"Why you keep calling me 'Shaggy from Scooby-Doo'? What is a Scooby-Doo?"
The New York Knicks: Damn. Even their building fails. Oh well. It probably saved the Knicks from what would have been another homecourt ass-kicking by the Magic. So they have that going for them, which is nice.
The problem was that "debris fell into the arena during overnight cleaning of asbestos-related materials." New York's Department of Environmental Protection determined that no asbestos were released, but better safe than sorry, right?
Get this, though: MSG is in the early stages of a renovation that's expected to cost between $775 and $850 million. Spider-Man's balls! For almost a billion dollars, couldn't they just tear the place down and build an exact replica? Like, twice?!
The Philadelphia 76ers: Okay...John f**king Wall. Wow. His line against the Sixers: 29 points (9-for-16 from the field, 11-for-14 from the line), 13 assists, 9 steals (plus 8 turnovers and 5 fouls). The dude can play. And dance:
Believe it or not, Philly actually had a three-point lead at the end of this one. Sadly, playing 3.1 seconds of defense was too much for the Sixers, who got a bomb dropped on them by Cartier Martin. Check out the fall-away D:
Obviously, the Wizards Generals went on to win in overtime. Tough loss for the Deep Sixers. They shot 55 percent from the field, got 50 points in the paint and fast breaked their way to another 17 points. Unfortunately, they gave up 34 points of 23 turnovers. And fell to 0-4 in the Doug Collins era.
In possibly related news, Washington was awarded 43 free throws.
Doug Collins, coach of the year candidate: "It seems like when you are trying to win that first game, it just seems like it's whew, I don't know what to say. Our guys fought so hard. You don't know how heartbreaking it is for me to walk into that locker room and tell these guys, 'You're playing hard, you're playing hard,' but you have to break bad habits. Losing teams have bad habits. They're not broken overnight."
Doug Collins, man love machine: "I texted Michael Jordan and said, 'I'm walking around the city and it brings back a lot of memories of being here with you.'"
The Cleveland Cavaliers: Check out this nonsense from the AP recap:
There's still one perfect team in the Eastern Conference.
It's from the deep south, loaded with young, improving stars and it just might be good enough to make a run at an NBA title.
Watch out, Miami.
The Atlanta Hawks could be gaining on you.
That's a joke...right?
Often overlooked in the increasingly tough and getting-better-every-year East, the Hawks are showing early signs they may be able to stay with the Heat, Celtics, Magic and Bulls this season. With a group that has grown together in recent years, Atlanta could be a dark horse in a crowded field.
"We're flying under the radar," Williams said. "I don't think anyone's upset about it. We know what we're capable of doing. We have confidence in ourselves. We have to show it every night."
Nope. I guess the AP writer was being serious.
Reality check: The Dirty Birds have wins over the Grizzlies (2-2), Sixers (0-4), Wizards Generals (1-2) and Cavaliers (1-3). Mind you, they only beat Philly by three and Washington by four. And the Generals' have a one-point overtime win against...the Sixers. Anyway, I'm not sure pimp-slapping crap teams really makes the Hawks an elite team any more than dunking over a 10-year-old on a seven-foot rim makes me an elite pickup player. But I did make that kid eat the ball. Ah...good times.
Atlanta's next two games are against the Pistons (0-4) and Timberwolves (1-3), so I fully expect the Hawks to reach 6-0. All of which means this "Watch out, Miami" crap will continue for at least two more games.
Oh, I'm sorry, what about the Cavaliers? They suck. Moving on.
The Detroit Pistons: What can I say? The Pistons got roughed up at home by the Celtics last night. The final score was 109-86, but it might as well been 1,085,110 to "Help, help, oh God, help." Detroit's season is only four games long and they've already had all the fight knocked out of them. This fact was best symbolized by Rajon Rondo's buzzer-beating three-pointer against them.
Read those words again: "Rajon Rondo's buzzer-beating three-pointer against them."
The Pistons are off to their first 0-4 start since November 1999. But hey, Detroit's 1999-00 squad won 42 games and made the playoffs. So there's hope! But no hope with dope. Write that down.
Said Tayshaun Prince: "It starts with us in this locker room but it goes to everybody else as well. When you're 0-4, you don't just look at the team, you've got to look at everybody as a whole."
Tracy McGrady Watch: The line: 8 minutes, 0-for-1, zero points, zero rebounds, 1 assist and a plus-minus score of -9.
The thing is, I can't even give Knee-Mac the Worst Player of the Night award because, frankly, this is pretty much what I expected out of him.
Note this recent quote: "It's not like I'm 41 or even 35. I just turned 31. No one has come down and stolen away my talent -- I still have a lot in the tank."
Shaq: He lasted exactly three games before missing one (at least) with an injury. Well, that didn't take long.
Update! Kevin Garnett: Basketbawful reader Paul brought this to my attention:
The Boston Celtics pounded the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, and messages sent from Charlie Villanueva's Twitter account indicate Kevin Garnett may have made it personal.
One of the tweets says: "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."
Garnett is known for his trash talking on the court. Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a medical condition that results in hair loss. The Pistons forward does not have hair on his head.
Another tweet from Villanueva's account says that Garnett's alleged comments hit home.
"I wouldn't even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those," the message reads.
Garnett scored 22 points and had six rebounds in the Celtics' 109-86 victory. Villanueva had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the winless Pistons. But Villanueva, if he indeed sent the messages from his account, would like to take the battle off the court.
"KG talks alot of crap, he's prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him," another tweet on the Villanueva account reads.
Yep. It's all there in Chucky V's Twitter account. Look, Charlie. We all get that Kevin Garnett is a dick. Nobody's denying that. But I'm thinking your team is in bad enough shape right now without you starting a school yard brawl with KG. And anyway, haven't you even thought about penciling in some eyebrows? I mean, it couldn't hurt.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: It's hard to bust on Minny too hard because the Heat are on a roll. Since opening the season with a loss to the Celtics, Miami has won four straight be an average of 22.8 PPG. And while it's easy to scoff at big wins over the Nyets and T-Wolves, the Heat curb-stomped the Magic too.
As much as people (like me) may hate to admit it, the Heat are starting to have that "best case scenario" look. Dwyane Wade scored a game-best 26 points (12-for-17) in only 24 minutes. LeBron, playing point forward, finished with 20 points (7-for-12) and a game-high 12 assists. James Jones (17 points, 5-for-9 from downtown) and Eddie House (15 points, 4-for-4 on threes) were on fire from the outside. And Udonis Haslem had a double-double (11 points, 10 boards) off the bench.
The only downsides for Miami have been the so-so play of Chris Bosh (13 points, 4-for-12, 6 rebounds) and a lack of inside scoring punch (starting center Joel Anthony had 4 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 6 off the bench).
So, yeah. F***.
Worst Player of the Night: Tonight's award goes to Darko "Manna From Heaven" Milicic, who -- despite playing against Miami's non-centers -- racked up the following stat line: zero points on 0-for-5 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 16 minutes of PT. In four games, the 20 Million Dollar Man has compiled a Player Efficiency Rating of 1.9, and Effective Field Goal Percentage of 18.2 and an Offensive Rating of 53...as in 53 points per 100 possessions.
Here's another random Darko fact: He has a career Offensive Win Shares total of -2.2. And he is our Basketbawful Worst Player of the Night.
Erik Spoelstra, quote machine: "What I saw tonight out of LeBron was a high IQ game. He managed and dissected the game with his mind." The secret? There is no spoon.
Kurt Rambis, taste testing expert: "We have a lot of young guys on our team. They got a taste of guarding some of the elite players in our league. Our team got a taste of just how powerful a team can be." I'm sure it tasted like chicken. Everything does.
The Milwaukee Bucks: So, uh, anybody still Fearing the Deer? It looked like the Bucks were in pretty good shape going into last night's home game against the Frail Blazers. After all, the Blazers had gotten their asses handed to them in Chicago the night before. And we all know how notoriously difficult the second night of back-to-backs can be.
Honestly, I didn't expect Portland to come away with a lopsided (90-76) road win under those circumstances. The Bucks -- who shot 37 percent, missed 12 of their 13 three-pointers, managed only 4 fast break points, and gave up 21 points off 17 turnovers -- are now 1-3.
Of course, you expect guys like Brandon Roy (17 points) and LaMarcus Aldridge (14 points) to do damage. What you don't necessarily expect is for a team to get lit up by bench players like Wesley Matthews (18 points), Dante Cunningham (12 points on 6-for-8 shooting) and Armon Johnson (10 points on 4-for-4 shooting).
Said Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles: "The Trail Blazers pretty much did whatever they wanted to offensively."
John Salmons: The line: 5 points on 2-for-14 shooting, including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. Apparently, the Bucks forgot that there are two distinct John Salmons: The Pre-Trading Deadline Salmons and the Post-Trading Deadline Salmons. Guess which one they've been getting so far this season?
Corey Maggette, quote machine: "We got outplayed, plus we weren't making shots. We weren't making shots and that took away from a lot of our stuff."
Well said, Corey.
Andrew Bogut, quote machine: "They got blown out yesterday in Chicago, and they came out motivated. They had something to prove tonight. They needed this win."
Uh, your team came into the game 1-2 and was playing at home against a tired opponent. Are you telling me you guys had nothing to prove and didn't need the win, Andy?
The Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley must have heard about how everybody is ragging on the Griz for giving him what will go down as one of the great crap contracts of any era, because he had a pretty strong game: 16 points, 6-for-11, 8 assists and 3 steals.
Of course, he did a good chunk of that damage against Derek Fisher's corpse, so feel free to disregard it almost entirely. Especially since his team got bushwhacked by the Lakers 124-105.
That said, defense was the Care Bears' biggest foil: The Lakers shot 51 percent as a team -- including 61 percent from three-point range -- and grabbed 20 offensive boards (which was part of their 59-36 rebounding advantage). If the Lakers were a sports car, the Grizzlies wouldn't have even been a speed bump. They might have been an old Coke can the car ran over.
By halftime, the Lakers had scored 73 points and had a 27-point lead.
Said O.J. Mayo: "It was the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest, man. It was just hard to get back into it."
Uh, I'm not sure you were ever "into it" in the first place, O.J.
Marc Gasol: In the last night's BAD comments, Basketbawful reader Sorbo noted: "What's amazing about the Conley deal is the Memphis now has $125 million between Conley and Gay over the next five years (about $25 million a year), while have $0 for Gasol after this season."
Marc then went out and played like a man with a butt hurt: 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting. He did have 8 rebounds and 5 assists, but he had a plus-minus score of -9 and got roughed up by his big brother Pau (21 points, 9-for-16, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, +11). That roughing up included a reverse-dunk posterization.
Said Pau: "It's always more of a fun game for me to go against my former team and also my brother. That was a good play. I've done it a couple of times before -- not on him, other good quality players."
Added Mamba: "I'm glad [Pau] finally dunked on him. I was worried he was going a little soft on him." Huh. That almost qualified for an unintentionally dirty quote entry.
Zach Randolph: Z-Bo missed the game with a bruised ass. No, really.
Said Care Bears coach Lionel Hollins: "That's a bad place to have an injury. You don't realize how much you move that tailbone when you're playing and doing things."
Another near-unintentionally dirty quote.
Sasha Vujacic: The Lakers lead by 29 at one point and ended up winning by 19...and The Machine logged only three minutes (0-for-1, 1 point, -3).
Memo to Maria Sharapova: It's not too late to end this thing.
Lacktion report: Chris celebrated Election Tuesday with -- what else? -- lacktion:
Hawks-Cavs: Jason Collins celebrated a pedestrian win over the post-King Crab Cavs with a 1.55 (1:34) trillion.
Sixers-Generals: Trevor Booker wrote up a walkthrough via foul in NintendoPower in just 6 seconds, earning himself a +1 suck differential AND a Super Mario!