sad hawks bench 1
Hmm. One sad bench photo doesn't feel like enough for this epic beating...

sad hawks bench 2
Thaaaaat's better!

The Atlanta Hawks: Man...I really wish I would have saved that story where I peed my pants while sitting next to the girl I had a crush on for this game. But, in all honesty, how could I have seen this coming? How could anyone? This was a failure so epic that the term "epic fail" doesn't feel anywhere near strong enough. No human words quite do this one the injustice it deserves. If a normal blowout is a kick to the groin, this would be the equivalent of someone repeatedly kicking said groin until all that was left was a bloody, oozing puddle of genital soup. Chunky brand, of course.

In fact, here's a quick two-minute "highlight reel" from last night's game:

Said Mike Bibby: "It's embarrassing. They embarrassed us."

Added Zaza Pachulia: "They made a run and they never looked back."

Yeah, you could say that, Zaza.

The Magic outscored the Hawks 60-21 over the second and third quarters. They led by as many as 46 points before settling for a 114-71 victory that made me feel dirty, like I'd just watched 48 minutes of German torture porn.

Orlando was +18 on the boards and +22 in points in the paint. The Magic scored 26 points off 16 Atlanta turnovers. Seven of those turnovers were forced during the Hawks' 10-point second quarter. Atlanta's "top performer" was Zaza Pachulia (12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 fouls).

What does that tell you?

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Orlando's 43-point win was their second-largest margin of victory in a playoff game all-time and tied for the second-largest margin of victory in NBA history in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series. It was the Hawks' second-worst loss in their postseason history...the worst being a 58-point beat down by the Lakers in 1956. Of course, that was well before the Hawks moved to Atlanta.

Here's the top five largest margins of victory in Game 1 in NBA postseason history: 47 (Magic over Celtics in 1995), 47 (Lakers over Spurs in 1986), 43 (Magic over Hawks 2010), 43 (Lakers over Mavericks in 1984), and 41 (Bulls over Knicks in 1991).

That's right: This was the third-biggest Game 1 drubbing ever.

If you're an Atlanta fan -- and I'm really freaking sorry if that's the case -- the biggest disappointment isn't the loss itself or even the historic margin of defeat. It's gotta be the fact that the Hawks just gave up. There was a mental downshift during the third quarter where you could tell the Atlanta players had started going through the motions. And although I guess that's human nature -- let's face it, they weren't coming back from 40 points down -- there's something to be said for going down swinging, you know, trying to establish some forward momentum for the next game.

But that's not what these Hawks do. They aren't one of those mentally tough, high basketball IQ squads. Their focus and effort levels vacillate from game to game, which is why they're such a lousy road team, and why a weakened Milwaukee team pushed them to the brink in the first round, and why I have never taken this team very seriously.

Jamal Crawford: Ah, yet another game that reminds us why this is Jamal's first trip to the NBA playoffs. Despite logging the second-most minutes of the game (34), Mr. Sixth Man finished with only 5 points on 1-for-11 shooting. What's more (or, more accurately, less), he finished with twice as many combined fouls and turnovers (6) as rebounds and assists (3). His plus-minus score was a game-worst -35.

Al Horford: Not only did he go 1-for-7 from the field, but Horford eaten alive by Pumaman (21 points, 8-for-10, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks and only 3 fouls).

Joe Johnson: Yeah, I know. I could keep listing Hawks players until I got through their entire roster. This is the last one, I swear. Johnson -- the supposed leader of the Hawks -- went 4-for-11 and finished with a game-worst 5 turnovers. Not only was his offense off, but he killed the team's offense by forcing too many isolations and holding the ball for way too long. Which, sure, is what he always does...but the effect was worse than usual, as his second-worst-of-the-game plus-minus score (-29) attests.

Mike Woodson: Forget the fact that he presided over the wrong side of one of the worst-ever ass kickings in NBA history...that was bad enough. But did you see Woodson's press conference? Mike looked like he was about to fall asleep. What he should have been was pissed. Pissed that his team almost got eliminated by the Andrew Bogut-less Bucks. Pissed that his team quit on themselves and him last night. I would have had more respect for Woodson if he'd gone all Dennis Green on the press corps:

Something like this would have worked too:

Instead, dude acted like he'd just lost a particularly puzzling game of chess: "It was an ugly game for us. I wish I knew what happened." I'm sure your players and fans wish they knew you had a pulse, Mike.

Stan Van Gundy, quote machine: To be frank, the Magic probably needed a cold slap of reality after this game, and Van Gundy was more than happy to provide it: "I told them that [Wednesday] I will have for them virtually every time in NBA playoff history that a team had a blowout win, came back and lost the next game. You've got to forget what happened."

The Utah Jazz: Here's a dirty little secret women try to keep from men: Size actually does matter. And the poor Jazz...they're just too tiny.

As big as Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum look against most teams, they look like friggin' giants next to pretty much everybody on the Utah roster except Kyrylo Fesenko, and that guy was trash (1-for-7, 3 rebounds and 4 fouls in 17 minutes). Seriously, the way Gasol and Bynum buzz past Fesenko makes it look like Kyrylo just got zapped with a Medusa head, Clash of the Titans-style (or God of War-style). That guy would lose a foot race to Stephen Hawking, even if Hawking was tied to a boat anchor and covered in cement.

Anyway, the Jazz grabbed 19 offensive boards but still got outrebounded 58-40. The Lakers scored 64 of their 111 points in the paint as Gasol and Bynum combined for 39 points (on 14-for-20 shooting), 29 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. Even Lamar Odom (11 points, 4-for-4, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks) had his way inside.

If the Lakers could have held onto the ball -- they committed 20 turnovers for 26 points going the other way -- this might have been a blowout.

Said Utah coach Jerry Sloan: "Their rebounding tonight was just something we could not handle. I don't like to use the word 'disheartening.' I thought our guys played extremely hard to try and stay in the ballgame."

Oh, they tried, all right.

Carlos Boozer: His 20/12/4 seems pretty good until you realize he went 9-for-21 and got six of his shots swatted, stuffed or otherwise dismissed. Four players (Bynum, Gasol, Mamba and Odom) rejected Carlos, and he had attempts sent back by Odom and Gasol on the same possession. For perspective, the blocks against Boozer represent almost half of L.A.'s 13 shot blocks. The Jazz, by contrast, had exactly 4 blocked shots as a team. And don't even get me started on Boozer's interior defenselessness.

Deron Williams: Apparently, Mr. "I'm The Best Point Guard in the League" Williams is too good to walk to the locker room these days...

Jesus, Deron...really?!

Nice sweater, by the way. Williams didn't look too hot against the Lakers last night: 15 points, 4-for-16, 2-for-6 from downtown, 9 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls. Not horrible...but not exactly best-at-his-position-y either. I think Deron got spoiled by the _enver _efense in the first round.

Ron Artest: Rumor has it Crazy Pills had ball boys searching through all the garbage cans and trash dumpsters around the Staples Center...looking for his jump shot. Despite the fact that he apparently forgot to shoot -- he's 7-for-42 from downtown during the playoffs -- that didn't keep Artest from chucking up seven threes last night. He only made one of 'em, though.

So...what's the deal?

Said Ron-Ron: "I don't know. I feel great. I don't really know. I just have to keep playing basketball."

Vinny Del Negro: Not to dogpile on the poor guy, but an anonymous commenter sent this in's worth a watch:

Lacktion report: It's a sad day for chris and the rest of us here at Basketbawful: Mario West played last night but does not appear in this report. Alas, the lacktion show must go on...

Hawks-Magic: Jason Collins negated one field goal and board in 4:30 with three fouls and a giveaway for a 4:3 Voskuhl.

Jazz-Lakers: Josh Powell must've felt like King Koopa's last moments in his castle tonight: two fouls and one giveaway in just 56 seconds for a Mario and a +3 suck differential that also notched a 3:0 Voskuhl!

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Blogger Barry said...
Compliments to the sad-bench photo, among sad-bench photo's it could only be topped by someone actually crying.

And if not after a 43 point loss, I don't know when. They can't even produce the appropriate sad-bench tears to go with that kind of drubbing?

Useless. WV is dismi...that's telling.

Blogger chris said...
the worst being a 58-point beat down by the Lakers in 1956. Of course, that was well before the Hawks moved to Atlanta.

And, for that matter, 4 years before the Lakers left Minnesota.

Yep, historic fail, dirty birds.

CAPTCHA: "potion." Wow.

Blogger The Professor said...
Jazz fans retain hope, but we are beginning to feel desperate:

Anonymous Stockton said...
Boozer+Wade= Miami title contender
Boozer+Joe Johnson= NY title contender

Gee... I HOPE there's some real badass center in this year's draft!!!

Incredibly, the guys with the biggest cojones out there are the tiniest ones, DWill, Price and Mathews

Anonymous Stockton said...
Is it too late to sign up Malone and Eaton for the playoffs?
There's NO WAY they're slower on D than Booz and Fesenko...

Blogger Will said...
Wow, Josh Powell managed the trifecta: a Mario, a suck differential, AND a Voskuhl.

Anonymous UpA said...
"The Jazz, by contract, had exactly 4 blocked shots as a team"

Wow! Are they putting a No-Defense clause on their contracts now? Sweet... that has to be why The Ukranian 7 Foot Jelly can't defend on anyone. (jk)

And, speaking about Mr. Best PG on the league, last night's performance was reminiscent of "I knew we were gonna be a playoff team"

Blogger Ryan said...
Compliments to the sad-bench photo, among sad-bench photo's it could only be topped by someone actually crying.

And if not after a 43 point loss, I don't know when.

Blogger chris said...
Will: I think the ultimate statline would be a Luigi, SD, and Voskuhl, but that requires a specific set of circumstances:

- big man sent out to court at the edge of the lane for free throw #1
- big man committing a foul of some sort
- big man getting sent back to the bench for the rest of the game.

Blogger Andrei said...
I'm not sure if anyone else caught it, but Chuck had another gem on Inside the NBA last night. Kenny, Ernie and Charles were discussing the reasons for the Suns wearing their "Los Suns" jerseys (shouldn't it really be Los Soles if they're going to bother with it) and Chuck was agreeing with Kenny that a black man should never endorse any sort of racism. Then the topic changed as to why the Spurs wouldn't wear their "Los Spurs" jerseys. Turned out that only their home jerseys say "Los Spurs". At this point Chuck said something to the effect of "Can't they have the immigrants just make more?". Between calling his fellow crew mates "assholes" and this, Chuck's really been on a role lately.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I can't understand why there is so much talk floating around about Boozer getting a huge contract this year from Miami or New York (or any other city desperate to win)? Seems like a stat all-star to me, someone who gets 20-10, but doesn't give you much in crunch time, and he never does enought to push a team over the proverbial hump (heh heh, "hump").

Blogger Andrei said...
Almost forgot, you didn't mention anything about Chuck expressing interest in being tasered sometime later in the playoffs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thought you might enjoy this, dress up Stan Van Gundy's face however you want:,0,6569122.htmlpage

Blogger beep said...
Boozer is like Amare, both are stat whores and neither plays any defense. And both will probably get max contracts from someone this summer.
Seems like really bawful summer ahead.

Now, if the Cavs don't win it all this year I think LeBron is out of town... otherwise it would be hard to excuse such move.
I really like this coming summer as a fan.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Sorbo: Because there's lots more cap room for more teams than expected, and this is the last year to etch a stupid contract before the lockou... Err, I mean, new CBA in 2011.

Blogger Jerry Hinnen said...
I enjoy the "Crazy Pills" nickname as much as anyone, but with Artest, don't we need something even crazier? Anyone can take crazy pills. With Artest, I feel like he ought to be taking dried frog pills, the anti-psychotic medication from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Dried Frog Pills or just Frog Pills seems to fit Artest better, don't they?

Anonymous Stockton said...
Winning at Cleveland is the perfect reason for Bron to leave. "I won it here, now I'll win it somewhere else". If he looses (and he will), his ego may keep him there to finish the job.

Don't understand all the talk? All the talk is due to dumb GMs who WON'T land either Bronbron or wade, and will make desperate moves, like giving max to D-absent boozer. And they will!

It's not Boozer is a stat whore, or just plays for a contract (hey, what did I say?). He's a scorer and a rebounder, but he's also a wuss uncapable of showing some heart and some cojones; he won't punish guys who attack the basket, and he will relie on jumpers if defenders bump him under the basket.

Blogger chris said...
And all this "Free Agent Sweepstakes" talk frightens me, because Geoff Petrie and the Maloofs will be tempted to pull off a turrible deal in the summer just to make it look like they're using their cap space.

Anonymous Kevin said...
ESPN has taken their non-story ways to a new level with misleading headlines regarding SVG and Riles, the infamous LeBron elbow, and now Danny Ainge throwing a towel during a free throw. Even if you don't specifically rip ESPN, can we at least acknowledge the ridiculousness of this towel story. I'm at my wit's end here...

Blogger beep said...
I cannot agree. Good players usually stick to teams where they have good chance to win or where they had already done that.
That is until they get old and desperate, when they sign with any 'looks like' contender team (see: Malone, Barkley, Drexler and others).

Also we hardly know any behind the scene stuff going on.

Now taking above statement to test, I will be really surprised if Dirk stays in Dallas. But then maybe he isn't that hungry to go elsewhere.

Blogger geremy said...
it would be embarrassing to lose to the soon to be champs by that much in a second round playoff game. however, just imagine if Orlando doesn't even make the finals, and yet the hawks were still THAT FAR below their caliber.

is the east really THAT bad, even from the three seed?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Geremy - Yes, they are.

I predict...that Boozer will NOT, under any circumstances, go to NY. He can be, you know, a bit of a bitch, but he's a smart guy that realizes it's just not a good idea to go to NY.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Anaconda: I understand the hype machine, but the talk is coming from GMs. GMs with eyeballs that should be able to see how non-special Boozer is. Max contracts for average players kills teams (see: Philadelphia and New York), and fans are a little savvier today to know when their teams' are overpaying for average players. Boozer is an okay player, but he's not worth max money because he needs a lengthy center (Okur doesn't count) to mask his mistakes.

At best, he gives you solid scoring for three quarters; at worst, he's the prototype to Michael Beasley: a 6'8, scoring PF, with no defense and average rebounding instincts.

Anonymous Stockton said...
GMs with eyeballs?
Gee, I would list here a couple of dumb dumb dumb contracts, but I guess the text box doesn't have enough characters in it...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
That is until they get old and desperate, when they sign with any 'looks like' contender team (see: Malone, Barkley, Drexler and others).

One small correction. Drexler was traded to Houston midseason...and although they were the defending champs, they were at that time only sixth in the West and in third place in their own division. Most people had already given up on them being contenders, and that didn't change until they were close to sweeping the Magic in the Finals. And although I'm sure Drexler hoped to compete for the title, part of his motivation was also to return home and play alongside his college teammate, Olajuwon.

I'm just saying Drexler's situation wasn't quite as obvious and pathetic as, say, Barkley or Malone.

Anonymous Runyon said...
Last night we got more of Kobe doing his best James William Bottomtooth impression...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, Malone paid for that decision, with the Lakers' medical staff ending his career earlier than he planned (using his Jack Lalane calendar).

Blogger beep said...
I'd say this trade actually made Houston repeat.

My generalization treats successful and pathetic examples alike, even if the former are rare.

Blogger Dan B. said...
FYI guys, my schedule today is packed. No BAD post from me today. Sorry. Tonight's Spurs/Suns game is at 9pm EDT on TNT, and I hope to see Tony Parker not on the floor very much since he's one of the few Spurs fast enough to keep up with the Suns' guards IMO.

Anonymous SnakeEyes said...
"Nash abused him so badly I'm surprised the Department of Family and Protective Services wasn't called in." HAHAHAHAH! Mr.Bawful, you just make my day sometimes. Don't stop the awesomeness that is this blog...EVER. That's an order!

Blogger Ash said...
Dan, you're a slacker and I will never, ever forgive you.

Edit: Captcha: novally

No kidding.

Blogger Matt said...
Hey Bawful,

Me and my buddy, both huge Laker fans, got a hold of another friend's Carmelo jersey. The following massacre ensued, proving once again that Kobe > Melo:

Anonymous K said...
the most bawful call of all times:

a holding call on camby without even being near nash? brought to you by the one and only joey crawford.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
SnakeEyes -- I plan to keep on keeping on...thanks for the kind words. :)

Matt -- That image isn't loading for me. Can you e-mail it to us?

K -- Heh, I believe that video was posted here after that game.

Blogger Siddarth Sharma said...
Speaking of forward momentum..classic example from 2001, ECF: Sixers at Bucks..Sixers were being outplayed..down 17 to 40 at 4 mins in the 2nd..54-80 at the start of the 4th when rather than fold and make like a dirty bird they went on a run and beat the stuffing out of the Bucks..even though they lost the momentum carried over and they went on to win the series..that 4th quarter was headed by a 26 pt 4th quarter bombardment by The Answer.
(@Bawful, I've been meaning to correct your typo for quite some time. It's Answer, not cancer. Do take note.)

Blogger Matt said...
Bawful what's your email? You REALLY need to see this one.