I had no idea Vinny was a fan of the Digital Underground

Sorry, but I had to open strong today. Gotta celebrate since I bowled my fourth sanctioned 300 game last night in league. What makes it even better is that my dad rolled his first 300 game last week in the same league! I'm really proud of him. And I can't think of any better way to celebrate (other than partying with Turkoglu) than watching the video for The Humpty Dance again. Yeah, I'm a little bit pissed they for some reason bleeped out the classic "Burger King" reference, but whatever.

It's nice to know I'm not alone on this one... Not only did Bawful pass along his respect for Tim Duncan in last night's BAD comments, but now Sports Illustrated's fantastic Joe Posnaski has written a counterpoint to Dan Shaugnessy's ridiculous article I wrote about yesterday. Stats don't always tell the whole story, but they go a long way in many discussions, and this is one such example. Duncan is a basketball machine, and that's all there is to it.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Flip Saunders' descent into madness continues as he now believes he is Spiderman

"I can't believe Derrick Rose stat cursed us so badly!!"

See that look on Grant Hill's face? That's intensity. This is a man very focused on his man love.

Nationally Televised Games:
Warriors at Jazz: A chance to see Don Nelson on ESPN? Count me in!

All The Other Games:
Lakers at Hawks: Will the Lakers actually give a shit? (shakes Magic 8 ball) Sources point to "no."

Bucks at Crabs: Forget that piece of crap 3D movie. The REAL Clash of the Titans is here: The Fish versus King Crab!

Clippers at Raptors: B-Dizzle will miss this game. Without the strength of his beard, the poor Clippers have a tough battle ahead. Not that they wouldn't anyway, but still.

76ers at Bobcats: This theoretically should be a relatively easy game for the Bobcats. But then again, this is the team that dropped two to the Nyets, so I can't put anything past them.

Thunder at Celtics: After that loss beatdown anal raping at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs (who went on to lose to the Nyets, mind you), I have zero expectations for this game and just want the regular season to end.

Heat at Pistons: It's so cold in the D, even when the Heat come to town.

Suns at Nyets: If the Nyets win this game, I'm going to start a new business selling hot coffee and ice skates in Hell.

Wizards Generals Bullets at Hornets: One last shot (Ha. I just made an unintentional gun-related joke in a Bullets writeup!) to prevent the ultimate March Sadness. Can Washington win one freaking game in the entire month of March??

Kings Purple Paupers at Timberwolves Timberpoops: It's hard to wrap my mind around just how truly bawful this game is. How often do I feel compelled to do the strike-through-the-name joke for two teams in one game?

Mavericks at Grizzlies: I didn't realize that the Mavs were just one game away from notching their tenth-consecutive 50 win season. Holy crap. That's pretty impressive, really. Nice to have a little anti-bawful every once in awhile!

Rockets at Spurs: Conversely, the Spurs are looking at potentially ending their own 10-season 50 win streak this year. (And for reference, the Showtime era Lakers are the only other team to do that!) Hopefully the Spurs show up feeling like they have something to prove after that abomination of a game against the Nyets...

Bricks at Frail Blazers: Well, now that Eddy Curry has officially been ruled out for the rest of the season, the rest of the Bricks can fine-tune their gameplan and start winning. Right? (Wrong.)

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Sad Philly bench
Today's sad bench photo is brought to you by the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Philadelphia 76ers: Philly's two-game winning streak -- which, one assumes, was close to a season high for them -- came to an end as the Oklahoma City Thunder gave the Sixers a 111-93 pimp slap in the Wachovia Center. The loss dropped the Deep Sixers to 12-25 at home. Historic fail update: This is the first season Philly has lost more than 22 home games since they dropped 30 in 1996-97. For the record, that 22-win team featured Allen Iverson, Derrick Coleman and Jerry Stackhouse.

Eddie Jordan facepalm
What would a WotN post be without
at least one facepalm photo, right?

Said Elton Brand: "We were close for a while, and then the beginning of the fourth quarter, they kind of exploded on us."

Boom, baby. And yes, as Will correctly pointed out, that makes The 80 Million Dollar Man an unintentionally dirty quote machine.

Added Jrue Holiday: "I think we missed some easy shots."

And some difficult shots. And some moderately difficult shots. And some moderately easy shots. And...oh, speaking of missing shots...

Jason Kapono: His one job is to shoot jumpers. That's what he does. It's all he does. Except when he doesn't. Take last night, for instance, when Kapono went 0-for-5 from the field (including 0-for-3 from downtown) in 26 minutes. His final point total: Zero. Which, ironically, is the same as his percentage chance of staying in the league when his contract expires after next season.

Yes, Jason. That's the future you see.
So very dark and lonely, isn't it?

The Excremento Kings: The Paupers became the latest victim of the Indiana Pacers Let's Ruin Our Draft Pick So We Can Be Terrible Forevers. After their 102-95 home victory over Excremento, Indy has won eight straight games in Conseco Field House and six of seven overall. Who cares if there were 10 times as many Bulter University shirts than Pacers gear in Conseco last night? Danny Granger (25 of his 33 points in the second half and 30+ PPG over his last seven games) is on fire and the LRODPSWCBTFs are -- get ready for it! -- surging.

All the way to 28-47.

Said Indiana coach Jim O'Brien: "We continue a very nice run at home. It's nice to establish a home-court advantage. The guys are enjoying winning, obviously."


Tyreke Evans returned from a five-game absence due to a concussion just in time for his team's fifth straight loss. The Freak was impressive, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists, 7 boards and 4 steals. Unfortunately, Excremento coach Paul Westphal didn't figure out until the fourth quarter that the LRODPSWCBTFs couldn't guard him. Time to bench Spencer Hawes again!

Said Westphal: Westphal said. "We needed to do a better job of controlling Granger and executing our offense."

That's why he's the coach and y'all are not.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Choose the false statement from the following:

A. The Clippers have lost 12 of their last 13 road games.

B. The Clippers have lost 12 of their last 14 games overall.

C. They are who we thought they were.

D. Nobody gives a shit about Big Foot.
If you follow this site regularly, I really don't need to give you the answer, do I?

The Clippers shot 36 percent from the field and were outscored 17-2 in transition. Baron Davis didn't play because of Ijustwanttheseasontobeover-itis, and Eric Gordon and Travis Outlaw combined to shoot 5-for-23 from the field. Let's face it, when Drew Gooden (20 points, 11 rebounds) is by far your best player on a given night, chances are things didn't go very well that night. And they didn't.

About the only intresting part of this 107-89 ass-whooping was when Andy Bogut (who is a center) and Steve Blake (who is teeny) got pissy with each other during the third quarter. Enter Brandon Jennings, who rushed to Bogut's rescue. No, really. Here's some video, via ClipperBlog:

Here's some extended video, if you'd like to see the fracas in slow motion from several different angles.

Said Jennings: "I'm going to protect my teammate. Don't run up on my big man like that, I had to tell [Blake], chill out and make sure everything was all right."

Aw, leave Steve alone, Brandon. The fact that he cares about anything anymore is a near miracle. He is a Clipper, you know.

Added Bogut: "That's the way he is. He's a guy with a chip on his shoulder, too, and I stick up for him, he sticks up for me and I think we have a team that's pretty good with that. Once the playoffs come and there's little skirmishes and scuffles, it's not one guy on the court, it's five guys and we need to understand that's what we need to do in the playoffs to even be competitive in a series."

Yeah. Listen to Bogut...the five-game playoff veteran. That 4-1 first round playoff loss to the Pistons back in 2006 taught him so much.

As for Blake, this is what he had to say about the scuffle: "There's no need to talk about that. That play is over. We'll just leave that on the court."

Wel, good. It sounds like he took Jennings' advice and chilled out.

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: The Rockets entered last night's home game against the Bullets with a four-game losing streak. Washington, on the other hand, was 0-for-March. Can you guess how this one turned out? Here's a hint: The losing team set a new franchise record with their 16th consecutive defeat.

Said Washington's soon-to-be-ex-coach Flip Saunders: "We were right there but couldn't get the job done. We've been in games like that all season and that's what's very frustrating."

Memo to Flip from Brandon Jennings: Just chill out.

In related news, the Bullets' last win was on February 28...against the 10-win New Jersey Nyets.

Actually, this was a game of M.A.S.H. unit versus M.A.S.H. unit. The Rockets have been without Yao Ming The Great Wall of Broken China all season and are also missing Shane Battier, Jared Jeffries and David Anderson. Meanwhile, the Bullets have been without Gilbert Arenas Quick Draw McGraw for, like, three seasons and are also minus Josh Howard, Randy Foye and Al Thornton. Jesus Christ. Team practices for these squads must be like the Thunder Dome. Which brings me to a comment left in yesterday's BAD post by Basketbawful reader Will:

Here's Washington's starting lineup: Shawn Livingston, Nick Young, Mike Miller, Fabricio Oberto, and Andray "Mr. Maturity" Blatche. I do believe they are challenging that lineup Chicago trotted out a few weeks ago (featuring the immortal Acie Law) for worst lineup of the year.
Although you cannot see or near my vigorous nodding, that doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Andray Blatch (31 points, 10 rebounds), who recently refused to take responsibility for not playing defense and then demanded an apology from his coach, decided it was time to step up and show some post-defeat leadership: "I'm going to take full responsibility for the loss. I made tough decisions down the stretch and I didn't rely on my teammates ... I tried to do things I shouldn't. I thought there was no way we could lose that game. I need to show more trust in my teammates."

Well, I'm glad he's matured.

Derrick Rose: Here's what I wrote yesterday at By The Horns:

Over at Basketbawful, I've spent the last year-plus making fun of New Jersey's Devin Harris for saying "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" back in December of 2008. Since Devin crammed his foot into his mouth with that unfortunate statement, the Nets have gone 34-104 and become one of the worst teams in NBA history.

As stat curses go, that’s up there with the best of them, so you can imagine how I felt when Basketbawful reader godhimself48 drew my attention to Chicago's very own Derrick Rose pulling a Devin Harris.

Said Rose: "We're still going to make it. You can't think about stuff like [not making the playoffs]. In my mind, we'll be making the eighth spot. We'll be playing LeBron [James] — playing Cleveland. The closer we get, the [more] I'm going to think that. We can't walk around acting like we're not going to make it, because that's when things turn on you. Our biggest goal is to make the playoffs, and we're going to make it."

Admittedly, what Rose said isn't as bad as what Harris predicted less than 20 games into his team's 2008-09 season. If anything, it seems like Derrick is using positive visualization. Still…I'd rather he just let his game do the talking and leave the psychic visions to Miss Cleo.
In related news, the Bulls suffered a 111-105 home defeat to the Phoenix Suns that may prove catastrophic to their playoff chances. Coincidence? I think not.

The worst part: Steve Nash owned the game down the stretch. Usually, Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro uses Kirk Hinrich to harass Nash, but Captain Kirk got beamed out of the game for good after spraining his ankle in the second quarter (thanks to Joakim Noah's clown show-sized feet).

Fortunately, D-Rose has the speed, strength and athleticism to check Nash in crunch time. Unfortunately, Derrick can't really play defense, so Del Negro was forced to use Jannero Pargo. Or mabye it was a cardboard cutout of Pargo, because Nash kept gliding into the paint like Jannero was bolted to the floor.

The moral of this story is: Don't make Guaransheeds.

John Hollinger: Want to read classic lines like "On a per possession basis, [LeBron's] triple-crown stats of 29.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.6 assists crush Oscar Robertson's triple-double season in 1961-62 … or Jordan's 32.5-8.0-8.0 season in 1988-89 … or just about any statistical season in history"? Then I have just the article for you!

Can I just say that the "Let's Compare Michael Jordan to Player X" articles that come out each and every season make me want to face-punch something cute and cuddly to death? Why do we have to go through this over and over and over? I get it, John. You developed the Player Efficiency Rating and love to talk about it. It's your raison d'etre. And King Crab -- who's current PER stands at 31.81 -- has a chance to beat out MJ's best-ever single-season PER of 31.89 from the 1987-88 season. Wonderful. Fantastic. Call me when it happens. Better yet, don't.

Look, MJ was the GOAT. LeBron James is the GORN. (Greatest Of Right Now, in case you thought I was talking about the lizard guy who beat up Captain Kirk in that old Star Trek episode). Look, James is awesome and has had a standout career so far. But Jordan...I mean...we're talking six NBA titles, 6 Finals MVP, a Defensive Player of the Year award, nine selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, three All-Star Game MVPs, two Slam Dunk Championships, two Gold Medals, etc.

I could go on, but here's the most important part: MJ owned the NBA. He ripped out the hearts of anyone and everyone who challenged him, individually, statistically and in the all-important category of winning. We have not seen that level of greatness from King Crab yet.

Simply put, there are no comparisons to Michael Jordan.

LeBron has one of the best PERs of all time. Good for him. He's currently in his seventh season and might win his first NBA title, which puts him on pace with Jordan, who won his first championship in his seventh season. They also both breath air and eat human food. But what's the point in making all those needless comparisons.

Can we just agree to shelve the MJ-LeBron comparison until LeBron's career is over? Because right now, it honestly doesn't make any sense, no matter how many numbers you throw at it.

Update! Lacktion report: I missed this the first time, but chris once again came through with the lacktion report:

Thunder-Sixers: Kyle Weaver dreamed up a brick from Jeweler's Row and added two fouls for a +3 suck differential in 4:13.

Suns-Bulls: Chris Richard fouled once in 46 seconds after making contact with a Piranha Plant, resulting in a +1 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl in a duration that also earned a MARIO!

Clippers-Bucks: The John Salmons Era rolled on tonight with Primoz Brezec being fished from the roster as the human victory cigar of the moment, bricking and fouling once each in 3:34 for a +2 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Bullets-Rockets: Former East Oaklander Cartier Martin explored the ledger for his newest team, firing off a brick from Heritage Plaza and popping out a pair of fouls for a +3 in exactly 6 minutes!!!

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What are you doing, Billups and Garnett?
This picture has nothing to do with anything
We just need something to take our minds off the Nyets' victory

(Via Andy Gray's SI Vault)

While I am currently not too happy with the San Antonio Spurs, I still like them, and still root for Tim Duncan. In related news, I just got done reading this article by Dan Shaughnessy about Tim Duncan. Basically, Shaugnessy gives Duncan almost no credit simply because he isn't exciting to watch and plays for a small market. What??

Look, I hate trying to rank players, especially since generational differences make it impossible to truly compare people in a fair fashion. (Thanks to rules changes, defenses reacting to offensive trends and vice versa, etc., the style of ball played in the '60s is vastly different from the style of ball played now. Likewise, the style of ball played today is vastly different even from the style played just five years ago!). That being said, when a player has 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 2,000 blocks and 2,500 assists, you can pretty safely call them one of the best players of all time. (Fine, maybe not "Top 10," but you don't just immediately dismiss him!) Tim Duncan has won a ton of hardware and rings with the Spurs, and him controlling the paint and simply dominating the glass for years is a big part of the equation. No flash, no frills, just pure excellence.

Shaugnessy decided to go watch Duncan play in person the other night (at Boston, natch). Of course, watching Duncan now to form your opinion about him isn't very wise when obviously that'll skew things because Duncan's past his prime, and is declining rapidly, as all basketball players -- and particularly big men -- are wont to do after so many years in the league. It's sad. I still love Timmy D, and he's still a good player, but he's fairly obviously not the same player he was just two or three years ago. But ridiculous articles like Shaugnessy's just make me die a little inside.

In lighter news, I'm sure you've often wondered why I don't watch women's basketball. (What do you mean you've never ever wondered that before? Just humor me for a minute.) This is just one more reason for me to ignore it. This goes beyond your standard bawful fare and goes straight into "EPIC FAIL" territory:

Yes, Xavier senior Dee Dee Jernigan missed two consecutive wide open layups to blow an easy trip to the Final Four. Missing free throws is bad enough, but missing two straight layups when nobody is within the same zip code as you to defend the shot? Come on.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

The reach-around for the nipple grab is just the icing on the cake

Of all the awkward, mildly homo-erotic high fives I've seen over the years, this has to be near the top of the list

Nationally Televised Games:
Suns at Bulls: Okay, I feel bad about stat cursing the hell out of the Spurs last night and ruining history. However, as noted by godhimself48 in the comments, Derrick Rose just pulled a Devin Harris and may have stat cursed the hell out of his Bulls in an interview with ESPNChicago.com after Tuesday morning's shootaround.
"We're still going to make it. You can't think about stuff like [not making the playoffs]. In my mind, we'll be making the eighth spot. We'll be playing LeBron -- playing Cleveland."
Ruh roh.

All The Other Games:
Kings at Pacers: Eww. The Purple Paupers are injury-riddled (Dominic McGuire's out for the season! Oh no!) and the Pacers are rolling. This could be their longest home winning streak since the '03-'04 season. And I still can't explain it.

Thunder at 76ers: Speaking of bad teams winning for no obvious reason, the Sixers have taken down the Hawks and Bucks in their past two games. What gives? Are the playoff-bound teams being hypnotized into thinking they're really just the Nets by some broke guy who does hypnotizing comedy shows who is trying to make up for some earlier gambling losses? I'm ready to believe almost anything at this point.

Clippers at Bucks: John Salmons is the East's sixth-leading scorer in March. Conversely, he only averaged like 4 points per game when I had him on my fantasy team a couple seasons ago for a few weeks. What's the deal, Fishman?

Wizards Generals Bullets at Rockets: The Bullets still haven't won a game in the month of March, and they only have two more chances: this game, and tomorrow night at New Orleans. It's like the Nyets and Bullets did a Trading Places-esque switch for an entire month, except one team is downtrodden and awful, and the other team is slightly less downtrodden and slightly less awful. Not quite the Winthorpe/Valentine difference, but still a decided class difference.

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spurs-nyets 1
Please imagine the following being said in extreme slow motion: "Bbbbbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllll."

The San Antonio Spurs: Back-to-back wins over the Craboliers and Celtics fooled people (once again) into frothing at the mouth about how the Spurs were making their late-season push and would therefore be a "dangerous" team in the playoffs.

Then they lost to the New Jersey Nyets...thus shaming themselves and robbing us all of one of the greatest worst seasons in NBA history. I think I speak for everyone who reads this site when I say: Fuck you, San Antonio Spurs.

Now, Spurs apologists will point to the facts that Tony Parker is still out and Manu Ginobili missed the game with back spasms. I, however, point to these facts: 1) Parker and Ginobili are (and, to some extent, have been for the past two seasons) damaged goods; 2) Tim Duncan (6-for-15, 4 turnovers) is quite clearly not a top 10 player anymore (and may not even be a top 15 or 20 player); and 3) the Spurs could not overcome one of the worst teams in league history on a night when said team shot 37 percent from the field, got outrebounded 53-43 and was outscored 40-22 in the paint.

And even as San Antonio's 14-game winning streak against the Nyets ended, relief washed over New Jersey players and fans in an awesome wave. Public address announcer Gary Sussman shouted "We got 10! The Nets win!" and Keyon Dooling said: "You don't thank God, but you don't want to go down as the worst team in the history of the game. Absolutely it's a relief, you don't want to go down in history as the worst team ever."

Added Courtney Lee: "It's a big relief. It's a big relief. Now we can go out and ball and have fun and play."

Leave it to Devin Harris -- who might have started this whole thing by saying "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" back in December of 2008, after which the Nyets have gone 34-104 -- to provide some much-needed perspective: "We don't want to be a part of the worst team in history, so it's exciting to get 10 wins, but it is 10 wins, you know what I mean? It's fun. We haven't won that many games, so we are excited to win. We are continuing to move forward. We're not going to jump through the roof because we won 10 games."

Meanwhile, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tried to figure out what went wrong for his team. His answer: Everything. Said Pops: "We just didn't have anybody who could score. If you are not scoring, you need to make free throws, which we didn't, or at least you have to take care of the ball, which we didn't. So bad from the free throw line, bad handling the ball and found nobody who could score."

Check this out: Since last Tuesday, the Nyets have a better record than any of of the six teams that came into Monday night's games as a division leader.

And since we've posted so many pictures of various sad / borderline suicidal Nyets players, it seems only fair we also post a few awkward celebration pics.

Spurs-Nyets 3
"High five!"

spurs-nyets 2
Oh, why the hell not...get jiggy with it, Brook!

The Los Angeles Lakers: Shall we just go ahead and temporarily rename them to the Los Angeles We Officially Don't Give A Shit Until The Playoffs? Because on most nights, getting 31 points from Kobe Bryant and an Animal Style Double-Double from Pau Gasol (26 points, 22 boards) would be enough to beat a crappy team like the Hornets. But it was not. And Mamba was pissed.

When asked why the Lakers lost, Kobe said: "We just didn't play well."

When asked why he didn't have much to say about that, Bryant replied: "It's for my own good."

It's funny, too, because Mamba sure had plenty to say to the officials during the game. I guess he's selective about when and to whom he bitches.

The Lakers bench: L.A.'s pine riders didn't score a point until there were just under three minutes left in the third quarter. With nine minutes left in the fourth, they were getting outscored 31-5 by the New Orleans reserves. The bench ended up with 12 points and the Lakers kinda-sorta came back from 17 points down in the fourth to make the final score less ugly...but they still sucked.

The Charlotte Bobcats: The 'Cats entered last night's game 27-8 at home and fighting to maintain their playoff seeding, while the Craptors arrived in Charlotte 12-24 on the road and losers of three straight (and 13 of their last). This should have been a no-brainer, right?

Wrong. Of course.

The Craptors shot 51 percent and became the first team in 14 games to score 100 points against the Bobcats. I'd call that a defensive fail.

Stephen Jackson -- who went 5-for-13 and had a game-high 4 turnovers -- was pretty bitter about the loss, saying: "And this isn't even close to what the playoffs are going to be like." Of course, Captain Jack also added: "It's a game we should have won. We're a better team. Things just went their way."

And see, that right there is why I keep insisting this team isn't going to be some kind of scary playoff dark horse. Jax is not only Charlotte's second-best player, he's their emotional leader. And team's that require emotional leadership from Stephen Jackson are destined to fail.

The Bobcats have officially lost the tiebreaker to Toronto. That could come back to haunt them. And, to be honest, I kinda hope it does.

Could his new team's inadequacies drive him back out of retirement
for another failed comeback? Get those fingers crossed, people!

Hedo Turkoglu: The Other Turkish Assassin came off the bench to hit a trio of triples, including the go-ahead three-pointer. He finished with 11 points...which doesn't seem like much for a guy who famously (or, rather, infamously) signed a $53 million contract last summer. Raise your hand if you're shocked. Hey. Yeah, you in the back. If you're not being sarcastic, then you'd better put that hand down before you draw back a stump.

Said Hedo: "If I'm going to start off on the bench, it doesn't matter for mee. Whenever I get a chance, I'm just going to try to do my job and help the team get a W. Also, ball."

Okay, I added the "Also, ball." part. Anyway, I love that attitude, but aren't you wondering why a 53 Million Dollar Man is coming off the bench anyway? I'm glad you asked! In case you hadn't already heard, Turkoglu missed the Craptors' home game against the Nuggets on Friday night with (you guessed it!) flu-like symptoms.

One problem: Turkododo went out clubbing in Toronto that night.


Here's the best part. You know how he got caught? Fans saw him out and sent e-mails to team officials and the local media. Busted.

Hedo's response: "It's all good, man. I've been dealing with this shit the whole year. They've been on me on this [going out] the whole year long. If I wasn't out, sick or healthy, they [the fans] would still say something. I don't say anything. Ten games left of the season, all I try {to do is] finish strong."


The Denver Nuggets: After Sunday's loss to the Vag Carter-less and therefore J.J. Redick-led Orlando Magic -- Denver's fourth loss in five games -- Carmelo Anthony said: "I don't think that it's cause for concern. It's just that it's happening right now, the last nine or 10 games of the season. But I don't think anybody on our team should be concerned about anything."

Of course not. Move along, move along, nothing to see here.

Last night, the 100 percent worry-free Nuggets fell victim to Dirk Nowitzki's second career triple-double (34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). Dirk was a monster, going 4-for-5 from downtown and 16-for-17 from the free throw line. But considering Denver lost 109-93, there was more going on than Der Blond Bombmeister's big game. Like, say, Carmelo's very small game.

'Melo got the nipple clamps put on him by Shawn Marion. Anthony -- the league's third-leading scorer at 28.9 PPG -- was held to a season-low 10 points on 3-for-16 shooting. And whatever was ailing 'Melo must have rubbed off on Chauncey Billups too, because Mr. Big Shot went 3-for-14 from the field.

Make if five losses in the last six games.

The win put Dallas 1 1/2 games up on the Nuggets for the second-best record in the Western Conference. What's more, Denver also fell out of first place in the Northwest Division. The Jazz now hold a one-game lead over them.

Update! Shawn Marion, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From ESPN's Daily Dime, submitted by Basketbawful reader Vince B.: "You've got to make him play defense, too," Marion said. "Most of the high scorers in this league don't play the other end. When you play the other end, it's that much harder to get off."

Update! Carmelo Anthony versus Shawn Marion: More backand forth chatter from the Daily Dime:

Anthony didn't agree that Marion made a major impact in the Mavs' 109-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets at American Airlines Center. What about Anthony's awful shooting (3-of-16 from the floor) in his 10-point performance? According to Anthony, that was the product of constant double-teams and getting poked in the eye during the first quarter, not Marion's terrific individual defensive performance.

"Not being funny," Anthony said, "but I don't think he did nothing but play his game."


Melo's offensive numbers in those losses: 13 points per game on 8-of-35 shooting.

Games like this are what attracted Marion to the Mavs. He wanted to play for high stakes, and he thrives on the challenge of guarding stars, especially Anthony.

"Shoot, that was my All-Star spot," said Marion, a four-time All-Star whose most recent appearance on the NBA's midseason stage came in 2007. "Truth be told, it still should be mine.

"I'm taking nothing away from him. I think he's talented as hell.

"But that's not even what it boils down to. Right now, I'm at the point of my career when I want to win a championship."
I and choking on all the irony and unintentional comedy in those quotes.

The New York Knicks: The final score of their road loss to the Jazz -- 103-98 -- looks pretty respectable. But factor in the following factoids: The Bricks gave up 44 points in the first quarter, scored only 11 points in the fourth and fell to 26-47 in their "Auditioning for LeBron season." Good luck with that, guys.

Al Harrington, quote machine: Regarding New York's defensive strategy against the hot-shooting Jazz: "All we could do was pray and hope that they started missing shots. "Now go ahead and replace "the hot shooting Jazz" with "every team in the NBA, every night."

You know, it just occurred to me, if LeBron does defect to the Bricks this summer, would that be the first time somebody went from playing for an all defense, no offense coach to an all offense, no defense coach?

Eddy Curry: Curry, a well-known iron man around the league -- will apparently miss the rest of the season because of a right calf injury. Curry has played in just seven games this season. A bargain at only $10.5 million!

Here are some more Curry-related lolz from the Boston Herald:

Eddy Curry saw a few teammates stifle their laughter as he explained his latest injury and couldn’t help but chuckle, too.

"I swear," he insisted, "I’m not making this up."

"It was freak, man," Curry said of the injury, which he started to feel just days before he was expected to be back in the lineup March 10 against the Spurs. "Stuff that happens to me, I don’t really understand."

That stuff includes a separate obscure injury to the left calf -- torn plantaris muscle -- which happened on the first day of training camp. Then there was the surgery on his left knee on Jan. 18, which came a month after the last game he appeared in this season. Curry sulked after Mike D'Antoni removed him from the rotation after a Dec. 17 loss in Chicago, where Curry's presence -- for the second straight game -- disrupted the team’s offensive flow.

Curry, however, said he doesn’t think his Knicks career could be over.

"No, not at all," he said. "I still have got to work hard this summer and prove myself next year."
I, for one, cannot wait.

Dorell Wright: If you're a Heat fan, Dorell would like to apologize for becoming the third player this season -- after Portland's Greg Oden (if you can even call him a "player" at this point) and San Antonio's George Hill -- to let his penis escape to the Internet. Rumor has it, David Stern will look into establishing an Internet Penis Committee in an effort to stem the flood of NBA-to-Internet penis escapes. Personally, I've found a zipper is all the protection I need against my penis unintentionally fleeing to the Web. But maybe that's just me.

Lacktion report: From chris, to lacktion.

Spurs-Nyets: Antonio McDyess made five boards in 21:06 but fouled four times and thricely lost the rock for a 7:5 Voskuhl.

Nuggets-Mavs: Anthony Carter bricked once from the Old Red Courthouse and also added a foul and giveaway in 3:14 for a +3 suck differential. For Mark Cuban's tax writeoff, DeShawn Stevenson tossed two pieces of masonry in 2:08 and fouled once for a +3 of his own.

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Rajon Rondo
If you told me this picture was Photoshopped, I would believe you

Another week of life, another week of bad basketball to document.

When browsing through the weekend's pictures, I saw this photo of Wizards Generals Bullets "surely-soon-to-be-former" coach Flip Saunders:

Original Flip Saunders pic
Nice open shirt and plunging neckline, Flip.

Now, is it just me or is this picture missing something? Doesn't it just seem like he should be rocking exposed chest hair and a gold chain and medallion?

Hold on while I fire up Photoshop...

Chest hair and a gold medallion. Oh yeah.There. That's better. It's subtle and understated, but looks right at home, doesn't it? (Thankfully your computer can't transmit scents, or you would be overwhelmed by a mix of cheap aftershave and old man funk.)

Alright, now let's get to the rest of the ridiculous pictures. A lot of material to work with this weekend.

Worst of the Weekend in Pictures:

Big Baby Davis

If this doesn't sum up the Celtics' lackadaisical approach the past few weeks, nothing does

Sean Paul at a Nets game
This picture makes me want to punch Sean Paul

Vag Carter
This picture makes me want to punch Vinsanity Vag Carter. Or sprain his toe.

Shaun Livingston and Theo Ratliff
Aww, how sweet. They're awkwardly dancing while holding hands!

Gerald Wallace all up on Mike Miller
Aww, how sweet. They're awkwardly dry humping!

Chairman Yi
Chairman Yi approves of these displays of man love

Iquodala must really like that McDonald's ad

Antoine Wright and Sonny Weems
"Oh my God, we even (gasp) played defense and still lost!!!"

Ginobili and Hickson

Nationally Televised Games:
Nuggets at Mavericks: As noted in the Stats LLC game preview, "Nowitzki will try to avoid scoring fewer than 20 in five straight games for the first time since a six-game stretch Nov. 8-15, 2000." Well, I guess they'll be fine if Rodrigue Beaubois can drop another 40 points, right? (clears throat)

All The Other Games:
Raptors at Bobcats: Things don't look so great right now for the Craptors. But hey, it's the Eastern Conference. They don't even have to finish at .500 to make the playoffs.

Spurs at Nyets: I am, for the moment at least, retiring my use of AnacondaHL's fantastic facepalming Nyets logo. It's been bad luck for us lately. We can still hope for a tie with the '72-'73 Sixers at 9 wins, right? (Not to mention the Timberpoops are still on track to have one of the 20 worst seasons in Association history as well! Yes!)

Meanwhile, where in the hell has this Spurs team been all season?? Even with Tim Duncan's play resembling a mummy in slow motion compared to just a couple years ago, they're playing by far their best basketball of the season. I thought Manu's last couple of weeks were an aberration, but he's keeping up the pace, and the team is peaking at the right time. I just don't know if they can keep up that pace.

Lakers at Hornets: Hornets coach Jeff Bower said "We understand the need to compete and prepare and play the game and build some momentum." Uh, momentum for what? Hitting the golf course a few weeks earlier than the teams going to the playoffs? Or I guess in Chris Paul's case, the bowling lanes.

Knicks at Jazz: As noted by Basketbawful reader Stockton in the comments, "Today's games features the Utah Jazz vs Utah Lottery Pick." (Fun fact about the Jazz: they were only 2 games over .500 as of January 8th, yet they're now 48-26, and we might as well go ahead and make that 49-26...)



The Detroit Pistons: What...what...what happened? The New Jersey Nyets shot nearly 60 percent from the field. They got career-high scoring nights from both Brook Lopez (37 points, 14-for-17 from the field) and Ji Jianlian (31 points, 12-for-16), and they scored 38 points in the fourth quarter to earn a 118-110 win over the Pistons. It was New Jersey's ninth win of the season.

They will not be the worst team in NBA history.

My nose. It's bleeding. Why won't it stop bleeding. I...everything's getting black. Am I fainting? Is this what fainting feels like?!


There are some great responses to the Nyets bubble-bursting win in Friday's BAD comments section. Here's the best, via an anonymous commenter:

Seriously Detroit, what's your deal? You were so worried about the Nets becoming the worse team in NBA history that you had to tank the game just so they couldn't get in the history books. It's almost like you want people to remember that your football team ran the table in reverse (0-16), your home state college team (Michigan State) gagged last year in the NCAA title game hosted in your city, the Red Wings caved in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, The Tigers were blitzed in the 2006 World Series or that your vaunted Michigan Wolverines invalidated their college football card by losing to a Division 2 school. We get it. Your city sucks, your state sucks. It has for years. But now that another state has threatened to take the mantle of "worst in America" via a god-awful basketball team and some a-hole called "The Situation," you step up and ruin their hopes and dreams by proving that no matter how much they suck, you suck worse. Thanks. If Jerome Bettis started to claim that he was from Pittsburgh, I don't think anyone would complain at this point.
Well...that was deserved.

Said Devin Harris: "We're smiling. It's good to get two wins in a row, but we're not satisfied. We want to continue to be better and finish the season on a high note."

Yeah, well, we'll see about that, Devin.

The Utah Jazz: So the Jazz went from leading the Pacers 70-58 in the third quarter to losing 122-106 as Indy shot 51 percent from the field and got a career-high 44 points from Danny Granger. Mind you, Utah is currently fighting for the second-best record in the Western Conference. To which I say...


Grumped Jazz coach Jerry Sloan: "Our defense was non-existent. ... I just thought we would come with more energy. They seemed to have tremendous energy. They seemed to get stronger and more determined as the game wore on."

Reminder: The Pacers have nothing left to play for. Except, you know, fucking up their draft position. Good job, Jazz. Top notch.

The Minnesota Timberpoops: Despite a career-best performance from Darko Milicic (14 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals), Minny lost 106-97 to the Magic in Orlando, meaning they now have more consecutive losses (15) than total wins on the season (14). Somewhere, Kevin McHale is rewatching his famous clotheslines of Kurt Rambis and silently fist-pumping.

By the way, can I just say that Kurt's use of Kevin Love mystifies me. Love is Minnesota's best all-around player -- as evidenced by his team-best PER of 21.2 -- but Darko started over him and got more minutes (31 to 27)! It makes no sense. None. As long as he wasn't in foul trouble, I would be playing Love at least 35 minutes per game, no question. But hey, the Timberpoops are the second-worst team in the league for a reason.

The Atlanta Hawks: Have I made it clear that I think the Dirty Birds are a second-round loss waiting to happen? If not, please allow their 105-98 loss to the Sixers and sub-.500 road record (17-19) to make it clear for me. Philly scored 58 points in the paint and 28 points in transition. And if they hadn't bricked 10 free throws, the score might have been more lopsided than it was.

By the way, this win was only the Sixers' 12th in Philadelphia this season. That's the third-fewest home wins behind Minnesota (nine) and New Jersey (five). As always, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson: "I'm very disappointed in the way we played. Our offense wasn't that bad, but we made a lot of mental mistakes."

Added Joe Johnson: "We just didn't show up to play."

The loss dropped the Hawks 4 1/2 games behind first-place Orlando in the Southeast Division. In other words: They can pretty much pucker up and kiss their shot at a higher playoff seed goodbye.

The Toronto Craptors: The Craptors -- who have lost eight of their last 11 games, with two of the wins coming against the Nyets and Timberpoops -- are desperately trying to hold onto the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race...because getting swept by the Craboliers would be much better than a lottery pick. I guess. And they sort of played like the game mattered, outshooting the Nuggets 47 percent to 41 percent and outrebounding them 58-38. Too bad Carmelo Anthony's beat them with a buzzer-beating 18-footer.

It was Toronto's first loss in the 21 games they've held an opponent under 100 points this season. So even when they do play defense they lose. Fail.

Chris Bosh: Check out what Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star had to say about the RuPaul of Big Men:

Bosh finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, which, on the surface, was no disgrace. But while Anthony and Billups shone with the game on the line, Bosh wilted. It was Bosh who fumbled a rebound of Anthony's missed free throw with 38 seconds left to give Billups that chance at a game-tying trey. (And okay, call that a bad bounce.) It was Bosh who missed his first of two free throws with 16 seconds left. (And okay, misses happen.)

But the truth is, Bosh could have lifted the Raptors to a win with even the slightest of fourth-quarter effort. Instead, while he was given the ball repeatedly down the stretch, he chose every option but aggression. He missed four of the five shots he deigned to attempt in the fourth quarter, most of them jumpers. And he got to the free-throw line for all of four attempts all night, making good on only two.

This spoke to a larger and troubling trend. Bosh is averaging 6.2 free-throw attempts per game in March, this when he was getting to the line more than 10 times a game in October. There are enthusiasts of teen abstinence with less aversion to body contact. One can't help but conclude that the impending free agent is saving himself for (another) marriage.

"They're crowding the lane a lot more," Bosh said, explaining himself. But anyone who watches can tell you the defenses haven't changed, Bosh's approach has.

Perhaps he is opting for jump shots to limit his risk of injury with a $130 million (all figures U.S.) payday looming in July. But don't the Raptors, desperate to make the playoffs, deserve honest effort for the $15.8 million they are paying him this season? Perhaps he doesn't want to continue to expose the startling lack of explosiveness he's been showing in his rare sorties to the goal, what with the health of his brace-sheathed knees.

And what to make of Bosh's game-high five turnovers, which brought his tally of giveaways to 19 in the past four games?

"I have no idea. I turn the ball over, I turn the ball over," Bosh said. "I really don't pay attention to that statistic too much. I don't care."

It was nice to hear some post-game truth, at last. Denver's stars made plays. Toronto's star doesn't care about giving the ball away -- or, judging by the way he's playing, anything but his next contract.
Am I sniffing too much glue, or is Bosh putting his tippy toes into Vince Carter territory? The Toronto press sure seems to think so.

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: All the discipline coach Flip Saunders instilled in his team by letting wayward center Andray Blatche do, well, whatever the fuck he wants sure paid off in the form of Washington's 14th straight loss. That's a new franchise record for futility, FYI. What a way to celebrate the announcement that Gilbert Arenas Quick Draw McGraw won't have to serve any time in the big house.

Said Blatche: "We're happy the judge was a little lenient on him. But that's not something that right now I'm in a mood to talk about. We just had a game we lost."

Oh, now he cares.

Andray continued: "It's getting to a point where some guys have got to take this more serious. It's got to hurt. If it doesn't hurt you, then you don't care. I think that's what our problem is."

Added soon-to-be-ex-coach Saunders: "I told our guys we can't look behind us and say we've lost 13, 14. We've got to look at the next game as a way to get better. Whether you like it or not, we haven't been favored to win any games in the 14 games that we've played."


The Excremento Kings: Coming off Wednesday's loss to the Nyets -- during which they set a new season low for points scored with 79 -- the Purple Paupers went ahead and lost to the Celtics. It was their fifth defeat in the last six tries. Are we surprised? Do we care? No and mayb...uh, no.

The Los Angeles Lakers: "Mmmm. Lakers sleepy. Wake us for the playoffs." L.A. fans have to hope that's what was going on during their team's 91-75 loss to the Thunder. I mean, the Lakers were partying like it was 2005. L.A. shot 39 percent and gave up 21 points off 18 turnovers while getting outscored 44-30 in the paint. The Lakers also set a new season-low by dishing out only 7 assists. But hey, they're just killing time until the postseason. Right guys?

Said Mamba: "It's disappointing we didn't respond to the challenge. That being said, when the playoffs start it's a different situation."

Added Pau Gasol: "It was a tough game for us. I think we really don't have to make a huge deal about it. ... We don't want to search too deep into it because there's nothing to search for."

This was L.A.'s third-worst defeat of the season, behind a 26-point loss at Denver and a 20-point defeat against San Antonio. But, again, whatever, you know?

Said Mamba: "We want to play better. There's things that we have to do, that we have to shore up. But I know what we can do. I know what our identity is. That's the part that you don't want to be second-guessing. We had beaten this team, what, 12 straight times?"

See? Nothing to worry about.

Kobe Bryant: Mamba (11 points on 4-for-11 shooting) had more than twice as many turnovers (9) as field goals. It was the second time this month Kobe lost the ball nine times (including a March 15 game against the Warriors).

For the record, back on January 20 when the Miami Heat scored a season-low 65 points, I said: "The Heat are stuck in that '2005 Lakers' zone where Wade (playing the part of Kobe Bryant) can lead them to victory if he absolutely kills himself, but anything less than a great game can spell Miami's doom. Pat Riley should be very, very worried about what Wade is going to do in the offseason."

Basketbawful reader Hillsolo replied: "Well except Wade is not Kobe. Looking at all these comparisions between Wade and Kobe, I don't think Kobe would ever allow a team to score this low even with hands being cut off."

I fail to see much distinction between the Heat scoring 65 points with a bunch of crappy crap and the Lakers -- who, supposedly, are one of two teams to beat right now -- notching only 75 points. As always...just sayin'.

Phil Jackson, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "I thought Pau was soft inside." [Thanks to the anonymous reader for this nomination.]

The Milwaukee Bucks: Scary moment in this game when Udonis Haslem stepped on the back of Carlos Delfino's head. Delfino had to be taken out on a stretcher. As it turned out, the rest of the Bucks probably should have been carried out with him. Milwaukee shot 31 percent from the field and missed 17 of their 20 three-point attempts. Dudes were more broke than a college student who has to donate plasma three or four times in a week just to scrape up some beer money for Saturday night. Assuming he or she wakes up from their coma in time.

Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal: In case you don't know why we call him "The Drain" and mock the stained glass-like nature of his creaky body, here's why:

O'Neal left in the first quarter after hyperextending his right knee.

"He's feeling OK but really none of us will know for sure until we get back to Miami and we re-evaluate," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

O'Neal had to be helped off the court when he hurt himself in what appeared to be a non-contact situation after being whistled for traveling. He hopped awkwardly, took a half-step and fell to the court midway through the first quarter.

The entire team and coaching staff surrounded O'Neal while a trainer bent and stretched O'Neal's right knee. O'Neal walked gingerly to the bench and did not return.

The Cleveland Cavaliers: I can only assume that the Crabs and Fakers lost tonight to make up for New Jersey's win. Thanks, Basketball Gods.

The New York Knicks: I'll leave this entry to Basketbawful reader Steve:

Despite the Nyets news, the Bricks need some attention for how extremely thoroughly they got beaten down last night:

- Every Sun played, every Sun scored, every Sun except Dragic got at least 1 rebound (starters all got between 5 and 9).

- Channing Freaking Frye tied his season high for rebounds (11).

- The Suns (THE SUNS) out-rebounded New York 56-38 and shot 55% from the field (NYK: 38%).

- Earl Clark (who'd been shooting 36% from the field) made 3-of-4, with 3 rebounds and an assist in six minutes, being a barely above D-League player thus far this season.

- The Suns' defense held the not-shabby 101.6-points-per-game Kicks to under 100 points.

- The Suns scored at least 30 points every quarter.

- The score would've been higher if the Suns hadn't basically stopped playing with 2 minutes left, even going to the point of giving themselves a shot-clock violation when they got the ball with 25 seconds left in the game.

- Did I mention the Suns won by 36?

There was a really poetic justice to how well the bench played in this game, since Mike "Seven Players or Less" 'Antoni refuses to play a bench, and especially rookies (just ask Jordan Hill), and many fans consider this a big reason the Suns didn't go all the way.

- Nobody played more than 27 minutes, and nobody played less than 6. Most played about 20.

- The Suns' starters started coming out of the game with 6:33 left in the third, and were all out at 1:43. None returned.

- The very end of the bench (Collins and Clark) played half of the fourth.

- Mike had 3 starters (Gallinari, Lee, and Douglas) STILL IN THE GAME at the end of the 4th. They all came back in the game at about 6:20 left in the fourth, down by twenty-nine. "OK guys, go win it!"
Friday lacktion report: Despite his shock at New Jersey's victory, chris came through with tonight's mega lactivity update:

Bullets-Bobcats: Fabulous Fabricio Oberto fabricated a brick in just 47 seconds to earn a garden variety Mario AND a +1 suck differential, the same suck score that Derrick Brown gave His Airness in 2:10 via foul.

Jazz-Pacers: Kyrylo Fesenko fouled once in 1:20 for a +1 that also earned a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl ratio.

Wolves-Magic: Damien Wilkins can now buy an autographed rookie card of his father's after a 3.9 trillion take (3:53), while Ryan Hollins countered a block in 5:33 with a brick and foul for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Hawks-Sixers: As the dirty birds found themselves grounded in Philly, Joe Smith bricked and fouled twice each in 3:34 for a 2:0 Voskuhl and a +4, while THE Mario West really likes blasting the fire flower on a regular basis, with a 17 second stint to earn his 5th Mario in ten days! For the Sixers, Jodie Meeks tossed one brick from Milord la Chamarre for a +1 in 3:16.

Nuggets-Raptors: Ty Lawson laid down a brick from the Eaton Centre as well as a foul in 3:13 for a +2 - the 200th player in the Association this season to earn a suck differential score!!!!

Kings-Celtics: Spencer Hawes charaded a pair of turnovers and fouls each against two boards and a free throw for a 4:3 Voskuhl in 7:46, while Joey Dorsey mouthed a tune in Mario Paint in just 26 seconds!


Well, the only good thing about this was Kwame Brown living down to expectations with a 4:2 Voskuhl in 10:12 by neutralizing two boards with two fouls, two giveaways, and a brick.

Lakers-Thunder: Etan Thomas stupendously lost the rock twice, fouled once, and missed twice for a +5 in 3:56 that also counts as a 3:0 Voskuhl! In that same time period, teammate Kyle Weaver bricked once from (yay, I get to use THIS tired center-city meme AGAIN!) Bricktown for a +1.

Crabs-Spurs: In what apparently was Turn Back The Clock To 2007 Night (where the Crabs could only get to wading pool depth in Texas!), Jawad Williams pinched out a foul and brick in 3:39 for a +2, while Daniel "Boobie" Gibson (1.1 trillion/1:08) and Leon Powe (4.3 trillion/4:21) clawed the lock of a washed up treasure chest successfully!

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: Make it a franchise-worst 15 losses in a row. As the AP recap put it: "[They are now] 0-for-March. The last victory came on Feb. 28 against NBA-worst New Jersey."

Speaking of worsts, the Bullets set a new season-worst for field goal defense as the Jazz shot 59 percent from the field and scored 50 points in the paint behind a combined 44 points for the Booze Man and the Turkish Assassin. Said Washington "coach" Flip Saunders: "Their bigs mauled our guys."

Mike Miller, quote machine: Regarding his team's 15-game losing streak: "Obviously, it's not any fun. It's frustrating, but no one feels sorry for us. I don't think you'll see Houston or New Orleans feel sorry for us and let us win."

The New Orleans Hornets: Rookie Darren Collison had a perfect night -- 10-for-10 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line -- but the Hornets' 112-101 home loss to the Frail Blazers mathematically eliminated them from playoff contention. This defeat came in spite of the New Orleans shooting better than 58 percent from the field.

Said David West: "We just didn't have a good enough effort defensively. They hit some pretty tough shots (but) we decided tonight, I guess, to not give much resistance."


The New Jersey Nyets: And order is restored. The Bulls -- who were themselves coming off a 29-point home loss to the Miami Heat -- crushed the Nyets and their two-game winning streak with a 106-83 blowout.

I guess Devin Harris isn't smiling anymore.

And you know who shot New Jersey full of holes? No, not Gilbert Arenas. It was Jannero Pargo, who led the Bulls with a game-high 27 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Pargo’s previous high in points this season had been 20 in the infamous Kirk Hinrich Meltdown Game. The last time Jannero scored 27 or better was for the New Orleans Hornets in a first round playoff loss to the Dallas Mavericks on April 25, 2008. The last time before that was when Pargo put up 34 off the bench during his first stint with the Bulls on March 26, 2004. That’s it. That’s the entire list of Jannero’s 27-plus point games.

I know you know this, but, as always, I am just sayin'.

Said New Jersey's lame duck Kiki Vandeweghe: "We just did not come out to play tonight. We didn't have the energy we the past few games. We didn't have the drive or the intensity. Everybody struggled. I don't think there was too many exceptions tonight."

Added Jarvis Hayes: "We just didn't come with the intensity from last night. It didn't carry over. It's frustrating. We just couldn't get a stop. We fought to get their lead back to a reasonable, to seven. They made plays, and kind of got back out ahead."

The Houston Rockets: As of their 109-101 home loss to the Lakers, the Money Ballers have lost five of their last six, with the sole win a 116-112 victory over the hapless Bricks. Although it's worth noting that the Rockets almost came back from a 20-point deficit and might have won if they hadn't gotten outscored 35-11 in the second quarter.

Said Houston coach Rick Adelman: "It's pretty simple. We just had a bad second quarter. They turned up their defense. They got very physical. We fell into the trap." Who does Rick think he is? Admiral Ackbar?

The Gol_en State Warriors: In a season full of defensive lows, the Warriors -- amazingly -- hit a new extra low-y low in a 111-90 home loss to the Mavericks. Obviously it's not the point total, since Gol_en State could easily give up 111 in only three quarters. Nope, it was the career-high 40 points scored by...Rodrigue Beaubois! Mind you, Beaubois played just 48 seconds and went scoreless in Wednesday night's loss to the Frail Blazers.

Man, players love playing against the Warriors.

Said Beaubois: "I felt great. I thought I couldn't miss so I kept shooting. ... When the coach called me I just tried to play my game, be aggressive. Just tried to energize the team. Some nights you just feel your shot and keep shooting."

Added Warriors coach Don Nelson: "What a performance by Beaubois. Unbelievable. We left him open a couple of times but it didn't matter. He made shots when we covered him, when he was open. Nine 3s, what a performance. I didn't expect that."

Wrong. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But pretty much everybody expects somebody to light up your Warriors, Nellie. Although, admittedly, Beaubois is a bit of a stretch.

Update! Late addition from the Yahoo! game notes, courtesy of Basketbawful reader jim: "Roddy Beaubois joined Brandon Jennings as the only rookies with at least 40 points in a game this season.... Beaubois set career highs in points (40), made field goals (15), made 3-pointers (9), rebounds (8) and blocks (3). Both Beaubois and Jennings, ironically, had their career nights against Golden State. Jennings scored 55 against the Warriors in November."

And here's some Bonus Beaubois from Benny Profane:

Dirk Nowitzki, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Regarding Beaubois' scoring explosion: "We see it a lot in practice. ... He's long."

Okay, okay. That's me cheating a little. Here's the full quote as sent in by Basketbawful reader Phil H.: "We see it a lot in practice," he said. "He's a very, very explosive scorer. He's long. If he makes his shot he's tough to guard because he's so good at penetrating."

Monta Ellis: Moped, who might be the least efficient player in the NBA, finished with 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting to go along with 2 rebounds and 4 assists. That would be a great all-around game for, say, Jannero Pargo, but not for a dude with a $66 million dollar contract...especially when that dude thinks he's the second-best player in the league. And no, I'm not making this up:

When asked about a recent Rolling Stone article, which declared Kevin Durant better than Kobe Bryant, Monta Ellis raised eyebrows with comments of his own.

"I'm going to say LeBron James," Ellis said when asked about the league's three best players. "He can do it all, pass, score, defend, block shots. No. 2, I would have to say, me. I can do a whole lot of things: defend, score, make passes, do whatever I need to do.

"No. 1, I'd say Kobe Bryant. There isn't one player that can stop Kobe one-on-one. He has a lot of stuff. He can defend. And of course, he won four championships."
He can't be serious. No, really. He cannot be serious...can he?! [Thanks to the anonymous commenter for the head's up.]

Saturday lacktion report: And now for your super short lactivity update:

Jazz-Bullets: Othyus Jeffers jacked up a foul and giveaway in 3:24 for a +2 suck differential, while the fabulous Fabricio Oberto fouled once in 6:21 (despite an assist) for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Frail Blazers-Hornets: Jeff Pendergraph wired himself 3.65 trillion (3:40) this evening!

The Excremento Kings: I'll give the Paupers this much: They were scrappy! And Beno Udrih even had his first-ever career triple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists). But no amount of scrap and triple-doublage could prevent Excremento from suffering their 50th loss of the season. They now have back-to-back 50-loss seasons for the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Oh, and they're 2-8 without Tyreke Evans, by the way.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Fear the deer! Despite a big game from Z-Bo (31 points, 15 boards), the Griz couldn't do anything about the three-headed deer monster of John Salmons (10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and OT), Brandon Jennings (29 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals) and Andy Bogut (18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocked shots).

Remember when the bears' season looked so promising?

Said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins: "I have no problems or worries about how we are going to finish the season. But I told them if you have this kind of focus and effort, you are going to win a lot of games and we are going to have a good finish."

Huh? Your team was all fouls, missed shots and turnovers down the stretch, Lionel. But, uh, good luck with that "winning a lot of games" thing.

The Indiana Pacers: It was nice to see them go to Atlanta and get back on track for the NBA Draft lottery. That five-game winning streak was really wigging me out. The exclamation point on this beating happened during the fourth quarter when Zaza Pachulia actually led a fast break and finished it by dishing a behind-the-back pass to Josh Smith for the jam.

Said Smith: "Zaza likes to do his thing a little bit in the open court, so I'm not going to hate on his shine."

Added Joe Johnson: "That was a great pass. I think he should have been a guard, anyway."

"Magic" Pachulia? Oooooh yeeeeah.

The Toronto Craptors: Remember: The Craptors are (supposedly) fighting to hold onto the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Of course, after their 97-94 loss to the Heat, they've now lost nine of their last 12 games. And two of their three wins during that stretch came against the Nyets and Timberpoops.

That said, the Craptors played this game like they wanted to win, building a 17-point lead (72-55) with a little over five minutes left in the third quarter. But they couldn't do anything about Dwyane Wade (32 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, 3 blocked shots) or Udonis "I'm all about winning" Haslem (11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter). Miami ended up outscoring Toronto 32-17 in the final 12 minutes.

It was the Heat's biggest comeback of the season, one-upping their 13-point comeback win at Phoenix back on January 8. Afterwards, the Craptors seemed a little confused about what happened.

Explained Toronto coach Jay Triano: "We had a hard time getting open looks. ... They cranked it up in the fourth."

Countered Jose Calderon: "We had some open looks at the end and the ball just didn't want to go in."

At least everybody's on the same page, right?

Vince Carter: Vinsanity left 95 seconds into Orlando's home game against the Denver Nuggets. The reason: A sprained right big toe. Jesus, Vince, rub some Vagisil on it and get back into the game. And some people wonder why I think the Magic are going to have problems in the playoffs. Well, this is why, people. This is why. Freaking Carter makes Hedo Turkoglu look like a piece of iron.

The Denver Nuggets: The Magic lost Vag Carter, so it was J.J. Redick to the rescue. No, seriously. Redick scored 23 points and set career highs in minutes (46), assists (8) and rebounds (7). And there was nothing the Nuggets could do about it. Again, seriously.

Denver has now lost four of their last five games despite the playoff positioning dogfight they're in with the Jazz and Mavericks. But hey, why worry?

Said 'Melo: "I don't think that it's cause for concern. It's just that it's happening right now, the last nine or 10 games of the season. But I don't think anybody on our team should be concerned about anything."

Nope. No problems here. Going into the playoffs ice cold should work out fine.

Stan Van Gundy, quote machine: Regarding Redick's big night: "I thought the key to J.J.'s performance was that rest I gave him at the beginning of the game, that 1:35, so he could be fresh."

Stan Van Gundy, inintentionally dirty quote machine: This nomination comes from Basketbawful reader zaldysciple:

From ESPN Daily Dime:

SVG expressing some man love for J.J. Redick's butt:

"He was tremendous. What you have to know, and what see every day and appreciate, he is one of the best-conditioned guys in the league. He works his butt of year-round to be in great shape." -- Didn't know NBA players needed to get their butts in shape also. And SVG cherishes them.

"He usually gets no more than 24-25 minutes [but] you need him for 46 and he's able to do it." – Wow, talk about stamina...his butt is in shape, alright.
The Minnesota Timberpoops: I'll give the T-Poops this: They did themselves proud in coming back from a 25-point second quarter deficit to make the Suns sweat a little. Wait. Wait a tick. Minny tied a franchise record by losing their 16th game in a row, thereby surpassing the 15-game skid they suffered earlier this season. Okay, so go ahead and strike that "did themselves proud" part from the record. Damn, this team sucks.

Said Timberpoops coach Kurt Rambis: "Everybody's frustrated. I'm frustrated. The coaches are. The players are. The front office is. The fans are."

Added Ramon Sessions: "It wears on you."

By the way, the Suns have won seven games in a row and 21 of their last 26. Yet nobody is talking about them, and that feels kind of right, which is weird...isn't it?

The Detroit Pistons: The Bulls basically toyed with the Pistons all night, building a double-digit lead pretty much any time the decided to pay attention. In the process, Chicago swept the Motor City Mistakes for the first time since 1995-96...when Michael Jordan led the Bulls to an NBA record 72 wins. Detroit has now lost eight in a row, 15 of 17, and, apparently, the will to live.

Jason Maxiell: Welcome to Joakim Noah's poster, Jason.

This jam had Bulls broadcaster Stacey King freaking the hell out. Screamed King: "Get that man an Advil! He got a headache! A headache!" Or something like that.

The Oklahoma City Thunder: I guess I could talk about how the Thunder -- who are trying to clinch a playoff spot -- choked at home, or about how Kevin Durant was the key element to that choke (0-for-3 in the fourth, a shanked fourth quarter foul shot despite entering the game having made 97 of his last 100 free throw attempts, two shanked treys in the final two and a half minutes). But forget about all that. How 'bout dem Frail Blazers? They've win 11 of their last 13 games and need only three wins in their last eight to clinch a playoff spot. Although, IMHO, they've pretty much locked it up already.

Oh, and check this out, courtesy of the AP recap: "Portland improved to 14-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season and has won its last eight, dating to a loss on Jan. 5 against Memphis."

Considering all the injuries and their record (45-29), I'm thinking Nate McMillan deserves some serious buzz for CotY.

The Boston Celtics: The C's had been pretty thoroughly outplayed during the third quarter, but they had managed to pull to within 11 in the final minute. I'm not sure you could say they were poised for a fourth quarter run exactly, but it looked like they were at least within striking distance. Then George Hill hit an uncontested three-pointer and Manu Ginobili was allowed to race downcourt and toss up a running, one-handed bank shot that pushed the San Antonio lead to 17. And that, my friends, was the ball game. Insert booing and an early exit by the Boston crowd here.

The Leprechauns shot 37 percent as a team, missed 13 of 14 three-pointers and got outrebounded 48-37. But those numbers don't tell the story of how badly the Celtics were outworked, outhustled, and straight up outplayed. When Matt Bonner is streaking to the hoop, hitting hooks over Kevin Garnett, and knocking down run-killing treys, you know there's a problem.

Said Doc Rivers: "It was one of those nights we were awful."

Rationalized Ray Allen: "This does not change our progress. You trip up a little here, but it doesn't change the mission we're on or the direction we're heading."

He's right. The Celtics are still heading in the same direction. Down.

Update! Kevin Garnett: Think this would have happened in 2008? You know, when KG had two knees. [Thanks to the anonymous commenter who sent in the link.]

The Los Angeles Clippers: Despite the fact that Monta Ellis -- the self-proclaimed second-best player in the league -- missed the game with flu-like symptoms, the Warriors still ran the Clippers off their own court, winning 121-103.

Said The Other L.A. Team's interim coach Kim Hughes: "Golden State can do that to you. They can trick you into playing a ragtag game, which they are very adept at. We really went to pieces. I don't know if it was just a bad combination of guys, or whether we didn't guard, or whether their speed shocked us."

How 'bout "all of the above," Kim? Or my personal favorite: your team is who we thought they were.

Sunday lacktion report: Let's wrap up this weekend with one last lacktivity update from chris:

Nuggets-Magic: Johan Petro countered a field goal and board in 20:16 with 5 fouls and a giveaway for a 6:5 Voskuhl!

For Orlando, Brandon Bass played a low note in Mario Paint that lasted a whole 41 seconds!

Suns-Wolves: Jarron Collins made two boards in 10:41, but bricked once and lost the rock thricely for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Spurs-Celtics: Garrett Temple may be the only man to lack it up for three teams this year, and appropriately he gave San Antonio a celebratory +3 suck differential in 3:19 by bricking once from Exchange Place and adding a foul and giveaway to the list as well.

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Well, I think this one picture pretty much sums up that Bulls game

So, it sounds like the general consesus is that I shouldn't exactly be kicking myself for not seeing last night's Bulls game. I was bowling in league, and the one TV near my lanes was showing the Butler/Syracuse game. (Special bawful mention for the airballed free-throw attempt very late in the game by some random Butler player that was so short it barely brushed the bottom of the net. Way to show up in the clutch, champ.)

It does, however, sound like I missed an eventful broadcasting experiment where Ernie, Kenny, and Chuck ventured out onto the floor to do the play-by-play. In honor of this occasion, get ready for a heavy dose of the TNT crew in the WOTN in Pictures.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

What is Charles Barkley texting/tweeting?

Chuck is big pimpin' again, I see. (However, what are Ernie and Kenny looking at?)

Chuck is... I have no idea. Why the hell is he wearing a sombrero?

I haven't seen a grimace like this since the last time I went to McDonald's

Appropriately enough, Rick Adelman pulled a Dunleavy while coaching against the Clippers

Random Craig Sager is random.
Craig Sager is consistently entertaining, even if for all the wrong reasons

Nationally Televised Friday Games:
Heat at Bucks: Fear the deer! (I enjoy saying that way too much.)

All The Other Friday Games:
Jazz at Pacers: Danny Granger claims he doesn't believe in tanking for a better draft pick because it goes against "every principle of sportsmanship." While true, that also doesn't explain how the hell they're on a winning streak. This team is garbage! They shouldn't even be winning games by accident!

Timberwolves at Magic: The Timberpoops are on a 14 game losing streak, and only two losses away from tying the franchise record set back in '91-'92. Also of note, Minnesota has allowed an average of 114.4 points over its last 13 games. Is it possible these two stats are somehow related?

Hawks at 76ers: The Hawks haven't swept a series against the Sixers since '96-'97. For perspective, I'm pretty sure I was still rocking the oversized braided belt look back then. Those were sad times.

Nuggets at Raptors: Fact that should surprise nobody: the Nuggets had their season-high field goal percentage game against the Craptors earlier this season (61.5% on Nov. 17).

Wizards Generals Bullets at Bobcats: What a day. Gilbert Arenas avoids jail but still gets to spend 30 days in a halfway house, and if the Bullets lose this game, they'll set a franchise futility record with 14 consecutive losses.

Kings at Celtics: I... don't have much to say about this game, so instead I'll just pass along this picture of a dude disrespecting a Dennis Johnson jersey by apparently using it to smuggle a spare tire into Fenway.

Pistons at : Oh no. The Pistons are on their worst road game losing streak in a decade, and now they have to face a team trying to avoid being the worst NBA team ever? I'm scared. Hold me.

Lakers at Thunder: Outscoring Durant in all three previous meetings this season, Kobe always gets up for games against Kevin Durant. (Wait a second, that sounded wrong...)

Crabs at Spurs: Old age, injuries, etc. have officially ended the Spurs' glory years. I have to keep reminding myself of that because I foolishly get excited for a split second when I see a game like this on the calendar.

Knicks at Suns: Mike D'Antoni will wake up after a bad dream that he is no longer in Phoenix and is the coach for the Bricks... wait, what? NOOOOOOO!

* * *

Nationally Televised Saturday Games:
Frail Blazers at Hornets: I don't think this season can end soon enough for the Hornets.

All The Other Saturday Games:
Jazz at Wizards Generals Bullets: The Jazz get to play this one night after a road game against the Pacers, but then get to play the Bricks Monday and the Warriors Wednesday. That's pretty much the equivalent of NBA spring break, right?

at Bulls: Who the hell decided to give the Nyets so many reasonable games late in the season? Come on Chicago. Hopefully this game is just a Saturday in the park for them. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Lakers at Rockets: And tossing a little more dirt on the shallow grave that holds the Rockets' season...

Mavericks at Warriors: I'm sure the visiting Mavs really appreciate the chance to play against Don Nelson.

* * *

Nationally Televised Sunday Games:
Spurs at Celtics: Remember what I said about the Crabs/Spurs game on Friday? Just go back and re-read that. I don't feel like hitting copy/paste.

All The Other Sunday Games:
Kings at Crabs: Oh my. If Tyreke the Freak is still all concussiony when this game is played, it could be one of the longest stretches of garbage time we'll see all season for the Crabs.

Grizzlies at Bucks: The Grizzlies get to take on the Bucks after a nice three-day rest. Is that enough to derail the John Salmons Express?

Pacers at Hawks: The surging Pacers... sorry, couldn't say it with a straight face.

Bulls at Pistons: Can we get Ernie, Kenny, and Chuck to call this game too?

Raptors at Heat: It would be a total waste of my time trying to predict this game. (You know, aside from the Craptors not playing any defense) We'll just have to go with the flow and see what happens.

Nuggets at Magic: A battle of second-tier teams from both conferences. Could be fun. We can only be sure of one thing -- Stan Van Gundy will wear something really gaudy that probably involves a tacky tie-less black shirt buttoned up too high with a jacket.

Suns at Timberwolves: Isn't this the kind of game that the Suns will somehow stupidly manage to screw up and make far too close for comfort? I think so.

Frail Blazers at Thunder: It's certainly possible that some playoff-style intensity could show up in this game. I like it.

Warriors at Clippers: I think it's time to break out some alliteration to describe this game. I'm thinking "The Craptacular California Clusterfuck." Sound about right?