RIP, Gary Coleman.
(Though Scottie Pippen may not feel the same way... He might direct you toward this fantastically offensive tweet)

I had a coworker at my Clark Kent job joke that he was leaving early to go to a bar and have a drink in Gary Coleman's memory. I had to remind him that he better just drink a shot since he couldn't drink a tall one in this case.

Also, this comment at Deadspin is mandatory viewing.

Anyway, getting to the actual basketball part of this basketball blog... As passed along by AnacondaHL, Goran Dragic and Sasha Vujacic got into a heated argument and swore at each other in Slovenian during last night's game. Bill Simmons did a great job of breaking down why this happened: "FYI: Vujacic/Dragic is exempt from my "every NBA feud starts over a women or a card game" rule. You don't need a reason to hate Vujacic." Solid point.

Speaking of Simmons, he posted his latest mailbag article today, and this question alone was worth clicking on the link:
Q: Thought you would enjoy this 10-minute stretch on Twitter today:
3:50 p.m.: Hasheem Thabeet says: "Late LUNCH before i go for a NAP!!! Mhmmmm Yummy."
4:00 p.m.: Kevin Durant says: "Good workout..worked on ballhandling, finishing thru contact, pull up jumpers, pick n rolls, and making tough shots with a man on me!!!"
Can you tell which one of those No. 2 overall draft picks just spent time in the D League?
-- Brian Seboly, Memphis, Tenn.
Folks, if you ever question why Basketbawful must exist, you will realize how stupid you are for thinking that, and Hasheem Thabeet just told you so. (Oh snap!)

Also, while we're linking to Twitter posts, Jared Dudley channeled his inner Dennis Green for this tweet: "Man!!!!! We let them off the hook.. It's ok will go back home handle our business in game 6"

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

A combination of Alvin Gentry getting sick and facepalming? You know that's getting posted.

Kobe reacting to Gentry heaving into that garbage can on the sidelines, or to Artest's bawful trey near the end of the game. Not sure which.

Seeing Flea at a game makes me miss the days of MTV Rock n Jock Basketball...

All The Friday Games:
Magic at Celtics - ESPN, 8:30pm
Celtics lead series 3-2

It's a good thing the NBA rescinded one of Kendrick Perkins' technical fouls. A couple more injuries and they'll be flirting with the situation the Warriors found themselves in earlier this year when they ran out of players and people got to stay in the game even with six fouls.

* * *

All The Saturday Games:
Lakers at Suns - TNT, 8:30pm
Lakers lead series 3-2

My hatred for the Lakers burns with the intensity of a thousand suns. (Get it? ...Oh my God, that was an awful joke. This series is melting my brain and driving me gradually insane. I apologize.)

* * *

All The Sunday Games:
Celtics at Magic (if necessary) - ESPN, 8:30pm

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Blogger Dooj said...
Can we get a picture of Thabeet in the header soon?

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Holy shit! How did Flea never get signed to a contract?

Good stuff, Dan!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I met Gary Coleman on a couple of occasions back about ten years ago I can say he was maybe the horniest person I've ever encountered. That guy relentlessly chased anything in a skirt the couple times I was around him. I hope he's getting some action in the afterlife.

I don't know why it seems to be trendy to think that Orlando's gonna be the first NBA team to come back from 0-3. When Bosto let up in Game 4 I figured Orlando would win the next one at home too. But I think both Boston and LA will wrap up their series and move on this weekend. Boston at home should be able to win, and I think the Suns are broken after that loss last night. After all, the same core of players packed it in after the Duncan 3, and that was in a Game 1.

Anonymous Heretic said...
I'm torn between wanting to believe the Magic can win again on the road and the Magic getting their asses handed to them in a rage filled arena that invokes Vietnam flashbacks.

Dunno if the Lakers will win in 6 (or at all). They really enjoy toying with my fragile emotions but there's one thing for sure, there will be a lot of bitching by Lakers or Suns fans once that final whistle is blown. This is preemptive apology to all those i'll inevitably insult by either gloating endlessly on how the suns never stood a chance or by losing my shit on how poorly the lakers played (i'm looking at you odom).

Anonymous Bryan said...
Id like to nominate this as the greatest bawful after dark. Colemans coffin, thabeets tweet, and flea. What more could you ask for?

Blogger Silva said...
Fuck Ron Artest.

By the way, nice going Jason Richardson. How about trying to get the ball instead of looking at it? You just had to be focused for 3.5 seconds. So fuck you too.

Blogger Will said...
This is a pretty good video. Note the poster.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

This article doesn't seem to support your hypothesis of suns being prepared to quit:;_ylt=AtDenga1lmDtYxXhuu5156y8vLYF?slug=ap-lakers-suns

Anywho, I think that if either Orlando or PHX can force a game 7, the "tie goes to the runner" and the team that forces a game 7 will win. I think that the pressure is squarely on the Lakers and Celtics, and the Suns even have the added advantage of playing at home for game 6.

After the way many people *coughyamscough* left both of these teams for dead after they started 0-2, I would just love to see a game 7 in either or both series. One thing that makes sports so beautiful is that NOTHING is certain, despite what some people like to post on the blogosphere.

At any rate, I've gotten way more out of these conference finals than I bargained for. I hope the Finals will be competitive too. Can't wait until B-Bawful Monday morning!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
...and I think the Suns are broken after that loss last night. After all, the same core of players packed it in after the Duncan 3, and that was in a Game 1.

Heeeeeey. Aren't you the same guy who said the Suns would be lucky to win a single game in this series and should get blown out pretty much every time they play the Lakers? Just checkin'.

Anonymous Patrick said...
I'm pretty surprised they didn't call a tech on Garnett for the chopping move after the one on Perkins for... being angry (later rescinded, but still.)

Also: it looks as if Howard is simply negligent with the elbows - he isn't hurting people on purpose, but swings those things to clear rebounds without worrying about drawing contact. Swinging the elbows negligently when you get a rebound one of those things, technically a foul, that is pretty rarely called and that every basketball coach teaches.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Looks like the Magic have no more tricks up their sleeves.

Thank you, thank you, i'm here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Well looks like closing time, Magic are getting their asses trounced by Nate fucking Robinson. I repeat Nate fucking Robinson.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Bryan -- Thank you. I knew I had to bring my "A" game today to get the mood going back in the right direction after the uncharacteristically bitter posting of the past couple days.

Anonymous Omgwtfpaul said...
Magic's defense is non existant.
to make things so much worse we're getting beat by Nate Robinson.

I hate that little, little man with oh so much of me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Robinson's always been able to do that. The fear is, when he DOESN'T have his jumper going, he'll still shoot every last one of those shots anyway, and torpedo your offense.

Also, apparently neither any Celtic nor Magic player has ever committed any foul.


Anonymous Heretic said...
LOL fucking Nate Robinson quote machine:

Interviewer: "How were you able to make an impact?"

Nate: "God. He told me to be patient"

Really Nate?

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Vag Cooter is actually playing well. He just needs a seemingly insurmountable deficit to get him going.It's easier with the pressure off.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I full well deserve to be mocked for not giving the Suns more credit heading into this series, although truth be told I'd be just as bold again. I'm really more confused than anything by how this series has gone. Honestly I'm not usually prone to make bold predictions with a lot of braggadacio the way I did, and I wouldn't do the same thing against Boston or Orlando because I wouldn't have the same confidence. 

I like to think I'm pretty realistic, and was just saying what I figured was pretty apparent: that the Lakers were so much better than Phoenix that it wouldn't be much of a contest. Clearly I was wrong, but I still can't help but look at Game 6 and think that it doesn't matter if the Suns had their will broken or not, and that if LA plays well it won't matter what the Suns do. I expect that after three mediocre games in a row the Lakers will play well and will win going away, but I could be wrong. 

After all, it wouldn't be the first time for that in this series. 

Anonymous Heretic said...
Fisher just said what I've said all along. Focus on getting defensive stops. Will they do it? probably not.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
@Wild Yams: I think the Lakers are suffering from the same ailment that hurt the Pistons a few years back. They know they're better, and it makes them complacent. They don't have the sense of urgency about them the other three teams have shown.

If they do find it, though, they'll more then likely walk away with another title.

Blogger Viscant said...
I'm pretty sure the Suns team won't give up. I agree completely with what Kobe said after the game that this team doesn't seem to have that kind of thing in them. If they're going to go down, they'll go down the right away and they won't Lebron their way out of the playoffs.

One thing I do want to point out is the over-riding narrative that says that the Lakers somehow weren't close in Games 3 and 4 in Phoenix. The game was tied in the 4th quarter in both games. The problem in both games was that the Lakers scrubs decided to spontaneously freeze out their best player (Kobe) while Phil did his part to freeze out their 2nd best player (Gasol) on the bench. In both games by the time the team figured "hey maybe Kobe should get the ball and Gasol should be in the game!" things had slipped away a bit.

Same thing happened in Game 2 for that matter, the end score was a blowout but the Suns tied the game in the 4th. This has been very close in 4 of 5 games. I expect Game 6 to be just as close and since I'm a Lakers fan, I will continue to believe that in a close game I will take Kobe, Gasol, Odom and Fisher over whatever else you got. It's gone wrong a few times in the past, but I'll take my chances with those guys in a close one. It seems to have worked out OK in the past.

Blogger Dan B. said...
AK Dave -- Forgot to reply to your comment earlier. It's a shame Flea never was offered a contract (dude was ON FIRE from downtown in that clip!). However, it's an even bigger shame that MTV's Rock 'n' Jock no longer exists, and it's basically impossible to find any of the old footage from it. I downloaded like one episode of it in crappy quality, but that's it.

Anonymous Heretic said...
My god is Lewis useless. Between him and carter the Magic are playing with 3.5 players.

BTW why the fuck do they pan to Jesus Shuttlesworth's mom every time he makes a 3? They could at least show us Delonte and Lebron's mom snuggling in the cheap seats.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Ugh Pierce. Flopping around as if he'd just stepped on the land mine, I'm surprised he didn't lie there longer than he did while screaming "Medic!"

Anonymous Phil said...

What the hell is Ron Artest talking about with this respect crap? Anybody else feel like Nash' comments are not so much outrageous as sports cliche? For once I actually agree with Phil Jackson: "What else is he going to say?" Jackson asked. "'We're going to go home and lose?'"

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Perk made a jumper? He can do that?

WV: bingle - the sound my world just made.

Blogger chris said...
Stu Scott sez...

Nate Robinson is "redunkulous."

Blogger chris said...
LOL, Magic Johnson was the one who predicted Nate gone wild!?

Blogger spongefrob said...
@Patrick: Also: it looks as if Howard is simply negligent with the elbows - he isn't hurting people on purpose, but swings those things to clear rebounds without worrying about drawing contact. Swinging the elbows negligently when you get a rebound one of those things, technically a foul, that is pretty rarely called and that every basketball coach teaches.

BFD. He's either dirty, or careless... or both. Sounds like the difference between a shit sandwich with ketchup on top and a ketchup sandwich with shit on top.

For what it's worth, if D Howard learned to play the game better and NOT rely on sheer muscle so much his career would be both longer and stratospheric. He truly would dominate. He's got the athleticism and the basic basketball IQ... he just don't use it, preferring to take the easy way out. But you are right, it is the fault of the coach, if anyone.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Hope I'm not late on this, but allow me to source some more of this Dragic/Vujacic story:

Ball Don't Lie gives us an intro, leading to a quick blurb at Sporting News.
Valley of the Suns has further breakdown, including Vujacic's "kid on the other team" comment.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Oh, goddamn. Reading the comments on that Valley of the suns post is like a guided tour of the shallow end of the gene-pool.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Well, there you have it. A team can sleepwalk through the season and still make the NBA Finals...but you still can't come back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Blogger Unknown said...
God damn, KG is such a fucking asshole. Pounding on Howard's arm twice like he's trying to stop a mugger, right in front of a ref no less.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
being an orlando magic fan i'm left with this final thought on the series....

i could be a timberwolves fan.
cheer up phoenix fans!! least you aren't the clippers. and with any luck and hard work, amar'e might actually be gone next year!!!

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Isn't that basically what the 1980-81 Houston Rockets did?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Bawful: Isn't that basically what the 1980-81 Houston Rockets did?

No, their record was about right...they just happened to catch fire at the right time and took advantage of the Lakers' chemistry problems. See, Magic missed most of the season with a knee injury. While he was gone, Paul Westhead turned the reigns over to Norm Nixon and went to a halfcourt offense based on Kareem. When Magic came back, he wanted the team to start running again. Westhead was like, "Uh, we won 54 games doing things our way, we're going to stick with that." So the team was divided into two camps: The running camp and the halfcourt camp. What's more, Magic really wasn't back to 100 percent yet.

Pat Riley, then an assistant coach, called the Lakers "a divided team" and he was right. The Lakers were then upset in the first round by the Rockets...and Magic airballed a last-second shot that would have tied the final game at the buzzer.

As for the rest, I'll let Wiki take it way: "During the off-season, Johnson signed a 25-year, $25 million contract with the Lakers, which was the highest-paying contract in sports history up to that point. At the beginning of the 1981–82 season, Johnson had a heated dispute with Westhead, who Johnson said made the Lakers 'slow' and 'predictable'. After Johnson demanded to be traded, Lakers owner Jerry Buss fired Westhead and replaced him with Riley. Although Johnson denied responsibility for Westhead's firing, he was booed across the league, even by Lakers' fans."

By the way, Kareem was PISSED about Magic's gonzo contract and ripped his teammate privately but bitterly to teammates and the press.

In this media age, Magic might have gotten the same kind of treatment Kobe did back in the day, but his behavior was never very well publicized..and now it's pretty much forgotten.

Blogger chris said...

So basically, Westhead vs. Magic set up the heart of the Showtime era, because it led to Riley taking the reins about a year later.

Did Kareem ever truly patch it up with Magic, even if we offer the conceit that "winning cures all"? I get the sense that Kareem was at one (brief) point the more beloved figure, but Magic was THE straw that stirred the drink - a little bit different from Kareem's role in Milwaukee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
not basketball related, sorry, but i'm watching the U.S./Turkey game and I've never seen so many replays after a goal, ESPN is desperately trying to make soccer big in the States, it's never going to happen...and I'm a soccer fan.

Anonymous Heretic said...
First Coleman and now Dennis Hopper, they're dropping like flies.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Shocked that you didn't have one "Wat chu talkin' bout?" joke in BAD. Like this one: Wat chu talkin' bout Vince Carter, you averaged 13 PPG and shot 29 for 79 (36%) in 198 minutes in a career defining series, while being outplayed by your backup, JJ "Duke Asshole" Redick, who averaged 11 PPG shot 17 for 40 (42.5%) in 157 minutes.

There was a time when we thought that Carter had passed Pierce. Now we're asking if he's even better than Redick.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Anon (Orlando fan) - *sad face*

Amar''''''e is the Schrodinger's Playoff Player. Suns fans don't want to look in the box, to see if he's actually going to start giving a shit or not. We kinda don't want to talk about it right now.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Sorbo -- The degree of difficulty on a "wat chu talkin' bout" joke was just too low. I felt like it would be cheating to use it.

Meanwhile, Ron Artest continues to increase my desire to stab myself in the eyeball with a rusty knife.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Damn that kobe 3 was almost from the parking lot. Sasha seems to be winning the Slovenian war, he's actually hitting shots. I simply can't believe it. Meanwhile Craig Sagar has decided to come dressed at the grimace.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Six and a half minutes left in the third...and STATUE has two rebounds FOR THE GAME.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Ugh how soft is Gasol. Jesus Christ stop handling the ball like its a hot potato and muscle in. If you don't get the basket at least you'll get the foul.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I have spent 75% of the time so far in the 3rd quarter either yelling at STATUE or getting pissed at Nash for even letting his teammates touch the ball right now. I think I saw an icicle hanging from Grant Hill's nose he's so cold right now.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I'm beginning to research Lakers players from my previous bet saying I'd become a fan of the best division rival of the team that paid Amar''''''e the max.

Fuck this game.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Nash just took team lead for DRebs.

Anonymous Heretic said...
HAHAHAHAHA the Slovenian elbow.

Anonymous Heretic said...
On the replay though it was Dragic's fault. I used to like the guys moxy but that was a bitch move. Whats Slovenian for "flops like a 90 year old penis"?

Anonymous Czernobog said...
How hilarious is the slorivalry? Best part of the playoffs (assuming the thing with LeMom is not true.)

Anonymous Heretic said...
Dear god, the refs are just trying to hand the suns the game on a silver platter.

Anonymous Heretic said...
hmm swinging elbows illegal when howard does it, fine when the statue does it. Then the lakers get hacked under the call. Then again this is the playoffs, why call it straight?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I'll give the Suns credit, cause IMO they shouldn't have been in any of these games and they made the last four competitve. Hopefully the bitterness round here will fade by Monday morning. I don't think Suns' fans have anything to be very bitter about though, the Lakers were just the better team, and the Suns really had a great postseason.

Boston-LA, round whatever, here we go.

Blogger Unknown said...
Heretic: Amare committed twice the fouls he was called for, but sometimes it was kind of hard to tell given Pau appeared to be made out of cotton candy. The dude's disappeared in the second half of the last three games now.

Blogger Jason D said...
LA kocnks out the Suns and moves onto the Finals. Looks like were going to get that rematch of 2008 after all. Damn, I'm pumped for this. Go LA!

Also, I really, really hate Vujacic and Dragic. Vujacic for committing the dumbest flagrant in NBA history and Dragic for overselling it to the point of ridiculousness. This isn't football!!

Anonymous Business Time said...
Does this make LeBron the unquestioned best regular season player and Kobe the unquestioned best postseason player?

Also, Sasha Vujacic's purpose in life is now clear: to be the cause of the best sideline interview ever.

"I'm gonna kill him."

"...I'm still gonna kill him."

Anonymous Heretic said...
Well phoenix you had a good run and despite having no defense whatsoever you dragged it out to a game 6. Kudos. Who knew your downfall would be Ron Artest. Not to discount Kobe, he used a rusty blade and slowly sawed it over the suns jugular. I don't know who paid off Gasol today to tank the game but that Spanish marshmallow better come out to play against Boston.

So Phoenix fans, let me bask in the warmth of your rage and hatred and then cool me off with the bitter tears. Mmmmmm I feel it already.

Kobe said he was going to kill Sasha, he was sort of smiling but be on the look out for Sasha's body in the desert with "WTF were you thinking" carved into his forehead.

Blogger Jason D said...
Craig Sager: What were telling Sasha after that foul?

Kobe (straight face): I'm gonna kill him

Craig Sager: Awkward laugh. Now that you won, what are you gonna do?

Kobe (even straighter face): I'm gonna kill him.

Craig Sager: ...awkward laugh.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
tough shots from kobe at the end. seems like he really wanted the win. lebron don't have that...yet...

can we rest the "kobe-lebron who's better" debate until lebron got that in him.

i got a tougher question though, who's the bigger douche?


Blogger geremy said...
suns fan here.

first, congrats to the lakers, you were the better team.

second, congrats to the suns, NO ONE thought we'd be here before the season. this team did so much beyond any expectations.

lastly, and i have to mention this... i'm TIRED of the officiating. i'm sick of inconsistent calls, BOTH WAYS. one bad call does not make up for another. as a suns fan and as i would hope a laker fan would agree, i am sick of games being one team vs. another team vs. the refs. in fact, i'm sure basketball fans in general are tired of it.

ending on a high note, good luck to LA and boston, please make it an interesting series.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Well the Turkish delight wants out of Canada:

Wouldn't it be awesome if the Magic traded Carter for Turkoglu?

Blogger Unknown said...
There's something about Sager that just oozes pompousness. If it wasn't for the comical affect of his suits, it would be even harder to not want to punch him.

Also, Nash's daughter is adorable.

Anonymous Heretic said...

The bigger douche is Lebron no question. But Kobe is the bigger asshole.

Did Nash just cry?

Blogger Paul said...
Hahahaha, I called the Slovenian fight since yesterday morning. I thought the machine was gonna be the instigator though.

I'm really getting ready to crown Kobe Bryant the best ever "ill advised shot" maker of all time.

BTW, it was clear the Suns strategy was taking Pau Gasol out of this game, I just didn't think he'd so cooperatively allowed them to handcuff him for 48 minutes.

I'm pretty sure those Nash's tears were more anger tears than anything else. STAT had as many rebounds as personal fouls.
Can't get to the finals when your big man declines to hit the boards for the entire series.

@Phoenix fans,
If STAT leaves though, who'd you think you could bring in?
IT HAS to be a sign and trade if you want to bring anything in. With Amare just leaving for the highest bidder the Suns cap room would not allow them to sign any valuable big man straight up --I think, I might be wrong--

Blogger Fishy said...
I really try to love Sasha... I always say if they wear the the uniform, I love em. But my lord is he a little b****.

Anonymous DKH said...
Lol @ Kobe just going insane in that game.

But anyway, I guess we know who Stern wanted out of the West. That was almost as bad as Celts/Magic game 5. How does Vujacic not get ejected for a headshot like that?

Also, I thought the conclusion was that the Suns needed Lopez on the court as much as possible. Anyone know why he only played 8 minutes? Might have helped their rebounding problem.

Amare was pretty freaking weak, too, although 1.35 points-per-shot isn't that bad, his game overall didn't look good.

And, holy crap David Huff.

Blogger Viscant said...
The way I see it, there are 2 possible sign and trade alternatives.
1) If Sarver really wants to save money, there is the Dampier option. He makes $13 million next year but the way the contract is written, he can be immediately bought out for a small fraction of that. In order to give Stoudamire the max, another player that the Suns actually want would have to be thrown in. Plus the normal draft picks and Cuban cash that accompany any trade.
2) There is always the Knicks option. David Lee sign and trade plus an Amare sign and trade. David Lee is not a max contract guy, even in this environment so there might be enough room to package Eddy Curry's awful expiring contract in to make the numbers match up. If not, the Suns would have to send out another piece, maybe Earl Clark.

Given Sarver's tendencies I have the distinct impression that option 1 intrigues him far more than option 2. Dampier's creatively written contract excites the hell out of cheap ownership teams the league over.

Also, props to the Suns fans from a Laker fan. Their team never gave up and they did well to make it this far. If they re-sign Amare or sign-and-trade him for something useful, I'm sure we'll see them in the conference finals again next year.

Anonymous Miles said...
Oh joy. A Lakers - Celtics finals. I doubt I'll watch a single game. This after watching every playoff game up to this point.

I love your blog, Mr. Bawful (I would even dare to call you Dr. Bawful), but cannot for the life of me understand your love of the Celtics. Garnett and Rondo, while technically very good players, are some of the biggest p.o.s. personalities to ever plague the league. I've enjoyed close ups of their facial expressions after every game they've lost this season.


I admit it's silly, from a sports fan perspective, that I like to root for what I perceive to be the "good guys" but damn I'm bummed that Nash won't be making an appearance in the finals. Or Barbossa, or Dragic, or Hill. And I'm from L.A.

You probably agree with me up to this point.


Aside from my natural urge to root for the underdog, I admit that Dwight is one of the biggest most aggressive elbow-throwers the league has ever seen. Still, the Celtics this season a virtually a starting bench of current or former all-stars (vs Orlando in this last series, which is essentially only Dwight Howard). Were you not rooting against the stacked 03-04 Lakers? Did you not lol yourself to sleep after they lost? Didn't everyone?

Well hell I'm drunk after that pathetic Suns loss, and willing to admit this is a pretty bitter and directionless rant. I guess my question is "where does your love of the Celtics come from?" Maybe I hate you for it, or maybe I'm just looking to actually feel something for either team in the finals. I usually just jump the Lakers bandwagon, citing my hometown and pretending I was rooting for them all along, but I can't after they canned my favorite team tonight.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
DKH - You really think the officials were blatantly helping the Lakers out there tonight or at all in this series? Who cares that Vujacic wasn't ejected, he was yanked almost immediately anyway, and Dragic shot the same two free throws for the flagrant one as he would have for a flagrant two. If the refs had really wanted to help out LA on that play they could have just called it a technical foul (which, incidentally it would have been if Vujacic had just shoved him instead of trying like a bitch to disguise it as a basketball move). After all a T would have just given Dragic one shot and LA would have had the ball rather than Phoenix. My guess is that if Dragic hadn't flopped so vehemently then maybe Vujacic would have been tossed; but as I said, Vujacic's eligability to continue to play was moot anyway as Phil Jackson didn't let him after that. 

But back to Stern or the refs supposedly helping LA out in this one,  this game was the first time this whole series that the Lakers had an advantage in free throw attempts. That advantage, btw, was just one single free throw attempt more than the Suns had, and that only happened due to the intentional fouls Phoenix committed in the last 25 seconds of the game.

You may recall at around the 3 minute mark of the 4th quarter when Amar'e was stepping up to shoot free throws, because the Lakers were in the penalty btw, that Doug Collins noted that the Suns did not yet have a team foul in the period, and that they should hurry up and commit some fouls soon because in the last two minutes after one foul they'd automatically be in the penalty the rest of the way. Doesn't sound too "pro-Laker" to me. 

BTW, from what I read, STAT only had three total assists for the whole series, and he had zero over the last four games. Yikes. 

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Yeah, DKH, Stern's secret plan to get the Lakers into the Finals was to make sure that Sasha wasn't ejected, because he's such a valuable cog in the Laker machine.

Kudos for the Suns on doing much better than many Laker fans expected, they've been my second favorite team since 2005 because they're so fun to watch...and they're a team full of classy guys. I really felt bad for Nash in that locker room scene. The guy deserves a ring sometime.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Oops...I posted before I saw Wild Yams say the same thing about Stern/Lakers/Sasha. I do believe the Lakers had a FT advantage in one of the first two games, but the Suns still shot one more FT than the Lakers last night.

DKH, Bynum got Lopez in foul trouble in the first quarter, and he never found his rhythm. Bynum pretty much owned him, and Phil's biggest mistake last night was not giving Drew more burn at the expense of Pau. Normally Drew plays at the start of the 4th, and I think his presence would have prevented some of Phoenix's success at driving to the hoop. The Suns had comparatively less success at going to the hole when Drew was in the game.

Anonymous Barry said...
Kobe irks me in ways that I can't describe. A fantastic player, good sense of humor, bit of an ass.....but he takes so many shots where you are left thinking "WHY WOULD YOU SHOOT THAT"....and then he hits them.

What a prick. Looking forward to the Finals, I'm not as confident as I was 2 years ago but I'm optimistic.

Blogger Brian said...
Sad bench photo, with bonus facepalm.

Anonymous DKH said...
Oh, agreed on the Vujacic thing; he got pulled quick anyway. But I think it's odd that the NBA is suddenly ok with headshots this season. Seems to be the way things are, though, and since only the Lakers and Celtics are playing, I hope there are a lot more headshots to come.

Anyway there were three ref calls that seemed pretty blatant that helped the Lakers (in order of occurrence):

1. Nash/Dudley/someone else (Richardson?) had the Lakers in a 3-on-2. Nash got both Lakers looking at him and dished to Dudley, whom they were forced to foul to prevent an easy layup, but no foul was called, so Lakers got a fast break the other way and ended up with a 3-pointer.

2. Amare got the ball down low with no one in front of him, Lakers had to foul to prevent an easy dunk. Artest goes for the bear hug, Amare fights through it and no foul is called, but the shot is air-balled or missed badly.

3. Amare got called for a foul at the end of the game after a Gasol flop. It was a pretty bad foul call and it pretty much killed the Suns comeback.

Those were the three biggest point swings or most blatant calls that I saw. Obviously there are a host of other small things that went both ways.

Lol @ your STAT stat. But I recall him passing the ball off for an open 3-pointer a couple times this past game, so it might be a case of shooters missing at inopportune times for him. Although he's not the sort of passer that's going to put it right in perfect spot to catch and shoot, either.

Anonymous Heretic said...

Yeah I'm pretty sure they were tears of rage too. I just thought he'd do it alone in a dark room with a bottle of Jack in one hand and a .45 in the other while Enya plays in the background.

I really doubt stat is coming back even if suns offer him a max contract. In his post game interview he pretty much hinted that he wouldn't. The only way he'll come back is if no "championship contender" team offer him a max contract. I don't understand why he would want to leave, every team (aside from the warriors) will expect at least some defensive effort. The suns seem to be the only ones content to let him play some good ol matador D.

Anonymous Karc said...
Pretty good follow-up to the "Slovenia" nonsense.

Looking at the replay, should have been a double T so as not to give either team an advantage. Refs took a long time to review the play, hard to imagine that they could not have seen Dragic clearly taunting Vujacic after he makes the shot in an attempt to bait him. Still, not very "Machine" to get emotional (cardinal sin of famous cyborgs like Robocop and the Terminator) and just wail on Dragic, given Europeans' notorious rep for flopping. Sasha should know by now, they always catch the second guy.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
In a way I can understand why Amar'e would want to leave, simply because I think he might feel like Phoenix seems doomed to never get over the hump. Looking at that team, I couldn't blame him if he thought that, simply because Nash and Hill aren't getting any younger. There's a lot of good young role players there, but teams need stars to win, and maybe Amar'e knows he's not enough of a star to carry a team. 

I don't know who's going to offer him max money though, but if he does leave what will become of the Suns?  They won't have the caproom to be a player in this summer's free agency spree will they? As frustrating as Amar'e must have been for Suns fans, he is one of their main cogs, and without him next year I have a hard time seeing Phoenix be very competitive. You never know though I guess. After all, I didn't expect Phoenix to be competitive this year and they certainly were that and more. 

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Miles -- I've been a Celtics fan since the early 80s...somewhat coerced, because my mom was a fan and basically enforced Celtics fandom until it grew on me. At any rate, I am NOT a fan of KG's antics -- his five-fingered punch of Dwight's arm TWICE is a monstrous act I could never condone (unless somebody did it to Bill Laimbeer) -- but I can't stop rooting for the C's, just like I didn't stop rooting for them during their 15+ years of sucking post-Bird. If you're a fan, you're a fan, even if you don't like the behavior of some of your players.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ Wild Yams

I don't think Amare leaving will give them a huge boost in cap room. After all there are other players that they want to keep, Frye will probably want a raise and Amundson may get a raise or may get traded. They'll have enough left over for a role player or two but not enough for another star. Of course the suns could always pull a Lakers - Grizzlies type deal but the way it stands right now I doubt they'll have enough cash left over for some serious moves.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
DKH...the Gasol flop on Amare was a makeup call for the previous two plays (uncalled Amare elbow to Pau's head resulting in a basket and foul on Pau, then a no-call when Lamar got hammered at the other end). I can also think of the obvious jump ball in the 4th where Lamar tied up Amare, but they called a foul and Amare got two FTs.

So that's three glaring mistakes on the other end. The fact remains that the Suns outshot the Lakers from the FT line by a substantial margin this series, despite the Lakers taking significantly more shots in the paint. So yeah, Stern.

Anonymous S.Tan said...
oogady boogady
seriously dkh.
stop it..stop it now.. the game was not overofficiated any more than usual. every one of your cited examples is pretty bs and can't be said that something similar didn't go the other way like they always do. stop it. stop whining!
stop! you like dem apples?
yea i'm trolling

Anonymous Anonymous said...
trolling on basketbawful?

you are david stern, right?

Blogger geremy said...

"the suns will never get over the hump"

i don't think amar'e will be the one to help them do it. but with him leaving that puts PHX payroll at under 45mill, which is workable room to pick up some slack through signings or trades. honestly, i would love to have a consistent big man should amar'e leave.

and, should PHX decide to get rid of amar'e, their 45mill team payroll is still 40million under LA's payroll for next year (84million), and that's without derek fisher being signed.

if phoenix opted to go the way of LA (PLEASE sarver!!!!) we could sign bosh and boozer, or dirk and bosh, which would be a fantastic front line with a solidifying robin lopez at center!

i see good things next year!

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Kudos to the Suns and their fans, great season, great team, great chemistry, and very likable guys top to bottom (except STATue). Gentry is a true gentleman and a class act, even in defeat, unlike D'Antoni (won't forgive him for disrespecting Phil), who could learn a thing or two about developing a bench from Al.

On a lighter note, I have a better question than why Bawful is a Celtics fan... why is he also a Bulls fan, and seemingly a Jazz and Suns fan at times, among others he's mentioned affection for? Spare us the excuses like where you live, rooting interests concerning likable players or teams, or general NBA love, and just pick one.

At least you're not as bad as the Persian Princess here:

I felt like Alvin Gentry's barf bucket watching that, at least for the minute I could stand it. I still feel dirty.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Yeah its difficult to dislike Alvin especially after that chuckle he gave when Kobe slipped another dagger in the suns heart and gave Alvin a butt slap.

The best part of the game though was that after each impossible shot Kobe made, the camera would pan over he suns fans. Their expressions were fucking priceless. Its as if they were watching a guy dressed in a full cat costume and he was drowning a line cute puppies one after the other. Basically a mixture of horror, disbelief and acid reflux.

Anonymous DKH said...
Hey, I'm just pointing out a set of calls that I think are worth about 7-9 points to the Lakers. I'm not saying my list of missed calls is exhaustive; I'm not saying that they didn't miss other calls that should have gone against the Suns. My points are

1. The Lakers-Suns game was poorly reffed.

2. The refs were probably worth more points to the Lakers, especially if "The Dude Abides" has cited the most egregious examples the other way, as those would total probably 4-6 points.

Incidentally, I couldn't verify any headshots on Pau Gasol, but I only tried youtube.


"oogady boogady" S.Tan

I guess we shouldn't care about crappy reffing that has been used in the past to fix games and could in the future. We should continue to enjoy our current senior citizen refs. After all, if it helps produce more Lakers/Celts finals, and what could be more important?

Do you actually dispute the contentions of the post above? Or do you just dislike anyone impugning your preferred team's victory?

Or you might just think I'm a crank, but at least my sentences are complete, no all caps are involved, and there's no trolling.

Blogger @huynhjeff said...
Though I'm a Lakers fan, I have a lot of respect for that Suns team and how they carried themselves in general, particularly this series. Despite loving LA, I do feel ashamed by the population of rude fans the Lakers have :(.

And while I know this is for Bawful to answer, I have my two cents about his fandom. I've been raised since childhood to love the Lakers, which I've come to genuinely love after appreciating basketball, even if sometimes some of the players aren't always the "good guys." But I still have affection for other teams, like the Thunder for example (In the future, when Kobe steps down, I know for a fact I'd rather go for the Durantula than the King). But I know when it comes down to it, I'd still have to go for the Lakers. I'm guessing that might be the case for Bawful.

Blogger Dan B. said...
TransINSANO -- Since when do any of us have to pick just one team out of the entire league that I like to watch and want to succeed?

Blogger lordhenry said...
You guys should go back and read Bawful's "Worst of the Celtics/Lakers Rivalry from before the Finals two years ago, I believe a lot of the answers to your questions are there, plus it is by far one of my favorite articles I have ever read on this site or any other. And there are a LOT of nice facts about both teams mixed in with the usual dry, acerbic wit that we expect from the 'Bawful one.

I want to know if Bawful is excited for a rematch? Two years ago, when the Lakers lost in the Finals I said on this site I wanted a rematch, and here it is. And nobody expected the Celts to be here, not even the 'Bawful one, a die-hard Celtic fan.

No matter what side you are on, this makes for great storytelling, the Veteran Celts smash up a young Lakers team in 2008. Then, the Lakers, determined to succeed where they have failed, come back to the finals and win a championship in 2009. But the Defending champs from 2008 want their title back, and the upstart Lakers mean to hold onto it, not to mention a little payback for 2008.

All I ask is that on Monday, Basketbawful is excited. We should finally get a good series.

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Dan B. -- Short, simple answer: It's the custom of the country. It makes things more interesting. The upcoming Lakers-Celtics Finals wouldn't be so compelling if the crowds attending liked and cheered for both teams because they're both good and they want them to succeed. "MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN!" just doesn't have the same moxie as "BEAT L.A.!"

Long answer: Nobody's saying you can't watch, appreciate, or even like and root for other teams objectively, or just pick a horse in any given race, but one should only be a "fan" of one team, and that choice should dwarf all other considerations. Call me a sports conservative, but I believe these relationships should be monogamous (doesn't mean you can't flirt) and based on territory or heritage (i.e. "my grandfather rooted for"). I can understand growing up a fan of one team (heritage), but naturally becoming a fan of another if you move to their city (territory), but when you start casually throwing the word fan around with four or more teams, it's time to clarify. In this case, it's probably only a matter of semantics, but just asking.

lordhenry -- Love the stakes, this championship is almost worth three, or at least who's the team of the past three years. Plus, now they have a real rivalry to go along with the team history. Can't wait.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
DKH - I'm not in favor of crappy or biased officiating. I honestly wouldn't say that the officiating in the Suns-LA series was any different than how anything else gets called. If it was bad, it was about as bad as it usually is, IMO. 

However, I think it comes off as very bitter to say the officiating favored the winning team, and that's especially true when you look at the number of fouls and free throw attempts. Were there any players in any games that were severely limited due to foul trouble? Did either team shoot an inordinate number of free throws more than the other team? If the refs were trying to really help one team out, those things should be apparent. But the truth is that in general nobody was really too hampered by foul problems, and the team that shot far more free throws is the team that lost. 

So I'd say that if the refs were trying to help the Lakers, they chose an odd way to do so (giving Phoenix a monstrous edge in free throw attempts for the series), and if the refs were trying to help the Suns then their help didn't do much good. Quit talking about the officiating. The Lakers won simply because they were the better team. Even Steve Nash said so. 

Blogger Dan B. said...
TransINSANO -- I have no territory or heritage. The Pacers are the closest team to me, and they are an abomination and are the reason Louisville lost its pro team in the ABA/NBA merger. So I'll root for whomever I damn well please. And for what it's worth I do have my general rankings which keeps things more interesting and fun (i.e. I like both the Suns and the Spurs, but you can damn well bet I was rooting hard for the Suns when they played each other a few weeks ago and got pissed whenever Parker knocked down a jumper).

And BTW many years ago Simmons wrote a big article about the rules of being a sports fan very similar to what you wrote, and he's since taken back almost everything he wrote since he's already violated over half of his own rules. :)

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Dan B. -- To each his own, but in the parlance of Simmons, aren't you something of a "sports atheist" then? Even if you have teams you like and root for, some more than others, you're not totally living and dying with any one of them?

Also, you had some territorial options besides the Pacers, like the Bulls, Cavs, Grizzlies, Wizards, Bobcats, Haw... on second that, maybe that's a good no-call on your part.

Blogger Unknown said...
I skipped the 94(!) comments so I'm probably repeating someone else here, but man, as a lifelong Lakers fan, I almost wanted the Suns to take the series.

Watching this Lakers team half-ass their way through games(in general, I'm certainly not taking anything from the Suns) gets old, and watching the Suns play like they really wanted to win against a superior team has made me a fan. The Lakers will always be my team, but I think I've become a Steve Nash convert.

When the cameras showed the Suns locker room, and Steve Nash was crying and talking to Gentry, I felt... ashamed that the Lakers won. If there's anybody that just flat out deserves to play for a championship, it's Nash for sure. And after watching his team this year, they deserve it as well.

My proverbial hat is off, thrown out the window and ravaged by my neighbor's scary dog (too much maybe?) to Steve Nash and the Suns, and I hope they can come out of the Amar'''''''e situation with a solid squad to go for it all next year.

That all being said, BLACK MAMBA has no heart, only grimaces, fist pumps, and championship hopes(well I guess calling his feelings hopes is giving a little to much credit to Kobe(and saying he has feelings is probably going too far as well)). He doesn't care how great Steve Nash is, and I think Gasol is ready to win another Finals MVP (oh wait...).

Lakers in 6! (Zeus willing, of course.)

Blogger Dan B. said...
Also, you had some territorial options besides the Pacers, like the Bulls, Cavs, Grizzlies, Wizards, Bobcats, Haw... on second that, maybe that's a good no-call on your part.

Yep, you just answered your own question. :) I should mention I do like the Bulls simply because it's hard not to like a team that I watched just to see Jordan when I was younger, but also I love the city of Chicago in general and have been there several times.

Anonymous Heretic said...

Even though I think Nash was great I really don't like the whole "deserve to win thing". There are a possible 7 games in a series whoever deserves to win will win. That's it. I get that Nash is a nice guy and Phoenix played hard, but they didn't win. Its not like they were robbed by the refs or that some terrible accident happened to their best player. They were fit and the refs even called a lot of the games their way. Half assed or not, the Lakers were just better That means they didn't deserve to win. There is no miss congeniality award in the NBA if you lose, then you're out. Pretty much the same thing I feel about pee wee soccer, bball, football etc why the fuck does everyone get a trophy?

I agree that Kobe is one of the most cold blooded players in the NBA. I believe every team that's serious about winning needs a guy like that. The Magic sure as hell needed a guy like that to beat the Celtics instead what they got is Dwight Howard grinning like a goofy ass.

I used to think that Gasol may have a shot at the finals MVP (before kobe started averaging 30 points a game) but the guy just plays way too soft. I hope he cowboys up cause if not KG will destroy him.