Beware the deadly inflatable gators of Louisiana. They hump.
Hey everybody. I'm back from Mardi Gras but still nursing a pretty wicked four-day hangover. So this'll be a quick hits edition.
The old ladies who stole our beers: Okay, so it's our first night at Mardi Gras. We're hanging at Razoo and stockpiling beers because everything is 3-for-1. Because doing anything more than double-fisting is probably overdoing it, we sat our beers on this little ledge next to us...shortly after which two older ladies sat down next to that ledge. One of them had their hand right next to our beers, and I considered moving them because I don't like letting strangers near my alcohol. Alas, I didn't trust my gut, and a few minutes later, the women got up and bolted out of the bar. That's when we realized two of our beers were missing.
Seriously, ladies, there was a 3-for-1 special going on. The beers would have cost you a couple dollars. Hell, I would have given you the two bucks if you'd have asked me.
Sadly, this was not the only time we paid the price for leaving our beers unattended.
Whoever drugged me and Statbuster: Okay, so now it's the second day of our trip, and we're chilling on the balcony of Cat's Meow, throwing beads and loving life. Statbuster and I kind of balanced our hurricanes on this railing so we could scope for, you know, the right kind of people to give our beads to. I always drink a little faster than my friends, so I downed my hurricane pretty quickly. Then I started to feel funny and decided to head back to our hotel to change shirts. The last thing I remember is stepping onto the street...
...then I woke up four hours later.
Statbuster also blacked out for exactly four hours. And we hadn't even had much to drink that day. It was bizarre. Like skipping a chapter on a DVD. Mind you, Statbuster and I have done a lot of drinking over the years, both together and seperately, and neither of us have every blacked out before, let alone simultaneously for the exact same amount of time. I have no idea who did it, or how they did, or why they did it. But fortunately for me, I made it back to the room on my own (although I can't remember how), and our buddy Bill -- who wasn't drinking due to an ugly hangover -- got Statbuster back to the hotel. So, you know, we didn't get mugged or raped or anything.
The moral of this story: never, ever, ever lose sight of your drink when you're out in a public place, no matter how much fun you're having or how safe you think you are.
The Los Angeles Clippers: After last night's 110-92 home loss to the Hawks, the Clips winless in the five games since Mike Dunleavy had his coaching duties revoked. I'm waiting for somebody to set up a billboard in L.A. with a picture of Dunleavy that says, "Miss Me Yet?"
Funny how Marcus Camby gets traded and the Clippers immediately give up 70 points in the paint. Let's face it, they are who...well...you know.
The Sacramento Kings: Yeeeeah...getting outscored 42-16 in the second quarter and falling behind by 30 points in the first half will lead to ugly losses like the Paupers 130-98 road thumping by the Warriors. For his part, Tyreke Evans was blaming the trade deadline:
"I think that's the reason why played the way we did, players worrying about being traded and not knowing what's going on before the trade deadline," Evans said. "Maybe whatever happens we can get through it and just try to play the way we've been playing."
Try to play the way you've been playing? Dude, you're 18-36 and have lost 22 of the your last 27 games! I really don't think playing the way you've been playing is the right answer. But hey, I'm sure dealing for a former NBA scoring champ could fix everything...
Stephen Curry, quote machine: This is what the rookie had to say about his team playing sans Monta Ellis: "We play different, I don't know if it's better. We pass the ball, everybody is spreading the floor and the ball movement is always there. Last time we played at home we had the same kind of game. Monta is a great player. I guess when he's out, everyone has to step up and move the ball for us to be successful."
Unless my ability to read between the lines was drugged out of me at Mardi Gras, I think Curry just busted on Moped for not passing the rock enough.
The Phoenix Suns: The good news: Amar''''''e Stoudemire -- who finished with 30 points and 16 boards -- isn't letting the trade rumors get to him. The bad news: the Suns committed 19 TOs -- thanks to a career-high 7 steals by Jason Kidd -- and were held under 100 for only the seventh time this season. I'm sure you can guess what that means.
Amar''''''e Stoudemire, quote machine: Regarding his big game: "I felt great. I came out with a lot of intensity from the start. I wanted to set the tone early, both offensively and defensively." In related news, the Suns gave up 107 points and finished with one of their lowest point totals of the season.
The Milwaukee Bucks: Going into their home game against the Rockets, this was a battle of two teams dealing with trade rumors. The Bucks lost a couple journeymen/expiring contracts in exchange for John Salmons, while Houston had been working on various deals involving Tracy McGrady before ultimately shipping him to Sacramento for Kevin Martin. Based how the Rockets whupped the homeboys 127-99, I guess it's safe to say the possibility of losing (read that: getting rid of) Knee-Mac is what you'd call a happy distraction. Although I have no idea why they'd let go of my boy Carl Landry.
As for Houston's trading chops, I think Basketbawful reader Hellshocked summed it up nicely: "The Houston-Sacto trade makes no sense to me from the Rockets side. They gave up Carl Landry, their heart and soul this season, along with a 22 million expiring contract for Kevin Martin, who won't be able to help them all that much this season? The only explanation I can come up with is that they are banking on Yao to come back 100% and not get injured again, but even if that happens they now have a glaring hole at either power forward or backup power forward. They would have been better off making the trade with NY or Chicago for expiring contracts and cap relief, imo."
The New York Knicks: Not only did they whiff on their bid to obtain Knee-Mac's expiring deal, they choked up a 15-point lead at home to a Bulls team that was missing two of its top six rotations players: Joakim Noah (plantar faciitis) and John Salmons (traded to the Bucks). But the best part was how their defense allowed Brad Miller to explode in the third quarter. Miller canned a triple, converted three-point plays on multiple possessions by first beating David Lee on a drive and then faking him out of his shoes with an up-and-under move, hit a running 8-footer while fading away and then threw a full-court pass to Kirk Hinrich for a cherry-picking layup.
The Bulls, who have no inside presence and rely mostly on jumpers, scored 70 points in the paint. Nice defense, Knicks. At least it looks like you're going to get Eddie House from the Celtics. Oh, and Brian Cardinal. That should turn your season around. And there's always next ye...
...oh, wait. The Crabs traded for Antawn Jamison, pretty much sealing the deal for King Crab staying in Cleveland. Sorry 'bout that.
Update! I love this submission from Basketbawful reader winnetou: "Maybe I'm reading this the wrong way, but as quoted on TrueHoop, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote: 'Nate Robinson's locker inside Madison Square Garden was vacant except for a name plate, a small Vaseline jar and a pair of socks.'"
The New Orleans Hornets: Man, that 54-36 shooting percentage discrepancy really killed.
The New Jersey Nyets: Wow! With Dwyane Wade out (strained calf), it looked like the Nyets were going to pull off the unthinkable: A second consecutive win, which would have knocked them way off course in their bid for all-time infamy. Then they missed 11 of their last 12 shots as the Heat rallied to win 87-84.
Said Keyon Dooling: "There haven't been many games where (we) walked away thinking you should have won that game. This is one of those games we should have won." You know, Keyon, being 5-48 means never getting to say stuff like that. Oh, wait, that's right. You're 5-49 now. My bad.
By the way, Basketbawful reader Jan N. assures me this is not Photoshopped in any way. Link.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Okay, so let me get this straight. The WizardsGenerals Bullets were without Gilbert Arenas (suspended), Caron Butler (traded) and Antawn Jamison (also traded). Those are only three of their top three players heading into this season. But they still beat the Timberpoops 108-99? Whoa. Fail.
Said Kurt Rambis: "This is very similar to our lack of effort -- guys not doing the right things, not getting the stops, not having the defensive pressure. All of that was very similar." I know, right?! Who's coaching these guys, anyway?? Oh. Right.
By the way, then Minnesota sent Brian Cardinal to New York for Darko Milicic, I seriously wondered whether they had re-hired Kevin McHale to handle the negotiations.
Antawn Jamison, bitterness machine: Regarding the Washington fans who will never again get to not root for him: "You know I love them more than they love me."
The Detroit Pistons: Remember back when they established the notion that you could shut down Dwight Howard by "taking his legs away"? That seems like a long time ago. Hell, almost like it never even happened in the first place. The Pumaman finished with 33 points and 17 rebounds as the Magic clobbered the Pistons 116-91.
Said Ben Wallace: "Dwight did his thing. We just couldn't stop him."
By the way, I love all the tough talk from the Magic after the game. Apparently, they think that whacking Ben Gordon in the face and roughing up Jonas Jerebko means they're all tough now.
Said Matt Barnes: "Early in the season, teams were trying to out tough us and out punk us and stuff like that. I can slowly see it changing. It's just a thing -- we're not going to be dirty, but we're not going to be pushed around. And I think we're changing that."
Added Howard: "When there's times on the court when you got to be physical like that, guys don't back down on any challenge. That's what we have to do. We can't back down from anybody."
Yeah, okay. When you guys start picking on teams your own size, we'll talk about physical play.
The Indiana Pacers: Apparently, guarding a gimpy Tony Parker (28 points) and blocking out Tim Duncan (26 rebounds, 11 offensive) wasn't part of Indy's game plan. And neither was winning. Mind you, Duncan was freaking 4-for-23 and the Spurs shot 35 percent as a team. And the Pacers still lost.
Said Jim O'Brien: "If you would have told me we would hold them to 35 percent shooting, I would think we had a chance."
Added Troy Murphy: "This isn't the way we would have liked it to end tonight." Well, no shit.
Southeast Missouri State Can you imagine letting a freshman drill a sit-down three-pointer from nearly half-court right at the shot clock buzzer? These guys can.
Lacktion report: Even as Chris adjusts to life without Sacto's Blue-Light Special, he still hits us with a shot of lacktion:
Spurs-Pacers: Antonio McDyess negated two boards in 7 minutes flat with 2 bricks, 2 fouls, and a giveaway for a 3:2 Voskuhl. DeJuan Blair also ventured into Voskuhl territory by countering a pair of field goals and a rebound in 10:21 with five fouls and two turnovers for a 7:5 ratio of recidivism.
Solomon Jones divided up his 7:21 stint between minor productivity (with a block) and mediocrity (with two fouls and a brick) in a 2:0 Voskuhl effort.
Pistons-Magic: Charlie Villanueva is earning $7 million a year (approximately $85K a game - almost twice as much as Cedric "Lacktion" Jackson's ENTIRE salary!), which no doubt reflects well on Joe "We Traded Chauncey For Cancer" Dumars, don't it? Well, how about this for a statline from the real-life wealth accruer: one foul and one missed shot for a +2 suck differential in 3:16? (In non-lacktive news, Jameer Nelson had 14 points and 9 assists for a Calvin Murphy.)
Grizzlies-Raptors: DeMarre Carroll turned a spade or two into a celebratory 4.3 trillion (4:19)!
Rockets-Bucks: Dan Gadzuric earned one board in 5:54, but bricked thricely and took two fouls for a 2:1 Voskuhl.
Kings-Warriors: Sergio Rodriguez fouled once and missed a shot from the Paramount Theatre for a +2 in 2:12.