Hi all, I've updated this post, using reverse chronology and opening with Sunday. Friday is still absent because I plan to do a synopsis for last week next. There's been so much comedic gold in the NBA hills lately, I hope you're still in the mood to read about it, even if it isn't technically news anymore.
Fruit Basket Alert:
|I can't tell whose pose is funnier|
New York Knicks had been on a 3 game slide, but then the New Orleans
Horny Cans came to town; just like that the Garden was filled with good
cheer again, and the Knicks began the intricate task of making fruit
basket arrangements for the loser.
Chris Copeland, who
scored 22 points, was elected the head of the fruit basket committee. He
met with Basketbawful reporters after the game to discuss the finer
points of fruit basket gift giving.
a lot of responsibility. A lot of guys don't realize how much care and
forethought goes into finding the right fruit basket. For instance, this
the first time I've scored 20 points when Carmelo was around. We
combined for like 50 points against the Hornets, so we're gonna have to
go through some game tape, single out our most inept defenders, figure
out what kinds of fruit, cheeses, and tapenade these players like, and
then find and purchase a basket that would hypothetically feature these
items. It's a lot of preparation.
was paid to cater to the delicate palate of Austin Rivers. The rookie
had a +2 suck differential in 4 minutes, helping to assure a 13 point
victory for the Knicks; he's also reputedly allergic to pine nuts, so
the fruit basket committee will have to avoid items with pesto.
Raptor starters scored at least 20 points, and yet they lost to the
Bucks by 11. How did this happen? The Raptors needn't look farther than
their bench, which only scored 7 points. Kyle Lowry wasn't much help
with 0 points in 17 minutes. It's a real head-scratching situation out
by the shores of Lake Ontario. At the beginning of the season, Lowry was
making a convincing argument as the best player in Toronto. Now, he's
an iffy proposition to play 20 minutes.
Lowry went down
with a torn triceps muscle on December 10th. That was the first time he
played less than 20 minutes this season. Since his December 28th return,
he has played under 20 minutes twice, both times less than a week
apart. In case you're wondering, I'm not counting the game where he
sprains his ankle against the Nets—that's next up for the Raptors, so
Frank Vogel, raving madman:
|Is this what sanity looks like?|
After the Pacers
lost to the Nets in the billion dollar Barclay center, public
menace and avid
conspiracy theorist Frank Vogel had the gall to vaguely insinuate that
his team was treated unfairly by the NBA officials. The Nets shot
poorly and most other stats were
close, but the home team enjoyed 19 more free throws. Vogel spoke to the
media, froth dripping out of his mouth, buck naked after the game.
Clearly the officiating was getting to us. That's all I can say about that.
Vogel received a technical in the 4th for throwing his pants at
official Kane Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald scoffed, and refused to throw
Vogel out of the game, forcing him to watch his team go 3 for 22 in the
4th quarter. The Pacers organization can expect at least a million
dollars in fines from the NBA for questioning their authority, and then
after everybody thinks the ugly situation has been resolved, some
asshole lawyer from Miami can sue Frank Vogel.
The endangered Timberwolves:
the flack boxing gets as a violent sport, when a boxer is getting
pummeled against the ropes with his hands down, it doesn't take too long
for the fight to be called. Yet in basketball, a team like the
Timberwolves can be out on its feet, but nobody stops the Spurs from
slapping them around the ring for 48 minutes.
|OK, so maybe the ref doesn't always step in|
There was no Love for the
Wolves, figuratively or otherwise, as those mean ol' Texans toyed with
them, while Terry Porter stood on the sidelines with a towel in his
hand, struggling with whether or not to throw it. Tim Duncan punished
the puppies with 7
blocks, including a stretch where he blocked Pekovic three times in
under a minute. Porter gripped the towel tightly in his hands, but
Pekovic saw this and yelled for him not to throw it, blood dripping from
Duncan didn't have to play a full half hour,
nor did any of his teammates, and the bench became a good place to laugh
and relax. Coach Greg Popovich, who doesn't believe in laughter, was
out of the game when an official noticed how angry he constantly is. The
ejection occurred with 7:22 left in the game, and had something to do
with Tiago Splitter. Popovich's ejection was followed by a 11-0 run by
the Spurs, and Nikola Pekovic doing a slow and dramatic face plant after
a Tim Duncan right cross—the footage of which was intercut with Porter
in moral agony on the bench, towel still clenched tightly in his hand.
Then there was a lengthy sequence, with Porter racing in a sports car
listening to "No Easy Way Out", while recalling a montage of memories
featuring him and his buddy Pekovic.
Fortunately for the
NBA, only a couple thousand people watched this game, so they weren't
difficult to find and execute. I'm putting myself at great risk telling
you this information, but I faked my death decades ago so I doubt even
Stern and his goons will be able to find me.
After losing 6 straight,
the Lakers needed a win real bad, and the Cleveland Cavaliers were kind
enough to oblige. However, don't expect the Lakers to be sending them a
fruit basket. The Lakers don't do fruit baskets. The best the Cavaliers
can hope for is a couple of coupons for not getting elbowed in the face.
|Usually nobody is safe from Dwight's elbows|
Dwight Howard severely outplayed Tyler Zeller, who Cleveland started at
center, even though Puma-Man was playing in his first game back from a
shoulder injury. Because of this, Dwight promised that the next time the
two teams meet that he'd think about not elbowing Tyler Zeller in the face.
reportedly guardedly optimistic about Howard's comments. Ron Artest,
who's not above elbowing a shooting guard in the head, gave C.J. Miles a
1 game future reprieve since Miles shot 1-9. Kobe made no such concessions,
explaining that he doesn't elbow people, their faces just get in the way
of his follow through.
For the 2nd
game in a row, Earl Clark led the Lakers in minutes. The Lakers are
currently 50% in games when Clark leads them in minutes, and will likely
remain that way for the rest of time.
Speaking about anomalies in playing time,
DeAndre Liggins led the Thunder in minutes, but still the Blazers
couldn't capitalize. Damian Lillard had his lowest scoring game in over a
month, and the Portland crowd endured nearly 14 minutes of Sasha
Knicks-Hornets: Son of Doc clocked in at 3 minutes and 55 seconds, walking away with two turnovers and a +2 suck differential.
Bucks-Raptors: Terence Ross isn't getting the boost in
minutes he might've hoped for with all the injuries. Judging by his +4
suck differential in 3:23, he might not wanna hold his breath, no matter
what Dwane Casey tells him.
Nets-Pacers: Tyshawn Taylor grabbed a rebound in his 32 second Mario, but it wasn't enough to gain P.J. Carlesimo's trust.
Nuggets-Warriors: Charles Jenkins has been outpacing
teammates Kent Bazemore and Jeremy Tyler in the lacktion section lately.
The trend continued Sunday, with the former lacktion royalty both
posting useful stats, and Jenkins finding himself a +1 suck differential
in 2 minutes and 2 seconds.
Evan Fournier, Jordan Hamilton, and Anthony Randolph all had 42
second Marios, with only Randolph converting his into a +1 suck
differential via a turnover
|Winning ain't always pretty|
Holy Triskaidekaphobia, Pumaman. The Magic broke their 13 game losing-streak, finally prevailing at the expense of the Clippers' franchise-high 13 game winning-streak. Is it too early to nominate a game of the year for the Magic? It's not like any of the last 13, all losses, are providing any competition. The Magic finally won without Big Baby, who went down December 19th. Plus, it's always nice to beat the team with the best record in the NBA, even if they are the Clippers. Normally after tough losses, a team captain talks about what the team did to lose the game, but Chris Paul defied expectations by giving credit to the Magic for actually winning the game.
It wasn't a letdown by us. Don't try to take anything away from them. They made tough shot after tough shot. J.J. Redick had a hand in his face half the time.
For a quote with a jarringly different tone, see Vinny Del Negro.
An embarrassing performance for us. We got what we deserved.
Talk about a united front, it's no wonder they couldn't contain Redick and Afflalo. On offense, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin combined for 40 points on 28 shots but got eaten alive on the boards, with the sum of both of their efforts failing to equal the individual output of Vucevic. Of course none of this matters to the Clippers, not when—with 54 seconds left—Chris Paul hits the ground holding his knee. Fortunately, as those of us who've been to the future can tell you, the injury doesn't look too serious; but unfortunately it's serious enough to keep him in a mournfully dark suit against Memphis. Fortunately, the suit was very stylish.
Against the vaunted defense of the Pacers, the Carolina Cats got held to 88 points, but that's still better than the 76 points those Broadway Cats scored against them on Thursday. The Cats shot fairly well for a Pacers opponent; in fact, if you take away MKG and Sessions, who were 4-19, then the team shot over 50%. Unfortunately for the Cats, such things can't be taken away so easily, nor can a double-digit rebounding deficit or David West's first triple-double be expunged. No, such things can't be so easily expunged—for now the Bobcats remain sponges, forever trying to scrub away the evidence of former mistakes but somehow just making everything messier.
|The Cat-o-Meter is back! Say hi, Tabbatha |
I haven't broken out the Cat-o-Meter for a while. During Charlotte's 18 game losing-streak, it became too exhausting to keep thinking up new ways to say dead cat
. Against the Pacers, the Bobcats earned the distinction of Tabby Cat as awarded by the Cat-o-Meter.
Paul George was not available do to illness, but it didn't matter against the Tabby Cats. They are generally a sedate domestic creature, as demonstrated by that placid portrait that looms above this paragraph.
The George Hill-Lance Stephenson backcourt is for real.
Get your shit together AP:
The AP was caught asleep at the wheel again this weekend, after crashing into a nearby orphanage, and injuring several kittens en route. And by that I mean, they published that the Pacers beat the Broncos, who apparently now employ Bismack Biyomobo and Hakim Warrick.
The fucking Broncos, really? That's not the right sport. That's not even the right state. The best part of this mistake is, that since it's the Associated Press, the claim that the Pacers defeated the Broncos spread like wildfire across the internet and the printed page. I'll spare you the trouble of doing a search
So if you're living in Fresno, it's not just the Fresno Bee that screwed up; it's, "the world's largest and oldest newsgathering organization". I'm pretty sure the word 'newsgathering' in their slogan is aptly also a typo. If I wanted to be generous I could call it a neologism, but I don't. It may seem like I'm being needlessly hard on the AP, but—as I've mentioned before—people are getting payed for this shit. Unless of course, the world's largest and oldest newsgathering organization has just stopped employing proofreaders of any kind. That would explain a number of things, actually.
|That's not just a hologram, folks|
John Wall is back, and just like that the Wizards have a winning streak. Atlanta did what they could to help the make Wall's return a success, including shooting under 40% and being outrebounded by 13 rebounds. Devin Harris has also returned, which has once again relegated Lou Williams to bench duty. Devin and Lou both chipped in 8 points for the losing side.
The Adventures of Starting Sweet Lou was presented by the Hawks, and it ran in home theaters for 9 games. During this time, Lou averaged 19 points on a 61% true shooting percentage. The Hawks won 5 of those games, but since benching Lou they've only won 1 of 4, including this 10 point loss to the Wizards.
Jrue Holiday told James Harden, "sucks to your assmar", besting him with 1 more point and 3 more assists. Harden had more rebounds and the more efficient scoring night, but there was more to this game than a one-on-one statistical battle between quick guards who share the same initials. There were two teams out there, and Harden's team shot worse, rebounded worse, passed worse, turned the ball over more...you get the idea. The Sixers relished the opportunity, snapping a 5 game losing-streak at home.
Jamaal Tinsley was sick, so he only played 6 minutes in this game, registering a +1 suck differential. Somehow the Jazz found a way to win without the services of the Silver Bullet. Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap controlled the interior, while Greg Monroe committed 7 turnovers. Detroit lost at home and failed to score 90 points despite making well over half of their shots.
Chicago is a confusing team this year. Sometimes they're beating or being division leaders, other nights losing to the Bobcats, and on Saturday they got pummeled by the Suns—in Chicago no less. Captain Kirk set his phaser to "suck" once again, missing all of his field goals. He wasn't the only one off target. The team as a whole said, "get well soon, Derrick", with their 36% shooting. Unfortunately, Derrick didn't like his gift, and nobody remembered to get a receipt. Consequently, the Bulls gave the game away to the Suns, who were able to finally celebrate the franchise's 2,000th win.
Michael Beasley scored 20 points for the first time since early December. Afterwards, he explained his new frame of mind to reporters.
I was shooting tonight like I really wanted to make it. It is the first time in a long time that I have felt that way...
Wait, what? Felt what way—like he wanted to make the shot? I guess Beasley's problems had gotten worse than even those DNP-CD's could indicate.
If the Bulls have me confused this year, then the Grizzlies have robbed me of my sense of reality. There was a brief moment at the start of the season, after they had beaten the red-hot Knicks, that the Grizzlies were on top of the league. Now, they can't even stay within 20 points of the Dallas Mavericks, and have seemingly closed the misleading, "can they win a title with this core", argument. Double-double machine Zach Randolph stuck to the drive-thru, scoring 6 points and grabbing 4 rebounds; while the team shot under 40% and got outrebounded.
Shawn Marion, who is the Suns' all-time leader in Win Shares, privately celebrated the franchise's 2,000th win by leading the rout of the Grizzlies with 20 points. Dirk threw in 17, while Memphis was led by Rudy Gay with a dozen.
Sacramento fans are tough; they've had Championships dangled in front of their eyes and then snatched away from them, like so many a 4th quarter whistle has done. They can take having a team that's about to be uprooted, or losing by 29 points at home to the Heat. But 10 threes from Mario Chalmers? That's really gotta make a sports fan wonder if they've disgraced any sacred sites, which if you're a Kings/Royals/To be determined...fan, then you probably have. Evidence of a connection with the Zeke-child continued, as he matched Mario Chalmers and his career-high 34 points, converting a demonic 6 threes for a career-high 34 points of his own.
Mavericks-Grizzlies: Mike James, the Amityville team killer, has recently been stalking the Grizzlies. This time, it led to a +4 suck differential in 7:50. This time...
The Heat-Jalapeno Paupers: The Heats' Josh Harrelson's name sounded familiar for 2 minutes, 52 seconds, and a +2 suck differential.
Labels: AP bashing, Earl Clark, Elbows of Doom, excessive Rocky references, Frank Vogel, Fruit Baskets, Kyle Lowry, Michael Beasley, Rocky references, Sacramento, the Cat-o-Meter