awkward
Do you think they would have celebrated this way if they'd known in
advance how it would look? And that it would be caught on film?

The Los Angeles Clippers: Facing the Hawks in Atlanta, The Other L.A. Team actually built a a 70-57 in the third quarter and led by as many as nine in the fourth. This despite the fact that they were at the end of an eight-game road trip and had played (and won) the previous night in Chicago. But, well, they are who we thought they were, you know? Joe Johnson (34 points, 11-for-21) caught fire and the Dirty Birds took control down the stretch of their 103-97 win. Atlanta improved to 20-5 at home while the Clippers finished thier road trip 2-6 and have dripped 13 of their last 15 games away from home.

Fun fact: The Other L.A. Team is 13-39 all-time in Atlanta.

And while this was, as always, a team loss, a special Boner of the Night award goes to...

Marcus Camby: The Camby Man (6 points, 20 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) stood tall in defeat. Of course, the dude's huge, so he'd stand tall even if he was picking up garbage or unclogging toilets for a living. Come to think of it, being a Clippers kind of is like picking up trash and unclogging toilets for a living. But I digress.

Despite the reasonably strong play -- especially for an old guy of the second night of back-to-backs -- Camby had a brain fart that proved costly in more ways than one. From the AP recap:

Marcs Camby, the NBA's third-leading rebounder, had 20 rebounds for Los Angeles, but a miscommunication with Baron Davis caused the point guard to call the Clippers' final timeout with 2:16 remaining.

Camby apparently didn't break free soon enough to help Davis move the ball away from two defenders that had him pinned near the midcourt sideline.

Because he feared committing a 5-second turnover, Davis called timeout. He complained to Camby, who nodded his head in agreement, as the two teammates walked to Los Angeles' bench.

The possession ended as Davis badly missed a layup from the right side.
Mind you, the Clippers were down only 94-90 at the time. That was a pretty big fail on a pretty critical possession. So I guess Camby is who we thought he was, too.

The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued with a 108-99 road loss to the Craptors. Oh, and I love the AP headline for this one: "Red-hot Raptors drop Nets to fourth consecutive loss." Dude, the Nyets are 4-44 and on pace to potentially become the worst team in league history. A fourth consecutive defeat is the least of their concerns.

Believe it or not, the Nyets were actually up by as many as 12 points in the second quarter...before Sonny Weems took over. That's right: Sonny Weems. He scored 8 points in period numero dos, including a crazy-ass alley-oop dunk that nearly brought the dead back to life. Of an inbounds play, by the way. Nice defense, New Jersey.


Weems ended up setting new career highs with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Said Toronto coach Jay Triano: "Sonny was energy and beyond tonight. Open drives to the basket and he finished and made plays for other people too." Added Nyets' prisoner Kris Humphries: "Weems came in and was the difference-maker for them. The big dunk got the crowd going. They were actually booing them for a while."

Said Jarret Jack: "Tonight was his first double-double, which he was very happy about. He told me he was going to go home and frame the boxscore." Added Weems: "It feels good to finally get a chance to get out there and play and showcase what I can do."

So thank you, New Jersey Nyets, for helping a young man's dreams come true. For one night, anyway.

Halftime entertainment: From Shayan of the Toronto Raptors blog Mediocre Forever: "How's this for a random WTF: At the Raptors-Nets game in Toronto, the Raptors rewarded their fans by having a performance from...VANILLA ICE! I kid you not. I think the other question this answers is, yes, Vanilla Ice is still alive. Best part, just go to the Raptors Fan Night page, and the song AUTO-PLAYS in the background, a little bit remixed for 2010!"

I will admit I'm a bit stunned because, in the immortal words of Stu Price in The Hangover, I thought Vanilla Ice was probably face down in a ditch somewhee with a meth head butt-fucking his corpse. That said, I can think of no better song than "Ice Ice Baby" to describe the Nyets.

The Chicago Bulls: It's time to rip off some of my own analysis from By The Horns:

As Derrick Rose goes, so go the Bulls. Well, Rose had a fantastic game last night against the Sixers: 30 points (10-for-22 from the field, 9-for-10 from the line), 4 rebounds, 9 assists. His scoring and assist totals were both game highs. He scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. And yet the Bulls lost their second consecutive game to a sub-.500 team…which in fact dropped them back below .500 in the process. So what happened?

Defense. Or rather the lack thereof.

Philly typically connects on about 45 percent of their field goals (20th in the league), and their average Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) is 48.6 (23rd in the league). Meanwhile, the Bulls usually hold their opponents to 43.6 percent shooting (3rd in the league) and an eFG% of 48.0 (6th in the league). So, all things being equal, Chicago should have shut the the Sixers down. With authoritah.

But they did not.

Philadelphia connected on 52.3 percent of their shots and finished with an eFG% of 55.2. Not only did those numbers exceed what the Sixers normally do and far surpass how Bulls opponents perform on average, they're also significantly above what the league’s best team do on a nightly basis. The Utah Jazz currently lead the league in FGP (49.2) and the Phoenix Suns are tops in eFG% (54.1).

It was a classic defensive fail.

And mind you, the Sixers missed 11 of their 16 three-point attempts (31 percent) and hit only 11 of thier 19 fouls shots (58 percent). But the Bulls — who usually hold their foes to 55.8 percent shooting around the basket (2nd in the league) — allowed Philly to connect on 15 of their 20 shots at the rim (75 percent). For comparison’s sake, the Cleveland Cavaliers lead the league in at-the-rim FGP at 66.8.

Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah rank 1st and 2nd on the Bulls in both Defensive Rating and Blocked Shot Percentage. And yet Noah (6 points, 8 rebounds) logged only 27 minutes while Thomas (12 points, 6 boards, 1 steal) played a mere 15. And mind you, this game included an overtime session. Neither player blocked a single shot. In fact, as a team, the Bulls finished with zero swats. Since neither man was in foul trouble — Joakim finished with 2 personals while Tyrus had only 1 — we have to assume Noah was limited by his plantar fasciitis and that Thomas remains outside of coach Vinny Del Negro's circle of trust.

Meanwhile, Brad Miller played 33 minutes and contributed 8 points and 1 lonely rebound. I have no idea how a seven-footer could log that many minutes and yet finish with a single board.
I should also point out that the Bulls were playing the second game of back-to-backs, an area in which they've struggled all season, and a situation that was made worse because both Noah and Taj Gibson were limited due to foot problems.

Brad Miller: See above.

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: Losing to the lowly Bricks is one thing. Losing to their bench is another, sadder, much more pathetic thing. New York's reserves -- led by Krypto-Nate (23 points, 10-for-15, 8 assists) and Big Shot Larry Hughes (11 points, 5-for-10) nearly outscored Washington's starters. The final tally on that little battle was 50-49. Not surprisingly, the Caron Butler-less Bullets lost in a 107-85 blowout.

Said Big Shot Larry: "We (the reserves) picked it up. We were pushing the ball up the court, putting pressure on the defense. There was a stretch there we were making shots and they were making shots, but for the most part we kept the energy and kept the pressure on. And once they start missing, we continued to make shots, so we pulled away."

In the second half, the Bricks outscored the Bullets 66-40.

Said Washington coach Flip "My Shit" Saunders: "When you're not a very good team, which right now we're not, it's like you can hang around, hang around, but in the fourth quarter the game is determined. And when we fall behind, we melt right now."

The Miami Heat: D-Wade (27 points, 13 assists) set a season-high for assists, but that didn't stop the Heat (24-25) from falling below .500 for the first time this season. Still, as good as he was, Pookie made one of the biggest mitakes of Miami's night...

Dwyane Wade: Toney Allen -- who started in place of the injured Paul Pierce -- was victimized by Pookie for most of his 28 minutes of PT. But, with the Heat down only three points (97-94) with 37 seconds left, Allen picked Wade's pocket near Miami's free-throw line. He was fouled and made both freebies, giving Boston a 99-94 lead. That forced the Heat to foul and the Celtics closed the Heat out at the charity stripe.

Said Allen: "I just reached my left hand out there and got the steal, hit the two free throws, and that was the game." Thanks for the recap, Tony. Real gripping stuff, there.

Wade finished with a game-high 6 turnovers...almost half of Miami's total (13).

The Gol_en State Warriors: The bad news: They lost again, falling to 13-35 in the process. The good news: Despite playing on the road against a good team, they gave up only 110 points on 54 percent shooting...which is actually pretty good by the Warriors' usual defensive standards.

Gol_en State has now lost seven in a row, which is the second time this season that's happened. Said Monta Ellis: "There's a lot we could have done to win this game. We did everything we could to get back into it." You know, when a team gives up 54 percent shooting, I'm not sure that team really did "everything" they could to get back into it.

By the way, Ellis scored 46 points (17-for-23), which I guess is the highest point total this season in a losing effort. But on that subject...

The _allas _efense: Allow me, if you will, to once again quote Jason Kidd from back on January 20 when Dallas beat the woeful Bullets: "Winning on a defensive possession, you wouldn't say that in the past about the Mavericks. It would be us trying to get a basket on the other end. This year, we've really focused on playing defense. We looked at the last champions and said, 'Hey, they all played defense.' So that's what we're focused on right now."

Aaaaaaand...four days after Andre Miller dropped 52 on them, the Mavs give up 46 to Monta "Moped" Ellis? No word as of yet what J-Kidd thinks of the _allas _efense right now. But here's what Dirk thinks: "That's what we do. We give guys contract extensions."

The Sacramento Kings: Thought fought. They scrapped. They made a valiant comeback attempt. But they still dropped to 3-19 since The Comeback in Chicago.

But wait, there's more. Sacramento has lost 15 of 17 since beating Denver on December 28. And they've dropped seven of their last 10 games at Arco Arena after winning 10 of their first 13 at home.

Said Tyreke the Freak: "I don't know what it is. We go out and play hard but at the end of the game we just don't find a way to pull it out. Our execution is terrible."

The Portland Frail Blazers: Damn. Ever since I declared them the West's top "Bipolar Girlfriend Team," the Jazz have been on fire. Make it seven straight wins for the Mormon Musicians, who shot over 70 percent (24-for-34) in the second half, finished with 32 assists on 42 field goals, and set a new season-high for field goal percentage (62.7).

Said Utah coach Jerry Sloan: "We passed the ball real well tonight."

Countered Portland coach Nate McMmillan: "We weren't even close to stopping these guys. It was poor defense all around. We didn't control the ball, which allowed them to get into the paint and then drop it for easy baskets."

The Jazz outscored the Blazers 62-38 in the paint. Again I say: Portland is really missing Greg Oden's giant schlong and the Vanilla Godzilla. They might as well draw a welcome mat under their basket.

Chauncey Billups: Back on April 2, 2006, Chauncey Billups lit the Suns up for 35 points on 12-for-23 shooting and Detroit beat Phoenix 109-102. Many people used this as Exhibit A in the Case Against Steve Nash Winning Back-To-Back MVPs. "Chauncey Billups owns Steve Nash! That proves Nash is a defensive liability and therefore not the MVP!"

I can't tell you how many times I read that, or how many times somebody commented or e-mailed that little factoid to me back when I was defending Nash's back-to-back MVPs. It's not like Billups was a bum. In 2005-06, he scored 30+ points seven times, and notched between 20-29 points another 30 times. At any rate, Nash and Billups have taken turns lighting each other up over the years. Yet I still occasionally receive a straggling message out of the blue (usually from somebody combing through the Basketbawful archives) about how Chauncey owns Steve.

I guess that's why I get some sadistic glee whenever Nash (17 points, 8-for-15, 10 assists) outplays Billups (11 points, 5-for-14 4 assists).

The Los Angeles Lakers: Yes, they won. But it was an ugly win against a Charlotte team that was missing its best player (Gerald Wallace) and finishing up a six-game road trip. And did I mention the Bobcats came into the game 6-18 away from home? The Lakers should have wiped the floor with these guys. Why didn't they? Well...

Kobe Bryant: Mamba hurt his injured left foot when Lamar Odom stepped on it late in the first half. Bryant went on to have one of his worst games ever. He was scoreless in the fourth quarter and scored a season-low 5 points. But that total wasn't just a season worst...it was the fewest points Kobe has ever scored when logging 30+ minutes of PT. Not only did the injury force Mamba into a crappy game, it also led to...

Kobe Bryant, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "It was just stiff -- stiff and tight." Quick question: Did the word "Colorado" pop into your head after you read that sentence but before you read this one?

Random: Statistical analysis shows that Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant aren't making guys any better.

Giant-sized Lacktion Report: Chris is clearly drowning his Kings-related sorrow in NBA lacktion:

Clippers-Hawks: Steve Novak and Bobby Brown decided to pop in the video games of their youth, but while Novak put on a Tanooki suit for a 9.6 second Super Mario to close out the game, Bobby Brown went one better by upgrading from 8-bit to 64-bit technology in a 0.8 second SUPER MARIO GALAXY late in the fourth quarter - Brown's second straight night in tribute to Shigeru Miyamoto!!!!!!!

For the dirty birds, Zaza Pachulia negated two boards with two giveaways and a foul in 9:52 for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Bullets-Knicks: Fabricio Oberto, Dominic McGuire, and Mike James provided Washington a trilogy of revolving lacktion in 2:39 tonight! Oberto fabulously fidgeted to fill his finances with 2.65 trillion; McGuire fired off a brick for a +1 suck differential, and James also chambered a foul alongside a brick of his own for a +2.

Heat-Celtics: Carlos Arroyo fouled once in 7:25 for a +1, matching the suck differential that Brian Scalabrine acquired in 5:05 (which also garnerd the latter a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!). Bill Walker had a pedestrian penny-pinching session worth 1.75 trillion (1:46). (In other statistical news, Kevin Garnett scored 14 points and 9 assists for a Calvin Murphy!)

Warriors-Mavs: Quinton Ross stomped on several Goombas in 48 seconds for a Mario, while Eduardo Najera countered a board in 13:41 with two bricks and three fouls for a 3:1 Voskuhl.

Frail Blazers-Jazz: EnergySolutions Arena apparently had enough power for three seperate Nintendo consoles, as Patrick Mills and Sundiata Gaines served as opposing-team Mario Twins with 47 second non-lacktive stints that featured a field goal, while Kosta Koufos also entered the drainpipe of lack with a 31 second Mario of his own!!!!

Spurs-Kings: Matt Bonner bricked twice from the Cesar Chavez Plaza farmer's market in 6:59 and also fouled for a +3 that doubled as a 2:0 Voskuhl! For the purple paupers, Sean May can now afford the chicken strips at Arco Arena due to his collection of 1.7 trillion (1:44) in wealth.

Suns-Nuggets: Johan Petro panned a fortune of 2.4 trillion (2:24) in a losing effort.

Bobcats-Lakers: In celebration of Phil Jackson's record as winningest Laker coach ever, Sasha Vujacic jumped on an end-of-level flag eagerly during a 12 second Mario.

Labels:

37 Comments:
Anonymous Hellshocked said...
So I guess Larry Hughes is out of jail. Anyone know if he shaved?

If Dirk really said that it has my vote for quote of the season thus far.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
The analysis is kind of, what's the word, crap? Playing alongside Kobe and Phil Jackson did not make Malone any worse than it made Shaq any better. While I suspect that the benefits of playing alongside Kobe and Jackson are not hugely visible (more a function of how well their existing talents fit into the system), comparing those stats without context is a terrible measure. Hellshocked and I were talking about how much Ginobili improves his teammates. Finley, Barry, McDyess, and Ratliff are just some of the players that got worse thanks to that "selfish" Argentinean ballhog.

Playing alongside Dwight Howard also makes players worse rebounders, as guys like Lewis and Bass will attest to. He steals people's rebounding powers. Pictured: Dwight Howard and others

Blogger Kevin said...
As a resident of Toronto, I came perilously close to forever not watching a Raptors game again since we were down by double digits to the Nets.

Also if Paul Pierce's injury is bad, those 5 and a half games that Boston is ahead in the Division could shrink very fast...
Which would bring me nothing but pure, unadulterated happiness because the Boston team is so hate-able. And I hate Boston fans, but who doesn't?

Blogger Kevin said...
@NarSARSsist: I've also thought about that point as well. Many people don't see Bargnani as a legit 7-footer because his rebound numbers are so low, but look who he plays beside. Chris Bosh leads the NBA in double-doubles, he just inhales everything off the glass. If you had a guy like that on your team, wouldn't you be disinclined to go for boards as well?

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
The Spurs were spared from the WotN, but they did some truly bawful crapping away of their lead. After a Keith Bogans three pointer followed by the Kings failing to score on their possession, the Spurs found themselves with a 13 point lead and the ball with two minutes left. Surely they can't make this game look remotely interesting after this point?

Next 6 possessions: Hill turnover (Evans steal); Evans dunk; Ginobili traveling; Hawes 20 foot jumper; Mason turnover (Evans steal); Greene fast break score.

For good measure, after the Spurs were forced to call a timeout, they went 1 of 2 twice from the free throw line while allowing Evans to convert two layups to get the game to 5 points. Ginobili was able to sink a couple of free throws after that, but for a short while there things sure looked ugly.

Blogger Amandus said...
Heres my trade of the day: Most of the blazers roster for Melo CP3 and Durant http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yhx5vpq

Blogger chris said...
NarSARSist: If ONLY the Spurs made it to the WOTN.

Instead, with another Loss That Isn't As Bad As Others, it's another lost season in Sacramento, with Tyreke's rookie year being wasted alongside a bunch of scrubs and the collection of bricks from Mr. Discount Store.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Love and Jefferson both pull down a bunch of boards despite playing on the same team. I don't think that explains Bargs' bad rebounding.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Kevin - Indeed. Playing alongside a guy like that, you don't even have to be lazy to look bad at rebounding. Also, playing alongside guys like that tends to force you to occupy positions closer to the perimeter (since these days almost every team has a big man that can shoot from outside to space the court for their post up player), decreasing your rebounding opportunities even further. Kirilenko used to grab 8 boards a game, until Boozer and his giant shoulders ate up the paint.

chris - If the Spurs had made it to the WotN, it would be one of the most effective diet programs of all time, on account of us Spurs fans vomiting our lunches and dinners from the loss. The Spurs are really having some trouble closing lately. (Anecdotally speaking. Know of any good sites that break down quarter by quarter scoring?)

Blogger chris said...
NarSARSist: I'd rather have the Spurs "trouble" in closing out games, than the purple paupers' actual inability to hold on to a late lead.

And out of curiosity, would basketball-reference work for searching quarter-by-quarter scoring? Unless you're thinking of who and what occurred (which the NBA.com play-by-play is most effective with).

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
@NarS:

Agreed. You can find stats to back up pretty much any argument in the world and you can twist stats to further confirm it, but in the case of basketball isn't the ultimate indicator of a player's prowess the success of his team? Phil Jackson has 10 championships. Even if he somehow did the opposite and made players "worse", it is an irrelevant argument to make since the success of his teams was predicated on them playing the way that they did. Playing for D'Antoni may pad a guy's stats but does it make you a "better" player? No, the system just puts you in a situation where you can pad your stats. Improving stats isn't a coach´s job, improving the team is.

I'd also argue that Phil does make players better by assigning them specific roles so they know what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. Just compare Ariza's field goal percentages (and team success) this season and last for an example. Try to imagine Luke Walton playing for any other NBA team for another. Shannon Brown fizzled before landing in LA. And so on, and so forth.

@Kevin:

I'm not sure about the Bargnani argument though. I think rebounding is probably the only stat that remains more or less constant from system to system. Dwight Howard would be a great rebounder even if he was playing in Minnesota with Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. He might not average 14 a game but all three of them should be able to average 9-10.

Toronto is one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Even with Bosh averaging a double-double they typically get outrebounded every night. Andrea is not the type of guy who goes after boards like his life depends on it. He pretty much just stands there and gets whatever rebounds happen to come to him. If he really put his heart into it he could easily be picking up 8 Dirk-like rebounds per game instead of the 6.2 he is averaging.

I'm not hating on the guy, I think he has a bundle of talent. I just don't ever see him becoming someone who averages double digits in rebounds, and I have a thing about big men who don't rebound. I can´t stand my countryman Charlie Villanueva for that very reason.

I also wish Bargs would drive to the hoop more often. His first step is unreal for a 7 footer and he rarely uses it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I've also thought about that point as well. Many people don't see Bargnani as a legit 7-footer because his rebound numbers are so low, but look who he plays beside. Chris Bosh leads the NBA in double-doubles, he just inhales everything off the glass. If you had a guy like that on your team, wouldn't you be disinclined to go for boards as well?

Larry Bird and Robert Parish played together for 12 seasons, during which Bird averaged 10 RPG and Parish averaged 10+. Oh, and Kevin McHale was averaging between 7-9.9 RPG during that time as well (when he was a starter, or getting a starter's minutes off the bench).

Rebounding is dictated both by a player's desire to grab rebounds and the team's style of play.

No offensie to Bargnani, but he doesn't strike me as someone who would be a dominant rebounder with or without Bosh as a teammate. Same with Dwight Howard's teammates. Rashard Lewis, for example, was always a substandard rebounder for his size.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
You mean there's a black Stormy?

Anonymous Shane T. said...
I nominate worst of the night to the Daily Dime on Espn.com. If you look at Box number 6, it reads "Nuggets waste Monta's Big Night". Keep in mind a) Monta Ellis is on the Warriors, and b) they lost to the Mavericks, so... yeah. Too bad the Nuggets wasted that.

http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Hellshocked - Improving stats isn't a coach´s job, improving the team is.
Definitely. Let's say Lebron and Mike Brown were some super awesome coaching team. (After all, Lebron's 100% and completely responsible for Hickson's performance. Just listen to man drop his pearly wisdom, JJ! Mike Brown won Coach of the Year! Not even Jerry Sloan is that good!) They teach Delonte West all these awesome moves and how to read defenses and whatnot. However, because he's playing next to some dude called King Crab, he never truly shines through until he gets signed by another team and takes over. Would we say that Mike Brown is a terrible coach then, for suppressing West's stats in favor of BronBron? Would we say Lebron is a turrible teammate? While we're on this subject, why don't we compare the PER of Shaq pre/post Lebron? Or Drew Gooden? Or Carlos Boozer?

----

Why are we using all these examples of extreme cases? I'm pretty sure nobody is arguing that Bargnani is some great rebounder. We were merely making the point that playing alongside great rebounders would decrease your rebounding (which, for my point, was that you can lose PER without becoming a worse player qualitatively). Nobody's proposing some avant garde way of justifying Bargnani is a rebounding machine, just "less bad than advertised". There's no reason to bust out with Al Jefferson/Kevin Love comparisons.

Blogger zyth said...
http://realgm.com/src_feature_pieces/861/20100203/moving_day_arriving_for_haywood/

didn't know why i actually opened this piece...until i found the mention of a certain great white baller.
"The Jazz, for example, have Kyle Korver’s expiring contract, a New York Knicks first-round pick, and haven’t had a top-level post defender since Greg Ostertag."

Greg was top-level?srsly?

Blogger chris said...
And in a reader mailbag to Bill Simmons, one purple pauper fan from San Diego makes the case as to why Sactown's been tortured so badly by the pain of the Kings' heartbreak:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100203

I would like to formally petition for an exception to the Relocation Rule when it comes to the 2002 Western Conference playoffs, because anyone from the Sacramento area can tell you that was a total Level 1 situation. Come on, it's SACRAMENTO! That city practically screams mediocrity! It's a valley full of generic cow towns where the most exciting event is a new Costco opening. Even our own governor won't live here! The Kings are all we have, and we love them despite the fact that it's damn hard to love them 90 percent of the time.

To make matters worse, we're constantly surrounded by Lakers fans for no other reason than the fact that the bandwagon makes its way up here. And these Lakers fans aren't real Lakers fans; they just think the Lakers are cool and trendy, and they see Leonardo DiCaprio sitting courtside so they want to be cool and trendy because let's face it, Sacramento is anything but. They constantly harass us and taunt Kings fans yet seem to know shockingly little about their own team. It's also worth mentioning that these are usually the same people who claim they're going to move to L.A. soon to become an actor/model/whatever and never make it past delivering pizzas.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
We were merely making the point that playing alongside great rebounders would decrease your rebounding (which, for my point, was that you can lose PER without becoming a worse player qualitatively).

I agree with the rebounding point, although I think the sum difference ends up being pretty small in most cases. For instance, Rashard Lewis' rebounding percentage didn't change all that much when he moved from Seattle to Orlando.

I do very much agree about the PER thing. It seems to me as though some of the recent astronomical PER numbers racked up by the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul has been in part due to the fact that those guys are rarely separated from the ball on offense. PER naturally suffers when All-Stars or superstars are sharing the rock.

Take Kobe. His best three PER years were 2002-03 (Shaq missed 15 games and spent most of the season out of shape), and 2005-06 to 2006-07 (the two pre-Gasol years). His PER was meh the first post-Shaq year because Mamba struggled with various injuries and ended up missing the final 16 games of the season.

That's why I remain dubious that a LeBron-Wade-Bosh (or whatever) teamup would work. 'Bron has never really shared the spotlight. Deep down, I don't think he wants a Kevin McHale, a Scottie Pippen, or a Shaq era Kobe Bryant playing alongside him.

Blogger chris said...
And yes, the Governator does NOT live in the "Governor's Mansion" in downtown. (There's also a governor's mansion in the suburb of Carmichael, ALSO not being used)...

I recall that he lived at a nearby hotel the first few months of his term. Of course, IIRC, he is also openly a Laker fan... :barf:

Blogger Basketbawful said...
didn't know why i actually opened this piece...until i found the mention of a certain great white baller. "The Jazz, for example, have Kyle Korver’s expiring contract, a New York Knicks first-round pick, and haven’t had a top-level post defender since Greg Ostertag." Greg was top-level? srsly?

Eh. Now I'm left in the very, very uncomfortable position of...erk...defending 'Tag.

He was top 10 in Defensive Rating twice, top 10 in blocks and blocks per game twice. He in fact ranks 29th all-time in BPG and 39th in total blocks.

Now here's the mindblower. He was top 5 in Block Pct. seven times and currently ranks 4th all-time in Block Pct.

Dude could actually defend the rim! Not against megastars like Shaq, but he could hold his own against most of the lower to middle tier guys.

Blogger Marc said...
Just as I feared this show did not get NEAR the amount of national attention it deserved:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/188027


It was well worth my $25 to see these legends together. (Should I hate myself?)

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Bawful - I agree with the rebounding point, although I think the sum difference ends up being pretty small in most cases. For instance, Rashard Lewis' rebounding percentage didn't change all that much when he moved from Seattle to Orlando.
Oooo, you're right. I was a little lazy and only looked at Lewis in the season before the signing and right after. He dropped quite a bit in reb/48, but it seems like it's climbed back up. Should have put a little more care in looking up this stuff. In most of these cases it probably is kind of hard to verify or dispute, since team changes also generally cause changes in system, pace, and defense capability (i.e. forcing a lower FG% leads to more rebounding opportunities).

I do very much agree about the PER thing. It seems to me as though some of the recent astronomical PER numbers racked up by the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul has been in part due to the fact that those guys are rarely separated from the ball on offense. PER naturally suffers when All-Stars or superstars are sharing the rock.
Most definitely agree. That's why for my Bawful trade I moved Kobe, Melo/King Crab, and Nash onto a team with Chris Paul and David West to illustrate how ridiculous using PER is as an estimator for team improvement.

chris - Even our own governor won't live here!
In Sacramento's defense, after how badly Cali trashed the phrase "fiscal responsibility", I'm not sure the Governator would want to live in any part of Cali now.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Dude could actually defend the rim! Not against megastars like Shaq, but he could hold his own against most of the lower to middle tier guys.

That sounds like a certain physical specimen playing for an aqua-tinted team who looks the exact opposite of Ostertag.

Blogger chris said...
And tee hee, speaking of 'tag, from the "Tortured Franchises" mailbag:

Getting punched in the gut by Karl Malone is painful. We had to watch Greg Ostertag. I'd like to petition you to put us on the list. And those five years in New Orleans should be inherited somehow. We deserve it. We kept the name after all.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Mr. Bawful:

I've been meaning to ask and now that the big man's name has come up it seems like the right time: why do you pick specifically on Ostertag so much? Not that he doesn't deserve it, mind you, but I'm curious why he's the Basketbawful mascot as opposed to other great white stiffs like Todd McCullogh, Eric Montross, etc. Is it the contract/s? The fact his team was constantly in contention for the title so his ineptitudes were well documented and often costly?

I'm a Jazz fan and I always saw the guy as a decent low post defender/rebounder/shotblocker who performed his very limited duties reasonably okayishly, to the point where try as they might Utah could never quite find a guy to do a less bad job at his position.

Blogger jiggly16 said...
I'm getting more and more happy that Mamba's racking up the injuries. If he does actually misses some games to heal up, I think the Lakers will actually do better since they'll be forced to give the ball to Gasol and Bynum. Then Kobe will come back and "prove" his value by jacking up 30+ attempts.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I've been meaning to ask and now that the big man's name has come up it seems like the right time: why do you pick specifically on Ostertag so much? Not that he doesn't deserve it, mind you, but I'm curious why he's the Basketbawful mascot as opposed to other great white stiffs like Todd McCullogh, Eric Montross, etc. Is it the contract/s? The fact his team was constantly in contention for the title so his ineptitudes were well documented and often costly?

Well, it really all comes down to the origin of Basketbawful. I created Basketbawful (along with Statbuster and BadDave) as an in-joke with the friends I watch and play basketball with. It was intended to chronicle all the stupid things we'd spent years talking and laughing about.

I never really intended to gain an actual readership, or land gigs writing for Deadspin and ESPN. (Sorry. I don't write for ESPN. I write a blog affiliated with ESPN. Which basically means they get my amazing work without giving me John Hollinger money.) Basketbawful was intended to be a repository for all our basketball gags so 1) they wouldn't be lost and 2) so we could read the stuff online at work.

Obviously, the site has evolved a bit since then.

At any rate, 'Tag was a frequent target of my group's scorn, partly because BadDave and I were huge Jazz fans, and every John Stockton pass that ricocheted off his stone hands destroyed a little piece of our souls. It was especially damaging when the Jazz blew a huge wad of their cap space to re-sign Greg based mostly off Utah's playoff sweep of the Lakers in '98.

Forget the fact that 'Tag got walked all over in the '97 and '98 NBA Finals as the Bulls abused the Jazz on the boards. People want to bitch about how Karl Malone "choked" in those Finals, but Chicago shot like shit and was only able to compensate for it by 1) playing amazing (though often illegal, at least against Karl) defense and 2) by absolutely killing it on the offensive glass. I've always resented Greg for not doing a better job on the boards against the Bulls. Which, consequently, is why I continue to complain (mostly, or only, to BadDave) that Dikembe Mutombo's decision to sign with the Hawks instead of the Jazz (who really, really wanted him) in the summer of 1996 was the biggest non-move in Utah Jazz history. I will go to my grave believing that, had Deke just sucked it up and endured the rampant whiteness of Salt Lake City, his interior defense and boardwork would have helped the Jazz win at least one of those titles.

Eh...anyway...basically, what it comes down to, is my general (but rather benign) resentment towards 'Tag's failings and how they cost (read that: robbed) Malone and Stockton of a much-deserved title.

Blogger chris said...
LOLZ, Nyets lose assistant coach Del Harris. I'd use the "scurrying off the sinking ship" analogy except I think the Nyets represent a beached whale.

Blogger chris said...
And an interesting comment in that Yahoo link I just posed:

Tyreke Evans(notes) will be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, but he hasn’t completely endeared himself to teammates with the way he dominates the ball, league sources say. Make no mistake: Losing 16 of the past 18 games has played a big part with that. There are several teams – including Houston and the Dallas Mavericks – watching the dynamic between Evans and Kevin Martin(notes) and wondering whether the Kings will become motivated to trade Martin. So far, their talents don’t seem compatible.

Maybe the Freak is hogging the ball, or appears to be, because his teammates seem to be producing masonry like they're on contract to build brownstone apartments!??!?!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
chris: Oh God, I hope you're referencing one of those miscalculated beached whale explosions (WARNING: Do NOT view if you have a weak stomach, or have not seen these before)
version 2, self exploding in Denmark
version 3, streets of Taiwan flooded with whale innards

Anonymous Shayan said...
Let it be said that Dirk Nowitzki has humor. "That's what we do. We give guys contract extensions." That made me almost spill my tea, what a joker.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: The Nyets play amidst the beautiful particles of oxygen from Rahway and Elizabeth...so yeah, exploding beached whale, great analogy.

CAPTCHA: doriable, i.e. "Ostertag getting posterized is so doriable."

Blogger chris said...
Shayan: Including a contract to Mr. Dampier!?

Blogger Cody said...
Memo in response to his hot shooting:

"I really tried to take what they give me out there," Okur said, "and they gave me open layups and dunks and I was able to finish those and felt good."

Silly Portland, if you're going to give up anything on defense, it probably shouldn't be open layups and dunks.

Anonymous Stockton said...
the LA connection

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yjz66up

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Ostertag is everyone's favorite punching-bag, but the man was 7-3 and, what, 280lbs? 300lbs? 400lbs?

All he had to do was stand around and take up space. And he did. Yes: he was a total stiff. Yes: he couldn't handle the softest bounce pass that led him perfectly to the basket. Yes: I could beat him in a game of horse. Ok maybe not...

But the guy was huge, and lots of teams would have loved to have him because of his size (that's what she...), and because he certainly entertained no delusions as to what his role was.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Dikembe Mutombo in Utah? Wow, talk about a perfect fit. I'm not ready to guarantee them a title retroactively, but Dikembe would pretty much have plugged every defensive hole the '98 Jazz had and even provided a (mild) offensive upgrade over Ostertag.

The guy was also one of maybe 4 other centers who actually played (somewhat moderately) effective defense on in-his-prime Shaquille O'Neal. He still got steamrolled at times, but he made Diesel work for for his points.

Tyreke Evans is not a point guard. He has been given the role and had the pall placed in his hands but that does not a 1 make. People say he plays like a poor man's Lebron James, I say he plays like a rich man's Larry Hughes. The guy can pass the ball but he is not someone who can run an offense consistently, much less keep his teammates happy.

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