Nash of the Living Dead
Steve Nash looked almost as dead as the Suns' defense.

The Phoenix Suns: Well...that was ugly. I'm talking "Steve Nash's nasty, bulging, black-and-blue eye socket" ugly. Game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Finals turned into such a laugher, here's what Kobe Bryant was doing during the second half of the fourth quarter:

Kobe sleeping
Jesus! I didn't know Sasquatch was Mamba's personal masseuse.

So much for the improved Phoenix defense, huh? The Lakers scored 128 points on 58 percent shooting, hit eight of their 17 three-point attempts, outscored the Suns 56-38 in the paint and got 44 points out of their bench. And the majority of those bench points came before garbage time ensued.

A lot of people are writing poetry about Mamba's performance -- he had his 11th 40-point playoff performance, and 21 of those points came in the third quarter -- but the real story of this game was the hot shooting of his teammates. Pau Gasol (21 points, 5 assists, 2 blocked shots) went 10-for-13, Lamar Odom (19 points, 19 bords) was 9-for-15, and even the scrubs (Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown) were 7-or-12.

And damn, even amatuer porn directors don't allow this much penetration, unless there's some kind of penetration-specific fetish going on. Or so I've heard. Anyway, the Lakers were 22-for-30 at the rim. That's a 73 percent conversion rate. That's 44 points on field goals alone. And that penetration led to wide-open shots from distance, which might help explain why the Lakers were 13-for-24 (54 percent) from 16-23 feet.

As you'd expect, Phoenix was outrebounded 42-34, although that deficit was bigger when the game was still in doubt. The Suns found out that when your opponent doesn't miss and grabs all the boards, it's awfully hard to win.

The bottom line: The Suns are still too short.

The Suns' only highlight from Game 1.

And despite the fact that they scored 107 points on 50 percent shooting, the Phoenix offense struggled. The Suns managed only 4 fast break points while giving up 19 points off only 12 turnovers. Steve Nash (13 points and 13 assists in only 28 minutes) and Amar'''''e Stoudemire (23 points on 8-for-13 from the field and 7-for-10 at the line) did their thing, but Grant Hill shot 1-for-5 and finished with almost as many fouls (4) as points (7). Even more troubling -- although you probably could have predicted it -- was the misdirected shooting of Channing Frye (1-for-8, including 1-for-7 from downtown) and Jared Dudley (1-for-5, all threes).

If those two guys can't spread the floor by drilling treys, the L.A.'s bigs can just clog up the paint and disrupt the flow of the Suns' offense.

But, again, offense really isn't the problem. Defense is. And unless the Suns are allowed to play on stilts, or David Stern makes Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom play on their knees, I'm not sure what Phoenix can do to counter all that size.

The Suns' psyche: For a team that finally got the Spurs monkey off their back, the Suns seemed to get pretty down on themselves. There were an awful lot of slumped shoulders in the fourth quarter, even when they were still technically within striking distance. Guys stopped challenging -- Kobe took a couple shots in Jason Richardson's mug, and Richardson didn't even bother to put a hand up -- and looked ready to concede the game. That's never a good sign. It's never too late to start building momentum for the next game

The Suns' outside shooting: Brick city, baby. Although they were 17-for-26 at the rim (65 percent) and 12-for-22 (55 percent) from 16-23 feet, the Suns were only 5-for-22 from the Land of Three. Look, we all know Phoenix lives and dies by the three...and they have to connect from distance if they're going to make this series competitive.

Channing Frye and Jared Dudley: Like I said, 2-for-13 from the field, 2-for-12 on threes.

Grant Hill: It was announced before the series began that Hill would be defending Manba. When asked how he was going to do it, Grant said: "You just have to make a guy like that work." I can only assume Hill's waiting for Game 2 to carry out that "make Kobe work" plan. Although, in all fairness to Grant, he had to deal with The Phantom Foul Menace last night.

Hill also got his surgically repaired ankles re-broken. There's better video of this, but the "commentary track" on this one cracks me up.


Here's the same play from another angle:


Amar''''''e Stoudemire: So...3 rebounds in 35 minutes, eh? Nice. Oh, and how 'bout that defense on Lamar Odom...which is best described via this picture sent in by Stephanie G:

amare_matador
Ole'!

Robin Lopez: Sure, the big man had 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting in his first game in months...only to have the Suns suffer their worst loss in months. It's all Robin's fault! Start Jarron Collins!

Actually, Robin was the only Suns player with a positive plus-minus score (+2).

Lopez
It's okay, Robin. I was just kidding.

Update! Steve Nash, quote machine: Submitted by Dick Sullivan: "They're [Lakers] probably going to continue to be taller than us as the series goes on."

Genetics: Seriously, I will always be a little bitter that I can't do stuff like this. Well, unless it's on a Nerf hoop agains a 10-year-old girl.


Craig Sager's suit: Dan B demanded I include this picture in WotN...and rightly so. No matter how low the bar gets, Sager always manages to limbo his way under it. If you think about it, Sager is the Wilt Chamberlain of bad suits. He's putting up numbers so unthinkable that nobody will ever, ever reach them.

Sager suit
Again I say: What the flippity fuck?

David Arquette: Damn...bitch went down.

bitch went down

This is, of course, just the latest humiliation in a long line of humiliations for Mr. Courtney Cox.


Lacktion report: Due to extended mop-up duty, Chris had only a single entry in today's lacktion report: "Sasha Vujacic sauntered into foul territory once in 83 seconds for a +1 suck differential."

Labels: , ,

70 Comments:
Blogger Dan B. said...
That Grant Hill video cracks me up every time. "Oh my gaaaaaaawd." Sadly, the Suns defense started playing even worse when Hill went to the bench after his fourth foul...

That Craig Sager suit is like the 19,990th of the 20,000 women that Wilt slept with. It's unthinkable that he could take it any further, but I'm sure he's still got some left in the tank.

And another thing about Sager's vertigo-inducing monstrosity: I mean, yeah, I get that his whole schtick is to wear the ugliest suits possible, but who the hell actually makes that suit?

Blogger spongefrob said...
and the hits keep coming....

Just as, as previously mentioned, the SI cover of Shaq ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/39453023@N00/4614857377/) reminded me of Brando in "Apocalypse Now", the expression on Sagers face is like Dennis Hopper from the same movie...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Wow. Not even a single mention of the officiating? It was bad on both sides, but much worse for the Suns. I can't even write it all out because of how much badness there was.

My favorite was the T given to Kobe, and shortly afterwards a make-up T given to Grant Hill for shrugging.

And just to top off this bitter post with something other than "tired and crying wolf Suns fan complaining about officiating", I've found a website with some data on refs, it's not near robust, but it's a start. Take a look around; I like Scott Foster's home game bias for the Lakers, and the above average fouls called on the Suns.

Anyways, with that, we can all start making 80%-Donaghy-confidence predictions on Game 2 as soon as the refs for the game are released. I can't wait to see what refs show up in Phoenix for Stern to try and extend it to 6 games.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Offensive rebounding is gonna be the death of the Suns this series. The Lakers kept using Lamar Odom to disrupt the inbounder off made shots and the rebounder off missed shots in order to stiffle Phoenix's running game (and it worked beautifully) which also put him in prime position to grab offensive boards. Granted, when you shoot 58% from the field there aren't that many offensive boards to be had but this is going to be a trend throughout the series because the Suns can't do anything about it. Not only are they short, but if they have more guys hang back to secure the rebound then they will be slowing the game down and playing right into the Lakers' hands.

Even if they do get their running game going, the Lakers can gosmall too and sic Artest or Odom on Stoudemire from the get-go. The best hope Phoenix has is for Amar''''e to get LA's bigs in foul trouble, Lamar Odom to mail some games in, Kobe to go into 1 on 5 mode and for Channing Frye to catch fire from 3. I don´t see all of those things happening at the same time for 4 of the next 6 games.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wow. Not even a single mention of the officiating? It was bad on both sides, but much worse for the Suns. I can't even write it all out because of how much badness there was.

Eh, I just don't have the energy to deal with Laker Fan Outrage (TM) today. Dealing with the gloating will probably be bad enough.

Blogger Cortez said...
I'm not a "Lakers fan" but...

Is anyone going to revisit that "37 year old man can slow down Kobe" theroy I was reading about last week?

One of the few things than are as irritating as Laker Fan Outrage (TM) is Extreme Kobe Hater Syndrome.

The origins must be like Lycans and Vampires!

(what a suck ass movie btw)

Blogger stephanie g said...
This is a different Suns team. They play defense, led by guys like Lopez, Amundson, Dudley, and a rejuvenated Grant Hill. Wait, guys? Where is everyone going?

LA's gonna threepeat again, aren't they? :(

Blogger Adam said...
AnacondaHL: Frankly, I have no idea why *either* of them got a T, but Grant's was worse. I hate when officials "make up" for bad calls because 1) It just confirms that they knew they made a bad call in the first place, and 2) It shows that they have no problem intentionally making a second bad call to somehow "balance" things out.

Being in Tucson, this series is going to be interesting for me. Lakers win and my beloved home team is going to the finals three years in a row. Suns win and I get a cool local team going to the finals who I'll willingly root for over any team from the east. I can't really lose!

Blogger stephanie g said...
Double post, but TMZ has some stuff about Delonte partaking of the Mother Crab:

http://www.tmz.com/2010/05/17/lebron-james-delonte-west-mom-sex-scandal-cavaliers-cease-and-desist/#ixzz0oIHxZY42

Summary: Lebron's lawyer sent a cease and desist letter to the guy spreading the rumor, says it's bogus.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
LA's gonna threepeat again, aren't they? :(

Well, they'll need to win two in a row first...

Is anyone going to revisit that "37 year old man can slow down Kobe" theroy I was reading about last week?

You didn't hear that theory from me. And besides, there really isn't a game plan or a player you can throw at guys like Kobe, LeBron or Wade. You have to make them work, hope they miss shots, and try to shut down their teammates.

That's really what the Celtics did against the Crabs. For all the talk of LeBron's choke job, dude had 29/19/10 in that Game 6 elimination...so despite his subpar shooting, Boston hardly shut him down. But they shut down his teammates, which is really he best thing you can do.

That's the same thing the Celts did against the Lakers in the 2008 Finals. Trying to stop Mamba -- hell, even discussing it -- is useless. Here's a suggestion for the Suns: Fucking block out Lamar Odom. Yeah, I'm looking right at you, Amar''''''e.

Blogger Adam said...
Hellshocked: It's almost conventional wisdom by now, but if Odom continues to play strong, the Lakers are nigh unstoppable. Pau and Kobe will almost always get theirs, but Odom is able to make up for crappy bench play as well as help strengthen good bench play. I hate the phrase "X Factor" so I won't use it, but he definitely is a kind of barometer for the performance of the team as a whole.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Anaconda

Yeah the officiating pretty much sucked (unlike the awesome Celtics - Magic officiating). They called a lot of touch fouls but would not call some of the more obvious ones. The T on Grant was just flat out ridiculous, I thought he would get thrown out of the game for the look of disbelief he had when he got the T. The Lakers were bound to go the line more times than the suns. They're bigger and so are prone to get more contact and they live in the paint.

@Basketbawful

I would gloat if it was just a solid win but this match up kind of reminded me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCNeXGi0x2g

You can only shake your head at the fail.

I figure the Suns can either bomb away at the 3 over and over again (they'd have to hit above 50% in order for that strategy to work out) or they really have to work on the pick and roll. This all hinges on Amare to actually start driving to the paint instead of just popping jump shots.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AnacondaHL - Wah. I've got some news for you: when your team is losing by 28 points and the other team is shooting 60% from the field, it ain't due to the officiating. Just sayin'. But you're a Suns fan, so I guess it's in your nature to complain about the refs, even when the Suns (who were the road team, btw) shot ten more free throws than the Lakers did. But maybe you're right, that tech on Grant Hill is probably the real reason the Suns got their asses handed to them. I mean, it's not like the Suns normally play this poorly against the Lakers, especially in Staples Center. Oh wait...  

You may want to take today and try to relocate your credibility.

Also, not to say I told you so, but well, I did tell you so. 

Blogger Japes said...
The officiating was atrocious. Out of Grant Hill's 4 fouls, maybe 1 of them was legit. They even called him for the arm drag after spinning on the post. A move that every single player in the NBA does (well except for Dwight Howard who has no idea what a post game is).

Anyways, that's not why they lost the game. They lost because Odom pooped in the suns fridge and ate the whole wheel of cheese.

Blogger Wormboy said...
First play of the 3rd quarter, Grant Hill gets a beautiful all-ball poke away on Kobe, foul called. Utter BS.

Hey, the league has got to ensure that one of its big market poster guys gets to the Finals. [/flaming cynicism]



In David Arquette's defense, the man is getting laid regularly by Courtney Cox. Unless her personality is like Monica's in Friends, that ain't a bad gig. If she does have a personality like Monica's, I'm surprised that Arquette hasn't gone "Hey Joe" on her.

Oh, and he is beneficiary of one of those faux feminism hyphenations: she hyphenates her name but he doesn't? Feminism FAIL. Really, what's the point?

Blogger Dooj said...
The officiating in this year's playoffs has been weird to say the least. I don't know what the problem is but the only thing that remains constant is the inconsistency.

There were a lot of blown calls both ways last night.

@Wild Yams

First of all, just because a team gets more free throws doesn't mean that the officiating was in their favor. Maybe one team hacks every time the other shoots. That means a lot of free throws.

Secondly, I don't think AnacondaHL was trying to say that the refs were the reason the Suns lost that game. However, it's every fans right to complain about the officials, especially after a loss.

Blogger Wormboy said...
PS Arquette is also an unfortunate member of the Matthew Broderick "40 year old guys who still have the face and body of a 14 year old" club. Tough to get serious roles, unless you're strangely cool like John Cusack.

Blogger Dooj said...
@bawful

Can we get a WotN for Amar'e's (sp?) "defense" again? Odom drove right by him down the lane as if he was playing by himself in the first quarter.

My favorite part was when all the experts have been saying, "He's left handed." People still haven't figured out how to make Ginobili go right yet...

Blogger geremy said...
while i'm not saying that PHX should have won this game, the officiating on grant hill was B-A-D.

in support, i ask anyone to show me ONE foul grant actually committed.

and keep in mind, kobe had a bad game until grant went out. kobe had more points from the foul line (undeserved, see above) than from the field.

lastly, i love how everyone points out kobe's ankle breaker, but forgets his "self inflicted face plant non-travel call".

again, for those that can't read, it's not that the suns should have won, but the refs made it clear in the first quarter that no one would be allowed to play defense on kobe.

as for the rest of the suns, they just sucked.

and i'm tired of hearing about how "big" LA is. there is no reason why STAT and Lopez shouldn't be able to push them around. both players CAN BE much more physical than LA's front line.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Not really a lot to discuss after what occurred last night, pretty much what people expected to happen happened . Even espn is strangely quiet about it with the exception of Hollinger weeping softly in the corner.

Now on to the draft. Who fits where? If Wall actually does go to Jersey does Devin ride the pine or is he gonna get traded? I personally think that Evan Turner is more valuable than Wall. Turner seems that he can fit in anywhere whereas Wall will fit into select teams.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yams: You're pretty bad at this trolling thing, you should stick with your usual wall-of-text attacks.

Dooj: I put the refs #1 in a long list of reasons why the Suns lost. The others: Inability to deal with said refs using hard fouls, Frye on the road, Nash sucking at the Gasol pick and roll switch, Amare's really shitty effort on D and rebounding, and the Lakers sinking crazy low percentage shots. Turn those around and the Suns can steal game 2.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wah. I've got some news for you: when your team is losing by 28 points and the other team is shooting 60% from the field, it ain't due to the officiating. Just sayin'. But you're a Suns fan, so I guess it's in your nature to complain about the refs, even when the Suns (who were the road team, btw) shot ten more free throws than the Lakers did. But maybe you're right, that tech on Grant Hill is probably the real reason the Suns got their asses handed to them. I mean, it's not like the Suns normally play this poorly against the Lakers, especially in Staples Center. Oh wait... You may want to take today and try to relocate your credibility..

Well, let's look at this a little more closely. The Lakers were only +2 last night when Grant Hill was on the floor. Furthermore, L.A. was up only 75-68 in the third quarter when Hill had an iffy foul called on him followed by a completely bogus technical. While Hill headed to the bench with four fouls, Kobe hit the three free throws to put the Lakers up by 10. L.A. then proceeded to go on the run that put the game away.

I won't pretend to be an impartial observer, but the numbers certainly seem to indicate that Hill's foul situation -- and a couple of his fouls were suspect at best -- had a significant impact on the game. Did it cause the loss? No, there never is one cause. But it certainly contributed to it.

Blogger Dick Sullivan said...
Can't believe you left out the Steve Nash quote machine: "They're [Lakers] probably going to continue to be taller than us as the series goes on." I love that dude.

As always, can't support the Sasquatch comment. She's got feelings. Kobe, on the other hand, rapes people. I could've supported a rape joke at his expense.

Blogger geremy said...
^^^^^^^
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, basketbawful.

again, i would love to see vid evidence of a single actuall hill foul, or a vid of kobe falling on his face and not being called for travelling.

that is all. :)

Blogger Preveen said...
Well, now we know why Carmelo isn't thru to this round. Distraction. Other things on his mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_USA_2010#Final_judges

;)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dick Sullivan -- You're right...post updated.

Blogger reid said...
AnacondaHL: you want stats on refs? Well here ya go:

http://www.nbastuffer.com/referee_stats

it's pretty comprehensive but only covers the last 2 seasons. enjoy

Anonymous Ernie said...
I want a Craig Sager vs Don Cherry bad suit competition.

Anonymous Karc said...
I'd say the officiating is much better than last year, when the refs could not even determine what is and isn't a flagrant foul. That was far more serious, in addition to the free throws and extra possession, it impacted players getting suspended (Dwight Howard and Derek Fisher immediately come to mind).

I agree with the idea that Hill got a screw job in the third (Fisher fouled him on the shot, then he got the ticky-tacky foul on the other end), but I thought it was funny that Byrant got the T before Hill, who showed far more restraint.

But seriously, even as a Laker hater, this was a fun game to watch. Certainly better than the 87-83 snooze fest that will be Game 2 of the East Finals.

Blogger Drake said...
I'm pretty sure that Lebron stole his "I'm a winner" shtick from Iron Mike Sharpe. The proof is in the pudding:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILXNF-o08YY&feature=related

All Lebron needs to do now is wear a leather cast over his forearm and the resemblance between the two would be uncanny.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
reid: Not bad, I'll use that site in conjunction with statsheet.com, since statsheet has team breakdowns for each ref. (Countdown to 9am tomorrow). But the hover-your-mouse-to-see-their-picture thing is hilarious.

Blogger clicc916 said...
What's really bawful is the whiplashtic bitchslap Odom lays onto the back of Shannon Brown's head as they're walking back to the bench...Imagine if that would have taken him out of a game or two.

Anonymous Heretic said...
I doubt Grant Hill was a main factor in Kobe taking a chain saw to the Suns.Almost all the Lakers were pretty much in the "Feel them out" mode in the first half. Even when the suns had the lead, the lakers didn't go aggressive. They just slowly played their game seeing how the suns would respond. Once they had probed the responses, in the second half they simply upped the aggressiveness and went to work. Kobe was not the only one destroying them, fisher, pau, odom, artest and even the horrible Laker bench.

Did Grant Hill guard Kobe better than Richardson? Yes, the midget from Leperchaun could have guarded him better than Richardson. Was he bothering Kobe that much? Nope. Lets face facts 37 year old Grant Hill is no Shane Battier and even Shane had problems containing Bryant. Kobe was well rested and was going to go off regardless of who guarded him. The problem is that ALL the Lakers decided to get into the feeding frenzy. If Hill had been on the floor he would have been bloody chum just like the rest of the Suns.

The officiating sucked but the Lakers big men got a whole lot more no calls than the Suns. While I agree the technicals (both of them) shouldn't have been given out, its laughable to say that the turning point of their downfall was because Grant went to the bench due to the T and the fouls. The Lakers simply decided to go balls deep into the sun while Grant was on the bench. If Grant was affecting Kobe so much why didn't he get Alvin put Grant on him at the beginning of the fourth? If they had slowed him down and the Suns put Nash and the rest of the shooters in, they may have climbed back into the game. But he didn't cause they knew that there was no stopping him when he is putting in difficult shots. Its like saying JJ reddick could have stopped the Celtics if he had just been on Ray Allen the entire time. Wishful, flawed thinking.

Some guys said that theres no reason why the suns couldn't be as physical as the Lakers. There isn't but that doesn't mean they're going to be. The suns are a running team and even though they upped their defense from wet tissue paper to wet cardboard, their bigs just don't play physical. Celtics and Lakers can play physical because that's part of the foundation their defense is built on. To the Suns defense is a secondary thought. Physical defense isn't even a thought at all.

Hell if the bench and Artest didn't start chucking up heat checks in the fourth the game may have been lost by 30 or 40.

I get all the Laker hate, I hate the nets with a passion I don't comprehend (thankfully this year they sucked ballzzz)but bringing up Kobe's rape case or him falling on an inconsequential play is just sad. Suns deserve to win, they have a scrappy canadian PG who kind of reminds people of Rudy. But this is the NBA, teams don't win due to feel good stories they win because they ruthlessly destroy the other team. No matter how many what ifs, could haves, and should haves you bring up, the suns aren't really built to challenge a Laker team. They don't have Bostons roman legion like team play, they don't have the nuggets brawn, they don't even have the hawks athleticism. All they have is the three and when the Lakers are the best perimeter guards in the league that three stops becoming a valid offensive weapon. The only way suns will beat them is if they shoot at really high percentage and/or the Lakers become less focused (which they are prone to do).

So scream bloody murder about the refs, concoct wild theories that Kobe would have been less effective if Hill kept guarding him, make up bizarre game plans where Nash and co eat the cake from Alice in Wonderland and ignore all the Sun's weaknesses. Fact is if the Lakers play well and the suns play well, the lakers will win by double digits....and that's being kind.

Anonymous My team lost: Blame the refs said...
Wow. Grow some testicles guys. Wah Wah. We're complaining about one non travel call in a sport that traveling is NEVER called in? Really? Amare traveled on back to back dunks in the 2nd. Dragic dragged his pivot foot 5 ft on a stl and lay-up in the 4th. No call!! Stop complaining!! The suns lost by 21 and were down 28 at one point. How about blaming Amare for letting Lamar, who had done nothing in the playoffs up to this point, go for 19 and 19!! Or letting the lakers shoot nearly 60%!! with their subs playing almost the entire 4th. Or letting Jordan freaking Farmar and shannon freaking brown combine for 19pts!! I love the playoffs and hate them at the same time. NBA fans are the biggest complainers in any sport!! And to answer your other questions yes i love exclamations points!!!

Anonymous My team lost: Blame the refs said...
Also i enjoyed how no suns fan brought up that Kobe and Hill got hit with T's for complaining and Richardson took a swipe at farmar and got nothing. Theres your make up call guys. You got your 1pt back. Now please stop bitching and try to enjoy the least suspenseful NBA playoffs ever.

Blogger Dan B. said...
And to answer your other questions yes i love exclamations points!!!

Really? Huh. Never would have guessed.

I think most of us are being pretty reasonable about the officiating. Yes, it was pretty bad, but it's not why the Suns lost. However, it definately didn't help their cause any. (Maybe they would have only lost by 10-15 instead of getting violently ass-raped the last 15-18 minutes of the game)

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Dan B

Maybe the lakers would have tightened up at the end instead of the bench going haywire and the suns may have lost by 40.

Its futile to speculate on what would have happened.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Heretic -- You know what I meant...

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Dan B

I do. Too cranky from not enough coffee.

Blogger Dylan Murphy said...
Channing Frye played more like his career on the Knicks than the Suns.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Fans of losing teams who complain about the refs in blowout losses are pathetic. Expect the ass kickings to continue, Phoenix has now lost all three games at Staples this year by an average of 19 points. One team in this series is a legit title contender and the other one is a minor speed bump. I told you before this series started, Phoenix is a dream matchup for LA cause their defense sucks and cause they're way undersized. The only Western team that would be a better matchup for LA is Golden State for these same reasons.

But keep blaming the refs if it makes you feel better.

Anonymous kazek said...
Hey everyone here at bawful, been reading this blog for a long time now but first time commenting.

Anyways, I wanted to share this article, where Mr. Keown boldly suggests that they put Lebron coverage side by side with playoff coverage because they're too boring. Though I can't recall Tim Keown, I now hate him. (Though I guess I can understand just a little after the bawfulness of the first games of the respective conference finals)

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?id=5197861

I admire LBJ's talent, but he definitely is getting overexposed. I don't appreciate the shitstorm that is LeBronmania when the playoffs are getting such backseat coverage. The playoffs are real and happening now while LeBron rumors are on the same end of the fantasy spectrum as unicorns and fairies, they can wait.

On a side note, I gotta say, I love that amar'''''e/LO picture, the photoshopped pictures of bawful greatness (badness?) is definitely a highlight of the day.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Yams -- Seriously, I can't think of a worse type of team for the Suns to have to play than a tall team that can clog the paint, block passing lanes, and rebound. (Then again, a midget could out-rebound Amar''''e. God damn that guy annoys me.)

kazek -- Don't be shy about posting more often! :) I've read Tim Keown articles before. 75% of the time that guy is a tool. I usually just skip over anything he writes.

Blogger BadDave said...
Yams - While I respect your opinion, and agree that LA seems a likely winner, I feel the need to express that your comments are fairly inflammatory. Not that others aren't, but there's only one thing worse than a sore loser: a sore winner.

Good luck with the rest of this playoff series. As a Pacers and Jazz fan, all I can do now is stare that the draft boards...

Blogger geremy said...
i think the laker fans are deprived of reading comprehension skills.

"i think bad calls were made" does not entail "therefore, the bad calls cost us the game". especially when prefaced with "the suns likely still would have lost for various other reasons".

now, when you make these walton-esque arguments you force our hands in pointing out your lack on intelligence, as bawful did when showing that at the moment that grant was taken out, the suns were down by seven and mounting a comeback. taking out grant was a turning point, a catalyst for the ensuing victory.

so, taking the fact that bad officiating was a factor (OF MANY CONTRIBUTING TO A LOSS, caps for reading impaired) that removed our best defender and became a turning point for the game, only to claim it's irrelevance is beyond dumb to say the least.

lastly, those thinking that one bad call refutes another, a bad call that changes the momentum of a game giving one team an advantage only later to have another bad call go the other way when the game is out of reach and that particular teams morale is crushed, is just funny.

Anonymous Heretic said...
The reason people are pissed at Amare is because he could be really good (borderline superstar) if he wanted to be. Same thing with Odom, has all the tools necessary but he flounders when he's in the guy in the spotlight.

Anonymous My team lost: Blame the refs said...
I know Dan B., but man so much complaining about the refs all the time just gets annoying and whiny. Sometimes you just have to hold your team accountable as a fan. I watched the thunder shoot 42 more ft's in games 3 & 4 than the lakers but in no way did i or do i think that was the reason the Lakers lost. The Lakers looked awful in those games like the Suns looked awful last night. Hands in faces probably would have helped more last night than the refs imho.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Is it wrong that I'm a Laker fan but am more excited over the Magic Celtics series?

Anonymous UpA said...
In the hypothetical case the NBA implements a "Rebounding Contest" just like the Dunk contest.....

And the contestants were:

Rasheed Wallace
Kirilo Fesenko
Amar'''e
Elton Brand

Who would get the lowest score?

That would be FUNNNN to watch!

Please do your presenter voice:

"Sloppy big men fighting for a ball, sweat, elbows and teeth falling everywhere, the one, the only, THE REBOUUUUUUNND COOOOOOONTEST" Brought to you by I'can beleive is not Butter, official supplier of the NBA's dumbest big men.

Anonymous UpA said...
I feel the David Stern Censorship Machine (TM) is coming to bawful... if you keep cricitizing the refs someone will be shutting this place off...

Anonymous Business Time said...
Your daily dose of bawful for the day:

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2010/05/18/2010-05-18_james_trained_on_ny.html

I don't know what's worse, LeBron wanting to work out with Eddy Curry, or LeBron wanting Eddy Curry's advice about... well, anything.

Anonymous Axe Head said...
Lamar Odom should have gotten an honorable mention in the Worst of the Night. He puts up a game like he did last night, and he is so talented, that everyone starts talking Odom this, Odom that, X-factor, as though he can do this every night, and he invariably disappears or disappoints for N games. Then he has another game like this, and it all starts again.

So last night was his "Get Ready for my Disappearing Act!" game.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
My money's on constantly complaining on message boards. Lakers and suns fans "B**tching" at eachother. (can't call it fighting when you can't see eachother)
oh and don't forget the obligatory. "our refs are the best" from all people who get their pay cheques from the NBA (indirect or direct)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
UpA: That rebound contest would be amazing. I'd throw in Rajon Rondo so we can all watch a scrawny 6 foot point guard out rebound those "big men."

Word Verification: Celed, as in the Suns looked like they were tossing the celed last night.

Anonymous Marylander said...
Heretic- WOW nice post man!

Anonymous Unintellejint Laker Phan said...
"the suns were down by seven and mounting a comeback. taking out grant was a turning point, a catalyst for the ensuing victory."

Geremy, since us laker fans are so stupid, please explain your comment here. In this context it appears you are insinuating that if Grant Hill hadnt been blown for a couple questionable calls that he would have been in to stop kobe from going off in the 3rd (side note: i think some of those jumpers he made Jesus couldnt have guarded) and the suns may have pulled out the game, correct? So if youre saying a bad call was the catalyst in an outcome not yet decided, how is that different then saying if the refs had called a better game we could have won. I mean you're splitting hairs here and they both sound like sour grapes.

And speaking of reading comprehension skills i believe the main point for My team lost's comment was not pointing out that you got the 1pt back or that Dragic got away with a travel in garbage minutes, but that NBA officiating is inconsistent to say the least. I mean it appears to me fans always want to rationalize a bad/tough loss and the refs are an easy scapegoat.

"again, for those that can't read, it's not that the suns should have won, but the refs made it clear in the first quarter that no one would be allowed to play defense on kobe."

Seeing that kobe had a pretty big part in this win thats like saying, "Im not saying the man should have lived but its clear that him being shot directly in his face didnt help" Im sure you were pointing out these things about Kobe in a totally unrelated matter though.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
BadDave - If it makes you feel any better I was saying these same things before this series even started. Hell, I was saying them before the Lakers even finished off Utah. I even was saying these same things about LA vs Phoenix back in December after the Lakers waxed the floor twice with the Suns (back then people said that was cause the Suns were on the second night of back to backs, but clearly even having a week off to rest up didn't help).

Truth be told, there tends to be a double standard around here when it comes to shit talkin and the Lakers, in that it's fine to bash the hell out of them, but Laker fans need to be respectful and humble. I'm a Laker fan and Phoenix is a long-running rival, so I'm gonna give as good as I get. But seeing Suns fans whining about the officiating in a road game where they shot more free throws than the home team did, and in which they got absolutely taken apart is just embarrassing. I see pathetic whining from sore losers like that and I'm gonna point it out, and yeah, I'm gonna gloat on top of it.

I don't know if LA can win it all this year, but at least they can beat the shit out of the Suns and get a little payback for 2006 & 2007. Nobody from their camp was very humble or respectful of the Lakers back then, so payback's a bitch.

Anonymous DKH said...
Wow, so much pent-up rage from the Lakers fans. Let us all feel sorry for them that they won a championship last year, and the refs are helping them on their way this year.

Look, Suns fans are pointing to a few bad calls. If the response to every bad call is, "it's just one bad call," what happens when those calls accumulate and now there are 3 or 4 or 5? What if those calls are each responsible for a 2-point swing? Now instead of the Suns being down 10 in the third, they're only down 2 or 4. That's a pretty big difference.

Not to mention that, if the refs are sending the message that the Suns won't be allowed to guard Kobe, what exactly are they supposed to be doing on defense? It's tough to say "play better defense" when even the good defense the Suns played was met with fouls or non-calls. Even on that Shannon Brown dunk attempt, it looked to me like Richardson was pretty well-established.

(Note: Richardson did flinch and didn't really try to take a charge, but I didn't really watch to determine if he got hit in the face or something. Maybe he should go to the Ginobili school of flopping. Also, Amare should still do a better job rebounding/boxing out against Lamar Odom.)

This isn't to say that I watched the game fully or in much detail (but I did see the Kobe face-plant plus non-traveling-call). But if I were a fan attempting to evaluate claims of ref bias and its effects honestly (so far as I can tell, no Laker fan here currently qualifies), this is how I would approach it.

Blogger geremy said...
to Unintellejint Laker Phan...

if grant is taken out of the game, phoenix loses.

phoenix loses, therefore grant hill was taken out of the game. this is affirming the consequent, and is a logical fallacy.

it's the same as saying "if lebron goes to new york, then he will make lots of money". lebron makes lots of money, therefore, by your logic, he must have gone to new york, right? nope, the result can be obtained my a multitude of reasons, all of which lead to lebron making a lot of money.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
If it makes you feel any better I was saying these same things before this series even started. Hell, I was saying them before the Lakers even finished off Utah. I even was saying these same things about LA vs Phoenix back in December after the Lakers waxed the floor twice with the Suns (back then people said that was cause the Suns were on the second night of back to backs, but clearly even having a week off to rest up didn't help).

Yes...yes, you were saying an awful lot in the beginning of the season, about Phoenix, about the demise of the Celtics, and about how the Lakers looked like a pretty sure shot to repeat. But I couldn't help but notice you became rather conspicuously absent during L.A.'s second half slump and their first round struggles with the Thunder, only to re-emerge as they were ending the Jazz series. Why is that exactly? Maybe you had personal reasons, I wouldn't know. But it feels a little front-run-y to me. Like...you're around and acting a little pompous when the Lakers are cruising, but you weren't around when they looked like shit.

Truth be told, there tends to be a double standard around here when it comes to shit talkin and the Lakers, in that it's fine to bash the hell out of them, but Laker fans need to be respectful and humble. I'm a Laker fan and Phoenix is a long-running rival, so I'm gonna give as good as I get. But seeing Suns fans whining about the officiating in a road game where they shot more free throws than the home team did, and in which they got absolutely taken apart is just embarrassing. I see pathetic whining from sore losers like that and I'm gonna point it out, and yeah, I'm gonna gloat on top of it.

And yet you weren't around to "gloat" when the Lakers were struggling the last couple months of the regular season, or the first round, yet you never seem to miss a chance to sling insults around when things are going L.A.'s way.

All I'm saying, is your comings and goings seem conveniently timed, and your words come off as vindictive, not to mention as petty and pathetic as the behavior you're supposedly speaking out against.

Just something to consider.

Blogger lordhenry said...
@ Yams.

Wow. You used to be the balanced Laker fan, the one who wasn't blinded by Kobe-love and managed to take your forum blue and gold glasses off once in awhile. It is 1 game. We have not won this series yet. Suns have a better point guard, and they did not play that well, along with the fact that they have veterans who will bounce back from a bad game. Plus, it is easy to play great defense when you are not called for hacking the ball handler. Not to apologize for the Suns overmuch, but the officials really gave us some home cooking, and turned what might've been a 10 point game into a romp. In the 3rd, only two things happened when Kobe touched the ball: he scored or he missed and got a call. I think he even bumbled it out of bounds and got a foul on hill. When I see stuff like that, I bust out my Molly Shannon voice and say "Superstar" to myself. I still think with the way the Lakers played after they took the lead they would have won, but not by as large a margin. And mark my words, we won't be able to buy a vowel in Phoenix, much less a foul.

Blogger Jason D said...
Yams: Come on man, you're giving us Laker fans a bad name by attacking other fans. Take it down a notch dude.

As a Lakers fan, even I have to admit that the officiating last night was pure bawful. There shouldn't have been any T's on Kobe or Hill (He just shrugged!) and that did take away from the game a bit. But I have to agree with Heretic in saying that there are so many possible outcomes that could've occured if those calls weren't made that it's fruitless trying to argue that they would have changed the game.

The Suns lost because they didn't play any defence basically. I can't even remember the last time LA put up such high numbers all around. When you let Lamar Odom go 19-19 on you, you know you've fucked up defensively. And a lot of that falls on Amar''''''e. Dude is the starting PF for the team and grabs a grand total of 3 rebounds! He was out-rebounded by Steve Nash for chrits's sake! And now he's coming out today saying Lamar's game was "lucky". While I doubt we'll see that display from Lamar again this series, Amar''''e needs to either nut up or shut up!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Well said lordhenry. I had most of those thoughts too.

Additionally, I think I'm on the record saying Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom were the keys to victory. Kobe was taking a ton of bad shots and I was okay with whatever he did, and Gasol was sinking tough shots too, but goddamn did Odom go off on STAT. And Shannon Brown's near dunk, was just wow. I hope it isn't a look into the future opening up 3s for the Lakers bench to eliminate the advantage of the Suns bench.

Blogger lordhenry said...
@ AnacondaHL

Kobe was taking a lot of bad shots, they just kept going in. That doesn't always happen, just like the suns missing most of their 3s doesn't always happen. And bawful is right about not being around during the bad times, I can honestly say that is part of why I haven't posted much, as I was really concerned the Lakers were going to join the 07 Mavs, and 94 sonics as the only #1s to get knocked out in the first round. I was realy waiting to see if the thunder could wake us up, and was concerned any commentary on my part would just be a stat curse. As a Laker fan I want to win the series, but the hard part about being an L.A. fan this year is we have beat two teams that I think are pretty good and deserve a shot. Stomping on classy teams like the thunder, jazz, and maybe the suns is not my ideal road to a title, as I like most of the players for those teams, and don't like crushing Nash's shot at a finals. When things like last night happen, I totally understand why people hate the Lakers. All I can say is Steve Nash scares me, and this series is not done yet.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - I don't think you really believe I'm front running, as I stopped showing up here long before the Lakers started having problems this year. I know why you'd say that though, but I don't think you believe it.

Nevertheless, I know I'm giving Laker fans a bad name and am not being diplomatic like I used to be, but it's because really it's futile to do so. Most people who care about basketball hate the Lakers and always will. They'll always think their fans are assholes and will always erupt with glee when the Lakers fail, no matter how diplomatic the fans have been. At the same time these people will just be bitter when the Lakers win, so in this area there is nothing to be done. If you root for the Lakers you'll always be a pariah and that's just how it is, so I don't care much for diplomacy any more. I just want to be honest. 

My honest opinion is that I think the Celtics will probably win it all this year. I think LA will probably be considered the favorite because, as I've said, I don't think they'll have much trouble with Phoenix and most people will say "whatever was bothering them at the end of the year and against OKC seems to be gone and now they're on a roll" when the truth is that it's just that Utah and Phoenix happen to be really favorable matchups for LA. As a Laker fan I really have no idea how good they actually are, but with how Boston is playing and with Bynum being hurt, I think Boston will probably win. 

I think if the Lakers do go on to win it all this year it will be mainly due to luck: luck that Utah took care of Denver, luck that Phoenix took care of San Antonio, luck that San Antonio took care of Dallas, luck that Boston took care of Cleveland, and luck that either Boston or Orlando will take care of each other. LA is not as good this year as they were last year, and are just getting by due to being faced with opponents they happen to match up particulaly well against, IMO. That won't be the case in The Finals though, but maybe if they have home court against Boston that could give them a decent shot to repeat. We'll soon find out. 

What "brought me out of hiding" though wasn't a sudden bravado at thinking that now that LA was supposedly playing well that they'd win it all, but instead just knowing that they'd manhandle Phoenix, and me wanting to talk a little trash about it. Watching Suns fans piss and moan when they lose is fun to me in the same way that watching Laker fans piss and moan when LA is losing is fun to the rest of you. 

But out of respect for this site I'll tone it down now. The games are far more interesting than my BS. 

Blogger Dan B. said...
Most people who care about basketball hate the Lakers and always will. They'll always think their fans are assholes and will always erupt with glee when the Lakers fail, no matter how diplomatic the fans have been

Nah, most of us know that 75% of Laker fans just don't know any better and liked the Lakers because of big market/big names and success, kind of like how 75% of Yankees fans don't know any better either. There are plenty of real fans for both teams who I can respect (at least when they don't talk trash :P), but they're generally the minority simply because those are the kinds of team who get lots of bandwagon fans.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Hey, I'm no Suns fan, and I think the Suns would have lost regardless of the officiating. But the fact is that Hill got jobbed way beyond any random bad calls.

The single biggest problem with the NBA is the degree to which officiating can EASILY alter the outcome of games. People trying to argue against that often say something like, "Oh, that was only two foul shots." But that's rarely the issue. The issue is foul trouble. For example, I'd argue that half of all Shaq's playoff games during his prime hinged on whether he or the opposing center got in foul trouble, and when in the game it happened. Usually that swings on one or two calls. Consequently, a ref can easily swing a game that way. This point is not debatable: it is an intrinsic part of basketball. If there is a guy on the court who is that critical, the outcome can be influenced this way.

Hill's foul trouble came at a critical juncture, as was pointed out above. I saw at least three foul calls on him that were utter BS, as was the T. Would it have changed the outome? Probably not, though given the context Hill's departure may well have swung the game.

As for "Hill can't guard Kobe," 1) Hill is long and smart, and 2) Kobe ain't the Kobe of old. With the miles on Kobe's legs, which IMO are really showing, yes, Hill can harass him into the "Kobe hoisting bad contested shots" (TM) mode.

I agree it's bad for fans to whine "it was teh refs!" after their team loses. But bad calls are bad calls, and Hill was repeatedly jobbed in Game 1. I reserve the right because PHX ain't my team. :)

Blogger David Robinson said...
Thank you wormboy for pointing out everything that i've been thinking. Grant really did do a good job on Kobe, but Kobe's gonna get his. As a Suns fan, the key to victory is stopping Lamar Odom, and keeping Hill on Kobe at all costs. Frye has shown that he's a bit nervious in game 1 of a series, but then settles down. If he makes just his season average, we have a much better chance of staying in this game. I still have faith in the suns, though it will be very difficult.

and Yams, the reason that everyone hates the lakers isn't the team, its the fans. I hate the Spurs as a team, and the Lakers because of their fans. Many, (I won't say all, cause its not true) have no clue the Lakers even exist until the playoffs start, and there's nothing more I hate than bandwagoners. Then they'll come out acting like Kobe is God, and that somehow they had a direct influence on the game, even though the tag is still hanging off of their freshly bought Kobe jersey.

Suns fans may whine a little about officiating, I know, I've done it. However we do not have bandwagoners to the extent that the Lakers do, our fans tend to be knowledgeable, and real. We'll stay through the thick and thin and love them no matter what.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
David Robinson: "Suns fans may whine a little about officiating, I know, I've done it. However we do not have bandwagoners to the extent that the Lakers do, our fans tend to be knowledgeable, and real. We'll stay through the thick and thin and love them no matter what."

Let me just say it first before the Lakers fans jump back in: this could not be further from the truth.

Blogger bambooboy said...
Just bumping in for my 2 cents here.

Any big market team has a large amount of bandwagoners with no clue. That's why they're a large market team; an enormous amount of people like them. It's intrinsic.


I'm a Laker fan living in so cal, and I can't even turn on my radio without rolling my eyes when I hear some radio DJ talk about how Kobe could make as many points as Lebron if he takes as many shots.

There are people here who really do believe Kobe is infallible. I imagine they're everywhere else to and it can be easy to see why people get annoyed by them. I love Kobe and the team, but I have typically have to zone out in any basketball convos in the area.

Fouls on Hill were retarded. Refereeing is HUGE in basketball and I don't think I can put it any better then Wormboy. It's a god dam discussion board; they're just making convo and pointing out details. No reason to get all defensive.

Links to this post:
Create a Link