Steve Nash's new haircut on the Lakers reminds me of when Johnny Damon betrayed the Red Sox to go to the Yankees and went from party hair to a business man 'do with nary a complaint. I guess there's something about joining an evil empire that makes a man blindly accept conformity. And no, I don't think Nash is a Nazi. Not yet.

steve_nash_long hair
If you look close, you can see a family of robins nesting
Shaken, not stirred, Moneypenny.
When you look at that all-biz haircut, just remember Steve Nash is the same guy who did this:

God, what a humiliating video that was, I mean seriously, who would do something so blatantly dumb and pointless and actually have the nerve to aim a camera at themselves to film it? I mean, sure, I did this video, but I played the JOKER, which is so much cooler.

Labels: , , , , , ,

In breaking news...

Brooklyn's bench boss has now received his pink slip - after speculation grew heavy that crappy losses to Boston and the Bucks were the final straw for Mr. Johnson's ruble-rousing.

And so, he leaves the Nyets behind through such iconic images:

The look of success!

Happy trails, man.  Remember, this guy is now out of a job, while the following coach remains gainfully employed in Maloofland:

OH, and apparently, the interim coach stepping in Avery's shoes is the following guy:

Good luck, Brooklyn.

UPDATE: A text from Sir Bawful himself on the topic: "DERON WILLIAMS - COACH KILLER."  Yep.

Labels: , , , , ,

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone. I hope these days have been full of cheer for all of you loyal readers. I'm doing something radical and skipping forward to the Christmas installment of Worst of the Night in an attempt to be timely. This doesn't mean I've forgotten about the weekend; it just means I'm really slow. Enjoy.

Worst of the Night:

Reggie loves to do the Charleston

The Nyets: Avery Johnson continued to disappoint Deron Williams by not being Jerry Sloan, while Deron Williams continued to disappoint Nets fans by not being Rajon Rondo. The result was a 17 point loss for the home team whose black uniforms seemed to anticipate their demise. The former Mr. Kim Kardashian did not play (something or other) which probably was not the best of moves days after allegedly stealing a bottle of Patron in a NYC night club and using it to pretend he was urinating on the dance floor. This may strike some as behavior unseemly for a professional athlete, but the clubs DJ's were reportedly harassing him with a block of songs from the far more famous man who's currently tapping the giant ass of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West.

Rondo and Pierce switched rolls for a day, with Rondo taking the role of top scorer and Wheezy leading the team in assists. Kevin Garnett kept things traditional by leading the team in rebounds on the day where he tied Charles Oakley for the 15th most games played in NBA history. Gerald Wallace must have been really impressed because he tried to pull the Big Ticket's pants off, or at least that's how KG interpreted it.
I don't know where in America you can jack somebody's pants off or shorts...I don't know what the hell was going on.
I don't know what the hell was going on either. Usually somebody has to lose their shorts before they can be properly jacked off, but I guess exceptions had to be made since it was national television on Christmas day. Hopefully I won't get the FCC breathing down this site's neck for displaying the video, but if ESPN can show it over Doris Burke's hot breathy announcing, then damn it so can we.

A little later, Gerald received a flagrant foul from Jared Sullinger, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with Wallace's attempts to scandalize America by turning KG into the Michael Fassbender of the NBA.

The Knicks: I don't know who was responsible for counting Tyson Chandler's turnovers, but I think anybody who actually watched this game would be shocked to find out that he only officially recorded 1. As far as I could tell, the majority of the passes thrown his way went right through his hands, but I guess more of those deflections must have found their way to teammates than I initially suspected.

Melo continued to demonstrate that he's the greatest third quarter player in the world, scoring 17 points in the period. Kobe and J.R. Smith were clearly jealous and did their best to keep up with a barrage of high difficulty jump shots. The Knicks probably would've won this game if not for two important factors: Raymond Felton ignored bone bruises on both hands on his way to 19 shots—he made 5 of them, while the Lakers finally had the bright idea of involving Dwight Howard in a pick and roll.

Pau Gasol ended the game with a big smile on his face after driving in from the three point line for a dunk, but the game began ominously for him when he hit a three pointer with 8 minutes left in the first quarter. The 7 footer caught three fever after that and attempted 2 more shots from deep in the first half, missing both. He must have received Kobe's patented death stare in the locker room at halftime, because he didn't launch any more threes in the 2nd half.

Kobe Bryant stole Christmas, surpassing Oscar Robertson to become the all-time top scorer for the holiday.

Do you have any idea how many reindeer had to die to make this jacket?

The Bulls: Christmas can have a funny effect on people sometimes. In the case of the Bulls, it caused them to trade in defensive excellence for an amazingly accurate impression of the 2008-09 Knicks. Nate Robinson led the team with 27 points, making him the only player to score more than 15 points for Chicago. Meanwhile, every Houston starter but Marcus Morris scored at least 20 points.

Denver: We are truly through the looking glass. Make that 14 straight games for the Clippers, shattering all previous winning-streaks for the generally inept franchise. The game had Billy Crystal, who was announcing because why the fuck not, speaking in tongues, or Yiddish—it can be so hard to tell. The Nuggets mostly seemed to be just there to provide a team to beat, and the game was not as close as their final deficit of 12 points suggested.

The Clippers were playing so well at times that it caused Magic Johnson to declare that showtime was back, just not for Mike D'Antoni and the other other LA team.

My eyes: ABC's rematch of the 2012 finals was a marvelously refereed example of sporting excellence that was completely without the blemishes of floppity floppers and never once made me want to jump through a plate glass window.

In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic.

Celtics-Nets: The Brooklyn Nets were bursting with holiday spirit, generously gifting the lacktion section 4 performances of pointlessness. MarShon Brooks kept on giving Joe Johnson the evil eye, while spending 6 minutes and 3 seconds on the floor and ending up with a +2 suck differential. Tornike Shengelia did him one worse with a +3 suck differential in 4 minutes and 50 seconds. Tyshawn Taylor made a more modest contribution with a +1 suck differential in 1:16, while Mirza Teletovic gave what he could spare with a trillion. 
Lakers-Knicks: Darius Morris treated viewers to some starting lacktion with a +4 suck differential in 6:54 that built up some nice suspense before Steve Nash checked in.
Rockets-Bulls: Daequan Cook prepared a 3.5 trillion for the disappointed denizens of Chicago. Meanwhile, Nazr Mohammed wasn't feeling festive in 2 minutes and 36 statless seconds.
* Shane Battier came amazingly close to a +11 suck differential in 23 and a half minutes. He was only saved from this wretched fate by blocking Kevin Martin with 1:21 left in the game.

Usually there's a ball in these types of pictures

Streaks: The big bad Timberwolves huffed and they puffed and they blew the Oklahoma City Thunder's 12 game winning streak down. J.J. Barea could not be stopped in the 4th quarter, scoring 14 of his 18 points in the final period. At one point Barea even had Durant trying to go one-on-one against him. Contrary to the expectations of essentially anyone watching, Barea stopped the three time scoring champion by drawing a charge. The call might have been controversial, but that didn't stop it from being a successful defensive play. In fact, it even resulted in an immediate scoring opportunity when Durant got a technical foul for his reaction to the call.

Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists, which sounds like a great night but gets a little iffier when the 28 shot attempts and 8 turnovers are factored in. Meanwhile, Kevin Love also approached a triple double but without getting close to a quadruple bumble, and Alexey Shved showed that he's more than just a shooter with 12 assists and 1 turnover. 

ACL's: It seems like the Timberwolves can't get a player back from injury without losing another one. Rubio finally returned from his ACL injury on the 15th, but now Josh Howard is done for the season after tearing his. Once routinely mentioned amongst the elite names of the '03 draft class, Howard hasn't been the same since he left Dallas, and at least for the moment his injury addled path has led him out of the league.

Scheduling: The NBA seems to have a nasty habit of being at least a year off when it comes to scheduling what people want to see. Was there really anyone outside of Dallas or Miami who was pumped up to see the Mavericks and the Heat duke it out? Was there even anybody within those two cities?

Yup, still don't care

The Mavericks: The inevitable conclusion of this game lacked any suspenseful twists and turns to keep the audience awake. The Heat won every quarter but the last one, and by that point even the handful of people who might've cared about this game in the first place had lost interest. The long awaited battle between Bernard James and LeBron James swung in LBJ's favor, although the 3 time MVP did have to concede after the game that Bernard James had a pretty good name—not great mind you, but at least 75% acceptable as far as names go.

The Nuggets: Holy inefficient shooting Batman! The Denver Nuggets set a record for inefficiency, attempting 22 three pointers and making none of them.

Fruit Basket Alert: A very nice fruit basket is already on its way to the Mile-High City, courtesy of the Portland Trailblazers. A mere 10 days prior, the Blazers were the team on the wrong side of history, missing all 20 of their attempts from deep against the Raptors. What are the chances? The three pointer has been a part of the NBA since 1979, and yet it's only been within .08% of that time that this record has been set and broken.

Timberwolves-Thunder: Kendrick Perkins threw down some starting lacktion with a 5:2 Voskuhl in 19 minutes and 38 seconds. Hasheem Thabeet answered the call off the bench and rolled up a fat 2:1 Voskuhl in 4:20. 
Heat-Mavs: James Jones missed a three in 3 minutes and 17 seconds for a +1 suck differential. 

Labels: , , , ,

Webster gets Harkless in the dreaded finger lock

The Wiz: It doesn't even feel right to call them the Generals anymore, seeing that the Generals win every once in a while. Things have gotten so bad for the Wizards that politicians in Washington are drafting legislation to destroy all pop-cultural staples using the phrase, "nobody beats the Wiz", because as we all know, everybody beats the Wiz. This time it was the Orlando Magic, but next time who knows, maybe a local chapter order of Elks, maybe your grandmother and her bridge cronies—who can really say? About the only good news for the Whiz at this point is that the Bobcats have lost 13 in a row, replacing their formerly worst in the NBA losing streak of 12.

Receding brass rings: The win for Magic brought them within 1 game of .500. Then with 47.8 seconds left Big Baby landed on his shoulder, and just like that Orlando will be missing their leading scorer for 4-6 weeks. Something tells me that they're not going to reach that .500 mark, and that something is hindsight since I'm writing this on Monday.

The Pistons: Greg Monroe penned his doctrine with a career-high 35 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to get a win north of the border. The Raptors continued to flourish in the absence of Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowry. Ed Davis and Jose Calderon may not be stars, but they've been effective by using this radical new notion called efficiency. Davis demonstrated the principle by only missing 2 shots, while Calderon only committed 2 turnovers to go along with his 17 assists. Lawrence Frank described the 31 Spaniard as having moxie. I'm not quite sure what the official soft drink of Maine has to do with anything, but if that's what it takes then more teams should forget about this Gatorade crap and distribute beverages that were developed over a century ago.

Atlanta's property laws: After a sequence where he blocked Josh Smith and ended up with a dunk, Kevin Durant proudly announced that Philips Arena was his fucking house. I wasn't aware that deeds could be transferred so easily in the state of Georgia, but after looking at the rest of his box-score, 41 points and 13 rebounds, I'm inclined to agree. Russell Westbrook used his 27 points and 11 assists to make the argument that the teammates should work out some sort of time share. The rest of the OKC starters, 15 combined points, seemed content to crash on the couch.

Rondo is chased by bandits

Cleveland:  Now that wearing a mask as a Cavalier has become too mainstream, Tyler Zeller has ditched his, depriving us of an opportunity to see a starting line up of three masked men. Zeller got his first NBA start because Varejao sat out with a bruised knee.

Paul Pierce proved that dropping 40 points with monstrous efficiency isn't just a young man's game, becoming the oldest Celtic to ever accomplish the feat in regulation (Larry Legend had 49 points in a double overtime game at a more advanced age). His response afterwards was typical Wheezy, "Oh yeah? Oh, wow". Not the world's most eloquent appraisal, but then again it's hard to find words to compare with 40 points on 16 attempts with one turnover. Pierce was at his best in the 4th, making all 7 of his shots.

The 76ers: Philadelphia made the radical move of starting both Maalik Wayns and Kwame Brown, and the result was a size 22 shoe up their ass. This beat down was delivered courtesy of the Houston Rockets, but as the 4 previous teams to play them could also attest, you don't actually need to be that good to beat the Sixers without Jrue Holiday. As soon as the wunderkind guard went down they started losing, and something tells me (hindsight) that they won't get a win til his return.

Peanut butter on ice

All that Jazz: Big Al is probably going to be having Roy Hibbert shaped nightmares after going 1-8 for 4 points against him. Gerald Green leapt right over his recent mediocrity on his way to 21 points, clearing all of Utah's top scorers in the process. Gordon Hayward may have played less than 13 minutes, but that didn't stop him from turning the ball over 5 times. The Jazz lost the first quarter by 8 points, and then proceeded to only score 8 points in the 2nd, pretty much ending the game right there and paving the way for a 20 point defeat.

The Bucks: Monta may have been hampered with injuries and guarded by Tony Allen, but that's not going to keep him out of a WotN after shooting 1 for 14 from the floor. Monta missed his first 13 shots from the floor, while Jennings missed his first 8 attempts. Considering that BJ and Marquis Daniels were the Bucks only double figure scorers, it's no small wonder that they lost; what's far more confusing is that they only lost by 10 points.

I'm not retiring the Broped nickname or anything, but this game inspired me to come up with a new nickname for the world's least efficient backcourt based on their initials. Blow-Me missed 30 shots and combined for a 4:7 assist to turnover ratio. As previously stated, I really don't understand how they only lost this game by 10 points. An interesting revelation was brought forth in BJ's comments after the loss.
He's our scorer, so he's the most important player on this team for us. I know he's angry right now, but with great scorers like that you shouldn't be too worried because they always come back strong.
I was surprised to see this admission of inferiority from such a competitive and self-promoting player, although I guess his metric for measuring greatness, shoots a lot, makes sense for a volume scoring guard. Based on this new nickname, BJ does have a point. After all, the act of blowing is key, but without something to blow it's just a lot of empty head bobbing and lip puckering at the air.

Jason Williams: White Chocolate may not have played a game in the NBA for a couple years, but he still gets a WotN for not having bounced the ball off his elbow a few times in a Griz uniform, thus preventing Mike Conley from surpassing him as the franchise's all time assist leader on Wednesday. Kidding aside, I should probably be giving this WotN to the Grizzly franchise instead of Jason Williams (who only played 4 years for them). It's not often you can set an important record for a franchise and maintain it for nearly a decade despite having played less than 300 games for them.

This is not the sight fans of the Warriors want to see

The Warriors: Tom Gola is gonna be pissed. Not only did the Warriors let the Kings score 131 points, but they let their former East Coast rival tie the historic record between the two teams at 184-184. Mark Jackson wasn't too happy about it either.
I'm very disappointed in how we allow a team to score 131 points without their best player
I'm assuming that he's talking about Tyreke Evans. That didn't sit too well with DeMarcus Cousins, who heard what the coach had said to the press, and tracked him down after the game so he could threaten to kick his ass. Jimmer and the Zeke-child must have felt disrespect in the air, judging by their combining for 26 points with neither of them cracking 20 minutes. (I feel the need to point out that line about Cousins was a joke, since at this point it's so hard to tell.)

Donald Sterling-lame ass: There aren't too many figures in the NBA who can make David Stern look good, but Donald Sterling is definitely one of them. The racist, whoremongering slumlord is essentially the last remaining obstacle between the Clippers and likability at the point. Which is probably why he's taking the team's ability to win despite him as an opportunity to ooze his way into the locker room and create awkward scenes.

After the Clips tied their '75 Buffalo incarnation with a franchise-best 11 game winning streak, they were rewarded with the disturbing sight of the Paste Man, who forced Vinny Del Negro to hug him (obviously unaware of his last name) and then led the team in a chorus of hip, hip hooray (because we all know how cool that is). On the upside, he didn't try to bring any women into the showers to stare at his players' "beautiful black bodies" or attempt to inspect anybody's teeth.

Fun Stat: This was a wonderful night for the Clippers, if we can just all ignore their repugnant owner, and fittingly CP3 took the opportunity to notch his 5,000th career assist, becoming the 3rd youngest player to reach the milestone after Magic and Zeke. 

The Hornets: The visitors were pretty much a footnote to the record setting and the winning streak, but they did provide the proper contrast to the Clippers success with their 9th straight loss. Starting guard Austin Rivers matched his 3 point output with 3 turnovers.

The Bobcats: Back in November when they were winning games, the Bobcats success was mostly built on the shoulders of Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Both players shot a matching 9-14 against the Suns and had impressive all around games. However, this is December so all it resulted in was a 13th straight loss. The Guru of Wins, Jared Dudley, scored 20 points for the first time in his career, and Dragic had 21 points to go along with his 11 assists. 

I don't know what to say about these Cats anymore. If nothing else, maybe they can look around the league and find solace in the recent success of the Grizzlies and the Clippers. Before the Cats joined the league these two franchises had the worst historic records of any current team. It sounds ludicrous, but one day the Bobcats might be enjoying a lengthy streak in the opposite direction. That is unless Jordan gets his hands on some sort of nuclear device and just decides to wipe the franchise off the face of the earth.

Knicks-Nets: MarShon Brooks stared angrily at Joe Johnson for 124 seconds of statlessness. Mirza Teletovic turned the ball over for a +1 suck differential in the same time frame, joining the opposition's James White in his rank of suckitude.
Celtics-Cavs: Jason Collins was inserted into the starting lineup for the Celtics so KG wouldn't have to play the 5 all night. What resulted was a 6:3 Voskuhl in 23 minutes and 16 seconds for Jason Collins. Leandro Barbosa raced his way to a +1 suck differential in 3:18 flat. 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Yeah, the Locksmith is still doing that hand thing

Randy Wittman's sanity: There are no moral victories in basketball, despite what our grade school teachers might've tried to instill in us about sportsmanship. There are only wins, losses, and losses that hurt worse because they were so close—losses like the Wizards falling to the Hawks in overtime and failing to get their 4th win of the season. After the game, Coach Wittman spoke with the officer being raised up on a crane to try to keep him from jumping off the ledge.
I look up every morning to make sure the sky is up there—that it's not falling in on me...I had fans heckling me. They're killing me. I had to turn around and say something to them today.
It's unclear whether Wittman addressing the spectators had any impact on their behavior. Let's hope that, unlike his players, the fans haven't completely tuned him out yet. 

Jordan Crawford had a triple-double but didn't receive much in the way of help. Nene had the 2nd best game for the Wizards, but his minutes are still being limited as he gets his health back, which is one of the several possible reasons to heckle Wittman that the fans were using in the first place.

Kenneth Faried:

I'm not sure, but I think Faried might have accidentally watched JaVale shooting free throws.  

Cleveland: Kyrie scored 23, and Varejao helped him out with a 20/10 performance. So what went wrong for the Cavs and allowed the Raptors to depart their city victoriously? You won't find an answer on the offensive end of the floor. This loss was actually, sadly enough, the best the Cavs have shot all year. Not only that, it was the only time they've made half of their shots. So how did they louse it up? By letting the other team shoot better than they did, of course. The Cavs must've exerted all the energy they had to look half-way decent on offense, because they let the Raptors hit most of their shots while blitzing them from downtown at an over 50% clip.

It's been smooth sailing for the Raptors ever since two of their top three scorers went down with injuries. The fact that they're playing well without Andrea Bargnani is not what I would classify as a mind-blowing development, but the team's improvement without Kyle Lowry is a bit of a conundrum for me. That is, it was a conundrum until I took a look at Jose Calderon's stats over this winning streak. In the three games since Lowry went down, Calderon is averaging over 18 points a game on about 60% shooting, with 7 assists and less than 2 turnovers per game. This shouldn't really come as a surprise. Jose had been providing these types of solid numbers since before Gilbert Arenas was disparaging his all-star credentials.

*Varejao left this game with an injury only to return later for at least the 4th time this season, although unlike the other three nobody felt the need to get negative X-Ray results.

Deron's pissed he can't just pass to Al or Millsap

The Nets: The Jazz had a nice little revenge game against the continuing existence of Deron Williams. The Brooklynites were playing at home and Utah threw the ball away on two separate attempts to inbound the ball in the final 31 seconds. Yet, the Nets responded with consecutive awkward misses, making some wonder if they still thought they played in the vicinity of Brick City.

The T-Pups: At first, I thought for some reason NBA TV was playing the 1966 NCAA Finals game between Don Haskins and his Texan Western squad and the Adolph Rupp coached Kentucky Wildcats; but it turned out just to be a 2012 regular season game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat.

Before the game started, the starting line-ups for both teams were pictured, and it was impossible not to notice that every single player for one team was white, while every single player for the other team was black. Greg Anthony couldn't help himself and said that the upcoming game looked "colorful" causing his fellow broadcasters to burst into laughter.

With Strom Thurmond spinning around rapidly in his grave, the Heat took control of the game early in the 2nd quarter and didn't let up. LeBron ended up with 22 points and 11 assists, setting up his teammates for easy baskets on a plethora of passes, while blocking 4 shots and not once committing a turnover. It's a good thing for the Heat that LeBron played so efficiently, because the Timberwolves more that doubled Miami's rebounds, 53-24. Unfortunately for the visiting Minnesotans, they could rebound the ball but they couldn't score it afterwards, shooting only 43%, and experiencing an even more extreme disparity than they had on the glass, with 1 block for the Pups and 14 blocked attempts. Speaking of blocked attempts...

Chris Bosh: It's gotta suck to be the one guy on your team who gets his shot blocked. You know one of his teammates had to enjoy bringing that statistic to his attention after the game.

The Celtics: Boston dropped to within a game of a losing record at Chicago, having lost three straight. Generally speaking, opposing teams don't win too many games that cause Joakim Noah to jokingly refer to himself as a point center afterwards. The more awkward, 7 foot tall, and gap toothed version of Oscar Robertson had his 2nd career triple-double, and his second victory while accomplishing this feat. All of this was done with the league's leading passer at hand, but Rondo only ended up with 8 assists, his lowest total for the season in a game where Kris Humphries was not punched in the face.

*Scalabrine returned to the United Center as a broadcaster for the Celtics. Towards the end of the game the crowd broke into a scattered Scalabrine chant, reminiscent of all the times they needed a human victory cigar over the years.

The 76ers: Make that 0-3 without Jrue Holiday. And counting... (foreshadowing hint).

The Bobcats: Apparently the Bobcats don't know that it's almost Christmas time. Remember that thing I said about there being no moral victories in basketball? If an overtime loss to the Hawks is a kick to the nuts, then losing for the 12th straight time in a row, to the Lakers, by one fucking point, must be equivalent to getting those same pair of nuts caught in some sort of rusty hydraulic press.

Mavericks-76ers: Rodrigue Beaubois experienced non-existence for 2 minutes and 27 seconds. While Royal Ivey left his mark in a minute and 9 seconds more with a +2 suck differential.   
Bucks-Pacers: Doron Lamb marinated in a +4 suck differential for 11 minutes and 40 seconds.
Raptors-Cavs: A +1 suck differential in a little over a minute caused Cleveland's Donald Sloan to be disowned by Jerry Sloan, despite not actually being related to him.
Jazz-Nets: Keith Bogans went for it against the Jazz, netting a +4 suck potential in 7 and a half minutes. 
Warriors-Hornets: No evidence was left that visitor Al-Farouq Aminu wandered around Oakland for 3 and a half minutes. Richard Jefferson made his triumphant return, to the lacktion section, spending 5 minutes and 28 seconds on the court without accumulating a single statistic. Kent Bazemore proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with, providing a 5 second Supermario.
Well, that's all for now. I hope your reading this because that would mean the world hasn't ended, which is probably a good thing, though not really for the Bobcats or Randy Wittman. The wind is howling outside as I write this, and I'm pretty sure that I'm listening to the sounds of some sort of zombie creature trying to break into my domicile. If these are the last words you ever hear from me, then I want everyone to know that I've enjoyed writing this stuff and I hope you've enjoyed reading it. Hopefully you'll hear from me again soon, unless this really is the rapture, in which case, to quote from the late 20th century bard, somebody save me a couple bottles of gin in case I don't get in.

Davis perfects the neckless jumpshot

The Timberwolves: I might have to start taking back some of the things I've said about Big Baby. His 28 points weren't even marred by any blocked attempts, which usually are his specialty. The Magic have now won 3 in a row, their longest winning streak of the season.

The Pups got plenty of production out of their bigs, as Pekovic and Love combined for 42 points and 27 rebounds. The guards however left something to be desired, with Alexey Shved missing 7 of his 8 shots, and Luke Ridnour continuing to lead the way at point despite Rubio and Barea being back. The Spanish sensation is still being handled with kiddy gloves, only playing 16 minutes, in which time he scored no points and had 3 turnovers and 4 assists.

The Knicks: Like I said the last time the Rockets thrashed the Knicks: you see what happens when Sheed takes a night off? Once again, the poet philosopher was held out with a sore left foot, and once again the Knicks lost by double-digits. It can't even really be argued that the Knicks lost because of the absence of Carmelo Anthony, seeing that they got a freakish 29 points out of Chris Copeland at the small forward slot. To put that in perspective, the 28 year old rookie's previous high of 11 points was set against the Cavaliers in the game immediately preceding this one. Copeland, the former University of Colorado Buffalo, went undrafted in 2006. He played one year in the D-League and has been playing in Europe ever since.

Carmelo Shmarmelo

So now that I've told you what went right for the Knicks, allow me to elaborate on what went wrong. Raymond Felton took 18 shots for 14 points; Jason Kidd had as many turnovers as assists and missed 7 of his 9 shots; and Steve Novak shot more like Kim Novak, making only 1 of his 5 attempts from deep. Meanwhile, Lin and Harden combined for 50 points, and the Rockets had an advantage in pretty much every statistical category but rebounding. Notably, the Rockets are the youngest team in the NBA and the Knicks are the oldest. That might have something to do with the advantage the boys from Texas have been enjoying.

The Spurs: Youth had its way with age in the Golden West as well. The Spurs were led by the French with Nando de Colo and Tony Parker each scoring 14. That might be delightful for Francophiles, but it's probably not gonna win the Spurs too many ball games. The Thunder proved that they could win with Durant getting less shot attempts than both Ibaka and Westbrook, for a night at least. 

The Pistons: Make that 11 in a row for the Clippers. Somewhere out there Danny Manning is sewing together a Chris Paul voodoo doll. Brandon Knight achieved the dubious distinction of having both the same amount of turnovers as assists, and precisely as many shot attempts as points. This Pistons as a whole matched the former feat with 15 assists to match their 15 turnovers, but they managed to narrowly edge out their 71 attempts with 76 points. The Pistons were clearly having trouble feeding Greg Monroe, who converted over half of his field goals but only got 7 of them. Who knows, maybe some of those turnovers were heading his way before they got snatched up.

Anybody who watched the Griz versus the Bulls: You'd think this would be at least a half-decent game, right? Well, you'd be wrong. Usually scoring 80 points on less than 40% accuracy isn't enough for a 9 point win, but it was for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley led all scorers with 17 points, and both teams had more turnovers than assists. Mmmmm, world class competition.

The Purple Paupers: Despite only having the 7th largest amount of minutes on the team, Jimmer led the Paupers with 22 points, which was 10 more than any of his teammates could score. Shannon Brown matched him with 22 points for the Suns, with both men attempting 13 shots. Unlike Jimmer, Shannon had some help, with sports guru Jared Dudley doing his part to keep the Suns rolling with 20 points. Strangely enough the team was led in assists by Luis Scola, who just so happened to return to the Suns starting line-up at the exact moment this 3 game winning streak began. 

Rockets-Knicks: Terrence Jones had his lone attempt blocked for a +2 suck differential.
Thunder-Spurs: Jeremy Lamb and DeAndre Liggins joined the trillionaire club for the Thunder.
Suns-Kings: Diante Garrett treated the Phoenix crowd to a 23 second Mario.

Labels: , ,


It's the greatest league in the world, folks

Wow, you guys really suck without me

The 76ers: With Jrue joining Drew in street clothes, the Sixers were a team that opponents could really look forward to playing against this weekend, as evidenced by Paul George's 28 points and Roy Hibbert remembering how to shoot a basketball. With his 19 points and 13 rebounds, Hibbert made sure that he would get injured in the next game he played.

Maalik Wayns is the only other healthy point guard on the Philly roster, so the team squeezed 11 ineffective minutes out of him. Also experiencing a surge in minutes was Nick Young, who took advantage of the opportunity to miss 10 shots and score 8 points.

Streaks: Roy Hibbert may have scored as well as he has all season, but he couldn't chew gum while walking, ending his streak of games with at least 2 blocks at 16.   

The Warriors: They may be rolling, but the Warriors still can't figure out the Magic. They lost to Orlando for the second time this season on Friday, and for the eighth time in their last nine contests. Nikola Vucevic grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, something the Associated Press didn't feel the need to point out, probably do to an institutional prejudice against Montenegrins. The AP did make sure to note that Maurice 'yeah baby, I'm still an NBA starter' Harkless blocked a career-high 4 shots.

Dwight Howard: With the remarkable similarity between the records of the 11-14 Lakers and the 10-13 Magic, it doesn't appear like having the league's top center makes much of a difference to a franchise. Weird.

The Wizards: One thing that is clearly a difference maker this year, is whether or not your opponent is the Wizards, as the Lakers found out on Friday. It turns out that Kobe didn't need the aid of the actual Washington Generals at all, as the Lakers found the solution to their 4 game losing streak at the expense of Randy Wittman's sanity. Still, the Lakers only won the game by 6 points, and Bryant, 9-29, is clearly in his 'I'm gonna keep shooting til we win' mode again. Overall, I can't claim that having Dwight shoot less than Devin Ebanks is a sane strategy, but when in Washington...

Varejao thought the game was being played in prison

Cleveland: The Cavs returned to form, losing while Varejao grabbed 18 rebounds. The Broped split in half, with one tire (Jennings, 5-20) spinning helplessly in the mud, while the rest of the bike (Monta 33 points) went streaking down a dimly lit road. Neither team shot 40%, and the Cavs had a season-high 27 turnovers. Kyrie Irving, who had 6 of them, wasn't his typically efficient self, but that might have something to do with breaking his jaw on the hardwood. This was the Bucks 9th straight victory over the Cavaliers.

For the third time this season, Varejao left the game with an injury only to return when X-Rays were negative. Amazingly, none of his injuries have been to his back, even though he's been carrying the team with the 2nd worst record in the NBA pretty much all season.

The Kings: Kevin Durant was predictably the game's high-scorer, but after that things got a little surreal. The Kings were in for much worse than a 10 point loss, when the Zeke child scored a reality-defying 26 points in less than 16 minutes. There has been very little about Isaiah Thomas that has made sense this season, and Friday was no exception. You'd really think in a losing effort Keith Smart might try to milk a few more minutes out of such a performance, but there you have it. 16 minutes, 26 points, and a whole lot of confusion, is all that this game had to offer.

Conventionality: 17 assists from Greivis Vasquez, 31 points from Nikola Pekovic, and a career-high 27 points from Austin Rivers—not too odd, I suppose, for the last Friday before the world ends. Jokes aside, at least two of those performances aren't quite so freakish as they seem. Pekovic is averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds per game so far this season, and Vasquez is currently 5th league wide in assists. The Hornicans did their best to restore a sense of normality by losing.

Sometimes one facepalm just doesn't cut it

The Mavericks: Look up the word ignominious in the dictionary and you will find a picture of the 2012-13 Mavericks losing to the Raptors by 21 points.  

The Jazz: Jared Dudley and the Suns kept it rolling over the sound of sad trombones, with the politically correct forward scored a season-high 22 points, as noted by the AP. After the game, Utah's coach, Tyrone Corbin, displayed his awareness that the difference between winning and losing is often psychological.
We had opportunities to come back, but we could just never get over the hump because they had their confidence going.
He then dropped down onto his knees and shouted Dudley's name up towards the mute heavens.

The Griz: Speaking about the thin line between losing and winning, the Griz are now on the rainy side of the hill, having dropped their last three. In only 17 minutes, Jerryd Bayless had more than twice as many assists as anybody else on his team. The jury is still out on whether his 11 assists topped lil Zeke's 26 points as Friday's most impressive statistic put up in under 20 minutes. But I'm pretty confident that JaVale McGee had the night's most awe inspiring moment when he channeled Wilt Chamberlain against an unsuspecting Zach Randolph. 

It kinda reminded me of the time I was playing basketball with my 12 year old cousin, and even though I was clearly in a crouched position waiting to smack any attempt out of the air, he decided to shoot it anyway. I mean, did Randolph really think that shot wasn't going to be blocked? He didn't even attempt any subterfuge to make the eventual highlight footage less humiliating. 

The Celtics: Harden missed nearly a third of his shots, Lin scored 5 points, but that wasn't going to stop the Celtics from losing by double-digits. Not with Chandler Parsons messing around and nearly getting a triple double.

The most memorable part of this game was the moment that Kevin McHale and Kevin Garnett shared when the game was over. I haven't mentioned the death of McHale's daughter because I have no idea what to say about such a tragedy. Seeing the tears stream down McHale's face as he left the court left me deeply saddened. I'm glad the two men were able to share such a moment, and I hope the grieving father is able to find some peace in the months and years to come.

Magic-Warriors: Ken Bazemore hit a shot in his 64 seconds, leaving Jeremy Tyler and Festus Ezeli to fend for themselves in the lacktion section. Tyler used the same amount of time for a +1 suck differential, and Festus Ezeli struck again with a starting Voskuhl, this time a 6:2. Kyle O'Quinn also had a +1 suck differential in 64 seconds, but his was for the Magic.
Raptors-Magic: Rodrigue Beaubois missed a shot in 6 minutes and 7 seconds for a +1 suck differential.
Timberwolves-Hornicans: Darrius Miller spend 9 minutes and 33 seconds on the court for the Fish Mouths, and in that time he committed a single, solitary foul, resulting in a +1 suck differential. His teammate Lance Thomas may have played 149 less seconds, but he came away with a +5 suck differential.
Suns-Jazz: Diante Garrett used his 104 seconds for a +2 suck differential, while fellow Sun Wes Johnson played the same stretch and one-upped (or downed) him for a +3 suck differential.


Have you ever seen someone so happy to be getting blocked?

Aren't you glad you missed this game?

The Bobcats: This is getting truly ridiculous. Make that 11 straight losses for the Bobcats since they reached last years win total. At the time it seemed like they were a couple games away from regaining their dignity. Today, that nearly month old victory to the Wizards can scarcely be remembered, and in its place is an ever growing dread that this streak may never end, fating the Bobcats to 7 wins every year, until the end of time.

Kemba Walker scored a career-high 32 points in vain, while Space Cowboy Maurice Harkless matched the career-high 4 blocks he had set only a day prior. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, once the bright beacon of hope leading the Cats out of the cellar, played his fewest number of minutes in 16 games and only scored 3 points.

The Bobcats will get another chance to escape purgatory on Tuesday when they play the Lakers. They've proven that they have grave difficulty playing teams who don't have Dwight Howard, so maybe a visit to LA is just what the doctor ordered.

The Hawks: Unlike their opponent, the Hawks came into this game with a day's rest and home court advantage, but it was the Warriors, playing for the 2nd straight night and on their 7th road game, who blasted past the century mark and pushed their weary limbs all the way to 115 points. Josh Smith must have been feeling exhausted vicariously for them, because he only converted 1 of his 12 attempts, which in case your wondering is 1 more attempt than the team's top scorer Al Horford got.

No Schadenfreude today, thanks

The Gizzards: Gutted, mostly gobbled, and left for dead on the side of the road—such was the state of the Generals after their visit to Miami. I think it's safe to say that the Nazgul did not take kindly to the humiliating loss they received the last time these former foes met (I say former because you have to have more than 3 wins to be considered anybody's foe).

It's hard to make out much of the box score because little bits of small intestine cover large portions of text, but I'll relay a few essential details. The Heat won by 30 points; the Miami defense held their victim to 72 points on 37.5% shooting; the top performer for the Wizards was null-star Cartier Martin; Jordan Crawford was 2 for 12 with more turnovers, 6, than points, 5; and the Wizards had 5 more turnovers as a team than they had assists.

I'm guessing Randy Wittman hasn't been getting too much sleep lately.

The Mavericks: The Dallas Mavericks are now 0-1 in games where Derek Fisher leads them in minutes. I could make fun of the Mavericks for losing to the T-pups in overtime, but realistically they should be proud of themselves for not losing to the Raptors by 20 points again. I know that wasn't an actual possibility for them on Saturday since they weren't playing the Raptors, but still.... Kudos Mavericks. Kudos.

Hell, how could this loss be avoided when the other team resurrected Pistol Pete Jr.

Boston: They couldn't even use the age excuse after taken a 15 point beating from the similarly grey-bearded Spurs. Tim Duncan scored a season-low 5 points, but the Celtics couldn't capitalize. Although technically Rondo broke his double-digit assist streak back at the end of November, this was the first game he didn't reach the total for reasons other than punching Kris Humphries in the face.

The Bucks: Make that 9 straight for the Pacific Division leaders. The Broped reached its logical conclusion against the Clippers, totaling the bike after flying off an overpass. The walking redundancy of a backcourt combined for 22 points on 7 for 27 shooting with 5 turnovers to complement their 7 assists. Meanwhile, Matt Barnes dropped the other shoe from the last Clipper game, leading the team in scoring outright. Jamal Crawford must have felt a little lost with another bench player taking his role, which might explain his season low 6 points. 

The Jazz: For the 2nd time in as many days the Jazz made another team feel good about themselves. This time it was the Grizzlies who came into Salt Lake on a three game losing streak but left feeling right as rain. Z-Bo had arguably his 2nd best game of the season with 25 points and 16 rebounds, and just like that the Grizzlies left the hopefully named Energy Solutions Arena with a win for the first time since 2007.

Kyrie's a big MF Doom fan

The Cavaliers: It was quite the night for wasting career-highs from last year's draft class. Irving dropped 41 points while trying to readjust the straps on his mask. In an ironic twist of fate, it was Varejao who failed the team, missing the free throw that would have forced an overtime with the Knicks.

Magic-Bobcats: Ish Smith became a trillionaire twice over in 2 minutes and 25 seconds.
Timberwolves-Mavericks: Rodrigue Beaubois kept his weekend of lacktion going with a 43 second Mario, but he probably won't remember it once his lost weekend comes to a close.


Ty prepares to give the Zeke-child a spanking
The Purple Paupers: The Nuggets catapulted themselves off the broken backs of the Paupers, pinwheeling to a winning record. The game was never in doubt and the Nugs cruised to a cushy 25 point victory. Nobody on the Nuggets needed to play a full half hour, with JaVale McGee leading the team with 19 points in 17 minutes. Denver controlled both ends of the floor, shooting 54% while holding Sacramento to 34%.

The inscrutable season for the Zeke-child continued. Judging from his 3-10 shooting, you'd think that he scored 9 points or so, but in reality he tallied 20. How did he do it? The feat was accomplished at the line where he went 13-15. This made him the top scorer on his team for the 2nd game in a row, giving the illusion that it was a long time ago when the letters DNP-CD were appearing next to his name.

Keith Smart continues to baffle with his rotations. Despite the fact that they were getting their ass kicked for virtually the entire game, "Smart" didn't feel the need to get young players like Jimmer Fredette and Thomas Robinson in the game until the third quarter. The one real benefit of taking such a beating is that young players usually get a chance to play and develop their games in a professional setting.

The former quickly fired coach of the Warriors and Cavaliers wasn't having it though, nor was he interested in offering an explanation of his strange decisions to reporters. When asked why he sat the players so long he responded, "they got in the game when they got in the game". That's a real helpful explanation there, chief. It's the kind of line they would engrave on his tombstone if the Maloofs still cared enough to fire people. Meanwhile, he's destroying the collective will of his young players. Note the despondency in Robinson's comments about his coach's decisions, "I don't know. I don't ask him for anything really anyways. I'm over it".

Usually that kind of sulking makes a player look bad, but in Robinson's case I really gotta feel for the guy. It has to be pretty hard to drop unexpectedly in the draft until you land in this mess, and then to be unable to get minutes even when DeMarcus Cousins is out because the coach would rather start Travis Outlaw.

Tyreke Evans can't seem to find a stretch of good health and left the game after 10 minutes with a sore left knee, inciting further rumors of a vengeful demonic presence that has set itself against this nomadic franchise.

The 76ers: Nick Young had his yearly game that makes people think they should pay him, but Kobe raised him 4 points, and the Lakers kept running til they had a 13 point victory. Neither side was that concerned about playing defense, as evidenced by one of the clearest paths to the basket that you'll likely ever see.

I'm pretty sure Woody Harrelson would've rocked the rim if offered that kind of angle.

The Rockets: Maybe that 20 point Dallas loss to the Raptors wasn't as ignominious as I had first suspected. Bargnani claims he was misquoted when he told an Italian newspaper that the Raptors were essentially the worst team in the NBA. He probably meant to specify that this was only the case when he was suited up. Ed Davis experimented with the novel idea of shooting efficiently in Bargnani's absence. So far, this radical new technique has proven shockingly effective, especially when combined with a Jose Calderon triple-double.

Blazers-Hornicans: Brian Roberts bricked once in the 4 minutes and 16 seconds he played for New Orleans, giving him a +1 suck differential. Meyers Leonard came within 13 seconds of playing 6 minutes off the Portland bench, yet it only brought him a +2 suck differential. Jared Jeffries was back in the saddle again for a 22 second Mario.
Lakers-Sixers: Earl Clark demonstrated an industrious spirit clad in purple and gold, being able to turn a 50 second Mario into a +1 suck differential with a turnover. Playing for the Sixers, Royal Ivey deigned not to produce any stats in 2 minutes and 48 seconds, while Maalik Wayns fizzled in a 50 second Mario.   

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.
knicks banner

Its official you guys. I've bought into the New York Knicks hype. I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy watching this team. I mean not only are they winning, but they're a source of endless streams of comedy. It’s the perfect marriage of hilarity and great basketball. By all accounts, a team that features the oldest roster in NBA history, JR Smith, and Mike Woodson as head coach should be completely dreadful. A quick glance at the names on this roster and it’s easy to dismiss this group as a bunch of ill fitting parts. The squad mainly consist of flawed journeymen. And weather that flaw be age, defense, or downright lack of intelligence (looking at you, JR Smith). They all bring their own set of strengths to the table.

This summer, if you would have told me that Rasheed Wallace was going to come out of his two year retirement, join the Knicks, get solid minutes in the rotation, and not look like Jabba the Hutt, I would have scream-laughed in your face. I mean sure his cankles are starting to spill over the top of his high tops, sure the seams of his jersey are holding together for dear life, sure he probably smokes a blunt before shoot arounds, and yeah the other night I saw him commit to a fast break and then abandon those plans after three and a half steps but it really wouldn't matter because he can't get up to a speed faster than light jog... But ya know, Sheed has got three things. A jumpshot that has to be guarded, solid help defense, and a fuck the world attitude.

The Knickerbockers play with this attitude that says "Yeah we're not supposed to be here, but we're still gonna put our feet on your coffee table and fart on your couch." Each member of the team has been the butt of many jokes at one point or another. They've all had judgment passed onto them, but they've still come together as one, leaning on each other in battle to achieve greatness...(I think I started going a little too far with that last sentence, but you get the point.)

knicks cheer

All these flawed players have put their ego's aside, taken their strengths, dumped them into a giant caldron, swirled in that attitude, and out popped magic. Look at Steve Novak for example. Prior to playing with the Knicks, he had been on 4 NBA teams and 2 D-League teams. None of which found any use for him other than garbage time. And now when the ball is whipped around the perimeter and finds his hands, its splashing through the net at an extremely high rate. If you need him to dribble, make lay ups, pass, rebound, or defend, then you'll be shit out of luck. But leave him open from three and he turns into a pasty, discount double checking beast. He's always been a shooter, but only now does it all seem to be falling into place for him.

Jason Kidd is another great example. Last season he looked like a ghost out there on the court. Showing clear signs of early onset dementia, Kidd spent most of the season just wondering around in a fog. This year he's had several moments where he's reminded everyone why he's a Hall of Famer. His championship level poise has spread amongst the fellow Knicks. Jason Kidd just always seems to come up with a big play in crunch time. And it’s not always a big shot. It could be hockey assist, or he could strip the ball from a rebounder which starts off a fast break. He makes little plays like this all the time, and it’s awesome to see a guy that old make and imprint on the game without making an imprint on the box score.

After edging out the Denver Nuggets a few games ago, Jason Kidd had this to say about Carmelo. “Coach wanted to play through Carmelo, but Carmelo was like, ‘No, I want to play through Jason.’"

Holy Shit...It appears that Carmelo Anthony finally gets it. Melo understands that hero ball is great for SportsCenter highlights, but it takes a team to win championships. And I have to admit, Anthony is having an MVP type season so far. He's just as ungaurdable as ever, but seems to be passing out of double teams a lot more. That gives the Knicks shooters plenty of opportunities to do what they do best. Woodson's decision to start Carmelo at the 4 has been fantastic. Chandler mans the middle, never asking for the ball. He knows his job is to play defense and clean up the misses. Throw in defensive specialist Ronnie Brewer at the small forward and now you've got a formidable front line.

So there you have it. Hype has been purchased. I love watching this team. I love how Raymond Felton will employ a series of loose and kinda sloppy crossovers to shake his man, then get in the lane and shoot an airball from 8 feet away. I love the bewildered look on Rasheed Wallace's face when he has to try and communicate with Pablo Prigoni. I love seeing Mike Woodson's face when JR Smith lofts up a three from damn near half court. They're fun, they're funny, and they're winning. What more could you ask for. Now if Amare Stoudemire returns to the lineup, demands to be a starter, becomes a locker room cancer, and the Knicks lose in the first round of the playoffs, then this post should be removed from the Basketbawful archives and never spoken of again.

The season isn't going as expected for the Lakers

Kobe descended in a boatswain's chair to try to calk the Lakers moving ship with 42 points, but the loss to the Cavaliers left him dangling betwixt the devil and the deep blue sea. Kobe was unsurprisingly bitter in his post-game comments.
I'm gonna rip somebody's penis off. Seriously, I'm about to walk into that locker room, and when I come back I'll have a dick in my hands, and it's not gonna be my own.
OK, he didn't actually say that. But I'm pretty sure he thought it, and from now on I'm planning to report the news based purely on psychic intuition. The actual quotes from this game were pretty amusing themselves. Mike 'Pringles' D'Antoni didn't offer much in the way of an explanation that's gonna placate anxiety-attack-having fans.
We play at a very slow pace and we struggle. Maybe it shifts over to defense. Maybe we're slow. Maybe we can't do it.
Those are actual quotes. Thanks for the pep talk coach. So what you're basically saying, Pringles, is that you have no idea what to do unless you're coaching the 2005 Phoenix Suns? And even then, the future is dim.

Kyrie Irving returned just in time to extend the recent humiliations of the Lakers. Last year's Rookie of the Year dished out 11 assists and scored 28 points, and C.J. Miles joined him with 28 points but left the passing to point guards. Four of Cleveland's starters outdid their season averages by significant margins. So, the Pringles defense is already in full swing, we're just waiting on the offense.

Iverson parallels: There was a moment in this game where Irving got his chance to play some one-on-one with Bryant, the crowd started buzzing, and the stage was set for a generational statement. "It reminded me of when Allen Iverson was going against Jordan", Kyrie said. Uh, you might wanna re-check that footage young fella', because I'm pretty sure it didn't end like this:

Of course, this is the NBA. So players just care about wins, and a moment like this won't be remembered, right? I mean, it's not like getting crossed-over by Iverson that one time nearly two decades ago still haunts Jordan, and has to get publicly referenced at least twice every month.

The Pelicans: The match-up everybody's been waiting for finally went down. The worst of the East met the worst of the West, and when the smoke cleared the Wizards were still standing. They may have only had 77 points, but they also had a victory. Anthony Davis returned and had 3 blocks and 3 steals off the bench, but was unable to halt his team's descent into misery.

The NBA should seriously collect some fines to pay for the therapy bills of anyone who actually watched this game. This was the first NBA game since 2005 where both teams made less than a third of their shots. Leading the way was Jordan Crawford, the de facto point guard for the Wizards, who shot the ball 24 times and handed out 4 assists. It's not exactly a John Stockton type performance, but against the Pelicans it'll do just fine.

Randy Wittman, masochistic quote machine: "I thought I was getting my teeth pulled at the dentist without any Novocaine". And he didn't even have a pretty smile to show for it afterwards.

Taj Gibson fails to engage Griffin in a staring contest

The inconsiderate Bulls: Is this how they treat all their guests? Even though they lost, the Bulls just wouldn't go away, meaning that Chris Paul had to remain in the ballgame. CP3 was clearly miffed afterwards, "I kind of forgot what it was like to play in the 4th quarter". You hear that Bulls? I hope you're happy with yourselves, you forced a professional athlete to play more than 3 quarters.

The Pistons: Things started off great for the Pistons, but they didn't end up that way. After beginning the game 21-4, they spent the rest of it getting beaten 97-73. Lawrence Frank didn't have much to say after the game besides 'pass the whiskey'. Not even a Naughty by Nature performance at half time could set things right in the Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Nyets: Melo wasn't about to let Kobe be the night's top scorer, so he took care of business against the Nets, shifting into (Bachman Turner) overdrive and scoring 45 points. At one point, he went over to Avery Johnson and slapped him around for a solid 6 minutes, but as it was for the rest of the night, none of the Nets players could stop him. Apparently, this has now officially become a rivalry, even though fans of either team have hated each other for years already. Just ask the AP, "now, this Knicks-Nets rivalry is really on." See, the AP said it's really on, so it must be really on.

Nets fans were pretty bummed about this play:

Mmmmm, rivalry.

Stephen Jackson: As the club owner in Purple Rain might say, the kid has been in rare form lately. I apologize in my delay for reporting the hilarious news that Jackson has no regrets about his role in the Malice in the Palace. In fact, he says he enjoyed punching fans in the face. Good for you, Jackson. I guess he thought he was untouchable, since he's a Spur now, and they can take pictures pretending to shoot referees without any consequences.

What Jackson didn't realize, is that he's Stephen Jackson, and the league will eventually find a way to fine him. This time, it was $25,000 for threatening Serge Ibaka over Twitter. Captain Jack and Serge got face to face in their recent game together. El Capitan couldn't confine his aggression to the court and the stands, so he took to the internets to declare, "Next time he run up im goin in his mouth". In my opinion that poorly spelled threat is far to close to "groin in his mouth", but I should probably shut up before Jackson finds this page and enjoys some retribution.
Knicks-Nets: Jerry Stackhouse came within one rebound of a +4 suck differential in 21 minutes and 15 seconds, so technically he shouldn't be here, but c'mon, that's some serious lacktion. I guess he felt he had to pick up the slack with Josh Childress sitting this one out with a DNP-CD.
Cavaliers-Lakers: Boobie Gibson was on his way to a +3 suck differential when he hyper-extended his elbow. Samardo Samuels had no such excuse for his 25 second Mario. 
Wizards-Hornicans: Lance Thomas was unable to get his unsightly +1 suck differential in 6:50 surgically removed from the N.O. box score. 
Nuggets-Pistons: Will Bynum might've registered a +1 suck differential in 2 minutes and 23 seconds for the Pistons, but it was still more than anybody else named Bynum has done this season.