Allen Iverson: From Wild Yams: "Allen Iverson is maybe the most spoiled athlete I've ever seen. After just saying the other day that not only could he play 18 minutes with a 100 pound truck on his back, and that he'd rather retire than come off the bench next year, Joe Dumars has now announced that Iverson's done for the season (playoffs included). Supposedly it's his back, but I think we all know better. Obviously either he refused to play anymore in a substitute role, or he became such a distraction and cancer over being sent to the bench that Detroit just cut their losses and told him to beat it. Either way, it doesn't speak well at all of Iverson. What a spoiled bitch."

More from Karc: "So the Not Answer has been benched, errr, placed on injured reserve for the rest of the year to rest his injured back. This according to ESPN, who probably stole it from Yahoo or Fox. Why don't they just say flu-like symptoms and make it easier? Yeah, it's contagious, like his selfish attitude that leaves him to proclaim that he'd rather retire than play off the bench, then having to reside to said bench during the playoffs. Maybe he needs a little more 'practice' with this team to get back into the starting lineup. Or cut. Probably the latter."

And, finally, from lordhenry: "This is sad, this could've been Iverson's swan song, instead, it's going to color how we look back on his career forever. I saw today that someone posted on that he would be a 'first ballot Hall of Famer.' Really? Still think so now? He has missed a huge oppurtunity to change his image and become a team player, and there is no better team to do this with than the Pistons, where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Joe D. just doesn't want Iverson mucking up what remains of the Pistons' season."

As Basketbawful reader dnach said in response to a "Back shelves Iverson for rest of season" headline: "More like 'Ego shelves Iverson....'" It's sad. Nearly unbelievable, even to me, a guy who runs a blog about the best of the worst of professional basketball. A.I. and Kevin Garnett were two players who, over the last decade, everybody wondered what would happen if they were surrounded by other good players. Well, KG became a champion and Iverson has tarnished his legacy forever. So I guess that answers that question.

The Charlotte Bobcats: The 'Cats are just a couple games out of the playoff picture, making every game a "must win" for them. So the fact that they held the Heat to 11 first-quarter points and built a 15-point first-half lead at home seemed like a good sign...much in the same way that the Hindenburg actually lifting off into the air probably seemed like a positive at the time. Of course, it could be that Charlotte was the victim of a little road cookin', seeing as how Miami had a 24-12 advantage in free throw attempts, including 16-0 in the fourth quarter. But Gerald Wallace (21 points, 8-for-12, 8 boards) wasn't having any of that: "It's very frustrating. You always look at the last two minutes of the game, we don't get the calls. ... But when you look back at it, it's always because of us. It's nothing the referees are doing." Unless they're making silly faces and talking about you behind your back. That could be a real distraction.

Udonis Haslem: From the AP recap: "The only negative for Miami was Udonis Haslem. The forward cut his right thumb on the backboard defending Gerald Wallace's driving layup attempt late in the third quarter. Haslem, who needed six stitches, was wearing a splint after the game and hinted he could be out for a week or more. I definitely can't play with six stitches in my shooting hand,' Haslem said." Wait, seriously? The Heat are fighting to playoff position and Haslem is going to sit out "a week or more" with a cut thumb? I guess this is where I should remember that, before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

The Pacers' defense: Indy let the Spurs shoot nearly 55 percent from the field and score 126 points, offsetting their own 52 percent shooting as well as the homecourt advantage. It was the third-highest point total of the season for San Antonio, and the highest in regulation. They scored 129 points in a double-overtime win over Minnesota on November 5 and 133 points in another double-overtime win against the Mavs on December 9. Without OTs, though, the Spurs don't usually put up those kind of numbers. Even freaking Drew Gooden dropped 17 (on 6-for-8 from the field). Said Pacers coach Jim O'Brien: "They're a tough team to guard, but I thought we let ourselves down defensively." Thanks for the brick, Captain Obvious.

The Spurs fourth-quarter defense: Despite the rare offensive explosion, San Antonio nearly lost the game because they let the Pacers score 40 points in the fourth quarter on 70 percent shooting in what can only be described as the NBA-equivalent of narcolepsy. Said Tim Duncan: "I think I can count it on one hand the past five years how many teams have scored 40 on us in a quarter."

The Atlanta Hawks: So much for their brinkmanship with Boston. The Kevin Garnett-less C's held the Dirty Birds to 35 percent shooting while hitting 53 percent of their own field goals en route to a reasonably pain-free 104-92 win. Glen "Big Baby" Davis once again lit Atlanta up for 19 points (on 7-for-10 shooting) and Kendrick Perkins had a double-double (12 points, 10 boards) and blocked 7 shots. Man, I guess Rajon Rondo (20 points, 7-for-10, 6 assists) knew what he was talking about when he said: "I don't like to talk trash, but in my eyes it's not a rivalry. I don't know if anybody else looks at it as a rivalry. People consider Cleveland a rival. We just went seven with Atlanta. That's about it." The Hawks are now 14-24 on the road.

Kevin Durant: KD scored only 13 points -- matching his fourth-lowest scoring total of the season -- while shooting 4-for-13 and committing a game-high 4 turnovers...and his team scored a season-low 72 points and lost by 35 at home. The Thunder are now 3-7 since Durant's return from injury, following a streak in which they went 5-2 without him. And people wonder why I'm not ready to call him a superstar. I'd said it before and I'll say it again: Be wary of players who light up the scoreboard for terrible teams.

The Cleveland Craboliers: Holy smokes! From the AP recap: "Never in LeBron James' entire basketball life could he recall being down by more than 40 points. Not in the NBA. Not in high school. Not even playing pickup basketball as a kid. The Orlando Magic gave him a first. Dwight Howard had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Magic rode a strong second-half start to go ahead by 41 points and hand the Cleveland Cavaliers their most lopsided loss of the season with a 116-87 blowout Friday night. 'It's embarrassing,' James said. "It's not about how many games you lose, it's about how you lose them. The last two games weren't how we play the game of basketball.'" The Crabs shot a shade under 37 percent while the Magicians hit nearly 54 percent of their field goals.

It's not often that the league's "best team" gets destroyed that badly. But hey, at least LeBron beat Dwight Howard in their pre-game half-court shootout.

The Dallas Mavericks: Uh, guys? You do realize that you haven't qualified for the playoffs yet, right? Despite that fact, the Mavs, who were once again without Josh Howard, let the Grizzlies -- yes, the 21-win Memphis Grizzlies -- shoot almost 54 percent from the field (including 57 percent from downtown), outrebound them 45-32, and, worse, outscore them 107-102. Said Dirk Nowitzki: "No question it's a disappointment. We have a great chance here to make sure we get into the playoffs, and even move up, and we lay an egg here in Memphis." Speaking of playoff position failures...

The Utah Jazz: A home loss to the Al Jefferson-less Timberwolves? Really?! Oh, man. I almost wish Karl Malone and John Stockton were dead so they wouldn't have to live through this. Minny shot 53 percent and pounded the Jazz on the glass (42-28), snapping their nine-game road losing streak in the process...while also ending Utah's 15-game home winning streak. Said Deron Williams: "It's a bad loss. There's no other way to sugar coat it." Phil Johnson, who coached the Jazz with Jerry Sloan in Illinois for his brother’s funeral, added: "These are tough games. You're playing against people that don't have much pressure on them. You're playing against a team that's free and easy and we've got pressure on us." Wow. That's a doozy of a rationalization.

The Sacramento Kings: Yeah...that's more like what we, the fans, expect from the league's worst team. Sans Kevin Martin, who sat out with a sprained ankle, the Kings had the smack laid brutally (and probably bitterly) down on them by the same Suns team they embarrassed in Sacramento last Sunday. Phoenix drilled nearly 55 percent of their scoring attempts and put 138 points on the board despite bricking 10 free throws. Said Spencer Hawes: "Anytime you come out of halftime down by four and lose by 30, something has got to give. They kept pushing it at us and kept making plays and we didn’t respond." Oh, and speaking of Hawes...

The Suns' defense: Lest you think that the Suns played any, think again. Hawes scored a career-high 22 points, Jason Thompson netted a career-best 23 and Francisco Garcia -- huh, Francisco...that's fun to say -- put up a season-high 29. Phoenix: Where "defense" is just "waiting to get back on offense."

The New Orleans Hornets: Hey, Hornets, look out for that banana pee...TOO LATE. Despite the fact that the Warriors had lost five of six and 13 of 19, and although a win would have moved New Orleans into fourth spot in the Western Conference, they lost in Oakland for the first time since 2006. As a result, the Hornets crashed into the West's sixth spot -- a half-game behind the Rockets -- in the process. You know what might have helped? Defense. At least on Jamal Crawford (team-high 39 points) and/or Anthony Randolph (who matched his career-high with 20 points and added a career-high 15 rebounds). Said Hornets coach Byron Scott: "We just didn't come out ready to play. It's a bad loss, that's the bottom line. It's not a loss that we expected to get but I also expected us to come out with a lot more passion to start the game than we did. We paid the price."

Darryl Morey and Michael Lewis: An anonymous commenter wrote in to say:

Can we get a worst of the night for Darryl Morey and maybe Michael Lewis?

Artest didn't say much to Bryant on Friday, but he also only guarded him for a few possessions. That assignment went to Battier, who unwittingly provided his own source of motivation for the Lakers. Last month, the New York Times Magazine ran a story by "Moneyball" author Michael Lewis detailing how Rockets GM Daryl Morey has innovatively used statistics when making player assessments.

"The Lakers' offense should obviously be better with Kobe in," Morey said in the story. "But if Shane is on him, it isn't."

Shane Battier: "My job is to keep him as inefficient as possible."

The article came out before the March 11 Game. Kobe's stats that night: 14-for-23 for 37 points, 2-for-3 from three with 6 assists. And last night: 7-for-11 for 20 points, 4-for-6 from three with 7 assists.

So, post "Moneyball" Kobe is 21-for-34 vs. the Rox, including 6-for-9 from three.
The lesson, as always: Don't tug on Superman's cape.

Mark Jackson: From stephanie g: "During the Rockets-Lakers game, the three stooges were discussing great mid-range shooters and Mark Jackson said the difference between Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant was that Kobe spends huge amounts of time working on his jumper to get it as good as it is whereas Ray Ray was 'born with a jump shot.' Anyone who knows anything about Jesus Shuttlesworth knows that he has a borderline OCD personality and that he spends an absurd amount of time practicing his shot which has influenced a lot of player's workout routines around the league. I'm sure Mark was just trying to fellate Kobe as usual and didn't mean to slight Ray, but well, he did. Check this article, page 1: "Everyone wishes they could shoot like Ray. They tell him that all the time. They are envious, they say, of his God-given talent. 'An insult,' says Allen. 'God could care less whether I can shoot a jump shot.'"

Friday lactivity report: Danger. Lacktion inside. (via Chris.)

Heat-Bobcats: Yakhouba Diawara provided 2.7 trillion worth of celebratory tobacco for Miami tonight, as he will get a chance to lack it up in the playoffs!

Spurs-Pacers: San Antonio's Ime Udoka blew the dust off his copy of Tetris with a 56-second Mario. And as Indiana watched its playoff hopes slip away, it produced two lacktaters of non-notability: Travis Diener, who scored a +1 suck differential in 4:54 via foul, and Josh McRoberts, whose 4:46 was filled with a foul, rejection, and two bricks for a +4 (also good for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl).

Hawks-Celtics: Othello Hunter was green with envy tonight - envious at the green-jerseyed C's winning, and also green with the 2.7 trillion influx of cash he received!

Mavs-Grizzlies: Darko Milicic was free to lack it up, getting one board but avoiding any shot attempts for a Voskuhl of 3:1 (via two fouls and a giveaway). Teammate Quinton Ross will now be able to buy plenty of clothes for less with a 3.7 trillion paycheck.

Wolves-Jazz: Bobby Brown sang a song of suck with a +4 in 3:10 via foul, rejection, giveaway and brick!

Kings-Suns: Calvin Booth entered the theater of big man fail with a Madsen-level 2:1 Voskuhl in 3:38 (two fouls against a rebound and brick). Meanwhile, Will Solomon demonstrated his financial smarts with a 3.2 trillion.

Rockets-Lakers: James White unremarkably bricked once from downtown for a +1 in 1:28 that no doubt displeased Clutch the Bear.

The New York Knicks: Stuck on 29 wins -- only six up on last year's total -- and losers of 10 of their last 11 games. Oh, and they were officially, mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. [snicker] At this point, even Mike D'Antoni is wondering what the hell he was thinking...even as his robot butler lights him a cigar rolled out of hundred dollar bills. Speaking of Mikey Boy, he was bummed that his team utterly failed to end it's postseason drought, which began back in 2004. "I don't know, I was pretty disappointed that we didn't [make the playoffs] to be honest with you. I just thought too many games would come down to where we could take control of it, 15 or 16 games less than five points, and we just never came up with the big play or the big stops and tonight was just another night."

The Madison Square Garden event planners: From the AP game notes: "The circus is in town, and it caused an inconvenient arrival at Madison Square Garden for the Raptors. They couldn’t use their usual entrance into the arena, with police telling them it was blocked off because of the elephants and to come back in an hour. The Raptors found an alternate route, but then couldn’t get off the elevator on the floor they wanted because that’s where the lions were." Huh. I guess it really IS a jungle in there.

The New Jersey Nets: Vince Carter was hobbled by a sore left Achilles tendon -- which he injured in practice the day before -- and finished with 4 points on 2-for-10 shooting. So it's not surprising, really, that the Nets once again failed to come through in a must-win game. Although, believe it or not, New Jersey went up by a point (94-93) with 2:50 to go, but they were undone by their own ineptitude. Jarvis Hayes committed a dumb foul while trying to slap-fight his way through a Brad Miller pick. Miller nailed the 'throws. On the Nets' next possession, Devin Harris had the ball poked away by John Salmons, and Harris then made matters worse by committing a flagrant foul on Salmons as the Bulls ran the other way. The Bulls rattled off the games final 10 points to drop New Jersey to 20-37 since Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team."

The Atlanta Hawks: Their 88-82 home loss to the Magic was the sixth defeat in their last eight games, three of which happened in Atlanta...where they are supposedly invincible. It's funny because, you know, I've taken some shots at the Hawks this season -- and deservedly so, I think -- which has caused some Atlanta fans to give me the business. Well, twice, anyway: After their eight and seven-game home stands, in which the Dirty Birds went 14-1. Impressive, yes, but ultimately (I think) a little deceiving. I mean, ever since that 20-10 start that got everybody yammering about how they had turned a corner, the Hawks are 23-24. And look at the facts: On the season, they're 0-4 against Boston and 1-3 versus both Cleveland and Orlando. I'll give them this: They might get out of the first round. But if they do, the dream will end there. They just aren't focused, consistent or, frankly, good enough to go any further than that.

The Washington Wizards Generals: I guess you can chalk up this 118-104 home loss to Miami as "post-make-believe-championship malaise." That and their failure to do the whole "hand in the face" thing. The Heat hit a franchise record (for a quarter) eight triples in the fourth quarter, three of which got drilled by a wide open James Jones. Said Wizards Generals interim coach Ed Tapscott: "When we called timeout finally, I said, 'Fellows, James Jones is a shooter and he's in the corner. If anybody would like to find him, we'd be delighted.'" Wow. Does he really address his team as "fellows"? No wonder he can't through to these guys. Maybe he should try something like "dude" or "you rich, lazy bastards." Fun fact: Washington finished 1-15 in its own division.

The Milwaukee Bucks: A home loss to the Grizzlies with everything at stake? Really?! Yes, really. The Bucks, who not to long ago were seemingly entrenched in the eight spot, have now lost 12 of their last 15 games to plummet out of playoff contention. Or, if you want to take a "glass half full" stance, they're totally improving their chances in the draft lottery. Yay, balls! (Lottery balls, you sicko.)

The Los Angeles Clippers: The Other L.A. Team has been a M.A.S.H unit all season, and on this night they were without Marcus Camby (ankle), Mardy Collins (foot), Ricky Davis (knee), Al Thornton (foot), and Chris Kaman (flu-like symptoms!). Personally, I think there was only one malady at work. I call it "Clipperitis." And yes: It's fatal.

Saturday lactivity report: Chris advises caution: Lacktion may cause drowsiness and/or uncontrollable flatulence.

Pistons-Sixers: Royal Ivey had once abdicated his throne as Philadelphia's human victory cigar, only to be crowned tonight in that position with a 3.6 trillion.

Magic-Hawks: THE Mario West missed out on his namesake stat by three seconds, instead fouling once for a +1 suck differential in 1:02.

Mr. West wasn't the only Hawk to have his wings clipped, as Zaza Pachulia's one rebound in 6:09 was negated by two fouls, one giveaway, and three bricks (two from the charity stripe) for a 3:1 Voskuhl.

Grizzlies-Bucks: Hamed Haddadi happily unwrapped his copy of MegaMan as he spent a mere 15 seconds on the floor for a Mario.

Meanwhile, the M.A.S.H. Unit on Lake Michigan brought out a buffoon of a big man in Dan Gadzuric, whose singular field goal and rebound in a starting stint of 20:28 were not enough to prevent a slight Voskuhl of 4:3 via two fouls and two giveaways.

The San Antonio Spurs: After the way the Crabs lost their last two games, especially the stinker in Orlando, the Spurs really had not chance...which is sort of indicative of how these two teams are going to totally different directions. Said Gregg Popovich: "We knew we were in trouble,” he said. “I want to find out who the scheduler was that made us play this game after they lost their last two." Player notes: Manu Ginobili shot 2-for-9 and finished with as many fouls as points (4) and Tim Duncan left the arena without speaking to reporters after netting 6 points on 2-for-7 shooting.

The Phoenix Suns: The Suns gave up 140 points on 60 percent shooting in what turned out to be the most important game of their season. That's some pretty epic fail, right there. Now the only way Phoenix can make the postseason is if they win their final five games...and the Mavs lose their last five. As Steve Nash said: "We're not holding our breath." Maybe not, but that might be advisable after this stink bomb. Although, to be fair, Dallas was crazy hot, going 15-for-25 from downtown, including a 71-footer by Josh Howard at the halftime buzzer. Hell, even Erick Dampier ran out for a breakaway dunk in the third quarter. Complete and total collapse. Said Alvin Gentry: "I don't have any explanation. I really don't. Not in a million years would I have thought we'd come out and play that way in a game of that significance." Added Grant Hill: "I thought it was going to be a hard-fought game. I thought we'd fight and compete. Boy, was I wrong." Boy were you.

Sidenote: Jason Kidd, who had a season-high 20 assists, set Dallas team records for first-half assists (16) and assists in a regulation game, plus passed Magic Johnson for No. 3 on the career assists list.

The Charlotte Bobcats: The 'Cats had a big, wet blanked thrown on their playoff hopes by...Will Bynum?! Oh, hell yes. Bynum scored a Detroit franchise-record 26 points in the fourth quarter, including the Pistons final 13. He finished with a career-high 32 points after going 6-for-6 from the field and 14-for-16 [!!] from the charity stripe in that final quarter. Memo to the Bobcats: If you want to make the NBA playoffs, you can't let Will Bynum set franchise records against you. Detroit is now three games up on Charlotte for the East's final playoff spot...with only five games remaining. Plus, this victory helped the Pistons win the regular season series 3-1, which gives them the tiebreaker. So, barring a major collapse, it'll be lottery ball for the 'Cats.

The Toronto Raptors: A day after the Raptors eliminated the Knicks from the playoffs in New York, the Knicks traveled to Toronto and returned the favor. New York, who came in as losers of 10 of their last 11, had an amazing 41-14 edge in bench points.

The Oklahoma City Thunder: Spanked. At home. By the Indiana Pacers. But hey, "superstar" Kevin Durant scored a game-high 25 points! In completely unrelated news, this latest in winless weekends dropped the Thunder to 3-8 since KD returned from injury. Said OKC coach Scott Brooks: "That wasn't the competitive spirit I wanted to see out of our team tonight. We have to play better and harder and with more spirit." Dear Mr. Brooks: May I suggest to you this Wiki guide on "How To Get Psyched." Fair warning, though. You'll need overall superiority, a theme song, a trampoline, essential oils, a reel of your favorite movie clips and a mirror (optional).

The Minnesota Timberwolves: The press made some noise about how Minny was minus four of its top six scorers -- Al Jefferson (knee surgery), Randy Foye (hip), Craig Smith (calf) and Kevin Love (flu-like symptoms!) -- but that doesn't explain why Chauncey Billups got out on the break and dunked on them. It was Mr. Big Shot's first dunk of the season. Not surprisingly, the Wolves lost by 23 in a game that never even felt that close. Said Billups: "My kids were talking stuff to me because they didn't think I could dunk no more. I hope my little girl's watching this game right now because if not, she may not see it again." Huh. I bet Kevin McHale felt like clotheslining him. Important fact to consider: The Nuggets are 29-6 against sub-.500 teams...and 23-22 the rest of the time.

The Portland Trail Blazers: Okay, so they clinched a postseason appearance since 2003 when Dallas crushed Phoenix, and then they came out and got dropped by the Rockets...a loss that allowed Houston to leapfrog over Portland into fourth place in the Western Conference with five games left in the regular season. Uh, that's bad, though, right? Said Brandon Roy: "Nah. We're in the playoffs. We're happy about it." But, but, you might have cost yourself a shot at homecourt advantage. Maybe the Vanilla Godzilla can shed some light on this cavalier attitude: "Of course, we would have rather won, but we're still in the playoffs. For guys that have been here a while...through a lot of the downs, it's very gratifying for us to know we're going to get in the playoffs and hopefully get in there for a lot of years to come." Sounds like what these guys need is a good motivational poster. Otherwise, they might continue to just soar to normal heights.

The New Orleans Hornets: Okay, that's weird. I guess our planet got visited by the Bizarro Jazz this weekend: Utah lost at home to the Timberwolves and then beat the Hornets by 14 in New Orleans. And kids, it wasn't that close; the Jazz led by as many as 30 in the first half. It was Utah's first road victory against a winning team in the Western Conference this season. Oddly enough, the Jazz have beaten the Hornets by double digits in all three meetings this season. Said Byron Scott: "Maybe it's in our head as a team -- maybe we don't think we can beat them. That's my conclusion after tonight." FEEL THE PLAYOFF MOMENTUM. Bad news for the Big Easy: The win pulled Utah Utah (47-30) to within a half-game of New Orleans (47-29) for the sixth spot...and the Jazz own the tiebreaker. Although it might actually be best if the Hornets fell to seventh. Then they could avoid the Spurs in the first round.

The Philadelphia 76ers: Talk about feeling the playoff momentum. The Nets POUNDED the Sixers 96-67. The 67 points were a season low and and the 29-point loss was their worst defeat. Oh, and those 67 points also were the fewest allowed by the Nets this season. Fail, fail, and fail. Philly shot 35 percent from the field and only 9-for-23 (39 percent) from the appropriately named "foul line." And here's some bonus bawful from the AP recap: "Philadelphia should have known it was in trouble early. The Sixers have a tradition that players on the bench stand until the team scores. The reserves didn't get a chance to sit for almost five minutes, with Willie Green ending an 0-for-9 drought with a layup with 7:08 left in the quarter." Congratulations on your playoff berth, Sixers. I hope you enjoy being first-round fodder.

The Sacramento Kings: They got Kelenna Azubuike'd on Sunday night, as the undrafted swingman out of Kentucky scored a season-high 30 points to go along with his career-high 15 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors crowned the Kings in Sacramento. The loss dropped the Kings to a full game behind the Wizards Generals in the battle for "Worst Team In The League" dishonors. And I don't want to hear "Yeah, but Kevin Martin was out!" from Sacramento fans, considering that the Warriors had only seven healthy bodies and were forced to dress Andris Biedrins just to have the NBA-minimum eight players in uniform. Said Kings interim (and soon to be former) coach Kenny Natt: "We came out with no energy and no effort. ... Basically, we just goofed off in this game for three quarters, and then decided to play. By that time, they've already made their move and had the cushion. That's the story of our team right now." I don't think that the players can expect Kenny to gift them with delicious chocolates or whisper sweet lullabies in their ears any time soon.

The Los Angeles Lakers: They coughed up a 19-point fourth quarter lead and almost lost at "home" to the Clippers. Mind you, The Other L.A. Team was without The Clippers were without Marcus Camby (sprained left ankle), Chris Kaman (flu), Ricky Davis (sore left knee), and Mardy Collins (right foot plantar fascitis), and they're coached by Mike Dunleavy Sr. So, you know, David Stern should convert this "W" into, like, its equivalent of three or four losses. Sound fair? I think so.

Kobe Bryant: Thanks to Dunpizzle for this illuminating video:

Sunday lactivity report: Fight off that case of the Mondays with a strong cuppa lacktion, courtesy of Chris.

Spurs-Cavs: As the Crabs took their 37th home victory this season, Tarence Kinsey was called upon to celebrate this crustacean coronation with a 1.1 trillion!

Jazz-Hornets: Ronnie Price cashed in his Tengen collection with a 37 second Mario!

Sixers-Nets: One may be the loneliest number, but it had plenty of company in Sean Williams's sucky statline tonight: in 1:11, he had one turnover and one brick for a +2 suck differential, which in this case was as bad as one.

Warriors-Kings: Ike Diogu likes lacktion, as evidenced by a +3 in 2:42 via a pair of bricks and a rejection.

Clippers-Lakers: Adam Morrison struck it rich at the Staples Center with a 2.4 trillion, while fellow Laker DJ Mbenga punched out a 5:3 Voskuhl in a stint of 12:04 via three fouls and two giveaways against one field goal and board each.


Blogger Wade Word said...
Say what you like about AI, he' 5th on the career ppg list.
That means he is a first-ballot HOFer, like it or not.
I would never defend an prima donna behavior like this, but numbers are numbers.

Anonymous Casey said...
Dikembe Mutombo had quite the lacktion game as well yesterday vs. Portland: DNP-CD, but with a technical foul. What does that count as?

Anonymous Wormboy said...
New flash to people: the Question has ALWAYS been this way. It's just that he was on teams built to cater to selfish All-Stars. Now he's on a team built to play as one, he destroys the chemistry and you see what he's really about.

First ballot Hall of Famer? Pfft. It will be an insult to every Hall of Famer if AI EVER makes it in.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Man, so much to discuss. I'm glad to see you led things off today with Allen Iverson. Honestly, what has gone on with him in the last week is not getting nearly enough coverage in the mainstream media. This is a guy who is a former MVP winner and who is not really that much past his prime; and while on a team that is fighting for their playoff lives he decides to quit on them. IMO that is unprecedented selfishness. I can't think of any other acts of selfishness in sports which come even close to what Iverson has done. The previous benchmark was probably Scottie Pippen's refusal to go into the game when the final play was called for Tony Kukoc instead of him, but Iverson has gone far, far above that. I would even go so far as to say that Stephon Marbury never did anything this egregious. IMO he should be blacklisted from the league after this, and I really think this should count against him in the future when people are considering whether to vote him into the Hall of Fame. Quitting on your team when it needs you most just because they won't start you? Are you kidding me? What a disgrace.

Now on to the people who are actually playing.

What the hell happened to the Crabs on Friday? After that game I don't know whether to feel that Orlando is a more legit title contender than I previously thought, or whether to feel that the Crabs are not good enough to beat Boston this year. Probably both, I guess. I think the East all is hanging on KG's knee, cause if he's not healthy, then Boston may not be able to beat Orlando, good as Orlando's been lately. On the other hand, if KG is healthy, then Boston will not only beat Orlando, but they'll probably beat Cleveland as well. If Cleveland loses a game at home in the playoffs, I think they're gonna be in big trouble.

Speaking of teams who may be in trouble, man the Lakers' bench is just plain miserable lately (they were the ones who blew both big leads against the Clips yesterday). I actually hesitate to say LA's actually really in trouble, simply because the rest of the West is so mediocre and it looks like Andrew Bynum will be back any game now, and that'll shore up their bench a lot. But, they are currently getting a whole lot of nothing from Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Josh Powell and DJ Mbenga. I'm guessing in the playoffs you won't see a whole lot of Powell and Mbenga, as bringing Bynum back will probably make the Lakers go back to the Gasol-Odom-Bynum three man frontcourt rotation they were using earlier in the year; but if Farmar, Vujacic and Walton continue to provide nothing the way they have been, then LA is going to struggle more than they should in getting to the Finals, and they're going to have a hell of a time winning against whoever comes out of the East. I guess luckily for the Lakers, everyone else in the West just looks different shades of bad right now, so the Lakers' problems kinda pale in comparison to what every other team is experiencing.

Blogger Andy said...
AI used to be a quarterback in highschool, Dan Snyder and the Skins could take this opportunity to throw unprecedented amounts of money at him as a miracle solution at quarterback!

Blogger Will said...
I nominate Marreese Speights for WotW for his performance Sunday. Not only did he go 1-6 in his 15:07 on the court, but he was -28 for the game. I realize that +/- is an imperfect stat, but you've played a very poor game if the opposition scores 28 more points than your team while you're playing.

Blogger Silly Bitch said...
i guess after the show it's the after party for zach randolph.,0,3222795.story

Anonymous Dan B. said...
Zach Randolph arrested for drunken driving. Raise your hand if you're surprised. (crickets) Nobody?

Yeah, so my Hawks have been rather middling since that 20-10 start. But you forget that they're still being "coached" by Mike Woodson, the league's worst ever (no seriously, look it up. No coach has ever lost more games over a three year span and kept his job)

Mike Woodson has an uncanny ability to both infuriate and belittle one of his best players (Josh 'smoove' Smith) rendering him tempestuous and infective for at least half of the teams' games. Woodson is also great at 'developing' young talent. Any young player emerging with the Woodson Hawks can expect to be antagonized (Smith and Childress), buried on the bench (Acie Law, Salim Staudimire, Solomon Jones, Boris Diaw), downright insulted (Mario West) or--if lucky--they will somehow find some modest rate of success without much assistance form the coaching staff (Marvin Williams, Zaza Pachulia, Al Horford).

Also, Marvin's been out lately, so our Woodson three man bench of Mo Evans, Flip Murray and Zaza has turned into a two man bench of Flip and Zaza.

So basically, we're looking at a Hawks team that is sitting on the fourth spot in the East despite of Woodson's (and the Atlanta Spirit Group's) best efforts to fail.

This is a team whose owners are hemorrhaging money and fighting bitterly for control in a Baltimore court room. This is a team whose rising star sixth man left for Greece this summer and whose other rising star signed an offer sheet (with his fingers crossed) to play for the Memphis bleeping Grizzlies--both moves (J-Chill's and Smoove's) in an effort to get out from under the worst head coach in the league (EVER!).

Yet we're 4th in the East.

Joe Johnson is a god. And its a shame Woodson has played him for 45 minutes a night for four years, perhaps shortening his brilliant career. And Bibby deserves some credit too.
And Al Horford--who is somehow surviving Woody's reign of young player terror--will be an all-star within the next three years.

What I would give to see Avery Johnson or better yet, Sam Mitchell, coach my beloved Hawks....

Blogger Shiv said...
That Kobe video is so many good ways! Was it used as evidence at his trial?

Anonymous La Dolce Vita said...
The Clippers should sign AI and trade for Knee-Mac during the offseason. So, the starting five would be- Baron Davis, AI, McLady, Zach Randolph, and Camby. Nothing could go wrong there...right?

Blogger chris said...
Edgar: Considering the effect the Spirit Group's instability has had on the Thrashers NHL team, it's even more amazing that the Hawks are on their way for two consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since Greg Oden first checked into a nursing home.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Correction needed: Jason Terry made that unbelievable 71-footer. I'm not surprised you missed that because the most ridiculous part of the play was that Kidd got a recorded assist for throwing the ball in.

Anonymous La Dolce Vita said...
You need to add another WOTN for Sunday...Zach Randolph received a DUI :(

Blogger Unknown said...
Well, the Lakers had a big lead over the Clippers, 36-17. And as usual, they let the opposite team climb all the way back, 83-82 with 1 min. left. How the Lakers got survived? Zach Randolph! I guess bawful didn’t follow the game closely; otherwise he wouldn’t give up this chance to bash this guy around. First, the dude was unable to block out LO on a miss shot, allowing him to put the ball right back into the basket. On the next position, talking about his inability to block shots, which I believe half of his 16 blocks this season was accidental, Paul Gasol (not Kobe) drove right pass him for a layup in his face. Final position, I hardly believe any coach in the NBA would take a 20-sec time out and draw up a play for Zaza to take a 3. He did. And you know the rest.

My poor Spurs, the Cavs defended Duncan so well, and Ginobili was unable to make a shot. Anybody else noticed that no team can really stop Parker from going to… well, wherever he wants to go on the court? I don’t think the Spurs would be anywhere near where they are now if Parker isn’t playing. I’m not sure how long the poor French speedster can keep running all day like this to carry the team on his shoulder; I hope he won’t wear down during the playoff.

Blogger Andrei said...
Does Deron Williams' continued domination of Chris Paul reverse the opinion of who's the better point guard? I know Hollinger and others cream their jeans over Paul's stats and deservedly so, but why does Williams always seemingly wipe the floor with Paul?

Anonymous hellshocked said...
The sad thing is that Allen Iverson would make a very good off the bench sparkplug type player for a slower tempo type team, someone who could swing between both guard positions for 20 minutes a night, change the pace, score in batches and even fill in as an emergency starter if the injury bug struck, like Eddie House or Ben Gordon (in his 6th man years). Of course, for this to happen Iverson would need to be a more efficient long distance shooter and, most importantly, not be a selfish, spoiled, egotistical little prick.

Seriously, has there EVER been a modern player for whom more allowances have been made? He couldn't play point guard so they had to get him a PG and move him to the SG spot. He couldn't defend SG's so they had to get a tall, strong PG to defend SG's. He only gambled for steals on defense so they had to get him a major shot blocking threat. He needed the ball in his hands most of the time to be reasonably effective, so they had to get him a bunch of spot up shooters and garbage point specialists. I never bought into the whole "he never had good players" argument, he just couldn't coexist with them. He has ever made anyone better and has made quite a few people worse. The anti-KG if you will. An entire team had to change for him to be successful because he was unwilling to do what it took to make the team successful. There's not gonna be much of a market for Iverson next year. I doubt he'll get much more than the mid level exception from a bad team. If he winds up with the Clippers though, and there's no guarantee he won't, I will shed tears of joy.

On a non rant related note, Deron Williams does indeed always tend to get the better of Chris Paul. Whenever they meet Deron soundly outplays him, gets the better stats and walks out with the win. He also seems to frustrate Paul for some reason. I think it's a case of Deron being bigger and stronger than Chris Paul, which means he can have his way with him offensively, quick enough to not be Jason Kidded by him and the Jazz are a (typically) disciplined team that packs the paint and tries not to get suckered into playing Paul's helter skelter running game.

Anonymous Karc said...
Honorary mention to this youtube gem.

So Pollard is late to a TV gig, then Miller rightly calls him out on it, and Pollard, like a moron, keeps badgering her, even though he was in the wrong, and she had to cover his ass. Granted, this would never have made air on ESPN or TNT, but given that it did, I gotta side with Cheryl on this one. Pollard won a ring by sitting on the Celtics bench. If he had actually been on the court for any length of time, the Lakers win that series. And this is the guy who told people to do drugs on camera while he was sitting on the bench in Sacramento. I normally would applaud such a dick, but really, he's a white guy who thinks he was a basketball player. He gets no sympathy from me.

Blogger Trevor said...
The Problem seems to never stop complaining. He wasn't the Answer in Denver, that's for sure. And he most assuredly is the Problem in Detroit...
And about Deron Williams and Chris Paul - it isn't a game of one on one. Deron Williams' teammates are much better than Paul's. Paul is the better point guard.

Anonymous tony.bluntana said...
Hillsolo, what is your first language?

P.S. I hate the Celtics. I hate Boston. I actually hate the entire state of Massholes. I hate Paul Pierce. I now hate Kevin Garnett. I hate everyone on their team except for Rondo and Scalabrine. However, I hate nothing more than athletes who give it all up to god.

"God could care less whether I can shoot a jump shot," is one of the greatest things I've ever heard.

Fine, Ray, I will respect you for more than just the Rosario Dawson sex scene.

Anonymous Jai said...
The Knicks should be #25 in the power rankings... yeah they suck, but are they so unmentionable that they get completely left off the page?

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
The Suns choke it away again.

Actually, to choke, you have to be in the game. The Suns might as well have walked in naked, covered in honey, and allowed the Mavs to field a team of bears.

And I'm not talking about Yogi.

I'm talking about the kind that hit 70-footers, go better than 60% from the field and 15-25 from three.

Oh wait, you don't need to be playing atomic superbears while you're covered in honey to give up those kinds of numbers, you just have to be the Phoenix Suns in the most important game of the year.

I can't even coherently complain right now. All I can do is ramble angrily. I have nothing else to add. Except this question: Can the Suns ever recover, with Nash?

Blogger Andrei said...
It's hard to say that Williams' teammates are much better than Paul's considering that New Orleans finished ahead of Utah in the standings last year and are poised to do the same this year. In the same time span Utah is 6-1 against New Orleans with pretty much all the victories coming by double digits. Paul outplayed Williams only once in those seven games (the lone Utah loss).

Blogger Cortez said...
"Paul is the better point guard."

Smile, you just made a funny!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
As far as I know there's only gonna be three teams this summer who are under the salary cap: OKC, Memphis and Detroit. With that being the case, I doubt any of them will offer Cryverson anything over the MLE, so that means he's gonna have to accept the MLE to play for anyone.

But then the question is, who's gonna want him? If he's so hell-bent on starting, which teams have starting slots at shooting guard and aren't fervently trying to get under the salary cap for 2010? In my mind, here's a list of possible landing spots for Iverson:

Washington - Just what the Wiz need next year: another volume shooter. However, if they were stupid enough to offer $111m to Arenas, why not take a flyer on Iverson at SG? He might be a better solution there than Nick Young & Juan Dixon.

Denver - Iverson had moderate success sharing the spotlight with the Nuggets players, and might mesh well at SG alongside Billups with J.R. Smith continuing to be the scoring punch off the bench that he's accustomed to being. What the hell, Iverson's better than Dahntay Jones and Anthony Carter.

Dallas - Jason Terry is clearly OK with coming off the bench, and Iverson would presumably be a better option at SG than Jerry Stackhouse or Gerald Green. Plus, alongside Jason Kidd Iverson could guard opposing PGs while Kidd gets the other team's SG on D.

New Orleans - A risky move, but the Hornets probably need to take some risk, with them seemingly moving in the wrong direction. They could hope Chris Paul could work his magic with Iverson so AI could be slotted in as his backcourt mate instead of Devin Brown, Rasual Butler or Mo Pete.

Golden State - Iverson seems born to play Nellieball, and who could argue with he and Monta Ellis racing up and down the floor, shooting the ball every time they touch it and not playing a lick of defense? Some say "if you're gonna be crazy, be all the way crazy" and Nellie's proven he's willing to go all the way in that capacity. Iverson was made to play here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
iverson on the warriors would be so awesome to watch, and yet so horrible at the same time

Anonymous dunkside said...
was that the computer assisted reenactment of what happened that night in colorado ?

gotta say though, if this is kobe's videogame (is it called "kobe on the planet of the rapes" by the way ?) beats the hell out of shaq-fu.

Blogger HoopBlah said...
Props to Zach Randolph. According to an ESPN "report" he was arrested for a DUI going from Marina del Rey to ... Marina del Rey. He was travelling with some family members from his condo to his house, which Mike Dumbleavy said is "about a mile difference." Talk about swift justice. There must have been an APB out on Randolph for SWAC-ing when highway patrol pulled him over for DWAC-ing.

Blogger chris said...
Anonymous: The Warriors' most famous moment of the 90s was the Carlesimo/Spree sideshow. Nellie. Iversion. WOW. Mind-blowing.

Blogger chris said...
Buck Nasty: And is Yogi at least a better rebounder than Clutch The Bear?

Blogger Dunpizzle said...
Just had a random thought for word of the day.

If a team wins by 15pts or so it's a blowout. So what if a team loses a 15pt lead on the way to a loss. We should call that a blowjob.

Blogger lordhenry said...
Awesome, I've been quoted, that totally makes up for the failure that was Wrestlemania 25.......

And I find it funny that it took like 3 months for Marc Stein at to point out that the cavs have a losing record against the other three championship hopeful teams. I wouldn't start planning that parade in Cleveland yet. Cavs fans need to look at it the way we Laker fans do---the road to the title STILL runs through Boston, whether you're from the east or west. That's why we only care if our record is better than Boston's......

Thank you Chris for seeing what us 17 true Hawks fans cherish everyday.

Disney should make a movie about these past two Atlanta seasons. No team has ever done so much with an equal or worse ownership/headcoach/fanbase situation in professional sports... EVER. It will never be rivaled.

Also, your mention of 'The Big O' reminded me of draft night a few years back...

I was utterly heartbroken when my Hawks made it into the top three lottery picks and then the commercial break came and we were stuck with the number three pick...

Little did I know that we'd draft Dominican Savior Al and he would prove to be the ONE who could survive the Atlanta deabcle

(can you imagine what would have happened if Old Man Oden or KD came our way? It would have been a Kwame-level tragedy)

Also, Yams is right. The Answer was born to play Nellie-ball. At this point AI is litle more than an overpriced Flip Murray.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
actually as a laker fan i hope the the lakers have a better record than the cavs...based on the way they (mostly the bench's fault) have been playing lately i think the lakers can use as much help as possible throughout the playoffs

Anonymous Anonymous said...
heres an interesting article on lebrons superstar treatment:

Anonymous Ruben said...
Man love alert! And the caption is equally unintentionally dirty!: "Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz shoots past Rasual Butler";

Blogger chris said...
Edgar: It's really strange to see the Hawks firmly in the playoff hunt yet again and the Thrashers actually spending the last month acting like a successful hockey team, when their ownership has been more interested in judicial whining for the last two seasons. Imagine the vibe at the Atlanta Spirit Group offices, it must be like working at Circuit City or Mervyn's before Chapter 11 struck...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
That article on LeBron's extraordinarily small number of fouls called against him is pretty damming for the league. It's pretty crazy that a guy who is supposedly one of the league's best perimeter defenders who also occasionally guards power forwards and who on offense is best known for bullying his way to the rim almost never gets whistled for anything. Five straight games without a foul called? That's got to be unprecedented for someone who plays as many minutes as he does.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@wild yams: so true. i wonder why the bulls are allowed to publish something like that, i mean it´s their official site.. they should bow down to the king, right?