What, was there a twenty dollar bill on the floor?
The Boston Celtics: Let me start off by saying that the Celtics could have -- and maybe should have -- won this game in a blowout had the three zebras not done everything in their power to keep the home team in the game. Orlando's 40-18 free throw advantage doesn't even begin to describe how crazy it was to see Dwight Howard earn a touch foul on one end and then watch Boston's perimeter players getting pushed and pulled around without a whistle on the other end. I have long since given up trying to understand the general inconsistency displayed by NBA officials. I honestly don't care what they decide to call a foul as long as whatever they decide on is called the same way for both teams. If Marcin Gortat gets the call for a hand in his back, then shouldn't Paul Pierce receive a whistle for running through a sea of hacking hands and into an oncoming chest bump on his way to the rim? Seriously, once the Celtics built that 16-point lead, I thought I was watching a game of NBA Live with computer assistance turned on.
"The refs love us! They really love us!"
But whatever. The Celtics were culpable in their own demise. Their worst sin was an inability to control the boards. Forget the total rebounding disparity -- which was 47-32 in case you're interested -- the worst part was Orlando's 17-6 advantage on the offensive glass. Between the foul shots and the second chance shot attempts, the Magic had way too many extra opportunities to put points on the board.
And yet, despite all that, the Celtics still had a chance to win. But that's where Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace come in.
First, it is really sad to see what KG has been reduced to. And I'm not talking about the base stats of 6 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes. The dude is well on his way to joining the Chris Webber Memorial One-Legged All-Stars. No, really. Garnett is playing with one leg out there. Are we still supposed to believe his injury was a simple hyperextension? Doc Rivers said Garnett was just "off" last night, and that he was "OK" physically. I call big-time shenanigans. And whatever is really wrong with him, it seems to have stripped him not only of his mobility but of his fire as well. That I-will-cut-you-to-pieces-and-then-eat-the-pieces mentality that has driven KG throughout his career seemed to be missing last night. It was stunning...and troubling...and downright depressing.
But I tried to pretend it wasn't happening until Orlando's final two plays. The first of which was a long three-pointer by J.J. Redick, who has apparently supplanted both Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter as the Magic's crunch-time shooter. KG was responsible for either switching or showing on Redick's three to force a pass or a bad shot. Only he didn't quite commit to it. My guess is he knew that -- with one dead, almost wooden leg -- there was no way he could both challenge Redick and recover defensively on his man (Rashard Lewis). So although Garnett's hand was up in the general vicinity of Redick's face, J.J. had plenty of separation to get his shot off. Which he did, and hitting it tied the game at 94-all.
Boston failed to score on the other end (and I won't even go into how ugly their offensive possessions looked down the stretch), and so the Magic got a chance to take the lead. They ended up running a play that got busted up because Vinsanity totally sucks tiny gorilla balls these days, but Lewis ended up with the rock and drove in unopposed for an easy layup. Seeing the play in real time didn't do justice to how horrible a play that was from the Celtics' point of view. Watching it in slow-mo was downright painful. Lewis strolled by Garnett like KG was some kind of zillion-dollar statue. I mean, seriously, Garnett was literally rooted to the spot while Lewis slid past him. What's worse, Rasheed "Look at that big, fat ass!" Wallace whiffed on the rotation, choosing instead to occupy Howard on the opposite block.
Of course, 'Sheed's biggest failure was his three-point airball at the buzzer. Considering the Celtics had only 1.4 seconds to get a play off, Wallace got surprisingly open. But instead of just squaring up for the shot, or hell, even leaning forward a little to force the officials to make a call, he fell away and to the side, which resulted in about as ugly a last-second shot as you're likely to see from a former champion with a reasonably open look.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Boston Celtics can win the NBA championship as long as they have a healthy Garnett. I believe that completely and utterly. However, after watching that game last night, I can't say I wholeheartedly believe KG will be totally healthy this season. Or maybe ever again.
By the way, nice screw-job by the NBA schedule makers. Back-to-back games against the Magic and Hawks followed by a game against the Lakers one day later. I can't recall any of the other contenders -- and I mean the Crabs and Lakers -- having a four-day stretch that difficult.
One last comment and then I'm done. Dwight Howard must have read Kendrick Perkins' comments about how easy it is to shut Superman down by playing him physically, because Dwight was pulling out actual, honest-to-goodness low-post moves in the fourth quarter. Jump hooks, running hooks, drop-steps to the bucket. I was shocked. The announcers were shocked. The Celtics were shocked. Maybe Howard finally got the message.
Vince Carter: The line: 2-for-13, 3 turnovers, and a long, conspicuous absence in the fourth quarter. And let's face it, he's not half the player J.J. Redick is for the Magic. Think about that.
Paul Pierce: The line: 3-for-12 and 4 turnovers. Sure, he didn't get some of the calls he deserved, and he did hit a huge trey to help Boston regain the lead late. But I once again feel the need to remind everybody that Pierce dubbed himself the best player in the world in the summer of '08. Man, that summer seems like a long time ago now...
Dunking cheerleaders: Hot or not?
No, really. I can't decide.
Reggie Miller, announcing superstar: He continues to flabber our gasts by, well, just being himself.
From Basketbawful reader Dave R.: "Reggie Miller to Marv Albert during Cs v Magic: 'I love that little two-man thing!' Followed by a short uncomfortable silence as they both realized how that sounds."
And from BW in Cleveland: "THE NBA: WHERE REGGIE MILLER COMPARES MARCIN GORTAT TO HAKEEN THE DREAM HAPPENS. WotN in NBA broadcasting."
Doc Rivers' wife: From AnacondaHL: "Awesome of the Night to Doc Rivers' wife, for reading a book in the stands late in the 4th of a tied game. I'd probably read books too, if I were Doc's wife. You know, to counter the IQ osmosis." Didn't Marv try to explain that she did that to ease her nerves? Which may be true and all that, but damn, she sure looked like somebody who would rather be plucking butt hairs off lab mice than sitting in the stands at that game. I have a feeling Doc got forced to watch The Notebook when they got back to their hotel room.
Al Harrington: Nice charge, dumbass.
By the way, I absolutely loved David Lee's eff-you performance (29 points, 18 boards). Seriously, are we still supposed to believe Al Horford is better than this guy? I know the Bricks suck -- for further reading, see Toronto 106, New York 104 -- but assuming he didn't get voted on, would LeBron James get left off the All-Star team if the Cavaliers were nine games below .500? Of course he wouldn't. Which means that, in theory, the coaches are supposed to choose players based on real-life skills and not team success. Eh, whatever. All-Star selections are a joke. We all know that.
The Dallas Mavericks: I want to draw your attention to the title of the AP recap for this game: "Amundson, Dragic, Dudley help Suns snap 3-game skid vs. Mavs."
Think about that.
No, really. Think about that.
Those three dudes ended up scoring 14 points in the Suns' 28-16 fourth-quarter romp that transformed another one of THOSE losses into a 112-106 win.
Said Jason Terry: "Their bench outplayed us all night. Clear as day and it can't happen. They outplayed us. It's unbelievable to me that we've come halfway through the season and we still look like we're searching in the fourth quarter."
Another random thing that's unbelievable -- at least to me -- is how much Steve Nash loves isolating against Dirk Nowitzki. Happens several times whenever the Mavs and Suns play. Pick and roll, Dirk switches onto his good buddy, and Nash stutter dribbles and crosses over until Nowitzki takes a half step back, then Steve fades away for the jumper...which usually goes in. That's just a case of two guys who have played many, many games of one-on-one against each other. I get that, but it's still funny to watch. And I swear, Nash, as unselfish as he is, shoots virtually ever time he gets to go one-on-one with Dirk. I wish somebody had the actual pass-versus-shoot numbers on those possessions.
Also, I'd love to point out how J-Kidd was recently spouting off about how this version of the Mavs has put the "D" back in Dallas basketball...and then they let the Suns shoot nearly 55 percent from the field. And Nash was 7-for-11 from the field, 3-for-3 from downtown and committed only 2 turnovers (with 11 assists). And freaking Earl Clark hit his first career three-pointer. Way to back them words up, Jason.
Jared Dudley, quote machine: Regarding the lockdown defense the Suns' pine riders played in the fourth quarter: "We made people shoot the shots they didn't want to shoot." I dunno, Jared. Taking bad shots is a choice.
Amar''''''e Stoudemire: Benched for the entire fourth quarter. Ruh roh, Raggy. It wasn't because of any problems he had scoring -- STAT finished with 22 points on 7-for-13 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line -- but he grabbed only one lonely rebound in 27 minutes. Dude, seriously. You're huge and athletic. Hit the damn boards.
Amar''''''e said the fourth-quarter benching happened for "the first time in my life but it's all good," and Alvin Gentry had to perform some quick spin control: "I wouldn't read anything into that at all. If you go in there he's the happiest guy. For all that's been said he's been a great teammate. He understands things were going well with Lou." Meanwhile, Steve Kerr's attempts to trade Stoudemire continue unabated...
While most will probably give the WotN nomination from tonight's Suns to Amar''''''e for deservedly getting benched for the entire 4th quarter, I'm going to have to nominate Earl Clark. Yeah, he got some meaningful PT tonight and hit his first career 3-ball, but just a few minutes after that 3-pointer, he scored a pretty egregious "own hoop" for Dallas.
Gooden took a midrange jumper that was a miss, and as everyone else turned to head up the floor, Clark goes up for the easy rebound and just yakked on it. Didn't look like he was trying to be fancy, but still, the ball ricocheted off his palms, went up off the backboard, and into the hoop. They credited Marion with the basket, although I don't recall him being near Clark when it happened.
Clark knew it was going in, too. You could tell when it kissed off the glass that it was going in, and Clark had already dropped his arms and hung his head before it finished going through the basket.
It was a pretty bad boner (I don't know if it's up there with The Joker's Boner Capers, but it's close), and would have gotten a lot more press if the Suns had lost by a point instead of pulling out the victory.
I'm highly amused that TNT actually just put up this graphic after the horn sounded: "Suns: First win on TNT in 18 games"
Cheryl Miller also just said while interviewing Nash "By the sound of things you'd think you guys won the championship! How does it feel to win on TNT?"
The look on Nash's face was priceless. His grin pretty much said "I understand the humor, but are you really asking me this?" He grinned ear to ear, paused, and said "Well I'm not gonna say anything derogatory about the network..."
LeBron James: King Crab earned a belated WotN from stephanie g: "LeBron throws a hissy fit after not getting a call and slaps filled cups of gatorade into his own crowd. I understand that NBA stars are egomaniac prima donnas, but this sort of blatant action breaks my willing suspension of disbelief. My favorite though is when Kobe whines to the refs while the other team runs down court and scores 5v4. Someone could make a pretty funny compilation video of that if they had the dedication." Hey, someone...get on that, would you? In the meantime, here's LeBron's tantrum:
Lacktion report: And how, from Chris, a brief lacktivity update:
Raptors-Knicks: 50 seconds of Nintendo Power were enough to get Rasho Nesterovic back in the ledger with a Mario; although he made one free throw in that time, a foul and giveaway pushed him into Voskuhl territory with a 2:1 ratio!
This is the "missing piece" that was going to propel the Magic to the championship, right? The elite scorer, the crunch-time go-to guy, the cold-blooded killer at the end of the game? Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth for a while, because this is VINCE FREAKING CARTER we are talking about it. If the guy mailed it in any more, he would be a USPS employee.
I'd also like to take credit for reverse stat-cursing Hedo Turkoglu yesterday with my anti-Hedo rant - he of the 26 point, 11 rebound explosion of non-suck. So yeah Hedo, you suck. BAD. You are the worst. Ben Gordon and Elton Brand can't hold a candle to your bawfulness.
Of course he wouldn't. But that's because he is much better than the other guys that play in his position.
Lee would have to be much better than Horford to be selected.
I think that the all star selections are just fine. The fans select the starters, coaches the reserves. You may argue that fans are stupid, that's another thing. I'm ok with iverson there, we all know he is not one of the best in the league but the rule says who gets more votes plays.
Saying that Iverson should't be in there is going against the rules.
It's like saying "Lebron should be a nba champion because he is a better player than pierce and pierce is a champion."
The rules rule, who gets more baskets wins.
So I even think that knee-mac should be in there if he was the most voted. If people in china want to see the knee they should see the knee. I don't know the whole story though.
What happened anyway? He got the most votes and stern kept him out or he didn't get the most votes?
The problem with that picture is her attire. Too much irony. And too much smiling. Bad dunk face.
I'll certainly give this a more critical eye when watching future games, but I've scrutinized LeBron pretty hard, and I'm more than ready (and super willing) to blast him...but I've never seen him play and found myself thinking, "Damn, that guy's getting away with a lot."
It's been almost a year, Bawful, and you're reviving this debate?
It's because, no matter how many times I see it, it always kinda wigs me out.
But it brings a huge question as to why someone having the season he's having is considered worthy enough by the fans to start the ASG.
By the way, don't know if you've seen this, but its already become an instant classic among Raptors fans. After last night's win in New York in a close game, Turkoglu was interviewed by raps analyst Jack Armstrong who asked Turk how he was able to have his best performance yet as a Raptor. Turk's answer:
"ball", followed by utter shock and awkward silence from Armstrong.
Speaking of WotN, how about the Mavs' late game strategy of having Jose "mini-Kidd" Juan Barea run around like a drunken madman with the ball while Herr Dirkalicous and Jason Terry stood around and watched? Some time around the 7:00 mark when Dirkalicous entered the game the TNT broadcasters raved about how great Nowitzki and Terry are in the 4th quarter. Yet, all Dirkalicious did was stand around for most of the quarter and jacked up a lone off balance jumper that clanged. Terry also was responsible for one short jumper over the next 6:40 before finally getting a foul on a drive.
Speaking of that drive, how poorly designed was the play? With 29 seconds left, Dallas was down by 5. Instead of trying any kind of a shoot-a-quick-three-then-get-a-stop strategy or a get-the-ball-in-the-low-post-and-score-quickly-then-foul strategy, the Mavericks went with a burn-7-seconds-off-the-clock-before-driving-and-getting-a-foul followed by burning 3 seconds just to foul an 82% FT shooter in Grant Hill (yes, the best strategy the Mavs could come up with is to trade free throws with a team that sports three guys with 82% or better FT shooting).
But the late sequence was just a microcosm of how bad the Mavs offense was in the late game. They dribbled away the clock and jacked up long contested jumpers. They moved off picks, but never took advantage of the space they got (like one instance where Terry had a 2-3 second window at the top of the arc because his defender got picked off, instead, he slowly turned to face the basket, squared himself, and let Dudley catch up). They also created no space for the Puerto Rican Madman, often forcing Barea to squeeze through tiny windows.
Also turrible was watching Shawn Marion on the low block. Anyone that said the man is athletic wouldn't be mistaken (at least, 3 or 4 years ago). However, anyone who said this allows him to create his own shots would be terribly mistaken. Marion had a couple of opportunities to cut a 3 point deficit to 1 with two minutes and one minute left in the game. In the first instance, he was deep inside the paint and took a little 6 foot hook shot that woefully clanged off the iron. The second instance, there was some confusion in the paint and the ball went over to Marion, who had a 9 foot uncontested jumper...which he promptly shanked as well. Truly bawful.
2. That 35-year rule doesn't apply to relocations.
We just entered our sixth straight decade without the Royals/Kings franchise making an NBA Finals. But the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1984, making them ineligible for Level 1 because anyone who cares about them started caring only 26 years ago. (And it's too bad, because the 2002 Western finals unquestionably greased the skids for Level 1 status.) In 2019? They become eligible. No, Dick Bavetta didn't make this ruling.
Shouldn't relocation worries up the ante a bit, though!?
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Boston Celtics can win the NBA championship as long as they have a healthy Garnett. I believe that completely and utterly. However, after watching that game last night, I can't say I wholeheartedly believe KG will be totally healthy this season. Or maybe ever again."
I think there is no larger fallacy than simply assuming that the Celtics would be the best team in the league if they were healthy. The Celtics aren't struggling because they are injured. They are struggling because they are old THUS the injuries.
KG simply isn't the player he used to be. He's 33 years old and been playing professional basketball at an incredibly intense level since he was 18 years old. Injuries and diminished play are part of the drill at this point.
I maintain that a healthy Celtics team is rife to get picked off by an uber athletic team like the Hawks in the second round this year.
"By the way, nice screw-job by the NBA schedule makers. Back-to-back games against the Magic and Hawks followed by a game against the Lakers one day later. I can't recall any of the other contenders -- and I mean the Crabs and Lakers -- having a four-day stretch that difficult."
The Cavs had a six day stretch where they played the Lakers away, the Hawks in a home and home, and the Rockets away. That's not exactly cream puffs and roses. They ended up sweeping.
Keep in mind that was in the midst of a brutal two week schedule where they also played the Suns away, Mavericks away, a surgent Kings team away and the aforementioned Lakers, Hawks/Hawks and Rockets.
Now if you want to harp on the cream puff schedule the Lakers have enjoyed be my guest.
Because he would be a starter and therefore not have to worry about not being picked by coaches.
Sheed is the only player who can get a tech for shouting "AND 1!" Half the league yells that each possession.
Dwight threw an outlet pass to a ref.
Magic with 1 assist in the first half.
Didn't Orlando pick up Bass to add more front court depth? What happened to that? He's a good physical energetic bench garbage cleanup sort of guy. Someone explain.
Speaking of which, why didn't Boston resign Powe? I know he's injured with more knee problems, but I have a feeling he's gonna get healthy for the playoffs and redo for the Cavs what he did in the '08 title run for Boston -- namely, kicking ass, taking names, full court dribble drive dunks, feasting against opposing benches, etc. Instead Boston went with the 6'5 fat baby who can barely dunk if wide open, can't rebound, can't play D, gets blocked a surprising amount of the time...but he can shoot 42% jumpers! Alright! (note: if Powe never plays again feel free to ignore this)
The NBA wrote an article about misunderstood rules:
OK, so the word from uptop is that the hand is part of the ball. Now they just need to send a memo to the refs. Because this confuses the hell out of me and has since I started watching back in '93. Not even all the announcers get this right. They either say hand is part of the ball or hey you can't hit a guy on the hand (which the refs seem to follow randomly, with the announcers backing them up). Ditto random people on message boards or article writers or...
Reggie Miller indeed said that Marcin Gortat was just as athletic as Dwight Howard during last year's playoffs. Now Gortat is a fine athlete in his own right but that statement was ridiculous even by Reggie's standards.
Even at his athletic peak Shawn Marion was never able to create his own shot. That was always the biggest knock on him and the reason everybody thought he was insane when he kept demanding more touches and a bigger contract while in Phoenix. He simply lacks the ball skills to be able to get his without assistance. His broken shot has such a low release point that he needs to be completely open to get it off, his ball handling is poor and he has no real fakes or jukes to get his defender leaning one way while he goes the other and his entire post arsenal consists of a turnaround one handed half-hook half-push shot regardless of how near or far from the hoop he may be. In my (admittedly not many) years of watching NBA basketball I've never seen such an awkward player be so effective, nor have I seen one that is so reliant on their athleticism (entirely).
Considering the dregness and unkempt nature of McDonald's employees as well as 85% of its clientelle, I am not sure this isn't already the case.
"It was a good look it just looked like Wallace was 3 feet farther back than he would've liked"
Yes, Reggie. The reason Rasheed missed that shot is because he was too far behind the 3 pt line. That's why the ball was wide left. :facepalm:
And how incredible is it that JJ Redick is now officially more clutch than Vince?
It's a good day for the Other Chris. Quote:
"I took four pages of notes during last night's Celtics loss to the Magic. Mostly it's really boring stuff. But there's one thing in all caps, and underlined: VINCE CARTER SUCKS."
Stephanie: Agreed. As a Raptors fan, and therefore someone who automatically hates Vince Carter with a passion that knows no earthly boundaries, I am required to point out Vince's failure at every opportunity, and revel in glee at the magnitude of his bawful.
Omg yes! I totally forgot about that. And it was after Howard had just stolen the ball from Perkins too.
Tangentially related to the subject, Howard threw it to a ref expecting that Carter would run ahead and catch the outlet. The only problem is that Carter didn't even bother to run. Does that surprise anyone? I'm not sure if it's the injuries that are wrecking his exercise habits, but Vinsanity kinda looks pudgy these days. I was watching the game and my dad commented, "He looks like Charles Barkley..."
Hellshocked - Oh don't worry, I've never accused Shawn Marion of having anything remotely related to an ability to create his own shot. I was merely referring to early on in the Shaq - Marion swap, when Heat fans were desperately trying to sell themselves to the idea that his athleticism will allow him to create, and later on with Toronto fans in the Drain-Marion swap that he'll somehow be a great running mate for Bosh.
Again, if anyone wanted to do a bawful compilation this is another good idea: Reggie's terrible announcing when he's speaking in this bizarre forced manner, usually right before commercials when they show a bunch of highlights. It hurts me. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I remember one of the first time times he did it back in the '08 playoffs LA vs. DEN and Marv asked him if he was alright, just before commercial. It was great.
To me this is a parallel to Jamaal Magloire's selection. Numbers are almost the same. East was weak at center in 04.
As a Tar Heel, saying this is like coughing one of my testicles through a nostril, but JJ Redick is a good ball player. More, he's earned it through exceptionally hard work. He'll never be some super star, but he's the kind of guy you want on your team. I first realized this watching him play D in the playoffs last year. But he's showing it on O as well. The guy wants success, like so few of the NBA prima donnas do. Kudos to him.
It's nice to see him get some measure of come-uppance, because, apart from everyone saying how "hard he works" and such, the guy just LOOKS like he's transformed physically. He never had guns like that at Duke, and to see a maligned player turn things around the way he has is refreshing and inspiring.
He still puts the "dick" in "Redick" though. Wait, what?
Kobe-LeBron ads feature gun slang
NEW YORK -- An advertisement featuring the NBA's two biggest superstars includes a gun reference, the same week two players were suspended for carrying firearms to the locker room.
The Nike ad, inside the cover of this week's editions of ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated, has LeBron James on one page and Kobe Bryant on the other. Along with the slogan, "Prepare For Combat," is a quote from each player showing how tough he is.
Bryant's blurb says: "I'll do whatever it takes to win games. I don't leave anything in the chamber."
The chamber in a gun is the compartment that holds the bullet before it is fired.
Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended for the season Wednesday for having guns in the Washington Wizards' locker room.
Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
next thing you know, the use of the word "shot" in reference to throwing up a basketball will be forbidden. PC 4TW!
Gilbert Arenas was too close to the truth, so they framed him on the gun charges. If he fought the charges with proof then Stern would have his family killed. It all makes sense now.
The only thing that doesn't make sense is that Clipper's loss to the Nets, and Zach Randolph's new found super stardom. The rest is all David Stern-NBA-Illuminati.
I know exactly what you're talking about...he sounds like a puppy who desperately needs a leg to hump.
By the way, this is to Shayan and everybody else who has commented or e-mailed, totally boned the Hedo vid. I'll add it tonight or use it in Monday's post.
treeloc9 (1/29/2010 at 11:16 PM)
Hands down, this is the worst story ESPN has ever run.
PhilDLoos33 (1/29/2010 at 11:08 PM)
New NBA rules (per ESPN):
1) Saying a player "shoots" the ball is illegal. We will now say a basketball player "lofts" the ball and a "shot attempt" is now called a "loft attempt". Likewise, the "shooting" guard will now always be referred to the "lofting" guard.
2) The "bullet" pass is now called the "hummingbird" pass, because it also moves quickly but is not violent.
3) The words "fire" "aim" and "target" are no longer allowed. Find your own non-violent replacements. We recommend "loft" "try to put in accurate location" and "goal".
4) High volume shooters...er.... lofters are no longer referred to as "gunners" but "lofteers".
5) Players can no longer "powder" their hands with "powder" before games, but may "sprinkle" with "white fluffies"
6) Jeff and Stan Van GUNdy have been forced to remove "gun" from their names and are now referred to as to Jeff and Stan Vandy.
7) Pistol Pete is now "Words Pete" because really, words are more effective than pistols anyway
8) Coaches cannot be "fired", they may be "let go amicably"
9) The term "dagger" or "backbreaker" shot...er...loft, is banned. It's now "well timed, end-of-game loft"
That is all for now, until we come up with more analogous words that happen to be related to some form of violence.
Buck Nasty: If you go on and tell me that Larry Hughes is a freemason, i would totally believe it. Bricks don't lie.