"C'mon, dog. Pass me the ball. Don't make me call the Fun Police..."

The Boston Celtics: From an NBA record 27-2 to 2-5 in their last seven games (including back-to-back road losses to sub-.500 teams). Is that a slump? Well, let me put things into perspective for you: The Celtics' "Bizarro" counterpart, the Minnesota Timberwolves, are 5-2 in THEIR last seven games. No, seriously. Check it out. To which Kevin McHale has to be thinking...

So what happened? For starters, the Celtics let the Bobcats -- the league's lowest-scoring team at a "mid-90's Knicks"-like 91.8 PPG -- have their second-best scoring night of the season. Sure, it took a 17-point overtime session for them to get there, but still. Other notable issues included Rajon Rondo's 9 turnovers, the combined 14-for-38 shooting of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, KG's turnover (travelling) with 2:04 left in overtime (and the Bobcats up 3), Paul Pierce's turnover (dribbled the ball out of bounds) with 38 ticks to go in OT (when the Bobcats were still up only 5), the frigid shooting from three-point range (6-for-23) on and so forth. And how's this for adding insult to injury? After the game, DJ Augustin -- who plays for a 13-22 team -- had this to say after the game: "They come in and intimidate you and try to punk you. But if you don't back down from them, they kind of fold."

So: What's wrong with the Celtics? According to Doc Rivers, opposing teams are gunning for the champs, which requires them to maintain their peak mental focus and intensity on a nightly basis. "We told our team before the season it will be 82 Game 7s. Every time we play it's a Game 7 for the other team. On the nights we're not ready mentally for that, we're going to have to get lucky and play over our head to win." Now, I suppose there's some credence to this. EVERY team wants to beat the champs, especially when the champs talk as much trash as these Celtics do. And for those of you who think other top teams like the Cavs and Lakers go through the same thing, you're wrong. They are not the champs. The champs always take the best and hardest shots. Period.

That being said...I think Doc's theory is only part of the story. I believe the championship hangover that everyone thought the Celtics had managed to avoid simply hit them later than expected. And I think that the 19-game winning streak made the hangover worse, because it lulled them into a false sense of security while simultaneously RAISING expectations. And, honestly, I think Kevin Garnett's recent bouts of superdickery are a result of the increased pressure and expectation that they repeat AND dominate every game, every night. All of which means the challenge isn't as "fun" as it was last season. Instead of enjoying a journey of rebirth and redemption, they're being forced -- for the first time in any of their careers -- to fight and claw and scratch just to hold onto what they've got. Meanwhile, other teams (like the Cavs and Lakers) have gotten better...and Ainge's "stand pat" method of offseason team mismanagement succeeded only in making the Celtics worse.

You know, pressure may make diamonds, but it also turns people into jerks. Don't forget, Larry Bird got into his infamous fight with Dr. J the season AFTER he won his first MVP and the Celtics beat the Lakers in the Finals. I've also read that Bird started talking more trash and becoming harsher and angrier on the court after '84 (and he took some criticism for it). And I remember either hearing him say or reading him comment that it's harder -- and much less fun -- trying to repeat. Because, see, then you have something to lose. That's not the case when you're not the champion. I mean, think about it. Let's say you wake up one day and realize you've gained 10 pounds. It's much easier to motivate yourself to go all out to lose the extra weight than it is to go through the day-to-day drudgery of preventing yourself from gaining it in the first place. It's just human nature to let up a little bit after you've reached a major goal. The "maintenance stage" is always harder.

I think it also bothers KG that his (and Allen's, and to a certain extent Pierce's) NBA clock is nearing midnight. He finally gets to be on a powerhouse team, and it might (read that: probably will) all come undone in the next year or two. See, with L.A. and Cleveland, they have the potential to be very good for several years to come. They could go on winning for the next 5-6 years, barring injury, a free agent defection or somebody demanding a trade for whatever reason. Next year will probably be The End for the Celtics, in terms of them being a serious contender...which, again, makes Ainge's decision to let James Posey walk seem insane. He was willing to introduce a potentially fatal weakness in his team to save one year and $6 million? Really?! It seemed crazy then, and it seems like madness now.

kg craze
Uh, Kevin, that's not quite "holding onto what you've got."

And don't think for a moment that the bench players aren't feeling pressure to live up to expectations. They get to hear pretty much every day that they're the team's Achilles' heel Walton's foot. That's gotta get to them. And there's not much they can do to disprove it. They simply aren't that talented of a bunch, and they don't have an anchor. I mean, every great bench has to have an anchor guy. Bill Walton was the anchor of that '86 team's reserves, and James Posey was the anchor for last year's group. This year? It's Eddie House...I guess. And no offense to him, because he always brings effort and intensity, but when Eddie House is your bench anchor, there's a big problem. Big enough that, I guess, Ainge is seriously considering bringing in one of the league's all-time locker room cancers. Yep. It really is that bad.

One last point: In that loss to the Knicks, the Celtics didn't bring the serious intensity -- well, except for KG; he was wired all game -- until the fourth quarter. On top of everything else, they're falling into the classic "We can turn it on when we need to" mentality that really good teams (especially post-championship) tend to fall into, particularly when facing teams they always beat or expect to beat easily. I've played enough basketball to recognize when a team starts coasting through parts of a game. And the Celtics have been doing that lately. Because, trust me, they won't win 70 and they might not repeat, but they're better -- much better -- than teams like the Knicks and Bobcats. Now they just have to go out and re-prove it.

Michael Jordan: He spent the game jumping in and out of his courtside seat, arguing almost every call that went against his 'Cats. Great. He's becoming the next Mark Cuban.

Just what we needed: Another Mark Cuban.

The Houston Rockets: On the subject of teams with high expectations being in a slump...the Great Space Coasters have lost five straight on the road for the first time since 2004 and three straight overall for the first time this season. And defense is a problem: Houston let Philly score 104 points on 56 percent shooting...which is a bit higher than their 45 percent season average. Said Rockets coach Rick Adelman: "We have to really start looking at things and finding out why we're giving up way too high of a percentage to every team that we play. You can't win on the road unless you defend and we haven’t been doing it." But it wasn't just the defense. The Rockets were missing Ron Artest (sore ankle), and then there was...

Tracy McGrady: Here's what AP sportswriter Dan Gelston had to say: "...the Rockets may as well have also played without Tracy McGrady in the second half. McGrady didn't make his first basket of the half until 2:07 remained to make it 98-94, then watched as Sixers rookie Maurice Speights rattled the rim with a dunk that pushed the lead back to six." Knee-Mac finished with 9 assists but only 14 points on 15 shots.

The Yao Watch: A few days ago, I asked Basketbawful readers for an update on The Watch...and my faith was rewarded. Spencer informed me that Dr. Yao had been (to that point) blocked 48 times over the course of the season and Artest Is My Hero found out that, according to, 11 percent of Yao's shots get stuffed. Nice work, you two. And Yao had another shot blocked last night, giving him a season total of 49. And so The Watch continues...

The Washington Wizards Generals: They scored 6 points in the second quarter. And yes, that was a franchise-worst total for a single quarter. In that period, the Wiz scored exactly zero points in the last eight minutes by missing 14 straight shots and turning the ball over six times. And even though they made a scrappy second-half comeback...they never could recover from that 'bawful 12-minute span of lacktion. Said interim coach Ed Tapscott: "We put ourselves in the grave in the second quarter." Pretty much, yeah.

The Orlando Magic: Yeah, they held the Wizards to 6 points in the second quarter then let them back in the game and barely held on to win. Said Rashard Lewis: "They've been playing well lately and picked it up in the second half and started making shots. But I thought it was mostly on our end. We got lackadaisical and didn't play good defense. We played terrible on the offensive end, didn't move the ball around, didn't have a rhythm and they got back into the game. We have to learn to beat teams and put them away if we want to be one of the best teams in the league." Pretty much, yeah.

The New York Knicks: How did they follow up their hope-lifting win over the defending champs? By losing to the worst team in the league, of course! The Knicks shot 39 percent while letting the league's fifth-worst offensive team (94.7 PPG) score 107 points on nearly 53 percent from the field. Ah the glory of Mike 'Antoni teams. Said Al Harrington: "We dug ourselves a hole and tried to climb our way out of it and just came up short. No disrespect to those guys, but we were supposed to win this game." Well then. Now you know how the Celtics feel, Al.

The Memphis Grizzlies: They let the Timberwolves come into their house and beat them for their season-high third win in a row. Fail.

Kevin McHale: Yes, his team is on a nearly unbelievable three-game winning streak. But you know that whole O.J. Mayo versus Kevin Love thing? Mayo outscored Love 20-6, out-rebounded him 8-7, out-assisted him 5-1 and had only 1 turnover to Love's 4. As always, I'm just sayin'.

Darius Miles: He played seven minutes and finished with zero points (0-for-2), 2 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. And then he got waived. He's still eligible to sign a 10-day contract with any team, but not being able to stay on with the Grizzlies is kind of an indicator of his worth around the league.

The Chicago Bulls: Let's check the facts. They were playing at home against one of the worst teams in the league. They forced 20 turnovers which were converted into 29 points. They hit a franchise-record 29 consecutive free throws and held a 36-24 advantage in attempts at the line. Yet they barely won. How is that even possible? Well, you can probably point to some spotty defense (the Kings shot 50 percent for the game) and even spottier offense (the Bullies hit only 38 percent of their field goals). Ben Gordon was 6-for-14. Tyrus Thomas was 5-for-13, including 2-7 on jumpers and 0-for-2 on layups (he was 3-for-3 on dunks, though). Andres Nocioni was 1-for-11. After hitting those 29 straight 'throws, they missed three of 'em down the stretch while trying to hold the Kings off. The newly returned Drew Gooden was responsible for two of those misses. Look, all I'm saying is that this victory should go into my suggested "Win That's Not As Good As Others" category in the standings.

David Guthrie, David Jones, Joe Forte: Okay, here's the thing. Not once but TWICE during the Kings-Bulls game, a Sacramento player took a dive on a three-pointer after NO CONTACT WHATSOEVER from a defender and they drew the foul and got three free throws. The first "foul" was called on Thabo Sefolosha with 5:12 remaining (and Kevin Martin hit all three foul shots), while the second was called on Larry Hughes with 21 ticks to go (and Martin hit two of the three free throws). And in the second case, Martin twisted his own ankle coming down from the shot. Again, there was NO contact by the defender. This shouldn't happen once in a game, let alone twice. How do all three refs miss stuff like that? And this isn't the first time I've seen the three-point flop draw a foul this season. It's happening with growing frequency. I think the three-point flop has replaced the draw-an-offensive-foul flop as the NBA's most annoying play. To me, anyway.

The Dallas Mavericks: Okay, so the Clippers were missing Baron Davis (bruised tailbone), Zach Randolph (left knee), Mike Taylor (right thumb), Chris Kaman (left knee) and Ricky Davis (serving the second of his five-game NBA suspension for violating the league’s drug policy), and they only won by 5 points at home?! I can't add enough question marks and exclamation points to the end of that sentence. Let's just say it's bad. Said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "The way the first half ended was really sort of a microcosm of the game. Just very poor execution on our part. The latter part of the second quarter was our undoing because we gave them life. And then we were poor." You know, when the epitaph of this season's team is written, I think it should end "And then we were poor." Is it just me?

Update! Devean George: I can't believe this got missed. And Basketbawful reader My Mother left a comment to set me straight: "How about Devean George? He played 0.8 seconds and only a foul "So-dumb-I-won't-get-on-the-court-again-this-game" prevented him from a SUPER MARIO?" Well, every source I can find credits George with playing a full second. Either way, he definitely earned a Super Mario for this peformance. And hey, he was on pace to commit...let's see, 60 x 48...2880 fouls if he'd played a full 48 minutes. Impressive. To further update, My Mother -- who is a female, and I'm sorry if at any point I indicated otherwise -- provided proof that George logged less than a full second of PT. The quote: "...and Devean George logged a forgettable 0.8 seconds to end the first half. George fouled Eric Gordon with the Clippers inbounding from the sideline to send Gordon to the free-throw line. He made both shots to pull the Clippers to within 64-54 at halftime." Oh, and here's a pic of his 0.8 seconds of fame. That's the Superiest Super Mario of all time.

The Los Angeles Clippers: know what I'm thinking. (But here's a hint in case you don't: Who do I think they are?)

The Los Angeles Lakers: Jordan Farmar (left knee) and Luke Walton (right foot) were already missing, and then they lost Lamar Odom in the second quarter with a hyperextended right knee. And suddenly the Lakers weren't as deep and couldn't finish. That's what a couple injuries will do to you. L.A. scored only 13 points in the fourth quarter -- 2 fewer than David West had in that period by himself -- and had their 15-game home winning streak tossed into a fresh grave.

Kobe Bryant: Mr. Best Finisher in the League failed to finish on a night in which he scored 39 points. Mamba managed only 2 points (on 1-for-6 shooting) in the fourth quarter after going 13-of-16 -- including 6-of-6 from 3-point range -- in the first three quarters. Said Kobe: "After the third quarter, they pretty much weren't going to let me get a shot off." Oh really? When was the last time a team could stop Kobe from getting a shot off? Oh, wait, that's right. Last year's Finals.

Vladimir Radmanovic: Space Cadet was shocked and a little insulted when The Son of Walton replaced him in the starting lineup. But with Luke out, Vlad is a starter once again. Unfortunately for the Lakers. Radman scored 3 points on 1-for-7 shooting in 23 minutes. But the night wasn't a complete waste. I understand he flossed after the game.

Update! Rasual Butler: What should have been a breakaway layup turned into a smother chicken / ego-ectomy combo, courtesy of Dr. Mamba. (Thanks to Flip for the head's up.)

Lacktivity report: Chris's obsession with lacktion continues:

Celtics-Bobcats: Brian Scalabrine had a 3.5 trillion in another Celtics letdown, while Charlotte's Ryan Hollins recorded a 29 second Mario.

Wizards-Magic: Washington's Juan Dixon gave the ball away twice and bricked once for a +3 SD in 3:05.

Wolves-Grizzlies: Another "OJ Mayo Trade Matchup" game leads to another appearance in the lacktivity report for Greg Buckner, whose solitary foul gave him +1 in 3:40.

Clippers-Mavs: Cheikh Samb knocked down a 2.5 trillion for Los Angeles's Other Team.

Hornets-Lakers: In New Orleans's win over the Lakers, Melvin Ely (+2 in 6:10 via a missed shot and foul) and Antonio Daniels (+1 via one brick in 4:06) served as the human victory cigars.
Ahmad Rashad, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From Stephanie G: "I feel kinda weird sending all this pervy stuff, but here's another: During the halftime show on NBATV between LA-NO, Ahmad said 'His [CP3's] penetration is a little deeper than most people's.' Webber and Payton didn't seem to notice though." How did they miss that??

LeBron James: Even two days after the fact, "King Crab" can't stop himself from trying to justify his traveling violation against the Wizards: "I've done that move plenty of times and I believe it's a good move. If they called it more consistently, then I guess it ain't a good move then and I'll change my game. But it's not called consistently." Oh, so now he ADMITS he traveled but wants to excuse it based on the fact that it isn't called consistently. Okay, got it.

Of course, LeBron couldn't resist making a dig on everybody who's been calling him out since Crab-Dribble Gate: "Everything I do is a big deal. It's easy for people who don't play the game of basketball to say something about a certain move. You hear all the people on SportsCenter talk about it, but they've never touched a basketball in their lives. They just report about it." Oh, snap! But he's totally right. It's impossible, even with the benefit of slow-motion replay, for a non-basketball player to count the number of steps somebody takes on their way to the basket. Somebody better tell The Count on Sesame Street about that. He's been wasting his time teaching kids to count all these years. What he should have been doing was handing them a basketball.

For the record, Bill Spooner -- the ref who made the call -- explained the situation in an e-mail: "3 steps on the move to the basket. Basic travel call." Pretty much, yeah.

The Phoenix Suns: Some updates on the Suns from Clifton:

On Lopez losing his playing time to Amundson: In Friday's game, Lopez did not make an appearance for the fifth time this season, and he has lost out on playing time to Louis Amundson.

"Overall, I'm still pleased with what he's done," coach Terry Porter said of Lopez. "He just has to be more ready at times.

"When he got into the game the last couple times, it didn't seem like he was ready and as sharp as he needs to be. He just didn't seem to have the focus. Missed two or three balls. Missed some assignments on the defensive end. Missed box-outs, things you have to focus on when you step on the floor."

... "Robin's had some good moments for us. Lou's played really well, so it's hard for us to find any minutes for (Lopez), and that's OK as long as he works hard in practice. It's part of the natural progression rookies have to go through."

Then, after the article in the Notes section, this gem: • Amundson needed seven stitches on his chin after an inadvertent elbow from Lopez during practice Monday.

Yeah, like how Elizabeth Berkeley inadvertently spilled those marbles on the stage in "Showgirls."

Also, Goran Dragic was apparently slated to go to the D-League before his "virus and rash" flared up. Kerr said it's "still an option." The Suns cut Dee Brown today, and rumor has it that they're interested in Shaun Livingston, who was also cut by the Heat today. So, if you're keeping score at home, a one-legged Shaun Livingston is still a better option at backup PG than Blotchy Dragic. Eesh.
Eesh is right. It should NOT be this hard to find a backup PG, should it??

The New York Post: From Basketbawful reader husqvarna in Portland: "Here's a suggestion for WOTN: really crappy 'reporting' by the New York Post -- and really gullible readers commenting on said article. Case in point: Trail Blazers Eyeing Curry. Ok, I realize that unsubstantiated rumors are what the Post does best, but that's ridiculous. Does anybody really believe one of the better GMs in the game is going to trade some half-decent talent and maybe an expiring contract for an overpaid, overweight doorstop who can't defend, clogs up the lane (not in a good way), and who can only score if the ball is dumped to him in the post? This is especially mind-boggling when you consider that Oden is steadily improving (and is still a rookie!), Pryzbilla would be a starter on half of the teams in the league, and both are better defenders than Curry. I mean, come on: There's well-reasoned reporting (and blogging), and then there's wild speculation. Seems like wild speculation should be left to the experts, i.e. the rabid fans commenting on homer blogs." I agree. And if Curry ends up on the Blazers, I'm eating my throwback Clyde Drexler Blazers jersey and replacing it with a Kobe jersey. I kid you not.

China: From Basketbawful reader Jordan G.: "Bad, bad China. You're not supposed to vote into the All-Star Game the third-best player on a sub-.500 team averaging 10 and 6. Especially when that team has not won three games in a row this season. I'm holding down the acid reflex as both Yi and -- gulp --- Vinsanity are mysteriously coming on strong in the All Star voting returns. BTW, I think Yi deserves a nickname. Maybe Yi Jiuicebox? Or maybe Governer Yi (because somehow he's in this All Star voting race)." Now, see, I like Yi Juicebox but I thought his nickname was "The Chairman"? Can I get a confirmation?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
How about Devean George?
Played 0.8 seconds and only a foul "so-dumb-i-won't-get-on-the-court-again-this-game" prevented him from a SUPER MARIO?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
There was a truly absurd moment last night at the Magic-Wizards game in which Turkoglu hurled the ball towards the basket for an easy dunk from Dwight

...and then a ref whistled Dwight for offensive interference and the basket didn't count. Um, had that guy not seen an alley-oop before? Because seriously. It was blatantly obvious.

Blogger chris said...
Yi Jianlian's "chairman" nickname, as mentioned/coined in a Bill Simmons piece:

Now if someone would only find us the video referenced here:

"SG: Has to be. There hasn't been a more effective nickname in years. Not only does it sound like the right nickname for him ("Chairman Yi"), but the joke-trapped-inside-the-joke (during ESPN's lottery show, there was video of Yi posting up actual chairs and spinning around them for layups) will never stop being funny."

Sad thing is, a chair probably would be a better backup PG than Goran Tragic for the Suns.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I thought it was DJ Augustin who said the "they fold" quote?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
how about a wotn place for Rasual Butler for receiving an egocomy in the hands of Kobe?
And with some digging, you can probably find out that Kobe threatened Luke with the same treatment the next time yw son of Walton actually practices...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
lol @ chris. Boston Globe article about "chair played good defense a couple times"

With the amazing quotes and photos found by Stephanie G, I wouldn't be surprised if she was part of the fan girls creating NBA slash fics posted here a while back.

Blogger Dustin C. said...
I believe Simmons over at ESPN?Page 2 dubbed Yi "the Chairman." If not, that's still and accepted nickname for the wonderfully tall/inept Yi.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think putting Kobe in the WOTN is a intellectually dishonest. He pretty much ran out of gas from carrying the team for three quarters. Yeah, he didn't finish strong in the fourth, but he scored 40 points on 22 shorts including 20 points third quarter. The rest of the team shot 34% and failed to provide any kind of help.

He deserves to be in the WOTN occasionally, but this really isn't one of those times.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Knee Mac! HAHAHA! Awesome.

Blogger Cortez said...
Please do everything you can to get "King Crab" into the common vernacular.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Your OJ to K-love comparison does not mention the fact that OJ played 40min and Love played 20min.

I'm just sayin'.

You like to rip on this trade, but the jury really is still out. Kevin Love has more upside IMO as he is still an undersized big man and not a primary scoring option on his team. He is coming off the bench and has to work for his points since the offense does not run through him. Still, he is mixing it up and I expect him to be a 15-10 guy in a year or two. His range and passing will make him valuable for his whole career. OJ Mayo is Ben Gordon v 2.0- an undersized guard who can fill up but needs lots of shots and is streaky. And his team starts him and asks him to score.

I give the edge in defensive value to Love as well.

You normally don't compare stats blindly, Matt- what is it that you've SEEN that makes you think that OJ is the better player?

As for me, I'll reserve judgment until both of them have played a couple years in the NBA.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
to get your source:
"For the record, Wright finished with 10 points in 14 minutes. Gerald Green dressed but did not play, and Devean George logged a forgettable 0.8 seconds to end the first half.

George fouled Eric Gordon with the Clippers inbounding from the sideline to send Gordon to the free-throw line. He made both shots to pull the Clippers to within 64-54 at halftime."

additional pic:

Blogger LotharBot said...
So he's gone from being T-Back to Knee-Mac... if only we could come up with a clever ankle reference, we could cover his career injury history.

Blogger Clifton said...
I love Knee-Mac better than Jean-Luc Richard.

Anyway, here's a question that I hope will spawn someone to do some furious statisticking: What is the season record for blocks-against, both in total numbers and in %?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
On the subject of China and All-Star voting am I the only one that finds it ridiculous that She-Mac has a solid lead on CP3 for the starting guard spot opposite Kobe. He doesn't belong anywhere near the All-Star game this season much less a starter.

Blogger chris said...
My Mother - you know a Super Mario is noteworthy (super mario galaxy? super mario sunshine?) when it actually merits a mention in the newspaper's game recap. Ouch.

Given that Mark Cuban made his money by fortitously selling off his stock before the dot-com crash, Devean George's timely Super Mario has to rank as the most efficient way to earn cashmoney in the Association today.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
AK Dave, that has to be one of the weakest defences I've ever heard.

Pointing out playing would you rather do a /48min comparison? On that game:

Mayo: 23.7 pts, 9.5 reb, 5.9 ast, 1.2 TOs.
Love: 14.2 pts, 16.6 reb, 2.4 ast, 9.5 freaking TOs. Inflated, but I think Bawful's point still stands.

And I like how being an undersized big-man is upside while being an undersized guard is not? Sounds like a little more of an issue to me.

And being a starter as a rookie with more playing time asked to score apparently means less than being a defensive edge and asked to rebound as a 7th man. Have you seen the starting 5 for Minny vs Memphis? And Love can't get a starting spot from Ryan Gomes? Could be coaching/front office philosophy, but still I'm just sayin'.

Maybe Mayo is a streaky shooter, but 45/40/88 percentages aren't that bad, eFG over 50. Shhh maybe I shouldn't mention K-Love's 41/8/74 percentages on the year, eFG at 40. Whoops. But hey he rebounds a lot and has a defensive edge.

And just for you, Love's Roland rating is -0.7 (Jefferson has +7.5) versus Mayo's -1.1 (Warrick has +6.4).

Jeez I don't even like Mayo or Love. Personally, I would have enjoyed the Gay-Love era in Memphis more than the Gay-Mayo.

Blogger Clifton said...
Also, I'm keeping an eagle's eye on the Suns News part of I keep waiting to see more headlines from the Lopez/Amundson slapfight.


¤ Lou Amundson missed tonight's game after Robin Lopez inadvertently set fire to Amundson's collection of Scrunchies, rendering him unable to contain his ponytail.

¤ Lou Amundson was forced to walk home after tonight's game after Robin Lopez inadvertently threw Amundson's bicycle in front of one of the new light-rail trains.

¤ Lou Amundson needed emergency surgery today after Robin Lopez inadvertently paid Shane Stant to club him in the knee.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
My Mother -- Added. Including the info from your source comment.

Anonymous #1 -- Can you find any video of that?

Flip -- Added.

AnacondaHL -- Ah, classic quote. Thanks. And that's a good guess, but no, Stephanie G was not responsible for the slash fic post.

Dustin C. -- A little research determined that you are correct, sir. It was Simmons.

Anonymous #2 -- What does "intellectually dishonest" even mean, anymore? It's used about as consistently as traveling calls in the NBA. Anyway, look, Kobe's the MVP. His team went bellyup in the 4th and he scored 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting despite the fact that we're supposed to believe he's the greatest player and best closer in the NBA. To me, 4th quarter chokes are Worst Ofs, particularly when they're the product of someone of Kobe's clout.

Anonymous #3 -- I have to admit that I stole that from Stephanie G, who said that's what some Rockets fans are calling McGrady now.

Cortez -- Done.

AK Dave -- Here's what I think. Love, simply put, is a more limited player. I would say he has more of an all-around game, as far as that goes, but I see him hitting that 15/10 plateau AT BEST without ever becoming a game-changer. He simply doesn't have the physical skills necessary to do so. I also hate that he's a "big man" who shoots 41 percent from the field. Low FGP is, to me, especially damning for bigs. Mayo is already a big-time scorer who has the cajones to put a team on his back. He just strikes me as someone who has that special something. He's also shooting 45 percent from the field and nearly 40 from the line, which is great for a rookie who's still making adjustments to the pro game. He's also second in rookie PER (Love is 11th).

But stats aside, I just like his game better, and given the Wolves guard situation -- bad -- I think Mayo would have been a better pick. I mean, if you were building a team, would you want to build it around Al Jefferson and Mayo (inside and out), or Big Al and Love? That seems like a pretty even choice for me.

Lastly: Look at Minnesota's roster and tell me why Kevin's only getting 20 MPG. At this point, he seems more inconsistent than Mayo.

I guess, in the end, that it's just a feeling I get when I watch. It's hard to put my finger on. I think Love can stick around the Association for a long time, yeah, but never as a player making a big impact. He'll always be a valuable reserve who never quite reaches second-banana status. That's just the feeling I get. Mayo's a one-dimensional scorer who might fizzle. But I'd rather watch him and have him on my team, right now, than Love.

LotharBot -- Gah. I'm gonna have to think about that one...

Clifton -- Huh. I'm not even sure where to get those numbers. But for some reason I feel like Muggsy Bogue would be in the running.

Chop -- Well, the good news is that even if T-Mac DOES get voted onto the team, history indicates he'll probably skip out on the game anyway.

chris -- Now if only we could get them to use the term "Super Mario"...

Blogger chris said...
Clifton: Looking quickly through, ESPN, and Yahoo, it seems like Blocks Against happens to be the one stat that isn't currently being sorted out on their websites. So that makes the task a tad harder...

...though, if the NBA has actually had someone compile trillionaire champions in recent memory, then SOMEONE out there must have it. Someone.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful and Cortez: Here's a great photoshop of what the Cavs' new jersey SHOULD be like, now that King Crab is firmly the face of the franchise:

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Clifton: I don't think anyone's made it sortable yet, but you can organize Blocked% at, based on type of shot. Here. Oh and just to rub it in, check out who's high up on the list with a hefty 65% of shots taken inside. But hey, he rebounds well.

Blogger Dan B. said...
The Vanilla Grandmilla? What the hell?,132771

I'm not sure if I should laugh or just shake my head at this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Re: Intellectually Dishonest...

I think if you watched this game, it's hard to put the loss on Kobe; that's just the haterade speaking. They were leading or tied until he went to the bench early in the fourth. The guy just looked tired.

The rest of the team shot 34%! The loss is on the Laker big-men for completely failing to do anything with West. CP3 is going to get his numbers, but you can't let West go off like that.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
everything you said about boston is 100% right. It is quietly really sad to see KG go from a 24 15 6 monster to a whimpering slightly above average PF who shoots jumpers all day.

cant wait for dickie V to do the heat nuggets game.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
If you wathced yesterday's game Raptors vs Bucks in the second quarter 4:47 left Anthony Parker makes a pump fake and Richard Jefferson fouls him with his left hand through the face.And in the replay it is SOO OBVIOUS that was intentional.I couldn't find a video but trust me if you want to talk about superdickery...
And that's not it earlier in the game F.Elson comes over Jake Voushkul(WTF can't write that name) and pushes him on the ground with both hands.And these aren't flagrant fouls BECAUSE....?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I kinda wrote that in haste. As for stats like turnovers, I didn't see the game, so I can't be convinced that they were "his fault". We all know that if you hit your player in the face with a pass, and the other team takes the ball, it's a turnover on the passer, even though he did nothing wrong.

Love is not an undersized big man (I didn't mean to list that among his assets...), but he is an undersized Center, where he plays many of his minutes. His upside comes from the fact that we've all seen guards come in and light it up right off the bat, but how often does that happen with bigs? Even Olajuan took some time to adjust to the pro game.

All I'm trying to say, without getting all number-y on you, is that I think the jury is still out.

I agree with you- I don't like either of them, uh, either. But

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- Ack. Disturbing. Here's a funny aside. I was gonna do a similar photoshop, but I couldn't find an image of a cartoon crab with a king's crown on it. I was so disgusted by this failure of the Google image search that I ditched the idea.

AnacondaHL -- Looks like we had similar points about Love/Mayo, only you did more research. Thanks for showing me up. Also, holy crap, Yao is WAY down on that list. Two Rockets are above him. And 21 percent of Artest's/Pierce's shots are blocked?! Holy wow. Guess I'm Watching the wrong players...

Dan -- This reminds me of back in college when I was getting sworn into Alpha Phi Omega, which is a co-ed community service faternity. Somehow my mom received an invite and insisted on going to "support" me. Shockingly enough, she was the only parent who showed up. And, as an 18-year-old college freshman, I was suitably shamed and embarrassed by my mom woo-wooing during my pinning. But, looking back, I'd rather have that happened than what's happening with Joel.

Anonymous -- So any time Kobe gets criticized, it's "haterade." Got it. And I suppose you think that the league MVP scoring 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting in crunch time while his team chokes up a lead and loses at home...doesn't matter? Okay. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree then.

kazam92 -- Of all the things I find most disappointing about KG, it's 1) that he keeps pulling all these dick moves and 2) he doesn't rebound the way he used to. Not just by the raw numbers either; you can go to and see that his rebounding rates and percentages have been down since he joined the C's. And I know he has a reduced workload and all that, but man, I miss seing him grabbing 13, 14 rebounds a game. I loved that.

FooTara -- Man. I wish I had some tape of those incidents...

AK Dave -- I know what you're saying. And again, for me, really, it's less of a numbers thing and just a gut feeling from watching them. And, alas, I must admit that when I'm choosing what games to actually watch, the Wolves/Griz often fall by the wayside...unless it's a really slow night.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Regarding the Knicks following a win over the Celtics with a loss to the Thunder, it's odd to note that the Warriors did the same thing recently (they beat Boston on December 26th, then lost to Klahma City on December 31st). Weird to see two woefully mediocre teams beat the best and then lose to the worst in such quick succession like that. That's gotta speak to the unpredictability of good teams playing against that D'Antoni SSOL / Nellieball style of play and how it can catch a good team off guard just as easily as it can blow up in their faces.

I think I may have to side somewhat with Anonymous above in saying Kobe doesn't really deserve to be in last night's WOTN (not for his oncourt play anyway, maybe he snapped Son of Walton in shower with a wet towel or something afterward though). Either the Laker defense was especially poor last night or the Hornets were just really on, but either way the Lakers really shouldn't have even been in that game at all in the 4th quarter to begin with. The Hornets shot over 50% for the game and had 15 more FTA than the Lakers (so much for any "home cooking" pro-Laker conspiracy theories I guess), and really just flat out out-played LA, especially in the second half.

The only thing that kept LA in it was great 3-pt shooting through the first three quarters and Kobe's explosion in all aspects in the 3rd quarter (it really was one of the best all around performances I've ever seen in the NBA, for those 12 minutes, anyway). To start the 4th quarter you could tell Byron Scott simply had his team load up like crazy against Kobe defensively daring the rest of the Lakers to beat them... which they didn't. Yeah, it was reminiscent of Boston's defense on Kobe in the Finals (Posey was front and center again), but as good as Kobe is, should he really be trying to score when he's getting double and triple teamed out beyond the 3-pt line? He dished it over and over to wide-open teammates and they failed over and over to make the Hornets pay for overloading on Kobe so much. I know he's an evil lord and all, but honestly you're off if you want to lay the blame for this one at his feet.

Honestly it's just really tough to beat a team when their two best players are going crazy on offense, and that's exactly what David West and Chris Paul were doing. It could be argued that the Laker D should have played them tighter, but the 22 free throws West & Paul attempted (equaling the Lakers' total as a team) suggests the Lakers weren't exactly laying off of them. Sometimes great players just really get in a groove, and that's what happened last night with Paul and West (and Kobe too). Two is better than one I guess. Odom's absence probably helped West go off the way he did in the 2nd half, just like Chris Paul is pretty much an unfair match for anyone outside of Deron Williams. Give the Hornets credit, they just flat dominated the game.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK ok, you win, you win. K-love is not that good! I surrender! I yield to your superior NBA-stat-gathering skills.

Geez- you're like my ex-girlfriend, attacking a guy with no provocation...only you use logic and facts instead of emotion and guilt! Can I buy you a bag of M&M's and make you forget about this whole K-love thing for a little while and maybe have make-up sex? (that worked with her sometimes...)


Blogger chris said...
Bawful - Using, here's an odd result for "king crab cartoon":

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yes. I enjoy peanut M&M's. Also, it's break-up sex, not make-up sex. C'mon, hug it out, bitch.

/Entourage Season 1

Blogger Scott B. said...

Houston's got nothing on us. We can out-slump and road-suck better than them any time, any place.


The Utah Jazz

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dude... she liked the peanut M&M's too.

Consider it hugged-out (...bitch)


And I can't believe you went as far as to check the "Roland Rating" -nicely done, sir.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Looks like Kobie had a good ol' T-Mac Special. Plenty of good stuff through the first three, not a whole lot in the last one.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The blame isn't on Kobe its on the substantial stat curse. The "what to watch for" segment of sportscenter was NO/LAL. During which the announcer said LA had won 15 straight at home and was coming off a convincing win at home. He further said that his point was NO had no chance. Even though it was a joke that is a fairly strong stat curse. Oh and Joey Crawford was the ref, so that never helps.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
WORD on the Celtics. Nice read. totally agreed.

And Jordan = Cuban? Ack. Jordan is even starting to have the round, "I party too much" lack of any bone structure in his face.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Classic Clippers move today:

They traded a second round pick for Hassan Adams and cash, then immediately waived Adams, but still have to pay him (which is where the cash is going, I guess).


Anonymous Anonymous said...
round of f*cking applause for shawn marion playing like he cared. If this can continue to happen, the heat will be a far better team.

dickie v was...interesting

Blogger DiscoHands said...

King Crab mania continues.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Okay, I'm trying my best to catch up with all y'all...

from two nights ago: "Why didn't the Josh Smith get out on Vince?"

Can we start calling Josh Smith, "The Josh Smith." I'm assuming that was a typo; but, if you consider the freakish nature of his athletic ability, and the mundane nature of his name, he should be "The" Josh Smith (even if he was dotted by Vince Carter).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AnacondaHL: you'd rather see gay-love than gay-mayo? have you ever had gay mayo? it's intense. A sandwich ain't a sandwich without it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kevin Love's line today vs. Klahma Thuner:

16pts, 15rebs, a Block, 2TO, 2AST... in 22min of pure, hard-core ACTION!!

I think he read our thread today and decided it was time to get real.

I know some people who owe him an apology...

XD (/kidding- I KNOW he played OKC)

Blogger SpammyG said...
I'm pretty sure that no one has mentioned this yet but did u guys see Kobe's huge 4 or 5 stepper right after that block on Butler? You can see it on the video.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Have to agree with Anonymous and Wild Yams re: Kobe. If you watch the 4th quarter you'll see that the lakers lost because they missed wide open shots, often from or leading from a Kobe pass out of double/triple teams. I mean he could attack those teams but he has a good team around him who can knock down shots, he generally doesn't need to go 1 on 5. Maybe he should have like you are apparently saying but championship wise I prefer how he played.

Its why noone in laker land is really upset about it, we had our opportunities we just didn't knock them down.

Also David West was out of his mind good. CP3 was just doing his normal thing but DW could not miss, it was amazing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't know what is happening to Boston...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yeah, but dude that wouldn't allow us to hate on Kobe. And we DO hate him. Everybody except Lakers fans does, and if he ever got traded you'd hate him too, before he even left town! He's a dick.

And what kind of guy would snap son of Walton with his towel all the time? That's just low. :p

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Hey, where's the BasketBawful spirit? Where are the "Kobe hogged it for 3 quarters thus his team was not in a rhythm so triple teaming him in the 4th was the obvious move" arguments?

Fun fact: OJ Mayo's splits in 2 games against the sound created by electric discharge: 24.0 pts (16-32, 4-7 3pt, 12-12 FT), 4.5 reb, 3.5 ast, 1.5 stl, 1.5 TOV, all better averages than his season.

Fun fact #2: Yahoo's Split Stats don't show situations against "OKC", but against "SEA". Fight the injustice!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
With the way the Rockets have been slumping, for them to go to Boston and win w/o T-Mac and with Artest fouling out with 4 minutes to go shows the depths to which the Celtics have sunk (especially since two Houston starters, Scola and Alston, combined for only two points!). What in god's name is going on with them?! Did that loss to the Lakers on Xmas Day really shake them up something fierce or what? I guess what I'm asking is this: are the Celtics' problems mental, or are they really just not that great after all?

Also, I think it may be time to put the "Rondo is an All-Star" talk to bed, at least for this season. In the Celtics' last 8 games he's averaging 8.5 ppg, 7.7 apg and 3.7 rpg (his season averages of 10.9, 7.5 & 4.7 aren't exactly top shelf either). The guy is young and inconsistent like a guy his age is likely to be. He might be an All-Star in the future, but he's not showing it yet this year. He's still more deserving of a spot then Allen Iverson is though, even though the voters disagree.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful saerch up Kingler on google you will find the image you need for the cavs jersey

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Small sample rules apply, but Love's numbers in 4 games this month:

Min 22.5 Pts 14.8 Reb 10.5 FG 58.8%

What you see is what your going to get with Mayo in his career. I dont really see his game developing much from here.

But with Love, he's struggling in some areas that he can improve. And hes already a ferocious rebounder. He could be leading the league in rebounding over the next 10 years if he can earn more consistent minutes.

Bottom line, jury is still.

Blogger The Third Heat said...
You know, it's okay to just admit your favorite player or a player on a team you support is a dick. There's no need to make excuses for it. KG's antics aren't a result of pressure or expectations. He's just a dick. Always has been. He's just never been in the spotlight long enough and has never won enough before now for that many people to notice. And it's okay. Kobe is a dick. Michael was a dick. Bird was a dick. Of course, the euphemisms for these things are "intense" or "passionate" or "competitive" but however you slice it you generally have to have to be a bit dickish to win (unless your name is Tim Duncan). Some Kobe fans insist on it, but you don't have to be a fan of the person to be a fan of the player.