Dunleavy's obviously thinking something that rhymes with "row spit."

The Golden State Warriors: Well, Nellie turned the defensive reins over to his assistants...and the Warriors surrendered 113 points despite the fact that Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Keith Bogans combined to shoot 7-for-28. It might have been a good idea to get a hand in the face of that Jameer Nelson kid. He went 9-for-9 for his 22 points. Of course, it would have been an even better idea to shoot better than 31 percent from the field as a team. Their 81 points ties the second-lowest output the season, the lowest being a 79-point "effort" at Memphis back on November 3rd. Yeah, yeah, Captain Jack and Bad Porn are still out, but excuses are like belly buttons: Everybody has one and they all have slimy tentacles creeping out. Or is that just me?

Keith Bogans: Uh, yeah. Remember how I mentioned he was part of that 7-for-28 shooting triumverate? Well, his contribution to the cause was an 0-for-7 clunker, including 0-for-5 from distance. And he finished with more blocks against (1) than points (zero) in his 22 minutes. I know somebody who's going to be asking Santa for a jump shot for Christmas...

The lack of respect: ...for Jameer Nelson. He earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors and this story credits him for playin on...the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'm not bitter that the guy who wrote that story got paid to do it or anything. Except I totally am. But I'm probably not as upset as Jameer's mom. Many thanks to Miguel for the head's up.

The New Jersey Nets: Let me sum this up for you. They lost by 23 points at home. That means they finished 1-3 in their three-game homestand, and two of those three losses were by 20+ points. They are now 5-10 at home and fell a game below .500 with this latest defeat. Better yet -- or worse yet, depending on your point of view -- is that they're only 2-6 since December 9th. And in case you've forgotton (and I'm sure you have), that's when they were a season-best three games over .500 and Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." Stat curse, baby! 'Cause now the Nets are a precarious one game up on the suddenly sorta surging Milwaukee Bucks. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

(Oh, and by the way: New Jersey's defense gave up 114 points on almost 60 percent shooting to the Rockets. Kinda hard to win when your defense is spread wide open like a $100-per-hour "escort." Or so I've heard.)

Anyway, Vinsanity had this to say after the game: "This was a tough one. This was a tough night for us. We definitely needed a win. This was an opportunity for us to see where we are and how far we have come." It sure was. And I guarantee that the conclusion you can draw from it is 100 percent accurate.

Devin Harris and Vince Carter: Speaking of circumstances under which it's hard to win, you can't usually have your two big guns misfore all night (only 7-for-24 between them) and combine for only 20 points. And mind you, they began the night with a combined scoring average of 47.3 PPG, which made them the highest scoring backcourt in the league. Let me put it this way: Keyon Dooling had more assists (5 to 4) and almost as many points (17) as the both of them. As bad signs go, that's a notch above "penis on fire."

The media: The Rockets-Nets game was, for some bizarre reason, billed as a battle of Yao versus Yi. Uh, everyone's aware that Yao's probably the best center in the game right now while Yi's a 10-points-per-game roleplayer, right? Did Yi become an All-Star while I was in the bathroom or something?

The craziness of confidence: Houston's Aaron Brooks tied his career high by scoring 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including 4-for-7 from downtown. He accidentally banked in his first three and, despite the fact that it was a garbage shot, that boosted his confidence. Said Brooks: "If I can bank a three, then I know I can make the next one on my own." At first, I wanted to mock the kid, but then I thought about my own experiences in pickup basketball. And sure enough, when I thought about it I realized that hitting garbage shots -- and I've "wished in" a great many of them -- always makes me feel like I'm about to go on a streak. And I'm not the only one. I've seen other guys do the same thing. It's counterintuitive but indeniable: Hitting a lucky shot makes you feel, well, lucky. And half the game is 90 percent mental, you know?

The reactionary media/fans/etc.: I saw this story in the L.A. Times yesterday (via TrueHoop) where Magic Johnson -- apparently mirroring the feelings of experts and fans everywhere -- said the Lakers are kinda sorta in trouble and need to get tougher. Maybe. But seriously, what's the panic? The Forum Blue and Gold are 22-5, which, last time I checked, is pretty damn good. But I guess that's what happens when two other teams (the Celtics and Cavs) are also off to historically awesome starts. So the Lakers are "only" on pace for 69ish wins? That's a problem somehow? You know, much as I enjoy watching Lakers fans squirm, the realist in me feels the need to point out that many teams have won a title despite falling short of the 70-win plateau. Like, all but one of them. Meanwhile, many other teams have shot out to fast starts and faltered in the playoffs (including the 1981-82 Celtics, the last Boston team to win 18 games in a row).

I refuse to believe that the only cause for joy and/or optimism is a team being virtually undefeated by the end of December. (Although, doesn't 22-5 pretty much qualify as "virtually undefeated"?)

The Memphis Grizzlies: They can hardly be faulted for losing to a superior Lakers team. However, the loss was their third straight to finish off a season-long five-game home stand. So that's kind of a bummer. Oddly enough, of those three losses, the Griz stuck closer to the two really good teams (New Orleans and L.A.) than the bad one (Charlotte): Memphis lost by 29 to the Bobcats while finishing within single digits of the Hornets and Lakers.

Kobe Bryant: I don't even have to make one up today. This is from Basketbawful reader Josh: "Just watched the Lakers beat the Grizzlies...I'm embarrassed for Kobe and all his fans. The Lakers were up by 7 points with 5 seconds left when Kobe got a steal and, instead of dribbling out the clock like any NBA player with an ounce of class would do, Mamba sprinted down for a highlight dunk. Which he didn't get off in time, but they gave him points for it anyway. This is something I've come to expect from Kobe...and from the NBA." Agreed. It was pretty classeless to dunk on an opponent when the game is essentially over. Scan it for yourself (at the 2:15 mark).

Basketbawful reader Dan did notice, however, that Kobe had a career-high 23 assists last night. Or so it seems...

bryant_assists[1] (2)

The Sacramento Kings: Another night, another double-digit loss for the crownless Kings, who have lost four in a row and 17 of 20 since starting the season 4-5. How toothless are these tigers? Gregg Popovich didn't even bother to coach against them last night. Seriously. Said Pop: "I did nothing to earn my money. They (the players) coached. They communicated. They changed defenses, called plays. I just substituted players." Playing the Kings? Just show up and win. It's easier than growing Sea Monkeys.

Brad Miller: The source of many trade rumors finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls. So much for establishing trade value, huh?

Brandon Roy: After going off for a career-high 52 points against the defensless Suns last Thursday, Roy got a double-dose of "hand in the face" against the previously defenseless Nuggets, who held him to 3-for-11 shooting. Roy, who finished with almost as many fouls (5) as points (8), said: "It was a lot of everything. It was getting into foul trouble and, really, it was just their night."

It was also a case of -- and you should be taking notes on this if your name is "Terry Porter" -- putting extra defensive pressure on a primetime scorer. George Karl alternated defenders and doubled Roy every time he touched the ball. Said Karl: "Give him two. Whenever he touches it give him two players." Sometimes it's just that easy. Of course, Karl also noted that: "Foul trouble helped us, too." Added Chauncey Billups: "To be successful against a player like him, it has to be a team effort. Dahntay (Jones) started off great on him, J.R. (Smith) had some good minutes on him, so it was a team effort." You, uh, get all that, Terry?

Greg Oden: The Next Great Center had another one of those "Greg Ostertag: 2.0" games last night: 10 points and only 3 rebounds in 21 foul-plagued minutes. Oden picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the second half and sat on his extra-large bum until there was 9:52 left in the fourth. He eventually fouled out with 1:31 to go and the Nuggets up by 6. Said TNGC: "I really couldn't get into a groove. It's hard to get into a groove when you get called for fouls and have to be taken out." Fair enough. But still...3 rebounds in 21 minutes when you're the biggest guy on the court? And only 1 of those boards came off the defensive glass. If the Vanilla Godzilla wasn't such a team-first guy, this would be killing him.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Okay, let's all say this together and really, really loudly: They are who we thought they were. The Clips have now dropped two in a row after winning five out of seven. And last night they lost by 22 at home to the Raptors, otherwise known as "The Sucky Team That Lost To The Thunder A Few Days Ago." Fail. Oh, and Clipper fans nearly suffered a coronary when Zach Randolph, the prime mover of the team's mini-revival, left the game early in the fourth quarter after bruising his left knee in a collision with Jake Voskuhl during a Bosh layup. (See what happens when you play defense??) The good news is that X-rays were negative and he's considered day-to-day. Said Z-Bo: "Hopefully it's just a bone bruise. I'm just going to ice it in the next couple of days." The Clippers don't play again until Sunday, so Randolph probably won't miss any time.

The Davis Watch: ClipperBlog noted that Baron Davis shot 20-for-71 on the team's recent four-game road trip. I did a little extra number crunching to discover that B-Diddy is 51-156 over his last eight games. That's 32 percent "accuracy"...which would be a failing grade in any class that doesn't grade on a curve and even in some that do. We are now keeping an eye on Boom-Dizzle's shooting.

Al Thornton: Dear Al, Chris Bosh would like you to, in the future if you would be so kind, watch where the hell you're sticking your fingers. Thank you.

Raptors Clippers Basketball

[The pic was sent in by Shayan of Time Intact.]

Lack-tion report: Basketbawful reader Chris chimed in with another report on last night's un-movers and non-shakers: "Channing Frye (+2, 4:31) and Jerryd Bayless (+4, 3:11) were not positive factors for Portland in their loss to the Nuggets, while Chucky Atkins across the court avoided an 8 trillion through one steal. Also, Mardy Collins earned a +1 for the Clippers in 4 minutes of lacktion."

People who need to get over it already: From Basketbawful reader Dumbgenius: "Bawful, I'm sour graping, but I just have to mention this...I've been hanging out with this gal for a while now and I scammed my way into a date with her the other night. Turns out she's of the "Haven't gotten over my ex yet' variety, which to me is like, whatever. When she told me his name I nearly popped a vein. THOMAS ISAIAH." Sweet Birdmas. You need to find that guy and falcon punch him just on principle.

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Blogger chris said...
While channelsurfing, I tuned in to about a minute of the 4th of an already-decided Kings-Spurs tilt on the local (Comcast Sports California) broadcast, and after the Kings had made one shot, the commentators tried to talk it up by saying, "They're now down 16 with 7:38 to go." Uh, I think those types of deficit analyses only occur when you're down by single digits in a winnable game, not deep within garbage time where Tim and Manu are player-coaches.

Should they just be the "Sacrament Kings" due to this lack of O? Which, actually is pretty appropriate given how much prayer and sacrifice needed to withstand the extended display of mediocrity from this one-time "almost team."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You already heard my words about the Clips and Baron from my E-mail. I would like to add that I end every day looking exactly like Mike Dunleavy in the photo you show, however with much more hair.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Donkey punch your chick's ex? As the great Andrei the Giant once claimed, "I do not think that word means what you think it means."


But hey - whatever you're into, I guess.

Blogger shnk said...
I think more appropriate would be Suckramento. Or, to hell with that, Suckrament. The only one who deserves keeping his O is JOhn SalmOns i guess.

Blogger Clifton said...
From Tuesday Morning Quarterback at ESPN:

Fire All the Owners Who Agreed to Guaranteed Contracts: Six NBA coaches already have been fired so far in this young pro basketball season. It's unlikely these decisions will have much impact on the records of the clubs involved. But in the NBA, you can't fire players! Almost all players have fully guaranteed contracts, and get paid the same whether they perform selflessly or dog it, whether they obey the coach or not, whether they start or get benched. In turn, because you can't fire players, firing coaches doesn't accomplish much. Coaches hold no hammer over players, who know they will receive full pay even if waived. The absurdist Knicks melodrama of trying to "punish" Stephon Marbury by giving him $268,000 a game to stay home says it all. At a few teams (San Antonio, Boston, others) players listen to their coaches and play well out of pride, but at others the players ignore the coach and do whatever they please -- which often means selfish, me-first basketball. TMQ feels the quality of NBA performance, not the economy, is the reason ticket sales are down: You need food, clothing and shelter, you don't need to watch spoiled millionaires stoking their egos. At any rate, since NBA management cannot do anything about its players, firing the coach is the sole option available to placate fans.

TMQ thinks recently cashiered Reggie Theus is in the wrong line of work, anyway. He should not be a basketball coach, he should be a matinee idol. Theus should report to some casting agency and say, "Hi, I'm here about the job opening for a matinee idol." Ridiculous specificity note: In the wake of the Theus firing, The New York Times declared the average NBA coach tenure is now 2.64 years. So Coach, how many hundredths of a year were you at Sacramento?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
BadDave -- Erk. Meant "falcon punch." I guess Freud was right...

Blogger chris said...
shnk: When the Kings are bad enough that they can't get a dead coach bounce...wait, doesn't that describe almost every team in the NBA that HAS fired their coach this year? Ouch.


Ooh, a new bizarre NorthMass cartoon on Shaq and Nash:

Absurdist bawful comedy at its finest.

Blogger Victor said...
Falcon punches and donkey punches? Bawful have you been spending time in the place that shall not be named (Rules 1 and 2) or just Encyclopedia Dramatica? What's next? T-Mac + Vince Carter man love with the label "Incest? More like WINcest, amirite?"

Blogger chris said...
Bizarre promotion for LeBron coming up in Cleveland - maybe it's pixie dust from Cavs management to convince him to stay in 2010?


Blogger lordhenry said...
Um, thanks for the encouraging words about L.A. , I think. You're right, we laker fans are overreacting a tad bit methinks. However, when I look at how ruthlessly the celts are destroying everything in their path to have the #1 record AGAIN, I'm still worried about christmas. Then again.....

Lord Mamba roars, "I found the nuke! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Blogger chris said...
Bawful - this is B-Dizzle's reaction when he saw you had one eye on his awful shooting:


Blogger chris said...
Er, the link I posted is one of those painfully long Yahoo URLs that never work. Here it is, Mr. Neckbeard screaming at the sudden spotlight of suck:


CAPTCHA: "uncessw" - what is "uncess," the opposite of "success"?

Blogger Andrei said...
Earlier in the day I saw that the Grizzlies traded for Stevy Francis and I laughed at that. Now, it's almost 2 am on Christmas Eve and I'm sitting alone playing NBA 2k9 after having slummed a bottle of champagne and I just traded Nicolas Batum and Martell Webster for Charlie Villanueva and Austin Croshere. After realizing what I just tried to do, I finally figured out the frame of mind that Chris Wallace spends his entire life... I don't know if I should feel sorry for myself or for him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm not a Kobe fan by any means, but you're going to dog him for that dunk? I say, if a team isn't up by more than 10 points, get as many points as possible. Also, that buzzer-dunk was so close, it's really not that obvious he "didn't" get it off in time. What a weak-ass nitpicky complaint.