Pau vs Pee-trus
"I'll have you know this hairstyle is VERY COOL in Spain!"

The Orlando Magic: The Magic had every reason to win this game. They were at home. Their crowd was going gonzo. They dominated the first half. They even had freaking Hulkamania on their side. No, really!

Hulk Hogan
Hulkamania was running wild in Orlando.

On top of all that, they even had an unthinkable 17-0 free throw advantage in the fourth quarter. (Mmmmm...home cookin'.) AND THEY LOST ANYWAY. Well, I guess if nobody ever pissed away a golden opportunity they might never get again, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But don't worry, guys. I'm sure this loss won't haunt you forever. In the meantime, may I suggest a new team logo?

The New Magic Logo

Hedo Turkoglu, Dwight Howard and the Curse of Nick Anderson: Eerily enough, flohtingPoint left this comment right before last night's game: "Nick Anderson on the floor getting the crowd hyped up? Chalk up an L for the Magic..."

Seriously, what were the Magic thinking?! Did the Red Sox import Bill Buckner when they were in the 2004 and 2007 World Series? Would the Buffalo Bills ever invite Scott Norwood to anything? (You also could substitute "Minnesota Vikings" and "Gary Anderson" in that last sentence.) Has the 1972 USA Olympic Basketball team ever had the officials from that controversial gold medal game over for dinner? OF COURSE NOT. The last thing a sports team should ever do is associate itself with the symbol (or symbols) of its greatest failure. But that's what the Magic did last night. Maybe you don't believe in superstition, but I do, at least where sports are involved. And Nick the Brick's very presence spelled doom for his former team.

The Magicians bricked 15 free throws. Dwight Howard was responsible for eight of those misses (he was 6-for-14 on the night). Hedo Turkoglu -- a career 80 percent foul shooter -- bonked five (he went 8-for-13). Remember that 17-0 fourth-quarter FTA advantage I mentioned a couple paragraphs ago? Well, Orlando converted only 10 of them. Hedo went 3-for-7 in the fourth, including one 0-for-2 trip with 5:06 left in the quarter when his team was down 77-74. And after each miss, Turkoglu had the same angsty expression that was plastered on his face during Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

But the two biggest misses came from the biggest man on the floor: Dwight Howard. Superman had a pretty super game (16 points, 21 boards and an NBA Finals record 9 blocked shots). But with 11 ticks left in regulation and the Magic ahead 87-84, Howard bonked the two biggest free throws of his young life. Despite the boner, Dwight tried to stay positive afterward: "I just missed them. I've been working on my free throws. They just weren't falling tonight. There's no need to get down on myself. I think I did a lot of good things tonight, just my free throws weren't there."

Still, J.J. Redick insinuated that Dwight's brave face was a bit of an act. "How would you feel? Pretty bad, right? He's obviously upset. It's a disappointing way to lose -- 11 seconds, up three with two free throws. You at least feel you're going to get another trip to the free throw line because they have to foul. End up losing in overtime."

Whatever the case, the end result was still the same. Instead of making it a two-possession game, Dwight gave the Lakers a chance to tie the game. Which is exactly what they did, thanks to...

Stan Van Gundy: As soon as L.A. called timeout, I said to myself, "The Magic have to foul here. They HAVE to. Make the Lakers shoot two free throws and then force them into a battle at the line." It was the best possible solution, regardless of Dwight and Hedo's misses. (In my free throw battle scenario, Howard would have been watching from the sidelines.) However, instead of instructing his team to foul, Stan had them trap Kobe in the backcourt. (Ironically, Phil Jackson had his team inbound there to avoid a foul.) Unfortunately, the ball eventually went to Derek Fisher (which, given Jackson's love of using his stars as decoys, was probably the plan to begin with), who sank the game-tying three over Jameer Nelson.

Almost as painful as Van Gundy's decision not to foul was Nelson's defense on Fisher's triple. Stunningly, he was playing OFF of Fish. Why would anybody step behind the three-point line in a situation like that? Why? WHY?! Nelson even admitted afterward: "I should have pushed up on him a little more." Uh, ya think?!

Anyway, when asked about his decision not to foul, Van Gundy said: "That one will haunt me forever. It was my decision with 11 seconds not to foul. Yes I regret it now, but only in retrospect. I mean, normally to me 11 is too early. You foul, they make two free throws, [they] cut it to one [and] you're still at six or seven seconds." And regarding Nelson's defense on Fisher's shot: "In retrospect we gave [Fisher] too much space to shoot the ball. We played like we were trying to prevent the layup. We just didn't play Fisher, just didn't guard him."

Meanwhile, his players were mum on their coach's "don't foul" decision. Rashard Lewis -- who scored only 6 points and had more turnovers (3) than field goals (2) -- said: "I'm not the coach. I was out there trying to win the ballgame." (Really, Rashard? Really? Did you happen to see your line in the box score?) Marcin Gortat (4 points and 2 boards in 4:15 worth of PT) added: "You'll have to ask coach about this." Gortat did offer that in European ball they usually foul.

Beyond that one play, Van Gundy once again yanked his players around, using Courtney Lee for only 7 minutes and exiling Rafer Alston to the bench for the entire fourth quarter as well as overtime. Meanwhile, Nelson (2 points, 1-for-3, 3 assists) played 26 minutes.

Update! Rashard Lewis: I alluded to his 2-for-10 stinkbomb above, but Wild Yams had this to add: "BTW, a play that happened near the end of regulation seems to be getting overlooked a bit considering everything that followed it, but Rashard Lewis should probably get mentioned in today's Worst Of when that goes up for not only scoring just 6 points last night, but for missing a wide open jump shot with the Magic up 5 with 39 seconds left. If he'd hit that, it's almost impossible to imagine that the Lakers could have come back from down 7 with less than 40 seconds to go. But he bricked it, and it led to Kobe with that incredible dish in traffic to Gasol for the dunk, and suddenly it was only a 3-point game with 31 seconds to play. IMO, that Rashard miss was as big as any of the other plays that happened in the last six minutes of the game. When you have a $118 million contract, that's a shot you need to hit."

Dwight Howard's butter fingers: Almost as damaging as the missed free throws was Howard's carelessness with the rock. Too often Dwight keeps the ball at his waist, both during post moves and after hauling down rebounds. Kevin McHale always used to hold the ball high above his head to keep defenders (especially opposing guards) from swiping the ball away. Howard needs to learn that lesson, because he had a game-high 7 turnovers...which equaled the output of the entire Lakers squad. It wasn't all Dwight, of course. The Magic had 19 turnovers as a team, which resulted in 16 bonus points for L.A. But nonetheless, last night Dwight both gaveth and had it taken away.

Update! More on Dwight's bumble-itis from AnacondaHL: "Fun stat of the night: Here's a short list of everyone who's posted 9 blocks in a playoffs game (since 1991). Notice Howard's 16/21/9 with a historical high 7 TOs last night is the only loss. Even Ostertag's amazing 0/10/9 box score resulted in a win. Historic fail."

Kobe Bryant's shot selection: The end result looks awfully good: 32 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and one win away from his fourth NBA title. But make no mistake: Kobe very nearly shot his team to another loss. Mamba took 31 shots, including 27 jumpers...of which he hit 10. (He was 1-for-4 on layups.) He was once again brilliant in the first quarter (4-for-7), then cooled off dramatically in the second (1-for-5), third (2-for-6) and fourth (2-for-8). And many of those attempts were NOT good shots. I mean, they would have had guys groaning in disgust in a pickup game. Only one of his five second-quarter attempts were inside 20 feet. In the third, he took two shots from 17 feet, one from 25 feet and another from 27 feet. He did take three shots in the paint during the fourth, but he also chucked it up from 19 feet, 21 feet, 27 feet and 28 feet. Honestly, he owes a lot of thanks to Fisher and Trevor Ariza (who was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and made several key hustle plays). Speaking of which...

Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith: So, Otis, I have to ask: How's that Trevor Ariza for Brian Cook trade working out for you guys? There's no way Smith possibly could have known he was arming a future Finals opponent with a key (and, really, indispensible in this series) role player. But still.

Update! Lacktion Report: Chris dutifully reported...I just forgot to cut and past. My bad. "Shannon Brown cashed in a 1.65 trillion downstream commission at Amway Arena, highlighting his continued work as one of Phil Jackson's human victory cigars. Any more of this and he might win the Damon Jones Award by default...meanwhile, Orlando's Tony Battie made one field goal in 11:40, but fouled twice and gave up the rock once for a 3:2 Voskuhl."

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Anonymous JustinS said...
I listened to the beginning of Game 3 on the radio during my commute home, and I'm pretty sure Nick Anderson was there to hype up the crowd in the pregame for that one, too. I thought the same thing (Nick=loss), but they pulled that one out.

I'm betting, though, that Nick was smiling a little inside while Dwight missed those free throws, knowing that the next time the Magic make it to the Finals it'll be Howard's misses that get replayed 489 times a day during the lead up.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Mamba took 31 shots, including 27 jumpers...of which he hit 10."


I'll bet his rationalization is that 99.9% of other players would have only hit 4, if that.

I guess O'Neil was right about one thing. SVG is looking more and more like a nitwit with each new loony move.

"I just missed them. I've been working on my free throws. They just weren't falling tonight. There's no need to get down on myself. I think I did a lot of good things tonight, just my free throws weren't there."

That one thing I an say about religion. Followed to it's logical conclusion you can brush off any soul crushing event or mistake.

Good for you Dwight (a "devout" Christian). Keep your head up little buck-a-roo. It's all part of the plan.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
If you can track down Kobe's postgame press conference, he's asked about his poor shooting night and he pretty much refuses to admit he had a bad game, saying instead that he felt after Game 3 that he needed to beat Pietrus in the post. It was a somewhat bizarre answer, IMO.

I think Orlando's got one last gasp in them, but this thing'll be over by Tuesday at the latest.

Blogger Unknown said...

I don't care what you think your objective is but you are in denial. Even Republicans do not dog Democrats like this. What is your problem, no life? Or is it sucky life?

I come here to read your (whatever the heck it is that you do here) blog because you write well but your hard on for Kobe is just too big a bulge for me to ignore. I get that you don't dig the guy (sorry I know I am being presumptuous, with the way you obsesses about Kobe, it feel move like spurned love, but I digress) but FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE how about a little bit of a break every once in a while? You are like a comedian doing the same routine over and over again, because they got a laugh out of it, the first time.

I don't care what you say, this blog means a lot to you, otherwise why waste the time and effort, but continue on this self destructive path at your own peril. I feel saddened for you, whatever the void is in your life that this Kobe thing fills, I hope for your sake, it is not a lifetime problem. Get some help man, you need it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
No WOTN for Kobe's elbow to Jameer Nelson's jaw? Granted, it could've been an accident, but I'm not gonna cut Kobe any slack being he's been so elbow happy this year. Also, Gasol looks like the middle man in an evolution chart.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- The crazy thing is, by all indications, SVG is actually a pretty good coach in most respects. But he seems to make two or three really big mistakes in each critical game. Which, you know, will get a team beaten.

Of course, players can pull a coach's fat out of the fire. Take Phil Jackson. On the Fisher three, he inbounded in the backcourt because he (correctly) thought the Magic had a foul to give, and he wanted to avoid a hack that would take time off the clock. However, had the Magic fouled, it would have been the first foul in the last two minutes, which would have led to free throws. It was a mental mistake by P-Jax, but his players executed and things worked out.

That's the thing: Coaches make mistakes and show poor judgement all the time, and we usually only harp on them when their team loses. Like when Vinny Del Negro used up all his timeouts in Game 2 of the Bulls-Celtics series. He called three late-game TOs when his team was down, and they scored after every timeout. That's what you want, right? But all anyone wanted to point out was the Del Negro didn't have a TO with three seconds left. Well, yeah, but coaches do that all the time in end-game situations. It's not like Vinny invented that strategy. George Karl did the same thing in the first round of the Hornets-Nuggets series.

Anyway, SVG seems like a classic case of the dude who overthinks things. According to some quotes I read, his instinct was to foul, but upon further consideration he decided that's something you do with 6-7 seconds left, not 11 seconds left. That's some serious overthinking, right there.

Yams -- For the record, I don't think Kobe had a bad game. He dished out 8 assists and finally limited his turnovers (only 3). He drew double-teams and dished to open shooters. That's all good stuff. It's really only his remorseless shot selection I had a problem with. It was, to quote Chuck Barkley, "turrible."

Blogger Cortez said...
"he's asked about his poor shooting night and he pretty much refuses to admit he had a bad game"

In Soviet Russia the wall runs through you!

I was on the sofa laughing like a maniac when Kobe started waving the point guards off in the back court and then waving the screens off in the front court (which isn't necessarily a bad idea) only to jack up a jump shot.

To his credit he did attempt to get into the meat of the defense a few times.

...only to come away looking like a mere mortal as opposed to the "GREATEST CLOSER IN THE GAME!!!!".

Shot selection son, shot selection.

Blogger DocZeus said...
You know, what's really sad about the Finals? Kobe is going to win Finals' MVP just for showing up.

Blogger Will said...
Apparently 'Angry Gay Dolphin Scrotum Shaving for Weight Loss' means 'Turn the ball over a lot and shoot free throws poorly'.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Browny said: "I don't care what you say, this blog means a lot to you, otherwise why waste the time and effort, but continue on this self destructive path at your own peril. I feel saddened for you, whatever the void is in your life that this Kobe thing fills, I hope for your sake, it is not a lifetime problem. Get some help man, you need it."

First off, Browny, uh, wow. How many cups of coffee did you have today? Three? Four?

Second, you do realize that nobody gets a break on my blog, right? The majority of this post is devoted to sand-blasting Dwight Howard, a player I genuinely like. And that's not a new thing: I've cracked on him all year for his foul shooting woes, his inability to keep hold of the ball and his 1.5 post moves. I think you might be guilty of selective reading. Do you only read the Kobe-centric portions of my posts?

Third, if you read my response to Yams, I tried to make it clear I didn't say Kobe played poorly. However, his shot selection was craptastic. I mean, really...27 jumpers? Many of which were of the "forced and off-balance" variety. He had He hit 10 of them. The three-point line is 23 feet, 9 inches from the basket...yet Kobe attempted trees from 26 (twice), 27, and 28 feet from the basket. Look, the further out you shoot from, the lower the percentage chance you have to hit. It's Basketball 101. Look it up.

Compare many of Kobe's forced, contested jumpers to the times that he drew double-teams and dished to open teammates, or worked himself free for an open jumper. Which do you think had the higher success rate? And yet which did Kobe do more of?

Blogger Cortez said...
Chill my man, I got this.

"...your hard on for Kobe is just too big a bulge for me to ignore."

Ummmmm, there's exactly TWO teams left to write about. One of which features the "GREATEST CLOSER IN THE GAME!!!!"

Who doesn't seem able to close much of shit. In fact looking at his shot selection and production late in games one can make the reasonable argument that he is falling ass-backwards into victories similar in how Inspector Gadget solved most of his cases.

"What is your problem, no life? Or is it sucky life?"

The "problem" seems to be similar to the one you have. Constantly harping on someone, you don't even know, public persona.

...except your comments have only the tiniest connection, if that, to a well reasoned thought or observation.

" about a little bit of a break every once in a while?"

You know chief, this isn't the Matrix, you can log off at any time. Or hit Alt-D on your keyboard and type in

to help get your emotions back in order.

Basketbawful, think about it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous said: "No WOTN for Kobe's elbow to Jameer Nelson's jaw? Granted, it could've been an accident, but I'm not gonna cut Kobe any slack being he's been so elbow happy this year. Also, Gasol looks like the middle man in an evolution chart."

Was it bad? Yes. Was it just one more example of the terrible officiating that sometimes makes me hate the game? Also yes. I didn't want to really touch on the officiating, other than to point out the 17-0 fourth quarter FTA disparity.

Anonymous medrawt said...
Is it just my Dwight Howard hating eyes? I mean, 5 for 12 plus multiple trips to the line doesn't look so bad, but I don't think he had a FG in the OT, and when I watch him...I don't want to hear about how he has great post moves against Adonal Foyle in practice, I want him to execute them in big-time games. And, yeah, to not bring the ball down, which is something I yelled at Kendrick Perkins for through two playoff series; dude could've scored another six points a game if he kept the ball above his shoulders.

All that said, I was rooting for the Magic. Sigh.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Was it just one more example of the terrible officiating that sometimes makes me hate the game?"

That wasn't a foul and a good no call.

Take a look at that replay again. Kobe is well-within his "established space" and he never comes out of his "natural movement" of throwing a pass. Nelson was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If he did do it on purpose, which he could have, he certainly did a fantastic job in hiding it within a legal movement.

...but then again we both know how much I like to throw elbows!

Blogger Will said...
Regarding '9 blocks in the playoffs list', I was shocked to see Derrick Coleman on it, and I would say he had the best game of those not named Hakeem.

Blogger Andy said...
Anybody have any video of Kobe being a superdick to Dwight after a rebound? After the foul was called Dwight has an arm around him and he throws it off, close to throwing an elbow. I was shocked there was no technical. (Wait, just noticed Evil Ted mentioned it in his liveblog.)

His elbow on Nelson was pretty light and more a product of Nelson being shorter and coming right up to defend him as he turned. You'll notice he got up unharmed.

And the officiating could not get any more wild. It's like playing Super Smash Bros. with all the items turned on with the highest drop rate: chaos.

Blogger Unknown said...
Not to make this about officiating, but that one three pointer Kobe air balled in the 4th, but on replay showed Pietris totally fouling him on the follow through...that's a foul in the staple center.. the 17-0 FT advatage in a loosing game, is epic fail status.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Basketbawful, if it had been Kobe's left elbow that caught Jameer in the jaw, it would have been an offensive foul. However, it was the right, and the collision occurred precisely when Kobe was bringing the ball up from his chest to make a pass from eye level. You're allowed your own space, and human bodies have elbows. Sometimes inadvertent collisions occur in close quarters. Jameer invaded Kobe's space, and could easily have been called for a defensive foul for initiating the contact.

Blogger Cortez said...
"His elbow on Nelson was pretty light...You'll notice he got up unharmed."


"....and could easily have been called for a defensive foul for initiating the contact."

Double wowsers!!

Blogger dunkfu said...
Concerning Browny's comment "You are like a comedian doing the same routine over and over again, because they got a laugh out of it, the first time."

It made me think of a suggestion for next years worst of the nights. Stop doing the "Kobe did some stupid thing to some other player on the lakers" bit, that was somewhat funny for awhile then it seemed like you did it every post and it got old really fast. Other than that I think you do a great job.

Anyone thinks Pietrus gets suspended for his shot on Gasol? I mean at a minimum he gets a fine and/or an upgrade to a flagrant 2 right?

Anonymous Karc said...
I had a minor beef with Pau Gasol's last basket. I don't know what the line on the game was, but maybe Pietrus thought he was running up the scoreboard, and that's why he hit him for the flagrant foul. I mean, there was 12 seconds left in OT, the Lakers had the ball up by 5, and the game was clearly over at that point. Did Gasol really have to dunk it again? I remember this happening at the end of the Western Conference Finals last year, where Sasha Vujacic put a three at the buzzer when the Lakers had a five-point and essentially clinched the series (the Spurs were not fouling at that point). Every Spurs player gave him a dirty look, because they thought that he was rubbing it in. I just got a similar vibe here.

Anonymous DKH said...

At least some of the Magic players were still attempting to foul at that point, so Gasol going up for a basket when he knew he would get fouled wasn't out of line, in my opinion.

Obviously, the game was over at that point, but if the Magic still want to foul, they have to live with the Lakers moving the ball and scoring.


Regarding Kobe's elbow:

I thought a play or two earlier, Howard had made a special effort to land on Kobe and hit Kobe's head after Kobe's (hard/effective/smart/whatever) foul that prevented Howard from getting a shot off. And then I told myself, "It's hard to have sympathy for Kobe in that situation."

So Kobe elbowed Nelson a play or two later, and, intentionally or not, I didn't have any sympathy then either. The Magic got their shots in this game (Pietrus clubbed Gasol "accidentally" earlier). And the Magic seemed to be making an effort to run up their elbows per game count against the Cavs. It's just not something the league has cracked down on the past couple series.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Cortez, double wowsers? How is one supposed to raise the ball from chest level to head level to make a pass over the head of a shorter help defender without the elbows going out? That's either a good no-call, or if it's early in the game, a foul on the defender for initiating the contact. Jameer was running at Kobe, who raised his arms to make a pass over Jameer's head.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Did anyone notice Doris Whatsername telling the broadcast crew about Kobe paraphrasing "Do, or do not. There is no try." in the locker room during one of the breaks?

Anonymous Evad KA said...
I'm glad to see the Yakov Smirnoff jokes are making a comeback. Hell yeah.

I hope this goes a few more games, but at least I'll remember this series for being highly competitive (at least the last 3 games). Outside of the game 1 blowout, it's been pretty fun B-ball for a Finals.

Any chance for Gasol to lock up that Finals MVP award (as if there ever was any) got pissed away in that invisible man game last night. I think he could have forced some action in the post with good results last night. He needs to work on aggressively drawing fouls when he's double-teamed in the post a la Timmy- that would really make him scary down there. Right now he just passes out quickly... which is a good play most of the time, but occasionally you've got to take it to 'em, Pau. Dwight's poster-block on Pau in the 1st quarter was replayed so many times that I can relive it frame for frame in slow motion in my mind's eye (not unlike the interrogation scene with Sharon Stone from "Basic Instinct").

Browny- you should view Matt's hate for Kobe as the compliment that it is. If Kobe didn't strike fear into opposing fans' hearts, nobody would hate him. He'd just be another dude with a tatoo out there. So if you're a Kobe fan, just know that the more hatred people spew forth, the more relevant he is. Plus, being a dark sith, the hatred only makes Kobe stronger.

"In Soviet Russia, Kobe Bryant hates YOU!"

Happy Friday, people.

Anonymous Kevin M said...
Nick Anderson was in the building during the Game 3 pregame, so yeah ha ha but they won the first time.

I'm 99% sure the Magic actually did the exact same intro to game 4 as game 3, presumably not to throw off the mojo. They made one mistake though: in game 4, the Magic dancers had capes on, while in game 3 only Stuff had a cape on. Probably what cost them the game.

Blogger plonden said...
Regarding the 17-0 FT disparity: Not to defend the disparity (because it is absurd that the Lakers didn't get the the FT line in 12:00 minutes) but you have to look at the whole game. The Lakers were in serious foul trouble early and a lot of that is them getting into the bonus with something like 8:00 minutes left in regulation (a TON of time left to be giving FTs for every foul). It's not just as simple as home cooking in the fourth. (You would have to argue it was home cooking throughout the whole game, which is another argument all together). Regardless, I (like others) give the credit to the Lakers for overcoming adversity and getting the W regardless. That is the mark of a true championship team. Although there may be a few possible games left, last night signaled to me that the Lakers have the mental advantage.

Talent wise, I think Orlando and the Lakers are a lot closer than most people give them credit for. But the Lakers' Finals experience and mental edge put them over the top and will ultimately get them the NBA Championship season. The Magic have the talent to compete but need to figure out a way to keep the Michael Jordan of Turkey in Orlando or else they are in big trouble. This Finals taught me that Howard is not ready to carry the offensive load in crunch time. The success of the Magic in crunch time falls largely on Hedo's shoulders.

Blogger Cortez said...
"but maybe Pietrus thought he was running up the scoreboard..."

Yesterday I made a comment about a lot of pro athletes being sensitive little bitches.

You can file that foul under that heading.

The Magic certainly hadn't stopped pressing and scarping even though the game was "over". that pass to Gasol cam out of an aggressive double team on the sideline.

Now that I think about it, I'll bet that the Knicks thought the game was "over" when Reggie Miller lit their asses up for 9 points in about 10 seconds.

Next time he wants to ram into someone about some perceived slight, how about ramming into his teammates after they blow the lead in the waning seconds by missing shots, defensive assignments and free throws. Then feel free to ram his head into a brick wall for missing a point blank finger roll.

Blogger dunkfu said...
Looks like no further action

Only thing I disagree with is Marc Stein calling it a shove in his article. From memory it seemed more like a two armed tomahawk chop than a shove.

Blogger Unknown said...
You know after the scuffle with Gasol, Pietrus went into the locker room and asked around trying to find out what a 'pendejo' is.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Browny - Take it from me, as a Laker fan, that Mr. Bawful is cool with regard to his feelings toward Kobe. Clearly Kobe is probably his least favorite player, but trust me when I say I've had many discussions with him about Kobe and he definitely has a realistic view of Kobe and is not just "a hater".

Mr. Bawful - I don't think Kobe had a bad game either, per say, but check out how he avoids answering the question about his poor shooting performance: Kobe's press conference

Regarding the two supposed elbows from Kobe, I think the refs made the right call on both by calling nothing. On the first one Dwight just grabbed Kobe after Kobe ripped the ball out of his hands, but Dwight, frustrated I guess, held Kobe a little too long and Kobe just twisted real hard to shake him off. He didn't throw an elbow or anything, that's just people already disliking him and assuming he throws an elbow every chance he gets.

Same thing with the Jameer play. Kobe just pivoted with the ball held up so he could throw it out, not even seeing Jameer was racing at him from his blind side, and Kobe happened to hit him as he threw it. I watched that play in super slo-mo from three different angles, and you can clearly see that Kobe's right arm doesn't extend out at all. He just swung around to throw it and Jameer happened to be there, but you've got to allow an offensive player his rightful space to make a play. Both the post game guys (Rick Kamla and Steve Smith) agreed that was a good no call. Ask yourselves this: in OT of a Finals game that is tied with 30 seconds left, do you really want to see the refs call something like that? I don't. I'm always in favor of letting the players make the plays, rather than the refs.

And finally, Karc - Did you have a problem with the Celtics continuing to score all those points in Game 6 of the Finals last year? Did you think it was classless or something? I'm a Laker fan and I didn't. This is the Finals, it's for the championship. Because of that you 1) want to make sure you win the game, and 2) are allowed to let your emotions get the best of you with excitement when you win. IMO it's more stupid that Pietrus even bothered to try to foul to prevent that shot than it is that Gasol would dunk it while all alone under the basket up 5 in OT. I think it's understandable for a guy who's never won an NBA title to dunk a ball in excitement to end a game that probably realistically won the Lakers the title. It's unrealistic to expect the players to robotically be unemotional at that point. But it was poor sportsmanship on the part of Pietrus to hammer Gasol like that. How would you have reacted if one of the Lakers had done something like that to one of the Celtic players in the 4th quarter of Game 6 last year?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Quick note from the editor -- Comments only get published after I approve them, which can be delayed by lunchtime jaunts, trips to the bathroom, thoughtful pauses, power naps, etc.

Blogger Cortez said...
"How is one supposed to raise the ball from chest level to head level to make a pass over the head of a shorter help defender without the elbows going out?"

You can't. And, to show you I'm a good sport, I'll raise you one and point out that his elbows didn't go "out" at all.

The comment was directed towards the idea that contact could somehow be conceived as a defensive foul. That's ridiculous.

"That wasn't a foul and a good no call."
~Cortez @ 6/12/2009 10:42 AM

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also, utterly off-topic here, but does this freak anybody else out: Boy Hit by Meteorite.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Also, utterly off-topic here,..."

I don't think so.

That was one of Kobe's ill-conceived jump shot attempts returning to earth.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"I don't think so. That was one of Kobe's ill-conceived jump shot attempts returning to earth."

Well played.

Blogger Mr. Shrimp said...
@Wild Yams... I'm with you both on last year's Celtics Game 6 as not classless, but simply playing until the end of a clinching game, and Pau's dunk as not poor sportsmanship AT ALL. It was still close. Let's say Pau dribbles it outand gets fouled with 1.8 left. He misses both (unlikely, but could happen). Orlando gets the rebound and calls TO. Lewis gets free on the inbounds and he nails a 3. The Lakers commit a turnover or miss free throws on the next play, with maybe 0.5 left. Another miracle shot and wham, double OT or Magic win.

5 points just isn't that much with the 3-point shot available.

As for Pietrus, I'm not saying I want Pietrus to be suspended, but under the rule, he probably should be. However, they didn't suspend Rondo for the play on Brad Miller in round 1, and this was not as violent as that. However, I don't blame Pau for getting pissed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Evad KA - You may have won this round, but <I'll get you next time! In the meantime, enjoy your new homepage

Cortez - referencing yourself now? Did you check with yourself for copyright infringement? Though your witty repartee was nice. Well played indeed.

As for the Magic's new logo, can ANYONE find a video of the old Spike Lee/Reggie Miller commercials where he spoofed a couple of things, such as holding up a gigantic hoop and saying "I found your hoop" or a brick saying, "how do you shoot these things?" There's one where he says (and I quote regularly to colleagues during their fail) "How do you shoot the ball with both hands around your neck?

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Inspector gadget ftw. I am be like my homepage!

"Cortez - referencing yourself now? Did you check with yourself for copyright infringement? Though your witty repartee was nice. Well played indeed"

-I'd like to see one of Cortez's full-blown, 5000 character, word-by-word breakdowns with snippy replies after each clause in each sentence of one of his OWN posts. However, I fear it could cause irreparable damage to the space-time continuum and we might get sucked into a class-6 supernova of snark. It might also cause total protonic reversal. That would be bad...

Blogger The Sweetness said...
Can anyone explain to me why Jameer Nelson was allowed to play the entire fourth quarter and over time? And why Lee and Alston never saw the court again after the 3rd? Is SVG unaware that the Finals is not the time to rehab your painfully rusty point guard?

I just don't get it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I thought you said not to cross the streams!

Blogger jim said...

kobe has a history of throwing elbows that he tries to pass off as part of his normal basketball motion. and he most certainly threw an elbow at dwight after that one wrap-up.

i can stomach the thought of not calling a tech on the play with dwight, but every time kobe gets the ball in a post-up he throws his elbows up and back--and lesser players get called out for that type of stuff.

on a different note, though: my submission for wotn is something that evil ted commented on during the liveblog.

while the commentators are kissing trevor ariza's ass for being such a critical part of the lakers' comeback, the video team replay his return from out-of-bounds, CIRCLING the foot that wasn't established inbounds yet.

i can just imagine the team smirking in the background as we the audience are treated to mark jackson's love letter to trevor.

i'll look for a good video or screen cap and post it.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
"The comment was directed towards the idea that contact could somehow be conceived as a defensive foul. That's ridiculous."

Actually, referees do call defensive fouls on that type of play more often than they should. Jameer invaded Kobe's space. I wouldn't have called a foul on the play, but there are whistle-happy refs in this league who sometimes do (cough Joey Crawford cough Dick Bavetta).

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
jim, that rebound by Ariza was the only missed call that went the Lakers way in the 4th quarter and overtime. I'd contrast that with several fouls on Kobe drives or jump shots that didn't get called, Howard throwing Gasol to the floor, thereby drawing a foul on Fisher, Howard pulling Gasol's jersey on a rebound (no call), a fascinating moving pick call on Gasol, etc.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dan said: "Can anyone explain to me why Jameer Nelson was allowed to play the entire fourth quarter and over time? And why Lee and Alston never saw the court again after the 3rd? Is SVG unaware that the Finals is not the time to rehab your painfully rusty point guard?"

Yup. Forget the playcalling and his decision not to foul before the game-tying three. SVG's jacking around with his team's chemistry has been his single biggest, glaring, fuck-a-duck snafu of the Finals. Even if he really, honestly, seriously thought that Jameer was playing a little better than Lee and Alston (though he wasn't), who gives a rat's patoot? I'm telling you, SVG's coaching philosophy in this series has been, "If it ain't broke, BREAK IT."

BadDave said: "I thought you said not to cross the streams!"

Dude, dude, dude, duuuuuuude. Did you really think you could be lax in quoting Ghostbusters on a blog run by a guy who once built a movie-accurate replica of a Proton Pack...and then made the movie-accurate costume to go with it (complete with the "McHale" nametag)? Really?!

The correct quote is: "'Scuse me Egon? You said crossing the streams was bad. You're gonna endanger us, you're gonna endanger our client -- the nice lady, who paid us in advance, before she became a dog..."

jim -- What...?! The officials screwed up a call?! NOOOOOO!! Seriously, though, I'd love a screen captcha.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Regarding Kobe's elbow on Jameer...does anyone have video? I watched it live, but I need to refresh before I make my mind up.

Blogger Basebawful said...
Kobe Bryant should stop taking so many low percentage shots, but it doesn't mean Pau Gasol should be taking more shots instead.

The more a superstar shoots, the lower his FG%. An explanation of the "Ewing Theory" and a interesting read in:

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Here is the YouTube video of the elbow. Not in high def, though. Good no-call.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - Here's videos of the two "elbow incidents": Kobe & Dwight & Kobe & Jameer

There are better angles of both of these plays, and I have them on my Tivo at home, but I can't find anything else on these online right now. I'll try to get the better angles up this weekend. The one from the other end of the court on the Jameer play really shows it was incidental, but I don't know if they showed that till after the game.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I have been served. I will now immolate myself.

Anonymous Karc said...
I didn't have a problem with the Celtics blowing out the Lakers out last year, because it was the clincher, and it was from start to finish. Even the reserves during garbage time were lighting up the Lakers, which was more of a sign of how great the Celtics were and how over their heads the Lakers were.

I'll admit, this did not bother me nearly as much as the Pietrus foul, whose bad decision making forced the game into OT in the first place. Gasol could have let him foul him, make a free throw or two, and the game would still be over. It didn't really matter in the end, it just looked like showboating a little bit. I would have been all over a Laker player if he did that to a Celtic, because if he doesn't want to be dunked on all the time, play some defense. There was nothing wrong with Gasol's play logistically. Again, it was only minor.

Anonymous laddder said...
Here's a stat worth mentioning before this series ends:

The self proclaimed machine, in this series has clocked in 17:08 of game time and within that time span he scored a total of ZEROOOOO

Just to put into perspective how bad vujachick has been, Josh Powell in 2 games (other 2 is dnp-cd) played a total of 10:54 and scored 5 points, thats 5 more than el machina.

Every machine eventually breaks down, but wow. I hope he goes scoreless throughout the series.


Blogger Evil Ted said...
Even though I'm positive Kobe's elbow on Nelson was intentional (because, as we all know, Kobe is made of pure, concentrated evil), the mitigating factor is that Nelson is closing in at a good clip. If Nelson is standing still, the elbow is an obvious foul, but his hard close gives the "good no call" argument legs in this case.

Sadly, even if Nelson had been standing still, I still doubt the elbow would have been called. But I have no proof of such an assertion.

Oh wait, I do.

Watch the first eight seconds of this for reference. You'll remember this pathetic day in NBA history:

If you want to torture yourself, watch the full ten minutes. It's heavy-handed and over-dramatic, but it nicely skewers what was the worst NBA series ever officiated. And in this league, that's saying something.

- ET

Anonymous bloksterism said... <---- no wonder pietrus wants a piece of pau gasol. he's gonna give wally szczerbiak a run for his money.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Without even clicking on Evil Ted's YouTube link, I'm going to assume he's referring to Kobe's elbow on Bibby in the 2002 WCF Finals vs the Kings. I must reluctantly agree that the calls in the 4th quarter of Game 6 were pretty egregiously one-sided in favor of LA. Of course, that quarter was a makeup quarter for Games 2 and 5, which were stolen from the Lakers by the officials.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
The Dude Abides -

You should have clicked the link. It's porn.


Anonymous tony.bluntana said...
Admittedly, I only made it through half the comments before needing to say something. And, that something is...

I like Kobe.

What? You want more? Alright.

I like Kobe. And, I absolutely love it when 'bawful rags on him.

Guess what. Kobe's a dick.

In the press conference the other night, he messed up the following comment about playing with D.Fish for so long: "...I gained a lot of respect for him."

What did Kobe actually say before catching himself and fixing it? "...I gained a lot of respect from him" (my emphasis - if I got the html right... 'conda?)

Who else would accidently say "from" instead of "for" in that situation? Only a giant dick. Only Kobe.

That's why he's so important to this website. He is a once in a lifetime supreme-ass who (I feel) is actually justified in being such an ass, embraces the fact that he's such an ass; and, he plays basketball better than most other people in the world.

Kobe haters. Kobe lovers. Regardless of who you are, you need Kobe, and Kobe needs Basketbawful.

Secondly, from one angle (behind the hoop) it looked like Kobe threw that elbow at Jameer. From another angle, it looked like Jameer threw that face at Kobe's elbow. I really like Jameer; but, I don't think he should be in there and that didn't seem entirely Kobe's fault.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
basketbawful, i can't believe u didn't put in the vid, in which a women falls an her ass during TO. I think it is at the end of the 4th quarter when they show jeff van gundy and marc jackson and at the background u can see a blonde chick, who wants to sit down again but falls an her ass. It is hilarious.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
heres the vid of the blonde chick the other anonymous is talking about: