Michael Jordan: The Bobcats' part owner was back in his courtside seat for a second straight game after a two-week absence. Active. Involved. Interested. None of these words describe Michael Jordan The Owner.
Al Jefferson: Big Al was strong on the glass (9 rebounds) and actually played a little interior defense for a change (6 blocked shots), but he let his team down on the offensve end, where he shot 3-for-11 and finished with only 8 points...13 below his season average. Said Jefferson: "They're doing a great job of just acting like they're going and stunting. It's messing me up." Uh...can anybody translate that from Big Al to English for me?
Jason Collins: The line: Zero points (0-for-1), 1 rebound, 1 block against and 4 personal fouls in 13 minutes and 13 seconds. Truly some unlucky numbers. And mind you, HE IS MINNESOTA'S STARTING CENTER. It was Jason's fourth scoreless game in 10 appearances this season. He's also shooting only 24 percent on the year, despite the fact that 99 percent of his shots are taken within a foot of the basket. And this isn't just a rough start because of his offseason golf cart injury (and no I'm not making that up): Last season, he went off for zero points in 33 out of 74 games, including one stretch in which he scored zero points 12 times in 15 games while STARTING for the Nets. That's a real waste of seven feet worth if height.
Kevin Love: 10 points and 8 boards is pretty good for a rookie, but kinda sad when compared to O.J. Mayo's recent 30-point explosions. That sound you hear? It's Kevin McHale. Weeping.
The Larry Brown Kool-Aid: The Bobcats are on fire, having won three of their last five games, and Charlotte's players are lovin' Larry because of it. Jason Richardson, who had a game-high 25 points, said: "It's pretty difficult because there are so many demanding things that he wants you to do. But we're a team that's willing to learn, was ready to listen and looking for something different. We still don’t have everything down, but the things we're doing are heading toward it." Emeka Okafor, who finished with a season-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, said: "That's his history with teams. When he first comes in it takes some time to adjust. There's a learning curve. Once everybody learns it, people get going."
Now, it might be worth pointing out that those three wins came against the slumping 76ers, the always-ready-to-give-up-a-lead Pacers, and sadsack Timberwolves. But whatever. It's cute that they 'Cats think they're "getting it." However, if Okafor's talking about Brown's history, he should probably also mention that things usually end ugly.
Adam Morrison: Wanna see Adam getting posterized? Well, here you go. Morrison also got flushed on by Rashad McCants (who apparently McCan dunk on Adam). In fact, if you check out his Yahoo Profile, there are seven pictures of Adam: Two of him getting dunked on, two of him getting shot over, and three of him committing a foul. Including one foul that's inexplicably described as Morrison getting dunked on by Luke Ridnour (who's not even in the picture). Good times.
The Orlando Magic defense: I know they're the Boston Celtics and everything, but the Magic sure didn't do a very good job of staying in front of anybody. The C's shot 60 percent in the first quarter and 54 percent for the game. Paul Pierce shredded them for 17 points in the third quarter. Said Stan Van Gundy: "We didn't do a very good job on the pick and rolls in the second half. I think more than anything it was a problem with our schemes and preparation." Hmm. Now, Stan, remind me again: Who's responsible for the schemes and preparation?
Anthony Johnson, excuse machine: The Magic were without their starting backcourt last night: Jameer Nelson missed his fourth straight game with a hip flexor and Mickael Pietrus is on injured reserve with a torn right thumb ligament. This caused Johnson to offer the following observation: "Yeah, they smacked us tonight. But with two healthy squads I feel very good." Right. Well, uh, sorry, Anthony, but while I admit having those guys back would make the team better, I'm still not sure you guys are one Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus from being better than (or even as good as) the Celtics. But I'm glad you'd feel very good. That's something.
Bob Delaney, David Guthrie, Gary Zielinski: Things got a little wacky at the Garden last night as the refs demanded that everyone present respect their authori-tah. I'll let Basketbawful reader Garron take this one: "The officiating crew last night was weird. The calls were fine, but technicals were everywhere. Eight were called in total, four by referee Bob Delaney. In fact, during a timeout Delane called a double technical on Sam Cassell, who was just sitting at the end of the bench and had to be sent out. Still no word on what actually happened. Then during the next timeout there was a technical called on Rondo...in the MIDDLE of a timeout while Rondo was in the huddle. Other weird technicals were called on Stan Van Gundy (for arguing a call) and Rashard lewis who, after making a very difficult behind the backboard circus shot, pumped his fist in the air."
When asked why he received his technical, Rondo said: "I don't know. Everyone got a technical." Added Doc Rivers: "This was one interesting game. A lot of technicals. I better be quiet before I get a technical." Now, regarding Same Cassell...
Sam Cassell: Sam now has more technicals (2) and ejections (1) than minutes played (zero). Last night, he was apparently bounced from the bench for complaining about a foul that David Guthrie called on Perkins. Said Rivers: "I told him he took a bullet for me, because I thought it was on me and I wasn't saying anything, so I was upset. I think they were trying to clean the game up. There was a lot of complaining going on. Unfortunately, when that's happening, the first guy who talks gets the tech. And Sam was that guy."
Cleaning up the game is one thing. Last night's techfest was a big much. Anyway, on the subject of Sam I Am, he decided to weigh in on the whole Stephon Marbury Fiasco going on in New York. Cassell thinks the whole deal is "bad for the league" and believes (like just about everybody else) that the Knicks need to get 'er done with regards to cutting Starbury loose. Said Sam: "They really need to get that thing resolved. It doesn't look good for both parties. Steph wants to play and he's better than the guys playing ahead of him. I don't understand it."
Uhm...not sure about that "better than the guys playing ahead of him" part, Sam. But I'm totally with you on the rest of it.
Brian Scalabrine:The Lord of the Rings registered two minutes, a missed shot, and a suck differential of +1. Not a bad night's work...for Jason Collins. And check out Scal's Yahoo Profile: The lone picture is of him getting scored on by Jamal Crawford. Even in his own world, he's the "other guy" in the poster.
And now, as an added bonus, Brian's theme song:
The Golden State Warriors: At this point, the Warriors are inventing new and fascinating ways to lose on an almost nightly basis. If only they could use their amazing creative powers to cure cancer or develop a truly everlasting Gob Stopper. Or, you know, win a game.
Last night -- the Warriors' seventh straight defeat, by the way -- the Golden Staters blew the game in a variety of ways. First, they let Udonis Haslem score off an offensive rebound/putback at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. (And that was only one of several second-chance buckets the Warriors surrendered.)
The Warriors were leading by 3 points with less than 10 seconds left in OT when Chris Quinn hit a tying three-pointer at the 7.1-seconds left mark. Michael Beasley then stole the ensuing inbounds pass, got fouled and made the game-winning free throw. Gah. Said Don Nelson: "Well it was a whale of a game, wasn't it? We sure gave it away at the end. Couple of breakdowns just at the wrong time. I thought we had the game won. It will be a hard loss to get over." Don't worry. I'm sure Nellie was feeling better by the fifth or sixth post-game beer. Anyway, I can hardly let this one go without giving a WotN mention to...
Andris Biedrins: He had 17 points (7-for-10), 15 rebounds and only 2 turnovers. However, the second turnover was the inbounds pass that was snatched by Beasley and cost Golden State the victory. Good job, Andris.
Dwyane Wade's butter-soaked fingers: Pookie was once again magnificent -- 37 points, 5 rebounds, 13 assists -- but, as usual, he had trouble holding onto the rock and finished with a game-high 7 turnovers. Fittingly, this allowed him to take back the lead in turnovers per game from Golden State's Stephen Jackson (who had 4 last night). Currently, Wade is averaging a league-worst 4.0 TOs per game while Captain Jack is averaging 3.9. I think this is going to be a season-long battle, folks. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Quote machinery and stat cursery: Basketbawful reader Garron informs me that one of the Warriors broadcasters made the following quip last night: "Timeout miami. 125-123 to the Warriors. First to play defense wins." However, according to the official game log, after that timeout Ronny Turiaf blocked Dwyane Wade's shot...and the Warriors went on to lose anyway. Ergo, Golden State got stat cursed by their own commentator. Whoops.
Kobe Bryant: Mamba advised Donnie Walsh not to buy out Stephon Marbury's contract. Said Mamba: "Don't give in to Steph's demands. Make him beg."