Wait...which of these two men is the crazy one again?
The Atlanta Hawks: One night after pimp-slapping the Miami Heat off their undefeated pedestal, the Dirty Birds were smackin' the Bullies around. Atlanta held Chicago to 26 points in the first half -- including a season-low 11 points on 2-for-21 shooting in the second quarter -- and had them down by 19 points in the third quarter. It sure looked like one of those "turn off the TV and go to bed early" nights for Bulls fans.
Then shit came undone.
Derrick Rose exploded for 17 of his game-high 30 points in the final 12 minutes as the Bulls outscored the Hawks 34-18. And Atlanta was polished off when they failed to play seven seconds worth of effective defense:
But despite Rose's heroics and that well-executed final play, the Hawks doomed themselves by clanking six free throws in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back bricks by Jeff Teague with 17 seconds left that could have given Atlanta a three-point lead and another crucial miss by Al Horford with seven seconds left that could have put the Hawks up a point.
Instead, well, you know what happened.
Said Atlanta coach Larry Drew: "We stopped defending with the intensity that we did in the first three quarters. We didn't make our free throws going down the stretch. If you don't make your free throws on the road you can't expect to win."
Joe Johnson: The 119 Million Dollar Man finished with 10 points on 3-for-17 shooting...including 2-for-9 on threes.
Omer Asik and Kyle Korver: The title of this YouTube video -- Epic double flop by Asik and Korver -- pretty much says it all.
Al Horford, quote machine: "We were right there with them. We dominated for most of the game. Just Derrick Rose happened."
The Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobkittens let the Cleveland Cadavers put up 115 points on 50 percent shooting (including 10-for-21 on threes). And the Cads even missed nine free throws! I'm sorry, but have you seen Cleveland's lineup? They shouldn't be able to score 115 points in an empty gym full of Nerf hoops.
Faces are for hands, people.
Said Charlotte coach Paul Silas: "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck."
I'm kidding. Here's what he actually said: "It's just not gonna work if we don't play hard all the time. We're not talented enough to not play hard all the time. You can't just give it away (points on penetration) and let it happen."
Oh, right, that reminds me. The Cadavers scored 19 fast break points and 56 points in the paint. Remember: This is a team whose primary inside player is Anderson Varejao.
D.J. Augustin Take is strong or not at all, D.J.
The Oklahoma City Thunder: From undefeated to back-to-back losses. OKC got a good, old-fashioned defense spanking in the second half, when the Frail Blazers held them to 40 points on 34 percent shooting (13-for-38).
Said Nick Collison: "I think sometimes you need losses to remind you that you've got to get better. You wish it wasn't like that. You wish you could always realize the need to improve but human nature, sometimes you get a little lax when you're winning."
Well, it's a good thing the Thunder are losing, then. Because losing is learning!
Greg Oden: I bring this up only because Portland was playing against Kevin "Coulda Been A Blazer" Durant. Yeah, KD had a crappy-crap game, but still. Oden has officially become the biggest bust in Blazers history.
Wesley Matthews, quote machine: "The first team to play defense was going to win the game. It might as well have been us."
The Excremento Kings: Somehow, despite the dramatic and highly anticipated return of DeMarcus "Trade Me, Bitches!" Cousins, the Paupers let the Grizzlies shoot 55 percent from the field and fell behind by as many as 23 before losing 113-96. Paul Westfail, irriated by the lifeless play of a team that has quit on him, went with his reserves for most of the second half.
Said Westfail: "(I did it) for two reasons. One is that we had a lot of offensive firepower on the floor with Jimmer and Isaiah and (Francisco Garcia). We were able to spread to floor and have a lot of 3-point shooting and get penetration. I thought the best chance to get back in the game was to crack open a few steals and get some threes. If that did happen, we would have our starters fresh for the last 5 or 6 minutes. If it didn't happen, they would be rested for dinner."
Ooooh yeah. This is gonna end well.
Bonus bawful: Despite playing without the injured Zach Randolph, Memphis scored 72 points in the paint. You read that correctly: 72! The Care Bears converted 29 shot attempts AT THE RIM. Getting to the hoop was about as easy as hitting your ball into the giant clown face at the end of a miniature golf course.
DeMarcus Cousins: The line: 4 points on 1-for-5 shooting in 22 minutes.
Said Cousins: "Once I got a little sweat, I was into it. I don't know why I'm missing all these little putbacks. I am missing them, so I have to keep working."
The Milwaukee Bucks: Let me ask you this: If you walked into a room and the first thing you saw were two ugly dogs eating each other, would you continue watching? No. No, I don't think you would. That's sort of what athe Bucks-Jazz experience was like, only a little worse, frankly.
Anyway, the Mormon Musicians won this Festivus of Bricks by the sad score of 85-73. Milwaukee shot just 30 percent and went 2-for-21 from downtown. They were a dismal 9-for-22 at the rim, as Utah's Derrick Favors finished with 5 of his team's 10 blocked shots.
Said Drew Gooden: "It's tough. We can't win scoring 70-80 points."
He could've just ended that quote at "We can't win."
By the way, Andrew Bogut missed the game for personal reasons. Those personal reasons being he hates his crappy team.
Chris' Lacktion Ledger:
Bobcats-Cavs: Christian Eyenga can now commiserate with Dan Gilbert after writing himself a check worth 1.1 trillion (67 seconds).
Hawks-Bulls: Jimmy Butler roamed into the land of toadstools in just 33 seconds to give Chicago a Mario.
Purple Paupers-Grizzlies: Josh Davis bricked once from (downtown Memphis) and fouled as well for a +2 in 6:59, while fellow baby cub Josh Selby bricked once in 63 seconds for a +1.
Blazers-Thunder: Lazar Hayward had a bolt of bullion appear in 86 seconds for a 1.4 trillion!