The Washington Wizards:
Health isn't the problem for the Wizards this season...they just aren't very good. In fact, they're just plain bad. How bad? Let me put it this way: the Pacers barely shot 40 percent from the field and still bet the
Generals by 16 points. Washington hit only 39 percent of their field goals, missed 11 of their 16 three-point attempts, shanked 11 of their 26 fouls shots, and gave up 22 points on 19 turnovers. For good measure, they were also outscored 23-6 in fast break points. As
Generals coach Flip Saunders put it: "I'm very disappointed. Our effort was poor. We turned the ball over way too much. I told the guys I'm going to have to take responsibility." Really, Flip? How many turnovers did you commit?Gilbert Arenas:
Huh...13 points, 5 assists, 3 turnovers and a game-worst plus-minus score of -24. I'm just sayin'.The Detroit Piston's foul shooting:
And how very foul it was. After falling behind by 17 points after one quarter, the Pistons rallied to make a game of it before losing by only seven points. The final score might have been closer -- indeed, Detroit might even have pulled out a win -- if they hadn't missed 14 free throws (23-for-37). In all fairness, Kwame Brown (0-for-4) and Jonas Jerebko (3-for-8) were the main culprits.The Orlando Magic defense:
Instead of cruising in for a comfy-cozy win, the Magic almost made an easy victory disappear by letting Charlie Villanueva go nuts during a 22-point fourth-quarter explosion. That's right. Charlie Villanueva. Beyond that, Orlando let Detroit shoot nearly 52 percent for the game. Hey, weren't these guys one of the best defensive teams in the league last season? Said Dwight Howard: "We haven't played good enough defense to be a great team. We have to try and be great every night, and that's just not happening yet." Added
Stan Van Gundy: "We're not playing smart enough. We didn't play enough defense and for too many minutes we were just hanging on to win a regular-season game. We aren't making the push to be great. I don't know if we will. We'll have to see."The Philadelphia 76ers:
The Sixers were playing at home against a short-handed New Jersey Nyets team. How shorthanded were they? The Nyets lost Courtney Lee early in the third quarter with a leg injury, and they were already without Keyon Dooling (hip surgery), Chris Douglas-Roberts (flu), Devin Harris (strained right groin), Tony Battie (right knee), Yi Jianlian (sprained right knee) and Jarvis Hayes (strained left hamstring). Mind you, even long-handed the Nyets were terrible. But Philly still barely managed to hold on for a 97-94 win that should be filed under "moral defeats."The Atlanta Hawks:
The Dirty Birds are supposed to be all sorts of awesome. Meanwhile, the Bobcats look like one of the worst teams in the league. Even worse for the 'Cats, their star player, Gerald Wallace, went 3-for-14 from the field. So of course the Hawks lost by 20. And here's some salt in that ugly wound: Charlotte came in the game averaging an NBA-low 79.8 PPG -- the only time they broke 80 was a double-overtime game against the Knicks -- but still managed to dump 103 points on the Atlanteans. And team captain Joe Johnson, who becomes a free agent next summer by the way, had some harsh words for his teammates: "Everybody who touches it wants to score. I really think guys on this team don't know their roles, so it's killing us. And it's going to continue to kill us. Ain't no way this team is 20-some points better than us. It can't continue to go like this."
For the record, Johnson shot 5-for-12 and finished with 1 lonely assist and a game-worst plus-minus score of -23. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.The Boston Celtics:
They suffered their first loss -- in Boston no less -- despite Kevin Garnett's best game of the season (26 points, 13-for-20, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block). This happened in part because their defense went MIA as Phoenix scorched the nets by shooting 50 percent from the field and 54 percent from downtown. The Suns' 110 points was a season-high for Celtics opponents. In fact, it was the first time Boston gave up more than 90 points this season. Even more damning, Jason Richardson went into LeBron Mode, scoring 36 points (10-for-16) and grabbing 10 boards.
The C's rallied in the fourth, but they went a little three-crazy, particularly Rasheed Wallace, who went 0-for-6 for the game...including 0-for-5 in the final quarter. Said Doc Rivers: "The only thing I didn't like, with 3 1/2 minutes left, instead of searching for wide-open two-pointers, we went into 3 mode. And I didn't think we had to do that. That, to me, was uncharacteristic of us."The Minnesota Timberwolves:
Sure they got blown out 87-72 by a horrible Bucks team, and yeah they've started the season only 1-5. But on the bright side, they only gave up 13 points off the 22 turnovers they committed. That's something...right?The New Orleans Hornets:
Is Chris Paul going to have to choke a bitch? Maybe. This season's latest low for the Hornets was a 107-90 home loss to the Craptors despite 21 points, 7 rebounds and 18 assists from CP3. Mind you, this is the same Toronto team that recently gave up 115 points to the Memphis Grizzlies...which makes New Orleans' 90 points seem all the more pathetic.
Defense might have been an issue for the Bourbon Street Buzzers, considering the Craptors went 11-for-18 from beyond the arc in the second half. The eight treys they nailed in the third quarter set a franchise record for any quarter. Said Byron Scott: "Out of the eight 3-pointers made, I saw us contend two. I saw a lack of energy. For the life of me, I can't understand why we came out without any energy." If Scott is still employed by the All-Star break, I'll be very surprised.Mike Brown, letting-us-know-who's-who machine:
After King Crab scored 33 points in a routine 100-91 drubbing of the Knicks, Brown said: "LeBron was obviously LeBron." All that was missing was 'Bron speaking in third person. Then we'd really
know who LeBron is.Larry Hughes, quote machine:
In the first quarter, King Crab dropped 19 points (8-for-9) on his old buddy Big Shot Larry, who said: "I did my job in making him take tough shots and he did his job in making those tough shots." Uh...good job, Larry.The Golden State Warriors:
What's that smell? Dookie, perhaps
? No, that poop smell is actually the Golden State Warriors, who lost by 28 points at home to...the Clippers?! Oh dear, sweet, merciless God. How does that even happen? The Other L.A. Team shot an unthinkable (especially for them) 58 percent from the field. Even freaking Sebastian Telfair scored 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting. And lest you think they made up for it offensively, I should point out Golden State shot 34 percent and committed 19 turnovers. Said Anthony Morrow: "We really just fell apart." No kidding.Stephen Jackson, martyr machine:
After the Clippers got done beating his team like a baby seal, Captain Jack said: "If you're going to blame somebody, I'll take the blame. I've been doing it since I got here." Aww. Poor Jackie. Hey, Stephen, here's a coupon for a free hug, redeemable at any time.The San Antonio Spurs:
After restocking in the offseason, the Spurs were supposed to win 60-plus games and possibly dethrone the Lakers in the West. And yet, after losing 96-84 to the Blazers in Portland, San Antonio is 0-3 on the road and 2-3 overall. And don't blame the new guys...the Spurs' Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to shoot 10-for-32 from the field. Oh, and Parker had to leave the game with a sprained ankle. Bad times all around.
After the dust had settled, San Antonio had lost their first three road games for the first time in 16 seasons. And if you're looking for other anti-Spurs evidence, how's this: after finishing with only 14 points against the Blazers, Duncan has scored 15 points or less in four of five games this season.The Oden Watch:
After committing 5 fouls against the Spurs, Greg Oden has committed 5 personals in five out of six games. And in the other game, he committed 4 fouls.Chris' Friday Lacktion Report:
Hawks-Bobcats: Jason Collins tossed a piece of masonry and gave up the rock once for a +2 suck differential in 3:46, also good for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl. While fellow dirty bird Randolph Morris meowed in celebration once at the charity stripe in a simultaneous stint, he also fouled thricely for a 3:1 Voskuhl.Allen Iverson:
Wizards-Pacers: Fabulous Fabricio Oberto has emerged as a prefab starter to sop up minutes for the Wizards, with surprisingly contributory results. Tonight, in 11:03, he even had a 100% shooting percentage (on one shot) and two helpers - but he also gave up the rock twice and fouled five times, leading to a 7:4 Voskuhl.
Big man bawful spread to Andray Blatche, who soured a 15:28 that had two blocks, one made free throw, and three boards with four fouls, five bricked field goals, and a giveaway for a 5:3 Voskuhl of his own.
Pistons-Magic: Ben Wallace chimes into the report today, despite a one-shot 100% shooting percentage and a board in 17:24 as a starter - four fouls leave him with a 4:3 Voskuhl.
Suns-Celtics: While the C's finally lost their first game of the year, it wasn't for lack of effort in the non-contributory category - JR Giddens put on a Tanooki suit for a 5 second Super Mario!!!!!
Raptors-Hornets: The Raptors scavenged effectively in their win over New Orleans. Rasho Nesterovic itched out a board in 6:08, only to foul thricely and add a brick and giveaway to that total, for a 4:1 Voskuhl. Sonny Weems sang loonie tunes to celebrate the minting of 2 trillion! And Patrick O'Bryant countered a rebound in 2:01 with two fouls and a brick for a Madsen-level 2:1 Voskuhl.
Bucks-Wolves: Milwaukee's Kurt Thomas earned a 2:1 Madsen-level Voskuhl in 4:36 via foul and giveaway against board, while Brian Cardinal bricked twice in 4:34 for Minnesota and earned a +2.
Clippers-Warriors: Mikki Moore may have appeared tonight as the starting center at the Oracle, but despite four boards in 18:32, four fouls and three turnovers coupled with a brick led to a 7:4 Voskuhl.
Grizzlies-Lakers: Memphis's Hasheem Thabeet and Marcus Williams racked up twin 1.1 trillions.
Spurs-Blazers: Portland's Juwan Howard handed down a 1.25 trillion.
After scoring 8 points (2-for-5) in a fairly unsurprising 114-98 road loss to the Lakers on Friday night, Allen Iverson...left. As in, left his team. Indefinitely
. Supposedly, The Not Answer -- or, as stephanie g
called him, The Cancer -- is simply taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. I can only assume that's code for "selfish prima donna who refuses to come off the bench." As Iverson himself put it: "I'm not a reserve basketball player. I've never been a reserve all my life and I'm not going to start looking at myself as a reserve."
I blanch every time someone (as Bill Simmons did in his new book) suggests that Iverson ranks among the all-time greats. Was he a great scorer and a fantastic one-man show? Absolutely. Was he tough as nails? No question. But given the facts and circumstances, would anyone want to have Allen Iverson as a teammate ever again? To me, that says something.The Denver Nuggets:
The previously undefeated Nuggets suffered a winless weekend, and their second loss was a 25-point beating at the hands of a team that had just lost by 20 to the Charlotte Bobcats. If anything, these back-to-back defeats should prove that discussing Carmelo Anthony's eligibility for MVP five games into the season is a tad bit premature. 'Melo was 1-for-8 after halftime, by the way.The Boston Celtics:
Excuse me for not being terribly impressed by a 10-point win over a terrible New Jersey Nyets team that had only eight players available for doodie, er, duty. You'd think that, facing a crippled team, the C's could do a little better than scoring a season-low 86 points, right? Wrong.Rasheed Wallace:
He's 0-for-10 on threes in the past two games.Bobcats-Bulls:
Just call this a game nobody deserved to win. The two teams combined for 39 turnovers. The Bulls couldn't defend the three, the 'Cats couldn't protect their defensive backboards. Even when it looked like Chicago was going to ice the game, they missed five straight free throws in the final 1:20 to keep Charlotte's hopes alive. But, of course, the Bobcats have no hope. And somehow, against all reason, the Bulls sit alone atop the Central Division. In other news, up is down, in is out, and C-A-T actually spells dog.The Toronto Raptors:
Just when it looks like the Craptors might not be as bad as you think...they prove you were right the first time. The Toronto players were props on defense, as Dallas scored 129 points on 62 percent shooting. For some historical perspective, the Mavs hadn't shot that well from the field since November of 2007.The New York Knicks:
When ESPN headline writers start referring to you
as "the lowly Knicks," you know there's a problem. Or, in New York's case, a great many problems. The Bricks fell to 1-6 on the season after a 102-87 corn-holing by a lousy Bucks team, and if team management really thinks LeBron James would ever in a gajillion years want anything to do with this team, then I've got a perfect clone of Wilt Chamberlain to sell them. Cheap. No, really, Donnie. Call me.]
Oh, and how bad is the Bricks' defense? Here's what Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings had to say: "They kept giving us a lot of open shots. They were giving us so many easy shots." Wow.Mike D'Antoni, unintentionally dirty quote machine:
"I think we were all stunned. I've taken a licking before, but I don't know what's worse that that."The Utah Jazz:
If the Jazz haven't hit rock botton yet, then they got pretty damn close on Saturday night, losing at home to the Sacramento Kings. And in case you've forgotten: the Kings are without Kevin Martin. To make matters worse, Utah got lit up by rookie Tyreke Evans, who sent 16-for-19 from the line and scored 32 points. It was the second-most points a player 20 years old or younger has ever scored against the Jazz, more even than LeBron James (29 points in January of 2004) or Kevin Durant (29 points in January of 2009). Said Jerry Sloan: "WHY, GOD? WHHHHHYYYYYYY!?"The Memphis Grizzlies:
They fell to 1-6 after a road loss to the Clippers. 'Nuff said.Chris' Saturday Lacktion Report:
Nuggets-Hawks: Denver's Anthony Carter lost the rock once for a +1 suck differential in 7:31, while Malik Alen mined a 2.25 trillion. Countering this lacktion attack was a successful push of non-effort from several Hawks, starting with Jason Collins's +1 via brick in 2:16. Zaza Pachulia blocked a shot and took down a board in 9:18, but one brick and five fouls led to a 5:1 Voskuhl!The Philadelphia 76ers:
Celtics-Nets: Doc Rivers apparently likes to keep the Wii plugged in, as newcomer Lester Hudson stomped on a Goomba rather quickly for a 4 second Super Mario!
Bobcats-Bulls: Charlotte's Nazr Mohammed wagered on willful lacktivity, and collected in his 3:05 stint with two fouls and a giveaway for a +3 that doubled down as a 3:0 Voskuhl! On the other end of the court, two new mannequins from Vinny Del Negro's squad appeared on the ledger this evening. Jannero Pargo bricked once from the Magnificent Mile and turned the ball over once as well for a +2 in 4:01, while James Johnson earned a +3 in 4:56 via foul, giveaway, and missed shot.
The Pistons were missing Tayshaun Prince (back) and Rip Hamilton (ankle). The Sixers weren't missing anybody. And yet, despite the presence of Elton "The 80 Million Dollar Man" Brand (6 points, 3-for-10), Philly was manhandled inside by Ben Wallace (16 boards) and the rest of the Pistons, who won the rebounding battle 51-39 and outscored them 42-26 in the painted area. Bonus stat: Detroit had 19 offensive rebounds through three quarters...during which time the Sixers yanked down only 17 defensive boards. REBOUNDING FAIL.
Said Willie Green: "This was one of those games where we just couldn't get anything going. It was one of those games that could have gone either way, but they got too many easy baskets in the paint. We need to do a better job rebounding."The Washington Wizards:
Generals are morphing back into the same sadsack bunch they were last season, even with Gilbert Arenas. The Phoenix Suns strolled into town and dropped the home team to 2-5, winning by double-digits despite 16 first-half turnovers. Washington's offense was like caked mud, shooting 39 percent and finishing with more turnovers (17) than assists (15). And this too-familiar performance gave Flip Saunders a migraine: "It's been a never-ending thing here lately. We're struggling offensively, and that's putting a lot of undue pressure on the defense. We're just not there. We don't make that one extra pass. We're taking too many contested shots. If we were a hockey team, we'd have no hockey assists -- you know, the pass that leads to the pass." No, Flip. Nobody who watches Wizards basketball knows what a pass that leads to the pass is.
Flip was in such a sour mood, he benched Andray Blatche -- the team's co-leading scorer -- for the final four and a half minutes. Why? Explained Saunders: "He was dead tired. He can't even run up and down the court. He had four straight mental mistakes. Andray can't play the major minutes." Way to instill your player with confidence, Flip. I can't understand why your team turned on you when you were coaching in Detroit...Amare Stoudemire:
Uh...I'm pretty sure that's not legal, Sun Tzu. (Thanks to Shayan
for the pic.)This is the closest you'll ever come to seeing him play defense.The Orlando Magic:
The Magicians were playing yet again without Rashard Lewis (suspension) and Vince Carter (vaginal soreness), and then they lost Ryan Anderson to an ankle injury. But a 28-point loss to the Thunder? Really, guys?!
Stan Van Gundy was not
pleased, and, as usual, he let everybody know about it: "We're not a good basketball team right now. I've been saying that, but nobody's listening. We're totally predicated on shooting. We do not have any kind of defensive mindset, we don't have much toughness and we're not very smart. So, right now we're not a very good team." No fair, Stan. I'm listening. And I totally, 100 percent agree. You're not a very good team right now. Happy?
Bonus bawful: Not only did Orlando shoot a miserable 36 percent (3-for-16 from distance) and shank 13 of their 34 free throws, they let the Thunder hit nearly 60 percent of their shots and 56 percent of their treys. Were they practicing some kind of "no hand in the face" drill or something? Note also that they lost by almost 30 despite having 19 more FTAs than the Thunder.The Minnesota Timberwolves:
Kurt Rambis sure has the Triangle sizzling: Minny had five players in double figures. Now if only they'd had one more player score 24 points, they could have won! Instead, they fell to 1-6 and have now lost six straight. Does his inheriting of this crappy team count as a second clotheslining of Rambis by Kevin McHale? I'd like to think so.The Golden State Warriors:
And you thought it couldn't get any worse than a 28-point loss to the Clippers! Well, okay, fair enough, it really can't get much worse than that short of the contents of a Porta-Potty getting dumped on them. But still, losing 120-107 to the Kevin Martin-less Kings was pretty craptastic. I mean, Golden State finished the weekend -41 to the Clippers and Kings. Do we have a flavor of fail for that?
Shayan from the Raptors blog Mediocre Forever
wrote in to say: "God I love watching the Warriors crumble further with each game, is that evil? I haven't enjoyed watching an organization this dysfunctional and unintentionally funny since Isiah ran the Knicks. I mean, you have an 'all the players hate him' coach in Don Nelson who's more than worn out his welcome, who is for some inexplicable reason not playing Anthony Randolph (their most promising player) enough, Monta 'The Moped' Ellis proclaiming before the start of the season he can't play with lottery pick Stephen Curry, and then of course, the one and only Stephen 'I don't wanna be here and I ain't backin' away from that' Jackson. And how could you not laugh with his comment like 'Another beatdown, what can I say?' after getting pounded by the...get ready for this...Kevin Martin-less Sacramento Kings!!! If they had cameras on the team 24/7, it would be a reality show hit. And you would watch it, admit it." Actually, I'm not sure I could stand it. It would be like watching rabid dogs being euthanized all day long. That's not exactly chicken soup for the soul.It was just that kind of weekend for the Warriors...The New Orleans Hornets:
The former "Team of Tomorrow!" suffered yet another loss that brands them as the "The One-Hit Wonder of 2007-08." Due to injury, the Lakers had to replace Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum with DJ Mbenga and Shannon Brown -- yes, you read that correctly -- and yet New Orleans still lost by 16. And it was only that close because of garbage time (the Hornets outscored L.A. 30-22 in the meaningless fourth quarter). Said Mamba: "We believed this was going to be a really, really tough game." Added Phil Jackson: "We had a little easier time than I had anticipated. We were really prepared for a rush that they make in the second half, and they never got to that."
The epitaph of the game -- and maybe of the Hornets as the team -- was spoken by Chris Paul: "They beat us in all aspects of the game. Kobe got going and Mbenga got going, and they looked like the Lakers. ... We're just trying to find something that works. We're missing defense and the ability to score." Oh, you're only missing defense and offense? No problem! That's just...oh, wait...
(P.S. My favorite part of that quote was "...and Mbenga got going...." And Paul was being totally serious. Yikes.)
Bonus bawful: From the AP recap: "New Orleans coach Byron Scott began the trip by bumping shooting guard Morris Peterson from the starting lineup in favor of Brown, who had played just eight minutes all season. Peterson started the Hornets' first six games, but made just 34.1 percent of his shots while playing defense that didn't please Scott. Immediately after the opening tip, Brown turned the ball over to Bryant for a drive and a dunk." COACHING FAIL. I promise Scott won't be the coach by the All-Star break.The Associated Press, unintentionally dirty headline machine:
From the Hornets-Lakers recap
: "Lakers coast past Hornets despite lack of size." Hey now, Associated Press. No need to get so personal.Chris' Sunday Lacktion Report:
Magic-Thunder: Anthony Johnson pulled a 3.6 trillion out of a hat for Orlando.
Labels: Allen Iverson, Worst of the Weekend
Andres Nocioni went 5-for-15 from the field with 10 points, 2 assists, and 1 rebound.
The guy manhandled by Amare (the ' is stupid and I refuse to use it), what's he wearing under his jersey? Body armour?
And how utterly STUPID are both Iverson and the Memphis management. The first for not knowing before he signed the contract that he probably wouldn't start, and the second for not including a you-will-not-start-and-you-know-it-so-don't-bitch-about-it clause in the contract. Really, I almost don't dare to wear my Iverson Philly jersey from 7 years ago anymore.
WV: typhyd; that what Iverson is to a team, next to a cancer.
Chandler allowed Joakim Noah to drop 21/16 on his head via shooting 10/12 from the field. Remember when people marked the Okafor-Chandler trade as the Hornets getting the better offensive player, and the Bobcats getting the better defensive player? Noah shot 1/3 from the FT line, meaning the air plays better D than Chandler. I'm just saying...
Fun fact for the Dallas - Raptors game. All 12 active players played in the game for Dallas; 11 of them outscored Jason Kidd.
Mr. Chris "D'Antoni will turn him into the next Nash" Duhon blanked from the field, but was spared from a total goose egg thanks to Brandon Jennings turning the ball over and forcing Charlie Bell to foul. Ever so gracious, Duhon passed on making the first of those two free throws. Duhon is now shooting 25% from the field, 21% from 3, and has almost as many bricks and turnovers as made shots and assists. Mr. Real Nash would not approve.
In his first start for the Nuggets because Kenyon Martin went down from an injury, Balkman proved that the Nuggets got a 1st Overall Draftee level player. The problem is, the former NIT MVP chose to emulate Greg Oden, posting 5 fouls and a turnover in 11 minutes. Bravo Neo-Oden. Of all the players that have played at least 4 games, his foul-minute ranks right behind Hasheem Thabeet
Anthony had 3 layups rejected by Josh Smith. Ouch...
Poor Chris Douglas-Roberts. He really had swine flu, but got marked down as "flu-like symptoms" by ESPN. What kind of flu does he need to catch for them to actually say it was more than just flu-like?
Seriously, Mike Brown and Kwame Brown could switch places, and I don't think anyone would notice.
Well, my comedy quotient has been filled for the day.
Yams (cont.): The Suns may be for real. I was happy with how they stayed ahead of Boston instead of the Suns patented peaks and valleys. But I had the privilege of watching the Boston Nets game, and boy that was bawful. No one's ready to admit, but Boston is old.
Circle this Thursday, a back to back at LAL. But this year's team has more chemistry and proper roles than we've had since we cut the fat.
2) Our favorite recordable media in the 90s, CD-R of the Nyets isn't out with just the flu. It's swine flu. The entire team is taking Tamiflu for 10 days. 8 men in uniform. Almost beat Boston. You better believe this all happened a day after I picked him up on my fantasy team.
3) However, Bawful, you got Vince Carter's injury note surprisingly accurate (also on said fantasy team)
We have a special term in our pick up league for players like Mbenga - poison pills. They have no skills, but once and a while they'll score a bunch of baskets,usually in crucial times of the game, and beat you. Totally sucks!
The day after the Celtics traded for Ray Allen, the "they used to be too young, and now they're too old" chorus started. That very day, Bob Ryan announced that Ray Allen was a has-been and he was really only in Boston to give Pierce someone to accompany him to join AARP.
Tommy Heinsohn, he of the greenest green-tinted glasses ever, called them "elderly" during the Nets game.
On PTI, every time Wilbon praises the Celtics, Kornheiser responds "they're old."
Or do you mean old in the sense that they're so old they can't contend for the title even if they're lucky injury-wise? If so, yeah, there are lots of commentator-types who don't agree with that.
With 2 assists on the day, Gerald Wallace has terminated his black hole status. However, there is a new force in the universe gobbling up small bits of matter, and that man is Nick Young, who has taken 18 shots (making only 4 of them), and has yet to get on the assists board.
Days after getting complimented by AnacondaHL, Earl Clark submits a back to back performance of 12 minutes, 0-5 shooting, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 fouls, and 2 TO. Some people can't take a compliment...
Malik Allen, a career non-passer, was spared from a suck differential label by getting his first assist of the season. Boooooooooo.
After being reminded by me that this was his contract season, Jermaine O'Neal collected 18 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks. There's that contract year go-getter the Heat were looking for.
With his team's undefeated status on the line, "Mr. Big Shot" Billups was 2/7 (including shanking all of his 3s) for 6 points with 5 TO and a net efficiency of 0. Meanwhile, the intense defense he brought forced Mario Chalmers into a 6/9 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists day. Guess he shouldn't have waited for the big shots.
James Posey, the big acquisition that was supposed to put the Hornets over the top, had 1 assist, 2 fouls, and made 1 of 2 free throws in 16 uneventful minutes. I don't know what kind of suck that is, but it's some kind of suck.
Al Jefferson was 3/12 from the field and 2/6 from the line en route to an absolute schooling by Andrew Bogut, including two layups that were introduced to the floor. On the year, Jefferson is averaging 15/6.6 after a 23/11 year. Think someone's getting a little lazy in the second year of their fat contract?
In 6 games, David Andersen has finally mustered 24/12 with a block. I'm sure this sexy acquisition by Nerd Elvis has people forgetting about Yao already.
With a minute and a half remaining in the game, D.J. White picked up a board to avoid a 10 minute +5 suck differential. Disappointing. Still, he got a 3:1 Short Voskhul.
In another case of a bizarre stat ruining otherwise excellently bawful night, Steve Novak ruined a 4 trillion by getting a block (after only having 8 total in the first 143 games of his career). Ye gods, I know you guys want to avoid starring on this site, but think of the plunder!
Adam Morrison made a hook shot to avoid a 5 trillion. I don't know if Bobcat fans are laughing or crying.
The Spurs, desperate for size, went out looking for anything that had a pulse and was 6'10" this summer. Unfortunately, it looks like that prerequisite wasn't met, so they turned to the next best thing and gave nearly $1 million to Theo Ratliff. The latest DNP says it all. In 31 minutes, he has grabbed 2 rebounds in all; that is the 2nd lowest rebounding rate for any center (#1 is an MJ pick, 7' sophomore Alexis Ajinca, go figure).
AnacondaHL -- "One more: for the Simmons fans and book readers here (#1 NY Times Bestseller btw), did you all just stop reading after the intro? #1, Bill Russell. #2, Wilt Chamberlain. And Wilt was like the ultimate stat padder, non-winner, guy you don't really want to play with, but that doesn't disqualify him from being the second best ever. But stay the course on the Iverson double standard bandwagon, really."
In part, Simmons' book was one giant justification of every blanket claim he's made over 11 years worth of columns. He claims that MVP should never go to a defensive liability (i.e., Nash) but doesn't question MVPs for Bird, Magic, or Iverson. He claims that guys who get "The Secret" (and therefore don't care about personal stats) are infinitely more valuable than guys whose statistical and personal dominance is more important than winning (the crux of his Russell versus Wilt argument) than claims that Nash stole an MVP from Kobe because Kobe was statistically unstoppable in 2006.
The book is like one giant Bill Simmons column. There are points that make you think, "Yeah, this guy totally GETS basketball!" and points where he sounds like a raving idiot. Re: His ENTIRE BOOK is predicated on the idea that great players sacrifice personally for the sake of their team, and then he ranks Allen "ME, ME, ME" Iverson as the 29th best player EVER.
Really, Bill? Really?!
1) I was very impressed with the fact that Phoenix was never behind after about midway through the 2nd quarter. Every time Boston put together a mini-run, the Suns would come back and score a basket or two to keep the edge. Nash's dagger 3 over Rondo was sublime, the kind of play you expect a great player to make. Overall, I feel like this Suns team is much more focused than last season's squad, which looked half the time like it didn't know what it was doing.
2) The Suns played well even without speeding up the tempo to what they're capable of. The numbers indicate a higher-tempo game, but a lot of that was just good Phoenix shooting. I was kind of worried that they would allow Boston to settle into their defense, but they were very good at spreading the floor and finding the outside shooter.
3) That said, they got owned in the paint. Garnett went up for essentially uncontested alley-oops 3 times (I think). Their rotations were off at times, leading to a few open threes for Allen and Pierce, which is something they need to work on. I guess the defense did what it had to do, which was to keep Boston from matching them, but there's no margin for error if your 3 point shot goes cold with that kind of D.
4) There were lots of sloppy turnovers. Goran Dragic loves driving the lane, but unlike Nash, he doesn't know what to do when he gets there. He's a decent ball handler but not a good decision maker and he also missed a few seemingly easy layups. There were errant passes all over the place and Channing Frye had butterfingers on the inside, fumbling away the ball several times. Cut down some of the worst turnovers, and Phoenix wins this one with a much heavier margin.
It was a very good game and I'm very happy I picked this one to go to (I live in Providence so getting to the Garden is a bit of a chore for me). I think there are two major things that the Suns need to do to improve, which I'm sure will come as no surprise to anyone. First, they need to make Dragic a better stand-in for Nash. He doesn't have to score a whole lot or even dish out a lot of assists, but he needs to manage the game better. His vision is just not that good. Second, they need some semblance of an interior game. Right now, they're living by the jump shot, which is good so long as it lasts but can turn on you quickly (just ask Ray Allen). Frye in particular needs to improve in that area; as nice as a 3-point shooting center is, he needs to develop a post game for times when that's not an option. But yeah, I'm crossing my fingers for this team and hoping that we'll see them in the playoffs as a higher seed.
RE: Simmons, Bill openly admits he didn't use any kind of organizing diagram when he wrote the book (or any other piece of writing he does) and just wrote whatever came to mind. And it shows. His ideas and theories range between spot-on and totally insane, and there's seemingly no rhyme or reason as to why he believes some of the things he believes. I would imagine that if he diagrammed out his plan for a book, he might notice the discrepancy and say to himself "what the hell was I thinking?" But then he'd forget about it and write it anyway because he's going to sell a crapload of books no matter what he writes.
A ...bang is about to happen...and he knows it.. http://bit.ly/2U4dit
Ray Allen bangs Steve Nash (literally) http://bit.ly/3zGDrj
The ref calls illegal defense on Nash for trying to escape the rape http://bit.ly/1FUJpS
Meanwhile, Rasheed - always ontop. http://bit.ly/2j5QwC
Looks like he already finished...
Bonus: That's what i call Hand-in-the-face Defense.
10 min, 0-2 FG, 4 reb, 0 0 0 0.
Wow. Two rookies are learning the NBA, news at 11. Still happy with Earl as our 10th man.
I'm still burning through the Simmons book, I can only take a crap every so often.
Yes, I did forget to mention Blair, because I actually watched that Spurs game, and that's how memorable he was. Other than getting swatted by the Vanilla Godzilla and letting Aldridge skip past him for a big dunk, I don't remember anything else he did of note.
I see this:
"4. The end of the Sean May and Desmond Mason as starter's experiment
This was a welcome and much needed change. But I think the experiment served its purpose."
The purpose being...anyone can start for the Kings and earn a 6.65 trillion? ;)
Here's another: breakout game for Elton Fat Brand tonight against the Suns' Lopezless frontcourt. May I remind everyone that 37 year old is our leading rebounder. Yea. (Actually, Amare has 1 more, but he can suck my eyegoggles.)
Also, starting Devin Brown over Mo Peterson, supposedly for defensive purposes, proved to be an unmitigated disaster for New Orleans, as Kobe shredded Brown for 26 first half points on 10-16 shooting, while LA pushed the first half lead to 17 at one point. In the second half Byron Scott decided to instead double team Kobe, but Kobe just switched to kicking it out to the perimeter shooters as LA had five third quarter threes while the Lakers started the second half on a 17-3 run that pretty much iced the game.
I'm with you Mr. Bawful, if the Hornets don't magically turn things around in a real hurry, Byron Scott is not long for New Orleans.
AnacondaHL - I can't wait for that Thursday Lakers-Suns game, but hopefully Pau Gasol will finally suit up for the first time this season. At the very least Bynum should be back in action (he was on the active roster for last night's game, but Phil Jackson didn't play him just as a precaution). I'm really looking forward to getting a look at these Suns to see if they're for real or not. I've read some people say they really are like the SSOL Suns, in that they're a very tough regular season win, simply because most teams don't have adequate time to prepare for what they're going to do when it's just one game, but that they'll be much easier to prepare for come playoff time. Either way, I'm glad to see that they're back. Dumping Shaq looks like it was the equivalent of pulling up the anchor and steaming ahead. Whoever knew that Shaq could weigh down a team like that? Oh wait, anyone paying attention would know that. Like I said last night, I think Shaq is this year's equivalent to what Iverson was last season. It's gonna be interesting to see what interest there is in Shaq this summer when he's a free agent. I wonder how Shaq might handle having to come off the bench?
The Hornets are not very good.
They had one really good season where they combined Chris Paul's insane skills, great team chemistry, and superb production from David West to win a bunch of regular season games, dispatch the Mavs in 5, and then take San Antonio down to the wire. Everyone thought they were going to be the bees' knees after that, but they only got worse, the teams around them got better, and then they traded away Chandler and Chris Paul got sad. Maybe they'll pick it up this year, but after watching them only win a home game against Dallas because the Mavs missed 3 (!) free throws in a row, I can't see them doing much more than picking up some perfunctory wins over really bad teams, and maybe a few games here and there against someone decent when Paul plays out of his mind.
Actually, this is my theory about the Jazz as well.
So yea on paper, LA will get it. But the battle of the benches should be fun to watch. Vujacic! Dragic! Walton! Dudley! Smackdown!!!
Dan B: Amar'e's.
As for Wilt, he may be a stat chasing ego maniac but at least he's not like Shaq "the dog won't defend the yard if he doesn't get fed" O'Neal. Plus he knew his role as he aged and racked up injuries.
Oh yeah, speaking of stat chasing ego maniacs I love watching LeBron chase triple doubles. Seeing him snatch rebounds away from teammates is classic (and they're scared shitless too, like "oh sorry LeBron, what was I thinking? Here, take it!") and he's got a deal with Mike Brown that lets him play during garbage time even if they're up 30. I've also noticed this with Kobe to a lesser extent. Like if he has 27ish points he'll mysteriously be in the game for no reason and then as soon as he hits 30 he'll get pulled. I guess Phil was worried about the other team making the ol'e 20 point in 4 minutes comeback.
I sometimes wonder what would happen if these guys blew a knee out during stat time. What would the coach say at that press conference? Sometimes, as I watch all of this unfold a part of me wants to see the car slam into the wall. That's right LeBron, charge into the paint for the ESPN dunk! Nothing untoward will happen. I'm a bad person.
IMO Bird/Magic aren't as bad as defenders are Nash/AI are. No way. I think over the years the idea of them being bad defenders has been blown out of proportion. They weren't DPOYs or anything but I've seen plenty of games where they turned it around with solid defensive plays and intelligent positioning.
stephanie g - I actually think you're wrong about Kobe having some stat-building deal with Phil in the way you're referring to. Whenever you see Kobe get put back in the game in the 4th quarter despite LA being ahead like that, it's almost always because the Laker bench is in the process of squandering away a big lead and Phil is looking to stop the bleeding (note that when he puts Kobe back in he usually puts in most of the other starters). I think it's more like Phil just knows that if LA has seen a lead shrink from say 20 to 10 and there's about 4 minutes to go, that if Kobe's in there, at the very least he's gonna score some points; so even if the Laker defense continues to suck, they should be able to keep far enough ahead to win just on the strength of Kobe's points.
If you don't believe me, look at last night's game: Kobe got pulled with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter while sitting on 28 points, and seeing how the Lakers never let the Hornets crawl back into it (though the reserves tried, with something like 5 or 6 turnovers in the last few minutes, which New Orleans couldn't capitalize on), Kobe stayed on the bench. Trust me, if the Lakers are up 30 in garbage time, you'll never see Kobe still in there. A lot is actually made about how seeing Kobe (and the other starters) on the bench with ice on their knees in the 4th is a clear sign that the team is doing well.
stephanie g: Actually Wilt was probably worse. If you read Simmons book (I'm only 1/3 of the way through) several players are quoted as saying that Wilt would stop playing defense late in a game not because of Shaq's excuse of "dog not being fed" but because Wilt was close to fouling out and wanted to keep his streak of never fouling out of a game intact. That to me is a much dumber reason to not defend.
Here's what's funny about Simmons. He explains in his book (and has done so in his column) that many players in Rick Barry's day undervalued him because they didn't like him, and they didn't like his attitude. In fact, Simmons contends that Barry was jipped out of an MVP (then voted on by players) for that very reason.
And yet...and yet he accepts all the "back in the day" comments about Wilt at face value. Isn't it possible, perhaps even probable, that many of the anti-Wilt rumors and accusations were made because 1) people thought Wilt was a dick because of his attitude, 2) they were jealous of his big money contracts (he negotiated a new "highest ever" salary every season), and 3) they couldn't comprehend why Wilt didn't win more?
But rather than questioning anyone's motives, Simmons claims that these opinions are proof that Russell was the better player.
I'm not saying they don't have their place, but it's classic Simmons, isn't it? His pro-Barry proof is also his anti-Wilt evidence.
For instance, Simmons accepts as FACT that Wilt faked a knee injury in Game 7 of the 1969 Finals in order to avoid fouling out and perhaps to avoid the the ignominy of defeat. Yet he also states that coach Van Breda Kolff wouldn't let Wilt back into the game because he hated him.
Well...which is it?
It's funny. Here was a guy in Wilt who routinely played 48 minutes per game, and he asked out for a minute because he tweaked a knee and that has forever been Exhibit A in the Case of Wilt Being a Loser and a Pussy.
But in today's game that stuff is pretty standard. Hell, it was even standard back then...only Wilt was held to different standards because everything thought he was superhuman.
I'm not saying that Wilt didn't have problems and some fundamental failings as a player, but some of the charges are a bit trumped up.
If it had not come on the heels of that ridiculous bawful defensive effort against the Bobcats, I'd be even happier. If Williams is a good enough defender to shut down Melo (and some of my fellow Hawks fans keep insisting that he is), then why in the world did he make Gerald Wallace look like Melo the night before?
I'm also glad Joe Johnson has decided that he's going to become a more vocal leader during his contract year. He's either A.) finally over pretending to act like Mike Woodson is a respectable coach, or B.) worried that the Baron Davis contract year strategy of "pad stats whenever possible" might lead to somewhere like Clipper-land.
If Joe leaves the Hawks in the summer of 2010, he'll be going to either a proven veteran-laden contender or he'll be starting something new alongside Bosh or King Crab.
If he and Bosh end up on the Nyets (my worst fear) I'm going to burn all of my Zaza Pachulia memorabilia out of spite.
Of course, half the reason why Simmons is so popular is because he's so homer-ish and illogical. Remember, he's "the sports guy" writing sports from "the fan's seat."
Simmons loves Russell because Russell played in Boston. And Simmons defends Barry because Simmons' is from Boston (clarification: honkies from Boston love white people -- especially white people in the NBA -- and they're all hiding a little kernel of the Boston-bred racism deep within their being)
He says things he actually feels, then he covers his ass. At some point, it all comes together to show that Simmons has no real feelings or opinions. He's like a politician.
So, we're calling it, this year's Sam Mitchell Memorial Award is between Mike Brown and Byron Scott.
Oh wait, I DO have B-Jax and Songaila trinkets, so...um, yeah.
Plus the Suns seem to go super-saiyajin like every game now, and Steve Nash seems to have bought that potion from "Death becomes Her" and gone all fountain of youth on everyone. Of course, it's still early in the season, and I'm concerned that Nashy can maintain that level of effort while playing 40+ min a game at 35. Kobe has been doing much the same however.
In the mountains of L.A..... "Seriously, what is going on here, you're supposed to be Sith Lords---Not Yao MIng!" Roars Darth Mamba. "It's not our fault," pleads Pau Gasol, AKA Darth Vega. "Yeah, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time," laments Darth Shotkiller, AKA Andrew Bynum. Kobe is unconvinced. "Explain." Andrew looks at Pau, who nods for him to go ahead. "Well, right before Darth Greed left, we caught him trying to steal the remains of the T-mac Serum from last season, when we tried to stop him, some accomplice of his kicked the vat over, splashing us with the serum!" Anger flashes across the Dark Lord's face, "So Ariza decided to take a page out of my book before he left, eh? No matter, he was a weak Sith Lord with a streaky shooting touch, I should've dubbed him ""Darth Overrated,"" I---"
"Hold Up, y'all."
Everyone looks over to see Ron Artest. Kobe's eyes narrow, "what is it, Darth Crazy?" Artest shuffles his feet, looks down at them, "Man to Man, I just thought you should know---I kicked the serum over onto them, but I had a good reason, and because of it, we will be a better team."
"really how is that, exactly, Lord Crazy?"
"'s simple really! Without them, I'm the #2 option on offense! We will be unstoppable together my Lord! I did this to help you!"
Dark Lord FACEPALM
...Elton Brand also had 10 for Philadelphia.
"It's a little frustrating not to get the win," Brand said. "We need W's."
Brand: 21 minutes, 4-of-8 from the field and 2 FT's for 10 big points, 2 boards, 1 assist; he left the game with 4:30 to go in the 3rd, never to return. I'm sure it's "a little frustrating" to the rest of the team when your "star" puts up numbers like that.
In Suns news, Alando Tucker continues to ride the pine as he watches the continued emergence of Jared Dudley. Dudds doesn't really fill up the box score, but damn if he isn't EVERYwhere on the court. Tucker, meanwhile, had hoped this season would be his chance to shine; instead, on this most recent 5-game roadie (5 games in 7 nights), a time when they would hypothetically rely on their non-starters a little more than usual, Tucker earned four DNP-CDs, with his only PT coming in garbage time during the Orlando blowout.
It would only be funnier if Iverson had been with Memphis long enough to be about one games' worth of PT away from a very major team record.
The article title had the wrong team on it. Of course its the clippers that got blown out. No way the Hornets are good enough to blow away the Nuggets.
And one thing that flies under the radar is that Nash probably leads the league in drawing charges. He drew what, 3 or 4 in the Boston game? That's equivalent to 3 or 4 steals isn't it?
That is all :D
Dunno, seems like there might be some truth to it - it'll take some time for them to work things out and play up to the admittedly meager potential of the roster.
Now, if they'd wrangled a trade for Luke Walton over the summer, we wouldn't be having this conversation...