lil nate
Pictured: A guy who went 1-for-7 from the field last night.

The Boston Celtics: After the Celtics had an offensive meltdown in Chicago last Saturday -- on a night in which the Bulls outrebounded them 48-27 -- Paul Pierce said: "They wanted it more truthfully. They got all the loose balls. They attacked it."

That's the Truth. The Bulls did want it more. The same could be said of the Houston Rockets last night. The result was the same, a loss for the Celts, this time a 108-102 setback in Boston that dropped them out of first place in the Eastern Conference.

And, really, that's the biggest things the Celtics miss without Kevin Garnett. It's not the scoring or the rebounding or even the defense. It's the manic desire KG has to win every game. It's contagious. Without him, the Leprechauns have a tendency to coast against lesser teams.

The Rocketeers definitely qualify as a lesser team. They entered the game 16-21 overall and only 6-14 on the road. Meanwhile, Boston was 28-8 and 16-2 at home.

Didn't matter. Didn't matter that Houston was without Yao Ming, Brad Miller and Kevin Martin. Didn't matter that Rajon Rondo had 12 assists, or that Ray Allen was icy-hot (19 points, 8-for-13, 2-for-2 from downtown), or that Marquis Daniels provided a big spark off the bench (19 points, 7-for-8, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist). Didn't matter that the Celtics outscored the Rockets 48-22 in the paint, either.

Houston won the rebounding battle 38-31 and shot nearly 53 percent from the field (including 10-for-20 from beyond the arc) against the league's best FGP defense. (Although, minus Garnett, that stat could be a bit spurious.) They scored 58 points in the second half.

Doc Rivers is justifiably worried about his team starting to coast. After all...it's only January.

Said Doc: "I've got to somehow figure out a way of getting them to see the urgency of the whole season, and not the single game. Playing Game Seven on the road ... and not just in the finals, if you make it there, but in the playoffs, in the East, which is going to be difficult. This year's not like last year, where you can coast. If you don't have home court this year, you could go home."

So if you were wondering whether Rivers has been coaching for the league's best record, the answer is yes.

According to the AP game recap, "Paul Pierce...sat at his locker after the game, still in his game shorts, staring at a stat sheet before crumpling it up and tossing it on the floor."

That's an unhappy Truth.

Said Pierce: "These games mean a lot. We have to put our hard hats on and take advantage of it. It has to come from everybody. They have to look at themselves and ask themselves, 'Are we giving enough as a team?'"

In related news, Pierce went 5-for-12 and finished with more fouls (4) and turnovers (2) than rebounds (3) and assists (2).

By the way, the last time the C's lost at home was to the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder. Another home loss was to the Cavaliers...right after beating the Heat in Miami. So maybe getting fired up for lesser teams in a problem regardless of whether Garnett plays.

Said Rivers: "This game had nothing to do with Kevin Garnett. It's a mental mindset, and it starts with me."

Wait..."mental mindset"...?

mj and jax
If I was playing, I would own you. Totally own you. Hard.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Ah...a classic example of scalpers night off. The official attendance for last night's Care Bears-Bobcraps game was 10,188, but that figure is based on tickets distributed. In reality, there were about 1,000-ish fans in Time Warner Cable Arena.

Matt Carol, who was supposed to throw a free-t-shirt into the crowd, said: "I was looking around and I couldn't find anybody. So I said I was going to throw it up to a zone and see if somebody can get it."

I can think of no better quote to describe Charlotte's current offensive philosophy.

Anyway, as much as I would love to blame the lousy matchup for the lack of warm bodies in the stands, the sparse crowd was actually the result of a "snowstorm" that hit the area. Or, as Basketbawful reader The Other Chris put it:

Also about 12 people showed up to the Charlotte game, it probably snowed two inches in North Carolina and every got a case of giant flapping vaginitis... either that or they remembered how terrible Charlotte is.
Said Stephen Jackson: "We knew we had a job to do, that's come out and play and get a win regardless. You can't expect everybody to come out in this weather and drive."

Especially to see the Grizzlies get blown out.

Memphis actually won the rebounding battle 48-40 -- their total included 17 offensive rebounds -- and outscored the Bobcraps 58-28 in the paint. The Care Bears racked up another 17 points off 18 Charlotte turnovers.

Unfortunately, the Griz missed 33 of their first 42 shots, managed only 31 points in the first half, and fell behind by as many as 23 before losing 96-82.

Mike Conley shot 6-for-17. Rudy Gay was 5-for-16. O.J. Mayo went 1-for-8. Memphis shot 39 percent as a team. Yep. I'd call that an offensive fail.

By the way, I think it's fucking adorable as hell how excited people are getting over Charlotte's 5-2 record under Paul Silas. Let's see, they've beaten the Pistons (12-25), Cavaliers (8-29, Timberwolves (9-29), Wizards (9-26) and Grizzlies (17-21). And their only road outing in the last seven games was in Minnesota.

As always...just sayin'.

Rudy Gay, quote machine: "We took bad shots, missed them. They took good shots, made them. That was the game."

Stephen Jackson, quote machine: Did they give up on Larry Brown? Um, yes.

"It's kind of like losing a team. Nobody wanted to play no more," Jackson said. "Everybody wanted to play a different style than we were playing. We didn't agree with what was going on. Obviously, it wasn't working, so we needed a change. We had to figure something out..."

"We're younger and we have to play a little faster," Jackson said. "The makeup of the team is different and I think now with Paul (Silas) as coach the young guys have more confidence to go out there and play basketball and not worry about coming out of the game."

"You can't blame Coach Brown because we have to play the games," Jackson said. "But at the end of the day, when you make a change like that it has the domino effect of getting everybody up and loving the game. It's definitely worked so far."
The phrase "inmates running the asylum" comes to mind. You know, it wasn't too many years ago when LeBron James, er, the Cleveland Cavaliers fired Silas with 18 games to go in the regular season. The Cavs were the fifth seed at the time.

At the time, LeBron said: "You could kind of tell the way the air was, how things were going around here, there was going to have to be a change." Translation: I wasn't happy.

Then-GM Jim Paxson said: "We're 64 games into the season and we still don't have a consistent rotation, substitution pattern, those type of things. We didn't see that changing." Translation: LeBron wasn't happy.

I'm just sayin'...the Bobcraps are all happy now. But just wait until they start losing again. We'll see how happy they are then.

The Detroit Pistons: Despite being one of the league's worst offensive teams -- they rank 25th in PPG (95.2) and 23rd in Offensive Rating (104.6) -- the Pistons scored 55 first half points against the Bulls. That feat is more impressive than it may sound. After all, Chicago has been holding opponents to about 91 PPG in the United Center this season. And they had been giving up only 82.5 PPG over their last six home games, which included three games in which their opponents scored fewer than 80 points.

What's more, despite being one of the league's worst defensive teams -- Detroit ranks 25th in Defensive Rating (110.2) -- the Pistons held four Bulls players scoreless. That's four out of 10. And starter Keith Bogans managed only three points on one measly field goal.

At the end of the first half, Detroit had a 12-point lead.

Unfortunately, the Pistons are the Pistons. Destination: Doom, right? Sure enough, Detroit was outscored 33-15 in the third quarter and then scored only 12 points in the fourth. The result: a 95-82 loss that dropped them to 12-25 overall and a depressing 3-17 on the road.

So...did the trade rumors affect the Pistons? Remember, Richard Hamilton is part of that hot trade rumor involving Carmelo Anthony.

Said Rip: "That's part of the game. You hear stuff like that all the time. It's not the first time I've heard it in my career since I've been here. It's part of the game. You just come out and try to play basketball. It's out there. It's nothing that I think about."

Really, Rip? Well, okay then. In totally unrelated news, Hamilton finished with 2 points on 0-for-5 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench.

Bonus stats: The Bulls ran out for 18 fast break points and the Pistons gave up 23 points off 16 turnovers.

Ben Wallace: He got injured on the opening tip and missed the rest of the game. So...old...

Derrick Rose, quote machine: Derrick Rose dropped THE HAMMER on the Piston last night:


Nooooo. Not that hammer. This hammer.


After the game, Rose sounded awfully humble for a guy who's dunk created a parallel universe full of tiny, dunking Derrick Roses.

"A dunk, to me, is a dunk."

"I just jump high."

"I'm getting pretty old in this league. I just try to save my legs as much as possible."
For the record, Rose is 22 years old.

Chris's Lacktion Report: Omer Asik mooed one foul in 4:37 for a +1 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl, while fellow heifer CJ Watson garnered two bricks and a foul for a +3 in 4:39. Kyle Korver also joined the lackfest with two bricks (once from Wacker Drive) for a +2 in 4:28.

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37 Comments:
Blogger Cortez said...
"I'm getting pretty old in this league. I just try to save my legs as much as possible."

Unless he was joking, this is a bad omen.

And, just curious, what was so great about that Rose dunk anyway? A 6'3" guy caught an open lob and tossed it in.

Wow.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Anyway, as much as I would love to blame the lousy matchup for the lack of warm bodies in the stands, the sparse crowd was actually the result of a "snowstorm" that hit the area.

Apparently the weather was six inches of snow that later turned to freezing rain and such. I don't know about you guys, but around here we call that "winter". Anyways, I can't relate to sprawling drive-everywhere cities, I can walk from my home to our NBA venue in less than half an hour.

@Cortez

I know a lot of people that are 6'3", and exactly 0 percent of them can do that.

It was impressive because of the elevation and one-handedness. Look at, for example, Shaq dunking a lob, he barely leaves the ground. Derrick Rose is way, *way* over the rim, and he's a foot shooter than the Big Geriatric.

Put another way, I am considered a fairly athletic guy relative to my peers, and at 5'11" I can grab the rim and kinda-sorta-almost dunk. Derrick Rose is only 4 inches taller and makes it look like a video game.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Unless he was joking, this is a bad omen.

I can confirm he was laughing when he said it.

And, just curious, what was so great about that Rose dunk anyway? A 6'3" guy caught an open lob and tossed it in.

If you watched the dunk and were unmoved, then there's really no point in why seemingly everybody (except you) who saw it thought it was amazing.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Christ, I'm somewhere between 5'11" and 6'0", and I can barely touch the bottom of the net on a good day. Now I feel bad.

Blogger Cortez said...
"I know a lot of people that are 6'3", and exactly 0 percent of them can do that."

Let me edit my statement a bit.

A 6'3" [NBA player] caught a [wide] open lob [where all he had to do is jump straight in the air] and tossed it in. Seemed pretty routine to me.

I remain unimpressed [with this particular dunk]. In fact, I'm vastly more impressed with some of his layups.

"Put another way, I am considered a fairly athletic guy relative to my peers"

Put yet another way, you would be considered quite nonathletic compared to Rose's peers.

I'm not judging this dunk to the average Joe Six-Pack. If that was my criteria, then nearly every routine move he made would cause me to burst with joy-joy love beams and piss my pants (more so than usual, that is).

Plus, I know plenty of 6'3" guys, and the majority of them CAN do that (or more accurately COULD do that at some point in history).

Blogger Cortez said...
"If you watched the dunk and were unmoved"

I saw that dunk before this clip and the guys I was watching it with looked and said, "good catch young fella" and "he got up on that one".

No one was "amazed".

Then again, what in hell could be amazing when you spend part of your life jumping over mountains and taming the fierce lions that live in said mountains?

Nothing, that's what!

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Plus, I know plenty of 6'3" guys, and the majority of them CAN do that (or more accurately COULD do that at some point in history).

Uh huh. The majority of 6'3" guys you know could duplicate the athleticism of one of the most explosive guys in the most athletic basketball league in the world.

At this point you've lapsed into trolling, Cortez.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Hey, Cortez never said who those 6'3" guys he knows are. Maybe they're former NBA players? ;)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Huh. I'm 6'3" and couldn't leap over two sheets of paper. And I'm talking that thin-as-shit onion paper artists use for tracings.

I fuckin' hate gentics.

Blogger Cortez said...
"At this point you've lapsed into trolling, Cortez."

Trolling? Okay chief. As par for the course, you've lapsed into your usual litany of Non sequiturs and overreaching nonsense.

I said (or clearly implied) that I know 6'3" guys who can (or could) jump in the air and catch a WIDE-OPEN lob one handed. No one said anything about know anyone who could duplicate the wide spectrum of athletic feats of Derrick Rose. In fact, I clearly pointed out the specific circumstances around this singular play.

The only issue here is that I've spent a good portion of my life around actual basketball players while (for better or worse) while you obviously haven't.

Well, the other issue is that you're "amazed" the premiere young point guard in the league can jump 30" inches off the ground and make wide open dunk.

Derrick Rose is a great athlete and at the same time I remain unimpressed with that particular dunk.

Now, where is that bridge so I can set up my toll collection racket?

Blogger Dan B. said...
Now, where is that bridge so I can set up my toll collection racket?

I want a cut!

And for the record, I am impressed with that dunk, because I can't say that I see something like that happen very often from a point guard.

Blogger Cortez said...
In fact, I'll throw you a bone.

I may have overreached or at the very least misstated my point with my "majority" comment. So allow me to edit.

I know a good number of 6'3" basketball players who can jump up, unmolested, and cleanly dunk a lob pass thrown to them above the rim.

For your edification...
Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

Yep, that's exactly what I did.

Now, back to the bridge!

Blogger chris said...
Now, where is that bridge so I can set up my toll collection racket?


Maybe it's this Cleveland-Toronto thing being bandied about?

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2010/03/08/story6.html

Blogger Cortez said...
"Maybe it's this Cleveland-Toronto thing being bandied about?"

Well played, sir.

Unfortunately another troll beat me to it. He set up camp behind that tree.

Maybe next time I'll get one of my 6'3" high flying buddies to jump me over there to save time.

...though he'd probably overshoot it by a country mile!

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
**I've** lapsed into overreaching nonsense? You are the one that claims everyone you hang out with can dunk like Derrick Rose.

Anyways, good to know you're smarter and cooler than 20,000 people in the United Center, most of the basketball fans on the Internet, etc., etc.

Anonymous Stockton said...
How is Rip involved with the Carmelo trade?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
If Cortez has seen enough plays like Rose's that he's desensitized, so be it. I haven't, neither in person nor during live NBA games, which is why is made ESPN's Dunk of the Night. As a Bulls fan, and a fan of Rose, I was amped by that dunk.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
I may have overreached or at the very least misstated my point with my "majority" comment. So allow me to edit.

I know a good number of 6'3" basketball players who can jump up, unmolested, and cleanly dunk a lob pass thrown to them above the rim.


Thank you. And point conceded. I do not doubt you know a lot of guys that can do this. Not arguing that. And if you think it was run-of-the-mill lob, OK, fine. But it seemed to me that he got pretty damn high. Higher than most people can get. So it was spectacular. Blah blah. Or so I thought. Shrug. To each their own.

Does your troll both accept Canadian money? It's oddly coloured, to you Yanks, but worth more than American currency right now.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
How is Rip involved with the Carmelo trade?

Damn it. I knew I should have included a link.

Blogger Cortez said...
"You are the one that claims everyone you hang out with can dunk like Derrick Rose"

Now I see you have (a minimum) of two problems regarding this conversation.

1. You don't know anyone who can jump and catch a ball.

2. You can't read.

I'll leave it up to anyone reading this to decide for themselves if I EVER said anything like EVERYONE I hang out with can dunk like Derrick Rose.

I just realized you're the same numbskull who was arguing about that Wade travel call after several people (including the host of this site) pointed out that it wasn't and the goddamned rule book was posted saying the EXACT SAME THING.

"which is why is made ESPN's Dunk of the Night."

It was a slow night. Three games were played.

The reason I even remembered this odd fact was because it said "It's was a slow night for basketball" on the front page of ESPN.com this morning.

Charlotte 96, Memphis 82
Houston 108, Boston 102
Chicago 95, Detroit 82

Really?

With that type of competition for "Dunk of the Night" I'm surprised they didn't name it "Dunk of the Multi-Verse"!

"If Cortez has seen enough plays like Rose's that he's desensitized..."

I'm like John Wooden. Off the square young man, off the square. You're from Indiana, I expect a higher standard from you!

Also, is this trolling? Things are strange in these parts.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Of the Rose dunks I've seen the one he dropped earlier this season that got him the big head in the commercials was more impressive. What was impressive about that dunk was that the pass was WAY too high and he still got it.

There was a pass from Fish to Kobe where it was at the top of the rim and Kobe still got it, but had to lay it in and the announcer said he was going to have a talk with Fish on why that pass was so bad. That's why those things are impressive it's not the force or destroying a defender it is the control and the height at which they have to go to get the bad passes.

Anonymous JJ said...
I cannot comment on the dunk since I haven't seen it yet, but I love dunks so I'll probably be awed by Rose's. Still, I can't argue with Cortez when he uses elegant phrases like "cause me to burst with joy-joy love beams." Not sure why, but it made me really LOL (OK, it's because I love cheesiness). Thanks for that.

Anonymous Barry said...
Shit, I thought it was impressive.

Blogger Josh said...
Where's that confounded bridge?

Anonymous Yep said...
Derrick Rose is 6-1.5 without shoes. The 6-8 wingspan certainly helps.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm like John Wooden. Off the square young man, off the square. You're from Indiana, I expect a higher standard from you!

Judging dunks is like judging women. A lady I think rocks the socks might not appeal to you, and vice versa. Personally, I'm fine with enjoying a dunk you didn't think much of.

Anonymous laddder said...
"A dunk, to me, is a dunk."

"I just jump high."

"I'm getting pretty old in this league. I just try to save my legs as much as possible."

damnit it's hard not to fall in love with DRose.

If Drose was 7in taller he would be Blake Griffin

Blogger BadDave said...
Bawful is also fine with enjoying women you didn't think much of.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
Anyone else find that they jump higher to snag rebounds than on a dunk attempt?

Blogger Wormboy said...
In the defense of people in Charlotte, any snow is often a freakin catastrophe in NC. First, we're in the weather band where that snow frequently turns to ice, or melts and turns to slush ice in the early evening, so much more of a problem than where I grew up in Illinois (not to mention college in Minnesota). Second, the snow removal equipment frequently consists of a few pickup trucks with a shovel blade attached to the front. Really. Third, people here are frackin idiots when it comes to driving on snow. The locals who drive like shit for the most part know they drive like idiots, but they don't know how to change it so just stay home. Transplants from the North are terrified of being killed by idiots from the South, because the northerners really know how spectacularly unsafely others are driving here.

And consequently the only people driving are three groups: those who are suicidal, those who are profoundly stupid, and those driving large 4-wheel vehicles (which may overlap substantially with groups 1 and 2). The first and second groups are, obviously, terrifying. The third group is worse, because they are far too wrapped up in their compensation for small genitalia to realize they are the least safe vehicles on the road, and in fact think they are the safest, and immune to ice. Consequently, they tailgate you more than anybody else. So if you poke around like a reasonable northerner in shitty conditions, the law of averages says that almost every trip you make will entail being tailgated by an asshole in an Excursion who hasn't the foggiest notion of what "conservation of momentum" means. It's a nightmare for anybody who wants to remain healthy or alive.

So yeah, if I lived near Charlotte (I'm in the Triangle) and had a chance to go witness a time warp matchup of the best players ever, including Russell, play on an icy NC evening, I'd stay at home.

As basketbawful is always sayin, I'm just sayin.

Anonymous JJ said...
Marc, I believe this is why. Players often will jump just enough for a dunk because a quick dunk is usually harder to block or disrupt. But, when you go for a rebound, the higher you grab it, more likely it is that you'll get it before the other guy (though positioning often matters more).

Blogger Dan B. said...
Seriously, Wormboy. Winter weather in areas where it can freeze quickly sucks. No ice today here in Louisville, but the roads were snow-covered thanks to gigantic flakes falling during the morning commute today, and therefore still pretty slick. Yet I look in my mirror and see Captain Dumbass in his Jeep Wrangler still going his usual 60mph on a 55mph 2-lane road heading toward Louisville (I live just outside the city limits, you see). Except, you know, everyone else is doing 30-35mph. So he passes entire lines of traffic in the other lane at dangeorus speeds, slamming on the brakes and ducking into the line of traffic whenever oncoming cars got too close to him. I can't believe he made it to work in one piece.

Meanwhile my mom calls me when I get to my desk to inform me she saw someone in a Mini Cooper trying to go way too fast around and corner and they slid into a curb. Awesome. Disappointed I didn't get to see that.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
I love hearing Americans complain about winter. It's cute!

Anonymous RipTheJacker said...
By the way, the last time the C's lost at home was to the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder. Their other home loss was the the Cavaliers...right after beating the Heat in Miami. So maybe getting fired up for lesser teams in a problem regardless of whether Garnett plays.

Really? I could have swore The Hornets beat them at home on New Years Eve. Am I missing something?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
RipTheJacker -- Shit, you're right.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - How is it you're still not able to jump after all that practice time with those Go Go Gadget Shoes (or whatever those things were)?

Blogger Wormboy said...
@Dan B.: LOL re: "Captain dumbass"

@Marc d: Can I assume you're Canadian? Look, you'll note I'm not whining about winter, which I love. I'm whining about driving in a winter weather border state. I lived in Minnesota for five year, and it was fun. I'm not a weather wimp. I get it. But I'd argue that if you haven't experienced the driving dangers in areas that frequently ice up, you don't know what you're talking about. I'd MUCH rather drive in snowy conditions all winter long than drive in one NC snow/slush/ice storm. They suck. A lot. And mostly because of crappy equipment and inexperienced drivers. Drivers where I assume you to be don't come blasting up to a crosswalk and try to stop on a dime. They do that here in conditions that are probably worse than you a likely experience.

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