If it looks like a marshmallow and it plays like a marshmallow...

The Miami Heat: The record: 5-4. Countdown to Failure: 6.

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "No one's happy about it right now."

Oh, I wouldn't say that, Erik...

truth tweet

Thanks to Basketbawful reader Paul for the image.

This game as a grab bag of bawfully goodness. Ray Allen drilled his first seven three-pointers and finished with a game-high 35 points. Kevin Garnett (16 points, 6-for-8, 13 rebounds) and Paul Pierce (25 points, 10-for-16) pretty much had their way. Rajon Rondo dished out 16 assists.

How is that bawful, you ask? Well, because those guys did that against the vaunted Heat defense. In fact, as a team, the Celtics scored 112 points on 54 percent shooting (including 56 percent from downtown). Boston built a 20-point lead before letting Miami back into the game.

Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade (2-for-12, 0-for-5 on threes) was poking through garbage cans looking for his jump shot and the Heat offense was devolving into Cleveland 2.0 as LeBron dominated the rock (21 shots, 22 free throw attempts, 9 assists) while his teammates were allowed to watch him go.

Chemistry. It ain't there yet.

Here's some more dogpiling from the BAD comments section:


Does anyone else think that the Miami offense is atrocious. The beginning of the second quarter interview with Doc Rivers started with him being asked, "How do you stop Eddie House."

72-10 my ass.
stephanie g:

At half I expected LeBron to hold another hour long special where he announcers he's taking his talents to Beantown.

Best moment of the game so far: Jesus for 3 smooth as butter, smirk to Reggie, LeBron "retaliates" by airballing it, probably killing a baby or something, cut to a confused Riley and a distraught woman.

Lebron's 3 pt shot hit the side of the backboard against the C's with time winding down and with a slim (stressing on SLIM) chance to win. I don't know how much more bawful you can get with that.
More stephanie g:

R.I.P. Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr.
Cause of death: LeBron James

I'm just appalled. Starting Center. No points No rebounds. Starting PG. No assists

And the offense is atrocious. Its on Spotard (as we dubbed him). Last year, I complained a lot with the iso/pick and roll = whole offense. I thought it would change. Just disgusting.

And Bosh is pillowly soft. I see that now.
Jason D:

Wow, clutch fail by LeBron. Off the side of the backboard? Really? Guess they should've let Eddie House shoot the last shot again.

How about Lebron's proof of being clutch?

7 secs left, down by 5 points, inbound pass to Lebron. He spun, then dribbled then shot like he has all the time in the world. And of course he missed.
LeBron James: His near triple-double didn't mask the fact that his clutch play was a series of lolz. With 4:45 left and the Heat down 106-97, LeBron bricked two free throws. With 2:59 left and the Heat down 108-99, King Crab missed a three. With 1:17 left and the Heat down 110-103, he tricked a layup. With 1:04 left and the Heat down 110-103, he bonked a triple attempt off the side of the backboard. With 14 seconds left and the Heat down 110-105, he missed another layup. James completed this festival of fail by misfiring on another long jumper at the buzzer.

bron vag 2
"Mwwwaah! My vagina hurts!"

bron vag 1

bron vag 3
*sniff* " vagina..." *sniff*

Dwyane Wade, quote machine: "We're the best 5-4 team in the league. How about that?"

Chris Bosh, quote machine: "There's no need to be frustrated. We're nine games into the season and we can't play perfect basketball right off the bat. We're up against a lot."

Here's some extra Boshmallowy goodness from Dan B:

Erik Spoelstra, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Several of you pointed this out: "We just gotta keep on grindin' with passion."

Big Baby, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From Wojnarowski via Czernobog: "No one can spoil this night. Good for us to come in and spank that ass."

ESPN: From Basketbawful reader Aaron:

From TrueHoop: "The Heat now face the very real prospect of falling to .500 on Saturday, because there doesn't appear to be any reason why the Raptors won't be capable of exposing Miami's defense the way the Celtics did on Thursday and the Utah Jazz did two days earlier."

Is ESPN serious? I mean, I am not big fan of the Heat or anything. But come on, the Craptors?
The Golden State Warriors: What an ass-kicking. The Warriors had pretty much nothing left to give on their second night of back-to-backs. The Bulls -- who came in ranked 20th in Offensive Rating -- scored 120 points on 55 percent shooting. Chicago scored 37 fast break points and 58 overall in the painted rectangle. The Bulls' transition game benefited from Golden State's team epidemic of fumblitis: The Warriors gave up 31 points off 19 turnovers.

Did the Bulls score at will? Allow me to answer that question graphically:


Said Golden State coach Keith Smart: "You know. You can see the juice is just not there. You want to play your starters as long as you can because sometimes, they may fool you. No question the Bulls had the upper hand in terms of the energy department."

The Warriors attempted only seven free throws. From the AP Recap: "Perhaps most indicative of the Warriors' lack of energy was the fact that Chicago committed a franchise-low seven fouls. The Bulls committed an average of 25 fouls during their first six games, more than all but three NBA teams. Golden State took only seven free throws in the game."

To wrap this up, I have to say: The Warriors 6-2 record was something of a mirage. Before the Bulls game, Golden State's first eight opponents -- the Rockets (1-6), Clippers (1-8), Grizzlies (4-5), Jazz (5-3), Raptors (1-7) and Knicks (3-5) -- had a combined record of 15-34.

I'm just sayin'.

The Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers -- trying to win their first nine games for the first time since the 1997-98 season -- finally had to play a road game against a good team. Guess what?

They lost.

It was a classic Lakers loss. Pau Gasol grabbed 20 rebounds but got pushed around on offense, missing 11 of his 17 shots. Kobe scored a season-high 34 points but went all Mamba, trying (and failing) to shoot the Lakers to a win. The result: 11-for-32 from the field and 3-for-10 from beyond the arc.

Said Kobe: "We took what the defense gave us. When they collapsed, I made shots."

Uh huh.

If it wasn't for the hot shooting of Ron Artest (18 points, 7-for-11) and Shannon Brown (19 points, 7-for-14), the Lakers might have gotten blown out. Instead, L.A. was up 95-85 with 11 minutes left in the game. That's when George Karl went with a small lineup. Behind Ty Lawson, the Nuggets went on a 16-0 run that gave them a 101-95 lead.

Said Gasol: "With a small lineup, they open the floor and they're more of an attack mode. They're very capable of making runs and getting hot, especially at home."

Marshmallowy inside alert: Denver scored 54 points in the paint and shot 23-for-33 (70 percent) at the rim.

Chris's lacktion report:

Celtics-Heat: New Celtic Semeh Erden had a trey in 8:18, but fouled four times and lost the rock once for a 5:3 Voskuhl.

For Miami, Joel Anthony served as starting center - and promptly rewarded Spolestra and Riley with a singular foul in 7:52 for a +1 suck differential and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Warriors-Bulls: Chicago's James Johnson bricked twice in 3:31 and also fouled once, adding a rejection for a +4.
Blogger Dan B. said...
I saw those LeBron pics this morning and spent a solid minute laughing. So happy they were all included in a sequence like that.

BTW, here's video of Rondo posterizing the shit out of Boshmallow.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
FYI, I made some last-minute add-ons to this post, in case you use the RSS feed.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Dan B - More like MiamiHelpDefense.mp4

Blogger Henchman #2 said...
Check out NBA Playbook for a full breakdown of Closeout Bawful.

Anonymous Kyle said...
Aaaaannnnd Hollinger's power ratings still have the 5-4 Miami heat ranked #1.

Blogger Solieyu said...
D-Wade's WOTN mention is a bit low on the bawful. Sure, James dominated the ball, but Wade couldn't find the bucket with the Hubble Space Telescope. He's also supposed to be Miami's best defender, so he should be getting much of the blame for Ray Allen stroking out all those threes.

Heat transition offense and defense is absolutely terrible right now. The offense can be explained by the lack of a big pulling down rebounds, but on defense they just look confused, and Rondo and Ray Allen absolutely killed them because of it.

Anonymous Aaron said...

I wish someone has been jogging down the RAT score from day to day. I bet the Heat's actually goes up after each loss.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Only a serious delusional person would take the Warriors for real as even a contender to make the playoffs, and I am a Warriors fan. My prediction for the season is 41-41 and so far they are looking like a 41-41 team which pleases me to no end given the last 2 years.

Blogger David Landon said...
Two things:

1. What's the likelihood that LeBron brought the Cleveland Curse with him?

2. How long before Riley pushes Spolestra out the door?

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Are Bargnani and Bosh going to be guarding one another on Saturday? Is that what's going to happen?

Does life get any better than this?

Blogger Rich Muhlach said...
"To wrap this up, I have to say: The Warriors 6-2 record was something of a mirage. Before the Bulls game, Golden State's first eight opponents -- the Rockets (1-6), Clippers (1-8), Grizzlies (4-5), Jazz (5-3), Raptors (1-7) and Knicks (3-5) -- had a combined record of 15-34."

But the Warriors could have easily gone 2-6, what with recall bias placing them to be cellar-dwellers with the Clippers, Grizz, Raptors and Knicks. I really think Golden State is as good as their record, especially with mad scientist Don Nelson no longer coaching the team.

Probably won't make the playoffs but still a better team than the last few years.

Anonymous Marc d. said...

The repressed hatred will finally come out for all to see! I can't wait!

Blogger Unknown said...
Can this be exhibit A on why Gasol isn't the Lakers dominant player. In the final minute, Kobe passed to a wide open Gasol under the basket, who then attempted to lay it in from one-foot away. Gasol's shot was blocked by Carmelo.

Gasol: great/awesome/dominant at home, above average, yet still skittish, on the road.

I forget who was calling the game last night for ESPN, but one of the guys made a great comment that when Boston got its Big Three, Doc sat each guy down and told them: (1)This is Pierce's team, he's the closer; (2) Ray will get less opportunities to score but more open threes; and (3) Garnett is the defensive anchor.

Clear lines were set from the get-go by Doc. I don't get the sense that the Heat have set clear goals and roles for each player. Quotes like they are "feeling their way through it" tell of a team with little identity and a team that hasn't discussed what the identity should be. LBJ is told to defer to Wade one night, than take over the next night. Wade is told to get Bosh involved, but not to force it (which he did early on last night).

You need guys to fill consistent roles on teams, that's how good basketball works. Until the coaches (and players) define those roles, the offense will be a mess and the defense will be inconsistent.

BTW: Someone explain to me how Nate Robinson gets a technical foul for holding his arm up, and LeBrizon gets zero for holding his crotch...twice. Even the new tech foul rules have a superstar bias.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
@Marc D:

I don't think either of them does a very good job of repressing their hatred of playing D.

Anonymous JJ said...
Heat's biggest mistake was signing Bosh before LeBron. Although at the time it seemed necessary to create Super Friends (to entice LeBron), I think, in hindsight, LeBron would have joined Wade at Miami regardless of Bosh. Signing Bosh first killed the cap room and their chances of signing/trading for a quality big man. If Heat had LeBron's assurance from the beginning, they could've definitely make Bosh take less money. Stupid LeBron. If you're going to try to make a super team, do it right.

Anyway, I think Heat's offensive problems will work themselves out, especially when Miller comes back and their roles get more defined. But, it's obvious that Bosh is going to stop them from getting to the next level, unless he dedicates himself to becoming a 15 pts/10+ rbs guy. But apparently, it's too much to ask a "star" player who is 6'11" to average 10+ rebounds and play some D. I'm just glad he's now on TV reguarly so everyone has plenty of his marshmallows to enjoy.

Future Guy, my bet is Riley will let Spoelstra ride out the season and fail (no chamionship). Doing it mid-season a la SVG would be too tasteless even for Riley. During the off-season, Riley can make an announcement that Spoelstra found a stray kitty, which he will be dedicating full-time to look after, because you know, it's more important to him than coaching a NBA contender. He wants to be there for the kitty while it's growing up. Some tears will flow and Riley will very, very relunctantly take the center stage for Heat. Afterwards, Spoelstra will mysteriously find another coaching job and never mention the kitty again for rest of his life.

Anonymous Patrick said...
I'm not a Miami fan, but all these guys have had to change their games and fit in to a scheme in order to play together. The adjustment is all the greater because the players' talent is greater: there is more temptation simply to revert to old form instead of gel as a team. In contrast, the Celtics have been playing together for several years now. That doesn't take away from the 'bawfulness of yesterday, but...I do think it's *also* kind of 'bawful that anti-Lebron people have actually bought into his hype: that he could ensure success merely through force of will regardless of whether he and his teammates were on the same page - if only to be entertained when he *couldn't* do that.

Also: I rather wonder if Big Baby's quote is *unintentionally* dirty or Very Intentionally dirty.

Anonymous Karc said...
@Future Guy - I still say Spolestra's gone by X-mas. James is keeping them in games they should be losing by a ton, but it's starting to look like this team will live and die by Wade.

@Sorbo - Gasol had played 44 minutes at the 47-minute mark at that point. Given the high altitude, it looked like he just ran out of gas and had no lift. Yeah, should have dunked the ball, but that was a much better shot selection than that stupid 3 by Kobe when it was only a four point game.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Sorbo - It's possible Gasol was just gassed after playing the entire game except for a two and a half minute breather early in the 2nd quarter (and at altitude to boot), but he was getting pushed around by Nene most of the night. I still don't know why Phil only played Lamar Odom 26 minutes (none in the 4th quarter), and opted to play small ball with Ron Artest and Matt Barnes at the 4, with Shannon Brown at the 2 and Kobe at 3. I mean, if he wanted to go small, why not play Odom at center for a bit to give Gasol a breather? Odom did play center for Team USA, after all. Anyway, I've learned not to question Phil too much though. In the end, he seems to know what he's doing. Andrew Bynum can't return quick enough though.

Mr. Bawful - Here's a great poster shot of Rondo's dunk on Bosh (courtesy of The Basketball Jones).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Will a team please for the love of all that is good in the universe sign Erick Dampier? I thought we were done with this saga but apparently he's STILL a free agent. I was already sick of hearing news about teams having interest in a guy they have so much interest in they've waited until midway through November to possibly sign.

Sometimes I wonder if there is even any team interested in Erick Dampier and he or his agent is not just inventing these rumors. At least Allen Iverson eventually got the hint and went to Turkey, even if he let the news buildup for 3 weeks as I guess a "last chance to sign me!" tour.

Blogger Nathan Wright said...
I'm not sure this recap captures quite how bad the Lakers were. The Nuggets went on separate 16-0 and 11-0 runs ... both in the 4th quarter. Gasol was throwing passes directly to guys in the other jersey, leading to a layup line for the Nuggets' diminutive guards. With the Lakers down by 5 in the closing seconds, Gasol received a pass at the rim and proceeded to hold the ball up in one hand, without jumping, and just waited for it to be swatted away. And of course there was Kobe jacking up shots like it was 2005. I mean, that was awful.

Blogger KathrynDale said...
I'm glad the Rondo video is titled, "Rajon Rondo Facial in Miami."

Blogger eljpeman said...
i am just sad my only autopick in our own fantasy league picked Chris Bosh. :(

Anonymous ivn said...
during that 16-0 Nuggets run--with the crowd getting into it and the Lakers getting completely frazzled--right after the Nuggets got an easy basket after a Lakers turnover, the camera panned to a constipated-looking Phil Jackson and the announcer gushed, "this is CLASSIC Phil Jackson..." he was literally praising Jackson for not doing anything while his team was falling apart. announcer bawful?

Anonymous SirGirthNasty said...
Not to sound like a Lakers homer (that statement means it will be inevitably followed by something that is completely homer-ish) but losing to a hot small-ball lineup is something you're going to have to be willing to accept. Like Paul Milsap hitting more threes than he's attempted in his entire career, it's not something that would work 95% of the time. The Nuggets have the capability of getting hot. But if the Warriors have taught us anything, when it really matters, a up-and-down small-ball team will lose to a team with size.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Not to sound like a Lakers homer (that statement means it will be inevitably followed by something that is completely homer-ish) but losing to a hot small-ball lineup is something you're going to have to be willing to accept. Like Paul Milsap hitting more threes than he's attempted in his entire career, it's not something that would work 95% of the time. The Nuggets have the capability of getting hot. But if the Warriors have taught us anything, when it really matters, a up-and-down small-ball team will lose to a team with size.

Basketball is a game of adjustments. During the season, all you really have to go on are 82 one-game samples, because the circumstances surrounding each game is unique (depending on injuries, momentum, back-to-backs, teams near the end of road trips, first game back home after a long trip, statement games, trap games, etc.).

In all liklihood, going small-ball against the Lakers would fail in a seven-game series. Then again, George Karl is too saavy to put all his eggs into one scheme's basket. His team needed an offensive lift, and going small ball late gave it to them.

I'm sure next time, P-Jax will have a specific counter. And Karl, anticipating that, will probably try a new wrinkle, etc.

Anonymous JJ said...
No, no, Mr. Bawful. Basketball is a game of mistakes. I can't believe you forgot this already. So, Phil Jackson and Lakers, with their epic failures, were the true "winners" of that game.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
No, no, Mr. Bawful. Basketball is a game of mistakes. I can't believe you forgot this already. So, Phil Jackson and Lakers, with their epic failures, were the true "winners" of that game..

[Thumbs through "Coaching 101 by Doug Collins"]

Aw, fuck. I've been served.

Blogger Unknown said...
@Wild Yams, yeah Gasol was gassed, but he looked a little ineffective in the second half. In his defense, maybe he was got off guard by Kobe passing to him.

Then again, the guy had three days off between games (since no one showed up against Minnesota), so he shouldn't have been tired. It's just one game, and Gasol is still dope, that play was just frustrating and encapsulated the night for the Lakers. That, and the shot selection was terrible in the final four minutes.

My co-worker probably had the best Bosh description: "Bosh is not Kevin Garnett or Rasheed Wallace. He's happy."

Anonymous Czernobog said...

That description of Bosh is brilliant.

Blogger LotharBot said...
> "In all liklihood, going small-ball against the Lakers would fail in a seven-game series"

In all likelihood, Denver won't get into a 7-game series with the Lakers unless KMart and Birdman are healthy.

You're going to see a lot of small-ball lineups out of the Nuggets in the first month or two of the season. Their only bigs are Nene and Shelden Williams; after that it's Al Harrington and Melo.


Also, I'm waiting for Silvio to explain how Arron Afflalo's defense is overrated, after he held Kobe to 6-25 shooting (5-7 when AA wasn't in the game.) I'm also waiting for Silvio to explain how Mike Dunleavy Jr's 31 points, scored against the lockdown defense of Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith, should be counted against Afflalo.

Or, you know, own up to being wrong because he read the box score instead of watching the game. Either way works.

Anonymous JJ said...
I just saw this and had to share. Onion is fake news for those who don't know, but this one might as well be real. Hilarious stuff.,18448/

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Someone snag that picture from JJ's link and keep it for future banner updating.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
SirGirthNasty - IMO going "small ball" against the Lakers will only really work if the Lakers try to go small as a counter to it (the way they did last night). Typically the Lakers take small ball teams and punish them by making them have to guard LA's size, but they didn't do that last night. In fact, last night is the first time I can recall the Lakers actually going small since they acquired Pau Gasol. I think the Lakers maybe could be decent at small ball, but I think they'd have to use Odom to do so, and last night for some reason they didn't. LA even went really small last night for a bit when they had 6'9 rookie Derek Character at center alongside Artest at PF.

Sorbo - I really thought Gasol looked Stay-Puft soft for most of the game (I'm amazed he finished with 20 boards). Nene had his way with Gasol all game long, long before that pitiful "shot attempt" that Melo swatted at the end. That was really the worst game I've seen from Gasol in quite some time. Maybe the worst I've seen him play as a Laker. Kobe, meanwhile, was also looking as bad as he can look. Anytime he takes more than 30 shots, if he hasn't hit at least 22 of them, there's something very, very wrong. I honestly think that when Kobe has games like that, it makes everyone else's games go to hell. I can't help but think the rest of the guys just lose some interest or intensity in what they're doing when one guy is taking all the shots, and it leads to lethargic, uninspired play. But on the devil's advocate side, maybe Kobe sensed his team had a case of the blahs and tried to carry them himself. I don't think that's the case, but maybe I'm wrong.

I'm hoping this loss combined with the mailed-in performance against Minnesota the other night will re-focus the Lakers. I can't help but think this really easy early schedule has led to the Lakers not having the intensity they really should have. Success breeds complacency with the Lakers, that's for sure.

Blogger Unknown said...
@Wild Yams, I'm onboard with both of those assessments, especially the parts about the Lakers losing interest versus Kobe trying to carry the team. It's a chicken-or-the-egg argument that's somewhat unsolveable, especially since we're on the outside of the lockerroom.

I do know that the strategy for road games is for Kobe to carry the team (and shoot 25/30 times per game). Phil's said as much. Especially last year when the bench was a little thin at shooting guard (when Brown wasn't the shooter he is this year). He may want to re-evalutate that strategy with his current depth.

I was surprised Phil didn't just "go big" against the Denver small line-up with Kobe, Artest (or Brown/Blake), Lamar, Gasol, and Ratliff. Then, just post up Lamar or Gasol (or even Kobe) on the small player who guarded them.

This is going to be a long season if I'm analyzing Game 9 of an 82-game season with such depth. It's like I expect this team to go 82-0 when they were 57-25 last year.

Anonymous Bryan said...
@LotharBot - I've been saying that for the last 2 years. The only guy, currently, who might play better D on Kobe is Tony Allen. But I've watched a lot of guys guard Kobe over the years and Aaron is just as good as Bruce Bowen and Battier.

Anonymous Silvio said...
Kobe scored 34 on Nuggets on his bad day. With bad knees and bad finger. Case closed.

Blogger LotharBot said...
So how about Kobe shooting 6-25 for 20 points when Afflalo was in the game? "OMG he dropped 34 points", yeah, but he took 31 shots to do it, and the only time he scored efficiently was when Afflalo was out of the game.

And I'm still waiting for an explanation of how Afflalo is responsible for all those points Dunleavy dropped on JR and Melo.

Don't dodge. Man up.