dwight hug
Dwight needed a hug after the way his team quit on him last night.

The Philadelphia 76ers: Good teams find a way to win, right? Well, here at Basketbawful, we prefer to say that bad teams find a way to lose.

Enter the world of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Yeah, yeah, I know. They'd won four of their last five games. Excuse me for not being all that impressed by victories over the Nyets, Frail Blazers (during their six-game losing streak), Bobcraps and Cavaliers.

Facing a Celtics team that was playing on the road on the second night of back-to-back games without their first, second and third-string centers, the Sixers gave it everything they had. As long as you don't consider "putting a hand in a face" a part of "everything." Boston lit Philly up: 56 percent from the field and 58 percent from beyond the arc. I mean, it really did look like the C's got pretty much whatever shots they wanted.

Semih Erden -- the starting center by default -- was 2-for-2.

Still, the Sixers were persistent and the Celtics just couldn't shake them. There were 14 lead changes in the fourth quarter. It pissed me off. I'm guessing that was how Lakers fans felt on Wednesday night when it took a last second shot to pull out a win against the Clippers.

The Celtics followed the same script. Or maybe they were emulating the Milwaukee Bucks from their win against the Pacers. Eh, whatever. What happened was this. Andre Iguodala hit a running hook shot with 6.6 seconds left to give Philly a 101-100 lead. Boston responded...like this:

I know it wasn't easy. I know that. But damn if Philly's defense didn't make it look easy. Nobody ever even touched Kevin Garnett on that play.

The Sixers had 1.4 seconds left to counter, but KG stole the inbounds pass. Well, okay, it was thrown right to him. Game over.

Said Garnett: "Rajon threw a perfect pass and I just banked it. The crazy part about all that is that I messed that play up so many times in practice. It's only right that the basketball gods gave it to me tonight."

The sound you just heard was the basketball gods going "whaaaaaa...?"

Added Doc Rivers: "We worked on that last week. We tried to run it early and had bad timing. It's just funny how things work out. It's a low-clock play. The ball's in the best passer's hands, and you have shooters on the floor. The whole sell was Paul Pierce and it worked."

Said Doug Collins: "What a heartbreaking loss. To play so hard and so well. That Celtics team is so good, so well-coached, and they have so many different ways that they can attack you on the offensive end. It was just a shame. It would have been an incredible win for us here. We had a great crowd tonight, and we had some good plays. I just feel so badly for our guys."

Doug Collins, pre-game quote machine: Maybe this was why the Sixers kept things so close: "I'm hoping our guys are going to take this as a great chance to see how exciting it is to be on TNT, and obviously I'm selling TNT here a little bit."

Reggie Miller, quote machine: From Basketbawful reader Bryan: "Quality announcing by Reggie Miller after Ray Allens 3-pointer with a minute to go: 'You dont leave him wide open on a wide open 3-pointer.'"

The New Jersey Nyets: Nyets-Mavericks was more human interest story than basketball game. Avery Johnson made his emotional return to Dallas. There were hugs and handshakes and, for all I know, pre-game handjobs all around. But all the lovey-dovey feelings didn't make the Nyets not the Nyets, you know?

New Jersey -- minus rookie Derrick Favors (bruised thigh) and forced to play the final three quarters without Devin Harris (sprained shoulder) -- fell behind by as many as 18 points in the second quarter and by as many as 21 early in the second half. Then the Nyets got aggressive and went to the line 18 times in the third quarter. Yeah, you read that correctly. It was like a case of road cookin'.

I guess the officials felt sorry for Avery. He is coaching New Jersey after all.

Anyway, the Nyets got the deficit down to single digits (81-73) early in the fourth quarter, but I think we all knew how this was going to end, right? When your opponents shoots 55 percent to your 41 percent, and you're the New Jersey Nyets, the outcome is practically preordained.


The Nyets are now 6-17. They've lost six in a row and 11 straight on the road. And their next game is against the Lakers. Sorry, guys.

As for the Mavs, they're now 18-4 and have an interesting five-game stretch coming up: Utah, Milwuakee, Portland, Phoenix and then at Miami.

The Orlando Magic: The Magic and Pumaman versus the Frail Blazers and the Ghost of Greg Oden. Now guess which team outrebounded the other 47-40 (including 13-6 on the offensive glass) and had a 50-34 scoring edge in the paint?

The Frail Blazers of course.

Mount Saint Howard erupted all over the Frail Blazers last night: 13-for-20 from the field, 13-for-18 from the line, 39 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and a steal. To bad his teammates didn't make the trip to Portland with him. Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter combined to go 10-for-36 from the field and 3-for-13 from downtown. Quentin Richardson played 18 scoreless minutes. Brandon Bass scored zero points in 13 minutes. Chris Duhon -- Orlando's key offseason acquisition -- finished with 2 points and 2 assists in 16 minutes.


According to the AP recap: "Magic coach Stan Van Gundy sequestered his team behind closed doors well after the game."

Ooo, I bet that was fun.

Said Van Gundy: "We have to play the game better, and we have to play it with a lot more energy, alertness and cohesiveness."

Countered Howard: "You can't coach energy. You can't coach hard work. It comes from a player. If you don't want to play hard, you've got to sit down and let somebody else step up."

I'm not sure whether he said that while looking directly at Vince and Rashard, but he probably should have.

The Magic have now lost three in a row after winning six straight. They still have a decent record...but they just don't look very good. Carter and Lewis

Ron Artest, charitable quote machine: On his plan to donate "either all or some" of his 2010-11 salary to charities to benefit mental health awareness: "It's fun, it's exciting. It's almost like a basketball game because it's that exciting. It feels like dunking on somebody, and I don't dunk much. It's just exciting and it's weird. It's a weird excitement. It's not like fun and games because it's a real issue, but for me, it's exciting to be a part of. It's going to make an impact. It will snowball. It will have a domino effect later. It will have a domino effect real, real soon once people see exactly what's going on."

I hope those snowballs domino for you, Ron. I really do.

Bonus stats: Two Lakers are in the Top 10 in Win Shares: Pau Gasol and...Lamar Odom. Two Heat players are also in the Top 10: LeBron James and...Chris Bosh.

Newsflash: The Knicks are winning by scoring. Now here's the bad news I've been talking about: The Knicks have had the second-easiest schedule so far this season. They have the second-toughest schedule the rest of the way.

Chris's TNT Thursday Lacktion Report:

Magic-Frail Blazers: Marcin Gortat had exactly 5 minutes to drop a rebound and assist...only to raise Stan Van Gundy's blood pressure some with a brick, two turnovers, and a foul for a 3:1 Voskuhl.

For Portland, Patrick Mills churned out a pair of bricks from Pioneer Courthouse Square and lost the rock once there for a +3 suck differential in 5:10, while Sean Marks made 2.4 trillion (2:24) worth of celebratory moolah!

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Anonymous greggrant said...
Now, for that bonus stat: that's why these advanced stats are still flawed, even though I love them: Chris Bosh is the most underachieving from the Heat trio. I watch a lot from their games and he is almost a negative on defense while stationing on the perimeter all the time on offense, hardly attacking the rim.
Of course, if you look at some stat, like value above replacement player, he gets the most positive compared to Juwan Howard (I know, I know, the formula is not like that, but still...)

Blogger Scott said...
"The Magic have now lost three in a row after winning six straight. They still have a decent record...but they just don't look very good. Carter and Lewis"

That last 'sentence' says it all.

Anonymous gatormcd54 said...
Don't underestimate the impact Dwight's unhappiness with his current teammates has on Otis Smith's decision of whether or not to make a trade. Dwight made very similar comments about needing players who give it all after the ECF last season too.

Anonymous Barry said...
Dwight's shoulder is bigger than the ref's head. I'd be terrified.

Blogger Factfinder said...
Re: "Avery Johnson screamed..."

I think he needs to do a beer commercial. :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nobody touched Garnett, except of course the guy he barreled over on his blatant moving screen violation.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
greggrant - Uh, that's not underacheiving. That's exactly the game he played in Toronto, and out of the Heat 3, he's actually been doing Okay.

While Lebron and Wade have experienced counter-trend drops in efficiency with their decreased usage, Bosh has been about on target. Their offense actually looks really bad without Bosh on the floor, and he seems to be the key to meeting the arbitrary January chemistry date.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Half Man, Half Season. Is JJ Reddick starting yet? Talk about a team that should be in the market for Rip Hamilton.. (sorry Bawful!)

Anonymous Kyle said...
I think thats a pretty grey area as to whether or not it's a moving screen. Though his body is certainly squared up like hes setting a screen when he starts to move, its also the beginning of the cut hes making to the basket. Besides no ref is going to make that call at the end of the game. Philly played miserably bad defense on the play and deserved to lose.

Blogger chris said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That's my problem with refereeing in the NBA. I hate the off the books rule of how nearly all fouls are contextual. It's either a foul or it isn't. If you aren't going to call it with less than a minute left in the game, then don't ever call it. Picking and choosing when they call fouls is maddening, particularly to the fans who get the short end of the stick. Saying Philly deserved to lose a game in which they hung with the best in the east down to the wire is crass by the way.

Blogger KHayes666 said...
The same people (mostly Laker fans) who bitch about Garnett's "illegal screens" never said a word when Dwight Howard's elbows knocked out Marquis Daniels (for the Finals to boot) and Glen Davis in last year's playoffs. Not saying those people are biased but...

Also, like Kyle said...no ref is going to end a game on a call like that unless the "victim" pulls a Ginobli flop and pretends to be hurt.

Blogger Evan said...
I can't imagine LeBron James being on the Orlando Magic under Stan Van Gundy. Somehow I'd see him instigating the loss on everyone but himself, and then storm out.

Anonymous Kyle said...
I agree that it can be maddening that some calls arent made down the stretch. However, unless youre the 2002 Kings against the Lakers it usually tends to be pretty even. The biggest problem with saying that things are a clear foul is that it all comes down to what the refs can see. Its easy to see something in slow motion when you watch it 8 times on replay. The speed at which the game transpires is just so fast, and the calls rely so much upon what the refs can see that any call is inevitably going to be subjective. Even watching on TV gives you an elevated perspective over what the refs can see.

Oh and I give Philly props for staying in it against the 76'ers. They should have won, or at least would have had a much better chance to win the game, if they simply hadnt played miserable defense on that play.

Blogger Dan B. said...
FYI guys, apologies in advance, but I won't be able to do a BAD post tonight. I've been on the road for work the past couple days and I'm absolutely drained. But on the plus side I got to go through the Corvette museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky last night, and that was pretty friggin' sweet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Manu Ginobili saw an UFO!
I should really learn how to hyperlink.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Manu Ginobili saw an UFO!
I should really learn how to hyperlink.

I'm surprised he didn't swat it out of the sky.

Blogger Bing said...
Question, how is Ron Ron in the Worst of the Night for doing something good for a charity close to his heart (or mad mad brain)??

He should be in the Worst of the Year ranking for still not knowing the triangle and admitting to a journo that he just stands in the corner. Jesus. That is not hard for the D to cover.

Anonymous Czernobog said...

I read it as a jab at his rhetoric/wording, along with a genuine hope that it does eventually work out and the issue gets the recognition he wants it to.

For myself, I'm finding it hard to hate the guy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Vince Carter, after last nights 0-4 from 3 shooting night, is now 2-28 from 3 in road games. That's 7.14%. Is there some kind of record for poor road shooting?

Blogger LotharBot said...
Dec 10: Raptors Defense really showed up, holding the Nuggets to 98 points... in the first 3 quarters. Yes, that's what happens when the Defense comes from the Raptors.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
STAT with the triple bumble tonight :)

Anonymous Karc said...
@Yams - Lakers respond with the three-quarter bumble tonight after crushing the Bulls in the first quarter.

Seriously, how bawful was that second quarter? I think what annoyed Laker fans more (besides that fact that Thibs can trounce the triangle any day of the week), was that like most Laker losses, they started going to the errant 3-ball instead of inside. Late in the game they made it interesting, by making four straight layups. Imagine if they had gone to that two minutes before the game was out of reach.

And they have yet to play the Spurs, Mavs, Heat, Celtics, or Magic, and they already lost to the Nuggets and the Jazz. Go on Andrew Bynum, save the team. Yeesh.

Blogger stephanie g said...
Simmons and Jackson need to get a room.

What's the opposite of "doing work"? Because Bosh is doing that right now.

Great moment when Dampier was under the basket getting gangbanged by the entire GS team while the rest of the Heat team are in the backcourt watching in horror for 10 seconds.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Karc - The most annoying thing about Thibs tonight was every time they had a mic on him he sounded like he'd been gargling with gravel.

Until Bynum comes back and Gasol and Odom get a chance to start resting some, I'm not holding out too much hope for the Lakers. I went on and on about this yesterday, but basically with Gasol and Odom as tired as they are, going inside isn't really a choice for the Lakers right now. The Lakers looked great to start, but they just wear down. Luckily Bynum should be back soon, then we'll get a look at what the Lakers are really gonna be like. They've won the last two championships, I've got no reason to be worried.

BTW, to anyone having to listen to Bill Simmons guest commentate during the Heat-Warriors game, this will make a lot of sense.

Anonymous Mladen said...
I bet Bawful is one happy blogger right now. =) Congrats, the Bulls earned it! (And I like to see the Lakers fail.)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Question, how is Ron Ron in the Worst of the Night for doing something good for a charity close to his heart (or mad mad brain)??

Fyi, earning "quote machine" status is different than getting a Worst of the Night entry. Quote machines are just interesting/funny/odd things that are said. I think what Ron's doing is great.

I bet Bawful is one happy blogger right now. =) Congrats, the Bulls earned it! (And I like to see the Lakers fail.)

Big time. It was a nice "reward" for what was a truly shitty week at work. I was so busy, I couldn't even get up to pee or eat. I felt like a galley slave.

Anonymous Mladen said...

Sorry to hear that. At least now you have the pleasure of covering a reasonably successful team, which will probably make it past the first round. Actually, considering the Heat's gaping holes, the Celtic's old age, and Orlando's vaginae (hooray for spell-checker!), I could see the Bulls making it out of the East, but only if they get monster games from Rose, Noah and Boozer in the playoffs.

WV: "woryton" - As in, a marathon of worrying? I guess that's been my experience this season as a Heat fan.

Anonymous Karc said...
I love the smell of bawful in the morning.

Lakers barely beat the Nets. I mean, they showed up in the last two minutes of the game, something they could have done in every game they lost this year. I don't know the final numbers, but they pretty much let one of the worst offensive teams in the league (29th in ppg, 26th in pts. per 100) get about 50 points in the paint.

If not for some turnover foolishness (seriously, Lopez had that dunk) and bricks by Jordan Farmar (I guess as an apology to Kobe for breaking his finger on that errant pass last year that has it signed up for early AARP arthritis benefits), this is a Boston losing to the Nyets at home situation, as in done, in early December. Ok, maybe not. But a couple of days of comedy, at least.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Bynum's supposed to be back for the Lakers' next game (though knowing him, I wouldn't be surprised if a press release comes out in the next 24 hours saying his target date has been pushed back till after the All-Star break). Hopefully his return will allow Gasol and Odom to get some much needed rest, which will then hopefully allow Gasol to go back to playing like a guy who doesn't look like he's in the home stretch of a marathon, which will then hopefully allow Kobe to relinquish the reins on offense, which will then finally get the Laker offense back to running efficiently, which will then translate into more Laker victories.

My Laker-biased homerism hope is that Bynum's return will begin a domino effect and the Lakers will get back on track. Someone on LA hitting their threes would be nice too (but that too comes from not really having a great inside presence lately with Gasol being such a shell of himself).

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