I'm not so sure Shaq could do that these days. The tube might burst.
(Via Andy Gray's SI Vault)

Alright, last post from me before my trip. I'm not going to mail this one in quite as bad as Shawn Marion does 99% of his games, but I'm not exactly at the peak of motivation either.

Also, last night's game photo selection is pretty turrible. Nothing all that funny. It happens. Hopefully we'll have some good ones when I get back next week.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

A very rare photo -- Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson spotted in his natural habitat

Chris Hunter -- Proud student of the Don Nelson School of _efense

It wasn't last night, but who can resist another picture of Shaq tubin'?

Nationally Televised Games:
Raptors at Lakers: The Lakers will look to avoid four consecutive losses for the first time in three seasons. Fortunately for them, the Craptors face the following problems: Hedo Turkoglu (Questionable: Ankle); Defense (OUT: Nonexistent all season) As Chris reminds us, "Let's remember that Toronto is the team that let Mamba drop 81 on them a few years ago, and for all their scant Leastern Conference playoff aspirations, their defense still resembles this."

All The Other Games:
76ers at Pacers: Hey, a chance for Philly to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month! (AKA: your Basketbawful Game of the Night)

Clippers at Magic: Writers have transitioned from calling them the "surging Clippers" to the "struggling Clippers." So, yeah, that just reaffirms that they are who we thought they were, as always.

Rockets at Wizards Generals Bullets: I just knew Daryl Morey was going to regret trading Carl Landry for Discount Store. It's nice to be right for once in a very rare while.

Heat at Bobcats: Do you remember the last time the Bobcats and Heat played each other in Charlotte? I'm sure Miami's players don't -- they all have gone through hypnotherapy and counseling to get rid of the memory of that 65 point offensive effort.

Jazz at Bulls: Joakim Noah's plantar fasciitis is just destroying his team. They have allowed 110 ppg and been outrebounded by over 7 rebounds each game since his injury. Oy. I would make a joke here, but I'm too busy cringing in pain.

Celtics at Bucks: When I looked at the Celtics stats and saw they had four consecutive wins, I was confused. It sure didn't feel that way. Then I looked at their schedule. Wins against Detroit, Charlotte, Philly, and Washington. Ah. Well, that explains things.

Kings at Frail Blazers: As a team, the Purple Paupers have shot a whopping 68.1% from the charity stripe in their last 11 games. In related news, they have only won four games when they shot under 72% from the free throw line. (Note to all ball players -- hit your free throws. They're free!)

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Anonymous Czernobog said...
Trading Landry for Discount Store looks bad now, but it may look a whole lot better next season when Yao is back and after the Rockets get their draft pick.

But then again, maybe not.

Blogger chris said...
Wanna bet that Shaq on a giant floating donut along the Cuyahoga represents his "therapy" from his recent injury?

Blogger Dan B. said...
Czernobog -- I'm rarely right about anything. Let me have my fifteen minutes of glory. ;)

Anonymous Barry said...
Look how "thin" he is that picture. Has to be like 15 years back!

Blogger Fishy said...
Those pics of Shaq make me miss the late 90's early 00's

Blogger Unknown said...
It's a little long (and late) but here's another video of the "fight" involving Channing Frye and the Pacers.

Suns color commentator, Eddie Johnson, rips into Roy Hibbert on 3 separate occasions.

Blogger Will said...
I guess 'Toine has love for the game, after all.,226915

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Breaking News:

Clippers and Mike Dunleavy sever ties


Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Toine is attempting a comeback in Puerto Rico and then we also have Mike Dunleavy being fired. It's a basketbawful heaven right now.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I get ready to leave for vacation and all hell breaks loose!

I already miss Dumbleavy. :( Thank God we have some more Antoine Walker in our lives to help soften the blow.

Blogger mg said...
The Mavericks are still #13 in John Hollinger's ranking, after winning 12 games in a row and climbing to only 2,5 games behind the Lakers. Seriously, is this guy mentally challenged or something?

Anonymous Czernobog said...
And Kobe hits anothe game winning Clutch fallaway over two defenders. Damn that guy to hell.

That said, the fact that he even needed to do that against the Craptors tells us all we need to know about the Lakers.

Also, did we mention Hedo Turkopoo and his 55 million dollar contract recently?

Blogger Silva said...
On the Kobe's game winner Gasol was prepared to give him a KBA.

I wonder how many game winners have come out of KBA's.

Should the Lakers need clutch jumpers to win games? The conspiracy says that David Stern ordered the Lakers to make up all these close games so that Kobe could make game winners. And it makes perfect sense, the Lakers are above and beyond all the other teams. They don't win by 60 or 70 points every game cause that would seem like the lakers games were rigged.

Anonymous winnetou said...
Czernobog- word of the day: win hog

Anonymous allison said...
Man love:;_ylt=Al1snpKoJ0WjIjX2u7.1OVKQvLYF?slug=80dd4079a1e94cd9b0290c1c0b9019d0.kings_trail_blazers_basketball_orrb107&prov=ap

Blogger chris said...
Thabeet is BACK from D-League exile!!!

Blogger chris said...
And LOL at this line about Thabeet:

It is the textbook definition of Hasheem Thabeet, a project who has proven to be so raw that the Grizzlies were said to have been forced to coach him "as if he were an eighth-grader."

Blogger Ash said...
mg: Oh yeah, all those quality Dallas wins by 3 points over the likes of the Timbercraps and the other bottom dwellers.

Call me when they have a statement win.

Anonymous DKH said...

A few things about the power rankings. First, looking +/- 2 points from their rating, their range includes anything from 8th to 14th.

Second, the ratings are entirely mathematical. They don't care about players going in and out with injury or incorporating new players from trade or whatever. On that point, the SOS for the last 25% of Mavs games (roughly their streak) is 0.466, or 22nd out of the 30 teams. The Mavs' overall average margin of victory is +2.57, good for 12th, and the margin in the last 25% of games is +3.06, or 10th in the league. That is, they had the 9th easiest schedule, and the 10th best margin in the last 25% of games. That sounds like an average team, not a top tier team, and that's how the math turns out.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@Ash B. - Um, during this 12-game win streak, they have beaten the Suns and Lakers at home, and the Magic and Hawks on the road.

And looking at their schedule, the only trip-ups I see down the road are Boston, Denver, Orlando, and San Antonio, ALL at home. They could run the table if they are serious about catching the Lakers. LA still has San Antonio, Denver, and Phoenix on the road. This will be close.

Besides, aren't the only statement wins playoffs wins?

Blogger mg said...
I know how Hollinger's system works, it's just it's an absolute joke. It can't be used to measure the quality of basketball teams. It's not all about numbers.

Oh, and if wins at Orlando, at Atlanta and vs. the defending champions are not statement wins, then I don't know what is. Notice that during the streak, the Mavs have been incredibly short-handed: Terry, Butler, Haywood and Dampier have missed a lot of games. And there were a couple back-to-backs too.

Blogger Ash said...
I like watching Dallas fans getting butt-hurt about this whole ranking thing.

Enjoy another 2nd round playoff exit, gents!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
More Hollinger hate: His "Combined Shooting Rating is spreading on the 'Net like wildfire. What the fuck Hollinger, straight up adding percentages together, only restricted to 10,000 minutes? This isn't like OBP+Slugging, ugh.

By this metric, Eddy Curry should be at the top, who in 13002 career minutes posted a 54.5%/100.0%/64.2% for a 2.186 score!

Anonymous winnetou said...
Hah, with less than 2 minutes to play in the 4th quarter of Raptors at Lakers, a spectator got up and tipped the ball before Calderon could attempt to rebound it back in, resulting in an out of bounds call.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
@Winnetou: Yeah, and the refs straight up ignored it.

Also, as someone remarked elsewhere "a fan had more clutch plays in that game then Turkoglu and Calderon combined."

Anonymous DKH said...

The system isn't a joke. The numbers that Hollinger values (SOS, margin of victory), at face value, suggest that the Mavs recent win streak isn't really all that mighty. And after going through whatever formula he has, that's what the result says.

You're asking for a subjective rating system, but that's not what Hollinger's system is. How would you objectively adjust for the lack of those players? You can't. Take a look at Stein's rankings if that's what you want.


On another note, if you think Hollinger's system is an "absolute joke," what stats do you think he should value that would make it not a joke? What do you think is important? It's very difficult to quantify "team chemistry," although the Mavs seem to have that in some sense with their new players.

Blogger mg said...
I don't know, maybe he should actually watch the games istead of having a computer tell him which teams are better than others.

Ash B. - May I ask where all that Mavs hate comes from?

Anonymous DKH said...
The Mavs beat the Nets by 9 points today. On the season, the Nets' average margin of victory is -10.3. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

On another note, I actually went back and looked at the Mavs recent results. The very low margin of victory recently has to do with consecutive 36-point and 13-point losses to Denver and Oklahoma, respectively. Once those anchors disappear from the last 25% of games, Hollinger's rankings will probably more closely match the subjective rankings.

Incidentally, this is probably one of the most significant issues I have with Hollinger's methodology: the arbitrary weighting that makes games 46-60 matter more than games 1-45. I can understand that early season games perhaps mean less (trades, injuries, etc.), but the choice of cutoff is needlessly arbitrary.