Happy New Year everyone! I hope you like people getting hit in the nuts.
|It's now open season on Pookie's huevos|
: You got to give it to Dwyane Wade, sensing how little the viewers would care to stick around for the foregone conclusion of the Heat beating the Bobcats, he offered the audience a comedic bit that's slayed for centuries—the kick to the groin. Say what you will about the man, but that's
an entertainer. The NBA was not amused and suspended Wade for a game. I guess they didn't get the fine points of Wade's nuanced wit, or perhaps David Stern was unaffected because as Pablo Neruda says, "laughter is the language of the soul", and well, you know...
Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair was at hand in Charlotte, and expressed his disappointment that Wade didn't finish Sessions off with a knife-edge chop.
The logic displayed by those who coach the league's most dreadful teams must exist in some sort of parallel universe, keeping it safe from the comprehension of earthly minds. How else can you explain Randy Wittman's choice to bench the leading scorer on the league's worst team? Disciplinarians might argue that Jordan Crawford had it coming after being late to Wednesday's shoot around, yet even Wittman himself hints that shooting isn't a top priority for the perennial bottom-dweller.
We've got too many guys that worry just about shooting the basketball and not about the other parts of the game.
So...let me repeat this, just so I can make sure I've gotten it straight: Randy Wittman thinks that his players care too much about shooting the ball, so he benched the guy who shoots the ball most often, because he was late for shooting the ball. That almost makes sense. On the bright side, Crawford still played close to 27 minutes off the bench and did what he does best—shot the ball. In the process he led the team in scoring with 17 points on 15 attempts. Despite a +25 Lenovo score from Nene, the Wizards lost to Cleveland by 3 points. I'm no mathematician, but I think that means that without Nene on the court the Wizards really, really suck.
|They don't call them the Magic for nothing.|
According to the box score Robin Lopez had 29 points and 3 rebounds, but I'm pretty sure it was actually his brother Brook in a curly wig. That sounds more like something he would do. Meanwhile for the Magic, Gustavo Ayon failed to fill a rather rotund Big Baby shaped hole in the Orlando roster, compiling 4 points and 3 assists. This is the third straight loss for the Magic since Big Baby was injured, which continues to foster an uncomfortable feeling of respect within me for the NBA's answer to Chubbs from Teen Wolf. Orlando is clearly at a loss for how to score without the big lug, as
the Hornets kept them
they were unable to score a field goal for the game's final 6 minutes. Just imagine how terrible this team would be without Jameer Nelson's 28 points and 10 assists. On 2nd thought, you don't need to imagine, just wait a day or so.
Their bench scored a mere 19 points, which is probably a season-high; Rudy Gay missed the game for personal reasons; and Memphis let Dorrell Wright explode for 28 points on 11 attempts, while Spencer Hawes and his facial hair went Hulk Hogan on them with 20 points, 5 blocks, and 3 steals. I'm not a betting man (I'm far too broke to offer anybody a bet they might be interested in), but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict that this is just the beginning for Hawes and Wright's statistical dominance.
Considering they coach in different conferences, Doc Rivers should really try giving Lionel Hollins a call and asking him how to contain Evan Turner. Turner has now totaled 13 points in the 4 games he's played in his career against the Grizzlies, exemplified by Wednesday's single point in 40 minutes and 43 seconds.
Back during the Linsanity era, the one knock on Lin was that he turned the ball over a lot. Well, Linsanity made a return on Wednesday, just without all those pesky points and assists, as the Rockets' leader in all-star votes complemented his 7 turnovers with 8 points and 1 assist. However, the Rockets were playing the Timberwolves so it didn't matter, not with James Harden (over 200,000 less all-star votes than his backcourt partner) scoring 30 points, and Kevin Love missing 11 of his 14 shots. Minnesotans showed up in droves to support Kevin McHale, resulting in the third-largest crowd ever at the Target Center (at least I assume that was why, it might've just been for the opportunity to see neither team reach 90 points. People are pretty nostalgic for the 50's.)
|The immortal battle of Youth vs. Tinsley|
Utah played Jamaal Tinsley, zero points, 21 minutes and 19 seconds...against the Warriors...who are good...at basketball. Moving on.
A 15 point loss to the Bucks without Deron Williams doesn't seem like the kind of game that would get Avery Johnson fired, but keep in mind the Barclay Center continues to have technical issues, and someone, Deron Williams, recently sent Nets CEO Brett Yormark some photoshopped images of Avery Johnson skulking around the maintenance room with a screwdriver. Yormark clearly took those pictures to heart, tweeting:
Nets fans deserved better today. The entire organization needs to work harder to find the solution. We will get there.
And by, "the solution", Yormark apparently meant P.J. Carlesimo.
After winning 5 straight games, the Toronto Raptors ran smack into the bitter face of reality, also known as the San Antonio Spurs. Not playing Andrea Bargnani can get a team pretty far in this world, but eventually most teams have to grow up and face the fact that they're not in the same arena as the Spurs, figuratively. Unfortunately for the Raptors, they were in the same arena as the Spurs literally, and the result was a 20 point ass-whooping.
The Raptors didn't have a single starter reach double-digits, while the Spurs had three. This resulted in a 55-27 discrepancy between the two teams' starters, or as the AP called it
, a 54-25 discrepancy. Seriously AP, it's simple addition, and you got both numbers wrong. If anybody had bothered to check either number, instead of just drunkenly eyeballing the figures, this would've been clear. People are still getting paid for this stuff, right?
The Suns, fortune's foil:
The Suns should've never killed J.R. Smith's family in front of him when he was a small boy. It looked like Phoenix was about to snap their most recent losing streak, when J.R. finally got his revenge, first tying the game, and then hitting a shot at the buzzer to seal it.
See what happens when it's not Christmas, and Kidd's inbounds pass actually lands inbounds? J.R.'s twin jumpers essentially doomed a career night from Jared Dudley to futility. The politically correct forward scored a career-high 36 points, prompting speculation that he's getting good enough to consider playing basketball professionally.
The Sacramento Kings-well, mostly Keith Smart
: It's not often that you can say a coach should thank his lucky stars that he doesn't play somewhere where the ownership gives a fuck, but that's exactly the situation currently facing the ironically named Coach Smart. I don't know what DeMarcus Cousins said to him in the locker room, but it's hard to imagine that it's worth the team losing its leading scorer and rebounder for two games. Although, truth be told, all that it resulted in was a win and a loss to the Blazers.
Still, Smart was basically brought in because he seemed to get along with Cousins, if he can't do that, or consistently win, you've got to wonder what he's basing his feelings of job security on—that is, beyond mismanagement and general apathy. I recognize that some sort of disciplinary action might've been justified, but that's what fines and laps around the gym are for; there's no need to take it out on the handful of fans who are struggling to maintain interest in this franchise—or, more importantly, the tens of thousands of fantasy owners who could've drafted Kenneth Faried instead.
Speaking about the Manimal, people who failed to draft this undying source of offensive rebounds aren't the only ones who've had enough of his sass. This was made clear with 5 minutes left in the third, when Pumaman's hand had a message it just couldn't wait any longer to tell Faried's face. Dwight denied any malicious intent saying, "I like the young fellow"—not the young fella mind you, because apparently the AP thinks that Dwight Howard is British. He also elaborated that Faried was the finest ol' chap he knew, and hopefully they'd get together soon to play some croquet and enjoy some crumpets. I'd show some footage of the flagrant 2 that got Howard ejected, but we've all seen it by now. Plus, I have another clip that exemplifies the game more precisely.
Corey Brewer matched a career-high with 27 points and made 4 of his 6 threes in the final period. Luckily for his face, Howard was in the locker room by then.
Magic-Hornets: Andrew Nicholson was underutilized by the Magic for a 2 trillion.
Bucks-Nets: Tornike Shengelia picked up the slack with Josh Childress registering a DNP-CD, resulting in somebody on the Nets getting a trillion. Doron Lamb and John Henson did the same for the Bucks.
Warriors-Jazz: Speaking about picking up the lacktion slack, with both Jeremy Tyler and Ken Bazemore putting up useful stats, the eyes of the Golden State Warrior faithful turned to Richard Jefferson who didn't disappoint with a highly disappointing +1 suck differential in 3 minutes and 6 seconds.
Labels: Dwyane Wade, Evan Turner, Jamaal Tinsley, Keith Smart, Linsanity, Randy Wittman, The Bobcats, The Lakers, The Magic, The Nets, The Wizards