|J.R. Smith eats a can of |spinach Bobcats
I have a sneaking feeling that most of the country has abandoned the NBA for a younger, less experienced suitor this week, and I'm no exception. That doesn't mean that I didn't casually check the score of the Knicks game from time to time, yet they were playing the Bobcats and were leading by about 18 from the first quarter on. Eventually, the Cats would make a run in the 4th, after the Knicks had assumabely sat their best players, and because of this the game's final score isn't reflective of the fatalistic dispatching that took place.
If I had tuned in, I would've seen J.R. Smith drop 37 points on the hapless Cats. Pity, it almost would've been worth it. Almost.
The Wizards played the Magic on Friday, and the home team Magic were able to get a win since league bylaws dictate that both teams can't lose. According to early reports, this game was actually broadcast to several thousand television sets, all of which were afterwards hunted down and burned in a massive pile.
Despite the season being nearly over, both teams entered the contest having combined for only 45 wins, which is less than either has lost individually. Tobias Harris continued to break through barriers by scoring a career-high 30 points. He had previously defied expectations by being the first NBA player to be named Tobias.
Jameer Nelson took a look around, sighed deeply, and left in the first quarter with a sprained ankle.
This team has been letting its fans down all year, that's nothing new, but on Friday night the Pistons committed a far worse sin: they let down Luke Perry. It was '90s night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, with Color Me Bad also in attendance. You can't make this stuff up
. Apparently, Perry's cousin works for the Pistons.
Unfortunately for the cultural ambassadors of that bygone age of innocence, there wasn't much to see in Michigan besides another beat down for the Pistons and Brandon Knight bleeding from his broken nose. Brandon Walsh was not in attendance, but sadly the Pistons could probably have used all 5'6" of him.
|His sideburns alone could outscore Stuckey at this point|
Monty Williams said what every fan of '90s basketball has been waiting to hear. When asked whether LeBron reminded him of Michael Jordan, his contemporary, Monty had this to say, "Jordan played against men, Lebron plays against young boys". Unfortunately for Monty, those young boys were the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, AKA the team he's supposed to be coaching.
A 22 point loss in Denver began the weekend for the Nets. The good news is that Reggie Evans is still scoring in double-digits somehow. Now if he could just learn to play point guard...
Fortunately for Reggie, D-Will (3 assists, 4 turnovers) isn't setting the bar too high.
Magic-Wizards: Cartier Martin used a +2 suck differential to erase essentially all memory of his 6 threes in a game last week.
Knicks-Bobcats: James White wishes his 15 second Mario could erase the memories of his lackluster dunk contest. But it can't.
|DeMarcus showing remarkable restraint|
The NBA is clearly aware that people are mostly watching NCAA action this week. With this in mind, subtlety has pretty much been abandoned by those who like to pull strings from behind the scenes. If anybody actually watched the Lakers take on the Kings on Saturday, they might've noticed a close game being gifted to the Purple and Gold. At some point, this game could've gone either way, but then the Stern button was pushed down into its metal casing, and this grip wasn't released until the outcome was decided.
Those who've been following the league for years are used to phantom fouls inflicted on Kobe etc..., and those were present, but the real travesties occurred on the other end. The picture above and its caption aren't meant to be a joke (ok, maybe a little). DeMarcus had just attempted a three after a shot fake and had his defender land on top of him. In virtually every other instance that I've ever seen this maneuver, a foul would've been called. But let's be honest here, DeMarcus. Do you really think the powers that be are gonna let the Lakers fall out of playoff contention, in a game where virtually nobody is watching, over you? Over Boogie? At some level, Cousins must've realized this. Neither he nor Smart were awarded technicals for their demonstrative reactions, and minutes later Kobe's post-game interview was proceeding as planned.
The big guy just can't rest easy these days. 1st the Heat were gunning for his 33 game winning streak, and now Kobe has knocked him down to #5 on the all-time scoring list. Oh well, I guess he can always theoretically take comfort in his other 573,472 records that will never be broken.
Well, at least Meyers Leonard is getting some burn. The colossal youngster grabbed himself the 1st 20/10 game of his NBA career. Now, if the Blazers could just keep from losing by 27 points when he does that, they might have something. Leonard was playing so many minutes because Aldridge is out, a detail the Golden State Warriors adroitly exploited.
I've already dedicated a whole post to Carlos Boozer "accidently" striking an official, so I don't need to post the video again. Wait... Who am I kidding? Of course I do.
You're next, Joey Crawford. (Although, truth be told, Joey probably carries mace around just for this potentiality. And yes, I do mean the kind with a chain and a spiked ball.)
Despite all the Stern Button pressing, the Lakers are actually out of the playoffs again, having lost their tiebreaker with the now surging Utah Jazz. The Nets were the latest Jazz victim, continuing their weekend of woe. On this night, Brooklyn actually had its offense in order, with Deron Williams throwing in 21 points and 11 assists like the D-Will of old. However, the Nets were bewildered on the other end, giving up 116 points on a 63% true shooting percentage.
Orlando learned the hard way that a team can't play the Wizards every night. The Hawks reintroduced them to reality, beating them without even having to resort to playing Al Horford. DeShawn Stevenson's presence was also not required, but Ivan Johnson, his doppelganger, humiliated the Magic with the first 20/10 game of his NBA career.
It's seeming increasingly obvious that Kevin Love isn't coming back this year, but not so obvious as to prevent me from desperately holding onto him in my fantasy league. It's just too painful to let go. I mean, seriously, what am I supposed to do: drop Kevin Love and pick up Josh McRoberts from the wire? I'm not sure if I could withstand the shame of seeing that on the recent transactions board.
But I digress, the Timberwolves are still being forced by league rules to trudge on, and it isn't pretty. The only redeeming facet of their loss to the Grizzlies was a near triple-double for Rubio, and even that was marred by the irony of him falling short by a single assist of all things.
It's official: the Clippers have become fully mired in the muddy banks of mediocrity. The absence of Chauncey Billups is simply not an excuse for losing to a James Harden-less Rockets team by 17 points. Blake Griffin has been on a disturbing trend with his rebounding all year. For the sake of a fun and energetic brand of basketball, I sincerely hope his 3 rebounds in this game represent some sort of rock bottom.
A visit to his basketball-reference game log
clearly demonstrates that Blake needs his own entry. The once windex-like glass cleaning power forward hasn't had a double-digit rebounding game in his last 7 contests.
Heat-Hornets: Daequan Cook aimed for the basement with a +6 suck differential in just under 8 minutes.
Hawks-Magic: Mike Scott of the Hawks showed that he's a lacktioneer to keep an eye on, turning a 37 second Mario into a +2 suck differential with a turnover and a foul.
Rockets-Clippers: Ronny Turiaf reacted to the Clippers' malaise with a 3 trillion. While Aaron Brooks celebrated a Rockets victory with a +3 suck differential.
Grizzlies-Timberwolves: Tony Wroten and Jon Leuer threw in a pair of 58 second Marios for Memphis, while Mickael Gelabale responded in kind for Minnesota.
Lakers-Kings: Chris Duhon earned a +3 suck differential in 4:25 for the Lakers. Darius Morris had a 23 second Mario, but somehow managed to miss a shot and steal the ball in that time.
|Gee takes 'hand in face' a bit too seriously|
At halftime the Cavs were actually enjoying a narrow lead. It devolved from there into a 20 point loss. Not even the return of Kyrie Irving could spare the visitors, as the Big Easy opened up and swallowed them into the dark swirling waters. Tristan Thomas held the unique distinction of possessing the only positive Lenovo on the team.
Once they were done depressing Luke Perry, the visiting Canadians traveled to Washington and fell victim to a resurgent Wizards squad. The 17 point loss featured what would have been a +9 suck differential from Terrence Ross, but he had to go and grab a rebound.
Some might attribute the Wizards' success to the return of Bradley Beal, but according to the AP he was paradoxically absent from the game he played so well in.
It's been a tough stretch for Pop. Manu's out for "weeks", OKC is breathing down his neck, and now Erik Spoelstra is showing him how it's done—player resting wise. Officially, Dwyane Wade and LBJ were out with an ankle sprain and a sore hamstring, but there doesn't seem to be much doubt on the interweb that they were being strategically rested. Of course, no fines will be forthcoming, because the league likes to reward disingenuous behavior whenever possible.
The Spurs almost got the last laugh, but then Chris Bosh hit a 3 with 1.9 seconds left.
They may have lost by 19 points to the Knicks and only had 12 assists as a team, but if you travel back in time to early February and ask a random talking head, you'll probably find out that the Celtics don't actually need Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett on the other hand...
Detroit lost by a point in Chicago. For you non-mathematicians out there, that means the Pistons would've won it if they could've just made two more free throws. Two free throws... Why does that remind me of something?
Oh well, I'm sure the Pistons would've found some way to piss it away regardless.
Hornets-Cavaliers: Kevin Jones dialed in a trillion for Cleveland, while Xavier Henry and Lance Thomas furnished the Hornets with twin 26 second stints.
Bulls-Pistons: Marquis Teague appeared for a dozen second Mario.