Thanks to Basketbawful reader jamesjen for the photo.

The Washington Wizards: Their winless weekend included a home loss to the Knicks and an embarrassing blowout in Orlando. They are now 0-5, and Antawn Jamison isn't happy about it. "Anytime you lose like that you definitely don't approve of it. But it's extra disappointing when you are in the position we're in, and for us not to come out with the energy and focus that we needed for this game. We're 0-5 and we need people to play basketball." It's funny you should say that, Mr. "I just signed a $50 million contract extension over the summer." Your team report says: "Jamison seemed disinterested during the late stages of a blowout loss, something that was evident when he did not join a team huddle during a timeout in the third quarter." Nice team leadership, Antawn. Fast facts: The Wizards are last in the league in points allowed (109.5) and opponent assists per game (28.0) and, worst of all, field goal percentage allowed (50.2).

Dee Brown: He was two seconds shy of a three trillion against the Knicks. A team whose defense is only slightly better than the Wizards'. Let's hope his roster spot with the Galatasaray Cafe Crown is still available.

Dominic McGuire: Great googly moogly! Dominic played almost 13 minutes against the Magic on Saturday night but registered only 1 turnover and 1 personal foul. Technically speaking, that means he had a suck differential of +2...but I'm starting to think we need a modifier for minutes played. Like an extra +1 for every two meaningless minutes played?

Brian Cook: He notched a three trillion in the Magic's pummeling of the Wizards, which would have seemed pretty bad until I saw Dominic McGuire's line.

Rashard Lewis: Maybe nobody noticed this because the Magic beat the Wiz by 25, but Rashard shot 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-5 from downtown. So why does he get his own entry while I mostly ignore Andray Blatch's 1-for-10 brickfest? Because Blatch isn't in the second year of a $110 million contract, that's why. Note that Lewis is currently shooting 40 percent from the field and 28 percent from beyond the arc. Worth every penny! Wait, I mean worth only a penny.

The New Orleans Hornets: They lost on Friday night to the Charlotte Bobcats because they couldn't stop a 14-2 fourth-quarter run led by rookie D.J. Augustin, Adam Morrison and Matt Carroll. I can't possibly quantify all the fail in that last sentence. Not without bursting a vein in my temple, anyway.

Chris Paul's backup: In that loss to the Bobcats, Mike James scored zero points (0-for-1), dished an assist, made a steal and committed a foul in his nine minutes of lack-tion. Meanwhile, CP3's PT edges closer and closer to 40 MPG...

The Toronto Raptors: They let the Hawks shoot 54 percent on a 110-92 loss. Hey, Raptors. "D" isn't just one of the shapes in alphabet soup anymore.

Mario West: He logged four minutes and 27 seconds against the Toronto and finished with a line of zero points (o-for-1), 1 block and 1 personal foul. On the season, he's played just over seven minutes and registered a sum total of 2 blocks and 1 foul. (So the bulk of his "production" came against the Raptors. Congrats, Mario!) Note that, despite the lack of PT, he still has one more block on the season than Zach Randolph. Oh, and on the subject of Mario's blocks...

Joey Graham: He gets special mention for both going by "Joey" and receiving a Code Red from Super Mario West! Thanks to JJ and the anonymous poster for the tip and the video link.

Hassan Adams: A three trillion against the Hawks on Friday. Mario West is unimpressed.

Home cookin': In Friday night's close-call win over the Pacers, the Cavaliers enjoyed a 28-11 advantage at the freethrow line. Which freaked the hell out of Indiana coach Jim O'Brien. "I just shake my head. Incredible, absolutely incredible. I can't believe that. To take it to the basket as hard as we do and cut as hard as we do, and to get only 11 foul shots. I'm just completely dumbfounded." Apparently, the real O'Brien was replaced by a robot duplicate that had no prior experience whatsoever with the NBA. Next thing you know, robo-O'Brien will start expecting the refs to call LeBron for traveling.

Allen Iverson's Rodney Stuckey's defense: Devin Harris dropped a career-high 38 points on Mr. Stuckey. Word has it his eyebrows won't grow back for 3-4 weeks, so he'll have to pencil them in until then. Call me crazy, but I don't think that would have happened to Chauncey Billups. Or...would it? (See below.)

Basketbawful reader Raharri sent in the following email regarding Devin's career day: "Here's an obvious one: How about Mark Cuban for the Devin Harris trade...I mean seriously? 38 points?! I KNEW this was going to blow up in our faces. FACEPALM x 38!" In all fairness to Cuban, Harris doesn't get to play against Allen Iverson every day. Also, check out the numbers: Harris might be scoring 18 a game, but he's shooting 39 percent and hasn't even hit a three yet. J-Kidd, on the other hand, is hitting a career-high 47 percent of his shots and 44 percent of his threes. He's also dishing almost twice as many assists as Harris. So, right now, the trade isn't killing the Mavs as badly as you might think. Now, a couple years from now...

Dan Gadzuric: He committed 3 personal fouls in less than two minutes against the Celtics. And since he was zero-for-everything-else, that gave him a suck differential of +3 in addition to the very wonky last name.

Ray Allen: He was 3-for-11 against the Bucks, including 1-for-6 on threes. On the season, he's hitting only 31 percent of his three-point shots and 43 percent overall. Some people take this to mean Ray's jump shot has gone MIA. But keep in mind that he's taking only 12.2 shots per game, which is barely above his career low of 11.1...from his rookie season. Look, Allen is one of those guys who has to shoot himself into rhythm. That's not gonna happen when he takes 10 shots. You can pretty much expect him to hit a low percentage unless he takes 15-20 shots, which isn't going to happen very often in the Celtics' offense.

The San Antonio Spurs: They got blown out at home by the Miami Heat to fall to 1-4. And three of those losses came in San Antonio. To make matters worse, Tony Parker -- fresh off a career-high 55 points -- sprained his left ankle and is expected to miss four weeks. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the Spurs over that span, won't it? I mean, Duncan has gotten a lot of praise for being the best power forward of all time and one of the best players in the NBA -- and rightly so -- but he's never had to go through any significant stretch where he didn't have a pretty solid supporting cast. Now he's all by himself. Let's see how he handles it.

Matt Bonner: His 13 seconds against the Heat earned him a Mario.

Shawn Marion's offense: I received the following email from Basketbawful reader Rich: "One thing I noticed [from the Heat-Spurs game] was Shawn Marion was barely utilized on offense. Do you think they'll trade him this season? I was thinking they could strike a deal with the Knicks for Eddy Curry so they have a legitimate center and Haslem can slide back to the 4. Shawn Marion would also be reunited with Mike D'Antoni and is a perfect fit for the run 'n gun style. What do you think of this trade? I think Marion and Curry have similar salaries so it should work, right?" Well, that trade would be great for the Knicks, but I think Pat Riley would be insane to take on Eddy Curry's fat salary and even fatter butt. The main reason Curry's still in New York is because there are 29 teams that want him even less than the Knicks. But Marion, because he can't create his own shot, is almost useless on offense. That's why he's matching he's scoring 10 PPG (his worst output since his rookie season) on a career-low 41 percent shooting. But hey, this is what he wanted. How's that working out for you, Shawn?

Ron Artest, assist machine: The following image was sent in by Basketbawful reader Maggie. Check out that stat line...I never new Ron-Ron was so unselfish. (Note that the box score incorrectly credits him with only 4 assists against the Clips.)


Clippers broadcasters: Maggie also had this to say: "And I just had to make some comments about the Clippers broadcasters. At the start of first quarter, one guy kept saying that Yao is 'not a shot blocker.' Then Yao went on to block 4 shots in the first half. And sometime in the thrid quarter, this conversation took place:

Commentator A: "That's what I mean when I made a reference about Yao not being a shot blocker. He should've easily erased that shot by Mobley."

Commentator B: "He blocked 4 shots in the first half by himself. Please pay attention."

Commentator A: "He's not the type of shot blocker that goes and get shot blocks. He just gets the ones that come to him."
Note that these men are actually getting paid to be idiots while I keep doing it for free. Meh.

The Phoenix Suns: Terry Porter decided to rest Shaq on the first night of the Suns' back-to-back games against the Bulls and Bucks, and the team got blown out in Chicago because of it. And frankly, it didn't look like they were going full tilt. It was basically a concession game. Phoenix shot 40 percent. Steve Nash played 25 minutes. Amare Stoudemire committed a game-high 4 turnovers. The Brazillian Blur shot 1-for-8. Defense was not played. I wonder how many games the Suns are going to give up in this fashion over the course of the season?

The Minnesota Timberwolves: They went winless for the weekend -- getting blown out in Sacramento and edged in Portland -- as the second year of Kevin McHale's 10-year rebuilding plan continues. And Mark "Yes I'm still in the league damn it!" Madsen played 10 minutes against the Blazers. If that's not scraping the bottom of the barrel, I don't know what is.

Tracy McGrady: Check out T-Mac's line against the Clippers: 2 points on 0-for-5 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a turnover. It was like he was auditioning for the Clippers instead of playing against them. The Rockets still won, though, because, well, they're still the Clippers.

Tim Thomas: He matched McGrady suck-for-suck by coffee breaking his way to a four trillion, cementing his status as one of the most-talented stiffs to ever don an NBA uniform. A bargain at $6,049,400 this season and $6,466,600 in 2009-10.

Chauncey Billups: Okay, maybe his defense isn't really all that after all. In his first game as a Nugget, Mr. Big Shot almost got triple doubled by Jason Kidd (22 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists). Kidd shot 8-for-14 and 6-for-12 from Threeland. That's right: Mr. Unselfish shot 12 threes. Anyway, I guess Enver is just a defense-nomming black hole.

The Dallas "bench": Yeach. Antoine Wright (9 minutes, 0-for-1, 1 foul) finished with a +2 suck differential, Jose Juan Barea (47 seconds, 1 fouls) had a Mario with a +1 suck differential and James Singleton (five seconds, zero-for-everything) earned a Super Mario. Somebody throw some confetti as we celebrate this special achievement in sucktastickness!

George Karl, quote machine: "I'm sure he'll have many special nights for us. I think it's fun to have an ally in Chauncey." Aww. Hugs all around!

The Golden State Warriors: Their winless weekend was lowlighted by a home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and a road blowout at the hands of the Sacramento Kings. RIP, Golden State Rivival. It was fun while it lasted. Statisical note: You know what was really strange about these two losses: The Warriors shot 25 three-pointers in two games (2-for-12 against the Griz and 5-for-13 against the Kings). That's how many threes they used to lauch per game. Weird. Was Don Nelson asleep on the bench or something?

Mark Blount: Everbody's favorite seven-foot stiff scored zero points (0-for-6) and grabbed a grand total of 3 rebounds in two games over the weekend. At this point, the Heat really might as well try to lure Greg Ostertag out of retirement. 'Tag might be awful, but he could have grabbed three rebounds by mistake. (And "by mistake" accurately describes most of what Greg did, but I digress.) Also: Blount has 10 rebounds and 1 blocked shot on the season. Salary update: Mark's making $7,350,000. How does this make you feel about your life's accomplishments? Discuss.

LeBron James' jump shot: Before he hit 4-for-7 from downtown against the Bulls on Saturday, James was 1-for-19 from beyond the arc. After his hot game, he's 5-for-26 (19 percent). And according to, LeBron's effective field goal percentage on jump shots is 17.9 percent. Have the terrorists taken his jumper hostage? How much do they want for it? I'm sure Nike would be more than willing to cover the ransom.

Tyrus Thomas: He "broke out" against the Shaq-less Suns (14 points, 6-for-12, 7 rebounds) only to return to his lackluster form against the Cavaliers one night later (7 points, 3-for-10). He's now shooting 30 percent from the field...exactly what you want from an uber-athletic big man. Somewhere, Buck Williams is shaking his head in disgust.

The Chicago Bulls interior defense: I know LeBron is good and all, but the Bulls all but held his hand and escorted him safely to the basket in two games against the Cavs this week. Yes, yes, I know he hit those threes. But trust me: You can live with James shooting from the outside. Clog the paint and make him catapault his shots from distance. It's better than giving up 10-15 layups/dunks and all those free throws.

Kevin Love: The dude's been playing pretty well, but he went 0-for-7 against the Blazers. Rookie cookies!

Ike Diogu: He played four minutes against the T-Wolves, registering 1 turnover and 2 fouls, giving him a suck differential of +3.

The Dallas Mavericks: The exclamation mark on their amazing 0-for-the-weekend effort was giving the Clippers their first win of the season (despite, as Barry pointed out in the comments section, L.A.'s 18 TOs). The Mavs are now 2-4. Their bench is awful. This has to be killing Mark Cuban, which gives me kind of a happy.

Dirk Nowitzki: The mad German made a four-year-old boy cry when he crashed into the tyke while trying to save a ball from going out of bounds. But no worries. Jason Terry -- who missed his first 11 shots and finished 3-for-15 -- ran across the court from the Mavericks' bench to give the brat his sweaty headband. I'm sure you'll be able to find it on eBay as early as right now. Anyway, here's the first shot of Dirk's ass-attack on the front-row youngster.

Dirk butt 1

Now take a look at his face. He's being absolutely traumatized by Dirk's butt. NBA action: It's FANNY-tastic!

Dirk butt 2

What the Clippers have done to their poor fans: After the Clips' first win, I recieved the following email from loyal reader Buck Nasty: "First win for the Clips baby. Time to start a 75-game winning streak. Clips fans have to live in their own world. And things are always good in my Clippers' world." I'm not sure if that level of self-deception is inspiring or scary. I'll go with "inspiring."

The Raptors' "bench": These guys are doing all they can to challenge the Dallas reserves for "most pathetic bench in the league" dishonors. Joey Graham had a five trillion, which is the second-highest true trillion we've had this season. Kris Humphries committed 1 fouls in one minute and 28 seconds of PT, earning him a suck differential of +1. Roko Ukic -- who sounds like a lame Aquaman villain -- had a one trillion. And Hassan Adams followed up Friday's three trillion with a 34-second Mario.

Alexis Ajinca: He did nothing but commit a single foul in almost five minutes of lack-tion against the Raptors. Suck differential: +1.

The Utah Jazz: They failed in their bid to open the season with six straight wins by losing to the Knicks. Utah outshot New York by almost 10 percent (51.3 to 41.9), but they committed 23 turnovers that led to 30 points for the Knicks...which is a pretty big deal in an 8-point loss. It's worth noting that the presence of Deron Williams probably would have helped the Jazz avoid this loss, but Jerry Sloan doesn't want to hear it. "Can't worry about that. Nobody wants to hear about that. I don't want to hear it, either. Deron Williams is a wonderful player. We'd love to have him back two weeks ago, but he's not here. That doesn't mean you just go out trying to throw the ball away." Sloan emphasized the point by banging his cane on the ground and muttering things like "whippersnappers" and "jackanapes."

The Detroit Pistons: They forced Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to 7-for-25 shooting and 7 turnovers between them, which should have been good enough for a win at home. But it wasn't. The Pistons shot 34 percent as a team, led by Rip Hamilton's 0-for-8 and Rasheed Wallace's 4-for-17. Detroit committed 16 turnovers and had only 4 assists. They also missed 9 free throws and got outscored 30-10 in the second quarter.

Allen Iverson, word smythe: The Answer said he got "chillbumps" when he received a loud standing ovation from his new home crowd. Of course, those might have been caused by his team's cold shooting, too...

Bill Walker: "I'm Diego, a Basketbawful reader (and fan) from Mexico. I'm a big Celtics fan and I couldn't help but notice that Bill 'Skywalker' had a one trillion for the game. Way to go, rookie!." Thanks, Diego. I guess that's what Bill gets for being a [euphemism for penis].

Damien Wilkins: You know what those nine seconds against the Hawks means: A Super Mario! Unfortunately, Mario West could only watch Wilkins' "performanace" longingly from the Atlanta bench.

Kevin Durant: He barely had more field goals (9-for-21) than turnovers (6). He had three of his shots blocked and grabbed only four rebounds. All of which means this year's Kevin Durant is pretty much the same animal as last year's Kevin Durant.

Darko Milicic: In almost nine minutes against the Nuggets, Darko committed 5 fouls to go along with his zero points and 2 rebounds. He did, however, manage to match Zach Randolph's season total by blocking a shot.

Marco Jaric: Thanks to Daniel of LABallTalk for pointing out Marco's four trillion. Yet another one of Kevin McHale's brain children rocking the world of suck.

Javaris Crittenton and Cheick Samb: Crittenton's line: 1:17 of PT, 0-for-1, suck differential +1. Samb's line: 1:17 of PT, 0-for-2, one of his shots blocked, suck differential of +3. So anything Javaris can suck, Cheick can suck better.

The Houston Rockets: When they barely beat the Clippers on Friday, Ron Artest bemoaned that the team was still playing "horrible." As if to back that up, the Rockets totally stunk it up against the Lakers on Sunday. They shot 37 percent as a team. T-Mac was a teary-eyed 1-for-11. Ron Artest was 2-for-11. Rafer Alston and Luis Scola were both 3-for-9. Yao Ming was 6-for-11, but he committed 5 turnovers and didn't make a single trip to the line. Brent Barry played 11 minutes without attempting a shot (he finished with 1 point, 1 assist and 2 turnovers). Joey Dorsey made his first appearance of the season and responded with a two trillion. I guess it's safe to say you can hold off on ordering those 2008-09 Houston Rockets NBA Championship t-shirts.

Update! Tracy McGrady: The Third Heat made a few points I can't deny: "By the way, seeing as how it's 'Worst of the Weekend,' you really should've grouped McGrady's two games together seeing as he pretty much embodied the phrase. He spent the entire weekend in LA going up against the Clips and Lakers, he ended up with twice as many turnovers as field goals. And he only had two turnovers. He shot a combined 6.3% for the weekend and admitted himself that they were probably the worst two games of his career." Done.

Update! Yao Ming: From Wild Yams: "I'm surprised that since someone took a screenshot from that Clippers-Rockets game nobody mentioned the dunk that Yao airballed early in that game, and how the announcers subsequently talked for the next few minutes about how it was one of the worst plays they'd ever seen. For a long time afterwards whenever there was a bad play in the game they would keep saying "yeah, but that wasn't as bad as Yao's airball dunk."

I did a little box score review, and I discovered that Yao had four of his shots rejected this weekend (once by the Lakers and thrice by the Clippers). That brings Yao's season total of "blocks against" to 14 in seven games. That's right: The gigantic Yao is having his shot stuffed an average of two times a game. In addition, some research at uncovered the following "stunning" revelations: Yao's effective field goal percentage on dunks is only 50 percent. Just as damning, if not more so, are the following stats: 22 percent of his "close" shots are getting blocked, 19 percent of his inside shots are getting stuffed, and 17 percent of his flush attempts are being returned to sender. Also, you can officially add Kobe to the list of things Yao can't dunk over or against:

Luke Walton: Things aren't getting any better for the Son of Walton. Sunday's contribution to the team was a two trillion. Which, admittedly, was a slight improvement on Wednesday's two-minute, 0-for-1 showing against the Clippers. Man, Luke's seeing so little action his Yahoo player page doesn't even have any pictures of him. Even Mario West has three pictures up on his page. (Although one is of him high-fiving Al Horford from the bench and the other two are guys scoring over him. So maybe "no pictures" is better.) As Basketbawful reader William H. said: "Can you believe that Luke is getting paid almost $6,000,000 per year to warm the bench?" [Looks around the league] Yes. Yes, I can believe it. Sadly.

Joey Dorsey: He saw Luke's two trillion and matched him poop for poop. Now all he needs is a dog-ugly stalker and you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

Jordan Farmar, quote machine: From Basketbawful reader Caleb: "Basketballers (or maybe sportsmen in general) must be the worst at spewing out cliche after cliche (with a little nonsense mixed in) and saying nothing at all in the process. Said Jordan Farmar after the Lakers' comeback win over the Rockets: "It's just a matter of us playing basketball and sitting down on the defensive end and locking it in and getting it done." (from ESPN's wrap) Please find me a clip of the Lakers sitting down on the defensive end, because for the life of me I can't picture it. I've just started training with a new club in Brisbane, and I'll be suggesting drills that cover sitting down, locking it in and getting it down. Oh, and playing basketball also." I couldn't find any video evidence, but rumor has it the Nuggets are very interested in this "sit down" defensive method.

NBA scheduling: The Lakers have now played three games since November 1st. It must be nice to get four days of rest between games.

Kobe Bryant: He took the last piece of pizza.

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Blogger Austen said...
I hate to say it because they are my team, but the Jazz deserve an additional Worst of the Night for that game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. On the eve of Jerry Sloan's 1,000th win as Jazz head coach, his team decided to play a game that goes completely against everything he stands for. They stopped playing defense in the second half and stopped playing with intensity, blowing a 31 point lead early in 3rd quarter to only 7 points by the end of the 4th. C'mon, guys...this was a special night for Sloan, and THIS is how you honor him?

What about a glimpse of yahoo like usual :

The NBA sheduling is also very kind to the Milwaukee Bucks : 8 back-to-back for november.

There is something wrong with this team anyway : they're leading the association with free throw allowed to the opponent (54FTA by the Suns & 51FTA Wizards! Two games at home, does exist a term contrary to home cookin'?). Maybe they're trying to put up with the defense asked by Skiles or the ref' sucked.

boxscores : (suns) (wizards)

FT Allowed

Allen Iverson forgot to bring the V for Victory of his name after the trade. Oh wait, he never was a winner. I'm gonna call him right now : Allen Ierson.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
came across your site after googling "Jon Koncak"

don't know which is better, the site or that Koncak post...

you made it to my blogroll (applauses)

Blogger The Third Heat said...
I think Iverson is one of the most overrated players ever. He's been a selfish chucker who doesn't play defense throughout his career and it was more good fortune of a terrible conference and having players willing to let him take all the shots while going all out on defense every night that he made it to the Finals than it was his actual skill.

All that said, I watched the Detroit/New Jersey game and he didn't guard Harris. Not much anyway. Harris was burning Stuckey and later Hamilton when Rodney picked up too many fouls. Michael Curry later said he didn't want Iverson guarding Harris cause you match up by position and Iverson was the shooting guard. So technically, yes, Iverson being a total liability on that end is weakening Detroit's perimeter defense but he wasn't the one Harris was scoring on. Just wanted to make that distinction.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I'm surprised that since someone took a screenshot from that Clippers-Rockets game nobody mentioned the dunk that Yao airballed early in that game, and how the announcers subsequently talked for the next few minutes about how it was one of the worst plays they'd ever seen. For a long time afterwards whenever there was a bad play in the game they would keep saying "yeah, but that wasn't as bad as Yao's airball dunk."

I think the Spurs are in serious danger of missing the playoffs if Parker is in fact out for 4 weeks. The West is just too competitive to expect to overcome the kind of hole they're digging for themselves and still make the playoffs. I'd have to think the Spurs would struggle to beat any team (even the Wizards) if they're missing both Parker and Ginobili. Duncan's still the best power forward of all time though, but nobody can do it alone; and let's be honest, with TP and Manu down he really is alone.

I can't wait to see what Shawn Marion actually gets as a free agent this summer. He was hoping for a raise on his $17 million per year, but I wonder if he'll even get half that now. He might even be looking at MLE numbers.

FYI, Luke Walton's "only" getting paid $4.4 million to sit on the bench, not $6 million. I've said it before though, but Luke's lack of PT this year is not about him sucking (or at least, not sucking any more than he ever did), but rather it's just because the Lakers are maybe the deepest team of the last 20 years. When the Lakers empty their bench at the ends of blowouts like they did last night, they are putting 3 former starters on the floor (Walton, Mihm & Farmar) to go with Josh Powell and Sasha Vujacic. That would be a better 2nd unit than most teams in the league have.

I actually don't think the Lakers' schedule lately really helped them that much, not this early in the year anyway. Playing only one game in a week had them looking incredibly rusty to start that Rockets game last night, falling behind 32-16 after 13 minutes. Since they went on to outscore the Rockets 95-50 (not a typo) from that point on, I shudder to think what the score would have been if the Lakers didn't have to shake off rust to start last night's game. The Lakers' schedule picks up this week though, with road games in Dallas and New Orleans tomorrow and Wednesday and then back home for the Pistons on Friday.

Blogger The Third Heat said...
By the way, seeing as how it's "Worst of the Weekend", you really should've grouped McGrady's two games together seeing as he pretty much embodied the phrase.

Spent the entire weekend in LA going up against the Clips and Lakers, he ended up with twice as many turnovers as field goals. And he only had two turnovers. He shot a combined 6.3% for the weekend and admitted himself that they were probably the worst two games of his career.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
The Third Heat, I don't think Iverson is overrated at all - but he does have serious drawbacks mainly due to his size. Iverson is every bit the skilled athlete and scorer that he has always been billed as, and he is one of the absolute best players of the last 15 years or so. However, his diminutive stature is a curse to his team's offense, even if at times it can be a boon to his own individual stats (much of his abilities are due to his quickness, which is tied to his size). The bottom line is that Iverson is a shooting guard in a point guard's body, and so by putting him on your team you are faced with either trying to get him to play point guard (which has never worked), or by pairing him with another small guard to play point, you're giving your team a tiny backcourt. The main place that size is really important is on defense, and if you have Iverson out there with someone like Anthony Carter in the backcourt, it weakens your whole defense.

Last year when Chris Paul was being talked about as the MVP his detractors were saying he's not a great defender, and many people said this same thing in regards to both of Steve Nash's two MVP trophies; but the reality is that when you're only six feet tall or 6'1, you're just not going to be a great defender. Yeah, you can jump into some passing lanes, but that's about it. If you're short and really fast, odds are you're going to be exposed by anyone who's stronger or taller and you're going to need your team behind you to cover for that. Iverson can jump the passing lanes with the best of them, but asking him to fight through screens at 6' 165 lbs is just being unrealistic.

Of course, the other main downside to Iverson's game is that he needs the ball a lot on offense and he's a woefully inefficient scorer. Iverson's game would probably work better if he was really just a complementary player or a team's second option, but his ego has never allowed that. As he gets older maybe he'll transition to more of a 2nd fiddle type role, and be the kind of guy who can make defenses pay for loading up on his team's number one offensive weapon, but he's not there yet. He wasn't even 2nd fiddle on Denver with Carmello Anthony, one of the most efficient scorers in the league. Instead he was more like 1a with Melo. On Detroit Iverson is still going to be the main offensive weapon, and his need to have the ball in his hands is going to further marginalize the other great scoring options Detroit has. Maybe as a free agent this summer he'll sign somewhere where he can unquestionably be the team's second banana and finally play the role that he should have been playing all along, but don't look for that to happen on this Pistons team.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ricky: why the hell would anyone google Jon Koncak?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Clippers commentators are among the best in the league, and are consistently ranked as such by their peers. Please pay attention.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
WOW Yao Ming was 6-1?

He's good, but I didn't know he could defy the laws of mathematics!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am a life long clipper fan and live with constant insults against the poor poor clippers. Make fun of the team and ownership as much as you want because most is warranted but please never never make fun of the clippers' announcers. Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith are as good as they get for a local tv station. Lawler is highly respected and his law, "Lawler's Law," is often referred to on ESPN and TNT. He has announced over 2000 Clippers' games including 1600 consecutively. They really help make even the worst Clippers' games entertaining and unless you watch multiple games one might not understand that they are joking most of the time and are actually very knowledgeable about basketball.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ wild yams:

You're right on the money with the Iverson size issue. A 2 guard HAS to be bigger than 6'4" or else the team is going to suffer defensively. See: the Chicago Bulls.

This explanation can be applied to the Spurs' dilemma with Manu out of the game. People have been saying for years that Manu is the key to that team's success, and it's very true. Essentially Manu is a point guard with a 2-guard's body and TP is a 2-guard trapped in a point guard's body.

Manu's height and athletecism (read: flopping ability) allow him to play respectable defense against other 2's. Alternately, he can cover most PG's in the league, especially with TD covering for him when the ultra-quick TJ Fords of the NBA get by him.

Tony Parker is, as you pointed out, an undersized player who is ultra-quick and can score a lot (like AI) but is NOT a point guard in the traditional sense (like AI) and has trouble defending anybody bigger than him (like AI). He can get to the rack almost at will, but he exerts himself so much on "O" that he becomes a gambler/opportunist on "D"- this results in a lot of steals, but the other team smokes him most of the time because he's reaching and sluffing(like... AI!).

With no Manu, and no passable point guard backup, TP is forced to play the point, and he just can't do it. So, yeah, he gets 55 points because he doesn't have anyone to pass to besides TD, but his team is in huge trouble because they run an offense that requires at least token point guard abilities.

And now that even HE is out of the game for a month? Methinks the Spurs are up shit creek without a paddle.

Good news for them: the West isn't THAT strong right now. Dallas: sucks. GS- Sucks. Portland? Still sucks. Enver- sucktastic. Houston- also sucks (who actually thinks they were EVER any good with Yao/McGrady??) New Orleans- meh.

The West really isn't that awesome this year; many of the teams we thought would be good are underachieving. The Spurs are only 1.5 games out of the Playoffs, and really, they can't get any worse than they are right now. I think they'll still get in. Pop is too good of a coach and they still have TD. They will make some changes soon- just watch.

(side note: I HOPE they miss the playoffs, but I know better than to bet against the Spurs)

Blogger Austen said...
anonymous, we're just making fun of the rampant quote machines the Clippers announcers are. Hell, it hasn't even been a week since they coined the phrase "MAN-type rebound."

Incidentally, does anyone else find those Lakers announcers pretty fracking annoying? I only tuned in the 2nd half of last night's Lakers-Rockets game, and I had to turn it off because it was like hearing a constant barrage of Laker fanboy trolling. On the subject of Ming, they went off once during his freethrows complaining that a 7 ft. man like him shouldn't be able to shoot freethrows, that it's just not fair. Sheesh.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AK Dave, I'm not sold yet on the "West is overrated" bit yet. The Spurs are the only team that to me is really surprisingly bad. Portland was expected to start a little slow as they're a young team with new pieces, but I expect them to be pretty good down the stretch. Denver with Billups I think will also be a pretty decent team. Phoenix is better than I would have thought they were going to be (we'll see how those old guys hold up over the long haul though). Dallas I didn't think was gonna be very good, but they might bounce back. I think it's too early to tell for sure how tough the West is gonna be this year.

I do know this: if the West really isn't that strong after all, the Lakers really could make a run at 65+ wins if they stay healthy and focused. The main reason I would have thought that wasn't possible was due to the overall strength of the Western Conference, followed by my doubts about LA's ability to defend at an elite level; but if they keep playing like this and nobody else really steps up then the Lakers could roll this year, much the same way Boston did last year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
yay mark blount! You forgot to mention his 3 point attempts.

and just watch how he shoots them. Its disgusting. At least antoine walker made a surprisingly decent percentage of tippy toe 3's with Miami (year 1)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really think Enver is going to be any good? I'm not sold yet. Chaun-CY Bu-Bu-Bu-Bu-BILLUPS is going to struggle with the running style of Enver. I'm not sure he's the right guy for that team at all. He is really well suited to a half-court team where he can back-down and bully other point guards with his MAN-type strength. He is just an average passer and PG in a run-and-gun type setting.

The only real locks for the playoffs: Lakers, Jazz, Suns, Hornets- in that order. Other than that? It's a toss-up.

I could see any other team in the West missing the playoffs entirely- including Dallas and Houston. Besides LA and Utah- who has any real depth in the West? Phoenix is just one injury away from utter doom, as is Houston, Dallas, and whoever-else-you-wanna-name in the West. I give SA about a 75% chance to make the playoffs this season.

It's not that the West is weak compared to the East- it's just not the dominant conference that it has been in previous years.

Oh, and yeah- LA should win at least 60 this year, and 65 wouldn't surprise me at all.

Blogger Lu said...
rodney stuckey's sucky defense on devin harris is incorrectly attributed to allen iverson. espn's chris sheridan reports that michael curry for some inexplicable reason would not switch iverson onto devin harris even though stuckey was getting murdered. link:

Blogger Basketbawful said...
austen -- Mind you, I didn't see the game, but they've been fighting pretty hard to stay on top of things with Williams out. Could it have been fatigue?

awopbopaloobopalopbamboom -- Dear lord! I've never seen a team give up over 100 FTAs in back-to-back home games. That's what I call homecourt disadvantage.

ricky -- Thanks for stopping by. But I have to agree with cw...why were you Googling Jon Koncak??

the third heat -- Crap. I saw a coule highlights of Harris scoring on Iverson and jumped to the conclusion. My bad. Also, I updated the post to give T-Mac his own entry.

Yams -- You're right about Walton. However, he WILL be making $6 million at the end of his 2012-13!! Three more years of Walton AFTER this one. [shudders]

Yams (again) -- See, I do tend to think Iverson is overrated. He's certainly one of the great SCORERS of the past 15 years or so, but his scoring has often come at the cost of the involvement (and in some cases the development) of his teammates. AI's skills seem more appropriate for the And 1! tour than the NBA. As you correctly pointed out, he's a defensive/matchup liability because of his size and an offensive liability due to his lack of efficiency and ego. When he was in Philly, the defense was always that he didn't have any good players around him. Well, he had plenty of them in Denver the last couple years, only nothing really changed. Until he manages to mesh with other talented players to create a team than can win consistently, I just can't consider him a truly great player.

anonymous #1 -- I'm not dissing the Clip's commenters any more than I dis anybody else. But you have to admit, it's kind of funny to accuse Yao of not being a shot blocker and then watching him get four stuffs in a half.

anonymous #2 -- Who said Yao was 6-1? I must have missed that...

anonymous #3 -- I'm familiar with Lawler, and Lawler's Law was a Word of the Day here. But everybody makes mistakes. I'm guessing it was Lawler who said Yao wasn't a shot blocker. And, as I said above, the fact that he had to eat his words was as embarrassing as Yao continuing to miss dunks.

ak dave -- The way things are going, I could totally see the Spurs missing the playoffs. As it is, I see them sneaking in as the 7th or 8th seed, scaring someone in the first round, but losing.

austen -- Yeah. Hate 'em. It's never been the same since Chick passed.

kazam92 -- Oops. I'll have to add that part about the threes.

Yams and AK Dave -- The Lakers are going to threaten 70 this year. Don't know if they'll reach it, but they'll be on pace for a while.

Oh, and I think Billups is going to make Denver better pretty quickly. If for no other reason than he plays defense and he'll get everybody else involved moreso than AI did.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think Ike Diogu deserves a WotW update - he played 4:08 of the first quarter in the Blazers/T-Wolves game, and all he did was get a turnover and two fouls. Needless to say, he spent the rest of the game on the bench.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I just realized that I had missed the Ike Diogu mention, my bad. But maybe I can get a job as a Clippers broadcaster!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AK Dave, I do think Denver is gonna be pretty good with Billups in the lineup. I don't think they'll suddenly be one of the elite teams in the West, but I think they just went from a lottery team to a playoff team (even if all that means is another 1st round exit for them).

Also, I have a hard time seeing the Rockets not making the playoffs this year. They have a ton of depth on that team and should be able to absorb the inevitable injuries headed their way. Even if Yao and TMac get hurt and are out for the year (which is a worst case scenario), a team with Artest, Battier, Scola, Bones Barry, Landry, Alston and Aaron Brooks is pretty solid.

Mr. Bawful, Walton may make $6m in 2012-2013 to sit on the bench, but he's not making that much this season. You never know what his situation might be in 4 years. For all we know between now and then his stalker could bust out of jail and throw him down in a pit where she would implore him to rub the lotion on his skin or else he gets the hose again.

I think we're pretty much in agreement in our assessment of Iverson, it's just a semantic debate over what exactly 'overrated' connotes.

I've heard a few rumblings about how the Lakers could get to 70 wins, but that kind of talk is way premature. When the 1996 Bulls won 72 they started the season 42-3, so I'm inclined to say let's revisit the prospect of 70 wins when the Lakers have a record like that. For the Lakers to really get to 70 wins the West really does need to be far more watered down than it was a year ago, and if that's the case and the Lakers end up some 10+ games ahead of everyone else in the West, will they really want to keep pushing it late in the year after they have the top seed throughout locked up? The Lakers do appear to have the depth to keep pushing it even with the bench emptied, but April is a long way away.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
BA and cw: thanks for the replies. unfortunately I am aging (37 y/o) and I love to look for updates about old bums of the 80's, when I started following the NBA

the fact that BA dedicated a post to Jon Koncak made me immediately love the site: talking about added value and your stocks skyrocketing :-)

Blogger Barry said...
"Although one is of him high-fiving Al Horford from the bench and the other two are guys scoring over him"


As a Dutchman I would like to have it on the record that I have no ties with Dan Gadzuric. Why is he called the Flying Dutchman?

Oh...never mind.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
thanks. Also liked that you pointed out marion has no offensive game. I mean he's missing all these easy floaters and such. Its frustrating. Steve nash or no steve nash I'll never see how he averaged 20 ppg. Its not like wade is much worse as a facilitator. Trade him for a big and get dorell wright playing time

oh and its worth noting chris quinn is f*cking awesome. no not like brian scalabrine awesome. Actually awesome

Blogger shayan said...
"as the second year of Kevin McHale's 10-year rebuilding plan continues." LMAO!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
but I'm starting to think we need a modifier for minutes played. Like an extra +1 for every two meaningless minutes played?

Hmm… perhaps we need a "suck ratio" instead? Defined as (suck)/(playing time).

Using examples from this article, then, Dominic McGuire would have a "suck ratio" of +2/13. And Javaris Crittenton would have a "suck ratio" of +3/1:17 – which makes him quantifiably more sucky than McGuire, whose suck was at least mitigated by the additional suck-free minutes he played.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Tonight has been a lesson in chokery. OKC, Nets, Magic (lesser extent) and Raptors all lead for the majority of the game but threw it away in the last qtr. Lets see if the Suns/Grizzlies ca manage the same.

Blogger lordhenry said...
Awesome. What an amazing display of Lord Mamba's dark side powers as he force-levitates behind Yao to REVERSE ego-ectomy his shot. Worse, Lord Mamba got close enough that his deadly phermones could be inhaled by jedi knight Yao, further weakening him. Mark my words, within two-three weeks, someone on this rockets squad is going down with injury. And there will be one less jedi to oppose the Dark Lord.......Is anyone safe?

Blogger Preveen said...
How unfair is life? Jaric gets what ever his damn salary is AND Adrianna Lima, and he gets only 4 trillion? Dammit, I'd be putting in more effort than that even without the salary.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I couldn't be happier with the debut of suck differential with an incredible 13 minute with +2 suck example.

I think incorporating Min Played isn't good, because then that messes with trillion's definition. By definition, trillion should remain neutral with a negative connotation only. So any trillion is still +0 suck differential. Trillions are meaningless minutes. Suck differential is extra Bawful.

I like suck differential like you have it, as a subset of lacktion. Also, my bad forgetting Blocks Against in the suck differential formula. I'm actually not sure if BA's also count a 0-1 FGA, but I think the +2 would be fitting.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
WTF? Have you started with a new basketball team in Brisbane , Australia ?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hello again – I've further fleshed things out regarding the "suck ratio" here. Feel free to borrow/steal/rephrase things as you wish!

Blogger Mart J said...
I've seen Yao get blocked by the rim at least 3 times this season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@Wild Yams: Sure, Iverson has skills, but he's never had the complete package. There is more to defense than size. And, OK, if he's a shooting guard in a PG's body, then he's not well suited for the NBA, is he? And most importantly, the guy has never had the right attitude. He's a classic arrogant superstar, and he's not going to make his teammates better. His infamous practice problems are a classic example. OK, AI, YOU may not need the practice, but your teammtes do, buddy. They need to run through those scrims, and they need to do so with their star.

The guy is just a less severe version of Starbury: a talented guy who is totally me-oriented. Generally speaking, his teams are going to under-perform. I think it's notable that his only success came with Larry Brown as coach. Yeah, Brown has his own issues, but his magic is that he can sometimes reach guys to get them all playing on the same page. Witness his Detroit championship. And he's the only guy who ever got that from AI, even though it was only partway.

No, what pisses me off about Iverson is what he COULD have been, if his big-ass ego weren't in the way. He could have been a Steve Nash. In fact, he should have been. Look at Nashies scoring ability, and his efficiency. But AI was never interested in being a playmaker, because there's not as much hot-shit glory in it. And that's where he simply doesn't get it: never has, never will.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
dude i hate to be the guy who points out typos but "Yao Ming was 6-for-1" is not possible.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Just checked the ESPN NBA Page and saw the poll "Who is the top international player in the league?"

At this moment, it looks like this:

Nash - 26%
Gasol - 23%
Nowitzki - 21%
Yao - 15%
Ginobili - 14%

Funny to see that Ginobili is the only with not one, but three rings and he is the last one on the poll!

I get people voting for Nash, two-time MVP, etc., but The Spaniard Marshmellow? Really? The German Choker? For Real? The Chinese Porcelan? You gotta be kidding...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Anybody noticed that Mr Big Shit, I mean, Mr Big Shot, is shooting .275 right now? He is 14/51 from the field.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Come on, let's be real: Iverson has never shown anywhere near the playmaking ability that Steve Nash has. But on the other hand, in the last 20 years how many people have? Chris Paul? Iverson is an incredible athlete, but I don't think even if he wanted to he could have had the court vision and ability to set up his teammates like Nash or Chris Paul has.

Iverson definitely could have been a much more effective player though, there is no doubt about it. He could have worked on just being more efficient on offense the way Tony Parker is, and could have used his offensive effectiveness to set up his teammates rather than just himself. But anyone who watched Iverson in 2001, especially in the Finals against the Lakers knows that he is legit.

Remember that those 2001 Lakers swept a 50 win Blazer team in the first round, then swept a 55 win Sacramento team in the 2nd round before demolishing a 58 win Spurs team in 4 games in the WCF, winning Game 3 by 39 points and Game 4 by 29 points. That Laker team was just incredible, and yet in the Finals they basically went up against Allen Iverson, all by himself, and the Lakers were challenged throughout that series. Phil Jackson really had to resort to putting seldom-used Tyronne Lue on Iverson with what appeared to be instructions to grab him and hold him as much as possible. That was by far the toughest series the Lakers had that year and it was really all due to Iverson's dominance.

Iverson has major flaws in his game though, don't get me wrong. I've never been a fan of his because he's so inefficient on offense and more often than not takes away from what his team probably wants to do on offense. This is even more true now when he has lost a step and can't dominate like he used to. But to say he's overrated and never was that great of a player is wrong, IMO.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Regarding parkers "injury" - the spurs are just continuing the franchise cycle. Every 10 years or so, they tank the season, get the #1 pick in the lottery and then draft the next dominant big man. Its worked so far. Look for them to shut down Duncan in a few more games and sign Dominique Wilkins for another stint in the silver and black to pair with new their new backcourt of steve francis and stephon marbury.