It may look like Baron Davis wants to yell at Bennett Salvatore, but actually he is just straining to prevent his beard from launching off his face and strangling Salvatore

It's a good day, and the playoffs are almost here. Let's get to it.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Derrick Rose
"Damn! Fighting for the chance to get knocked out of the first round of the playoffs is hard work!"

Beno UdrihRon Ron
Come on Crazy Pills, you've got to step up your game. How can you let Beno Udrih have a better incredulous "that wasn't a foul!" face than you?

Nationally Televised Friday Games:
Pistons at Heat: Thank you NBA-TV for giving us a chance to remember just how bad a job Joe Dumars has done lately.

Mavericks at Frail Blazers: Not the best opportunity for the Mavs to clinch the West's #2 seed...

All The Other Friday Games:
Bricks at Magic: I can't wait for all the Mike D'Antoni facepalm pictures from this game.

Bucks at 76ers: Does anyone else miss when the Sixers were relevant?

Craptors at Hawks: (In honor of the Masters, I've gotta throw in a Tiger Woods joke, bear with me here...) I wonder if the Craptors are calling up the Hawks and leaving the following voicemail: "You gotta throw this game for me. Huge. Quickly."

Wizards Generals Bullets at Celtics: This is a "gimme" game for the C's, right? Right? (crickets)

Pacers at Crabs: Ah, a true test of just how badly the Pacers want to ruin their draft pick possibilities!

Jazz at Hornets: I wonder if Chris Paul actually wanted to come back for the last few weeks of the regular season even though they are going to miss the playoffs. Isn't his recovery being put at risk for no obvious reason?

Lakers at Timberwolves: Our last chance of the year to see the battle of the Triangle offenses. Well, okay, maybe "battle" isn't the best word to describe this. "Public humiliation" might be better. (If the Lakers dominate, the Timberpoops are humiliated. If the game is close to the Lakers lose because they just don't give a shit, that is truly embarrassing)

Bulls at Nyets: Nice gift from the scheduling gods for the Bulls' playoff chances.

Suns at Thunder: Ooh. This might be worth firing up the League Pass Broadband...

Bobcats at Rockets: This, on the other hand, not so much.

Grizzlies at Spurs: Here's a nice test to see if Manu and Company can keep the intensity turned up to 11.

* * *

Nationally Televised Saturday Games:
Spurs at Nuggets: Okay, this could be a good game if the Spurs have any energy left. Granted, they probably won't, but I'm holding out hope!

All The Other Saturday Games:
Nyets at Pacers: The Pacers are playing out of their minds, and the Nyets have no reason to keep trying since they no longer are the worst team in NBA history. 130-98 type of score here maybe?

Hawks at Wizards Generals Bullets: Going back to our other nickname for the Bullets, if Washington actually replaced their players with the guys on the Generals, would anybody notice?

Pistons at Bobcats: Only a few more days until we don't have to see the Pistons again until next season!

76ers at Grizzlies: Remember when the Grizzlies were playoff contenders? Those were strange, scary times.

Celtics at Bucks: Is it playoffs time yet in Boston? Damn. Come on. Just end the suffering.

Mavericks at Kings: Okay, this is a better opportunity for the Mavs.

Warriors at Clippers: Damn it. We just had a Clippers/Kings game. Why does the NBA need to torture us fans with another horrendous California teams game so soon?

* * *

Nationally Televised Sunday Games:
Magic at Crabs: Uh oh! A big Eastern Conference showdown and playoff preview!? (Or both teams just sleepwalk through the game since they have nothing to gain by playing hard and risking injury. Either or.)

Frail Blazers at Lakers: We dearly need flex scheduling of some sort to keep all the end-of-regular-season Lakers games off TV.

Bulls at Craptors: An NBA-TV broadcast! That should tell you how important this game is. (Because getting knocked out in four or at best five games in the first round is for some reason one hundred times better than missing the playoffs by one or two games)

All The Other Sunday Games:
Heat at Bricks: I simply cannot get over this stretch of crap teams the Heat get to play to cap the season. Unreal.

Timberwolves at Hornets: Sigh.

Thunder at Warriors: Well, if Kevin Durant really wants that scoring title, this has to be his best stat-padding opportunity game, right?

Rockets at Suns: I doubt the Suns will be as slow and careless on defense as the Jazz were the other night when they let Chuck Hayes score at will in the paint even though he's like 4'3".

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Blogger Will said...
Dan, you are mistaken. Beno is complaining about an actual foul to an actual person. Artest is addressing the magical wizard that appears when he doesn't take his pills.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Will -- Hmm, valid point.

Blogger Unknown said...

so, Kokomo has you, and it has swim coaches who should have been priests, oh well

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yea, Durant already has 13...in the first quarter.

Blogger Clifton said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Do Nyets games now have negative attendances?

Could the Clips-Warriors game actually suck hard enough to destroy the very fabric of space and time?

Somehow I get the feeling Artest's problems aren't improved by pills, only changed in nature. Surely surgical intervention is required to cure terminal knuckleheaditis.

Blogger chris said...
The Bulls have lost to the Nyets.


While the aging C's were shelled by Washington.

And the aging Spurs got scratched out by Memphis.

What a night.

Blogger Boris Tilov said...
"Bulls at Nyets: Nice gift from the scheduling gods for the Bulls' playoff chances."

OMG, I read this after the loss to the Nets, and let em tell you, this line seems haunting.

Blogger Brian said...
This picture best sums up the Craptors-Bulls "playoff race".


Anonymous Anonymous said...
wow, raps give up 45 in the 2nd quarter to the hawks and the bulls lose to the nets in double ot. No one wants that 8th spot.

Blogger chris said...
Anonymous: It's essentially like a 1970s playoff bracket, with a bye for the Crabs in the first round, right? :D

Blogger Brian said...
Maybe David Stern can punish the Bulls and Craptors and just concede the 8th spot to the Pacers.

Anonymous Mladen said...
Well, the Magic just eeked out a 6 point win over the King Crab-less Cavaliers...

Now, on one hand, it makes me glad, because, obviously, with LeBron and Anthony Parker in the line-up (and Shaq's blubbery ass in the paint), it would have been (and will be) a different story.

However, the amount of crazy, game-changing three-pointers that the Magic (constantly seem to) hit against the Cavs is not a good sign. Frankly, it pisses me off. For some reason, the Cavs, who are supposed to be an elite defensive team, just can't defend Orlando on these long-range shots; but the Lakers and some other teams sure can shut them down...WTF?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, if anybody had "Vujacic posterizing Camby" in the pool, step forward to collect your prize.


Anonymous Karc said...
When ABC had that stat that the Lakers are 28-0 at home after leading at the start of the 4th quarter, I screamed, "Stat Curse!"

Even after Brandon Roy goes down, the Frail Blazers still beat the Lakers in LA. And this after Fisher and Byrant, the two "best" free throw shooters on the team, miss 3 out of 4 free throws, then Fisher (or Bryant, they both hacked him) fouls Webster on a three-pointer, to which he promptly sinks all three freebies. Yes, Martell Webster fouling Fisher just before that was pretty silly, but Fisher missed both free throws and Webster redeemed himself. Besides, Webster's only been in the league for four years. Fisher (or Bryant) has four rings, what's his excuse? Oh yeah, they're the WDGASUTP's. Figures.

They probably might want to give a shit now, since Orlando is a game up on them for second-best record, which means an NBA Finals rematch would have the Magic with the home court. But let's face it. If the Lakers can't beat the Trail Blazers at home when they don't have Brandon Roy (Apr 11), or the Spurs at home when they don't have Tony Parker (Apr 4), or the Nuggets at home when they don't have Carmelo Anthony (Feb 5), or the Rockets at home when they don't have anybody (Nov 15), does it really matter if the Lakers had the home court? They'd probably lose anyway.

Anonymous Hajt said...
Some serious bawful in the final seconds of the Blazers/Lakers game:

-With 54 seconds left, Blazers go up 5 off of a layup. Then, Kobe takes a deep three 6 seconds into the shot clock, open thanks to Fisher playing linebacker on Kobe. No foul called, and Kobe drains the shot.
-Miller called for an offensive foul 8 seconds later.
-Bryant splits the defense to get into the middle and gets an and-1 called, and completes the three point foul.

None of this was too bad, except for Blazer fans would want calls the other way on all three plays.

-The blazers take it down and Camby gets a putback with 12 seconds left; blazers up by 1.

Then the true awful comes, with at least 6 big flubs:
1: Martell Webster fouls Kobe as he's dribbling past him, thinking there is a foul to give. There isn't.
2: Kobe shanks the first FT off the front of the rim.
3: Kobe misses the second.
4: Blazers fail to rebound the miss, which would have had them with the ball and up 1 with 6 seconds left.
5: Andre Miller rushes out and bulldozes Derrick Fisher. Two more FTs coming right up.
6: Fisher misses his first, before draining the second; tie game.
7: Blazers inbound to Martell, who tries a wild, off-balanced running forward three point attempt, on which he is clobbered by Fisher and Kobe.
8: After Webster hits all three free throws, the Lakers have a chance to inbound with 3 seconds left, down three. on the inbound, Gasol attempts his 5th 3 pointer of the season, which he misses like the first four. Game Over.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
From the ESPN recap:

"We're trying to win every game, because they will all mean something in the end," said Vince Carter, who had six points on 3-of-10 shooting. "I think we're ready to go."

I think the writer somehow doubts that 30% against a coasting Crabs team is ready to go.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Karc - Now you know the pleasure of predicting failure via the stat curse. It's inevitable. Like the tides, or the Clippers.