The Indiana Pacers: What was the worst part of this game from Indy's perspective? Take you're pick: Was it that they a) fell behind 36-18 after one quarter, b) scored a mere 9 points in the fourth, c) finished the game with only 72 points on 33 percent shooting, d) ended up with a 44-5 disadvantage in free throw attempts while playing at home, e) lost by 21 despite the fact that Cleveland went 23-for-44 from the foul line (including 10-for-17 for King Crab), or f) BALL.

Yep...I'm gonna go with BALL.

The Detroit Pistons: Well, Joe Dumars finally realized his dream of fielding all four of his big guns (Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince). The result was...a 92-65 home loss to the Miami Heat in which the Pistons shot 39 percent and got outrebounded 52-25. By the way, that point total was only one above the franchise record for fewest points in a game. Gak.

Said Hamilton (8 points, 4-for-14): "There is no way we should score like this with the offensive guys we've got on this team. We've got to get better. This was a bad night in all aspects of the game."

He's not wrong.

Detroit fell to 1-4 on their current home stand and have now scored below 100 points in 21 of their last 22 games. And they've lost 18 of those games.

The Los Angeles Clippers: It's hard to believe that a few short games ago, The Other L.A. Team was actually threatening to reach .500. But back-to-back double-digit losses to the New Jersey Nyets and Minnesota Timberpoops -- a.k.a. the two worst teams in the league -- have proven, once again, the Clippers are indeed who we thought they were.

The best part is that the Clips held a players-only meeting after getting their butts whupped by the Nyets...and the result was a 14-point loss to the Timberpoops? What the hell did they talk about in that meeting?!

Said Marcus Camby: "We just talked about salvaging the rest of this season and this thing's not over for us and to put Wednesday's loss behind us. Hopefully we could come out and respond the right way, but we didn't."

No kidding.

Added Baron Davis: "We let two games get away that we should have won, had we played with the effort, had we played with the freedom and the mentality that we need to play with in order to be successful. It only gets tougher from this point."

Can we just go ahead and pronounce the Clippers' season dead?

By the way, thanks to Basketbawful reader Wouter for submitting this useless stat of the night from the ESPN Weekend Dime: "The Clippers' Chris Kaman, edged out of an All-Star berth by Randolph, recently became just the fifth center in the league to post two 20-point games in the same season in head-to-head starts against Washington's Brendan Haywood. The others: Shaquille O'Neal (2004-05 season and 2005-06), Orlando's Dwight Howard (2006-07), Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut (2007-08) and Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire (2007-2008)."

Remember: People get paid to look this stuff up. As Wouter said: "Seriously, I had to read that four times before it actually made sense. Then I realized they were talking about Brendan Haywood. Then it didn't make sense again."

The Boston Celtics: Let's say that you're a wanna-be championship contender who's struggling with injury problems, dealing with shaky chemistry, and facing the second night of back-to-back road games against two of your three biggest Eastern Conference rivals. Oh, and you lost the first of those two games in heartbreaking fashion after choking away a 16-point lead. If you were that team, the last thing you'd want to do is provide the second team any additional motivation, especially considering you were already 0-3 against them this season.

And yet that's exactly what the Celtics did when Kendrick Perkins said his team "put a hit out" on Atlanta's Jamal Crawford, who torched the C's for 18, 18, and 17 points off the bench earlier this season.

Said Crawford: "I heard something about it before the game. We got fired up."

Yeah. You could say that. From TrueHoop:

After the Hawks scored only seven points in the first nine minutes, Crawford came off the bench and immediately turned the tide. His half court shot to end the first quarter gave Atlanta its first lead, and he clinched the win with two huge plays late. The first was a long 2-point jumper that banked in -- unintentionally -- as Rajon Rondo fouled him, giving the Hawks a commanding 10-point lead with 3:26 left.

"I didn't yell bank," he admitted, "I think the bank's closed now."

Then, with Boston closing the margin and having the ball, he stole a pass from Rondo and cruised in for a dunk to put Atlanta up 97-88 with 1:05 left and effectively end the proceedings.

In winning, Atlanta swept the season series from a conference foe that has been reluctant to acknowledge them as a rival. ...The win moved Atlanta into sole possession of second place in the East, setting the stage for an uncomfortable possibility for the Celtics -- having to play a second-round series without home-court advantage against an Atlanta squad that owned them in the regular season. Atlanta leads Boston by a half a game and owns the tiebreaker.
Yep. It's really, really official now. The Celtics are in trouble.

Doc Rivers, non-motivational speaker: Regarding his team's chances against the Hawks: "I don't really know if we could have won the game tonight, the way the Hawks were playing. Especially coming off a back-to-back, this is a tough team to play." When a coach of a champion wanna-be states flatly that he doesn't know if his team even had a chance to win a critical game against a heated rival...that's a bad sign.

The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued with an 81-79 home loss to the lowly Washington Wizards Generals Bullets. And the dagger to New Jersey's heart was the go-ahead jumper by Earl Boykins with 0.4 seconds left. Whew! Back-to-back victories totally would have knocked the Nyets off course in their bid for the worst record in NBA history. Thanks, Earl!

(And thanks to the Nyets for giving up 15 offensive boards and missing 8 free throws.)

The Denver Nuggets: It would have been a pretty tall order for the Nuggets to beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City without 'Melo, but it's worth noting that the 17-point loss was Denver's second-largest defeat of the season.

Said Nuggets coach George Karl: "Our offense at the end of the third quarter just destroyed us. J.R.'s shot selection and turnovers just took a possible comeback and took it to a 20-point game."

J.R. Smith: It's never good when your ooach calls you out like that.

Arron Afflalo Basketbawful reader zyth nominated Afflalo for getting his junk swatted by a one-shoed Kevin Durant. And because we here at Basketbawful aim to please...

Portland's interior defense: The Rockets hit 17 layups, dunked three times and finished with 52 points in the paint in their 104-100 win over the Frail Blazers. You think Portland is missing Greg "Yes, I have a giant schlong, okay?!" Oden and the Vanilla Godzilla?

The Sacramento Kings: After their 101-94 loss to the Jazz in Utah, the Kings are 3-15 since their historic 35-point comeback in Chicago. Meanwhile, after their 106-104 overtime victory over the Hornets in Charlotte, the Bulls are 13-6 during that same stretch and went above .500 (23-22) for the first time since they were 6-5 in late November. Weird, huh?

By the way, did the Sactowners forget Paul Milsap plays for Utah? Sappy almost had a triple double, finishing with 32 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists while starting in place of the injured Carlos Boozer. By the way, if anybody out there had any doubt whether Boozer was finished as a member of the Jazz after this season, well, there's your answer.

The Gol_en State Warriors: Stephen Jackson returned to Oakland and finally benefited from his old team's complete and utter lack of D. Captain Jack scored 30 of Charlotte's 121 points in the Bobcats' double-digit road win over the second-worst team in the West.

Guess that trade didn't work out so well.

From the AP recap: "Since the trade that also included Acie Law going to the Bobcats in exchange for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic, Charlotte has gone 20-16, improved its scoring average by more than 15 points and moved into a tie with Chicago for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Golden State, on the other hand, is just 10-26 since sending Jackson away -- and scoring 5.2 fewer points."

Friday lacktion report: There's no joy for Chris in Sactown...but there is, as always, lacktion.

Lakers-Sixers: Josh Powell briefly added mushrooms to his diet in a 4 second Super Mario, while Jason Kapono buttoned his overalls for a 45 second Mario of his own!

Celtics-Hawks: YES! MARIO WEST SCORED A 26 SECOND MARIO TO EARN HIS FIRST NAMESAKE STAT OF THE YEAR! Meanwhile, Brian Scalabrine bricked once in 5:21 for a +1 suck differential.

Heat-Pistons: Detroit's Jason Maxiell fouled twice and tossed a brick in 7:33 for a +3.

Bullets-Nyets: Fabricio Oberto fabulously fouled out in 19:06 and lost the rock as well for a 7:2 Voskuhl (against one field goal)!

Frail Blazers-Rockets: Jeff Pendergraph wired two fouls in 2:49 for a +2 suck differential and 2:0 Voskuhl! In non-lacktive news, Steve Blake earned a Calvin Murphy via 14 points and 9 assists!!!

Kings-Jazz: Donte Greene, as the purple paupers' starting forward, bricked once in 4:24 for a +1, while Jon Brockman negated two boards in 12:10 with 5 fouls and a loss of the rock for a 6:2 Voskuhl!

Not lacktion, but still noteworthy: Tyreke "The Freak" Evans with a Dantley by scoring 13 of 25 points from the stripe. (And in the Bobcats-Warriors game, Ronald Murray scored 8 of 12 points in charity for his own Dantley as well.)

The Atlanta Hawks: Hmm...second night of back-to-backs...playing on the road against a good team...and the result is a 104-86 blowout. Where have we heard this one before? Dwight Howard finished with 31 points and 19 rebounds, J.J. Redick dished out a career-high 7 assists, and Jamal Crawford came back down to earth by shooting 6-for-17 from the field. The Hawks have now lost six straight times to the Magic, including all three games this season.

Said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson: "We haven't figured [Orlando] out, that's all I can tell you." Thanks for the words of wisdom, coach.

Hawks bench
Time for the official "sad bench" photo.

The New York Knicks: The latest humiliation in the latest season full of humiliations: a 10-point loss to the Wizards Generals Bullets. And they resurrected Mike Miller in the process. Miller scored a season-high 25 points -- including 17 in the third quarter -- and hit seven three-pointers.


Of course, it's not all the players' fault. Bricks coach Mike 'Antoni ordered up a zone defense. Said 'Antoni: "You roll the dice a little bit, and this time it got us. I just didn't have a good feeling about us guarding them man-to-man."

You thought man-to-man would turn out worse than Mike Miller returning from the dead to drill seven threes?!

The Memphis Grizzlies: The Griz had their 11-game home winning streak snapped and blew holes in my theory about what happens to teams playing on the road on the second night of back-to-backs against a good team. The Hornets -- who were without Chris Paul, by the way -- were coming off a tough OT loss at home to the Bulls but managed to pull out a 109-102 OT win in Memphis. After the Grizzlies built a 21-point lead in the third quarter? And New Orleans rookie Darren Collison stepped in for CP3 and delivered a Collison a 17-point, 18 assist performance?


Maybe I was a little too forgiving of that 7-point loss in San Antonio on Friday.

The Miami Heat: Hey, the East's leading candidate for "Bipolar Girlfriend Team of the Year" struck again! One night after almost holding the Pistons to a new franchise low for points scored in a game, the Heat lost 95-84 to the Bucks. Normally, I'd blame the supporting cast, but on this night we turn a hairy eyeball toward...

Dwayne Wade: The line: 6-for-20 from the field, 0-for-6 from downtown and a co-game-high 4 turnovers. Plus, he was limited to 31 minutes due to foul trouble. (He finished with 5 personals.)

Brandon Jennings, quote machine: Regarding Charlie Bell, who spent most of the game guarding Pookie: "I guess we got the D-Wade stopper on the team right now."

I wouldn't want to be Charlie Bell next time the Bucks play the Heat. I'm just sayin'.

The Sacramento Kings: Ugh. Make it 3-16 since their historic 35-point comeback in Chicago. And now, the obligatory facepalm picture, courtesy of Dan. B.

Kings facepalm

The Dallas Mavericks: After a recent 1-point win over the Wizards Generals Bullets -- in which Shawn Marion blocked Caron Butler's last-second shot attempt -- Jason Kidd said:

"Winning on a defensive possession, you wouldn't say that in the past about the Mavericks. It would be us trying to get a basket on the other end. This year, we've really focused on playing defense. We looked at the last champions and said, 'Hey, they all played defense.' So that's what we're focused on right now, and Shawn really made a great play on Caron at the end."
So...this is a new era of defense in Dallas, eh? Then please explain to me, Jason, why you guys lost 114-112 in overtime at home to the Portland Frail Blazers after letting Andre Miller score a career-high 52 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter and the OT?

Yeah. That's what I thought.

Bad timing: Basketbawful reader gordon gartrelle asked: "Have you all commented on this Kobe/Lebron gun-themed "controversy?" ESPN and the NBA get the gasface for this nonsense." No, I haven't. This is just another sign of the general wussification of our society in general and the NBA in particular.

Saturday lacktion report: More lacktion from Chris, who has already started planning for the next NBA draft.

Hawks-Magic: Jason Collins took down an offensive rebound in 5:28, but fouled four times and lost the rock once for a 5:1 Voskuhl.

Knicks-Bullets: Dominic McGuire seems intent on beating Steve Novak in an Excite Bike race for most lacktive baller, as evidenced by blasting off a celebratory 3 second Super Mario!!!!

Hornets-Grizzlies: Aaron Gray countered a couple of boards in 6:24 with a trio of fouls to give New Orleans a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Heat-Bucks: Jodie Meeks became Starfox's wingman for a brief 52 seconds, earning himself a Mario!

Frail Blazers-Mavs: Erick Dampier once again lived up to his share of the Mark Cuban fortune by negating a trio of boards with three fouls in 24:53 and a giveaway for a 4:3 Voskuhl.

The San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs were playing at home, and the Nuggets were without Carmelo Anthony. That should have more than balanced out the fact that Tony Parker was also MIA, particularly since George Hill stepped in for TP and stepped up with 17 points (8-for-16) and 4 assists. Sadly, San Antonio still got handled as Kenyon Martin (27/11/4) totally outplayed Tim Duncan (16/10/1). The final score (103-89) wouldn't have even been that close if the Nuggets hadn't had a case of bumble-itis (19 turnovers for 27 points going the other way).

By the way, Martin's 27 points was a season-high. Moreover, Denver shot 53.6 percent from the field...and only three teams have had a better single-game FGP against the Spurs this season. Oddly enough, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was more grumpy about his team's offense than its defense. The Spurs shot 43 percent for the game and missed 14 of their 17 three-point attempts.

Said Pops: "People need to step up and start making shots."

Are we all finally comfortable shutting and locking SA's championship window? The draft is really starting to annoy me. Speaking of which...

The Boston Celtics: After losing tough back-to-back road games against the Magic and Hawks -- the latter of which they helped facilitate with the "Tanya Harding" they took out on Jamal Crawford -- the Celtics were looking to salvage a little pride by winning their only regular season home game against the hated Lakers.

Didn't happen...despite the fact that they were up by 11 points (81-70) with just under nine minutes to go. The defining moment of the Celtics' collapse was when Paul Pierce got called for an obvious one-armed pushoff on a very floppery Ron Artest with 27 seconds left and the Leprechauns clinging to a 1-point lead. Ironically, that move is Kobe Classic, by which I actually mean it's a Michael Jordan Classic from back in the day. And Doc Rivers knows it: "At that point, I think it's got to be unbelievable, but I didn't see it so I really can't give an opinion on it. You know, I do know Kobe pushes off a lot."

That, of course, set up a dagger by Kobe. Boston's last shot was an ugly three-pointer by Ray Allen, who was forced to shoot over Lamar Odom. I couldn't help but think: You know, guys, you only needed a two-pointer for the win.

The thing that really struck me watching this game was that Rajon Rondo is, by far, Boston's best player. Like, it's not even close. KG ended up with 10 points, 9 boards and 5 turnovers. Pierce went 4-for-11 and had more fouls (5) than rebounds and assists (4). And Ray Allen finished with 7 points on 2-for-10 shooting. Heck, Tony Allen (14 points, 6-for-9, 3 boards, 2 steals and a block in only 25 minutes) was Boston's second-best player. In fact, the C's might have gotten blown out in the first half if not for him.

At this point, the only hope the Celtics have is...BALL.

By the way, with everybody creaming themselves over Kobe's game-winner, it's worth noting that the Lakers needed that shot from Mamba in part because he was 8-for-20 and took five or six of the worst shots known to man during the second half. Leaning, fading, falling away from deep...the dude was forcing some terrible percentage shots. That garbage may work against an obviously slumping Boston squad, but it probably won't cut it against, say, the Craboliers. Something to think about. Speaking of crustaceans...

The Los Angeles Clippers: After back-to-back losses to the league's two worst teams, what d'you suppose happened when The Other L.A. Team had to play the league's best team on the road?


The Clippers fell behind 46-20 in the first 12 minutes -- during which the Crabs tied an NBA record for three-pointers made in one quarter (11) -- and the game was basically a lost cause from that point on. The three-point barrage, which included two by LeBron from, like, 30 feet out, left Mike Dunleavey, well, stunned.

"I've got money that I'll put them in the gym naked, nobody else on them, and they probably can't make 11 out of 13 again from the same spots. They hit some shots in that first quarter that I know in 30 years of being in the NBA that I've [never] seen a team make."

Wait, wait, wait. Why naked, Mike?! Basketbawful Marc S. has a theory: "I can only assume that by 'naked,' Dumbleavy meant that nobody would guard the Cavaliers in question, but on second thought, maybe this is a little-known Clippers practice technique, which would explain a lot."

Anyway, clearly things got out of hand, and fast. It was so bad that, in the second period, L.A.'s Rasual Butler deflected a pass by Jamario Moon right into his own bucket. That play was so Clippery it should be put on the frachise's all-time lowlight reel. By the way, that 46-point first quarter tied a Crabs' franchise mark for the most points in a single period, and Cleveland's 16 three-pointers missed the team record for threes in a game by one.

Let's face it: The Clippers are who we thought they were.

The Detroit Pistons: Make it 1-5 on their home stand. And they lost to the Magic -- who were playing the second game of back-to-backs -- despite the fact that Orlando lost Jameer Nelson (knee) and Mickael Pietrus (ankle) to injury and had Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis in foul trouble. Oh, and Dwight Howard missed 10 free throws.

How many breaks do the Pistons need?

A few more, apparently. They were down only three points (89-86) and had the ball with nine seconds left, but Ben Gordon opted to pass instead of shoot and the ball was intercepted by Anthony Johnson. Said BG: "I just made a bad decision. I was in the corner and tried to get it to Tayshaun, but Anthony Johnson made a great play. I have to make better decisions with the ball."

No wonder Gordon never wants to pass.

The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued with an 83-79 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nyets actually had a chance to tie the game with eight seconds left, but New Jersey coach Kiki Vandeweghe called what may be the dumbest play known to man, judging solely by how it looked and what it resulted in...which was an awful miss by Jarvis Hayes from about 30 feet from the hoop.

And here is Kiki's post-game quote, as provided by AnacondaHL (with his commentary in brackets): "Last play... I'm gonna take responsibility for that [really now]... We tried to run something that was perhaps a little tricky [so you AND the players were too stupid to pull it off. Got it.]... It was basically a series of flairs is what it ends up, uhm, but, it was a play you typically run from the full court, and we tried to run it at the half court [you are all awful]..."

The saddest postscript on this game comes from former Clipper and current $80 million failure Elton Brand: "No disrespect to the Nets franchise, but [we] couldn't lose this game today. They do have talent over there and they've been in games. I've been on some poor teams, but none so poor that we had only four [wins] more than halfway through." Remember: BRAND WAS A CLIPPER!! Plus, he was on a Chicago Bulls squad that won 17 and 15 games in back-to-back seasons.

Ouch, baby. Major ouch.

The New York Knicks: I honestly thought the Knicks had hit the low point of their season when they got torched by Mike Miller in a loss to the Wizards Generals Bullets. (For further reading, see several paragraphs ago.) Well, I was wrong, okay? I was so very, very wrong...thanks to New York's 112-91 loss to the Minnesota Timberpoops, who I must once again remind you are the second-worst team in the league.

I know playing back-to-back games is rough, but is it that rough? Apparently so. I mean, Minny's bench outscored the Bricks' reserves 51-8. Eek.

After the game, New York coach Mike 'Antoni had to insist that his team hasn't, you know, quit and stuff. "They care. They're trying. No excuses, but a little short-handed. Playing 8 o'clock last night, flying here and playing 6 o'clock doesn't help. We've had a tough schedule last weekend and this weekend and the guys are showing a little bit of it."

Uh huh. Again I say: Does anybody still think LeBron is gonna want to join this team next season?

Sunday lacktion report: Why does Chris love Sunday? Because not only did he get to eat at his favorite Sactown restaraunt, the Kings didn't play...which meant they couldn't lose for a change! Now, onto the lacktivity:

Nuggets-Spurs: Keith Bogans pocketed a 5 trillion for Team Popovich (5:01) while Ian Mahinmi was also in the mood for gold coins, as seen with a 52 second Mario! In a semi-contributory update, Manu Ginobili earned a Calvin Murphy with 14 points and 9 assists.

Lakers-Celtics: Sasha Vujacic bricked once at the (TD)Gaaahden for a +1 in 6:11.

Clippers-Crabs: The Lacktion Brothers are IN THE HOUSE once again at the Q, as Darnell "The Original Lacktion" Jackson tossed a brick from Euclid Avenue for a +1 in 2:28, while Cedric "Lacktion II: Electric Boogaloo" Jackson pinched out a 2.45 trillion in that same timespan!!! For the Team That Is Who We Thought They Were, former Hornet Bobby Brown missed one shot in 2:28 for a +1.

Sixers-Nyets: Philadelphia's Jason Smith earned a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl in 3:23 by countering an assist with a brick and foul.

Suns-Rockets: Jarron Collins took a foul and tossed a brick in 1:41 for a +2 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl! (Steve Nash, in non-lacktive news, scored a Dantley by tossing no bricks from 6 attempts at the stripe, as opposed to 8 bricks in the field.)

Knicks-Wolves: In this not-so-eagrly-awaited pillow fight, Toney Douglas bricked once from St. Anthony Falls for a +1 in 2:47, a suck differential matched by Minnesota's Alexsandar Pavlovic in 1:50 with a brick of his own.

Warriors-Thunder: Vladimir Radmanovic lost the rock once in 2:39 and added a miss from the field for a +2, while ERIC MAYNOR makes his maiden appearance in the ledger with a rather large +6 in 10:34 via brick, two fouls, and three celebratory giveaways!!!!!

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Now here's a guy who could actually make armpit-hair defense work
(via Andy Gray's SI Vault)

Ah, the weekend. Time for BAD, and time for bad basketball. We're throwing the double-team on you tonight. I'll be covering tonight's games, and Wild Yams will be previewing the Saturday and Sunday games.

In case you didn't know already, there are no ESPN games tonight, but we will have two afternoon games on ABC this Sunday. Oh, and even though I finally got the NBA League Pass Broadband deal, I still won't be able to watch Celtics/Hawks tonight. It's nationally broadcast on NBA TV (which my cable provider does not offer), so it's blacked out from online coverage. Ugh.

Before we move on, you really ought to open this link up in another window and read it for a minute: Gilbert Arenas may be smarter than we thought. Poor Washington. I really do feel bad for you.

Oh, and one word: "Ball."

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

"You're going to try to defend me, Dudley? Really?"

"I am fabulous!!!"

"Look at me! I'm actually playing in a game!!"

"Here Goran, let me get that shoelace for you"

Nationally Televised Friday Games:
Celtics at Hawks: The Hawks who have owned the C's this year? Gimpy KG playing like somebody took out his knee with a shotgun? I don't want to talk about this game. I'm just going to assume this will be another Hawks win and try to move on.

All The Other Friday Games:
Crabs at Pacers: Whenever J.J. Hickson has scored higher than his average of 6.9 points per game, the Crabs are 19-0. Now, the true question: is this statistically relevant, or is it comparable to AnacondaHL's awesome stastical-twisting analysis of the greatness that is Mario West?

Lakers at 76ers: The 76ers actually have won more games on the road than at home this year. Then again, when you only have 15 total wins, that's not that hard to do I suppose...

Bulls at Hornets: Not only have the Bulls managed to win four straight on the road against tough competition, they've held those opponents to 49% shooting. This team never played defense like that last year or earlier this year. Somebody check their shoes for Flubber!

Heat at Pistons: The Heat are already, of course, the "Bipolar Girlfriend at That Time of the Month on Crystal Meth" team of 2009-2010, but now they're also without Michael Beasley? Yeah, this is another one of those "flip a coin" games.

Clippers at Timberwolves: The Los Angeles "They Are Who We Thought They Were" Clippers and the Timberpoops? Facepalm.

Wizards Generals Bullets at Nyets: Oh yeah, Basketbawful Game of the Night. And go ahead and look at that facepalm picture again if you'd like. I don't blame you. The Nyets might get lucky and win two in a row. (Nooooooooo!)

Nuggets at Thunder: The Nuggets are on fire like an NBA Jam player, doing everything but dunking from the 3-point-line, and have won 8 straight. The Thunder have dropped three straight. Now watch OKC win this one to confuse us all.

Frail Blazers at Rockets: Houston has lost three straight home games. That hurts, but probably not as much as Brandon Roy's injury.

Grizzlies at Spurs: Accuscore has the Spurs listed as 74% favorites in this game despite Tony Parker's injury. I don't buy that. Then again, they were right about the Suns last night, unlike me, so forget I said anything.

Kings at Jazz: With the way the Jazz are shooting right now, I wouldn't want to be the Purple Paupers. (You know, aside from the whole "making tons of money for playing a game" part.)

Bobcats at Warriors: Ooh. Stephen Jackson's first game at the Oracle Arena since his November trade! This could be fun.

Nationally Televised Saturday Game:
Hawks at Magic: The Hawks are only one game over .500 on the road to begin with, so playing in Orlando one night after playing Boston probably isn't gonna help improve that record much.

All The Other Saturday Games:
Knicks at Wizards Generals Bullets: Here it is, your Basketbawful Game of the Night. Tune in to see David Lee continue his campaign to be the first All Star alternate for the East should someone get hurt in the next couple weeks.

Hornets at Grizzlies: Look who's buzzing into Gay-Mayo country this weekend. Maybe CP3 can give first time All Star Zack Randolph some tips about do's and don'ts for when he shows up in Dallas next month.

Heat at Bucks: I'm sure all the guys from Miami and just thrilled to be spending a weekend in late January in picturesque Milwaukee. If depression sets in too bad, the Bucks might get an easy win out of this.

Frail Blazers at Mavs: Here's hoping the local hospitals in Big D have been put on full alert, what with Portland limping into town.

Bobcats at Kings: Charlotte's still looking for their fifth road win on the year, and Sacramento might just be willing to oblige these feisty Cats as newly-named All Star Gerald Wallace goes back to where his whole career began.

Nationally Televised Sunday Games:
Nuggets at Spurs: Are Melo and Tony Parker gonna actually suit up for this one? It's on ABC, after all.

Lakers at Celtics: The last time the Lakers were in Boston on January 31st, the Celtic crowd chanted "MVP" and "Kobe" for Mr. Bryant. I'm guessing that three short years later we won't see a repeat of that on Sunday. Just a hunch.

Suns at Rockets: With the streak of winless games on TNT behind them, Phoenix looks to resume the tailspin they were in. Also, the next time Amar'''''''e plays a game in Texas it might be in a Spurs uniform, so enjoy this current version while you can.

All The Other Sunday Games:
Clippers at Crabs: Oy, this could get ugly. No word yet on whether the Quicken Loans Arena staff has reinforced the Gatorade tray by the Crabs bench, but considering it's The Other LA Team, there's probably no rush on that for now.

Magic at Pistons: Considering Detroit is 10-4 against Orlando over the last two plus seasons, it would appear that they are the Magicians' Walton's foot. Who knew?

76ers at Nyets: Facing some stiff competition from that Knicks-Wolves game below, this one narrowly edged it out to capture Basketbawful Game of the Night honors.

Pacers at Craptors: Toronto's actually looking to drop that 'C' in front of their team's name, especially if they keep up the 14-5 record they've amassed in their last 19 games. Beating weak teams like Indiana at home can go a long way to getting that done.

Knicks at Timberwolves: In the last week these two teams have lost games by 33 and 50, but they also just played each other on Tuesday and NY won by 27, so I'm thinking the Knicks might have a good chance in this one.

Warriors at Thunder: I can't wait to see if Nellie's gonna change his clothes for this game. BTW, check out the first result on Google images for "Don Nelson". Scary.

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Vinsanity floor burn
Vince Carter...actually diving for a loose ball?
What, was there a twenty dollar bill on the floor?

The Boston Celtics: Let me start off by saying that the Celtics could have -- and maybe should have -- won this game in a blowout had the three zebras not done everything in their power to keep the home team in the game. Orlando's 40-18 free throw advantage doesn't even begin to describe how crazy it was to see Dwight Howard earn a touch foul on one end and then watch Boston's perimeter players getting pushed and pulled around without a whistle on the other end. I have long since given up trying to understand the general inconsistency displayed by NBA officials. I honestly don't care what they decide to call a foul as long as whatever they decide on is called the same way for both teams. If Marcin Gortat gets the call for a hand in his back, then shouldn't Paul Pierce receive a whistle for running through a sea of hacking hands and into an oncoming chest bump on his way to the rim? Seriously, once the Celtics built that 16-point lead, I thought I was watching a game of NBA Live with computer assistance turned on.

Gortat love
"The refs love us! They really love us!"

But whatever. The Celtics were culpable in their own demise. Their worst sin was an inability to control the boards. Forget the total rebounding disparity -- which was 47-32 in case you're interested -- the worst part was Orlando's 17-6 advantage on the offensive glass. Between the foul shots and the second chance shot attempts, the Magic had way too many extra opportunities to put points on the board.

And yet, despite all that, the Celtics still had a chance to win. But that's where Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace come in.

First, it is really sad to see what KG has been reduced to. And I'm not talking about the base stats of 6 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes. The dude is well on his way to joining the Chris Webber Memorial One-Legged All-Stars. No, really. Garnett is playing with one leg out there. Are we still supposed to believe his injury was a simple hyperextension? Doc Rivers said Garnett was just "off" last night, and that he was "OK" physically. I call big-time shenanigans. And whatever is really wrong with him, it seems to have stripped him not only of his mobility but of his fire as well. That I-will-cut-you-to-pieces-and-then-eat-the-pieces mentality that has driven KG throughout his career seemed to be missing last night. It was stunning...and troubling...and downright depressing.

But I tried to pretend it wasn't happening until Orlando's final two plays. The first of which was a long three-pointer by J.J. Redick, who has apparently supplanted both Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter as the Magic's crunch-time shooter. KG was responsible for either switching or showing on Redick's three to force a pass or a bad shot. Only he didn't quite commit to it. My guess is he knew that -- with one dead, almost wooden leg -- there was no way he could both challenge Redick and recover defensively on his man (Rashard Lewis). So although Garnett's hand was up in the general vicinity of Redick's face, J.J. had plenty of separation to get his shot off. Which he did, and hitting it tied the game at 94-all.

Boston failed to score on the other end (and I won't even go into how ugly their offensive possessions looked down the stretch), and so the Magic got a chance to take the lead. They ended up running a play that got busted up because Vinsanity totally sucks tiny gorilla balls these days, but Lewis ended up with the rock and drove in unopposed for an easy layup. Seeing the play in real time didn't do justice to how horrible a play that was from the Celtics' point of view. Watching it in slow-mo was downright painful. Lewis strolled by Garnett like KG was some kind of zillion-dollar statue. I mean, seriously, Garnett was literally rooted to the spot while Lewis slid past him. What's worse, Rasheed "Look at that big, fat ass!" Wallace whiffed on the rotation, choosing instead to occupy Howard on the opposite block.

Of course, 'Sheed's biggest failure was his three-point airball at the buzzer. Considering the Celtics had only 1.4 seconds to get a play off, Wallace got surprisingly open. But instead of just squaring up for the shot, or hell, even leaning forward a little to force the officials to make a call, he fell away and to the side, which resulted in about as ugly a last-second shot as you're likely to see from a former champion with a reasonably open look.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Boston Celtics can win the NBA championship as long as they have a healthy Garnett. I believe that completely and utterly. However, after watching that game last night, I can't say I wholeheartedly believe KG will be totally healthy this season. Or maybe ever again.

By the way, nice screw-job by the NBA schedule makers. Back-to-back games against the Magic and Hawks followed by a game against the Lakers one day later. I can't recall any of the other contenders -- and I mean the Crabs and Lakers -- having a four-day stretch that difficult.

One last comment and then I'm done. Dwight Howard must have read Kendrick Perkins' comments about how easy it is to shut Superman down by playing him physically, because Dwight was pulling out actual, honest-to-goodness low-post moves in the fourth quarter. Jump hooks, running hooks, drop-steps to the bucket. I was shocked. The announcers were shocked. The Celtics were shocked. Maybe Howard finally got the message.

Vince Carter: The line: 2-for-13, 3 turnovers, and a long, conspicuous absence in the fourth quarter. And let's face it, he's not half the player J.J. Redick is for the Magic. Think about that.

Paul Pierce: The line: 3-for-12 and 4 turnovers. Sure, he didn't get some of the calls he deserved, and he did hit a huge trey to help Boston regain the lead late. But I once again feel the need to remind everybody that Pierce dubbed himself the best player in the world in the summer of '08. Man, that summer seems like a long time ago now...

Dunking cheerleaders: Hot or not?

dunking cheerleader
No, really. I can't decide.

Reggie Miller, announcing superstar: He continues to flabber our gasts by, well, just being himself.

From Basketbawful reader Dave R.: "Reggie Miller to Marv Albert during Cs v Magic: 'I love that little two-man thing!' Followed by a short uncomfortable silence as they both realized how that sounds."


Thanks, Reg.

Doc Rivers' wife: From AnacondaHL: "Awesome of the Night to Doc Rivers' wife, for reading a book in the stands late in the 4th of a tied game. I'd probably read books too, if I were Doc's wife. You know, to counter the IQ osmosis." Didn't Marv try to explain that she did that to ease her nerves? Which may be true and all that, but damn, she sure looked like somebody who would rather be plucking butt hairs off lab mice than sitting in the stands at that game. I have a feeling Doc got forced to watch The Notebook when they got back to their hotel room.

Al Harrington: Nice charge, dumbass.

By the way, I absolutely loved David Lee's eff-you performance (29 points, 18 boards). Seriously, are we still supposed to believe Al Horford is better than this guy? I know the Bricks suck -- for further reading, see Toronto 106, New York 104 -- but assuming he didn't get voted on, would LeBron James get left off the All-Star team if the Cavaliers were nine games below .500? Of course he wouldn't. Which means that, in theory, the coaches are supposed to choose players based on real-life skills and not team success. Eh, whatever. All-Star selections are a joke. We all know that.

The Dallas Mavericks: I want to draw your attention to the title of the AP recap for this game: "Amundson, Dragic, Dudley help Suns snap 3-game skid vs. Mavs."

Think about that.

No, really. Think about that.

Those three dudes ended up scoring 14 points in the Suns' 28-16 fourth-quarter romp that transformed another one of THOSE losses into a 112-106 win.

Said Jason Terry: "Their bench outplayed us all night. Clear as day and it can't happen. They outplayed us. It's unbelievable to me that we've come halfway through the season and we still look like we're searching in the fourth quarter."

No kidding.

Another random thing that's unbelievable -- at least to me -- is how much Steve Nash loves isolating against Dirk Nowitzki. Happens several times whenever the Mavs and Suns play. Pick and roll, Dirk switches onto his good buddy, and Nash stutter dribbles and crosses over until Nowitzki takes a half step back, then Steve fades away for the jumper...which usually goes in. That's just a case of two guys who have played many, many games of one-on-one against each other. I get that, but it's still funny to watch. And I swear, Nash, as unselfish as he is, shoots virtually ever time he gets to go one-on-one with Dirk. I wish somebody had the actual pass-versus-shoot numbers on those possessions.

Also, I'd love to point out how J-Kidd was recently spouting off about how this version of the Mavs has put the "D" back in Dallas basketball...and then they let the Suns shoot nearly 55 percent from the field. And Nash was 7-for-11 from the field, 3-for-3 from downtown and committed only 2 turnovers (with 11 assists). And freaking Earl Clark hit his first career three-pointer. Way to back them words up, Jason.

Jared Dudley, quote machine: Regarding the lockdown defense the Suns' pine riders played in the fourth quarter: "We made people shoot the shots they didn't want to shoot." I dunno, Jared. Taking bad shots is a choice.

Amar''''''e Stoudemire: Benched for the entire fourth quarter. Ruh roh, Raggy. It wasn't because of any problems he had scoring -- STAT finished with 22 points on 7-for-13 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line -- but he grabbed only one lonely rebound in 27 minutes. Dude, seriously. You're huge and athletic. Hit the damn boards.

Amar''''''e said the fourth-quarter benching happened for "the first time in my life but it's all good," and Alvin Gentry had to perform some quick spin control: "I wouldn't read anything into that at all. If you go in there he's the happiest guy. For all that's been said he's been a great teammate. He understands things were going well with Lou." Meanwhile, Steve Kerr's attempts to trade Stoudemire continue unabated...

Earl Clark: From Basketbawful reader Clifton:

While most will probably give the WotN nomination from tonight's Suns to Amar''''''e for deservedly getting benched for the entire 4th quarter, I'm going to have to nominate Earl Clark. Yeah, he got some meaningful PT tonight and hit his first career 3-ball, but just a few minutes after that 3-pointer, he scored a pretty egregious "own hoop" for Dallas.

Gooden took a midrange jumper that was a miss, and as everyone else turned to head up the floor, Clark goes up for the easy rebound and just yakked on it. Didn't look like he was trying to be fancy, but still, the ball ricocheted off his palms, went up off the backboard, and into the hoop. They credited Marion with the basket, although I don't recall him being near Clark when it happened.

Clark knew it was going in, too. You could tell when it kissed off the glass that it was going in, and Clark had already dropped his arms and hung his head before it finished going through the basket.

It was a pretty bad boner (I don't know if it's up there with The Joker's Boner Capers, but it's close), and would have gotten a lot more press if the Suns had lost by a point instead of pulling out the victory.
Cheryl Miller: From Basketbawful reader Josh:

I'm highly amused that TNT actually just put up this graphic after the horn sounded:
"Suns: First win on TNT in 18 games"

Cheryl Miller also just said while interviewing Nash "By the sound of things you'd think you guys won the championship! How does it feel to win on TNT?"

The look on Nash's face was priceless. His grin pretty much said "I understand the humor, but are you really asking me this?" He grinned ear to ear, paused, and said "Well I'm not gonna say anything derogatory about the network..."
LeBron James: King Crab earned a belated WotN from stephanie g: "LeBron throws a hissy fit after not getting a call and slaps filled cups of gatorade into his own crowd. I understand that NBA stars are egomaniac prima donnas, but this sort of blatant action breaks my willing suspension of disbelief. My favorite though is when Kobe whines to the refs while the other team runs down court and scores 5v4. Someone could make a pretty funny compilation video of that if they had the dedication." Hey, someone...get on that, would you? In the meantime, here's LeBron's tantrum:

Update! King Crab has been fined $25K for his crabbiness...and he should have been ejected.

Lacktion report: And how, from Chris, a brief lacktivity update:

Raptors-Knicks: 50 seconds of Nintendo Power were enough to get Rasho Nesterovic back in the ledger with a Mario; although he made one free throw in that time, a foul and giveaway pushed him into Voskuhl territory with a 2:1 ratio!

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17-year-old LeBron shirtless in a cornfield

(via Andy Gray's SI Vault)

While I am still in a depressed state over the Nyets winning their fourth game of the season, I do have good news. Last night I decided to plunk down the $80 for the second half of the season's NBA League Pass Broadband. I figured I owed it to you guys to better provide entertaining writing. (Okay, I'm lying out my ass. I just wanted to watch more games.) Since it's TNT game night and there's only one other game tonight, that would mean I'd get to watch the Dinos and Bricks online! Thank God I have to bowl tonight so I won't accidentally watch that game instead of Celtics/Magic.

Oh, and just for the hell of it, you NEED to see this picture of Shaq back in high school (also via Andy Gray's SI Vault). It's hard to believe it's the same person as The Big Creaky, isn't it?

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Not pictured: Jackie Christie running across the court to tackle the Raptor for tempting her man

Stop the presses! Don Nelson is wearing a tie!
He also apparently has learned to use The Force.
(Now if only he could apply it to winning basketball games...)

John Kuester and Rodney Stuckey admire OJ Mayo's, uh, assets

The Big Earplug

Come on, that looks nothing like Kobe! That can't be his!

Nationally Televised Games:
Celtics at Magic: KG steps back on the floor, and suddenly the Celtics remember how to play defense! Funny how that works. All I really can say about this game is that I pray it doesn't resemble their Christmas Day meeting. Ouch. That game was right up there with Sam Cassell and Popeye Jones on the ugly scale. Though it probably wasn't worse than this atrocity.

Mavericks at Suns: Accuscore says Phoenix is a 65% favorite in this game. Screw those guys. Haven't they seen the Suns play in the past month? And most importantly, this game is on TNT. If you need me or AnacondaHL tonight, we'll most likely be found crying near alcoholic beverages. Just letting you know.

All The Other Games:
Raptors at Knicks: Shockingly enough, the Dinos have scored at least 100 points in a franchise-record 11 consecutive games. On the other end of this game, what did Mike D'Antoni have to say about his team's 50-point loss to the Mavs the other night? "We really didn't play well against Dallas." However, the Raptors are on a back-to-back, and the Knicks have fresh legs...

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tickle attack
They're tickling his chin. No, I'm not kidding.

Gilbert Arenas and That Other Guy: Banned for the rest of the season. Now let the debates begin! Some people think the ban is too tough, others not tough enough. Which is fine, 'cause everybody is entitled to their opinion and all that. But can we please put to rest the argument that, "Well, if I took handguns to my job...." Newsflash! The NBA is not the "real world." Never has been, never will be. For instance, if you get sick and missed several months of work, you job doesn't have to keep paying you your full salary. People don't pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year to come and watch you crunch numbers, or pick up garbage, or develop software, or whatever it is that you do for a living. Nobody is wearing a "Matt McHale: Technical Writer" jersey. We need to stop expecting the NBA to operate like normal rules apply. They don't.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Okay, you know it's coming, so let's go ahead and get it out of the way early, shall we? They are who we thought they were. Can human language possibly describe the sheer amount of fail involved in losing 103-87 to one of the worst teams in NBA history? Is it even possible?

Said Baron Davis (6 points, 2-for-10): "Words can't even describe this."

I guess not, then.

To make this kick in the balls even more kick-in-the-balls-y, The Other L.A. Team let the Nyets shoot better than 53 percent from the field despite the fact that New Jersey was without their starting backcourt of Devin Harris (sprained wrist) and Courtney Lee (oral surgery).

Meanwhile, the Nyets made anti-history by avoiding the worst 44-game start in league history and snapping a 29-game losing streak to Western Conference teams. Heading into their matchup with the Clips, New Jersey was tied with the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks for the NBA's worst record after 43 more loss would have made them history's worst team after 44 games.

Fortunately, they were playing the Clippers.

Quick quiz: Is this loss by the Clippes better or worse than the worst office freakout of all time? Discuss.

Brook Lopez, quote machine: After the Nyets won for the first time this decade, the crowd (all 29 of them) went crazy, the public address announcer started screaming, "NETS WIN! NETS WIN!", and the arena started playing "Celebration" over the loudspeakers. Just imagine how much those people would be freaking out if the Nyets had won five games this season. Said Brook Lopez: "Did we need this? Are you kidding me? I mean we were 3-40. That's not a tough question to answer."

Kris Humphries: Congrats to Kris, who apparently had a career-high 1 assist last night. Thanks to Basketbawful reader Dmitry for the screen capture:

1 assist

The Philadelphia 76ers: Despite a spectacular 3-for-10, 4-turnover performance from All-Star Allen Iverson, the Sixers lost 91-88 to the Milwaukee Bucks, who were outrebounded 51-35 and went 2 of 8 from the free throw line in the final six minutes. It helped that Philly missed three shots that could have tied the game in the last 11 seconds.

The first two shots were bonked by Elton "The 80 Million Dollar Man" Brand, who scored a season-high 26 points and absolutely could not miss...until it really mattered. Said Brand: "I missed the chippie. So, I'm thinking, 'OK. I got it back.' Could have gotten a better shot, but the shot clock and everything, I thought I could just knock it down. I was making everything. So, I was pretty confident in that [second] shot."

Overconfidence can be a downfall.

Anyway, after Luke Ridnour hit shanked a free throw that would have put the Bucks up by four points with 2.2 seconds left, Andre "The Other A.I. and The Other 80 Million Dollar Man" Iguodala bricked a long three-point attempt at the buzzer. Game over...and another near miss by the Sixers.

Said Charlie Bell: ""Hopefully the basketball gods even it out and toward the end of the year we'll start getting some more to go our way."

Uh, yeah. Good luck with that, Charlie.

The Shorthanded Pistons: Another night, another home loss for the Shorthanded Pistons, who are know what? It doesn't matter. This team is terrible. Joe Dumas and his plan to dismantle the team so he could vastly overpay for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva has been sucking big, sweaty gorilla balls. And yet, despite that, the Pistons were right there and could have beaten a pretty good Grizzlies team...except that Marc Gasol scored the game's final 8 points over the final three minutes as Memphis pulled out a 99-93 win the the Land of Short Hands.

According to the AP recap, Chucky V. was still sitting at his locker in full uniform with a towel over his head 20 minutes after the game ended. Meanwhile, Tayshaun Prince refused to talk to the press. And really, what was there to say? Other than this...

John Kuester, quote machine: After his team blew a 2-point lead in the final minutes, Kuester said: "We played almost 48 minutes tonight, so I'm pleased." The coach being pleased because his team "played almost 48 minutes" just shows how far this team has fallen.

The Indiana Pacers: Some people gave the Pacers a chance in this game because the Lakers have been iffy on the road this season. But those "some people" must not watch the Pacers, because they're pretty the final score of 118-96 indicates. Andy Bynum and The Spanish Marshmallow combined for 48 points and 25 rebounds as L.A. outrebounded Indy 62-42 and outscored them 54-32 in the paint. I guess that sort of explains the turncoat behavior of...

Indiana fans: One common theme around the NBA in recent years has been the home crowd of bad teams chanting "M-V-P!" when an opposing superstar lights up their squad. And that's what happened in Indy last night as Mamba scored a game-high 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Remember the good old days when home court was actually an advantage? That never would have happened pre-Conseco Field House.

Jim O'Brien: It's fair to say the Pacers coach made a, ahem, tactical blunder by starting Danny Granger at power forward against Gasol and Troy "The American Marshmallow" Murphy at center against Bynum. And nobody was more shocked -- or pleased -- than Phil Jackson: "I don't know whether Jim was baiting us or not, but he started Murphy on him [Bynum]. Drew is a plus-7-footer with probably 30 pounds, 40 pounds on him at least. It's almost an impossible feat for them to cover Drew."

Murphy didn't sound real pleased about being the sacrificial lamb: "We went with a small lineup against a big front line. It's tough. You're going to give up things inside, and that's what happened."

Oh well. Winning's for losers.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: It was probably too much to hope for both of the league's worst teams to pull out wins on the same night, and the Crabs made sure that didn't happen. By a lot. The Timberpoops actually stunned the world by competing for a full 12 minutes before Cleveland put the clamps on in the second quarter. By games end, Minny had shot 38 percent from the field, given up a career-high 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting to J.J. Hickson, watched LeBron dance a jig with one of the arena's ushers, and of course lost 109-95.

"I hate to tell you this, but the Triangle? It's not working.

LeBron James, ego machine: Although he didn't talk in third person last night -- as far as I know -- he did have this to say about Hickson's big game: "One thing I try to do is just stay in his ear, positively. I'm going to continue to let him know how easy it can be for him if he just does what I tell him to do. Seriously, man."

Shaq, quote machine: King Crab wasn't the only person who's been giving Hickson advice. Said Shaq: "I told J.J. when I first got here, 'J.J., you could be Cedrick Ceballos. Of course, he doesn't know who that was. I played with Cedric Ceballos, who never got any plays called for him, but he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds. I think J.J. can do the same thing."

The Golden State Warriors: News flash: The Warrors gave up 123 points in another double-digit loss!

Kevin Durant: He finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 boards in the Thunder's home loss to the Chicago Bulls, which might make you think he played well. He did not. Facing some tenacious defense from Luol Deng, the league's third-leading scorer suffered through a stretch in which he went ice cold during a stretch when his team missed 16 straight shots and the Bulls slowly built up a double-digit lead. Durant went on to score 12 of his points during the fourth quarter, by which time the game had already slipped away.

The Atlanta Hawks: Heading into last night's game against the Spurs, the Dirty Birds were facing off against history...having not won in San Antonio since 1997. That's a really long time. And the streak remained intact after the 105-90 ass-blasting they received from a Spurs squad that has been struggling and even lost Tony Parker to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.

The Spurs are back, baby!! Okay, not really. However, they did score a season-high 66 points in the first half while holding Atlanta to 39 percent shooting.

Said Josh Smith: "I guess we weren't ready to play."

The Portland Frail Blazers: No Brandon Roy, no chance of beating the Jazz...who shot 60 percent from the field, won by double-digits despite missing 11 free throws, and have very quietly moved up to the fourth spot in the Western Conference.

Craig Bolerjack, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Basketbawful reader Hajt submitted this beauty from Utah's announcer: "Each night Jerry Sloan looks for a hot guy and rides him to the barn." Thanks to the readers who commented and wrote in to identify him.

Lacktion report: Chris proves once again that for every action there is an equal and opposite...lacktion:

Wolves-Crabs: WOW - brothers in lacktion for the crustaceans! In a rather obvious stint of celebration, Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson and Cedric "Lacktion II: Electric Boogaloo" Jackson (who are probably not related) rescued Princess Peach together as Mario Brothers of 15 and 10 seconds respectively!!!!!!

Lakers-Pacers: Adam Morrison ate a two-brick sandwich (once from the Gateway station) for a +2 suck differential in 3:19.

Heat-Raptors: Joel Anthony negated a trio of boards in 12:23 with two fouls, two turnovers and a brick to earn a 4:3 Voskuhl.

Grizzlies-Pistons: Hasheem Thabeet is making his case to be Darko Milicic-lite for Memphis, as in 4:58, he fouled twice and lost the rock once for a +3 that doubles as a 3:0 Voskuhl. Conversely, Lester Hudson may be proving to be the missing piece of the puzzle in the Grizzlies' transformation into a potential playoff team - his status as the team's Jud Buechler-like lucky charm continues after a two-second dose of lacktion prescribed by Dr. Mario, specifically that of the Super Mario variety!!!!!

For Detroit, Chris Wilcox had a routine 3:2 Voskuhl via three fouls and two bricks against two boards in 13:45. And in non-lacktive statistical news, 14 points and 9 boards gave Ben Wallace a Calvin Murphy!

Clippers-Nyets: Marcus Camby, as a starting big man, countered two boards and an assist in 6:55 with two fouls, two giveaways, AND no shot attempts for a bawful 4:2 Voskuhl! Meanwhile, in a shocker, the Nyets were given reason to party it up with Snooki and Sammi Sweetheart tonight (by ruining their perfect decade!) and had Josh Boone take a trip to the farm of lacktivity via a single-giveaway +1 in 1:21 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!!!

Bulls-Thunder: James Johnson tossed a singular brick from...uh...Bricktown...and added a foul and giveaway to the total for a +3 in 5:09.

Hawks-Spurs: Randolph Morris can now buy all the pallets of Nine Lives he wants, after taking down a fortune of 2.05 trillion (2:04)!!!! For San Antonio, Ian Mahinmi fouled once and missed twice from the free throw line for a +3 in 1:54, also in the ledger as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!

In non-lacktion, Josh Smith AND Tim Duncan each scored Dantleys, Duncan going perfect on 11 attempts at the line!

Jazz-Frail Blazers: Jeff Pendegraph drew a board in 6:17, but fouled thricely for a 3:1 Voskuhl.

Hornets-Warriors: Sean Marks continues his current run of non-contribution by cashing out for a second straight game with 3.1 trillion (3:07)!

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Welcome to another night of BAD. Sorry to break the regular comedic tone for a few paragraphs, but it's hard not to address this... So, some of you may be familiar with Paul Shirley and his recent exploits. If not, a little backstory:

Shirley was a former professional basketball player, one who might fit right in at this blog. He never was a starter for an NBA team, and never even was an effective bench player. He got by mostly on ten-day contracts playing garbage time for teams like the Suns. In fact, most of Shirley's pro ball career was spent wandering through a series of lower-level development teams and international efforts. He spent time playing in countries like Greece, Spain, and Russia. While playing for all of these teams, he kept a diary account of his experiences and published some entries, and also released a fairly entertaining book. After retiring from basketball because of constant injuries and the weariness of playing all around the world without a steady job, Shirley continued to write. He frequently wrote about music in his column for, for example.

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake disaster, Shirley wrote a piece for It was a disaster in and of itself. Shirley argued that he wouldn't bother donating any money to the Haitian relief efforts because it would be wasted and the country was doomed to eternal failure and suffering. Everybody ripped him a new one. ESPN told him quite bluntly that his services were no longer needed.

Now, as DocZeus inquired: "No words on bawful legend, Paul Shirley, setting fire to every shred of good will he's ever engendered by telling Haiti to go suck it? For shame." For shame, indeed. For shame on Mr. Shirley.

A lot of what I have to say was already expressed by our head writer/editor in the WOTN comments. However, I'd like to just take it a little further. Shirley used to be a smartass, but a funny (if pretentious) one. He had sharp wit, pseudo-intellectual commentary, and he was fun to read. Somewhere along the way, he stopped being funny in a sarcastic way, but just became bitter. You can even see it in his book, as he never grows close to anyone, complains about his teammates, and is never satisifed with his situation. It gets worse and worse throughout the book, and apparently continued on well after the book was finished. He became contrarian for contrarian's sake, writing pieces such as the one where he claimed the Beatles are horribly overrated because anybody who recorded music after the Beatles would be able to take whatever they had done and improve upon it. Hey, I'm not the biggest Beatles fan in the world, but I'll quickly say that even a relatively simplistic song like "Something" is a better piece of music than anything I have ever heard by Oasis. I've heard a cover version of "I Want You/She's So Heavy" in a live performance by John Legend I caught on TV that wasn't even one tenth as good as the original Beatles version. But Shirley argued otherwise, simply to go against the grain and be controversial and gain some kind of odd indie credibility.

His take on Haiti is largely more of the same. He took an idea that was based on decent theory (just because you're donating money to the cause doesn't mean it's being spent wisely, or even making it to Haiti) and took it eighty times too far, being contrarian simply to be contrarian. He didn't consider the fact that he was freelancing for a company owned by Disney who does not appreciate going too sharply against the grain. Or maybe he considered it and just didn't care because he thought he would gain something by being controversial and loud and brash. I don't know. All I know is that this won't end nearly as well as Paul Shirley hoped, and that's sad for all of us that knew about him before this mess.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Somehow I don't think he's listening to the dulcet tones of teammate Ron Artest's rapping

"I'm tellin' you, ref, these stretchy waistband slacks are fantastic!"

Normally I wouldn't approve of celebrating this hard after a win over the Warriors, but I'll let this one slide

Poor Golden State. This looks a little too much like the Nyets sad bench photos

Nationally Televised Games:
Jazz at Frail Blazers: I don't really know why, but Utah's been on fire lately. They've averaged just shy of 112 points per game for eight games now and have put together a three game winning streak. Is this the same team that lost six of nine games just a few short weeks ago?

All The Other Games:
Timberwolves at Crabs: According to Stats LLC, the Timberpoops' odds of winning are at 7%. So you're telling me there's a chance? ...Yeah!!!

Lakers at Pacers: I was surprised to read that the Lakers have dropped five of their last six games in Indianapolis. I have no explanation and am frankly confused.

Heat at Raptors: Weren't the raptors wiped out by the heat from an asteroid collision 65 million years ago? The Raptors could get revenge this time around -- remember, the Heat are known as the "Bipolar Girlfriend at That Time of the Month on Crystal Meth" for a reason.

Grizzlies at Pistons: The Pistons are actually playing .500 ball at home. The Grizzlies aren't very good on the road. Can Z-Bo continue his sudden MVP-ish behavior?? (It hurts just to type that)

Clippers at Nyets: This would have already been the Basketbawful Game of the Night anyway for obvious reasons, but the Jersey Shore cast is going to be there. Now that's a Situation, bro. I wonder if Ronnie will beat up the beat whenever music gets played over the PA? And how long before one of them gets sloppy drunk and starts causing trouble?

76ers at Bucks: Both teams just aren't very good. Milwaukee's lost six straight to the Sixers. However, Milwaukee's at home. Despite what Stats LLC says, isn't this game just a coinflip?

Bulls at Thunder: I don't get this Bulls team. They're on a seven-game road trip where they've beaten the Spurs, Rockets, and Suns... but lost to the Clippers and Warriors. What??

Nuggets at Rockets: Now this is a game that should have been nationally televised. Denver's won seven straight, but on the road against a decent Rockets team. Unless Clutch the Bear sabotages the game somehow (not putting it past him), this should be a close one.

Hawks at Spurs: San Antonio, can you please get out of this funk and start playing some defense again? Pretty please?

Hornets at Warriors: In case anybody forgot Don Nelson was still coaching the Warriors, they're giving up 110.8 PPG. Yep, that's definately Nellieball.

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Mr. T
Your current status: Pitied, fool!

Basketbawful called me up, said fools were being unpitied and jibba-jabba was going unchallenged! Well, no mo', suckas. Mr. T is here to change all that.

Greg Oden: A few years ago, some fool tried to give me one 'a those health sammiches from Subway. I took one bite 'a that thing and said, "Where's the meat? This sandwich is full of weeds! I ain't eatin' nothing I don't understand!" Well, when I made that request for meat, NSFW pictures of Greg Oden was not what I was askin' for, chumps!

I know it goes without sayin'...but I pity the fool that's gotta call a press conference to explain how his penis ended up on the Internet.

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: People ask what gives me the authority to give advice? I say, First of all, I don't give advice. Dr Phil gives advice. Mr T helps people. I motivate them, I inspire them, I give them hope, and I plant the seed so they can feel good about themselves. Hear me?!

Well, there ain't a damn thing I can say that's gonna make these chumps feel good about themselves. That'd be like tellin' the people who went down on the Titanic, "Don't worry, more boats are on the way, they'll be here right after you die of hypofreezia or whateve'."

Forget the fact that the Bullets let the Lakers shoot damn near 60 percent from the field. Those fools got owned by Shannon Brown. There ain't no shame in gettin' owned by Kobe Bryant. Dude is a former MVP. But Shannon Brown? They even let that dude sneak in and dunk a missed free throw. Take it from T: That's sad.

After the game, Antawn Jamison talked about how his team is without Gilbert Arenas and that other sucka who brought a gun into the team's locker room: "We've been through some crazy stuff that don't normally happen. I wish both guys could come back and play, but as a team, we've got to deal with what we have."

You know how Mr. T feels about excuses...I pity the fools who make 'em.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: What kind 'a chumps lose by 27 to a team that just lost by 50 the other night? These chumps, that's who. The Timberfools let the Knicks hit 17 threes. Teams who can't lift up their damn hands and get 'em in peoples faces don't even deserve pity. They deserve pain.

According to whatever sucka keeps track 'a this stuff, New York's 27-point win is the largest margin of victory in NBA history by a team coming off a 50-point loss. What's mo', the Knicks became the third NBA team to ever win by 20 or more the game after losing by 50. So I may not have any pity for the Timberfool, but history sho' does.

The Phoenix Suns: I remember one time I tried to pity this fool. He told me his name was Jeff. He was married. He pulled out his wallet and showed me three pictures of his kids; Kelly, Robert, Brittany. Real cute kids. Don't get too close man. It's hard to pity a fool if you get too close.

Well, that's how I feel about these chumps. I like the Suns. I like Steve Nash. I like Grant Hill. I don't like Amar''''''e Stoudemire. That's one fool I truly pity. But I like the rest 'a them guys. But after last night, the Suns have lost seven times in their last nine games, and they're 12-18 since starting the season 14-3. What's even more pitiable, the Bobcats came into this game 3-17 on the road. You gotta protect your home, fools!

You also gotta protect the ball. You can't be givin' up no 19 points off no 24 turnovers. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, Steve (6 TOs), and you, Amar''''''e (5 TOs).

The Golden State Warriors: According to record-tracking suckas, the Kings came into this game having lost 14 of their last 16 games, and both of their wins came against the same chump team that was missin' one of their best players both times. As a kid, I got three meals a day. Oatmeal, miss-a-meal and no meal. Well, the Kings haven't even had that. They've been dieting on pity and failure.

Well, that's what the fool Warriors had for dinner last night. Those chumps shot 31 percent from the field, with Grand Master Chump Corey Maggette going 3-for-22. How does some fool end up going 3-for-22 anyway? When you ain't hitting shots, you stop shootin', fool! If I'm tryin' to punch people in the face, but I keep missing their faces, I'd do something else, like take out their knees, or maybe kick 'em the jimmies. Take it from T: You gotta diversify, fools!

Seriously, there were so many fools in this game, even Mr. T can't pity 'em all. So here's my official Warriors-Kings Pity List: Corey Maggette, Vladimir Radmanovic (0-for-1 in 7 minutes), Cartier Martin (6-for-15), Ronny Turiaf (ugly sumbitch), Anthony Tolliver (2-for-11), Kevin Martin (1-for-9)...and pretty much everybody else.

Lacktion report: My buddy Chris ain't no fool. Read his lacktion report or I will be forced to pity you!

Lakers-Bullets: Luke Walton clearly is blessed with better health than his famous father, as his knees did not explode under the load of a Koopa shell for a 2 second Super Mario! For Washington, Javale McGee fired back at the Hammer Brothers for a 30 second Mario.

Wolves-Knicks: Brian Cardinal fouled once in 3:31 for a +1 suck differential, while New York's Jordan Hill climbed a singular mountain of masonry for the same suck differential score in 1:10.

Bucks-Mavs: Jodie Meeks and Quinton Ross each tossed one brick from Fountain Place for a +1 - Meeks in 1:44 and Ross in 3:46.

Bobcats-Suns: In an overtime victory, DeSagana Diop and Stephen Graham celebrated with enough money to buy themselves vintage pairs of Air Jordans, with 5.2 trillion (5:14) and a 6.3 trillion (6:20) cashouts respectively!

Warriors-Kings: As Nellieball nearly caught the purple paupers napping in the second half AGAIN, until a bizarre foul call on Corey Maggette brought the boogie night to a close for East Oakland's non-defensive showcase (a showcase, which BTW, gave the Sacramento-era baby royals their BEST EVER rebounding performance as a team with 68!!!!!)...

Starting forward Vladimir Radmanovic tossed one brick, lost the rock once, and took a foul for a +3 in 7:18.

Speaking of Maggette, while he didn't lack it up - how can you with 19 points - he DID score a Dantley after baking masonry 19 out of 22 times from the field, but making a full 13 of 16 attempts from the stripe!

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Glad to see the ladies sitting next to LeBron are so concerned by his obviously great pain

Tuesday Night BAD. Let's do this thing. But just know this much: yes, there are nude pictures of Greg Oden floating around (as noted in this morning's comments). I will not, however, post the links here. We have far too much class and dignity to do something like that. Now, let's move on and laugh at pictures of men in comprimising positions that look like sexual positions only to people with the mind of a 13 year old.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

With a first name like "Robin," I expected Lopez to be on the other end of this man love experience

Ref: "Ronnie James Dio rocks!!"
Dragic: "What?? Come on, man! He's like 4'8"!"

Nationally Televised Games:
Lakers at Wizards Generals Bullets: Point: The Lakers are on a 5-5 stretch and don't look terribly impressive on the road. Counterpoint: Washington is awful.

All The Other Games:
Timberwolves at Knicks: The Bricks need to redeem themselves after losing by a half-century at home to the Mavs. The Timberpoops haven't won on the road since before Christmas. This could be fun. Or not at all.

Bucks at Mavericks: The Mavs have owned the Bucks recently. And just remember: Dirk Nowitzki was drafted by Milwaukee... then swapped for Tractor Traylor.

Bobcats at Suns: The Bobcats have allowed over 119 PPG and are 0-5 at Phoenix since the team was formed in '04-'05. Now watch Phoenix go and blow this one. This team is goddamn infuriating. Aside from one fluke win against the Rockets, their only wins in January have been against the Kings, Bucks, Nyets, and Warriors. Horrible.

Warriors at Kings Purple Paupers: Alright Sacramento. Playing Golden State at home gives you a, ahem, golden opportunity to win. Don't piss it away.

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LeBron fall

The Philadelphia 76ers: And just like that, order is restored. The Sixers won, what, two games in a row after Allen Iverson was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team? Which caused a virtual avalanche of "A.I. deserves this All-Star spot because..." stories. Which were all crap, by the way.

The Cancer isn't an All-Star in the true sense of the word, and he serves as further proof that when "So and so made the All-Star team [however many] times" is used as an argument about that player's relative greatness, it should be dismissed with extreme prejudice. Iverson won a popularity contest. Good for him. And good for the fans, who will get to see what they want...I guess. But, seriously, let's not talk about his "team-first approach" or how he's made Philly a better team. Last time I checked, which I think was pretty recently, "better teams" don't choke up a double-digit leads and then lose by double digits at home to motley crews like the Indiana Pacers. But that's what happened to the Sixers.

Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not laying the blame at what I'm sure are the well-manicured feet of Allen Iverson. Not when Elton "The 80 Million Dollar Man" Brand went 4-for-10 for his 12 points, and certainly not when Philly couldn't put the stops on a team that ranks 27th in Offensive Efficiency. The reality is, the Sixers are a poorly assembled and poorly coached bunch of dudes.

Said Iverson: "At times, when we can put teams away, we go about it in a lackadaisical way. We're going to continue to struggle as long as we don't have that killer instinct that everybody's been talking about."

The Los Angeles Clippers: Well, they are who we thought they were, which isn't exactly news. What's more surprising is the play of...

The Boston Celtics: Generally speaking, you expect the Celtics to do better than winning 95-89 when the Clippers come to town, especially now that Kevin Garnett is back. And although Boston did hold The Other L.A. Team to 38 percent shooting, the Celtics still managed to let the Clips score 30 points in the fourth quarter. That's a lot of fourth-quarter points to give up when you're trying to close a game out. It's even worth noting that some of The Other L.A. Team's shooting woes were induced by a slippery floor rather than the Boston defense (more on that below). The Celtics further hurt their cause by missing 11 free throws.

How's KG doing? Well, he scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting and had a game-high plus-minus score of +15. But he also grabbed only 2 rebounds in 31 minutes. And this guy has been one of the greatest rebounders of his generation. I'm gonna go ahead and say the knee isn't 100 percent.

The parquet floor: Depending on the circumstances, a lot of moisture and wetness can be a good thing. A very good thing, even. But it's not usually an optimal condition for playing professional basketball, which is why last night's Clippers-Celtics game very nearly got called off. From the AP recap:

The first seven, eight minutes I didn't think we were going to even finish the game," Rivers said. "I was nervous, though. I really was."

The sometimes-slippery parquet floor forced the ball boys to mop one end while play was going on at the other for most of the game. Early in the game, a few players slipped, causing a brief delay with 2:28 left in the first quarter.

Rivers and Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy spoke about the conditions early in the game.

"Mike and I came together, if anybody else slipped in the next two minutes the game was going to be canceled," Rivers said. "We, at that point, were very close. Mike said the same thing, 'We can't afford to get a guy injured on this floor.'"

"It was wet," said Rondo, who shared a postgame podium with Garnett.


Dunleavy knew the floor was a problem before the start.

"Our guys complained about it before we even played the game, guys were at risk and you hate for that to be the case," he said.

"We kept having to go out and wipe it. There were three kids on each end trying to wipe it. It must have been better because I didn't see guys -- we had four guys in the first quarter slip."

Both teams shot under 37 percent in the opening 12 minutes.

"I actually slipped one time posting up Kevin, trying to go around him," Clippers center Chris Kaveman said.

Los Angeles forward Marcus Camby felt they waited a bit too long to address the problem.

"We were all slipping. It seemed like every Clipper was slipping, then when Ray Allen slips, they want to bring it in and address the issue, so that's what we were chirping about," he said. "It was kind of dangerous out there for both teams."
It's a good thing they tore down the old Boston Garden to build a better basketball arena.

Rasheed Wallace, quote machine: Nominated by Basketbawful reader nohandle: "Yeah, you know you can't put the brakes on when you want to because you didn't know if you're going to slip. You saw a couple guys slipping out there like Peggy Fleming (an American Olympic figure skater) tonight."

Chris Kaman: From Dan B.: "Chris Kaman played 38 minutes and did not shoot a single free throw despite playing in the paint."

Glen Big Baby Davis: From Basketbawful reader DDC: "Poor Big Baby wants to drop his moniker. He might want to drop about 35-40 pounds as well."

The end of the world as we know it: From Basketbawful reader Mladen: "Two words: Zach Randolph. Did the guy drink a magic potion or something?! He outrebounded Dwight Howard last night, hit a crazy shot way behind the half court line, and his clutch play iced the game for the Grizz. WTF?!?! Of course, he did it all with a double-double. Did you reverse-stat-curse him?"

I'm at a complete loss to figure out what happened to Zach Randolph. His metamorphasis into a...a...superstar...(gak)...has to qualify for the top 10 list of history's greatest transformations, right up there with Bruce Banner to Hulk, Man to Wolf Man, Mario to Super Mario, Fat Jared to Jared the Subway Spokesman, Hulk Hogan to Hollywood Hogan, and Hot-ass Britney Spears to this.

That's why, as much as it killed me to do it, Z-Bo had to be removed from the Basketbawful banner. HE IS NO LONGER BAWFUL. I feel like someone who lost a dear friend to death by industrial cleaning agents.

The Miami Heat: Losing to the Crabs, even at home, isn't all that shameful in and of itself. Because, you know, the Heat aren't all that good. But losing by a single point (92-91) on two foul shots with 4.1 seconds left after going 1-for-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter is pretty sad. In fact, the Heat missed 12 freebies on the night (17-for-29). Like they said in Team America, freedom isn't free...

Dwyane Wade's second half: Pookie was nigh unstoppable in the first two quarters, when he scored 30 of Miami's 54 points. But he scored only 2 points in the second half. Worse, he bricked two freebies with 41.2 seconds left and then (after a spectacular block on LeBron) had the ball stolen by King Crab, who drove down for the foul and go-ahead free throws. Wade finished his ugly second half by clanking a potential game-winner versus LeBron's hand in the face.

The rest of the Heat in the first half: Pookie's teammates missed 15 straight shots over a 15 1/2-minute stretch, including 0-for-12 in the second quarter alone. Good luck keeping Dwyane in Miami, Pat Riley.

LeBron James: I know that fall had to hurt, but did he really need to writhe around like an earthworm sombody just poured a shaker of salt on for two or three minutes? When poor Kurt Rambis got dropped on his head in the 1984 NBA Finals, dude bounced back up like he was made out of Silly Putty. (And if you've seen Kurt's body circa the mid-80s, he very well might have been.) So it's hard for me to imagine someone has powerful looking as James looking like Jake "The Snake" Roberts just DDT'd him unless Jake "The Snake" Roberts actually DDT'd him.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Just when they get everybody all hot and bothered with six straight wins -- including a 39-point whupping of the Miami Heat -- they lose three straight. And before they win again to restart the excitement, let me remind you that Stephen Jackson is one of this team's most important players. What does that tell you?

The Phoneix Suns: Steve Nash finished with 15 points and 15 assists (which included the 8,000th dime of his career). Goran Dragic scored a career-high 32 points on 10-for-13 shooting. Channing Frye chipped in 21 points (8-for-15 from the field, 5-for-10 from downtown) off the bench. And the Suns -- after scoring 45 points in the second quarter and building a 17-point lead -- finished with 115 points...but lost anyway.

That'll happen when you can't rebound and don't play defense.

Utah scored the last 12 points of the third quarter and then outscored Phoenix 33-19 in the fourth to pull away for a 124-115 win. The Jazz dominated the inside, outrebounding the Suns 48-31 and outscoring them 58-36 in the paint.

"We were up 17. We've got to be able to maintain that," Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said, pretending he hasn't watched his team do that about a dozen times this season. Seriously, isn't doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results the first signs of The Crazy? Well, that and having sex with patio furniture.

Added Steve Nash: "We just couldn't get into our offense. They pushed us out. We had no penetration and we were just jacking up jump shots or turning it over." While I don't necessarily disagree, I should also point out that when a team gets outscored 45-19 down the stretch, offense is only part of the problem. The other part is playing the kind of sloppy defense that would disgust Mike D'Antoni. In fact, here's the acting equivalent of Phoenix Suns defense:

The San Antonio Spurs: Remember when the Spurs won back-to-back games over the Lakers and Thunder? And how thousands of Spurs fans rose up with a single voice to scream, "SEE?! WE ARE TOO CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS!!"


If that's the case, then the Spurs should probably be able to win a home game versus a sub-.500 team, especially when that team is notoriously bawful on the road, and its star player is suffering from flu-like symptoms, and when its second-best player is limited to only 24 minutes due to a painful case of plantar faciitis.

Instead, the Bulls shot almost 54 percent from the field, Derrick Rose scored a game-high 27 points on 13-for-23 shooting, and Joakim Noah hobbled his way to a huge offensive board and putback with 36 seconds left and then sealed the deal by hitting three of four free throws in the final 13 seconds.

San Antonio is now 0-3 on their current six-game home stand.

Manu Ginobili: Manu earned WotN honors not so much for the 4-for-14 shooting, but for his last two misses, either of which could have saved this game for the Spurs. They were both driving layups, and on the second attempt Ginobili started flopping before there even a chance for contact. Had Manu simply gone strong to the cup without quivering like a wet pasta noodle, he might have actually converted the layup or drawn an actual foul. It's somehow fitting that, at least this once, the Spurs were the ones who got Ginobili'd.

Basketbawful (?): An anonymous commenter wrote: "I think you should seriously consider mentioning Basketbawful in your column for projecting the Bulls to go 0-7 on their current road trip after their losses @ the Warriors and the Clippers. The Bulls have gone undefeated since then and are playing their best basketball for the season."

Well, as everyone knows, I have a vested interest in the Bulls, so you can chalk up my prediction to a rather clever reverse stat curse. Yeah...that's it...thaaaat's the ticket...

Lacktion report: And now for Chris's magic mushroom-powered lackitvity update:

Crabs-Heat: Joel Anthony scorched yet another Voskuhl on his record, a 5:3 ratio in 17:58 by fouling four times and losing the rock once against three boards. Fellow fireman Mario Chalmers fouled twice and tossed two bricks for a +4 suck differential in 5:20.

Clippers-Celtics: Despite an assist keeping him from being straight up in the lacktion category tonight, Steve Novak spent 35 seconds examining the cartridge for The Incredible Crash Test Dummies in his second straight Mario! Fellow Clipper JamesOn Curry -- more known for his arrest in 2008 over urinating in an alley - (HT Dan B. on the link) -- powered Off his computer after 4 seconds of Mario Teaches Typing for a Super Mario!

Meanwhile, Bill Walker earned himself a pedestrian +1 via foul in 3:13.

Magic-Grizzlies: Marcin Gortat's back to lack, as he fouled twice, took a rejection, and heaved up one piece of masonry in 5:10 for a +4 that also counted as a 2:0 Voskuhl!

Hawks-Rockets: Randolph Morris pawed at a foul for a +1 in 1:06 (and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl) while THE Mario West collected enough royalties in that timespan from the Official Nintendo Seal for a 1.1 trillion payday!!!

Suns-Jazz: Ronnie Price fouled twice and bricked once for a +3 in 6:57, while CJ Miles distanced himself from contribution with a +4 via rejection, turnover, and two bricks (one from Temple Square) in 5:15.

Hornets-Blazers: Sean Marks continues to, um, make his mark on the ledger with a 2.2 trillion (2:12).

Nuggets-Bobcats: LotharBot writes...
In 20 minutes last night, Malik Allen ahd 5 rebounds, but offset them with 5 fouls and 3 turnovers for a True Voskuhl of 8:5. It was his second most productive game of the season. As a Nuggets fan, I cringe every time the guy gets on court when the lead is less than 20. (He was the key to the Clippers' 17-0 run back on November 20.)