Marc Gasol's favorite food? Manwich.

The New Orleans Hornets: Well, then. Make it 3-9 since Hornets coach Monty Williams made his infamous "our record might be fool's gold" comment. And I think the ship be sinkin'. Of course, help might be on the way, in the form of four sub-.500 teams in their next five games (Paupers, Pissed-ons, Pacers and Nyets).

But for now, it was yet another offensive castration the Buzzing Bugs, who finished with only 84 points on 41 percent shooting. Other un-notables included their 1-for-13 three-point shooting and their nine-point fourth quarter.

New Orleans hasn't reached the 100-point mark since November 19. That's 13 straight games of pure scoring futility. Pretty soon, we're going to see Chris Paul dressed in a Santa Claus costume and ringing bells on street corners. Only instead of money he's going to be asking people to donate baskets. The Hornets freakin' need 'em.

Said Paul: "We need to get a win so we could see how it feels."

As for the Heat, they've won nine straight games, all by double digits. According to ESPN Stats and Information, that leaves them one win short of matching the NBA record. Which, for the record, is co-held by the 2007-08 Houston Rockets, the 2003-04 New Jersey Nyets and the 1946-47 Washington Capitols.

Also for the record, those three teams combined for zero NBA titles.

Chris Paul: A lowly 3-for-10 from the field and only 5 assists. And one eyeball pointed directly at New York. Or...anywhere.

The "rest" of the Heat: The Heat are going to continue to roll as long as Dwyane Wade (32 points, 8-for-13, 14-for-17 from the line), Chris Bosh (23 points, 11 rebounds) and LeBron James (20 points, 7 assists) do, well, pretty much everything.

Here's the sum total of what fellow starters Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Carlos Arroyo contributed last night: 9 points, 4-for-12, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 7 fouls. Meanwhile, the bench came through with 11 points (3-for-11), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 10 fouls. Oh, and two DNP-CDs (Eddie House and Jamaal Magloire).

Note that, despite yet another double-digit win, Lebron (40 minutes), Wade (30) and Bosh (38) logged quite a few minutes. I think coach 'Spo knows that's too many, right?

One last thing: An anonymous commenter left this link. It gives the secret of Miami's recent success. This is great.

Especially because when Miami does give maximum effort, it is one of the best defensive teams in the league. Early in the season, when they were basically a .500 team, the Heat's defensive efforts varied nightly and it was a factor in their unsteady play.

So Spoelstra has come up with a deal. It is not an unheard-of proposition. In fact, it is right in the coach's handbook. But originality isn't important -- execution is. And during the Heat's winning streak, their execution has earned a solid A.

Here's how it works: If the Heat get a stop on defense, there will be no play call. In general, the players can just run, jump and play. Like good old recess.

But if they take the ball out of the basket, then they've got to look over at the bench for instructions.

"Coach has said if y'all get rebounds, y'all can do whatever you want," Wade said. "As players we enjoy that. When the ball goes through the basket then we have to do what he wants us to do."
Playing Defense + Rebounding = License to Chuck. You can't make this stuff up.

Still, at least 'Spo's laissez faire coaching is leading to plays like these. Thanks to Basketbawful reader kazaam92 for the link.

The Golden State Warriors: Speaking of ships that be sinking, how about the Warriors, who have lost seven straight games and 12 of their last 13?

Golden State gave up 18 points off 19 turnovers. Furthermore, the Warriors were outscored 50-26 in the paint and 24-11 on the fast break. They had 18 offensive rebounds...but they offset their advantage on the glass and some decent three-point shooting (11-for-25) by shanking 11 free throws.

Of course, the game was still reasonably close before Deron Williams went apeshit, scoring 11 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to help the Jazz run away with it.

Said Warriors coach Keith Smart: "That's what you pay players like that for. You pay them for fourth-quarter heroics, to take over a game and make plays and make big shots. That's why your team moves from one level to another level. "

I wonder if Smart was giving (16 points, 7-for-16, 7 turnovers) the stink eye when he said that.

By the way, Williams finished with 30 points (8-for-16, 4-for-8 on threes, 10-for-11 from the line) to go with 10 assists and 6 rebounds. And to think, as recently as the beginning of last season, a lot of people -- maybe even most people -- thought CP3 was the runaway winner in the "Who's better: Paul or Williams?" point guard debate.

The Portland Frail Blazers: ZACH SMASH PUNY BLAZERS!!

That's right. Zach was vintage Zach last night. Minus the crazy dribbling and air-balled threes. Z-Bo went all Animal Style on the Frail Blazers, going off for 25 points and 20 rebounds, as Portland looked softer inside than a chocolate marshmallow Santa Claus. Which I love and can get three for a dollar at Wal-Greens. But I digress.

Portland had won eight straight games in Memphis, a streak that had lasted nearly five years. But Randolph, who had his fourth 20-20 game with the Care Bears, proved that he doesn't read history books. Or anything else for that matter.

Said Zach: "I just try to be aggressive and hit the glass on both ends and play around the basket."

Keepin' it simple. I like that.

You know, usually holding your opponent to only 86 points on 38 percent shooting will get you a win in the NBA. Not for the Blazers, though, not last night.

The thing is, the Blazers had outscored the Griz 22-12 in the third quarter. Then they got outscored 25-9 in the fourth.

Said Andre Millier: "We had a bad fourth quarter. The most important quarter, and it killed us. That was the game right there."

By the way, that fourth quarter was Portland's lowest-scoring quarter of the season. What's more, the Blazers -- who scored 78 points against the Spurs on Sunday and then only 73 last night in Memphis -- finished with a season-low total for the second straight game.

They must have caught whatever the Hornets have.

Said Portland coach Nate McMillan: "I think the [starting] five, those guys are gassed. I think they have played some heavy minutes. We need the bench to give us a breather. In the fourth quarter, down the stretch, we [are] not able to score late in ball games."

Brandon Roy: 38 minutes. 16 shots. 7 points. At this point, he's barely a shadow of Wesley Matthews. This is getting sad. And ugly.

Greg Oden: Whenever the Blazers get stomped on by an opposing frontcourt player, do you ever find yourself wondering, "What if Greg Oden had a normal human body not made out of used tin foil and scraps of soggy cardboard?" I know I do.

In fact, here's a quick production by position update from You know, in case you were wondering what frontcourt players were doing against the Blazers:

Small Forwards: 21.7 PPG, 56% FGP, 8.1 RPG.
Power Forwards: 20.0 PPG, 56% FPG, 10.7 RPG
Centers: 15.3 PPG, 50% FPG, 11.0 RPG
Tony Allen, quote machine: "It ain't Chinese algebra. If you get stops, and you execute on offense, normally that teams wins."

"It ain't Chinese algebra" is now my new favorite phrase ever.

Rudy Gay, quote machine: "Defense wins games. It's the oldest saying in the book."

Rudy Gay...talking about defense?! Mental note: Time to check Gay's basement for Body Snatcher Pods.

The Dallas Mavericks: Back on November 19, Dallas lost at home to the Bulls and then ripped off a 12-game winning streak. A streak that ended last night. At home. To the Milwaukee Bucks.

I guess the Central Division is the Mavericks' Kryptonite or something.

Mind you, we probably should have seen this coming. On Saturday, Dallas blew a 25-point lead against the Comeback Jazz before eking out a close win. Last night, they went up by 20 points (42-22) in the second quarter and then hit the snooze button.


Said Tyson Chandler: "This was a game we should have won, a game we clearly had under control. We let them back in it."

Memo to Tyson: Milwaukee scored 52 points in the paint. Protecting the paint is your very specific duty. As always, I'm just sayin'.

Added Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "This kind of slippage we've seen all too often."

I'm sure Dallas fans are nodding vigorously at that one.

Carlisle continued: "I've got to coach harder, the players have got to be more conscientious, we've got to do better than we did tonight."

More conscientious? I don't think helping old ladies across the street is going to help. But, hey, I'm not an NBA coach. What do I know.

But seriously, the Mavericks are going to look back at this one and wonder what the hell happened. Two Bucks starters went scoreless (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Larry Sanders) and Milwaukee's big three offseason signings (Corey Maggette, Drew Gooden and John Salmons) went 7-for-21 from the field.

Bonus stats that might mean something: The Mavericks went 5-for-20 from beyond the arc and bricked seven free throws (0-for-4 by Brendan Haywood).

The Indiana Pacers: Can't fault the Pacers too much for this loss. After all, they had to play on the road against a hot team -- the Bulls have now won six straight for the first time since 2006 -- without Danny Granger. And they actually hung in this one until the Stags ripped off a 19-4 run to finish the game.

And yet...Indy has gone 2-5 since back-to-back road wins over the Lakers and Kings gave them a 9-7 record. They're playing good D (9th in Defensive Rating) but their O is bad (21st in Offensive Rating) and devolves into jump shooting by the end of most games. It's amazing that a team that ranks 8th in Pace could be 18th in PPG. But there you have it.

With all due respect to Rudy Gay, it takes defense and offense to win games. I know, I know. It ain't Chinese algebra.

Antoine Walker and Mario West Watch: From Basketbawful reader Benjamin Grenier:

News about D League team Maine Red Claws.

The Red Claws host Antoine Walker and the Stampede on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (5 p.m.), while also sandwiching a visit to Springfield Friday night. Keep an eye on this space for more on Walker's return later this week.

I live 45 minutes from Portland, Maine, you can be sure I will be going to one, maybe both of these games.

also in the same article

"Maine also announced that Jan. 6 will be Mario West Bobblehead Night, with the first 1,000 fans receiving the collectible courtesy of Wright Express.

'In addition to being a fan-favorite and one of the hardest working players on the team, Mario West’s name will forever be in the Red Claws’ history books as the first player in team history to earn a call-up to the NBA,' said Red Claws president and general manager Jon Jennings. 'We wanted to do something that, not only the fans would enjoy, but that would honor Mario’s unique place in Red Claws’ history.'"
Benjamin, on behalf of everybody who follows this site, we demand a book report if you attend either (or both) of those games.

Chris's Lacktion Report:

Hornets-Heat: Aaron Gray went 100% from the field AND from the stripe in 10:43, totalling an impressive 4 points for the insects from Louisiana...only to lose the rock twice and foul five times for a 7:4 Voskuhl.

Pacers-Bulls: Omer Asik provided the heifers with one assist in 2:35...and one giveaway for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Frail Blazers-Grizzlies: Nioclas Batum barged into the ledger tonight by bricking twice in 8:36 (once from the Peabody Hotel) for a +2 suck differential, while Sean Marks negated two boards in 4:56 with a trio of fouls for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Bucks-Mavs: Steve Novak is BACK for Dallas once more! 10 seconds of trying to find Wario's gold coins resulted in a Mario.

Warriors-Jazz: Charlie Bell rang up a brick from Pioneer Park for a +1 in 5:09, while Dan Gadzuric countered one made free throw in 8:44 with two fouls for a 2:1 Voskuhl. Jeremy Lin and Ekpe Udoh can now afford the cost of living back in the Warriors' Bay Area abode, after 1.35 (1:21) trillion for Mr. Lin and an exact 1 trillion for Udoh!

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Anonymous Kyle said...
Might I recommend adding this to the mistake comment about the Mavs.

Blogger Dan B. said...
The Mario West bobblehead only bobbles for 59 or fewer seconds.

FYI guys, I might not be able to do some or any BAD posts this week. Real world priorities and all that lame stuff.

Blogger stephanie g said...
I'm surprised CP3's numbers are still semi-close to what he put up in his almost-MVP season. Every time I catch him this year he looks slow and plays an old man's game where he picks his spots. Did the injury kill the CP3 I remember for good? Or maybe he just doesn't have his confidence in his body yet and isn't going all out with that brace. Whatever the case, CP3 will be a top 10 NBA heart throb for a long time, so he has that going for him.

Blogger Evan said...
Did anyone take notice on how TERRIBLE that Bulls/Pacers game was officiated? The Bulls start off hot 20-4 in the first quarter, and then the classic "Referees to the Rescue" mode kicks in, allowing the Pacers back into it with quick fouls on both Rose and Watson. I'm glad Derrick Rose is finally speaking up on what's right for himself so he can get some damn foul calls whenever he gets mugged. Even if it means picking up a technical foul. If he has to pick one up, then you know there's something wrong with the particular officials from last night.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Might I recommend adding this to the mistake comment about the Mavs.

Oh, I'm saving that. To be used soon.

FYI guys, I might not be able to do some or any BAD posts this week. Real world priorities and all that lame stuff.

Oh, weak sauce, Dan! I keed. Sorry life's got ya down. Snap into a Slim Jim and try to get through. We'll be waiting for your return with open arms.

I'm surprised CP3's numbers are still semi-close to what he put up in his almost-MVP season.

I'm not. His team is absolute poop pudding and he has to do everything in his power just to keep the Hornets in it.

Interestingly, he's playing only 34 MPG, down from 38 MPG over the last three seasons. And note that, this season, the Hornets are 6-1 this season when CP3 plays 36+ minutes. Not to oversimplify, but the Hornets are pretty godawful when he's not in the game.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Did anyone take notice on how TERRIBLE that Bulls/Pacers game was officiated? The Bulls start off hot 20-4 in the first quarter, and then the classic "Referees to the Rescue" mode kicks in, allowing the Pacers back into it with quick fouls on both Rose and Watson. I'm glad Derrick Rose is finally speaking up on what's right for himself so he can get some damn foul calls whenever he gets mugged. Even if it means picking up a technical foul. If he has to pick one up, then you know there's something wrong with the particular officials from last night.

Oh, I noticed, and commented on it at By The Horns. There was a LOT of uncalled contact by the Pacers D during their comeback. Rose is so mild-mannered that sometimes I'm not even sure he breaths, so when he gets a technical foul for arguing a no-call, you know something is up.

You know how many techs Rose had last season? Zero. His rookie year? Zero. That tech was the FIRST of Rose's career. I hope the refs were listening.

Blogger Mr. Too Nice Guy said...
It would be interesting to see an analysis on the Heat's License to Chuck possessions vs. the scripted offensive series to determine the efficiency of each method and would potentially provide even more ammunition to the anti-Spoelstra crowd.

Blogger Will said...
Can't have a Manwich without the Mayo.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Doing whatever you want on offense does not equal chuck. Wade hardly pulls up anymore unless he's really really hot now. The point is that when they get a stop, they can run run run and with Wade & Lebrons playmaking ability, they can do what they want as in attack the hoop or find James Jones camping out in the corner

and how could you NOT mention LeBrons Birdlife (oh no he didn't) shot in the 3rd quarter yesterday? I shat myself in amazement

Blogger Dan B. said...
Snap into a Slim Jim? Done and done. I have the Tabasco flavored ones at my desk. Mmm... ridiculous blend of beef and chicken meat and meat byproducts seasoned with hot sauce... (drool)

Seriously though, just a busy week. Got bowling, Christmas shopping, and lots of work to do. (had to travel last week for work two straight days, I'm a little behind) Plus I have to find time for a couple of my friends to join me for a viewing of MST3K's Santa Claus.

Blogger zyth said...
@kazam92 :
i've been meaning to post that, but with a question : shouldn't it be a doubledribble violation? or whatever the fact that you catch the ball during a dribble with both hands and then letting it go is called.
it's kind of hard to see from that angle, but i'm fairly certain James lost his grip on the ball and let it bounce on the ground before shooting that fadeaway.
the shot was good, but i'm seriously curious about that

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Your "snap into a slim jim" recommendation to Dan B has inspired me. No more goofing off for at least 2 hours (after this comment...)!

OOOh YEEEEAAaaaaAAAAHHHH!!! (/bursting neck veins and ridiculous sunglasses)

Anonymous kazam92 said...
zyth...not sure myself. I rewatched it a few times. I just thought he fumbled the ball the whole time until he got close to the out of bounds line then fired. Didn't see him dribble when he recaught it

Anonymous Anonymous said...
miami's strategy: get a stop, run. if they score, slow it down so the other team doesn't get hot. it's simple basketball. when your team gets a stop, everyone's pumped up and ready to play. when the other team scores, you got half the team going "FUCKKKKKKK" and the other half races down the court to do something retarded. looking at the bench to get the play from the coach lets the players who got scored on catch up with the players ready to race down the court.

double dribble rule: if you fumble the ball, you can pick it up again but ONLY if you fumble it. a lot of players exploit this rule. when a player get stuck, he will sometimes fumble the ball "intentionally" to an open area and run over to get it back. it's not really intentionally, no one WANTS to fumble the ball, but sometimes it's a choice between getting stripped/hit and fumbling it away and hoping for the best. if it looks like the defender hit you or knocks the ball loose, you even get another chance to dribble again! done on a nightly basis and no one knows except the guy dribbling. impossible for the ref to call, unless you use instant replay and even then who knows, the guy just lost the ball, that's why the rule is like this. you wouldn't want them calling stupid shit like that anyway. a great move as an absolute last resort, but incredibly risky. if you're going to lose the ball anyway, might as well try to lose it somewhere only you can get it back.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Well the Lakers/Rockets/Nets poo swap trade is complete.

Bynum, also beastly (for my fantasy team)

Blogger Wormboy said...
Tony Allen quote is gold!

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