nets knicks

So two of the most pathetic teams in the NBA face off tonight. Brooklyn versus New York. The Knicks are 3-13. The Nets are 5-13. Charles Barkley is doing color commentary. This going to be bad. You guys know how I do it. I'm going to be transferring my thoughts and reactions about the game straight into this blog. No jokes will be told. Simply typing what I observe. (And frankly, sometimes this shit writes itself.)

1st Quarter 

• Where's Lawrence Frank? Oh that's right; he's stuck in the office doing TPS reports.

• Ok, that was my first and last joke.

• Tyshawn Taylor is starting at point...bless his heart.

• Iman Shumpert is struggling this year...needs more hi-top fade.

• Felton drives to the rim and tries to force a shot over two defenders. He's looking to the refs for a foul. I don't think they hand out trips to the freethrow line for stupidity.

• Garnett throws down a vicious one hand tomahawk. Take that father time.

• Bargnani answers by zipping past Garnett towards the baseline and throwing down a dunk of his own. Father time tosses his head back and chuckles.

• Shumpert splashes an ill advised transition 3. 9-4 Kicks

 • Lopez with a putback dunk as Melo and Bargnani stand and watch.

• Keyon Martin knocks down one of his stiff looking jumpers. 14-8 Knicks

 • Jason Terry looks very strange without his headband.

• Going into the timeout, Barkley says he doesn't know what Lethargy means, "but it must mean something." Only in America can men like him be allowed on TV.

 • JR Smith crosses over Sean Livingston and making tumble to the floor, destroying his ankles in the process. He then rises and swishes a long 2. 19-8 Knicks

• Jaime Foxx is sitting courtside and seems to have enjoyed Livingston’s embarrassment. Him and his buddies are seen laughing about the previous play.

 • Bargnani knocks down the most awkward looking jumper of the year and gets an And 1.

• Tyson Chandler is literally standing up coaching the team.

• Melo sizes up Alan Anderson and splashes a 3 right in his mouth. Filthy. 30-15 Knicks.

• Joe Johnson deflects a Carmelo pass, Andray Blatche scoops up the ball and trots down the floor which leads to a Johnson layup.

• Carmelo baseline air ball.

• Joe Johnson drives to the rim and gets stuffed by Amare. I kid you not, I had no clue he was even in the game. The guy is like a ghost out there.

• Chuck chimes in with a nice quip. "People say I don't like the Knicks, but what am I supposed to say about a team that's 3-13...They're good???” Now I remember why he's on TV.

• Tim Hardaway Jr airballs a 30 footer. End of the first quarter. 29-23 Knicks

2nd Quarter

• Garnett with a mid range jumper over Martin.

• Sean Livingston drives baseline for a two hand slam. And right on queue they mention his knee injury that happened ages ago. I don't know why they bring it up every time he makes a play. It's like the only thing people know him for.

• Amare knocks down a jumper on Mason Plumlee. Guess he decided to show up today.

• Amare gets schooled in the paint by KG. I retract my last statement.

• Joe Johnson is blocked from behind by Martin and lands awkwardly. The last thing Nets fans want to see is another one of their guy’s grimacing in pain.

• Lopez muscles through Amare for a lay in 39-32 Knicks

• Mirza Teletovic knocks down a corner 3. He's one of those guys who don't even look like athletes. Like they just tossed a jersey to a random fan and said "You're in." which may be the position the Nets are in if the injuries keep piling up.

• Martin drives to hole and flips up a shot. Nothing but backboard.

• Blatche with an open halfcourt dunk. 44-39 Knicks

• Uh Oh. Little scuffle here. Shumpert gives a forearm to Blatche and then they get in each other’s faces. Double techs for staring.

 • JR Smith drives for a last second shot misses and falls down. Shumpert walks right past his teammate without stopping to help him up. End of the second. 50-43 Knicks

3rd Quarter

• Felton puts up a 3 that hits every part of the rim before falling through.

 • Lopez scores on Bargnani again in the post. The Nets need to go to him every time until the Knicks can stop it. But knowing them they won't.

• Ok maybe I was wrong. Lopez just threw up a turnaround fade away rainbow airball.

• Shumpert nails his third 3. 58-47 Knicks

• Barkley on the Nets: "Their half court offense is just atrocious." Yup.

• Shumpert pops another 3. 61-50 Knicks

 • Barkley: "I guarantee Shaq is eating somewhere." Yup.

• Melo catches an alley oop while the Nets stand and watch

 • Shumpert with his 5th 3 pointer.

• Shumpert drives and tries to tomahawk it on Blatche but is fouled. If it went down it would have been dunk of the year. And Blatche would have died from embarrassment.

• Barkley on Lebron: "He's at the peak of his super powers." Super powers?

• Melo splashes a jumper on Teletovic after 5 or 6 fancy dribbles. The other Knicks just stood and watched.

• Knicks are up by 22 points so now the crew is talking about the Auburn Alabama game.

• Number 20 for the Nets drives to the rim and misses a layup. I say number 20 because I have no clue who he is.

• End of the third. 84-59 Knicks

4th Quarter

• Nets were outscored 34-16 in the third quarter. Sorry but that was fucking abysmal.

• Hardaway Jr hits a turnaround fall away shot that could only be characterized as pure luck

 • Barngnani hits a 3. 89-60 Knicks

• Tech on Amare for...I'm not sure. Breathing on Joe Johnson possibly?

• Another scuffle ensues. Barngnani falls and as he's trying to get up, he's pulling on KG's shorts. This cause a massive overreaction from refs and players. KG stands around for about 5 minutes with both hands in the air. Ya know, the usual stance he takes whenever threatened with physical violence. He then proceeds to the bench where he drops 17 F bombs.

• Barkley mentions Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin as two guys on "the list" that you don't want to mess with. I see he's familiar with the Goon Squad.

• 89-61. Come on guys let's get this sticker over with.

• Bargnani gets ejected for thrash talking KG after making a 3. Have to say that I saw this coming. These two have been jawing at each other all night. Not to mention I saw them rubbing cheeks together earlier in the game.

 • Knicks are up 96-62 after a JR Smith 3.This is a hellacious beat down. I feel Kidd may be seeing his last days as a head coach.

• Barkley and Kerr are struggling to name the 3rd best team in the East.

• Every guy on the Nets bench looks miserable.

• Number 20 drives and scores. Not a single fuck was given.

• The final buzzer sounds. 113-83 Knicks

• I just heard the sad trombone over the PA system... (whomp whomp whaaa)
rose crying

Derrick Rose underwent surgery today to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee. It’s been reported that he will have to sit out for the remainder of the season. So in other words, the Chicago Bulls' season is over as well. Somewhere Miami Heat fans, Indiana Pacer fans, and Nate Robinson are all smiling. For the rest of us, this is starting to get a little depressing. Unless, you just hate Chicago, you have to feel bad for Derrick Rose. I mean, yeah he signed a $95 million deal with the Bulls. And yeah he also has a lifetime contract with Adidas valued at over $250 million. And yeah he could stop playing basketball today and never have to work another day in his life. And yeah at the tender age of 25, he's already accomplished more than 99% of the basketball players on the planet. And yeah he can go anywhere in Chicago and be treated like a god. But it still sucks.

rose fans
 Poor Bastard
Maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but since Rose is going to be out long term; do the Bulls consider blowing up the team? They managed to get to the conference semis last year, but Nate Robinson was playing out of his mind. This could be the thing that tears down the franchise. I mean, their payroll is looking kinda hefty at the moment. Rose, Boozer, Noah, and Gibson are all owed big money going forward. I honestly, don't see any way in hell they resign Luol Deng this summer especially with the emergence of Jimmy Butler. With Rose out, that may look to trade him this season. Do they amnesty Boozer this offseason (should probably keep that option on the table regardless of the Rose situation.) Do they trade Noah and Gibson for young talent and look to tank the rest of the season? Either way, the air coming off Lake Michigan will be little bit colder this winter.

 Don't worry guys, Mike James to the rescue
Speaking of cold, miserable, and depressing...The Brooklyn Nets ladies and gentlemen! Christ, where do I even start. I was going to work in the word "clusterfuck" somehow, but that wouldn't do this situation justice. On paper they really looked like one of the best teams in years. The Nets had depth at every position. I would glance at the roster, and wonder how young up and comers Mason Plumlee and Tyshawn Taylor would even get any burn. You've got D-Will and Livingston at point. Johnson and Terry at shooting guard. Pierce and Kirilenko at small forward. Goon squad members, KG and Evans at power forward. Lopez and Blatche at center. And Jason Kidd as head coach. I mean what could possibly go wrong??? Huh, what’s that? Jason Kidd is a rookie coach, and doesn't know what the hell he's doing? Lawrence Frank is Kidd's go to guy for advice, even though he also sucked as a head coach? Williams, Pierce, KG, Lopez, Terry, and Kirilenko will all miss time with injury and they're only 13 games into the season? The Nets will roll out there on some nights and realize their second best player is Andray Blatche?

Nets Magic Basketball
 Well, this is awkward.
The Bulls situation is bad, but at least they have some tradable assets. If they Nets don't get it done this year, then what? Brooklyn was supposed to win it all, not compete for the lottery. Huh, what’s that? Oh they traded their pick in the 2014 Draft? So you mean to tell me no matter how bad they are they still won't get to select in the first round of one of the deepest drafts since 2003? These Brooklyn Nets are shaping up to be the biggest basketball let downs since...since...well, since the 2012-2013 Lakers. They're clearly built for the playoffs. Which is nice, but I supposed they'd have to actually, ya know, "be good" in order to get there. I mean, who knew a team of aging veterans could look so...aged. Mikhail Prokhorov is standing behind Jason Kidd for the time being, saying that he has his full support. But at this rate, it won't be long before he goes all Ivan Dragic on him. Thinking about all this has given me the blues. I'm going to pour myself a drink. Maybe I'll pour two and have one on Kidd's behalf. I'm sure he needs it.


"Just give the ball to Kobe and get the...wait...what?"

 Iggy loves his Brahms

Philly struggled so badly that Mark Jackson had to remind them which basket they were shooting at

 Sullinger reenacts a deleted scene from boogie nights...the double handjob!

 The new Z-Bo's....ankle tapes included

Boston coach Brad Stevens takes in the last 15 minutes of the Dexter finale

#1 Draft Pick Anthony Bennett:  Well, I guess this is what happens when you let your son make all the draft decisions. Cleveland barely scraped by against the Wolves, nearly blowing a 23 point lead at home.  

While they are getting solid contributions from their past lottery picks (Irving and Thompson both had double doubles) it's their new lottery pick I'm worried about the most:

The blue represents where Bennett is cold, and the red represents when he's on fi...well you get the idea.

You know it's bad when your coach yells at you to shoot from your neutral spots. 

Bennett is a whopping 0-15 on the season, a #1 pick who has yet to find his first field goal. In close games where the Cavs lost (such as the 84-90 loss to the Bobcats) you'd think just a couple field goals would really help.  Bennett did fill up the stat sheet on the season with 7 fouls to date.  So his impact is at least being felt somewhere on the court...even if it's to the benefit of the other team.

To put things in perspective, the highest amount of scoreless games a #1 lottery pick has had in a rookie season is held by none other than Michael Jordan protege Kwame Brown with 12 (not consecutively).  

Now that's some elite company to strive for. 

The real  Philadelphia 1776'ers:   On behalf of Philly's front office I'd just like to say Phew! You guys really had us going there for a second.  Competing? With other NBA teams? What are you nuts!?!?

But everyone take a breather, all is well.  The Sixers went from the NBA's prom queen to brace face within 48 minutes of game time.  

The Golden State Warriors came into town and exploded for a 24-10 run in the second quarter and never looked back.  They destroyed the Sixers in the first 3 quarters by an average margin of 10 points per quarter before agreeing to shoot with their weaker hand in the final period as a mercy rule.

Thaddeus Young was 3-for-10, Spencer Hawes was 1-for-6 and Carter-Williams missed 13 of his 17 shots with six turnovers.  The Sixers overall had more turnovers (24) than assists (19).

On the flip side, Andre Iguodala went HAM on his former team.  After managing just 26 points on the season in 3 games, he erupted for 27 points by halftime alone.  Iggy was in absolute beast mode pulling off one of the best assists of the year:


"I wasn't even thinking about scoring," Iguodala said. "It just kind of happened liked that."  Something tells me it's time to for Iggy to have a lobotomy so that the word "scoring" never pops up in his head again. 

Houston Rockettes:  What was billed as a potential WCF matchup, a battle between two teams who claimed to have improved defensively by a wide margin this season, ended up turning into a flashback from the 70's with a halftime score of 78-66.  I don't know if it was truly amazing offense, or truly terrible defense (how many open 3's did we see on this night?).  The 78 points at halftime was the most the Clippers have scored since the 84-85 season.  The Rockets also gave up 137 points to the Clippers in regulation.  I was actually getting nervous midway through the third because I wasn't sure if the NBA scoreboards were capable of putting up triple digits.

I can't lie, it was fun as hell to see, but something tells me run and gun isn't going to suit Howard too much if you aren't even going to give a chance to let the defense set.  The Rockets had the best rim protector in the NBA guard the 3 point line because oh my god can we not allow Byron Mullens to get hot!  

For those watching the game on NBA TV, how bad were those commentators?  I know it's hypocritical for me to make fun of homer announcers since I'm a Spurs fan, but holy crap were these guys terrible.  Aaron Brooks gets slapped in the face a couple times by Griffin on a fast break and the commentators claim "That's not a foul, he ran into his hand!...multiple times".

Keep in mind this is the same broadcast team that comes up with gems like this:

Ted Nugent must be proud.

James Harden had a very rough night at the office, missing all of his 3's (7 of them) and barreling into the lane but not getting any calls...which kind of made him look like a crash test dummy in traffic.

As for Dwight Howard, he was booed every single time he touched the ball by the Laker fans who are waiting for Kobe to return Clipper fans.  Like Butch from Pulp Fiction, it seems like Howard has lost all of his LA privileges.

Howard was a whopping -24 for the game, had 3 fouls before the end of the first quarter, and bricked half his free throws which somehow is a positive stat for him.

Reflecting on his one up-and-down season with the Lakers, Howard said, "I just allowed what people said to affect how I played. But I can't do that. I mean, I'm better than that."  

But are you really Dwight?

"They can boo me a million times. I'll still play," he said.

That's what I'm afraid of. 
I like to build imaginary teams in my head. It’s fun. Especially when it relates to basketball. One team I have is the All Neanderthal Squad. It's all the players in the NBA who I think look like the missing link. Chris Kaman, Al Jefferson, Mike Miller, Jerry Stackhouse. You get the idea. Another one I have is Team Mail It In. These are the guys who just get by on pure talent, with no real motivation to improve their games. Lamar Odom, Samuel Dalembert, Kwame Brown...the team is 15 guys deep. And Shaquille O’Neal is the head coach. One team I would love to see constructed in real life is the All Goon Squad. Just as its name suggest, it's compiled of the meanest, toughest, and most confrontational guys in the NBA. Here's what I got so far.

PG - Rajon Rondo: He may the least intimidating guy on the roster, but don't let his boyish looks fool you. He's got the personality of a bear trap. His moody and feisty temperament makes him the perfect point guard for this team. If anyone begs for the ball too much, he’ll hand it over and tell them where to shove it. He even had Doc Rivers walking on eggshells around him at times. If you asked him how his day was going, he'd probably tell you to go fuck yourself. Yup, no one can turn a casual interview into something extremely awkward quite like Rondo.


SG - Tony Allen: Probably my favorite player on the team. He plays with intensity, attitude, and grit. But that's not why he's on this team. He beat up a teammate...on board an airplane...over a card game. Safe to say he ain't afraid to sock someone in the mouth during the course of a game if he had to.
"Let's see him grab a rebound now."

SF - Metta World Crazy: Need I say more? Metta is the basketball Mike Tyson. Minus the face tattoo...and the Hall of Fame skills. But given the opportunity, I could totally see him biting someone's ear off. He may have the shortest fuse out of any player on this team. One time I was watching him give a brief interview right before he went to the locker room for halftime. As he was running off the floor, the camera guy was following him. Someone in the crowd must have said something to him. Because he stopped, turned, and started glaring into the stands. He had this unsure hesitation in his body. You could see the wheels turning in his head. Like "Should I go up and roundhouse this guy in the neck...Or should I just let it go." This was AFTER 2004 brawl in Detroit. And if that doesn't tell you something take a look at this video. Even other goons are afraid of him.


PF - Zach Randolph: Probably the last guy you'd want to mess with in the NBA. In 2003 during a Trailblazers practice session, Ruben Patterson and Qyntel Woods got into a scuffle. Zach Randolph stepped in and punched Patterson in the face. That's right. He saw two people fighting and decided he wanted to join in. Just because. A few years later during a game against the Phoenix Suns, Z-Bo got frustrated delivered a solid jab to the ear of Louis Amundson. Ever since that day Z-Bo has been known as one of the league’s premier bad asses.

 Chris Paul didn't get the memo

C - Kevin Garnett: Now I know what you guys are thinking. "But KG really isn't tough. He's one of those fake tough guys." Correct. KG isn't tough, and would much rather back pedal than throw an actual punch in the midst of a scuffle. However when it comes to trash talk, he's basically unmatched. He said Carmelo's wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios...His wife and mother of his child! He called Charlie Villenueva a cancer patient. He's a habitual line crosser and doesn't make any apologies for it. He's the kind of guy who'd see a dead kitten in the street and think to himself "Hmmm, there's a joke in there somewhere."
"From what I understand, British food does not taste very good. Although I'm rather fond of kidney pie....BITCH!!!!!!"

PG - Delonte West: Never mind the fact that on two separate occasions he got in a fight with teammate Von Wafer wild playing for the Celtics. Never mind the fact that he may have slept with Lebron's mother. Never mind the fact that he's been diagnosed with having a bipolar disorder. Never mind the fact that he carries guns in a guitar case a la Antonia Banderas. Delonte solidified his spot after he gave Gordon Hayward a wet willie during a game against the Utah Jazz.

 He also specializes in Wedgies and Indian burns.

SG - Deshawn Stevenson: I'm convinced that Stevenson is an active gang member. When he was with the Mavs he'd throw up what looked A LOT like a gang sign after making a three. Also he has a red Pittsburgh Pirates tat on his face; a symbol that's often linked with the Bloods…Ok, maybe I watch way too much of that Gangland show on A&E.

Ok, maybe he's just calling out the next play...Yeah, that's it.

SF - Matt Barnes: As I've mentioned in the past, I really hate this guy. But I guess that makes him a perfect candidate for this roster spot. He's probably the most well rounded douchebag in the league. Fights, shit talking, unnecessary stare downs, a bunch of random tattoos. ARGH!!! How can anyone be a fan of this guy? If you share your trail mix with him, he'll probably return it after eating all the M&M's. His mom probably checks her purse after he leaves her house. He probably cusses at his kid’s soccer games. When he's driving down the highway, and someone lets him merge, I bet he doesn't even give that little "Thank you" hand wave.

mega douche
 Look at him. Tell me you don't want to punch your screen right now.

PF - Reggie Evans: He's not even a basketball player. He became a millionaire by running up and down the floor disrupting the other team by any means necessary. Fouling, flopping, and even fondling other men. Yeah, on occasion he’ll pull down 20 plus rebounds in a game. But that’s only because no one wants to go near him.


C - David West: From what I understand David West is a trained boxer. That makes him one of the few guys in the NBA qualified to step in the ring and kick someone's ass. He also reportedly sent the Cavaliers mascot to the hospital after the two got into a play fight before a game in 2012.

11th - Stephen Jackson: Getting into a fight with anyone on the goon squad means that you'll have to also fight Stephen Jackson as well. In the Pacers/Pistons brawl of 2004, Jackson could be seen right there, battling in the trenches with then teammate Ron Artest. And when things get really heated; He's known to pull out a gun a squeeze off a few rounds such as the case in 2006 outside an Indianapolis nightclub.
"We can just tell the judge you where having shooting practice. Get it? Shooting practice."

12th - Kendrick Perkins: There's a direct correlation between the decline in his game and the rise in his jack-ass-ed-ness. It's really all he has left. He can't shoot, dribble, pass, jump, or even run at an NBA speed. I guess he's good at defense in the low post, but with the decline in the number of back to the basket centers, that one skill he has isn't even useful half the time. So yeah, Perkins is almost pointless. However, last season he did have the balls to fight Zach Randolph in front of the locker rooms after a game. And for that, he's earned a spot on the Goon Squad.

Artist Depiction of the scuffle

13th - Kenyon Martin: He used to be a hard fouling, hard dunking All Star. Now he's just a hard fouling role player. Kenyon has a reputation of taking things just a little too far. What would normally be an intentional foul usually results in a flagrant foul. At this point, I don't think he likes basketball nearly as much as he likes inflicting pain on others.

kenyon kills leonard
  No blood; No foul

Nike Ad Man: "Ok LeBron, we've come up with something really slick for your next commercial: Scene: morning, Miami. You emerge from your gigantic mansion through wrought iron gates. A bunch of your admirers are anxiously waiting for you."

LeBron: "How long have they been there?"

Ad Man: "Doesn't matter."

LeBron: "Sure it does. I call neighborhood watch if there's people hanging outside my gates for too long."

Ad Man: "These people are harmless. They don't want to hurt you. They love you. They're huge fans."

LeBron: "Like the 'fans' who left Game 6 early?"

Ad Man: "No, no. None of these people could afford a Heat ticket. It's kids mainly."

LeBron: "I'm a grown man. That sounds creepy."

Ad Man: "No, no. It shows you're accessible."

LeBron: "But I'm not."

Ad Man: "Play along dude. Seriously. It's a commercial."

LeBron: "Ok, what next?"

Ad Man: "Then you and your gigantic posse clog up a major highway as if you're the President of the United States, barge through a parade, go swimming, then you school a bunch of inferior street ball players for your own amusement, make a thousand people wait out in the Miami heat while you practice basketball alone in an air-conditioned private gym, then finish up the day by returning to your mansion. The closing shot is your huge wrought iron gates sliding to a close in front the adoring crowd. Deprived of your Godlike presence, they wander off aimlessly and in silence."

LeBron: "I still think that makes me look like kind of a dick."

Ad Man: "Your payment for this commercial will be 12.6 million dollars."

LeBron: "Well, alrighty then. Let's just do it. 'Just do it' see what I did there?"

Ad Man: "Good one LJ."

LeBron: "Don't call me LJ."

Ad Man: "Sorry, Mr. James."

LeBron: "Better."

Lamar Odom appears to have fallen on hard times

 One of the extras from Dazed and Confused shows Steve Novak the true meaning of "Blurred Lines"

A very drunk Kevin McHale struggles to remember the next play

"Next year we'll get Wiggins and things will be so much better"

Andray Blatche wearing the same number as his made field goals from the night. 

"Maybe we could have won if I could actually see the damn court!"

Little Bigfoot a.k.a. the Artist Formerly Known as Usher teaches Kyrie the ways of the American Indian.

Miami Heat:  I don't know if it's a Championship hangover....or just a hangover period, but the Heat and the Sixers must have switched game plans before tip off because last night we saw one team make a statement while the other grew one step closer to the Wiggins sweep stakes!

Having the vibe of something out of a David Lynch film, the Sixers ran out to a 23-2 lead (not a typo) before showing the Heat a little mercy and letting the quarter end with "only" a 33-14 advantage.  

The arena was buzzing, and you can sense a huge upset was in the air.  I mean you really have to keep in mind that the Sixers are the biggest championship long shots in Vegas history going up against one of the safest title picks in recent memory.

But just when the going got tough for the Heat, the Heat got going.  Pouring it on with 35 points in the 2nd quarter, followed by a blistering 45 point performance in the 3rd (matching what feels like the Grizzlies total scoring output for the season) all momentum swung in the Heat's favor.  Instead of the local Philly fans partying like it's 1999...they merely looked like they hadn't partied since 1999.

And then the local heads at Disney got together and thought "Wouldn't this make for a great story to have one of the biggest regular season upsets in NBA history?" and with the wave of a wand the Sixers got a second wind and held Miami to just 16 points in the fourth while scoring 29 themselves leading to a 114-110 victory.  (Because as you all know, Disney controls everything.)

The thing is, it wasn't even like the Heat played terrible. They shot 50% from the field, managed 25 and 13 (assists) from LeBron, had 6 players hit double figures, yada yada yada....but when you've got Michael Carter-Williams on the other end, you know you're going to have your hands full.

Wait, who?

Yes folks, Michael Carter-Williams, a rookie who had 22 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, and 9 steals in his NBA debut.  We're talking a near quadruple double.

So how many of you chose him for your fantasy team? Yeah, me either.

The Heat blew a 94-85 lead heading into the fourth as Wade's knee injuries continue to pile up.

"We're a comfortable team, we always feel like we can win a game," James said.

Except for tonight.

Stunt Doubles for the Actual Los Angeles Lakers:  It felt like only yesterday the Lakers were the talk of the league with a shocking win over the remodeled Clippers team.  Gutsy performances from all kinds of players whose parents probably weren't even aware that they were in the NBA let alone the average fan.

But that other pesky team from California brushed aside a crappy preseason to show who's boss.  Klay Thompson was in Stephen Curry 2K14 mode ripping off 38 points on 15-19 shooting.  I mean if I was playing someone in 2K14 and they had a player shoot 15-19 I would just turn off the game, no questions asked.

The Lakers only managed 39% shooting which wasn't helped by poor shooting from their savvy veterans (Steve Blake 4-13) and savvy fools (Nick Young 2-9....I want Kobe to come back soon so he can long for the days of Smush Parker when he sees Young willing to takes shots at his own basket just get his field goal attempts up). 

Memphis Grizzlies:  New coach, the return of one of the goofiest looking players in the league who loves to give away money and the sweet dish of revenge from a brutal sweep at the hands of the Spurs this past spring.

But what started off  the "grit and grind" mantra for the Grizzlies quickly turned into "we suck and we don't mind" as Memphis managed just 7 points in the 2nd quarter.  Have I mentioned that was the lowest second quarter output in franchise history and 3rd worst quarter output of all time?

On the flipside, Kawhi kept doing Kawhi like things, who should be in for another strong season.

Pop was even happy with Boris Diaw's aggressiveness (and not just at the drive through lane) of all people.

"He went and talked to a guru in India or something," Popovich said. "I don't know what he did, but he catches and shoots now. I got nothing to do with it. I've been begging him since he got here. His previous coaches have begged him. All of a sudden he's a catch-and-shoot guy. It's continued and we're happy about it."

 A guru in India, eh?  Can't wait to see what his White Album sounds like. 

Zach Randolph's kryptonite completely shut him down again (all hail Lord Bonner) as he was held to just 1-6 shooting, probably thinking the WCF was still going on.

"They had a good playoff series against us last season, they swept us and did a good job," Randolph said. "But tonight was one of those nights; just one of those nights."

Something tells me he might be saying that 81 more times this year.

A very forgettable performance for Memphis who looked completely discombobulated out there facing the Spurs B team most of the night. 

As if things weren't bad enough, check out the Grizzlies opening night win-loss record since moving to the Elvis state in 2001:

2001, Detroit 90 @ Memphis 80
2002, Dallas 119 @ Memphis 108
2003, Boston 93 @ Memphis 91
2004, Washington 103 @ Memphis 91
2005, Miami 97 @ Memphis 78
2006, New York 118 @ Memphis 117 (3OT)
2007, San Antonio 104 @ Memphis 101
2008, Memphis 71 @ Houston 82
2009, Detroit 96 @ Memphis 74
2010, Atlanta 119 @ Memphis 104
2011, Memphis 82 @ San Antonio 95
2012, Memphis 92 @ LA Clippers 101
2013, Memphis 94 @ San Antonio 101

Ladies and Gentlemen, 0-13 the longest opening night losing streak in professional sports history.

Can't wait till next year!

Brooklyn Njets: Oh man oh man oh man.  Where to even begin.  It seems like every time we anoint a team as the next Heat stoppers they proceed to crap the bed when no one is looking.

After all the hoopla of combining forces with the Celtics to form a..uh..superteam of their own, the Nets looked slow, old, and outmatched in crunch time.  A lot like the Celtics of last year!

Pierce and Garnett weren't too bad at all, combining for 9-16's just you know, those other guys like Alan Anderson (4-11, inexplicably taking more shots than both Garnett and Pierce) Deron Williams (2-6, I guess he's already handed the keys over to the new guys?) and Joe Johnson (3-10, inexplicably one of the highest paid players of our time) that really make you wonder what the hell is going on with this team.

It wasn't even like they were playing an NBA power house, they were playing the Cadavers for pete's sake! 

Hell, Cleveland felt so bad for beating up on this team of nursing home residents that they trotted out the world's most expensive human victory cigar - Andrew Bynum!

Yes folks, 3 weeks sober from doing any form of Wii bowling, Bynumite made a cameo scoring more points in 8 minutes (3) than Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston in 36 minutes combined (0!).

"Obviously it hurts but we have to go back and look at the reason why we lost this game," Pierce said. "Throughout the course of the season we have to understand it's always going to be about the little things. To be a championship team, you have to clean those things up."

At this rate the only little things the Nets could be cleaning up are the plastic cups from their arena preparation for next season. 

"Shania Twain hates mayonaise all right, and she can't eat chicken salad, that's no joke. We gave it to her once, she threw up in the limo! listening man?" 

 No Caption Required

 "But but but...I thought Orlando were supposed to be the ones tanking!"

Orlando Magic: A stellar rookie in Victor Oladipo, a solid young core, and a new beginning.  All was well with the Magic in the first half as they overcame a slow start to take a 4 point lead at halftime quieting an anxious Pacers crowd.

And then Magic coach Jacque Vaughn gave a rousing halftime speech reminding Orlando that they needed to continue to build where they left off last season.

And did they ever.

Allowing Indiana to come one block shy with a franchise tying 18 blocks and giving up 32 free throw attempts in the process reminded us that the Magic were exactly who we thought they were.  

"We were making bets at the half at who could peg the Pacers hands the most when going for a shot" said Affalo. 

Indiana used a 21-4 run to blow the game wide open which was made easier by the fact that the veterans of the young Magic team in Aaron Affalo and Jameer "How Am I Still in the League" Nelson combined for 7-27 from the floor...way to set an example fellas.

No Orlando player logged more than 33 minutes.

Coach Vaughn stated "I'm trying to use the Pop rotation of keeping the players fresh through out the season.   If they can't be fresh for the playoffs, then at least they can be fresh for the summer."

Ah, I love the sweet sound of ping pong balls in the morning.

Chicago Bulls: I'm not going to name names but there were a handful of analysts who had chosen this team to put a roadblock on the Heat's quest for a three peat.  Derrick Rose came back (even if NBA Live managed to return before he did), the team had some new pieces (Mike Dunleavy Jr) and looked prime to knock the wind out of Miami's sails.

And they looked good too....for a quarter anyway.  Rose was getting to the rim at will, Bosh was being Bosh (missed his first 5 shots, didn't get his first bucket since Game 6 until the end of the 1st quarter) and Wade looked like he should be joining the cast of Grumpy Old Men III.

Rose thought he should take a breather and that's when all hell broke loose. Without a first option on offense, the Bulls managed 6 turnovers in the 2nd quarter (kept passing to a non existent Marco Bellinelli I'm guessing?) and the Heat exploded for a 37 point quarter which was more points than the Bulls managed in the entire half. 

Smell the glove

Now the Bulls did manage to return the favor with a 37 point 4th quarter to make the score respectable so they would be allowed to return to Chicago.  This was helped by a 31 point performance from Carlos Boozer (amnesty that)  and some of that tenacious defense we are normally acustomed to seeing from the Bulls.  But it was all for nothing.  It's going to be a long season, but maybe just a little longer for the Bulls.

 Bosh waves goodbye to his first five jumpshots

The Clippers:  A new coach (Doc Rivers), a revitalized bench with newcomers JJ Reddick and Chris Dudley, and several new sheets of linen to cover up all those Laker championship banners (shout out to Bed Bath and Beyond!) made for high expectations for the 2013/14 season.

Now, if I told you that there would be no Kobe Bryant, that Pau Gasol and the ghost of Steve Nash would be watching from the bench in the fourth quarter you would assume the Lakers would be in for a rough night. I will even raise you a Nick Young performance that would borrow Dick Cheney's shot selection and go off for 3-10 shooting, only to be outdone by the Daniel Day Lewis of the NBA (Wesley Johnson, continuing to fool people into believing he's an NBA player) who went for a blistering 1-11, you would be getting flashbacks of the 2006 Lakers all over again.

Instead, we got flashbacks of the '87 Clippers, who got shell shocked in the fourth quarter that had them recapturing the magic of the Vinny D era by getting outscored in the fourth quarter 41-24.

"Mike [D'Antoni] did a great thing: He didn't bring his starters back in," Rivers said. "There was a point where I was thinking: 'Please bring them back in.'"

But alas, Pringles had one upped the Doc on this night. The Clippers got destroyed on the glass, and had no answer for Professor Xavier Henry (22 points) and allowed 7 players from the Lakers D League to score in double digits.

I mean we had Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, and Jordan Hill completely destroy the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, JJ Reddick, and Jamal Crawford.  Deandre Jordan makes more money in half a quarter than the entire Lakers 4th quarter lineup for the season combined.

Oh, and the Lakers are now 5-0 when Kobe misses the season opener.  Let that sink in for a second. 


"Oh, man, it seemed like it just happened so fast," Paul said. "Those guys executed their game plan, and when you're missing somebody like Kobe, you feed off that energy."   

Speaking of Kobe, did anyone else notice how annoyed he looked at the end of the game when the Lakers won handily without him?

"All I know is that their starting five still haven't beaten our starting five" said Rivers to his team after the game.

Looks like the Doc may need to see one himself.  

Training camps are underway, and the NBA preseason has now begun. It's been a very active offseason. With so many trades, signings, and front office moves, it's been hard to keep up with them all. However, there were a few things that jumped out to me this summer. Today I want to countdown the five most bizarre or unusual happenings from around the Association.

 1. Greg Oden is back in the NBA.

After three microfracture surgeries, battling alcohol addiction, and a long rehab process, Greg Oden is now back on an NBA roster. Believe it or not, there was a mini bidding war for his services. Oden had offers to play for several teams but opted to join the defending champion Miami Heat. After being waived by the Trailblazers, many thought that he would never play professional basketball ever again. It's a pretty ideal situation as he'll walk into training camp with zero expectations. The Heat have won back to back titles with center rotation that consist of crap, shit, and trash. All Oden has to do is lumber up the floor, flail his arms at opposing shooters, and dunk once or twice a game. THAT'S IT. As long as he's healthy he should have the starting spot on lockdown. As long as he's healthy... He doesn't even need to reach his original potential. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 points and 8 rebounds and the Miami Heat have the title in the bag. This is isn't Portland, where the fans are almost rabid about their basketball team. He's isn't seen as the number 1 pick who was taken ahead of Kevin Durant. He enters the Heat training camp as just another center in a city that only sometimes cares about professional basketball.

Not 12...Not 13...Not 14...

2. Lionel Hollins and George Karl are no longer employed as coaches.

In today's budget conscious NBA, teams like the Nuggets and the Grizzlies had to cut back on the spending. As a result, two of the best coaches from last season would not return to their respective teams. They were basically shown the door because they were too good. Seriously, George Karl won the goddamn NBA Coach of the Year award. The Denver Nuggets finished third in the conference even though not a single player made the All Star team last year. Hollins got the Grizzlies to the Conference Finals, a first in the franchise's history. An amazing feat considering that snake, John Hollinger traded away Rudy Gay, the team's leading scorer for Tayshaun "Bad Back and Even Worse Contract" Prince. I don't have a freaking clue who the new Grizzlies coach is. (After Googling the answer, I still don't know this guy.) I hope head coaches of small market teams were paying attention. If you value your job, just make sure you have a very mediocre season, and don't expect pay increase on your next contract.

They could have at least offered to have his gargoyle hand fixed.
3. Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace are employed as coaches.

When Jason Kidd was playing everyone always said how he was like a coach on the floor. Directing traffic, calling out the plays himself, finding weak points in the defense. But I didn't expect him to retire, and then immediately jump straight into the head coaches office. Normally guys have to pay their dues as an assistant or a player development coach. After that begins a series of interviews each offseason in which they get their dreams shattered over and over and over again by potential teams....It’s a process. But Ol' J Kidd here somehow convinced Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov to give him a shot despite having the same amount of coaching experience Patrick Ewing hates Jason Kidd. He's already off to a rocky start. Kidd has to sit out the first two games of the season because he got shitfaced in the Hamptons last year and wrecked his SUV. Speaking of wrecks, Rasheed Wallace ladies and gentlemen. Who the hell thought it'd be a good idea to let him hang around impressionable youths? Does Greg Monroe really need to be taking advise from Rasheed? What is he gonna teach him? How to trot of the floor and launch three's? How to get tossed out of games? How to be a millionaire, but still manage to look like a total bum? Where he can get the best weed in Detroit? How to have an unstoppable turn around baseline jumper but only pull it out twice a game? The only good thing that will come out of this...and I mean the ONLY good thing, is that we might get to hear him scream, "BALL DON'T LIE!!!"

Coming to a sideline near you.

4. Shaquille O'Neal is an owner.

 My Initial reaction to the news of Shaq becoming part owner of the Sacramento Kings? "Please, Please, PLEASE let this be the end of Shaq as a television analyst". He's just not funny. Shaq's style of humor works best during courtside interviews or after the game in the locker room. He's sports funny. That's the guy who's funny amongst a group of people who are kinda dull. In terms of real world funny he's horrible. Laughing at his own jokes...repeating them over and over when they don't go over well...GET HIM OFF MY TV. Where was I? Ah yes, Shaq the owner. I feel bad for Kings fans. This guy kept your team from getting to the Finals, and playfully referred to them as the Sacramento "Queens" for many years. (Another joke that only works if you're an athlete.) Now you have to drive around town looking up at billboards that have his big dumbass grin on it. With the word "Shaqramento" underneath. That's like Batman capturing the Joker and then becoming warden at Arkham Asylum.

 Majority owner Vivek Ranandive explaining how the Kings plan on helping the Sacramento community while Shaq eyeballs a meat and cheese tray in the corner.
5. Lamar Odom.

 This one is most bizarre because I'm not sure if anyone knows they entire story. I've been scouring the net, and it’s hard to tell which parts of the Odom offseason saga are bullshit, and which parts are true. It doesn't help that TMZ, who are known for making things up, has been all over this since day one. They reported that Odom was missing, and not even his wife knew where he was. TMZ had us thinking Lam Lam could have been laying face down in a ditch somewhere. Then they claimed he was off somewhere smoking crack with a couple of whores. Well, it seems that Odom's friends and family did know where he was, however all that stuff about him being on drugs was true. And it was also true that he got arrested for a DUI. Annnnd it was true that he had to check himself in to rehab. Annnnnnnnd it was true that he promptly check himself out of rehab claiming that he could stop using drugs on his own. If I had to guess, I'd say he's done as a professional athlete. The Lakers trying to trade him to New Orleans a few years ago was the worst thing that could have happened to his career. Ever since that day, Odom has been on a downward spiral. It looked like he had an opportunity to redeem himself with the Clippers last season, but I wasn't expecting him to totally blow it. Most nights he looked like someone's grandpa who just wondered onto the floor during a game. I'm going to miss seeing him mail it in night in and night out.

"Did someone say blow?"