I want it so "Aw, it's okay, Vinny." But it isn't. It really isn't.
The Boston Celtics: When Danny Ainge went balls out to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen back in 2007, the only undercurrent of fear was that the Celtics might have mortgaged their future for instant gratification. Hey, it's the American way, right? But by the time Boston won 66 games and beat the hated Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals, those fears seemed totally unjustified.
But right now, in April of 2010, those fears have been totally justified.
Danilo Gallinari scored a career-high 31 points, Earl Barron finished with 17 points and a career-best 18 rebounds in his first NBA start in two years after spending most of this season in the freaking D-League, and the once mighty Celtics lost to the Bricks in New York despite shooting 54 percent from the field (compared to 44 percent for the Bricks).
Did I mention that the New Yorkers were without Knee-Mac (sore left knee), Al Harrington (sore left ankle) and Wilson Chandler (sore left groin)?
Not only were the Celtics -- who bobbled away the win by committing 18 turnovers -- outrebounded 44-34, but they looked like the Three Stooges Plus Two on their final play, during which they couldn't even get off a shot before the buzzer. The final score: Brick 104, Celtics 101.
Outplayed and (worse) outworked by the undermanned and one-defeat-away-from-50-losses Bricks. It's a new low in a season full of them for these Celtics.
The Toronto Craptors: The Craptors let the Crabs shoot 56 percent as LeBron James and Mo Williams combined for 25 assists, equaling the total output of everbody on the Toronto roster. Can you tell the Craptors are fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East?
As if the loss wasn't bad enough, Chris Bosh suffered a "maxilla and nasal fracture to the right side of his face" thanks to an atomic elbow from Antawn Jamison. No word yet on Bosh's status for Toronto's remaining games.
Despite all the blood and Bosh's near decapitation, 'Tawn was genuinely surpised he almost killed a man: "I didn't think it was that severe. But once he went down, you knew it was. I didn't think I hit him that hard at all. It was just a bad angle and an unfortunate play. Freakish things like that happen." Jamison the rested the elbow on a trainer's table, which promptly blew the fuck up.
Here's some extra funny from an anonymous commenter:
I just heard some amazing commentary from the craptors' home feed:
Announcer 1: Hey, they gave us one green die, makes me feel like Vegas. (rolls a 6)
Announcer 2: Woah! Oh, the Raptors have 6 games remaining. Why don't you roll that again and see how many of those they're going win?
(*I think you see where this is going*)
Announcer 1: (rolls die-pauses) Why don't I try that again?
Proceeds to roll 3 more times before commercial break, never announcing how many games the Craps will win.
Sonny Weems, quote machine: "Every game we've played [the Cavaliers], it's been real close. I don't think they want that in the first round of the playoffs. We're going to come to play."
The Chicago Bulls: After a season full of bad breaks and dumb luck, the Bulls finally had things going their way. Toronto, the team standing between the Bulls and a playoff berth, got beat in Cleveland and Chris Bosh was nearly manslaughtered. And Chicago's opponent, the Miwaukee Bucks, had already lost Andrew Bogut for the season so he could recover from surgery on his broken hand. If you believe in statistical voodoo like PER, Win Shares an common sense, then you know Bogut was Milwaukee's best player.
So, to sum up: All the Bulls had to do to tie the Bosh-less Craptors in the standings was win a critical home game against the Bogut-less Bucks.
I'm sure you see where this is going.
The Bulls squandered a 13-point first-quarter lead by scoring a season-low 9 points in the second period and went on to lose despite holding the Bucks to 79 points on 36 percent shooting. John Salmons haunted his former team by scoring a game-high 26 points and making critcal plays down the stretch. Speaking of critcal plays down the stretch...
Vinny Del Negro: So the Bulls were down by three points with under 10 seconds to go, and this is what they got coming out of a timeout: A Brad Miller turnover after the big man tried to charge the hoop from 20 feet away. Really? That's the best play the Bulls could come up with when there entire season was on the line?!
Even better. After a forced foul on Brandon Jennings, the Bulls were down four with about six seconds left. Chicago's play coming out of a timeout? A midrange jumper by Kirk Hinrich, who was 4-for-16 on the night.
The Philadelphia 76ers: It looked like Philly was going to get a much-needed break during a season of torture. After all, the Pistons shambled into the City of Brotherly Hate on an 11-game losing streak. What's more, Charlie Villanueva has been bitching about his life to the press and via Twitter. Let's face it: Detroit is a crappy team in disarray.
And yet...the Pistons transformed into road warriors, shooting 62 percent for the game and beating the Sixers 124-103 behind a season-high 18 points from Ben Wallace.
Said Philly coach Eddie Jordan: "Too bad there's not a Phillies game or another [Donovan] McNabb trade to keep you guys occupied. It was just a poor performance and no excuse."
Jordan then provided an excuse by blaming shoddy effort by Elton Brand and Sammy Dalembert.
Responded Dalembert: "He's the coach and he's the boss. He's not happy and we're not happy. I'm out there trying hard and hustling. I don't have a problem with the coach."
That's fine, Sam, because he won't be your coach much longer.
John Kuester, quote machine: "Our guys made a conscious effort to play defense." Note: The Sixers shot 52 percent for the game.
The Golden State Warriors: So much for Don Nelson passing Lenny Wilkins for most coaching wins in NBA history. The Warriors, due to illness and injury, were limited to only seven players and lost 112-94 to the Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets.
Said Nellie: "Not a very good effort, but when we start running out of bodies ... I wish I could've rested some guys more, but you've got to have five guys on the court at all times. If I could've got away with three, I would've done it."
Here's some more Warrior fail, courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information: The Warriors have lost 15 of their last 17 road games. This loss dropped them to 1-18 when scoring fewer than 100 points this season. And, finally, Gol_en State has allowed more than 100 points in 19 straight games.
But wait, there's more! From the AP recap: "Nick Young scored a season-high 29 points, JaVale McGee set career highs with 25 points and 15 rebounds, Shaun Livingston matched a career-high with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting and Andray Blatche added 21 points, giving the Wizards four 20-point scorers for the first time since December 2007."
People just love playing the Warriors.
The Memphis Grizzlies: Last night's 113-103 home loss to the slumping Rockets was best symbolized by Houston's 33-16 advantage in free throw attempts.
Said Trevor Ariza: "We fought so hard during the early part of the season to get into the playoffs. Now, to know that you have no chance is kind of tough to get motivated. That part caught up with us in the first half. Then, we realized we were playing for pride. We're playing for our team, our franchise, our families, and we started picking it up."
Too bad the same thing can't be said about the Memphis players.
The Excremento Kings: Blah, blah, blah, Paupers lost. Yeah, we know. But with their 95-86 victory in Sacramento, the Spurs have won 16 of their last 21 games and have officially been described as "surging." I couldn't help but notice the "surging" tag has been a kiss of death this season. Every time a team is described that way, bad things start to happen. The watch is on!
Defense: How 'bout that Thunder-Jazz game, huh? Yes, it was exciting. It was also a defenseless stat-padder that ended 140-39. From ESPN Stats and Information: "Deron Williams (42 points, 10 assists, one turnover) set a career-high for points, recorded his first 40-point, 10-assist game of his career and recorded just the 19th 40-point, 10-assist game with one or fewer turnovers since 1986-87. ... Carlos Boozer (28 points, 15 rebounds) picked up his 53rd double-double of the season. ... Kevin Durant (45 points) notched his 11th career 40-point game and became the leading scorer in the NBA through Tuesday."
How were the Gol_en State Warriors not involved in this game?
The Jazz and Thunder combined for 184 field goal attempts and 78 foul shots. But lack of D aside, the worst aspect of this game was quite clearly...
Officiating: Here's C.J. Miles' "block" of Kevin Durant's last-second shot in the Thunder-Jazz game. Apparently, arm is now part of the ball.
Update! Mike Bibby: From Basketbawful reader anne: "Just read the injury list - 'M. Bibby, ATL, PG - Ingrown toenail.' Does anything more need to be added? No, but geez, someone send him some Midol and a box of Tampax. I think I would have told them to put 'flu-like symptoms' instead if he's just wanting to rest before the playoffs." Speaking of the Bibster, he's earned exactly 77 free throws in 76 starts this season. His 1.0 FTA per game average is indeed a career low. I guess he's no fan of contact.
The NCAA Womens Championship Game: To this I say: Gak. Here's what Basketbawful reader DKH had to say: "OK, I didn't watch the women's championship game, but from the box score, that game must have just been full of bawful. Field goal percentages for the two teams: 26.5% and 32.8%. Connecticut enjoyed a 22-to-4 free throw attempt advantage (but only a 9-to-3 free throws made advantage [yes, 40.9% FT%; they must think they're Ben Wallace]). Not to mention Connecticut's 12 point first half, or that Stanford had only scored 2 second-half points when there were 12 minutes to go in the game."
Responded Basketbawful reader gordon gartrelle: "But...the women's game is so pure, so fundamentally sound! They play the way the game was meant to be played!"
Lacktion report: Now for chris's latest lacktivity update:
Hawks-Bobcats: Derrick Brown donned a plumber's hat and overalls in 22 seconds for a celebratory Mario!
Raptors-Crabs: Leon Powe let the ball slip from his claws once in 2:49 for a +1 suck differential, while Daniel Green pinched out a full 1.2 trillion (1:12) worth of greenbacks!
Bucks-Bulls: Hakim Warrick dreamed of a spot in the lacktion ledger, and after 4:21 in which he fouled twice and committed a turnover, he managed a +3!
Thunder-Jazz: Othyus Jeffers bricked once and fouled twice in 1:47 for a +3.
Spurs-Kings: One player on each squad got the chancce to play the Lost Levels: Ian Mahinmi of San Antonio with a 35-second Mario, and Jon Brockman with a 23-second stint of 8-bit video gaming for the purple paupers!