Finally! Our first sad bench photo of the 2010 NBA Playoffs!
Anonymous Defensive Player of the Year voter: This inexplicable fact cannot be lost in all the hubbub of Dwight Howard's second consecutive DPoY award: David Lee -- he of Mike 'Antoni's New York Bricks -- received one third place vote. For Defensive Player of the Year. Sure, Lee was probably the best defensive player on a squad that finished 27th in Defensive Rating this season, but he still gave up 108 points per 100 possessions. While averaging 0.5 blocked shots per game.
This is stunning. It would be like finding out Mario West got an MVP vote, or suddenly realizing someone had replaced my left arm with a live Gary Busey. All I can figure is that Lee's grandma is on the voting panel. Or she was holding a family member of someone on the voting panel captive.
The Other L.A. Team owe Dunleavy nearly $12 million, which includes $6.75 million remaining on his current deal and deferred money from the entire time he had been with the Clippers. And now Mike is going the binding arbitration route to get his cash.
And people wonder why this organization is cursed.
According to official salary figures circulated by the league Tuesday after the deal was formally signed and obtained by ESPN.com, Camby's extension is a two-year deal worth $17.7 million in guaranteed salary. The extension will pay him $8,453,250 in 2010-11 and $9,256,500 in 2011-12.
The deal, though, also features unspecified incentives. Camby's agent Rick Kaplan told The Oregonian on Tuesday that the contract contains up to $5 million in potential incentive bonuses.
Portland went 17-6 with Camby in the lineup, and the 36-year-old grabbed 17 rebounds Sunday as the Trail Blazers beat Phoenix in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
In a statement, general manager Kevin Pritchard said Camby has been a "great fit for us."
So let me get this straight: A player with an expiring contract gets traded at the deadline and plays some of the best basketball of his career, thus helping a team in need make the playoffs. No way! Pay him! Pay him whatever he wants!
Basketbawful reader and Portland backer Andrei said:
As a Frail Blazers fan, I'm quite happy with how the Camby trade went down this season. But why in God's name would they sign him to an extension before the season is over? Do NBA players really need any incentive to try less? Also, I'm not so confident that a guy who can't consistently make lay ups or dunks and played pick up with Moses (not Moses Malone either) is worth 20 mil over 2 years.
I'm not even going to bother talking about Camby's age or all the games he's missed during his career. I will now hold off on all mockery until Camby starts slowly transforming into cold, unmoving stone next season.
Vince Carter, douche machine: What did Vag have to say after his teammate won a second straight DPoY award? Here's what: "I was always trying to dunk on Dwight [before coming to the Magic]. If you ask him, he'll say, no, but it happened a few times. But whatever, we won't talk about that."
The Miami Heat: Okay, true story. In first grade, I had a major crush on a girl named Heather D. She was the cutest girl in my school, and she would continue to be the cutest girl in my school right up until I went to college. Every heterosexual male -- and, for all I know, a few of the non-heteros -- had a crush on her at some point during that span of time. Heck, there was a boy in my school with a debilitating case of muscular dystrophy who confided his crush on Heather to me. When I tried to gently explain she was probably unattainable, he replied: "Look, I'm probably never going to have a girl friend, so if I'm going to like somebody, it might as well be the prettiest girl I'll ever meet in person."
She was like a siren.
Anyway, back to first grade. I was crushing on Heather and had recently gotten some very strong "she likes me back" signals. She had stolen my crayons, pinched my butt and even asked me to play catch 'em, kiss 'em. I was in, man. But then...then...
Now, in my school, first graders had a bathroom in their main classroom. We were taught never to go into the restroom when the door was open and the light was on, because that meant there was somebody in there. I spent the morning waiting for that door to open, or the light to go off, something, because I had to pee so very, very badly.
Finally, reading group started. Heather was in my reading group, and she sat down right next to me. Normally, I would have been excited and encouraged by this, but it was taking all the will power my six-year-old self had to not lose control of my bladder. Minutes passed slowly, oh so slowly. My eyes were fixed on the bathroom door. "Please come out, whoever you are," I thought. "Please."
Then my teacher, Mrs. Cameron, perhaps sensing I wasn't paying any attention to her, asked me a question. I looked at her. My concentration broke. I suddenly felt a terrible warmth. I looked down and watched a puddle of urine form on the chair between my legs. Time stopped. I will never forget watching Heather turn to me and look down, and I swear to God she did a double take, eyes goggling. Somebody yelled, "Matt peed himself!"
Chaos ensued as the kids in the reading group jumped out of their chairs like somebody had been shot. Unfortunately, I couldn't jump up. I just sat there, marinating in my own urine, as Mrs. Cameron called a quick recess to get everybody else out of the classroom.
Mrs. Cameron asked why I hadn't just gone to the bathroom. I explained somebody had been in there all morning. Sadly, it turned out that someone had just closed the door and left the light on. I had been holding it all morning for no reason.
My mom was called. A new pair of pants was brought. Jokes were made at my expense. And Heather never again pinched my butt.
My point? I thought nobody could possibly piss themselves in a more embarrassingly public way than that. I really didn't. But, somehow, the Heat pulled it off.
"Oh God. Is...is that urine? Am I stepping in my own urine"
Kevin Garnett gave Miami the gift of the century by getting suspended for Game 2. The Heat weren't going to get a better chance to steal a game in Boston. And they had come reasonably close in Game 1. But, well, uhm, yeah.
Miami actually had a 29-25 lead at one point, but the Celtics went on a 44-8 run, which included a 21-0 run and an 18-0 run. Boston led by 25 to 33 points the rest of the way before finally winning 106-77.
The man leading the route was Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who once again dubbed himself "The Ticket Stub" in KG's absense. Davis had 23 points and 8 rebounds, but it felt like three times that. Other than getting four shots fed back to him, Baby controlled the game. He really did. His performance wasn't quite "David Lee getting a third place vote for DPoY," but it was damn close.
Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "That's a case of one man impacting the game simply with his effort. I don't think they ran one play for him. You cannot let a man's effort exceed yours. It's as simple as that."
This game was such a blowout the final numbers don't do it justice. Just know that at one point, Reggie Miller asked, "This is the NBA playoffs, right?" Speaking of Reggie, has anyone else noticed he's been getting a little chippy lately? Like, he use to be the just-happy-to-be-here broadcaster. Now he's got a little bit if an edge to him. Like during Game 2 of the Bulls-Cavs series, when Marv Albert shook a box of mac 'n cheese in his face, Reggie looked a little grumpy and said, "Really, Marv? Really?"
I think that "Winning Time" documentary went to Reggie's head a little.
Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal: He had 5 blocked shots -- 4 of which came against The Ticket Stub -- but The Drain finished 1-for-10 and -- as stephanie g. pointed out -- is now 4-for-24 for the series. O'Neal's playoff performance led to this hilarious sequence of comments from Basketbawful reader kazam92:
I now know why you as a Pacer fan referred to Jermaine O'Neal as the Drain. He is the 6'11 Vince Carter. I don’t want him near my team when this sweep is done. I hate the Heat right now.
Please proceed to get sodomized by a dump truck Jermaine O'neal.
The thing is he had me fooled. He played well for us in the Reg season. Shot a career high FG%. So much for that. Whenever they showed his face on TV today, I spontaneously screamed FUCK YOU with middle fingers ablaze.
I hope the Drain and his peg legs are benched for the rest of the series so he gets pissy and WANTS to leave. Joel Anthony and his hands of stone are our best option at center. Lets just use a 7 foot slab of hardened lard.
As a Pacers fan who endured the "Jermaine O'Neal is our franchise player" era, I approve.
Camaraderie: Seriously, this has to be the least enthusiastic fist bump ever. Ray is acting like Baby's fist has herpes.
The Milwaukee Bucks: The Hawks have a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series for the first time in 40 years...and they would like to thank Amar''''''e Stoudemire for "sweeping the arm" of Andrew Bogut. They'd also like to think the Bucks, who fell behind, rallied and then fell short. Again.
Don't you just get the feeling Milwaukee is too undermanned to do more than force this series to five games at the most? Zombie Kurt Thomas is their starting center and Zombie Jerry Stackhouse is their primary reserve. Ersan Ilyasova (13 points, 15 boards) was their top performer last night. I'm not a big believer in the Hawks, but I believe they're going to smack down the Bucks with relative ease.
Hey, maybe Milwaukee's defense will control things at home. After all, Atlanta has been notoriously deficient on the road the last few years. But I'll have to see it before I can believe it.
Brandon Jennings: After Jennings dropped 34 in Game 1, I expressed more than a little skepticism that his hot shooting would continue. His Game 2 line: 9 points, 3-for-15 from the field, 1-for-6 from downtown, 2 assists.
And there you have it.
Jamal Crawford: Just because Atlanta kind of strolled through this one thanks to strong performances from Josh Smith (21 points, 9-for-11, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks), Al Horford (20 points, 8-for-13, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks) and Joe Johnson (27 points, 12-for-23) doesn't mean I'm letting Crawford's 2-for-10 stink bomb pass by without a mention. Way to celebrate finally making it to the playoffs, Jamal.
The Portland Frail Blazers: Ah, the classic "We already stole Game 1 so we can totally let down in Game 2" game. I've seen this one before. It's usually followed up by a tough win in Game 3 followed by an even tougher loss in Game 4. I'm not saying that's necessarily how this is going to play out -- the script might get flipped -- but I wouldn't be surprised.
Anyway, credit Alvin Gentry for siccing the 37-year-old Grant Hill onto Andre Miller. It totally worked, as Miller went 4-for-11 and finished with only 12 points and 3 assists.
Said Hill: "I just tried to make him work."
Jason Richardson, who got lit up by Miller in Game 1, added: "I don't know how Grant guarded him. He did a good job on him tonight and scored 20. I couldn't do it."
We know, Jason. We know.
Anyway, this game had all the boot prints you'd expect from an ass-whupping. The Suns outrebounded the Blazers 43-34 and outscored them 58-38 in the paint. Phoenix shot better than 52 percent, compared to 38 percent for Portland, and had a 26-12 advantage in second-chance points. Hill went 10-for-11 from the field, Richardson was 11-for-16 -- the Suns are now 27-4 this season when he scores at least 20 -- and Steve Nash dished 16 assists.
Heck, even Jarron Collins was perfect from the field (1-for-1), although he still finished with twice as many fouls (4) as points (2) in 10 minutes of lacktion.
The only cause for concern for the Suns was Channing Frye's 1-for-7 shooting meltdown. He was 1-for-5 on threes. Phoenix will need his shooting on the road.
Marcus Camby: I know, I know, I said I was going to hold off on the mockery until next season when, for instance, Camby, Greg Oden and The Vanilla Godzilla are all on the injured list. But this couldn't wait: Fresh off his new almost-$10-million-per-year contract extension, Camby went 2-for-10 from the field and the Suns scored 58 points in the paint despite his fearsome interior D. As always...I'm just sayin'.
Rudy Fernandez: Am I imagining things, or is Rudy getting shut down by Steve Nash?
The Oklahoma City Thunder: Lincoln's wart! The Thunder blocked 17 shots against the Lakers last night! It's like all 12 of them were channeling the spirit of Greg Ostertag or something. That defensive effort held the Lakers to 37 percent shooting. Unfortunately for the Oklahoma Citians, Mamba took Kevin Durant to playoff school by scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, including 7 in the final five minutes.
Damn. What more can the Thunder do?
Said OKC coach Scott Brooks: "That was about as well as we can play and we came up a little short. Two games in a row we gave the effort defensively. We're still trying to figure out how to win these close games."
What the Thunder need is a closer. Speaking of which...
Kevin Durant: KD's 8 turnovers didn't land him here -- although they sure didn't help -- it was his crunch-time failure that earned him a WotN. During "winning time" (the last five minutes of the fourth quarter), Durant managed only 2 points while going 0-for-3 from the field and committing 2 turnovers.
Sorry, folks. He's become a great scorer...but he's no Jedi yet.
(Of course, it's worth noting that for all the Mamba love that's getting spurted out, Kobe went 1-for-3 from the field in the final five minutes and missed a critical free throw. Speaking of which...)
The Lakers' free throw shooting: Nine misses is bad. But the worst two came in the final 15 seconds, when Kobe and Pau Gasol each missed one, which twice gave the Thunder a chance to tie the game or take the lead (assuming the hit a three and got fouled on their final play).
Phil Jackson, lazy quote machine: Regarding Kobe's 39-point performance: "What did Mark Twain say? Rumors of my demise or whatever." Okay, we all know P-Jax is one of the most well-read coaches is league history...but, man, he's not even trying. C'mon, Phil. As Mark Jackson would say: You're better than that.
Lacktion report: Is any day complete without chris's lacktion report? Of course not.
Bucks-Hawks: Primoz Brezec fouled once in 5:41 for a +1 suck differential that also incurred a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl! Meanwhile, Charlie Bell rang up the cash register with a 1.8 trillion (1:50).
For the Hawks, THE Mario West lacked it up again with his own 1.8 trillion (1:50). Joe Smith unmightily tossed a brick and took a rejection in 5:18 for a +2, while Jeff Teague bricked once and lost the rock for his own +2 in 5:33. Zaza Pachulia negated a board in 9:34 with two bricks, three fouls, and a giveaway for a 4:1 Voskuhl.
Heat-Celtics: Jamaal Magloire countered a board with a foul and giveaway in 4:30 for a 2:1 Voskuhl.
Frail Blazers-Suns: Jarron Collins is still Phoenix's starting center, and he still appears on the Voskuhl portion of the lacktion ledger as usual - countering a 100% shooting percentage (on one shot) in 10:27 with four fouls for a 4:2 ratio.
Thunder-Lakers: Anonymous writes...
I'd just like to point out that Josh Powell had a 1.5 trillion (1:32) in last nights lakers-thunder game