The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Craptors are currently engaged in one of the saddest "final playoff spot" duels I've ever been unfortunate enough to witness. Both teams are below .500. Toronto has dropped five straight games and 14 of 20 overall. Last week, Chicago suffered embarrassing losses to the Andrew Bogut-less Milwaukee Bucks and the 12-win New Jersey Nyets while barely eking out a win over the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers.

Do either of these teams actually want to make the playoffs?

Maybe last night's Bulls-Craptors game answered that question. The Dinos -- who recently lost Chris Bosh for the season due to a broken face -- fell behind by 10 at the half (58-48), by 19 after three quarters (84-65), and by as many as 25 in the fourth (94-69). Honestly, I'm not sure they were even trying. I've had more passionate battles against belly lint.

Want some examples? I've got some examples. Near the end of the third quarter, Hedo Turkoglu, who has become persona non grata in Toronto, casually bricked two free throws and the crowd reacted like it was "Free Bag of Poo" night at the Air Canada Center. Late in the fourth, Jannero Pargo forced up an air ball that was hauled in by Reggie "The Nut Burglar" Evans. Evans then threw a lazy pass that was easily interecepted by Pargo, who walked it in for an uncontested layup.

Did I mention that Jose Calderon is signed through 2012-13 (when he will make more than $10 million), Turkododo is signed through 2013-14 (when he will make over $12 million) and that Andrea Bargnani is signed through 2014-15 (when he will make around $12 million)?

Oh yeah. Chris Bosh is totally going to resign with the Craptors this summer. Sure thing. And I'm a Chinese jet pilot.

Of course, if one lovely and talented woman has her way, these magical, singing words just might sway the RuPaul of Big Men into staying. Okay, they won't, but it's still a better effort than any of his teammates is making.

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Anonymous Hajt said...
Since the end of February, so March and April, the Bulls are a sterling 8-13, while the Raptors are 7-15. Together, that combines to a .349 win rate in the last two months, which is slightly padded by their games against each other.
Meanwhile, over the same period,
Spurs: 16-6
Blazers: 14-4
Thunder: 14-8
Somehow, I think the Cavs will have an easier time than the Lakers in the first round.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That video just needs a Charles Barkley insert - like the guy in Cypress Hill that screams "Once insane, got no braaaiiiin! [or whatever it is he says]"

Blogger Sos said...
I'm just glad the young woman singing the song won't have to give up her first born to a velociraptor.

Blogger Dan B. said...
BadDave -- Now that you mention it, can you think of any Youtube video that wouldn't be better with a random Charley Barkley insert? (And damn you for getting that Cypress Hill song stuck in my head. Are we back in 1993?)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hooray for the 90s! Jump around! Jump around! Jump up like the Round Mound of Rebound!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I don't see why it's such a big deal to have teams under .500 in the NBA playoffs. I mean, 16 out of 30 teams make it....

Summer 2010 is going to be one giant trainwreck. Hearts will be broken. I'm quite excited.

word verification: nymone. LeBron will goto the Knicks for the NYmone(y).

Blogger Barry said...
The end of the season turns out a rightly Bawful mess, even without the Nets not being capable enough to get in the record books. Teams below .500 reaching the play-offs while trying their best not to do so, the Celtics and the Lakers mailing their games in, Andray Blatche desperately trying for that triple-double, Turkododo's karaoke, Carmelo fainting and the play just goes on.....that's good stuff.

Blogger chris said...
anacondaHL: I think it's the idea that "teams with better records in the West would be 6th seeds in the Least" that bugs folks (and a similar thing actually happened in the NHL this year as well, with 89-91 points being the bubble range there for the Leastern Conference while the West had a minimum of about 94-95).

Don't know really a way to address that as a top-to-bottom 1-16 setup creates awkward travel in the first round. (the NHL DID do that in the late 70s, I don't think the Association ever did)

CAPTCHA: "amicatio" which almost looks like it could be Italian for "amicable," i.e. "Spree and Carleisimo were never amicatio."

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
chris: The best answer is don't. That's such a minor thing that bugs only stupid people. I mean, again, EIGHT teams from each conference make it. Over half! If you can't whoop on the other conference's crappier teams to get better than 9th out of 15th place in your own conference, then you don't get in the playoffs. It's only a problem if every team in one conference sucks, and the other conference is good, but this hasn't really happened.

See I understand the argument for baseball, where having a .500 team in the playoffs with only 12 teams would be odd. And the problem with top-to-bottom 1-16 isn't really travel anymore. It messes with the 2-conference, 2-league, 2-whatever system. You'd have to also switch to something like the FA Premiere League or something, where teams rotate out or whatever, to keep from even more horrible tanking and imbalance than we already have. 8th seends have a chance, 16s don't. (And of course only 4 elite teams have won the FA cup, so who knows what the dominating teams in the NBA would do). Some mix of solutions could work best for the NBA, people saying a team should've been in the playoffs simply with a 1-16 system are short-sighted.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: The "weak eighth seed" deal comes as a result of something both the NHL and Assocation's Leastern Conferences suffer from: top-heaviness. That isn't something that a "system fix" can adjust for - newsflash, if the Crabs, aging C's, Magic, and Atlanta are THAT far ahead of the Heifers and Craptors, then the records will be weighted as such (just as the Washington Capitals were dominant this year and took up most of the available NHL leastern points).

The problem only gets worse though IF you subdivide more, i.e. 1980s NHL in which an 80 point team in one division can miss the postseason, but a 62 point team can make it in the same year.

Anonymous SnakeEyes said...
I hadn't been this excited about a Raptors game in god knows how long--and yesterday's epic battle of the losers was depressing to me as a Raptors fan to no end. The Bulls deserve to be in the playoffs, they came out with passion and played their hearts out. The Raptors are just...sad. Heartless, all talk.

Blogger Dan B. said...
BadDave -- Speaking of the 90s, this guy definately misses that decade.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
If applying it to this year, if you take the 16 teams with the best records into the playoffs, you are only substituting the Rockets for the Bulls. One mistake out of 16 isn't that big of a deal, and these things have a tendency to swing back and forth between divisions every year.

Plus, on the whole, the only team in the past 30 years that I can think of with a seed lower than a #3 that won it all was the '94 Rockets. So who cares about if a #7 or #8 gets in? The only other low-seeded team that should have at least made the Finals was the 2001 Bucks (they were robbed!). That Sixers-Bucks game rivals the 2002 Kings-Lakers Game 7 in terms of horrible, biased foulcalling.

Until we see a #7 or #8 seed make the Finals and compete, it shouldn't be this big of a deal.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Top-heaviness really isn't an issue either. All the teams that make the playoffs fall pretty much within normal distribution. SRS and SOS can even out minor discrepencies in final standings. It's just that there are a lot of teams in the playoffs, and people don't know how to think about what this actually means and get their pants in a bunch when their team misses the playoffs. For example, imagine if the playoffs were 24 teams (as in, the bottom team from each division is left out). The 6 teams left out would almost NEVER be the actual 6 worst teams, it's just the way distribution works, and is why the playoffs are top8 rather than top3.

And my suggestion had nothing to do with subdividing more. In fact, my suggestion is change nothing until the new CBA comes out and somehow benefits the entire Eastern Conference to tank under .500, which would be the only glaring example of when the 2-conference system fails.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dan B - that picture should totally be the Pacers logo right now.

Anonymous SWaN said...
Conference rankings generate some interest. But does anyone care about divisions?

Bulls scared me by losing to the Nets (again). I thought maybe inos would make the play-offs while winning only one game in April.

Fortunately inos were more awfulsome and did not even show up for Sunday's game.

Raps terrible efensive efficiency gets hidden by their slow pace. But I want to highlight that their efense is WORSE than GS, Timberpups, and even the Nyets.

Please fire Triano. And Bulls please make the playoffs and save VDN's coaching job.

wv: equic, inos are not equic to Bulls.

Blogger Kcan said...

how the fuck can scott skiles have 6 illegitimate children!! holy fuck! i just found this out.

oh and kemp has 11 kids from 10 moms. 11-10 should be a KEMP from now on

Blogger Dylan said...
Frankly it doesn't really matter who nabs the 8th or even 7th seed, because it's highly improbable they'll make it past 1 or 2 rounds. It's also giving incentive to teams who aren't in the elite. Yes, it's frustrating that teams that miss the playoffs in the West would have made it in the East, but as long as there is some sort of competitive balance between the conferences, it won't really matter in the end.

Blogger chris said...
Sorbo: I assume the Knicks making it to the finals as an 8th seed is the only time that 7th or 8th has made it that far?

Blogger jim said...
am i alone in hoping that the "Strangely hot girls singing surprisingly catchy songs asking Chris Bosh to stay in Toronto" tag will start to be a regular occurrence here? surely there have to be some more hot torontites willing to youtube themselves for bosh, amiright?