Dear God, the Thunder now have giant Smurfs as fans! (And isn't "giant Smurf" an oxymoron?)
(h/t JE Skeets for the screencap)

Erik Spoelstra may still have a job, but according to this fantastic satire piece, he may not for much longer: "Pat Riley adopts a baby for Erik Spoelstra to go spend time with."

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Joel Anthony does what he does best

Bucks Jazz Basketball
Yes, the Bucks lost. Why do you ask?

D-Will is taking this new TSA pat down very seriously and lending a helping hand to insure that Chris Douglas-Roberts will not be blowing up any planes on his long flight
(caption via Basketbawful reader RRR)

Bucks Jazz Basketball
AK47's hair takes the next step toward growing into its own entity and splitting off to form a new basketball player that looks like Captain Caveman


Rockets Mavericks Basketball
Hey Dirk, Jordan could make this look cool. You can't. Just FYI.

Wow, that's a hard, um, foul?

All The Games:
Celtics at Cavaliers, 7pm: Shaq ruminating on the early-season loss to the Cavaliers: "We took them a little bit too lightly." On the other hand, nobody can ever take Shaq lightly according to the laws of physics.

Pistons at Magic, 7pm: Detroit is not good at many things. Playing on the road. Playing against teams with winning records. Shooting. Rebounding. So, yeah, get ready for a night filled with Dwight Howard pulling down boards left and right.

Frail Blazers at 76ers, 7pm: Portland hasn't faced four straight losses in over two years, but considering their shooting right now, it's a possibility even if they are just playing against the Seventy Suxorz. With 39.9% shooting as a team over the past four games, Portland couldn't shoot their way out of a wet paper bag. Though I'm not really sure if you would shoot a basketball to get yourself freed from a wet paper bag. Wouldn't you just tear it? And where in the world would you find a paper bag big enough to trap the entire team?

Nyets at Knicks, 7:30pm: The Knicks are at .500 for the season (mostly thanks to beating up on losing teams during a recent favorable scheduling stretch), but only 2-5 at Madison Square Garden. Maybe the team should all hop on a bus and drive around aimlessly for a couple hours before gametime to trick the players into thinking it's a road game?

Lakers at Grizzlies, 8pm: Stat of the day: Derek Fisher is 3-for-21 from the field in his last three games.

Pacers at Kings, 10pm: The DeMarcus Cousins/Paul Westphal rift is just the latest example of the fact that the Purple Paupers are a barely watchable trainwreck. They're the basketball equivalent of Creepies
I wonder if the big spider can play power forward or center when DeMarcus Cousins gets benched?

Spurs at Warriors, 10:30pm: San Antonio has not lost on the road yet this season. Golden State is... Golden State. Guess who I am picking for this game?

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"Hangnail! Hangnail! Get me my wheelchair!"

The Associated Press: The Heat snapped their three-game losing streak with a homecourt blowout of the Washington Wizards Generals...a team that entered the game 5-10 overall and 0-7 on the road. Impressive, right? Am I right?


Anyway, I love this opening to the AP recap: "LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra had a pregame meeting Monday afternoon to talk about Miami's offensive woes. Early returns suggest it was a productive chat."

What...because the Heat scored 105 points on 45 percent shooting? That's productive? For a team featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? Facing a depressing Generals squad that came in ranked 26th in Defensive Rating and was without John Wall (bruised right knee), Al Thornton (ankle) and Ji Jianlian (knee)?

Talk about lowered expectations.

I should also give a special shoutout to ESPN Stats and Information for the following: "The Heat stepped up their transition defense on Monday, in the process outscoring the Wizards 21-8 in transition." We are then treated to a table indicating that Washington scored only 8 points on 37.5 percent shooting and committed 3 turnovers in transition.

I'm sure the absence of Wall had nothing to do with that.

Anyway, it just feels like the media wants us to get all excited that the Heat finally won a game against a crappy team. Yes, yes, I get it. Blowing out bad teams matters. It's a good thing, too, because Miami's next two games are against the Pistons and Cavaliers. So I boldly predict a three-game winning streak and 17.4 tons worth of drool from the Associated Press and other media outlets...

...and plenty of vomit among NBA fans.

That said, there was at least one NBA fan who was feelin' the Heat last night. The Other Chris said: "I'd like to thank the NBA, ESPN and whoever else makes the national television schedule for fellating the Nazgul as the feature game. This means I get to watch New Orleans/Oklahoma City game on League Pass instead of it being blacked out, as it would be any in any sane universe, as it is the vastly superior basketball game. Thanks, LeDouche!"

Associated Press, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "Wade's personal spurt ended with 3:17 left in the period..."

Hilton Armstrong versus Joel Anthony and Juwan Howard: I know I should take something like this more seriously, but come on. It looks like something out of a Three Stooges short. And isn't it amazing how easily NBA players go down these days? They're like a bunch of Bop-a-Clowns.

Said Armstrong: "I wasn't really trying to hurt him or anything like that, I just didn't want him to have any easy dunk or an easy lay-up. You clearly saw he lost his balance when he was in the air. I didn't mean to hit him that hard, but he fell. I went to go try to help him out, but then Howard came and pushed me in the back."

Added Erik Spoelstra: "I think it's great."

I don't know about great, Erik. But bawful? Absolutely.

Dwyane Wade and the Miami broadcasting team: An anonymous reader said:

This actually just happened, no exaggeration.

After Dwyane Wade airballed a dunk attempt (hereafter known as "pulling a Joel Anthony"), the Miami announcers came back with this gem. "That hangnail is really bothering him".

I've been laughing for the past 2 minutes. Bawful in it's purest form right there.
It's true. According to one report: "Dwyane Wade briefly left Monday's win over Washington with what the Heat called a hang nail. He returned wearing tape on his left wrist and could not get into any kind of rhythm early on in the game."

I'm surprised the medical staff didn't bring out the wheelchair.

For the record, WebMD defines a hangnail as "the strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle."

Simple home treatment can help prevent problems with hangnails:

Do not pull at or bite off a hangnail. This may cause the skin to rip.

Clip off the hangnail neatly with sharp, clean cuticle scissors.

Massage hand lotion or cream into your cuticles 2 to 3 times each day.

Sadly, I don't have video of Wade's blown dunk. I do have this tho':

And because Sorbo provided the link, here's one of the great airballed dunks in the history of Western Civilization:

The New Orleans Hornets: Make it four losses in their last five games. I won't say the ship be sinkin'...but it's definitely dropped temporary anchor in the Sea of Suck.

The Hornets actually played some pretty stiff defense -- holding the Thunder to 95 points on 37 percent shooting -- but they were pounded on the boards (56-36 and 16-5 on the offensive glass) and simply ran out of gas during the fourth quarter. Over those final 12 minutes, the Thunder used a 14-0 run to outscore New Orleans 27-19.

Said Hornets coach Monty Williams: "I thought we competed our tails off tonight on the road in a tough back-to-back. The ball didn't go down. It happens in this league."

You know what else happens in this league?

And man, how about that Russell Westbrook, huh? The line: 25 points, 11 assists, 5 steals. And he scored 12 of the points in OKC's 14-o fourth quarter run. That's right, it was Westbrook -- and not Kevin Durant -- who took over in clutch time for the Thunder. And as ESPN Stats and Information pointed out: "He is averaging almost 24 points a game, and along with LeBron James, is the only player in the NBA averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists."

This truly is the Age of the Point Guard.

Monty Williams, quote machine: Regarding Westbrook's various miscues with the basketball: "He had eight turnovers, but I thought it worked in his favor."

Russell Westbrook, quote machine: "Whatever the game tells me to do, that's kind of what I do."

But...but what if the game tells you to kill mommy and daddy with lawn darts? I would suggest selective listening, Russell. Can a game that made Greg Ostertag a multi-millionaire be trusted? I say no.

The Houston Rockets: I know they were playing on the second night of back-to-backs after a gritty win over the Thunder. And I know the Mavericks were playing at home and, frankly, are one of the best teams in the league right now. And of course Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming are still out. But damn, this team is starting to depress me.

Dirk Nowitzki, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "When a guy is hot like that, you've got to milk it."

Rick Carlisle, coach of the year candidate: From the AP recap:

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasn't calling plays during the third-quarter stretch. All of Butler's points came in what the Mavs call a "flow" offense.

"When a guy gets going, our guys do a good job of finding him," Carlisle said. "We aren't doing a lot of play-calling right now."
The Milwaukee Bucks: Ugh. The Deer were without Andy Bogut (sore back), Drew Gooden (foot), Corey Maggette (flu-like symptoms!) and Carlos Delfino (birthing a human-alien hybrid from his stomach). As a result, the biggest deficit the Jazz had to overcome in this one was two points. They did, however, build a 24 point lead before kicking back and cruising in for a 109-88 win.

Said Deron Williams: "Any time you play a team that's missing a lot of guys, it can be a dangerous game because youo expect to win, you know you should win. But at the same time it's the NBA and these are NBA players. They played hard. They were just a scrappy team tonight."

Yeah, well, Team Scrappy got outshot 55 percent to 34 percent, outrebounded 48-26 and outscored 54-18 in the paint. The Bucks should thank their stars and garters Utah committed 20 turnovers or they might have scrapped their way to a 40-point loss.

On the bright side, Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a season-high 19 points and Ersan Ilyasova added a season-high 18.

By the way, ya think the Jazz have adapted to Al Jefferson and vice versa? Last night, Big Al had 20 points on 11-for-14 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Speaking of which...

Al Jefferson, quote machine: "When we want to, we can play defense."

Of course, that's always been the case with Jefferson. He's just never, you know, wanted to before. But now he knows Jerry Sloan will kick his ass if he doesn't D up. Makes a difference.

John Salmons, Worst Player of the Night: Remember how Salmons caught fire when he was traded to the Bucks right before the deadline? Yeah, well, the Bulls had the same experience the previous season. The Fish Man had been red hot when Chicago dealt for him the previous February and then started the season on ice. Well, he went 1-for-11 against the Jazz last night and 36 percent on the season.

Check out his splits from last season. He's pretty much on target for his early season production. Or lack thereof. And considering how key Salmons was to Milwaukee's late-season run last season, it's not hard to understand why they've been struggling to score points (30th in both PPG and Offensive Rating) and win games.

On that subject, last night I was at the doctor's office and they had the Sports Illustrated NBA Preview issue in the waiting room. SI expected the Bucks to control the Central Division this season...even though Corey Maggette, Drew Gooden and John Salmons made up three-fifths of Milwaukee's projected starting lineup.

And all I could think was: "Has anyone at SI actually followed the these guys' careers?"

Look, I know the Bucks have had some injuries and illness or whatever. But they're 6-11 overall, 2-7 on the road, and currently scraping the bottom of their division. Scott Skiles can work minor miracles with crap rosters, and he'll probably scream this group of misfits back up to .500-ish at some point.

I'm just not Fearin' the Deer is all I'm saying.

Al Jefferson, quote machine: "They were short tonight, but that's a great team."

Andre Kirilenko, quote machine: "You've seen the Energizer Bunny. [Earl Watson and Ronnie Price] are our Energizer Bunnies. They come on the floor and give us a big spark on offense and defense. They are amazing."

Huh. I wonder if The Russian Rifle wants to use his once-a-year deal for an amazing night with Price and Watson.

Tracy McGrady, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Basketbawful reader Wade Wisdom e-mailed this instant classic Knee-Mac quote: "That guy might be getting off, but the other guy [isn't]." If you demand context, here it is.

Basketbawful reader zyth also left that quote in the BAD comments and noted that McGrady even used to make porn faces.

Bonus Bawful: Basketbawful reader Mark L. e-mailed me a link to this video and has officially nominated it to become "Bawful: The Song."

Chris' Lacktion Report:

Generals-Heat: Looks like Eddie House will get to have fun time in South Beach, after collecting 1.7 trillion in play money (1:43)!

Rockets-Mavs: Ishmael Smith smoothed out trans-Texas relations by giving the ball away to Dallas once in 7:34 for a +1 suck differential.

Brian Cardinal bricked once from Fountain Place in 6:28 and also took a foul for a +2.

Bucks-Jazz: Kyrylo Fesenko improvised a foul in 5:45 for a +1 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

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Rockets Bobcats Basketball
Michael Jordan discusses the intricacies of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Captain Jack

The latest news on Antoine Walker's delightfully bawful comeback* -- he plans on signing with the Idaho Stampede. This is glorious. Of course the one little caveat is that this is pending a background review. Considering this is Antoine "I have gambling debts galore!" Walker we're talking about, you never know...

* Can we even really consider it a comeback? It is just the D-League after all... If he actually makes it back onto an NBA roster, then I'll call it a comeback

Want to drink for free? Head down to the Whiskey Tango in Hollywood, FL -- they're handing out free drinks whenever the Miami Heat lose. And it's cost the bar $30,000 in free drinks so far this season. Don't worry -- the owners aren't complaining since it's giving them plenty of publicity. However, if they start doing this for Clippers games too, they'll be in trouble.

And before I forget to mention it: R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen. I have much respect for the master of deadpan delivery.

Worst of the Weekend in Pictures:
Wow, good thing nobody comes to Miami games. This could have been dangerous!

76ers Miami Basketball
You must be this tall to play

Clippers Suns Basketball
Someone please go tell Hedo that his team actually is winning this game

Spurs Hornets Basketball
"What the hell are you looking at? Never seen a grown man hug his invisible friend before?"

Here are some things Vince Carter loves:
1) Being injured
2) Ill-fitting suits

This suit, on the other hand, is stylish by 1970s ABA standards

Donte Greene is sad

Tom Thibodeau enjoys making Donte Greene sad

Nationally Televised Games:
Rockets at Mavericks, NBA TV, 8:30pm: Dallas just keeps on winning. Houston just keeps on being slightly worse than mediocre, but slightly better than Clippery bad.

All the Other Games:
Wizards Generals at Heat, 7:30pm: As bad as things are in Miami right now, at least they aren't the Generals. Aside from, you know, being a team based in Washington DC, the Generals are banged up. John Wall is questionable, Yi Jianlian is still busy sitting on chairs instead of posting them up. Al Thornton likely will be out as well. The team is winless away from home this year, but gets to play 5 of their next 6 on the road. Damnation. And I'd like to point out that the Heat are still over .500, so it could be much, much worse, Miami fans.

Hornets at Thunder, 8pm: Since relocating to OKC, the Thunder have not beaten the Hornets when Chris Paul has been in the lineup. Dude just owns them. He's even got a sweet little certificate of ownership and everything.

Bucks at Jazz, 9pm: Milwaukee's got the injury blues almost as bad as Washington. Bogut, Gooden, Maggette, and Delfino are all injured at the moment. Though I'm pretty sure losing Maggette is addition by subtraction.

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nazgul 2
"Leadership. We needs it."

coach spo 2
"Leadership. We really needs it."

mavs fans
"Serious medical help. We really, really needs it."

Editor's note: Due to a Turkey-related coma-like condition, this is an abbreviated version of the standard WotW post. Also, Antoine Walker is about to make a comeback. In the D-League. It's like Christmas came on Thanksgiving.

The Milwaukee Bucks: Even though their season has been pretty disappointing so far, the Bucks have been able to boast a defense that ranks 1st in Opponents PPG and 2nd in Defensive Rating. Then the equally disappointing Pistons -- who are in the bottom half of the league in Offensive Rating -- went out and dropped 103 points on them on 56 percent shooting. I guess they were stuck in a 24-hour Turkey Coma.

Said Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles: "We weren't sharp ... right from the beginning. I could see we were a couple of steps slow."

Shane Battier, quote machine: After going 1-for-9 in Houston's 99-89 loss to the Bobcraps in Charlotte, Batty said: "It's a make-or-miss league. By that, when you miss shots, the sky is falling down. When you make shots everything is honky-dory. Sometimes it is as simple as that."

Chris Bosh, quote machine: After the Heat barely managed to beat the 76ers (3-13) in Miami: "We're going to get teams' best. That's how it's going to be all season. ... If we had the answers to the test, believe me, we'd have used them a long time ago."

Dwyane Wade, quote machine: After the Heat barely managed to beat the 76ers (3-13) in Miami: "We've got to get away from worrying about how we get wins. We have to focus on getting wins."

LeBron James, quote machine: After the Heat barely managed to beat the 76ers (3-13) in Miami: "Guys just get up to play us. We just have to treat everybody ... like they're All-Stars."

Doug Collins, emo coach of the year candidate: After the Heat barely managed to beat the 76ers (3-13) in Miami: "They put so much work into this. It just rips at my gut that they can't taste a win. They just fought so hard. So hard."

The San Antonio Spurs: They had their win streak snapped at home by the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki was crazy-hot (12-for-14) and the Mavs shot 52 percent as a team. But the Spurs doomed themselves with a dreadful 2:45 stretch of basketball in the fourth quarter.

After George Hill hit a layup to put San Antonio up 88-86, the Spurs' next five possessions went: Tony Parker missed 9-footer, offensive rebound then turnover, Tim Duncan Turnover, Duncan missed 11-footer, Manu Ginobili turnover, Ginobili missed three-pointer. Nowitzki followed that Manu miss by nailing a 19-footer to put Dallas ahead 95-88 with 1:44 left. Game over.

Delayed Turkey Coma?

Said George Hill: "You can blame it on the little turkey or whatever. But it happens, it's been a good journey so far. The only thing we can do is focus on Sunday."

John Lucas / Tom Thibodeau / Chicago Bulls: On Friday night, the Derrick Rose-less Bulls were this close -- THIS CLOSE -- to knocking off the Nuggets in Denver. Chicago was up 97-96 with 24 seconds left. Knowing the Nuggets had to foul, Thibodeau put in his all-free-throw-shooting lineup, which included Lucas...who had been signed that very day. Lucas inbounded and Denver waited to foul until the ball had been passed back around to him. He stepped up to the line, missed 'em both. Surprise, surprise.

Of course, the Bulls still could've won the game. They forced Carmelo Anthony into a turrible shot, but the ball managed to roll past three Chicago players out of bounds. Denver still had possession with four seconds left. And despite knowing that the ball would probably get passed directly in to 'Melo for a jumper, the Bulls didn't deny the pass to Anthony. Then Luol Deng bit on a stutter dribble and backed up the half a foot 'Melo needed to launch the game-winner. Clutch fail.

Carmelo Anthony, quote machine: "See, I told you. I take that same shot, nine out of 10 times, I'll make it. Whether he contested it or not, whether he got a hand in my face or not, once I get a good look at the rim, I don't really think there's nothing nobody can do."

Free throws in general: From Basketbawful reader LotharBot:

This week has been one of the greatest anti-clutch free throw weeks ever. Bawful could run a "bricked free throws" feature and have plenty of material. I know of five games where bricked FT with under 2 minutes left changed the complexion of the game, and the bricking team went on to lose all five.

We had Trevor Ariza for the Hornets against the Clippers on Monday, down 2 with 21 seconds left and clanking both ft.

Then there was Evan Turner for Philly on Tuesday, with a 3 point lead and 8 seconds left against the Wiz, bricking both FT, which left the game close enough for John Wall to send it to OT.

On Wednesday, Jason Richardson hit 1 of 2 with 5 seconds left in the first OT, leaving his Suns with only a 2 point lead. This allowed Derrick Rose to send it to 2OT (with an easy 2 rather than a difficult 3), where the Bulls ran away with it.

Today is Friday, and John Lucas III got 2 FT with 12 seconds left and a 1 point lead against the Nuggets. He bricked both. Then Melo missed a potential go-ahead bucket with 4 seconds left, but 3 Bulls combined to lose the rebound out of bounds, which let Melo hit the game winner at the buzzer.

Also today, Darren Collison and Brandon Rush each bricked a FT with under 2 minutes to go in OT, in a game that was tied at 102 with the Thunder. Those 2 points would've been nice to have when it was 106-103 and the Pacers had possession with under 24 seconds left. A one point game with a chance to win at the buzzer is very different from a 3 point game where you're taking a tough shot just to tie, and a miss and ft at the other end leave you down 5.
The City of Los Angels: L.A. went 0-4 this weekend. The Lakers choked away a 19-point lead in a 102-96 loss to the Jazz in Utah before falling into a 15-point hole at home against the Pacers before losing 95-92. Mind you, Indy had lost 11 straight regular-season games to the Lakers on the road since its last win on February 14, 1999, shortly before Staples Center opened.

As usual, there's going to be a lot of talk about whether Kobe transforming into the Black Mamba and going into Hero Mode helped or hurt the Lakers. We know Kobe gave the Jazz and Pacers his own personal version of Anal Rampage...and we know the Lakers lost both games. Critics say Kobe going "LEEEEEEERRRROOOYYYY JEEENNNKIIIINNSS!!" killed the Lakers' offense. As Karc put it: "I know I'm not the only who saw that 14-point run and immediately said, 'Lakers are losing this game.'"

Defenders will say his teammates were playing like crap and Kobe's scoring outburts were the only think that kept L.A. in these games. Said Adam: "Actually Kobe going 'hero mode' had nothing to do with it. It was everybody else like Barnes, Fisher, Blake, and Brown bricking ill-advised three after ill-advised three and the whole team going cold after the first quarter."

Who was really at fault? Take your pick.

As for the Clippers, well, they fell behind by 25 to the Suns in Phoenix and eventually lost 116-108 and then finished off the weekend with a 109-97 loss at home to the Jazz. Make it 3-15.

After the Clips committed 18 turnovers and let the Jazz shoot 58 percent from the field, Eric Gordon offered: "They ended up playing good defense, but we stopped ourselves."

The Phoenix Suns: Their win against the Clippers was actually a cause for concern. They let a 25-point lead shrink to only four before closing The Other L.A. Team out. But check it: Eric Gordon had a season-high 32 points, Ryan Gomes scored a season-high 20, and Brian Cook added a season-high 16 points and 10 rebounds. That just gives you the defensive shivers, doesn't it?

Sure enough, on Sunday the Suns managed to score 133 points on 51 percent shooting...and lose. That's 'cause the Nuggets dropped 138 points on them. Without Carmelo Anthony. And despite missing 16 free throws.

Mind you, Denver's previous season-high in points had been 120. It was the team's highest point total since scoring 147 in double overtime at Seattle on April 6, 2008.

Said Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry: "You can't win a game where you don't guard anybody. You got to guard one person. Even if we guard George Karl, we got to guard somebody."

The Suns are giving up 111.9 PPG. Yes, that's a league-worst.

Chauncey Billups, dubious compliment machine: "Without him, we're not as predictable. When Melo's in you go to him, let him orchestrate. I'm sure not having him out there made it difficult for [the Suns] to know what we were going to do."

The Portland Frail Blazers: Talk about your rough weekends. The Frail Blazers got Brandon Roy back in time to get dumped on their asses at home 97-78 by the Hornets. Portland shot only 39.5 percent and those 78 points were a season-low.

More Turkey Coma.

Apparently, Portland was still Turkey Coma-ized on Sunday night when they lost 98-96 to the Nyets in New Jersey. The Nyets shot 52 percent from the field. Now the Blazers -- that young, up-and-coming team that's been supposed to take over the league for, what, the last three or four seasons? -- is .500.

Said Wesley Matthews: "We don't feel like we're an 8-8 team."

And I don't feel drunk. But...


The Minnesota Timberwolves: During his first six seasons in the NBA -- all with the Miami Heat -- Dorell Wright averaged 6.3 PPG. And Pat Riley didn't even consider hanging onto him.

Now Wright is feeling "The Golden State Effect." And on Saturday, he drilled nine three-pointers on his way to a career-high 30 points against the Timberpoops, who apparently forgot the Warriors like to run 'n gun.

Regarding his team's defensive apathy, Minny coach Kurt Rambis said: "You could see that blank look on their face for the majority of the ballgame."

Way to inspire the troops, coach!

By the way, Wright and fellow Heat refugee Michael Beasley combined for 58 points. Riles needed role players to support the Nazgul. Little did he know he was actually sitting right on top of them. Speaking of which...

The Miami Heat: When the Heat played the Mavericks in Dallas on Saturday night, Zydrunas Ilgauskas started at center and scored zero points. Carlos Arroyo started at the point and finished with zero assists. The Miami bench was outscored 39-22. And here are the point totals for the four Heat centers: Big Z (0), Erick Dampier (0), Joel Anthony (0), Jamaal Magloire (DNP-CD).

Huh. I thought great players were supposed to make their teammates better. The Heat have two and a half great players. Something's fishy here, don't you think?

Here's some more Heat-themed vomit from ESPN Stats and Information:

The Heat are 0-4 on the road against opponents with winning records.

Miami's Big 3 combined for 67 of the Heat's 95 points as they each scored 20-plus for the second time this season. However, they also combined for 13 of the Heat's 15 turnovers.

The Mavericks outscored the Heat 48-26 in the paint. Coming into the game, the Mavericks were the only team in the NBA averaging fewer points per game in the paint than the Heat.

The Heat are 2-7 against teams with a .500 record or better this season and have dropped four straight road games.
The bottom line is: Dallas put Miami into a 19-point hole. The Heat almost climbed out, but almost only counts in horseshoes and Stan Van Gundy fitting into his pants.

The Heat are now 9-8. Last season, without King Crab or Chris Bosh, they were 10-7 after 17 games. Cue Countdown to Failure.

After the game, Miami held a players-only meeting. Regarding that meeting, D-Wade said: "We felt like we needed it. Sometimes it's a feel. We haven't had a team-only meeting. We're playing like 9-8 and we needed it. This is a new team, a new group of guys. Guys need to understand each other and hear each other talk. We all feel better after the talk we had. It's tough because I know the potential of this team, the vision I had when this team was put together."

Added LeBron: "It was a well-needed team meeting where everybody had a chance to get off whatever they had on their chest or in their head about us figuring things out. Right now we are a 9-8 team and we have to own up to that. Does our record speak of the quality of team we can become? I don't think so. But right now we're 9-8 and we're playing like that."

Speaking of owning up to stuff...

LeBron James: As many of you aleady know, he bumped coach 'Spo.

As Basketbawful Original pointed out, that wasn't exactly a first:

Now, the obvious question is: Did His Supreme Crabbiness do it on purpose? I have to agree with SPORTSbyBROOKS...it didn't happen by accident. Forget just walking off a basketball court. LeBron James walks through crowds just to reach his own bathroom. He knows how to avoid bumping into people when he needs to. And this time he didn't. The reason why he did it is something that's harder to ascertain.

Is he searching for a fall guy to explain away why his presence has actually made the Heat worse than they were without him last season? Maybe. As Adrian Wojnarowski put it a couple weeks ago:

When things don’t go well for the Heat, there's one guarantee: James will never take responsibility. Here’s a man who quit in the middle of Game 5 to the Celtics a season ago, stopped playing in a conference semifinal and still wanted Brown and his supporting cast blamed like in the past. Here's a man who needed Nike to make some kind of half-baked commercial apology that only came within the context of pushing his shoes. James knows only how to be about James, and he'll sacrifice anyone to protect himself.
It's true. And now, LeBron doesn't have anywhere to hide. Before, he could hide behind a historically bawful franchise and "bad" teammates. Now he has to explain why he -- last season's ordained Best Basketball Player in the World -- can't win with D-Wade and Chris Bosh backing him up. This isn't the easy way out he had in mind. Which makes this a perfect time to run Michael Jordan's supposed "response" to LeBron (which is in reality just a commercial mashup...but totally on the money):

The Sacramento Kings: Facing a Bulls team that was 1) dealing with various injuries to key players, 2) playing on the second night of back-to-backs, 3) on their fourth game in five nights, and 4) finishing up their seven-game circus trip of horrors, the Purple Paupers built a 57-44 lead after two quarters -- the team's very first halftime lead of the season! -- and then lost 96-85.

Their 28-point second half included a 9-point fourth quarter.

Said Paupers coach Paul Westphal: "I thought that in the second half our defense was good enough for us to win the game, but our offense was something that was out of some horror book. Two turnovers in the first half and 16 in the second half, it's just unbelievable. Running the same plays, only not executing them."

The Kings have now lost four straight and 10 of 11.

Tyreke Evans: The ankles be broken.

The New Orleans Hornets: They went up by 17. They fell behind by 17. They lost 109-95. At home. To the Spurs. Can you say "exposed"?

No offense to the Hornets. They're a great early season story. But after starting the season 8-0, they've gone 4-4, including three losses in their last four games, to the Clippers, Jazz and Spurs. Don't get me wrong. The Hornets are good. Just not as good as everybody was starting to think.

And you know, some of that may be coaching...

Monty Williams: At halftime, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made adjustments, which included some defensive switching and a small lineup. Then, over the final two quarters, the Spurs shot 60 percent, drilled seven treys, and outscored the Hornets 65-34.

Said New Orleans coach Monty Williams: "The bottom line is I got outcoached. Coach Popovich made a great move, going small, and I didn't make the immediate adjustments to put us in position to hang on. ... It was just an old-school whipping from a coaching standpoint."

Chris's Mega Weekend Lacktion Report:

Rockets-Bobcats: Jared Jeffries jacked apart a treasure chest for a 1.25 trillion (1:15).

For Charlotte, Sherron Collins brought home a Castlevania cartridge to His Airness in just 24 seconds for a Mario, while THE Kwame Brown provided the man who picked him #1 overall with four bricks (twice from the charity stripe) in 6:08 for a +4 suck differential!!!

Raptors-Celtics: Von Wafer can now afford the toll in the Ted Williams Tunnel after a 2.2 trillion (2:13)!

Bucks-Pistons: Yep. KNEE-MAC gave the Motor City a mediocre +1 in 6:09 via brick. I think my work is done here.

...but I can't stop keeping track of lacktivity, so on we go...

Sixers-Heat: Philly's Andres Nocioni notched three bricks in 7:20 (twice from Biscayne Boulevard) and a foul and giveaway each for a +5!

Thunder-Pacers: Nick Collison smashed into the ledger a bit tonight by countering two boards in 9:25 with 3 bricks and 4 fouls for a 4:2 Voskuhl. BJ Mullens mired himself in two fouls and a turnover in 5:03 for a +3 and a 3:0 Voskuhl, and Royal Ivey was declared King Koopa after just 8 seconds in a SUPER MARIO!

Lakers-Jazz: Derrick Caracter once again revealed his true colors with a one-foul +1 and 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl in 3:06.

Warriors-Grizzlies: Despite an assist in 7:54, Dan Gadzuric returns to the world of Voskuhl ratios with a 4:0 via two fouls and two giveaways; fellow Warrio Charlie Bell barely rang up a Mario in 59 seconds which included a brick from the Peabody Motel.

Hornets-Blazers: Luke Babbitt bricked once from the US Bancorp Tower in 1:16 for a +1.

Hawks-Knicks: Andy Rautins will now be able to put a deposit on some MSG seats after a 1.85 trillion (1:52).

Warriors-Wolves: Rodney Carney raised up a pair of bricks (once from the Mary Tyler Moore statue) in 6:49 for a +2, while Kosta Koufos lost the rock once and tossed up his own piece of masonry in 1:54 for a +2 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Heat-Mavs: In the Highly Unanticipated Rematch of the 2006 Association Finals, Brian Cardinal flew into 8-bit territory with a 2-second Super Mario! Also lacking it up for Dallas was Ian Mahinmi, who fouled and lost the rock once each for a +2 in 3:28, and a 2:0 Voskuhl.

Brendan Haywood put Mark Cuban's team on the ledger a third time (appropriate, as the South Beach Three incurred ANOTHER loss) by countering two boards in 7:58 with four fouls for a 4:2 Voskuhl.

Bobcats-Bucks: Sherron Collins took a rejection as well as a brick (from downtown Milwaukee) in 3:03 for a +2, while fellow Air Jordan purveyor Derrick Brown also bricked once from (downtown) and fouled twice for a +3 in 5:34.

For Wisconsin's team, Earl Boykins turned on his NES for 38 seconds for a Mario.

Bulls-Kings: Omer Asik banished an assist away in 9:04 with two fouls for a 2:1 Voskuhl.

Bobcats-Bucks: Sherron Collins took a rejection as well as a brick from the Pabst Theater in 3:03 for a +2, while fellow Air Jordan purveyor Derrick Brown also bricked once from Schlitz Park and fouled twice for a +3 in 5:34.

Knicks-Pistons: Timofey Mozgov made the most of another appearance for Mike D'Antoni, downing a pair of boards in 8:22 with a brick, three fouls, and three turnovers for a 6:2 Voskuhl. Roger Mason Jr. joined the ledger with a brick from the Ren Center in 8:10 for a +1.

Jazz-Clippers: Jarron Collins constructed a Voskuhl ratio of 5:1 in a 13:35 stint by negating a board with four fouls and a turnover.

Frail Blazers-Nyets: Luke Babbitt bobbled a brick in 2:35 for a +1.

Pacers-Lakers: Derrick Caracter coined 2.4 trillion (2:24) in pure gold!

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APTOPIX Nets Celtics Basketball
Kevin Garnett Photobomb!

Speaking of Kevin Garnett, AnacondaHL shared an amazing Garnett quote earlier today:
"Shaq is paradise," said Garnett. "You ever wash your sheets and then set them out to dry in the sun? You ever smell those sheets when they're done? That's what Shaq is."
I... don't even know what to say. And since I'm still recovering from a turkey-induced food coma, let's just move on.

Worst of the Past Couple Nights in Pictures:

"HEY! Did I just see you playing defense?!? If I catch you doing that one more time, your ass is benched!!"

How about no...

Didn't you just lose like three straight games? Why are you celebrating?

Erik Spolestra just saw The Basketball Jones' video and realized it was like looking into the future

Hey, uh, LeBron, I think you got a little something in your teeth there... Wait, you mean you got a mouthpiece like that on purpose??

Nationally Televised Friday Games:
Rockets at Bobcraps, ESPN2, 7pm: What's going on? TNT gives us two just horrible Thanksgiving night games, and ESPN (well, ESPN2 actually) has to try to match them?

Warriors at Grizzlies, ESPN2, 9:30pm: Okay, now they're just messing with us.

All The Other Friday Games:
Cavaliers at Magic, 7pm: It's kind of funny now to think about how this used to be a real rivalry, isn't it?

Craptors at Celtics, 7:30pm: Instead of watching these dinosaurs and their unbelievable four game winning streak, you should instead prepare yourself to watch Triassic Attack Saturday night on the SyFy channel. Go and read this article for more information (come on, do it. It quotes Frank Coniff, AKA "TV's Frank" from Mystery Science Theater 3000!). The basic premise of the movie:
The movie is about the fossilized remains of dinosaurs that are brought back to life by a Native American spell and urged to wreak havoc on a small town. The ravenous, animated skeletons start eating as many people as they can.

However, because the resurrected dinosaurs are only bones, they have no digestive organs. So their human meals just drop to the ground after mastication.
Tell me that isn't 65 million times more awesome than a Craptors game.

Bucks at Pistons, 7:30pm: The now largely-unfeared deer from Wisconsin are sitting at a 5-9 record despite a solid defense because, as I've noted before, you still have to score more points than the other guy. Luckily for them, Detroit is also a five win team with a much less effective defense.

76ers at Heat, 7:30pm: And sadly the run of epic Heat failures comes to an end.

Thunder at Pacers, 8pm: The Thunder are 5-1 this year on the road, but going back a ways, they have lost 3 straight games in Indianapolis. I'm trying to figure this one out, but I'm just plain not smart enough to comprehend that. It's just the Pacers, guys. Get it together.

Mavericks at Spurs, 8:30pm: Interesting game. The Mavs are winning games, but not in a good way. Quoting Marc Stein on The BS Report: "The problem is if [Nowitzki] has to keep carrying the load he's carrying right now, we won't see him in April. He's playing spectacular, but this team is -- hard to watch right now is putting it kindly. They're winning games with [defense]... If Jason Terry has an off-night, they're huge trouble because half the time they're playing 2-on-5 offensively." The Spurs may have barely beaten the Timberpups in a goofy trap game, but they could really bring it to the Mavs here.

Bulls at Nuggets, 9pm: The Bulls need to win either this game or Saturday night at Suckramento to lock up their first winning record for the Circus Trip since Jordan was dunking all over people for them. Unfortunately, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson are both gametime decisions tonight. Gibson's ankle is still a little sore, and Rose is fighting discomfort in his neck.

Clippers at Suns, 9pm: Now that the Clippers have gotten their one win for the week out of the way, they can go back to their usual godawful routine of failure.

Lakers at Jazz, 9:30pm: Sobering stat of the day: "The Utah Jazz have lost all three home games against teams that made the playoffs last season." And if you'll remember, the Lakers beat the holy hell out of the Jazz in the playoffs last year, and are on the warpath this year and intent on destroying everything in their sight. Sorry, Utah fans. Not looking good for tonight.

Hornets at Frail Blazers, 10pm: The Blazers were looking forward to getting Joel Przybilla back on the court (as were the rest of us here at Basketbawful), but it may not happen tonight. After recovering for nearly a full year from a ruptured patella, he finally gets ready to hit the court... and has to go to the hospital fighting a stomch virus. It's almost like somebody on the inside is sabotaging the Blazers at this point. (For the record, The Vanilla Gorilla is still a gametime decision, and will play limited minutes if he does get in the game)

* * *

Nationally Televised Saturday Games:
Magic at Wizards Generals, NBA TV, 7pm: "Magic" and "wizards" battle it out in the matchup of geektacular team names!

All The Other Saturday Games:
Hawks at Knicks, 1pm: I have nothing worth sharing related to this game, so I'll just share this: President Obama needed 12 stitches after getting hit in the mouth during a friendly game of hoops on Thanksgiving. At least it's better than what happened to Tiger Woods the last time we had a celebrity of sorts get injured over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Grizzlies at Cavaliers, 7:30pm: Fair to say almost nobody will be at this game, right? The Cleveland fans have to save up their dollars for the King James return game.

Nyets at 76ers, 7:30pm: Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: "Terrence Williams had a lot of red flags for teams coming out of Louisville and chronic tardiness with Nets earns him demotion to D-League." As someone from Louisville who watched T-Will in college far too much... yes, he is D-League material.

Warriors at Timberwolves, 8pm: Are you ready for Darko to put up a 30/15/5 game? It's within the realm of possibility here, folks. Somebody please hold me. I'm scared.

Heat at Mavericks, 8:30pm: There will be a combination of five effective offensive players on the floor at once here. Too bad it's spread over two teams.

Bobcraps at Bucks, 9pm: The appeal of watching this game is like watching The Postman to see Tom Petty's cameo as himself in a post-apocalyptic Kevin Costner world. Terrible enough to be briefly amusing, but absolutely not worth it, and you feel like a worse person for seeing it. (However, it is worth it to check out the Youtube comments for the joke someone makes about living "like a refugee")

Bulls at Kings, 10pm: This reeks of trap game. Chicago looking forward to ending their road trip, Rose is a little banged up, Suckramento should in theory be an easy opponent...

* * *

All The Sunday Games:
Hawks at Craptors, 1pm: As bad as the Hawks have struggled at times this season, at least they can take comfort in knowing they haven't lost twice in a week to the Craptors like the 76ers recently did. So that's nice.

Knicks at Pistons, 1:30pm: Including this game, the Knicks upcoming schedule: at Pistons, Nyets, at Hornets, at Craptors, T-Wolves, Craptors, at Generals. Seriously, I am willing to accept that the Knicks might reel off several wins in a few weeks here.

Spurs at Hornets, 3pm: Good game.

Jazz at Clippers, 3:30pm: Not so good of a game.

Thunder at Rockets, 7pm: At what point does Daryl Morey start drinking heavily?

Frail Blazers at Nyets, 7pm: Just thinking here... aren't we overdue for The Prokhorov to do something ridiculous and entertaining? I feel kinda let down.

Suns at Nuggets, 8pm: Newsflash: Amar''''e is a terrible defender. (I know, mindblowing news, right?) Well, here is some insight into that -- Amar'''e says nobody ever taught him how to play defense! Because of course it's impossible for him to seek other sources of knowledge...

Pacers at Lakers, 9:30pm: While the Lakers certainly will just steamroll over the Pacers in this game, they still won't be too upset if they do manage to somehow lose. They're the only team in the entire Pacific division that is above .500 as of Friday. Not that this is surprising since they play in the same conference as the Warriors, Kings, and Clippers, but still.

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On behalf of Basketbawful and Greg Ostertag, I would like to wish everybody a very happy Thanksgiving.

Before succuming to food coma, I would like to personally give thanks for:

The ongoing failfest in South Beach, which last night included three ant-clutch free throw bricks in the final 34 seconds by Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The Heat have now lost three in a row, have fallen to 8-7, and the Countdown to Failure is down to three...with 67 games to go. Even in a world where the Clippers exist, this is almost too bawful to be true.

The Timberpoops choking away a 21-point lead to the Spurs, the out-of-fucking-nowhere emergence of Darko Milicic (22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocked shots), actual AP lines like "[Kevin] Love and Milicic owned Duncan" and for Darko quotes like "We're just not enjoying playing basketball in the fourth quarter. It's kind of like we're scared to win. I don't know why."

Brandon Jennings' ongoing shooting woes (1-for-10 last night and 38 percent on the season), pre-trade deadline John Salmons (6-for-14) and the fact that "Fear the Dear" now describes the general feeling of angst among Bucks fans.

Reggie Evans giving it up for the common man: "You have so many people who go out there and work so hard from 9 to 5 to make an honest living and buy a Raptors ticket. They want to come here and see somebody work just as hard as they do in the real world. A lot of times, they appreciate it more to see a guy go out there and bust his butt. That way they get their money's worth when they see the Raptors play."

Philly's 3-12 record (1-8 on the road) and Doug Collins' ongoing Coach of the Year candidacy: "It's tough for us to come down and throw the ball in the post and calm the game down because we don't have a post presence without [Elton Brand, who was serving a one-game suspension]."

The Mavericks continuing to churn out impressive regular season wins -- against the Thunder on Oklahoma City last night -- in preparation of their inevitable meltdown in the playoffs.

The Pistons continuing to live down to their "Destination: Doom!" ESPN the Magazine comic book cover by dropping to 5-10 thanks to a 105-84 loss to the Grizzlies, not to mention unintentionally funny back-and-forths between coach John Kuester ("We had eight quarters and played well in six of them.") and Ben Wallace ("I don't count quarters. I count wins and losses. We're just not winning as much as we are losing. I'm not going to get into how many quarters we played well.").

The Warriors thudding back down to earth, as comically illustrated by their 111-101 loss to the previously 3-10 Rockets.

Deron Williams' ongoing ownership of Chris Paul -- Williams is now 12-3 against the Hornets with Paul in the lineup -- and the Hornets making coach Monty William's "Looking at our record, it might be fools' gold" comment look like prophecy by losing two in a row after last night's 105-87 thumping by the Jazz.

The Phoenix Suns, who built a 50-27 second quarter lead against the Bulls -- who were playing the second night of back-to-back games on their annual Circus Trip of Horrors following a tough loss to the Lakers -- but eventually losing 123-115 in double overtime.

New York's five-game winning streak -- coming against the Kings (4-9), Warriors (7-8), Clippers (2-13) and Bobcraps twice (5-10) -- because now it's going to create unrealistic expectations the Knicks will totally fail to live up to when the schedule catches back up to them.

The NBA's inexplicable decision to feature a Thanksgiving day double-header of Wizards-Hawks and Kings-Clippers. FAN-tastic.

Happy Turkey Day everybody!


Bulls Lakers Basketball
Look out, Pau! Zombie Omer Asik is coming for your brains!

I love basketball. Check out the story behind this seven overtime Division III thriller. Then check out the box score and notice that two players managed to get one trillions in this game. Glorious! Also, you have to appreciate Lance Spratling's 0-for-13 effort from downtown in the 75 minute effort he gave his team. (Yes, he played 75 minutes. That is not a typo.)

My favorite photoshop of the day? The one of AK-47 having an orgy with several mascots in this post at Food Court Lunch.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

"I better carry this football around so nobody confuses me for a Nyets player!"

Pistons Mavericks Basketball
Huh. I barely recognized John Kuester without his palm pressed against his face

Nationally Televised Games:
Heat at Magic, ESPN, 7:30pm: Going down the checklist, the Heat are lacking size, injured, have questionable chemistry, and the Magic will be in full revenge-game mode after they got stomped earlier this season. This could be fun!

All The Other Games:
Bucks at Cavaliers, 7pm: We've got two struggling teams working three game losing streaks. And it's certainly understandable why Milwaukee isn't winning. NBA-worst shooting percentage and fewer points per game is not a good way to win games, no matter how good your defense is. You still have to score more points than the other team. Do they understand this? Does Scott Skiles need to call a team meeting to remind them about basic fundamentals of math?

76ers at Craptors, 7pm: I get that the Craptors are "rebuilding" since they no longer have Chris Bosh to be, well, like a Bosh. That being said, can you really count acquiring Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic as "rebuilding?" Oh well, it doesn't matter. They're still better than Philly. Barely.

Knicks at Bobcraps, 7pm: As pointed out by Mike Mai in WOTN comments, the Knicks are on a 4 game winning streak. Their next 4 opponents: Dirty Birds, Pissed-Ons, Nyets, and tonight they play the Bobcraps. It's very possible they can reel off an eight game win streak and destroy the universe in the process. I'm scared.

Nyets at Celtics, 7:30pm: Rondo's out again, and I'd just like to remind everyone that the Celtics somehow managed to lose to last year's horrific version of the Nyets. Ugghhhhhhhh. Can they possibly get a third consecutive big game out of Nate Robinson?

Spurs at Timberwolves, 8pm: I don't care if Darko's caught on fire like a barrel full of oily rags in an oxygen chamber. The Timberwolves are allowing over 110 points per game, and the Spurs are the kind of smart, brutal team that will step on your throat when they get you down. I expect a blowout here, period. So, yes, when the Spurs manage to lose this game or something, I give you full permission to point and laugh at me.

Mavericks at Thunder, 8pm: I'm not going to lie -- I'm disappointed this game isn't on ESPN instead of the Heat-Magic game.

Pistons at Grizzlies, 8pm: Good news, Grizzlies fans! You have the cheapest average ticket price in the NBA! Not that you should pay that kind of price to see this game, but still.

Warriors at Rockets, 8:30pm: Remember the last time these two met up? They combined for 260 points. Pro tip: stopping the other team from scoring is sometimes a good idea, guys.

Bulls at Suns, 9pm: Okay, the Circus Trip is bound to be wearing the Bulls down by this point. I understand. That being said, have you seen Phoenix play defense this year? No, of course you haven't. Nobody has.

Hornets at Jazz, 9pm: This is not a good time to face Chris Paul. His team just lost a trap game to the friggin' Clippers. That's embarrassing. They will be out for blood. Be careful, Utah. New Orleans is gonna come out swinging and looking to knock them out like Sergio Martinez did to Paul Williams the other night.

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Cavaliers Pacers Basketball
Dunked the hell on by Josh McRoberts.
"This has to be the low point of his (or anyone's) NBA career"

(via AK Dave)

[Note: Dan B. here reporting for early morning duty. Basketbawful himself started this post, but since his Internet connection is unavailable at the moment, I'm finishing it up for him. We are combining for a better team effort than the Cavaliers managed last night at least.]

The Cleveland Cavaliers: After beating down LeBron's new team on Monday night, the Pacers decided to do things right by pimp-slapping LeBron's old team on Tuesday. Just for good measure. Don't let the 100-89 final score fool you: Indy led by as many as 34 points in this one.

Cleveland's starters scored only 32 points. Joey Graham (11 points) was the only one who reached double figures. And even then, Graham had the best plus-minus of all Cleveland starters at -21.

Byron Scott, coach of the year candidate: "This isn't even close to rock bottom. It's a good test for us. This team and this franchise have not had to play through adversity in the last seven years. The Pacers are a pretty good team and we played that bad."

The Atlanta Hawks: They've joined the Miami Heat in the "We've gone from only beating bad teams to getting beaten by bad teams" club. That's right: The Dirty Birds lost to the Nyets. All I can say is...


Big Brooklies had a season-high 32 points, Devin Harris added 27, and the Hawks didn't have the firepower to match up. With the Nyets.


Joe Johnson: 6-for-18. The $119 million slump continues.

Game Recap, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Via Basketbawful reader Allison, "Word choice fail from Nets-Hawks recap on Yahoo: 'The erection of steel started at the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn on Tuesday.' There's *got* to be a better way to put that..."

The Philadelphia 76ers: From 15-point fourth quarter lead to an overtime loss to the Wizards Generals. Make it 3-11 on the year...1-7 on the road.

The Goat of the night? It was...

Jrue Holiday: He went running at John Wall with 3.5 seconds left in regulation, committing one of the dumbest fouls of the season. Wall was at least 40 feet from the rim...but he flipped up a shot and was awarded three freebies. Johnny Storm hit all three, forcing overtime, and, well, you know what happened.

Said Holiday: "I didn't think he was shooting the 3. I honestly thought he was going to the basket. I really wasn't trying to foul him. I just got my arm in there and he went up. It was a foul."

No. It was a FAIL.

Doug Collins, coach of the year candidate: "All we had to do was just finish out the game, and we just made critical mistakes again. That's just crushing us. That's been the story of our whole first 14 games of the season. You've got to be careful because when a guy is running at you with the ball like that, you've got to know when he sees you coming that he's going to pick up and launch it."

The Chicago Bulls: Despite facing off against the league's premier frontcourt, the Bulls held their own. In fact, they shut down Pau Gasol (3-for-10), who was owned by Joakim Noah (19 points, 13 boards, 4 steals, 3 blocked shots). Chicago outrebounded L.A. and outscored them in the paint.

Unfortunately, the Lakers bench -- "the Killer Bees" as Kevin McHale is calling them -- outscored Chicago's reserves 39-10. Shannon Brown, whom I wanted the Bulls to pursue last summer, lit up his hometown team for 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting and drilled more treys (5-for-10) than the entire Bulls team (4-for-20). Brown, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes combined for four three-pointers in L.A.'s decisive 17-2 fourth quarter run.

Hands. Faces. Somebody. Please.

Bobcats-Knicks: No defense. Lots of turnovers (39 for 58 points off turnovers). Two awful teams. But hey, at least a lot of points were scored.

Pistons-Mavericks: Yes, technically the Mavs won this game 88-84. However, when the pace is that molasses-in-January-in-Siberia slow, nobody wins. Dirk Nowitzki put up some big numbers (42 points, 12 rebounds), but was apparently the only player to set his alarm clock and wake up for this game. Caron Butler was the only other Mavs starter to score double-digits, and the team as a whole only shot 38% from the field.

On the other side of the court, Detroit managed to put together a combined effort of 11 assists and 15 turnovers. Perhaps John Kuester needs to focus more on fundamentals at their next practice, such as "pass the ball to the guys wearing the same color jersey as you." Also, the tone was set early in the game, as recapped by LotharBot in the BAD comments: "Over the first 4:27 of the Pistons-Mavs game, the Pistons starters have combined to shoot 0-5, with 1 rebound and 2 turnovers, and are trailing 11-0."

Rick Carlisle, quote machine: "It was a slower-paced game, a playoff-style game." Except, you know, for the Pissed-Ons being involved.

Sasha Vujacic, nickname machine: Via Wild Yams, "This is awesome. Of course, what isn't awesome when it's making fun of Sasha Vujacic?"


The Miami Heat: Again via Wild Yams, we finally have an explanation for why the Heat are not a good basketball team. No, it's not because they don't have anything resembling a point guard, or because their paint is protected by two men with a combined age of 847.


Chris's Lacktion Report: Chris may be in New York for a few days, but at least he's smart enough to avoid going to a Bricks game. The stink of Purple Pauper basketball is already all over him. He'd never make it out alive if he tried to watch a Bobcats-Bricks game in person. However, that does leave him time to compile the lacktion details:

Hawks-Nyets: Maurice Evans tossed one brick from Newark Penn Station and fouled twice in 7:39 for a +3 suck differential, while for New Jersey, Stephen Graham missed one shot in 4:07 and added a foul for a +2.

Sixers-Generals: Alonzo Gee celebrated his new start with Washington by a 4-second defeat of King Koopa for a Super Mario!

Bobcats-Knicks: Nazr Mohammed, Michael Jordan's starting big man of choice, had a statline so stunning (and described as "epic" here) it has to be repeated near verbatim: 4:27 on the floor, FOUR bricks, two rejections, two fouls, for a PLUS EIGHT SUCK DIFFERENTIAL. Amazingly, this only ended up being a 2:0 Voskuhl - but this made him officially Lacktator #100 on the young Association season!!!!

Pistons-Mavs: Ian Mahinmi had himself a piece of masonry in 3:06 for a +1

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Pacers Heat Basketball
Don King at a Heat game? This seems appropriate

Dennis Rodman is really good at three things:
1) Rebounding
2) Being crazy
3) Receiving oral sex while conducting a radio interview.

Yes, there is an mp3 clip of this interview. It is amazing. Dennis gets interrupted mid-sentence by a woman's voice and giggling, the interview gets absolutely derailed, and comedic gold is delivered. One highlight:
Rodman: "What are you doing? What are you doing? (pause) This girl is really active. (laughing and mumbling) Oh my Lord she’s going at it right now dude. Whatever, go ahead.”
Interviewer: (Brief awkward pause) (laughs) "Dennis, you're a trip right now."
The interviewer sums it up well later: "This is exactly what I expected this to be." Rodman responds very well: "Life is awesome."

In less awesome news, NBA players' association executive director Billy Hunter said Monday he is "99 percent sure" there will be a lockout next summer...

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Magic Spurs Basketball
Holy shit, the reboot of "Twins" looks awesome
(Caption via Czernobog)

Hornets Clippers Basketball
Even when winning, Vinny Del Negro still reeks of failure

Nuggets Warriors Basketball
Oh, what did we ever do without Birdman in our lives?

Nuggets Warriors Basketball
Nice to see the Warriors back on their usual path

Nationally Televised Games:
Bulls at Lakers, NBA TV, 10:30pm: The Lakers are leading the NBA at 112.5 points per game. I was unaware the Bulls' circus trip involved stepping in a time machine to go play the Showtime Lakers...

All The Other Games:
Cavaliers at Pacers, 7pm: The Pacers have fallen into the zig-zag pattern of win-loss-win-loss, etc. They just upset the hell out of the Heat, so I look forward to seeing them drop a load in their collective pants and lose this game by 20 points.

Hawks at Nyets, 7pm: Six game winning streak, then losing 6 of the next 8. I don't pretend to understand this Atlanta Hawks team, and I don't really plan on figuring them out before the end of the year. Nobody cares about Atlanta anyway -- just look at the people who play NBA 2K11 and which teams they use!

76ers at Wizards Generals, 7pm: I'm just going to quote BadDave here: "Is this not the absolute best bawful season we've had since bawful hit the air? It's a veritable cornucopia of terrible ball." And just think! We're still only in November!

Bobcraps at Knicks, 7:30pm: This just further supports BadDave's argument.

Pistons at Mavericks, 8:30pm: One team is good at defense, and the other is not. Go ahead and guess which one has a better record. (waits for answer) How did you know???

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heat bench
Is...is Zydrunas Ilgauskas even awake? It's time for Erick Dampier!

The Miami Heat: When the Heat opened the season at 6-4, the experts were quick to point out that their losses had come to the Celtics (twice), Hornets and Jazz.

Sure, Miami was only beating bad teams -- but we were told that beating bad teams matters. That, in fact, bitch-slapping crap teams is "the second-most predictive attribute of 'final four' success." In other words, beating the hell out of the Clippers and Timberwolves actually increases a team's chances of making it to the Conference Finals or NBA Finals.

Assuming the math is correct -- and math never lies -- what does it mean when the crap teams start beating YOU?

That's what we need to start asking about the Miami Heat. Two days removed from a 97-95 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis, the Heat got their asses straight up whupped 93-77.

At home.

By the Indiana Pacers.

And get this: Danny Granger, Indy's best player, was 6-for-21 from the field. For the game, the Pacers shot only 41 percent and had a 38-13 disadvantage in free throw attempts. That's right: Miami got 25 more free throw attempts...and lost by 16.

Again, the whole "no inside presence" thing killed Miami. The Pacers outrebounded them 48-39 and outscored them 38-18 in the paint. And according to TrueHoop: "Miami’s big men scored a season-low 18 points in the paint and grabbed just 14 percent of missed shots on the offensive end, both of which were well below their season averages entering the game."

I'm not done: The Heat shot 38 percent from the field, went 4-for-20 from downtown, bricked 13 free throws and gave up 23 points off 22 turnovers.

Those are Clippers numbers, people.

To highlight Miami's struggles from beyond the arc: LeBron James (2-for-8), Eddie House (0-for-5), Dwyane Wade (0-for-4), James Jones (0-for-1).

But wait, there's more: Udonis Haslem needs surgery to repair a torn foot ligament and be out indefinitely. And according to ESPN's Tom Haberstroh, "It's time for Erick Dampier."

This is what it's come to? Miami's season is on the line and their best option is a 34-year-old center who was limited in his best days and last season compiled a playoff PER of 3.7?

Here's even more of a reality check from Wild Yams:

- Dampier is only 40 days younger than Big Z

- Dampier has actually played in 76 more NBA games than Z has

- Z has been in two All-Star Games while Dampier has never been in one

- Last year's stats for the two players: Z - 7.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, .8 bpg Dampier - 6.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg
That sound you just heard was the pained cries of Heat fans everywhere. It sounded kinda like this...

The most bawful sequence of the night was transcribed by Basketbawful reader Paul in last night's BAD comments:

At one point in the third quarter things got really weird for the Heat.

Dwade gets a tech for arguing a call. And you could see it, He was PISSED.

A couple of possessions later, he is wide open waiting for a LBJ pass, LeBron instead looks for Ilgauzkas but his pass gets intercepted.

One possession later Ilgauskas turns the ball over and on the following possession Wade is --again-- open waiting for LeBron's Pass, again LeBron gives the ball to Ilgauskas on the elbow for a missed 18-footer.

At this point you could see it. Dwade was in FUCK THIS SHIT mode. One possession later Wade has LeBron open but he jacks up a contested 3 instead.

On the next possession LeBron takes the FUCK THIS SHIT to a whole new level and retaliates by launching three consecutive 3 pointers.

The whole sequence was kind of surreal, it was my dream come true. Watching the Heat destroy itself against a sub-par team!
This description missed a few possessions here and there, but it hit the salient points. These guys are not in synch. Two Alpha Dogs and an Alpha Dog wanna be without a strong coach that can force them to get their shit together. Speaking of which...

...Basketbawful reader kazam92 wants me to advertise the Fire Erik Spoelstra Web site and participate in voting. I can do the first but not the second. This is way too much fun.

And now I present the Miami Heat-related Rant of the Night by stephanie g:

The refs tried really hard but the Miami cheat sucked too bad even for their usual extra bench to be of much use. LeFraud Shames and D-Whistle are just unintelligent clowns who don't know how to play basketball -- maybe they lost out on their HGH connection? LeCrab's "goto" move is an offensive foul. He's one of the biggest front runners ever. STD Wade is hurt I guess. But if he's that off why is he playing? He looked like he didn't even care. Maybe LeBrick's winning attitude is rubbing off?

And is Bosh really gonna chuck 20 footers and look like a wounded giraffe all season long? If so, that's a flagrant foul against the game of basketball. Too bad LeBron never developed a post up game, huh? Or off ball movement. Or a pullup game. Or...well, anything that doesn't involve him holding the ball for half the shot clock and sponging stats from his team.

OK, OK, I'm sorry. That wasn't very adult of me. But seriously, they had a 38-13 FT advantage. And we just clobbered them despite the fact Hibbert only played 21 minutes because of foul trouble, Collison didn't play much because of his injury, and Granger went 6-21 (played some nice D though). The Cheats had the game gift wrapped for them and they STILL wilted.

I might be enjoying this Frankstein experiment a little too much, especially if they do somehow end up turning it around. But you have to admit, this could potentially be an ALL TIME bawful story. I mean, LeBron and Wade are (supposedly) premier talents, but they just disappeared this season in their prime. They may as well have died in car crashes, as far as Stern is concerned. Well, I guess everyone will be tuning in to root for whoever they're playing, so maybe he doesn't care.
Dwyane Wade, Worst Player of the Night: From TrueHoop:

After missing one game with a sprained wrist, Dwyane Wade suffered through the worst shooting night of his career, missing 12 of 13 shots (7.7 percent) from the field and finishing with just three points.

Not only was it the worst performance of his career, his line (1-13 from floor, 1-5 on free throws) was also one of the worst in NBA history.

Only one other player took at least 13 shots from the floor and attempted at least five free throws, and made one or fewer of each: On November 27, 1951, Max Zaslofsky of the Knicks was 1-13 from the floor and 0-5 from the line in an 83-81 loss at the Philadelphia Warriors.
Said Erik Spoelstra: "A tough night for Dwyane. But we've been around him long enough. He always finds a way to bounce back. Getting his health is the priority, first of all. But secondly, we know that he's very introspective as a professional athlete. That's the way I want all of our guys in the locker room to be."

One assumes Spoelstra said this while thumbing through the "Help Wanted" section of the Miami Herald.

coach spo
"Coach Spo" knows what's coming.

LeBron James, quote machine, Part 1: "We're not having fun right now."

Link courtsey of Basketbawful reader Clifton.

LeBron James, quote machine, Part 2: "What we're lacking are two things: That is fun and a little bit of swagger right now."

hawks bench

The Atlanta Hawks: The Boston Celtics were coming off back-to-back losses to the Kevin Durant-less Thunder and the Toronto Craptosaurs. Rajon Rondo was out with a leg injury, and Jermaine O'Neal and Kendrick Perkins are still on the shelf. So The C's were a vulnerable team, right? This was a chance for the Hawks to prove they're for real, right?

Instead, the Dirty Birds fell behind 39-13 after 12 minutes, trailed by as many as 33 points and eventually lost 99-76.

The game was in Atlanta, by the way.

During that first quarter blitzkrieg, the Celtics shot 18-for-25 while the Hawks were going 4-for-17. Atlanta coach Larry Drew called three timeouts. He would have called 20 if he'd had 'em. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the pen for his dry erase board probably ran out of ink. After all, nothing else was working.

And here's the reality check time: The Hawks are 8-6. But check it. Their eight wins have been against the Grizzlies, Sixers, Wizards, Cavaliers, Pistons, Timberwolves (twice) and Pacers. Their losses have been to the Suns, Magic, Bucks, Jazz, Mavericks and Celtics.

But hey, at least Atlanta is beating bad teams. That matters.

Joe Johnson: When the Hawks signed Joe Cool to that six-year, $119 million contract last summer, we all knew they'd regret it. We just didn't know it would be this soon. After last night's 2-for-10 shooting performance against the Celtics, Johnson is 15-for-48 over his last four games.

Larry Drew, coach of the year candidate, Part 1: "This was very embarrassing. Very, very embarrassing. Very embarrassing. If I had one word to sum it up: embarrassing."

Larry Drew, coach of the year candidate, Part 2: "We're not coming out ready to play. I'm not seeing any urgency. I'm not seeing any passion. We're not playing like we want it. We're not playing hard enough. It's very, very disturbing."

Larry Drew, coach of the year candidate, Part 3: "I don't know what we're doing the night before the game. But something is going on that is not allowing us to play with energy or passion. I'm going to find out what it is."

Larry Drew, coach of the year candidate, Part 4: "Everyone is getting their rest. I don't think that's an issue. We've just got to get back to sharing the basketball and playing together."

Kevin Garnett, quote machine: "I wish we could bottle this and put it on the shelf or something."

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Damn. Minnesota just can't catch a break. First the Vikings fire Brad Childress about two years too late and then both Kevin Durant and Jeff Green returned to the Oklahoma City lineup in time for a home game against the Timberwolves.

Believe it or not, Kevin Love hit a layup to give Minny a 105-104 lead with 1:20 left in the fourth. But the final score (117-107) pretty much tells you how things went from there. Not to steal the Clippers' thing, but the T-Wolves are who...well, you know.

Michael Beasley: In case you didn't hear, Ron Artest said Beastley was dumb and needed to become a winner. Mikey replied: "The reason I do the same thing is because they can't stop it. As soon as they stop it, I'll do something else."

Last night, Beastly went 7-for-20 (including 0-for-3 from downtown), committed a team-high 5 turnovers, and pulled a Harry Houdini down the stretch. Way to prove Artest wrong, Mike.

The Houston Rockets: Steve Nash returned to the Phoenix lineup in time to drop The Daryl's Rejects to 3-10 on the year. That includes a 1-4 mark in Houston.

The Suns shot 54 percent from the field and three-point land...and even earned 38 free throw attempts to only 15 for the Rockets.

Said Kyle Lowry: "We have to find a way to keep our heads up. We are 3-10, but we are not a 3-10 team. We are way better than that."

Hm. 28th in Opponents PPG, 27th in Defensive Rating...I dunno, Kyle. I think those are the hallmarks of a 3-10 team. Although, in all fairness, the Rockets are without Aaron Brooks (sprained left ankle) and Yao Ming (slowly crumbling body).

The Phoenix Suns: Way to make this game more exciting than it needed to be by giving up 40 points in the fourth quarter, Suns. You also got outrebounded 51-33 and outscored 62-42 in the paint. No wonder you're the most underachieving team in basketball. Congrats!

The Orlando Magic: Well, huh. Maybe the Spurs are for real.

The Sacramento Kings: Let's see: 35 percent shooting, seven missed free throws, -8 in turnovers, -13 in points off turnovers, -16 in points in the paint, -14 in fast break points. The final score (94-83) makes this game look reasonably close, but Utah led by as many as 25 and the Paupers had to outscore the Jazz 27-16 in the fourth quarter to make the outcome look semi-respectable.

That's eight losses in the last nine games for the once 3-1 Kings. Sorry, Chris.

Matt Harpring, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Regarding Krylo Fesenko via Basketbawful reader Austen: "He really clogged up the Middle and got his hands on a lot of balls."

The Golden State Warriors: Six games ago, they were a surprising 6-2 and generating a little buzz. Now? They're 7-7 and the only buzzing is from the flies circling the corpse of their impressive start. And what can you say? This team is ranked 26th in Defensive Rating and only 21st in Offensive Rating.

They just aren't that good.

The New Orleans Hornets: After the Hornets beat the Kings on Sunday night, New Orleans coach Monty Williams said: "At this point in the season I don't even look at the standings. I had no idea we would have this kind of record. Looking at our record, it might be fools' gold."

I copied that quote into my notebook knowing full the Hornets were playing the Clippers in L.A. the very next night. It felt like prophecy.

Sure enough, the Clippers beat the Hornets.

I said "the Clippers beat the Hornets."

I said...never mind.

I don't know what's weirder. That the Clips snapped a nine-game winning streaks by beating one of the league's best teams, or that they managed to pull off a rare victory despite bricking 17 friggin' free throws. Total chaos. Ultimate bawful.

Trevor Ariza: From Basketbawful reader LotharBot: "Trevor Ariza is clutch for the Clippers tonight! (Yes, I typed that correctly.)"

Explanation: With 21 seconds left and his team (the Hornets in cased you missed LotharBot's sarcasm) down 90-88, Ariza stepped to the free throw line for two shots.



Blake Griffin: Watch that potty mouth, Blake. You never know when one of Bill Simmons' kids might be in the crowd.

Chris's lacktion report:

Wolves-Thunder: Wayne Ellington sounded a single turnover in 7:26 for a +1 suck differential while Lazar Hayward and Kosta Koufos shared a portobello in two seconds as SUPER MARIO BROTHERS!

Magic-Spurs: Ryan Anderson took ten seconds to power up his Famicom for a Mario, matched by San Antonio's Tiago Splitter, making them Mario Brothers From Different Mothers.

Kings-Jazz: Kyrylo Fesenko found a way to forget about a field goal and a pair of boards in 14:36, by fouling four times and losing the rock once for a 5:4 Voskuhl. Gordon Hayward then cashed in his valuable Cannonball Adderley vinyl rarities collection to the tune of a cool 4.3 trillion (4:17).

Hornets-Clippers: Jason Smith sired four fouls against a board and field goal in 13:57 to buzz into Voskuhl territory with a 4:3 ratio; Pops Mensah-Bonsu had a triplet of fouls in 1:17 for a +3!

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