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!


Anonymous Flud said...
Many happy turkeys to you too 'Bawful. Or unhappy turkeys...(asuming they're unhappy when they get beheaded and cooked, in which case I wish loads of them kinda turkeys on ya. Stuff yourself till you puke!)

Anonymous Czernobog said...
For this season of Bawful, I am truly thankful.

Captcha: offete. A portmanteau of offense and effete, describes Miami's offensive game.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Both LeBrick and D-Whistle are in Yahoo's "Not" section of the fantasy ratings. Happy Thanksgiving.

Blogger chris said...
Thanksgiving week was secured for me the moment King Crab stopped having fun.


Blogger Mad King Ludwig said...
Happy Thanksgiving Bawfulophiles!

Blogger Dan B. said...
Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Bawfulites. The smell of green beans slow-cooking in a crockpot has been killing me since yesterday. And I can't wait to eat stupid amounts of turkey doused with a half gallon of gravy.

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

Nothing says "thanks for being fans" quite like an underperforming team versus a bad team with a good point guard in a Leastern Conference showdown, then following it up with a so-bad-it's-good game like the Purple Paupers and the fucking Clippers. That game will be as entertainingly horrible as this scene from Dracula 3000

Blogger Unknown said...
Even Countdown To Failure could not imagine the Heat would have 7 losses at this point! BAWFUL INDEED! Go everyone else but the Heat!

Philly's going to take it to 2! http://www.countdowntofailure.com/MiamiHeat2010/game/16

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Happy Thanksgiving to all Bawful readers. And because I'm still in disbelief about the worst crunch-time call I've ever seen in a game, here's AK Dave from the previous thread:
"The Dude Abides: I watched the last 3min of that game, and the Wolves got absolutely hosed. That "foul" Neal drew for 3 freebies was pretty suspect. Also, Ridnour got hip-checked to the ground by McDyess on the last play almost as badly as the Horry-Nash incident; no call. Dwayne Wade would have needed a wheelchair if he got fouled like that."

I saw the replay of that foul on NBA TV and it becomes even funnier (if you're a Spurs fan) and sadder (if you're a Minny fan). Wes Johnson actually had run all the way past Neal on that 3-pt attempt without touching him (he was moving perpendicular to the basket from the shooter's perspective) when Neal kicked his leg forward and made contact with Johnson's right buttock. Yes, a Spurs ROOKIE got three game-tying FTs in the final seconds by kicking a Timberwolf in the ass. You can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
anyone else cringe when Van Gundy asked Mark Jackson 'what boat did you come over on?' then that dreadful pause of 'oh f#$k am I gonna get fired' and what was just as bad thinking of the troika of colombus's boats

Blogger chris said...
It's a "thanks for having an Association team because you never know when the Maloofs might take a page out of Clay Bennett's handbook" move, this Purple Paupers-The Team That Is Who We Thought They Were (And Always Will Be) TELEVISED MATCHUP.

Anonymous antifreeze said...
Greg Ostertag just looks badass.

Anonymous Hajt said...
Last five games, Darko is shooting 59% and averaging 18pts, 8.6 boards, 3.6 assists and 4.2 blocks. What is happening?

Also Love is averaging 20-13.8 over the last seven, and that includes a 0pts 7reb performance against LA. What would happen if the wolves started winning??

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Happy Turkey day fellas

and yes, I've said many time Lebron and Wade have to be the worst superstar FT shooters and they're on the same team! At least Wade is finally being exposed. He always hovered around 75% so no one brought issue with it, but he's down to 71% and falling.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm just mystified at the fact that the Heat are floundering. This is like the Dallas Cowboys all over again.

It just boggles the mind. I mean, sure, I hate LeBron, but at this point it's not about hatred. I'm genuinely curious about whether it's possible to completely whizz a season with so many allegedly talented alleged players on board.

That's not even getting into the how of the situation. Whether it can get worse remains to be seen, but how it got so bad in the first place baffles me. The only explanation I can imagine is that LeBron thinks his patented "not trying" strategy is going to finally work out for him.

Blogger LotharBot said...
I'm not that surprised by the Heat floundering. Their big 3 don't mesh well together, and their bench is garbage. Haslem is the only non-big-3 Heat player who'd be in the rotation on most contenders. They don't have a good defensive C or a solid PG like Perkins/Rondo in 08; they have guys over 30 who are in decline.

The big 3 combine for about 60 points, 20 rebounds, and 15 assists per game. That's not too bad, but for comparison, the 2007 Denver Nuggets tandem of AI-Melo-Camby combined for 60, 23, and 14, and they had a much better bench and still only won 50. Bron-Wade-Bosh is a better trio, especially defensively, and I expect their production to improve later in the season, but without a reliable bench, they're not going to win over 60.

Anonymous Marc d. said...

I agree completely. I don't expect any kind of noise from the Heat until the shore up their bench with quality defenders, rebounders, and MOST IMPORTANTLY shooters.

The Celtics big 3 made sense from a tactical standpoint because they were all talented but in different ways. KG operates from 0-15 ft, Pierce from 10-20 ft. and Allen from 20 ft & beyond. When I heard they were joining forces I was like "ohhhh.. they are gonna be good!" When I heard Lebron, Wade, and Bosh were joining forces I just thought: "how the hell is that going to work?"

The gameplan to beat those three is so simple that most teams have already figured it out: just pack in the paint and let them shoot jumpers. Bosh might even be the best distance shooter of the group, but none of them are very good at it. Exactly none of them are high-percentage 3 point shooters. Mike Miller probably would have made a difference, since he's not painfully one dimensional like Eddie House and James Jones are.

Who knows? Maybe they'll figure it out eventually. But I sure hope they don't

Blogger Fishy said...
The Clippers as a whole aren't ... great. But at least they are worth watching because of Griffin. I'm really enjoying watching him play, and hope that he finds a team that will improve as he does ASAP.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Good god the Kings are awful. Getting blown out by the Clippers? Yikes. Cue Bosh sadface.

They just said that this is the first time the Clippers have won consecutive games since February!! Double yikes.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: Yeah, when I saw they were down by 18 to the Clips in the fourth, it hit me just how far this team has fallen from the C-Webb glory days.

Paupers they definitely are. Now someone TELL me who thought this was a good idea for national TV coverage...

Blogger Unknown said...
Hi Bawful,

No need to post this.
Many thanks to you for providing this wonderful blog here. Reading your post is part of my life now.

Have a great thanksgiving day.


Anonymous KHayes666 said...
If West and Jermaine O'Neal don't come back healthy the Celtics don't have a chance in hell of beating the Lakers in the Finals.

Last year they came up four points short with Kendrick Perkins and Marquis Daniels out with injury and a bench that included Shelden Williams and Brian Scalabrine. This year their bench at full strength would be Shaq, Jermaine O'Neal, Daniels, Nate Robinson, Delonte West and Glen Davis....that's absolutely scary. All 5 of them could start for the Clippers with Davis as 6th man.

Just gotta get healthy and stay healthy.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
The heat just aren't that talented. Is anyone going to tell me that LeBron-Wade-Bosh are significantly better than Pau-Kobe-Odom? And now look at spots 4-9.

It's the difference between being loaded with talent and loaded with hype.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
chris - Barkley said it best, "Worst. Doubleheader. Ever."

KHayes666 - If both the Lakers and Celtics are full strength (which I hope is the case), I'll take the Lakers. The Lakers last year literally had no bench at all in the playoffs, with Bynum as hurt as he was forcing Odom to play starters minutes, along with Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton, Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic rounding out the Laker bench. Since at full strength the Lakers always have at minimum two of the three of Gasol/Odom/Bynum on the floor, this year's Laker bench is either Bynum or Gasol at center and either Gasol or Odom at power forward, then with Matt Barnes at SF, Shannon Brown at SG and Steve Blake at PG, and I think that's a superior bench to what Boston has, even fully healthy.

This year Kobe looks much healthier than he did last year, Shannon Brown looks at least twice as good as he did a year ago, Lamar Odom looks like he's playing the best basketball of his career, and Pau Gasol is arguably an MVP candidate right now. Add to that a healthy Bynum (like I said, if both teams are at full strength), along with Steve Blake and Matt Barnes (and of course Fisher and Artest, who look about the same as last year), and that is a vastly improved Laker team from the one that won the title in June.

Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal along with Kendrick Perkins simply wouldn't be able to match a full 48 minutes of Bynum and Gasol at center if both are completely healthy, and the Gasol/Odom tandem at the PF spot is better than Garnett/Glen Davis. Then, if Paul Pierce found it tough last year being guarded by Artest, then he'll be even more frustrated this year against the tag team of Artest and Barnes. Meanwhile, the Lakers can still guard Rondo with Kobe while putting either Fisher, Blake or Brown on Ray Allen.

The Celtics added some depth, but depth wasn't really their issue last year, and at the same time they all got older. The Lakers, meanwhile, are a much younger team, with everyone just moving more into their primes (except for Kobe and Fisher, though Kobe hopefully won't be so hurt this year that he again needs offseason surgery); and the Lakers have turned that woeful bench from last year into a major asset this season. I'm biased as hell, but I don't know if any team out there this year can hang with a fully healthy Laker team.

Anonymous Stockton said...
How funny would it be if the Heat traded Bosh for, you know, inside presence?
Bosh for Milicic + Beasley, right away!

Anonymous Mladen said...
Kind of weird that I decided to chime in right now, but I have to say that Wild Yams is right. I actually did not see this coming, as my attention was shifted towards South Beach, but the Lakers managed to improve vastly, without hardly losing any assets. (Farmar was okay, but he wasn't carrying that team.)

A couple of months ago, when a lot of people were saying that the Lakers were still the team to beat, I was scoffing at the notion, and pointing to the Heat. My reasoning was that:
a) Joel Anthony was at least athletic.
b) Bosh could maybe play defense.
c)Dexter Pittman could be a good rookie asset in the paint.

Today's reality:

- Anthony is a moron.
- Bosh is allergic to paint.
- Their interior defense is, in fact, atrocious.
- Pittman has been relegated to the D-League, without playing a single regular season game.

The way things are now, the Heat will get raped by the Lakers. Raped. *drowns his sorrows in absinthe and brownies*

Anonymous Stockton said...
Heat need to sign Ostertag!! Fast!!!!

Anonymous Stockton said...
The only improvement I see in Miami is Wade going to PG, thus reducing his shots and becoming more of a playmaker! Let Lebron do the driving to the basket...

The fact that LeDouche never learned an offense doesn't help either...

Anyone doubted the Lakers are more talented than the Heat??? really???
They have the (##CK ME) best player in the league, one of the most efficient big men (if not the most), good role players, an A+ coach... the only thing preventing the Lakers from winning was lack of motivation... but the 3 amigos reunion fixed that.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think the NBA.com MVP rankings had Gasol ranked higher than Kobe last time (and rightly so in my opinion). How funny would it be if Pau Gasol got MVP this year? How can Kobe be the best player in the league when he's not even the best player on his team?
Of course the Sterminator would never let that happen.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Keep in mind my above statement is based on the presupposition of the Lakers being fully healthy, something which absolutely is not a given. Bynum has yet to play this year, and you never know what could happen between now and June. I think if the Lakers are at full health they can't be beat this year, but like KG said "Anything is possible!!!!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thankful LeBitch is not getting his way. Love watching him pout

Blogger AnacondaHL said...

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
@anonymous - The reason Gasol is not the best player on the Lakers is that he still often checks out of games mentally if the opposition takes him out of his comfort zone. Just in the past five games, Pau has been outplayed by both Darko and Noah at both ends of the floor. Gasol, as much as the other Lakers on the court with Kobe, benefits greatly from the attention Kobe draws. Kobe-->Pau is something that becomes more apparent if you watch every Laker game, and sometimes twice as I do on occasion. If you miss a lot of their games and you're just looking at the numbers, you might draw the conclusion that Pau is the team's best player. That is simply not the case, and I'm one of the many Laker fans who believe the team's offense needs to be run from inside-out via the triangle, instead of the Kobe-Pau high pick and roll.

Blogger chris said...
Mladen: Joel Anthony is a regular in the Voskuhl Ratio category of the lacktion report, and I somehow think that is NOT coincidental with South Beach's current record so far!

Blogger Paul said...
Good Morning everyone, hope the anti-acid pills are working as good for you all as they are for me.

@Wild yams.
I'm with you, feeling confident as hell.
The kind schedule has allowed the newcomers to mesh and they're looking SHARP! Kobe is averaging only a little over 30 min. and Shannon has been a very pleasant surprise.
But the game against the Bulls put certain things on a different perspective for me.

Mr. Bawful has been promoting Pau as the Lakers MVP --I respectfully disagree-- Yes Pau has been the Lakers best player in about half of their games, but Brown has been their best in a couple, Barnes once and Kobe a few others.
Still that isn't the main reason I don't think Pau is this team's MVP.

What got my attention in that Bulls game is that Pau looked straight up terrified/terrorized at the mere idea of getting near Noah.
He rushed shots and passes, he was getting rid of the ball real quick just to avoid Noah coming near him.
And it wasn't only that he was validating the comments of those who still think he is "softie" it was his approach, his demeanor you could see the fear in his eyes.
And at that moment I realize that the Lakers would be in trouble if he goes through the same kind of episode against tough defenders like Noah.

Beasley+Milicic for Bosh?

No freaking way!!!
Lebron and Beasley can't play together.
How about Beasley+Milicic for Lebron? ;)

Anonymous Mladen said...
Great...I was pinning my hopes on a lacktioneer. *sigh* Well, maybe the Heat could trade something for Darko Milicic, or steal Brook Lopez from NJ, or at least get a giraffe or something to stand in the paint...

Ah, the agony of being a Heat fan right now.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Paul - The thing to keep in mind is that if/when Bynum is healthy, Gasol wouldn't be going up against Noah, or Kendrick Perkins, or any other tough defensive centers. Instead he'd be going up against Carlos Boozer or Kevin Garnett, and that makes a big difference.

Pau is playing center for the Lakers, but it's not his natural position. This is also why Darko was able to give him as many problems as he did. Some might say Gasol is "soft", but I just think that he's very lean for someone playing the center position. People never call Kevin Garnett soft, but I daresay he'd probably get pushed around a fair amount if he played against centers just due to his lack of bulk. KG has always adamantly been opposed to playing center, even going so far as to try to list himself as shorter than he is early in his career just to make sure he was slotted as a power forward.

Gasol does a damn good job playing center, and cumulatively may even be the best center in the league right now, but he's not really a center. Against most teams that don't have a strong defensive center, Gasol pretty much owns the court, but he's just not bulky enough to avoid getting pushed around some by guys who have more heft to them.

That's why the Lakers have Andrew Bynum (when he's healthy, of course).

Blogger Paul said...
The Dude Abides said...

@anonymous - The reason Gasol is not the best player on the Lakers is that he still often checks out of games mentally if the opposition takes him out of his comfort zone. Just in the past five games, Pau has been outplayed by both Darko and Noah at both ends of the floor. Gasol, as much as the other Lakers on the court with Kobe, benefits greatly from the attention Kobe draws. Kobe-->Pau is something that becomes more apparent if you watch every Laker game, and sometimes twice as I do on occasion. If you miss a lot of their games and you're just looking at the numbers, you might draw the conclusion that Pau is the team's best player. That is simply not the case, and I'm one of the many Laker fans who believe the team's offense needs to be run from inside-out via the triangle, instead of the Kobe-Pau high pick and roll.

Exactly the message I wanted to convey with my above post about that Bulls game.
Pau was mentally out of it. I had completely forgotten about that game against the Timberpoops.
Through three quarters he'd been owned offensively and defensively by freaking Darko "mana from heaven" Milicic!
He did finish with 14 rebounds but had only 7 through three quarters when the game was still on the line and while having a bad offensive and defensive night.

Pau also benefits and feeds off a lot from Lamar's game. Their high-low game -when well executed-- it's a beauty.

At any rate, we Laker fans still look for Pau to be there EVERY SINGLE game. Not just in stats but in mind and heart.

By the way, I love the way the Bulls are coming along. Can't help to wonder how someone like Eric Gordon would fit in that team.

Blogger Paul said...
@Wild Yams

Yeah, I don't mind him being pushed around by bigger guys and yeah once Bynum comes back and IF he stays healthy Pau shouldn't be spending too many minutes at the 5.
Still what gets me is that he forgets that he is too skilled of a player to allow a "banger" to check him out of the game.
The Lakers tried to force the offense through him on that Bulls game but he would just not have any of it.

I know there aren't too many big, tough defenders that can take Pau out of his comfort zone. But I'd feel better if I knew he wont have those mental lapses even while being pushed around.

BTW, no mention of the Phil Jackson and SVG back and forth about Eric Spolstra's future?

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
@Paul - By the way, I love the way the Bulls are coming along. Can't help to wonder how someone like Eric Gordon would fit in that team.

Or Shannon Brown, LOL. He'd be a 20-pt per game scorer as a starting SG. What a difference a year makes. He no longer has a torn ligament in his right thumb, he has a PG running mate who isn't Jordan Farmar, he had an off-season of nothing but shooting, and he's more comfortable in the triangle.

Blogger Jason D said...
Ah, damn. I was hoping that somehow Philly would pull a rabbit out of their asses and beat Miami. But, no. They just stink.

Blogger Don said...
Happy Thanksgiving, to all, and Mike Vick for pro football MVP.

Afterward, it might serve Vick some justice if he found himself friends that aren't afraid to inform him that his attire resembles that of a bum.

Anonymous RRR said...
And Eaton brings the Turkey!!!

Utah Rocks and feeds their own!

Actually come join us, it's always a big table..