As the NBA season rolls along, the landscape of the league is taking shape. For example, The Heat have separated themselves from the rest of the field in the East. In the West, the Spurs are sitting atop the mountain just as they were last year. Rarely does the top playoff seed from each conference meet one another in the NBA Finals. So over my next two post; I'd like to examine some teams who I feel may have something up their sleeves for their respective conference leaders come playoff time.

In Los Angeles, the Lakers have been fighting hard through each game. Claiming victory off the efforts of a steely eyed Kobe. Dwight has gained that extra bounce in his step and appears to be making that transition into a potential franchise cornerstone. Kobe Bryant went on record promising that his team will make the playoffs. He even went so far as to say "And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone-" Oh no Basketbawful readers; For the Lakers, failure--is not an option.

kobe seems legit
 Make the playoffs yet we kinda suck; Seems Legit

Pardon me for a sec guys...BWAAAAA-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Trust me Kobes, no one is concerned about you, Geezer Nash, or Dwight "Can't get Right" Howard. No, the Lakers stand virtually no chance. I want to focus on the other LA team. This will be the first year since...psssh--ever, that we're looking at the Clippers as serious contenders. They're currently sitting in 3rd place and probably would be in 2nd had Chris Paul not gone down with an injury prior to the All Star break. The Clippers employ the fastest offense in the NBA mainly due to their bench of Bledsoe, Crawford, Barnes, Odom, and whichever scrub Del Negro feels like playing at center (Turiaf or Hollins). The starters are great in pick n roll situations playing off of Griffin and Jordan's athleticism. Blake has improved tremendously on the blocks this year. It’s still really ugly...but he's gotten pretty efficient. For example, he'll pivot about four times, pump fake twice, jump off the wrong foot and finish with the wrong hand--but this season it actually goes in. And his jumpshots from 15-18 feet are falling as well. He works hard at it, but it’s partly because the league hasn't realized that he can knock them down so he's ALWAYS wide open.

Hey Melo, am I doing it right?

The Clippers bench is 12 guys deep. In fact, decent rotation players like Willie Green are stuck on towel waiving duty. They feature Jamal Crawford who's making a push for another 6th man of the year crown. Eric Bledsoe, who's really good at playing in that zone between holy shit he's fast and holy shit he needs to slow down. And Matt Barnes who I genuinely hate, but is having a great year and is perfect for this team. (By the way, remember when you were in high school and someone’s parents are out of town so a kid throws a party. And it’s real chill, then all of the sudden like four guys walk in and everyone at the party is all nervous and awkward because no one knows who invited the four guys and they're clearly much older than the high school kids. And they're drinking all the booze and being slightly inappropriate with the girls. And the kid throwing the party is walking around checking to see if any of his parents' stuff has been stolen. Matt Barnes looks like one of those four guys.)

barnes rape
Guys: Hide your wallets. Ladies: Hide your vaginas.

Despite Blake's improved offensive game, the Clippers still struggle in the half court. Right now they don't really have a shooting guard in the starting five. Chauncey Billups plays a Jason Kidd-esque role next to Chris Paul. He never drives to the hole, and on occasion he'll post up. But mainly he barks orders, calls out what he sees, and bombs three's. This puts a lot of pressure on Blake and Caron to get the team going. In my opinion, the Clippers need Chris Paul to average over 20 points a game in order to reach the Finals. There will be long stretches where they're struggling on offense and Chris goes into passive mode. Now I understand a point guard is supposed to get his team going, but CP3 is hands down to best scorer on the team. They can't afford for him to play like Rondo on his period. A team like San Antonio feast on great ball movement and converting open threes. The Clippers at times struggle on their defensive rotations which could be a formula for disaster for Lob City. Furthermore, Parker and Duncan should be able to go hard at CP3 and Blake on the offensive end. This will have the Clipper stars more winded than Eddy Curry going up a flight of stairs.

Oklahoma City currently sit in 2nd place in the West. Last year the Thunder shocked the basketball world and defeated the Spurs after falling behind two games to none in the Conference Finals. Kevin Martin has stepped in nicely as the third scoring option in place of James Harden. And OKC's offense hasn't missed a beat. As one of the best three point shooting teams in the league the Thunder are able to stretch the floor and open up driving lanes for Durant and Westbrook. In addition to his 50/40/90 season (At least 50% FG%/ 40% 3P%/ 90% FT%) KD is scowling more than ever. Talking way more trash. And has even managed to get ejected from a game this year. By all accounts he's still a nice guy, but we're seeing him bring out his inner asshole more and more. I don't really see it as a bad thing. I've always felt that in the NBA, nice guys finish last. Maybe refs get influenced by stars screaming at them. Maybe teammates snap out of an offensive/defensive funk when they have the leader snarling at them. I haven't quite put my finger on it yet. But in most cases, the Finals MVP had to turn in to a prick at some point in the playoffs. Durant is in that

durant angry
 WHOA!!! Simmer down killer!

Westbrook is still Westbrook. He can single handedly win or lose you a game in one quarter. Serge Ibaka is quietly having a fantastic season. Career highs in points, rebounds, and both field goal and free throw percentage. And he swatting three shots per game. Kevin Martin who previously had no business being a number 1 option is having a good year as well. His shots are down (as they should be) but his percentages are up. I'm also a fan of the trade that brought in Ronnie Brewer. His size and defense behind Durant will help in the playoffs.

The Thunder's shortcomings are nothing new. They don't have much post scoring. And by that I mean, they don't have ANY post scoring. Not to mention they tend to go through periods where they fall in love with the jumper. And for all of Ibaka's blocks and Kendrick Perkins'...uh......"pissed off-ness" their defense is sitting right at league average. Speaking of Kendrick Perkins, what is the point of him? He's now having one of his worst seasons ever, the defense isn't that great, and he makes about $5 million more than he should. Jeff Green is overpaid as well, but I still can't help but feel like Boston got the better of that trade.

Sing? Sure, I'll sing an original ballad called "Slap everybody in the room."

We all saw the Thunder beat the Spurs last year. Could this year be different? The Thunder rank 6th in opponents FGA from 5 ft or less. The Spurs aren’t exactly pounding it in the paint, but they are the best passing team in the NBA. Their ball movement could be key in knocking off OKC this year. Not to mention they’re currently 2nd in the league on assisted three pointers. (’s new stat site is friggin awesome.) Throw in an 8th ranked defense and the Spurs could be headed to the Finals this year. That is assuming Tony, Manu, and Duncan can stay healthy. (They probably won’t)

Look for Part II in the coming days.

This is one poster nobody's buying

You can't spell Detroit without Kravtsov

Detroit: I knew there was no way I'd get through this season without having to type Vlacheslav Kravstov. I fucking knew it. Anybody wanna guess what the final score was in this game? I'll give you a hint: the Pistons were defeated in every statistical category sans offensive rebounds (all those bricks had to go somewhere).

Through guessing? Alright, I'll tell you. The Pacers won 114-82. It's a good thing the Pistons had Vlacheslav Kravtsov on their side, otherwise things could've gotten ugly. How ugly? Imagine the scene in the Karate Kid where Johnny and his skeleton gang are beating up Daniel. Now imagine that scene went on for 48 minutes, Bobby never said: "leave him alone, man; he's had enough", and Mr. Miyagi never showed up. Congratulations, you've just watched Friday's game between the Pacers and the Pistons.  

The Bobcats: Not even the lowly Bobcats could match the asskicking the Pistons took, but that doesn't mean they didn't try. Unlike the Pistons, who were beaten in all but one statistical category, the Bobcats actually bested their opponent in two statistical categories. That's the good news. The rest of the night played like a disaster movie; the Bulls had 30 more points, 24 more assists, and half as many turnovers. Kemba Walker scored 27 points but it was not enough to help the drowning cats, as no other feline scored more than 10.

The Spurs: Every once in a while, it's good to throw the Spurs into a WotN and I guess this is as good a time as any. After losing 6 games in a row, the Warriors are now on a winning streak. The game marked their first win over the Spurs since 2008. That's all well and good, but Jarrett Jack wasn't done with the record books. His 30 points and 10 assists off the bench made him the first reserve to reach those numbers since Magic Johnson in 1996.

Jack takes a celebratory crap in his new uniform
The Kings: The Zeke-Child dropped 30, DeMarcus Cousins had a 20/10 game, and Tyreke filled up the box score. So why did the Hawks win by 14? That might have something to do with the defensive end of the court, where the Kings only amassed 3 steals and 2 blocks and allowed their opponent to shoot over 50%. To put those 3 steals and 2 blocks in perspective, Jeff Teague had 3 blocks and 3 steals all by his lonesome.

The T-Pups: It's not often that a team has seven players score in double-digits, yet still loses by 16 points. Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, none of those players looked like a villain from Superman II, as Nikola Pekovic was banished to the Phantom Zone with 5 points and 2 rebounds. Meanwhile, the Thunder proved that you don't need parity when you have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combining for 64 points. 

The Suns: With Pierce limited to 8 points, Garnett resting, Rondo done for the season, and Ray Allen in Miami, it would've appeared on the surface like the Suns had a chance in this game. The final score of 113-88 indicates otherwise.

The Knicks: Friday's home loss to the Raptors was their 4th in a row. All of a sudden, they're looking up to the Pacers and hearing footsteps echoing their way towards the Garden from Brooklyn. Plus, their new technique of throwing tarantulas on opponents isn't getting the desired results.

Get em off me, get em off!
Warriors-Spurs: Kent Bazemore contributed some of his magic of old in 26 seconds for a Mario.
Raptors-Knicks: Andrea Bargnani delivered some 27 year old, first pick in his draft lacktion with a +3 suck differential in 12 minutes and 52 seconds. 
Hawks-Kings: Dahntay Jones christened his new life with the Hawks with a 2 trillion.
Thunder-Pups: Chris Johnson became a trillionaire for Minnesota, while Daniel Orton matched his lack of production for the Thunder in an identical 1 minute and 11 second spurt. 


Kemba gets two for flinching
The Bobcats: They lost. Moving on...

The Magic: With their loss on Saturday to the Cavaliers, the Magic are now halfway to their third double-digit losing streak of the season. J.J. Redick had been playing some of the best basketball of his career this season, so of course he's been jettisoned. With the exceptions of Afflalo and Vucevic, there is nary a player on the Magic who would be playing 5 minutes a night on an actual team. Both of those players had mediocre games, so it's hardly surprising that the Magic couldn't keep up with Cleveland.

The Pistons: Wait a second. Didn't the Pacers just kick Detroit's ass the day before? Talk about Deja Vu. This time the beating took place in Auburn Hills, and while less severe, it was probably more traumatic for the losers with the whole 'friends and family watching' aspect.

Greg Monroe had 5 blocked attempts in this game, which is sad on its own but becomes downright tragic when you factor in that the Pacers only had 6 blocks as a team. Monroe narrowly avoided absorbing all of the opposing team's swats when Charlie Villanueva was blocked with 17 seconds left in the game. Considering that Villanueva was 1 for 11, that was probably the best thing he did for his team all night. 

Monroe was starving for Wilsonburgers

The game also featured Will Bynum trying to punch Tyler Hansbrough in the face, which due to their difference in height ended up with Hansbrough doubled over and clutching his stomach.

The Rockets: Losing to the Wizards ain't what it used to be, but the Rockets managed to do it in style, attempting 46 threes, the most of any team this year. Unfortunately for Houston, they only made 3 of them in the 4th.

The Wizards now have the services of a 34 year old Jason Collins. The frequent lacktion contributor was asked the secret to his longevity and replied with remarkable candor, "Twelve years of being able to foul people. The stats aren't pretty. I do what I do out there."

So I was wrong, he has been doing something lo these many years. 

The 76ers: I was about to skip this loss by the Sixers to the Heat, but then I realized that a 24 point loss is kind of a lot, even if nothing about it is unexpected. Dwyane Wade spat in a lot of cheesesteaks with his 33 points on nearly 80% shooting, LeBron threw in a triple-double as an afterthought, and the Heat overcame Chris Bosh's 1 measly rebound to demolish the home team.  

Fortunately for Philadelphia fans, Andrew Bynum recently announced that he has bought a penis pump and a digital camera, so his transformation into Greg Oden is almost complete.

The Jazz: David Stern's current least favorite team lost to the Clippers Saturday, which was essentially like losing to two LA teams at once since it allowed the Lakers to gain ground on them. Considering that they're not terribly good and also have the NBA working against them, things could be getting grim for the Jazz. On the bright side, it's probably not too late for Jazz fans to get their waffle makers.

On 2nd thought, it is too late

Nuggets-Bobcats: The Nuggets did not require the services of Jordan Hamilton, +1 suck differential in 2:20, or Evan Fournier, a cool trillion, to beat the Bobcats.
Heat-76ers: James Jones went quietly into the night with a +1 suck differential in just over 4 minutes, while his Heat teammate Jarvis Varnado (who's named Jarvis) drove right up to the city limits of a 3 trillion before running out of gas. 
Wizards-Rockets: Garrett Temple was doomed to a 2 trillion. 


How could I not use this picture?

The Mavericks: Nowitzki had his best game this season, Carter and Brand had flashbacks to their youth, and Dwight Howard only scored 9 points. So what went wrong for the Mavericks? Well, that's a complicated question where myriad factors combined to render...wait. what the hell am I talking about? It was Mike James's fault.

All of it.

Mike James: It didn't stop there either. Mike James also caused the Bulls to lose by 30 points, Sacramento to continue being inept at defense, Memphis and Brooklyn to continue being inept at offense, the Suns to be the worst team in the West, and the 1931 flooding of the Yellow River that killed over a million people.

All in all, it was just another day at the office for the Amityville Scorer.

The NBA cares: I am not sure if this is what David Stern had in mind for community outreach. The girl that J.R. is texting with is in high school, showing that Smith is always ready to give something, possibly the pipe, to young students, providing that they are female and make seductive use of emoticons. 

It's safe to assume that the pipe in question is J.R. Smith's penis, but if it isn't, the NBA has an even bigger public relations issue. All and all, this screen-cap was enough to keep the following line out of the headlines.
After a brief conversation with the police, World Peace put on his Cookie Monster pajamas and accompanied them outside.
OK, J.R. and his pipe didn't entirely keep that story out of the headlines

And this was before he dropped 46 on the Thunder

Sam Presti's Cat: Now that the Thunder no longer have the best record in the league, certain felines, belonging to certain general managers, have lost the carte blanche they enjoyed earlier in the season. Now I'm not saying that Presti spent all night reading 101 Ways to Skin a Cat, but I doubt Mr. Fluffy had his customary kitty treats mixed in with his wet food. 

Harden got his first win against his former team and enjoyed a career-high 46 points on 19 shot attempts, including 7 of 8 from deep. Meanwhile, Jeremy Lin scored 29 points, the 2nd most of any player present.

The Raptors: Memphis GM Chris Wallace's cat, in contrast, has nothing to worry about, not with Rudy Gay needing 15 shots to score 13 points against the victorious Grizzlies. 

Andrea Bargnani has seen a drop in playing time lately between injuries, Rudy Gay's acquisition, and everybody realizing how terrible he is. Apparently, that even includes the Chicago Bulls. I'm not sure what Reggie Rose had in mind when he suggested the Bulls should've made some moves, but I doubt he'll be lamenting the absence of Bargnani's 0 points in 22 minutes.

The Bobcats: The worst team in the league lost again. Yawn.

The Pistons: Somehow, the Pistons seemed to have more go wrong for them than the Bobcats, even though they were the team that won. Brandon Knight hyperextended his right knee late in 3rd, before briefly returning in the 4th for a single possession, in which time he injured an ankle. Knight has had a rough time lately against the guards of his draft class, the recent footage of Kyrie Irving loosening up his ankles has been making the rounds, and now he's injured himself tripping over Kemba Walker.

Greg Monroe exemplified the Piston's 'failure in victory' attitude, not so impressively tying a career-high 3 blocks while getting blocked 4 times. In the end, it was a shot that he didn't block that will be remembered.

Yup, Greg definitely could've used one more block.

The 76ers: Normally, i don't give teams much slack when they lose to the Timberwolves, but Nikola Pekovic was in full Superman II mode with 27 points and 18 rebounds. Nick Young eased Minnesota's transition into winning by shooting 1-7 for the Sixers.

The Magic: Another day, another double-digit loss for the Magic. This time it was the Mavericks, next time it'll be...(hold on a second, let me check the schedule)...the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Knicks: Mid-bloviation during last night's TNT halftime show, Charles Barkley switched his target from the Clippers to the Knicks. When NYC's own Kenny Smith protested, saying that the Knicks weren't even playing that night, Sir Charles retorted with, "so they can take time to get the foot out of their ass".

It was a size 34 shoe, one for every point they lost by. Carmelo missed both free throws he attempted and only scored 15 points on 21 shots. The Pacers bested the Knicks in numerous statistical categories, including some that are normally mutually exclusive, such as field goal percentage and offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, Amar'e Stoudemire evened out his percentages from the time he couldn't miss a shot against Sacramento.

The Knicks did squeeze one good moment out of their annihilation. 

So what if it wasn't intentional, Iman Shumpert came through with the assist of his career.

RIP Jerry Buss: I can't even give the Celtics a WotN for losing to the Lakers in the first game since Jerry Buss passed away. For a night at least, everything went right for the '13 Lakers. The Celtics were obviously fighting against forces beyond their control, and this time it wasn't even the result of the Stern Button.

Pacers-Knicks: Ben Hansbrough could've used his brother's help to avoid a +4 suck differential in 5 minutes and 34 seconds against the Knicks. Meanwhile, on behalf of the Orange and Blue, James White and Ronnie Brewer used 2 minutes and 2 seconds to turn in a +1 and a +2 suck differential, respectively.    
Mavericks-Magic: Dahntay Jones played 1:42 and Rodrigue Beaubois played 1:24 with neither Maverick accumulating any statistics in either time period.

I'm not gonna lie. I loved this All-Star game. After all the injuries and with such a disappointing dunk contest, I wasn't expected miracles, but miracles are exactly what I got. Chris Paul MVP? Check. The game ending with LeBron getting dramatically blocked twice? Check.

Chris Bosh shooting at least 3 airballs and getting nutmeged twice? You bet your ass that's a check. CP3 and Tony Parker had no problem providing that particular item from my make a wish list.

The beautiful thing about the nutmegs, besides the fact they happened and gave me an excuse for saying nutmeg, was how fully the broadcast focused on them. The audience was treated to numerous replays of the ball being thrown through the Boshtridge's thin arching legs, bolstered by shots of players laughing on the bench.

After that, Marv and crew debated the proper term for this maneuver before a producer informed them it was 'nutmeg' (nutmeg), then we were treated to a sideline interview about it with CP3. When asked why he did Bosh like that, CP3 responded that he and Tony Parker had been discussing the idea on the bench.

It was also a night where a lot of people got to shine. First time All-Stars Joakim Noah, Paul George, James Harden, Tyson Chandler and Jrue Hill all got moments to show their stuff (but not in a way that would get them arrested), while Kyrie Irving spent the whole weekend transitioning into super-stardom.

How good was the game? I didn't even mind that Reggie Miller was announcing. That's right, I said it.

* Bonus Notes: Another victory for Team Chuck in the Rookie-Sophomore game neatly complements Kenneth Faried being an absolute monster. Terrible dunk contest, just terrible. But still better than last year.

What the hell was Gerald Green thinking with that 2nd dunk? This could've been his night. Faried with the dunk of the night.

I also enjoyed Ross as Carter and Green's first one.



There have been so many ridiculous stories in the NBA this week that I felt they needed their own post. Some of these stories are a bit old now, but they were just too outrageous to forget or bury somewhere in a WotN.

First off, Jay Williams and the Chicago Bulls.

Your 2002-03 Bulls

All of a sudden, Ron Artest's halftime Hennessy drinking doesn't seem so bad. Jay Williams came forth this week with claims that the '03 Bulls were, among other things, high all the time, even during games. This information came out during an interview with the New York Times for their article on him: A Leg Rebuilt, a Life Renewed.

This brings up a lot of questions, such as: Why now? Doesn't the NBA test players for controlled substances during the season? And...Why the hell is the New York Times doing a several page article on Jay Williams?

Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. I have no idea why Jay Williams would bring this up now. Perhaps, he was inspired by David Stern's recent declaration that the NBA was going to step up their drug testing, but this is mere speculation. The 2nd question is easy, and the answer is yes. The NBA has been administering random drug tests during the NBA season since 1983. As for the third question, that is perhaps the most baffling for me, and I can't even speculate as to the reasons why the Old Grey Lady wanted to give several pages to Jay Williams. Granted, his revelations have turned into news now, but the Times probably didn't anticipate that when they decided to interview him. It's a lengthy article and these allegations are only a small part, which the interviewer doesn't even seem that interested in pursuing. In case you haven't heard the quotes from the article yet, I'll provide them here.
Guys were on the bench trying to kick it to girls in the stands, having ball boys run over. I mean, some guys were high. There were guys smoking weed before games. Guys asking in the middle of the game, 'do you smell popcorn?'
If you're wondering why I'd use the same quotes you've read in countless internet articles at this point, it's because those are the only pertinent quotes in the article. They occur midway through the lengthy interview and seemingly elicit no follow-up questions. So much for investigative journalism, right? There was no 'like who?' to satisfy our curiosity, nor did the reporter attempt a loaded question such as, 'you mean, besides Eddy Curry and Corie Blount?'. 

Even though the New York Times doesn't seem interested in these answers, most people who've heard of the allegations are. There have been a lot of theories floating around, and some of Jay's former teammates have come forth to try to clear the air. Tyson Chandler is one of the more notable members of that 30 win squad, and he disputed the claims.
I don't know why he'd say something like that. I think that's ridiculous that he would come out and say something. I don't remember that, to be honest with you.
Memory problems, eh? I have a gut feeling that Williams might find away to dispute that rebuttal, so I'll offer another one, this time from former teammate Donyell Marshall.
My thing is, why say these things now? You don't need to be making people assume. You're messing up situations for other people. Now, instead of Fred (Hoiberg, coach of Iowa State) focusing on the NCAA tournament or whatever, he's got to deal with that.
Leave it to Donyell Marshall to be the voice of reason. I for one am skeptical that a team with Cory 'pass the giant' Blount would be involved in this sort of thing, but I suppose anything's possible. The point is that Jay Williams has probably already done the Bulls enough favors, and this is one curtain that didn't need to be pulled back. At least, not unless the details provided are going to be more lurid. Popcorn? It's funny and all, but he could've weaved a better one given the cast of characters.

Mike Bibby: If you haven't seen it already, below is the footage of Mike Bibby being escorted by police from his son's high school basketball game.

OK, show of hands: how many people just realized Mike Bibby is no longer in the NBA? Don't be shy. I'll admit it. It's not that I thought he was in the NBA; Bibby simply hasn't popped into my head since the last time I saw him, probably in a Knicks uniform. His retirement (nobody wanting to pay him anymore) occurred with so little fanfare, and it's not like I spend a lot of time wondering: Where's Mike Bibby? What team is he on? How come I haven't seen him in weekly ESPN countdowns?

Well, now we know he's retired from the league, but clearly not from the love of the game. So why did he get kicked out of his son's high school game? It's the same reason he got kicked out of the 2002 finals—fucking refs. Bibby described the situation thusly:
I think the ref had a little ego problem before the game started. I kind of got on him early in the game and he told the police to watch me, or whatever. I was just sitting there and I told him, 'that was a bad angle, number 23 wasn't in the play, ref' and he just pointed to the police and the police came and got me.
I guess that just about sums it up. The ref had an ego problem.

Hedo Turkoglu: If I had told you back in 2010 that two members of that year's Magic squad were going to get suspended for steroid use, I'm guessing you wouldn't have gone with Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. I was under the impression that steroids were supposed to give you some sort of an advantage.

This is some NASA level photoshopping

Am I missing something here? Do NBA players just have the world's shittiest steroids dealer? At least Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds set some records. Hedo has scored 32 total points this year. All the same, the NBA has suspended him for 20 games without pay after he tested positive for methenolone, an anabolic steroid. Addressing the media, Hedo was quite contrite.
As a player this is the worst situation that you want to be in...I took something that I shouldn't be taking. I should've double-searched, researched, what I should take, and I shouldn't be in this situation right now.  
I understand that PED's are a serious issue for the NBA to grapple with, but I have to wonder if this suspension is the best way to deal with the situation. Wouldn't it have been more effective to just let him play, sort of as a cautionary tale to would be users?

Amazingly, this was the game's prettiest moment for Boston

The Celtics: Question: What happens when the team with the league's longest winning streak meets the team with the league's worst record. Answer: A 43 year old go go dancer on the outskirts of Las Vegas gets to retire after a will executor informs her that one of her regulars, an impulsive former business man from Raleigh, bet the farm on a long shot and then bought the farm celebrating.

Byron Mullens lorded over the Celtic frontcourt with 25 points and 18 rebounds, and then he stepped outside to insult the Celtic backcourt by going 4 of 5 from behind the arc. Adding injury to insult, Leandro Barbosa became the 3rd Celtic in under a month to have his season ended. Like Rondo before him, Barbosa was betrayed by his own Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the most feared and begrudgingly respected ligament among NBA fans. 

The 76ers: Those who stuck around into the 4th quarter at Wells Fargo Center were treated to the epic battle of Jeremy Pargo vs. Willie Green—CP3, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan having long since been ushered to the bench, taking their highlight reel with them. That might explain why the 4th quarter was the only one Philadelphia won, obscuring the magnitude of this ass-kicking in the still embarrassing final score.

Nick Young was a one man offense against the team who released him, scoring 29 points, 19 more than anyone else on his team. At halftime the 2nd leading scorer for the Sixers was Arnett Moultree, which led to an informal poll being conducted to determine what percentage of the crowd knew who Arnett Moultree was. The one person who was asked responded by calling the pollster an asshole, which led to the end of the Arnett Moultree poll.

With the home team frightening and disturbing the paying customers, it was up to the Clippers to give people something to cheer about. As they've been doing all season, Lob City rose to the occasion, offering this highlight shortly before the starters were pulled.

The Blake dunk probably would've been enough showmanship for most teams, but this Clippers squad understands the importance of entertaining the crowd, even if that crowd isn't their own.

Cleveland: The Cavs found themselves unable to contain Luke Ridnour, who led the Wolves with 21 points, 1 point shy of his season-high. It's appropriate that Luke would shine during this rare victory, seeing that he's the only T-pup player to have played every game thus far this the season.

Is it too late for the Timberwolves to benefit from some sort of Wounded Tiger Theory effect? Yes, probably—but that doesn't mean they're not good for a couple wins every dozen games or so. That's probably cold comfort for any fans of the Cavs who attended or watched this game, and I'm sure a Kyrie Irving injury scare didn't help matters. Maybe that's why the team is turning up the heat on the LeBron rumors. After the game, Kyrie acknowledged that he and LBJ, "talk often". I haven't addressed the LeBron to Cleveland rumors yet, which might be an oversight on my part, but they kinda make me want to puke into the nearest trashcan. Even typing this sentence is making me queasy, so I think I'll move on.

The Pistons: The Pistons continued their season of starkly contrasting highs and lows (mostly lows) by following up their impressive victories over the Spurs and Bucks with a 19 point loss at home to the Pelicans. The loss brought them under .500 in the Jose Calderon era, and made Kid Rock shed a single dramatic tear, 70's PSA Native American style.

Will Bynum pointed out the path to Hell for his team with his 0 for 8 shooting, while New Orleans found a temporary salvation in Ryan Anderson's shooting stroke. I referred earlier to how this loss occurred in Auburn Hills, but that might've actually been a disadvantage for the Pistons. We've recently seen in Sacramento the effect a suddenly energized crowd can have on a team, and in this case the opposite effect was demonstrated. Detroit's crowd of 10,177 spectators was one of the smallest they've ever had, which meant the nosebleed seats were basically abandoned in favor of readily available closer views. After a couple quarters, there was a reverse surge, with fans clamoring towards the nosebleeds to get as far away from the calamity below as possible.

The AP: When it rains it pours. I had just been bemoaning the lack of AP mistakes recently, and now here they are with their 2nd doozy in the last two posts. Strangely enough, both have been related to Pistons games. This time, the AP awarded Eric Gordon a near two-trillion despite the fact that he "sat out to rest his knee" by their own admission.

The Bulls: After briefly righting their ship in Utah, the Bulls proved that the Spurs don't need a single member of their big three to win in Chicago. Kawhi Leonard looked every bit the player of the future for San Antonio with a career-high 26 points, while the team as a whole cruised to an uber-efficient 103 points.

The Spurs all-NBA starting bench

Gregg Popovich wisely chose not to rest Danny Green, thus avoiding another $250,000 fine.

The Bucks: Nene led the Wizards in minutes again and had a double-double, while Brandon Jennings missed as many shots as all but one player attempted for Washington. The end result was a dozen point victory for the team with the league's third worst record.

Bradley Beal scored a career-high 28 points, but apparently it wasn't enough for the AP to get his name right.

Like I said, when it rains it pours. I wonder what the odds are that it was actually his right wrist.

The Magic: They didn't play on Monday, which is my point. With the NBA's worst and third worst teams winning big, it might've been a nice day for them to schedule something.


The world renowned Laker defense in action

The Lakers: I've lost track of the Lakers' record when Earl Clark leads them in minutes, but you can add another loss to the pile. With Pau injured the Lakers had essentially two choices: A) play Robert Sacre significant minutes or B) have Kobe humiliate Dwight in the press til he feels shamed into returning. They went with option B, meaning the world will probably never know the awesome power of a MWP, Earl Clark, Robert Sacre frontcourt. If Sacre had started, chances are the game would've come down to him hoisting up a contested jump shot as time expired, which means the Lakers also deprived the world of the potential New York Post headline: Sacre Blew It!

You may have missed it, but Dwight Howard got eaten by a giant octopus about a week ago. As a result of this the Lakers have had to push forward Project Robo-Dwight quicker than they would've liked. The results unsurprisingly were disappointing. Robo-Dwight frequently malfunctioned on Thursday, resulting in 4 turnovers and 6 fouls in under 30 minutes. The petulant cyborg was limited to 9 points and 9 rebounds in that time.

It would be easy to blame this mess on Dwight, but I'm not going to because I don't want his Dad to come after me. Plus, I don't work for the OC Register. No, blaming everything on Dwight is too easy. There's nothing to suggest that Dwight put a gun to MWP's head and demanded that he shoot 2-13 (although several news outlets are frantically searching for evidence), nor did Dwight demand that Kobe abandon his sudden success as a passer in favor of a good ol' fashion 0 assist night.

On the other hand, everything is Dwight's fault. Haven't you been following the news? Of course the news isn't really new. As diligently as Dwight has been providing brand new firewood to be placed beneath him, it's the old, dry wood that burns brightest. For example, did you know that Dwight used to keep beat writers waiting in Orlando as he'd eat a post-game sandwich. He'd commit this atrocity "in full view of the media" knowing very well that they were waiting for his generic, bland, and completely lifeless answers to their generic, bland, and completely lifeless questions. Sometimes this selfish post vigorous exercise act of nourishment would result in these reporters missing their deadlines, and thousands of readers would awaken the next day without getting to read Dwight's equivalent to, "both teams played hard". I don't know what kind of sick bastard would prefer eating a sandwich to meeting with members of the media, but it's not the kind of player you build franchises around.

Oh, and apparently he once said that Gandhi was an asshole.

The Bulls: Despite David Stern's tireless efforts to figure out a way to fine teams for winning too handily, the Nuggets took it upon themselves to finish ruining TNT's lineup by blowing Chicago out by 32 points. Two games were played on Thursday, with the winning teams combining to win by 53 points. So much for must see TV.   

The Bulls tried the novel technique of being led in scoring and field goal attempts by Daequan Cook. It didn't work. Still, the Bulls aren't the problem here. It was the Nuggets' selfish decision to play so well which cost viewers a potentially dramatic game. Therefore, I'm holding Kenneth Faried responsible for making 9 of his 10 shots and ending up with a double-double, Manimal style. Judging by his +40 Lenovo stat, Ty Lawson was also part of the problem. Wilson Chandler didn't help matters by following Faried's example and hitting all but one of his shots including 5 threes. Making matters worse, he actually had more points, 24, than minutes, 19.

Hasn't anybody told these guys that it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game? And by that I mean, keeping it close before winning with a 4 point play in triple-overtime. Is that really too much to ask?

Nuggets-Bulls: Evan Fournier brought a little bit of cloud cover to the Nuggets' otherwise sunny day. In 9 minutes and 57 seconds he missed 2 shots, committed a foul, and turned the ball over for a +4 suck differential.
The Nets were tired from their Smithsonian tour

The Nets: The Wizards continued to be the scourge of the five boroughs on Friday. D-Will, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson combined for 47 points, which might've worked if the rest of the team didn't limit themselves to 27. To put things in perspective, a third of those points came from Reggie Evans. After generating some personal infamy for those 3 airballs in the last game, Mirza Teletovic limited himself to a single attempt. It didn't go in.

With Nene and John Wall leading them in minutes, the Wizards are not the same team their record suggests, but that won't stop teams from underestimating them. Many of the team's players are feeling a strange, unidentified sensation that lies somewhere between optimism and delusion. Bradley Beal put it into words saying, "Our record should be backwards, whatever it is". It might seem strange that the rookie is unsure of his team's record, but in this case it's probably a wise move not to check, even if they are only the 3rd worst team in the league now.

The Magic: The league's newly anointed 2nd worst team is finding new and almost surprising ways to lose ballgames. A glance at the box-score suggests that the Magic should've won this game. While Cleveland only had 1 player reach 20 points, Orlando had 3. Likewise, the Magic had 2 players with double-doubles while Cleveland had none. But this is a team game, right? Individual stats don't matter as much as team stats, you say? Well, the Magic shot better from the field than the Cavs, made more threes, and had more rebounds and assists. However, they got slaughtered at the free throw line, reaching the charity stripe 28 less times than the Cavaliers. With this loss, the Magic have lost 23 of their last 25 games.

The Bobcats: Playing at home, the Cats were beating the Lakers by 20 points when their opponent suddenly realized who they were. After that, the Lakers climbed their way to victory, while the Cats remembered what it means to be the worst team in the NBA.

The Sanctity of Home: The Pacers lost in Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time since December 7th, falling victim to Rudy Gay and the Raptors. At first, several members of the Raptors were resistant to the idea of officially changing the franchise's name to Rudy Gay and the Raptors, but then their star scored 17 points in the 4th quarter and overtime, quieting dissenters.

The Spurs D was lacking something

The Spurs: Being the top team in the league must be making the Spurs nostalgic for 2005. I'm not sure how else to explain their 11 game winning-streak coming to an end in the Palace of Auburn Hills. Tim Duncan's absence was distinctly palpable in this game, as the Spurs were outrebounded 49-33 with DeJuan Blair being the only Spur to reach double-digits in that statistic. Greg Monroe felt at ease without the Big Fundamental around, scoring 26 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Even Charlie Villanueva got in on the act, grabbing 21 points of his own.  

The Hawks: Thanks to the struggling Hawks, and the Suns having to play the Thunder twice in a row, New Orleans is no longer the worst team in the West. Eric Gordon scored 27 points and Greivis Vasquez had his first NBA triple-double, leading to an 11 point victory for the Bee Birds.

A changing of the guard has been a long time coming in the NBA, but I'm guessing that there isn't a single analyst in the country who had Vasquez leading the league in total assists halfway through the season. Similarly, I don't think anybody predicted Larry Sanders and Omer Asik to be leading the league in blocks or rebounds.

The Suns: Not everything is so difficult to predict. For instance, take a look at this contest between the Suns and the Thunder in OKC. While prognosticators might not have specifically predicted a 31 point loss, something in the nature of a 30 point loss wasn't difficult to foresee. The Suns lost to the Thunder twice this weekend. This time they chose a humiliation of the 'sadly trying to keep up with a superior offensive team' variety. The Thunder responded by scoring 127 points on 58% shooting, including a blistering 67% from deep.

The Warriors: A 6 point loss the the Grizzlies isn't so bad, but what it means to this team is. This was the third game in a row the Warriors dropped, leaving them looking up to both the Grizzlies and the Nuggets in the standings.

The Jazz: Speaking about the playoff standings in the West, the Jazz are still hanging onto the 7th seed. Still, that doesn't mean they can play Jamaal Tinsley 32 scoreless minutes and expect to win, home court advantage or no home court advantage. This time it was the Bulls who benefited.

The Clippers: Chris Paul may be the most beloved American since Eleanor Roosevelt, but in his first game back from a bruised kneecap, he didn't exactly dazzle with 3 points and 2 assists in 19 and a half minutes; more troubling still, was his -27 Lenovo Stat which led to a 22 point Miami Victory.

Spurs-Pistons: Patrick Mills had a +3 suck differential in 7 minutes and 6 seconds, while his teammate Aron Baynes was sans stats in 1:31.
Hornets-Hawks: Xavier Henry was similarly statless in 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
Knicks-Wolves: Joining those two men in their statlessness, Chris Johnson of the Timberwolves approached the void in 3 minutes and 26 seconds.
Rockets-Trailblazers: It was a regular epidemic of statlessness as Joel Freeland left no trace after 3 minutes and 54 seconds. Toney Douglas and Donatas Motiejunas were feeling more active however, and both found themselves staring down the barrel of a +1 suck differential. 

Hand in face!

The Bobcats: It's amazing how quickly the Bobcats can rack up 7 losses in a row. With Thaddeus Young missing, the Bobcats might've figured they had a chance against the Sixers, but then Lavoy Allen had to go and grab a career-high 22 rebounds, dashing the hopes of the visitors.

A Broped Divided: Monta Ellis played precisely one second less than Brandon Jennings in their loss to the Pistons. During that time period, Monta took 9 shots while Jennings shot the ball 27 times. Somewhere in between those two options is a happy medium. This was the 2nd game in a row Monta limited himself to 9 shots.

I'm not saying that a little restraint is so bad, it's just that something seems fishy here. I'd say that Monta might no longer want to play in Milwaukee, but that suggests a moment where he did. Meanwhile, Samuel Dalembert continued to fill in admirably for Larry Sanders, this time with a double-double and 5 blocks. Unfortunately for him, Greg Monroe had similar stats and a win to boot. I was just thinking that it had been a while since I'd seen a good AP blunder, so it's good to know that Monroe is, "starting for Drummond". Maybe the writer just got confused because Drummond is currently the team's first chair bongo player. It probably seems like that's just a random joke, but it isn't. Drummond really is the team's premier bongo player, a role that he's focused on since the injury. Go ahead, look up Drummond and bongos if you think I'm kidding. I think you'll be delighted with what you find.

Wilson Chandler: The Nuggets rolled to their 9th victory in a row against the Cavs, but Chandler's 7 points denied them a chance to have everyone who played score in double-digits. These 7 points came a day after Chandler led the team in scoring from the bench.

I was going to try to figure out what Nugget was guarding Alonzo Gee, 8-8, but after careful contemplation, I realized it would be easier to just blame that on Wilson Chandler as well. This may seem unfair, but Dwight Howard doesn't play on the Nuggets so I couldn't just blame it on him.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. One of those two guys also sprained Andre Iguodola's right clavicle, but that's not til Sunday's triple-overtime game in Boston.

The Warriors: I think Jarret Jack's agent might wanna try renegotiating his contract, seeing how the Warriors have now lost 3 in a row in their 6th man's absence (their 3rd man, Harry Lime, hasn't been pulling his weight either). This most recent loss came against the Mavericks and it wasn't pretty. The 25 point loss was the third time the Warriors have lost by at least 20 in their last 4 games.

The Warriors rested Andrew Bogut and were unable to shoot 40% as a team. It's hard to blame them for resting their recovering big man, but the team probably shouldn't have built a time machine to take Shawn Marion back to 2005. The Matrix grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his season-high 26 points.

The Jazz: Utah let the Zeke-Child drop 26 unholy points on them, and not even a career-high 24 points from Alec Burks could save them from this 11 point loss. The Jazz did what they could to stay with the home team, even limiting Jamaal Tinsley to 18 minutes, but the Kings fed off the energy of the crowd and rode it to victory.

I forgot what happiness looked like in a Kings uniform

The game was billed as, "Here We Buy" night, which might not make much sense as a title, but it did galvanize the Sacramento faithful to make some noise like in the days of yore, when players like Vlade Divac and Doug Christie still roamed the hardwood. The crowd even broke out the wave, with the bench happily joining in. Now, if they could just keep that up for the rest of the season, the Kings might even work their way up to a 10th seed. 

Mavericks-Warriors: Mike James, the Amityville Scorer, struck again. This time, it was the unsuspecting Mavericks who suffered, as he registered a +1 suck differential in 4 minutes and 13 seconds. Amazingly, the +1 came from a foul and not a missed shot attempt. Anybody feel like checking his basement for pods?

Winning streaks, sorta: The Denver Nuggets came into Boston with a league leading 9 game winning streak. By the time they left, it was the Celtics leading the league with 7 straight victories. That was only after 3 over-times, a Paul Pierce triple-double, and 55 minutes worth of Ty Lawson. Ty gave us a glimpse of what kind of stats he'd put up if he played an hour a night, scoring 29 points and dishing out 9 assists. The game featured a rare occurrence for the Celtics, as none of their players suffered a season ending injury.

The Blazers: The Magic had lost 12 games in a row heading into this game, but the Blazers have been terrible on the road lately, winning only 1 of their last 8 road games with their lone victory occurring in Minnesota and therefore not really counting. The Blazers are no strangers to helping teams snap their 12 game losing streaks. As you may recall, they were the team that gave the Wizards their first win of the season on Washington's 13th try. The loss dropped the Blazers under .500 and made millions of Lakers and Mavericks fans worldwide start salivating.

Jameer Nelson had a career-high 15 assists. It was a good night for passing for both teams, each of whom had at least 30 assists. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 12 dimes, but he was only 1 of 16 from the floor. Judging from the outside, I'd say he was probably suffering through another flare-up of Automatonophobia.

The Blazers probably shouldn't have visited Disneyworld

The Nets: The Spurs apparently don't need Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobli's help to beat the Nets by 25 points in Brooklyn. Deron Williams scored 15 points, but only had 3 assists to complement his 3 turnovers. He might've been having trouble finding teammates to pass to other than Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. As it was against the Wizards, this core trio for the Nets were the only players in double-digits.

The Nets were actually leading at halftime, but after that the Spurs went on to score 60 points to the Nets' 29.

The T-pops: I'm giving the impounded Puppies a WotN because they lost by 17 points, but I could just as easily call out the Grizzlies for being such bullies. I'm pretty sure Floyd Mayweather could smack the shit out of an 80 year old man, but I don't think anybody would think better of him for it. I guess fans in Memphis don't have such qualms. Instead of calling Amnesty International, they actually cheered this butchering.

Among those fans was Cory Brandt, best known as the Tayshaun Prince fan who was devastated by his trade and became a viral video sensation. I'll let him off the hook for cheering the bludgeoning, because who wouldn't accept a free flight to Memphis to meet their favorite player.

The Rockets: Sacramento has been a less friendly place for opposing teams lately. The Zeke-Child kept rolling, making all 13 of his free throws and scoring 17 points in the 4th quarter.

The Suns: During their last brutal beating at the hands of the Thunder, about the only positive development for the Suns was that it didn't happen in front of their fans. This time they weren't so lucky. They did however score 69 points, which is kinda funny.

Do you want to know how bad this beating was? Jermaine O'Neal was listed as the top performer for the Suns with 7 points. Still not convinced? I'm not sure why you wouldn't be, but I need an excuse to segue into this video.

As you can see, not even the fans were safe from the Thunder.

The Knicks: All things considered, the Knicks probably should've just called it a day after this play.


It didn't get much better for the Knicks, who chose an inopportune time to forget the Wizards are allowed to shoot threes. I can see why there would be confusion. The Wizards are normally good for only 6 threes a night at 34%, but against the Knicks they made the 2nd most threes they've made all season, converting 11 of their 20 attempts.

The Suns: After their 9 point loss to the Hornets, the Phoenix Suns are now only half a game away from being the worst team in the West. It's a spot currently occupied by New Orleans, who stopped a four game skid to stay within half a win of Phoenix and Sacramento. Eric Gordon was limited to 9 points on 3 of 14 shooting, but the Suns weren't about to let a little thing like that stop them from losing.

The Bucks: Larry Sanders was out with a bad back after getting too close to the Manimal, therefore Samuel Dalembert was given the start and a chance to become more attractive trade bait. He acquitted himself admirably with a double-double, 4 steals, and 4 blocks, but it wasn't enough to counter the rest of the team shooting 33%.

The Magic, and more generally health: The Clippers ended their 3 game losing streak in Orlando. Eric Bledsoe scored a career-high 27 points, which shouldn't come as a surprise, considering his best option was to shoot nearly every time down the floor. All three of the team's best scorers were on the bench. While it's true that the team's 4th leading scorer, Matt Barnes, had recovered from his case of pushing-Greg Stiemsma-in the throat-suspension, Bledsoe was wise not to pass to him too much. On a per minutes basis Bledsoe is the superior scoring machine, and on this particular night Barnes was struggling with his shot, making only 2 of 11 attempts.

The Clippers bench is starting to resemble the Last Supper

Still, that didn't matter much, because they were playing the Orlando Magic, quite possibly the most injury ravaged club east of the Mississippi. On this night, the Magic were unable to overcome the absence of J.J. Redick, Arron Afflalo, and Big Baby; nor were they able to capitalize from the absence of Hedo Turkgolu or Al Harrington.

Sorry Hedo, we'll always have Cleveland.  

Speaking of Cleveland, I've never officially stated what a huge bummer it is that Varejão is out for the season. While watching him occasionally gives me motion sickness, nobody can deny the big Brazilian's heart or motor. Varejão was busy proving himself as a top player when fate dealt him a difficult hand, combining a freak injury that required surgery with the discovery of a blood clot in his lung. 

The NBA in now in the unenviable position of having to finish the season without two players who were both leading the league in major statistical categories. I haven't done the research yet, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this hasn't happened too often. This must be why David Stern is reportedly planning to start supplying his All-Stars with HGH.

The Bobcats: The loss of Varejão may have further doomed Cleveland's playoff chances, but it didn't effect the ability of the Cavaliers to thoroughly spay and neuter the Cats from Carolina. The Cats were struggling with injury issues of their own, with MKG having recently lost one of his 9 lives while demonstrating that cats don't always land on their feet. Still, it takes more than one horrific looking injury to lose to the Cavs by 27 points.

Charlotte's leading scorer, Kemba Walker, had more of his attempts blocked than converted; while Ben Gordon, the teams leading per-minute-scorer, played only 15 minutes. Even considering this, the Cats were far worse on the defensive end, where they allowed Cleveland to score 122 points on 57% shooting. Those 122 points are the most the Cavs have scored all year, and the 27 point victory is their largest since May 7th, 2010. You might remember that they had this guy named LeBron James back then.

Mirza Teletovic: Mirza shot three airballs in under a minute last night, which has resulted in the most media coverage he's had since entering the NBA.

The amazing thing is that the Nets gained 3 points while he was on the floor. Which leads to the next WotN.

The Pistons: The Pistons played a decent game against a better team and lost by 3 points. So why are they here? It's because they failed to make up any ground while Mirza was shooting 3 straight airballs. If a team can't capitalize on that, they should just head to the locker room.

The Warriors: The West's resident dark horse just got a whole lot darker, or possibly transformed into a Colorado mustang. Maybe I'm making too much of this 21 point victory for the Thunder. After all, this is only the 6th time this season that David Lee has had more attempts than points and only the 4th time Stephen Curry has missed 15 shots. It's also the first time those two events coincided. Last time these teams met, Curry and Lee combined for 53 points and the Warriors won by 5. This time around, the stars struggled for the Warriors, while the Durant, Westbrook, and Martin trio each bagged at least 20 points.

Nets-Pistons: Mirza Teletovic made a name for himself in the NBA by airballin' all 3 of his attempts for a +3 suck differential in 4 minutes and 17 seconds. 
Thunder-Warriors: Eric Maynor did as little as possible in 4 minutes and 18 seconds, while his opponent Jeremy Tyler took the same amount of time to do a little bit of everything from a negative stats perspective, resulting in a +5 suck differential. 
Jazz-Bucks: Kevin Murphy and his Jazz teammate Jeremy Evans both had trillions, while Murphy missed a shot to expand his into a +1 suck differential. 
* HGH Users: I made a mistake before. David Stern isn't giving HGH out, he's saying the league should start testing for it next year. The title of the article in the Washington Post is Commissioner David Stern says 'we're well on the way' to HGH testing in the NBA. I must've somehow missed that testing part. I thought this was the beginning of a whole new era for the league, but I guess for now we'll just have to deal with human frailty. 

The Return of the Warrior D: With the Rockets blazing high up into the heavens, tying NBA records and scoring 140 points, some of those watching in Houston found themselves almost able to smell Nellie's post-game beer; this may seem unbelievable because Mark Jackson coaches the Warriors now, and Don Nelson is probably enjoying his beers on a porch swing in Maui, watching as nearby gigantic sea turtles make love. All the same, I wouldn't be surprised if on nights like this he finds a sudden inexplicable increase in his inebriation, brought on by the vestigial effects of a familiar post-game ritual, thousands of miles away...   ...And in the Twilight Zone.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, their 31 point ass-drubbing took place in this reality. The record I referred to earlier was established when the Rockets hit 23 threes. Only one team in NBA history had accomplished that before, the Orlando Magic team that ended up losing to the Lakers in the Finals. The 140 points the Rockets scored tied the Jazz, strangely enough, for the highest scoring night of the year. While the Jazz game went into overtime, the Warriors were dead in the water by the 2nd quarter. No Rocket players were arrested after the game for assault or manslaughter charges, but Mark Jackson has hired a private investigator to harass Jeremy Lin. On the 1 year anniversary of the day people began coining terms like Linsanity, the man who now wears #7, the man who inspired the masses to believe in puns again, struck again—this time making a career-high 5 three pointers.   

Andrew Bogut, insulting acronym machine: Reading between the lines tells me that Bogut is a little bitter towards the Rockets. It could be a coincidental arrangement of first letters, but I don't think so .

20th century three point shooting: The Rockets banished the 1996 Atlanta Hawks from the list of the all-time top 10 three-point performances. With that exclusion, the list now consists entirely of teams from the new millennium.

The Utah Jazz: No, the Jazz didn't play last night, but the Lakers did. They won, again. This time it was over the Nets. That's 6 of their last 7 games. I'd just like to take the opportunity to say once again, this is all because of the Jazz. I'd give Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace both a WotN for being so thoroughly posterized by a player in his 17th year, but neither Wallace or Humphries play on the Jazz.   

How good a dunk was it? Adrian Wojnarowski wrote an entire article on it. If that doesn't impress you, then well...I guess you're just Doctor J. Thanks for reading, Doc. The Nets were clearly impressed because they pretty much stopped playing after that.

The Lakers: It's rare that two teams get a WotN after a game, while neither team is the one that actually lost. I've already explained my theory on why the Jazz deserve the blame for Brooklyn's loss; as for the Lakers WotN inclusion, Pau Gasol tore his plantar fascia in the 4th quarter and is expected to miss at least a month. Does anybody have an extra seat to the Lakers funeral? I've always wanted to meet George Mikan.

The Grizzlies: The Warriors aren't the only team irking Andrew Bogut. In an interview with David Aldridge the outspoken center accused the Grizzlies of putting money ahead of winning. It's hard to argue that trading Rudy Gay has made the team more competitive, especially after this latest loss to the Suns. In the end, the defensive prowess that made the team look like a contender early in the year wilted, as a physically ill Goran Dragic was able to take control of the game and send the Memphis crowd home disappointed.   

The Broped Returns: It's odd how 11-36 doesn't look that bad on paper. Maybe the phrase, "missed over two thirds of their shots", would be more affective. Whatever the wording, it all adds up to one thing: a loss. Normally, I'd say that the Bucks were going to lose regardless, since they were playing the streaking Nuggets, but on this particular night something very strange happened.

Those of you who follow Samuel Dalembert for whatever reason know that he can be a bit like a Volcano. Both are tall, generally inert, and disappear from recollection for years at a time. Last night, Mt. Dalembert erupted for career-high 35 points and 12 rebounds on 81% shooting. If you're confused right now, I don't blame you; maybe you didn't realize that Dalembert was still in the league, let alone playing for the Bucks. Well, he is. By most measurements, last night's game was the best of his career. Some might say it's a pity that he lost and only played 27 minutes, but Dalembert received the dubious consolation of becoming the only player in NBA history to post such crazy numbers with so little playing time.

The Bucks have reportedly pounced on the opportunity to try to lure another team into trading for Dalembert. 

Pacers-Hawks: Jeff Pendergraph left no traces of his 1 minute and 39 minutes for Indiana.
Rockets-Warriors: Andris Biedrins made a 10 second cameo against the Warriors for a Mario.
Suns-Grizzlies: The Grizzlies provided two entries: Chris Johnson was statless in 3:27 and Austin Daye led the way to lacktion with a +2 suck differential in 7 minutes and 5 seconds.

Noah, shortly before being asked to leave

NBA Squaresville, USA: Joakim Noah was asked to leave the Bulls game against Chicago, because apparently he wasn't dressed appropriately. He returned later looking far dorkier.

Defense: I thought the Pacers and the Bulls were two of the best defensive teams in the league. So how did this game end with a score of 111-101? Indiana got the 10 point victory, and shot well over 50%. The win catapulted the Pacers into a tie with the Bulls atop of the Central division, and I use the word catapult loosely.

Perhaps a more accurate application for the word catapult could be used in describing Loul Deng's shooting stroke. Would a medieval contraption, mostly used for the angry hurling of boulders, be able to make more than 4 baskets in 18 attempts? If anybody wants to finance the experiment, I'd be more than happy to get scientific about this...   I guess in Deng's case, all the potential defense in the building must've somehow gravitated to his shooting hand. Carlos Boozer and Roy Hibbert felt some of the fallout too, while Nate Robinson remained immune to the very idea of defense with 19 points, 9 assists, and no turnovers.

A dorkier looking, sadder Joakim Noah

The Magic: Here's a riddle for you. What happens when an NBA team trots out the starting lineup of E'Twaun Moore, Ish Smith, Maurice "Yeah baby, I'm really still an NBA starter" Harkless, Josh McRoberts, and Nikola Vucevic? I'll give you some options: A) Jacque Vaughn misses the game because he's busy getting drunk at Houlihan's. B) The Magic come together and dig out a scrappy victory in Philadelphia. C) The Magic have the 2nd lowest point total of any team this season, while Vucevic grabs 14 rebounds. D) Rob Hennigan quits as the Magic GM, and embarks on his dream job as a hot air balloon pilot in the American Southwest.

If you answered—C) The Magic have the 2nd lowest point total of any team this season, while Vucevic grabs 14 rebounds—then congratulations. The Magic only made 1 three, shot only 8 free throws, and were under 35% from the field. I suppose that's not much of a surprise, not with the Magic missing Afflalo, Nelson, Redick, and Davis. It's almost as if they were in a secret contest with the Timberwolves to sit as many starters as possible.

With this loss the Magic became the only team in the NBA to have two double-digit losing streaks this season. 

In case you're curious, the lowest total of the season was the 58 points the Hawks scored against the Bulls in mid-January. Amazingly, this happened with Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jeff Teague in the starting lineup. Granted the Bulls have the more vaunted defense, so perhaps the Magic should just be grateful that they weren't visiting the Windy City last night.

The Heat supporting cast: OK, let me get this straight. Dwyane Wade had a double-double, Chris Bosh scored 23 points, and LeBron was 31, 8, and 8 while shooting over 90% from the field; and yet, the Heat only beat the worst team in the league by 5 points?


What could account for that? Well, the rest of the team missed 2/3rds of their attempts and only scored 25 points. That might've had something to do with it. I'm not even going to bother giving the Bobcats a worst of the night, because they competed well and nobody got carried off on a stretcher.  

The Timberwolves: Did somebody order a stretcher? Pekovic and Shved are back, so that means Kirilenko had to go down. AK-47 left the game early with a quad injury. As an afterthought, the Timberwolves lost to the Blazers.

The Clippers: Speaking of weird secret pacts between teams, I'm beginning to suspect that the Clippers and the Lakers worked something out in the off-season. I don't know why the Lakers would agree to suck so dismally to start the season, but now that they've graduated to 'less terrible', the Clippers can't seem to get a win. The absence of Blake Griffin last night and the continued absence of Chris Paul is the more logical explanation, but if I remember my Occam's Razor correctly, then it's always the explanation you least suspect.

Whatever the cause of these recent troubles for the Clippers, last night it was the Wizards who benefited. Fans of the other, other LA team can take solace in one thing; Jamal Crawford easily won the battle of the unrelated Crawfords, outscoring Jordan Crawford by 25 points. It didn't hurt that Jordan only played 5 minutes and scored 3 points. According to Rotoworld, "he has bottomed out" and "can be dropped in most formats". He also, "frightens children" and "eats his own dandruff"... Oh wait, I'm sorry, that's someone else.

Pistons: The three games that the Pistons have played against the Knicks have all had something important in common; the Knicks have won all three of them. The worst beating came the last time the Pistons came to the Garden, a night in late November when Detroit lost by 21 points. The 14 points the Pistons lost by yesterday actually represents the closest they've come this season to beating the Knicks.

The J.R. Smith show: We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you an impromptu broadcast of the J.R. Smith show. Last night J.R. Smith tried to get in on a halftime game featuring school children, and in the process he reminded viewers what it felt like to be excluded in gym class.

It looks a lot stranger when the guy who's being excluded is clearly the best athlete out there. Mike Breen gets in a good burn when he suggests the kids won't give J.R. the ball because, "they know they're probably not gonna get it back". Judging by his last 3 games, in which J.R. has totaled 6 assists and shot OVER 13 THREES EACH GAME, Breen might just have a point. 

It's also possible the kids saw this:

Over at Posting and Toasting they've identified the man with mouth agape, sitting by Mike Woodson, as Purpletie Broman. There's been no word yet on whether that is the gentleman's real name or some sort of alias. We'll have to be sure to keep an eye on this Purpletie Broman and his amusing exploits in the future.

DeMarcus Cousins curious show of restraint machine, kinda: The NBA's resident Boogieman reportedly called a referee a "fucking female", not a fucking bitch mind you, but a "fucking female". That's maturity for you. These widely published reports are based off of lipreading, so judge for yourself.  

Knicks-Magic: Kim English contributed a +1 suck differential in 1:31 for the Pistons. For the Knicks, Ronnie Brewer and James White both played the same amount of time without leaving any meaningful statistics behind.

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