Seriously, doesn't it look like Doug Collins is
pimping Ronnie Price out to some dirty old man?

The Washington Wizards: Sure, it would be easy to give the Wizards a mulligan on this one. I mean, the defending champs are on a hot streak -- 13 in a row and counting -- so losing to them was sort of expected. That said...the Wiz lost by 34. At home. They shot 43 percent and had more turnovers (22) than assists (16). Meanwhile, Boston singed their forearm hair off with 56 percent shooting (and 53 percent from distance) and beat them bloody on the boards (41-26). The Celtics also had seven players in double figures, and Big Baby almost had a double-double (9 points, 7 rebounds). Brian Scalabrine played most of the fourth quarter.

Remember: This is, essentially, the same Washington team that showed so much spunk last year. They were, in fact, the only team in the league to beat the Celtics three times during the regular season. And now? The Wiz are 4-16, which matches the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets for the worst start in franchise history. That's some historic fail right there.

Historic fail

Mind you, I almost mentioned the Wizards in yesterday's Worst of the Night because they traded FOR Mike James, the shoot-first point guard whom Byron Scott didn't trust to play the three or four minutes a game that Chris Paul sits out. The so-called Amityville Scorer, who's something of a homeless man's Gilbert Arenas, played 10 minutes, shot 0-for-6, and finished with a point, an assist, a steal and a foul. But I'm sure he just needs time to adjust to Ed Tapscott's system. That and some kind of magic potion that can transform him into a real NBA player. Oh, and here's a bonus picture of James getting the ball knocked away by Big Baby. That's right: James has regressed to the point where he isn't faster and more mobile than Glen Davis.

James and Davis
I know there's a lot of Big Baby to get around,
Mike, but you should still be able to do it.

Speaking of that trade, TehJay pointed out that Javaris Crittenton played 6 minutes last night, contributing 4 turnovers and nothing else. Added TehJay: "Washington got a steal with this trade!"

Also, here's a question for the Basketbawful faithful: Are the Cavs, Celtics and Lakers just incredibly awesome or does the rest of the league just kinda suck this season? I'm leaning toward the latter. Discuss.

Brian Scalabrine: Here's a gold nugget from the AP game notes: "Rivers put in the players at the end of his bench for most of the fourth quarter, and what was left of the sellout crowd of 20,173 kept chanting reserve forward Brian Scalabrine's last name, apparently hoping to see him score, or at least shoot. He put up his one and only attempt with 3 seconds left -- and it was blocked." I promise you I'm not ghost writing for the AP under the pseudonym "Howard Fendrich." As far as you know. For the record, it was JaVale McGee who decided to ego-ectomize Scal on that final play. It's just like John Kreese said: We do not train to be merciful here. Mercy is for the weak. A man confronts you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy.

Here's another bonus pic. The caption: "Brian Scalabrine of the Boston Celtics plays a game with a child from Boston Medical Center during a Boston Celtics Holiday Party on December 9, 2008 at the Dick's Last Resort in Boston, Massachusetts." Have you ever seen someone look so bewildered during a game of Jenga?

Jeez, Brian. It's Jenga, not rocket science.

The Dallas Mavericks: They barely held off the Bobcats in Dallas. Woo hoo! Yes, that's sarcasm. Worse is that Charlotte was missing Gerald Wallace (who has not returned to the team following the death of his grandmother) and just traded away their leading scorer, therefore they were playing with a bench so short that Adam Morrison logged 20 minutes...and scored 9 points on 4-for-6 shooting. I'm not going to bother to check, but I'm guessing that's a season-high for the 'Stache. Said 'Cats coach Larry Brown: "We played a lot of guys who've never really played before." Which, of course, is Larry's passive-aggressive way of mocking the Mavs while making excuses for his team. That's what coaching experience is all about, baby.

Countered Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle: "It was about defense tonight. They're a difficult team because they're very persistent." Really, Rick? Really? So persistent they rank dead last in PPG (89.8) and darn close in field goal percentage (43.7). Although I suppose I should credit Dallas for holding them to only 0.2 points above their scoring average. That's something.

DeSagana Diop: The Mavs sure are lucky they managed to resign Diop last summer! I got into some pretty heated arguments with some commenters last year when Diop was included as an add-on in the Jason Kidd trade. My stance: He's a nearly useless, seven-foot stiff. My opponents' stance: He's an invaluable rebounding and defensive presence. Well, his performance this season has been a little thing I like to call "checkmate." Last night's line: 3 minutes, 2 fouls, and a suck differential of +2. By the way, that contract he signed? It's worth more than $32 million over five years. So, in considering Diop's free agent deal, the Harris-for-Kidd trade and the fact that the Mavs chose to give Erick Dampier a seven-year, $72 million contract instead of re-signing Steve Nash...can we all just agree once and for all that Mark Cuban isn't quite the genius he thinks he is and leave it at that?

Emeka Okafor: The Okafor watch continues! Oaky had a season-high 27 points and 17 rebounds. And zero assists. Again. That's another 41 minutes without a dime. The current season numbers stand at: 781 minutes, 195 field goal attempts, 98 free throw attempts, 48 turnovers and 7 assists in 23 games. And since his season-high is 1 assist, that means he's played 16 games without one. To which I say: Damn, dawg. You're not even letting the GROUND touch the ball. [Opens Okafor's closet and watches in stunned silence as thousands of balls spill out.]

Matt Harpring's defense: C'mon, Matt. I'm pretty sure that's against some sort of rule...

Harpring D
Memo to Matt: It's "hand in the face," not "fistful of jersey."

Deron Williams' shooting: "Dear, Deron. Including last night's 5-for-16 shooting performance, you're now hitting 37 percent of your field goals on the season. This is killing my fantasy team. Please put in some extra practice or take better shots. Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Basketbawful."

The Portland Trail Blazers: Hm. They've quietly lost three of four, and it would be four in a row if not for Steve Blake's three with 8 seconds left against the Raptors. I'm just sayin'. Meanwhile, what's up with this quote from Brandon Roy? "They did a great job and we've got to give them all the credit, but now it's our turn when we face them again to protect our home court." When I read that, I figured maybe they had a home-and-home with the Jazz. Nope. They don't face the Jazz in Portland until January 31st. I wonder if there was some trash talk going on during the game. But be careful what you wish for, Brandon. Utah should have Carlos Boozer back by then, so I'm guessing they'll be a little tougher.

Update! Brandon Roy: Not sure how I missed this, but Ben did not: "Shouldn't Brandon Roy earn some malaprops for his Okafor last night? Sure he had 33 points on 12-22 shooting, but when your starting PG gets no dimes in nearly 43 minutes, your team's chances of winning are going to be just south of diddley-squat." Good point. Although, technically speaking, Steve Blake is the startin PG while Roy starts at the two-spot. But still, Roy averages 5 APG and a lot of the Blazers' offense goes through, yeah, he gets a mention. But honestly, Ben, you had me at "malaprops."

Update! Kobe Bryant: He called Mo's Bar and said: "Uh, yeah, I'd like to speak to a Mr. Tabooger, first name Ollie."

Death: Bettie Page passed away last night. She was 85. She was an amazing woman who lived an amazing life. She really changed the world. I'm bummed.

Thanks for the memories, Bettie.

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Blogger chris said...
Apparently ESPN thought it worthy to mention the specific amounts of fail from the Wizards' DeShawn Stevenson, as seen from this Daily Dime quote on Thursday's worst:

"DeShawn Stevenson, Wizards: It is hard for a team to win a game when its starting shooting guard misses every shot he takes (0-for-4), doesn't score a point and turns the ball over four times in 22 minutes of action."

So I look up the boxscore on Yahoo and in that extended lacktion sequence, he came within 1 rebound and 2 assists of a +6 SD! Averaging a turnover every 5 minutes and 15 seconds - at that point they might as well blow the whistle every instance Stevenson has the rock in his hands and just gently give it to someone on the other team to save time.

Blogger Drake said...
Kobe WOTN?

Besides the Celtics, Lakers, and Cavs, the only other contender I can see in the horizon is the Spurs.

For a while, they had Duncan playing out of his mind, a largely forgettable and shitty rest of the cast, and two of their best players injured. Somehow, they were able to keep above 500 throughout all of this. And as we've seen in the past, Gregg Popovich can shit into gold. It may be gold that whines, flops at every turn, and is a asshole in general, but it's gold nevertheless.

Personally, I can't discount the Spurs now that their at almost full strength. They may be a year older, but they always do the exact same conserve energy for the playoffs schtick every year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Shouldn't Brandon Roy earn some malaprops for his Okafor last night? Sure he had 33 points on 12-22 shooting, but when your starting PG gets no dimes in nearly 43 minutes, your team's chances of winning are going to be just south of diddley-squat.

Blogger Junior said...
Mike James will be the free spirit the Wizs are needing to win, you forget to say that

ps: if isn't clear to anyone that read this comment, i'm being tottaly ironic

Blogger Clifton said...
B-Scal is confused because he's forgotten what it looks like when someone lets you start playing a game at the beginning. Even in Jenga. His teammates only let him take a turn when all of the middle pegs have already been yanked.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, I never pegged you as a Bettie Page fan, but kudos for including her on your site.

Doesn't Matt Harpring's defense generally consist of things that are against the rules? There's a reason the Jazz always lead the league in fouls, you know.

You're dead on about Diop's worthlessness and Cuban's myopia when it comes to running a team. Diop is a run of the mill stiff, but is apparently a run of the mill stiff of the Jon Koncak variety with that big contract. Memo to Mark: trade Dirk and blow it up.

Can anyone out there make sense of the Mike James trade? Was Washington's front office bummed that the Hornets were off to a slow start and thought "let's send them a decent backup PG to get them back on track" or something? I guess I shouldn't expect much from the guys that signed Gilbert Arenas and his oft-injured knees to a 9 figure deal. Too bad the Wiz aren't good enough to be Cleveland's 1st round speed bump yet again this year, the Cavs will have to settle for steamrolling some other mediocre team I guess.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- You know, I meant to give DeShawn an entry. I'm convinced last year's "fued" with LeBron broke Stevenson's will. He's been a shell of himself since.

Drake -- The Kobe entry was added. And yeah, I know the Spurs will be there in the end. I simply don't think they have enough quality players after the top three to really challenge the Lakers. Or even the Jazz or Blazers, if it comes to it.

Junior -- Oh, I got it, I got it.

Clifton -- Nice. I might have to add that in...

Wild Yams -- Oh, I'm a huge fan of Bettie. I think she greatly furthered the freedom of sexual expression in this country, even if that wasn't her intention. Many great athletes have been credited for breaking color barriers. Well, Bettie broke down sexual barriers, or at least began helping them be broken down (even though, indeed, many of those barriers are still strong in some regions of the country, the world, etc.).

And yup, that's Harpring D for you. I remember when Jordan first came back with the Wizards watching a game between (I think) the Sixers and Wiz, and Harpring beat the hell out of Jordan. I loved it, even if I was sorta thinking, "Who the hell IS this guy?"

There's a fine line between luck and genius. When the Mavs drastically improved, Cuban sure seemed like a genius. Now? Seems like he got awfully lucky.

The only sense I can make of the James trade is that people keep fooling themselves by thinking, "You know, James was scoring 20 PPG a few seasons ago. If we just work to maximize his talents, we can maybe get some worth out of him." You'd think the Wizards would have learned by now the dangers of over-trusting players who bumped up their stats by gunning for a bad team.

Blogger chris said...
Just saw a great Joel Pryzbilla "defense" photo that belongs on the WOTN:

Blogger chris said...
Hey, if being a genius requires luck, then Doc Rivers should be compared to Einstein and Newton right about now...because he got lucky that the Garnett trade landed in his lap.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"they traded FOR Mike James, the shoot-first point guard whom Byron Scott didn't trust to play the three or four minutes a game that Chris Paul sits out." - LOOOLLL!!! How true it is. Living in Toronto, when Mike James played for the Raps, as soon as he had his breakout season (read: hogged the ball to death and got his own) and was finished his contract year, Colangelo didn't even pretend to want to keep him and just let him go.

Blogger Clifton said...
Suns centers tonight:

Robin Lopez's complete ineffectiveness vs. Dwight Howard led to Lou Amundson (I think it's written in his contract that we have to say "2006 D-League Rookie of the Year Lou Amundson") taking a swing at him, at least briefly. But a few of those eary plays were downright embarrassing for Lopez.

Anyway, between the two of them (Lopez and '06 NBDL RoY Amundson): 38 minutes, 3-5 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 rebs (really??), 0 asts, 0 stls, 2 blks, 3 TOs, 6 fouls, 6 points. We need Kicking Bird to ride by Shaq's hut and tell him, "You will mourn no more." If Howard hadn't tweaked a knee halfway through the 3rd quarter, there's no way the Suns are able to pull this one off, despite the fact that they had taken the lead while Howard was in there, in my opinion. Yao is Yao and LeBron is LeBron, but Marcin Gortat is NOT Dwight Howard.

Gutsy play by the team overall, though. They were way down early and were able to flip it completely (then, of course, almost gave it away again). In other suckage news, J-Dud had, well, a dud (2 minutes, nothing but 1 PF), and Dragic? DNP-CD. I guess Porter figured zero minutes of nada was better than 8 minutes of nada. Barbosa handled the point, iirc, when Nash was taking a breather. And what a debut for Richardson, who didn't know until mid-afternoon whether he'd even be able to play or not (50% FGs, 21 pts).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Scalabrine's the guy the Celtics sent out for these community service things. Is it because of his charming personality? Is he good with kids?

Or, do they just want to keep him away from practice?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't know if you can get your hands on this, but Mike James was on Supernanny last night.

It was difficult for me to chose between watching my Raps and watching Mike James be shown how to change a diaper.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think (Kevin) Durant Durant has heard about the Durant vs. Nate Robinson Rebound Watch. Look at this photo of him desperately going up for a rebound... against his own teammate.
Note: it's not a man-type rebound if it's against your own french teammate.. So that answers how he got 8 rebounds.

Also, Mike James went off, sortof. Has he again found a team bad enough to make him look good?