I don't know why, but this song totally popped in my head
when I saw this pic. With LeBron singing it, of course.
The Cleveland Cavaliers: Okay, let's consider the following Crab facts: A transcendent game from LeBron (43 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks), 116 points on 50 percent shooting, a 66-46 advantage in points in the paint and a 40-26 edge in free throw attempts.
How the hell did Cleveland lose this one?!
Well, let's start with that FTA advantage. When you get 14 more foul shots than your opponent but end up only +2 in points off those attempts, something has gone very wrong. The Crabs shanked 17 freebies, which is especially damning in a game that goes to overtime. The primary culprits were The Big Clanky (0-for-6) and King Crab himself (12-for-17). Shaqnopsis? Yep. Shaqnopsis.
Another problem, believe it or not, was LeBron's shot selection. His overall accuracy (15-for-33) wasn't terrible, but it would have been 14-for-24 had he not gone a miserable 1-for-9 from downtown. And it's not like he was bricking wide-open threes, either. At least six or seven of those attempts were heat checks of the highest order. In fact, after he knocked down his one and only trey late in overtime, he immediately chucked up two turrible threes on Cleveland's very next possession when a drive or a post up would have been the better choice. And, as it happened, some gritty offensive rebounding by his teammates gave him a third chance...at which point he finally took it to the cup and tied the game with a layup and one.
But the Basketball Gods were clearly offended by LeBron's gunning, because they let Carmelo Anthony (40 points, 6 boards, 7 assists) hit the game-winner over his good buddy's outstretched claw. We can only hope King Crab understands it's nothing personal...just business.
Said the Chosen Crustacean: "It's finally me being on the other end I guess. I'm so used to being on the other end making shots and looking at guys."
Ah...modest as ever!
Mind you, LeBron missed his final four shots, while 'Melo made 7 of his last 8. I'm just sayin'.
Shaquille O'Neal, quote machine: "We have to chalk this under another game of us beating ourselves. The whole world knows we beat ourselves tonight. Too many turnovers, too many missed shots."
Notice how he didn't say anything about missed free throws?
Cancer: What a bummer to find out that George Karl has neck and throat cancer. I've gotta give him some mad props for gutting it out and sticking with his team. Now he's looking at coaching the stretch run while undergoing a six-week treatment program of radiation and chemotherapy. Damn.
Said Karl: "I think I need the gym and I need the juice of being happy about kicking someone's butt and preparing and watching video. I felt very early it made no sense for me to separate from the team. ... It's going to be my sanctuary to do what I like to do and forget maybe the things that are always going to pop into your mind."
I wish him well. Especially if he keeps giving us things like...
George Karl, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Submitted by our very own lacktion chris: "Penetration will wear them out." Yes. Yes, it will.
Speaking of unintentionally dirty quotes...
The Associated Press, unintentionally dirty quote machine: This item from the AP recap of the Nuggets-Crabs came was submitted by Basketbawful reader Jan N.: "James and Anthony entered first and third in the league in scoring, respectively, and didn't disappoint. The two combined to make just 4 of 20 shots in the first quarter, then spent the rest of the night hitting huge shots in each other's face."
The Los Angeles Lakers: I guess all those "Are they better without Kobe?" qustions got answered last night. L.A. missed nine free throws, barely shot over 40 percent as a team, managed one measly field goal over the final 7:14, and scored only 86 points on their home court against their most bitter rival. That's a pretty big fail, right?
Historical footnote: That point total was the Lakers' lowest against the Celtics since February 15, 1991, when they lost 98-85 at the Forum. That was the famous game (well, to me, anyway) in which Vlade Divac had talked a little smack about how the Lakers' previous game against the Celtics in Boston had been "an exhibition." Somebody brought that to Robert Parish's attention, and the Chief's response was, "Well, fuck Vlade Divac." Parish went out and destroyed Divac, scoring 21 points on Vlade in the first quarter...which, considering the fact that at that point Chief was the fourth option, was like Bird dropping 40 in a quarter. Man, that was awesome.
Honestly, though, the Lakers had no excuse to lose this one. The refs let them play hacky-smack defense in the paint but tagged Kevin Garnett with some cheap ticky-tac fouls that limited him to only 26 minutes. In fact, Boston was up 66-55 in the third quarter when KG got hit with another cheapie -- his fourth of the game -- and had to go to the bench with 8:27 left to go in the period. By the time he got back into the game midway through the fourth quarter, the Lakers were on a run that gave them an 84-80 lead.
Note the Lakers scored only 2 more points after KG came back. Again, I'm just sayin'.
Rasheed Wallace: One of the main reasons the Celtics took a chance on Wallace was so he could act as a replacement for Garnett when KG was hurt or in foul trouble. Since that was the case last night, 'Sheed logged 20 minutes...and went 2-for-11 from the field, including 0-for-3 from downtown. And his shots were not pretty. Even his postups looked awkward and forced. Although trying to shoot over Pau Gasol will do that.
The bigger problem, pun intended, is Wallace's big, fat ass. I've watched probably 80 percent of Boston's games this season, and I'm not sure there's been a single one where a broadcaster didn't say something like, "If Rasheed Wallace can get in shape" or "When Rasheed Wallace gets in shape." Hell, Doug Collins said it last night. Uh, Doug, over half the season has gone by. If someone can't get in shape by playing professional basketball for several months, what's it going to take? A fat farm? Do we need to hide his boxes of Twinkies?
On top of his cruddy shooting, Wallace's picked up lucky technical foul number 13. Three more mean an automatic one-game suspension. And mind you, the league office recently rescinded two technical fouls he already gotten.