Tough Juice

The Friday Night Trillionaire Club: Here's a little something from Basketbawful reader Vinny Gorgeous: "Sean Williams was the club's charter member of the evening, bringing two trillion to the table. He was quickly bested, however, by Mardy Collins, who dropped four trillion down like it was nothing. And things were cool for awhile until Mike James and Ryan Bowen showed up with two and one trillion apiece. Bowen, upset about his smaller trillion, immediately threw elbows at James when the refs weren't looking and got away with it! I mean whatthehellrefslookatBowen'scheapshotti...but I digress. Evevntually Acie Law IV wandered in, dejected 'cause coach kept him in 63 seconds too long. He woulda been able to add a really cool 'IV' to his resume, but he'll have to settle for five trillion. And the last comer of the night, Dominic McGuire, appeared with a measly two trillion, though he commented that the guy begging for change on the front steps and calling himself Ryan should stop complaining about having one personal foul and nothing else in 4 minutes...this ain't the hundred-million club, son."

Ben Wallace: Okay. I'm starting to think that Big Ben has Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, which is that disease where people age at a hyper-accelerated rate. Or maybe he's aging in time-lapse photography. I don't know. But the way he got helped off the floor on Saturday, I can't see him making much of a difference come playoff time. Or ever again, for that matter.

The Chicago Bulls crowd: We were at the United Center for the Bucks/Bulls game on Saturday night, and what we heard wasn't pretty. Or maybe I should have put that "what we didn't hear." The only time the crowd got even remotely excited was during the free giveaways the team runs during timeouts. When the game was actually being played, it was like sitting in a library, only without the occasional rustle of turning pages. Look, people. Free taco excitement is supposed to enhance the game, not replace it. It's official: Bulls fans have stopped caring and are in "Wait 'Till Next Year" mode. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to redeem my free Big Mac.

Damon Stoudemire: Check out his game log. It's depressing. Like grandma eating cat food depressing. There's nothing quite like a case of championship piggyback.

DeSagana Diop: Okay. I officially admit that the Jason Kidd trade was a panic move that isn't working out, but are the critics ready to acknowledge that the Diop throw-in wasn't the huge mistake that everybody said it was? His weekend line was: 2 games, 12 minutes, zero points, 0-for-2 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls. Oh, and if he's such a defensive stopper -- remember, he was the guy people said was gonna stop Tim Duncan -- why didn't the Nets throw him at Amare Stoudemire (33 points, 15 rebounds) on Saturday?

Don Nelson's rotation: Man, and I thought Mike D'Antoni was running his players into the ground. If the Warriors end up making the playoffs, they're going to be totally exhausted. It's a good thing they don't play defense. On the bright side, Austin Croshere had a two trillion against the Mavs on Sunday.

Drew Gooden: Gotham's newest superhero must have swallowed some Kryptonite this weekend. First he struggled (4-for-10, 4 turnovers) in a loss to the Hawks and then he sat out of Saturday's matchup with the Bucks due to an abdominal strain. If you ask me, the Basketball Gods struck him down for throwing LeBron under the bus last week.

Kobe Bryant: I didn't watch his "LEEEEEEROY JENKINS" game against Memphis on Friday, but I did receive a flurry of irate text messages from my buddy Craig from The Association, who was at the game. Now, Craig is as big a Kobe/Lakers fan as you're likely to find on the Interweb, and I'm not sure whether that makes him more honest or more reactionary, but here's a sampling of his blistering diatribe. "It's the 2005-06 Kobe all over again!" "1-on-5 every time downcourt!" "Pass the ball Kobe!" So on and so forth. The final numbers: 53 points, 37 shots, 17 three-point attempts, 1 assist, and a three-point loss to the 19-win Grizzlies. Kobe Apologists will probably blame injuries or possibly DJ Mbenga (+/- score of -18), but MVPs don't freeze out their teammates, even if their teammates have stone hands. And you'll note that the Lakers won on Sunday night when Kobe starting passing the ball...

Golden State Warriors: If they end up missing the playoffs, that loss to the Nuggets is going to haunt them.

Jason Kapono: Here's some insight from Basketbawful reader and Raptors fan Josh Budd: "Jason Kapono, earning his $24 million contract over the past 4 games (see game log). This is our 'big' free-agent signing. Jamario Moon is making $427,000, on the other hand. What does this all mean? We REALLY need a SF." For the record, Kapono has scored zero points on 0-for-8 shooting, with nary a three-point attempt in that bunch of missed shots, over that four-game stretch. Seriously, I don't know what's going on with the Raptors these days.

Lakers medical staff: Hm. Some very good points. Very good points.

LeBron James: This guy has been owning the Pistons since last year's playoffs. Well, after Saturday's poopersized performance (13 points, 4-for-17, 5 turnovers), ownership has officially changed hands. For now.

Memphis Grizzlies: I'm not going to get on these guys too hard, because frankly, a 1-1 weekend is a huge success for them. But I still find it kind of amusing that they sweated out 53 points from Kobe Bryant to beat the Lakers in L.A. only to fall to the Clippers by double-digits one night later.

Miami Heat: Look, I'm happy all those D-League guys are getting a chance, and I can tell they're working their butts off. Seriously. But still...this is some ugly basketball, huh? Against the Celtics, they shot 28 percent and hit only 17 field goals, which set a new NBA record for fewest made shots in a game. When Miami plays, it's always Brick O'Clock.

Mike James: What a weekend. He had a two trillion against the Celtics on Friday (as noted above) and followed that up with a five trillion against the Raptors on Sunday. And mind you, those performances come on the heels of three consecutive DNP-CDs. Can you believe this guy was putting up 20 PPG two seasons ago? No, he really was. proofreaders: Did you know that Carlos Boozer ranks first in triple-doubles this season with 50?! It's true. Go check his regular season ranks. Man, 50 triple-doubles...that's got to be a record or something, right? Many thanks to Basketbawful reader chinoy316 for the heads up.

New Jersey Nets: They're sort of unexpected playoff drive hit a roadblock in Indiana. They must have used I-65. Then Shaq hit 7-for-10 from the foul line against them in a home loss to the Suns, which is the NBA equivalent of God poking his head out of the clouds and saying, "Nope. It's not gonna happen. Forget about it."

Portland Trailblazers: Without Brandon Roy, they look like, well, the Grizzlies. What a shame that the team is wasting the best stretch of Joel Przybilla's career. Right now, Vanilla Godzilla could grab 10 rebounds while picking up a pack of gum at Walgreens. The saddest part of that is, Joel is probably going to be back to getting reserve minutes next season, which seems a trifle unfair. But it's not like you really have to choose between Przybill and Greg Oden.

Trady McGrady: Well, I'm not well-versed in APBRmetrics, but I'm pretty sure scoring 13 points on 22 shots is bad. That is still bad, right? Or am I missing something?

Sam Cassell: Sam-I-Ain't got three seconds -- yes, three seconds -- of playing time in Boston's 20-point blowout of the Hornets. When did Cassell become Mario West? I promise you this is not why Sam came to Beantown.

Utah Jazz: Why can't they win on the road? Why?! I think Jerry Sloan is going too easy on these guys. I think Larry Miller needs to bring in Patches O'Houlihan. Because if you can take a wrench to the face, you can win on the road.

Wally Szczerbiak: Wow. I really hope we find out after the season that he was playing with a handful of broken fingers. Maybe that would explain his misdirected shooting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
As a loyal reader, I'm glad to help.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you REALLY need to point out the difference in FG% now LOL

13% drop in FG% since joining Cleveland
they REALLY need an offensive co-ordinator MY GAWD!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think that anyone who tries to guard Amare Stoudemire should be mentioned in the Worst Of... because I haven't seen anyone come close to shutting him down ever since the Shaq trade. Basketbawful, you have to like what you are seeing with him!

Blogger slyguy183 said...
Great write up again. That Suns game was fantastic and I think that they didn't put Diop on Amare because Amare's so used to playing against him from all the playoffs against Dallas.

And not to pick on Dallas again, but they're not 0-10 against +500 teams now since the Kidd trade? Really? I think Minnesota has a better such record. Ouch.

And let's get some love (or hate) to my New York Knicks. Everyone in New York is insisting we play the yoots, but our yoots really aren't that good. Besides David Lee and Nate Robinson and perhaps Wilson Chandler, it seems like everyone else are average or below average. The lineup is a disgrace! If I were the Knicks, I'd trade every single one of my players for picks 1-15 of the 2008 draft and start afresh.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That was a good description of how the Kobe was playing, but the rest of his teammates didn't turn up, they were all chucking 3s, odom dissapeared, guards were useless. Its odd how it all changed against the wiz though(except chucking the 3) LLEEEROYY JENKINS!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
OK- So I know it's the Miami heat, but when your leading scorers should 3-14 and 4-13, it's pretty pathetic.;_ylt=Agj.VQ8KKzjjCorJYAdsZ9K8vLYF?gid=2008033002

Granted, the Heat only made 17 shots as a team, so I shouldn't place the blame on Quinn and Davis. Oh wait. I can. Ricky Davis doesn't command d-league salary. What the hell is it like to be a Heat season ticket holder?

Also: PJ Brown is on the Celtics now?! I think "Championship Piggyback" needs to be a word/phrase of the day.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
That link on the Lakers' medical staff is definitely intriguing. What's remarkable is that they actually left out quite a few major injury problems the Lakers have had the last few years:

Lamar Odom - Injured his shoulder late in his first season with LA and missed the last month of that season, then last year had a knee injury which kept him out about 2 months, which he then followed up by re-injuring his shoulder at the end of the year which required off-season surgery again.

Vladimir Radmanovic - They only mentioned his snowboarding accident (which was not at all the fault of the Laker training staff), but neglected to mention the torn tendon in his shooting hand that hampered him all last season as well as the sprained ankle which caused him to miss a month this season and then later the strained calf which caused him to miss another two weeks.

Kwame Brown - Began last season by missing the first 7 games with a shoulder injury, then ended up missing the second half of last season after suffering a severely sprained ankle. Was originally thought to only miss 4-6 weeks with the ankle injury but ended up only being able to return right at the end of the regular season, then re-injured the ankle requiring off-season surgery. He also received off-season shoulder surgery. Then this season he injured his ankle and his knee which caused him to miss about 7 weeks.

Aaron McKie - If they were gonna include Vlade Divac they should have included McKie as well. He was supposed to be the Lakers' starting PG in 2005-2006 but he tore his quadriceps and only ended up playing 14 games that year (the opening in the PG spot led to the Smush Parker Era in Lakerland). McKie then followed that up with a back injury prior to the 2006-2007 season which only allowed him to appear in 10 games last year.

If they're going back to 2003-04 with Malone, they could also include that Kobe missed 17 games that year while Shaq missed 15. Rick Fox & Horace Grant also missed tons of games that year due to injuries, although they were both real old by that point.

The Lakers' medical staff definitely got some 'splainin to do.

Blogger Ryne Nelson said...
Has the free taco replaced the free Big Mac at the United Center? Chicago is cheapin' out!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Right now I'm on a quick lunch break here at school (ASU) and there are some guys sitting near talking exceptionally loud about the Suns.

It's pretty typical homer stuff, but here is some stuff that made chuckle:

"Seriously, Grant Hill came out of no where and is playing at his rookie levels. The suns coached him so well back into shape."

"I have to say that even I am surprised Shaq is playing so god damn well right, it's kind of freaking me the shit out"

Clearly they haven't seen the play of the Vanilla Godzilla, because he is freaking me the shit out.

Blogger slyguy183 said...
In the Lakers medical team's defense, they probably tried to keep Kwame as injured as possible so Jackson wouldn't be tempted to put him in the game.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
james, what's interesting about Kwame Brown is that he's getting less playing time in Memphis even though he's healthy than he was in LA when he was injured. And considering he was splitting time with Andrew Bynum in LA while he's battling Brian Cardinal and Darko in Memphis, I don't really know what to make of it.

Also, "Championship Piggyback" definitely needs the word of the day treatment. I'd love to see some other recent players who fell into this category. Chris Webber, Karl Malone/Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Mitch Richmond... who else?

Blogger bob said...
When you do your final "worst of the season" massive write-up, you'll be including Mark Cuban right? I will be stalking you to make sure that is the case.

Blogger stephanie g said...
I'm trying to figure who I'm supposed to be cheering on to make the playoffs out west. I want to see the Mavs, Dirk, Cuban, and Avery suffer, so if they completely miss the playoffs that will be an epic fail and fill my heart with happiness. But it would also be nearly orgasmic to see them make it and then just get dismantled in the first round and exposed on national television in front of millions of people while Avery gets T'd up every game. But that means either the Nuggets or Warriors would have to miss it, which means having to watch the Mav's moribund, inexplicable, nearly stationary "offense" instead of AI or Baron blowing past three defenders. Decisions, decisions...maybe the Rockets can suck enough to miss it? It's still possible, right? But then I kinda want to see them stumble in the first round yet again.

Yeah, I'm filled with hate and I'm a terrible person. But it feels so good.