Isiah wotw
"Hey Eddy, I'd play you more minutes,
but you're know, like this."

Sacramento Kings: Expecations for the Kings aren't exactly high right now, considering that they're missing their three best players (Kevin Martin, Mike Bibby, and Ron Artest). However, there are losses and then there are heartbreaking losses. The Kings had their hearts broken twice in a winless weekend. On Friday night, they outshot the Cavaliers 55 percent to 38, but they negated their hot shooting by committing 22 turnovers and giving up 23 points to Cleveland's bench in the fourth quarter of the four-point loss. On Saturday night, they lost by one point on a Ben Wallace freethrow, which would have been humiliating enough, but Wallace then got away with wacking Brad Miller's hand on the Kings' last-second shot.

Chris Duhon: Is he in a shooting slump? Well, let's put it this way: He's hit only one field goal in 21 attempts over his last four games, including Saturday's 0-for-7 performance against the Kings. He's also 0-for-14 from three-point range in that stretch.

Jason Collins: Wednesday night's 10-point explosion must have taken something out of him, because he returned to form over the weekend: Zero points (0-for-1) and 3 rebounds in 23 minutes of "action" over two games.

Ray Allen: The Memphis Grizzlies are the second worst defensive team in the league in terms of points per game (104.3) and the third worst in terms of opponents' field goal percentage ( 46.9), yet they somehow held Allen to 2 points on 0-for-9 shooting (including 0-for-3 from downtown). The next night he was better, but barely, in scoring 9 points (on 3-for-8 shooting) against the Pistons.

Rajon Rondo: The Celtics' supposed Achilles' heel was just that this weekend. He scored 4 points (2-for-9) against the Grizzlies and 3 points (1-for-7) against the Pistons. He also only dished out a single assist all weekend while committing 6 turnovers. Yet, as I pointed out above, the Celtics still managed to rack up a couple wins.

Dallas Mavericks: So let me get this straight. They had to come from behind in the fourth quarter at home to beat a Miami Heat team that was without Dwyane Wade, Shaq, and Jason Williams? I really don't get the Mavericks this year. Everything about them statistically, including their win-loss record (23-11), indicates that they're one of the best teams in the league. But I simply don't trust them from game to game.

Miami Heat: Wade is in and out. Shaq is just out. They've lost seven games in a row, nine of 10, and they're 8-26 overall. Adding insult to misery, Wade missed two freethrows that could have tied the game against Memphis with about a minute left. I guess that's what happens when a team sells its soul for a championship.

Chauncy Billups: "Mr. Big Shot" missed three freethrows in the fourth quarter of the Piston's 92-85 loss to the Celtics. He also missed a critical three-pointer in the closing minutes that could have given his team the lead (he was 3-for-9 from three-point range for the game). Then, rather than giving the Celtics credit after the game, he tried to diminish the impact of their victory. "They're a little more happy than we were when we won our game at their place. It was just a regular game for us with two good teams playing. They were kind of playing like it was the Super Bowl. There was probably a little more at stake for them and their psyche than it was for us." Actually, the Celtics have been celebrating every victory like that, all season long. They just love winning. It kind of reminds me how some people, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, used to criticize Magic for how he'd celebrate after "meaningless" regular season victories. Then Magic went on to win five championships. I'm just sayin'.

New York Knicks: That's seven losses in a row, eight out of 10, and an 8-24 record. In other news, a 22-year-old college student was arrested outside Madison Square Garden last week for selling t-shirts that said, "Don't Hate The Player Or The Game. Hate The Coach." The man in question, one Ivan Cash, said Cash thinks the arrest was meant "to put a lid on all the demands by fans for a new coach.'' Tough time to be a Knicks fan.

Phoenix Suns: On Saturday night, the Suns outshot, out-rebounded, and out-assisted the Hornets, but still suffered a come-from-ahead loss at home. Despite having 12 blocked shots as a team, the Suns defense was porous enough to allow Jannero Pargo to score 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. It was Pargo's season-high, and his highest point total since March 27, 2006.

Philadelphia 76ers: Remember last season how everybody figured the Iverson trade was kind of a wash? Well, this season the Sixers are 14-20 while the Nuggets are 21-12 and leading their division. On Sunday, Iverson had a classic "see what you lost" revenge game against his former team: 38 points (14-of-25), 8 assists, and, most importantly, a 109-96 victory.

Sasha Pavlovic: Remember how excited the Cavaliers were to finally resign Pavlovic? I would guess they're decidedly less excited right about now. Sasha's currently shooting a career-worst 33 percent from the field and 29 percent from three-point range (compaired to 45 and 40 last season). He hasn't hit 50 percent of his shots since December 11th; in fact, he's only shot 50 percent or better five times in 31 games this season. He's only 20-for-70 over his last 10 games, including two games this weekend in which he was 4-for-11 and 0-for-7. Bottom line: He's not quite the zone-buster the Cavs had hoped.

Kevin Durant: He's the second-worst percentage shooter in Seattle's regular rotation (7-for-21 on Sunday), yet he averages seven more shot attempts per game than the next closest player (Chris Wilcox). He also averages more turnovers (3.0) than assists (2.1). With the way the Trailblazers are playing, I think that the mere thought of Greg Oden deserves Rookie of the Year.

Michael Finley: His 1-for-10 shooting let the Clippers stay close on Sunday. Of course, Bruce Bowen's 1-for-8 didn't help either. Anybody notice the Spurs haven't been playing so great lately? They've been playing just good enough to win, but that's hardly impressive, especially after a couple close calls against the Knicks and Clippers. We'll see how they play tonight at Golden State.

Update -- Malik Allen: Many thanks to reader Xing Quan, whose keen eyes discovered Allen's amazing feat: A 12 trillion (!!) in the Nets' 113-107 win over the Hawks. This matches the largest known "trillion" score I've ever seen, which was accomplished by Damon Jones in Game 1 of the 2007 NBA Finals. It's one thing to be a role player. It's another thing to really suck. And it's an entirely different thing when you're 6'10", 255 pounds, and you can't haul down a single rebound or even commit a foul in 12 minutes of playing time. Did anyone actually see the game? Can anyone confirm that Malik actually played? Did someone put on his jersey by mistake?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I find it odd you're now applauding Iverson when in November you too "figured the Iversion trade was kind of a wash."

Nov 20, 2007: "Fun fact: The Sixers are 3-7 after 10 games. Last year, with Allen Iverson in the lineup, they were 4-6 after 10 games. So you can see how much they miss him."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Well, the Nuggets were only 10-7 through the month of November. Since, at that time, neither team was (seemingly) any better or any worse than they had been before the trade, it seemed as if the trade itself was a wash. Subsequently, the Nuggets have gotten a lot better while the Sixers remain (firmly) a sub-.500 team. So it appears, for the time being, that the Nuggets came out the "winners." However, I'm fully prepared to flip-flop my position if the Nuggets start sucking (which seems unlikely) or if the Sixers start rising (which seems even less likely).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I hate it when you put the Suns in the "Worst of" column and not even mention the stinkfest season that, I mean Boris Diaw is having. I think this guy is the weakest player ever. I just cant stand it, but I'll keep coming back for more, keep up the good work!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
manic -- Tell you what, tomorrow's post is going to be solely devoted to the Suns. It's going to be a Sunstravaganza.

Blogger bob said...
Hmm, you're right about Mavs being completely inconsistent. Of course, with a full-strength Miami side (not saying much), Dallas probably would have streaked away to win by 20. It's been laughable this season, but I'm hoping every team they play in the playoffs is at full strength so their trend leads them to the championship.

(Wild dreams.)

PLus Manu Ginobili returning screwed over my fantasy team in a final-day matchup against the top-rank team in my league. His return, I attribute directly to Finley's stinkerbomb where previously, he'd been averaging about 17 points with 3 threes per game. Cost me the "3PTM", "FG%" and then combined with Marion's stinkerbomb at the Hornets to turn a 5 to 4 lead to a 7 to 2 loss.

Blogger starang said...
Oh god manic, you've excited the beast. Please be gentle in the Sunstravaganza post.

BTW, I'll be 2nd row vs Denver tonight, right behind DEN bench. Did you know, you get free beer and free dinner and free beer with 2nd row tickets!!!! All for the bargain price of $700 a ticket. Its great to have friends with rich parents that like basketball.

This is going to get real ugly, real quick: Me, 1 row behind the opposing bench, with easy access to free beer. Look for me throwing a haymaker at Melo during a televised coaching huddle. I'll be the drunk guy in a violent orange shirt throwing a haymaker at Melo during a telivised coaching huddle.

Blogger Dr Chocolate said...
Malik Allen did not play against the Hawks, due to a sore back.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
starang - Good luck trying to land one on Melo. He has been to known to be a fast runner during brawls.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm just glad the Blazers haven't really been mentioned on here for quite some time!

Keep up the good work!

Blogger ChrisH said...
duhons only bucket in his last 21 shots was a goaltend. so it's been even longer since he actually found net

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Echoing Dr. Chocolate, it appears Malik Allen's 12 trillion was a typo, as the summary says he was held out due to back pain, and back to the box score, NJ evidently started 2 centers that night.

Damon Jones still holds the record!

Blogger R. LeBaron said...
Kevin Durant's shooting stats aren't surprising. The Sonics don't have much else in the way of offensive firepower outside of him and Wally Szczerbiak (ack!). Durant's young and he's going to have a bunch of 7 for 21 type of nights.