WotN - Manu

Denver Nuggets defense: The Charlotte Bobcats are 20th in the league in scoring (95.4 PPG), but Denver let them score 119 points. That's the most points the Bobcats have scored since late last season, when they dropped 122 on the Wizards. Memo to the Nuggets: If you want to be legit, you can't let teams like Charlotte score 119 points on you. Still, despite all that, Denver would have won the game if not for...

Carmelo Anthony: With 9.5 seconds left and the Nuggets trailing 117-115, 'Melo went to the line with a chance to tie the game. He made the first free throw, but clunked the second. Still, Anthony did manage to snag a deflected rebound...then shuffled his feet. Tweet! Game over. Said Anthony after the game: ""I probably did travel. I didn't think they would call it, though."

Boston Celtics: Wow. Going into this game, the Celtics had already lost two of three, including a home game against the Bobcats. And after losing to the Wizards in Washington on Saturday, I bet a lot of people were forecasting a little Boston payback last night. Only, oddly enougn, it was the Wizards who got payback for the way they got spanked in the C's home opener. But it's not the fact that the Celtics lost that's alarming -- every team loses winnable games here and there -- it's the way they lost. Boston was leading 77-63 with 6:24 left to play but got outscored 25-6 the rest of the way. The Celtics had their chances in the final minute, but Garnett missed a three-pointer and then clanked a turnaround jumper, and Ray Allen came up way short on a three on what turned out to be the Celtics final meaningful possession. When you have not one, not two, but three superstars on your team, you should really be able to hold onto a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter at home against a lesser team.

One note on Boston's "failure": The Celtics played the first 30 or so games like they were playoff games. That's the kind of intensity and determination that the Garnett, Pierce, and Allen were bringing to each and every game. So, really, it's not surprising that there's been a little bit of a letdown. It's hard to maintain that degree of focus and concentration over the course of an 82-game season. Especially when you consider that these guys had never even played together before (All-Star Games don't count). The team looks a little gassed right now, probably because they've been playing basketball like their lives depended on it for the last three months or so. They'll recover.

Caron Butler: I love his scrappy play, I love the way he's helped rally the Wizards to a 20-16 record without Gilbert Arenas, and I really love his crazy nickname ("Tough Juice"). But I'm not sure what to make of his post-kicking-Boston's-ass comments: "Our eyes are on winning a championship." You know, I expect a certain amount of absurd confidence from professional athletes. And yeah, the Wizards have played way better than anybody thought they could, minus their superstar leader. But, that said, and the back-to-back victories against Boston aside, does anybody think the Wizards have what it takes to win a championship this season? Or even make it to the Eastern Conference Finals? I mean, it's great to dream and all, but come on. Oh well, like Ricky Bobby said, "If yer not first, yer last."

New Jersey Nets: I know the Blazers have been on fire lately, but that doesn't explain why the Nets just laid down and died at home. They only scored 12 points in the first quarter and 73 points in the game. The team shot 33 percent (26-for-77), and effort "led" by the Nets' Big Three of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson, who shot a combined 7-for-33. This team should be so much better than it is.

Gordan Giricek: That's two straight DNP-CDs. Yeah, I know he wasn't happy on the Jazz, but you really have to be careful what you wish for in this league.

Bruce Bowen: He was 1-for-8 last night, and he's 4-for-27 over his last five games (including 2-for-16 from three-point range). Granted, the Spurs don't count on him for scoring, but hitting a shot now and then sure would help their cause.

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks shot 57 percent through the first three quarters, then nearly got blanked in the fourth. They ended up shooting 2-for-18 in the fourth quarter, after going the first seven-plus minutes without a field goal. And I know it sort of goes without saying, but they coughed up the lead, and the game, to the Jazz.

Kevin Durant: When he looks back to his team's 2-point overtime loss to the Lakers, I hope he realizes that his 6-for-26 shooting performance is what doomed his team.

Kobe Bryant: Yes, he led his team to victory by scoring 48 points...on 44 shot attempts. With 2 assists. Now that Bynum's out for a couple months, could this be the return of the last season's Kobe? I kinda hope so.

Dallas Mavericks defense: The Mavs were great offensively: 120 points, 57 percent shooting, 28 assists. Too bad they gave up 122 points. To the Kings. Kevin Martin, who hasn't played basketball in six weeks, scored 39 points (14-for-16) in just under 28 minutes. Said Avery Johnson: "We are not going to win many games giving up 122 points." I guess that's why he's the coach.

DeSagana Diop: In a game in which the two teams combined for 242 points on 164 shot attempts, Diop contributed...5 fouls in 5 minutes of "action." He is not making Senegal proud. [Thanks to Bob for the heads up.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yeah, but wouldn't you rather Butler have that attitude than Vince Carter's patented,

"Our eyes are on a contract extension. For me. Me. Me, me, me, me, me, me me."?

I like the fact that there's no back down in the guy.

And if they can beat the Celtics, who's to say?

Okay, too far.

Blogger stephanie g said...
I love this site.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Hardwood -- Oh, absolutely. Tough Juice is like the Anti-Vince. And frankly, the Wiz would be a lesser team if he didn't have that attitude. That said, there are certain thoughts you just don't publish. That's one of 'em.

stephani g -- Thanks! As long as this site is loved, I will keep giving people things to love.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Of course, as B-bawful's personal nemesis I should bring up the fact that in our live fantasy draft a few years back, B-bawful said, "I'm outta this draft once Caron Butler's taken."

So of course I took him. :)

Blogger Tonewise said...
Kobe Mnemonic!

With Bynum out, much like Johnny when in the face of danger, Kobe will now double himself in battle. An attempt to single handedly dominate his opponents!

(thank god i had him and bynum on my roto team...)

c'mon, a nickname with reference to a movie that bad has got to be good!

Blogger Tonewise said...
oh yea, Steph G, I agree!

If the only thing this site ever did was open my eyes to the wonderful world of the "one Trillion" it would still be worth reading everyday, just for that!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think I was one of few people that thought New Jersey would flop once carter got that contract
but they'll make the playoffs
and "looking forward" for Krstic to comeback AHAHHA when you're looking forward for a 15 5 PF/C who doesn't really have a post game you're in trouble
(they are in the east)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I love how quick people jump on stats to criticize, but didn't actually watch the game.

Kobe's hustle numbers were down from usual, because he is quite sick.

The 44 shots were an indication that Seattle decided to single-cover him with Jeff Green most of the night. (What?)

When the Lakers play meaningless games against the Sonics in the middle of January, there's nothing wrong with Kobe shooting 44 times.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
dave -- At least point out that that happened when Caron still sucked.

tonewise -- Kobe Mnemonic is a great nickname, but nothing will ever replace the Black Mamba in my heart. Or the Black Mamba in my pants, but that's another story entirely.

shrugz -- I wrote the Nets off the minute their GM decided Carter, with his dubious history, was worth almost $80 million.

optimus prime -- Open the Matrix, my friend. It will light your darkest hour. As for Kobe, you might not have noticed, but we hate Kobe here. But then, we hate just about anybody who would take 44 shot attempts in a game.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yea, I've noticed, and will continue to argue for him.

So I take it that means you hate Jordan as well. Good to know!

Who's got the #1 record in the West?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
pheonix? LOL of course tied with lakers but remember it was a TEAM effort

Blogger Basketbawful said...
optimus -- I thought you were the wisest of the Autobots. Why are you arguing for Kobe? That would be akin to arguing that Grimlock should have been the leader of the Autobots, when we all know that would have been a grave error.

Frankly, I think Kobe owes his teammates -- and especially Andrew Bynum -- a public apology before anybody argues for him.

You take it correctly: I did hate Jordan. But then again, I can't really stand behind anybody who would punch out docile teammates like Steve Kerr and Will Perdue. He was a good ballplayer, though.

As for who's got the number one record in the West, I have a better question: Who cares? Because last I checked, we hadn't even reached the All-Star break yet, and they don't give out trophies for "Best Record in the West on January 15." Well, the Decepticons might, but they're pure dag-nasty evil.

Being first in the West sounds nice, but when was the last time the team with the best record in the West, or the league for that matter, actually won a title? Didn't happen last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that, or the year before that.

So break out a banner if it makes you feel better. But if you don't mind, I'm going to sit back and watch the rest of the regular season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
pretty much spurs have it right when I heard Boston had it's starters playing aroudn 35-38 mpg I ask myself WHY???? whats the point?? and it's mid season and they lose to washington twice and the bobcats figured that'd happen sooner or later

Blogger bob said...
Um, you forgot DeSagana Diop and his wonderful statline of 5 minutes and 5 fouls. Shocking how he's fallen out of rotation so fast.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful - no. I knew you'd do it for me.

Jordan is the cause of all blame for how the game is played, coached, reffed and medialated today. Before Jordan there was a post game, and rebounding battles that ended in 14 tips and a putback. Before Jordan players dribbled the ball. Before Jordan, talking to the ref was a rare thing, only to be used for desparate moments and the *really* bad call. Before Jordan, coaches instructed the players. Before Jordan, the media would actually include other teammates in articles and highlights. Before Jordan.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hmm, if the Mavs scored 122 and the Kings also had 122, does this mean their record now is something like 25-11-1?

Also: in the contest for most insufferable fans this season, who's worst, Celtics fans ("we win everything! Go Pats! Go Celts! Go Sox! Go whateverthenameofourhockeyteamis!") or Laker fans?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
bob -- You're right. I updated the post, crediting you for the heads up.

dave -- Amen, brutha.

don paco -- Ooops. Thanks for the edit check. Post updated. As to the question: Normally, I'd say Lakers fans, mostly because they are smug beyond the ability to reason. But between the Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bill Simmons, I'm ready to carpet bomb Boston fandom of the map.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Concerning the 44 shots taken by Kobe,

Analysis can be found at ForumBlueandGold

Excerpt... "So when I look at these numbers, I can conclude that Kobe rocks the casbah. He may have taken a lot of shots, but they were for the most part good ones/he was having one of those nights."

and from Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo Sports: "Is Kobe shooting too much, again?"

Excerpt... "So it may have seemed conspicuous (or, downright sneaky) that I mentioned Kobe Bryant's 48 points in today's BtB, but didn't mention the fact that he needed 44 shots to score those 48. Why? Because the shot attempts were misleading: Kobe took a series of
really, really good shots that rimmed out. Even if he hits half those shots, we might be looking at a 60-point night. He wasn't a ballhog, he wasn't being selfish, and he wasn't getting to the line because the SuperSonics can't be bothered to foul teams."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
As one of the few resident Mavs fans around, I have to say that Diop is my favorite player on the team, and thus in the league.

Is he great? Meh. But he is "Intangible Man". His defensive presence makes alot of difference, and Avery Johnson is an idiot for starting Dampier (I know, I know, but he's an all-star hopeful..) over Diop.

Still, 5 fouls in 5 minutes is what it is and as much as I want to make an argument against his mention here, I just can't.

Blogger djnumbers said...
you're not alone optimus prime. there are others out there who stand for what's right in the world, namely not condemning individual greatness. The Lakers are on top for the moment due to team ball, but kobe is still the man. haters want to forget that has abated his own game so that others can show their improvement. and then he goes ball hog for one night, shoots well, hits clutch shots, and now he's a villain again. you and I, optimus, see the truth. stay strong, brother in fandom, stay strong.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Reading through these comments all I can say is aside from Meghan (the) Fox (pun is intended, unintenionally), the Transformer movie sucked.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
dunkfu -- I appreciate your input. But, no offense, I don't care all that much what they have to say about Kobe's 44 shots at a pro-Lakers blog (even though it's very well written) or what Kelly Dwyer has to say about it. If they were all "good shots," why did he miss 23 of them? But what it really comes down to is this: My personal feelings about the game says that no one player should take 44 shots in a game. If I want to see one dude taking every shot, I can go watch streetball.

Chris -- I agree that Diop has more intangibles, and worth, than Dampier. He (normally) plays meaningful minutes. That said, he hasn't progressed and improved as a player the way I would have liked. However, I think that's in no small part due to how he's utilized within a team that has a lot of talented guys who want their shots/minutes/etc.

djnumbers -- Here, here! Man, this is American. And America is about freedom. That's why I will fight to the death to protect your right to say whatever you want, even if it is a bunch of stupid stuff in defense of an arrogant cocksmith like Kobe Bryant. But don't for a minute think that you or anyone else can take away my right to hate him.

Hey, put it this way. When you go watch a Batman movie, you wanna see two and a half hours of Bruce Wayne hanging around the house with his crusty old butler? Or do you wanna see him slug it out with the Joker? Life is much more enjoyable when you have a villain to hate and root against. And Kobe is a douchebag no matter how many points he scores. Tell you what. If Kobe comes out and publically apologizes for dicking over his team and his teammates last summer, and admits he was flat out wrong, I will officially ease off on my anti-Kobe stance. Sound fair?

al james -- Hey now! Al, I love you man, and I enjoy the hell out of your comments. But don't dis Transformers the Movie. Oh, wait, you mean the Transformers movie that came out last summer? Oh, hell yeah, it sucked! Megatraon had teeth. Teeth. Why the f*** does a robot need teeth? The All Spark? If there is any justice, the people who wrote that travesty are currently plagued by a terrible genital rash.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
DJNumbers, I got your back.

Head Basketbawfuller, I'm not trying to take away your hate of Kobe, convince you to like him, or anything like that, not at all. Keep on hating, it's fine. But is it not OK for us to defend his game? To note where, actually, we who viewed the game think it was ok?

I can be Passive Laker Fan Guy if you'd rather; I still enjoy reading your site.

And my nick isn't referring to the lame movie, but the cartoon in the 80s. :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
optimus -- And I quote myself: "That's why I will fight to the death to protect your right to say whatever you want, even if it is a bunch of stupid stuff in defense of an arrogant cocksmith like Kobe Bryant."

If I really didn't want to invite debate -- and that includes people who chose to defend Kobe -- I'd just moderate away the comments. So defend away. I won't always agree, of course. But I'm sure you expected that.

I also finally got around to watching the whole game. And many of his shots were good ones. But if you really did watch it, you know he took some questionable ones as well. I jotted down some notes and I could make you a list if you want to argue it.

I was assuming your name had to do with the 80s cartoon, and the even awesomer 80s cartoom movie of the same name. Hey, I'm not afraid to admit it, I've got Stan Bush's "The Touch" on my iPod and it still gives me chills.