If King Crab stays in Cleveland or goes somewhere other than New York,
this picture should on the cover of the Bricks' 2010-11 media guide.
The Los Angeles Lakers We Don't Give A Shit Until The Playoffs The Lakers WDGASUTPs apparently thought it was "Effort Optional Night" in Atlanta, as they forced only 5 turnovers and allowed the Hawks to shoot 54 percent from the field. And did I mention Atlanta's bench scored 48 points or that Zaza Pachulia (10 points, 10 rebounds) had his first double-double in over a year? (Strangely enough, Zaza's last double-double was an 11-point, 13-rebound game against...the Lakers.) The result: an ugly 109-92 loss. L.A.'s third in four games.
Said Lakers WDGASUTP coach Phil Jackson: "It's hard to digest."
I guess his team's recent lackadaisical approach has given P-Jax Crohn's disease.
Before we get to Pau Gasol, the gift from the NBA gods allowing Kobe to win a championship without Shaq, and a discussion about Gasol's lack of toughness as well as being a crybaby, there's the mop atop his head.
"Do you comb it?"
"No," he says.
"When was the last time you did?"
"I don't remember," he says. "I'm dead serious."
"What do you do?"
"I water it," he says.
"How do you know if it looks good or bad?"
"I look in the mirror and if everything looks pretty decent, I'll get out of the room."
This comes from an article -- provided by Basketbawful reader Sorbo, by the way -- that once again questions Pau Gasol's toughness. To sum up: Pau thinks he's a tough guy, Phil Jackson disagrees, the writer (T.J. Simers) obviously thinks Gasol is a big Spanish Marshmallow. And while I certainly don't disagree with Jackson or Simers, I can't help but notice that every time the Lakers start to struggle, the "Gasol is soft" articles start hitting the press again. That always seems to be L.A.'s big problem.
Home cookin': The Craboliers "earned" a hard-fought 101-98 home win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Know what helped? The 45-9 advantage in free throw attempts.
Said John Salmons: "I don't want to lose my money. I'm not going to speak about that." But isn't not speaking about something just a passive-aggressive way of actually speaking about something?
Speaking of which, Bucks coach Scott Skiles said: "We should have won that game. We gave them that game." Of course, by "we" Scott means "the officials." Seriously, it's right there in the Coach-to-English dictionary.
Cleveland's free throw shooting: The Crabs needed every single one of those 45 free throw attempts to pull this game out...especially considering they bricked 16 of them. Just call them Team Shaqnopsis.
The Los Angeles Clippers: After his team shot 61 percent in a 114-92 win over The Other L.A. Team, Chris Bosh said: "Granted, we didn't play one of the stronger defenses in the league but we'll take everything we can get. It still counts."
True...but it shouldn't. It really, really shouldn't. When oh when will David Stern start making victories over the Clippers count for, like, 0.5 of a win? Maybe 0.3? In related news, Toronto's Sonny Weems went 8-for-8 from the field for 17 points. It was the second-highest scoring game of Sonny's two-season career and the first time he's ever been perfect from the field when attempting more than two shots.
Regarding his team's frightening lack of actually trying to win the game, Chris Kaveman said: "You want to keep playing hard but sometimes you just run out of energy and there's nothing you can do, you're out of gas. You try to fight and fight and fight but at that point, in the fourth quarter, the game was kind of over."
Heck, this game was over months ago if you think about it. But it's probably better if you don't think about it.
The Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers have followed up their hope-lifting two-game winning streak with two straight blowout losses. The latest: a 103-84 road loss to the Bobcats in which Philly gave up 32 points off 25 turnovers. The 'Cats also had a 35-11 edge in FTAs, but I can't figure out whether that was home cookin' or a group case of the notgivingashits by the Sixers. We'll let The 80 Million Dollar Man be the judge.
Said Brand: "I think they were aggressive, trying to get to the line. And they got the calls."
Displaying the kind of astute coaching analysis that will soon be earning him an unemployment check, Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan said: "We just didn't make plays. We didn't make shots and we turned the ball over."
The Boston Celtics We Haven't Given A Shit All Years: Say what you will about the Lakers WDGASUTPs shifting into cruise control for the stretch run, hasn't it seemed like the Celtics WHGASAYs have been cruising all season? Yes, they're old, and yes, they've been dealing with an assortment of injuries. But Boston hasn't had the same fire they had the previous two seaons. Apollo Creed would say they've lost the eye of the tiger...and apparently replaced it with the eye of the kitten.
Still, the Celtics WHGASAYs put some effort into this one -- I guess they suddenly realized the Hawks were ready to displace them for the third spot in the East -- but they still got punked at home by the Oklahoma City Thunder. What's better, they did it in historic fail fashion: Boston lost despite shooting 59.5 percent from the field. It was their best field goal percentage in a loss since February 18, 1990 against (oh goddamn it!) the Lakers (61.5 percent).
Said Rasheed Wallace: "I've never been, in all of my 15 years, part of a team where you shoot 60 percent and still lose."
There's a first time for everything, I guess.
In the end, the 109-104 defeat came down to free throw attempts. Or, depending on your perspective, the lack thereof. The Unlucky Leprechauns went 13-for-17 from the line, while Oklahoma was 28-for-34. Yep, the Thunder doubled up on FTAs. In Boston. Heck, Kevin Durant (15-for-15) finished with more makes at the line than the entire Celtics WHGASAYs' team. And Kevin Garnett was fuming about it.
Said Garnett: "I thought we were playing Michael [word KG mouthed from the sidelines a lot last season with an "ing" at the end] Jordan tonight the way he was getting the whistle. Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team."
Doc Rivers tried to be a wee bit more diplomatic. With an emphasis on the "wee bit" part: "When you shoot 60 percent from the field ... it's a tough one to swallow. A team shoots 34 free throws to our 17 on our home floor. That's a tough one. I thought we were aggressive, too. I thought we were attacking, and we just didn't get to the line."
Credit Paul Pierce for trying to stay out of the officiating discussion: "I don't know, [refereeing is] not my call. I'm just a player out there playing. The referees, they make the call. It is what it is. I can't control that part of the game, I just have to control what I do as a player and as a team. Yeah, we have to do a better job keeping them off the line. They shoot 34 free throws, and that was the emphasis before the game that we can't foul them. They shoot 80 percent as a team from the line, and they did it again tonight. So you can't allow them to get to the line as many times as they did, and shoot 50 percent from the [field]."
Let's face it: The Celtics just aren't better than any of the good teams.
The Detroit Pistons: Dwyane Wade finished with 10 point, 3 rebounds and one lonely assists...but the Heat still beat the Pistons 98-81. In Detroit. It's just been that kind of year for the Pistons, who have now lost nine straight and 16 of their past 18 games.
Still, the year got a little weirder when Charlie Villanueva -- one half of Joe Dumars' $90 million offseason spending spree -- earned his first DNP-CD in two years. What's up with that, Chuck?
Said Charlie V.: "You're talking to the wrong man. I don't know what's going on. No one has said anything to me. All I can do is go out there, play if they put me in the game and cheer on my teammates if they don't."
Soon-to-be-former Detroit coach John Kuester didn't have much of an explanation about Villanueva's benching either: "We made some changes with our rotation and we wanted to give some other guys a look right now. It was my decision. That's the direction that I want to go in right now."
If you say so, coach. But it's not like the Pistons are exactly overmanned at the moment. They were already missing Richard Hamilton (bum ankle) and Chris Wilcox (sore hammy), and then they lost Jason Maxiell to a back strain in the first quarter.
Enter rookie forwards Austin Daye and DaJuan Summers...who combined for a whopping 11 points and 7 boards in 50 lacktion-y minutes.
Said Kuester: "I thought the young kids didn't take advantage of the opportunities they got. The energy has to be there and so does the discipline. That wasn't there tonight."
Uh, John, does the phrase "shit flows downhill" mean anything to you?
The Phoenix Suns: Despite going down to the wire the previous night in Chicago, the Suns were still able to put up 116 points -- their fifth straight game scoring 110+ -- while beating the Nyets in New Jersey. Shock. Surprise. More shock.
Said New Jersey's soon-to-be-looking-for-other-work coach Kiki Vandeweghe: "I thought that we played hard but we lost a little bit of focus for a couple of minutes, and that's just enough for this team."
Blah, blah, blah, Nyets suck. We know this. As for the Suns, they've won nine in a row, went 12-2 in March, are an NBA-best 18-4 since the All-Star break, and have won 24 of their last 29 games going back to January 28. And although they've faced some cream puffs during that stretch, they also have wins over the Mavericks, Nuggets (twice), Grizzlies, Hawks, Thunder, Jazz and Blazers. And their losses -- to the Blazers, Mavs, Spurs, Jazz and Lakers -- were close calls. Phoenix is hot while a lot of other teams are slumping...but they still haven't really gone anywhere in the standings.
Said Suns coach Alvin Gentry: "And we've gone from fifth to fourth. Well, tied for fourth. I think we've been playing great, it's just usually if you have a run like that, you put yourself in a pretty good situation and you have separation. And the only one we've separated ourselves from is the fact that we're going to make the playoffs."
Jason Richardson and Yi Jianlian: Both of these dudes missed dunks during the third quarter. Of course, Yi couldn't jump over a blade of freshly cut grass, but Richardson is a two-time Slam Dunk Champion. What's his excuse?
Update! Louis Amundson: From Basketbawful reader Junior: "No comments about this? I know, I know, its Louis Amundson trying to dunk, but a block like that by Kris Humphries? Fuckin' Kris Humphries giving a Wilsonburger, that's something you will never see again in your life." Not unless you rewatch this video 27 times like I just did...
Steve Nash, quote machine: "Tonight we just didn't have the legs in the first half. Mentally as well." Mental legs!
By the way, Nash is fucking amazing. He went into the Bulls game with a bad back and a cold...almost didn't even play...but had his 12th 20-point, 10-assist game of the season and almost single-handedly beat the Bulls down the stretch. The next night, he has his 13th 20-point, 10-assist game while leading the Suns in points (24), assists (13) and rebounds (7). As always, I'm just sayin'.
Steve Nash, high five machine: Did you know that Captain Canada also leads the league in high fives (barely edging out second-place Brian Scalabrine and third-place Matt Bonner)? Well, he does. And he was padding stats last night. Said AnacondaHL (from the BAD comments): "Nash with 16 high fives as he goes to the bench, as counted by the YES announcers."
And since I'm man-loving on Nash today, here's a video courtesy of Basketbawful reader winnetou:
The New Orleans Hornets: Forget their recent fluke wins over the Mavs and Lakers WDGASUTPs. The Hornets are bawful. How bawful? Let me put it this way: Were you surprised by Mike Miller's season-high 27 points or the fact that the Washington WizardsGenerals Bullets snapped their franchise-worst 16-game losing streak against the Hornets in New Orleans?
No. Of course you weren't. (Okay, maybe a little, but still.)
I guess the Hornets' defensive game plan was to let the Bullets wear themselves out while scoring at will. Well, Washington shot 56 percent and came away with the win, so that strategy kind of backfired, didn't it?
Said Chris Paul: "We just couldn't defend. Couldn't stop them early, late, nothing. They ran their same offense the entire game and we just never found a way to stop them."
Next time, try a hand in the face. I know, I know, it's a total shot in the dark, but give it a go anyway. You never know.
Nick Young, quote machine: "People were saying we were not going to get a win in March, and we got one. We got that monkey off our back and we have to keep going."
Way to prove people wrong, Nick!
Bullets soon-to-be-ex-coach Flip Saunders, quote machine: "We play hard and we play well, we just don't have anything to show for it."
Oh, I wouldn't say that, Flip. Years from now, when people are talking about the franchise's worst-ever seasons, this one should be right at the tippy top. And nobody can ever take that away from you.
The Excremento Kings: The best way to sum up Excremento's loss to the Timberpoops is by transcribing a text message I received from chris last night: "Paupers down 20 to Wolves. Why?"
What's the big? Just because Minny hadn't won a game in over a month and was riding the awesome wave of a 16-game losing streak...
And did I mention Darko "the freaking human victory cigar" Milicic had a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds)? Great googly moogly. It didn't help that Spencer Hawes was out with an injury.
Said soon-to-be-ex-Paupers-coach Paul Westphal: "I think the biggest reason is Milicic, Jefferson and Love really played great. I'm not so sure we would have outrebounded them had we had Spencer. It would have been nice to have him." Oh now you want Hawes in the game. Make up your mind, Paul!
Al Jefferson, quote machine: "I'm happy. Yeah I'm happy. It's good to get this win. It's real good to get the win and to prove to the other teams that we can play the right way." Yeah. Against the Kings.
The Houston Rocketrs: The Money Ballers continued their slide into suck, getting crushed by George Hill (30 points, 7 assists) and blown out 119-102 by the Spurs in San Antonio. The Spurs shot 57 percent. There were hands, and there were faces, but never did they meet. Not once.
Said Houston coach Rick Adelman: "Our defense -- not making excuses; it's a fact of life -- we're not the same team that we were before. We don't have anyone at the basket that challenges anybody and we're playing a lot of young guys. But that doesn't mean we can't get better. Right now we have some guys that put there worth in the offensive end and when things break down they don't fall back on the defense."
But he's not making excuses. No, sir, no excuses.
The New York Knicks: David Lee (20 points, 10 boards) had his 48th double-double of the season. Just imagine how badly the Bricks -- who lost 118-90 to the Frail Blazers -- would have done without him.
Portland was up 50-30 at the half. And it wasn't even that competitive, to tell you the truth.
Said Bricks coach Mike 'Antoni: "We had no energy on both ends of the floor. And when you do that against a good team that is preparing for the playoffs, they're going to be nights like this."
Hey, Mike. You're team is 26-48. There have been a lot of nights like this. And a lot of pictures like this:
The Gol_en State Warriors: The Warriors shot 36 percent from the field and missed 22 of their 26 three-point attempts. But, as always, their biggest problem was on the defensive end, where they gave up 128 points.
Said G-State coach Don Nelson: "Holy fuck, I need a beer. Has anyone got a beer? Or a flask? I'll do a shot if nobody has any beer." Okay, I made that up, but it's not a stretch, is it?
Lacktion report: If you're wondering how chris maintains his sanity in the face of his team's extreme ineptitude, it's by reporting on the many baller who suck worse than the Purple Paupers. To wit:
Lakers-Hawks: Mario West offered up some celebratory lacktion tonight, fouling once in 1:49 for a +1 suck differential!
Sixers-Bobcats: Gerald Henderson baked two bricks in 4:02 for a +2.
Clippers-Raptors: After what seemed to be an intermniable absence, Steve Novak seems to have responded to the season-ending injury of his chief unproductive rival, Dominic McGuire, by adding new batteries to his Game and Watch for 23 seconds of playtime in a Mario! (However, this is not a truly lacktive Mario as he managed a field goal from the CN Tower.)
Heat-Pistons: Yakhouba Diawara missed once in 2:23 and added on a foul for a +2!
Suns-Nyets: Josh Boone chugged down defeat after three absences from the mausoleum-like atmosphere that Hoffland generally provides, fouling once in 4:27 for a +1 that also counted as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Mavs-Grizzlies: Erick Dampier had three boards and a made free throw in 16:07, but fouled four times and lost the rock twice for a 6:4 Voskuhl.
Bullets-Hornets: Yes. THE Fabricio Oberto was starting center tonight for Washington, and he fired off a celebratory field goal and a few boards in 18:38 - but also gave away the ball thricely and fouled five times for a Voskuhl ratio of 8:5! Also blasting the confetti tonight was Earl Boykins, who launched a brick and lost track of one projectile for a +2 in 10:33.
Rockets-Spurs: Keith Bogans is ready for bling, as evidenced by a 7.5 trillion (7:30) payday tonight - one of the largest collections of cash in this season so far!!! (Said Basketbawful reader Janosch K: "Is this the new Bruce Bowen???") Fellow Spur Garrett Temple had a head-scratching +3 in 8:08 via foul, brick, and turnover.