He's so gangsta, I feel like I just got shot in the face.

Note: Thanks to Basketbawful reader Anfernee for the picture. Pure awesome.

LeBron James: In his own words, LeBron has "improved five times than I was in Game 7 of the Boston series." We already knew his grasp of the English language was a little shaky. Now we know his math skills are off as well. Bron-Bron's numbers were decent -- 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists -- but he shot only 9-for-21, went 0-for-4 from downtown, missed four free throws, had three turnovers and committed four personal fouls. He was also repeatedly burned on defense by Paul Pierce (27 points, 10-for-19), who kept walking around James like he'd been turned to stone.

Mo Williams: Instant offense? Yes. Any defense? No. Unless his five fouls count as "defense."

J.J. Hickson: The rook lost his spot in the rotation to Lorenzen Wright and registered a DNP-CD. Saaaaad trombone.

The Cavs-Celts' three-point shooting: Build da' house! These teams combined to shoot 6-for-29. And the peeps not named Williams (3-for-5) and Pierce (2-for-4) were 1-for-20. Gak.

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett: Ray-Ray shot 2-for-9 from the field, 1-for-4 from Threeland, and had 4 turnovers to only 1 assist. KG shot 5-for-15 for his 11 points (which was equaled by Big Baby) and grabbed only 6 rebounds (only one more than Rajon Rondo). Good thing Leon Ka-Powe and Tony Allen bailed them out.

Glen Davis: Dude actually looks fatter than last year. How is that even possible? Glen, I have two words for you: Jenny Craig.

Boston's first-half defense: They gave up 50 points, mostly because their rotations were confused and sloppy, and they couldn't stay in front of anybody. They did clamp down in the second half, though, limiting the Cavs to only 35 points.

Update! Boston's freethrow shooting: Oops. Almost forgot about this, but Basketbawful reader Garron reminded me. "You HAVE to mention the Celtics' free throw shooting. I got floor tickets to the game, and man was it a crap show. Stats will show the celtics offense was lame in the first half. It kind of was with Ray Allen and KG clanging everything. But the reason they were behind? Free throws. It got so bad that even Ray Allen missed his first one." In all, the C's missed 3 'throws last night, with Rondo (four misses), KG (three) and Pierce (also three) being the main culprits.

Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller: They got all giddy and stuff about how deep Cleveland is because several of their bench players -- Varejao, Gibson, Szczerbiak and Pavlovic -- used to start. But, uh, guys...there are reasons they aren't starting now, you know? Kudos, though, to Fratello for calling out Reggie's insightful report on how the Celtic and Cavalier coaching staffs want their teams to run more this season. As Fratello noted, every team talks about running more during the preseason. It just rarely happens.

Brian Scalabrine: Wow. Reminds me of the time I got a free t-shirt because one of my buddies managed to finish off an eight-pound steak without throwing up.

Chicago television stations: Imagine my surprise last night when I flipped over to WGN to watch the Bulls game and was greeted by an airing of the new Beverly Hills 90120. A quick scan through the Comcast guide showed that the game wasn't on any of the other local stations either. So Derrick Rose's first regular season game doesn't rate a local broadcast? Really? Thank Zeus for League Pass. Update! At least one reader was able to watch the game on WGN. What happened to me, then? God, I hate Comcast...

The Milwaukee Bucks' defense: Let's see...the Bulls shot almost 51 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from downtown. They also grabbed 40 rebounds (14 on the offensive end) and dished out 27 assists. Oh, and they shot 44 [!!] free throws. Scott Skiles, not surprisingly, was vexed. "We were a step slow and we were slapping at people. Pretty much, every category they owned." No kidding. A stern and disapproving look would have been more effective at stopping Chicago than the "defense" Milwaukee played.

Andrew Bogut: The line: 9 points, 7 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers, 1 block, and 4 fouls in 25 minutes. Not exactly what the Bucks had in mind when they decided to pay him a bajillion dollars over the summer. Basketbawful's "Bogut Watch" has officially begun.

Andres Nocioni: Ugh. Only 7 points, 1-for-3 shooting and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. On a night when everbody else on the team was en fuego. Not a good sign. What happened to this guy? It's like he signed that 5-year, $38 million dollar contract extension last year and then forgot how to...oh, right.

Greg Oden: First pro game: 12 minutes, zero points, 0-for-4, 5 rebounds, zero assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 2 fouls. Oh, and one injury. SAD FACE.


According to Oden, the injury -- currently listed as a "sprained foot" -- occurred when he landed on Derek Fisher's foot while going after a rebound. Only Fisher said: "I don't remember a 7-footer on my foot." So what happened? According to ESPN's J.A. Adande: "Replays indicate that Oden landed with the weight on the front of his foot, then perhaps his heel hit the top of Fisher's foot, then Oden's foot twisted to the right, after Fisher had moved away."

Uh oh. X-rays taken during the third quarter were inconclusive, and Oden is scheduled to have an MRI exam today in Portland. But, as Bill Walton might tell you, the description of the injury could be...well, one of several things. Let's hope for the best.

Channing Frye: He put together a stellar box score horror of zero points on 0-for-7 shooting (0-for-3 on threes) and 4 fouls in 17 minutes. Then, he made it sound like the potential of losing Oden (again) was no big deal. Said Frye: "If [Oden's] hurt, that's part of basketball. We just moved on. Joel's not chopped liver." No offense to Joel Przybilla -- we know he's a Vanilla Godzilla and all that -- but he does NOT equal Greg Oden. (Although, to be fair, he's been a much better pro so far than Greg. So what I should have said is "He does not equal Oden's potential.)

The Portland Trail Blazers: How badly did they get spanked by the Lakers? Let me put it this way: Chris Mihm was revived and sent into the game. LaMarcus Aldridge described Oden as "unsure...scared" and that was before the injury. Aldridge continued by saying: "I don't think he was really scared, but everyone was passive. I can say for myself I think my whole mentality was to play off Greg, which is a different mentality I possessed from last year, so I felt like I was playing passive, as well." Channing Frye, who's on the verge of becoming a quote machine, said: "They disrupted our offense and threw a wrench in our whole system." Which is a slightly nicer way of saying "We sucked."

Lamar Odom: His, ahem, creative passing has been well-documented on this site. And last night, he struck again. As Basketbawful reader Freeman put it: "Hope you were watching the Lakers-Blazers game in order to catch Lamar Odom make a whirling move into the paint only to throw it to Sasha Vujacic who was standing there with his warmups on." Seriously, Lamar. Get off the ganj, okay? Here's the clip.

And Phil Jackson called Vladimir Radmanovic a space cadet...

Luke Walton: He was relegated to garbage time...only two minutes and 43 seconds of a blowout. He missed his only shot and finished with zero points and 1 assist. But don't worry, Laker fans. Only five more years and $25 million and this guys is totally off the books!

Kobe Bryant: This has nothing to do with what happened on the court and everything to do with something he did off the court. My sources tell me he sent a Terminator back in time to prevent Michael Jordan from being born. The plan failed thanks to the fact that Jordan caught wind of the plan and sent Charles Oakley to intercept and kick the Terminator's robot ass -- and he did. But still, it just goes to show that Kobe will do literally anything to usurp MJ's legacy.

Badass? Yes. But no match for The Oak.


Morrison 2

From Basketbawful reader Dunpizzle, via Ball Don't Lie, via Some investigative journalism uncovered the following fact: Nobody knows why Adam went all buzzcut. All I know is that I feel like a friend died.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ummm...I don't know which Chicago you live in, but I watched the Bulls just fine on WGN last night.

Blogger XForce23 said...
I am confused about the Kobe comment. What exactly did he do off-court?

Blogger Ignarus said...
Vujacic should have taken the shot. You've got to be ready at ALL times with a guy as creative as Odom on your team.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for the opening night reviews, Bryant eased into the season then exploded all over the Trail Blazers in the third quarter."

Bawful, I thought you might find this quote highly amusing. Well, I did at least

Blogger Unknown said...
Last night was pretty bad for Portland. I just hope they don't end up becoming known as the Failblazers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I agree with ignarus. I'm SHOCKED that Machine didn't shoot the ball. WHAT THE HELL!
And Oden did seem to hold Bynum in check(atleast based on the stats) while he was in the game.
Doesn't Brandon Roy's shooting deserve some special mention?

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
I think Kobe is gay after he "exploded" on the trailblazers.

Lets not forget what he said about Boston!

"I’ve seen some pretty stiff ones, and this is right up there with them."

Sorry if you get duplicate posts something is going on.

Blogger Barry said...
Davis actually got pushed over twice trying to get an offensive foul - I was baffled; how's the referee ever going to believe that?

Blogger Stephen Robbins said...
As a Blazer fan, I have grown more and more frustrated with Nate McMillian.

Nicolas Batum has been practicing with the first unit for the last two weeks, and started in the last 3 pre-season games. Roy was on the record supporting the idea of Batum starting, which he was going to do until about 12 hours before tip off when McMillian completely changes his game plan and starts Outlaw instead.

Then Batum, who the day before was good enough to START, get relegated to garbage minutes.

Meanwhile, Sergio Rodriguez, who McMillian has proclaimed our back up PG all throughout training camp gets yanked out after five minutes. Bayless ends up getting 15, despite being 4th on the depth chart at PG.

This is exactly what has been happening the last three years. He had a game plan and a rotation on Monday, then on Tuesday he says "fuck it," and does the exact opposite. How many head coaches would have a guy practice with the starting unit for the last two weeks of camp, then the day of the season opener tell him he's now 15th on the depth chart????

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I was watching and wondering, "Why is Sasha even standing?" The pass was pretty stoopid! though.

I played Lakers v Blazers on 2k9 beforehand and I(Blazers) lost too. Couldn't hit a thing, D was too good but I only lost by 6. Oden had 4 pts 4 boards and 1 epic fail.

Box horror should be a new term by the way.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Come on varejao, pavlovic and gibson are not starter material and we all know that Wallys "Attack of the Szczerbiak" days are over.

Blogger Wade Word said...
I don't even like the Blazer's but I feel really bad for Oden if he is really hurt. Double Sad face.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...

(look at the "oh wow /facepalm" face in the background)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What makes you think the Bucks had anything in mind when signing Bogut to big-time money? It's become a team tradition to overpay their own players(Mo Williams, Charlie Bell, and the worst offender Dan Gadzuric) regardless of whether their role with the team will expand or not. At least in Michael Redd's case, they had to compete with Cleveland's offer and re-signing him kept them a playoff team for another season. But now they're continuing this practice to maintain the continuity of a 25-win roster.

Blogger Dunpizzle said...
How could you miss this!?,117970

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Damn, no trillions or Marios (or Super Marios). Oh well, it was only opening night with 3 games going, so maybe we can correct that tonight.

Question for anyone who cares: did last night's Lakers-Blazers game say more about the Lakers or the Blazers?

My take on Luke Walton's new role as and end of the bench garbage man: I think it's more a result of the Lakers just being absurdly deep, especially at SF, than Luke Walton declining rapidly (come on, honestly did he have have much to decline from?). Walton coming off ankle surgery could factor in as well, but the Lakers' second unit is a "speed unit" and Walton doesn't really fit in well there.

I think his role this year might expand from garbage minute player to occasionally getting some time as a backup 4 against small teams, or he'll see his minutes go up if someone gets hurt. Other than that though, there really just isn't any room for him in that rotation right now. Maybe the Lakers will try to trade him (they flipped Brian Cook's bad contract into Trevor Ariza last year so I guess anything is possible), but considering how deep LA already is the best thing they could trade him for is nothing just to unload his contract and free up a roster spot for a cheaper, crappier guy to mop up blowouts and cheer from the bench.

Blogger D.Miz said...
Suprisngly enough, Barkley really nailed the analysis on Oden. His range beyond the dunk is non-existent right now. He has a lot of work cut out for him. Looks to me like he could benefit very much from working with someone like Kareem (see: Bynum, Andrew)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
d.miz, Bynum hasn't yet established himself to be a consistent low post scorer or have that reliable a game outside of a few feet from the basket yet either. I think he's shown a few flashes here and there, but it's a stretch to say his offensive game (outside of dunking anyway) is something that other centers need to be emulating. I do think that working with Kareem looks like it might have Bynum pointed in the right direction though (which may have been what you were saying), but it remains to be seen if he'll become a consistent low post threat through something other than dunking.

It should be pointed out that Dwight Howard doesn't have much of an offensive game outside of dunking either though. If you're as powerful as he is, or Shaq was, or Oden looks like he might be, you can get away with not having all that extra stuff there; provided you have other scorers on your team and you can bring defense and rebounding to the table as well. If you can't do those things though... well, look at Eddie Curry.

I do think that provided Oden is OK, it is interesting what effect his presence in there seemed to have on LaMarcus Aldridge last night, in that it really limited what LA was able to do. I heard a lot of talk about how the Lakers would mesh Bynum and Gasol's games together on the offensive (and defensive) end, but since I see Portland as something of a mirror of the Lakers I was also wondering about how Oden's presence would affect Aldridge, being that he is essentially the Blazers' Gasol to Oden's Bynum. If last night is any indication, Aldridge is going to shoot a lot of jump shots this year, and I think that severely limits his effectiveness. He was even quoted as saying he was trying to take his offensive cues from Oden. I think that given Oden's limited effectiveness on offense right now, the Blazers need Aldridge to be much more aggressive offensively and have Oden be a guy who can mainly just wait for offensive rebounds unless he gets incredibly deep positioning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
aaah WOTN, how i missed you....

Is it me or does Morrison transformed from a hippie into ethan hawke > training day?

oh and if you guys haven't, check out the video of Bynum making it "rain" as if he just got that max contract him and his agent are seeking from the lakers:

Blogger Silly Bitch said...
WON is back!

Have to admit that as we were watching the Laker game last night, the moment Odom made "pass of the night" everyone shouted, "can't wait to read about that on Basketbawful".

TNT should get a shout out for their failure to provide any sort of game clocks (and because I hate them)for most of the first quarter of that game - or what they actually showed of it at least.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It will be interesting to see if you can work in a Worst of the Night for Kobe everyday this season or if you have to stick to just the days he plays.

Regardless, Worst of the Nights are your best posts even if they do contain some trivial or made up worsts every now and then.

Second best ones are the pickup ball ones. They are so on the money.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
matt -- Seriously? God, I hate Comcast...

kevin -- Oh, you know, that whole "Sending a Terminator back in time to prevent Michael Jordan from being born" thing.

ignarus -- You know he wanted to. But Phil Jackson probably has him wired to one of those electric collars you use on dogs.'s not on his neck...

jimmy -- Oh, lord. Yeah, I'm gonna use that one.

steve -- Fortunately, it was only one game. Really.

shiv -- I considered it, but honestly, all the Blazers sucked last night. Roy was still, sadly, their best player.

michael hsu -- He's just repressing! That's why Mamba's always so angry! It makes so much sense now...

barry -- Seriously. Nobody's shoving that fat mass out of the way. Not without a steam engine.

stephen -- Hm. I hadn't noticed those things. I'll keep an eye on McMillian. He might rate future WotN consideration.

tradebait -- Done. Box horror will become a regular thing, maybe even a Word of the Day.

anonymous -- Nice!

wade word -- Ditto.

anacondahl -- I didn't even notice that before.

your favorite sun -- Huhn. Good point.

dunpizzle -- Corrected.

wild yams -- You're back!!

Crap...gotta go...I'll respond to the rest of you later.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
wild yams--I was also wondering about how Oden's presence would affect Aldridge, being that he is essentially the Blazers' Gasol to Oden's Bynum.

I do not think the change is as big as Gasol for Aldrige. For one last season he was already at the PF spot and he is more of a face up player.

So if he just does what he did a year ago i do not see a change in his production except for maybe a slight dip in ppg and rpg (although i dont know how much lower his rpg can get)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't get what Kobe did off the court...

Blogger David said...
How about Cleveland giving up six And ones? The only person they fouled emphatically was Rajon Rondo, whom they almost killed on a few occasions.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Noc is like the new Toni Kukoch. One night he explodes, and then the next night or three he falls asleep.

Blogger awfulwrestling said...
Possible topic for tomorrow's Worst of the Night. Van Gundy was asleep during coach/player introductions. You can see it on the free League Pass Archive after the game airs. I laughed so hard.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Anything about Rondo trying to showoff and blowing the layup?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Damn now i that the hairs gone i can no longer call him Madman Morrison

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think I actually live near, but wont get creepy and go into the that. I watched the game on WGN last night, it said on the menu and channel ID gossip girl but the game was on

Blogger Wild Yams said...
LKRSIDE, actually Gasol's natural position is PF, just like Aldridge. He played out of position for the Lakers last year because Bynum was hurt, but he's a pretty automatic midrange shooter if left alone. Nevertheless, you have to admit that Aldridge looked real tentative in there last night, settling for way too many jumpshots. Last year he played with Pryzbilla, true, but Joel isn't really a low post threat, nor is he a guy that Portland was running their offense through. Things are gonna be different when Oden is in there (once he comes back, that is). Aldridge is gonna have to learn how to still be aggressive in attacking the basket, even though Oden is also parked inside.

Man, the Clippers got pancaked tonight. However, Mr. Bawful if you really are gonna try to include Kobe in every WOTN you should give his four 1st quarter turnovers a look.

Blogger Barry said...
What about this gem from the NBA site's recap of the Knicks vs Miami?

"And they did it without former coach Isiah Thomas' two prized acquisitions, Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry. D'Antoni kept both former starters on the bench, ignoring rather loud chants of "We want Steph! We want Steph!'' late in the third quarter"

Fans with a great sense of humor or....? Anyone chanting for Marbury surely lost all his marbles?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i'd completely forgotten about doug collins' even dumber response to odom's dumbassery until i watched that clip... "bench players need to sit down in that situation."

i'm sorry, what was that? bench players should not stand up and cheer for their team simply because one of your players is a lobotomized cockpuppy? bench players need to help the players on the floor to recognize the difference between a man wearing shorts and a tank top standing in bounds and a man wearing warm-ups standing three feet off the court?

grrr. however, i have to say, in defense of ganj everywhere: weed didn't do that to odom. weed didn't make odom any dumber than he already was.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
barry: Obviously they were disgruntled Phoenix fans planted in the crowd to try and mess with D'Antoni's head. Like I will be Jan 21st.

Blogger stephanie g said...
Two things:

I made a text file named "Reggie Miller says dumb things." I expect it to be quite lengthy by the end of the season. In the Boston-Cleveland game after Pierce hit the jumpshot to end the first quarter Reggie said that Pierce and Kobe are the only players in the NBA who can hit a shot like that at the buzzer. That's bad enough, but Pierce hit it over LeBron...

Secondly, "Rondo" needs to be some sort of verb. Yes, I remember the "you got rondo'd" thing last year which means a ninja, stealthy steal or trick. But this (or some other word) should mean when a player falls to the ground in an awkward way which causes the entire arena to gasp in horror as your body makes a sick thud against the hardwood. Rondo got Rondo'd three times in the opener and last year he was definitely the leader in this. I remember in the Hawks series it happened like 10 times. He goes for a fast break layup and Josh Smith just ruined him like 2-3 times. It's not flopping either. I think he has no idea how to fall or take body contact in the air. He's good at taking hits and finishing, yes, but his landing is just awful, he just goes limp. I'm waiting for the poor bastard to crack his skull open.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kwame Brown: 1 steal, 2 missed shots, 3 minutes. Wow. First overall pick, huh?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I know it sucks that the 'Stache cut all that hair off, and we cannot laugh at him anymore now. Maybe he will stop clanking shot because the hair was in his eyes in the last two seasons, nahhh he just stinks as an NBA player, and will be a dumb novelty player for years to come. Without a douche-baggery look now, Adam Morrison cannot be a WotN All-Star, Hall-of-Famer, aawwww, but you never know he might clank tons of those shots anyways, have 50 WotN appearances, and make "MJ the GM" look even worse (closer towards Isiah-Thomas-the-GM territory). RIP 'Stache's Hair.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
According to today, the "We want Steph" chants last night were quickly drowned out by boos at MSG.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Bulls game wasn't on WGN in my area also. I live in Rockford which is pretty close to Chicago. I was so pissed off.