bubba chomp

The Golden State Warriors: They crumbled in the face of what I like to call "dead coach bounce." It's that temporary burst of inspired play a lousy team experiences immediately following an in-season coaching change. The Wizards, heretofore lifeless and largely hopeless, had season highs in shot attempts (105), points (124), rebounds (54, including 23 on the offensive end), assists (27) and forced turnovers (20). Caron Butler scored a season-high 35 points, Andray Blatche had season highs in points (25) and rebounds (11) while tying his career highs in blocks and steals (5 each), rookie center JaVale McGee kicked in a season-high 14 points, and Antawn Jamison added 25 points and 11 rebounds.

Warriors coach Don Nelson, who's seen this kind of thing once or twice before, said: "We played an inspired team tonight. They outworked us, outhustled us, outplayed us. They did everything well and we didn't do very much well at all. Pretty disappointed with the way that my team played, especially the young players that got an opportunity to play. They all played very poorly." Don't feel bad. You guys had probably lost this one before the team plane even hit the tarmac.

Energy and inspiration. That's what the dead coach bounce will give a team. How long it'll last? I have no idea. But keep in mind that the Wizards were 1-10 for a whole mess of reasons, and Eddie Jordan was, at most, only one of those reasons.

Caron Butler, quote machine: Think Tough Juice supports the coaching change in Washington? Here's what he said after the game: "Now that we got 'Obama' on the sideline with us, we're going to ride with it. Tap, he's light-skinned, he stands for change, he's got a law degree, he uses big words, and he's new in the district, and he's in control now, so shout out to Obama. We won tonight; he brought a lot of hope. And he's good with numbers, so hopefully he'll change the economy as well."

The Knicks and the New York crowd: If they were staging an audition for LeBron, then the King's agent will probably tell them, "Don't call us. We'll call you." They stunk it up both offensively (41 percent shooting, 24 missed three-pointers, 17 turnovers) and defensively (they let the Cavs shoot 53 percent, forced only 8 turnovers and blocked one measly shot).

Meanwhile, the "fans" spent more time cheering for James and dreaming of 2010 than rooting for the home team. Nobody ran out of the stands to congratulate him or anything, but one guy screamed "Two more years!" at James as he was heading to the bench at the start of the second quarter. How's that for home court disadvantage?

Knicks fan
Uh...yay team?

LeBron James: On the one hand, the King tried to say all the right things. To wit: "We hear it every day, we see it every day on TV about 2010 all the time, we still go out and take care of business. We don't worry about what's going on. Me the leader, I can't let that faze me because I'm leading these guys onto something that we want to accomplish, and that's win an NBA championship."

But on the other hand, he also made comments suggesting that he's looking ahead just as much as anybody else. "If you guys want to go to sleep right now and not wake up until July 1, 2010, then go ahead because it's going to be a big day. July 1, 2010 is going to be a very, very big day."

He also let the NBA world know that he'll be willing to listen to anybody with the money to pursue him. "It's not just New York and Brooklyn. It's not just a two-team race." Presumably, his own team will be allowed to join in the LeBron Lottery...but that's quite a bit different than saying "I'm a Cavalier for life." I'm sure that's got to make the people of Cleveland feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

cavs fan
A textbook case of self-delusion.

One last note: Considering his immense talent and the attention being showered on him by the ongoing LeBron-a-thon, it's not all that surprising that there's a little megalomania brewing under the chiseled surface, but his ongoing battle with third-person verbosity continues to be my personal favorite King James-related subplot. The latest entry: "No team LeBron James is on will ever be under the radar."

Ben Wallace: Uhm, wtf? I guess he thinks he's a Pharaoh or something. Which would make sense. I mean, he's about as old as one...and he's practically mummified already!

Ben Wallace

The Klahma City Thunder: They maintained their league-worst team shooting percentage by hitting only 41 percent of their shots on the way to surrendering a double-digit fourth quarter lead to the Shaq-less Suns. (The Big Coffee Break got the night off because the Suns play again tonight in Minnesota, and Terry Porter is trying to avoid using him in back-to-back games.) The Klahmans also let the Suns shoot 53 percent and fell to a league-worst 1-14. But that doesn't have Joe Smith feeling down. After the game, Smith said: "We feel pretty good about where we're going." Really, Joe? Really?!

Kevin Durant: Despite being moved to the small forward spot, the 6'9" Durant grabbed only 4 rebounds. He's averaging 4.1 on the season. Meanwhile, the 5'9" Nate Robinson grabbed 3 last night in limited action (he left the Cavs-Knicks game with a pulled groin) and is averaging 4.5 per. As always, I'm just sayin'.

More internal dissent: Some of the :07 Seconds or Less holdovers on the Suns have made vague but pointed comments about the team's new, Shaq-centric offense, particularly since it's killed their running game and transformed Steve Nash into a hybrid of Brevin Knight and Chris Duhon. Last night, Nash (20 points, 8-for-14, 15 assists, 8 rebounds) transformed back into the Captain Canada we knew and loved during his MVP years, particularly during the Suns' fourth quarter comeback when he went 5-for-5 from the field and used his old pick-and-roll trickery to lead Phoenix on an 11-0 run. And, after Kevin Durant hit a three to give the Thunder a late 95-89, Nash scored the Suns' next 7 points to tie the game at 96-all with 48.5 seconds left.

Matt Barnes, who hit the game-winning three-pointer with 25.7 seconds to go, said: "He looked like old Steve. He took over in every aspect. We need Steve just to play his game for us to be the best team we can be, and tonight he did that."

But why hasn't Steve been "playing his game" lately? Nash has a few ideas on the subject. "It sure looks like we're just a little too reliant on Shaq. We're just not quite comfortable playing without him the way we used to play because we spend so much time trying to incorporate him. Terry's been working with us and trying to get us to get back to doing some of the things we used to do, things that we're good at, when he's not on the floor. We're finally kind of getting back to a rhythm that we had without Shaquille. Terry's been urging us to get back there. We have spent a lot of time working on the other stuff, and we've lost our rhythm there a little bit. We found it a bit tonight."

Huh. Makes you kind of wonder who's coaching who, doesn't it?

Goran Dragic: Remember how he was going to be the answer to the Suns' longstanding problem at the backup point guard position? Well, he earned his second-straight DNP-CD last night (and he played only three minutes the last game in which he appeared). And Nash was forced to play 42 minutes despite the fact that the game was the first of back-to-backs. Seriously, should it really take five-plus years to find a semi-dependable backup PG? Whatever. I guess Steve is going to need a few extra X's in his vitamin water.

The Indiana Pacers: They coughed up a 13-point second-half lead and lost to the Mavericks in Dallas, 109-106. It's part of Indiana's continuing habit of losing leads and then losing the game: The Pacers have led at halftime in 12 of their 13 games...but have only five victories. Said Danny Granger: "We just can't seem to close teams out." The problem is pretty obvious, if you ask me. Go-to guy Mike Dunleavy Jr. hasn't appeared in a single game this season. They might be 12-1 if he'd been playing. Sadly, that bone spur in his knee isn't getting any better...

James Singleton: He started in place of the missing Josh Howard (right ankle injury) and promptly sunk to the occasion. In his nine minutes of PT, Singleton went 0-for-2 and finished with 2 fouls and one blocked shot. Unfortunately, it was his shot that got blocked. That gives him an impressive suck differential of +5. To think, he was the Eurobasket All-Italian Lega2 Player of the Year in 2004. And Lega2 is the second-highest division of professional club basketball in Italy. It's a shame James can't do more with that level of basketball pedigree.

The New Jersey Nets: Kobe Bryant had another bad shooting night -- 5-for-17, including 1-for-9 in the first half -- and the Nets still lost by 27. But that'll happen when you convert 34 percent of your field goals, give up 51 percent shooting and force only 9 turnovers. Said Devin Harris: "We did not play like the Nets tonight." Uh, I dunno. I've followed this team for a long time, and it seemed to me they played exactly like the Nets.

Phil Jackson, ego masseur: After the game, the Zen Master addressed Kobe's shooting woes. "I think [being 12-1 is] a good sign and it's a healthy sign. But we want Kobe to shoot the ball well and have big games, obviously. That's the focal part of our offense -- to get things through him. We want to have him be the threat, so that everybody has to overplay and always be concerned with him. That makes everybody else have an easier game." Reading between the lines, Phil seems to want his star to know that he will personally make sure Kobe still gets his numbers. Having had plenty of superduperstar experience with Michael Jordan, Phil understands that, in the long term, it probably won't be enough for Kobe to be on the best team in the league if he isn't also playing like the best player in the league. It wasn't enough for Jordan, and it wouldn't satiate Kobe's desire to dominate. And one of the few things that could derail the Laker Train would be the return of the Mamba.

For the record, the Lakers were only +2 with Kobe on the floor, while they were +29 with Lamar Odom, +25 with Sasha Vujacic, +24 with Jordan Farmar and +19 with Trevor Ariza. Can a team's bench win the MVP? Because right now, L.A.'s bench raiders are the best "player" in the league.

Kobe Bryant: While meeting with the sinister Legion of Doom to discuss the best strategy to use against Aqua Man, Black Manta said, "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?" Kobe replied "This." and then killed Black Manta.

Update! Typealyzer: Oded, a reader from the far-off (to me, anyway) land of Jerusalem, wrote in to say the following: "The Typealyzer site accurately deducted that YOU are 'The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders.' I think the last sentence is especially on target, don't you? They should probably add a new personality type there -- The Bawful." I feel so naked before the mighty analyzing power of the Typealyzer. They can probably see what I had for dinner last night.

Update! These guys: Idiots.

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[From With Leather via Ball Don't Lie.]

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Blogger tonious35 said...

As I predicted, I knew the Knicks fans did not come to watch their Knicks play last night, they were there to fantasize and masturbate about having Lebron James on their team and MSG. I got this feeling Lebron will give them the ultimate dickage in 2010 and bolt for LA. Just a hunch of Murphy's Law. Remember when BOston wanted #1 or #2 in the 2007 Draft, but then they won the Championship. This time, the same will happen to New York, but they will somehow be under 0.500 still.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Going Forward, can we please refer to Ben Wallace as Ben Wallace's Corpse or just Corpse for short?

Thanks in Advance

Blogger Dr. Pym said...
Kobe from last night must've been a Kobe-Skrull! Actually, would that explain where the hell Brent Barry's shooting from last year went?

Wonderful to see fellow Knick fans make complete asses out of themselves, like those three big doofuses in that photo. Thanks, guys.

I could only stomach half of that Knicks/Cavs snoozefest. For all the hype it got, even LeBron didn't have a good show! Then again, I guess there's no use playing the guy when even Wally freakin' Sczerbiak is hitting his shots...

The Net game was very winnable for the Nets, as well. They were only down by two at the half! The third quarter was their downfall. Ugh.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
dude, i'm not sure if you know this already but u n lamar odom's got something in common. ur both wrestling fans. lamar, however, cried when he found out the action wasn't real and also owns a full length robe, replete with rhinestones, sequins and colorful feathers along the neckline. so, uhm, yeah. wrestling's cool.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Props for mentioning Singleton's statline, or should I say lackline. Although I say don't over look Devean George's and Shawne Williams's own lacklines as well. These three stooges combined for 20 minutes, 0 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 3 fouls, and 1 turnover.

A dishonorable mention to Gerald Green who went from starting in the Mavs' last game Friday against the Grizzlies straight to last night's DNP-CD.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't know how you can throw out that last line and not give us the link to its classic source.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dammit Afiq beat me to it! WTF Devean George is still alive(His statline makes a strong argument against that fact though). Kendrick Perkins has 8 techs, that would Danny Fortson aka The Savage Barbarian proud.

Blogger BJ said...
And an Evil Overlord riff; it's official, yours is the best blog in the 'verse.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Is it a rule that if one of the Mavericks 2-guard rotation has a big game, the others in the bunch must have a suck differential combined of at least +5?

Blogger Unknown said...
LeBron James... Does he make teammates better?

want to know your opinions, I think LeBron is a great player and the closest thing to a one man team in the NBA. However every time I hear someone say, "if only Cleveland gets help for LeBron..." it pisses me off because he's had a top 5 center right next to him since he's been in the NBA, he's had good support guys around him his whole career! If you throw Pau Gasol on the Cavs his talent will be totally wasted, LeBron and/or Coach Brown don't utilize the talent around him. He dominates the ball so much you can only pair him with off the ball players.

If you build a team around LeBron all he needs is 3 point shooting wings and big men who rebound, anything more would be wasted.

Blogger Ace said...
Sean Williams' lackline against the Lakers - 7 minutes, 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 6 fouls. That is a lot of stinkage going on.

Blogger Ace said...
Also, check out the bench difference between the Lakers and Nets
Nets Bench - 19 points, 4 assists, 13 boards, 7 turnovers
Lakers Bench - 50 points, 11 assists, 23 boards, 3 turnovers

Blogger Tonewise said...
best commercial ever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nice work on the "Evil Overlord" reference.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Vote here for "lackline" induction as a wotd.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Pym is right, that Nets-Lakers game was actually quite winnable for the Nets as it was tied at 66 apiece. Then the Lakers went on a 41-15 run that pretty much put it away, and it was basically the bench that did it. I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict the Lakers lose on Friday to the Mavs - not because Dallas is great this year or anything, but because the Lakers have been heavily flirting with serious disinterest lately and sooner or later that's gonna bite em in the ass. I'm guessing it'll be sooner.

BTW, who the hell came up with the Lakers' schedule? They're already 12-1 and look at their next 14 games:

@ Indiana
@ Philadelphia
@ Washington
@ Sacramento
NY Knicks
@ Miami
@ Orlando
@ Memphis

I almost can't blame the Lakers for being a bit disinterested lately. Like I said, they're sure to drop a game here soon due to that malaise, but there aren't more than a couple games in that bunch that look like they should be legitimately challenging even. If the Lakers do get focused (and let's face it, last night they weren't focused and still won by 27) then they could be sitting at 24-3 or better by the time they go back to New Orleans on December 23rd.

That video of the guy jumping off the roof reminded me of this video. Ouch.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams - Bawful and I have been talking for a long time about how the leage gives bias to teams via scheduling. I hadn't even noticed the Lakers schedule until your post, but damn....

Anonymous Anonymous said...
lol. nash's commercial's awesome. you should've posted it before you started using the shark references in your past few posts, though.

Fave line - "Full of anti-oxidants. When I need to make love to the camera."

Blogger Drake said...
It seems that the Pacers get no love, especially by the Yahoo win-loss-record-ologist. They won the game, yet they're getting saddled with the loss in their record.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Why shouldn't OKC (ugh) feel happy about where they're going? Wasn't the point of the season to try and entice the #1 overall pick to pack his bags and head to Oklahoma? They've been working really hard on that... the Suns game took a ton of effort to get to that point. (Of course, that all fails if they end up with Blake Griffin, given that he already goes to school in Oklahoma.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't get it, what exactly were those guys trying to accomplish by jumping off the roof?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Put Footbawful through the Typealyzer and you get this:

"The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and donĀ“t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yesterday (depending on your timezone) ESPN's Bill Simmons used the phrase "Reverse Artest" to describe the phenomenon when a fan invades the playing surface to attack a player or coach.

That's a word-of-the-day methinks.

(Maybe when Joey Crawford finally snaps and bitchslaps Tim Duncan it'll be a "Reverse Van Excel"?)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Steve Nash is one of my favourite persons-I-don't-really-know on earth.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
friday night man love submission:
diop looks kinda pregs there too... christ that'd be an ugly love child

Anonymous Anonymous said...
A lot has been said about the possibly east being stronger this year judging by the title contenders. Anyway, so I just looked at the NBA standings, and 6 of the 7 worst teams (by percentage) are in the west. Yet, NBA.com writers Yet, NBA.com writer Rob Peterson still wrote about "the rugged Western Conference". 'These people are like those Japanese soldiers stuck on the Pacific islands 10 years after the war, and refused to believe that they lost.

On a slightly related note, seeing the klahma struggle is so sad. Would a soccer-style relegation system be a bad idea? Maybe with the D-league, or the WNBA? That would at least stop teams from deliberately trying to be the worst team in the NBA. Also, for the last 10 games of the season, the worst teams would have great intensity and desperation, and be great fun to watch. (Kind of like watching a fat kid riding a unicycling across a mine-field)