House versus Skippy
"I must break you."

Editor's note: Today Wild Yams is acting as Basketbawful's special Lakers correspondent. You know, just so you'll know who to spam if you don't like the Rockets-Lakers section.

The Orlando Magic: When Eddie House gunned down the Bulls in Game 7 of Boston's first-round series, there were some people (maybe even a lot of people) who thought the laser-like accuracy of his performance was a fluke. And I guess the Magic players were part of that group, because they would not and then could not contain the tiny guard, who "bustin' somebody's ass" with a career-high 31 points on 11-for-14 shooting (including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc). Not only did Eddie's detonation induce a 112-94 blowout and cause an explosion of way-too-predictable puns to sweep across the Internet ("Magic Get Housed!!!"), it also caused Rafer Alston to totally lose his sh*t (see below).

It was a pretty sad showing for the Magic, who got crushed despite the fact that Paul Pierce played only 15 minutes and finished with more fouls (4) than points (3). Orlando got skewered, and not only by Fast Eddie. Rajon Rondo had a triple-double (15 points, 11 rebounds, 18 assists), Kendrick Perkins and Big Baby were nearly perfect from the field (7-for-10 and 4-for-5, respectively) and even Brian Scalabrine had 8 points on 3-for-4 shooting (2-for-3 from downtown). Toss in the fact that the Magic bricked 13 free throws (24-for-37), and it was pretty much a lost night altogether.

Rafer Alston: Not only did he shoot 3-for-11 and get outscored 8-7 by the whitest man in New England, Alston was had all the body hair on his body singed off by the nuclear heat emanating from Eddie House leading to a cheap slap upside the back of Eddie's head...and yet another awesome "Where Amazing Happens" commercial spoof:

I guess Skippy had a flashback from his days on the And 1! tour. I seriously can't imagine that Alston won't get suspended for Game 3. Just what the Magic needed: To lose another starting point guard.

Rafer Alston, echo machine: From Basketbawful reader Mike T: "After the game, reporters were asking Alston about slapping Eddie House and he started by saying 'When you're havin' a good night, havin' a good night. Uh, they were kickin' our behinds, kickin' our behinds.' At least he didn't mention their deep penetration deep penetration."

Eddie House, post-game interview/unintentionally dirty quote machine: " know, that's what happen when you start bustin' sombody's ass, they get upset like that and resort to bush league tactics." Classic. Note also when he says "...I can get my hands on balls..."

Dwight Howard: Basketbawful reader Sturla writes: "Guess it was Superman's day off, so Bizzaro showed up instead: 5 turnovers, 4 fouls, bricks 60 percent of his shots, goes 2-for-8 from the line, nearly gets outrebounded by the opposing six-foot point guard and gets outblocked by Brian "Frigging" Scalabrine 2-0 (and getting outblocked by Scal is a Worst of the Night/Year/decade by itself)."

Me so very sad hug me please

I can't disagree. Plus, compare Howard's performance to that of the man he was supposed to be guarding, Kendrick Perkins, who had 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting, 9 boards and 2 blocked five fewer minutes. Oh, and check out the plus-minus scores: -20 for Dwight, +11 for Kendrick. The Celtics have to be pretty happy with the outcome of that matchup, wouldn't you say?

Stephon Marbury: More from Sturla: "And what is wrong with Stephon Marbury? As good as he looked in game 1, that’s how bad he looked in game 2. Only 1-for-7 and 2 points. Has it been that long since he proclaimed that he was the best point guard in the NBA? These days he gets soundly outplayed by Anthony Johnson." One last point: Starburied had the worst plus-minus score on the team (-5). Pretty sad when you consider that the Celtics won by 18.

The Houston Rockets: In what was probably the wildest game of the playoffs so far, and a contest that could be argued was "must win" for both teams, the Rockets only showed up for the first half and as a result blew an opportunity to go home up 2-0. In what was an excessively physical game that seemed to pretty loudly answer the question of whether the Lakers are "soft", LA came at the Rockets from all angles and essentially beat them into submission. In the first half the Lakers came out on fire, but Houston answered right back in the second quarter, and it really looked like this Rocket team simply would not be intimidated. Yet in the second half after the Lakers took a double digit lead, things suddenly got real chippy and real physical, and Houston seemed to wilt in the face of it all. Pending the ongoing wussification of the league potential suspensions, we'll have to see if the Rockets can pick themselves off the canvas and show that they're the "bulldogs" that the TNT crew was claiming they were. All I know is that last night the Lakers got right in Houston's faces, and Houston backed down, with the possible exception of...

Ron Artest: Crazy Pills seemed to be the only one who stood up for himself, which isn't surprising. Unfortunately for Houston, it's also not surprising that the way he stood up for himself was to go after Kobe Bryant so aggressively during a dead ball that he got himself ejected. Artest was Houston's best player all night, so he really did his team a disservice by getting tossed with seven minutes to go and his team down 10. With Artest out of the game the Rockets rather meekly let the Lakers quickly bump the lead up to 15, and that was basically that. One can argue that Artest didn't do enough to get tossed, or that he needed to assert to Kobe that he wasn't gonna take getting elbowed like that; but considering the situation with all the technicals and the Derek Fisher ejection and considering Artest's reputation, it's really not that surprising he got the gate for running over and getting in Kobe's face like that after the ref told him to put a cork in it. Speaking of guys losing their cool...

Von Wafer: A player getting sent to the locker room by his own coach after a heated argument would probably be a huge story if not for all the other drama in this game; but even though Wafer being sent to the showers at the end of the third quarter by coach Rick Adelman will probably get swept under the rug a bit, that's a huge story. The Rockets are gonna need every player available and playing well if they want to win this series, and they can ill afford to have Wafer not playing. Von Wafer's incident with his coach and Ron Artest's ejection make me wonder not just about the toughness of the Rockets, but about their composure as well. For Houston to win they need Von Wafer in there to make shots, and they need Artest to keep playing smart basketball and not try to make a statement (a la Kobe in Game 1); and these two incidents call all of that into question.

Yao Ming: Maybe the biggest stat of the night was the 26 minutes Yao played, 12 of which came in a 4th quarter, most of which Houston spent behind by double digits. Five very stupid fouls by Yao caused his limited minutes, and without him in there Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol were able to combine for 29 points and 25 rebounds (and 8 assists and 5 blocks). Fortunately for the Rockets, not everyone took advantage of Yao's absence...

Andrew Bynum: Maybe Phil Jackson left him on the bench for all but nine minutes of this game because Yao was in foul trouble, or because Lamar Odom was playing well; but at some point the excuses have to run out and reality has to set in: Bynum is looking like he's not going to contribute much at all in these playoffs. No points last night, 1 rebound and 3 fouls (he did have 1 steal and 1 block) is not a good sign for how much LA can count on Bynum for the rest of the postseason.

Jordan Farmar: After languishing on the bench for the last month or so, Farmar finally got some minutes (due to Derek Fisher's ejection) and he really made the least of them. 18 minutes, 5 points on 2-for-7 shooting and 1 assist is not what the Lakers need out of him; and make no mistake, they very well might need him for a lot more in Game 3 depending on whether the league suspends Derek Fisher for knocking Luis Scola on his ass.

Speaking of Fisher and that shot he laid on Scola, I'm not putting him in here for today's Worst Of, because even though it was a cheap shot (though not dirty enough to risk injuring a guy), and even though it got him ejected and may earn him a suspension; I think it was a smart, veteran play which sent a powerful message to the Rockets. And let's face it, Houston didn't have much fight in them after that play, and it remains to be seen whether they'll bounce back from backing down the way they did. Fisher is an important piece for the Lakers, but they do have two backups behind him who don't represent much of a dropoff, so it wasn't really that bad of a sacrifice for him to make. Jordan Farmar might be a better matchup on Aaron Brooks anyway, considering Brooks is all speed and no brawn. We'll soon see if Fisher's play ultimately pays off for the Lakers. It sure looked like it did last night.

Basketbawful's take: Like I said, Wild Yams handled the Rockets-Lakers section, but here's my two cents. First, I loved Ron Artest's post-game rant: "I knew I was going to get a technical foul. The point was to let the refs know this guy was elbowing me. I know I went over there with no punches, no shoves to the face, just a confrontation. I told him, 'You're hitting the wrong person. Don't you know you're hitting Ron Artest?" Besides the fact that I'm pretty sure Kobe knew exactly who he was hitting, it could be argued that Ron-Ron's "Don't you know who I am?! I'm Ron Artest bitch!" attitude is a big part of the reason Mamba delivered that particular cheap shot...because he probably figured it might set Artest off. Oh, and by the way, Kobe swung that elbow intentionally:

Again, if the league wants to stay consistent in the way it hands down its rulings, Kobe -- like Dwight Howard, who threw his elbow Samuel Dalembert's way earlier in the playoffs -- will be suspended a game for his shenanigans. Particularly in light of the crap he pulled on Shane Battier in Game 1. (And don't think for one second that the Rockets didn't send a video of that incident to the league offices.) As for Fish, well, he was ejected, as he should have been. I'm don't think his bully-boy tactics deserve any further punishment. By the way, how about a little...

Update! Ron Artest, post-game interview machine: Oh. My. God. Best post-game interview ever. Listen and hear about how one of Ron's friends once had a table leg thrown right through his heart. Oh yes, he says it. Update! Scott did some crack detective work and discovered that Ron-Ron was telling the God's honest truth!

Lacktion report: Chris provides another fresh blast of playoff lacktivity.

Magic-Celtics: After the Game 1 comeback-that-wasn't, Doc Rivers repositioned his team to set the clock early on the regular garbage pickup time. While Stan Van Gundy did bring out Jeremy Richardson to lack it up with a turnover and brick in 2:26 for a +2 suck differential, the Celtics went on an investment spree that would make Scrooge McDuck proud. Tony Allen swore off Bowser by turning an 8-second Super Mario (as the 3rd quarter wound down) into a full 1.8 trillion, while Gabe Pruitt honored his NBA Cares human interest segment with a donation of 1.65 trillion. And Bill Walker had a rather pedestrian +2 in that same 1:40 as Pruitt, fouling and bricking once each.

Mavs-Lakers: A game more known for the hard physical play of Derek Fisher, Kobe, and Ron-Ron had just enough garbage time to produce minute-sapping unproductivity. Brian Cook and James White played Wii Tennis for 43 seconds with Clutch the Bear, becoming tonight's Mario Brothers! (Cook also added a brick from the Toy District for a +1).

Josh Powell cabled his way to a +2 in 3:20 via giveaway and foul, also scored as a 2:0 Voskuhl. And Andrew Bynum maintained his own recurring tribute to THE Jake with a 8:39 stint that saw no points scored despite a board, steal, assist and block: two bricks and three fouls earned a 3:1 Voskuhl ratio!
Update! Dirk Nowitzki: Okay. Take a quick glance at this horrid beast:

Dirks ladybeast

What does this shocking monster have to do with the Flying Dutchman? Well, she's the wanted criminal who was hanging out at Dirk's crib. Prior to her arrest, anyway. Oh, and she may or may not be Nowitzki's girlfriend. Memo to Dirk: I know you're a big, fluffy German marshmallow...but you can do better than that. Really. (Thanks to La Dolce Vita for the link.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...;_ylt=AiSvjiIjbG9vXAEBxUxbG928vLYF?slug=jy-rocketslakers050709&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

“I remember when I used to play back home in the neighborhood, there was always games like that,” Artest said afterward, delivering another memorable history lesson of life in the Queensbridge projects. “One of my friends was playing … and it was so competitive they broke a piece of leg from a table and they threw it and it went right through his heart and he died, right on the court.

“So I’m accustomed to playing basketball really rough. … I’m used to fighting on the court. That’s how I grew up playing basketball. It took me a lot of years to really back off and understand that’s not what the league is about.”

WHOAH. IS IT JUST ME OR WAS THAT STORY JUST MADE UP BY OH I DUNNO A CRAZY PERSON? shouldn't this be counted as a quote machine? haha.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Lacklation report reporting on Mavs-Lakers? That deserves a Worst of the Night.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - You really think Kobe should be suspended for elbowing a guy in the chest while jockeying for a rebound? Check the slo-mo replay and you can clearly see Kobe's elbow is below Ron's shoulders. Dwight Howard was suspended for turning around during a dead ball and aiming right for Dalembert's head and punching him (he just used his elbow instead of his fist), so I don't see how this relates to what Kobe did while his back was turned and while the play was going on. Honestly that's the difference between what Kobe did and what Rafer Alston did last night, and why Skip will get a suspension and Kobe won't: if you go after a guy's head after the play is over then you're gonna get suspended, whether you slap them in the head, punch them or throw an elbow.

Should Kobe have been T'd up for the elbow? Absolutely, at least that, maybe even a flagrant one. But you can't suspend a guy for an elbow that's below the shoulders, especially when it's while going for a rebound like that. Kobe will probably be assessed a flagrant one for the foul, and might get a fine, but if you suspend him for that then you're really opening the door to all kinds of stupid suspensions down the road. I would think a guy like yourself who is generally opposed to the ongoing wussification of the league should understand that.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous (and everybody else) -- Video of Ron's soon-to-be-famous table leg story has been added to the post.

Anonymous hellshocked said...
Yikes. Yams, you're about as "fair and balanced" as Fox News when it comes to the Lakers.

How about those "NBA All-Defensive Team" awards? Plenty of worst of material there. In the first team we have such notables as Chris Paul (with his Allen Iverson brand of defense), Lebron James (whose only qualification is his ability to deliver Tayshaun Prince on Reggie Miller type blocks every few games) and our defensive player of the year, Mr. I can't guard the post but I'm a decent weakside shotblocker with inflated stats, Dwight Howard.

The second team is much more decent though I think Dwayne Wade is overrated as a defender. Like Kobe he can typically shut someone down when he wants to, but like Kobe for whatever reason (offensive burden? avoid foul trouble? doesn't feel like it?) he only shows this ability every few games.

Blogger Unknown said...
I think the Kobe elbow to Artest is slightly different from the Dwight one. Dwight's was absolutely after the play, and had nothing to do with gaining position. Artest is basically fouling Kobe the whole play. You cant ride a dude's back and shoulder like that.

Ofcourse Kobe is a huge dick, and there is no excuse for the battier clip. He defenitely threw that elbow on purpose. I don't think it was to set Artest off though. It was more your fouling me, ill foul you right back.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
One other thing, you say "if the league wants to stay consistent in the way it hands down its rulings..." Is that what the league is doing now? Being consistent with the way it hands down its rulings? Rajon Rondo is laughing at that statement right now.

Blogger DocZeus said...
First off, there is no way that Kobe is going to get suspended for a game because after Rondo was given two free passes on consecutive nights, the league has essentially established two ways of refereeing. One for the Lakers/Celtics and one for the rest of the league.

Howard got suspended because he was on the Magic and thus nobody cares. If he was playing for the Celts, there's no way in hell he's getting a suspension.

Blogger mg said...
I guess an elbow is not a flagrant when Kobe throws it. Not even a foul, actually.

Come on, David. Let's just skip conference semifinals and finals and go straight to your desired Kobe-LeBron matchup. And you only have to fix Lakers series beacuse LeBron is getting there by himself.

Blogger Sturla said...
The decision not to suspend Rondo was done for public safety. With him in a suit, Doc would have been forced to start Starbury and watching him play for 30+ minutes with the garbage he´s been throwing up would surely have caused me and many others to poke our eyes out with a hot stick.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams, Bawful. I'd go somewhere in between about the elbow. It looks through intentionally. But with the intent to get the man away and knowing by feeling, just as Hubie taught, where the opponent is with what body part - Kobe felt, he's under Ron's Shoulders. Intent to even hurt? Definitely though. But not the head. Still, I'd not say it's worth a suspension. Rodman wouldn't have played more than 3 playoff games a series then. And the league and consistency? Ah. Stop the talk.

PS: I'm with the Rockets. Don't get me wrong. But get Yao the ball, visti (WV).

Blogger Wild Yams said...
TrueHoop and Chris Sheridan are reporting that from looking at the reverse angle footage of Kobe's elbow that he clearly hit him in the chest:

"On the Bryant-Artest play, the two were battling for rebounding position when Bryant struck Artest with his elbow. Artest immediately began gesturing and arguing that he had been elbowed in the neck, but replays appeared to show Bryant's elbow striking Artest on his upper chest, just above the "R" on Artest's Rockets jersey."There's a real good pic of where Kobe's arm is when he hits Ron Artest right here.

There's also this bit on the Fisher foul:

"On the Fisher foul, the replays appeared to show clear premeditation -- which usually is enough for the league to tack on an accompanying one-game suspension. But replays also showed the actual foul against Scola happened when Fisher lowered his shoulder and knocked Scola over, with Fisher only swinging his elbow on the follow-through."Expect a lot of whining if no suspensions are handed down, which it appears would be the correct call. Of course, if there are suspensions, then I guess that goes back to the above statement about how the league is consistent in its inconsistency with how it rules on these incidents.

Blogger flit89 said...
Did you notice how complementary Barkley was of Artest in that chat they had after the already infamous "table-leg" story?

I believe he says 'I want tough guys with me. Ron Artest can play with Charles William Barkley anytime'.

A great privilege and complement indeed. Barkley clearly admires him. He obviously hasn't been keeping up with 'Bawful and didn't watch that other Artest interview in which he claims that (aswell as Brandon Roy being better than Kobe and Lebron), Barkley is 'a little overrated'.

Anonymous Gengar said...
Sir Bawful: Following last night’s game between the Rockets and Lakers, you may well feel the need to coin additional terms which describe the art of dickery at levels surpassing that of the prefix “super”. I personally suggest “ultradickery” or, in severe cases, “hyperdickery”, as replacements in special circumstances. Suitable circumstances would include Kobe puckering his lips, shaking his head, and incessantly taunting “You can’t guard me!” after every single basket he scored against a docile Shane Battier; another example would be Derek Fisher’s needless flagrant foul against Louis Scola for his blood-curdling crime of … preparing to set a pick.

I found the late-game antics between Ron Artest/the referees/Kobe “The Elbow” Bryant to be quite entertaining. The apex of my amusement occurred whilst Ron Artest was gesturing toward Kobe and the surrounding referees as to how Bryant elbowed him by stroking his neck with his thumb repeatedly. Am I the only person who thought Artest was referring to The Undertaker’s signature “throat slash” gesture?

Oh, and the Rockets need to seriously consider doubling Bryant. Shane Battier is a great defender in the sense that he can quite efficiently keep Kobe away from the paint and therefore limit his freethrow attempts; however, Kobe is arguably the best midrange and off-the-dribble shooter in the NBA, which is why a single-coverage jumpshot is too easy for him. On a player like LeBron, who depends much more on his ability to drive, Shane alone may suffice, but not against Kobe.

Anyway, I’m no physicist or anything, but something tells me it is impossible to throw a table leg at a high enough speed to penetrate somebody’s rib cage and consequently, their heart. Unless, of course, the “table leg” in question was ghetto slang for "hunting spear".

Blogger Toasterhands said...
I believe the story.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, but if I didn't know you were a Lakers fan, I certainly would now.

Houston never once "backed down" in the second half as you say. They stayed in the game despite some crazy good shooting from the Lakers, and some home cookin' by the officials. And let's face it- they're overmatched in this series and everyone knows it. But I'm curious as to how you feel that they backed down?

You saw Kobe elbow Artest in the head- that was just dirty, whether it hit his chest/head/whatever- in any case that was no foul on Artest. Derek Fisher's flying shoulder tackle/head-butt/elbow on Scola? Maybe the league is being wussified, but that hit should get him suspended. It looked an awful lot like the hit James Posey put on Kirk Hinrich in 07 (06?) that got him suspended. He looked, he wound up, lowered his shoulder, and he followed through. Great move- in ice hockey. If Rafer gets suspended for his little slap-and-tickle on House, THAT will be true wussification. What Fisher did... that's dangerous.

But no WoTN for Fisher?

No WoTN for the Lakers blowing a 15pt lead in the 2nd to let the Rockets LEAD until the buzzer-beater at the half with Houston's reserves playing?

Anyway no hard feelings- obviously I would have written the post differently, but I'm not without my bias either.

Blogger skr said...
This is a lose lose situation for the League. If they suspend Kobe, they will get all kinds of complaints from the Lakers about Rondo not getting suspended. If they don't suspend him, they will get complaints from SVG and the Magic about Dwight's suspension. Can't win here.

My guess is they don't suspend him 1.) because he's one of the two marquee players in the L and 2.) he wasn't called for a foul on the play and they hate admitting they were wrong (i.e. Rondo's first to Brad Miller's face).

We'll see i guess.

Anonymous Jaz said...
The Alston slap video hasn't been pulled the NBA, because he's gone for a game, and we can watch it all we want and nod our heads in agreement. If the video were pulled (as with Rondo's), we'd know that Alston was not going to be suspended.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kobe should be suspended for that elbow and Fisher should be suspended for his premeditated shot on Scola. They think they can get away with whatever they want because they're the Lakers, yet they havent won squat since Shaq was traded. If the Rockets dont beat them King James will make Kobe bow to his greatness.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
"Expect a lot of whining if no suspensions are handed down, which it appears would be the correct call. Of course, if there are suspensions, then I guess that goes back to the above statement about how the league is consistent in its inconsistency with how it rules on these incidents."

Yams... you're such a homer, it's fantastic.

Anyway if Fisher gets suspended it won't matter. They're better without him anyway in this series.

I'd like to point out something else: lately you've been talking up the height advantage that LA has (mostly in comparison to Denver), and I've let it go, until now. With Yao and Scola on the bench in the 2nd quarter, Carl Landry had a heyday against the taller Lakers interior. Also, as pointed out by the TNT crew, Luis Scola was too much for Lamar Odom to handle down on the box (Odom officially is 6-10 and Scola 6-9, but Odom's wingspan makes him effectively a 7-footer+, and should give him a decided advantage over Scola). All I'm saying is that height is nice, but it really doesn't mean "jack squat".

WV- tardsm

Anonymous poptarted said...
Those pictures of Kobe elbowing Artest are not what I'd call "real good".

I understand if Alston gets suspended, but everybody deserves a slap upside the head sometimes.

I expect anything from the league. I bet they use a "wheel of fortune" to decide suspensions. The wheel has spoken!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
"In what was probably the wildest game of the playoffs so far, and a contest that could be argued was "must win" for both teams, the Rockets only showed up for the first half and as a result blew an opportunity to go home up 2-0."
There's no way Yams wrote this statement. Wilder than the triple OT game? A "must win" for the Rockets even though they've already stolen home court? Begone, bizzaro Yams!

Anonymous La Dolce Vita said...
No WOTN for Dirk?

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Speaking of Luis Scola... I'm impressed. I thought he would be an "energy guy" and maybe a nice bench player, but he is a legitimate starting PF in the NBA, and having a great postseason.

Mid-range jumper? check

Post game? (Power AND Finesse :p) check

Footwork/defense? check

Hombre? check

Greasy long hair? checka-checka!!

What a great pickup for Houston, and I know it's been said before, but SA must really be kicking themselves for letting him go. I guess they figured that would be too many Argentinians on one team...

Blogger chris said...
I'm starting to wonder if the Bynum injury last year WASN'T a bad thing after all for the Lakers, because it forced them to get a center who isn't prone to scoring a Voskuhl every two games. Though this could also be a sample size issue, what with bench appearances and all.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
In the interest of being fair and balanced, I definitely let my homer flag fly with my writeup; but I did so as a response to all the "the Lakers are dead!" stuff I saw after Game 1. I also did so because of all the "the Lakers are soft!" stuff I've read for the last year. Anyone who watched the last Lakers-Celtics game should know this year's Lakers are not last year's Lakers, and are not going to back down from anyone, and last night should serve as a reminder of that fact.

I'm a homer, but I'm a realist too (at least, I think I am). I wouldn't claim that Fisher's foul wasn't excessive or premeditated. He clearly sized Scola up and drilled him as hard as he could. It was a cheap shot, but it was not dirty, in that he wasn't trying to hurt him, he just was sending a message. He just hit him in the chest with his shoulder, even if he did so with as much force as he could muster. It wasn't like he was head-hunting. Nevertheless, the refs were 100% right to throw Fisher out, and they've definitely got justification for suspending him if they want to. But as I said, that was a hard foul the Lakers needed to have. It wasn't retaliatory for some hard foul of Scola's, but was rather just sending the message that the Lakers weren't going to be pushed around. And from that point forward the Rockets really seemed to play pretty timidly, IMO. That's why I said they backed down and were intimidated (Artest excluded).

AK Dave - You keep wanting to talk about Lakers-Denver, and really, we're not there yet. We'll see what happens in the next round, but I've been pretty clear on my feelings about how that's a great matchup for the Lakers.

AnacondaHL - Well that game last night was the wildest in terms of non-basketball related drama, what with all the technicals and ejections and the calls for suspensions and whatnot. Also, I think every game in this series is must win for the Rockets, who were 0-2 at home against the Lakers this year. Make no mistake, they needed that game last night. I really do think that was a battle of wills and wits last night and the Lakers won both battles. While it is good that Houston won Game 1 and were competitive for much of Game 2, the reality is that they've only beaten the Lakers once in six tries this year; and that for all the talk about how great they defend Kobe, in those six games against Houston this season Kobe is averaging 31 points while shooting 52% from the field. Houston can't afford to relax or back down for one second in this series if they hope to win it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams - you said that Fisher hit him with as much force as he could muster, but he wasn't trying to hurt Scola.

You must never play sports. Trust me, in hockey, bball, or football. When you try to hit someone with as much force as you can, you're going to hurt someone. I just can't accept that argument. Fisher knew he was doing a dangerous play. he even looked slightly ashamed as he brushed his dome right after. It's the same look my 7 year old gives me after he does something wrong.

I agree that Fisher was sending a message, but he sent it knowing what it was going to mean, and that includes a suspension. And frankly, I think he figured the Lakers could afford him better than anyone else. He's the goat, so they don't lose anyone valuable (read: Kobe), who later had a questionable elbow. The league simply won't suspend a superstar AND another teammate.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Wild Yams-

I'm just talking about height. Not Denver-Dallas, height. As in: unless you have 3+ inches on another player, it doesn't matter that much in your matchup (that's what she said! sorry- couldn't help it...j). Speed is much more of a deciding factor; and skill of course. If you are more skilled, you win the matchup. If you are faster, you win the matchup. If you are taller... eh, maybe you get the rebound 51% of the time instead of 50%, but that's debatable as well.

Anonymous Andy said...
I have a new-found respect for Shane Battier after watching the past few games. Whacked by Vujacic and Bryant, mouthed off at constantly, keeps his composure and never reacts/retaliates.

Kobe and Artest both fouled each other, should have been a double-tech. Artest has a beef about being fouled, but there is tons of contact both ways, not to mention Artest has his arm/elbow right up on Kobe's head right about the same time he gets whacked in the chest.

I think Battier is doing a good job on Kobe, he's just hitting absurd shots. If I were him I'd stick with it. Doubling will just open up Gasol/Odom for the two-man game inside and the Rockets can't deal with that.

Blogger Andrei said...
Gendar, I think the Rockets' D on Kobe is working just fine. They already collapse on him as soon as he gets into the lane and they've kept his free throws down. The rest of the Lakers, except Gasol, have yet to arrive in this series and until they do the Lakers will have trouble shaking off the Rockets. I'm fine with Kobe taking around 30 jump shots a game. If he hits them, the game will be in favor of the Lakers (game 2), if he misses his fair share the Rockets come out ahead (game 1). The real difference in the game last night was turnovers. If the Lakers keep pilfering Rocket passes and keep scoring in transition the Rockets are toast. Anyway, I'm taking all of Kobe's trash talking as a good sign for the Rockets. Kobe is now intent on beating the Rockets single handed so the barrage of jump shots isn't ending any time soon.

Yams, I'll jump on the band wagon of bashing your homerific post. I'd just like to point out that the Rockets didn't quit in that game, the Lakers simply played better. Anytime the Lakers got a lead the Rockets fought back, at least until Artest got tossed and then they simply didn't have enough fire power. Also, regarding the Lakers' toughness, I wouldn't say two cheap shots disprove the notion that the Lakers aren't tough. Continually coughing up double digit leads and letting Carl Landry abuse them on the boards aren't signs of toughness in my book.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- I'm guessing by "wildest" Yams was referring to the over-the-top physicality, as opposed to the thrilling nature of down-to-the-wire basketball. This game was more sideshow than anything else. But I did learn that it's possible to throw a table leg through someone's heart, and that's totally ninja. Maybe even...Super Ninja?!

Anyway, to respond to Yams' question. If there is accurate video evidence exonerating Kobe of an elbow-to-the-throat blow, then I suppose a suspension is't necessary. But make no mistake: My complaints about the wussification of the league do not extend to dirty blows and cheap shots, and that's the kind of crap Kobe is pulling right now. From what he did to Shane Battier in Game 1 to throwing that intentional elbow in Game 2, Mamba is turning into a bush leaguer, and, really, he should be above that. Playing hard is one thing, hard fouls are one thing, but that garbage? That's entering Bill Laimbeer territory. Being dirty and being tough are two different things.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
A commenter who was complaining about laction reports yesterday mentioned that reading this blog was difficult sometimes because of all the jargon that is used.

How is that Basketbawful glossary coming along?

Since you almost always link such words as "smother chicken", "Voskhul" and "SWAC" to their original WoTD post and such, I would argue that the only things you need to do in order to understand this blog and the comments are:

-Watch Star Wars 1-6
-Watch Rocky IV
-Watch The Princess Bride
-Put about 100+ hours of playing time into the "Street Fighter" "Super Mario Bros" and other classic video game series'
-Watch NBA games

If you do that- you're golden. Otherwise... yeah, you're probably lost ><

Blogger Unknown said...
Ron-Ron was telling the truth!

Blogger Cortez said...
Someone find how how Artest feels about the elbow he had on Bryant's back/shoulder, while he was (illegally) pushing him under the basket with both arms by the way.

Then someone get the name of the young lad who was harpooned in the chest with a table leg.

How did Bryant become Public Enemy #1 anyway?

"Kobe and Artest both fouled each other, should have been a double-tech."

Artest clearly should have been called for a foul before that elbow clear out even happened in the first place.

"I think Battier is doing a good job on Kobe"

He sure is. Some guys just can't be stopped

(unless they face Denver then Jones will give him something to fear).

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous -- Hm. You're close. But you forgot a few things, like zombie movies/literature, professional wrestling (usually from the 1980s and 1990s), general pop culture movies (like "Ghostbusters," "Office Space," "Talledega Nights," "Anchorman," etc.), anything involving Bruce Campbell, and...look, The Basketbawful Code is complicated, okay? Don't box us in!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
For the first post about Ron Ron being a crazy liar -

From Kibbitz at BallDon'tLie

"It's a for real story, Ron's a lot of thing but he ain't a liar. From April 1991:
"A 19-year-old basketball player from Queens was fatally stabbed with a broken-off table leg today after a fight broke out during a basketball tournament, the police said.
The player, Lloyd Newton, was stabbed in the back with a leg from the scorer's table at the championship game of a Y.M.C.A.-sponsored tournament at the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, the police in Niagara Falls said."
now Ron may not have been there - he was only 11 years old at the time - but no doubt he played with guys in Queensbridge who were there."

Anonymous Ruben said...
Not to sound like Ron Artest in telling a crazy story, but all this elbowing lately is making me queasy. I guy I used to play with got knocked out in a game (in a play similar to Dwight's), and he was in hospital for about half a year, and never recovered. The asshole who did it got taken to court and lost (but luckily it isn't a litigious society). The was retarded afterwards and committed suicide a few years later. Look, I'm all for physical basketball, but not dirty basketball. I don't care about hard-shots, because people can prepare themselves for them, but cheap shots that we are seeing now, and seemed to encouraged by the league now, it's getting to insane levels of stupidity. Rafer was a dumbass, but not dangerous or malicious. Elbows (or even knees, *cough* Kobe!!!) aren't even allowed in boxing (and even then then, the other boxer is facing them and sometimes wearing headgear. So how can the league justify them in this supposedly non contact sport? On technicalities? Weak. Truly weak. I just hope the next guy who gets Rudy Tom Janoviced is an asshole.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Ron played against the best basketball player he's ever played against (Mike Chaftnfer or W/e), who went to jail when he (mike) was 15 or 16... Then he talks about playing in a game where a guy got stabbed in the heart...

Coincidence? Maybe it was really Mike who stabbed him, and not this "Brian Young" guy (who was also 16 years old)!

When are we going to meet this Mike Chaffner? The world needs answers. This could become an ESPN original movie before all is said and done.

WV- "chinc"

Anonymous Anonymous said... you're saying that the "Basketbawful Code" isn't really RULES... more like guidelines?


Blogger Cortez said...
"...another example would be Derek Fisher’s needless flagrant foul against Louis Scola for his blood-curdling crime of … preparing to set a pick."

Yeah, that exactly why he did it, because Scola was setting a pick.

"...You saw Kobe elbow Artest in the head"

No, and neither did you.

Are you guys serious?

Blogger Will said...
Bad Dave-
apparently the don't-suspend-the superstar-AND-another teammate rule doesn't apply to cases when an MVP point guard is thrown into the scorer's table and 2 of his teammates jump off the bench and walk on the court.

Blogger Breaker said...
I don't think Dirk's girl is that ugly.. mugshots tend to be pretty bad, and she doesn't look terrible or anything..

Damn you guys are harsh.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AK Dave - I've got enough to respond to in this thread without continually having to go off track over your crazy notion that the Nuggets are the 04 Pistons, so I'm just gonna stand by my assertion that yes, when it comes to basketball it does indeed help to be tall.

Now, on to something relevant. The Rockets got manhandled last night. People just want to focus on the Lakers and how they supposedly failed (I get it, they're not well-liked), but who really showed up for Houston last night? Artest and Landry and that's about it. Scola was 5-14 for 12 points and 4 boards. Yao Ming only took 4 shots in 26 minutes. Shane Battier had 6 points and got lit up like a pinball machine by Kobe. Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry combined to go 5-22 from the field. Chuck Hayes had two points. Von Wafer was sent to the locker room by his coach. Etc, etc, etc

Houston did come back from an early 15 point deficit, but coming back from a 1st quarter deficit is not uncommon at all in the NBA. If you want to point to the Lakers and say it's a continuing trend of blowing big leads, fine, but look at the lineup that Phil Jackson had out there to start the second quarter (I almost put Phil in the WOTN for this) and you can begin to see why the Rockets quickly erased that lead. For the first 4 minutes of the 2nd quarter the Laker squad was Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, and during those 4 minutes the Laker lead went from 15 to 7. After that Phil rotated in Luke Walton and Josh Powell for a few minutes, so it was definitely some weird rotations going on for LA (I don't know why Phil is still tinkering with the rotations at this point in the season, that's a bad sign). The 13-4 free throw advantage Houston had in that 2nd quarter (thanks in large part to LA's second unit quickly putting the Lakers in the penalty) probably helped some as well.

In the second half though the Lakers took that tie game and pushed the lead to double digits where it stayed for most of the rest of the game. The reality is that the Lakers answered the challenge at the start of the game, and then they answered it again when the Rockets pushed back. We'll see tomorrow if Houston can regroup after getting pushed around like that in the second half, and if Houston can keep their composure next time. But to me last night showed the tough kind of veteran response the Lakers needed to have, and appear to be in the Rockets' heads somewhat. Who's really expecting Ron Artest to be the calming leader his team needs in the face of all this turmoil? The Lakers threw down the gauntlet, let's see how Houston responds.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez said: "How did Bryant become Public Enemy #1 anyway?"

Look, Cortez, you've been around long enough to realize that I hate Kobe Bryant. That, in fact, hating him is my raison d'etre. Do I try to take away from you the right to skin mountain lions with your bare hands while screaming in soulless rage into the pitiless night? Of course not. So I'll thank you to keep your wet blanket off of me.

Kobe's been pretty well behaved all year, to the point that I had to spend an entire season making up daily Kobe entries just to get by. But now that he's being a superdick again, I feel like a fat person who just found out his office desk was made of gravy, and all his co-workers were composed entirely of delicious frosting.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

I just SAID I'm NOT talking about Denver-LA, but rather, I'm talking about height. I even used Scola-Odom as an example, and others have pointed out that Carl Landry is having his way inside.

Holy christ man- take a deep breath.

You wouldn't have so much to respond to/defend against in this post if you at least made a token effort to be objective.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous said: " you're saying that the "Basketbawful Code" isn't really RULES... more like guidelines?"


Breaker said: "I don't think Dirk's girl is that ugly.. mugshots tend to be pretty bad, and she doesn't look terrible or anything."

I say: Okay.'d date her? Because I understand that Dallas prisons allow conjugal visits...

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I just wanna point out that only now people realize that Ron Artest is Antoine Walker on offense without the passing, ball handling, or rebounding.

Anonymous Wordverification = ionot said...
It's not like he could'nt bang Tyra Banks or Adriana Lima..

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Cortez said "Someone find how how Artest feels about the elbow he had on Bryant's back/shoulder, while he was (illegally) pushing him under the basket with both arms by the way."

So, you are comparing putting an elbow in a guy's back while he's fighting for position for a rebound, and SWINGING in an elbow at a guy as being comparable? Have you ever watched or played basketball or are you just here to defend Kobe no matter what he does?

Blogger Breaker said...
In all fairness, we haven't seen her body yet.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know? I never was an Artest fan, until recently. Like him or not, he's the new Charles Oakley.

And his offense, while typically crappy, has been good LATELY- he's draining 3's, cramming it inside, and handling the ball pretty well.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Breaker -- "In all fairness, we haven't seen her body yet."


Blogger Wild Yams said...
OK AK Dave, calm down and I'll answer you. Here's what you said: "Also, as pointed out by the TNT crew, Luis Scola was too much for Lamar Odom to handle down on the box." Maybe the TNT crew and/or yourself should check to see how accurate that is. According to ESPN's play-by-play and shot chart, Scola had exactly two layups last night (both in the first quarter), and his other three made shots were a hook shot and two perimeter jumpers. He also only had one made basket after the first quarter and finished 5-14 for 12 points. Meanwhile he had three of his shots blocked and missed four other layups. Now I don't know about you, but to me this suggests that maybe the length and interior defense of the Lakers does in fact seem to bother a guy like Scola who is only 6'9.

Carl Landry had a good second quarter, but typically any time a player gets 12 free throw attempts in a quarter he's probably gonna be productive. Outside of the 2nd quarter he spent at the charity stripe though, Landry was virtually invisible the whole rest of the game (he made a free throw with 43 seconds left in the game and the Rockets down by 14, and then he got a dunk with 8 seconds left and LA up 15, but that was it).

Oh yeah. That Yao Ming guy had only 4 shots last night, and I hear he's kinda tall.

Are you happy now, or are you going to bring up Chuck Hayes and his 2 points in 21 minutes?

Blogger Cortez said...
"Have you ever watched or played basketball or"

Yeah, a little bit. Not as much as you I would imagine though.

"So, you are comparing putting an elbow in a guy's back while he's fighting for position for a rebound and SWINGING in an elbow at a guy as being comparable?"

Yes, I am.

First of all get yourself a television and stop listen to the games on the radio like it's 1953.

Artest wasn't simply "fighting for position" as you describe it. As if he was playing straight out of Naismith playbook. Get the fuck out of here.

Bryant had clearly established great position with Artest ON HIS BACK. Artest proceded to grapple and push (from behind!) and (illegally) plant his elbow over Bryant's shoulder and neck.

Now Artest is the epitome of clean above board play? Ok Mel.

"...are you just here to defend Kobe no matter what he does?"

I wouldn't give a rat's ass about Bryant or the Lakers I simply watch basketball because I like basketball.

You nitwits seem to think the refs called the foul on Artest's chest (which is where that elbow landed by the way) striking Kobe's elbow.

This unexplained & irrational hatred of someone you don't even know is telling. It's causing your eyeballs to miss entire sequences of action.

Blogger Cortez said...
"He also only had one made basket after the first quarter and finished 5-14 for 12 points."

What you talking about Willis?

That's the best post performance I've seen since...


35.7% from the field = Height advantage negated

Which probably goes a long way in explaining the idea that...

2009 Nuggets = 2004 Pistons.

I completely understand now.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Yes, I'm happy now. Thanks, man. You're alright, you know?

I'm now going to imagine a world where I had the time, energy, and will to look at all of the collective heights of teams and test the idea that the taller team has an advantage.

But that's where it stops. I may be a little crazy, but I won't spend too much time arguing the idea that it doesn't help to be tall in basketball.


Carry on...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Everyone is dumb but Cortez! You can tell because he excels at insulting people instead of making an argument that makes even one iota of sense! You are right, I haven't seen the replay one time. No one has but you. You are the only one who saw the TRUTH of what really happened. Great work!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
First off, Yams, give me a f'n break with that write up. The Rockets didn't back down at all.

Secondly, Battier is making Kobe do exactly what he wants him to - take contested jumpers. Kobe hasn't been getting to the paint near as much, which is exactly how Shane, and the rest of the Houston D, is playing him.

As Hollinger noted...

In game 2, Kobe was 12-20 (60%) on jump shots outside of the lane.

In game 1, Kobe was 8-23 (35%) on shots outside of the lane (didn't see him talking much then).

For the season, Kobe shot 42.4% on long 2 pointers, and 62.2% at the basket. Game 1 was much closer to his normal average on those types of shots. Where would you try to get him to shoot from?

Battier knows, and has stated as much, that he can't stop Kobe when he's hitting on all cylinders. What he does, is try to force him into areas on the court where he takes lower % shots. Sometimes he'll make them, and when he does, you can't do anything about it. But things even out, as they did over the course of the first two games. It's doubtful he shoots that well every game.

Blogger starang said...
Its almost like no one remembers the Suns-Lakers matchups of years past. Kobe is a dirty player, hands down. A great player, but dirty none the less. He has been throwing intentional elbows for quite a while now, but the League will not suspend him. He does what he wants cause he is Kobe.

I think an intentional elbow deserves suspension, whether its before a play, after a play, on someones foot, on the chest, on their throat, head or junk. Throwing intentional elbows is dirty, hands down. And Kobe should be suspended for it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Holy crap! It's starang!! Where've you been, man?!

And by the way, you have provided some truly classic anti-Kobe quips in the past. You can do better than that, surely.

Blogger Fowill said...
Now I am an admitted Rockets apologist, so this may seem like the usual "whining about the refs" inherent in every post game discussion but, why is Joey Crawford not only still employed by the NBA, but continually officiating playoff games? It seems like every game he is involved with becomes the Joey Crawford Show. Any time I see he is officiating I know that a barrage of technicals is coming down at some point. And, did any one else catch him shoving the crap out of Snake-Eggs during the Scola/Walton lovefest? Vince McMahon needs to put together a Joey Crawford vs Artest and Duncan handicap match right now.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Everyone is dumb but Cortez! "

Correction: Everyone is dumb INCLUDING Cortez.

You want the proof? I'm actually going back and forth with you despite the fact that your original post was completely silly.

"You can tell because he excels at insulting people"

Yeah, I'm proud of that too. So are my parents!

"argument that makes even one iota of sense!"

Yep, getting illegally manhandled from behind (by a known lunatic!)while establishing great position should be met with a polite nod and a request to the ref to keep an eye on things.

Got it.

"You are the only one who saw the TRUTH of what really happened. Great work!"


Blogger starang said...
And Cortez is an idiot. The whole bit about hating someone you don't know? Give me a break. This is a basketball blog guy. Lighten up a little bit.

I can have my opinions about Kobe's on court persona. And I hate his dirty play. Its too bad he can't just come out and be good, he has to throw elbows, make idiotic and plane stupid comments about other player, and butt rape hotel concierge's. I didn't make him do all that crap, thats just what he does, and its a sad thing because the guy can play. Mostly, it hurts me...I wan't the League to be respected, but it will never be with guys like Kobe being your best and most admired players. And it will never be with Stern and Stu letting Kobe do whatever he wants on the floor, but suspending other for very, very similar actions. Its a shame.

Blogger starang said...
I know 'Bawful, I could get down right medieval on Kobe, but I wanted to make a serious point.

Glad to see things are going well on the post, been a while since I've read. 50+ comments and its only 2pm? You deserve the following...even if a small portion of them are Kobe Lovers.

Blogger chris said...
Man, I didn't realize this would happen when the "Kobe Bryant WOTN" became 95% of the post! Talk about comment flow like NONE OTHER.

CAPTCHA: "frughe" which is only relevant to people who know who Jenny Lewis is. Sadly, that includes me.

Blogger chris said...
Fowill: And what is it with Joey Crawford and the Texas teams in the Association? Seriously!

Anonymous Karc said...
There is only one way to settle this, on the court, right now.

I'm not sure what the sides will be. All of the anonymous people, get a username or something so that we can do this.

I'm making the over-under for suspensions from last night at 1.5. I personally am taking the under at 1. Alston's in trouble, Fisher and Artest were already tossed, the only question is Kobe, which is not really a question (since ratings would plummet).

Wafer might as well go to Cancun on the DNP-CD express for the rest of the series.

Any others I missed?

Blogger Cortez said...
"And Cortez is an idiot."


"The whole bit about hating someone you don't know?"

What about it?

"Give me a break."


"This is a basketball blog guy."

Which is why every post I've written concerns BASKETBALL, B'awful's original post, and BASKETBALL PLAYERS.

"Lighten up a little bit."

You first. The irony is thick!

" Its too bad he can't just come out and be good, he has to throw elbows, make idiotic and plane stupid comments about other player, and butt rape hotel concierge's."

Yep, a large part of Kobe's success is due in large part to him being a "dirty player". While the rest of the league is upholding time honored good sportsman like behavior Kobe Bryant is running wildly through the league delivering cheapshots to NBA statesmen like Ron Artest and making people feel bad with nasty insults about their inability to contain him one on one.

Got it.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Pro wresting, eh? (Yes, I DID watch the public access pro wrestling in Sacramento on TV quite a few times about a year ago. No joke. And I even knew people who had some involvement in it!!!!)

Combine NES and pro wrestling and...well...making references to King Slender and the Giant Panther should give me even more 'bawful cred, right? ;)

Blogger watching.skies said...

If I remember correctly Kobe has been suspended multiple times for flailing arms and throwing elbows. IF Kobe's elbow hit Artest above the shoulders then he deserves a suspension, no doubt. But according to some replays the elbow hit in the chest area, which does not merit an automatic suspension.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- VERY NICE. Now, me, I was a Kin Corn Karn guy. I have no idea why. I guess it was because of his karate kick move. I also liked the Amazon for the Piranha Bite and his choke move. Random memory: When I got my original NES, I got three games: Super Mario Bros. (which came with it), Pro Wrestling and the original Mario Bros. (which featured Mario and Luigi fighting bugs, crabs and turtles in a sewer). Ah...memories.

Blogger chris said...
LOL, Mario and Luigi fighting _crabs_ in a sewer - is that an analogy to LeBron, Tarence, Acie, and THE Mario I see there, Mr. McHale? ;)

What has always annoyed me about Pro Wrestling - as much as I love the game - is the lack of a health meter. You have to try a jillion takedowns just to wear your computer opponent out, and you'd have no clue how long that would take.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- Yeah, the lack of a health meter was a pain in the arse, but health meters weren't universal back I had no idea why it sucked so much.

Random aside: When game designers were making Larry Bird versus Dr. J: One on One, they actually consulted Larry and the Doc on various game elements, and Larry suggested that players should experience the game designers worked that into the final product, and it's been a staple of sports games since (well, many of them anyway). So we call all thank Larry Legend for that innovation.

Anonymous Andy said...

Given the events of the Boston-Chicago series, the Alston suspension is ridiculous. Fisher had it coming, though.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Fisher has been suspended one game...Kobe has not, though he will have to live with the shame of being Kobe Bryant.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Chris: Pro Wrestling = awesomeness

Starman was invincible. His somersault kick had by far the highest hit priority when grappling.

The pink tights were awesome, too! My older brother used to get SOOO PISSED OFF at me when I would crush him using the same move over and over again in that game.

Good times!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
And the results are in: Kobe assessed a flagrant one for the elbow, Fisher and Skip suspended one game. Let the whining commence.

BTW, AK Dave, it's not that the Lakers are just taller than Denver, it's the team's overall size (height and length). Simply putting Shawn Bradley or Manute Bol on the floor doesn't guarantee you victory; but having Gasol and Odom in there with their long arms up around the basket does make it tougher for teams to score inside.

I've seen a couple people say the Rockets didn't back down last night, and I have to wonder if we were watching the same game. In the 4th quarter, did you see the Rockets put forth much effort at all? Outside of the Kobe-Artest play, the Rockets looked like they were already beaten for most of the 4th quarter; and it only got worse after Ron was tossed. Do you realize that LA played the last 9 minutes of the game with Odom on the bench, and Trevor Ariza didn't play at all until the final minute? LA basically ran it up using Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic, Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar. This was in a playoff game that was within 8 points with 8 minutes to go, and LA was able to cruise in the 4th quarter using basically their bench. And Yao played all but 43 seconds of the 4th quarter! Now I don't know about you, but that didn't look like there was much fight coming from Houston at all following all the techs and Fisher's foul at the end of the 3rd quarter. Am I way off on that? Can someone explain why the Rockets looked so flat in the 4th quarter last night after playing with a lot of intensity right up till the Fisher foul? That's why I didn't put Fish in there for WOTN honors, and that's why I said the Rockets looked intimidated.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

The thought of having Bol and Bradley on the floor simultaneously for the same team seriously made my day XD Now picture Shaq playing against them- it would be like Godzilla vs. two antenna towers!

I think the results are fair. Kobe shouldn't have been tossed or suspended IMO, but what Fisher did was suspension-worthy.

Rafer Alston... I wouldn't have suspended him personally, but he should have been forced to pay a fine, and tell Eddie House that he's really sorry and that it won't happen again, and then give him a big hug before the next game starts in front of his home crowd.

Man! What a day- the comments section has stepped up the intensity! Will Cortez face a 1-comment suspension for his flagrant 2 insult on "Anonymous"? Will Yams' home-cookin be reversed when the series switches to Houston for game 3? Can Giant Panther pin Fighter Hayabusa after his "back brain kick" connects and the "stamina bell" goes off? Tune in tomorrow, when the playoff comments go up yet another notch!!

WV- "snutt" eeeeeeeewwww

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
I can't believe I haven't commented on this post yet.

Anyway, I agree with the suspensions. I originally believed Kobe should have been suspended, but after further video review, I'm good on the non-suspension. I've got a good feeling about a Houston-Cleveland showdown. It would be crazy, and probably boring, but at least it wouldn't be the usual suspects.

In other news, I really think Brian "Ginger Avenger" Scalabrine has a chance to be the most notable Bawful back-up since Greg Kite.

I'm pushing for "Ginger Avenger." The idea is that he has had revenge for all pale red-headed white (and awful) basketball players by winning a ring from the bench.

But mostly it rhymes and sounds funny. I made the other stuff up. Judge me how you will.

Blogger chris said...
AK Dave: for that comment, a WINNER IS YOU!

That is, if we judged comments on maximum freaking intensity, man.

Blogger Cortez said...
"So we call all thank Larry Legend for that innovation."

Another plus for the the G.O.A.T.

You just made my day.

@Wild Yams

You're making the classic mistake of relying on valid premises, correct inferences, intelligent analysis and reasonable assumptions and at the same time assuming others a doing the same.

Bad move.

Blogger Cortez said...
"I think the results are fair."

Yep, agreed.

"It would be crazy, and probably boring, but at least it wouldn't be the usual suspects."

That's actually sounds good to me too.

"Will Cortez face a 1-comment suspension"

Most of my comments deserve immediate suspension. I'm not really contributing too much anyway.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Has a post ever cracked 100 comments before? This could be a first guys. Don't stop now!

Anonymous Gengar said...
Totally unrelated to last night's commotion, but ...

Shaq versus Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

I can't help but feel I'm missing a really good joke here. Anyway, it's nice to see Shaq "training" in the offseason for a change.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Given the evidence at hand, I declare the punishments fair. My name is Basketbawful, and I approved this message.

Blogger Andrei said...
Yams, I love it when an argument starts "Were you even watching the same game?". No, I spent last night poking myself in both eyes simultaneously and today in a literal blind rage I've decided to comment on a game I did not see. Also, let's not confuse lack of effort with plain old sucking. The Rockets spent most of the 4th turning the ball over for easy buckets the other way, not necessarily laying down to the Lakers. Although, the fear induced by a 6 foot tall guard throwing a cheap shot is pretty intense.

Anonymous tony.bluntana said...
Before I read all the comments, I just want to say that anyone who doesn't believe Ron Artest is an idiot. Yes, he may be crazy; but, he is sincere. He believes what he tells you because it's true. Barkley's right, Ron Artest can roll with me any day of the week.

Blogger Henchman #2 said...
I refuse to advocate any nickname for Brian Scalabrine other than "The Italian Scallion", for the following reasons: the obvious Italian Stallion spoof, the Scal overlap, and the fact that Scallions are commonly referred to as White Onions. I realize those jokes are all awful, but still, that name works on 3 levels.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Speaking of things I approve of, hey BleedingHeartPessimist, love the icon. I just read Kingdom Come for the first time about a month ago...and I loved it, despite the fact that I'm not really a D.C. guy. It actually inspired me to try out Mortal Kombat versus the D.C. Universe, which I bought for PS3 but hadn't even tried yet. Quickly determined that Captain Marvel was the funnest hero to play.

Also agree with tony.bluntana and Chuck Barkley. Ron-Ron is nuts...but would I spend a day and/or evening hanging with him? Hells to the yes.

Furthermore, also agree with Andrei that the "were we watching the same game" argument sucks, always hate when that one is used against me. All this stuff is pretty subjective. I mean, ultimately, it's all conjecture isn't it? We're not really in the hearts and minds of these players. I think Kobe is the world's biggest dickhole, but who knows, maybe he's a golden prince with soul made of pure love and yummy chocolate fairies.

I also didn't think that the Rockets backed down. They were getting outplayed and nothing was going their way...fouls, turnovers, etc. I've had games like that where I'm trying as hard as I can, and I'm certainly not afraid of anything -- I mean, it's fucking basketball, what, is somebody going to hit me with a brick? -- but frustration with bad play/lousy conditions begets more frustration which bets worse play, so on and so forth. That's all it looked like to me. They got beaten physically and probably got down emotionally, but it didn't seem like they quit or got intimidated.

Anonymous RipTheJacker said...
If you were from the hood you might considering fearing a table leg through a vital organ or 2, though.

Anonymous Marc said...
Matt Bonner, the other pale red-headed white basketball player, also has a ring from the bench.

That makes two bench riding redheads with rings in the past two seasons.

Every team should have a pale bench-riding redhead.

I just wish Oklahoma could have won this year so Robert Swift couldve gone for the trifecta

Blogger tony.bluntana said...
So very much to have an opinion about. Where to start? How about with a comments manlove fest?

1. Cortez, I like your style. I also like these semi-revealing comments I've caught about you and lions. What's the story? I know you live with a pride of lions in the mountains, and you skin mountain lions with your bare hands, and you tame lions. Are you a plumber or something?

2. Yams, I agree with you (but, about what, I will never share).

3. AK Dave, for that last paragraph of your last post, you are my new hero.

4. But, none of you will ever be Tony Bluntana.

Okay, on to basketball...

1. Am I the only one who thought Battier went for a super-quick nut-shot right before Kobe's now infamous elbowing in the back of the neck? Or, am I implicitly admitting that I have not read the post or comments for Game 1?

2. Artest was right. From the angles shown during the game, it looked like Kobe threw that elbow into Ron's throat. The intentionally thrown elbow escalates the situation from a loose ball foul (on Artest) to a potential brawl. Artest went straight to the ref, who immediately dismissed him because everyone just thinks he's crazy (to which, I say, "Fuck you all.") So, when the ref's showed no concern, he went to Kobe (the source of the problem). He knew exactly what he was doing, and he kept his arms down.

I love both of these guys for who they are. Artest should have gotten a loose ball foul, Kobe should have gotten a flagrant I, then Artest should have gotten a Tech. I understand tossing Artest on account of his past; but, I still think the refs should be more concerned with the details of the situation at hand.

3. I hate Scola. He had his elbow in Aldridge's throat everytime he went to the basket in the last series. He's a flopper and a bitch. I'm not a big fan of Fisher, but I love what he did. And, I think it was a brilliant idea. Yams is right about that one. [Damn, I just revealed it, didn't I?]

4. Ron Artest is crazy for saying B.Roy's the hardest guy he's had to guard? Did Artest actually say, "Roy is a better player than LeBron and Kobe?" Have LeBron or Kobe ever dropped 40 on Artest? (I'm not going to do the research; but, Kobe had 40 last night; and, he scored at least once after Artest's ejection, right?)

I'm telling you people, Ron Artest is the only one you can trust. Except for me, see, me? I tell the truth, even when I lie...

Anonymous James said...
I just came here to chime in that I can't believe anyone would think the Rockets fell apart last night after Fisher's foul.

From what I saw, the Rockets were hamstrung due to foul trouble on Yao and made some silly turnovers (Artest's two 4th quarter drives to the lane and a few botched Yao passes). If anyone at all in the league but Ron Artest had walked up to another player like that, they wouldn't have gotten ejected, and the Rockets might have made a real push. Without him, they still kept it close.

Let me put it this way: Given the way Bryant has played all year, do you really think he's going to play that well for 3 more games against this defense? I just can't see it. The Rockets are feeling confident they can beat this Lakers team.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Maybe I wasn't really conveying the right impression that I had regarding how I felt the Rockets flinched last night. I didn't think they actually were scared of the Lakers like LA was going to beat them up or something. What I meant was that when LA provided such a testy challenge at the end of the 3rd quarter, Houston certainly didn't rise to meet it. They just seemed to let the whole thing get to them and it affected their play.

Mr. Bawful said: "frustration with bad play/lousy conditions begets more frustration which bets worse play, so on and so forth. That's all it looked like to me. They got beaten physically and probably got down emotionally" and that's essentially what I meant. Houston didn't match the Lakers' intensity after the Fisher foul, not by a long shot, and as a result they had a really rather lackluster finish to a game which had been real intense up till that point. At times in that 4th quarter it almost had the feeling you get when a game is in "garbage time" even though that definitely wasn't the case. Usually when there's a big dustup like we saw in that game one or both teams responds with intensity, and last night Houston just didn't do that.

After the game Kenny and Charles were both saying that it's a bad idea to get Houston riled up because they've got a whole bunch of "bulldogs" on their team; but I thought that was a weird statement, simply because you would have thought if that was the case that they would have been plenty riled up in the 4th quarter last night. Maybe they'll show more heart at home in Houston tomorrow, but they really looked like they shrunk from the challenge at the end of the game last night.

Not to go all Henry Abbott here by quoting David Thorpe, but here's what his summation was about last night's game and his look ahead to tomorrow night:

"Had L.A. showed the kind of toughness we saw in Game 2 against Houston in last season's NBA Finals, that outcome might have been different. The playoffs are cumulative learning experiences, and Boston taught the Lakers well. Houston will without a doubt be ready to fight again in Game 3, but L.A.'s defense should be the difference.

Prediction: Lakers wins Game 3"

Anonymous Geert said...
Why isn't there a basketbawful forum yet, where these discussions can go on continuously instead of slowly descend into the depths of basketbawful everytime a new post gets up?

I mean, the same discussions keep popping up everytime so there might as well be a forumthread about it, somewhere. Altough I admit I have no idea how much work goes in setting up something like that.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Am I the only one who thought Battier went for a super-quick nut-shot right before Kobe's now infamous elbowing in the back of the neck?"

Nope, I saw that too. I'm trying to figure out how almost everyone else seems to have missed it. That, plus all the other "tough playoff basketball" that is happening throughout the game which would make an offensive player a bit pissed off.

Hence the semi-validity of "were you watching the same game".

"Artest was right. From the angles shown during the game"

Artest wasn't "right". There is a clear unambigous video and photo on which shows where that elbow landed (which was in his chest).

An elbow that most likely wouldn't have taken place if Artest wasn't pushing Bryant in his upper back, neck and head from behind with both arms.

"Are you a plumber or something?"

Nah, I work for Lopez Motors. I'm a negotiator

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Uaaah. Too many comments. Mr. Basketbawful:

King Crab = unintentionally dirty quote machine?

From Yahoo! Recap:

“I’m having fun,” James said. “I’m having a ball.”

Oh. Just one?


Blogger Basketbawful said...
tony.bluntana -- I just watched the animated .gif several times and I don't see the nutshot. I suppose that happened somewhere between Mamba kneeing Battier in the face and then elbowing him in the back of the head? Do you have any better video that shows the nutshot you saw?

Geert -- I don't believe blogger supports forums. I supposed I could move the site to a Web host and set that up...but that sounds like a lot of work, which makes me sleepy. So sleepy...

Cortez -- "An elbow that most likely wouldn't have taken place if Artest wasn't pushing Bryant in his upper back, neck and head from behind with both arms."

This is the second or third time you've noted this. There was plenty of pushing and shoving going both ways throughout that game. That doesn't change the fact that Artest rightly could have been tagged with a foul. However, as someone who has played a lot of basketball and been both the victim and victimizer of a fair share of that kind of pushing and shoving -- which certainly isn't really part of the kind of basketball I would like to play (or watch) -- there seems to be, in my experience, lines of escalation with these types of plays. Pushing, shoving, etc. back are one thing, throwing an indescriminate elbow backwards at a foe is another.

Blogger Cortez said...
"This is the second or third time you've noted this. There was plenty of pushing and shoving going both ways throughout that game."


"This is the second or third time you've noted this. There was plenty of pushing and shoving going both ways throughout that game."


I would be willing to bet, based on what I can gather from your posts that...

a) You personally have never started pushing, grappling, and elbowing in the upper back and neck for position.

b) anything illegal contact initiated by yourself was a reaction to some bullshit from another player.

c) You don't believe for a minute that Artest's actions were within bounds of "getting position"

d) Since that elbow hit him in the chest I would argue the it was, in fact, not indescriminate, but exact with two goals.

#1 Stop illegally pushing me in the back/neck/head when I clearly have estabished great position.

#2 Clearing out space to get the rebound against someone who obviously doesn't care about using proper positioning to get said rebound. And for the 5 time, not depending on the ref to blow the whistle (which should have been blown well before that play)

"That doesn't change the fact that Artest rightly could have been tagged with a foul."

Replace the word "could" with "should" and the corcle will be complete.

This concept of (calling) playoff fouls vs. regular season fouls is complete nonsense and helps lead to the subjective rule enforcment bullshit that ruins the game at times.

Go hard all the time, respect the players, stay within the rules and accept the consequences when you violate the rules, purposely or not.


Blogger Evil Ted said...

As a self-proclaimed Celtics fan who has been the inspiration for much ire, I have some thoughts on how to best be biased, and how to best write while under the influence of said bias:

First, before writing a post, acknowledge to yourself that you have an inherent bias. This is the most important part of bias, because rather than invalidating what you say, it provides you and those who read your words at least an inkling that you possess some self-awareness. (Skip this part if the purpose is to just get people riled up and talking - I know I've done that).

Addendum: You must acknowledge this bias right off the bat. Being dragged kicking and screaming into admitting bias doesn't count. ("In the interest of being fair and balanced, I definitely let my homer flag fly with my writeup; but I did so as a response to all the "the Lakers are dead!" stuff I saw after Game 1.") Those statements scribbled on a lesser-viewed comment after the original post mean less, and imply that you didn't pay much attention to the integrity of the original post.

Finally, give credence to the alternate viewpoint, and consider it seriously when you write. Otherwise, the post comes off as Laker propaganda rather than genuine insight.

Like I said, I've written plenty of stuff just to incite, but I'm not really sure if that's your intent, so I'm just trying to give some thoughts on how to approach a post (unless, as stated, the goal is to just generate chatter at all costs)...

Ok, enough of that. The final word - Artest was hanging all over Kobe - foul. Kobe swung an elbow into Artest's chest, with the possible intent of getting to his throat - foul with a sprinkle of special Kobe superdickery. Double foul.

Having been recently elbowed in the throat at a school-charity 3-on-3 tournament by an opposing player I later learned to be my kid's teacher, I completely understand Artest's fury. My throat is still sore weeks later, and had I known on the day how much damage I was taking, I might have opened a can of Evil Ted whoop ass and turned the entire school gym into a bad after-school special about violence and bad parenting.


Blogger Wild Yams said...
James said - I just came here to chime in that I can't believe anyone would think the Rockets fell apart last night after Fisher's foul.

From what I saw, the Rockets were hamstrung due to foul trouble on Yao
Poor answer, since Yao played the first 11 minutes and 17 seconds of the 4th quarter. His foul problems hurt him and the Rockets before Fisher's foul, but not after it. Something else about Yao: it wasn't just the foul trouble that hurt him, but it was more the fact that the Rockets' offense never tried to involve him that hurt him. I found this interesting tidbit from Hollinger's column yesterday:

"Here's how much L.A. shut down Yao: Until 6:56 remained in the fourth quarter, his only two shot attempts came on putbacks. For the entire part where the game was still in question, he had zero shot attempts from the post. (That first shot attempt from down low ended up being notable for another reason: it was the play where Kobe Bryant elbowed Ron Artest.)"Pretty eye-opening isn't it? Houston's gotta change that tonight if they hope to have a chance of winning.

If anyone at all in the league but Ron Artest had walked up to another player like that, they wouldn't have gotten ejected, and the Rockets might have made a real push. Without him, they still kept it close.You might be right about what might have happened if anyone other than Artest would have done what he did, maybe they wouldn't have gotten tossed. However, I can't remember ever having seen any player do that before. And Artest made his own bed vis a vis his reputation, so it's something he has to live with. BTW, the Rockets did not "keep it close" following his ejection, as the lead hovered at around 15 for the rest of the game.

Let me put it this way: Given the way Bryant has played all year, do you really think he's going to play that well for 3 more games against this defense? I just can't see it.As I stated above, in the six games the Lakers have played against Houston this season Kobe is averaging 31 points per game on 52% shooting from the field, so this notion that Houston somehow throws him off his game is clearly false. If Kobe continues to play as he has against the Rockets all year, then yes, you should expect him to keep playing well.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Having been recently elbowed in the throat at a school-charity 3-on-3 tournament by an opposing player..."

Right before that guy elbowed you in the throat were you forcefully shoving him in the back/neck/head with your elbow/arms/hands despite this guy having established excellent position instead of trying to legally get a better position?

I doubt it. But if you were, then consider that the next time you are clobbering someone about the neck and head area.

Relying on bullshit "physical" tactics, especially tactics that consist of purposely pushing someone in the upper back/neck/head area may get you hit in the throat from time to time.

(or the chest in Bryant's particular case!)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - I definitely was looking to be a bit controversial with my write-up yesterday, but I do actually believe everything I wrote and I stand behind it. Furthermore, I feel like I've done a credible job of backing up what I was saying. So my intent was not just to blatantly lie in the interest of propping up the Lakers or something. Believe me, if I see them do something I don't agree with, I'll rip them apart for it (see my first comment in the thread following Game 1).

But I really believe the way that they played in the second half of Game 2, with a chip on their shoulder, and with rough, physical (even dirty) play was really what they needed. I knew that most people who just really dislike the Lakers wouldn't see it that way and would only see it as being dirty, but I'm not alone in how I felt about their play (others in the comments have said as much, and the Thorpe quote above agrees too). I think the thing the Lakers have really been missing in these playoffs is an edge and a real sense of playing with purpose, and it's quite possible that Fisher's foul may be a turning point for them. It definitely was in Game 2. It's like Jerry Sloan was saying about the Jazz in the 1st round: they need to get "nasty".

I think I definitely can see the other side of things though, and wouldn't stand here and say I believe Fisher's rhetoric after the game about how he was just looking to run through a pick. It was a cheap shot, plain and simple, but it really was what the Lakers needed, and I have a sense when this series is over that play will be looked at as the real turning point for LA.

Regarding your other comments, on Kobe's elbow: can we stop with this nonsense about how he elbowed Artest in the throat already? The replays showed it was in the chest, not the throat (in case you guys missed it last night they finally showed the reverse angles on ESPN). So while it's too bad that your throat is sore after being elbowed there, that has nothing to do with what happened between Kobe and Artest.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- I don't condone thuggish tactics in basketball, but I detest the throwing of intentional elbows even more. All that ever does is escalate confrontations. You may feel Kobe was justified in letting his elbow fly, I do not, regardless of whether it hit Artest in the magical "above the shoulders" line or not.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Cortez: I'm an expard (WV) in this: I always play(ed) physical when going for position. I expect people to push back. Thing is, I try to use my body only, feet working, pushing, with the arms merely feeling for the position of an opponent.

Now, how I feel you have to handle the pushes and the pushes back is by unexpectedly avoiding them. The most efficient way to get somebody from their position is using there own force to get them by you, not?

I mean, if Ron pushed in my back like that, I would not have taken him onto it like Kobe. Step aside quickly, get your arms behind him and use his push to get him out of position. The other way round? One step back and Kobe would have lain on the floor in front of Ron.

But that seems part of the league and officiating. The lazy way to handle this is to keep using arms and elbows on upper bodies and the refs not calling it illegal. Handchek, I say.

Blogger Cortez said...
"I don't condone thuggish tactics in basketball"

I didn't think so. I knew betting on you was the right thing to do!

"...You may feel Kobe was justified in letting his elbow fly"

My argument isn't based on the "magical shoulder line" in the least bit. Nor do I have a particular affinity for flying elbows, from Bryant or anyone else.

However, based on the in-game circumstances Bryant planted a solid blow on, what we all now know was, his CHEST.

"All that ever does is escalate confrontations."

You know what would go even further in keeping confrontations down? Not shoving people in the neck and head from behind in the first place and playing the game based on your skill and not your brawn.

I wonder, instead of planting his upper arm and elbow in his chest, what the "proper" response would have been?

"Excuse me Mr. Ref, Crazy Pills isn't following the rules. Can you please assist me in this matter?"

In which case the result would have been...

Houston 4-0 sweep.

If your overriding guideline is never, under ANY circumstances, throw an elbow because you may hurt someone then I can agree with you, in principle.

But like I have said before if someone is playing outside the bounds of fair play on a consistent basis (which Artest, despite his legitimate skills, does on the regular) then if you get hit with an elbow, oh well, so be it.

Blogger Shiv said...
One (or two, including Kobe) cheap shot does not a tough team make. See also: Bell, Raja circa 2006.

If anything, the Rockets loss was less a case of lack-of-cojones syndrome and more a case of inexperienced-undersized-shooting-guard-masquerading-as-point-guard-chronically-unable-to-get-the-rock-to-his-dominant-center-having-his-way-with-the-meek-interior-defense-itis.

Are you seriously justifying Kobe's elbow because Artest was fighting for position "illegally"? Yeah Artest fouled him, but the refs are there to call that shit.

And on a related note, am I the only one who can think of more instances of on-court-super-dickery where Kobe's concerned than where Artest is? Yeah Artest has the whole Melee at the Palace on his record, but I can't remember him getting in any other fights, while Kobe has "throwing elbows while shooting"-gate and the Chris Childs fight on his.

Yeah, Artest is a "dirty" player and I can see why he gets under other player's skins because of how physical he is, but he's no Bruce Bowen and doesn't go around kneeing groins and sweeping legs. If he wasn't completely insane and spent time more time building hospitals we'd be calling him Dikembe Mutombo.

On the other hand, it sure seems like Kobe gets more actual "fights".

Am I wrong?

Blogger Cortez said...
"Are you seriously justifying Kobe's elbow because Artest was fighting for position "illegally"?"


and here's why, according to you...

"Yeah, Artest is a "dirty" player"

Artest was "fighting for position" in the same manner a bank robber is simply making a withdraw.

So for the last time, yes. Fuck him [Artest] and that elbow to the chest.

"...but the refs are there to call that shit."

I repeat...

"Excuse me Mr. Ref, Crazy Pills isn't following the rules. Can you please assist me in this matter?"

In which case the result would have been...

Houston 4-0 sweep.

Scola (and countless others) love to lay the hammer down on offensive players and maintain the classic, Who? Me?, look. Then act bewildered when the person, or his team, smashes them across the chops.

"Why did you don that, sir? I'm shocked! I'm just playin' ball man!"

On a side note...

My chick also likes to argue from the middle of a series of related events incident instead of the beginning root cause.


Blogger Wild Yams said...
Shiv - To be fair, Kobe's been in the league a lot longer than Artest has (especially if you're gonna go all the way back to the Chris Childs incident), and Kobe's been a much more scrutinized player than Artest, so anything even marginally controversial with Kobe is front page news. Artest is definitely high profile and controversial, but in basketball in the last 10 years or so, nobody's on Kobe's level when it comes to that. People were focused on Artest when Indiana was great and following the Palace brawl; but who was really paying him much attention in Chicago or Sacramento, or when the Pacers were bad? You're talking about perception of these two guys and which incidents have made more headlines, but really it's not a fair comparison to make.

This is not to say Kobe isn't a superdick or hasn't used his fair share of dirty tactics over the years, cause he definitely has. He's a student of the game and probably studied Karl Malone, John Stockton, Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer as much as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Kobe's also a very smart player, and probably knows the value of trying to get under Artest's skin or in his head using whatever veteran, sneaky tricks he can. He's not the first player to resort to that kind of stuff, and probably won't be the last.

As far as actual fighting goes though, I'm trying to remember Kobe's last real "fight". Maybe when he threw Reggie Miller over the scorer's table? He's had a lot of little incidents like Raja Bell clotheslining him or the Artest thing the other day, but I think it's been a long time since he was in a genuine fight.

Blogger Cortez said...
By the way B'awful...

Your basketball hero/god, and mine too, the great Larry Joe Bird, hit people in the face with elbows ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME for playing him too "aggressively".

I'm just saying...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- If Bird was playing today and popped somebody in the face with an elbow, I'd decry that too. Hey, I love KG, but you can scroll through the archives here and see how I blasted him for his various acts of superdickery (screaming in Ben Gordon's face from the Boston bench, fucking with Jose Calderon, etc.).

You think that Kobe's elbow is warranted for Artest illegally pushing and shoving him from behind. Fine. It's your right to have an opinion, even when it's unfortunate enough to not agree with mine. But my feeling is getting fouled with our without a call doesn't give a player the right to start swinging their elbows, be he Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant or some dude in a pickup league.

Anonymous Jai said...
Holy crap. After watching that Ron-Ron interview, I have been praying for someone to make a Sequel to Bill Lambier's Combat Basketball... Ron Artest's Mortal Kombat Basketball.

Blogger Evil Ted said...

As a firm proponent of the eternal greatness of the '84 Finals Rambis clothesline, I'll give you some leeway on a Fisher body check and a Kobe elbow.

I will say this - beyond my typical interest in the Celtics games, I now have a much greater desire to pay attention to the rest this series. Just human nature; violence and heated exchanges attract eyeballs. I expect - and hope for - an absolute war in Houston.


Anonymous AK Dave said...
Evil Ted-

Nicely said.


Anonymous Play With Me Barkley said...
Oh, and how about Barkley saying "Ron Artest can play with me anytime."

Unintentional Dirty Manlove quote? I think so.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - Apparently Steve Javie is reffing tonight's Lakers-Rockets game, so there goes any hopes of the game being "a war". Hopefully it'll be some intense basketball, but I would expect the chippiness to be kept to a minimum with the league's quickest whistle on the court.

Also, I too am a firm proponent of the Rambis clothesline, especially following Bird's speech about how the C's were playing like a bunch of "sissies". That play, dirty though it was, turned the series around for Boston and ultimately brought them a title. When I saw Fisher lay Scola out the other night, I definitely had flashbacks to that play, cause to me it was borne of the same intent. Fisher probably even knew he'd get tossed for the play (something that would have stunned everyone if the same thing had happened to McHale back in 84), but I think he did it for the good of his team.

I think Fisher's shot was definitely a calculated move, and was not a case of him losing his cool, but rather knowing that the Lakers needed a display of toughness, and that he would be missed less than anyone else on the court because LA has two very capable backups at his position to fill in for him. If Kobe had done the same exact thing it would have been really stupid, just because the Lakers can't afford to lose him for a game like that; but Farmar and Brown isn't much of a drop off from Fisher and Brown (especially against Brooks' speed), and now Fisher, the Lakers oldest player, gets a little extra rest to boot. All of that is why I didn't put Fisher's play in the WOTN, not because I'm a homer. It's hard to put someone in the WOTN when I think he ultimately is helping his team.

Finally, I want to close with a quote from a Rockets fan and blogger to show it wasn't just me being a homer that made me come up with the analysis that Houston didn't respond well at all to Fisher's foul to end the 3rd quarter:

"A lot will be said about this one. People will talk about the officiating and how shady and intrusive it was, and they’d be right. They’ll throw stats out that show how Houston’s backcourt wasn’t as effective as LA’s and how Yao’s absence was massive. All true. But none of those are the reasons why Houston lost.

The Rockets lost because they fell apart as a team and stopped playing hard in the fourth quarter. The effort was not there; instead, it was replaced by running mouths and lack of leadership. Joey Crawford was more of a nuisance to the Lakers then the Rockets, so really, the Rockets couldn’t win – even with the Lakers getting called for every foul under the sun. It was a good game for three quarters, but that fourth was atrocious. Major adjustments needed for Game 3 in Houston. Getting Yao involved and keeping him out of foul trouble will surely help."

Blogger Cortez said...
"But my feeling is getting fouled with our without a call doesn't give a player the right to start swinging their elbows"

Noted. No elbows, ever.

Question: In a pickup league, what do you do when a skilled player is grabbing/pushing/elbowing you on purpose just because he can and not due to lack of body control or understanding of the game? And if you say something about it he tell s you to just the fuck up and play ball?

...beside not throw the dreaded elbow that is?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams... it is obvious that you are not going to change your mind about how Houston caved and the Lakers are tough-guys now because of a cheap shot from an otherwise likeable player. But really, citing other bloggers and stating opinions does not really answer the question "did they give up?" It's pure conjecture. If you had personally talked to each of the Rockets' players after the game, I'd buy your spiel. Fact is: you don't know for sure, and neither does the Rockets blogger.

We all know how you feel about game 2. Let it go, Indiana. It was 2 days ago. You just can't prove yourself right here, any more than Israel can convince Palestine that they should control the West Bank. You have an opinion, and so does everyone else. Why must you persist in your quest to "prove" an arbitrary and subjective perception of what happened in a game 2 days old?

You should take ET's advice and just say "I'm a Laker fan", admit that it's OK for others to disagree, and move on. Instead you insist that you are the source of truth and logic on earth, and you are always right no matter what. It's maddening. If you're already this annoying and it's game 3 of the 2nd round, then if the Lakers win it all, I shudder to think of how irritating you will become.

Forum Blue and Gold has a great website, I'm told. Go check it out.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Anon - Oh I'm sorry, I was under the impression that we discuss basketball here. Should we just discuss all the non-Laker teams and ignore the Lakers then? Would that make you happy? Here's a newsflash for you: there have been exactly three games in the last two days, and the Lakers played in one of them. That's why I'm discussing them. And in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not alone (scroll up and see). If you don't like that, quite frankly, I don't really care.

Am I insisting that I'm right and saying no one else should have an opinion? No. You're entitled to think whatever you want. And unlike you, I'm not demanding you personally interview each player involved in the game before you can draw your own conclusions about what happened. Put simply, in deference to you, I'm expressing my opinion. After all, that's all I can do. Only a fool would think that anyone out there is the mouthpiece for Absolute Truth. My opinion is my opinion, and just because I back it up and explain why I have said opinion or point to numerous other sources who seem to agree with it, doesn't somehow make it anything more than what it is: my opinion. Sorry you can't seem to handle that, but at least you had the good sense to post anonymously so as not to embarrass yourself with such an admission.

Thanks for reading :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"Question: In a pickup league, what do you do when a skilled player is grabbing/pushing/elbowing you on purpose just because he can and not due to lack of body control or understanding of the game? And if you say something about it he tell s you to just the fuck up and play ball? ...beside not throw the dreaded elbow that is?"

You're the professional negotiator, Cortez. You tell me. Or is the dreaded elbow the only negotiating tool available to the pickup baller? And what about the professional player? Is the thrown elbow the only possible response to an instance of uncalled pushing and shoving?

Blogger Unknown said...
I know we should probobly just let this go but:

This article has a picture with the opposing angle on the play, that shows where the elbow landed, as well a decent shot of how Artest's elbow isn't in such a guiltless place. Not to really excuse elbows thrown, just saw something to keep yapping going.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
automotive negotiator = car salesman

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"automotive negotiator = car salesman"


tomato = to-MAH-to

playpen = dog cage

So on and so forth.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Or is the dreaded elbow the only negotiating tool available to the pickup baller?"

No, it isn't. Although, after rereading my last comment I see how you could have thought I meant that.

"And what about the professional player?" Is the thrown elbow the only possible response to an instance of uncalled pushing and shoving?"

No, just one of many.

"You're the professional negotiator, Cortez. You tell me."

I'm not decrying the elbow (for this specific case), you are.

So I am simply curious as to what you believe the proper response to this type of goonish behavior should be.

Because if your answer is anything other than calling your foul (or waiting for a foul to be called) and playing on without any payback cheapshots then I'm not sure what all the complaining is about in the first place.

To answer your question, in a pickup game, the right response is to quit and try to find some better players to run with. It's not worth getting hurt over.

...Unless you don't like the person then you can hit them with elbow or grab them around the neck or shove them out of bounds a few times. All of which can hurt them just like the elbow. just like they didn't give a shit about hurting you on the previous dozen plays when you were playing basketball and they were trying out for UFC.

In a professional setting the answer to someone pushing you in the back/head/neck in an attempt to manhandle you the proper response is to hit them in the chest with an elbow. Bryant.

Blogger Cortez said...
"automotive negotiator = car salesman"

...and for further off-beat entertainment/education!

Tony.bluntana = Tony Montana

Lopez Motor's = Drug laundering car dealership in the movie Scarface

(chief) negotiator = Manny a.k.a. Manolo Tony Montana's pal (until he shot him of course)

Cortez = Random internet asshole wasting time on the internets while waiting for code check-in's from India.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
"Sanitation Engineer" = Garbage Man

"Energy Player" = Scrub

"Ass-Wipe" = David Stern

Blogger Cortez said...
"This article has a picture with the opposing angle on the play, that shows where the elbow landed, as well a decent shot of how Artest's elbow isn't in such a guiltless place."

You don't get it yet. It doesn't matter where Artest's elbow was or what he was doing. Elbows are evil and Kobe Bryant is an asshole, case closed.

"Not to really excuse elbows thrown, just saw something to keep yapping going."

I didn't need an excuse. I'm bored to death but I can't leave just yet.

Thank Zeus for this blog!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"In a professional setting the answer to someone pushing you in the back/head/neck in an attempt to manhandle you the proper response is to hit them in the chest with an elbow. Bryant."

And they said violence was last refuge of the incompetent! How truly silly and utterly wrong I've been all these years. Elbows for everybody! Kids too! And puppies! Little old ladies! Hell, I'll go one step further: Anybody who prints off this entire comment string can redeem it for one free crushing elbow to the chest*, compliments of Basketbawful. Don't say all I ever gave you people was free comedy.

*Offer only good within windup distance of my actual elbow. Offer expires as soon as I no longer have an elbow. Which won't happen, because, should the need arise, I'll simply have it replaced by a bionic duplicate. With laser attachment.

Blogger Cortez said...
"And they said violence was last refuge of the incompetent!"

...or the oppressed/abused.

Now I get it. You're a pacifist.

That's a respectable position. No joke.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"...or the oppressed/abused."

Fair enough. But Kobe hardly falls into those two catagories, even if the Ron Artest on his back was a 12-ton robot with Hitler's brain in it. Okay, maybe then, but not as it was.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a pacifist, but as someone who grew up around a lot of violence, I prefer to avoid escalating violence. It rarely leads to good things. Unless, you know, you can bait your crazy-ass opponent into getting himself ejected.

Blogger Cortez said...
"But Kobe hardly falls into those two catagories"

He falls under b) abused.

"Unless, you know, you can bait your crazy-ass opponent into getting himself ejected."

That's quite the conspiricy theory.

"but as someone who grew up around a lot of violence"


"I prefer to avoid escalating violence."

While I prefer to eliminate unprovoked aggressors when "avoiding" them isn't an option.

Plus, I see you still haven't addressed...

So I am simply curious as to what you believe the proper response to this type of goonish behavior should be.

Because if your answer is anything other than calling your foul (or waiting for a foul to be called) and playing on without any payback cheapshots then I'm not sure what all the complaining is about in the first place.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
This is fairly unrelated, but a friend of mine sent me this hilarious video from a few years ago of Ron Artest pulling down Paul Pierce's pants and then singing him an apology. There truly is no end to the craziness that resides in the head of Snake Eggs.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Holy shit Yams- I can't believe I missed that! I wonder if Pierce started tying his shorts after that? Pure gold!

Ron Artest: becoming my favorite player ever, one psychotic episode at a time!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"He falls under b) abused."

First off, let me just say thank you. For the last couple of months I have been adrift in a sea of puppy dogs, lollipops and endless rainbows. And I've gotta tell you, it's blinded me to the real terror that our millionaire basketball players face every time they try to grab a ball that's falling out of a hoop. I once kind of admired Mother Theresa for her endless dedication to humanitarian causes, but damn, the real tragedies aren't happening in third world countries or even the mean city streets...they're happening on national TV, in front of thousands of people, where a man's only recourse to injustice is to fight back like a lone vigilante. Because God, Allah and Bukka Mal the Monkey King know that no one can possibly protect this man...but himself.

Considering the real horrors that exist in this world, claiming Kobe was abused is beyond laughable and borders on the ludicrous. Hey, I've got an idea. How about every player who gets "abused" by an uncalled foul blindly throws an elbow at his opponenet. That's a great idea. I can't wait until your preferred method of justice is fully adopted by the NBA. It'll be fun watching the sport devolve into chaos. I've always enjoyed battle royals in professional wrestling, especially when the wrestlers cut their foreheads with the razor blades they hide under their wristbands. Blood in the NBA would rock.

In fact, hey, let's not stop there. Next time I'm abused, I'm just gonna lash out. Someone cuts me off in traffic, I'll just run my car into theirs. If a dude bumps me when I'm trying to get onto the train, I'll just slug him. In a world without rules, the only rules are THAT THERE ARE NO RULES. I love it. I already downloaded plans for a Mad Max car and a sawed-off shotgun. I'm fucking locked and loaded and ready to go.

"Plus, I see you still haven't addressed...So I am simply curious as to what you believe the proper response to this type of goonish behavior should be."

You make it seem as if there's one way to deal with a problem. Or two ways: Call a foul or not call a foul. I've been presented with this problem, jeez, so many times I've lost count, and I've dealt with it in a variety of ways, depending on the situation. I've called foul after foul until my opponent was forced to change his behavior, I've not called the foul but played back just as rough (without throwing elbows) until the situation just died away. I've stopped play and gotten into a yelling match, after which play was heated but not dirty. I've stopped play and asked my opponent to explain why he's acting like an ass, and if he doesn't give a good answer I have continued to call him out in front of everybody until he got embarrassed and left or chilled out. I've approached people after games, and I could go on but you get my point. There was even one time when I got so pissed I threw an elbow at a guy, and the next time my back was turned he grabbed me by the throat and took me down, which started a really ugly fight that got him banned for life from my gym. (I escaped punishment only because the court was monitored by cameras and they showed him to be the instigator.)

Escalating violence only begets more violence. Artest got away with some pushing he shouldn't have gotten away with, but even if Kobe hadn't stepped the violence up a notch, the refs would have pulled the reins at some point. Shit like that happens over and over and then they settle down without the throwing of indiscriminate elbows. But hey, like I said, I'm more than willing to try it your way. From now on, when a player is unjustly abused by a system that's incapable of protecting him, I hope he lashes out with all his might. An All-NBA Fight Club would be hella entertaining.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...



Please fill out the form to file official complaint.

Blogger Cortez said...
"First off, let me just say thank you."


The word abuse was HYPERBOLE.

"I've not called the foul but played back just as rough (without throwing elbows) until the situation just died away"

As long as you don't potentially hurt them with an elbow everything is okey-dokey. Got it.

"There was even one time when I got so pissed I threw an elbow at a guy..."


"But hey, like I said, I'm more than willing to try it your way."

Stick with your way...whatever that is because I still don't know.

"You make it seem as if there's one way to deal with a problem"

Really sir?

"To answer your question, in a pickup game, the right response is to quit and try to find some better players to run with. It's not worth getting hurt over."

Looks like I have THREE options chief.

"Considering the real horrors that exist in this world, claiming Kobe was abused is beyond laughable and borders on the ludicrous."

What's ludicrous is you continuing to ignore what I actually said and the fact that I AGREED with you in principle.

...and that was before your admonishment of my dislike of dirty goons.

Blogger chris said...
All-NBA Fight Club HAS to begin with Kermit Washington!

Anonymous rawkusnuggets said...
This comments page is long!

BTW, if someone is pushing me while i'm blocking them out, that usually means that they are un-balanced, so you just sit on their front leg or put a spin move on em, with a little tripping action and put them on they ass!

I'm a 1/1,000,000,000 the player of kobe and i know how not to throw elbows in the 'warzone'.

IMO he threw that elbow because he know that would get up Ron-Ron's nose.

Remember, i said In My Opinion, as i couldn't get hold of kobe to find out his reasoning.

Anonymous tjr2109 said...
Am I the only one to point that after the table leg story from Ron Ron and Kenny Smith saying he used to coach him that Charles Barkley says Artest can "Play with me anytime" - Not dirty enough?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, Kobe "YOU CAN'T GUARD ME" Bryant is now 41 for 86 in the series...maybe if he would shut his mouth just a little bit he could get all the way up to 50%?

...And Cortez, this post does not require an explanation from you of how Kobe is the greatest of all time and no one understands and no one watches the games but you and Kobe RULZ! I already know all that.

Blogger J. Compton said...
47% from the field isn't exactly a bad shooting percentage...

Anonymous kazam92 said...

I love nba.coms yao out for season picture

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You are right. 47% is average. That's my point.

Notice however that most players that shoot an average shooting percentage don't go around screaming "YOU CAN'T GUARD ME!!" after every shot. In fact, no one does it. Except for Kobe...because he's a self-centered cocky little b****.

Anonymous Marc said...
The Lakers are, once again, not tough enough to win a championship.

There's no reason to let Houston beat them down like that.