks kinda shady. Yeah, a Teletubby is scarier than Yi's dunk face.
Shaq is one gigantic human being. That is all.
Sergio Rodriguez gives us another example of dying slug defense
Nationally Televised Games: Lakers at Mavericks: Well, Kobe hit another game-winning dagger. Now he can be a SWAC for the next few games and the Laker faithfuls won't mind that much.
All The Other Games: Timberwolves at Hawks: Sure, the Timberpoops beat the Heat last night. But that's like beating up on a high school team since D-Wade was out, so shouldn't that only count as half a win or something?
Grizzlies at WizardsGenerals Bullets:Tweet of the day: "Josh Howard will miss the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament. Once again, he has a problem with his joints." Damn. Totally kicking myself right now for not thinking of that joke.
Frail Blazers at Raptors: Last night, Chris texted me while I was at the bowling alley to let me know Camby was hurt, and the Curse of Bill Walton had struck again. I was most decidedly not incredulous. I mean, who didn't see this one coming? You can never fully wash off the stink of the Clippers, and being a big man on the Frail Blazers is like wearing a red shirt on Star Trek. No good can come from it.
Pacers at Bulls: Just go away, Pacers. You're too boring to make fun of, and not good enough to hate.
Hornets at Bucks: Brandon Jennings only went 1-of-9 from the field in a four point effort against the Bricks' defense on Monday. The Bricks!!
Magic at Rockets: FYI, Daryl Morey was on Bill Simmons' podcast earlier this week. Well worth a listen.
Thunder at Spurs: The Thunder had their win streak blown last night. A little good scheduling luck for the Spurs?
76ers at Suns: Well, the Suns managed to win last night in come-from-behind fashion on the road. Watch them blow this theoretically easy home game.
Bobcats at Jazz: As we know, the Bobcats get up for big games. This might actually be an entertaining one.
Much as I hate to miss documenting another loss by the New Jersey Nyets -- which as Basketbawful reader winnetou pointed out set a Nyets franchise record for consecutive home losses -- I just wasn't able to make it through today's Worst of the Night post. Blame Microsoft for auto-updating my computer in the kind of way that made it not work. Hey, Bill Gates...this middle finger is for you.
To partially make it up to you, here's a fun little video I've never posted before. Long before Ron Artest jumped into the Detroit crowd, Cedric Maxwell was taking fans the hell out. The best part -- other the fact that this happened during Game 6 of one of the greatest playoff series of all time -- is that the fan appeared to throw something at Cornbread without illiciting a response. Then he said something that caused Max to turn back and put him down.
I'm guessing whatever he said was, ahem, racially motivated.
I did a little research into this, and apparently the fan stabbed Maxwell with a pencil. That's not cool. The funny thing is, I remember watching this as a kid and thinking nothing of it, other than that Philly fans must be assholes.
Here's an excerpt about the incident from the May 4, 1981 edition of the Boston Globe:
"Cedric Maxwell got the bad news yesterday. His run-in with a Philadelphia fan last Friday night during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at the Spectrum will cost him $2500.
The National Basketball Assn. announced the fine yesterday against Maxwell, who charged into the stands and shoved a middle-aged man whose remarks he apparently took exception to. The incident occurred early in the third period of the game at Philadelphia on May 1. Maxwell was trying to get position under the Celtics backboard and was shoved out of bounds by Darryl Dawkins of the 76ers.
The momentum of Dawkins' shove carried Maxwell into the lap of a fan who was cheerleading in front of his front-row seat. Maxwell picked himself up and headed back to the court. Suddenly, he stopped and went back to charge the man, who was knocked over his chair. The fan was not identified.
"Regardless of the provocation," NBA Comr. Larry O'Brien commented from New York, "players must avoid confrontations with the fans in the stands, and any player engaging in similar conduct in the future will have even more severe penalties."
Maxwell was not available for comment.
Well, O'Brien sure was right about the "more severe penalties" part.
So, just four games into his career as a Bullet, and Josh Howard has torn his ACL and is out for the rest of the season. I can only assume he's currently furiously scouring the phone book looking for a shady doctor to hook him up with medicinal marijuana. Can you blame him? It takes a little while to fully recover from an ACL injury like this. The Bullets almost certainly won't pick up his $11mil option next season, so he'll be an unrestricted free agent, and who will want to spend money on an uncertain knee like this? Wait a second... this is the Bullets team. They'll probably resign him without second thought and try to find a way to give him more money.
But hey, at least his knee isn't made of bendy straws and painter's tape, unlike Tracy McGrady.
Yes, I fully realize we already posted this picture. That's not going to stop me from posting it again!!
This fan hit a halfcourt shot for $10,000. Man, even the fans can score against the Pacers.
"67 points?! Damn! I hope that's a typo..."
This boring-ass picture of Kim Hughes should help you further appreciate just how entertaining Mike Dunleavy was
I'm just going to ask it -- where the hell is Keith Hernandez?
"Man, it's weird not having to hide under this towel in embarrassment!"
Nationally Televised Games: Lakers at Grizzlies: Sigh. If only we could hop into that Hot Tub Time Machine and go back to a month or two ago. You know, before Memphis started to stink like a college dorm room mini-fridge at the end of the year.
All The Other Games: Hornets at Crabs: Hopefully this game does something to settle the Darren Collison vs. Chris Paul debate. (If Collison keeps it up, could he be valuable trade bait in the summer? Hard to devalue him by keeping him as a backup if he keeps performing.)
Bricks at Celtics: Oh man. Nate Robinson in a revenge game against the Bricks? Knee-Mac is already hurt again? Woo! This is almost making me forget about how old and beat up the Celtics are!
Timberwolves at Heat: I feel about as confident about the Heat in this game as I did about the Bobcats last night.
Frail Blazers at Nyets: Ugh, the Nyets. Why don't they just replace the team logo with a picture of a facepalm?
Suns at Thunder: Alright, finally a legitimately good game!
Pistons at Kings: ...And this one brings us right back down to Earth with some super sloppy basketbawful.
76ers at Warriors: Oh, hell. Well, at least we'll have some funny Don Nelson pictures to post tomorrow if we're lucky.
So...McGrady's knees are already hurting after two games
and he may miss tonight's matchup in Boston. Shocking.
The Charlotte Bobcats: Chug, chug, chug, chug...can you hear that? It's the Clipper Train, baby! The Other L.A. Team is now 2-0 in their last two games. Who knew Drew Gooden and Steve Blake were the answers?
Well, okay, it helps to play a bad team (like the Kings) and then another squad that tends to dog it against "inferior" opponents (like the Bobcats). Remember: Charlotte has won three straight against the Cleveland Craboliers.
Said 'Cats coach Larry Brown: "Our biggest problem now is sometimes we don't realize that every game's a big game. We get up for certain games and not others. When you look at these teams that are winning a lot of games, they don't take nights off because their opponent is always bringing their A game. The good teams in this league have to play well every night because everybody's pointing to them. The teams that struggle don't realize that you have to play at a high level every night in order to be successful. And we haven't realized that yet."
Brown wasn't done: "I mean, who would have suspected us to beat Cleveland three straight? And last year, we beat the Lakers twice and still had a lot of bad losses. We have 27 games where we'll decide whether we deserve to be in the playoffs or not. So if we don't make it, it will be on us."
Larry is feeling pissy because after a 12-4 January, his Bobcats have gone 3-6 in January. What's more, 11 of their 28 defeats are against sub-.500 teams, which includes two losses against the 5-51 New Jersey Nyets, two losses to the Knicks, and losses to the Bucks, Pacers and Pistons.
Proof is in the pudding, and this is some poo pudding.
In all fairness to Charlotte, they were without three seven-footers -- Nazr Mohammed (back spasms), Tyson Chandler (sore left knee), and DeSagana Diop (sprained right knee) -- which might explain the 48-34 rebounding disadvantage. And on the bright side, if the Bobcats do end up making the playoffs, they're destined (read that: doomed) to be a low seed, which means they're probably end up playing the Crabs and Magic, which is a good thing since, in theory, they only get up for the bad teams.
Yeah, I know. I'm reaching.
Stephen Jackson: Captain Jack must have run into his own personal Davey Jones before the game, because he was turrible: 1-for-16, 5 turnovers, 6 fouls. Like I said a week or so ago, when Stephen Jackson is a team's second-most important player, that team is fundamentally flawed.
The Clippers' transition game: Did you know The Other L.A. Team's interim coach, Kim Hughes, is trying to implement an up-tempo offense? Well, he is. And yet the Clips had exactly zero fast break points last night. Way to get 'em runnin', Kim.
The Utah Jazz: The Mormon Musicians celebrated their 25-point comeback against the Frail Blazers in Portland on Sunday by losing to the Hawks in Utah on Monday. And get ready for this: it was the Atlanteans have won in Salt Lake City in 17 years. 17 years!!
I shit you not. The Hawks hadn't won in Utah since February 13, 1993, when The Human Highlight film dropped 43 points (15-for-25) in Atlanta's 121-112 win. (John Stockton led the Jazz with 32 points, 9 assists, 5 steals...and 8 turnovers. So close to a triple bumble!) That equates to a 15-game road losing streak to the Jazz.
Joe Johnson -- who knocked in 11 of his game-high 28 points in the decisive fourth quarter -- said: "It's about time. The last time our team won here, I was just a little kid watching Dominique and dreaming I might play in the NBA someday. ... The streak was brought to our attention before the game, so we wanted to come out early and establish ourselves. We wanted to make sure they knew it wasn't going to be the same type of game they are used to seeing out of us."
Utah's loss only adds credence to my "second night of back-to-backs" theory. Of course, the Jazz were also without their best player (Deron Williams) and (in theory) their best defender (Andre Kirilenko), the latter of which (along with the weary legs) could explain why the Hawks shot 54+ percent for the game. Plus, the Jazz just weren't crisp in the end game. Carlos Boozer followed up the previous game's Animal Style double-double (22 points, 23 boards) with a more modest double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) plus a season-high 8 dimes. BUT...he couldn't hit down the stretch and bobbled a ball out of bounds in the final minute on a possession in which the Jazz could have tied the game.
Said Kyle Korver: "You could tell we played an overtime game last night. In the end, we couldn't make shots, and we couldn't get stops and Joe Johnson just played really, really well."
The Indiana Pacers: Chug, chug, chug, chug...can you hear that? It's the Mavs Train, baby! The Mavericks are now 4-0 with Brendan Haywood as their starting center. Who knew Haywood (13 points, 20 rebounds, 3 blocks) was the answer?
Of course, it always helps when you play the Pacers.
It was an ugly-ass game, tho'. Dallas shot 38 percent and Indy hit 36 percent. The teams also combined to go 7-for-37 from beyond the arc.
Said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "We played a sloppy game. The ball movement wasn't crisp, and we had questionable shot selection. Defensively, we had too many breakdowns. We have to get better."
Don't you just love it when the winning coach gets all grumpy about the way his team just won? Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that the Mavericks play the Lakers in Dallas on Wednesday. The way they played against the Pacers won't cut it against L.A. And I mean regardless of whether Kobe plays.
The New York Knicks: Well...huh. Maybe the Knicks should have traded for an old priest and a young priest before the deadline, because these dudes still have some bigtime demons to exorcise. But hey, everybody should have seen this coming, right? In New York's last game -- the first with their new players -- David Lee was fantastic, Eddie House scored a season-high, and Knee-Mac had his best game in a very long while. And the Bricks lost that one.
Things definitely de-improved last night.
At halftime, the Bricks celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1970 NBA championship team. Willis Reed was there. Walt Frazier was there. It was good times...good times...
But not for the 2009-10 Knicks. They came out and scored only 26 points in the second half, finishing with a grisly 67 points on 33 percent shooting. It was New York's worst offensive output in more than two years. You know, back in the Isiah Thomas era. Man, it's a good thing the Knicks brought in Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni!
"I don't want to make too many excuses," said Bricks coach Mike D'Antoni, who then went on to do just that, "but obviously we weren't familiar with what we're doing and with each other. The first night, we ran on a lot of adrenaline and kind of got us through. I just thought we just didn't really have a lot of pop down there. The ball didn't really move and stopped. Guys were hesitating. They seemed lost."
Isn't that how this team has seemed all season? I mean, weren't you guys 18-35 before the trades, Mike? And you guys were pretty familiar with each other, right? I mean...right?
And right on cue, Knee-Mac banged knees a couple times...and he might not play tonight in Boston. Well, that was fast. Said McGrady: "Hopefully it's not sore tomorrow," he said. "I may lace them up and play tomorrow, but we'll see."
David Lee: Okay, seriously, I don't care about all his double-doubles and whatever. The dude got spit-roasted by Andy Bogut (24 points, 20 boards, 5 blocks). Maybe he's just been drinking too much of 'Antoni's poisoned Kool-Aid, but Lee plays no defense. None. Not even by accident. He's like a superhero who can become intangible to avoid contact with his enemies and then does it all the time.
The Chicago Bulls: Uh oh...
That's right. And the Bulls walked right into it. With little more than a halfhearted effort, Chicago built a 56-46 lead over the seemingly hapless WizardsGenerals Bullets...and, frankly, it felt like the lead could have been 20. But it wasn't, and the Bulls paid for letting Washington hang around. Sure enough, the Bullets outscored Chicago 31-16 -- including a ball-busting 14-0 spurt -- in the third quarter as the Bulls shot 7-for-21 from the field.
From that point, Washington was in control. And you can lay a lot of the blame for that cruddy quarter at the sensible shoes of...
Vinny Del Negro: First off, here's what the Bulls managed to accomplish out of Vinny's well-concieved timeouts. Yes, that was sarcastic. Anyway: 1st timeout: Jannero Pargo turnover; 2nd timeout: Luol Deng made 16-footer; 3rd timeout: Kirk Hinrich missed 19-footer; 4th timeout: Rose made jumper (Hinrich assists); 5th timeout: Brad Miller missed thee-pointer; 6th timeout: Flip Murray missed three-pointer; 7th timeout: Miller missed three-pointer.
So to sum up: After seven called timeouts, the Bulls were 2-for-6 from the field (including 0-for-3 from downtown) with a turnover. And you'll notice every shot was a long jumper...which means that, coming out of their timeouts, the Bulls didn't get a single high-percentage shot.
You know what else was damning about those timeouts? Not a single one was called during Washington's 14-0 game-breaking run. As By The Horns reader Tony C. put it: "VDN's time out selection was also quite poor. Notice that when the Wzard's went on a 14-0 run, VDN sat with his hands under his ass. When the Bulls went on a (later) mini-run, Flip Saunders called an immediate time out to stop the momentum. This is coaching 101; why hasn't VDN figured it out yet?"
Bucks-Knicks: Toney Douglas can now party it up with the Dolans after a 3.5 trillion (3:31) investment matured!
Pacers-Mavs: Jose Juan Barea continues his streak of non-contribution with a stunning set of stats in 5:02 - 2 fouls, 2 rejections, and a trio of bricks (once from the West End Historic District) for a +7 suck differential! Also sucky tonight was Matt Carroll, who missed twice for a +2 in 2:51.
Hawks-Jazz: Joe Smith boringly made 100% of his shot attempts (once!) and also garnered a singular board in 11:18, only to foul four times for a 4:3 Voskuhl. Jeff Teague bricked once and fouled once for a +2 in 3:16. And Mario West can now afford to get his Virtual Boy fixed, after collecting a 1.6 trillion (1:38)!