Tony flies

The Milwaukee M.A.S.H. Unit: It appears playing without Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut is starting to wear these guys down. They've lost four of five -- with the one win in that stretch coming against the second-worst-in-the-league Wizards -- and last night they weren't even competitive. They shot 37 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers, a large chunk of which came in the form of Delonte West's career-high 8 steals. Said Bucks coach Scot Skiles: "They played better than us in almost all areas." On the bright side, Milwaukee DID shoot almost 93 percent from the line (13-14). The Cavs, meanwhile, missed NINE foul shots. And that, my friends, is what we call a moral victory. Not to be confused, of course, the kind of victory that counts in the standings. Extra woe for the Bucks: The loss dropped them into a tie with the Bulls for the East's final playoff spot.

The New Jersey Nets: They played a scrappy game and gave themselves a chance to win it at the end, but they were doomed by D. Or, rather, the complete and utter lack thereof: Boston shot 61 percent from the field (41-for-67) and from downtown (8-for-13) despite Ray Allen's "meh" 3-for-8 night. Hands. They go in faces, people. Maybe Lawrence Frank needs to offer a free doughnut or something for every time a player gets his hands above his waste on defense. That would be quite a bonus in these troubled times.

Vince Carter, Captain Obvious: Half-man, Half-a-heart scored a game-high 34 points (13-for-21) and had a chance to tie the game at the end. He drove straight into contact, pulled a Shaq, and (not surprisingly) missed the shot attempt. ("If nautical nonsense be somethin' ye wish -- SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! -- then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!") Afterwards, Vinsane said: "It was a shot I felt I could make. I didn't make it." In related news, I was unable to convince Gwen Stefani to run away to Sweden with me.

The Phoenix Suns: When Alvin Gentry brought "Seven Seconds or Less" back to Phoenix, I didn't realize it really meant "Seven Seconds or Less...of Defense." Miami isn't a team that lights it up -- they average 97.5 PPG on 45 percent shooting -- but against 7SoLoD, the Heat put up 135 points while shooting 57 percent from the field (and 56 percent from distance). Daequan Cook and Michael Beasley combined for almost 60 points off the bench. Said Suns coach Alvin Gentry: "We shot 57 percent and 50 percent from (3-point range), so that should be enough to win the game. Sure, Alvin, unless your opponent does the same thing. Sadly, this was a game the Suns could have won if they'd stopped somebody...anybody. Oh, wait...

Jermaine O'Neal: The Suns stopped one guy, at least. The Drain finished with 6 points (2-for-7) and had more turnovers (5) than rebounds (2). Oh, and he got absolutely flattened by Shaq on at least one occasion. Great trade, Pat.

Shaq: In a follow up to his epic lip-blasting of Stan Van Gundy, Shaq, well, I'll let the Associated Press tell the story: "O'Neal fouled [Dwyane] Wade with 1:21 left, then stood over him Muhammad Ali-style until Udonis Haslem nudged him O'Neal out of the way to help up Miami's best player. Wade made both free throws for a 127-119 lead, and cries of 'M-V-P' drowned out a profane anti-Shaq chant from some in the crowd. And on the next Miami possession, it was over for The Big Fella. Wade drove on him again to draw Shaq's sixth foul, and all O'Neal could do was meander slowly to the bench." Here's the video:

Superman or superdickery? I'll let you be the judge. (But here's a hint: It was superdickery.) I'm sure Shaq was acting out because Wade flopped...and you know how Shaq hates floppers.

The Atlanta Hawks: The Dirty Birds were gunned down by Big Shot Larry Hughes, who scored a game-high 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting (including 2-for-4 on threes). The Hawks are now 14-17 since their mighty 20-10 start. These things do not breed confidence.

Mike D'Antoni, quote machine: From the New York Times via TrueHoop: "Nate Robinson is still bothered by a sprained left ankle, which he injured in Saturday's loss to Miami. 'He just said he can't go left,' Mike D'Antoni said. 'I didn't know if that was because of his ankle, or he just can't go left.'" Classic.

The Washington Wizards Generals: Another night, yet another soul-crushing lost for the Wicked Worst of the East. The latest case of fail came against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were still without the services of leading scorers Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. The Generals can't even beat a severely handicapped Thunder team. That's...beyond sad. Can I get word check? What's worse than tragic sadness?

Gilbert Arenas: From Wild Yams:

BTW, here are the Gilbert Arenas quotes where he casually blew off the importance of his preseason knee surgery:

"Why's everybody tripping out? Big picture, if I start rehabbing now and get through the pain that prevented me from running or jumping this summer, I'll be back on the court sooner. How's that a bad thing?"

"I wasn't going to play in training camp or preseason anyway, so I don't know why it's such a big deal. They cleaned the knee out. I can't walk on it for three days. Monday I can start rehabbing. I knew this was going to happen. Dwyane Wade will probably have a debris clean-out next summer. People are making it much worse than it is."

Hmm... six months later I wonder if he now sees why people were "tripping out".
To bad the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn't have a Lemon Law written in.

Kevin Durant: Hmm. The Thunder are 3-0 since Durant got hurt. DON'T TELL BILL SIMMONS. It'll invalidate half the NBA columns he's written this year. All three of them. Oh, wait, that's his total column count for the year. Well, you get my drift. I'd hate to kill his bromance with KD.

The Golden State Warriors: They put the Bulls in a 14-point first-quarter hold and ended up losing by 22. That's because they don't play defense. And as I noted at By The Horns today, if Mike D'Antoni's offense is called "Seven Seconds or Less," then Nellie Ball should be called "Four Seconds or Fewer" or "One Pass and Chuck It." I've seen better basketball played by grade schoolers. Did the Warriors share one of Don Nelson's pre-game beers? Have they stopped caring? Did they EVER care? It's really hard to tell at this point. All I know is that the Bulls put forth a half-hearted effort but pounded them anyway. Brad Miller, who couldn't outrun a bean bag, kept beating his Warrior defenders off the dribble. That should never happen, unless the defender has two broken legs and some brain damage. Wow.

Yao Ming, complaint machine: The Great Wall lost a few bricks after his Rockets fell to the Jazz in Utah. He shot 7-for-18, committed 4 turnovers and fouled out in 30 minutes, then got all cranky with the refs. Said Yao: "Every time a defender player is on the ground, even if he just wants to sit down and have a rest, it's my offensive foul. That's unfair. I guess I don't need to worry about (a) flopper next game. I don't think Shaq's that type of player.' Oh, sweet, sweet irony.

Update! Basketbawful reader Austen makes a good point: "You know what's really funny about the Rockets whining about foul calls? The Rockets shot nearly double the number of free throws the Jazz had: 32 Rocket free throws to 17 Jazz ones. In Utah. The one place in the league the Jazz are likely to get foul calls in their favor, and the Rockets got nearly double the number of free throws. The difference is that the Jazz made all 17 of their attempts, and the Rockets only made 24/32. That's 8 points, more than the Jazz's margin of victory. Had the Rockets made their free throws, they mathematically would have won the game. So they can give it a rest whining about foul calls going against them."

Update! Jerry Sloan, unintentionally dirty quote machine: My attention (not to mention my imagination) was caught by this Sloan quote sent in by Basketbawful reader fortysevenminutes: "This is a tough team to play against. They're so big and long, it's tough to deal with them all night long."

The San Antonio Spurs: They dropped a roadie to the Mavericks, who themselves were coming off a win over the Kevin Durant-less (and Jeff Green-less) Thunder. And where was the defense? Dallas shot nearly 54 percent from the field. That had to get Gregg Popovich riled up. Speaking of riled up...

Mark Cuban, rage machine: Here's what Marky Mark had to say yesterday in regards to his team's loss to the Thunder: "I would rather turn over the roster 100 percent than subject fans to another game like last night." But, but, didn't you bring all these guys here?! Ready to admit trading away Devin Harris was a mistake yet...?

Home cookin': I'm not trying to say that the refs bailed the Blazers out with an iffy last-second call...actually, you know what? I am saying that. Rough.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Good God. The Grizzlies stopped an eight-game slide by hammering the Clippers by 22 in L.A. The Griz shot 56 percent from the field (and almost 54 percent from downtown) and had 30 assists on 46 baskets. So, okay, it's official. The Clippers have quit for the season. Yeah, yeah, Zach Randolph was gone (his father is very ill) and Marcus Camby missed the final three quarters because of a migraine. But still. This team is just epically 'bawful. Which means, of course, that they are who we thought they were. And if anybody made a bet on this team to do anything, then, well, I guess they deserve to lose. After all, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Lacktion report: Chris continues to author epic recaps of the embarrassingly non-epic nightly lacktations:

Bucks-Cavs: King Crab may be the featured attraction at the Q, but he's not the only crustacean in Cleveland who's the best at his profession. Mike Brown's selection of Tarence Kinsey as his primary human victory cigar has paid dividends for months, tonight marking the milestone of a playoff spot when Kinsey snapped into a suck differential of +2 via foul and giveway in 3:42.

Meanwhile, in 16:06, Milwaukee's starting big man Francisco Elson got a bit of a Voskuhl at 4:3 (three fouls and one turnover against a brick and three rebounds).

Suns-Heat: Yeah, the big story of the night is the Shaq-JVG feud, but in a full 22:15, Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal lived down to his nickname once again with a powered up Voskuhl of 11:8 (five turnovers plus a foul-out against a mere two rebounds, two made field goals in seven tries, and two charity stripe points) OUCH. Maybe he got some extra tips on how to fail as a big man from All-Lacktion choice Joel Anthony, who refused to take a shot for a 4:1 Voskuhl in 10:53, recording two turnovers and fouls each against one offensive rebound.

Spurs-Mavs: When the ESPN commentators noted that Fabricio Oberto would be spending some time on the floor, I sensed lacktivity forthcoming as he awkwardly walked towards his own arc without providing a defensive presence. Thus one of the richest bench players this year did not disappoint with a +1 via foul in 2:19, also counting as a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Rockets-Jazz: In one of the most shocking transactions of the year, Clutch the Bear just gave Houston's Luther Head his walking papers despite their clear need for a human victory cigar in the wake of Knee-Mac's absence. Unsurprisingly, the loss of this good luck charm was felt in a close defeat to the Jazz, but not before Rick Adelman was able to audition two guys for the #1 lacktator spot. Brent Barry bricked once from downtown for a +1 in 4:21, while Chuck Hayes was nine seconds better in avoiding recorded stats for a 4.5 trillion surplus!

Pacers-Blazers: Maceo Baston of Indiana struck it rich tonight with a 1.45 trillion.
A night at the flopera, ESPN halftime report edition: Here's some bonus 'bawful from Chris:

First off, the commentators spend some time on Shaq's media callout of Stan Van Gundy after being accused of a flop by the latter. Apparently, one of Shaq's excuses is...he flopped that one time so that the player being called for a foul would not get hurt.


But that's not all!

We get highlights of Celtics-Nets. Last possession, Vinsanity with a chance to tie it. Drives the lane, makes contact upon the layup attempt...and drops down to the floor like he's in a Medic-Alert commercial. No call.

The ESPN studio guys then say "He HAS to sell that a little better!" Wait. Is that an actual advocacy of flopping from the talking heads? What? I had to do a double take but yeah, that is what I heard."
Yeah. I heard that too. And, well, I included this email in Worst of the Night for a reason...

Kobe Bryant: Mamba tied Adam Morrison's shoelaces together and made him go through an entire practice that way. Then Kobe made Adam drive home with his shoelaces tied together as well.


Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
Of course, once Nate Robinson perfects the look called Magnum he'll be unstoppable.

Blogger Austen said...
You know what's really funny about the Rockets whining about foul calls? The Rockets shot nearly double the number of free throws the Jazz had: 32 Rocket free throws to 17 Jazz ones. In Utah.

The one place in the league the Jazz are likely to get foul calls in their favor, and the Rockets got nearly double the number of free throws. The difference is that the Jazz made all 17 of their attempts, and the Rockets only made 24/32. That's 8 points, more than the Jazz's margin of victory. Had the Rockets made their free throws, they mathematically would have won the game. So they can give it a rest whining about foul calls going against them.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Fairly sure that the Spurs didn't drop a home game last night. They might have been wearing home jerseys, but that court sure looks like it's in Dallas.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Why the hell was Wade laying on the floor for so long after Shaq fouled him?

Blogger David Menéndez said...
Great post, as usual. But for the record, despite the white outfits, the Spurs were on the road.

In fact, where's the WotN for the "Los Spurs", "Los Mavs" jerseys? That's the best they can come up with for the Noche Latina? Meh.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Lord Kerrance -- Look at you with the Zoolander reference! And for your information, Nate unveiled The Magnum on All-Star Weekend.

Austen -- Very good point.

Anonymous #1 and Latin_D -- Ugh, you're right. You know how that happened? I meant to write "the Spurs dropped a roadie," but before I did, I thought, "What would I call a home game? A homie?" Then I mindlessly typed home game. My bad.

Anonymous #2 -- Yup. Wade flopped, then sold it. Which might explain Shaq's behavior. He hates floppers, you know.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Time for another new Shaq nickname- how about "The Big Asshole?"

Blogger fortysevenminutes said...
“This is a tough team to play against,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “They’re so big and long, it’s tough to deal with them all night long.”

Come on. Dirty quote machine from Jerr.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Shaq has turned in to the old wrestler whose career is all washed up so they make him into a cardboard villain for new stars to fight against.

His super-dickery isn't even disguised or couched anymore, he's just an ass to everyone. I always liked the guy, but he seems really insecure now about his fading glory days.

There could be some fun parallels between the "Hate Shaq" trip and comic books, what with all this Superman talk. Shaq isn't really Supes anymore, he's more like Galactus - huge and powerful, but gets tired out way too easily, leaves shattered planets (teams) behind (granted, they often have championships). Howard is New Superman, Flash is Flash I guess.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Shaq gets an extra fail for getting the ish packed out of him by Jamario Moon

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wasn't there a Calvin Murphy on one of the games? 14 & 9 I thought I saw.

Rudy from the Blazers blog rocks.

Utah is scary.

Blogger Bobbo said...
I think your Simmons bashing is a little unwarranted here...all he has argued over the past 2 years or so is that Durant is an exceptionally gifted offensive player, which I think he has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt this season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Give Yao Ming a break. You do know that he's one of the most inconsistently officiated individuals in the NBA. Is it really fair to penalize him for his size? Do you really want to condone flopping, courtesy of the Utah JIZZ?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What kazam92 just said is correct. I was hoping you'd mention Moon stuffing Shaq's shot at its apex as part of the Shaq fail comments.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
La Dolce Vita -- That sounds about right. Although I'll probably just continue giving him a new disparaging nickname with every post. I'd hate to get lazy.

fortysevenminutes -- Added.

Anonymous #3 -- Wow. A Galactus reference! Alas, I disagree. Using a Marvel Comics analogy, I would say Shaq is Ego the Living Planet.

kazam92 and Saad -- Get me video and I'll add it.

HAI -- Utah is pretty scary. So are the Jazz! Seriously, tho', now that they actually have everybody healthy, we're seeing how good they are.

Bobbo -- It's warranted and I'll tell you why. He has consistently bashed Steve Nash for being a wonderful offensive player who doesn't play defense. Yet Durant is himself a wonderful offensive player who doesn't play defense. Yet somehow this is only a criticism of doesn't apply to KD. Know what KD's defensive rating is this season? 109. Know what Steve's was during the MVP year in which he "stole" the MVP? 109.

If Simmons had even once, just once, mentioned Durant's apathetic D, I might have held back. But he didn't. And now the Thunder have what he himself would call "Ewing Theory potential." I wonder, will he mention that?

Anonymous #4 -- The reason I mentioned Yao is because he threw a hissy fit about a couple fouls. Yes, it's frustrating, but you know what? Everybody gets away with some and gets called for some. And I've seen Yao take a dive before. The only person in the NBA who never used to flop was Shaq, but now he flops too. So who's left, really, who has the right to complain about flopping?

Blogger Unknown said...
Bullcrap about the Yao whining, If he did half the stuff guys do to him all night you would call him dirty, don't blame the guy for being fed up that he isn't officiated well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
and I was right about van gundy getting shaq back

"Whatever. I don't know ... that's his estimation of my coaching. I'm not going to worry about it too much," Van Gundy said. "Actually, that [Shaq's criticism] puts me in good company, very good company.

"He's taken shots at Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, so maybe I should consider it an honor."

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Since Shaq is now getting Galactus comparisons, I thought this picture was rather fitting.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
btw, lemon law, watch out for it, its gonna be the next big thing! legendary!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
don't take shaq too seriously.

as if that standing over him shit would worry d-wade. shaq know it, d-wade knows it.

at best it was a non-event turned into something bigger because of his asshole behaviour of late, not the play itself

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Brad Miller, who couldn't outrun a bean bag" hahahaha,'bawful you never cease to make me laugh.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It didn't look like anyone was expecting Shaq to help Wade up. I just want to know what they were saying to each other. Were they both wearing smiles at the end of it?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey Basketbawful, a few points:

1. Calvin Murphy - you described it as 14 points and 9 rebounds/assists. Since it's said he had 14 children "out of" 9 women, it would seem more appropriate to me to name a Calvin Murphy 14 points from 9 FGA.

2. I don't think I ever saw Dwight Howard flop. Also, since you watch the Bulls, you probably haven't seen Tyrus flop - although I think he tried it once a couple of games ago. And just for the record I think it's something the coaches pushed him to do and it goes against his instincts and his style of playing D.
Oh, and Lebron. I don't remember seeing him flop. And come to think about it, I don't think Wade flops on D either. He's either going for the steal or for the block. I know he "sells the foul" on offense, but my biggest issue is the defensive flop, which is ruining the game. The offensive flop ... I can live with (as long as on a league level it doesn't go to Ginobili levels).

3. Can I get a special mention of John Paxson in the WotWhatever ?
After aquiring the big 2 guard the Bulls needed, in order to resolve the logjam at G by trading the overpaid Hinrich, he traded Thabo. Thabo goes to the Thunder, Durant gets injured, Thabo gets the starting job and the Thunder roll 3 wins in row (I think their 1st ever 3W streak).

And I bet he won't get rid of either Hinrich or Deng this summer, although trading them even for expirings would allow the Bulls to be major players in 2010.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
dunkside: That's pretty good, I'd vote for 14 PTS on 9 FGA to qualify. But I think if you think about it just a bit, a "rebound" and an "assist" still works pretty well too.