Now that the Lakers have left town, the 5-18 Cavs can get back to doing what they do best, losing ball games. This time they chose the squander a double-digit lead variety. Both C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving scored 28 points against the Lakers. In this game one of them scored 28 points again, but the other one fell off a cliff, only scoring 9 points. Guess who fell of the cliff? Go ahead, guess. Give up? I'm estimating that most of you guessed wrong, if you really did guess, because it was Kyrie who couldn't get to double-digits. He shouldn't beat himself up however, because besides Miles (ahead) the highest scorer on the team was Samardo Samuels with 10 points. Actually, scratch that, he should probably beat himself up, just watch the hand. Judging by his missing 2/3rds of his shots, that broken left index finger might still be a little tender. After leading early, the Cavaliers only scored 23 second half points, which is the least amount allowed in a half for a Pacers opponent since they joined league in '76.

Tristan Thomas also got between the Hans-bros brothers with his elbow.

Griz: Before the game things were looking grim for the Suns, they'd lost 7 games in a row, and looked helplessly outmatched against the Grizzlies; but afterwards it was the Grizzlies who were reeling.  Z-Bo shaved off 20 points and 10 rebounds from his last game against the Suns, but still scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds. The Suns won the game despite Shannon Brown shooting 5 for 19.

It can be a mystery to fans how a team can go back and forth between losing and winning, seemingly with such ease and randomness. I thought that Jared Dudley used some of the same eloquence he displayed in that Kobe inspired PSA, while discussing his teams transition from losing 7 in a row to beating one of the league's best.
We lost every way we possibly can - close games, blow outs, bad teams, good teams, different ways, different lineups - and sometimes you forget how to win. Now we can start trying to get this thing rolling.
Coach Dunlap needs to hurry up and post that up in the Bobcat's locker room.

Both the Thunder and the Pelicans: Austin Rivers led the Pelicans in minutes and missed 10 of his 14 shots. Westbrook matched his shooting but squeezed two more points out of it. Kevin Durant had to score 35 points to get the win, and he was the only OKC starter with a positive Lenovo. This would've been the 13th straight game that the Thunder scored in triple digits, but they fell 8 points short. After all the upheaval in the off-season, the 18-4 record for the Thunder has them on the same pace as last year, but keep in mind three of those wins have come against the Hornicans in the last 4 weeks.

The Nuggets: Playing 500 ball didn't last long for the Nuggets, and suddenly their Northwest rivals, the Timberwolves, are bearing that distinction instead. Iggy had 2 points, missing 8 of his 9 shots. I have a sneaking suspicion that, 3 of 17, Kevin Love's shooting hand isn't all the way back yet, so I guess he grabbed 14 rebounds with his left. Nikola Pekovic scored 22 points with 11 rebounds, all on a true shooting percentage of 81%.

George Karl had a full head of hair when the season started

Despite Iggy shooting with one eye open, Denver shot far better from the field; the two teams had similar rebound and assist numbers, but the Wolves caused more turnovers. Minnesota's real advantage was at the free throw line. They reached it more often an converted on a higher percentage, besting their opponent by 16 freebies.

The Raptors: The Raptors lost by 6 to the Nets for their 6th straight loss, and that wasn't even the most depressing part about this game for the Toronto fanbase. Kyle Lowry is set to miss 10 days with a partial tear in his right triceps muscle. For most franchises, that would be enough injuries for one game, but this is Toronto, so Andrea Bargnani tore a ligament in his elbow and is expected to miss at least 3 weeks. But never fear, Toronto fans, Quincy Acy is getting brought up from the D-League.

You know a game is pretty lackluster when the best play of the night comes from a referee.

I'm thinking Courtney Kirkland has been watching too much Keeping up with the Kardashians.

The Magic: Maurice 'yeah baby, I'm a real NBA starter' Harkless may soon be unable to use that line at Orlando cocktail bars, having used his starting gig against the Hawks to come within a rebound of a +5 suck differential in 11:11. Anthony Morrow was the only Hawk not to score in double-digits, but Lou Williams picked up the trend off the bench.

The Heat: I doubt too many people predicted that the Warriors would get their 15th win before the Heat this year. They did it in Miami, too. Curry had an off night with 9 points, but Klay Thompson picked up the slack for the backcourt with 27 points, as did Jared Jack with 20 points off the bench. Meanwhile, David Lee continued putting up 20/10 games like clockwork, cancelling out Chris Bosh's 21 points and 13 rebounds with the same total of boards and one more point.

Mark Jackson: Back when he was a commentator, Mark Jackson often expressed the opinion that Wade is the 3rd best shooting guard in NBA history, right behind Jordan and Kobe. It was annoying then, and it's still annoying now when he does it as a coach. I dunno if Jackson has noticed this, but there is this guy on everybody's headbands who wasn't half bad. I'm not arguing that Wade isn't an incredible player, but to put him above West at this point in his career seems like a strange decision at best. If he's gonna suggest that Wade is already better than the guy who led the league in scoring nearly every playoffs, then he might as well drop the other shoe and start saying that Dwight has passed Wilt, and that Oscar was good but he's no LeBron. We're talking about the greatest players of a generation, and really when you diss one, you're dissing all of them. 

The Bobcats: It's easy to forget that the Cats were 7-5 when this 9 game losing-streak started. With the Clippers struggling against them to keep their diametrically opposed streak going, it almost looked as if the Bobcats were going to escape their own private hell. Then, they missed 11 shots in a row, and just like that, the game was over and the Cats were still stuck on last years win total. Coach Dunlap showed showed a tenuous grasp on Greek Mythology in his post-game quotes, saying, "offensively we committed some turnovers and that's our Achilles". For those who don't know, Achilles mother dipped him in the river Styx as a child, making his flesh invulnerable, except at the spot on his heel where her hand covered his skin. I'm pretty sure if anybody gave the Bobcats a river dip they were wearing a full hazmat suit.

Most of the surprisingly dramatic nature of this game can be attributed to Jamal Crawford failing to reach double-digits for the first time this season. His 2 of 12 shooting makes me wonder if he's fallen off the practice wagon. Matt Barnes saw his teammate's struggles and figured somebody has to lead the team in scoring off the bench, so he scored 19 points, tying Chris and Blake. Byron Mullens made it a party of 4 at table 19, leading the Cats in scoring. The win made this winning streak the Clippers longest in 21 yrs, which is less surprising than the fact that the Clippers won 8 in a row before CP3 got there.

Stop winning, you bastards

The 76ers: According to the AP, Marlon Wayans attended this home game for the Sixers, meaning he was finally in the same building as Maalik Wayns. Yet, the magical nature of this encounter was not enough to pull out a win against the Bulls. Unfortunately, Mr. Wayans didn't bring Kyle Lee Watson or Shep along with him to help out.

The Kings: The Kings were unable to overcome the loss of DeMarcus Cousins (punch to OJ Mayo's nuts). Tyreke Evans returned and led the team with 17 points off the bench, but he needed 15 shots to do it. The Broped didn't even need to outpace their field goal attempts with points for this win. With the Larry Sanders show being cancelled do to illness, the other Bucks forwards stepped it up; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored 17 points, and Ilyasova scored 16 points with 14 rebounds. Unfortunately, after spending so much of the season underperforming, Ersan doesn't have the minutes now that he's playing better. Maybe if he keeps it up he can get his minutes back and go back to underperforming.

The Wizards: Four players for the Wizards scored at least 16 points, led by Beal with 20, but at the end of the game the number 3 remained in Washington's win column. James Harden returned and scored 31 points, while Lin scored 28 points less than he had in Harden's absence. Imagine the press something like that would be getting in the nation's 2nd or 1st largest city rather than it's 3rd.

Timberwolves-Nuggets: Timofey Mozgov, who I'm just now realizing isn't named Timothy Mozgov, added two fouls to his 56 second Mario for a +2 suck differential. I'm glad I never ran into him at a fancy cheese party and called him Timothy. That could have been awkward.
Pacers-Cavs: Orlando Johnson did nothing of note in 2 minutes and 33 seconds.
Warriors-Heat: Just as the Warriors are rolling in the wins column, Festus Ezeli is rolling in the lacktion column. The teams starting center whipped-up another Voskuhl, this one a 4:1 in 14 minutes and 55 seconds. Somebody had to bring up the rear for Golden State with Ken Bazemore and Jeremy Tyler glued to the bench, and that someone was Charles Jenkins, who ended up with a +1 suck differential in 3 minutes and 40 seconds. 
Bulls-76ers: The Sixers may have lost the game, but they won the lacktion battle. Dorell Wright went for a two trillion, and Maalik Wayns had a 57 second Mario.
Blogger Barry said...
Imagine the Lakers not making the playoffs.....that's quite hilarious in my little world. Then we could remove the banner and just post a Lakers team pic there.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dunno if West is better than Wade (Wade is certainly better on D), but neither is as good as Clyde. IMO neither is Kobe, but at least that's arguable (if you prefer FGAs to REBs, anyway).

Blogger Glenn said...
I love it, Clyde is amazingly underrated. Thank you, for bringing up that incredibly valid point. West was a beast on defense, they just didn't have the stats back then to show it. He reputedly had a quadruple double at least once, and it was with blocks shockingly enough (go ahead and look it up, I'm not lying). His last year in the league was the first year they kept track of steals. As a 35 year old battling injuries he averaged 2.6 steals a game over 31 games, which is more than anybody else over 30 has ever averaged in the NBA. It's also more steals per game than Wade has ever notched in a single year of his career. So, once again, I'm not denying Wade's greatness, but I'm not gonna take anything away from the Logo either.