The Boston Celtics: One night after beating LeBron's new superteam in Boston, the Celtics boogied to Cleveland to face LeBron's old not-so-superteam. The "Unamazing" Cavaliers trotted out a null-star starting lineup of Anthony Parker, Ramon Sessions, Andy Varejao, J.J. Hickson and Jamario Moon...
...and they beat the Celtics.
To be honest, I'm not really sure what happened here. Maybe it was Ray Allen going 0-for-5 from downtown, or Kevin Garnett's 3-for-8 shooting performance, or the fact that Paul Pierce didn't do all that much (13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists). It could've been the 19 turnovers, or even David Stern's one-commissioner war against Rajon Rondo's headband.
Or maybe the Cavs just wanted it more.
Said Sessions: "It felt like Game 7 of the finals. I've never been to the finals, but that was the type of atmosphere here."
Added Antawn Jamison: "This was for the city, It was for the fans to let them know the Cavs will survive and this is a place where you can still watch good basketball. And most of all, you can watch a team that wins. Guys in this locker room believe."
Concluded Shaq: "We took them a little bit too lightly."
The Detroit Pistons: "Destination Doom" indeed. Detroit opened the season on the road against the New Jersey Nyets, a team that -- in case you forgot or something -- won only 12 games last season and took their rightful place in the "Worst Teams of All Time" wing in the Basketbawful Hall of Shame...
...and they beat the Pistons.
Mind you, Detroit was ahead 95-88 with 1:40 to go before their daring collapsing. But you know what the win burglar was in this one? Foul shooting. The Pistons went 16-for-30 from the line, with our old buddy Ben Wallace (2-for-8) playing the role of Big Chief Brick Layer. You don't have to be a mathlete to understand 14 misguided freebies are a pretty big deal in a 3-point loss.
Terrence Williams: An anonymous reader said: "Terrence Williams deserves a WOTN mention. Dude grabbed a defensive rebound with the Nets up by 3 and was fouled with 1.6 seconds remaining. He just needed to hit one free throw to ice this thing, under the watchful eyes of the new owner. And he missed the both. At least he had a co-game high 3 turnovers."
Tracy McGrady Watch: 13 minutes, zero points, 0-for-3 from the field, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 foul.
Avery Johnson, emotional quote machine: "Nothing is really perfect but this was a beautiful ending. If this was a movie, for a team coming out of a situation we were coming out of, for a new team coming together, it's a beautiful ending."
The Toronto Craptors: The Bricks shot 43 percent from the field, clanked 17 of their 24 three-point attempts and assisted on only 12 of their 38 field goals...
...and they beat the Craptors.
Toronto opened the post-Bosh era with a starting five of Andrea Bargnani, Reggie Evans, Jarrett Jack, Linas Kleiza and DeMar DeRozan. The results were predictable: 38 percent shooting, 3-for-10 from downtown and a home loss to a somewhat less lousy team.
Man, it's going to be a long season for Craptors fans.
Update! From Basketbawful reader The Other Chris:
"Man, it's going to be a long season for Craptors fans."
Nods in silent agreement, sobs in corner.
The attempted game tying three by the Craptors at the end of the game was truly all that is bawful. Jarrett Jack dribbles along the baseline - WHY?? - and then finds the guy, Leandro Barbosa, who:
a) is playing with a cast on his hand
b) was 6/15 at that point
c) according to science, by NBA standards, is basically a midget
He chucks up a heavily contested three from deep in the corner. Airball. Game over.
Amar''''''e Stoudemire: STAT did his best to offset a double-double (19 points and 10 rebounds) and some surprisingly adequate work on the defensive boards (7) by turning the ball over 9 times. By comparison, the Craptors had 11 turnovers as a team.
Memo to Stoudemire: You aren't Steve Nash.
Amar''''''e Stoudemire, quote machine: "You want to beat the teams you feel you're supposed to beat, so tonight was a big win for us."
The Philadelphia 76ers: Their 20 fast break points were offset by the 24 points they gave up off turnovers. Philly also suffered a 31-11 disadvantage in free throw attempts. In fact, none of their starters attempted a single foul shot. By comparison, Dwyane Wade attempted more freebies (12) than the entire Sixers team.
Whaaaat? The Heat got all the whistles?! Big shock there.
Doug Collins, quote machine: "My starters are not necessarily my best players, that's why I said don't get caught up in who's starting."
Also, Collins said before the game his pieces didn't all fit.
Yep. This should end well.
Andre Iguodala: Before the game, he told the fans in attendence that "we're going to get to where you want us to be."
Uh, Iggy, are you entirely sure you know what the fans want you to be?
Update! Dwyane Wade: From Basketbawful reader Anish: "I think a special WOTN mention should go to Dwayne Wade for his exceptional defense on rookie Evan Turner." Indeed it should, Anish.
LeBron James: After last night's 9-turnover outing in Philly, King Crab has 17 turnovers in his first two games. He just loves to give. Much like the farting preacher.
LeBron James, quote machine, Part 1: "When we have our long ball going like that, it's unlimited what we can do offensively."
LeBron James, quote machine, Part 2: "I've been booed my whole NBA career. They boo you because they love the way you play basketball."
LeBron James, quote machine, Part 3: "I've been a friend of that bulls-eye for a long time."
Andrew Bogut: Andy won't be giving himself any high fives today. Not after going 3-for-10 from the free throw line -- including a brutal six missed freebies in the fourth quarter -- in a 95-91 road loss to the Hornets.
Drew Gooden, quote machine: "Teams are scared of our depth."
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Was there any more appropriate way for this dreadful group of sadsack misfits to open a season than with a 117-116 home loss to the Excremento Kings? The Timberpoops were murdalized by a hack-and-slash defense that gave the Purple Paupers a mind-boggling 47-28 edge in free throw attempts.
That's a lot of freebies in a 1-point loss.
Kurt Rambis: Okay, so Kevin Love (11 points, 10 rebounds) logged only 23 minutes, including less than 9 minutes in the second half. Why? According to Rambis, because of Anthony Tolliver's "exceptional" play.
Admittedly, Tolliver had a good game (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists and a steal) despite going only 3-for-8 from the field. But c'mon, Kurt. Benching your best player in the first game of the season? Really? What kind of message is that sending? And anyway, you're telling me you couldn't play Love and Tolliver together? Seriously?
Darko Milicic: The 20 Million Dollar Man finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots in 23 minutes. Manna from Heaven! But he got hit with a tech during the fourth quarter for pimp-slapping the ball into the scorer's table after being called for a foul. Did I mention his team lost by a single point? Did I mention that?
Sactown's foul shooting: It's a good thing they got 47 attempts, because they bricked 12 of them. Imagine if the Paupers had lost by a point instead of winning by a digit. I'm just sayin'.
Luke Ridnour, quote machine: "In this league, you've got to play defense. All preseason, that's kind of what carried us and we hung our hat on. It seems like once the lights came on we just didn't execute and do the same things we've done all preseason."
I'm sorry...when exactly did Luke Ridnour start playing defense?
The Memphis Grizzlies: The key to Atlanta's 119-104 road win over the Care Bears? I mean other than Zach Randolph's lower back injury. Zaza Pachulia (17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocked shots).
Said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins: "Pachulia just killed us on the glass all night long. That was a huge factor."
Teams that can't adjust to Zaza Pachulia will not win.
The Charlotte Bobcats: The Mavericks entered last night's season opener 12-0 all-time against the Bobcats. They ended the game 13-0 all-time.
The 'Cats are an offensively challenged team. We already knew that. So the 39 percent shooting isn't all that shocking. However, the careless ball-handling (21 turnovers) and Warriors-like defense (Dallas shot 55 percent as a team) were a bit of a boggle.
But hey, Kwame Brown (sprained left ankle) didn't play. So there you go.
The Indiana Pacers: There are a select handful of teams in this league that could put up 109 points on 53 percent shooting, score 24 points on the fast break, win the rebounding battle and still lose by double-digits.
The Pacers are one of those teams.
Of course, when you give up a whopping 32 points off 23 turnovers...
Danny Granger, quote machine: "We went stagnant on offense. We froze."
Uhm, your team scored 109 points on 53 percent shooting but gave up 122 points on 50 percent shooting. So, yeah, I don't think your offense is the problem.
The Utah Jazz: Yesterday, I read an article about how Al Jefferson is super excited to start this new era of his career with the Jazz. Well, it must have been the same kind of excitement somebody would feel before a rectal exam, because Big Al played like ass (6 points, 2-for-6, and a plus-minus score of -17) in Utah's 110-88 road loss to the Nuggets.
The Jazz were horrible, going 27-for-70 from the field (and 3-for-13 from distance), giving up 19 points off 22 turnovers and missing 12 free throws. The only area of success for the Mormon Musicians was "not slipping on banana peel and falling on head." So they had that going for them.
Deron Williams: 3-for-10 shooting, 6 assists, 4 turnovers. Remember: Deron is the self-proclaimed best point guard in the league.
George Karl, quote machine: On his next goal now that he's back on the sidelines after cancer treatment: "Try to convince Melo the place he wants to be is really Denver. He just doesn't know it yet."
Carmelo Anthony, quote machine: "Come on, George. Let me play. I'm here. Tonight, I was excited about this game. I can't control what happens out there. Whatever happens, is going to happen. The fans, they want to see basketball. They don't want drama. I don't want drama."
The Houston Rockets: After one grueling game back from injury, Yao Ming was given the night off to protect the peanut brittle out of which he was shaped and molded by Chinese scientists. But even without their "Fragile: Handle With Care" big man, the Rockets managed to earn 52 free throws and score 66 points in the paint en route to a 128-point night.
Too bad they gave up 132 points.
The Warriors -- behind a piping-hot Monta Ellis (46 points, 18-for-24) -- shot 55+ percent from the field and had 27 fast break points. And, amazingly, they won the rebounding battle 45-39.
Said Rockets coach Rick Adelman: "It was just a poor defensive effort. We scored 128 points and we lose. We have to figure out a way to shore that up."
Added Aaron Brooks: "We ran up against a good offensive team, and they shot the ball lights out. We could have played better defense but credit to them, they were feeling it. At times we broke down, but they just made shots."
The Los Angeles Clippers: Nice debut for Blake Griffin -- 20 points, 8-for-14, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal -- but let's face it: The Clippers are who we thought they were.
In fact, now that Vinny Del Negro is coaching them, they're even more who we thought they were than they've ever been. If that makes any sense. Hence the double-digit home loss despite scoring 50 points in the paint and holding the Frail Blazers (who were coming off the second night of back-to-backs) to 40 percent shooting.
It didn't help that the Clips gave up 21 offensive rebounds.
Baron Davis, quote machine: "I hate that we lost."
Baron's line: 8 points, 3-for-11 from the field, 0-for-3 from downtown, 2-for-4 from the line, 3 assists, 4 turnovers. Just FYI.
Mega lacktion report: Chris reports on a night of heavy lacktion:
Celtics-Cavs: Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal negated a field goal and a pair of boards for the C's with three turnovers and a foulout in 12:22, resulting in a 9:4 Voskuhl! Meanwhile, fellow leperchaun Von Wafer crunched a foul and giveaway on the floor in 6:57, earning a +2 suck differential.
Pistons-Nets: Stephen Graham earned a crumb's worth of playing time - 2:18 to be exact - and provided New Jersey's band of ballers with a brick for a +1.
Heat-Sixers: Joel Anthony may have had a trio of boards in a 17:37 stint as starting big man for the MIAMI THRICE, only to foul four times and lose the rock once for a 5:3 Voskuhl. However, one of the MASSIVE OFFSEASON ACQUISITIONS in South Beach...Juwan Howard!!!!...came through with a celebratory 4.1 trillion (4:05), the first monetary move this year.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia's Darius Songaila fouled once in 4:59 for a +1.
Knicks-Raptors: Timofey Mozgov took 7:26 of Mike D'Antoni's time and countered three boards with four fouls and a turnover for a 5:3 Voskuhl.
Kings-Wolves: Welcome to the Association, Hassan Whiteside! The Purple Paupers' latest big man garnered two fouls in 1:45 for a career-opening +2 that doubled as a 2:0 Voskuhl!!!!
Bucks-Hornets: Keyon Dooling doodled the suckiest statline of the young season so far, in 16:48 - two bricks (once from the French Quarter), three fouls, and a giveaway notched up a +6 suck differential! Meanwhile, DJ Mbenga buzzed into the picture tonight by negating one made free throw in 6:45 with three fouls for a 3:1 Voskuhl.
Bulls-Thunder: Kurt Thomas took himself into the lacktion report tonight by tossing out two fouls in 2:58 for a +2 and a 2:0 Voskuhl! Fellow heifer Omer Asik went a step further and wrote himself a check for 2.5 trillion (2:31)!!!!
Bobcats-Mavs: Desagana Diop dropped a portabello along the way tonight in just 3 seconds, becoming this season's first 8-bit superhero with a SUPER MARIO!
For Dallas, Brian Cardinal baked one brick in exactly 2 minutes for a +1.
Pacers-Spurs: Garrett Temple offered up a full 1.2 trillion (1:12) in honor of San Antonio's rather predictable opening night win.
Jazz-Nuggets: Kyrylo Fesenko has started this season the way he traditionally has played - adhering to a Jake Voskuhl-like gameplan with a ratio of 3:2 after negating a field goal and three assists in 11:09 with a pair of fouls and a giveaway.
Denver's Melvin Ely also earned a Voskuhl in 10:34, in this case a 6:5 ratio after fouling out in response to two boards and a made field goal. Renaldo Balkman fouled twice in 2:08 for a +2.
Rockets-Warriors: Jeff Adrien managed to not truly be lacktive after his first career board - but by leaving the hardwood and shutting down the NES after only 48 seconds, he finds himself putting on the plumber's overalls for a Mario!
Charlie Bell rang up a foul in 4:32 to give the Warriors a +1.
Frail Blazers-Clippers: Jarron Collins made three out of four free throws in 6:22, but fouled thricely and lost the rock once for a 4:3 Voskuhl.