LeBron fall

The Philadelphia 76ers: And just like that, order is restored. The Sixers won, what, two games in a row after Allen Iverson was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team? Which caused a virtual avalanche of "A.I. deserves this All-Star spot because..." stories. Which were all crap, by the way.

The Cancer isn't an All-Star in the true sense of the word, and he serves as further proof that when "So and so made the All-Star team [however many] times" is used as an argument about that player's relative greatness, it should be dismissed with extreme prejudice. Iverson won a popularity contest. Good for him. And good for the fans, who will get to see what they want...I guess. But, seriously, let's not talk about his "team-first approach" or how he's made Philly a better team. Last time I checked, which I think was pretty recently, "better teams" don't choke up a double-digit leads and then lose by double digits at home to motley crews like the Indiana Pacers. But that's what happened to the Sixers.

Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not laying the blame at what I'm sure are the well-manicured feet of Allen Iverson. Not when Elton "The 80 Million Dollar Man" Brand went 4-for-10 for his 12 points, and certainly not when Philly couldn't put the stops on a team that ranks 27th in Offensive Efficiency. The reality is, the Sixers are a poorly assembled and poorly coached bunch of dudes.

Said Iverson: "At times, when we can put teams away, we go about it in a lackadaisical way. We're going to continue to struggle as long as we don't have that killer instinct that everybody's been talking about."

The Los Angeles Clippers: Well, they are who we thought they were, which isn't exactly news. What's more surprising is the play of...

The Boston Celtics: Generally speaking, you expect the Celtics to do better than winning 95-89 when the Clippers come to town, especially now that Kevin Garnett is back. And although Boston did hold The Other L.A. Team to 38 percent shooting, the Celtics still managed to let the Clips score 30 points in the fourth quarter. That's a lot of fourth-quarter points to give up when you're trying to close a game out. It's even worth noting that some of The Other L.A. Team's shooting woes were induced by a slippery floor rather than the Boston defense (more on that below). The Celtics further hurt their cause by missing 11 free throws.

How's KG doing? Well, he scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting and had a game-high plus-minus score of +15. But he also grabbed only 2 rebounds in 31 minutes. And this guy has been one of the greatest rebounders of his generation. I'm gonna go ahead and say the knee isn't 100 percent.

The parquet floor: Depending on the circumstances, a lot of moisture and wetness can be a good thing. A very good thing, even. But it's not usually an optimal condition for playing professional basketball, which is why last night's Clippers-Celtics game very nearly got called off. From the AP recap:

The first seven, eight minutes I didn't think we were going to even finish the game," Rivers said. "I was nervous, though. I really was."

The sometimes-slippery parquet floor forced the ball boys to mop one end while play was going on at the other for most of the game. Early in the game, a few players slipped, causing a brief delay with 2:28 left in the first quarter.

Rivers and Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy spoke about the conditions early in the game.

"Mike and I came together, if anybody else slipped in the next two minutes the game was going to be canceled," Rivers said. "We, at that point, were very close. Mike said the same thing, 'We can't afford to get a guy injured on this floor.'"

"It was wet," said Rondo, who shared a postgame podium with Garnett.


Dunleavy knew the floor was a problem before the start.

"Our guys complained about it before we even played the game, guys were at risk and you hate for that to be the case," he said.

"We kept having to go out and wipe it. There were three kids on each end trying to wipe it. It must have been better because I didn't see guys -- we had four guys in the first quarter slip."

Both teams shot under 37 percent in the opening 12 minutes.

"I actually slipped one time posting up Kevin, trying to go around him," Clippers center Chris Kaveman said.

Los Angeles forward Marcus Camby felt they waited a bit too long to address the problem.

"We were all slipping. It seemed like every Clipper was slipping, then when Ray Allen slips, they want to bring it in and address the issue, so that's what we were chirping about," he said. "It was kind of dangerous out there for both teams."
It's a good thing they tore down the old Boston Garden to build a better basketball arena.

Rasheed Wallace, quote machine: Nominated by Basketbawful reader nohandle: "Yeah, you know you can't put the brakes on when you want to because you didn't know if you're going to slip. You saw a couple guys slipping out there like Peggy Fleming (an American Olympic figure skater) tonight."

Chris Kaman: From Dan B.: "Chris Kaman played 38 minutes and did not shoot a single free throw despite playing in the paint."

Glen Big Baby Davis: From Basketbawful reader DDC: "Poor Big Baby wants to drop his moniker. He might want to drop about 35-40 pounds as well."

The end of the world as we know it: From Basketbawful reader Mladen: "Two words: Zach Randolph. Did the guy drink a magic potion or something?! He outrebounded Dwight Howard last night, hit a crazy shot way behind the half court line, and his clutch play iced the game for the Grizz. WTF?!?! Of course, he did it all with a double-double. Did you reverse-stat-curse him?"

I'm at a complete loss to figure out what happened to Zach Randolph. His metamorphasis into a...a...superstar...(gak)...has to qualify for the top 10 list of history's greatest transformations, right up there with Bruce Banner to Hulk, Man to Wolf Man, Mario to Super Mario, Fat Jared to Jared the Subway Spokesman, Hulk Hogan to Hollywood Hogan, and Hot-ass Britney Spears to this.

That's why, as much as it killed me to do it, Z-Bo had to be removed from the Basketbawful banner. HE IS NO LONGER BAWFUL. I feel like someone who lost a dear friend to death by industrial cleaning agents.

The Miami Heat: Losing to the Crabs, even at home, isn't all that shameful in and of itself. Because, you know, the Heat aren't all that good. But losing by a single point (92-91) on two foul shots with 4.1 seconds left after going 1-for-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter is pretty sad. In fact, the Heat missed 12 freebies on the night (17-for-29). Like they said in Team America, freedom isn't free...

Dwyane Wade's second half: Pookie was nigh unstoppable in the first two quarters, when he scored 30 of Miami's 54 points. But he scored only 2 points in the second half. Worse, he bricked two freebies with 41.2 seconds left and then (after a spectacular block on LeBron) had the ball stolen by King Crab, who drove down for the foul and go-ahead free throws. Wade finished his ugly second half by clanking a potential game-winner versus LeBron's hand in the face.

The rest of the Heat in the first half: Pookie's teammates missed 15 straight shots over a 15 1/2-minute stretch, including 0-for-12 in the second quarter alone. Good luck keeping Dwyane in Miami, Pat Riley.

LeBron James: I know that fall had to hurt, but did he really need to writhe around like an earthworm sombody just poured a shaker of salt on for two or three minutes? When poor Kurt Rambis got dropped on his head in the 1984 NBA Finals, dude bounced back up like he was made out of Silly Putty. (And if you've seen Kurt's body circa the mid-80s, he very well might have been.) So it's hard for me to imagine someone has powerful looking as James looking like Jake "The Snake" Roberts just DDT'd him unless Jake "The Snake" Roberts actually DDT'd him.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Just when they get everybody all hot and bothered with six straight wins -- including a 39-point whupping of the Miami Heat -- they lose three straight. And before they win again to restart the excitement, let me remind you that Stephen Jackson is one of this team's most important players. What does that tell you?

The Phoneix Suns: Steve Nash finished with 15 points and 15 assists (which included the 8,000th dime of his career). Goran Dragic scored a career-high 32 points on 10-for-13 shooting. Channing Frye chipped in 21 points (8-for-15 from the field, 5-for-10 from downtown) off the bench. And the Suns -- after scoring 45 points in the second quarter and building a 17-point lead -- finished with 115 points...but lost anyway.

That'll happen when you can't rebound and don't play defense.

Utah scored the last 12 points of the third quarter and then outscored Phoenix 33-19 in the fourth to pull away for a 124-115 win. The Jazz dominated the inside, outrebounding the Suns 48-31 and outscoring them 58-36 in the paint.

"We were up 17. We've got to be able to maintain that," Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said, pretending he hasn't watched his team do that about a dozen times this season. Seriously, isn't doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results the first signs of The Crazy? Well, that and having sex with patio furniture.

Added Steve Nash: "We just couldn't get into our offense. They pushed us out. We had no penetration and we were just jacking up jump shots or turning it over." While I don't necessarily disagree, I should also point out that when a team gets outscored 45-19 down the stretch, offense is only part of the problem. The other part is playing the kind of sloppy defense that would disgust Mike D'Antoni. In fact, here's the acting equivalent of Phoenix Suns defense:

The San Antonio Spurs: Remember when the Spurs won back-to-back games over the Lakers and Thunder? And how thousands of Spurs fans rose up with a single voice to scream, "SEE?! WE ARE TOO CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS!!"


If that's the case, then the Spurs should probably be able to win a home game versus a sub-.500 team, especially when that team is notoriously bawful on the road, and its star player is suffering from flu-like symptoms, and when its second-best player is limited to only 24 minutes due to a painful case of plantar faciitis.

Instead, the Bulls shot almost 54 percent from the field, Derrick Rose scored a game-high 27 points on 13-for-23 shooting, and Joakim Noah hobbled his way to a huge offensive board and putback with 36 seconds left and then sealed the deal by hitting three of four free throws in the final 13 seconds.

San Antonio is now 0-3 on their current six-game home stand.

Manu Ginobili: Manu earned WotN honors not so much for the 4-for-14 shooting, but for his last two misses, either of which could have saved this game for the Spurs. They were both driving layups, and on the second attempt Ginobili started flopping before there even a chance for contact. Had Manu simply gone strong to the cup without quivering like a wet pasta noodle, he might have actually converted the layup or drawn an actual foul. It's somehow fitting that, at least this once, the Spurs were the ones who got Ginobili'd.

Basketbawful (?): An anonymous commenter wrote: "I think you should seriously consider mentioning Basketbawful in your column for projecting the Bulls to go 0-7 on their current road trip after their losses @ the Warriors and the Clippers. The Bulls have gone undefeated since then and are playing their best basketball for the season."

Well, as everyone knows, I have a vested interest in the Bulls, so you can chalk up my prediction to a rather clever reverse stat curse. Yeah...that's it...thaaaat's the ticket...

Lacktion report: And now for Chris's magic mushroom-powered lackitvity update:

Crabs-Heat: Joel Anthony scorched yet another Voskuhl on his record, a 5:3 ratio in 17:58 by fouling four times and losing the rock once against three boards. Fellow fireman Mario Chalmers fouled twice and tossed two bricks for a +4 suck differential in 5:20.

Clippers-Celtics: Despite an assist keeping him from being straight up in the lacktion category tonight, Steve Novak spent 35 seconds examining the cartridge for The Incredible Crash Test Dummies in his second straight Mario! Fellow Clipper JamesOn Curry -- more known for his arrest in 2008 over urinating in an alley - (HT Dan B. on the link) -- powered Off his computer after 4 seconds of Mario Teaches Typing for a Super Mario!

Meanwhile, Bill Walker earned himself a pedestrian +1 via foul in 3:13.

Magic-Grizzlies: Marcin Gortat's back to lack, as he fouled twice, took a rejection, and heaved up one piece of masonry in 5:10 for a +4 that also counted as a 2:0 Voskuhl!

Hawks-Rockets: Randolph Morris pawed at a foul for a +1 in 1:06 (and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl) while THE Mario West collected enough royalties in that timespan from the Official Nintendo Seal for a 1.1 trillion payday!!!

Suns-Jazz: Ronnie Price fouled twice and bricked once for a +3 in 6:57, while CJ Miles distanced himself from contribution with a +4 via rejection, turnover, and two bricks (one from Temple Square) in 5:15.

Hornets-Blazers: Sean Marks continues to, um, make his mark on the ledger with a 2.2 trillion (2:12).

Nuggets-Bobcats: LotharBot writes...
In 20 minutes last night, Malik Allen ahd 5 rebounds, but offset them with 5 fouls and 3 turnovers for a True Voskuhl of 8:5. It was his second most productive game of the season. As a Nuggets fan, I cringe every time the guy gets on court when the lead is less than 20. (He was the key to the Clippers' 17-0 run back on November 20.)


Blogger Ash said...
Wow... two games separate 4th seed through 11th seed in the West. Insane.

Also, please David Stern, change the playoff format so three of these WAY more deserving teams don't go home empty handed so that the Crapcago Bulls can make it? Kthx.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
dude it's january 25. sadly birdmas isn't until a good 12 months.

Anonymous Joe said...
December already? Cool!

Anonymous A. said...
December 25th? Methinks you should give yourself a Bawful for that one.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Date fixed.

Blogger chris said...
Ash B. Can we take a DeLorean to last month so that that 4th through 11th group can include my beleaguered "ONE WIN BETTER THAN THE NYETS THIS DECADE" purple paupers?!?!


CAPTCHA: "resse", as in "Big Snacks has a case of Resse cups stored in the glove compartment" or "Patrick Chewing will not ever betray his supporters by downing a Resse."

Anonymous Stockton said...
Playoffs should be 1st west vs 8 east, 2nd west vs 7th east and so on...
How many eastern teams would make the second round??

Anonymous drbearclaw said...
Randolph is averaging 20 and 10 for the past 7 seasons. He's always been a superstar! lol

Blogger Ash said...
chris... I'm a Laker fan so I have to hate you. But man, I wish the Kings would have kept it up. Having 12 (13 if you count them Clips) worthy teams fighting for the playoffs would have been magical. Plus, Tyreke is actually fun to watch. I'm turning my Laker fan card in, I know.

Tell Omri to get back to business!

Blogger Junior said...
no comments for Richard Jefferson? the player that was coming to take some load out of Duncan-Ginobili-Parker and is playing like he was Eduardo Najera?

Blogger chris said...
Stockton: That reminds me, I think the NHL is the only North American major league to have ever done the 1-16 (by record, regardless of geography) format, back in the late 70s.

If enacted today (hypothetically), this would right now create a Crabs-Heat first round matchup - which after last night would clearly be LOLtacular!

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Perusing the box score from the Orlando/Memphis game last night, I notice that Vince "Upgrade from Hedo" Carter shot 1/6 from 3, for a bawful 6/15 from the floor. Fans in Toronto and New Jersey could have informed you that Vince has no heart, but I guess Otis Smith thinks he's smarter than us. He was wrong.

Karma, Vince. Now go get your mom a parking spot.

Blogger chris said...
And BTW, the best analogy for Z-Bo isn't from Mario to Super Mario, but from Super Mario Galaxy to this year's newest lacktion stat, the Luigi!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Did the original AP recap for Clippers-Celtics really refer to "Chris Kaveman?"

Blogger chris said...
Also, expanding on doing a 1-16 deal...

the matchups as of this morning would be:

Jazz-Frail Blazers

Six of 16 teams would qualify from the Leastern Conference.

Blogger chris said...
Ash B.: You know the one-win-this-decade era is bad when a Laker fan feels sorry for the paupers. Yowzers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Regarding the date mistake: This is what happens when you live off three hours sleep per night for, well, years.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also, please David Stern, change the playoff format so three of these WAY more deserving teams don't go home empty handed so that the Crapcago Bulls can make it? Kthx.

Kind of a bad example, considering the Bulls just swept three games against the Suns, Rockets and Spurs...all on the road...don'tcha think?

Randolph is averaging 20 and 10 for the past 7 seasons. He's always been a superstar! lol

Yeah...but before it was a BAD 20/10...

Kidding aside, forget the stats. He's playing better team ball now than he ever has. Maybe all he ever needed was the right teammates...?

Did the original AP recap for Clippers-Celtics really refer to "Chris Kaveman?"

No. I slipped that one in.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Obviously, the Cancer was NOT one of the right teammates!!!!

Blogger gordon gartrelle said...
Unrelated, but have you seen Hardwood Paroxysm's usage graphs for each team?

Check out the Lakers'. It looks like Kobe giving his teammates the finger!


Blogger LotharBot said...
Where's the Nuggets-Bobcats Laction?

In 20 minutes last night, Malik Allen had 5 rebounds, but offset them with 5 fouls and 3 turnovers for a True Voshkul of 8:5. It was his second most productive game of the season. As a Nuggets fan, I cringe every time the guy gets on the court when the lead is less than 20. (He was the key to the Clippers' 17-0 run back on November 20.)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Remember when I asked about Kirk Hinrich? Seems like the Bulls are 11-4 with him in the starting lineup, and they're doing well living and dying off the guard duo with Rose. Also he's pouring in the fantasy stats I needed (steals and 3s), so I approve of this.

Ironically, I have Ben Gordon on my team and he can suck my dick.

Obligatory "stupid Suns stop giving up big leads again" and "go away Amar''''''e" comment here.

Blogger chris said...
LotharBot: Malik Allen I think isn't a center (and thus doesn't qualify for recorded Voskuhl ratios) though...he certainly likes racking up the lack as we've both noticed!

Anonymous MikeDunleavy said...
As I'm reading this point, it just pains me that old fans won't have a picture of Z-Bo to go by or that new fans might never know what Bawfullness he has brought on. Any way we can implement a blank cutout of Zach on the home page?

And FYI, you may have just stat cursed him.

Blogger Ash said...
Bawful: I don't know man. The Suns and Spurs have been crapping their beds lately. The Rockets aint been too shiny for a while, either.

But I do see your point.

Blogger Dan B. said...
gordon gartrelle -- Sonofabitch. I need a drink after viewing those usage charts (especially the usage/PER comparisons), and it's not even 2pm yet. I mean, yeah, my lunch was drunken chicken, but the amount of beer in that is so small that it cannot be measured by current scientific tools.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Oh, no. Oh hell no. Deadspin has a post up right now with pictures of a naked Greg Oden. I will not link to them because, first of all, it's decidedly NSFW and I don't want anybody clicking it by accident. But second of all, that's just wrong. I WILL say this much: JE Skeets retweeted a one-liner about it that made me laugh:

RT @edsbs: Those Greg Oden nudes are fake. Not one Korean War tattoo on him.

Blogger LotharBot said...
chris, the Voskuhl applies to any "big man", not merely centers. Malik Allen is a power forward, which should qualify (Mark Madsen was a PF, after all.)


Blogger chris said...
LotharBot: Madsen is listed at Yahoo as a forward-center (thus making him qualify). Granted, I had specifically interpreted "big man" as "center."

Blogger Dan B. said...
Chris -- The "true center" position is kind of a rarity these days. Most centers and power forwards are fairly interchangeable in the lineup depending on who else is on the floor and what style of ball they play.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
As I'm reading this point, it just pains me that old fans won't have a picture of Z-Bo to go by or that new fans might never know what Bawfullness he has brought on. Any way we can implement a blank cutout of Zach on the home page?

Fortunately, Basketbawful had extensive archives, and they document a great many of Z-Bo's pictures and classic moments.

Remember when I asked about Kirk Hinrich? Seems like the Bulls are 11-4 with him in the starting lineup, and they're doing well living and dying off the guard duo with Rose. Also he's pouring in the fantasy stats I needed (steals and 3s), so I approve of this.

Kirk just needed a chance!! You know, Vinny has made some excellent coaching moves lately. Starting Hinrich and using him to guard opposing PGs so Rose's defensive inadequacies wouldn't kill the team...plus it deeps Rose fresh for launching mid-range jumpers. And note that Vinny has transformed them from a shitty defensive team to a top 10 defensive team. He really should get some credit where credit is due.

Dan B. -- I just went to Deadspin. Why, Greg Oden. In the name of Drew Brees moley moley mole, why?!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
DanB - Hey Greg, the Acting Like a Teenage Girl Store called, you've just earned platinum rewards!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Being one of the biggest Spurs fans that enjoys this site, I can safely say it is time to hit the panic button.

I honestly think a 38 year old Bruce Bowen could return and be a better perimeter defender than anyone on the current roster.

The only silver lining is that no one else out West is exactly on a tear either.

The sad part is only 2 games seperate seeds 4-11 in the West.

Blogger Dunpizzle said...
Greg Oden apparently took sent some pics to some chick


Blogger chris said...
Dan B.: True. I'm not disagreeing so much as...it takes some time to wade through the boxscore to find everyone who would qualify for a Voskuhl ratio, without at least making it specific to centers.

(Can someone PLEASE program a lacktion-stat app so that this is easier!??!?)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- Very nice. I will quote thee tomorrow.

Dunpizzle -- The lesson, as always, be very fucking careful to whom you send your nekkid pics.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
gary tanguay filling in for gorman during celts broadcast was total bawful

Blogger Dan B. said...
AnacondaHL -- Nice.

Anonymous -- So, how much does Bruce Bowen need held in front of him to resign for the rest of the season? He'd be a huge improvement over any other defenders on that team right now.

Blogger LotharBot said...

if you add Malik "I'm the reason the Clippers went on a 17-0 run and beat us in November" Allen and his 8:5 tonight to the Lacktion report, I'll talk to my wife about programming a lacktion script. She's been wanting a simple programming task to get back in the groove since our son was born, and I think this would fit the bill. I can't promise she'll do it, but I'll at least try.

Blogger chris said...
LotharBot: Done!

Obviously, the things to keep track of:

Pure lacktion count - time on floor spent with no contributory stats
Trillion - no-stats obviously
Suck differential - only negatory stats
Mario - any stint, lacktive or not, 59.99999 seconds or less (including the Super Mario of 1.0 to 9.999 seconds, the Super Mario Galaxy of 0.0000000001 to 0.99999 seconds, and the Luigi of 0.0 seconds!)
Voskuhl - as noted earlier, I know Google Docs and Excel are finicky with noting ratios though, which is frustrating.

Blogger LotharBot said...
Awesome. My wife is working on a box score mining script as we speak. Drop me an e-mail at tom [at] tomandcatherine [dot] com and I'll make sure to give you access when it's done. It won't be particularly fancy, but it should get the job done.

(Note: the script is not to be shared. I don't want ten thousand basketbawful followers running it and crashing my server. Knowing my server, I don't even want 3 or 4 people running it...)

Blogger chris said...
LotharBot: I won't deny it, I am way too excited about LacktionBot 5000.

Blogger 80's NBA said...
Bawful, your write-up of the Clippers-Celtics slipfest reminded me of a game back in late 1990.

Bird was about to score his 20,000th point during that night's game (I think they were playing the Bullets that night).

I had a game myself that afternoon, so I rushed home after we played, hurried into the house and turned the channel to TNT...and what I saw was...an episode of MASH!?!?!

WTF??? On the bottom of the screen was a ticker (long before they became so common on every friggin' news channel) that said that the Celtic's game was postponed because of condensation on the parquet floor.

Turns out it was a very warm winter night in Boston, so the ice caused a lot of slippin'.

So I didn't get to see Bird score his 20,000th live.

Blogger Will said...
80's NBA- don't worry, I'd be surprised if Basketbawful didn't have that game on tape.

Anonymous Carl said...
I'm not exactly the biggest fan of Kobe or Lebron. I grew up in KY, where the only thing that mattered was what the Wildcats were doing that season. (1 day at number 1! YES!)

ANYWAY, I love your blog as a whole (humor, style). But every time Lebron or Kobe is mentioned you can almost sense jealousy at their talent. Sure, they sometimes act like babies. But just put yourself in the position of a multi-million dollar global icon who's been noticed by major sports media since middle school. The fact that they even know how to interact with humans normally at this point is kind of surprising.

Just a thought.