The San Antonio Spurs: Here are some facts from the AP recap of the Spurs-Sixers game: "The Sixers were 3-24 this season when they either trailed or were tied after three quarters. The fourth also has been their least productive quarter, averaging 23.4 points and shooting 43.1 percent from the field."
So, on paper, the three-point lead San Antonio took into the fourth quarter should have equaled a win. I mean, these are the Spurs we're talking about, right?
Only Philly outscored the Spurs 33-18 in the final 12 minutes, which included an 18-3 run. They made San Antonio look old and very old by pressuring the ball and getting out on the fast break. And it didn't help that Tim Duncan and Tony Parker combined for 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting.
Said Gregg Popovich: "The Sixers brought their athleticism, their aggressiveness and their pressure in the second half, and we folded. They made it a fast-break contest in the second half. That was the ball game."
The Denver Nuggets: I keep seeing little bits of buzz about the Nuggets and how they may very well be The Team that can upend the Lakers out West. Yes, people are talking about it. Of course, it's worth noting that -- although they have a pretty good record against some pretty good teams -- Denver has suffered defeats to the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings. You know, some of the worst teams in the league.
That trend continued in Friday night's double-digit loss to the Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets. And remember: this team was lousy with Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas...and now they don't even have their three best players.
This should have been a gimmie, right? Heck, the Nuggets were up 82-73 after three quarters, then got outscored 34-15 in the fourth quarter. The key stat here was Washington's 22-12 advantage in assists. I mean, damn, the Nuggets weren't even letting the ground touch the ball.
Said George Karl: "We have a selfish disposition at times. Sometimes it might come from fatigue, sometimes it might come from complacency. Can't beat anybody with 12 assists. It's just a joke."
Ah ha ha ha ha a ha ha ha oh he he he he ah ha ah ha e he he he...and I thought my jokes were bad...
Carmelo Anthony: I guess outdueling King Crab on Thursday night took something out of 'Melo, 'cause he committed a game-high 5 turnovers and went scoreless (0-for-5) while his team was getting spanked in the fourth quarter. Said Anthony: "I missed shots. Shots that I made [Thursday] night, I didn't make tonight."
The Cleveland Cavaliers: So let's get this straight. The Nuggets and Crabs go all out against each other on Thursday night, and then they both suffer embarrassing losses to lesser teams the very next night.
But what had my gast flabbered by Cleveand's 110-93 loss in Charlotte was that the Bobcats were only three days removed from their second loss of the season to the NBA-worst New Jersey Nyets...and then they go and win their third straight against the NBA-best Craboliers.
But forget about all that. What's most notable about this ugliest of uglies is...
Antawn Jamison: He might be a Crab now -- and supposedly the final piece to Cleveland's championship puzzle -- but apparently he hasn't had time to wash the Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets stank out of his, uh, everything. How bad was 'Tawn's 0-for-12 performance that included 5 blocks against and an airballed three-pointer? It was only the worst debut in NBA history!
Oh yes he did. Jamison set a new record for most attempts without a made field goal in a first game with a team. The previous record holder's were Corie Blount (0-for-10 for the Warriors in 2001), Kevin McKenna (0-for-10 for the Paces in 1983). Syndey Green gets dishonorable mention for going 0-for-9 in his Spurs debut back in 1990.
Said AnacondaHL: "Jamison: 0-12, 5 BA, 3 PF. Can we give him a spiritual +20 suck differential?"
As our President might say: Yes we can!
The Indiana Pacers: Yeah, they lost at home, blah, blah, blah. Pacers suck. Whatever. How about that Darren Collison kid? This dude, this rookie, has been playing practically as well as the guy he's filling in for. Which would be impressive enough if it was, say, Mo Williams or something. But Collison is covering for Chris freaking Paul!
But check out Collinson's game log. In the nine games he's been starting for CP3, he has an 18-assist game, a 14-assist game, four 9-assist games, and against the Pacers he notched his first career triple-double (18 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists).
I mean...wow, right?
Of course it's worth noting that Collison almost had a quadruple bumble thanks to his 8 turnovers, and those miscues almost let Indy come back from a 21-point deficit. But still. Would you have guessed a rookie could come in and basically be Chris Paul? I mean, this is kind of amazing isn't it?
The Detroit Pistons / Joe Dumars: Another home loss for the Pistons, who are now 19-35 on the season. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva -- the guys Dumars spent over $90 million on this summer -- combined for 6 points on 2-for-10 shooting.
The Pistons are just depressing. Pistonsgirl4life, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I'm sorry.
Scott Skiles, quote machine: Regarding new Bucks player John Salmons, who scored a team-high 19 points and hit the game-clinching trey: "He was really good, considering he didn't know what he was doing out there."
The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued with a 106-89 loss the the Chris Bosh-less Toronto Craptors. And here's some extra salt in the wound: the musty corpse of Rasho Nesterovic scored a season-high 16 points (8-for-11) to lead the rout.
Said Rasho: "There are some nights you just feel it.I felt it tonight. I had a bunch of open shots at the beginning."
It's official. The Nyets have become the virus that starts a zombie apocalypse.
And just for fun, chris submitted this video of the Toronto mascot munching on a Raptors cheer girl. What is that thing inflated with? Chloroform?
Brook Lopez: He scored a game-high 22 points but basically stood back and conceded open shots to Nesterovic. Whoops. Said Lopez: "I should have tried to run him up wide or make him put the ball on the floor instead of giving him time to get a good look at the rim." If anybody was wondering whether all the losing was going to rub off on this kid, the answer is yes, yes, yes, oh god, yes.
Kiki Vandeweghe, captain obvious: "Any time your opponent shoots 60 percent for the game, you're not going to have much of a chance to win."
The Orlando Magic: The magicians were leading 69-58 at home with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter and it seemed all was well...and then the Mavericks went on a 19-0 run to take over the game.
Let's take a look at Orlando's offensive possessions during that run: Vince Carter turnover (Dirk Nowitzki steals); Dwight Howard turnover (Jason Kidd steals); Ryan Anderson missed jumper (Nowitzki blocks); J.J. Redick missed layup (Brendan Haywood blocks); Mickeal Pietrus missed three-pointer; J.J. Redick turnover; Ryan Anderson turnover (Caron Butler steals); Redick missed layup; Howard missed 10-footer.
Said Stan Van Gundy: "Obviously our shooting was horrendous, but I can't really say I'm upset. Every shot those guys took was wide open and we didn't make any. That's not typical of us." Uh, yeah, but what about those turnovers?
The Magic were held under 85 points for only the fifth time this season and second time in Orlando, and they shot a season-worst 4-for-25 from downtown.
The Memphis Grizzlies: Okay, seriously, I think it's finally safe to say the post-Iverson bounce has officially ended. Including their double-overtime home loss to the Miami Heat -- who were without Dwyane Wade (strained calf) and Rafer Alston (right hand) -- the Griz have lost nine of their last 11 games. Blrrgglble.
Btw, the Heat and Grizzlies combined to give up 47 points off 41 turnovers.
Yahoo! box scores: Man, my inbox got flooded with this one...and rightfully so, because it's friggin' awesome. So thanks to everybody who drew my attention to Shaq's continuing attempts to become the Most Dominant Ever. Not only is he playing for the team with the best record in the NBA, he's now the logo of the Memphis Grizzlies:
This was definitely NOT a Photoshop trick. Hell, that Shaq/Grizzlies logo even made it onto O.J. Mayo's Yahoo! profile (thanks to Greg B. for this pic):
Lionel Hollins, excuse machine: Regarding how his team came back from 18 down but got outscored 15-2 in the second overtime: "Once we got to the second overtime, we were buzz-killed. That was more of what led to the loss than just [Miami] making shots and us having turnovers. We had no more left in our tank."
The Atlanta Hawks: There's no shame in losing to the Suns in Phoenix, but losing to the Suns' defense? Really?! Really. Phoenix held the Hawks to 80 points for the game and only 30 in the second half...which is a season-low for a Suns opponent. Moreover, the Suns' 88 points were their fewest in a victory since a February 22, 2008 victory against the Boston Celtics.
Said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson: "I thought our offense hurt us tonight. It really put us behind. We ended up with 12 assists and we missed a lot of good shots and a lot of our shots were hurried shots."
Added Joe Johnson: "When our offense wasn't working in the fourth, it seems like we gave up defensively as well. That's not a sign of a good team. We're better than that."
Hey, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and makes us all realize George Lucas has lost his freaking mind like a duck...
Josh Smith: He led the Hawks with 21 points, but he blew a dunk. And it wasn't just a blown dunk. Dude really wound his arm back to hammer that thing down, and his extra mustard led to the miss. It was pretty funny to watch.
The Portland Trail Blazers: Brandon Roy? Back. Marcus Camby? Has arrived. But the Roy finished with only 9 points on 3-for-8 shooting, Camby went 1-for-5 with 5 turnovers, the Blazers were 8-for-22 in the paint and finished with only 7 assists. The end result: a 96-76 home loss to a Celtics team coming off a last-second win over the Lakers in L.A.
I guess age and experience still counts for something.
Many thanks to everybody who sent in the link to this one.
Friday Lacktion report: And on the first weekend day, chris gave us lacktion.
Crabs-Bobcats: As the crustaceans got cracked for the second consecutive night, Jawad Williams baked a brick in 2:40 for a +1 suck differential.
Spurs-Sixers: Newly acquired Jodie Meeks seems to have practiced his lacktivity well, as in his Philadelphia debut, he delivered a +2 in 1:15 via two pieces of masonry (once from Penn's Landing).
Nuggets-Bullets: Fabricio Oberto continues racking up the Voskuhls, this time with a 3:2 ratio via 3 fouls against two boards in 14:17. And newly acquired null-star Quinton Ross continues to lack it up with a foul, giveaway, rejection and brick in 4:39 for a +4.
Raptors-Nyets: Sonny Weems brightly shone down onto the ledger tonight by earning a +4 via foul, rejection, and giveaway in 4:58 along with a brick.
Heat-Grizzlies: Jamaal Magloire negated a board in 6:02 with two fouls and one loss of the rock for a 3:1 Voskuhl, while Demarre Carroll ran into a Goomba for a foul in 40 seconds that earned a +1 AND a Mario!
Hawks-Suns: Zaza Pachulia countered a board and assist in 4:31 with two fouls for a 2:1 Voskuhl, while THE Mario West picked a fire flower for a 2 second Super Mario!!!!
Jazz-Warriors: Ronny Turiaf lost the rock once and missed a shot for a +2 in 11:21.
Celtics-Frail Blazers: Shelden Williams fouled once in 2:58 for a +1 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl, while Dante Cunningham tossed two bricks and added on a foul in 6:14 for a +3.
The Charlotte Bobcats: So...one night after beating the best team in the NBA -- record-wise, anyway -- the 'Cats lose on the road to a team that's two games below .500. Figures, right?
By the way, you have to love the former Bull factor here. Tyrus Thomas had a double-double (12 points, 11 boards) plus 4 blocks (and 4 turnovers), while John Salmons scored a co-team-high 19 points to go along with 7 assists and a key late-game steal.
The Houston Rockets: It was Pluck versus Suck when the Indiana Pacers arrived in Houston. And Suck won, as Indy dropped 125 points on the Rockets. Uhm, fellas, defense is when you stay between your man and the basket.
Said Houston coach Rick Addled Man: "It was just a poor defensive effort on our part. It's not about shots. I don't care about that. We scored 115 points and had 28 assists and we didn't give ourselves a chance. We aren't going to do anything if we don't have more of a defensive habit toward the defensive end of the floor."
Added Shane Battier: "It was a bad defensive night for us. I'm still trying to figure out how they scored 71 points in the second half. We just didn't make a stand at all in the second half and you're not going to win games that way."
And, finally, new Rocket Kevin Martin (14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists): "The one good thing about that night is that it is over."
The Philadelphia 76ers: So they go from beating the Spurs to losing by 32 points to the Bulls in Chicago. Apparently, Eddie Jordan made this a "defense optional" game, because the Windy City Stags scored a season-high 122 points (including 27 on the fast break and 58 in the paint) and set a franchise record for fewest turnovers (4) while dishing out 26 assists.
Said Allen Iverson: "They were finding the open man, just making the right plays." Take notes, A.I.
The New York Knicks: The Bricks got another huge game out of David Lee (30 points, 10 boards), a season-high 24 points from Eddie House and 26 points from Tracy "Yes, that's right, starting lineup, bitches!" McGrady. That was Knee-Mac's highest output since a 26-point mini-eruption on January 9, 2009.
Pretty successful evening, right?
Except for the fact that they choked up a six-point lead late in regulation and went on to lose 121-118 in double overtime...thus falling to 19-35 on the season...totally successful.
By the way, McGrady "said he would be willing to take a significant pay cut from this season's $22.5 million salary if the Knicks can sign a couple of marquee free agents from a class that could be led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade."
Whoa. And suddenly the Knicks Superteam theory gains a little steamy steam.
The Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets: Believe it or not, the Bullets led the Craptors 100-91 with 5:40 left. Here's how the rest of the game went for them:
Mike Miller turnover (three-second violation); Josh Howard missed layup; Miller turnover; Earl Boykins missed 18-footer; Andray Blatch missed layup (blocked by Andrea Bargnani); shot clock violation; Randy Foye Missed 18-footer; Josh Howard two missed tip shots; Foye missed layup (blocked by Bargs); Al Thornton missed layup (another one blocked by Bargs...that makes three); Blatch hit from two feet; Blatch missed from two feet; Blatch hits from six feet; Mike Miller turnover.
Final score: Craptors 109, Bullets 104.
And here's some great bonus bawful from Basketbawful reader Jan N.:
Hi Bawful, just thought I’d share this random episode from work (I’m an SAP ABAP consultant, which is a fancy term for saying I’m a programmer). I was debugging some program in SAP when I came across some auto-generated code and hilarity:
Ironically, the reason I’m debugging this program is because a client complained of performance issues, mainly brought about by a general apathy of the program to the client’s needs. We are unsure, however, whether there were any gun-related incidents during the program execution.
The Sacramento Kings: Quick quiz: What could be worse than falling to 5-23 since their 35-point comeback in Chicago? Why, giving the Los Angeles Clippers their very first post-Dunleavy win, of course! Mind you, The Other L.A. Team win despite giving up 30 points off 24 turnovers. Also, the Kings bricked 10 free throws...and lost by 10. Coincidence?
Saturday Lacktion Report: And on the second weekend day, he gave us more lacktion.
Bullets-Raptors: In the second game of the Post-McGuire Era, Fabricio Oberto fired off a 2:1 Voskuhl in 8:44 via two fouls negating one board.
Heat-Mavs: DeShawn Stevenson did Mark Cuban proud with a 25 second hunt for gold that resulted in a Mario, while Jose Juan Barea lost the rock once and bricked thricely (once from the Stemmons Freeway) for a +4 suck differential in 8:18.
Pacers-Rockets: Chuck Hayes countered one made field goal in 13:28 with four fouls and two giveaways for a 6:2 Voskuhl.
Bobcats-Bucks: Theo Ratliff made one of three shots in 11:58, but three fouls and a giveaway led to a 4:2 Voskuhl, while Stephen Graham can buy the first ever Air Jordan pair now after a 1.7 trillion (1:44) payday.
Kings-Clippers: Joey Dorsey's debut as a purple pauper was emblematic of the franchise's current lack of direction: a foul and a giveaway negating a board in 1:35 for a 2:1 Voskuhl.
The Cleveland Cavaliers: Make that three losses in a row following their 13-game winning streak...with all three defeats coming after the Antawn Jamison trade. Hmmm...
LeBron James: Not a bad line overall -- 33 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block -- but King Crab committed a co-game-high 5 turnovers and managed only 3 points (on 1-for-5 shooting) in the decisive fourth quarter. Also, after his 1-for-6 effort from downtown against the Magic, LeBron is 7-for-31 on treys (22 percent) over his last five games. Keeps shootin' 'em tho'.
The Boston Celtics: That's it. I'm so over these guys. But seriously, folks, the Nuggets just...I mean...they just handled the Celtics. Yes, Boston came back from 18 down, but the outcome never seemed to be in doubt.
The San Antonio Spurs: I've been over these guys for a while, but Sunday's overtime loss to the Pistons sure felt like the newest of many lows for the Spurs this season. Especially since Gregg Popovich had to resort to the Hack-a-Ben strategy for his team just to come back from a double-digit deficit and force the OT. Speaking of which...
Ben Wallace: Hack-a-Ben totally worked, by the way. Wallace was fouled on five straight possessions and went 4-for-10 from the line, forcing Pistons coach John Kuester to bench him...at which point Big Ben threw his famous headband in a fit of what I have to assume was self-loathing. As well he should have.
The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued with a 104-94 home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. But this was one of those "losses that are worse than others," because New Jersey went up by as many as 18 points in the first half...and lost by 10. Fucking 5-51, man.
Said Keyon Dooling: "This has been the story of our year. We have been good in stretches but not long enough to sustain 48 minutes, and if you don't play 48 minutes in this league, you will lose. We're not good enough to take possessions off, or have a few bad possessions. We can't make up for it in the talent department or the experience department that good teams do. We don't have that luxury. We have to be near flawless to win."
Huh. Seems to me the Nyets are going to keep ending up on the wrong end of the flawless victory.
Pictured: Every Nyets opponent.
Speaking of big choke jobs...
The Portland Frail Blazers: Let's see...Brandon Roy had 23 points...Marcus Camby grabbed 18 boards...the Frail Blazers went up by 25 points midway through the third quarter...and eventually lost 93-89 in overtime.
The Blazers went 4-for-27 in the fourth quarter and overtime, but their biggest mistake -- and yes, I'm looking at you, Camby Man -- was failing to box out Carlos Boozer at the end of regulation. Boozer responded by rebounding Deron William's missed jumper and hitting a put-back the buzzer to force OT.
Said Camby: "[Boozer's] so strong. ... You can't take away from his physical gift he has out there, his knack for getting the basketball."
The Sacramento Kings: Shit. Make it 5-24 since their 35-point comeback in Chicago.
The Atlanta Hawks: Okay, wow, talk about a lost weekend. First, the Dirty Birds lost to the amazing defense of the Phoenix Suns, and then they were held to 14 fourth-quarter points by the Gol_en State Warriors? Yes, Atlanta fans, I'm looking at you guys. You know, the people who were busting on me for doubting your Hawks. See what I'm talking about?
Said Mike Bibby: "We just fell apart. We're up 20 points. A team of our caliber shouldn't lose that game. It happened but we can't let it happen too much."
Stephen Curry, quote machine: After his Warriors outscored the Hawks 35-14 in the final 12 minutes, Curry said: "In the fourth quarter, you saw the defensive tenacity and that got us in transition a lot. That's when we're at our best."
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait...you're at your best when you play defense?
Sunday Lacktion Report: And on the third weekend day, he gave us even more lacktion.
Crabs-Magic: Jason Williams sweetly sired a +6 in 14:10 after stirring three bricks (twice from Lake Eola) with two turnovers and one foul. And Marcin Gortat collected on his downstream operations worth 4.5 trillion (4:31)!
Celtics-Nuggets: Brian Scalabrine and Shelden Williams panned for 1.4 trillion (1:23) in a losing effort, while Anthony Carter fouled once in 2:48 for a +1, and Joey Graham hopped over a Piranha Plant in a 56 second Mario.
Grizzlies-Nyets: Hasheem Thabeet continues to live up to the promise of being a 2nd overall pick, spending 59 seconds being shelled with two fouls and a giveaway for a +3 suck differential and a 3:0 Voskuhl that ALSO barely qualified as a Mario!!!
Thunder-Wolves: Eric Maynor fouled twice and tossed a trio of bricks (twice from Hennepin Avenue) for a +5 in 6:02! Kevin Ollie mimed a miss of his own for a +3 in 3:43.
For Minnesota, Alexsandar "Sasha" Pavlovic fouled and bricked once each for a +2 in 5:11.
Warriors-Hawks: Zaza Pachulia countered a made free throw and board in 12:44 with four bricks and a pair each of fouls and turnovers for a 4:2 Voskuhl.
Jazz-Frail Blazers: In 29:08, Juwan Howard took down three boards, only to brick thricely and foul four times for a 4:3 Voskuhl.