Editor's note: My good buddy and co-Basketbawful founder Statbuster did me a ginormous favor by writing the first seven entries for today's post. Thanks, dude! Also, make sure you take a look at our last word on Rudy...

Shawn Marion: The Sixers' Thaddeus Young dropped a career-high 29 on the Matrix tonight, and Marion topped it off with a game-worst plus/minus of -27. This is on top of 20 points from Kyle Korver and 31 from Al Harrington in the last 3 weeks. And for you advanced statologists, Marion's D-Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) is at a career-worst this year. His scoring slide is no secret at this point, but whether it's age or apathy, Marion is not clamping down like he used to. If the 2005 version was The Matrix, the 2009 Shawn Marion is Matrix Revolutions.

Coaches who are dead inside: The secret to coaching a 15-win team is to never get your hopes up. Chris Paul had a triple-double against the Wizards, which included a Throw-Your-Hands-Up-In-Futility-style shot in the second half. After which, coach Ed Tapscott said: "I think he was saying to me, 'Keep trying, Coach. You might find something that'll stop me.' I'm looking in my pocket, thinking to myself, 'It’s just about empty right now, Chris.'" But, aw shucks, these front row seats are swell.

Sean Marks: The Wizards center received a DNP, but it's not the flu. It's flu-like symptoms, Which may or may not include beersomnia, excessive gas, laziness, and/or mud butt.

Andrei Kirilenko: Was the 2004 All-Star Game that long ago? Andrei spent most of the Jazz-Hawks game watching second-round pick CJ Miles steal his PT. And even when he did play, he didn't play. 4 points and 3 boards in 20 minutes, and the second-worst plus/minus of the night (-11). It could be worse. If they let him sing the Russian National Anthem before the game, Hacksaw Jim Duggan would have attacked him midway through the second verse.

Allen Iverson's legacy: Escaped another nut punch on Wednesday, thanks to the Pistons not winning again while he's out. Detroit lost to the Knicks despite having 4 starters with +20 points. AI's best years were when he was surrounded with role players that were perfectly content playing selfless defense and not shooting. The Pistons aren't that team. If we later find out that the Pistons hired that lady from Misery to "treat" AI's injury with Novril and a sledgehammer, don't be surprised.

NBA "Officiating": Sometimes traveling calls are only inconsistent, other times they aren't even trying. Wait...did D-Wade pick up his dribble outside the top of the key?!

The Starbury Comeback Tour: Rajon Rondo is out with a sore ankle, so Starbury got the start against the Heat. He lived down to expectations by going 0-for-6 with zero points in 24 minutes. That brings his five game total to 3 FGs, 9 turnovers and 9 fouls in 88 minutes. Much like the Steve and Barry's stores that used to sell his shoes, Starbury's box scores are now just empty and sad.

The Chicago Bulls: They were beaten about as soundly as a team can be beaten. They barely avoided season-lows in scoring (79) and field goal percentage (31.4). They bumbled the ball away 18 times that the Magic turned into 21 bonus points. Mind you, Rashard Lewis (Orlando's second-leading scorer) went 0-for-9 and Hedo Turkoglu (the Magic’s third-leading scorer) didn't even play. And the Bulls lost by 28. Yeah. It was that bad.

Things actually looked pretty good for Chicago when Dwight Howard got benched in the first quarter after two quick fouls. But his sub, Marcin Gortat, OWNED the Bulls over the last five minutes and 19 seconds of the quarter. I'm being completely serious. He scored 8 points on a tip-in, two layups and a nine-foot jumper. He grabbed 5 rebounds. Three of those boards were on the offensive end; one led to his tip-in and he tossed another out to J.J. Redick for a 28-foot three-pointer that gave the Magic a 24-11 lead with 59 seconds left in the quarter. It's like the Bulls forget he was on the floor.

Said Gortat: "I really don't care if they respect me or not. I'm just going to try to punish them and do my job. If that was one of the reasons why, if they disrespected me today, that was one of the reasons they lost." He's not wrong. Gortat finished with 13 points (6-for-8) and a game-high 15 rebounds (not to mention a game-high 5 offensive boards). Keep in mind that he averages 3.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Oh, and Orlando's bench contributed 56 points...only 23 fewer than the Bulls scored in the entire game. Ugly, awful, dreadful game.

Tyrus Thomas: Two of his 13 shots were attempted in his range, by which I mean, at the basket. The other 11 were jumpers from 23 feet, 20 feet, 19 feet, etc. WHY IS TYRUS THOMAS SHOOTING JUMP SHOTS?! This man is driving me crazy. He's having a love affair with his jump shot, only his jump shot is like a secret girlfriend who doesn't really exist. In addition to going 4-for-13 from the field -- and his 13 shots were a team-high, by the way -- Tyrus finished with only 5 rebounds (none of which were offensive) despite playing a game-high 37 minutes. At one point in the third quarter, he lofted yet another balky jumper (from 20 feet) and immediately started lazily backpedaling despite the fact that the shot was pretty clearly off target. He never crashed the boards. He was totally lost on defense, particularly in pick and roll situations. Derrick Rose got picked by Ty's man three times in the third. Not once did Tyrus switch off, and Rose's guy, Rafer Alston, strolled in for three uncontested layups. Each time, Derrick turned, disgusted, to the sidelines and held up his hands in a "Are you watching this crap?" gesture to Vinny Del Negro.

I wonder if there's any way John Paxson can trade Thomas for Gortat, straight up.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Fail, noun, a word that describes what it means to lose by 25 to a team that had been riding the awesome wave of a 10-game losing streak.

Kevin Love, spread-the-wealth machine: Check out this juicy bit from the AP recap: "Love had 19 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high four assists..."

A career-high? Really? Remember, this is the guy who's NBA.com Draft Report said: "...his vision and willingness to pass out of the post are unparalleled for a player his age, making him one of the best passing big men at any level." Considering his rep for distributing the rock, 4 assists seems a little low for his career-high. But I checked the game log, and that number is correct (although he also had 4 dimes against the Pistons on January 28).

Still, I'll eat a little crow and admit that Love is turning out to be much better than I gave him credit for earlier this season. And he sure showed up O.J. Mayo last night.

Ron Artest: Wild Yams, who had quite the busy day commenting on Blockfrombehindgate at TrueHoop yesterday, had this to say about Ron-Ron: "Ron Artest deserves a mention in tomorrow's WotN. Not only was he horrendous on offense (4-for-16 for 11 points, including 0-for-8 from three-point range, along with 5 fouls and 6 TOs), but he got into Kobe's face in the fourth quarter and trash talked him, and this seemed to spur Kobe on to taking over the game and eventually giving the Lakers the win. Kobe was predictably humble after the game: "It wasn't much of a battle. I kicked his ass tonight. We've had some battles in the past and he's gotten the best of me a few times. Tonight, I got the best of him." He also said Artest had never talked trash to him before and that "he should know better." Probably even worse than just getting Kobe mad though, Artest tried to do way too much on offense, and this ended up taking the ball out of the hands of flamethrower-hot Von Wafer, who made all six shots he took in the 4th quarter. Meanwhile, Artest was 1-5 in the fourth quarter, along with 3 fouls, 1 technical and 2 turnovers (also all in the 4th quarter). On the other end of the floor, during the game's final seven minutes, Artest let Kobe score 18 of the Lakers last 23 points, thus enabling the Lakers to overcome a 14 point 2nd half deficit to win. Way to single-handedly sink your team, Ron-Ron."

This entry would not be complete without a little video:

George Karl, history buster: From the AP recap of the Thunder-Nuggets game: "Denver's win guaranteed Karl his 17th straight non-losing season. He surpassed Red Auerbach and Jerry Sloan for the third-longest such streak in NBA history, trailing only Pat Riley (19) and Phil Jackson (18-active)." Okay. Red Auerbach, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, George Karl. One of these things is NOT like the others...

By the way, typing out "Thunder-Nuggets" made me chuckle. Say it out loud. It's fun.

Robert Swift versus Chris Andersen: Basketbawful reader Eric G. wrote in to say: "Wow. Robert Swift and the Birdman are in the Thunder-Nuggets game and they're guarding each other! Has there even been a more tattooed scrawny, lanky, tall, white guy matchup in NBA history? Maybe they look less ridiculous because they're standing next to each other?" I cannot find a picture of this epic duel. Please, somebody help me out!

By the way, neither man could contain the other: Birdzilla scored 10 on 5-for-6 shooting (to go with 5 rebounds and 4 blocked shots) and Swift erupted for 10 too (on 4-for-5 from the field). You can't stop them, you can only hope to contain them they go to a tanning bed.

Bonus lulz from the AP recap: "That left the Nuggets without much of a bench beyond swingman Chris Andersen, who strained his right calf when Robert Swift toppled over him while they were going for a loose ball with 9:37 left before halftime." I love this game!

Vince Carter: I losing to the Warriors in Golden State, the Nets failed to make a move in the standings and remain two spots out of the playoffs despite the recent struggles of the Bucks and Bulls. And I'm going to put this 4-point setback on Vince Carters saggy shoulders. He scored 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting against a team that hasn't played defense in, what, three or four years? Vinsanity was 1-for-4 on layups and 4-for-13 on his jumpers. He also had more fouls (4) and turnovers (3) than rebounds (2) or assists (2). Dude, if you can't pad your stats against the Warriors...

Lacktion report: Speaking of helping me out, Chris continues to provide his daily lacktion expertise:

Raptors-Sixers: Two of the Little Three of Lacktivity finally were told to dress in game clothes for the Craptors, yet only one delivered. Patrick O'Bryant was well on his way to a three trillion, only to make his prehistoric check (in tablet format!) worthless with a board. Jake Voskuhl on the other hand professed his love for Princess Peach with a 2-second Super Mario -- which both ESPN and Yahoo claim was worth a +/- mark of a staggering -15!!!!

Kareem Rush did give the Sixers some lacktion of his own, giving up the rock once and tossing a brick for a suck differential of +2 in 2:26. (Speaking of Philadelphia-based part-time lacktators, Royal Ivey apparently admits that his current role with the team isn't "glamorous" at all. Well, this is what happens when you slump into contributory basketball and out of the Internet-wide recognition of a All-Lacktion roster spot...)

Hornets-Wizards: Hilton Armstrong loved the accommodations at the Verizon Center, actually scoring one field goal. However, with a giveaway and two fouls in 8:12, that was not enough to avoid being billed for a 3:2 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Knicks-Pistons: Arron Affalo can't wait for his never-been-opened copy of Paperboy to arrive at an Oakland County mailbox, as he gave the home team a 7-second Super Mario! And in good news for the lacktion enthusiasts of the world, according to ESPN.com, Mike D'Antoni has picked up Cheikh Samb in his quest for 7 seconds or less of contributory ball -- so does that mean he will be sporting a Knicks jersey for the All-Lacktion Game? Stay tuned.

Grizzlies-Wolves: Chris Mihm may no longer be near the glitzy world of Hollywood, but his life amongst the rich and famous has prepared him for wealth acquisition like none other, as he gave the bear cubs a 1.2 trillion bounty!
Paul Pierce: This is a little retroactive but worth it: The Truth high fives some Celtic fans and then abruptly stops when he gets to the kid in the LeBron jersey. Cold. (From Barstool Sports via Ball Don't Lie.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
You're right. Saying "Thunder-Nuggets" out loud is fun. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom and drop some Thunder-Nuggets.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Uh, disturbing detail, but is it just me, or does Swifts tattoo look like he regularly cuts himself with a razor blade...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Also, on related news: Spank that Balkman!!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Either that, or he's going for that intimidating "grilled white meat" look.

No mention of Mario West's man type (by his standards) of game last night? Come on, give the dude some love

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Um, bawful, for the record I made the case for Love post-draft. Eat my Thunder-Nuggets.

Blogger Kubiszon said...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
There was an Anonymous commenter going crazy the other day about how Utah's 12 game winning streak wasn't getting enough attention, but last night's loss in Atlanta illustrates why that may be. Math nerd John Hollinger over on ESPN explains:

Let's get right to the three key numbers from Wednesday: 1, 9 and 12.

Twelve is the big number you'll hear about, because Utah's 12-game winning streak ended in a 100-93 loss to the Hawks thanks to 31 points from Joe Johnson, Josh Smith's best game in several weeks and a lengthy, productive first-half cameo from Mario West.

But going forward, it's the 1 and the 9 that are of much greater concern.

The number 1, because after Wednesday that's still the number of times the Jazz have beaten a winning team on the road this year. Yes, just once: a 120-114 overtime win at Detroit on Dec. 19. They lost their other 10 tries -- make that 11 after Wednesday -- and most of them weren't even close: only two were decided by six points or less.

And the number 9? That's how many road games the Jazz have left against winning teams, starting Saturday in Miami in the always dangerous scenario of having two days off in South Beach preceding a 1 p.m. start.

In other words, nobody's really sold on Utah just yet.

Blogger Edgar said...
Haha, that Paul Pierce bit had me laughing so hard. That kid didn't deserve a high five. He should have been at least wearing a Leon Powe jersey to get a high five. Hilarious!

Blogger Shiv said...
Wade didn't travel...

And serves the kid right for wearing a Cavs jersey and sitting courtside and expecting a high five. You think Bird would've highfived someone wearing a Magic jersey? I think not!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Sweet, TrueHoop has continuing coverage today of The Incident, aka RudyGate, aka The Day That Will Live in Infamy, aka The Story That Would Not Die. Be sure to mosey on over there if you want to see what today's thoughts from Portland's #1 fan are of the ongoing tragedy.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I hope everyone at this site can actually move faster than the speed of molasses and can scroll down a little past the WotN and get over this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Still, I'll eat a little crow and admit that Love is turning out to be much better than I gave him credit for earlier this season. And he sure showed up O.J. Mayo last night."


AnacondaHL- I ordered a crow pizza to be delivered to your office; you can enjoy it at lunch today, courtesy of Me, and Kevin Love will be personally delivering it. Did you get the M&M's, by the way?

Ever since our healthy difference of opinions about K-Love vs. OJ Mayo, Love has been playing pretty damn well. I know Matt complained of his low FG%, but he gets fouled a lot- and in his brief career he has 655pts on 501fga- not too shabby. Neither is 10ppg and 9rpg for a rookie playing 25min/game.

As I said before- I'm not anointing him as the next Alonzo Mourning, but I think he could be great... the jury's still out.

OJ Mayo... well, he can score a lot, but he's Ben Gordon v. 2.0 IMO

Blogger Wild Yams said...
That Street Fighter thing was fantastic, AnacondaHL. I especially loved the Brandon Roy as Blanka pic :) I wonder if Roy too can emit an electrical field around himself as a defensive measure.

By the way, anyone looking for a laugh would be advised to check out Bill Simmons' article about the Clippers-Crabs fiasco the other night. Who do you think will hold onto their job longer: Steve Kerr or Mike Dunleavy?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How in God's name do you get a +/- of -15 in 2 seconds?

Holy Thunder-Nuggets, batman!

Blogger skr said...
I went to the Wolves - Grizz game last night (free tickets, nothing else to do, don't ask) and i saw something that can only be described as uber-bawful...a second quarter unit of Bobby Brown, Kevin Ollie, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins, and Sheldon Williams. The worst part, McHale let this five some run for about 5:30 minutes, and they held a lead! Good god the Grizzlies are terrible.

Blogger Dunpizzle said...
Zach Randolph's legendary possession from the other night.


Blogger AnacondaHL said...
In my defence I think that was back in late December/early January and Love has made an excellent jump in performance since that time. Let us bathe in some numbers:

(per game)
Love in 2008: 39.1% FG, 7.6 pts, 7.7 reb, 0.58 blk, 23 MP, 4 as starter
Love in 2009: 50.5% FG, 12.7 pts, 10.0 reb, 0.61 blk, 26.5 MP, 17 as starter
Love as starter since 2/4/09: 48.0% FG, 13.1 pts, 10.0 reb, 0.71 blk, 29 MP.

Cherry picking a few rookie bumble games makes the numbers even higher, so that's a pretty outstanding turnaround in production and consistency. I will eat said sandwich, and admit his upside potential outlook is looking very good.

Let's not forget Mayo:

Mayo in 2008: 45.2% FG, 1.9 3pt, 38.9% 3pt, 19.9 pts, 4.1 reb, 3.0 ast, 1.0 stl, 38 MP
Mayo in 2009: 41.4% FG, 1.6 3pt, 36.4% 3pt, 17.7 pts, 3.9 reb, 2.9 ast, 1.0 stl, 38 MP

Not much change in the other categories, just his shooting and scoring is down. Which does make the rookie look eerily similar to year 5 Ben Gordon, but perhaps he can use those 4 years to improve like Love did in 2 months.

Additional Nuggets fun: I've been to a few Denver home games, and it is tradition on a home team possesion for the loudspeaker to blare "NUGGET BALL!".

Blogger Nick said...
Anybody else see our boy Super Mario West throw down on Sportscenter's top plays? Its on ESPN.com right now, and he came in at number three! I feel like a proud father

Anonymous Anonymous said...
THE Mario West was on Sportscenter today! How can he not get some love?
Not only did he spurn lacktion by making a field goal, he did so in epic fashion.
Check out the 20 second mark.

Blogger chris said...
skr - Cardinal and Collins, aren't they both names that have appeared in my lacktion reports? Yeah, they are.

Blogger skr said...
i know they have, that's what makes them holding (and even stretching) a lead even worse for the Grizz

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I answer: TANK.. with 1 and a half games separating 8th from 13th, why not? Even if they make the playoffs, they will be smashed by Boston in Rnd1, so why not scratch these last games and land a nice pick? I guess they will need someone else to build around Rose for the next 14 years (Thomas ain't it).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Seans Marks plays for the Hornets, not the Wizz.

Carry on.

Blogger lordhenry said...
Wow, Wild Yams is the Phil Jackson of bloggers, his annihilation of all comers on truehoop was a thing to behold. Here's some greatest hits:

Salemorguy82 wrote:
Wildyams, Kobe has said that his finger injury is the worst pain he has ever felt....it sounds to me like he hasn't ever had much pain in his life

WildYams retorted:
Interesting that Kobe didn't even come out of the game when he endured the most painful thing he'd ever felt though, huh? That's right, when Kobe dislocated his finger against Cleveland earlier this year, he just played through it till they called a timeout then had the trainer pop his finger back into place and was back on the court when the timeout was over. See what I'm talking about? That's the difference between a guy who can handle the hard knocks and someone who's made of glass like Rudy.

cjb101 - "I also guarantee that if it was Kobe that got taken off the court on a stretcher, they would be screaming bloody murder."

And Again:
I guarantee if Kobe had to be taken off the court on a stretcher it would because he was actually seriously injured. Just looking at the injuries that guy has played through lets you know he wouldn't leave a game (let alone miss the next one) simply because he suffered a bruise or because he got the wind knocked out of him.

That's just two, mainly cuz Yams is a "essay response" kind of guy, but it was nice to see some smackdown on all these softies at truehoop. I'll have to remember that the phrase "Laker Troll" brings out Yams' inner Mamba.....

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Actually, all the Lakers homers on TrueHoop seemed awful petty to me. But maybe that's because I don't like seeing players injured on breakaways because of cheap frustration fouls.

I know the popular opinion here is that it's just good hard basketball. Looks to me like Ariza takes a swing, hits Fernandez in the arm, then the head, then his other arm. It was absolutely a reckless play with a ton of unnecessary contact, but don't worry everyone, Fernandez paid for it more than Ariza, so you'll get your wish. If the NBA needs anything, it's more cheap shots, right? We haven't seen nearly enough of those, right? It's not like a cheap shot has helped decide a playoff series or anything.

I'd be fired if I showed that little concern for someone else's safety.



What's really amazing is that the refs blew that call. Maybe I'm just a Suns homer, though. Fernandez is a former Sun, right?


I'm seeing signs of the Cavs approaching Spurs status as a team that gets protected by the refs. I've only heard Al McCoy as irate as he was tonight against the Spurs. This may bode well for them in the playoffs, which has its own rules because this is the NBA and the refs blow.

(Sidenote: This development actually makes me happy, as I am also a Cavs fan, since that's my hometown. Makes me sad for the NBA, though.)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
DKH: The Cavs have nothing, NOTHING, comparable to the Tim Duncan face. It's come to a point that for the past few years, it's more like the Spurs Duncan Face, which includes players using the face AND bench players anti-using the face trying to get called for the foul instead of Tim Duncan (easy to spot when after the whistle, all 4 other guys' arms shoot into the air).