WotN - Kirk
Kirk Hinrich says: "Matt Damon!"

Washington Wizards defense: After his team held the Dallas Mavericks to 41 percent shooting, Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said, "We are being nastier and grittier defensively." Well, the Wizards' defense certainly was nasty last night, but not in the way Jordan meant it. They "held" the Cavaliers to 121 points on 56 percent shooting while getting ravaged on the boards 53-29. The Washington D was at it's utter worst during the third quarter, when Cleveland shot 70 percent and outscored the Wizards 43-17. The Associated Press article actually says that the Wiz "stood around like department store mannequins on defense." Wow. It's pretty rare for the Associated Press to editorialize that way. But it's also true. At one point, Larry Hughes just strolled in and dunked while not one, not two, not three, but four Wizards just stood there and watched. Speaking of Hughes...

Larry Hughes: On a night when the rest of his team had it going on, Hughes had one of his typical 2-for-8 shooting nights. And, as noted, one of his two field goals was an uncontested dunk. I can tell you one thing: 33 percent shooting is not what the Cavaliers had in mind when they decided to pay him $12 million a year. Good thing Danny Ferry locked him up through 2009-10!!

Washington Wizard offense: I should probably note that the Wizards offense was pretty bad, too. They scored 85 points on 39 percent shooting, giving fans a bitter taste of what it was like to watch the New York Knicks in the mid-90s. The Washington O was so bad that Yahoo lists Darius Songaila as the team's top performer...with 8 points on 3-for-8 shooting.

Gordan Giricek: His line against the Pistons: 4 minutes, 0-for-2 shooting, 1 assist, 2 personal fouls, and a +/- score of -8. I bet Giricek never thought he'd miss Salt Lake City this badly.

Eddie Jones: The empty husk of Eddie Jones shot 1-for-6 against the Bobcats. In its previous two games, it shot 1-for-3 against the Wizards and 1-for-4 against the Sonics. So the thing might be creepy, but it's still good for at least one field goal a game, and that's something. I guess.

Jose Juan Barea: The Mavs back-up to the back-up point guard scored a two trillion. According to Barea's official Web site, "Barea is regarded by many Northeastern followers as the most exciting player ever to wear a Husky uniform." He also enjoys going to the beach and watching television. Now when you speak of me, never let it be said that I don't provide information to enrich your life.

Boston Celtics defense: The Green are ranked first in the league in both points allowed (88.1) and field goal percentage defense (41.9). For this reason, one can only assume that the C's simply chose not to play defense last night, since the Raptors scored 114 points on 58 percent from the field and 71 percent from three-point land. Five traffic cones could have forced more misses than that. Doc Rivers needs to order up some Inflatable Defenders, pronto.

Boston Celtics clutchability: They have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. For those of you who enjoy counting, that's three superstars. So why are they having trouble closing out games? They suffered a come-from-ahead loss to the Raptors last night after getting outscored 30-21 in the fourth. In their last loss, to the Wizards, they were outscored 29-20 in the fourth and lost by 5. In their next to last loss, also to the Wizards, they were outscored 25-13 in the final stanza and lost by 7. In their December loss to Detroit, they got outscored 26-20 in the fourth and lost by 2. Mind you, I know they've only lost seven games, and they're still a very strong team. But they've surrendered fourth quarter leads in all but one of those seven losses. Shouldn't a team with that much star power be able to, you know, finish? And why oh why did they go to Eddie House with seconds remaining and the game on the line? Speaking of House...

Eddie House: When they write the book on Eddie House, it will be one sentence long, and that sentence will be: "He's not afraid to shoot, even when he's shooting badly." Like last night, when he was 2-for-9. It's like terrorists have kidnapped his wife and plan to kill her if he doesn't shoot the ball every time he touches it.

Chris Bosh's buttery fingers: If the Raptors hadn't pulled out that win over the Celtics, Bosh and his 7 turnovers would have been a big reason why.

Pat Garrity: Ring up a two trillion for the Magic's 12th man.

Darko Milicic: Just 1 rebound in 23 minutes for a 7-foot, 275-pound starting center? That's very not good. Even for Darko.

Phoenix Suns: At 7-34, the Minnesota Timberwolves are clearly the worst team in the NBA. Yet two of those 7 wins have come at the expense of the best team (record-wise) in the Western Conference. Oh, wait, thanks to this loss, the Suns gave up the conference lead to the New Orleans Hornets. My bad. The Suns shot lights out (56 percent) but got absolutely obliterated on the boards 48-26. And 22 of the Wolves rebounds were on the offensive end. Marco Jaric had more rebounds (8) than anybody on the Suns. Marco Jaric! The thing is, their win over the Lakers last week proved that the Suns can play defense when properly motivated to do so. I just have no idea what motivates them these days. And neither does Mike D'Antoni, apparently.

Amare Stoudemire: As the Suns starting center, it's Stoudemire's job to protect the paint and clean the glass. But not only were his 6 rebounds two fewer than Marco Jaric had, Stoudemire's man, Al Jefferson went off for a career-high 39 points and had 15 boards, 8 of which were offensive. That's right. Jefferson's offensive rebounding count was higher than Stoudemire's rebounding total. It's called "blocking out," Amare. Try it some time.

Mike Dunleavy Jr.: Boy, just when you think it's finally safe to annoint him a legitimate NBA player, he lets loose with a 2-for-12, 4-turnover stinkbomb against a lousy team. The Pacers may need to rethink their reliance on Dunleavy. Oh, wait. Even after a game like that, he's still the team's best player. Uh oh.

Mario West: One game after his 18-second, 1-foul performance against the Trailblazers, he put in a 5-second, 0-for-everything game against the Nuggets. Mind you, two games ago against the Raptors, not-so-Super Mario put in only 14 seconds. At this rate, why is Mike Woodson bothering to play him at all? What could he possibly expect Williams to do in less than 20 seconds on the floor?

Gregg Popovich interviews: He may be a great coach, but he gives a lousy interview. Right before the start of the fourth quarter, the ESPN sideline reporter asked Popovich why Manu Ginobili was able to give the Spurs a third-quarter spark. Without altering his expression in any way or moving even a single facial muscle, Pop said: "Because he's Manu Ginobili." Then he shambled off like a zombie looking for fresh brains.

The Return of Mr. Bryant: Kobe's performance on Monday night against the Nuggets threatened to undo everything I've ever said about him. After that game, I actually referred to him as "Magic Bryant" to my buddy Craig over at The Association. I had to take a long, hard look in the mirror and admit that maybe, just maybe, Kobe had finally matured into greatness. But Gott in Himmel, he has not. And it's not that Mamba shot 12-for-27, or the fact that he took 13 more shots than any other Laker, or that he had only 1 assist in the second half, or even his NBA season-high 9 turnovers. It was his complete reversion to form. After a stellar first half that seemed like a natural extension of the Denver game, Kobe started to force the action against stiff defense and stopped passing to his teammates. Gregg Popovich seemed to manipulate events by leaving Ime Udoka on Bryant for most of the fourth quarter. It's like Pop knew that Bryant's titanic ego would compel him to try to score against Udoka every time. Well, planned or not, the strategy worked to perfection.

Steve Novak: I didn't see the game, but I would love to know why Rick Adelman put Novak in for 3 seconds. Was his mom in the crowd?

Sacramento Kings: The Sacramento revivial got run through the wood chipper last night. The Kings "best players" were all back in the starting lineup last night, and the result was a 26-point drubbing. By the Clippers (13-25).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
watched the boston game and they did TRY to rotate properly LOL just seemed like they thought...well if they shot 70% in the first half they GOT to shoot 20% in the second half LAW OF AVERAGAES!!

oh and pheonix's Orbd problems look exactly the same as toronto's

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any predictions on how long the Pacers will be out of the playoffs? My guess is 4 years (including this year). If they were in the West, I'd say 8, but the East's propensity to have "meh" teams get worse is not to be denied.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'll post as Anon - I don't mean to be that guy who nitpicks (feel free not to post this comment), I think it was honest mistakes on somebody's end, but where are you getting your box score info from? It's very different than what ESPN has posted, just from the few I remember glancing through this morning before work, I didn't go out of my way to double check your numbers or anything, but for example:

Boston has only lost 7 games, not 8.

Pat Garrick posted up a Three trillion, not just a measly two. (As did Jose Juan Barea)

Larry Hughes shot 2-8, not 2-9, and Both of his made shots were dunks.

It's surely not a big deal, but if you're getting your info from Yahoo sports or something, either them or ESPN are screwing some stuff up.

Blogger stephanie g said...
I was never under the impression that KG was much of a factor when it came to the clutch situations.

Blogger Unknown said...
Amare Stoudemire: As the Suns starting center, it's Stoudemire's job to protect the paint and clean the glass. But not only were his 6 rebounds two fewer than Marco Jaric had, Stoudemire's man, Al Jefferson went off for a career-high 39 points and had 15 boards, 8 of which were offensive. That's right. Jefferson's offensive rebounding count was higher than Stoudemire's rebounding total. It's called "blocking out," Amare. Try it some time.

*Unintelligible grumbles pertaining to the constant disappointment that the Suns didn't dump Amare for KG during the off season...*

Seriously, Amare is one awkward landing away from becoming Penny Stoudemire.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
shrugz -- I agree that in some of the cases the C's did make the rotations, and the Raptors were shooting lights out. But they also left some guys open for wide open jumpers. Because, you're right, I think the Celtics were waiting for the Raptors to start missing. That rarely leads to good things.

dave -- I'm not sure I think the Pacers will ever be good again...

anonymous -- Hey, nitpick away. Obviously I don't get paid to do this blog, it's just a hobby, so I don't get to spend a ton of time proofing.

The Boston thing was a goof by Yahoo. Check out their record in this box score:


Yep. It says 33-8. Although they have it right in the standings. But I didn't check the standings; I just trusted the box score even though it kind of sounded wrong.

I just goofed on the Hughes number. I was scanning through his game log to gather info for some point I never made, and I think all the 1-for-8s, 2-for-9s, 2-for7s, etc., left me confused.

As for Pat and Juan and their trillion scores, I typically go by the Yahoo box scores, which break time played down to the second. Pat, for instance, played 2 minutes and 42 seconds. Now, ESPN just rounds the minutes played up to the nearest minute. But I'm a purest, so if a guy isn't actually in the game for a full three minutes, it seems wrong somehow to credit him with a three trillion.

stephanie g -- You have a point. I just figured maybe he could be more clutch with a couple other guys getting his back. Guess I was wrongo on that one.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can't argue: What's more exciting than watching television on the beach?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I watched the Raptors/Celtics game from start to finish, and I can't remember the last time I screamed in horror/frustration at the television as much as I did during that game.

What got me all worked up? Jose Calderon. For the love of God, somebody, ANYBODY, please get Jose to stop making mid-air passes. I'm pretty sure one of the first rules of basketball is "KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND WHEN MAKING A PASS". Heck, I'm positive I've heard commentators and coaches say as much on television. It seemed like every time Jose handled the ball, he'd drive the lane, leave his feet, and try to make some blind circus pass. I swear, he easily could of had two dozen turnovers last night. How he found time to score 24 points is a mystery.

Chris Bosh isn't the one driving Sam Mitchell to the crazy house, it's Jose Calderon.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Anonymous - yeah, bawful boned a little, but you should check out box scores. It's amazing how much they'll differ from one place to the next. I think it's a marketing ploy to target different fans...


Bawful - I never asked when the Pacers would be GOOD. Just when they make the playoffs. In the East, those are separate concepts. Oh well, at least our Alma Mater is looking up.... By the way, we cleaned out the basement here we found Hairston's torn jersey. It was with our intramural ping-pong trophies.