sad philly bench

The Philadelphia 76ers: I know you're going to find this hard to believe...

...but the Philadelphia 76ers have been on fire lately.

The Sixers opened the season at Los Angeles Clippers-like 3-13 and then ripped off eight wins in their last 11 games heading into tonight's matchup with the Bulls. They had held 12 of their last 13 opponents below 100 points. And in their nine games this month, their foes had been averaging only 89.2 PPG.

For perspective, the Miami Heat lead the league in Opponents PPG at 91.5.

Enter the Bulls, minus Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, and fresh off a home court loss to the actual Clippers.

So, naturally, Chicago annihilated Philly. And that annihilation couldn't have been more complete unless the earth opened up, swallowed the Sixers and spit up a mangled pile of meat and bones.

It's hard to put this beating into words, so allow me to put it into numbers: The Bulls shot a season-best 64.5 percent while holding the Sixers to a season-low 35.0 percent. Chicago outscored Philly 28-9 on the fast break and 52-26 in the paint. The Bulls blocked nine shots and forced 18 turnovers. They outscored the Sixers 31-11 in the third quarter and led by as many as 51 points before settling for a 45-point win.

Said former Bull Elton Brand: "It was a good, old-fashioned butt kicking. They did whatever they wanted. They scored on eight of their first 11 plays and we couldn't come back. They scored at will."

Doug Collins, coach of the year candidate: So sayeth Doug:

"I told the guys that I'll give you one. In the NBA you're going to have games like this, it just happens.

"It'll be easier tomorrow (at Boston). Our effort will be better tomorrow. We were just discombobulated on offense tonight. I didn't recognize us out there. I didn't even know what plays we were running.

"We would go out of time-outs and we were just looking around. I could just tell. It was one of those nights. When you've been around 40 years, you just after a while feel like there's no reason to say a whole lot."
Update! The Bulls' singing voices: Basketbawful reader Barry nominated this video. Deservedly so.

The Los Angeles Lakers: Here are some quick Lakers facts I recently brought up in a comments section. So far this season, L.A. has had easily the cakiest schedule in the league. According to John Hollinger's Power Rankings, the Lakers are 30th in Strength of Schedule (.410). In their first 29 games, they've played exactly four games against teams that are currently above .500 (Nuggets, Jazz and the Bulls twice).

People have been making a big deal about how the Lakers have won eight of nine, but those eight victories were against the Kings (5-20), Wizards (7-19), Clippers (8-21), Nyets (8-20), Wizards again, Pacers (13-14), Sixers (11-16) and Craptors (10-18). Well, L.A. got a crack at another sub-.500 team -- the Milwaukee Bucks (10-16) -- and it was like they opened a gift-bag filled with whupass.

The Lakers lost 98-79. At home. And yes, those 79 points were a season low. They were also a franchise low against the Bucks.

And here's where I mention that the Bucks were minus Brandon Jennings (left foot surgery), Corey Maggette (concussion-like symptoms) and Carlos Delfino (strained neck and concussion-like symptoms). Due to the injuries, Scott Skiles had to squeeze 26 minutes out of Earl Boykins...

...and Boykins lit the Lakers up for a game-high (and season-high) 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

More numbers: L.A. gave up 25 points off 18 turnovers. But you know what? Screw the numbers. I've seen roadkill with more life than the Lakers showed. I guess this was a post-Heat trap game. But damn.

Said Phil Jackson: "I told them I don't think they can play any worse than that. This is what we were worried about. We got out of whack there in the second half and never recovered."

Added Derek Fisher: "I guess you could say there's a possibility [of looking ahead], but I don't think so. Even in looking past someone, that requires an action on your part. So I don't think it was so much about the opponent. I just think we didn't play the type of game that we needed to play. I guess things would have been different if the opponent was different, but I can't say that."

Kobe Bryant: He had an ego-ectomy as described in the AP recap:

After consecutive baskets by Boykins and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute put the Bucks ahead 82-72 with six minutes left, Milwaukee's game was encapsulated on the next possession: Salmons was faked to the floor by Bryant, yet still managed to strip the ball from Bryant in a seated position when the Lakers superstar drove past him.
And then he bitched out at the end of the game. From ESPN's J.A. Adande:

Kobe Bryant lost his cool after he was called for charging in the fourth quarter, getting technical fouls from a pair of officials, then directing a certain two words immortalized in the Grammy-nominated Cee-Lo song toward official Bill Spooner as he left the court. Those were two more words than Bryant said to reporters, as he departed without comment. (It was Bryant’s first two-technical game since March 26, 2008, vs. Charlotte.)
And the video:

That's right. Kobe said "fuck you" to the refs.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Here's the rub in one sentence: The Nyets ended thier 10-game road losing streak and now have only their second two-game winning streak of the season thanks to a 101-94 victory over the Care Bears.

New Jersey shot nearly 53 percent from the field and scored 54 points in the paint.

Said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins: "We couldn't get a stop when we needed one. Vujacic came off the bench and made shots in our face, and Lopez just kept scoring and scoring. There were a lot of mistakes made on schemes and a lack of effort."

The Charlotte Bobcraps: Talk about a fourth quarter collapse. The Bobkittens were ahead by a point entering the final 12 minutes...during which they missed their first 11 shots, committed 5 turnovers, didn't score a field goal until there were 2:52 to go, gave up a 25-3 run and got outscored 31-12.

The 'Craps have now lost four games in a row. And they haven't surpassed 90 points in any of them.

Larry Brown, coach of the year candidate: So sayeth Larry:

"The same things are happening again," Brown said. "We stand around, hold the ball and turn it over. We take bad shots. In that regard you see how much more athletic than we are. A turnover for them is a dunk.

"We can't get five guys in the right spots on the court. So then you look disorganized," Brown said. "But I think some of our young kids will have to play now and hopefully they get better. I have to figure out how I can coach better, and give them a better understanding of what we need to do.

"I have to make them understand how valuable the ball is, how to run from defense to offense and offense to defense, how to block out, share the ball," Brown said. "You can't stop telling them, you can't stop coaching it.

"It's a lot deeper than that."
The Sacramento Kings: The Kings choked up a 16-point fourth quarter lead and lost in overtime to the Warriors, who came into the game having lost 14 of their last 16. That's just the kind of season it's been for the Purple a league-worst 5-21.

Update! Demarcus Cousins, worst player of the night: An anonymous commenter said: "Anybody have video of Demarcus Cousins making the Reggie Miller 'choke' sign after Reggie Williams missed the 1st shot when he was at the line shooting 3 FTs in the final seconds of regulation? Cousins also finished an amazing 3-13 from the field with 4 TOs. Worst Player of the Night."

The video:

The Orlando Magic: So how's the roster overhaul going? Gilbert Arenas scored 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting, Hedo Turkododo had 9 points on 2-for-11 shooting and Jason Richardson went 4-for-13 for his 10 points. And Orlando lost 105-99 at home to the Dallas Mavericks.

Said Magic coach Stan Van Gundey: "None of those guys are shooting the ball very well right now. I don't know if it's being in a new situation or putting too much pressure on themselves. All three of them are struggling to shoot the ball."

Added Dwight Howard: "It can't get any worse."

Stat curse? Orlando's next two games are against the Spurs and Celtics. Just sayin'.

Update! Hedo Turkododo: Missed. Dunk.

Update! Chris' Lacktion Report:

Thunder-Bobcats: Cole Aldrich acquired two fouls in 2:27 for a +2 and a 2:0 Voskuhl.

Nyets-Grizzlies: Hamed Haddadi ran into a Goomba once in 40 seconds to earn a foul in the midst of a Mario, also garnering a +1 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!

Warriors-The Purple Paupers Who May Not Be In Sacramento Forever But Have Maintained A Coaching Vacancy Since Adelman Left: Louis Amundson celebrated the continuing implosion of Sacramento's "basketball" "team" by countering three boards and a field goal in 12:54 with a turnover AND fouling out - earning a 7:5 Voskuhl as starting big man!

Bucks-Lakers: Jerry Buss can now invite Devin Ebanks to the Christmas Texas Hold'em gathering after he earned a 1.5 trillion (1:29)!


Anonymous Barry said...
Earl....Boykins? Really, L.A.? REALLY?

Anonymous Geert said...
The nba emailed me this: I especially lol'ed at K-Love and Amar'e at their christmasdinner. Pretty bawfull.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I'm not sure if someone has video of that Salmons strip on Kobe, but after watching the replay when it happened, I think that probably should have been a foul. Salmons flopped (the refs didn't make a call), and then Kobe tried to drive past him, since Salmons was now sitting on the floor. Salmons, however, reached out and grabbed the ball, along with hitting both of Kobe's legs in the process. I think it was just such an odd position to be going for a steal from that the refs didn't quite know what to make of it and let play continue (at full speed I didn't know either). But watching the replay, he clearly tripped Kobe getting the ball.

Whatever though, it didn't effect the final outcome. Whether the Lakers were looking ahead to their next game against the Heat or whether they fell into that "first game back after a long road trip" trap, whatever the case was, the Lakers played like absolute dogshit with zero effort. Fairly typical of the Lakers the last few years (or decade, even): to face the opponents that on paper appear to offer the least resistance and take them as lightly as can possibly be imagined.

The biggest surprise for me this year as a Laker fan is how poorly the Laker offense runs when Pau Gasol has a bad game. I don't know if Gasol is the Lakers' best player (his inconsistent play doesn't help his case there), but it definitely seems that as he goes, so go the Lakers (which helps his case for Lakers MVP). When he's off, the Laker offense looks absolutely atrocious, and he was just horrid tonight. Bogut abused the hell out of him, just took Pau completely out of his game. Maybe Bynum needs to hurry back into the starting lineup so that Gasol won't have to keep going up against centers that keep manhandling him like this. Or maybe Gasol needs to toughen up and not let himself get pushed around so much. Maybe both. All I know is the Lakers need to figure out how to run an offense when they can't go through Pau. When Pau is on, the Laker offense runs as smoothly as any team's in the league. When he's off, thus far anyway, it runs like one of the absolute worst.

Blogger Barry said...
Also, I must submit this Bawful :

Anonymous FearTheDeer said...
I guess this was a post-Heat trap game. But damn.

Don't you mean a pre-Heat trap game? Either way, it was GLORIOUS. All the game was missing was another Bynum knee injury. I'd say a Bryant knee injury, but that would be too much of a Christmas miracle...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't know if anyone has video from the Magic-Mavericks game, but Hedo Turkoglu just killed the Magic. The Magic were beginning to make a run on the Mavericks and get back into the game late in the fourth when on consecutive possesions Turkoglu bricked a dunk and then nearly airballed a three pointer. It was pretty hilarious to witness.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
BTW, Marv had said at the end of the Nets game that it was the first two game win streak yhe Nets had this season, and the "stat" seems to have spread. But a quick look at any schedule shows they started the season with 2 wins.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Anybody have video of Demarcus Cousins making the Reggie Miller "choke" sign after Reggie Williams missed the 1st shot when he was at the line shooting 3 FTs in the final seconds of regulation? Cousins also finished an amazing 3-13 from the field with 4 TOs. Worst Player of the Night.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Welcome back!!

Thanks, bro. I did this post in near exhaustion, so I had to make several updates, including the lacktion report.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Good to see the Bulls Marketing Department reads Basketbawful, and is hijacking from past Birdmases!:

Blogger jim said...
speaking of 'bawful, did you hear the lakers homers in that kobe bryant video? "his heels were up off of the the restricted line, but if your heels would have been there if your feet were flat, you're, uh, still in there."

yes! exactly! just like when your heels are above the out of bounds line, but not touching it, then you're out of bounds! because, you know, if your feet were flat, you would have been on the line!


Blogger winnetou said...
The dunk attempt part of the Hedo sequence that anonymous mentioned.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
That Hedo video makes me so, so happy.

Welcome back Bawful!!

Bawful field trip tonight: Craptors vs. Pissed-Ons. I'm taking a friend with whom I have a bet about which team will have a worse record this year. Much drinking and yelling will ensue. 'Tis the season to be jolly!

Blogger chris said...

the Kings are turrrrrrrrrible and have over 4 times as many losses as wins.

9-73 baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Additionally, you "Nash Lovers" using the "Nash didn't sign the extension with this roster in mind" argument, uh, have you seen how much the roster has changed every year since 2005? He's not an idiot, he knows what he means trip the organization.

QED bitches, Christmas spirit up in this bitch.

Blogger Evan Sather said...
Did anyone notice that the 76ers scored only 76 points against the Bulls last night?

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
The Suns are going to miss Jason Richardson.

Double true.

They are happy Earl Clark might have a better opportunity.

Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

They are relieved that they don't have to figure out how to make Hedo Turkoglu fit in.

They are relieved that they don't have to hire some "associates" to make Hedo disappear and dump his body in the desert.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
All y'alls can suck my dick.

That is NOT the Christmas spirit I was talking about. Don't forget too that not all of us were clamoring for his trade. I'm just clamoring for new Suns decision-making. The roster keeps changing, but I don't see a lot of good things happening from this latest set of moves.

If you keep blasting away indiscriminately, my gift of soiled Nash underwear will change to this, cited from an old Bawful post.

Anonymous Karc said...
I would jump on this Nash thing, but let's face it, he and the Suns have never really mattered in the long run.

However, I am looking forward to the impending fine (hoping for high 5-figures) that Bryant is going to get for screaming FU to the refs, in front of the cameras, too. Large charitable donation for stupidity and bitchiness. Now THAT'S the Christmas spirit.

Blogger dunkfu said...
I agree with your Laker Bawful however Isn't the whole point of a "yeah they have a good record but they have played bad teams" argument to prove that a team isn't really as good as their schedule and not a title contender? If so do you really think the Lakers aren't one of the leagues better teams and a title contender?

Blogger Evan Sather said...
Oh, and if you hoped Ron Artest ruins the Lakers, he's ruined the art world first:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Actually according to the NBA's charge/restricted circle rules, that is a rule. If your feet are raised, but would be in the circle if they were not raised, you are still by rule in the circle. This is to prevent the famous Manu Ginobili jump-flop move.

It has nothing to do with out of bounds rules or really anything else having to do with the game of basketball. It's yet another way that refs can take control of the game in the favor of the offensive player.

As Yams pointed out, Kobe had a case to be upset on both of the calls on his way out of the game but there was no reason to get himself ejected like that. Unless he thinks it's going to fire up the team for later.

I'd sure hate to be Walton in practice today.

Anonymous Karc said...
I alluded to this a few days ago, but it looks like one of the Kardasians took the Turkish airline bait to shoehorn some publicity.

Line for me: " reports that Kardashian has turned to Lamar Odom to help sway his teammate's mind. Odom is married to Kardashian's sister Khloe."

Let the implosion commence!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Hey, Korver was actually okay at singing. For a basketball player. Smug Pippen cameo was awesome.

Anonymous stevester said...
dunkfu -

I'm not sure where anyone automatically prescribed "not a title contender" to any team boosted by playing a cake sked, more instead that it tended to boost teams up a level of perception.

First rounder fodder become seen as dark horses. Dark horses become fringe contenders. Fringe contenders become legit contenders, and legit contenders become clear favorites.

Everyone would agree that the Lakers are legitimate contenders this year, even now, but their cake walk schedule led people to think of them as prohibitive title favorites when they look more like they should be lumped in together with SA, Boston, and Dallas rather than clearly ahead of them.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...

Yeah, I was actually hanging out last weekend with a guy who was talking about the Ron Artest art show, some friends of his were involved.. and then Ron Artest showed up. He, of course, recieved a text message/tweet as soon as this happened.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Loyal bawful enthusiast here--I strayed from bawful for a few weeks last season and subsequently missed the original "Ball" joke. Since then, I've seen a thousand "Ball" jokes go by without as much as cracking a smile. Can someone please explain/link me to the original joke? I searched for it in the archives but it's hard to dig something out when you never where it was.

Oh, and a question for Wild Yams: Why don't you start a blog?

Blogger chris said...
Anonymous: the original "Ball" reference comes from...


Blogger Dan B. said...
I still love watching that interview so much. The awkward silence, the interviewer stammering while trying to figure out what the hell Hedo meant, the complete confusion... it's so perfect.


Blogger dunkfu said...
"but their cake walk schedule led people to think of them as prohibitive title favorites when they look more like they should be lumped in together with SA, Boston, and Dallas rather than clearly ahead of them."

- I think the fact that they have been to three Finals in a row and won the last two has more of an impact in people calling them a favorite. I haven't heard any sane unbiased writer or announcer say the are clearly ahead of Boston and San Antonio. The most praise you get is its Lakers and Boston are the two best teams in the league and really, looking back at the last three years, isn't that pretty accurate?

Blogger The Sports Hayes said...
I don't buy into "They have an easy schedule" in determining how good the Lakers are because you're supposed to beat those teams.

Now, if the Lakers get smoked by the Heat and then lose to Boston next month...then you have to wonder how good they really are.

The saddest part about last night's destruction of the Sixers, is that if the playoffs started now I think they'd be in it.

Anonymous JJ said...
Nash saying positive things about the trade and his current situation is not surprising since that's what he does. He's not a cancer. That's why people like him.

Anyway, Anonymous, thanks for asking about the "ball" joke and Chrises, thanks for answering. I also missed the joke and will have to check it out later.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
FeerTheDeer - That was pretty horrible, you stay classy.

Karc - I have this image of you at home with like a Kobe Bryant dartboard and a Kobe Bryant voodoo doll or something. In all my years reading basketball blogs online, I've never seen a more dedicated Kobe hater, so kudos for continuing to bring it the way you do :) You and I are probably the two people here most guilty of always bringing up the Lakers in any discussions going on (which, believe it or not, is something I try hard not to do, and obviously fail miserably at). I'm curious though, will you hate the Lakers anywhere near as much when Kobe retires?

AnacondaHL - You're totally right about Nash. If he wants to chase a ring with another team he can go to the Suns and ask for a trade, or he can leave as a free agent after next season and go to the team of his choosing. I will say that I think if Phoenix wants to make a real run at a championship that they're probably gonna need to rebuild from the ground up, and will probably need to do it around someone other than Nash, but it would be pretty shitty and disloyal to trade him against his wishes after the way he re-signed with them like that. It's probably best at this point to just ride the Nash era out until he retires or decides on his own to go somewhere else and then just go from there.

Anon - I'd be horrible at doing my own blog. I prefer to piss and moan in fits and spurts here and there with little accountability. I'd be absolutely awful at trying to produce content on a daily basis and think my analysis is probably too biased to be very valid. To make a blog that's worth a damn, you've got to produce solid entries on at worst a daily basis, and preferably a couple times a day. That is just a shit load of writing to do, and I've marveled before at how Mr. Bawful does it. My guess is that for people like him or Dan B. or other bloggers out there that it's just a labor of love, but for me my attempts at blogging in the past have always felt like more of a grind, and I dont' think you can make a great blog when it feels like that to the author.

Blogger The Sports Hayes said...
Well, Larry Brown can take no more. said he's stepped down as head coach.

Anyone think he'll retire for good?

Anonymous Bryan said...
@FeartheDear - Why would you root for knee injuries? This is just a game. Im not sure people should be taking it serious enough to wish ill will on these guys' lively hoods.

Before kobe got ejected for politely telling the referees to go have sex with themselves, he had 3 straight charge or block calls. After everyone he had something to say to the refs. I was surprised they let them go as long as they did. But with all thats been said about the Lakers easy early schedule, they also have played the 2nd fewest home games. So that has to count for something. Not much though, seeing that none of their wins have been all that impressive since the 34 point win against the kings almost 3 weeks ago. And lets be honest...the kings might be the worst team in the NBA right now.

Blogger Unknown said...
Thats all u got ta say bout th warrior game, how bout 6 freebies, out of bounds by th kings and vlad hittin th deep 3 in th final seconds. Wow

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
OK, this HIGH SCHOOL dunk contest linked from TrueHoop is completely ridiculous.

Anonymous stevester said...
dunkfu -

I'm too lazy to look up quotes, but I'd say it was a pretty clear consensus among writers after the first two weeks of the season when the Lakers ripped off an 8 game win streak (6 at home) against exactly one team that's over .500 at this point (the 15-14 Blazers) or after the first month when they were 13-2 (only 2 more games against over .500 teams at that point) that they were absolutely head and shoulders above the rest of the league.

How many times did we have to read about Odom's national team rejuvenation or "the killer B's" pushing them to a new level in that month?

Sure, as they've been dropping games recently people have been readjusting their expectations, but it's hardly been that way all year.

Blogger chris said...
KHayes: Doesn't look like he stepped down so much as His Airness told Marvin the Martian to force Brown's staff out:

Anonymous JJ said...

I predict MJ will now become the first coach/owner! That would be pretty interesting though I doubt he'll be good at it.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
@AnacondaHL: christmas spirit up in this bitch.

Indeed: happy holidays bitches!

Anonymous Czernobog said...
"but their cake walk schedule led people to think of them as prohibitive title favorites when they look more like they should be lumped in together with SA, Boston, and Dallas rather than clearly ahead of them."

I'd actually put SA on the bubble of that group, so to speak (and I'm an SA homer.) Their schedule has been pretty damn cake-y as well, and they've lost to the only real contender they've faced so far. To me the coming week will tell me if they're the real deal or just some sort of twisted version of the Suns.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
BTW, basketball reference continues to own hard, and now has Margin Of Victory and Strength Of Schedule (relative) right on the main summary page. Have a gander at the Miscellaneous Statistics section.

Yes, Lakers schedule has been creampuff, Spurs schedule easy too, but tied at 25th, equivalent to the Kings schedule, and the Spurs margin and SRS are much higher, I'm addition to the obviously better record. Lots of this can be blamed on the non-Bynum, non-defense they'd been doing, but it's clear they've got to step up if they want to repeat.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AnacondaHL - Absolutely agree. If the Lakers keep playing like this, they're gonna be gone early on in the playoffs. Like I wrote above, I think the Lakers' problems are almost all on the offensive end of the floor and I really do think they need to get Bynum back into the starting lineup (as soon as he's ready to play more than 18 minutes a game, of course) and the Lakers need to work on their inside game. Gasol really is getting pushed around a lot playing center and the Lakers need Bynum to help establish that inside presence. They've really looked shockingly awful a lot of times so far this season.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh, actually I was more blaming the defense, as no team has ever won a championship as 2 standard deviations above average on offensive efficiency while 1 standard deviation below average on defense, which is what the Lakers have been showing prior to Bynum's return.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
The Laker D has been real up and down this season. Oddly enough, it was really quite poor during their "good" stretch to begin the year, but then it got a lot better when they started playing poorly and losing games. I think the defense will get better the more minutes Bynum gets, but just from watching them, the thing they really need to work on is their offense.

During the first 14 games of the season the Lakers only scored less than 100 points only once, when they scored 99 in a win over Minnesota. In the 15 games since then they've only broke 100 points 5 times, and they've had some pretty anemic point totals: 92 against Indiana, 96 against Memphis, 87 against the Clippers, 84 against the Bulls, 93 against Philadelphia and 79 against the Bucks.

I think the Laker offensive numbers are just currently being buoyed by their insanely good start to the year. I'll bet if you could look at their offensive efficiency from Games 1-14 and compare that to the rest of the games, it would look like night and day.