Death: From the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies (via TrueHoop): "Larry H. Miller, husband, father, grandfather, a well-known entrepreneur, community advocate and humanitarian, died from complications due to type 2 diabetes today, at home, surrounded by his family. He was 64." Read more here, here and here. The NBA lost a great owner and a real class act. Epic sad face.

The Charlotte Bobcats: It's not so much that they shot 37 percent and lost at home to the Orlando Magic. It's that their offense devolved into a lot of selfish, one-on-one much so that their self-indulgence made Rafer Alston look like Father Christmas. And that fact wasn't lost on Larry Brown: "We had so many possessions where it was one pass and a shot or no passes and a shot. Even when we stole the ball and we're on a break, we wouldn't pass the ball." Yep. I just checked. There's only one set of prints on that ball.

Rafer Alston, dissing his old team machine: Skip To My Lou left a squad that included once and (maybe) future All-Stars Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest. But, after dishing out a game-high 8 assists in his first outing with the Magic, you can infer his feelings for that trio from these postgame comments: "Everywhere I looked, I had a weapon to pass it to. I think point guards in this league would love to be in that situation. Everywhere you turn, you've got a guy who can flat-out shoot it or can drive it and finish." I guess Rafer got tired of passing the ball to Knee-Mac or Ron-Ron, and then watching them spend 15 seconds dribbling their way into a shot.

The Toronto Craptors: Talk about never even in the game. The Knicks scored the game's first 9 points and were up 42-22 by the end of the first quarter. New York led by as many as 30 in the first half and went up 98-60 with 4:27 left in the third before coasting in for a comfy-cozy 127-97 win. Said Craptors coach Jay Triano: "They were in one of those modes where everything they shot was going in early in the game. We just dug ourselves a big hole." I dunno, Jay. It seemed to me like your team skipped the grave digging and went straight to cremation.

Update! Chris Bosh: From Basketbawful reader Colin G.: "I'm not sure that being emphatically blocked by a guy more than a foot shorter than you qualifies, but I found this pretty 'bawful."

Nate block

The Minnesota Timberwolves: The Al Jefferson-less T-Wolves lost to the Danny Granger-less Pacers at home in a game that can best be described as scalpers night off. And while we shouldn't expect too much from Minny without Big Al, I'm still going to have to file this defeat under "Losses That Are Worse Than Others" since the Timberwolves missed 18 [!!] of their 41 free throw attempts. Which, you know, is a lot...especially in a 7-point loss. Oh, and you know what else hurt? The 19 turnovers.

But the multitude of miscues isn't all that surprising; if the postgame comments are any indication, Minnesota's players and coaching staff aren't exactly on the same page. Said Randy Foye: "We ain't going to be able to find our way without Al." Countered Kevin McHale: "We're going to have to find our way how to play without Al." The Minnesota Timberwolves: Seeing eye-to-eye like Manute Bol and Mugsy Bogues.

The Memphis Grizzlies: The Kings, otherwise known as "The Team With The Worst Record in the Entire League," were playing their first game without John Salmons and Brad Miller. And Andres Nocioni and the other spare parts they got from the Bulls weren't available because their physicals hadn't been finalized. Didn't matter, though. The Griz played the part of gracious host and let the Kings break their latest losing streak -- a six-gamer -- in impressive fashion: Of the eight Sacramento players who logged PT, seven of them scored in double figures. Said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins: "It started early. It was a lack of energy and effort. It's humbling. We see the Sacramento Kings 11-34, but we can never disrespect anybody. Not in our position." Apparently not.

The game itself was such a stinker, here's what the always-objective Associated Press had to say: "There was plenty of sloppy play in this matchup of teams at the bottom of their respective divisions. Players fumbled passes, there were shot clock violations and turnovers that came fast enough that the racing up-and-down the floor was reminiscent of a tennis match." A tennis match between blind children maybe. Assuming they were playing in the middle of a tsunami.

Jason Kidd: He got his revenge game against the Nets last week and then transformed back into, well, The old Jason Kidd (as opposed to "The Jason Kidd of old"). Kidd finished with 3 points (1-for-4) and 5 assists in the Mavs' 93-86 loss to the Rockets. Worse, he was thoroughly outplayed by Houston's fill-in point guard, Aaron Brooks, who scored 19 points, dished out a game-high 8 assists (eat THAT Rafer!), and hit the game-breaking three-pointer with 24 ticks left in the game. But as bad as Kidd's night was, at least he wasn't as craptastic as...

Dirk Nowtizki: We often discuss the notion of offensive efficiency 'round these parts, and the general consensus is that a player did okay as long as he finished with more points than shot attempts. Well, Dirk scored 9 on 18 tries. Apparently somebody replaced his fingers with soggy egg bratwursts.

The New Jersey Nets: They suffered a double-digit home loss to the Washington Wizards Generals, otherwise known as "The Worst Team in the Eastern Conference." They are now 11-17 at the Izod Center, 24-32 on the season and 13-24 since Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." And, as a sad postscript to New Jersey's defeat, they let Mike "The Amityville Scorer" James pimpslap them with 19 points. Said Nets coach Lawrence Frank: "I'm just doing poor job because I'm not getting these guys to play and compete as hard as we need to. I am going to figure it out." Uh, yeah. Good luck with that.

Mike Brown, coaching philosopher: Regarding LeBron's 55-point game, in which King Crab hit eight of his 11 three-point attempts, some of which were truly, truly, truly outrageous: "I've just got to coach myself. I've got to make sure that I'm not overcoaching. And I just need to sit down, be quiet, and watch the show like everybody else."

As for what LeBron did to the Bucks, well, let me put it this way: If that happened to me during a game of NBA Live, I would chuck the game out the window and never look back. Insanity.

Charlie Villanueva: If you're going to get ejected, you might as well get some good licks in. And Charlie sure did that, "bodyslamming" flopster Anderson Varejao and then choking Zydrunas Ilguaskas when the Z-Man came over to protect his floundering teammate. Chuck, if David Stern suspends you for a few games, I bet Vince McMahon has some part time work for you.

Scott Skiles, quote machine: It seems that Scott felt that Sideshow Andy might have, ahem, taken a fall against Villanueva: "I hope they'll launch an investigation to find the sniper that shot Varejao. I thought there was some acting involved." Some. Or a lot. Yeah.

The Denver Nuggets: They entered their game against the Bulls with the West's second-best record, but they left the United Center in third place in the Western Conference. Ben Gordon scored a season-high 37 against them, Carmelo Anthony finished with only 12 (on 18 shots) and Chauncey Billups got shut down by Kirk Hinrich in the second half as the Bulls won going away, 116-99. And Denver's play left coach George Karl singing the same tune as Larry Brown: "In the second half, our offense was too individualistic, 'me' basketball. For most of the year, we've been playing unselfish basketball. We had opportunities to attack the rim, but tonight we chose to play one-on-one basketball."

The Oklahoma City Thunder: They became the latest victim of the new-look-which-is-actually-their-old-look Suns, who became the first team in 18 seasons to score 140 points in three straight games. That's one helluva dead coach bounce.

Steve Nash, dramatic overstatement machine: Regarding Leandro Barbosa's career-high 41 points on 16-for-21 shooting: "Incredible performance. What can you say? That's Jordan-like numbers." He did not just make a Jordan comparison, did he? Seriously?

Channing Frye: Uhm...what's he doing to Mike Bibby?!


Chris Paul's sixth foul: Paul fouled out with 1:32 left in OT of what was a really exciting game between the Hornets and Lakers. It was the first time Paul has ever fouled out. Now, I'm not going to get into the specifics of the call -- maybe Kobe pushed off, maybe Paul was overacting -- but I will say this: It was cheesy no matter how you look at it. And it tainted a great game. Man, I hate that.

Chris Paul: From Wild Yams: "Paul completely cost his team the game on Friday with that stupid charge on Fisher. When you're up 3 and you have the ball with 20 seconds to go and the shot clock turned off, why shoot it at all? Even worse, why get into a position where you might could get called for an offensive foul? At that point running time off the clock is more important than scoring points. All he had to do was dribble it out or wait till he was intentionally fouled and if he'd made one of the two free throws New Orleans would have won. That was one of the stupidest plays I've seen all year, and it ended up costing his team a win."

Friday lacktivity report: Chris continues to let the lacktators have it:

Magic-Bobcats: Juwan Howard may share the same first initial and last name as Josh Howard, but unlike Josh, he has faded into the smoky haze of lacktivity. Tonight Juwan gave Charlotte 2:43 of non-contribution with a suck differential of +2 via brick and foul.

Kings-Grizzlies: The purple paupers may have sent ex-trillionaire champion John Salmons to Chicago, but the Maloofs' commitment to non-excellence continues with Kenny Thomas's stint at the FedEx Forum, 5:12 of nothingness with a brick-and-foul +2.

Mavs-Rockets: Mark Cuban's most known for his ability to become extraordinarily wealthy in the tech boom, so it should come as no surprise that he has an eye for burgeoning innovations. Tonight, he put his support behind a motion-sensing wireless controller, by having Matt Carroll earn a 24-second Mario! Ryan Hollins also brought Dallas a slight Voskuhl of 4:3 (4 fouls and 1 giveaway against 3 rebounds and three bricks, two of them misses from the charity stripe!) in a stint of 10:21.

Pacers-Wolves: Josh McRoberts was actually very contributory in a 26-second Mario for Indiana, managing one made field goal and one offensive board.

Nuggets-Bulls: On the same day that tony.bluntana nominated Sonny Weems as an All-Lacktion selection, he showed the world exactly why he was a prudent choice to be recognized, earning some decent bling with a 1.25 trillion! But he wasn't the only rich man on the evening, with 1.1 trillion going to one of Bill Simmons' favorites, Lindsey Hunter of the Bulls. Hunter's teammate Aaron Gray earned a bit of a Voskuhl in his 18:58 of playing time off the bench, taking 5 fouls and giving the rock to Denver twice against 2 made field goals and 2 rebounds for a ratio of 7:6.

Cavs-Bucks: In Tarence Kinsey's absence, fellow All-Lacktion candidate Darnell Jackson has kept his claws sharp to pinch out some small stints of insignifance for the Crabs, tonight fouling once for +1 in 2:10. Milwaukee's Malik Allen wanted in on the fun of forgettability and found himself a one-time bricklayer for +1 in 4:39.

Hawks-Blazers: Mario West's career so far has already put him on the fast track to the Lacktion Hall of Lame, and 31 seconds was short enough of a Mario to impress Princess Peach with his namesake stat! However, Ms. Peach probably then started flirting with Portland's Michael Ruffin, who got himself a 17 second Mario of his own. Mario West's compatriot on the Atlanta bench, Zaza Pachulia, earned a Madsen-level Voskuhl in 14:58 with a foul and turnover against one rebound and a brick for a ratio of 2:1.

The Philadelphi 76ers: They shot only 37 percent in a 97-91 loss to the Heat in Miami. It was Philly's third straight defeat. Not to be alarmist, but the Sixers have been playing poorly the last couple weeks...pretty much ever since they were named "Andre Iguodala's team." (Iggy scored 14 on 4-for-16 shooting, FWIW.) And they're only a few more losses away from falling out of the playoffs. I'm just sayin'.

The Washington Wizards Generals: One night after that hope-lifting win against the Nets in New Jersey, the Generals got mashed into paste at home by the Spurs. Washington shot 33 percent from the field, missed all nine of their three-point attempts and even bonked nine free throws. And here's some more lulz from the ever-unbiased AP: "Oh, the humiliation! The player that got away, Roger Mason, comes back with the San Antonio Spurs and drops 25 points—on a night the awful Washington Wizards post their lowest points total in six years. A season of embarrassment for president Ernie Grunfield's front office hit another low Saturday as the travel-weary Spurs beat the Wizards 98-67. San Antonio wrapped up its annual rodeo road stretch with a 5-3 record, while Washington was left to wonder how much better than 30 games under .500 it would be if Mason were still playing in his hometown."

The Sacramento Kings: A night after a rare win, order was restored to the NBA universe as the Kings got punched in their communal groin by the Mavericks. And what made that crushing even more, uh, crushing was that the Dallas bench jockeys scored 32 of their team's 40 second-quarter points as the Mavs cruised to a 70-50 halftime lead. And yes, those were the most points Dallas has scored in the first half this season. As a sidenote, Andres Nocioni scored 10 points on 2-for-11 shooting in his first game as a King. Great trade. Speaking of the Bulls' castoffs...

Thabo Sefolosha: He went scoreless (0-for-3) and committed five fouls in just under 18 minutes of lacktion during his first game for...

The Oklahoma City Thun-er: Just a month after getting their O's back, the Thun-er lost their "D" by giving up 273 points in back-to-back games this weekend. One night after the Suns dropped 140 on them (while shooting almost 60 percent), the Warriors put up 133 on 56 percent accuracy. And since this is becoming something of a theme, here's what the AP had to say about the game: "[Golden State's] 133-120 win over Oklahoma City was pure, vintage Nellieball. Golden State played indifferent defense and made 17 turnovers, yet produced more than enough relentless offense to counterbalance the mistakes. Nelson lost his temper and nearly got kicked out in the first quarter, but calmed down enough to watch a superb fourth-quarter surge in the Warriors' fifth win in seven games overall." In addition to the rather stunning defenselessness, the Thun-er committed 22 turnovers.

My retina injury anecdote: Since Henry Abbott was sharing them on Friday, I figured I'd add my own story to the growing list. A couple years ago, I was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras with a small group of my closest friends. We were in the process of wiping the previous night's grime off -- and trust me, there was a lot -- when my buddy Brett asked somebody to hand him his overnight bag. I chucked it to him, but he didn't react at all, and the bag hit him right in the stomach, causing him to let out a comical "OOF!"

The room broke up. Brett's clumsiness was a running joke amongst our little group, mostly because it seemed to defy reason. He was something of a prodigious amateur athlete: He'd run Boston, done the Iron Man, he participated in competitive bike races throughout the world...yet he couldn't catch a football or shoot a basketball. In fact, on those rare occasions when we were able to lure him into a pickup game, he was more likely to run into his own teammates or catch a pass with his face than do anything remotely helpful. Thus, as his friends, it was our duty to mock him.

As the laughter was dying down, I said: "Geez, Brett, it's like you're blind or something." To which he replied: "Well, I am. In one eye, anyway." The laughter stopped immediately. "Brett," I said, "I've known you for over 10 years. How is it you've never mentioned the fact that you're blind in one eye?" He replied: "Don't you remember back in college when I had surgery for that partially detached retina?"

It took me a minute, but I was able to conjure the foggy memory of a period in which Brett wore an eye patch for, like, a couple months. So I asked: "Was that why you wore an eye patch for, like, a couple months?" He said: "Yeah. That was it." Oops. I guess guys can be pretty clueless. Anyway, short story long, Brett's vision never healed and he is blind in one eye to this day. Let's hope that doesn't happen with Amare.

Ken Mink: You might not recognize the name, but Ken is that 73-year-old dude who inspired literally ones of people by walking on to Roane State Community College's varsity basketball team. But a wet blanket was thrown over this moving tale when Mink was kicked off the team...because he flunked Spanish and was therefore declared academically ineligible to play. Amazingly, Mind came off as kind of indignant about the whole mess: "I feel like I'm suffering the slings and arrows of administrative injustice just like I did 50 years ago." You can read the rest of the sad tale here, but the saddest part is that it looks like Mink could miss the team's home finale on Wednesday 25, at which he planned to dress in a retro jersey and perform rap song he had written about this season's team. I'll let you decided which part(s) of that last sentence were the "sad" ones.

Saturday lacktivity report: More Chris, more lacktion.

Sixers-Heat: Royal Ivey slumped into contributory basketball lately, precluding a candidacy to All-Lacktion status...but made up for that slight nicely with a three-brick special in 13:30 for +3, including two building blocks from downtown. On the other hand, Joel Anthony justified his selection to the squad of star sleepers with a +1 (foul) in 3:50 for Miami, which also represented a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 1:0.

Hornets-Jazz: Melvin Ely -- a former Clippers' 1st-rounder -- gave up the rock and took a foul for +2 in 4:06 for the bayou insects, good for a 2:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl. All-Lacktion candidate Jarron Collins nearly put his Stanford education into good use, edging close to a four trillion, only to get a rejection and miss a shot for +2 in 3:59, providing his own 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl as well!

Thunder-Warriors: In a battle of truly efensive basketball (where the Warriors never scored fewer than 31 in a quarter), Nenad Krstic avoided rebounding in 13:08 for a Voskuhl of 5:2 (four fouls and one giveaway against one made field goal in two attempts), proving he is a man possessed to give Clay Bennett some love in the lacktion report!

The Chicago Bulls: After a bigtime win over the then-second-best in the West Denver Nuggets on Friday, Chicago's new guys -- Brad Miller, John Salmons and Tim Thomas -- were available for Sunday's game against the Danny Granger-less Pacers. It should have been a gimme, but what the Bulls got was a tough loss that knocked them another half-game behind the Bucks for the final playoff spot in the East. Troy "See?! I'm just as effective as David Lee!" Murphy had a season-high 27 points to go along with 14 rebounds. The Bulls were also victimized by T.J. Ford, who burned them for 9 points in the final four minutes to close things out.

Mike D'Antoni, quote machine: According to the AP recap, Dr. D'Antonistein said his team's defense "wasn't firing on all cylinders" in the second half of their 111-100 loss to the Craptors, then added: "I was just a little disappointed in our getting back on defense. Maybe we were surprised by them but we lost the theme of the game right in the middle of the third quarter." It never ceases to amuse me when Mike bemoans his team's defensive indifference. It's like a butcher getting upset about a cow jumping into a meat grinder.

The Phoenix Suns: I just knew the new "Offense first" attitude was going to get the Suns into trouble at some point...I just didn't think it would be against the KG-less Celtics. Talk about awful D. Rajon Rondo -- who scored a career-high 32 points (13-for-18) to go along with 10 assists -- was basically running a layup drill. And Ray Allen (31 points, 10-for-15, 4-for-8 from downtown) probably wouldn't be able to identify the hands of any Phoenix player in a police lineup even if the lives of his wife and children depended on it. Boston shot 63 percent for the game and won by 20 despite missing 12 free throws and committing 19 turnovers.

Update! Pointless stats: Basketbawful reader Ricky emailed in to say the following: "Sometimes the guys at ESPN Research really have nothing better to do than to fill our life with completely pointless stats. Today they've analysed guys achieving career highs in points on their birthdays, ostensibly because of Rajon Rondo's performance but most likely because someone had already done the research and it was just lying around on their desk. Did you know that Myles Patrick had a career high 3 points on his 26th birthday in 1980, that George Brown had a career high 1 point on his 22nd birthday in 1957 or that George McLeod had 4 points on his 22nd birthday in 1953? Don't you feel better with this information? Just out of curiosity I checked these douches out (thanks Basketball-Reference!) and it turns out Myles's career consists of 3 games played for the Lakers (career average 1.7 pts), G. Brown 'played' one game in his career (on his birthday, maybe someone bribed the coach for him to play his 6 minutes), and G. McLeod is the Kareem Abdul-Jabar of this lot, having participated in 10 games for the Baltimore Bullets. The conclusions: (1) ESPN Research couldn't recognise good research if it turned up at their office and sang a Christmas carol and (2) I care too much."

Tracy McGrady: Not to dogpile on Knee-Mac or anything, but after their 99-78 road win over the Charlotte Bobcats, the Rockets ran their record without McGrady to 15-6. Compare that to their 20-15 record WITH him in the lineup and, well, yeah.

Charlotte Bobcats: The heretofore "rapidly improving Bobcats" capped off a winless weekend with their second straight home loss. They shot 36 percent and bumbled the ball away 21 times...which was one away from their season-high. Said 'Cats coach Larry Brown: "Our offense was awful."

Enver Nuggets: Welcome back to the ranks of the defenseless, Enver! Their 120-117 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks was low point of a weekend that saw them give up 236 points and go 0-2 against two sub-.500 Eastern Conference teams. That doubled the number of losses the Nuggets have suffered to sub-.500 teams this season.

The Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade scored a career-high 50 points and the Heat STILL lost by 23. If some magical force suddenly transformed all Miami fans into Kobe followers, they'd be calling for everybody else on the Heat roster to be banished to the Negative Zone. I wonder: Will the same people who said Mamba should have won the MVP in 2006 for leading the Lakers to the playoffs despite a substandard supporting cast be giving D-Wade their vote this season? Somehow I doubt it.

More from Wild Yams: "[ESPN's Daily Dime] had Wade up for yesterday's best performance for that 50 point game in a 20+ point loss, yet had this to say about him elsewhere in the piece: 'Wade, the first player to outscore all his teammates combined in one game this season, became only the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in a loss by 20 or more points.' Mr. Bawful, since you called out Kobe lovers by saying they're probably hypocritical for presumably not wanting to give Wade their MVP votes, I'd like to point out the slight hypocrisy of the media (yet again) for praising Wade for a performance that if Kobe had had would no doubt call for a whole week's worth of hand wringing and outrage from sports media outlets from coast to coast. Considering the controversy Kobe got for scoring 61 in an easy win a couple weeks back, imagine what would have happened if the Lakers had lost that game by more than 20 and Kobe had outscored the rest of his team. But, good job, Dwyane."

Update! Larry Hughes: When the Knicks cut a deal for Larry Hughes right before the trade deadline, it was suggested the Mike D'Antoni was just the man to bring the best out of Hughes. This was not the case in Big Shot Larry's debut game: Hughes scored 3 points on 1-for-9 shooting. He put up those 9 shots in only 15 minutes of lacktion, by the way.

Stan Van Gundy, quote machine: Regarding Pookie's 50-pointer: "My concern is when Dwyane goes into the Hall of Fame and they start putting off his top career games, it's going to be like 50 versus Orlando. We're going to fill up the entire screen. So, I don't know what to tell you. When I coached Dwyane I really liked him, but I'm not so sure anymore. Our relationship is strained." I love this guy. I hope Satan makes Pat Riley's fire pit extra fiery for canning this guy so he could go for another title.

The Los Angeles Clippers: An anonymous commenter said: "Nomination for the L.A. Clippers already after the first quarter. Down by 22. Steve Blake has 14 assists in the first 12 minutes! Aldridge has 18 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Blazers shooting is a touch under 70 percent (0.692). Granted it's only the first quarter. But what a quarter indeed." No kidding. It allowed Blake to tie the NBA record for assists in one quarter. (San Antonio’s John Lucas set the record of 14 assists during the second quarter against Denver on April 15, 1984.)

Mind you, the Clippers were without Zach Randolph (serving the second game of two-game suspension), Al Thornton (sore right foot), Marcus Camby (ear infection), Chris Kaman (left foot), Brian Skinner (right foot) and Mike Taylor (right thumb). And Baron Davis was playing with a "painful toe injury." So that sort of explains why The Other L.A. Team went into "roll over and die" mode. And Daniel T. sent in the following picture, which provides the perfect graphical representation of the Clipper -efense:

Clipper D
New defensive strategy: It's called "Stand and Watch."

The Los Angeles Lakers: Barely beating the Al Jefferson-less Timberwolves is kind of like me nearly losing a spelling bee to a head wound patient. The Wolves shot 50 percent, hit 10 threes and finished with 108 points against L.A.'s "improved" defense. It's gotta drive Lakers fans crazy, the way they play down to their competition.

Kobe Bryant: Basketbawful reader Mick Dundee said: "Did you see Kobe nearly blow that game against the Timberwolves? Missed an open layup in the crunch and then nearly got stripped before launching a stupid, stupid leaning three that Lamar Odom cleaned up with a tip-in. His teammates really bailed him out of that one. I think for nearly every great final quarter Kobe has, there is an equally boneheaded one." I officially have no comment.

The Detroit Pistons: Yesterday's blowout loss in Cleveland was the Pistons' sixth straight and the 15th in their last 20 games. They're now .500 (27-27), barely clinging to the East's seventh playoff spot and they just started a five-game road trip that also includes matchups in Miami, New Orleans, Orlando and Boston. In other words: Trouble. Said the Not-Answer: "We stunk the gym out. We acted like strangers out there tonight." Is their a scale out there that can measure how much Joe Dumars would love to have Chauncey Billups back? I doubt it.

Update! Allen Iverson: (Found via TrueHoop) First A.I. has a King Crab dunk blasted off his noggin...

...then LeBron gives him an atom smasher-style ego-ectomy. Ouch.

Sunday lacktivity report: Chris wraps up a weekend of extreme lacktion.

Celtics-Suns: With Patrick O'Bryant being sent off to Toronto to form the Little Three of Lacktivity, the Celtics appeared to be shying away from having an extra human victory cigar on hand, an early analysis bolstered by KG's ankle problems. Yet this monumental trade (which assembled a force not to be reckoned with for the Craptors) may have taken place because of a hidden gem up Danny Ainge's sleeve! J.R. Giddens, the 2008 first-round pick for the Celtics, was recently recalled from Boston's D-League affiliate (the Utah Flash!) and wasted no time making a non-impact by beginning a wealthy career in the Association with a nationally televised 1.4 trillion cashout! This impressive debut no doubt will put him in the running for the lacktator rookie of the year award, as an even stronger stat line of snooze than Nathan Jawai's first NBA minutes! And Gabe Pruitt stepped up to the plate in a bigger role of boredom for Boston by bricking a three and giving Phoenix the rock for a +2 suck differential in 5:19.

Solar power however wasn't exempt from the ledger today as Alando Tucker and Courtney Sims spent 1:59 on the court together, each putting out a +1 via turnover in an interesting example of synchronized lacktion. Courtney's turnover also guaranteed him a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 1:0.

Bobcats-Rockets: Dikembe Mutumbo's days as a defensive force in the Association are long gone, but that doesn't mean he can't be recycled as a human victory cigar, smoking out a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 3:1 (2 giveaways and a singular foul against 1 rebound) in his failtacular 4:12 on the hardwood.

Nuggets-Bucks: Eddie Gill got to enjoy a new privilege tonight at the M.A.S.H. Unit: a dusty old Famicom to pass the time during his inpatient stay, with a 54 second Mario!

Heat-Magic: Sure, D-Wade's 50 points took the headlines, but hidden underneath that performance was another semi-notable storyline: the failure of Joel Anthony to produce any meaningless lacktion, ruining a three-foul run with productivity on the glass and successful defense. Thus their Miami teammate Jamaal Magloire had to do the not-so-dirty work in garbage time, cleanly spending 3:31 on the floor with a foul and missed shot for +2 (which also counted as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!). Orlando's Jeremy Richardson gave the home team their human victory cigar, missing his only shot attempt for +1 in 1:38.

Lakers-Wolves: DJ Mbenga got in the way of a shot the same way he recently served as an obstacle to Chris Mihm's fist. This block denied him a suck differential. However, with no boards or shot attempts, his 3:08 at the Target Center punched his ticket into the world of mediocrity with a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl via foul.

Pistons-Cavs: With 4:12 left in the nationally televised late game, JJ Hickson was crawling nicely into an on-court coma when he attempted to ruin it with a basket - only to accrue a suck-saving 24 second violation! Then he threw the rock at Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson who nervously came close to an assist; Jackson smartly aimed for the rim to prevent Hickson from pinching out a productive statistic.

Unfortunately, a minute or two later, Hickson then grabbed the ball from the rim for a debilitating offensive board, boiling out any last chance at non-notability. Compounding the disappointment was the ultimate stat curse: The ESPN commentators mentioned the fans' free taco excitement (with Cleveland at 99 points) on the last possession RIGHT before Mike Brown ordered Hickson to deny the crustacean crowd their reimbursable dinner. With this extended lacktivity lost, the Crabs looked down the bench and luckily located Lorenzen Wright, whose undersea exploration unlocked a treasure chest of 2.4 trillion as the game ended!


Blogger chris said...
Is Mike Brown's "coaching philosophy" what guided Doc Rivers to an NBA title last year?

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
Mike D'Antoni regarding Sunday's game:

"I thought there was a spot in the third quarter where we just didn't run back (on defence) hard enough and they got some transition threes and transition shots and went on a 12-0 run".

That's so weird. I thought the Raps had a 12-0 run too! Maybe becuase it, you know, happened.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
just awful: the washington wizards have 4 road wins so far... 2 of them against the "we are a playoff team" new jersey nets...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
They were talking about what Amare's eye surgeon had to say about his prognosis following the surgery yesterday during that Boston shellacking, and I have to say it has me worried. The doctor basically said he has no idea how long it could take to heal or whether it will fully heal at all. He said if everything goes perfectly then he could be ready in two months, but if everything doesn't heal up perfectly then he could need more surgeries (plural) to fix the problem. That sounds really bad. If I was an NBA player I'd be wearing goggles for sure.

No mention of Larry Hughes in today's Worst Of? I see in his Knick debut he was 1-9 in 16 minutes and got mentioned for it in today's Daily Dime on ESPN.

Speaking of the Daily Dime, they had Wade up for yesterday's best performance for that 50 point game in a 20+ point loss, yet had this to say about him elsewhere in the piece: "Wade, the first player to outscore all his teammates combined in one game this season, became only the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in a loss by 20 or more points." Mr. Bawful, since you called out Kobe lovers by saying they're probably hypocritical for presumably not wanting to give Wade their MVP votes, I'd like to point out the slight hypocrisy of the media (yet again) for praising Wade for a performance that if Kobe had had would no doubt call for a whole week's worth of hand wringing and outrage from sports media outlets from coast to coast. Considering the controversy Kobe got for scoring 61 in an easy win a couple weeks back, imagine what would have happened if the Lakers had lost that game by more than 20 and Kobe had outscored the rest of his team. But, good job, Dwyane.

BTW, who said the Lakers' defense was improved? When did that happen? I've noticed something with Phil Jackson's coaching when the Lakers play against the worst teams out there, in that he plays the scrubs bigger minutes than they should get while the game is still very much in doubt. I don't know if it's arrogance on his part, thinking "they're not good enough to beat the end of our bench" or if it's part of some master plan to get guys like DJ Mbenga ready in case they're needed later; but for a team that already tends to play down to their competition and dangerously allows crappy teams to hang around a lot, it's really quite risky. Watch for more of this in the Lakers' next game against the Thunder.

Blogger Unknown said...
There is a simple answer for the Channing Frye/Mike Bibby picture: UofA. ANY half intelligent Sun Devil knows that Wildcats love to cuddle amongst themselves with such passion and desire unheralded by any other NCAA schools. I, who went to high school with Mike Bibby, and others on the varsity basketball team, always knew that there was something wrong with the one we referred to as "Batboy". The pieces all fell together though when he accepted a scholarship from Tucson instead of Tempe...

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: Jackson just wants Mbenga to practice his role as second human victory cigar (behind the illuminated Sun Yue); doesn't every championship team have two? Last year it was Scalabrine and O'Bryant.

And in his years with the Bulls, he had Jud Buechler to wave around as his marker of success...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Maybe not Worst of the Weekend worthy, but stupid nonetheless: the AP recap for the Magic-Heat game said, "Wade was potent from inside and out, scoring with high-flying dunks and soaring jumpers that had even some Magic fans chanting "'M-V-P!'" Are the writers on crack? The fans were shouting "Beat the Heat!", a staple chant for Magic fans at Heat games. Just goes to show you how little the MSM cares about factual reporting.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- Pretty much, yeah.

Lord Kerrance -- Not sure whether D'Antoni's confused or not, but he did play Larry Hughes yesterday.

Baal -- Truly awful, yes.

Yams -- Fair points. Also, the Lakers have been ranked pretty high in defensive efficiency this season, so Hollinger and other statheads have been raving about it. (They're currently 7th.)

flohtingPoint -- Okay, I'm calling Bibby "Batboy" from now on.

TheGiantSquid -- Yeah, I wondered whether those MVP chants actually happened. Seemed far-fetched.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Ugh. The only thing worse than a U of A alum noticing the connection is having an ASU fan smash it in your face. Well played.

And anyone else wondering why Dirk is Tantive IV?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I saw the Bulls' collapse in the 4th quarter coming a long way off.

I said it last week and it's old hat: the NBA is all about matchups. The Bulls put the WRONG GUY on TJ Ford, and he toasted them. Hinrich does a great job defensively on larger guards- he is totally in D-Wade's head, harasses Ray Allen, knows all the tricks and sneaky "veteran moves", and is a good guy to have on your team. BUT he gets absolutely abused by the smaller ultra-quick guards like TJ Ford and Nate Robinson. Letting Kirk guard TJ cost them that game, as Ford leisurely drove past him for open J's on 4 straight possessions before they switched Rose onto him.

I've watched a lot of Bulls games, and TJ Ford OWNS Kirk Hinrich in the open floor. Didn't Vinny D check the scouting report on that? Turrible.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AnacondaHL- re: Dirk-

Because he gets sucked in by Duncan's Tractor Beam?

Because he reminds you of Princess Leia?

Because he carries the plans to the death star?

Now I have to know!

Blogger chris said...
Looking at these efensive prowess of both Enver and the Clips...has any team ever honored Sparta by giving up 300 points between two consecutive games?

(And somehow I can see Mike 'antoni viewing this as an achievement to be proud of, should this ever happen with his current "0 Seconds or Less of Defense" strategery for the Knicks.)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- Yup.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, I hadn't really heard that statheads were raving about the Lakers' D this year, so that's interesting to hear. IMO the Lakers' D usually is quite good in the second halves of games (not yesterday, however), but they frequently are quite poor in the first half, and overall they are extremely susceptible to 3-pt shooting. I've long felt that any time a team is on fire from outside, they're almost impossible to beat, and the Lakers often invite this type of shooting display by leaving people wide open from the perimeter all game long. Sometimes the odds just even out, where a team can start off hot and just eventually cool off (since almost nobody will shoot 60% from three for a game), and that's what happened last week against the Warriors. Sometimes though, like yesterday, if you let a team get that confidence going they'll just continue to hit shots. LA played very lazy defense for most of the game, and then when they wanted to try to turn it on at the very end the Wolves were red-hot and just kept matching them shot for shot.

Blogger Unknown said...
Senor Bawful,

Nash said that they were Jordan like numbers, which they were:

I don't think anyone's actually going to be comparing Jordan and Barbosa as players, but it was a hell of a performance.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful - And imagine my total lack of surprise to see it was 'enver. Some things just never change...

What's most incredible is that I think they were the fastest team ever in history to give up 1000 points, doing it in that 7 game losing streak to start the season!

The story of these 90-91 Nuggets would make a great "Hoosiers" like short Flash cartoon mockumentary of the most efensive team in the history of the Association.

(And I wonder which one of those games was the outlier win that defied the Pythagorean expectation - that victory against Charlotte in which they only gave up 104 points?!)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Not the first time Andy has been the victim of a sniper.

Blogger Unknown said...
Chris Bosh getting stuffed by Nate Robinson is pretty bawful, but thats nothing compared to how badly he was defeated in Middle Earth at Helm's Deep.

Bosh leading the charge!!!!!

Blogger Clifton said...
@ Chris, the lacktion specialist: "Solar power however wasn't exempt from the ledger today as Alando Tucker and Courtney Sims spent 1:59 on the court together, each putting out a +1 via turnover in an interesting example of synchronized lacktion. Courtney's turnover also guaranteed him a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 1:0."

Since Courtney Sims' turnover was an offensive goaltending, should that count as double or something? When the only time you touch the ball results in actively removing two points from the scoreboard, it's got to be a special recognition -- not to mention the fact that Alando Tucker would have otherwise avoided a spot on the Lacktion Report. On a floater from the free-throw line by Tucker, the ball had bounced on the rim twice and was about to roll in unassisted when Sims, all worked up over getting his first NBA action in a year and a half, tried to quantify "premature offensive ejaculation" by springing up from underneath the hoop and touching the ball. Tweeeeet, frantic "no!"-signal hand-waving by the officials.

Blogger chris said...
Clifton: OUCH. That is truly, truly depressing.

Even more so when considering that Sims was the D-League All-"Star" MVP.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ugh. Even LeBron thinks this is ridiculous.

Blogger stephanie g said...
Andy is usually an egregious flopper which is made all the worse by his waving hair which seems to draw even more attention to it -- but on this occasion he got raked across the face.

As for LeBron going nova against the Bucks: when LeBron said he watches Kobe and tries to emulate his game and how he avoid double teams and so on I guess it's not a surprise he's now taking "Kobe shots." 35 foot pull up jumpers when you shoot 31% on the season? It's good to be the King, baby.

As for Wade's 50, on one hand the Heat offense was stagnant. No one was cutting or flashing or really doing much of anything, just standing around and watching Wade. On the other hand Wade was dominating the ball for half of each possession and "dishing" for long twos and threes. So I'm not saying Wade cost his team the game but it didn't look pretty. And I lurve me some Wade.

Blogger chris said...

Apparently we here at Bawful did NOT come up with King Crab...for that matter..."King Crab" wasn't even coined during Crabdribblegate! This satirical interview seems to have coined the moniker by accident:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because everyone knows, the road to the NBA goes through ASU, and not UA, right? Just ask Ike Diogu and Eddie House...or ask Hassan Adams, Gilbert Arenas, Mike Bibby, Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, Damon Stoudamire, Salim Stoudamire, Jason Terry, and Luke Walton. (Yes, those are in alphabetical order becaused I looked them up. And isn't disturbing the number of UA names in WoTN?) Many of those players have had some quality NBA seasons, so let's be realistic about the choice Bibby made.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yay DKH, you're my hero! ::swoon::

I mean, UA Wildcats UNITE! ::bro-hug::

Blogger Unknown said...
@DKH: Just joshing man. No wikipedia needed. =P

BTW, I happened to meet Gilbert Arenas one night at a club in downtown DC. After talking to him for two or three minutes, I was sure he is the African American incarnate of Nester from the old Nintendo Power magazine comic. Equally as annoying too.

Oh yea, Eddie House called and he said that all those listed can suck his.... ... NBA Championship ring.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
as for why Wade doesn't get as criticized for scoring 50 in a losing effort like Kobe would have...well that was Wades FIRST 50 point game. Kobe has like 20+. Kobe can still get 50 if he feels like it. Wade can only score at such a torrid pace when his jumpshot is going which is honestly not as often as I'd like.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AnacondaHL and flohtingPoint:

I moved to AZ about 8 years ago or so, and I've spent 4 years in Phoenix and 4 in Tucson. I really don't understand the emotion that goes into this rivalry and wish people would be more realistic about their respective schools.

ASU isn't an awesome basketball school after winning the last 4 games against UA, considering the previous 20+ years of futility. And UA doesn't have an amazing football program just because they made a bowl game for the first time in 10 years (and won).

That said, I'm in Tucson now and I *always* root for the home team. So go cats!

(Fake edit: Looking through Finals rosters, it's amazing how often a UA player is on the losing team: Jason Terry, Richard Jefferson (twice), and Luke Walton (twice). But Steve Kerr does have 5 championships. So he'll live with his own rings...while he runs the Suns into the ground. [Further sidenote: Byron Scott has 3 rings. That's the most I could find for former ASU players not currently playing in the NBA. Do I spend too much time rooting around in useless numbers? Yes.] Currently, it's safe to say that UA's best years are in the past and not the present. We'll see where the path goes after this season.)

Belated WoTN nomination:

Allen Iverson for being used as a prop by LeBron James, as pointed out by Henry Abbott on the TrueHoop blog:

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Who cares if it was Wade's first 50 point game? When you score more than half your team's points en route to 50 and your team gets blown out as a result, that seems like pretty selfish play. It tends to come across like you only cared about scoring a lot of points, even if it cost your team the game.

Anyway, Wade didn't get criticized for it, ESPN said he was yesterday's best performer - hardly harsh criticism. My point was just that when Kobe scores a lot like that, even if it helps his team win by a comfortable margin, he's still criticized endlessly for scoring too much, while Wade seemingly got a free pass for all those points despite it happening in a blowout loss.

Note that I only brought any of that up because Mr. Bawful compared Wade's performance to Kobe circa 2005-2006, pointing out that Kobe fans would probably not be as forgiving of Wade as they were of Kobe. My point was just that the mainstream media (i.e. ESPN) is not as forgiving of Kobe as they are of Wade.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Kobe has 24 50+ pts games, team record 17-7, and never losing by more than 11. Wade has 17 40+ point games, team record 9-8. (also, Kobe has 95 40+ games, 65-30).

So no, it's not really a comparison, especially with how many more season's Kobe has played. Even in Kobe's first 6 years, he had eight 40+ games (two 50+) with a 7-1 record.

So in one hand it makes sense that ESPN is harder on Kobe, high expectations lead to high disappointment. On the other hand, Kobe's first 50+ pts game was also a loss, and Wade has good potential for doing better (and getting his team a W), so no need to rip the young guy now.

Blogger Gabe said...
Kobe gets criticized for scoring 50 when he shoots something like 15-40 and shoots his team out of the game. Wade shot over 50%, 17-30, and sorry he was trying to, you know, win the game. He still threw out 5 assists, and that was with the team shooting like shit

And it's not like Wade scored 10 points in garbage time...he got the bulk of his points by the very beginning of the 4th quarter trying to win the game and scored like four before being taken out with 3 minutes left. Meanwhile, no one mentions the Magic leaving in ALL their starters even past Wade going out in a 20 point blowout...if the Magic don't take them out, how is it less "sporting" for Wade to be playing then?

Blogger Jerry Vinokurov said...
It's worth noting that what made Chris Paul's bad decision in the Hornets' loss on Friday even worse is that the offensive foul came on a 3-to-1 breakaway. Paul had a trailing man (didn't get to see who that was) who had a wide open path to the basket; all he had to do was to pass and it's a dunk, game over. When he committed that foul, I nearly tore my hair out.

Blogger Unknown said...
@DHK: It's an Arizona thing. If you were born and raised there, you'd understand. The football rivalry is much more intense, with the winner getting the oldest rivalry trophy in NCAA FBS. Fights erupt in the parking lot before, during and after the games, hell almost always there is an on field scuffle if not a mini-melee.

Kerr is ruining the Suns with another UofA alumni, Sarver.

Blogger Unknown said...
Double post alert!!! WOOO!

@DHK once more: Also, if you dont fully understand how much both the teams hate each other, read up on how the ASU fans treated Steve Kerr after his dad died, or Lute Olson after his wife kicked the bucket.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Just FYI, Kobe's first 50 point game went to overtime and was probably a loss because Antawn Jamison also had 50+ points for the opposition.

Once again though, I don't know why it matters who the player is, whether it is Wade, Kobe, or some scrub who rarely plays. If you score more than half your team's points en route to a huge personal point total, and in the process your team gets creamed, that's not a good game. Kobe did it last year against Charlotte and even though the Lakers didn't get creamed, it certainly cost them the game, IMO. Why should any player be held to a different standard? I say it's tough to argue Wade helped his team with his performance, so how can anyone praise him for it? Mr. Bawful is right in saying that Kobe fans would stand by that kind of performance if Kobe did it and say "his teammates just didn't step up", but IMO if you do the same for Wade then you're no different than those idiots.

Other than that, the point I was trying to make was that sometimes Kobe gets criticized for scoring a lot, even if it helps his team win, and that to me makes no sense. People recently questioned whether Kobe should have scored 61 against the Knicks, even though he only took 31 shots, a teammate of his scored over 30 points and the Lakers won easily on the road. People pointed out that he only had three assists and said he must have been selfish and scored to the detriment of his team, yet not only did LA win that game handily, they won the next two in Boston and Cleveland, so clearly it didn't negatively effect his team. The same thing happened when Kobe scored 81 against Toronto a couple years back, even though before Kobe scored 55 second half points the Lakers were losing by 15, and after his scoring barrage the Lakers won by double digits. It just seems obvious to me, but a guy who is on fire and keeps shooting and hitting everything is not hurting his team, especially if they're winning. But when you score 50 and only one of your teammates gets more than 7 points (Beasley with 14) and you lose by 23, well maybe your individual success came at the expense of your team's chances of winning.

I submit that if a player scores a ton of points and his team wins, especially if it wins easily, then that's a good game, and it doesn't matter who is the player who has that game. I'll further submit that if a player has a huge scoring output and his team loses, especially if they lose by a lot, then that's not a good game. And once again, it doesn't matter who the player is who has that game. I prefer to try to judge players by the same standard. As I've said before, the people who praise Kobe no matter how poorly he's played are no different than the people who trash him no matter how well he's played. And the same goes for any other player: if you give one guy a pass for something you rip another player for, you're just being biased.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you going to tell us why you picked Dirk as the Tantive IV or what??

"As I've said before, the people who praise Kobe no matter how poorly he's played are no different than the people who trash him no matter how well he's played. And the same goes for any other player: if you give one guy a pass for something you rip another player for, you're just being biased."

It makes no sense to praise or condemn an individual for the team's loss. Basketball is a team sport, period. All of the "kobe sux" and "kobe rulz" talk is fun and obviously stirs lots of emotion, but if he scores 100pts or 1pt, at the end of the day, the Lakers are what really matter, and if they win, that's gravy, if not, too bad. But it's silly to say that one player is solely responsible for his team's success- even if your name is LeBron James.

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
As a hornets fan... Paul's blown fast break was definitely a heartbreaker. It *was* dumb... but since Paul is usually the smartest player on the floor every night he plays and rarely makes those sort of mistakes, I think he deserves a mulligan for that one. But yeah, bad move.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
LOL you guys, it was a rhetorical question as a joke. Dirk's numbers this weekend:

Friday: 9 pts, 4-18
Saturday: 12 pts, 6-13
Times pwned by the Empire: 1

If you can't easily imagine Dirk getting boarded into submission by Darth Vader, then I am alone in my jokes.

Blogger tony.bluntana said...
It's okay for Steve Nash to make Jordan comparisons. He's Canadian. Now, if you ever catch him comparing someone to Wayne Gretzky, then you worry.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure Jarret Jack just got his THIRD offensive foul of the game. All drawn by Nate Robinson. Might have to double check that.

And a question to ponder... I'm currently keeping an eye on Nets game. Assuming they miss the playoffs, is Devin Harris's stat curse the biggest stat curse on record?
Most stat curses are here and gone in what? A night? But this is a season long epic. But I suppose some may argue that NJ was never a playoff team.

I leave you with this daunting question.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason why Wade doesn't get criticized for dropping 50 in a loss like Kobe is because -

A - Wade didn't just score a lot. He scored efficiently. 50 points on 30 shots. That's a good game no matter who it is, win or loss.

B - Wade doesn't have a previous history of selfishness.

For his entire career Wade has been a much more willing passer than Kobe.

Yesterday was the first time Wade has ever even had a 50 point game (and we all know he could have broken 50 long ago if he really wanted to).

The media will start bashing Wade for scoring too much when and if he stops involving his teammates to get his own points the way mamba has in the past. Knowing Wade, I'd say that day will never come.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
in kobes defense, he was a willing passer when he was on a championship caliber team...which is how most of wades career started. and the seasons in which kobe was "selfish," he was averaging(sp?) 5 assists if im not mistaken (i very well may be pulling that out of my ass right now)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Anon: Yes, Kobe has been somewhat consistent in terms of his assists, as "willing" as a SG should be I guess. Of course his 2005-06 stats are so ridiculously comical, especially how they lost to the Suns. Seriously, 33% of the team's shots?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Anonymous - "The reason why Wade doesn't get criticized for dropping 50 in a loss like Kobe is because -

A - Wade didn't just score a lot. He scored efficiently. 50 points on 30 shots. That's a good game no matter who it is, win or loss."

Kobe scored 61 against the Knicks on 31 shots, which is even more efficient, and he helped his team actually win the game on top of that; yet he was ripped by a lot of people (media as well). And since basketball is a team game and is played at both ends of the floor, I submit to you that when your team gets beat by 23, that's a bad game, no matter how many points you may have scored.

"B - Wade doesn't have a previous history of selfishness."

People with an agenda have created this "history of selfishness", and do so by including games like that most recent one against the Knicks or the 81 he scored against Toronto as evidence of this, even though those performances both got his team wins. Sure he's had "selfish" performances, but so has just about every great player at one time or another, usually more than once. I'm not trying to defend the bad games Kobe has had, I just refuse to praise Wade for simply scoring a lot of points, especially when he does so in a game in which his team gets routed.

"The media will start bashing Wade for scoring too much when and if he stops involving his teammates to get his own points the way mamba has in the past. Knowing Wade, I'd say that day will never come."

When a player scores more points by himself than the rest of his team combined in a blowout loss, and does so in a game where only one of his teammates scored more than 7 points, I'd say that day has already come. And as AnacondaHL pointed out above, in Kobe's entire career, he's never scored 50 points in a game in which his team lost by even half as many as Wade's just did. To me that's a pretty compelling argument that this game may have in fact been more "selfish" than any Kobe has ever had.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Kobe scored 61 against the Knicks on 31 shots, which is even more efficient, and he helped his team actually win the game on top of that; yet he was ripped by a lot of people (media as well). And since basketball is a team game and is played at both ends of the floor, I submit to you that when your team gets beat by 23, that's a bad game, no matter how many points you may have scored."

I never bashed Kobe for his game against the Knicks. I think that was a good game by him.

I'll respectfully disagree with you that it's not possible to have a good 50 point game in a loss.

Wade did everything right. He scored efficiently. He handed out dimes. He rebounded well for his position. He did everything possible for this team to get a win.

Like you said, basketball is a team game. It's not Wade's fault that his teammates gave him no support.

"People with an agenda have created this "history of selfishness", and do so by including games like that most recent one against the Knicks or the 81 he scored against Toronto as evidence of this, even though those performances both got his team wins. Sure he's had "selfish" performances, but so has just about every great player at one time or another, usually more than once. I'm not trying to defend the bad games Kobe has had, I just refuse to praise Wade for simply scoring a lot of points, especially when he does so in a game in which his team gets routed."

I don't have any agenda. And neither do a lot of other people who have made the observation that Kobe has played selfishly.

People are just observing something very obvious, and that's that Kobe has a history of taking way too many shots way too often. Yes, sometimes he's efficient in doing so, but he's also shot his team out of games in those situations.

Do all superstars do this sometimes? Sure. But I'd argue that Kobe has had previous seasons where he's done it more than most.

"When a player scores more points by himself than the rest of his team combined in a blowout loss, and does so in a game where only one of his teammates scored more than 7 points, I'd say that day has already come."

This was one game, Yams. It's the first time Wade has ever scored 50 points.

Wade is going to get bashed for selfishness when he starts having performances like this consistently (the way Kobe has done in the past).

But that isn't the way Wade plays. Even when his team won 15 games and he was surrounded by horrible teammates, he still handed out 6.9 dimes a game.

He's just a more consistent passer than Kobe, thus he's less likely to be bashed for selfishness.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That post was too long. I'll boil it down even simpler -

Wade = History of willingly involving teammates

Kobe = Has been reluctant to involve teammates in the past

One game of scoring 50 in a blowout loss doesn't erase 6 years of Wade being a more willing passer than Kobe. Thus, people won't bash him for selfishness with the same ferocity that they bash Kobe.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Anonymous, when you say that Kobe "has been reluctant to involve teammates in the past," are you referring to his early years with the Lakers, before he could drink legally and prior to Phil coaching the team? If so, that's a pretty flimsy argument. That was ten years ago, before he developed into the player he is today, and before he was one half of the most devastating one-two punch in NBA history. I suppose I could make the same ten-year ago argument about Wade and say he was selfish when he was in high school.

Kobe has always been one of the league leaders in assists among off guards, but his assist numbers go up even more when his starting teammates can make shots. Taking a Laker team that started Kwame Brown, Smush Parker, and Luke Walton to the playoffs for two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment. If you have to shoot more to do that, then so be it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ The Dude Abides-

MJ and Pip might have something to say about your "most devastating one-two punch in NBA history" comment... just sayin'