The Golden State Warriors: The Warriors played their first road game of the season last night. And they lost it. Of course.
Said Golden State coach Mark Jackson: "You shoot 50 percent on the road, you should come out ahead with a win. You put teams on the foul line, turn the basketball over and give up 16 offensive rebounds, it's a recipe for disaster.
I couldn't have said it better myself, Mark. Which is why I didn't. Well, that and I'm lazy. By the way, watching Steve Nash score 13 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter was kind of like watching an innocent man smash rocks in prison.
Mark Jackson, "We're BETTER than that!" quote machine: "I understand this is a process but this is a 66-game season and we need to speed up the process. I will find guys that are playing well, competing and executing the game plan and if that means playing five guys 48 minutes, I will."
Yep. This is gonna end well.
The Washington Wizards Generals: After their 100-92 loss in Boston last night, the Generals fell to 0-5 on the season. Washington coach Flip Saunders is already so sick of this crap that he got himself tossed less than two minutes into the game. No, really.
Way to be there for your players, Flip.
Back-to-back wins over the Generals allowed the Celts to claw their way back to .500. Regarding the two straight games his team played against Washington, Boston coach Doc Rivers said: "I wish our league did it more. I've always said that."
Nick Young: Not only did he go a miserable 3-for-14 from the field, including 0-for-4 on treys, Ray Allen (27 points, 9-for-16, 3-for-3 on threes in the fourth) singed Young's eyebrows off. They may never return.
The Orlando Magic: Just when we were all ready to think, "Hey, maybe the Magic will actually be pretty good this season," they suffer a double-digit road loss to the Pistons. Despite the Dwight Howard matchup with Greg Monroe and Jason Maxiell, Detroit outrebounded Orlando 39-28 and outscored them 34-30 in the paint.
Orlando's 78 points were a season low.
Said Howard: "We can't make any excuses. They played harder than we did, and that's why we lost."
Added Magic coach Stan Van Grumpy: "We didn't play any defense and we didn't rebound. I think we ran out of gas offensively, but we never made any commitment to defense. I'm amazed we were even in shouting distance down the stretch."
The Miami Heat: Well, they won't go undefeated after all. And as for whether they're a lock to win this season's NBA title, I should point out that the still have Joel Anthony (2 points, 6 boards, 0 blocks) and Mario Chalmers (2-for-5, 3 assists, 5 turnovers) in their STARTING LINEUP. I'm just sayin'.
But wait. It gets better. The Heat were undone by a clutch performance by...Tracy McGrady. I am not even kidding, people.
Said Knee-Mac: "Been a long time since I had that feeling. It feels good. It feels right."
As for for the Floridians, they struggled to score points against Atlanta's zone defense. Said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra:"We need to work through it. Look, we're going to see enough of it that we will have our breakthrough. We hope to have it sooner than later. ... But you can see, our minds were heavy from that point on and our minds were occupied rather than playing free."
Yeah, well, another issue was that the Dirty Birds took care of the ball and got bac on D instead of letting the Heat run a layup drill. According to ESPN Stats and Information:
The Heat scored a season-low 92 points Monday night, and they struggled offensively because they could not get out in transition. In their first five games the Heat were averaging 101.6 possessions per game and were one of the best transition teams in the NBA. On Monday Miami had a season-low 92 possessions and struggled to get out in transition.
One of the main reasons the Heat struggled in transition against Atlanta was their inability to force turnovers in the half court. Miami forced just 10 Hawks' turnovers on Monday, the fewest for a Heat opponent this season. In its first five games Miami scored 35.7 percent of its transition points directly off "live-ball" turnovers. On Monday only one of the Heat's 13 transition plays resulted from a "live-ball" turnover, and they scored just one point on that play.
The New Jersey Nyets: After last night's 108-94 home loss to the Pacers, the Nyets are 1-5 and 0-2 in New Jersey.
In their first four games, Indy had shot 40.8 percent, 43.8 percent, 39.4 percent, and 42.8 percent. Against the Nyets, the Pacers converted 52.6 percent of theirfield goals. And it's not like Indiana had been facing world-beating teams. Their first four contests were against the Pistons (twice), Cadavers and Craptors.
Hands were not finding faces. Not even remotely.
Screamed New Jersey coach Avery Johnson: "WE'RE 1-5 AND FORTUNATELY WE HAVE 60 MORE GAMES."
So they can eventually be 1-65. Yay.
Frank Vogel, quote machine: "We had a film session this morning and I pointed out that we needed to move the ball around. I knew the guys got the message because all I heard was 'Yup, yup, yup.' I told them that we're next to unbeatable when we share the ball, night in and night out. We shot well because we were sharing the ball. When you share the basketball and play for each other instead of yourself, you can be a pretty good team. That's what we preached today."
The Pacers are next to unbeatable when they share the ball...? I honestly didn't realize there were any circumstances in which the Pacers were "next to unbeatable." Guess that's why I'm not an NBA coach.
The New York Bricks: When an all-offense/no-defense team scores only 85 points on 35 percent shooting, they typically lose, even when playing at home against a team like the Craptors. Which is is what happened to the STAT-less Bricks last night in MSG.
New York was outscored 29-11 in the second quarter.
And the scoring droughts are becoming somewhat habitual. The Bricks are 2-3, and in their three losses, they've scored 78, 82 and 85 points.
Said New York coach Mike 'Antoni: "I thought the whole first half our energy was down. We didn't play real hard. And then I think we got a little snake bitten in the sense of when you're not playing hard, things aren't falling, it started being contagious and everybody started missing shots, and we were playing on our heels. Halftime we talked about it and we came out and played aggressive and I thought second half was really good, but we needed obviously 48 minutes and didn't get it."
Obviously they didn't.
The San Antonio Spurs: As if a double-digit road loss the the Timberwolves -- in which Minny shot nearly 58 percent from the field by the way -- wasn't bad enough, the Spurs lost Manu Ginobili for the foreseeable future due to a broken left hand.
[Insert quotes about "everybody else" needing to step up here.]
Aw, forget it. The Spurs are screwed.
By the way, Timmy D scored okay (16 points on 7-for-12 shooting), but he pulled down only 2 rebounds and finished with a plus-minus of -15. When did Duncan become Amar''''''e Stoudemire?
The Oklahoma City Thunder: The last team to fall from the ranks of the undefeated gave up 56 points in the paint to a Mavs team that -- last time I checked -- doesn't have a single inside presence on the roster.
But Thunder coach Scott Brooks ain't worried: "(Losing) one game out of six isn't the end of the world. They played much better than us throughout. It wasn't our night. They shot better than us. And we missed shots we normally make."
Scott clearly didn't go the the Stan Van Grumpy School of Coaching.
The Milwaukee Bucks: It's a pretty special accomplishment when you hold a team to 39 percent shooting and lose. Congratulations, Milwaukee Bucks.
And it gets even better. Despite the crazy post-lockout schedule, the Bucks actually had two full days of rest...while the Nuggets were playing their third game in a row. And the first two of those three games were against the Lakers. And Nene missed the game with an injured heel.
Said Stephen Jackson: "They didn't look like they had three games in three nights. That says a lot about how good of shape they're in, and they didn't have Nene, so you've got to credit them for that."
In all fairness, the Bucks were minus Mike Dunleavy Jr., which...pffffft!
Added Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles: "We didn't play very well. We kind of threw the ball all over the place. We gave ourselves a chance but we missed layups and we missed open shots."
Actually, the Bucks were 13-for-17 at the rim, a conversion rate of 76.5 percent. Maybe it was the volume of layup attempts...or the lack thereof. After all, Denver converted only 55.6 percent of their layups, but they attempted 45 of them. Which could explain their whoppin' 58 points in the paint.
Chris' Lacktion Report:
Warriors-Suns: Ishmael Smith had 32 seconds of battle with a Koopa Troopa to earn the Warriors a Mario.
Pacers-Nyets: DeShawn Stevenson bricked twice (once from Military Park) and fouled once in 10:22 for a +3, while Jordan Williams gathered up 2.85 trillion (2:51) in rubles and Dennis Horner 1.8 trillion (1:48) that would make Mikhail Prokhorov proud.
Raptors-Knicks: Amir Johnson had five points and a trio of rebounds in 24:37 as Toronto's starting big man...only to lose the rock four times and foul five times for a 9:8 Voskuhl.
Magic-Pistons: Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye assembled a plumbing system together with 38 and 11 seconds of work respectively as Mario Brothers!!!
Thunder-Mavs: Nazr Mohammed countered a block in 6:25 with two fouls for a 2:0 Voskuhl, while Cole Aldrich spied a spot in the ledger via turnover in 60 seconds for a +1 and 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!
For the defending champs, Dominique Jones had an exact 1 trillion (one minute of "playing" time) - his third lacktive appearance in three games!!!!
Bucks-Nuggets: Milwaukee's Larry Sanders fried up a foul in 2:32 for a +1 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.