Vince and Devin
It seems like so long ago since Devin boldly (and stupidly)
proclaimed: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team."

Today's pic courtesy of Shayan from Mediocre Forever.

The New Jersey Nets: The Nets had the faintly-beating heart violently ripped out of the chest of their postseason hopes by last night's 107-78 HOME LOSS to the Milwaukee Bucks. I put "home loss" in all caps there to not only highlight the fact that the Nets were blown out by 29 points at home in a must-win game against a team that began the night 12 games below .500, but also because the defeat dropped them to 15-22 at the Izod Center this season. That gives them the second-worst home record in the Eastern Conference, ahead of only -- you guessed it! -- the Washington Wizards Generals. The Nets are now 19-36 since Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." John Hollinger's playoff odds now give them a 0.2 percent chance of making it to the second season.

Bonus bawful! The Nets shot 26-for-70 (37 percent), missed 10 free throws and finished with more turnovers (16) than assists (15). Oh, and those turnovers led to 21 bonus points for the Bucks. Furthermore, the game was never close: The Bucks went on an 18-0 run in the final 4:51 of the first quarter to take a 32-13 lead that was the mathemological equivalent of "Game Over." New Jersey has lost five in a row and nine of its last 11 games and 17 of 23 overall. Plus, they lost to a team that has itself won only five of its last 10 games. PLAYOFF RUN FAIL.

Even more bonus bawful! From the AP game recap: "The Nets futility was never more evident than early in the third quarter when Bucks center Dan Gadzuric stole the ball from Trenton Hassell under the Milwaukee basket, dribbled behind his back and dunked."

Devin Harris and Vince Carter: The dual rudders of this ship that be sinking combined to score 19 points on 6-for-22 from the field. And their combined fouls/turnovers (10) barely surpassed their total rebounds/assists (11).

The Miami Heat: They kept it close, thanks mostly to Dwyane Wade's 42-point performance, but the Heat still dropped a home game to the Magic on the night of Alonzo Mourning's jersey retirement ceremony. That cut Miami's lead over the Sixers for the fifth seed to a single game. But it gets worse: Backup point guard Luther Head broke his left hand during the game and will miss four to six weeks...which essentially means he's a scratch for the playoffs. Fun fact: The Magic have now won 12 of their last 13 matchups against the Heat.

J.J. Redick: Basketbawful reader Kaan -- who is one letter away from having the world's most awesome name (Khan or Kahn) -- said: "Hey I think J.J. Redick deserves a special WOTN award for this. He is a free soul you know. Boundaries cannot limit him. From the AP recap: 'Redick turned the ball over twice because he stood out of bounds while receiving passes for what would’ve been wide-open jumpers.'"

Superfluous and mildly deceptive stats: From the AP: "Dwight Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, passing Wilt Chamberlain as the youngest NBA player to reach the 5,000-board mark. ... Howard reached the 5,000-rebound mark—he now has 5,006 -- at the age of 23 years, 112 days. Chamberlain was 25 years, 128 days old when he got his 5,000th rebound." What the writer conspicuously failed to mention was that Wilt was 23 years, 65 days old on the day of his very first NBA game...only 57 days younger than Dwight is RIGHT NOW. So, sorry, Howard may be today's Basketball Superman, but Wilt was yesterday's Basketball God.

The New York Knicks: More great defense (the Jazz shot almost 55 percent), more great ball-handling (the Knicks committed 20 turnovers for 32 points going the other way), and the 14th loss in the last 20 games. Also, the Knicks blocked 2 shots, putting their season total at 175...a full 38 behind last season's "Worst Ever For An 82-Game Season" total. Which begs the question: How did the Knicks dump Zach Randolph and become a WORSE shot-blocking team? That's like dumping your guild's "Leeroy Jenkins" and then running face-first into MORE hopeless, team-crushing battles.

And then there was...

Al Harrington: So sayeth the AP: "Al Harrington scored 24 to lead the Knicks before getting ejected with two technicals for arguing a foul call with 22 seconds left. The Knicks were down six before Harrington's tirade allowed Korver to put away the game with two free throws for the technical fouls." And mind you, those techs were called AFTER he had committed an offensive foul. Coupled with his bizarre antics against the Clippers and it seems like dude has gone straight up crazy.

The Golden State Warriors: No Stephen Jackson (scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his left big toe), Andris Biedrins (sprained left ankle), Corey Maggette (head contusion), Marco Belinelli (right ankle) or Brandan Wright (left shoulder). Ronny Turiaf fouled out after being called for back-to-back fouls in a 2-second span. The Warriors coughed up a 9-point fourth-quarter lead to lose 114-109 to the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that, prior to this season, they had beaten seven straight times. But last night, the Griz administered their first season sweep of the Golden Staters since 2005-06. Note also the Memphis scored 114 points (on 50 percent shooting) after being held to 66 in Portland on Saturday night. Said Don Nelson: "I'm not going to take questions because I don't want to get fined. We missed a lot of shots in the fourth quarter and they made a lot of free throws, and that's all I have to say."

Corey Maggette: Wait, what...head contusion?! Really?! According to FreeMD: "A person with a head contusion has a bruise to the head." So "Bad Porn" sat out with a bruised head? You know what that means...EPIC DOUBLE-FACEPALM.

Double facepalm

Lacktion report: The final race to the playoffs has not in any ray reduced Chris's laction workload:

Magic-Heat: Luther Head smartly spent 9:36 on the court tonight accruing a suck differential of +5 via two bricks (one from downtown), one giveaway and two fouls.

Bucks-Nets: Damon Jones has amped up his anti-game since being left off of the All-Lacktion roster, earning a +3 in 6:08 by tossing a brick from downtown, giving the rock up once, and taking a foul.

Grizzlies-Warriors: Marco Belinelli paid tribute to a fellow Italian who is well known in the video gaming community, notching a 15-second Mario for Don Nelson's squad.
The Steel Soundtrack: From Dan B: "The other day I was browsing the bargain CDs at Half Price Book & Music Exchange. (You know it's the bargain rack when the first CD you see is Creed). And what did I see plastered above it? Yep, Shaq in a goofy-ass metal outfit. (What his picture is doing hanging out next to Joni Mitchell, I don't know.)"

Steel CD

My favorite part is, if you look really closely, the top of the CD says: "Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture." As someone who was unfortunate enough to actually SEE this particular motion picture, I can assure you that the only thing it will inspire is projectile vomiting.

Update! From Wild Yams: "Ah yes, the Steel Soundtrack. I too saw that movie, and I have to say it's way up there on the unintentional comedy scale. I don't think Judd Nelson's career ever recovered after that. Speaking of Shaq's musical career, from time to time I like to go check and see what his CDs are selling for over on Amazon because it's always good for a laugh. I see now that they've all been discontinued by the manufacturer, but you can still purchase them used; and they are priced to move, with none of them selling for more than $3, and with most of them going for one penny (yes, you read that right)."

What I find most amazing is that Shaq even released The Best of Shaquille O'Neal. And if the following review isn't proof that Shaq is, in fact, writing his own reviews, I don't know what would be: "As my thesis for my doctorate in Music Theory, I found this album to be a priceless treasure in the history of music. Never have so many lives been touched and so many artists influenced by such a piece of work. 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Wu Tang all owe a debt to Shaq, the master of form and function. His arrangement of the notes and the Fu-Schnickens are incredible! He is on level with every (and I mean EVERY) classical genius in my studies." The best part: The reviewer, one blackmosesi2, supposedly hails from Salt Lake City. And I'm pretty sure it's against the law to play Shaq's music there.

The new Guitar Hero commercial: Just what I've always wanted to see: Bobby Knight in his underwear. I will now procure a spork and jam it without hesitation directly into my eyes. An exceedingly sarcastic and bitter "thanks" goes out to Evil Ted and AnacondaHL, who (presumably unintentionally) conspired to force this horror upon me not once but twice.

Todd MacCulloch, pinball wizard: Possibly the most depressing "Where Are They Now?" segment I have ever seen, and that includes the one in which Meat Loaf looked like an old, fat lesbian. Seriously, if he'd been wearing a sleeveless flannel shirt and singing something by the Indigo Girls, I would not have known it was Meat Loaf. The only Paradise by the Dashboard Lights he's seeing these days is the MoonPie he picked up at the Shell Station.'s the clip, from Chris via Can't Stop The Bleeding. Key quote: "I had some free time and found myself playing a lot of pinball and thinking, 'I must be sick, there must be something wrong with me, 'cause this is all I really wanna do...and it wasn't until later I realized I wasn't alone." And he's not. But, as you can see, sometimes being alone is the right choice.

Update! According to AnacondaHL: "That could have only been worse if we found some washed-up NBA player at a Magic The Gathering tournament, or playing Pixie Hollow competitively, or cosplaying the new Queen's Blade at some anime convention." Or maybe playing Pokemon with a group of 10-year-old kids he doesn't even know. But that really is about it.

Kobe Bryant: Mamba texted Todd just to tell him "Pinball sux" and then sent him a copy of the Steel Soundtrack.

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I'm blatantly stealing this from and their list of the worst sports related video games of all time, but this is too good not to post here, as this is definitely the height of Basketbawfulness. Before today I'd never even heard of four of these games (Shaq-Fu being the lone exception, cause who hasn't heard of that?), but these games have everything. From crime fighting using a basketball, to playing basketball in the future using robots, to using "neo-shekels" to purchase "relics from the days of b-ball" like a Reebok sweatband, these games left no basketball stone unturned. These all come from an era in sports marketing thankfully forgotten (or sorely missed for the unintentional comedy, you decide), in which sports stars would allow their names to be attached to horrendous video games, even if they had little to do with their sport. Since I've never played any of these, here are the five worst NBA video games, in no particular order:

Shaq-Fu - We're probably all somewhat familiar with this one: a bad Street Fighter II rip-off in which Shaq goes mano-a-mano using his "Shaq-Fu" to kill one baddie at a time. From the Wikipedia page for the game: "In the game's storyline, O'Neal wanders into a kung fu dojo while heading to a heavily emphasized charity basketball game in Tokyo, Japan. There, he stumbles into another dimension, where he is forced to rescue a young boy named Nezu from the evil mummy Sett-Ra." Also from the Wikipedia page: "Shaq Fu is often cited as one of the worst video games of all time." Hey, if it's on Wikipedia, it must be true, and that's why it's included here.

Slam City with Scottie Pippen - Unfortunately I can't find any clips of the actual game being played, there's just the below video of the game's intro which bears an awful lot of resemblance to the opening credits to In Living Color, complete with the Fly Girls. Wikipedia points out the following about this game: "A unique highlight in Scottie Pippen's career is that he himself performed the theme song for the game."

Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball - I really wish I could have been there when they came up with the idea for this game, cause whatever they were smoking was clearly some good stuff. Here's the setting: "The game predicts a science-fiction version of the year 2030 in which there are only robot basketball players (excluding Bill Laimbeer). Basketball teams play in gruelling league matches where new players are bought and sold (like in the Premier League of English soccer). Within this future, basketball uses a dedicated robot to perform the toss up at the start of each match as referees had been fired by Bill Laimbeer sometime prior to the year 2030. As a result, players now wear armor to their games and weapons are thrown from the audience." So the idea for the game is that Bill Laimbeer effectively killed basketball? Odd he'd want to attach his name to such a game.

Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden - And you thought the premise of the last game was weird? Check this out: "The game takes place in a post-cyberpocalyptic New York called 'Neo New York', after a 'chaos dunk' causes the death of millions.

Twelve years prior to the game, Charles Barkley, in an attempt to impress his son Hoopz Barkley, performs a Chaos Dunk -- and inadvertently kills almost everyone present. As a result, basketball was made illegal and nearly all great players were killed in 'The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041' (a.k.a 'B-Ballnacht').

In 2053, another Chaos Dunk rocks Manhattan, killing fifteen million, and the blame falls on Charles, who is believed to be the only human capable of performing the Chaos Dunk. With the help of the Ultimate Hellbane, Charles escapes his pursuers: the B-Ball Removal Department, led by ex-NBA all-star Michael Jordan. Charles follows Ultimate Hellbane through the B-Ball Catacombs to the tomb of LeBron James, discovering that the Ultimate Hellbane is actually Balthios - the Octoroon great grandson of LeBron James. James contacts Charles from the B-ball dimension, offering him a warning which tells him to 'seek the Cyberdwarf.'"

And that's just the beginning. The plot summary goes on forever and just gets weirder and weirder. Here's a look at the game play:

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City - Fairly pedestrian in comparison to that last game, this one simply featured Jordan roaming the streets of Chicago using a basketball to fight crime. Here's the full description: "The game played much like other 2D platformers of its time, collecting keys and defeating enemies with a variety of different techniques. The player controls Michael Jordan on a quest to save the rest of the players for an All-Star charity game, who have all been kidnapped. The player attacks enemies using different basketballs, each with its own ability; for example, the freeze ball can freeze the ground and create a slippery surface, the bomb ball makes a large explosion, and so on. The player must find keys throughout the game to unlock different doors and rescue teammates. Michael can also slam dunk for a secondary attack. This is also used to activate powerup baskets and various checkpoints along the way." Note that like Shaq-Fu, this game makes sure to mention a charity basketball game. I'm guessing the inclusion of said charity games was a stipulation for allowing the game makers to use Jordan's and Shaq's names on these games.


The Philadelphia 76ers: I suppose that their playoff spot is reasonably secure, owing to the fact that they're in the East and the teams behind them are at least as incompetent as they are...if not more so. Maybe that's why they shambled through the first half of their home game against the Bobcats like Romero-style zombies. Through the first two quarters, the Sixers shot 36 percent, got outrebounded 27-12 and fell behind by 50-33 by the halftime buzzer (thanks in no large part to that brutal 10-point second quarter). They made a run, of course. Who doesn't? But it was too little, too late, and I couldn't help but think: Wasn't this the team that was supposed to challenge Boston for supremacy over the Eastern Conference this season? Oh well. At least they have four more years (and $66 million) worth of Elton Brand!

The Milwaukee Bucks: Their 110-94 drubbing in Orlando was Milwaukee's fourth straight loss, and it put them four games behind both Chicago and Detroit for the East's final playoff spot with nine games left. Translation: They're postseason hopes are deader than the main villain in a Steven Segal movie. Speaking of which, according to his official Web site, Segal is "an accomplished actor, musician, martial artist, and philanthropist." In the Philanthropy section, Segal says he feels that "the world that has been bestowed upon us -- natural beauty and gifts from our land." It's hard to imagine something so hippie coming out of the mouth of somebody who's best known for ripping out the spine of opposing martial artists in mortal combat.

J.J. Redick, quote machine: Marcin Gortat put an exlamation point on Orlando's victory over the Bucks by throwing down an alley-oop from Redick in the fourth quarter, leading J.J. to quip: "I'm surprised he jumped. He's been known to jump as high as a phone book on dunk attempts."

The Oklahoma City Thunder: After their 112-96 blowout loss to the Raptors in Toronto, the Thunder fell to 2-5 since Kevin Durant returned from injury. This, of course, followed a stretch in which they had gone 5-2 without him. I understand they've had some hard games, but still.

The New Orleans Hornets and James Posey: HoopBlah explains:

James Posey's performance Friday night in MSG against the New York D'Antoni's was nothing short of WotW worthy.

In the midst of digging themselves from a seven-point halftime lead into a 12-point hole, the Hornets' 6th man decided to take over the game by putting the ball in his own hands...then, chucking it in the general vicinity of referee Gary Zielinski's NBA-issue, um, black shoes.

The Auto Parts King whistled him for a loose ball foul, prompting "Pose" to execute the toss. He was then tossed on just one technical, which is itself deserving of an honorary Voskuhl.

Al Harrington thinks that's a boneheaded play.

The Hornets folded in the 4th, and Posey drew a 1-game suspension, meaning he misses Sunday's game vs. the Spurs.

Perhaps even better than the ejection was Posey's explanation for the tantrum: the old "if-I-had-shot-him-he'd-be-dead" defense.

"It was a bounce pass that hit his foot that came back to me," Posey said. "It goes on a lot at games, guys giving the ball back to the ref, and like I said, if I was to throw it at him, I think I've got better aim than that."

Really? So it wasn't Posey who shot 4-for-29 from 3-point land in his last 8 games, and 15-for-57 overall? I suppose I could be mistaking him for a number of players on the Hornets' sucktastic bench.

It's great to see this gritty, tough-nosed, 2-time NBA champion keep his composure for a struggling squad, especially with two injured starters (Stojakovic and Chandler), don't you think?
I do think. Hey, remember, it was the Basketbawful gang that started this "Posey sucks!" chant at the United Center a few years back. Anyway, check out the video and you'll see that, unless you spent the weekend playing Whac-A-Mole with your head, Posey's "bounce pass that hit his foot" excuse falls right below "Forest Gump" on the retarded scale.

Nate Robinson versus Chris Paul: Not exactly Rocky versus Drago. Heck, it's not even Austin Powers versus Mini Me.

Memo to Nate and Chris: Leave being tough guys to the tough guys.

Nate Robinson, cliche machine: After the Knicks beat the Hornets, Krypto-Nate said: "Both teams played hard." Otherwise known as Basketball Post-game Cliche Number 17, right between "We believe in ourselves" and "This MVP award belongs to the whole team."

LeBron James, huge, flapping vajayjay, Part I: Jason "Seldom Used" Collins had the gall to lay his dirty, mortal hands on King James, and King James doesn't like that: "It was borderline dirty. That's not part of the game. Hard fouls are a part of the game. That was a little bit overboard. Was he going for the ball? No. Was he trying to get in a position to take a charge? No. He was making sure I had nothing to do with a basketball play." In related news, LeBron plans to donate his eggs to a local fertility clinic. Here's the video:

OH MY GOD THAT'S SO HORRIBLE. Can we throw Collins into some sort of maximum security prison alongside villains like Dr. Doom, the Joker and all those AIG execs who got the huge bonuses? Of course, Collins had a few words to say in his own defense: "He was a little off balance when he was driving to the basket and I was just trying to wrap him up so he wasn't going to explode to the rim like he normally does for a dunk or a layup or an and one. He just fell awkwardly." Added Wolves coach Kevin "I miss the days when I could clothesline Kurt Rambis" McHale: "Most flagrant fouls, usually the fall determines kind of whether or not (a flagrant foul is called). It looked like he crumbled pretty hard." Crumbled pretty hard? I like it.

The New Jersey Nets: According to the AP recap, Kobe "tossed up an air ball with his first shot, sprained his right ankle and finished 5-for-19 from the field." That didn't prevent the Nets from dropping their third game in a row and falling even further out of playoff contention. They are now 19-34 since Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." Current standing: 12th in the East.

The New Jersey fans: Another fickle home crowd brought out the "M-V-P" chant for Kobe Bryant, despite the lousy shooting. But I guess after a few years of watching Vince Carter, 5-for-19 probably does seem MVP chant-worthy.

The Atlanta Hawks: They Dirty Birds followed up their 10-point home loss to the Tim Duncan-less Spurs with a 99-93 home loss to the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics, who were also without Leon Powe, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine. And who plucked their feathers? Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who scored 19 points and matched a career-high by pulling down 12 boards. Plus he bumped and banged and beat people for loose know, all the stuff that it takes to, you know, win games. Said Hawks coach Mike Woodson: "Glen Davis was huge tonight, and we had nothing to stop him. I don't think that beat us, but the hustle in itself did. They banged a little harder than we did and they hustled a lot harder than we did."

The Hawks have now lost three of four, with those losses coming against the Crabs, Spurs and Celtics, the last two of which (as I mentioned) happened in Atlanta.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Baron Davis was out (flu-like symptoms!) and then Marcus Camby sprained his ankle early in the first quarter. (X-rays were negative, but of course he's expected to miss the next one to two weeks.) So the Clippers immediately went into "They Are Who We Thought They Were" mode, falling behind by 20 in the first quarter, 24 in the second and 27 in the third when Gregg Popovich started clearing the bench. Said Mike Dunleavy: "They just make shots at such a high percentage. They always seem to find the open guy." Better put that one in your playbook, coach. Fun fact: The Spurs lead their all-time series with The Other L.A. Team 107-28. Ouch.

Reality check: The Clippers rank 29th out of 30 in salary, ahead of only the Grizzlies.

The Sacramento Kings: An 18-point home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. It was the Baby Bears' first victory in Sacramento in 11 years. Somebody needs to go to Tom Ziller's house and remove all prescription medication and any sharp objects, just to be safe.

Lactivity report: Chris spent his Friday tracking lacktion for you. Remember: Tips aren't required, but they are appreciated.

Bucks-Magic: Tyronn Lue was released from the humidor tonight for a 2:58 stint as human victory cigar, and gave Shaq's Least Favorite Coach In The History Of The Universe a suck differential of +2 via block against and brick. He wasn't the only marginally productive member of the Magic, as Tony Battie's singular assist in 15:43 could not circumvent a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 3:2 (fouls against two boards and two bricks).

Bobcats-Sixers: Charlotte's Cartier Martin charted a comatose course through the court tonight, tossing a brick from downtown for a +1 suck differential in 3:51. Donyell Marshall gave the Sixers a +2 in 3:18 via a missed three and a foul.

Wolves-Cavs: Tarence Kinsey sharpened his claws tonight and scratched off a 1.25 trillion ticket for the Crabs, continuing to build up his reputation as a first-name basis lacktator in the same vein as Jake and Mario!

Lakers-Nets: While Josh Powell filled 4:50 with a +3 comprised of a foul, giveaway, and brick (also good for a 2:0 Voskuhl), the real story on the Lakers bench was Phil Jackson's latest human victory cigar, Shannon Brown. Apparently Mr. Brown wanted win his way to Samus Aran's heart, as he blasted out a 15-second Mario.

Meanwhile, Chris Douglas-Roberts has become the only player of note on the Vinsomniac Nets, spending 4:52 on the court by giving up the ball twice and fouling once for a +3.

Celtics-Hawks: Solomon Jones wisely added to his savings account tonight with a 5.3 trillion.

Clippers-Spurs: Marcus Camby is not credited with a near-three trillion, due to injury.

Nuggets-Mavs: Yay, Johan Petro got starting time, 12:20 to be exact. So he promptly tried to be productive with a block and a board. That's nice - but five fouls, one giveaway, and one brick later...he ended up with a rather vehement Voskuhl of 6:1! Petro's teammate Renaldo Balkman bought into his role as George Karl's lacktator of the evening, going +3 in 11:51 through fouls (and nothing else).

The Washington Wizards Generals: Agent Zero was back! Unfortunately, the only thing that changed for the Wizards Generals was that Agent Zero was back. They still lost at home to the Pistons to maintain their conference-worst record. But at least there was some drama to their inevitable defeat. As the AP recap put it: "With the Washington Wizards trailing by two and 4.5 seconds remaining, Gilbert Arenas missed a free throw but chased down the rebound. He whirled in the corner -- rushing himself a bit, to be honest -- and put up a three-pointer that could have won the game against the Detroit Pistons. Alas, the ball barely made it out of his hands. Former Wizards flop Kwame Brown, of all people, blocked the shot. Agent Zero threw up his hands asking for a foul as he landed on his rump, but he knew that the official had made the correct no-call. The comeback game would end without his perfect ending." Feel free to watch Dr. Brown's ego-ectomy of Arenas. The train wreck begins at the 2:07 mark.

Eddy Curry: E-House is back! If you consider 1 rebound and 3 fouls in two minutes and 20 seconds of lacktion "back." More lolz from the AP recap: "[The Knicks] got little from center Eddy Curry in his return. Coach Mike D'Antoni said he wanted to have Curry, a disappointment with the Knicks, play his first game away from the pressure of Madison Square Garden. But Curry appeared a long way from game shape, lumbering up the floor and getting called for three fouls in two second-quarter minutes. That included shoving Okafor to the floor to prevent a layup after getting beat down the court." Man, I've missed him.

Mike D'Antoni, dramatic understatement machine: Regarding Chicken Curry's not-so-fab return to lacktion: "There's no way two or three half practices that after a year you can come in and everybody has played a whole season at the top of their game he'll be able to contribute. He's not superhuman." Oh, thanks for that observation, Mike. 'Cause, see, I thought Eddy flew in for the game after arm-wrestling the Hulk into submission.

The Milwaukee Bucks: Their surge to the playoffs continued with a 102-85 loss to the Heat in Miami, their fifth straight defeat and the eighth in their last 10 games. I now regret wasting that Steven Segal reference on them in Friday's entry.

Anna Kournikova: According to the Bucks-Heat recap: "Retired tennis star Anna Kournikova was among those in the crowd." I love that her greatest individual accomplishment was being named ESPN's "Hottest Female Athlete" in 2002 and yet she'll forever be known as "tennis star Anna Kournikova." Meanwhile, no one will call me "El Conquistador" just because the Spanish already conquered the Aztec Empire hundreds of years ago. How's that fair?

The Los Angeles Clippers: Do you supposed that the Associated Press keeps a mad-lib-style headline prepared for all Clippers games? Something like "[Insert player name] leads [Insert team name] to easy win over Clippers"? Sounds about right, I think. So Saturday's headline was "Yao leads Rockets to easy win over Clippers." Mike Dunleavy, whom I'm convinced has turned his coaching duties over to a random cliche generator, said: "Houston gives themselves a chance to win every night because they are good defensively and they rebound. They have a good mix of players and it should be a good formula for playoff basketball." Somebody run this guy through a metal detector, quick. He's not human. Random fact: The Clips have lost 11 of their last 12 road games.

The Phoenix Suns: Captain James T. Kirk once said: "I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim. Sounds like fun." Shortly after saying that, the good captain died. Such, it seems, is the fate of the 2008-09 Phoenix Suns, who dropped 104-99 overtime decision to the Jazz in Utah. The Suns actually rallied back from a 21-point third quarter deficit, but that only highlights the fact that they fell behind by 21 points in a must-win game. I'm telling you right now: Phoenix has no chance of making the playoffs this season. I don't care what John Hollinger says: Their playoff odds are officially zero.

The Memphis Grizzlies: They followed up their blowout win in Sacramento by scoring only 66 points -- their lowest point total of the season -- in a blowout loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland. But, like I said above, they do have the lowest payroll in the Association, so cut 'em some slack. The Grizz have have lost 10 of their last 12 games.

Lacktivity report: Chris comes through again. Remember what I said about the tips.

Pacers-Bulls: Maceo Baston took a brush and basted his 2:26 of lacktivity with a buttery missed field goal and giveaway for a +2 suck differential.

And while not scoring a Voskuhl or any lacktivity tonight, Roy Hibbert's four-rejection performance is reminiscent of the experience most awkward teenagers deal with in high school before the Christmas dance.

Knicks-Bobcats: Eddy Curry tried to spice up his 2:20 with a rebound, only to find himself scoring a 3:1 Voskuhl via fouls!

On the home team's end of things, Larry Brown got to light up two human victory cigars tonight. Juwan Howard took a foul for a +1 in 2:12, while Cartier Martin traveled through the Mushroom Kingdom during his 21 second Mario!

Bucks-Heat: Damon Jones' ability to lack it up in the playoffs is well documented, but he hasn't been as consistent in non-contribution during the regular season. But at Miami, he bricked twice from downtown in 3:17 for a +2. Fellow Milwaukee baller Francisco Elson keyed up a bit of a Voskuhl in 15:07, going 4:3 (three fouls and a giveaway against one field goal and one rebound).

Yakhouba Diawara was firmly attached to the bench tonight, forcing the Heat to seek out new sources of somnambulance. Chris Quinn had one mighty turnover for a +1 in 2:16.

Clippers-Rockets: James White had a non-descript +1 in 4:29 via brick.

Warriors-Nuggets: Stephen Jackson reloaded his financial arsenal with a 1.7 trillion.

Mark Cuban: Not only did he have $250,000 siphoned out of his wallet for blasting NBA officials via Twitter, he then Twittered about his Twitter-related fines. According to his Twitter feed, "can't say no one makes money from twitter now. the nba does" and "how much fun would it be if it could twitter whatever i wanted during mavs game. Fun, but expensive :)." Yes, that's a smiley face emoticon.

Oh, and if you want to waste some time you'll never get back and go through Mark's recent Twittercisms, you'll see him get into a little dispute with NBA FanHouse and Red's Army over whether they have the right to quote his public Twittering. Only Mark Cuban could broadcast his thoughts to the world and then get grumpy when the world quotes him.

On the bright side, Mark won't be facing an additional fines, considering his team couldn't blame the officiating for today's loss...

The Dallas Mavericks: After building a 15-point lead in the fist half, the Mavericks went on to...lose by 28?! Yup. And that was Cleveland's largest margin of victory in 56 games. The Mavs were apparently replaced by traffic cones in Dallas jerseys a second-quarter timeout, because Dallas got outscored 30-11 in the third quarter, 55-25 in the second half and -- waaaaaaait for it -- 82-39 after the 10:13 mark of the second quarter. Epic offensive fail.

Cuba face down

Jason Kidd: Basketbawful reader Anfernee pointed out this little gem: "Jason Kidd, who missed Dallas' previous game with a sore back, had nine points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Kidd also volunteered to guard James, his U.S. Olympic teammate, in the first half and later wondered if it was a bad idea. 'He almost had a triple-double in the first half, so I don't know how much that worked,' Kidd said." Epic defensive fail.

Cuba face down

Rick Carlisle: He let an aging point guard with an ailing back guard LeBron freaking James because said point guard volunteered to do it. Epic coaching fail.

Cuba face down

LeBron James, huge, flapping vajayjay, Part II: The mighty King Crab, who routinely rumbles through defenders the way a bowling ball would rip through toilet paper, got dropped by a collision with official Derek Richardson. And while Richardson popped right back up...LeBron -- who's 6'8" and weighs at least 260 pounds -- spent some quality time on the hardwood with the wind knocked out of him. Watch:

Said the Crab Dribbler: "I just lost my breath. It don't matter how big you are, if somebody catches you and you're running full speed like that ... I just stayed down and tried to catch my breath." Ahem.

The Chicago Bulls: Typically, it's a bad sign when you're trying to hold onto a playoff spot and the second-worst team in your shoots 54 percent and (according to the game recap) sets a new franchise record for points in a game. Oh, and Jose Calderon had a career-high 19 assists, marking the second time in as many games the Bulls surrendered a career-high. (Pacers rookie Brandon Rush set a personal best with 29 points against them on Saturday.)

Vinny Del Negro, Four-star General Obvious: From Shayan of Mediocre Forever: "Okay, so here's the situation: Bulls up by one in overtime, with 29 seconds to play. Bosh drives in, misses his lay-up attempt, but is the first one off the ground and tips in his own miss, getting fouled at the same time. Converts the free throw, Raps up by 2 with 15 seconds to go. It ended up being the game-winning play, and Vinny Del Negro offered this insight after the game: 'That three-point play was really a big, big play.'" That sound you just heard was the Dull-Negro meter EXPLODING.

Terrell Owens: Everybody's favorite NFL cancer was courtside for the Bulls-Raptors game. He somehow snuck in a giant bag of popcorn and -- this was so totally awesome -- had it confiscated by a female usher, who couldn't have cared less who T.O. was. Nameless Toronto Raptors usher lady, you are my new hero. Bonus fun: Watch this video of Hitler's reaction to the Bills picking up the T.O. tab.

The Los Angeles Lakers: It's not like the Hawks were on fire or anything -- they scored 86 points on 39 percent shooting. It's just that the Lakers were worse: 76 points, 35 percent field goal "accuracy" and as many turnovers as assists (14). It was L.A.'s lowest-scoring game of the season. Pau Gasol, the only Laker who could see the rim (7-for-10), said: "I don't know exactly why we're so out of whack and why we were missing so much. It was just a weird game, not recognizing how to attack them when they were switching." It might have had something to do with...

Kobe Bryant: Mamba followed up his 14-point, 5-for-19 performance against the Nets with a 17-point, 7-for-19 stinker against the Hawks. You can blame a gimpy ankle and an upset tummy for transforming Mr. MVP into Vince Carter.

The New Jersey Nets: Just when you thought the Nets couldn't possibly sink any lower, they fall 108-99 at home to...the Minnesota Timberwolves, who began the day losers of seven of their last seven games. That's like dying three times on world 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. Said Vince Carter: "It's just unacceptable. We feel like we're very capable of being in the playoffs and this was an opportunity to jump start us into accomplishing that and, you know, we took a step back." Added Lawrence Frank: "It's just very, very disappointing, obviously knowing what's at stake, that we couldn't put forth a better defensive effort than what we did." New Jersey is now 19-35 since Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." Current standing: 12th in the East, five games out of eighth.

Mark Madsen: From the AP game notes: "Wolves F Mark Madsen got some rare early action in the first period, but picked up three fouls in less than 2 minutes and quickly returned to the bench." Way to take advantage of the PT, Mark.

The Oklahoma City Thunder: They capped a winless weekend with their second straight blowout loss, this time a 103-84 defeat to the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics in Boston. That makes them 2-6 since Kevin Durant -- who shot 6-for-15 and finished with more fouls (4) and turnovers (2) than rebounds (2) and assists (2) -- returned from injury. Oh, and for the record, KD also lit a fire under Glen Davis. Durant delivered a Karl Malone-style elbow smash that opened up a 10-stitch gash in Baby's head. Davis returned to score 15 points in the final 10 minutes as the Celtics ran away with the game.

Doc Rivers, quote machine: Regarding Baby's post-injury scoring explosion: "I'm going to have somebody knock some sense into him, like they did. Clearly, once they hit him he was a different person. So, either someone else on the other team, or I'm going to carry a hammer around."

Paul Pierce, quote machine: Regarding Baby's injury itself: "Baby's a bleeder. I don't know what's going on with him. I just know that if we ever get into it, I know where to hit him."

Gilbert Arenas, bad prediction machine: Remember how Mr. Zero claimed that pre-season knee surgery was no big deal and then proceeded to miss most of the season? Yeah. Well, this is what Gil had to say after Kwame freaking Brown stuffed his return on Saturday: "I'm going to think about that the whole way to Indiana. I should've called a timeout, or I should've just drove the lane off the rebound, but that's what happened. We've got to live with it. ... Just had a mental block." Yeah, well, Arenas got a little extra time to think about it when Wizards Generals coach Ed Tapscott held him out of Sunday's game against the Pacers so Gilber could "allow his surgically repaired left knee more time to rest." More time?! Hasn't he had, like, 73 games to rest it?

The Washington Wizards Generals: As an aside, the Wizards Generals lost 124-115 to the Pacers in Indy. They bonked 9 free throws in the 9-point loss. Oh, and according to the AP game notes: "Washington has the second-worst record in the NBA and is the only Eastern Conference team already eliminated from playoff contention."

The San Antonio Spurs: So...Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were all playing AND they limited the struggling Hornets to 37 percent shooting...and lost anyway? Yeah, well, that's yet another reason I just don't feel very good about San Antonio's chances in the playoffs. By the way, the ending to this game was a little crazy. The Hornets were up by 7 with about 30 seconds left when the Spurs hit a couple threes (by Manu and Michael Finley), the second of which was set up off a Hornets TO off a busted inbounds play. That put New Orleans up by only a point. Chris Paul knew the Spurs were going to have to foul him, so he launched a three as Ginobili delivered the hit so he could get three FTs instead of two. CP3 made all three 'throws with 7.1 seconds left and that was the game. Said David West: "He told the ref before, like, 'Look man, I'm going to shoot the ball if they come in and foul me.' It's a tricky play to make, but he knows how to be in the act of shooting when those guys are coming to make sure he gets those extra free throws."

The Phoenix Suns: They lost a must-win game to the worst team in the league. Let me repeat that for effect, using all caps: THEY LOST A MUST-WIN GAME TO THE WORST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE. That's...that's like dying three times at the first Goomba by falling into the first hole in world 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. What. The. Hell. Said Steve Nash: "There's some emotional hangover (with Utah loss) and we're tired, but we've still got to dig down and find a way to get it done. No disrespect for that young team, but we weren't playing the Lakers or the Celtics. We laid an egg, it was very frustrating."

The Suns' Season.
Thanks to Wild Yams for that link.

Shaq: From Clifton: "The Great Shaq-ovic went 6-for-15 at the charity stripe vs. the Kings tonight as the Suns lost by 8. I guess they 'didn't matter' tonight. Now, I know the complete and utter lack of defense by the Suns didn't help, but I, as I'm sure Bawful will be as well, am just sayin'. Captcha: 'splat.' No, I'm not kidding. That's also the sound the Suns' faint playoff hopes made tonight."

Lactivity report: Chris continues his labors, despite the lack of tips. (Hint, hint.)

Lakers-Hawks: Solomon Jones continues his keen decision making for Atlanta with a 2.25 trillion!

Nets-Wolves: Mark Madsen got a not-so-Madsen-level Voskuhl of 4:0 in 3:17 via three fouls and a giveaway! And with the lack of shot attempts or boards, this was also good for a +4 suck differential.

He wasn't the only member of McFail's Navy to sink against the currents of contribution, as Jason Collins put up one of the aforementioned Madsen-level Voskuhls in 23:07 -- a ratio of 6:5 via three fouls and three giveaways against two made field goals and a board.

Sixers-Pistons: Donyell Marshall scored a brick from downtown as well as a foul for +2 in 3:24.

Wizards-Pacers: Josh McRoberts earned a King Koopa action figure in his happy meal tonight, garnering a 23-second Mario.

Spurs-Hornets: Kurt Thomas had three rebounds and a steal in 17:25, only to negate that with a particularly large Voskuhl of 6:3 via five fouls, one giveaway and a brick. Also commemorating bad big man play was Melvin Ely, spending 2:23 on the floor with a brick and foul for a 2:0 Voskuhl, good enough for a +2 suck differential as well.

Suns-Kings: As the Suns fail to take advantage of the Mavs' recent slump - losing in the California capitol of bad basketball - Alando Tucker baked two bricks, once from the Denny's at J and Third Streets, for a +2 in 4:13. And Robin Lopez has responded to his non-selection to the All-Lacktion Team with well-executed avoidance of clutch play, earning a Madsen-level Voskuhl of 1:0 via brick, foul, and rejection. This also notched him a +3 in 2:44.

Calvin Booth was dialed in tonight for the purple paupers with three fouls in 4:21, enough to give him a 3:1 Voskuhl against one solitary board.
Tax cheats: Year after year, I feel like a schmuck for filing an honest tax return, especially when I read stories like the one about the lady who tried to deduct a tricked-out hot tub with "underwater speakers, mood lighting and an in-tub stereo" for medical reasons. Then there was the lady who donated $40,000 worth of her ex-husband's worldly belongings -- otherwise known as "everything he owned" -- and then wrote it off without getting audited. And I happen to know about a guy who makes around $80K per year playing online poker and declares exactly $0 of it. I can only hope that something large and violent rises from the sea and eats these people.


sweet suckteen

Today's Bawful will feature the power of statistical analysis. And this is the Internet, so you can't always do the same schtick over and over, unless your schtick is consistency, something like that. Or I felt like drinking rather than Photoshopping the Suns sucking, even though I was supposed to be doing this post to cover for Bawful so he could get drun-I mean, I was generously offered the opportunity to guest post. Anyways, lets get this stat party started.

Google, stat of the night: 58,100. Just as we made Basketbawful the top Google search result for "potato suck race", I wanted to add more to the legend that is this blog. Until I actually tried a query of "sweet suckteen", and you probably don't need me to tell you, but the 58K+ results are Not At All Safe For Work.

The Detroit Pistons, stats of the night: 12, 13, 20, 36. Sure a blowout loss by a "fighting for an Eastern playoff spot" team with their key players still missing to the "perennially crowned to go to the finals for the West" team may be understandable. But wow. A 12-point 1st and a 13-point 3rd, and a 20-0 Lakers run led to a 92-77 loss. And what is '36'? Was it Kobe's point total for the game? (No, Kobe had only 30 points, along with 8 boards and 7 assists). It's the COMBINED points scored by all 5 'Stions's starters. Includes a non-revenge game by starting center Kwame Brown (4 pts, 8 reb).

Tayshaun Prince, stat of the night: -37. The "poor man's Shawn Marion" somehow managed a whooping +/- of -37 in a 15-point loss! How is this even possible? This has to be some sort of record for the season.

Walter Sharpe, stat of the night: 3. A fabulous debut, Sharpe contributed to Detroit's woes with a +3 suck differential. However, 3 actually refers to the distance in inches missed right of the ENTIRE basket, where the first free throw attempt of his career fell tonight.

The Miami Heat, stats of the night: 100, 6, 5, 30:46. Dwayne Wade recorded his 100th block of the season early in the game, a notable milestone since no other NBA player 6'4" or shorter had ever done it prior. With the officiating double trouble of #12 V. Palmer and #43 D. Crawford, I set the non-call foul blocks over-under at +6. Sadly, or completely logically, 6 actually refers to Miami's new standing in the East, as the Bulls rocked them 106-87. A bawful total of 5 Heat bench players went scoreless during not just a few trillion minutes, but for 30:46 total of playing time.

Los Bulls, stats of the night: 7, 3, 1. Not much I could mention here that won't be on By The Horns, other than the forced awkwardness of "Latin Night" that makes me cringe like shoving los cuernos de toro en mi cabeza. However, they benefit from the bawful of others, as Detroit's aforementioned loss pushes them to the 7 seed, otherwise known as "not crab food". They held The Drain to 3 rebounds (contrast: Ben Gordon had 4). And one Derrick Rose, unintentional sex machine quote machine: "I got hit a few times, but you rub that stuff off and I will have time to recover.” I need a cigarette just swooning over his rookie talent.

Joakim Noah's free throw shooting, stat of the night: 87º. TNT gave us a nice close-up view as he shot two flagrant 1 freebies, courtesy of a Magloire/Wade double team garbage time smother. No need to mention how much contact was made by each Heat player, or who the flagrant was charged on. Anyhoo, he made them both, despite a recent observation of his shooting form, which involves spinning the ball axially like a top, which by my observations was approximately 87 degrees off from where the axis should be. This easily explains his 63.7% FT shooting this season (66.7% career), yet he's still far behind Shaq's shotput and Shawn Marion's flip-flick wrist as the worst looking shots in the NBA. UPDATE!: Reader Axel Foley points out an egregious omission by me: Chuck Hayes as a strong 2nd place candidate, who makes Charles Barkley's golf swing look smooth.

Phoenix's Zone Defense, stat of the night: -20. So it's a good thing to start a game strong, maybe establish your defense like the Suns setting the tone at the beginning of this game. And of course, any Suns fan seeing defensive effort will take what they're given. But against a team that's 1st in the league in offensive rebounds (12.9) and 7th in 3pt% (37.9%), why would you play a scheme that so easily gives these away? The Suns's arrogant lack of adjustment was justified, since they were about -20% more effective at stopping the screen anyways, leading to a -20 point differential.

Matt Barnes, stat of the night: 1. The "poor man's Tayshaun Prince" submitted another 1-for-8 FG performance, littering his past 7 games with inconsistency. Perhaps if we played him some inspirational music, like "Eye of the Tiger", he could have an eye-opening revalation and see the situation more clearly. I'm wondering if a cyclops could help the team at this point, regardless of depth perception issues.

Play by Play bonus: End of the 3rd Quarter (some text may have been adjusted by the author):
:28.9 PHO - J. Richardson defensive rebound
:12 PHO - Confused players still passing the ball around
:09 PHO - J. Richardson receives pass, facepalms incompetent bench players, attempts to create shot off the dribble
:06.5 PHO - Offensive foul on J. Richardson
:01.7 POR - R. Fernandez makes a 6-foot FULL SPEED ABSURD fade away jumper in the lane. Assist: S. Rodriguez
:00.4 PHO - J. Richardson lobs ball lazily to midcourt for G. Dragic, morale of the Suns clearly broken
:00.4 POR - R. Fernandez steals the ball from J. Richardson
:00.1 POR - R. Fernandez makes a 25-foot three-pointer from the right wing
:00.0 End of 3rd Quarter
:00.0 PHO - Forced to stick their hands into the steaming pile of crap to retrieve their gameplan for another quarter
Shaq vs Pryzbilla, stat of the night: 2. Apparently, tonight revealed the 2nd drama altercation involving Shaq stuffing a basketball in the Vanilla Godzilla's face (sorry, this poor video is the only one I could find of the first incident, even though they repeatedly showed it on TNT last night). Sir Charles mentions that "Vanilla Gorilla" would be scary if he played on a good team. Double iceburn.

Horrible incompetent officiating, stat of the night: ∞. #28 T. Nunez Jr., #17 J. Crawford, #36 D. Jones. Any sportswriter that's not completely tired of pointing out the NBA's officiating problem must have the stamina of a rhino.

TNT, stat of the night: 5. The number of hilariously awkward jail jokes and Photoshops made by the studio on the night. I've never seen Sir Charles so speechless, that's good late night television.

University of Arizona, inflated stats of the night: 100%, 100%, 25.5, 21.3. Alumns Jerryd Bayless and Channing Frye got to showcase their skills against their home state's pro team, both shooting perfect from the field with 25.5 pts/48min and 21.3 pts/48min, respectively, and Frye clocking a 21.3 blocks/48min rate as well. Such an outburst in performance must portend well for tomorrow's Madness with possibly the most hated Cinderella team in the history of the tournament.

Stretching for Portland jokes, stat of the night: 3. It's been 3 years since someone compiled the NBA Live 06 Ha Seung Jin remix, so because Portland looked so damn good dismantling the Suns, and we're all sick of Oden health and age jokes, let us re-live this most awesome video of The Blazers's favorite Korean baller (I only brought this up because I was really hoping someone did this same thing only with NBA2K9 and Zach Randolph):

Kobe Bryant, stat of the night: .250. Potentially the percentage chance that a Bryant household maid was abused for the night, but alas it represents Mamba's updated game-winning shot percentage, compared to the league average .298. Other fun numbers include his league-leading 42 misses in 56 tries, far more than Vince Carter (35) and JJ/LeBron (33), and league-leading 5 turnovers. And then he ate a baby seal.

Lacktion report, stat of the night: 1. Chris was feeling some sweet lacktations...

Lakers-Pistons: Shannon Brown has reached the Tao of Finance with a two trillion! Meanwhile, Detroit's Walter Sharpe edged off or away from the rim three times -- once from downtown, twice from the charity stripe -- for a suck differential of +3 in 2:35.

Heat-Bulls: This critical battle between two borderline playoff teams featured extensive challenges of lacktivity from both squads. For Miami, James Jones missed two shots (once from behind the arc) and fouled three times for a +5 in 8:00 flat, while Chris Quinn (1.5 trilion) and All-Lacktion selection Yakhouba Diawara (1.3 trillion) have protected themselves from the economic crisis. And Jamaal Magloire's three rebounds and steal in 10:24 were countered with a brick, a giveway, and three fouls for a Madsen-level 4:3 Voskuhl.

The Notorious VDN actually had another opportunity to unleash human victory cigars tonight, having Linton Johnson snag a +1 via brick in 1:31.

Suns-Blazers: Sure, Joel Pryzbilla made a shot and even had an assist and steal in his 28:01 as Portland's starting big man. But with no further shot attempts and only one rebound, he ended up with a 4:3 Madsen-level Voskuhl via three fouls and a giveaway!
About the author: AnacondaHL is the Chief Internet Media Relations and Security Officer for Basketbawful and a grizzled Internet veteran who watches in despair as his favorite team, the Phoenix Suns, drop their chances lower and lower to make the '09 playoffs. When not wasting time at his Clark Kent job to read BasketBawful, he can be found playing the Internet computer game du jour, Googling questionably NSFW phrases, wondering why the Diamonbacks have seven team colors, and browsing other obscure things on the Internet. He hopes someday to learn four languages, discover a completely un-theorized particle of quantum physics (and would obviously name it after myself, not something stupid like Y(4140)), name the largest number in the world after himself, have an intelligent conversation about anime with someone, and to eat a crab grown in Akron.

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McFarlane Toys provides some of the best action figures available to people who like to collect tiny, plastic versions of their favorite superheros, movie monsters and/or pro athletes. But I got a pretty hearty chuckle out of this offering from their NBA 2009 (Series 16) line...available in April: Zach Randolph in his New York Knicks uniform.

Lacktion Figure

Sadly, this amazing lacktion figure doesn't come with a prop teammate and/or opponent for Toy-Bo to punch, nor does it come with a three-point arc from behind which your Lacktion Zach could chuck up countless imaginary, buzzer-beating airballs. And while the face isn't nearly round or doughy enough, I will admit that the tiny manikin is virtually indistinguishable from the real Zach on defense: Stiff and unmoving.

Other great lacktion figures in Series 16 include Knee-Mac (apparently diving for a loose ball), Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal (in his Craptors uni), and a LeBron James figure in which King Crab looks like he's squatting in apparent preparation for an emergency bowel evacuation. In fact, the product description says: "LBJ's fifth figure offers a completely unique pose -- with LeBron taking a moment during a timeout, planning out his next move..." Move-MENT, more like.

Speaking of product descriptions, here's the one for The Drain: "An off-season trade brought him to Toronto, where he's partnered with Chris Bosh as the new 'big and bigger' duo in the NBA." ("Big and bigger"? Make that "doomed and over" and we're good.) But even better is this description for Knee-Mac's mini-me: "McGrady remains the [Rocket's] most crucial player -- and sometimes being the leader means more than dunking the ball or shooting out the lights -- sometimes it means you've gotta sacrifice your body just to keep that ball inbounds..."

I love it when the jokes just write themselves. And, once again, these babies won't be out until next month. Pre-order yours today!

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"Hmmmmm.....You Got Served it is!!!"

Thanks to Shayan of Mediocre Forever for the pic.

Vanessa Bryant: According to the news: "Family housekeeper Maria Jimenez claims Bryant's wife, Vanessa, routinely harangued her -- calling her "lazy, slow, dumb, a f**king liar and f**king sh*t" -- and ordered her to stick her hand in a bag of dog feces to retrieve a price tag for a blouse that had been thrown away with the pet poop. In a suit filed in California's Orange County Superior Court, Jimenez said the abusive Lakers wife made the disgusting demand after the maid put an expensive blouse in the washing machine. Vanessa -- who insisted Jimenez reimburse her for the frock wanted to show her how much it cost, the papers allege. When Jimenez tried to quit, Vanessa Bryant told her she 'had to work until payday to pay for the $690 blouse, which she did.'" Wow. All I have to say is that if Vanessa had just let Kobe make Luke Walton or Adam Morrison stick THEIR hands in the poop like Mamba suggested, none of this ever would have happened.

(Actually, that's not true. According to the lawsuit, Vanessa has accused Jimenez of stealing her dental retainer, and "badgered, harassed and humiliated" the housekeeper by "yelling and screaming" at her in front of Bryant, the couple's kids, and other people in the house. So I guess making her handle doggy doo was just the last straw.)

Agent Zero's retirement: Don't freak out. He's going to play basketball again...some day. What he's retiring from is blogging. You know, that thing he hasn't done since November. His reasoning: "It's just like the double-(edged) sword thing: Eventually your words is going to kill you. ... I started looking at it as, before, it was fun, and everybody has fun reading it. And then it's like everything I said, everybody started using it as firepower, instead of saying it's just entertainment. You know, people started using it, trying to take bits and pieces instead of enjoying the blog. So once I started seeing that, I just started visualizing, eventually, this is going to be the double-(edged) sword thing. It made me and it's going to kill me, so I might as well stop."

I can't quite decide what's worst here: The fact that Gil is so insecure and thin-skinned that the ham-fisted judgments that inevitably levied against high-profile public figures have caused him to give up something he so clearly loved, or that this whole knee injury cycle has seemingly sucked the fun out of the clown prince of the NBA. I mean, do we really want a quiet, introspective period out of Agent Zero?

The Miami Heat: Last night's 2-point road loss to the Pacers served to illustrate just how vulnerable this Heat team is. Basically, the can't win minus a superhuman performance from Dwyane Wade, even against conference "rival" that's 12 games below .500, missing a key player (Troy Murphy) and just killing time until the offseason. Remember the old "Incredible Hulk" TV show? Yeah, David Banner only turned into the Hulk like twice an episode. This season for Wade has been the NBA-equivalent of a 12 or 13-transformation episode. I'm not sure how radiation-induced transformations work, but Pookie probably has no choice but to let out his inner David Banner every once in a while. Speaking of which...

Dwyane Wade's shooting: He still made his usual all-around contributions (4 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals), but his misguided shooting would have made Larry Hughes wince: 5-for-24, 1-for-6 from behind the arc. Maybe he had something in his eye. Like a Buick.

Jermaine O'Neal: The Drain gave his former team a little taste of what they gave up: 6-for-14 shooting and only 2 rebounds in 31 minutes. Oh, and three of his shots got blocked. It's like he never left.

Jamario Moon: The Other Guy from the Toronto trade sure has cooled off lately. Last night he went 2-for-7 and missed all four of his three-point attempts. Minus that 17-point game at Detroit on the 22nd, he's gone for 5, 9, 0, 6, 3 and 3 points in his last seven games.

The Milwaukee Bucks: Last night's loss to the Craptors, in which Andrea Bargnani scored a game-high 23 points on them, was another nail in the coffin of their playoff hopes. And unless they pull some serious Bela Lugosi sh*t, the following comments by Richard Jefferson might serve as the eulogy: "Right now, when we need to be playing our best basketball, our most competitive, we're not. We're playing subpar basketball at a time when teams are picking it up. Even some of the teams that might not be in the hunt are picking up their intensity and we haven't done that the last couple of weeks." The 10th place Bucks are now a full three games behind eighth place Chicago. Cue the Undertaker music.

The New Jersey Nets: They are now 19-33 since the injured Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." New Jersey is currently ranked 11th in the East, 3.5 games behind the eighth place Bulls.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: From Basketbawful reader Brendan P: "Well it looks like the 2009-10 season (or the 2009 draft) started early for the Timberwolves today against Philly, starting Bobby Brown, Rodney Carney and Craig Smith. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a T-Wolves fan and these guys could be the future of the team (by the way Carney shot 7-for-8 from downtown so woo!) and they do need game experience, but to start them? Why not give them some burn off the bench? Then again, with Mike Miller's an epic failure at point guard, Sebastian Telfair's macaroni and paste ankles and Jefferson out for the season I guess I can forgive them. Bring on the season home opener??"

The Atlanta Hawks: So much for their homecourt dominance. The Spurs were missing Tim Duncan (resting his aching knees) and the newly-returned Manu Ginobili went 1-for-7 and missed all three of his triples. Didn't matter. San Antonio shot almost 55 percent as a team and Tony Parker (42 points, 18-for-25, 10 assists) destroyed any and all who daried to guard him. Said Maurice Evans: "It's disappointing because we are right there and we have lost to two elite teams in Cleveland and San Antonio. That's the true test, how you stack up against the best in the league." Indeed it is.

Update! Josh Smith: From Edgar: "I'd like to offer up a WotN nomination for Josh Smith. I was at the Hawks v. Spurs game last night and the stats don't fully explain how terrible Smoove played. It started in the first when he injured Joe Johnson's ankle (of course Woody still played Joe for 44 minutes). Later in the half, Smoove pivoted into Al Horford, resulting in one of his game-high four turnovers. After that nugget of brilliance, Smoove charged down court, hacked Tony Parker and then walked away from Mike Woodon's earful. Tony Parker tore it up last night, but it helped that Smoove failed consistently to pick up the switch in time to deny Parker from getting to the basket (though Smoove did come up with a team-high three goal-tending violations). Smoove also missed five of 11 free throws (the Spurs missed 1 as a team) and went 3-12 from the floor for 12 points. To drive the point home, with Duncan out for the Spurs, the Hawks used a small lineup at times featuring Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Flip Murray, Joe and Mike Bibby/Mario West. Zaza was only really on the court when Smoove sat on the pine. Zaza's +/- was +7. Smoove's was -14. It's a bad sign when your team plays better when Zaza Pachulia is siphoning off minutes from your $60 million power forward."

Mike Woodson, knowing who's who machine: Regarding the play of Joe Johnson, who scored a team-high 30 points: "Joe was Joe."

The New York Knicks: Remember how the Sacramento Kings pummeled them at Madison Square Garden last week? That probably would have qualified as the nadir of their season until last night's home flop against the Clippers...particularly since New York had built a 19-point lead about six minutes into the game. I'll give the Knicks this much though: They were more competitive. Offensively, anyway. But The Other L.A. team put up 140 points. And yes, I realize the game went to overtime, but still...when your defense makes the freaking Clippers look like the Suns on a good night, then something has gone very, very wrong.

By the way, the utter defenselessness of this game probably would have killed Bill Russell if he'd watched it. The Knicks shot 55 percent and the Clippers -- THE CLIPPERS!! -- shot nearly 58 percent. Defense is a choice, people. Just like murder and parachute pants. Which now that I think of it are probably bad analogies. Anyway, coach Mike 'Antoni said: "We didn't guard anybody, that's pretty obvious. Somehow, somewhere the game's got to be a little more important than just going out there and playing. We're just not there." I'm not even gonna touch that one...

Update! Al Harrington: Look, folks, sometimes I make mistakes. Today, I made a doozy, accidentally omitting Al from WotN. Fortunately, luman corrected this unforgivable gaffe: "Whoa, how could you have not mentioned ANYTHING about the bawfulness that was Al Harrington's dunk with 30 secs to go? He made a great move, got open, went up, and slammed it home with both hands for safety. 3 point lead, game in hand right? Nah. The Genius-That-Is-Al Harrington (can we make this his nick?) then proceeded to do a pull up on the rim and *possibly* slap the backboard. He argued the T vehemently, but just looking like you did something T-worthy is enough these days (Former teammate S-Jax knows this from his inexplicable T last night). Apparently he committed the same atrocity against the clips in LA a month ago, and both times the clips came back to win. Has anyone made Mike D'Antoni go to Defcon 5 more than Al?"

Basketbawful reader Karc was similarly nonplussed: "Al Harrington is a moron, a flat out moron. In the last game against the Clippers, he dunks the ball for a three-point lead with less than 30 seconds left, then gets a technical foul for hanging on the rim and slapping the backboard like the game is over. Of course, the Clippers win the game in OT. So what does Harrington do? He makes a dunk last night with less than 30 seconds left to give the Knicks another three point lead, then kicks his legs over the top of a Clipper while hanging on the rim to showoff, and is hit with ANOTHER technical foul. And again, the Clippers win in OT. It's just too funny, that a professional basketball player gets the same technical foul in the same scenario against the same team twice. And this one wasn't like a frustration thing where he got hit in the face. He was trying to show off and do a pullup on the damn rim, and just happened to go over a Clipper. If he had done that in the open court, he still would have been T'ed up. What an idiot."

And, finally, DDC provided "photographic evidence of Al's bawfulry":

what an idiot

Zach Randolph, delusions of grandeur machine: Regarding his escape from New York: "I don’t know why they traded me. I didn't understand it, but it's a business, you know. I feel like I'm one of the best power forwards, underrated power forwards in the league, too." Oh, I can think of a few reasons why they traded you, Zach. In related news, Randolph currently has 14 blocks on the season. To put this into perspective for you, Sebastian Telfair and Steve Nash both have 10, Sasha Pavlovic has 16, Kirk Hinrich has 17, Jason Terry has 18, and Ben Gordon has 21. See where I'm going with this?

Basketbawful Yiping wrote in to add his two cents: "Someone's really got to show Mr Zach 'I'm one of the best power forwards' Randolph those video clips that you have posted of him launching those threes. Apparently he is now as good as Duncan, Nowitzki and Garnett." Yeah, but hey, you've gotta give him points for believing in himself. I mean, did you know that Whitney Houston's debut LP, called simply Whitney Houston had 4 number one singles on it? Did you know that, Yiping? It's hard to choose a favorite among so many great tracks, but "The Greatest Love of All" is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation, dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late to better ourselves. Since it's impossible in this world we live in to empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It's an important message, crucial really. And it's beautifully stated on the album. [/Patrick Bateman]

Update! Basketbawful reader Victor commented: "Oh it gets better. Zach Randolph says he's better than Chris Bosh. From this article."

Randolph laughed when I asked him if he felt the Knicks made a mistake in trading him away.

"Yeah," he said with a big smile beaming. "It was definitely a mistake."

But the decision was an obvious one. The Knicks wanted to dump Randolph's contract off the 2010-11 payroll (and also moved Jamal Crawford that day) to make room for a big play in free agency in 2010. The LeBronathon has lost some steam since then, but Randolph says he thinks it could happen.

"It's gonna be interesting," he said.

If they wind up with LeBron, Zach says he can understand moving him. But Chris Bosh?

"I'm better than Chris Bosh," he said.

Told that line will make headlines, Zach gave a dismissive wave and said, "I'd tell him to his face."
Them's some mighty big words there, Z-Bo. And they might contain a small kernal of truth if NBA players weren't also expected to play defense during the course of a game.

The Los Angeles Clippers: I received a link to this frightening news from Basketbawful reader Mark L. in an email titled "oh dear god." From ESPN: "Isiah Thomas is actively seeking work again, and he spoke several weeks ago with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in a meeting arranged by current coach/general manager Mike Dunleavy, learned Wednesday. Several NBA sources confirmed the February meeting between the former president and general manager of the New York Knicks, adding that there were follow-up discussions between Thomas and other high-ranking club officials -- but also stressing that no job has been offered.
Discussions between former Knicks GM Isiah Thomas and the Los Angeles Clippers were described by one source as informal yet substantive. Sterling is said to be considering adding another executive to the Los Angeles front office to alleviate some of Dunleavy's responsibilities in his dual role as coach and general manager. Former Lakers and Grizzlies general manager Jerry West was linked to a possible Clippers front office job before he publicly disavowed any interest."

A marriage of Zeke and the Clippers? Urivaled terror. As Basketbawful reader jhaig said: "That's gotta be up there with that time the Ghostbusters had to cross the streams in terms of threats to the very fabric of our Universe."

Doc Rivers: He essentially conceded the game -- and second place in the Eastern Conference -- to the Magic by limiting Kevin Garnett to 16 minutes and 31 seconds. Meanwhile, Paul Pierce's minutes continue to climb. He's logged 40+ minutes in six out of 13 games this month, and he's played 37+ four other times. So it's great that KG will be all springtime fresh for the playoffs, but poor Paul is going to be a withered husk.

And seriously, you're telling me that Garnett couldn't have played an extra five minutes down the stretch? I get that Doc wants KG healthy for the playoffs. I do, and to a certain extent, I support trying to keep his minutes down. But this is a little farcical. If Kevin's not ready to play 20 minutes in a really important game, then maybe he shouldn't be playing at all.

Stan Van Grumpy, grump machine: He's gone after Shaq for flopping. He crucified the Knicks for not throwing Patrick Chewing a coaching bone. Now he's going after the press for discussing Boston's injury problems: "I want to know how some teams get on the list, where they get excuses and other teams are not on that list. All I've been hearing about is all the injury problems the Celtics have had this year." Seems Van Grumpy is a tad bitter about how nobody is giving him and his team props for trudging on sans Jameer Nelson. And it's a fair point. But it would have sounded better if Stan wasn't such a front runner. I hate those guys.

Update! Bobcats-Wizards: Man, I blew another one. But Andrei had my back:

I know that this is a mega post already, but I just wanted to point out the sequence that occurred at the end of the Bobcats-Wizards game.

With 1:23 left in the game the Wiz were up 4 and looking to wrap up the game. The Wizards secure an offensive rebound and promptly turn the ball over and foul Raymond Felton. With the possibility of closing the gap to 2 points, Raymond bricks both free throws and the Wiz call time out.

The Wizards then can't carry out a simple inbound play and turn the ball over. The Bobcats are feeling generous and give the ball right back. What is the next play you ask? Mike James manages to catch the inbound pass and dribbles into a double team resulting in a turnover.

The Bobcats call a time out and once play resumes get a miss match of Nick Young (a guard) guarding Boris Diaw (a forward), the end result as you can guess is that Young stuffs Diaw's jump hook, retrieves the ball and gets fouled. Young hits both free throws and the Wiz are up 6.

The Wiz are now in control and just need to not foul and hit free throws to secure their 17th win. What do they do? They foul DJ Augustin and he hits both free throws, 4 point game. Washington calls time out and advances the ball to half court.

After discussing strategy (one would hope) in the huddle, the Wizards turn the ball over on the inbound play (that's the 3rd time in less than 2 minutes). The Bobcats score and it's 2 point game. The Wizards promptly turn the ball over again.

The Bobcats do not want the Wiz's charity and Gerald Wallace misses a lay-up. The Wizards can finally put the game out of reach by making 2 free throws with 13 seconds left. The veteran Antawn Jamison steps to the line and calmly bricks one of the two to keep Charlotte in the game down by just 3.

Coming out the timeout Gerald Wallace drives to the hoop, if he doesn't get fouled and scores it's a one point game with 6 seconds left and the Wizards almost assured of a win. Wallace gets hit by Dominic McGuire in mid air and makes the hoop, giving himself the chance to tie the game with the coming free throw. At this point I knew that there was no way in hell he was going to hit that shot and something spectacularly awful was going to happen.

Wallace takes his time and sets up at the free throw line...he doinks it hard off the back of the rim. The Wizards can't secure the rebound and the ball gets volleyballed around until Emeka Okeafor gets the ball and misses a tough layup. Of course no one bothered to block out Diaw and he comes flying untouched to retrieve the ball in mid air. Instead of hitting the game winning put back from point blank range, the frenchman airballs his layup attempt. The Wiz get the ball with .3 seconds left and Jamison misses the second free throw on purpose and the game is over.

That was the worst 1:23 of basketball I have ever seen, it took me hours to clean up the vomit from my couch after watching this gut churning Bawfulness.
I'd also like to give a little extra wag of the finger to the 'Cats, who supposedly are fighting for that last playoff spot. You don't make the postseason by losing to the worst team in your conference during the stretch run.

The New Orleans Hornets: Last night's 101-88 home loss to the Nuggets was, to me, symptomatic of a larger problem: The Hornets just aren't playing that well. And don't give me that "But they just had a three-game winning streak" crap. They beat the Timberwolves, Grizzlies and Warriors. That's like three extra practices, nothing more. And yes, I know Tyson Chandler is out -- I guess he wasn't as healthy as we thought -- but the team has so little depth that I'm starting to get that smoke-and-mirrors feeling. Chris Paul is amazing, yes, and David West is a stud, no doubt. Chandler is pretty good when he's able to lace 'em up. Past that? Anyone? Bueller? Oh, right, Peja Stojakovic used to be on this team, too. But he's been out 11 straight games...and it feels more like 20+. I don't think it's their year.

The Golden State Warriors: Let's see...they gave up 128 points on nearly 60 percent shooting in a loss to the Mavericks in Dallas. Yep. The Warriors have officially acheived "They Are Who We Thought They Were" status. Said Stephen Jackson: "It was one of those tough nights. We didn't get calls, things were going their way, our defense was terrible. They stayed on it the whole game and we were never able to get back." He probably could have just said "our defense was terrible" and left it at that.

The Utah Jazz: From Basketbawful reader DKH: "I'm filing a worst-of nomination for the Utah Jazz: for their clutch ability to give up fast break points to the Suns. On three consecutive possessions, the Suns got easy plays at the basket off fast breaks (J-Rich boned a dunk, though). That wouldn't be so bad, except that Shaq beat the entire Jazz team down the court for a fast break dunk. This came at the end of the game, when the Suns were making me incredibly tense every time they went into a half court set. They almost never got it into Shaq. Instead it'd be some isolation for a wing player. Amazingly, the wing player (Hill against Korver and Barnes against Brewer) would make the basket, but it wasn't pretty."

In all fairness to the Jazz, they looked a little gassed at the end of the game, probably because of the previous night's win over the Rockets, which I guess makes that victory a little Pyrrhic. Note that they also went 16-for-27 at the line. Said Jerry Sloan: "And when you shoot free throws like that in a game like this, that's the ball game. It makes it very difficult. Plus, we gave up too many points in the paint. They scored 68 points in the paint, and I don’t know when any team has scored so many points in the paint against us."

Lacktion report: No WotN post is complete without Chris's lactivity update:

Heat-Pacers: Daequan Cook fried up a brick for a +1 suck differential in 6:10 of playing time for the Heat.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis native Josh McRoberts gave the home fans a statline to sleep on -- one brick, block against, and foul each for a +3 in 4:15.

Bobcats-Wizards: Oleksiy Pecherov stopped saying "nyet" to lacktivity with a solid return to form in 6:02, bricking once from downtown and fouling twice for a +3.

Meanwhile, DeSagana Diop provided Charlotte a 4:3 Madsen-level Voskuhl (two each of giveaways and fouls against three boards) in 14:31.

Bucks-Raptors: While Patrick O'Bryant stayed in his warm-ups, the youngest member of the Little Three of Lacktivity put on a sideshow for the Paleolithic. Nathan Jawai waved a Power Glove at the crowd with his 34-second Mario!

Nets-Cavs: Tarence Kinsey had faded from his fine non-contributory play in recent games, but is back on track with a tax return processed in Quicken that was worth 1.7 trillion!

Wolves-Sixers: Bobby Brown was randomly placed as a starter by Kevin McHale, but unlike most bench jockeys forced into the anti-lacktive position of starting, he reached all the right notes in continuing to lack it up in his 9:19 stint. One turnover and two bricks provided the melody for a +3.

Spurs-Hawks: Gregg Popovich took the opportunity presented by a late-game thwacking of the Hawks to bring out two renowned human victory cigars. Fabricio Oberto did get credit for a board, but three fouls in 6:41 paved the way for a 3:1 Voskuhl! Meanwhile, former trillionaire champion Bruce Bowen's renaissance as a lacktator continues with a one-giveaway +1 in 4:09.

Clippers-Knicks: You know it's a strange night at the Garden when 275 points are scored, and the Clippers' starting center Marcus Camby didn't even factor into any of them - but got just enough rebounds to negate a potential Voskuhl! Stranger still, Mike Dunleavy got the chance to have Steve Novak play as the human victory cigar, bricking from behind the arc for a +1 in 7:01 -- meaning that he was the only other player to not contribute a single point.

Celtics-Magic: Bill Walker probably wishes he had been called up earlier in the season, as he is making a case to be one of the emerging star lacktators this year -- fouling twice for a +2 in 3:12 tonight. Meanwhile, Shaq's least favorite coach in the history of the universe got to relish a win over the defending NBA champions with human victory cigar JJ Redick, who earned 1.5 trillion.

Nuggets-Hornets: Jason Hart checked into Hotel Mario for a 36-second stay!

Warriors-Mavs: Matt Carroll sang a tune of two bricks (once from downtown) for a +2 in 4:02.

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