WotN - Udo

Jamaal Tinsley: The Pacers were without their starting point guard for what seems like the bajillionth time over the last few years. In this instance, the problem was a sore knee. Which, strangely enough, is what's been keeping Jermaine O'Neal in street clothes. That's how not durable Tinsley and O'Neal have become; they can actually catch injuries from each other like they're passing a bad head cold back and forth. I think it's about time to change this guy's name from Tinsley to Paper Machesly.

Marquis Daniels: In the absence of Tinsley, the Pacers really needed Daniels to step up his game. What they got instead was a Larry Hughes-like 1-for7 shooting performance. But what can the Pacers reasonably expect out of this guy? I mean, they got him in a trade for Austin Croshere. That should tell you all you need to know about Daniels' relative worth.

Awvee Storey: The undrafted guard out of Arizona state got off the Bucks' bench for a grand total of four seconds, going zero-for-everything. What, did Larry Krystkowiak put him in by mistake or something?

Miami Heat: From "15 strong" to "15 in a row." Losses, that is. Painful, humiliating losses. The Heat actually played their asses off last night -- Mark Blount scored 23 points! -- but suffered yet another fourth quarter collapse, letting what had been a 10-point lead transmogrify into a 1-point final deficit. The Spurs, as they're known to do, started turning the screws in the final stanza, limiting Miami to 8 points over the final eight minutes and 50 seconds. Are the Heat just plain cursed? Well, let's put it this way: Early in the first half, Udonis Haslem and Dorell Wright accidentally knocked a defensive rebound into the basket, thereby scoring two points for the Spurs. And the Heat lost by one. You do the math. Said Haslem: "Once again, we just didn't get the job done." And once again, you sucked.

Manu Ginobili's three-point shooting: Somebody needs to check Ginobili's basement for dead bodies, because the man has no conscience. One night after shooting 2-for-7 from the land of glory, Manu hit only 1-for-7 from beyond the arc against the Heat. At some point, when you're obviously cold, you stop taking them, right? When asked why he's allowed to chuck 'em at will, Gregg Popovich no doubt said: "Because he's Manu Ginobili." Speaking of Pop...

Gregg Popovich interviews: Before the start of the second quarter, Craig Sager -- who was dressed like the friggin' Joker -- interviewed Popovich. After abusing Sager's bizarre purple sports coat/tie combination, Popovich answered a question about why he decided to start a "big" lineup with a classic Popovichism: "Just wanted to try something different." I'm telling you, his face doesn't even move when he answers these questions. His mouth just opens and closes like an old Speed Racer cartoon. Can we be absolutely certain that the Spurs don't have a special robot they use solely for interviews? Like maybe a Teddy Ruxpin doll in a Gregg Popovich mask?

Don Nelson: The inventor of the infamous Hack-a-Shaq strategy unveiled a new policy especially for last night's game against New Jersey: Hack-a-Boone. The Warriors intentionally fouled the Nets' Josh Boone six times in less than two minutes of the third quarter in an attempt to change the game's momentum. But Boone, who came into the game shooting 34 percent at the stripe, hit six of 12 freethrows. So the tactic backfired, sort of.

Josh Boone: Did I mention the kid came into the game hitting only 34 percent of this freethrows? Look, the Hack-a-Whoever strategy might be sad and pathetic, but it wouldn't happen if the "Whoever" didn't suck at the line. The dude even airballed a freethrow last night. Gak. Kudos to Boone, though, for making the best of a bad situation: He scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. And he even his almost 50 percent of his freethrows (7-of-15).

Golden State Warriors defense: Going into last night's game, the Nets were next to last in the league in points per game. After playing the Warriors, they "jumped" to fourth from last (94.0). The 119 points scored by New Jersey was, of course, the most they've scored in a single game all season. I have absolutely nothing to back this up with, but I bet that the Warriors lead the league in giving up season highs in PPG to opposing teams. And since they're only 13-18 when their opponents score 100 points or more, that most definitely is not a good thing. (P.S. They're giving up 107.4 PPG, worst in the league. Uh oh.)

New Jersey Nets defense: It's not just that they gave up 121 points on 50 percent shooting. That tends to happen when you're playing the Warriors. But they also got brutalized by a 22-to-nothing run in a stretch of less than four minutes in the fourth quarter. To put that into perspective, if the Warriors had scored at that pace the whole game, they would have scored over 260 points.

New Jersey Nets offense: Yeah, I know they scored 119 points, which is like double their regular season average. But playing offense against Golden State is like shooting in an empty gym using a five-foot Nerf hoop. Yet the Nets got reamed by that 22-0 run I mentioned, and they went five and a half minutes without a field goal in the fourth quarter.

Golden State Warriors defense: Yes, they get two entries in today's Worst of the Night. After all, they blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead by letting the scoringly challenged Nets drop an 18-4 run on them and take a 112-111 with a couple minutes left. Dudes, it's called a hand in the face. You just raise your arm straight up in the air and put your hand somewhere in the shooter's field of vision. It's that simple.

Jason Kidd: Yes, he can run a mean offense. But he has almost none of his own. Last night, he shot 2-for-11, which is barely below averge for him. He's shooting 36 percent from the field this season, which ranks him 45th in the NBA amoung point guards...45th! And look, can we just stop calling him one of the best point guards in the NBA (like Magic Johnson did on the TNT pregame show last night)? Sure, he racks up a lot of assists, and he's a triple double machine, but the Nets are one of the worst scoring teams in the league despite the presence of Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson. I'm not saying it's all Kidd's fault, but right now at least, his ability to lead his team is very much in question.

Vince Carter: Speaking of not everything being J-Kidd's fault, did anybody else notice that Half Man, Half-A-Lazy got shuffled in and out of the lineup in the final minutes? Isn't he supposed to be their go-to scorer?

Darrell Armstrong: The decomposing wiley veteran got a whopping 10 seconds of playing time, and actually managed to dish an assist. At that rate, he was on pace to dish out 6 assists per minute, which is like 288 assists over the full 48. Impressive.

Marco Belinelli: His stat line from last night: 1 minute, 4 personal fouls, and a +/- score of -3.

Fire hazards: The Warriors set another attendance record with 19,596 fans in Oracle Arena. Jesus. What are they doing, just stacking fans on top of each other?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Agree completely about Jason Kidd. Might it be fair to say he's the worst shooter in the league? (Not counting guys who aren't supposed to, like Shaq or Boone or Kwame.)

And how good would the Nets be if Steve Nash or Chris Paul were running the team? I'm mixed: I'm not sure they'd be all that much better. But maybe they would?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
they would be in better position to make the playoffs but with vince "I need a lazyboy recliner" Carter as their "star" player they wouldn't go very far and Nash/Paul would be pissed off from his attitude

Blogger Basketbawful said...
optimus -- I think that's a very fair thing to say. And the thing is, the media always seems to give Kidd a free pass for his woeful shooting because he rebounds strong, obviously dishes the rock, and he's been such a good leader. But...you know, that whole "leadership" thing was based mostly on two very strong years for the Nets. And while I really thought Kidd was the MVP that first season with New Jersey, that doesn't change the fact that he left Dallas in a huff, took a hit in Phoenix, and hasn't been doing much in the leading department for the last few years.

I think the Nets would definitely be better with Nash or Paul. Not "best team in the East" better, but Kidd's shooting, particularly in the fourth quarter, has hurt the Nets several times this season and over the previous few seasons. Look, if Tony Parker can get a shooting coach and improve his outside shot, can't Kidd? I mean, his shooting's never improved.

And you know where that hurts the most? Pick and roll, and pick and fade situations. Those are like the bread and butter plays of basketball, yet you need the ball handler to be able to pass and shoot to run them effectively. Like Nash does in Phoenix, and like Paul is doing (with Tyson Chandler) in New Orleans.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
shrugz -- Yeah, you're right on about that. Nash and Paul can pass the rock, but they can't make Vince Carter give a shit. Hell, I doubt Jesus could start at point guard for the Nets and make Vince care.

Blogger sk93 said...
Um, Carter was on the floor for the final seconds. He was the one who took that useless and ugly 2 pointer when the Nets were down by 3 with like 10 seconds left.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
sk93 -- Yeah, you're right, he was there for the final final seconds. But he got shuffled in and out in the closing minute. I guess I just assumed the main guys would be kept in, barring injury, since the Nets have no bench (or even a full starting five).

Blogger Blair said...
I agree that Kidd's shot looks like something that should be put on the back of a milk carton, but.......... that doesn't take away from him being one of the greatest pt. guards of all time. The amount of triple doubles this guy has racked up over his career is next to amazing. It's all about balance in my opinion. Yeah he can't shoot a lick, but he rebounds and passes with the best of em.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
maybe Don Nelson was right in benching forever Belinelli.

I love this blog. Greetings from Lithuania.

Blogger starang said...
Nash on any team is gonna make them better. Thats just a given, we are talking back to back to back MVP point guard here. Thats like saying adding chocolate syrup to all your favorite foods will make it taste better. Of course it will taste better, its chocolate syrup.

You can't fault Kidd for Nash being a future Hall of Famer. He is a hell of a guard, and if didn't drink so many 40's and start beating his wife, he would have been a Sun for quite longer.

So get a shooting coach, ass.