sad celtics bench
It's never a good sign when your bench looks like they're
being forced to sit through a Jane Austin movie.

Joe Crawford , Derrick Stafford , Joe Derosa: They are who we thought they were.

Over the past couple weeks, when people have asked for my predictions about a Celtics-Lakers Finals, my answer was this: I don't know what the outcome will be, but it will probably depend on how the officials call the games. The Lakers are a skill team and the Celtics are -- as Phil Jackson put it -- a "smackdown" team. Those are slight over-generalities, of course, but that's pretty much how it is.

Anyway, games that are called tightly favor skilled teams. Physical games favor the smackdown-style teams. That's how it is and how it always will be. A few hours before game time, I texted this to my buddy Craig at The Association (a pro-Lakers blog). When I laid this theory on him, his reply was: "Joey Crawford tonight...EVERYONE fouls out, the game goes five hours long."

It wasn't quite that bad, but it was too close for my tastes. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest all got called for two quick fouls. So did Ray Allen. Ray finished with 5 fouls in only 27 minutes, the last of which...well, we'll get to that. At any rate, I much prefer NBA Finals games where the officials let the players play, and not just because that probably would have benefited the Celtics. Just because, damn, man, it's the freaking Finals, not Swan Lake.

The Boston Celtics: The Celts were behind the eight ball pretty much from the start because of how the game was called. Look back at their last two series against Cleveland and Orlando. While they weren't all-out bloodbaths, the refs allowed the teams to be extremely physical...and the Cavaliers and Magic found out it's pretty hard to out-tough the Celtics. Heck, even their series with the Heat in the first round got a little rough.

That wasn't the case last night. Bumps and touches were being called from the onset. The Celtics weren't able to switch gears from Smach My Bitch Up to U Can't Touch This. And you know what? I think Doc Rivers must have predicted that would happen, especially after Phil Jackson started playing his little mindgames with the press earlier in the week. Boston looked like a team that had been instructed to keep it cool, keep it under control. They approached the first half with a very business-like intensity. Which means you can officially strike the "intensity" part out of that last sentence.

Bill Simmons did a live blog of the game, and he felt the Celtics didn't bring it. He didn't like their body language. I didn't either, but I really believe that Boston's too-calm demeanor was part of Doc's game plan. Remember how he was complaining about how he just knew Kendrick Perkins was going to end up with another tech (and therefore a one-game suspension) in this series? My guess is that he preached too much about composure and poise...because the C's didn't look like the chew-em-up and spit-em-out team from the last couple rounds. That's their game, and they didn't play it.

The sad thing is, Boston didn't ramp up the intensity until they were down 20 and Doc subbed in Nate Robinson, who apparently was the only Celtic with a pulse last night. IMHO, Rivers should have put Robinson in sooner. Forget his stats, the team needed his spark. Maybe he could have been like a shot of 5-Hour energy to the sleepwalking Celtics.

What got me is that the C's didn't take advantage of some early breaks. Due to a couple quick whistles on Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic came off the bench two minutes into the game. Luke Walton and Shannon Brown were in the game at the same time. At one point, the Lakers were using a backcourt of Jordan Farmar and Fisher. That should have been blood in the water to the Celtics...but they just kept playing their game instead of stepping it up to take advantage of these situations as they unfolded. And they paid for it.

The Celtics shot poorly (43 percent from the field, 1-for-10 on threes). When a team has a poor shooting night in the Finals (or any other time), they absolutely must a) get to the free throw line and b) crash the glass. Well, Boston got to the line, where they were 30-for-36. What they did not do was take care of the boards. L.A. outrebounded them 42-31, including 12-8 on the offensive end. Hell, Gasol finished with as many O-boards as the entire Celtics squad. That killed. So did the Lakes' 16-0 advantage in second-chance points.

Boston in the paint: I already read off the rebounding numbers -- although I didn't specifically mention the Lakers' 34.2 to 21 advantage in Offensive Rebounding Percentage -- but L.A. also outscored Boston 48-30 in the paint (thanks largely to Gasol's 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting). But it was more than that. The Celtics were only 12-for-27 (44 percent) at the rim. By contract, the Lakers were 19-for-34 (56 percent). L.A. was also 5-for-9 inside 10 feet. Mind you, they were only 6-for-17 from 16-23 feet and 4-for-10 from downtown.

In other words, the Celtics needed to force the Lakers into more jump shots. And they probably would have in a more physical game. But that obviously wasn't happening.

Speaking of which, I just love how various experts and (especially) Lakers fans exploded out of the woodwork to bleat "See?! Pau Gasol isn't soft!!" And you know, that happens a few times every year. But you'll also notice that Gasol always seems to get "tough" in games where the officials are calling it tightly. I wonder how "tough" Pau would have been if the refs were calling last night's game the way they were calling the Celtics-Magic series. Let's just say I have a feeling people wouldn't be so quick to nominate him for the Pantheon of NBA Tough Guys. Pau is the same player today he was yesterday. He's an extremely skilled player, and he's going to dominate in a skill game. In a wrasslin' match? Not so much.

Speaking of Gasol...

Invisible muggers: I can't stand Pau Gasol. And that's not an "I hate the Lakers" thing. I've always disliked him, going back to his days with the Grizzlies. I respect his skills, admire his game, but I cannot stand him. And, really, it's all the flailing and screaming. Every time he goes for an offensive rebound, he screams and flails. Pau sometimes does the same thing on defense, like that sequence last night when he hugged Kevin Garnett from behind and then flailed, screamed and fell over.

For years, I assumed this was because Gasol was a bit of a bitch. But now I get it: He is under constant attack by invisible muggers. They are always around him, lifting his wallet, smacking him in the face, yanking his chest hair, clipping him in the nuts. He can't control it and he can't stop it. Those invisible muggers are tormenting him all the time. But, somehow, miraculously, Gasol plays through it. And plays well I might add. I'm sorry for hating you, Pau.

Damn those invisible muggers. Damn them to hell.

Boston's starters: As tweeted by J.E. Skeets: "Ray Allen: No threes. KG: Four rebounds. Paul Pierce: 11 shots. Perk: Four rebounds. The Lakers disassembled all of 'em." H/T Dan B.)

Ray Allen's fifth foul: I recently read that George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg want to make a fifth Indiana Jones movie. Maybe it's because they just have more Indiana Jones stories to tell before Ford is confined to a wheelchair, or maybe it's because they want to get the nasty-ass taste of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull out of their mouths. I don't know.

What I do know is this: Every Indiana Jones flick needs a MacGuffin. That's the thing that Indy has to search for...basically the entire point of the movie. Well, after watching that mystery whistle against Ray-Ray last night, I am officially nominating Allen's fifth foul for the role of MacGuffin in the next Indiana Jones movie. If he can find that, it truly will be Indy's greatest adventure.

Kendrick Perkins: Perk finished with 8 points and only 3 rebounds in 24 minutes. Only 24 minutes, you say? Yes, only 24 minutes. That's because Perkins is a liability in games where the officials are calling it close. Kendrick is built for kicking ass, not kissing it, and his value falls dramatically when he's not allowed to muscle people. Plus, he's not a threat to shoot the ball outside of three feet, and the Lakers know that. Therefore, when he's in the game, his man can wander around, clog the paint and harass any Celtic who dares to attack the rim...which is why Rajon Rondo kept getting his shit stuffed on those few occasions he actually journeyed intot he paint. Speaking of which...

Rajon Rondo: His numbers -- 13 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds -- aren't too far off his regular season stats. But Rondo wasn't himself. He wasn't aggressive. I guess you could credit Kobe's defense, but Rondo was actually worse in the second half (only 3 points) when other players were guarding him. Every move, every pass, seemed telegraphed, like he was operating on a two-second delay.

Said Rondo: "They did a good job of collapsing when I did get inside. They're very long. Fish is very clever. He took a charge on me one time. They did a great job of mixing it up. I've got to sometimes attack, make the refs make the call and other times get it out to our shooters."

In other words, do what you usually do? Yeah, I agree.

Kevin Garnett: 35 minutes, 4 rebounds, only 2 on the defensive end. Those are Amar''''''e Stoudemire numbers and that gives me The Sad. You know what else gave me The Sad? Watching KG receive a pass right under the basket for what should have been an easy dunk or layup. Instead, he lost the ball on the way up and knocked it off the bottom of the rim. And after he managed to pull down the offensive board, he airballed the put back attempt. He never looked older...kind of like Harrison Ford in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Rasheed Wallace: A very poorly timed technical foul near the end of the third quarter. I know. What a surprise.

Update! Free taco excitement: Really, Lakers fans? Really? This is game one of the fucking NBA Finals. I hope you bitches choke on your tacos.


Pau Gasol, quote machine: "I knew it was going to be physical. That's a given. After consecutive Finals, we understand the nature of the game. We understand who our rival is, how they play. You've got to compete, and you've got to match that physicality effort of the game to be successful."

Doc Rivers, quote machine: "They were the more physical team by far. They were more aggressive. They attacked us the entire night. I didn't think we handled it very well."

Paul Pierce, quote machine: "You can't ease into the game, especially in the Finals. That's one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA. We've just got to do a better job rebounding the ball, eliminating easy opportunities. When I look up and we've given up 100 points, I haven't seen that in a while."

Chris Rock: Sorry, Chris. Kobe don't want none...he be doin' work.


Unfortunately, Phil Jackson did not ignore you...


Spelling bee protesters: Seriously. Just add this one to the "I really, really, really wish I was making this shit up" file. H/T to Dan B.

Lacktion report: From Chris: "Michael Finley may have not been victorious, but at the very least he can afford a lifetime of cigar imports now after notching himself a 1.9 trillion (1:56)."

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104 Comments:
Blogger BadDave said...
Pierce and Gasol should start a new aspect of All-Star weekend: the flop contest. Judged by Vlade Divac, Reggie Miller and Bruce Bowen.

Also, for the record, you spent over an hour defending Crystal Skull to me. I still don't buy it, and apparently by your post, you don't either. Oh well - if the refs take too much heat for their bs whistles, they can always find sanctuary by throwing themselves in a circa-1940 fridge. They'll come out just fine.

Blogger 49er16 said...
I'll say it again. Besides being out-rebounded, beaten in transition, bullied into foul trouble, and Rondo's disappearance, the Celtics played a great game.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
How about that piece on Doc Rivers hiding cash in the Staples Center, and finding it again 2 years later? Pretty funny stuff, but uh, kinda not the right timing.

Another potential "stat"-curse: Does anyone remember the IHopeRonArtestRuinsTheLaaaakeeeers chant? God has apparently chosen.

Anonymous JM said...
So let me get this straight. When the Celtics are allowed to foul, they are unbeatable, but when they are forced to play basketball, they are very beatable? I know this sounds like a smart-ass comment, but I'm serious. The Celtics' m.o. is to engage in constant, minor, jujitsu-esque fouling, on defense and offense (see Perkins and Garnett on screens), and force the refs to call _all_ of it. Refs, understandably, don't want to turn the game into a foul-fest, so they normally let about half of it go, which is exactly what the Celtics want. They get to disrupt the flow of the other team's offense and only pay for about half of it.

Blogger Dan B. said...
49er16 -- You forgot to mention Kevin Garnett. I'm impressed by the Weekend at Bernie's routine the Celtics are doing with his corpse. You could almost be tricked into believing he's still alive but just sucks at jumping, shooting, rebounding, defending, etc.!

Anonymous Ian said...
I really don't see how Boston is still seen as a "smackdown" team. Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rondo (to an extent, he is pretty tough), Nate Robinson, Rasheed Wallace, Big Baby and Michael Finley are not "smackdown" players, they are all skilled players. KG and Perkins are the only two "smackdown" players on that roster.

The Lakers have Ron Artest and Fisher is pretty tough minded, maybe Bynum when he plays well. They aren't that far away from having just as many "smackdown" players than the Celtics.

The Celtics just played bad, let's not bring the refs into it, yeah they called a lot of fouls but the Celtics had the numbers advantage so that's hardly the reason they were "behind the 8 ball".

Blogger Cortez said...
"...like that sequence last night when he hugged Kevin Garnett from behind and then flailed, screamed and fell over."

Am I the only one who saw that nice swift elbow from Garnett?

In more Garnett news, he looked awful gimpy last night. And that was before the missed layup and putback attempt.

"Sorry, Chris. Kobe don't want none...he be doin' work."

When I saw this, it reminded me of GoodFellas.

"What, do you got me on a fuckin' pay-no-mind list kid?"
~Tommy DeVito

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Numbers: Pau had 8 offensive rebounds, equaling the total number of the entire Celtics team.

The Sad: I'll ammend my offer and say if the 2010 NBA FAgS (Free AGency Summit) actually works and Amare eats his pride to make a super-team, I'll root for that team. Otherwise, it's still the same.

Celtics: Play the entire Game 2 using 2-3 zone. You've got nothing to lose now, it'd be awesome.

Ian: Did you just call Rasheed Wallace a skilled player?!?

Anonymous Ian said...
He shoots 3s, does nothing else at this point of his career. I didn't say he was good at it, but it's what he's brought on for, well that and be an extra 6 fouls.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
http://twitpic.com/1tq7zr

Blogger Michael said...
Given that the Lakers were called for more fouls and the Celtics got to shoot 36 free throws, the Celtics got some benefit from the tight reffing, although certainly some real fouls got missed and some imaginary ones definitely got called.

The Lakers actually can be a pretty physical team, with Bynum, Artest, Fisher, and Kobe, though you are right that Gasol does not seem to like playing physical games. He did, however, hold his ground and outplay Elbowman in last year's finals, so I don't think he is quite the shrinking violet you say he is (I hate the flailing too, though). I just don't think you can pin this entirely on the refs taking the C's supposedly out of their game. I like seeing the players play, but total smackdown basketball kind of sucks. Some actual movement, you know, is enjoyable to see.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Ugh. This is just disgusting:

http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/06/04/source-lebron-james-plans-elaborate-free-agency-tour/

"According to a source with first-hand knowledge of James' plans, the Larry King interview that was shot Tuesday and will air Friday on CNN was only the beginning of his elaborate scheme to draw unprecedented attention to his courting. James, according to the source, is in discussions with Nike to create a new shoe for every visit along his free agent path starting July 1. The shoes would have the date of the visit printed, with James already having scripted his itinerary for the Free Agency Tour 2010."

LeBron is apparently determined to make himself the most unlikeable person in the league.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
While I'd rather see the refs let them play, as long as the officiating is even, I'm okay with it. If you're good, you adjust to a tightly called game. Boston didn't change their style.

Blogger BadDave said...
I find it frustrating when comments are taken out of context. Bawful didn't say "A close game is a sure victory for the Lakers." Nor is he implying the refs are calling it a certain way to favor a team. It's just a simple comment that tightly-called games favor the Fakers, who have better FT and FG percentages and do so with a lot of isolation and exploiting the double-teams that result from that. The Celtics function by scrapping for putbacks, and using motion and screens to get open shots.

JM - the point I just made I use to counter your argument that the Celtics are an all-hacking team. Not that they don't foul, but it's much more of a dynamic of how they run their game plan than just pure physicality.

Cortez - I saw the elbow. I'm sure it hurt. But...acting like he just got smacked by a freight train? Faugh. As Woody Harrelson would say, "Gasol's a jumpy little spitfuck, ain't he? I'm sensing he's a bit of a bitch."

Blogger jce said...
I must admit, these posts are a lot less entertaining when the author's team is playing...and especially when they are losing. The opening jabs about how the game was reffed were particularly eye-rolling. Boston lost because they looked old and tired. That has happened other times these playoffs, and they have broken out of it, but they have simply not played very well three of their last four games.

Blogger Cortez said...
"LeBron is apparently determined to make himself the most unlikeable person in the league."

Don't hate!

James is simply interested in winning CHAMPIONSHIPS!

Anonymous Ian said...
There's no out of context here, I am disagreeing that a tightly called game favors the Lakers because I don't think it does.

Blogger BadDave said...
Correction "Bawful didn't say 'A close-called game...'"

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Am I the only one who saw that nice swift elbow from Garnett?

I did...which was one of many swift elbows thrown by members of both teams.

Now ask yourself: If Kendrick Perkins caught a swift elbow, would he scream, flail and fall over in a heap? Or would he stand up, take it and not even alter his facial expression?

It's the latter, of course, which is why, at the end of the day, Gasol is not a tough player and Perkins is. That's not even me demeaning Gasol...it's just that toughness is a mindset. Perkins has it...in fact has to have it to make up for his relative (to Gasol) lack of skill.

So let me get this straight. When the Celtics are allowed to foul, they are unbeatable, but when they are forced to play basketball, they are very beatable?

Physical basketball and fouling are two different things. If you've played ball at any level, but especially competitive (high school or college, or in tournaments), you should understand what I mean.

Anonymous Ian said...
To add, yeah Gasol flops, a lot. But so does Pierce, I mean every team has a few players that flop around like vaginas whenever they get hit.

It's a discredit to Pau to say that he played anything but great last night, he outrebounded the Celtics offensively, he scored in the paint, hit long 2's, made some great passes. He flops, but that doesn't mean that he isn't tough or the 2nd best player in this series.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Boston didn't change their style.

Pretty sure I said that.

I must admit, these posts are a lot less entertaining when the author's team is playing...and especially when they are losing. The opening jabs about how the game was reffed were particularly eye-rolling.

Your claim seems to be that, by reading this post, you are being forced to view the game through my screen. Isn't it possible you're simply reading the post through yours?

Officiating was first on the agenda because people were talking about it in the comments, on live blogs, etc. I figured I would address it up front because it's what everybody was thinking about. Heck, the guy who runs the Sports Pickle had a hilarious tweet that said something like "Erin Brokovich was inspired to blow the whistle after watching Joey Crawford officiate a game."

It also led into the point I have made in comments, e-mails and in person (such as to Wild Yams) to people who have asked me for my predictions about the series. The post is consistent with my outlook: How the games are officiated will in part dictate the outcome because of the different styles of the teams.

Now, did I say that the officials stole the game? That they cost the Celtics a win? Of course not, and you're being foolish if that's why you're rolling your eyes.

I said the game was called tightly (it was), that it did not play to Boston's style (it didn't), that the Celtics could not adjust away from the way they've been allowed to play for the past three rounds (they couldn't), that they never ramped up their intensity (they didn't) and that, in the final analysis, they got bullied in the paint by the Lakers (they did).

So...where exactly was I off base in my analysis? What's so eye-rolling about that?

The main beef you seem to have is that, what, I'm not heaping enough praise on the Lakers? Is that the problem? Is that what's bugging you?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Here's hoping there's less fouls and free throws in Game 2. 

I disagree with Mr. Bawful about the way the game being called favors one team or the other though, because his theory pre-supposes that the Lakers are "soft" and can't play physical, which I think is patently untrue. Gasol may not be "a tough guy", but the dude isn't soft like he was two years ago. The 2008 beatdown motivated him to work on his toughness, and anyone who's been paying attention these last two years can see that he has. As I said last night, look at the four regular season meetings between Boston and LA the last two years, and look at last year's Finals. You can't just push Gasol around anymore to get him off his game. That doesn't mean he'd no longer prefer to play a finesse game, because that fits his skills and strengths more, but you just can't bully him into submission anymore. To be honest, it looked like KG was being bullied by Pau last night. 

As for the rest of the Lakers, Fisher, Kobe, Artest and Bynum sure aren't gonna be bullied either. I don't know what takes Odom out of his game though, whether it's bullying or something else. He's too unpredictable to know what effects him. 

To me though, the big difference in this series from the 2008 Finals is not a "toughness" adjustment, but rather the freedom Kobe now enjoys. In 08 he had to spend a lot of time and effort trying to help guard Pierce and Ray, while fighting those two guys and James Posey on the other end, and it was too much to ask of any one person. Now with Posey gone, Pierce and Ray two years older, and with Artest to focus on Pierce, Kobe has a much lighter load and can go back to playing his game. If Kobe is able to do that, it gives LA a huge advantage.   

Anonymous Ian said...
I have this theory about Odom that whenever he plays a good game it's because he isn't stoned out of his mind.

Blogger Paul said...
JM said...

So let me get this straight. When the Celtics are allowed to foul, they are unbeatable, but when they are forced to play basketball, they are very beatable? I know this sounds like a smart-ass comment, but I'm serious. The Celtics' m.o. is to engage in constant, minor, jujitsu-esque fouling, on defense and offense (see Perkins and Garnett on screens), and force the refs to call _all_ of it. Refs, understandably, don't want to turn the game into a foul-fest, so they normally let about half of it go, which is exactly what the Celtics want. They get to disrupt the flow of the other team's offense and only pay for about half of it.


Agree with you on both counts, it did seem like a smart ass comment --at first only though--
Upon further review, you are onto something. It'll be interesting to see if all refereeing crews are instructed to keep calling it tight or if we are in for a couple of prison rules cage matches.

Blogger BadDave said...
Yams - I agree with your last paragraph and siagree with your first. The calling of the game does favor teams one way or another. See my above post at 9:37 AM.

A good corollary that might be easier to understand is football. When refs call ticky-tac pass interference calls, teams that have passing-based offenses (especially with 20+ yard routes) get an advantage. When refs call holding tightly, it's easier to stop running offenses.

And one more support for Bawful (hardly a surprise, coming from me, eh) is that his first references to the refs are calling fouls against the Lakers. Favoritism isn't the issue here, just the style of play thats affected by refs.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
LeBron is apparently determined to make himself the most unlikeable person in the league.

If those rumors are true -- and sweet Spiderman's balls I hope they aren't -- then I may have to replace Gunslinger Gil on the Bawful banner...

Blogger Paul said...
6/04/2010 9:29 AM
Blogger Michael said...

The Lakers actually can be a pretty physical team, with Bynum, Artest, Fisher, and Kobe, though you are right that Gasol does not seem to like playing physical games. He did, however, hold his ground and outplay Elbowman in last year's finals


Wow! "Elbowman" I've always wondered if that's a more appropriate nickname for pumaman or LeCrab.
Definitely something to think about every time you see that vid of big baby dancing with Joey Crawford
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIjZvbYPLJw&feature=related

or every time you bring up the underachieving 2010 Cavaliers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
this has to be mentioned as bawful. Apparently the Nets rejected a Beasley for Dooling trade. How far has Beasley fallen when the worst team in the league wont trade a washed-up back-up for the second pick in the draft from 2008. Shake my head.

http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/66979/20100603/nets_turn_down_dooling_deal_for_beasley/

Blogger 49er16 said...
@Dan B

As Bruce Arthur said last night on Twitter, LeBron has quickly become a comprehensive douchebag.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful: Whoa, I read that as "Gunslinger Girl" and got really confused at the random anime reference. Ugh, I'm lame.

Anyways, I say get your photoshop guy to make a mashup picture of all the previous LeBron photoshops in different team uniforms. Like you know how they sell those half-n-half jerseys, or the reversible ones? Make LeBron's split into like 6 vertical sections.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also, a quick point of clarification regarding the skill versus physical descriptions of the two teams. I know Lakers fans are getting their panties in a bunch about that, but I'm not saying the Lakers can't play physical (to a certain extent) nor (conversely) that the Celtics are a bunch of skill-less thugs (a thought that doesn't seem to have offended Lakers fans quite as much I noticed).

But the Lakers lean more towards a skilled team and the Celtics are more physical. Those are the styles they play. Tell ya what. If the officiating crews change and the Lakers win an out-and-out slugfest, then fine, ya got me. Until then...

Blogger Cortez said...
"Now ask yourself: If Kendrick Perkins caught a swift elbow, would he scream, flail and fall over in a heap?"

Depends on how hard he got hit. I've seen Perkins on the ground plenty of times.

"Or would he stand up, take it and not even alter his facial expression?"

His facial expression always looks as if someone took a shit inside his shoe so not changing his facial expression means little, if anything.

Plus, he would save his sissy bitchfit for 5 seconds later after the contact when he would whine and complain. Similar to my youngest son when his brother takes the Wii remote.

In my opinion, neither one of those fruits are 'tough'. One of them just happens to look the part.

My primary point is that Gasol got hit with an obvious elbow and fell.

"But...acting like he just got smacked by a freight train?"

A few days ago, getting hit by an (intentional) elbow seemed to be the equivalent to wayward trains randomly entering the hardwood ramming into players.

I'm a bit confused.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, trying to play tough guy and absorb punishing blows from moving players well over 200 pounds will get you hurt.

Despite the common colloquialism that seems to be really popular these days, basketball isn't a 'contact' sport. The fact the contact happens doesn't make it a contact sport.

Garnett clearly hit him with an elbow and Gasol fell.

Now don't get me wrong, Gasol's game is certainly 'soft', but these complaints about flopping are baseless at times.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
A few days ago, getting hit by an (intentional) elbow seemed to be the equivalent to wayward trains randomly entering the hardwood ramming into players.

I'm a bit confused.


If you're confused, it's because you're trying to be. I've always made a distinction between elbows that whistle around the head and neck region and the body-blow elbows that happen constantly. Mind you, I don't like any elbows in general, but the ones that are leveled in the head/neck areas are the ones I tend to rail against.

Garnett clearly hit him with an elbow and Gasol fell.

The elbow didn't knock Gasol down. He flailed and flopped.

Blogger Viscant said...
Just throwing out another voice disagreeing with bawful's assessment of what type of game favors the Lakers.

A game where the refs swallow their whistles favors every single Laker starter except for Gasol. Ever since Bynum collapsed Gerald Wallace's lung a year an a half ago and almost killed him, the rest of the league has started noticing what Lakers fans knew all along: Bynum leads the league in "getting his money's worth" on fouls and is a borderline dirty player. I don't think anyone is questioning Bynum's toughness or what style of game he would prefer to play. Then we have Ron Artest. Enough said. The toughness and physical style of the Lakers guards shouldn't be in question either; a physical game is basically Fisher's only chance at playing defense anymore since he has no speed to his game whatsoever. The only times he's effective is when he's allowed to knee, grab and shoulder check his opponent into submission.

Plus you have to consider what happens when the Lakers get foul trouble. If Fisher/Artest/Kobe get foul trouble, that means more minutes for Farmar/Brown/Vujacic/Walton, which is never a good thing.

I know that the easy narrative is that the Celtics are the big bad bullies and the Lakers are the charmin-soft pretty boys who can't take a punch, but other than Gasol (and that's highly debatable since he beat Dwight Howard at his own game last year) it doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ Dan B

I'm fine with Lebron doing his dog and pony show. What pisses me off is he's doing it during the finals like an attention starved kid jumping up and down screaming "look at me damn it!". Douchebaggery on an epic scale.

@ Basketbawful

Perkins wouldn't flop. But he would scream at the ref for not calling it and then earn a T. I'd prefer the flop at that point.

I'm the first guy to say Gasol is made from the same substance that Gumby is made from, however he actually tried last night. He wasn't tough but he put in effort. Since his bones are apparently made from wicker that's all I can ask from him. Will he continue to play this? I have no fucking idea.

I doubt it was Doc Rivers plan for the Celtics to be less aggressive. I get that he may have taken perkins aside and told him to cool it a little but not the entire team. I think the Celtics saw the Lakers play phoenix and expected them to be just as soft (I admit I kinda expected it too). They were sorely mistaken and the Lakers swallowed them whole, kinda like this:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/barnowlhorror.gif

Gross.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Physical basketball and fouling are two different things."

Most of the time (defensively) "physical basketball" means you are simply getting away with committing fouls.

Blogger Adam said...
AnacondaHL: I uh....I misread that as Gunslinger Girl too at first. We can be lame together. (Though it was a good series.)

I've been saying since 08 which was my first real exposure to a champion level Celtics team (I was too young to care back in the 80s) that a great portion of the vaunted Celtics defense is not getting called for fouls. I'm just as sick of hearing about their damn "toughness" as much as I'm sick of hearing about the Lakers' "length".

Blogger jce said...
What's eye-rolling is that it is the *very* *first* thing you mention, and mention it repeatedly, yet it honestly isn't the main reason they lost. They lost because they had no intensity and frankly looked old. And no, I don't expect you to heap praise on the Lakers...I have no rooting interest whatsoever. In fact, pretty much every team I have wanted to win a series has managed to lose this year.

Blogger Cortez said...
"If you're confused, it's because you're trying to be"

Really? Let's see why someone would have bit of confusion...

[you] "Mind you, I don't like any elbows in general..."

So, your primary point seems to be that since you have a 80/20 regional split on when you rail against elbows I should assume that you think elbows body shots are a-ok?

Thanks for clearing that up for me. My purposeful delusions get the best of me sometimes.

"The elbow didn't knock Gasol down. He flailed and flopped."

Nun-uh! The elbow knocked him down!

NAH-NA-NA-NA-NA!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Perkins wouldn't flop. But he would scream at the ref for not calling it and then earn a T.

Can't argue there. Dude needs to learn to shut his mouth.

I'm the first guy to say Gasol is made from the same substance that Gumby is made from, however he actually tried last night. He wasn't tough but he put in effort..

He certainly did, and I think his offensive rebounding was a real key in the Lakers' win. Someone recently compared Gasol to McHale in the post, which I think is a bit of a stretch, but the area they SHOULD have compared them in was in the way the both attacked the offensive glass and kept the ball up high for a putback. McHale feasted on that, and Gasol does too.

Again, while I detest Gasol for his screaming and floppery (not to mention his ridiculous posing after an "And 1" that was probably the result of his verbal flopping), I love his skill set and have him ranked as the best all-around big man in the game. He's not the defensive force Pumanman is, but he has every offensive skill you'd want from a big man, he rebounds extremely well (as long as the refs aren't letting opponents rough him up), he has a very high bball IQ and he's also very good (if not great) on the defensive end.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Adam: If by "good series" you mean "just another one of the many many animes that starts promising and gets steadily and consistently worse, and somehow gets a 2nd season and keeps getting worse" then yes, it was a good series, haha.

Uh, anyways, back to basketball...

Re: LeBron - Would anyone here even be surprised, that if this series goes to 7, the day before that game LeBron officially announces the team or teams that he is targeting? Ughh.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Someone recently compared Gasol to McHale in the post..."

McHale is calling his legal team right now or loading his shotguns.

This travesty cannot and will not stand!

A bit of a stretch is quite an understatement.

Someone once asked McHale how Antoine Walker compared to Bird in Celtic history. McHale looked as if the question came from a space alien then told the guy Walker couldn't carry Bird's jock strap.

This Gasol/McHale statement is the equivalent of that nonsense.

Anonymous Marylander said...
This "tough toughness whoistougher?" talk is gonna be a distraction for Celts. Expect more Ts for Celtic players next game.

Blogger Paul said...
6/04/2010 10:07 AM
Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm not saying the Lakers can't play physical (to a certain extent) nor (conversely) that the Celtics are a bunch of skill-less thugs (a thought that doesn't seem to have offended Lakers fans quite as much I noticed).

Laker fan here, and I'm here to confirm your assumption.
I take no offense on you calling the Cs a bunch of skill-less thugs.



Basketbawful said...
Tell ya what. If the officiating crews change and the Lakers win an out-and-out slugfest, then fine, ya got me. Until then...

I'm sure the next games will be called a little more loosely.
Your theory is about to be proved right/wrong.



Basketbawful said..
The main beef you seem to have is that, what, I'm not heaping enough praise on the Lakers? Is that the problem? Is that what's bugging you?

Bawful has never been characterized for praising any team. Quite the contrary, mocking and highlighting fail has been it's trademark.
I believe that what jce was trying to convey is that we've been spoiled by you. Regardless of whose team wins or loses we we've always been treated to a great dose of laughter to start our days.

Today's post offered the always appreciated dose of in depth analysis but perhaps lacked a little bit of your trade mark sense of humor.

At any rate, not complaining here. Your work is always appreciated.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Today's post offered the always appreciated dose of in depth analysis but perhaps lacked a little bit of your trade mark sense of humor.

To be fair, it's hard to bring the lulz when you just watched your favorite team shit the bed for several hours.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Today's post offered the always appreciated dose of in depth analysis but perhaps lacked a little bit of your trade mark sense of humor.

But...but...invisible muggers! Indiana Jones references! Links to videos by Prodigy and M.C. Hammer!!

Damn it. I knew I should have included one more penis joke...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
So, your primary point seems to be that since you have a 80/20 regional split on when you rail against elbows I should assume that you think elbows body shots are a-ok?

Well, despite your best efforts to hide it, I know you're a smart guy. And we both know that every basketball player in this league throws 'bows, right? Do I complain about it every single game, every single night? Nope. Basketbawful would be 27 times longer if I did.

Therefore, the elbows that catch my greatest ire, and I really do doubt this escaped your notice, are the ones that whack people up top. Those are the most dangerous, careless elbows. And typically, for that reason, they're more rare than the others (if only because players can't get away with them as easily, because they're more dangerous).

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Basketball

Calm down. I agree with you on the point that Boston didn't change their style. Sorry your horse in this race broke its leg and was shot after Game 1.

I'm not sure I agree with you on the point of a tightly called game favoring the Lakers. If the officiating is a little more loose and called evenly, then Kobe, Artest, and Fisher can play chest-to-chest, force some turnovers (Boston's secret weakness outside of rebounding), and push the ball.

We saw a little bit of this in the third quarter when the refs briefly put their whistles away. Of course, some might chalk that quarter up to Boston's lack of intensity after being put through a tightly called first half. Keep in mind, Gasol played poorly in Game 6 of the Suns series (a "let them play" game), and if not for Vujachick, that could have been a blowout. So while a physical game doesn't favor Gasol, he only needs to outplay KG for the Lakers to win (which he can do regardless of style since KG is injured).

Garnett's knee is fucked up. He's hiding an injury, and it may cost the Celtics this series. He had a week off and still hobbled around most of the game (although he knows how to cover it up pretty well). I mean Rasheed played better D on Gasol than Garnett, so you know something is wrong.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ AnacondaHL

Either that or Lebron may start a reality show like the bachelor based on choosing a new team. I can't wait to see the Clippers rep cry when he doesn't get the rose and making awkward comments like:

"I thought Lebron and I had something....something special. I guess its just like a guy from the clippers to put his heart out and have it smashed to a million pieces. We had good times, like the time Lebron said he was giving the Clippers serious consideration, that was great. Despite all this though..I...I...I still love you Lebron". Then he shuffles off to drown his sorrows in vitamin water laced with arsenic.

Blogger Adam said...
Anaconda: Actually, I thought the first season ended excellently, but a lot of it depends on what one was trying to get out of the series. The first episode is probably the least representative of what the story is all about. The second season...well, the less said about that the better. Anyway, off topic.

Bawful: I, for one, enjoyed the invisible muggers and music references.

WV: "reani"
Boston played like a bunch of "reani"mated corpses last night.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't sweat the refs. You still have your 38-10 free throw game coming up at home.

Blogger Dan B. said...
and M.C. Hammer!!

I'm still trying to figure out a way to incorporate "Stop! Hammertime!" into conversation at some point today.

Your post had plenty of stuff in it that made me laugh, but it's basically impossible for the overall tone to not be pretty somber after an ass-kicking like that.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I forgot to put this in the post, and I wish I had video, but at one point the female sideline reporter was blah-blah-blahing about something when right behind her Brian Scalabrine was stretching...presumably to stay limber in case he was (snicker) called upon. He gave the camera two nice (and by "nice" I mean "holy hell, why?!") butt shots before the cameraman wisely panned away.

Blogger Paul said...
Dan B. said...
To be fair, it's hard to bring the lulz when you just watched your favorite team shit the bed for several hours

Technically they only shit the bed for 48 minutes. But yeah, those damn referees made the bed shitting last for hours.

@Bawful
BTW, did you manage to watch the Perkins interview on "NBA media availability day" ?

I can't quote him because I can't find the damn vid anymore.
But he was asked how would the Celtics D deal with Kobe Bryant.
He said something along the lines of
"Well, we've dealt with Wade and Lebron in the previous rounds.

With Kobe is a little different --easier-- because he doesn't drive the lane. He is mainly a jump shooter.

At the time I was like, huh?
Knowing that Bryant no longer has the speed or the lift he once had, are they trying to bait him into taking his man of the dribble to then rough him up in the paint?

It turned out to be an open invitation, I remember watching Bryant blowing past his defender (before whistle blowing fest got jump started) two or three times in the first quarter with zero help from the defensive big man (Perkins). I wonder if he still thinks Bryant is just a jump shooter.

Blogger BadDave said...
Dan B - I believe you just did. Of course, Joey Crawford worked it in about every 20 seconds last night with his whistle.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
It turned out to be an open invitation, I remember watching Bryant blowing past his defender (before whistle blowing fest got jump started) two or three times in the first quarter with zero help from the defensive big man (Perkins). I wonder if he still thinks Bryant is just a jump shooter.

I didn't see Perk's interview, but on Kobe's very first drive you could tell the Celtics were operating under the assumption that Kobe was going to shoot jumpers almost exclusively. In fact, I believe Mamba had a couple running one-handers off drives in the second half that also caught the defense off guard. It was a good, smart adjustment to what the Lakers had to assume would be the Boston strategy.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Well, despite your best efforts to hide it, I know you're a smart guy."

Not trying hard enough apparently! You're seem to be overestimating me greatly.

No worries, I'll keep trying to sink lower into the stupidity pit.

I have issues.

...and plenty of company!

"And we both know that every basketball player in this league throws 'bows, right?"

Wrong. I don't know that.

I've never seen Nash throw any elbows. And even if he did, I would need to see physical evidence of him throwing a elbow at a defender simply moving into proper defensive position.

"Therefore, the elbows that catch my greatest ire..."

As I pointed out before, your personal ire based on your regional split criteria wasn't (and isn't) my issue.

Nor was the relative danger probabilities of face vs body shots.

In fact, looking back at my post, the comment I made about that issue wasn't even connected to anything you had said today.

I was pointing out my disagreement with the 'flop' call when everyone who saw the replay has agreed that Garnett hit him with an elbow and he fell.

If hit hard enough, people tend to fall from getting hit by elbows. It looked to me as if he was hit hard enough to fall.

"Therefore, the elbows that catch my greatest ire, and I really do doubt this escaped your notice, are the ones that whack people up top"

Your selective ire has very little, if anything, to do with my point.

I see the topic of elbows seems to make you grouchy lil' camper.

Next time I'll make an attempt to not comment.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I see the topic of elbows seems to make you grouchy lil' camper.

Next time I'll make an attempt to not comment.


Not at all. That's simply your interpretation, which is understandable given a conversation free of body language, facial expression, etc. ...maybe I should include little smiley face emoticons in my responses so you'll be able to correctly gauge my level of grouchy camper-ness. :) :) :)

Did that help? :D

Your selective ire has very little, if anything, to do with my point.

Very little if anything? :) :)

Ah, but I was responding to this comment by you...

A few days ago, getting hit by an (intentional) elbow seemed to be the equivalent to wayward trains randomly entering the hardwood ramming into players.

I'm a bit confused.


...which spawned a tangential talking point, something that often happens in comment sections. Which, again, I'm quite certain you realize. But calling me a grouchy camper sure makes me look awful silly and makes a great closing point, even if it has very little, if anything, to do with anything. :) :) :)

Didn't see this mentioned in the post (which doesn't mean it wasn't there - and which also doesn't mean it should've been there) but when Doris Burke was courtside talking to Chris Rock, Phil Jackson apparently came near and cursed out Chris for having his feet on the court, or something to that effect. It was hard to tell, but it was not "Hey, I'm Phil Jackson, nice to meet you Chris. Oh, hi Doris." It was "Get the fuck off the goddamn court you goddamn sumbitch! Didn't you see what I did to Matt Damon two years ago? Oh, hi Doris."

Also, Simmons' courtside coveritlive business was pretty entertaining commentary I thought. I wonder if the pre-game went like this: "Huh, should I do a running commentary on twitter? Fuck it, we'll do it live."

And, uh, for what it's worth, I, too, noticed a certain somber attitude to the post but, ya know, whatever, who gives a shit. If my team got shit-kicked in game one of the NBA Finals, I'd probably be less than chipper. I honestly think the general response to it has been neutral (perhaps cold, even) because we know you're a Boston guy and so we take everything from that perspective. But if we knew you were, say, a Phoenix guy, or a San Antonio guy, I have a feeling the post wouldn't be read in the same light by all of us.

So, um, keep on keepin' on?

Blogger Cortez said...
"Ah, but I was responding to this comment by you..."

I specifically quoted who I was responding to with my wayward trains statement. Other people weighed in on that topic in that thread as well. That comment was centered around the fact that thrown elbows can pack some significant force.

I get your point though.

"But calling me a grouchy camper sure makes me look awful silly and makes a great closing point, even if it has very little, if anything, to do with anything."

So...I win, right?

Yes! I'm special boy, just like mom said!

xoxox

Blogger winnetou said...
I'm surprised there wasn't a mention of the familiar "we want tacos!" chant in the late fourth quarter, which was probably the most disappointing moment for me.
Not very classy, Staples Center crowd. It was the opening game of the Finals, not some meaningless regular season game.. :(

And I'd like to nominate the Simple Minds' "don't you (forget about me)" as the soundtrack of the freeagent bonanza, especially after reading about James' interview and tour.

Blogger Cortez said...
Last comment (to the general public)

I'm a life-long Celtics fan.

Go figure.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yes! I'm special boy, just like mom said!

xoxox


I love you too.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
First, how did Michael Finley not get a WOTN haha. He was in there for about 2 minutes and conceded two open lay ups.

Second, the only person on the Celtics team that can handle a more physical game is Perkins. But a more physical game would pretty much guarantee him being suspended for a double technical. Garnett is not himself and hasn't been since the Cleveland series. Even then he was not too convincing. Basically he punked antawn jamison and that's about it. Mike Brown didn't even play Verajao that much. Also during the Orlando series he wasn't exactly shutting down people in the paint. His defense was great on the pick and roll, but Rashard Lewis was really never going to hurt him. I think the Lakers understand at this point ot not run the pick and roll with the big man KG is defending. In terms of physicality, I don't think Ray Allen is a bruiser...especially against Kobe. Same goes for Fisher over Rondo. Allowing a more physical game would only hurt Pierce whose already being hounded on by Artest. This just seems like a last grasp at an excuse for why the celtics lost last night, when really the Celtics haven't had a convincing win over the Lakers since Game 6 of the 2008 finals.

What really took away the Celtics' advantage over the Lakers is losing James Posey and PJ Brown. Defensively and from a physical stand point, those two are two of the best at their positions.

Anonymous dak said...
I thought Ray Allen's fifth foul was for tapping/smacking Kobe Bryant in the stomach while Bryant was putting up a jump shot? It's one of those pick-up moves that can throw your shot way off despite being light contact. Something you can't call a foul without having your manhood questioned.

It's also a classic example of quantum entanglement in the NBA: the foul is only called because the basket is missed, despite the fact that this runs against our intuitive understanding of space, time, and causality.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yes! I'm special boy, just like mom said!

Yea, we all know, Delonte West told us already.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I only heard 2 quarters of the game on the radio, but it seemed like Nate Robinson was causing problems for LAL. This is backed up by his team-best +/- of +10.

Those of you who watched: was that just a result of Nate being aggressive? Is Rondo going to be able to take a cue from that and figure things out next game, or should Nate get more (like 20-24) minutes?

Also, those of you watching the game on TV might want to mute the volume and turn on the radio for commentary. Dr. Jack Ramsey and Hubie Brown were at eachother the whole time like a couple of cackling old hags at the local stitch-n-bitch.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Lebronerview: Is he an a-hole for essentially promoting himself during the Finals? His timing is good for him and the NBA to some degree, but it all seems a little too self-promotey.

There's a reason why Lebiz's first sit-down was with Larry King. If interviews were like baseball, Larry would be the pitcher at a home run derby.

Blogger Paul said...
winnetou said...

I'm surprised there wasn't a mention of the familiar "we want tacos!" chant in the late fourth quarter, which was probably the most disappointing moment for me.
Not very classy, Staples Center crowd. It was the opening game of the Finals, not some meaningless regular season game.. :(


Basically unless you are a Laker fan you will never know the true meaning of "We want tacos"

It actually has several meanings depending who is on the receiving end of a taco night.
The staple crow could careless about a couple of free tacos.

I've been to several taco nights and not once I've redeemed my taco vouchers. Matter fact I don't know of any game attendant that ever has.

Literally a taco night is when the Lakers break the 100 mark and the opposing team doesn't.
But it goes a little beyond that, if your team gets tacoed it means that the Lakers were by almost every measuring metric a superior team.

The bottom feeders of the league normally get tacoed on very consistent basis.
But when a contender (like the Celtics) gets tacoed, the Laker crowd loves rubbing it on.
Pretty much a "You ain't different than the New Jersey Nets" per say.

And the players know it.
Visiting teams will try to avoid getting "Tacoed" at all costs.
Even if losing by double digits they will always try to break the 100 mark.
It's actually very funny, and I've personally witnessed this at least 4 times this season.

So next time you hear the Laker faithful chanting "We want tacos" think of it as "Your team sucks, they're a bunch of fags and we owned their arses"

Hope I shed some light in the whole Taco thing ;)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I only heard 2 quarters of the game on the radio, but it seemed like Nate Robinson was causing problems for LAL. This is backed up by his team-best +/- of +10.

Nate didn't do much, I'm not sure he even hit a shot, but he was totally fired up and aggressive. It breathed a little life into the Celtics and helped them escape what was turning into an ugly blowout. They probably would have lost by 30 if he hadn't come in when he did.

It was kind of funny watching him sprint downcourt with the ball, pull up and just WANT to take the shot but not do it. His every instinct was crying SHOOOOOOOOOT IT!! but apparently Doc taught him to stifle that urge.

At any rate, unlike Rondo, Nate actually pushed the ball and played aggressively...which is what the Lakers' bench did for them in the first and second quarters....what benches are supposed to do, provide energy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
”I can't stand Pau Gasol. And that's not an "I hate the Lakers" thing. I've always disliked him, going back to his days with the Grizzlies. I respect his skills, admire his game, but I cannot stand him. And, really, it's all the flailing and screaming. Every time he goes for an offensive rebound, he screams and flails. Pau sometimes does the same thing on defense, like that sequence last night when he hugged Kevin Garnett from behind and then flailed, screamed and fell over.

For years, I assumed this was because Gasol was a bit of a bitch.”

You can say the same for Paul "Wheelchair" Pierce

Blogger BadDave said...
72 posts later, and it's back to what I basically commented at the first post. It's a small world.

I really just posted to give AnacondaHL his props for the comment from Delonte. You win.

Blogger Will said...
"How about that piece on Doc Rivers hiding cash in the Staples Center, and finding it again 2 years later?"
Anaconda- They said that he planted the cash after their game in LA earlier this season. I wonder if there were any Staples Center employees kicking themselves for not finding the money.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
They said that he planted the cash after their game in LA earlier this season. I wonder if there were any Staples Center employees kicking themselves for not finding the money.

Forget that...like JVG said, I bet Brian Scalabrine is kicking himself for not finding it.

Anonymous avoozl said...
So next time you hear the Laker faithful chanting "We want tacos" think of it as "Your team sucks, they're a bunch of fags and we owned their arses"

Oh, well, that changes everything. That's extremely classy. Almost as classy in victory as they are in defeat. ;)

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ avoozl

There are no classy fans. There are simply some fans that are more dickish than others.

I myself love watching shitty teams scramble to avoid being taco'd.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Ah Ferry resigned. Who's going to to replace his nose up Lebron's ass?

Blogger Ash said...
As a person who has been to many Laker games, I concur with the whole "we want tacos" isn't about getting free tacos.

It's more about having something to cheer for long after we've put the game away for good.

See ya'll in game two!

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Re: Chris Rock-

Once again, does anyone else find it somewhat curious that he is NEVER seen in the same place as Aaron Brooks?

Hmm

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Ah Ferry resigned. Who's going to to replace his nose up Lebron's ass?

Ah, watch the Crabs scramble to keep their King.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ Basketbawful

How much more humiliation do you think the Cavs will heap on to themselves in order to keep Lebron happy? Are we talking about Dan Gilbert dressing up as Marilyn Monroe and singing happy birthday Mr president to Lebron or are we talking about something darker as in the Cav's staff presenting the severed heads of past Cavs teammates to Lebron as a tribute?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
How much more humiliation do you think the Cavs will heap on to themselves in order to keep Lebron happy? Are we talking about Dan Gilbert dressing up as Marilyn Monroe and singing happy birthday Mr president to Lebron or are we talking about something darker as in the Cav's staff presenting the severed heads of past Cavs teammates to Lebron as a tribute?

IMHO, they will do anything -- ANYTHING -- to keep LeBron. I'm sure poor Gilbert would consent to blowing King Crab if it came to that. In fact, almost every franchise in the league is in line for LeBron's cockmeat sandwich. It's crazy...literally crazy...it's like watching a group of old ladies fighting over a winning lottery ticket.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Ah, watch the Crabs scramble to keep their King

Isn't it sad, and a little pathetic? The worst part is that Cleveland really has tried their asses off to give 'Bron what he needs to win. There really haven't been any trades or moves where management just gave a big "F-U" to the fans or LeBron. They've played ball, they've said "how high" when LB says "jump", and look where it's gotten them.

When LeDouche goes to the highest bidder in the best market where "his team" decides it is best for him, it will be a slap in the fucking face for a fan base, a city, and an organization that has kissed his royal butt cheeks since the moment he was drafted.

And the worst of it is, that at this point, even if he does what is 'right' and stays in CLE, he will have lost many fans because of his preening and ego-maniacal media masturbation.

So seriously, go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, LeBron. Have Nike make a shoe that commemorates every time you have a bowel movement on your golden toilet.

You have made MIKE BROWN look like a sympathetic character. Congratulations, and have fun at the FAgS.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I can see the Celtics taking game 2. That is all.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
So first we have Heretic and his reality TV show analogy, which of course would be followed up by the requisite obligatory sex tape leak (oh God Sterling noooooooooooo)

But rather than go with the fight over a lottery ticket analogy, I'd move it towards the crazy desperate girlfriend analogy, doing anything to keep the relationship together. Dare I mention it, but perhaps Cleveland is unwravelling like a Taco Bell NBA Franchise. Like, what will she offer to do next; anal?

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ Basketbawful

Sigh. I have no love for the Cavs but I had hoped that there was a limit to the crap they would go through for the king. You just confirmed my worst fears, if Lebron says in passing "I really hate croissants", the Cavs and the other teams would be in a race to bomb France first.

@ AK Dave

Any other city I would agree with you about the fan base. But Cleveland sucks on all sports fronts. They literally have nothing. So Lebron could set the rock n roll hall of fame on fire and piss on the firefighters that come to put it out and the fans would say "Well the place sucked anyway and the those firemen kinda deserved it". Sports pride simply does not reside in Cleveland.

@ AnacondaHL

I think Cleveland passed the anal stage when Lebron in the presence of Cav's officials said "If you guys want to go to sleep right now and not wake up until July 1, 2010, then go ahead because it’s going to be a big day". Right now they're at the crazy desperate ex girlfriend offering to let you fist her ass while she's dressed in clown costume and reciting the Gettysburg address stage.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Heretic:

I'm not a Cleveland fan, but I do know a lot of them (having lived in Ohio for a few years... I know... I got out), and they are extremely loyal and die-hard. I mean, their teams suck balls but they still go to see the Browns like a bunch of suckers every year.

Anyway, Art Modell will be public enemy #2 by the time this is all over, and really, I think it's a shame, especially since LeBron is a home-grown talent who teased CLE by ALMOST getting them a major sports title, only to (almost certainly) run off to a bigger market. Kinda like the girl next door coming over and sneaking into your window for quickies during high school, only to have her run off with a tennis pro and never talk to you again in college. Yeah you hit that, but now someone else has it on lock-down. Sad face.

Blogger BigFire said...
Since there were people asking for replay of the Garnett fail lay-up and bobbled rebound, hree's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0fNe6JaSbI

Blogger jfefery said...
Ugh I've always hated that the crowd in Staples can never get going unless the tacos are within grasp. If only I (and a bunch of my friends and the rest of middle class LA) had thousands and thousands of dollars to sit down courtside to properly cheer for our team, rather than sit there like they're watching a goddamned opera.

Love the Lakers, most of the time love the city, but I'm always envious watching other teams fans (especially that Thunder crowd in the first series, JEEZ)

Blogger jfefery said...
@AnacondaHL
And that's why LeBron is more like Princess James than King James. If only he put in as much effort while he was actually in the playoffs with all of Cleveland behind him. I would like him a little more (just a little) if he transformed some of this energy for the media into some real killing intent for a championship like he said he's always wanted..

Blogger lordhenry said...
Well, I wanted to win, just not like that. I felt that the Lakers played well enough to win, but there were some well-timed calls that helped the Lakeshow on its way. Take your pick of the first two fouls on Ray Allen, ditto for a few on the other Allen (Tony), and of course the monster phantom foul on Ray for his fifth. All I will say about the officiating is that while Boston shot more free throws, there are other calls that can go against you that effect the game as well. The moving screen on Davis, (Is there any other kind in the NBA?) The non-call on a Kobe block, (that was a foul on the other end even though the Celtics defender got less of Kobe than Kobe got when he blocked the shot) If you don't call a foul on contact with the shooters hand, then you SHOULD call it the same way at the other. This is the transparency that some fans want to have, and it is why the officiating can be made an issue in a playoff game, when calls are made for each situation, and not for across the board accuracy.

Also, I find it funny that my roommate (a Mavs fan) hated Steve Nash because everyone thought he was better than Jason Kidd. But after I got him to watch him a few times, he readily admits that he is amazing, and was really rooting for the Suns. That is just the kind of guy Nash is, you can't watch him for any length of time, without turning into a fan.

Blogger jfefery said...
@lordhenry
Yeah, "clean wins" always feel better because it doesn't feel as well deserved, though it should feel that way because I believe the Lakers played great.

Anyways, unlike the rest of the stats, officiating will always be one of those things we'll gripe about but will never comprehend or change.

Also, I agree about the Nash thing, I was still rooting against him and the Suns, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a little man crush on him.

Anonymous avoozl said...
I myself love watching shitty teams scramble to avoid being taco'd.

Yeah, I think that's only happening in your mind. I'm sorry but it doesn't matter how you cut it, "we want tacos" is just stupid. But hey that's just my opinion.

Blogger lordhenry said...
@jfefery

I still feel good about the win. Darth Vega (Gasol) used the dark side of the force to prevail over the fearsome Jedi Master, Garnett. Hopefully, the Sith Lord continues to play this way around the basket.

We played pretty well even with Darth Sweet Tooth being a no-show. The Dark Lord also played decent, still switching between shooting and passing. I hope Kobe continues to try and fill all parts of the stat sheet now that LeBoob is out of the playoffs, it's almost as if Kobe is jealous and trying to show LeBoob up...........nahhhhh.

The vitamin water ads that Nash did are what made me really like him. That, and swearing at him. "What the f***! how did that lil' bastard get that pass off?!" Did Nash just make that?! That lil' bastard......"

Blogger Ash said...
@avoozl
You are blatantly wrong.

I don't remember the game, but the Lakers were winning something like 125 to 98, and (I think?) the Wizards were letting them score to get the ball back real quick to try to score. This really happened. I'm at work, or I'd search for a YouTube of it.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Bloody hell, look what I missed due to driving all day!

Mr. Bawful - I'll just say this in regard to flopping: it's like I told you when we got together, if the refs would just call fouls correctly without seeing whether a player falls over or not, then players wouldn't flop. Right or wrong, if Gasol gets run into and falls over he's more likely to get the call than if Perkins gets run into in exactly the same manner and holds his ground. 

I won't fault players or coaches for exploiting loopholes in the rules like that, especially if said loopholes have existed and been blatantly obvious for decades. That's the league's fault for not closing those loopholes. The refs should call a foul when it is committed regardless of whether a player falls over, whether the shot goes in or not, regardless of how many fouls the offending player has, and regardless of what point in the game it is. Until the refs start doing that, it's just smart for players to flop, especially if there's no punishment for flopping. 

Like I told you, the best guy at guarding Shaq in his prime was Vlade Divac, and it was solely due to his flopping. When Dikembe Mutombo played Shaq straight up in an honorly fashion he was rewarded with Shaq punking him en route to a Finals MVP trophy. It is the fault of the league for letting this go on, it is not the fault of floppers like Pau and Pierce for simply playing the way that is rewarded by the officials. 

Blogger jfefery said...
@Heretic

I absolutely love those Vitamin Water commercials, they're hilarious (especially the one about triple-doubles).

@Wild Yams
You bring up a good point, however there doesn't seem to be any big push to call fouls consistently across the board without looking at flopping. But even if there are loopholes that are there due to faults of the Association and the refs, you can't stop people from hating on it. It's like when you very obvious criminal uses a loophole to end up with an innocent verdict. The loophole is technically allowed, but you can't not hate the guy for using it.

Speaking of which, some people brought up JVG's comment about punishing flops, which sounds good but then we'd have complaints about bad foul calls and bad flop calls. Can you imagine the carnage on this blog and it's comments section? There would be so much bawful to point out I think Bawful's hands might cramp from all the typing.

Anonymous Tagxy said...
Full disclosure, I am a laker fan, but lmao at this post. Ive been reading basketbawful for 2-3 years (very great btw!), and I cant ever recall you being so whiny about officiating and excusatory of a teams performance because of said officiating. I mean honestly, feel free to knock the refs, but if youre going to spend almost half the post whining about officiating then of course people are going to assume you thought it was THE determining factor of the game.

Probably the worst part was that in addition to the section you had on officiation, you move onto the Boston Celtics and immediately continue to knock the officiation again! And spend most of the section just crying about that.

"The main beef you seem to have is that, what, I'm not heaping enough praise on the Lakers? Is that the problem? Is that what's bugging you?"
The problem I have is that you spent more time roasting the officials than anyone else, it sounded like a post youd find on the losing teams fan forum. Im sure people understood the officiating sucked after you wrote a section on it, you dont need to refer to it throughout the entire post.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Is it just me or does LeBron suddenly doing all this "I'm a free agent" stuff during The Finals (which he's not participating in) smack a lot of Alex Rodriguez press releasing that he would opt out of his contract during Game 1 of the 2007 World Series (between the Red Sox and Rockies)?  Just as with A-Rod, it seems like LeBron is jealous that he's not the biggest story in his sport all of a sudden (due to the pesky championship and all), and he is just dying for the spotlight to swing back in his direction. 

It's classless, IMO. He could very easily wait till after the Finals to give a bunch of interviews in which he says absolutely nothing about where he's gonna go next year. LeBron blew his chance to be center stage in June when the Celtics kicked his ass out of the postseason. I think he seems more and more petulant with everything he does. 

Anonymous avoozl said...

You are blatantly wrong.

I don't remember the game, but the Lakers were winning something like 125 to 98, and (I think?) the Wizards were letting them score to get the ball back real quick to try to score. This really happened. I'm at work, or I'd search for a YouTube of it.


Come on. You can't say I'm blatantly wrong about something which can't even be proven. Even if this did happen, it's still just your interpretation unless you're a psychic and can tell what the players are thinking. Also you're using what, one occurrence as a basis to say all these teams fear being "taco'd"?. Give me a break.

Blogger winnetou said...
Thanks to Paul for his Taco explanation. Maybe that could be included in the word of the day entry for "free taco excitement"?

Blogger Preveen said...
I'm surprised that you didn't mention Farmar's steal on Rondo in the back court just off the inbounds pass leading to a layup. A good play by Farmar taking total advantage of the fact that Rondo wasn't paying attention and being careless. Granted, late in the game with the team down a lot, but that was a 5 point Laker run, the inbound was off a made 3. Crap play from the PG to be that careless with the ball.

Blogger Preveen said...
according ETs semi live blog, I'm wrong, it was at the end of the 1st quarter. Which makes it even worse, letting the Lakers have a 5-0 run like that. The scores were still somewhat close then.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
But rather than go with the fight over a lottery ticket analogy, I'd move it towards the crazy desperate girlfriend analogy, doing anything to keep the relationship together. Dare I mention it, but perhaps Cleveland is unwravelling like a Taco Bell NBA Franchise. Like, what will she offer to do next; anal?

Love the Livin' Large reference. That is all.

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