The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued last night with a 104-97 loss to the Craboliers in Cleveland. But give the Devin Harris-less Nyets credit...they shot over 50 percent from the field and didn't get blown out by a red-hot Crabs team that has now won 12 games in a row. That would constitute a moral victory for many teams in the league. Of course, when you're 4-47, things like "not slipping on banana peel" and "not stabbing self in the groin with hedge clippers" are moral victories too. That's just the kind of nightmare season it's been in New Jersey.
Compounding the continuing misery of the Nyets, coach Kiki Vandeweghe benched Chris Douglas-Roberts for reasons unknown. Maybe it's the hyphenated name. Remember: Kiki is old-school. He probably doesn't understand why a man would ever have a hyphenated name.
Said Douglas-Roberts: "You get surprised a lot in the league. It is what it is. Things don't work out all the time. I guess I'm out of the rotation."
Douglas-Roberts doesn't plan to pull a "Tirade Thomas" on Vandeweghe, though.
"Absolutely not. I don't think talks really do anything. I've probably had the most talks with him on the team. But they don't do nothing."
Ah...the New Jersey Nyets. They truly are what Basketbawful is all about.
Check out the résumé and find me a correct decision. Just one. Fire Saunders? Wrong. Hire Michael Curry? Wrong. Trade Chauncey Billups? Wrong. Extend Richard Hamilton? Wrong. Sign Kwame Brown? Wrong. Go after Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva? Wrong again.
In two years, the Pistons have gone from one of the best teams in basketball to among the worst. They stink, they're capped out, and they don't have much in the way of young talent; for all we know, in two years they're going to be the Pittsburgh Pisces or the Seattle Grunge or something. If Isiah Thomas or Rob Babcock had done this, we'd have buried them alive by now, so it's only fair for us to point out that regardless of his previous track record, Dumars is on a two-year losing streak of McHalian proportions.
In all fairness to Kevin McHale, he only failed to build a good team. Dumars destroyed a good team and created crap from its ashes.
The Indiana Pacers: Ah, I can always count on my homestate Pacers to fail. Indy scored 60 points in the first half and had 86 after three quarters. Then, in the fourth quarter, they shot 33 percent, committed 6 turnvoers and finished the period with only 15 points. Which, as it turns out, wasn't enough to pull out a win over the Bulls. Mind you, Chicago entered the game with an all-time record of 3-17 at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The fourth quarter was a microcosm of why the Pacers are so bad. They have to masquerade Earl Watson and T.J. Ford as point guards, which is kind of like playing without one. Danny Granger is awesome, but all he could do at the end of the contest was chuck up long-range jumpers. Roy Hibbert should have had his way inside, but all he wanted to do was turn and fling jump hooks in the general direction of the rim.
All in all, it's been a rough few days for the people of Indianapolis.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberpoops got there butts whupped 119-97 by the Philadelphia 76ers, who shot over 57 percent and outscored Minny 58-34 in the paint.
It was a real defensive fail by the Timberpoops, who gave up 43 points in the second quarter and 73 in the first half. Those were both season-highs for Philly, who scored 40 first-quarter points in an October 31 game at New York and had 71 first-half points on December 14 against the Gol_en State Warriors. It's always fun when, in the course of busting on one team, I can also bust on the Bricks and Warriors at the same time. I'm pretty sure that raises my Bawful Efficiency Rating (BER) by, like, some kind of percent or something.
Complained Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis: "I wish I could blame everything on the second quarter. I don't think we came out and played hard from the beginning. I was disappointed with the effort overall. They played harder than us and we turned the ball over way too much."
I too wish you could blame everything on that second quarter, Kurt. But you guys have kind of sucked all season long.
Speaking of sucking all season long, the Sixers have...until now. Philly has now won a season-high five games in a row, which includes winning back-to-back home games for the first time this season. In related news, Allen Iverson has missed the last four games to tend to his ill daughter. As always, I'm not sayin'...I'm just sayin'.
Eddie Jordan, quote machine: Regarding his team's recent success: "I have happy we have got a little bit of a wave, but I am not going to be really happy until we get to .500. Right now, it's good that we're playing with a good personality and a good mindset." That's right, folks. He has happy..
The _allas Mavericks: After a one-point win over the woeful Bullets on January 20, Jason Kidd said: "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."
The new era of Defense in Dallas ended pretty much right after those words left J-Kidd's mouth. In their last eight games, the Mavs are 3-5 and have given up 107, 112, 114, 104, 101, 117, 117 and finally 127 points in last night's 36-point loss in Denver. Mind you, the Nuggets shot better than 60 percent from the field and from beyond the arc.
Hands? Faces? Anyone? Bueller?
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle thinks a big reason for this latest drubbing was the absence of...Erick Dampier? Oh yes. Said Carlisle: "Dampier's a very important part of our team. Not having him tonight, it makes it a lot tougher with guys like Nene and the Birdman [Andersen]."
The Houston Rockets: It's fitting that the Rockets were playing the Heat last night, because they are my new pick for the league's leading Bipolar Girlfriend Team. One night they're up, the next they're down. One day they look great, the next they look awful. Rinse and repeat. Well, last night was one of the bad ones, as they lost to the Heat 99-66.
I know the Rockets played without Trevor Ariza (hip pointer) and Kyle Lowry, but damn! Miami's 56-31 halftime lead reset the Heat's season-high for halftime leads. Houston shot 30 percent, missed 14 of their 18 three-point attempts and gave up 17 points off 16 turnovers. And I suppose it goes without saying that the 66 points were a season-low. It says something when the Nyets looked about 100 times better than the Rockets did last night. Gak.
The New York Knicks: The Bricks entered last night's game against the Excremento Kings with a record of 19-31. I'm not a mathmatologist, but it sure looks to me like they're on course for yet another 30-win season. Even worse, they're pulling off a truly epic fail in their audition to trick LeBron James and Superstar X into signing up to suffer in New York next season. Memo to Donnie Walsh: It ain't happening. My suggestion is to start working on Plan B, which I can only assume includes slipping on a ski mask, climbing out a back window and disappearing into the night.
But hey, at least the Bricks had a home game against the Kings, who were only 3-20 since their 35-point comeback in Chicago. That had to be a gimmie, right?! It sure looked that way, especially when New York went up 98-83 lead with 7:36 to play. The Bricks then went on to lose 118-114 in overtime.
Said Mike 'Antoni: "It went from 15 to seven in about 30 seconds and then we got tight and didn't play well and they beat us. Somehow our spirit is all messed up."
Live by offense, die by offense. The Kings -- Tyreke Evans in particular -- started pushing the ball at every opportunity. Sure it took them three and a half quarters to figure out the Bricks don't play defense, but once they did...
Evans -- who finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and scored 12 points in the final seven minutes of regulation -- said: "They just weren't doing a good job of getting back. Every time I got the rebound I pushed it and, when I saw an open lane, I attacked it or kicked it out to an open guy."
Added Kevin Martin: "We just kept on believing and we knew it was just a matter of time. The Knicks keep on attacking the basket and they let you back in the game, and that's what our game plan was in the last six minutes of the game and overtime."
It's never good when a team that has won three games in the last couple months assumes you're going to collapse at home.
Larry Hughes: Just when it looked like Big Shot Larry had worked his way back into 'Antoni's rotation, he misses a game with...a sprained big toe. I am not fucking kidding.
Paul Westphal, quote machine: "I think the people in New York got a little idea of why we like Tyreke so much. The Garden got kind of quiet when he did that little two-step slippery thing he does. It's something you don't see very often."
Speaking of which...
Jared Jeffries: Oy.
But wait, there's more! From The Other Chris:
Was anyone else watching the Bricks/Paupers game near the end of overtime? The Paupers were clinging to a 2-point lead, Krypto-Nate dribble penetrated and kicked to Jared Jeffries at the top of the circle, who promptly chucked up an ill-advised three. Which clanked short. Game over, Bricks lose, essentially.
Now the wonderful part about this sequence was that you could actually *hear* the crowd gasp with disbelief and dismay as Jeffries jacked up the three. Smart defence by the Paupers, of course.. why wouldn't you leave the guy wide open from there, we all know he can't throw it in the ocean.
The home crowd yelling at a wide open player to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T SHOOT... a truly excellent Bawful moment.
The Memphis Grizzlies: Uh oh. Let me say that again. Uh oh. It looks like the post-Iverson bounce has come and gone. (Take note, Sixers.) After the Griz finally started getting some cred -- I mean, Z-Bo was named to the All-Star team for God's sake! -- they lose four in a row and six of seven, including last night's 108-94 defeat in Atlanta. Are...are they who we thought they were, after all?
Lionel Hollings, quote machine: Regarding the way his plan to use a zone defense in the fourth quarter totally backfired: "Jamal Crawford got going and made a lot of shots." The Hawks shot 55.4 percent as a team, by the way.
The Portland Frail Blazers: Basketbawful reader Hajt gave us a snapshot of why the still Brandon Roy-less Frail Blazers got thumped last night:
Blazers-Thunder box score is incredibly depressing. Look at those turnovers and 3 point shooting. From Blazersedge, here is what Portland did while James Hardin scored 13 straight: Missed three; Shot blocked; Bayless converts layup; Missed 20-footer; Turnover; Turnover; Turnover; Shot blocked; Missed three; Turnover; Shot clock violation; Shot blocked; Missed three. Please give us Roy or a center.
The Los Angeles Clippers: Speaking of teams who are who we thought they were...the Clippers lost their second straight post-Dunleavy game, this time a 109-99 home defeat to the Utah Jazz.
Carlos Boozer, captain obvious: "We felt at halftime that if we started playing defense at some point, we'll have a chance."
The Associated Press: From Basketbawful reader Phil: "From the Clippers - Jazz AP recap: 'Utah is 10-12 on the road, and will play 19 of their final 31 games away from the Salt Palace.' I'm not sure which reporter the AP defrosted from cryogenic freezing for this article but the Jazz haven't played at the Salt Palace since 1991."
NBA.com, unintentionally dirty headline machine: The following headline was nominated by Basketbawful reader Hellshocked: "Utah wins its ninth straight as Boozer pounds on Kaman, Clippers for 34 points."
Brady Morningstar: I'm not much for college ball -- unless the Boilermakers are involved -- but I couldn't not post this video. Worst free throw attempt ever.
"The ball was wet," Morningstar told the Lawrence Journal-World. "It slipped on the way up. I was so confused. I could have caught it and came down with it, but I'd have stepped on the line. I tried to shoot a little jump shot so I didn't cross the line."
"I looked pretty stupid there," he added. "We laughed about it in the locker room just now."
And we are laughing at it here. Thanks, Brady.
Lacktion report: Chris celebrated a rare Sactown victory the same way he celebrates their defeats...by giving us lacktion.
Bullets-Bobcats: JaVale McGee's 2.4 trillion (2:24) take should be more than enough to restock his financial arsenal.
Bulls-Pacers: Indiana's Luther Head stamped a thesis onto one brick for a +1 in 6:19.
Wolves-Sixers: Alexsandr "Sasha" Pavlovic fouled once and bricked twice (once from the Grand Lodge) for a +3 in 6:51. For Philadelphia, Marreese Speights earned a 2:0 Voskuhl in 3:14 by negating a block with a foul and giveaway, while Jason Kapono fouled once for a +1 in that same timespan.
Rockets-Heat: Joel Anthony countered five blocks and a board in 21:03 with three bricks, four fouls, and two giveaways for a 6:1 Voskuhl. Also in the Voskuhl side of the scoreboard was Houston's Joey Dorsey, who negated a board in 5:57 with a brick, two fouls, and a giveaway for a 3:1 ratio.
Hawks-Grizzlies: With a giveaway against an assist, Randolph Morris scratched out a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl in 4:26. For Memphis, DeMarre Carroll and Hasheem Thabeet shared lottery numbers tonight, as they both ended up with 1.6 trillion (1:35) prizes!
Thunder-Blazers: Jeff Pendergraph wired up a 2:1 Voskuhl in 3:12 by notching a foul and giveaway against a board.
Jazz-Clippers: Sundiata Gaines continues to spend seconds in the Mushroom Kingdom, as evidenced by a 52 second Mario that somehow involved one made free throw! Meanwhile, Steve Novak continues his stranglehold as the Association's top lacktator via a 1.15 trillion (1:10).