So white it hurts

The Denver Nuggets: Give the Nuggets some credit: They played the Lakers to a standstill through three quarters. Unfortunately for the Denver faithful, David Stern continues to insist that games go the full four...which turned out to be seriously bad news for the Nuggets. I'm talking "the groom drinking too much at his own wedding and DYING" bad. Denver was thoroughly outplayed in the final period en route to a 103-94 knockout that sorta reminded me of this one:

The Nuggets shot 23 percent (5-for-21) in those final 12 minutes, during which they were outscored 27-18. But actually, their fail parade started with a case of butterfingers in the third quarter. Denver was up 73-68 with 4:20 to go in the third when Chauncey Billups got caught in the air and threw a tuuurrible pass that was stolen by Pau Gasol, which led to this momentum-changing posterization of the Birdman by Shannon Brown:

That was the first of four straight turnovers by the Nuggets. On their next possession, Billups had ANOTHER pass stolen by Gasol. After that, Carmelo Anthony got called for traveling. Next up was a shot clock violation. Denver scored only once more in the quarter -- a three-pointer by Billups -- which allowed L.A. to come back and tie things up.

After that, the Nuggets became totally unhinged. It took them more than four minutes to score their first points of the fourth which time they were already down 11 (87-76). The good news is that they outscored the Lakers by two the rest of the way. The bad news is that they lost by nine.

Nene: The Lakers' big men (Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum) owned the paint the way these exercise balls owned their exercisers, combining for 54 points, 31 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. And while they were kicking sand in the Nuggets' faces and taking their girlfriends and/or baby mamas, Nene was either a helpless shooting prop or watching from the sidelines. Shackled by foul trouble all night, Nene fouled out in only 26 minutes, finishing with 4 points (1-for-3) and as many fouls and turnovers as rebounds (8). Of course, it's worth pointing out...

Nene's sixth foul: It was complete and utter crap. I've seen Nigerian money scams that were easier to swallow. (Speaking of which, if you haven't checked out, you really should.) Pau Gasol -- while trying to drive from 17 feet out -- bent down, stuck out his off arm and shoved Nene down. Nene had position and was moving his feet...but Gasol got the benefit of the whistle on what really should have been an offensive foul. Instead, Nene had to sit and Pau was rewarded with a couple foul shots. Mind you, the Nuggets had just used a 6-0 run to pull to within 91-87. But instead of getting the ball back with a chance to pull to within one or two, they lost their only true center and fell behind by six. That was a huge swing at a critical time. And helped lead to...

Another officiating controversy: After Game 4, Phil Jackson went semi-postal on the refs due to what he felt was unfair and inconsistent officiating. In particular, he blasted the zebras for hitting the Son of Walton with a tech after Luke complained about being elbowed by Nene. Said P-Jax: "It was an off-ball cut, and the referee gave him a technical then subsequently gave him three consecutive fouls out on the floor. That kind of disparity, we don't like in ball games. That's not equal refereeing and those are the things that change the course of games. We don't like that. We want the game to be fair and evenly played." Naturally, the NBA fined him $25,000 for not keeping his trap shut (the Lakers as an organization were also fined $25,000), to which Jackson responded with more vitriol: "I didn't think very good of [the fine] at all. I thought I was very conciliatory, tried to soft-pedal my comments, but that's the league for you. They'll come back and hammer you."

If Phil's right -- and believe me, he is -- then you can probably expect George Karl to get hammered after expressing the feeling that his players got screwed in Game 5: "I'm not going to get fined," said Karl, who proceeded to make comments that almost certainly will get him fined. "... It was a difficult whistle to play, no question about that. Every player in my locker room is frustrated, from guards to big guys. Look at the stat sheet. Gasol goes after at least 20 jump shots and 20 shots to the rim and gets one foul. Our big guys have 16. I don't know. Nene has six fouls; three or four of them don't exist. And it's frustrating when you take one of your big guys off the court for that many minutes. ... I think Stan Van Gundy says it right. In the postgame, we're lobbying for the league to help us with the refereeing. And this is too good a series. It's too good of teams competing that we're sitting here just confused by the whistle."

One anonymous Nuggets player -- he requested anonymity ostensibly to avoid being fined, but I'm guessing he was just as afraid of the public backlash -- even accused the Lakers of "buying" the game through those two $25,000 fines: "The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game. They got their money's worth." Wow. Next thing you know, we'll find out that Ron Garretson was the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

That anonymous Nuggets player: Grow a pair. Seriously.

J.R. Smith: "Smitty" is supposed to provide scoring punch off the Denver bench, but he has yet to offer up more than a weak slap on the road in this series. He scored 8 and 3 points (on combined 3-for-13 shooting) in Games 1 and 2, and last night he finished with only 7 on 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-10 on threes. That last stat is the one that really bothers me. Why not try DRIVING for a change, Smitty?

That nasty smell? It's your jumper, Smitty.

Chris Andersen: He had a typical Birdmany game -- 2 points, 8 boards and 4 blocked shots in 24 minutes -- but the number that caught my eye was -17. That was Birdzilla's plus-minus score. Now, normally I don't pay much attention to that statistic. However, in this case, it's pretty telling...because (as noted above) the Lakers' big men had their way, particularly when Andersen was subbing at center for the foul-plagued Nene. Guys were scoring over Chris like he wasn't even there, and it became pretty obvious (in case it wasn't already) that the Birdman is best used in relief and NOT as a first option at the five spot. Oh, and also as noted above, he took it in the face from Shannon Brown, which I guess was Shannon's revenge for this:

Update! Lamar Odom: Not only is Lamar dangerously obsessed with candy...he has a personal assistant who BUYS HIS CANDY FOR HIM. His daily candy expense would buy two weeks of groceries for me. Seriously. The diet of an elite professional athlete? Apparently. Thanks to Elvar from Iceland for the link.

Kobe Bryant: He had one of his most efficient games of the playoffs: 22 points on 13 shots to go along with 5 rebounds and a game-high 8 assists. Of course, he also had a game-high 7 turnovers, but that's not why he's here. It's because he some predictably Mamba-like things to say after the game: "It was a big gamble for me coming in, but I wanted to change my approach this game and be more of a decoy. The past couple games they really were loading to my side and I figured I could be a decoy and try to give chances to my teammates." Yes. Trusting his teammates was a BIG GAMBLE. Passing the ball when the opposing defense is loading up against you is Basketball 101, but it sounds like Kobe wants a bag full of extra hands to pat himself on the back with for actually, you know, playing smart basketball instead of continuing to shoot over triple-teams. Yay for you, Kobe.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Blogger Basebawful said...
To me the game changing play of the game was Fisher's fourth foul in the third quarter. When that happened I said to myself "The Lakers are going to make a run"

When is Phil Jackson going to get that Fisher doesn't have it anymore?

The Lakers played great trapping defense; also Gasol and Odom were making an act of presence in the paint in both sides of the court, blocking and altering shots on defense, being agressive in the boards and going to the rim on offense getting fouls out of Denver's frontcourt.

If Gasol and Odom play like that (as hombres) every game, the Lakers win the championship.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Here's my thoughts on Nene's 6th foul, since this seems to be the real controversy from last night's game: it looked to me like he just flopped. I watched it over and over and even though Gasol did put his arm into him, it was very soft, and Nene just looked like he flopped over; and then with him laying on the ground his feet and Gasol's got tangled and I think that's where the foul was called. I think it would have been a no-call, except that Gasol tripped. Anyway, I think it's stupid to be trying to flop fouls at that point in a game like that, so I'm glad the refs didn't reward him for it.

Once again though, the officiating seems to be all over the place in these playoffs. I don't understand why it can't just be consistent from one game to the next. About the only good thing from last night's game was that they didn't call that foul by Melo on Kobe a flagrant, even though that's the kind of thing they've been calling flagrant all throughout the playoffs. Hopefully that's a sign that they're not going to keep having those silly kinds of overreactions with all these techs and flagrants the way they have.

BTW, can anyone ever remember a year in which the league office made so many foul adjustments on the days following a game? It seems like after almost every game there's some kind of announcement from the league that some foul has been upgraded or downgraded, or that something has been assessed or rescinded. I don't think I've ever seen even a fraction as much of that kind of stuff in any other year before this one. The league would rule on if there was a fight or something, or if someone left the bench or whatever; but I don't think I've ever seen this level of post-game changes to rulings by the league like this.

Anonymous Robb Willis said...
What happened to the ESPN announcers in the third quarter last night? They only used "knocks it down" or "knocked it down" twice. Seven in the first, six in second and fourth were up to their usual annoying selves. Dead for some time now, Chick Hearn could still do a better job.

Anonymous Gengar said...
Despite the seven turnovers, I’d say game five against the Nuggets was one of Kobe’s best performances thus far in the playoffs. He made the Nuggets pay for double-teaming him, which isn’t too hard to do when your role players step up, and scored twenty-two points off only thirteen shots. Along with Lamar Odom, I found Shannon Brown to be the difference maker; his ability to laterally move with Billups, as opposed to fading into oblivion a la Derek Fisher, makes his playing time very important. That, and he made some sick shots (sick like Jose Conseco‘s face after his bout with Hong Man Choi). Overall, great ball movement for the Lakers: I haven’t seen so many dimes dropped since Jose Conseco’s book. The Nuggets, on the other hand, usually do fine when they crash the net (as game four would indicate), but for some odd reason, they decided to chuck up three after three last night. I haven’t seen so many threes since Jose Conseco’s debt count.

Note: I apologize if I have offended any Conseco fans, but the comparisons were practically making themselves after tonight’s game.

Oh, and as much as I hate the Nuggets, I have to admit they were called for quite a few non-existent blocking fouls. But responding to bad foul calls with turnovers really doesn't help your case either. Random thought: let's see if LeBron has reached Kobe's level of maturity tonight and whether he goes for forty fruitless points instead of investing in his teammates.

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
Yams -- agreed. Where were all those rescinsions in the infamous Suns-Spurs series?

I love how the NBA has become the ineffective single parent to it's players' petulant brat.

"If you get 7 techs, you're suspended!"


"OK, OK, just try to be good, please?"

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
I cant even imagine how bad it is for you guys to watch this garbage....all of the retired NBA players are rolling over in their graves. And Anthony Hopkins/Gene Hackman is definetly getting fined.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
When people are fussing about games being decided by refs, they always mistakenly look at the end stretch of the game. If you want to influence the outcome of a game, by far the best place to do so is officiating in the first and second quarters. Getting guys in foul trouble will frequently disrupt their game. Not only do they have to play much more passively THE WHOLE GAME, but their rotations and times in the game are very disrupting. This can be particularly tough for shooters, but anybody is subject to that.

So, to me watching the game last night, the officials decided the contest in the first two quarters with lots of ticky tacky fouls against Denver. Fact, is, Denver deserved a lot of credit for not falling apart even earlier.

The whole thing was very reminiscent of the LA-Portland series, where the refs raped Arvydas Sabonis in game after game. People would always focus on the end games and say "no cheap fouls," the the guy was constantly playing below his usual minutes at weird times, and additionally was being conditioned like on of Pavlov's dogs that the only allowed defense against Shaq was with feet rooted and hands straight up in the air. The result, of course, was shocking (insert sarcastic rolling of the eyes here).

As for the 50K, no, that didn't buy the game. What bought it was the scores of millions in advertising dollars featuring Kobe and LeBron (many IN THE SAME AD).

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I have a genuine question (rather than a trying to make a point by disguising it as a question): could you argue that Kobe's Game 5 was better than LeBron's Game 4? The turnovers kind of cancel each other out, so aside from the 7 TOs that Kobe had and the 8 that LeBron had, do Kobe's 22 points in a win match LeBron's 44 in a loss? I really am curious to know whether people think you could argue that Kobe the better game.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
Eh, I count that loss as a Denver melt down, not a Lakers win. When you only hit one of approx. 7 wide open shots, and start getting Ts in the fourth, in the middle of a close game, that's a melt......dooowwwwn.

Delicious cheese meltdown. That didn't have anything to do with the statement, just made me think of cheese.

Blogger Cortez said...
"When is Phil Jackson going to get that Fisher doesn't have it anymore?"

Here is an interesting thought...

...did he ever "have it", or were the previous Lakers championship teams much better than this one, especially defensively?

Anonymous jodial said...
I just think it's puzzling that Phil Jackson gets fined for essentially saying the officiating is inconsistent, and meanwhile the league office is rescinding official's calls EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams, even as a Cavs fan, I might think LeBron's game 4 was more "difficult" to accomplish, especially against a very good defensive team, but a win is always a better game for the star of a team.

Do I think that had LeBron and Kobe magically switched places for those two games and performed to the same levels (not necessarily same point totals, obviously) the outcomes would have changed at all. No, but wins are what count.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Cortez - The only time I really thought Fisher "had it" for real in the playoffs was in 2001, as he was a big part of why they were 11-0 heading into the Finals. He got eaten alive in the Finals by Iverson, but him going 15-20 from 3-pt range in the Western Conference Finals was a big reason for why the Lakers swept the Spurs that year.

Regarding the refs, I was thinking about something as I drifted off to sleep last night: if players couldn't foul out or if there was no "penalty" that teams could get into in quarters, would fans ever really be able to complain about the refs? Or at least, wouldn't that basically eliminate something like 95% of the complaining? I know that doing so (no fouling out or penalty situation) would probably turn the games into a non-stop string of fouls being called; but then what about something sort of in that vein, like maybe each player gets 10 fouls, and a team needs 10 fouls in a quarter to get in the penalty? Doesn't it seem wrong that it's basically a given that both teams will get into the penalty in every quarter of every game?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
They have the 10 fouls before you foul out in the summer league, I think. Greg Oden still managed to foul out, for the record.

Pretty much the end result of increased fouls is that there would be far fewer spectacular plays. If you as an interior player had many more fouls to give, the second you feel you're beat, wrap your man up.

I agree that the relatively small number of fouls before you foul out (or your coach fouls you out) means that officiating plays a bigger role in the NBA than in any other major sport, but I don't think this can be changed. As fans of basketball, we have to put up with a few things. Officials will ALWAYS decide the games, and we will ALWAYS have to put up with a bombardment of Lebron James propaganda.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Plus-minus aside, (and we all know how retarded that stat is), Andersen doesn't deserve a worst of, IMO.

And yeah, he got posterized by Brown, but he blocked Lamar ScrOdom right at the rim at the half (if anything, Odom should get a worst-of for getting stuffed like that by a "garbage player"), and at least he's not afraid to get in the picture. If you jump and attempt as many blocks as he does, you're inevitably going to get posterized on Sportscenter, but the point is, he was IN the poster, which means he was doing his job and going for the block.

Personally, that's an effort I like to see.

Also I see our boy Bynum left the game about 7min in with his second foul. He's like Greg Oden lite in the foul category ;D

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Yams, my opinion, and it may sound absolutely mad, is that LeBron isn't actually playing well. Or rather, he's playing out of his mind, but the way he's doing it is hurting his team.

He's controlling the ball (And over-dribbling it) on every possession, and hasn't allowed teammates like West and Williams to establish themselves. I think those two would be playing better if he gave up the ball occasionally and allowed them to create off the dribble while he plays off the ball, rrather then just using them as spot up shooters. He needs to go back to what worked for them in the regular season and the first two rounds.

Anonymous flip said...
The scary part of the officiating debacle (come on, it's a debacle at this point) is that the Finals match up the League wants is in danger.
So one has to wonder what kind of home cookin' the Cavs are going to be served tonight.
I'm thinking Howard picks up a foul on the opening jump, a technical for giving the refs the stink eye from then on, it's a travesty.

The worst part of thinking that is that it wouldn't surprise me if it happened...

Regarding Nene's foul, I agree with Wild Yams that it was a stupid move to flop, but that's called all the time, so you have to do what comes naturally to you as a defender.
I think the call on Billups on the next possession (fighting for a loose ball) was just as bad, although it didn't foul him out, but still gave the Lakers 2 FTs that they didn't earned....

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Oh, and regarding Fisher - I thought he was awesome a couple of years ago in Utah.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

I was thinking the same thing. Utah was sad to see him go- and I think they lost a lot when he did.

And even if he isn't physically superior as an athlete, and even if he is streaky, he doesn't do dumb shit very often and he's a good leader. I effin' hated him when the Lakers were winning rings, and that means he was doing something right. (Note: it's not that I hate the Lakers, just that I LIKED the Pacers, and otherwise root for the underdog like the masochist that I am.)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
jodial - That's a fantastic point. If the league really wants to shield their refs from all the second guessing, maybe they shouldn't be changing all their calls the day after the game is played.

AK Dave - Regarding Bynum, once again Bynum had a good game going and was neutralized by Phil Jackson. It didn't end up hurting the Lakers because Gasol and Odom both played so well, so Bynum ultimately wasn't missed; but I'm really confused by Phil's use of him at this point. They went out of their way to establish him early, which they did, then he came out at about his usual time when he picked up his second foul... and you never really heard much from him again. 4 fouls, but only 19 minutes of play. He's averaging less than 20 minutes per game in this series, and it's not all due to foul trouble either. I think the Lakers are really going to need him tomorrow if they want to win that game.

Regarding fouls and officiating: I've said before that I'm not a fan of anything which will bring the game to a stop more than it already does, and giving players more fouls would probably do just that. But I'm also not in favor of quarters that devolve into free throw shooting contests, and that happens far more often than I think it should. I also hate seeing key players forced to sit on the bench with foul trouble. I wish there was a way to keep people in the game and to keep the game flow moving without encouraging players to foul at will. Unfortunately I don't know how one would accomplish that.

Anonymous poptarted said...
Can we define "posterizing"? I'm just confused because I wouldn't put that Shannon Brown dunk on my bathroom wall. I think one of three things needs to happen

1) the defender needs to have an uncalled offensive foul committed on him
2) defender needs to hit the floor
3) The dunker needs to elevate way more than the defender.


Anonymous Dan B. said...
Bawful, funny you should mention Nigerian money scams. I got my first one in several weeks early this morning... written entirely in French! That totally made my day.

Beyond that, anybody else catch Simmons' article today about the NBA's officiating?

Anonymous Brandon said...
In case you are wondering who the mega-douchebag is at all the NBA games with the cowboy jacket and horrible cowboy hat, it's this guy:

If you're going to be a douchebag, make sure you're mega-rich.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
Great link bawful, I spent an hour looking at stories on that scambait website. Ahhh, it was like a fine essay, the Bread Wine and Church bait. It had an interesting introduction section, a harrowing climax, and a hilarious conclusion.

McHale......internet conneisseur (I'm too lazy to learn to spell that!).

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Actually, Basketbawful, Nene's 6th foul was legitimate. It was a total flop, and since in the process of flopping he tripped up Pau, something had to be called. Do you really think that the willowy Spaniard you've criticized for ages as being soft has the strength and mass, from a standing-still start, to send a powerful, muscular Brazilian rocketing to the floor? Complete and utter floppage.

The actual basketbawfully bad call on Nene was his 5th foul, when he was battling Pau for position and picked up an offensive foul. The ref fell for Pau's "Euro head snapback" move that was patented by Varejao. But Pau uses it much less frequently than Varejao, so to the ref it actually looked like a foul was committed (Varejao uses it on almost every possession on offense and defense, and so he rarely gets that call anymore).

Anonymous Ruben said...
Concerning the officiating debacle, you must laugh at this "article" on by David Aldridge which says essentially this: that the conspiracy theorists are hypocrites because they complain when the big-league teams get through, but we don't watch the Finals when the boring teams make it. (he has TV rating statistics to prove it!)
Has someone completely missed the point? If anything, these are the people who actually care about basketball enough to watch the NBA finals no matter who makes it.
I don't personally think there is a conspiracy per-see, but it's a refereeing culture of star-treatment and home court advantage (mixed with glorious inconsistencies). I just hate the idea of the NBA pandering to borderline fans by way of hyping the marketable players instead of quality basketball. And David Aldridge is basically accusing me of not watching when the "boring teams" get to the finals. What a stern-whore.

Anonymous big tuna said...
AK Dave - re: fisher "he doesn't do dumb shit very often"
you need to punish yourself and watch more laker games. fisher's one notch above sasha and just two above homer simpson

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dan B. -- Yes, I just read Simmons article (afternoon bathroom break). It's good stuff, but it's kind of like suggesting an overhaul in how NASA operates: Anything you say or suggest will be ignored. David Stern does not see a problem, mostly 'cause he won't see any problems, and that's that.

Put it this way. My buddy BadDave has a "debate" style I call "Pure Denial." If you just say one thing over and over and flat-out refuse to address any holes in your logic, eventually you will win by attrition. For example, several years ago after a hellish bender, BadDave's guts exploded outward and then he flooded his mom's condo. Well, only the bathroom and the hallway and part of the living room, but still. I'm talking a standing inch of water...ON CARPET. Forget the fact that the bastard was so out of it that I had to clean up his puke AND the water, but when he finally came to enough to explain what happened, he told his mom that he knocked over a bucket of water. One bucket. And it flooded the whole place. His mom tried several times to get the real story, but BadDave just repeated "one bucket" over and over and over until she just gave up. You really have to see him do this to believe it.

Anyway, that's what Stern does. He just gives us his spin over and over until we either come to believe it or just give up on that particular complaint. Then, when a similar complaint comes up, we go through the same process.

I have totally given up hope on the NBA officiating system. It will never change while David Stern is running the show. The same problems will keep happening, we'll keep hating them, and then we'll keep loving the game.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
big tuna- LOL! Come on, he's not THAT bad! He shouldn't be starting at his age, but Fish is pretty solid, and I don't hate him as much as I hated, say, Eric Snow....

WV- butbell

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: You're making the wrong assumption that Stern is ignoring the problem. Because, I don't think he sees it as a problem at all.

(Cue up his infamous "seven games" comment from two and a half decades ago...)

Anonymous Wormboy said...
"I have a genuine question (rather than a trying to make a point by disguising it as a question): could you argue that Kobe's Game 5 was better than LeBron's Game 4? The turnovers kind of cancel each other out, so aside from the 7 TOs that Kobe had and the 8 that LeBron had, do Kobe's 22 points in a win match LeBron's 44 in a loss? I really am curious to know whether people think you could argue that Kobe the better game."

Yams: I definitely think Kobe had a better game. He had a more EFFICIENT game. The league, commentators and fans are so obsessed by scoring that they forget that poor shooting % is essentially piles of turnovers. This is one of my long-standing criticisms of Kobe, and has always been a strong criticism of Iverson.

It's why I mentioned Kenny Smith's "LeBron is a copycat killer" comment a while back. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps LeBron needs to show everybody how much he is "the man" (and certainly in some gmaes he has been mind-boggling, with even high shooting percentages). But I think the bigger question is whether LeBron has any choice. Cleveland has a kick-ass team through the regular season, but can the Crabettes come through against a elite defeense in a multiple game series? perhaps not, and that means LeBron has to be a ball hog whether that's the best general strategy or not. Me, I think he's a smart guy without undue ego. He knows what is best (balanced scoring), but they're just not getting it. Kobe, on the other hand, has so many more offensive weapons backing him up, that he's much BETTER being a facillitator/decoy than he is as a 1 on 3 scoring machine. In other words, Kobe looks good because he has the option to play that way. Or in yet other words, is Mo Williams the equivalent of Gasol? Ha!

Ironically, there's a good chance that Kobe's legacy will be cemented by the Memphis gift of Gasol to LA.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
That reminds me of political arguments.

'But Mr. Stern, the Ref was betting on games that he was officiating, how could he not have changed the outcome?'

'Cuz he didn't.'

'Well will you at least admit that there may be more refs involved?"'

'Nope, everything is fine. Go about your business. These aren't the droids you're looking for.'

Blogger Bing said...
A lot is on the line, totally get that, but there are a lot of payers that need to shut the fuck up.

Nene does himself no favours by arguing every single call that doesn't go his way.

And when there was a close one down the stretch the ref went against him - gee whiz, never would have seen that coming!

I'm not saying it's payback by the ref, it's more likely 'subconscious bias', but the result is the same: Nene riding the pine.

Blogger Basebawful said...
Basketbawful: The "pure denial" stuff is gold. HA HA.

Like when Stern said steroids are not used in the NBA because it's for "Power" sports.

What a ridiculous statement.

Steroids help in endurance for an 82 game season, more stamina, jumping higher, bulking up (so defenders don't push you over), running faster, healing faster when injured, and keeping the body fresh after partying the night before and going to sleep at 3am when there is a game at 8pm and getting up with a tremendous hangover.

The NBA antidoping testing is a complete joke so any guy with knowledge of HGH and steroids can appear clean.

I don't know why MLB is lambasted with PED talk and the NBA gets a free pass as if nothing is happening. And contrary to the officiating thing, David Stern has made everybody believe that PED's are not used in the NBA with his pure denial thing, and people actually have bought it.

Cortez: You are right. Did Fisher EVER had it? My bad.

Blogger Andrei said...
I can't figure out if Stan Van Gundy is a moron or not. Some games he makes really good decisions, but other times I don't understand how he can be a coach in the NBA. Rafer Alston has blown so far tonight and yet he has been on the floor for a good chunk of the 4th quarter while Courtney Lee has been on the bench. I know that the +/- stat is not always useful, but tonight he has been god-awful and at the moment he's at -16. Anthony Johnson has been +17. Not because Johnson has been good, he's just not sucked as hard as Alston. It's not like he runs the point, Turkoglu handles all the ball handling. What's Alston reason for being on the floor?

Anonymous RT said...
This may be for tomorrow's Worst-Of, but you gotta love Cleveland's gameplan when the jump shots aren't falling: shoot more jump shots.

Did the Crabs (besides Lebron) forget that you're allowed to drive in and take what are called "layups" or "dunks"?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
For the record folks, it totally works. But don't go to that well TOO often.

Most of the time people just aren't willing to face pure obstinacy. And it was one freaking bucket, and you'd better not open any packages from me in the next week Bawful. If we start airing out our drunken shame on this site we'll have to change the title of the blog. Heh - maybe just "One Bucket."

And about the Kobe/LeBron legend deal, I just want to say that the role players really make most legends. Bird, Magic and Jordan all had stellar backup. Jordan's case was unique at the time because his role players ONLY did certain tasks - defend, rebound, foul, pass the ball to MJ. The Bulls were literally built to make MJ great. The Lakers have tried to do the same thing, and have had qualified success. The Cavs? Meh. They have talented players, but roles are not nearly so defined on the Crabs.

So, I agree w/ Wormboy, but just had to elucdidate differently.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
"Doesn't it seem wrong that it's basically a given that both teams will get into the penalty in every quarter of every game?"

But Yams, isn't that as much a feature of strategy as anything? Teams will always use those fouls up to the point of the penalty, and frequently a little past it. So, raise the number, and the fouls will increase to match the number. Non-shooting fouls are, after all, strategic tools. Good ones, too.

Blogger siukong said...
Diabetes, Lamar. Have you heard of it?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'd like to officially complain about the use of PER (Performance Enhancing Refereeing) in the NBA.

The referees clearly give "star" treatment to certain players and certain teams. Just like with PED's, these are usually the players and teams who are already good enough that they don't need PER.

Which makes it that much more of a travesty that PER continues to have a significant and noticeable impact on the game – such as King Crab complaining about not being able to get away with his usual traveling, or Mamba's spoiled-brat attitude whenever calls don't go his way. They've gotten so they can't play the game anymore without PER.

I understand that the NBA is worried about people not watching if the Usual Suspects™ aren't in the Finals, but it's getting clearer to the "casual" fans like me that, betting scandal or not, the outcome is more often than not fixed. They appear to be sacrificing the long-term health of the game in exchange for a short-term ratings boost.