Clippers Lakers Basketball
Free taco-like item excitement?

No time to waste, straight to the bawful!

Worst of the Weekend in Pictures:

"My entire team hates me! Inconceivable!"

"Hmm... What should I do... I better call my bookie and put $5k more on this horse in the 5th..."

Marc Gasol always makes my day 83% better

Bobcats Magic Basketball
Hey! Your name's not Joe! And it's not even Larry! I'm so confused!!

Man, even the Wizards Generals' mascot sucks. Depressing.

Grizzlies Spurs Basketball
"It's okay, Manu. We don't have Portland's training staff. Tony Parker's career isn't over!"

Nationally Televised Games:
Celtics at Jazz, NBA TV, 9pm: You know, even after the trade action, the Celtics are still old. However, on the bright side, they aren't as old and lame as this website. (Seriously, go look at this trainwreck. It's the closest thing I've seen to a Geocities page in awhile. Mind-blowing stuff, people.)

All the Other Games:
Suns at Nyets, 7pm: So the Nyets get Deron Williams to pick apart the Suns defense, and I just read a game preview that referred to the Suns as "surging." Fffffuuuuuuuuu...

Bulls at Wizards Generals, 7pm: Mike Bibby just gave up $6.2 million to not play for Washington. Giving away $6,200,000 to NOT play for a team. I don't even have a joke here. Just crippling depression.

Hawks at Nuggets, 9pm: An OT loss against the Frail Blazers was the first sign of a post-Melo/Billups trade letdown. But I don't know if that will resurface again tonight. I mean, really, the Dirty Birds in their longest road trip of the year? That's not very scary. Friggin' Ghost Ship is scarier than that... Okay, maybe I took that a bit too far. But you get my point.

Clippers at Kings, 10pm: Ah, the eternal battle to see which California club can be more screwed up... Current upper-hand: Clippers.

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1. The Cleveland Cadavers: After snapping their all-time league-worst 26-game losing streak against (of course) the Clippers, the Cadavers have managed to beat both the Lakers and the new-look Knicks. But if The Zombie Survival Guide taught me anything, it's this: Rising from the grave to feed on the living is not the same as returning to life. Especially when you trade for Baron Davis.

2. The Washington Wizards Generals: This was a tough decision. The Nyets and Craptors were pretty deserving of the two spot. But, of the three teams vying for "Second Worst Team in the League" status, the Generals have the worst record (15-43), worst Margin of Victory (-6.9) and, most importantly, the worst road record (1-28). All this despite having number one overall draft pick John Wall.

3. The New Jersey Nyets: I wanted to put the Craptors here. I really did. After all, Toronto is 1.5 games back in the win column. Or is that 1.5 games ahead in the loss column? Semantics aside, the Nyets won (lost?) out due to a slightly worse MOV, a similaly slightly worse MOV, and the fact that they are 0-9 in a division that includes...the Craptors. So far the addition of All-Star point guard Deron Williams has done Jack and Shit. And Jack left town.

4. The Toronto Craptors: The Generals still have Wall. And the Nyets have at least a season and a half of Williams. The Craptors have Andrea Bargnani through 2014-15. And, presumably, prayers for a quick and merciful death.

5. The Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Love now has four 30-point/20-rebound games this season. According to ESPN Stats and Information, that ties Shaq and Charles Barkley for the second-most in a single season in the last 25 years. Shaq also had five 30-20 games in 1999-00. K-Love also ranks fourth in Player Efficiency Rating, meaning he's the fourth-best player in the league, right? And yet...the Timberwolves are 14-46 and have a Margin of Victory of -6.0. Something's wrong here.

6. The Sacramento Kings: The Anaheim Kings? Hell, at this point, the Maloof brothers would ship the Kings pretty much anywhere that would make them a quick buck. Here's my radical answer to the problem: The [Insert City Name] Kings! That's right. The Maloofs could offer five-game, 10-game, 15-game and 20-game plans. Any city could host and "own" the Kings for a limited time. Think about it. The Kokomo Kings. The Louisville Kings. The...what?

7. The Detroit Pistons: Let me get this straight: A bunch of overrated, overpaid and/or over-the-hill players staged a walkout on coach John Kuester? Well, then, the coach must be the problem. In possibly related news, at the trade deadline, opposing teams treated Detroit's various contracts like baby poo covered in hazardous toxins and wrapped in terrorists.

8. The Los Angeles Clippers: After a brief "surge," the Clippers have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Despite the ongoing and unquestioned awesomeness of Blake Griffin -- even if his car dunk was contrived and lame -- the Clippers are 22-37 and coached by Vinny Del Negro. In other words: They are who we thought they were. Still. On the bright side, they shipped Baron Davis, his fat contract, and his even fatter ass, to Cleveland. So they have that going for them. Which is nice.

9. The Golden State Warriors: Let's see: They score a lot of points. They give up a lot of points. They lose a lot of games. And we're absolutely, positively sure Don Nelson retired?

10. The Charlotte Bobcats: In case you needed any more evidence that not everything crapped out of Michael Jordan's ass is delicious candy...

11. The Milwaukee Bucks: Remember how much fun it was the Fear the Deer last season? Now the only people who fear them are season ticket holders. Milwaukee ranks dead last in PPG, FGP, eFG% and Offensive Rating. Offensively speaking, they're a D-League team playing with a rock instead of a basketball and dead fish instead of hands. Reminder: Their offseason plan revolved around adding Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden. Think about that. Just think about it.

12. The Utah Jazz: Larry Miller is dead. Jerry Sloan is retired. Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams have been replaced with Al Jefferson and Devin Harris. And Andrei Kirilenko is on the books for nearly $18 million this season. Let's just say that, if we found a compound full of dead Jazz fans and empty Kool-Aid cups, I wouldn't be completely surprised.

13. The Indiana Pacers: Much as it pains me to admit this, Indy's near-miss on O.J. Mayo typifies Larry Bird's tenure as the team's President of Basketall Mismanagement. That Danny Granger and The Misfits might actually make the playoffs is a decent argument that the balance of power hasn't totally shifted eastward.

14. The Atlanta Hawks: Can anybody give me one good reason why the Hawks are anything other than a first round playoff exit waiting to happen? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

15. The Denver Nuggets: The post-'Melo trade adrenaline is going to wear off. And when it does...

16. The Houston Rockets: This is the perfect place for the Rockets. They keep hovering around .500. They seem to exist only to be a pain in the ass to better teams and a scourge to lesser ones. And that mad statistical genius, Daryl Morey, just traded for Hasheem Thabeet. If there was a trophy for scrappy overachievement, the Rockets would win it, hands down. As it is...

17. The Memphis Grizzlies: Don't buy into them. Don't do it. I'm warning you. Put it this way: How much faith do you feel comfortable putting into a team built on the foundation of Zach Randolph?

18. The Phoenix Suns. Look out. They're surging.

19. The Philadelphia 76ers: Philly managed to sneak back over .500 while nobody was looking (or caring). And, sneaky as you please, the Sixers have won 13 of their past 17 games. And, going further back, they're 27-16 since their 3-13 start. All that said: Look at their roster. Look at it closely. They're not scaring anybody worth scaring.

20. The New York Knicks: Their win over the Heat does not cancel out their loss to the Cadavers. It just doesn't. I mean, would a plate full of crawling insects taste better just because somebody dumped a juicy steak on it?

21. The Portland Frail Blazers: I really have no idea how they're doing it.

22. The New Orleans Hornets: Two words: Fools' Gold.

23. The Oklahoma City Thunder: We know they can score, but the Thunder have been pretty average on defense this season (currently 16th in Defensive Rating). They're hoping Kendrick Perkins can change that. Uh oh! Perk is out two-to-three weeks because of a sprained left knee. But the good news is that the injury wasn't to his surgically-repaired right knee or his surgically repaired left shoulder. Here's another Perkins factoid: He has a higher career turnover percentage (23.0) than Kwame "Stone Hands" Brown (16.8). And Kendrick's career PER (12.9) is barely higher than Kwame's (12.6). Just some thoughts to chew on.

24. The Orlando Magic: When they were counting on significant contributions from Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter, that seemed insane, right? Now they're counting on significant contributions from Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu. Can we honestly say things have improved in Orlando?

25. The Dallas Mavericks: They seem so good. So really, really good. Clicking on offense. Clicking on defense. It makes you wonder: How are they going to flame out in the playoffs this year? Because we all know it's going to happen, we just don't know how. Yet.

26. The Los Angeles Lakers: I can hear the bleating of Lakers fans now: "But, but, but we've won four in a row coming out of the All-Star break! Including road games versus the Frail Blazers and Thunder!" Shut the hell up, Lakers fans. It's been exactly 12 days since you lost to the Cadavers.

27. The Boston Celtics: I bet people will stop mocking Danny Ainge when the Thunder buy out Kendrick Perkins and he re-signs with the Celtics for the league minimum. The Boston's gonna sign Troy Murphy, who averaged 14.3 PPG and 11.8 RPG while shooting 45 percent on threes as recently as 2008-09. Then Rasheed Wallace is gonna come back, and rumor has it he's spent the last three months completing the p90x training program. Yeah! Yeah!!

28. The Miami Heat: I know, I know. They keep kicking the absolute living shit out of bad teams, and that's supposed to be the best indicator of future (read that: playoff) success. But they're 1-7 against the league's other elite teams. And despite having two of the best three players on the planet -- both in their prime and playing like MVPs -- they've recently collapsed in crunch time against the Celtics, Bulls and Knicks. The stat geeks keep telling us this won't be a problem in the postseason, so I'm sure everything will be fine.

29. The Chicago Bulls: Their recent wins over the Spurs and Heat are somewhat mitigated by a huge defensive fail in Toronto and the fact that Keith Bogans, against all reason, is still their starting shooting guard.

30. The San Antonio Spurs: Why does it feel like they're still sort of under the radar?

Bonus Bawful: I'm going to post Chris's weekend lacktion report in the comments.


"F**k, dude. F**k."

That was the first Skype message I received from Basketbawful upon us receiving the news that Kendrick Perkins had been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. And I felt the same way. Bawful and I were both dumbstruck. We thought, like many did, that Perkins was an untouchable piece of the these-five-starters-when-healthy-have-never-lost-a-playoff-series Celtics.

God, this whole picture is so... Monday.

But then I thought about it, and saw this situation from other angles. And lucky I did, because I soon found myself on the phone with Bawful trying to talk him off the what-have-they-done ledge. Frankly, I think I did a pretty good job. For you Celtics fans, here's how you can sleep at night:

The Freak out: Dude, Perkins is gone. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

The talk down: Relax. Let's start with the basics: believe it or not, the Celtics organization has to exist beyond 2011, and it's Danny Ainge's job to prepare for that. The Celtics offered Kendrick Perkins the maximum possible extension at the beginning of the year, and Perkins rejected it. Ainge no doubt foresaw Perkins not being a Celtic next year. The likely result if you keep Perkins for a 2011 title run? He's gone in free agency, there is no money to replace him, and the Thunder - a likely candidate to take him - get him next year for nothing but the willingness and ability to pay him.

Thanks to the trade, the Celtics now have a talented, young, athletic 15 ppg player in Jeff Green, a replacement 7-footer who is admittedly a defensive downgrade but an offensive upgrade, and a 2012 first round pick.

Verdict: Traditional thought dictated there was no way this Celtics team could keep four all-stars around (Rondo, Pierce, Garnett, and Allen) and still make moves to build for the future, and they just found a way to do precisely that.

The Freak Out: Losing Marquis Daniels to a bruised spinal cord forced the Celtics into this mess! They needed a backup for the aging Pierce, so they had to make this stupid move!

The Talk Down: Agreed, the injury to Daniels forced the Celtics hand a bit, but Perkins not signing an extension made the decision to move him one whole hell of a lot easier. And hey, aside from "losin' a family member" (yada yada), Doc seems pleased with the trade. He expects the better shooting of Green and Krstic to help spread the floor, and make Rondo more effective on drives and ball distribution.

Also, the Celtics second-unit has always been a hodge-podge-let's-just-try-to-not-get-our-butts-kicked-while-the-starters-rest period of the game, whereas now, Green adds punch to a unit that could be pretty effective with a now healthy Delonte West, who not only looked sharp last night against the Nuggets, but also didn't get arrested for any felonies before, during, or after the game.

The Freak Out: Oh my God. Who's going to guard Dwight Howard?

The talk down: Perkins was a solid - perhaps the best in the East - defender against Howard. But clearly - and rightfully so - the Celtics don't fear Howard and the Magic this year. They consider their best competition in the East to be the younger, faster Bulls and Heat. So they picked up Green, easily the most talented player in this trade (yes, Perkins is the best defender and rebounder. That is established, but he's not nearly the best player) ... but guess what? The Celtics also picked up another Thunder starter who, by the way, is also a 7-footer! You can't teach 7-feet tall. Agreed, he's 40 pounds lighter, a lesser defender, and hardly the same rebounder, but this particular 7-footer can actually stick 15-foot jumpers and sink freethrows. People are talking as if Krstic isn't even a part of this deal, but he is, in fact, a very significant part of it.

Intimidation Factor: 2
Hair Club or Shave it, dude.

The Freak Out: The Red Coats are coming! the Red Coats are coming! The Celtics are smaller! The Celtics are Smaller!

The Talk Down: Since when did the Celtics get smaller?

Nate Robinson (5'9") / Kendrick Perkins (6'10") = 12'7"
Jeff Green (6'9") / Nenad Krstic (7'0") = 13'9"

Did something happen with the metric system since I left school?
The Celtics got less beefy. They did not, however, get smaller.

The Freak Out: I'm really gonna miss Perk - his emotion, his fire, his dedication.

The Talk Down: I'm going to miss him too. He is a blue-collar, down-in-the-trenches player who was beloved in Boston for the Garnett-like emotion and defensive focus he brought to the team. But guess what - he was offered the maximum-possible contract extension from his beloved Celtics while he was rehabbing from a catastrophic knee injury, and refused it. That tells me that despite being given a vote of confidence during a vulnerable time, he's a player who, like most, puts business ahead of emotion. So when I hear now, through his appointed spokesman Nate Robinson, that he's really broken up about leaving, it rings hollow, and if he really felt that way, he should have taken the max extension when it was offered to him. If you, [insert player name here], put your own [well-being / financial situation / future] ahead of all else, don't be upset or surprised when your team's management acts in its own best interests as well.

P.S.> Sure, Perkins wants to be compensated for his talent, but his talent consists of being a top-notch role player on a fantastic team. In a four year span, Jeff Goldblum was in two of the biggest movies of all time, Jurassic Park and Independence Day - but that doesn't make him Tom Cruise. Can't you just see Goldblum in 1998 in some producer's office going "My last two movies made a billion dollars each! Pay me accordingly!"
Sorry Perk, you're just Jeff Goldblum.
(For the record, I love and appreciate Jeff Goldblum's distinct talents as well).

AP Photo: Jeff Goldblum scans the horizon for a big budget movie in which he can play the lead.

The freak out: If we make the finals, how are we going to go up against the Laker bigs?

The Talk Down: Did I mention the Celtics also picked up a 7-footer in this trade, essentially getting two players for one (Nate Robinson doesn't count, in case you were wondering)? And by the way, the O'Neal's will be ready for the playoffs. I wouldn't be surprised if "I get to rest and sip tea during the regular season because I'm 38" is stenciled into Shaq's contract. I also wouldn't be surprised if "I get to rest and sip coffee during the regular season because I'm a lazy, injury prone, self-centered twerp" is stenciled into Jermaine O'Neal's contract.

The Freak Out: NOW, if Shaq and Jermaine aren't healthy for the playoffs, we're doomed!

The Talk Down: That was the case before anyway. So?

The Freak Out: If you're short on big men, why get rid of [7-footer] Semih Arden too, and for practically nothing?

The Talk Down: That one seems a little curious, but I'm going to give the guy who got Ray Allen (and is now getting back the guy he gave up for Ray Allen) and who extricated KG from the Timberwolves the benefit of the doubt that he's not finished dealing. I'm not saying he's Red Auerbach or anything, but I'll assume he's got a buy-out player in mind. Did I mention the Cavs just waived former Celtic Leon Powe? And besides, if a guy named Semih is your key to success, pack it in and hope for the best next year.

The Freak Out: How will we continue to succeed without Kendrick Perkins in the lineup?

The Talk Down: You do realize that Perkins has been rehabbing most of the season to this point and the Celtics are at the top of the East, right?

The Freak Out: I know, Perkins...he's part of the "Big Five"

The Talk Down: Correction. Big Four. People who say the Big Five are giving Perkins too much credit. Have you ever seen Jurassic Park? What about the Fly?

"Ok, I'll do it. but I want my own trailer."

The Freak Out: But this starting five have have never lost a playoff series!

The Talk Down: Fourteen words: The 18-0 New England Patriots march into Superbowl XLII. What could go wrong?

The Freak Out: Who the hell is Jeff Green?

The Talk Down: This is who he is. Look, if a guy has a youtube video of highlights, he must be pretty good. Ok sure, I kind of have a highlight video too, but that's beside the point.

The Freak Out: The Lakers are coming! The Lakers are coming!

The Talk Down: Are you positive? Have you seen that new Thunder lineup?

Editor's Note: Yes, this post had TWO photos of Jeff Goldblum. You're Welcome, World!

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From Elias Sports Bureau: "Chris Bosh made just one of his 18 field-goal attempts (5.6%) in the Heat's 93-89 loss at Chicago. It was the worst percentage by a player taking at least 15 shots since the Warriors' Tim Hardaway went 0-for-17 in an overtime win at Minnesota on December 27, 1991. The last player to shoot that poorly (minimum 15 FGA) while his team lost by five points or less was the Celtics' Frank Ramsey on December 8, 1960. Ramsey went 0-for-15 in Boston's 118-115 neutral-site loss to the Cincinnati Royals in Philadelphia."

Further reading / watching: Chris Bosh takes a dive! [H/T Aaron]

The best parts: 1) the obviously delayed reaction and 2) the Ric Flair-like writhing around on the floor after the non-contact. Even a marshmallow can stand up against no contact. So I can't even call him Boshmallow anymore.

Actually, yes I can.

Even more reading: From Basketball-Reference (via AnacondaHL): Chris Bosh submits one of the historically worst offensive statistical plus/minus (OSPM) performances in NBA history.


Gordon Hayward explores the possibility of a transition to football if this whole basketball thing doesn't work out

Real life has (unfortunately) interrupted my ability to track all the insane trade deadline action this year. (Boston's moves alone would have required four hours of typing I think) I'll let you guys talk about it in the comments. But in the meantime, I WILL share this with you: an amazing letter Dr. Dre wrote to his then-girlfriend/now-wife back in 1995. (Via Jamie Mottram) All I know is that I wish I was bad enough to end a letter "Wish I was up in that ass."

Oh, and congratulations Memphis. You have managed to be even more bawful than I ever could have dreamed. Way to miss the trade deadline while updating your Facebook and Twitter feeds, guys.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Javale McGee's weak shit = OUT OF HERE.

Wizards 76ers Basketball
No matter how bad things get, at least I'm not a Generals fan

Grizzlies Timberwolves Basketball
Aha! So it IS true! Marc Gasol is really just a giant pufferfish in a basketball jersey!

Grizzlies Timberwolves Basketball
This pretty much sums up why this blog exists

Bucks Knicks Basketball
The result of Carmelo eating a Caramello

Bulls Raptors Trade Basketball
Bryan Colangelo didn't respond well to being made fun of earlier today by us

Nationally Televised Games:
Heat at Bulls, TNT, 8pm: Hey Bulls players, please play some defense before Tom Thibodeau pops a blood vessel and/or his voice gets any more hoarse.

Celtics at Nuggets, TNT, 10:30pm: Watch out, Celtics. The Nuggets are finally ready to play -- they've acquired Kosta Koufos!!!

Also, trading away Kendrick Perkins means two or three fewer moving pick violations per game. So that's nice. Too bad the rest of their money-saving trades are like getting a Tiger Electronics handheld game instead of a Gameboy.

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Serial killer or NBA general manager? he both?

The Cleveland Cadavers: Let's see: Houston's Chase Budinger scored 14 of his career-high 30 points in the fourth quarter (including 11 straight in one six-minute stretch). What's more, the Rocketeers had a 57-37 rebounding advanteage, including 22-7 on the offensive glass. Much of that board work was done by Chuck Hayes, who grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds (including 13 on the offensive end). Chucky grabbed 12 rebounds in the first quarter alone...which set a Quicken Loans Arena Record for most rebounds in a quarter.

Said Antawn Jamison: "We let [Hayes] control the game. He set the tone."

Allow me to repeat: Chuck Hayes controlled the game.

Don't worry, Cleveland fans. Help is on the way: Your team has traded for Baron "Only If I Care And Maybe Not Even Then" Davis! The bad news is he'll probably be taking some time off to deal with a knee injury. And a terminal case of apathy.

Byron Scott, coach of the year candidate: "If you look at the stat sheet, offensively, we probably should have won. But if you give a team like that 22 offensive rebounds, you make it very tough on yourself. They were more physical and aggressive."

The Detroit Pistons: Austin Daye's 17-footer put the Pistons up 101-100 with 11 seconds to go. This is how the next several seconds went: Indiana's Brandon Rush dunked the Pacers to a 102-101 lead with five ticks left and then the Rodney Stuckey lost the ball out of bounds with one second on the clock. Game over.

Said Knee-Mac: "We were one play away from winning the game.

Welcome to Detroit's season. That's 10 losses in 14 games, by the way.

The Orlando Magic: A home the Tyreke Evans-less Kings?!

You know, defense used to be Orlando's "thing," but the Sactowners scored 111 points on 52.5 percent shooting. Dwight Howard had 31 and 17 (plus 2 steals and 2 blocked shots) while going 11-for-12 from the line. Not much more Pumanman can do. Especially with defensive stalwarts like Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick and Gilbert Arenas backing him up.

Said Howard: "We've been talking for a long time -- all we seem to do is talk. You guys know what the difference is. You watch the games. If guys don't want to play, they need to sit down. We can't just have guys or anybody out there not playing hard. We're professional athletes. This is what we do for a living. If you can't go out there and go hard for two hours, then you shouldn't be playing."

In related news, the Magicians surrendered 50 points in the paint and gave up 26 points off 17 turnovers. 'Tis better to give, my friends, than to recieve.

Said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy: "Down the stretch it was just terrible. When we got the lead we had a couple of careless ones and it's terrible. "I'm not happy with anything other than Dwight right now. I'm not happy with anything."

Added Howard: "We have a lot of talent, but talent won't win you championships. You get to the finals, both teams are very talented. That's how they got to the finals. But hard work, commitment -- every play, every night is what gets you the championship. We're one of the most talented teams in the NBA. We're a deep team, we have guys that can do a lot of different things, but if you don't bring it, it's a waste of talent."

Pretty much, yeah.

The Washington Wizards Generals: Another night, another hapless blowout for the Generals, who trailed by as many as 36 points before losing 117-94. This chunk of the AP recap pretty much says it all:

Washington (15-41), one of the worst teams in the league, has lost three straight. With its season long gone, it made a trade during the game to stock up for the future.

The Wizards sent guard Kirk Hinrich and forward Hilton Armstrong to the Atlanta Hawks for guards Mike Bibby and Jordan Crawford, forward Maurice Evans and a 2011 first-round draft choice.

"It was a pretty tough thing to hear," Wall said. "Kirk's a veteran guy who taught me an awful lot about NBA basketball. I'll really miss him. And Hilton was a good friend, too. I wish them both well."

Hinrich and Armstrong were on the bench for the whole first half, but never came out of the locker room after halftime.

"I think when the deadline is over, guys will have a sense of relief," Saunders said.
I think he means "when the season is over, guys will have a sense of relief."

The Oklahoma City Thunder: Down three points to the Spurs with 13 seconds to go...and an an airballed three-point attempt by Jeff Green was the best shot they could get? Coming out of a timeout? With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the team? Really?

The Chicago Bulls: So...the Bulls celebrated the return of Joakim Noah by losing to a Craptors team that had dropped 18 of its past 20 games.

You can read my full writeup at By The Horns. Here's a sample:

But Chicago's defense -- which began the day ranked first in Defensive Efficiency and ended the night ranked second -- was as out of synch as it's been all season. The Raptors shot 58.1 percent from the field. That was a season-high for Bulls opponents. Toronto's 118 points were the second-most the Bulls have surrendered this season.

The fact that the Raptors put up so many points without hitting a single three-pointer (0-for-5) highlights just how awful the Bulls D really was.

Toronto had 29 assists, went 32-for-34 at the line and scored 58 points in the paint.

Let's face it: Everybody thought Noah's return would improve the team’s defense. At absolute worst, it should have been a zero-sum situation, right?

Instead, the Bulls looked like they had never stopped anybody from doing anything ever. I wouldn't have been surprised to find out the players returned to the locker room to find their clothes and wallets gone. And then flew back to Chicago to discover their cars had been broken. Their locks changed at home. Their identities stolen.

Or maybe that was just their defensive identities.

Hey, coach Thibodeau: What went wrong?

"What didn't?" he said. "Every aspect. Start with defensive transition, keeping the ball out of the paint, challenging shots. Every aspect of our defense went out the window. Offensively we scored more, but defensively it was a disaster."


In all, the Raptors went 5-for-5 on dunks and 17-for-21 on layup attempts. According to Hoopdata, the Bulls usually hold their opponents to a 61.7 percent conversion rate at the rim. That number ranks 10th in the league. Last night, Toronto converted well over 80 percent of their shots at the rim. Basically, Chicago did everything short of laying out a welcome mat and personally escorting the Raptors to the hoop.
So, uh, if the Bulls can’t stop Andrea Bargnani (24 points), DeMar DeRozen (24 points) and Amir Johnson (17 points on 8-for-8 shooting), how in the world are they going to slow down LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh tonight?

carlos boozer
This picture scares me. That is all.

Kyle Korver: From Basketball reader Lord Kerrance:

How bad are you defensively when Jose Calderon starts punking you out?

"Korver was sometime on LB [Leandro Barbosa], sometime on DeMar. I was trying to find the guy being guarded by Korver and play the pick and roll with them."

So much for Gay Elf Defense.
The Milwaukee Bucks: So the Knicks beat the Bucks in 'Melo's debut. This shows how good New York can be in a two-superstar system, right? Maybe. But I'd like to point out that the Bucks rank dead last in Offensive Rating (101.2), but they scored 110.8 points per 100 possessions against the Knicks. And, what's more, Milwaukee's 108 points was their third-highest point total of the season.

As always, I'm just sayin'.

Of course, the Bucks lost to a completely revamped Knicks team that hadn't even gotten a proper chance to practice together yet. They're now 22-35, 17 games back in their division and 4.5 games behind the Pacers (26-30) for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Damn. Even with the Celtics, Heat, Bulls, Magic and Knicks, the East still kinda sucks.

Also, from Basketbawful reader balazs: "From the ESPN recap: '[Carmelo] matched the third-highest scoring game in a Knicks debut since 1964, just two points shy of Keith Van Horn's 29 on Oct. 29, 2003.' Keith Van Horn! And the second highest scoring debut belongs to: Allan Houston! Great company."

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Love (15 points, 11 rebounds) got his 44th double-double in a row, thereby equaling Moses Malone's streak for Philadelphia in 1982-83. But Zach Randolph (24 points, 10-for-16, 10 rebounds) stole Love's lunch money in one of those classic "I shoulda been an All-Star insteada him" games.

Said Mike Conley: "He's taken it personally. I think my man deserves to be an All-Star also. He really played like one tonight."

Added Z-Bo: "There's a little something to that."

As the AP recap pointed out: "In two games this month, Randolph combined for 47 points and 23 rebounds while Love was limited to 25 points and 21 rebounds."

And as the current NBA standings point out, Minnesota (13-45) is barely ahead of Cleveland (10-47) for "Worst Team In The League" status. Stay tuned.

Michael Beastly's new 'do: Maybe I'm a bad person, but my first thought was: Who let the WNBA player into the arena?


Kevin Love, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "Z-Bo's a load down there."

The Utah Jazz: Real subhead: "Dirk drops 23 as Mavs cruise past lifeless Jazz." And that pretty much sums it up.

Said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle: "It's a good team even without Deron Williams."

Yeah, uhm, Rick? Check the box score. Utah's used a starting backcourt of Earl Watson and Raja Bell. Sure, Devin Harris is on the way, but that man is a walking stat curse. Remember: The New Jersey Nyets ended up 52-150 and suffered one of the worst seasons (12-70 in 2009-10) in NBA history from the point he said "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" on December 9, 2008 to the day he was traded.


The Atlanta Hawks: There was a lot of talk about the Dirty Birds being shorthanded, having sent Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford and Maurice Evans to Washington for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong.

My response: It was Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford and Maurice Evans.

Still, Atlanta was playing the second of back-to-back road games. Of course, they had gotten clobbered so badly the previous night in L.A., none of their starters logged more than 27 minutes and 32 seconds. Still, fatigue got the blame.

Said Hawks coach Larry Drew: "I thought our guys kind of wore down, and coming off back-to-back and having to play catch-up basketball when you're down 18 points is tough to do in this building."

Joe Johnson: One night after scoring 14 points on 6-fo-14 shooting against the Lakers, Atlanta's All-Star finished with 12 points on 5-for-14 shooting to go with a game-high 4 turnovers.

The Los Angeles Clippers: The Other L.A. Team might have had a chance in this one if they'd been able to hang onto the ball. But they could not, turning the ball over 23 times for 25 points going the other way.

Said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro: "When you turn it over that much, you have to play on your heels, and when you have a guy like Chris Paul, he'll pick you apart.We couldn't put enough offensive firepower out there to put any pressure on them."

Remember how the Clippers were, you know, surging before their league-high 11-game road trip? And how I said that things were gonna turn ugly on said trip? Well, the Clips are 10 games in and have only two wins to show for it: One against the Knicks and one against the Timberwolves. Their final game is against the Lakers. And I think we all know how that's gonna turn out.

The Portland Frail Blazers: The Blazers went up 85-75 on a running jumper by Wesley Matthews with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter. Good news for the Portland Soccer Moms (as Bill Simmons likes to say), right? After all, science has definitely proven that Kobe Bryant is not clutch and the Lakers have had one of the league's worst offenses (in terms of offensive decline) during the Mamba Era.

Only Kobe scored 8 points on 4-for-5 shooting over the final five minutes and 31 seconds, including the game-tying 15-footer with four seconds left to help force overtime (thanks to a missed last-second layup attempt by LaMarcus Aldridge). In OT, Bryant nailed a nine-footer with 27 seconds left to put L.A. up 100-97. Then he calmly went 6-for-6 from the line in the final 18 seconds of overtime to secure the win. That perfect foul shooting brings me to the next point...

LaMarcus Aldridge: He led the Blazers with 29 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. But he missed three layup attempts in the final minute of regulation, one of which was blocked by Lamar Odom. Those were his only three shot attempts in crunch time.

What's more, in the overtime session, Aldridge had more technical fouls (1) than points (0). The worst of his moments came when he bricked two free throws with 19 seconds left that could have pulled Portland to within a point. Thanks to those misses, the Blazers went from "We have a chance" to "Pointless fouling to prolong a lost cause."

Chris's always-amazing lacktion ledger:

Rockets-Cavs: Ryan Hollins had two boards in 17:35, but bricked four times and fouled thricely for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

Pistons-Pacers: DaJuan Summers experienced some Super Mario sunshine in just one second of play to close out a Detroit loss!

Purple Paupers-Magic: In a shockingly non-celebratory event, Chris Duhon drained his Game Boy's batter in just 20 seconds for a Mario.

Generals-Sixers: Washington's Kevin Seraphin shorted out a board with two fouls and a turnover in 10:29 for a 3:1 Voskuhl, while the Sixers' Darius Songaila sang a tune of lacktivity by bricking once in 6:58 and adding on two lost rocks and four fouls for a +7 that doubled as a 6:0 Voskuhl!!!

Bulls-Craptors: Omer Asik went on the WiiPlay cow riding module for 24 seconds to earn a Mario in victory.

Jazz-Mavs: In the first game of the Post-Deron Williams Era, Kyrylo Fesenko kept lacking it up as always, fouling twice and bricking once in 6:07 for a +3 and a 2:0 Voskuhl. Meanwhile, Dallas's DeShawn Stevenson tossed two pieces of masonry and earned a foul and giveaway each for a +4 in 5:26.

Clippers-Hornets: Willie Warren went 100% from the Vieux Carre (on one attempt) but only had 51 seconds of parading for a Mario, the same timespan as New Orleans's Quincy Pondexter!

Lakers-Frail Blazers: Armon Johnson hammered out a 100% shooting percentage (on one attempt) only 8 seconds of gameplay, earning himself a SUPER MARIO!


Celtics Warriors Basketball

Hey, Utah -- on the bright side, now that your team has lost all of its identity, now would be a perfect time to change names to something that makes more sense for your geographic location!

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

APTOPIX Timberwolves Bucks Basketball
Is "jamming your opponent's nose into his brain" a legal defensive tactic?

APTOPIX Grizzlies Nuggets Basketball
It's soooo cold in Denver now

Do we need to explain to Pau how to hang on the rim?

Lamar Odom is not comfortable with this

Nationally Televised Games:
Thunder at Spurs, ESPN, 7pm: Hey, all right! A good start to the ESPN double-header!

Clippers at Hornets, ESPN, 9:30pm: ...And we follow that up with a Clippers road game? Damn it all. Yeah, Blake Griffin will do Blake Griffin things, but we all know how this one will end up.

All The Other Games:
Rockets at Cadavers, 7pm: So it appears that Gerald Wallace is heading to Portland, even though the Cadavers had been talking to the Bobcraps for several weeks as well about trying to get Wallace. Because yes, Gerald Wallace is the missing piece that would have gotten this Cleveland franchise turned around...

Pistons at Pacers, 7pm: The Pistons actually beat the Pacers in OT a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what happened there, since these teams have been going in opposite directions otherwise for awhile now thanks to the Pacers' dead coach bounce.

Kings at Magic, 7pm: I couldn't help but wonder if a matchup like this right after the All-Star break might result in the Magic coming out lethargic and not really into it, resulting in a surprisingly close game. Then I remembered these are the Purple Paupers we're talking about. It doesn't matter how lethargic the Magic look.

Wizards Generals at 76ers, 7pm: The Sixers need to win this one to split the season series with the Generals, and to keep from being the butt of every joke for weeks if they should let the Generals win a road game to take the season series. That would suck. A lot.

Bulls at Craptors, 7pm: Joakim Noah. Finally healthy. Thank God.

Bucks at Knicks, 7:30pm: So, is this the Bucks' team bus?

Oh, and I almost forgot: Carmelo Carmelo Carmelo Carmelo Carmelo Carmelo Carmelo Carmelo (deep breath) Caaaaaaaaaaaaarmelo.

Grizzlies at Timberwolves, 8pm: Better way to spend your time instead of watching this game: Five Seconds of Every #1 Song Ever. (Well, as long as "ever" means up until 1992.) I especially appreciated the harsh transition from Rick Dees' Disco Duck to Chicago's If You Leave Me Now.

Jazz at Mavericks, 8:30pm: Apparently Deron Williams first heard about being traded by watching SportsCenter. Do you think anyone planned to tell him he was traded, or did they just plan on catching him at the door when he showed up at the stadium tonight. "Uh, Deron, buddy... we need to talk..."

Hawks at Suns, 9pm: And the Hawks continue to be stuck in that zone of being just good enough to be in the playoffs, but not good enough to actually be good, and not bad enough to get good draft picks... Their offense has looked pretty ugly lately. Not Western Conference in the Null-Star game ugly, but still ugly.

Lakers at Frail Blazers, 10:30pm: Brandon Roy might be back for this game! Enjoy him while you can, Portland fans. I'm afraid of stat-cursing this, but the Blazers could lock down their longest win streak in three years tonight.

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denver fans
I understand Nuggets fans have suffered...but why take a pot shot at poor Cleveland?

The Washington Wizards Generals: 39 percent shooting. 20 turnovers. A 26-point deficit. A 113-96 home loss. A 15-40 season.

This shit wasn't supposed to be happening, right? I mean, Washington drafted John "Freak of Nature" Wall and suckered the Magic into taking the shot to the nuts that is otherwise known as The Contract of Gilbert Arenas. Now, the Associated Press is describing the Generals as "lifeless" and stating that their "games are becoming so joyless that even the players can hardly stand them."

And, believe it or not, that's actually a totally objective observation.

Said Andray Blatche: "Guys didn't bring no effort. They outworked us on every possession. For a minute out there, it seems like guys didn't care after a while -- like we just gave in to a team that we're definitely much better than them if we compete. But nobody brought heart with them."

In related news, Blatche, Washington's starting center, finished with the same number of rebounds (5) as Darren Collison, Indiana's starting point guard. And Collison did that in about seven fewer minutes.

Added John Wall: "This game we didn't fight at all. It's getting old."

In related news, Wall went 5-for-15 and had a game-high 6 turnovers.

Did I mention that the Pacers had 26 fast break points and a 45-26 advantage in free throw attempts? Or that Indy's bench outscored their counterparts 48-25? Or that they outrebounded the Generals by 10 (46-36) through three quarters (that is, before garbage time ensued).

I guess 'Dray was right. Guys really didn't bring no effort.

The Toronto Craptors: You knew this was coming:

What can I say about this loss -- in which the Craptosaurs trailed by as many as 22 and never really threatened in the second half -- that Toronto coach Jay Triano didn't?

Said Triano: "Really, it was men against boys."

Or the living versus the dead. But not in the totally awesome way you're thinking.

The Dinos hacked and slashed their way to giving up 42 free throw attempts. And when they weren't clubbing the Bobcraps, the Craptors were watching them run downcourt for an easy score, as Charlotte finished with 26 fast break points.

This was Toronto's 11th consecutive road loss...which ties the franchise record set during the 2004-05 season. Their next road game is in New Jersey on March 4. Bawful History could be made. Again.

The Sacramento Kings: Those Paupers had to be feeling fresh last night. After all, they didn't have anybody in the All-Star Game. In fact, they didn't really have anybody who qualified to wash the jock straps of the guys who did play in the All-Star Game. But that freshness turned sour pretty quickly as the Sactowners fell behind 35-16 after 12 minutes. They would go on to trail by as many as 29 points before eventually losing 117-97.

Said Kings coach Paul Westfail: "They pretty much came out in the first quarter and took care of business. And it was finishing up the game after that."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas: From starter to benched in favor of Ericka Dampier. And, despite the magnitude of the blowout, Big Z was the only one of Miami's 12 active players who didn't log a single second. Not even a Super Mario.

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "Erick will be our starter for now. But you can believe Zydrunas will have a role."

A role known as "Big, goofy-looking white guy at the end of the bench."

The Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Superior finished two dimes short of a triple-double (28 points, 11 boards, 8 assists), but he got into foul trouble and had to sit for long stretches of the second and fourth quarters, during which the Clips were outscored 72-43. In fact, The Other L.A. Team immediately gave up a 15-0 run when Griffin sat down in quarter two.

Said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro: "It was kind of turnover after turnover, and we were chasing them again. Too many turnovers and too many missed free throws."

The numbers: The "Blakers" bumbled the ball away 17 times which led (in part) to 20 fast break points for the Thunder. The Other L.A. Team also bricked 12 free throws.

Of course, Vinny failed to mention a team defense that let OKC finish with an Offensive Rating of 123.1. Just felt I should throw that in there.

The Detroit Pistons: Houston's rookie forward Patrick Patterson scored 11 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter. And he made three clutch plays down the stretch -- a tip in, a three-point play and nailing a couple free throws -- as the Rocketeers beat the Pissed-ons 108-100 in the Palace.

Said Will Bynum: "I thought we did a good job defensively. I thought they just made shots and Patterson kind of killed us on the boards."

For the record, Patterson had 5 rebounds.

Tayshaun Prince, worst player of the night: 1 point on 0-for-9 shooting. It was the second-worst shooting game of Tayshaun's career. He scored zero points on 0-for-10 shooting back on January 13, 2008.

Said Detroit coach John Kuester: "This is one of those rare games that he didn't have it going as much."

Talk about having flair for the understatement.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Dig this totally unironic (one assumes) line from the AP: "[Brandon] Jennings had his best game in the last six, shooting 7 of 17 from the field -- including 2 of 8 from 3-point range." You know a guy's shooting has been flushed down the crapper when "best game in the last [whatever" is followed by 7-for-17 and 2-for-8.

Anyway, the Timberwolves now feature Darko Milicic AND Eddy Curry. And they say contraction is a bad idea. The only reason to watch this depressing team is to see whether Kevin Love can bust Moses Malone's double-double streak. Which is kind of like watching a train wreck to see if any survivors will pull their broken, bloody bodies out of the wreckage.

Oh, and hey, while we're mentioning the busts on this team, don't forget Sebastian Telfair is still comin' off the bench. He went 0-for-7 last night, by the way.

Brandon Jennings, quote machine: "Second half of the season so, you know, you have to get a little more serious. We have to come more mentally focused and ready to play."

Maybe if Brandon and company had, you know, gotten a little more serious during the first half of the season they wouldn't be 22-34.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Who would have have bet on going into this one? A Memphis team that had won 12 of its last 13 games or a Nuggets squad that just lost 50+ PPG and dressed only eight players?

You would have bet on the Grizzlies. Of course you would have.

Ff you follow this site, you know that teams should beware of the Wounded Tiger. Remember how the Cadavers won their season opener against the Celtics? Or, more appropriately, how the Nyets surged after owner Mikhail Prokhorov "walked away" from the 'Melo trade (only to crawl back a few weeks later)?

Well, the Nuggets were wounded, man, and it showed in the way they devoured the Grizzlies. Denver scored 102 points in the first three quarters, led by as many as 27 and coasted to a 120-107 win.

Said Al Harrington: "I'm just happy it's over with. Period. We won't have to answer these questions no more. I hope this is the last time I'm going to have to answer any trade questions for a long time."

Associated Press writer, quote machine: Nominated by our own Dan B: "The mood was Melo-choly at the Pepsi Center." Seriously.

All I konw is that this "Melo-choly" is killing poor George Karl.

george karl
Jesus Christ. All the 'MeloDrama did to Goerge Karl
what toxic waste did to that dude in Robocop.

The Golden State Warriors: You know when I knew the Warriors were gonna lose this game? When I read in the game preview that the Celtics had lost six straight road games to the Warriors and hadn't won in Gol_en State since December 29, 2003. On that date, Boston's starting lineup was Paul Pierce, Mike James, Jiri Welsch, Walter McCarty and Vin Baker while Gol_en State went with a starting five of Nick Van Exel, Jason Richardson, Cliff Robinson, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Ericka Dampier.

Oh, what a titanic battle that must of been.

Anyway, stat curse for the win. The Celtics shot 55.6 percent and won by 22 points despite committing 18 turnovers (to only 11 for the Warriors) and having a 28-11 disadvantage in free throw attempts. It helped that they held Gol_en State to 39 percent shooting and an Offensive Rating of 97.1.

Said Stephen Curry: "When they made their run, we kind of sunk our heads a bit. We didn't have the composure down the stretch to make plays.

The Atlanta Hawks: Have you ever seen a bird fly beak-first into an oncoming car? Because that's what happened to the Hawks last night: 36 percent shooting, 1-for-15 from three-point range, outrebounded 54-32, and down by as many as 29 points before finally losing 104-80 to the Lakers in L.A.

Said Atlanta coach Larry Drew: "I thought our guys took the path of least resistance the whole game. On offense, we settled, and defensively, we didn't play with physicality. I just thought we settled, which is starting to be a pattern with us."

In related news, the Hawks have lost four of their last five games.

Added Al Horford: "I'm trying to figure it out. We had a great practice yesterday, so it was frustrating being out there. But you have to give them credit. They came out and did their thing. They took over, man. They really dominated at both ends. We really have some soul-searching to do as a team, and it's discouraging."

I just love it when teams that aren't as good as they think they are try to figure out why they aren't as good as they think they are.

Chris's Lacktion Report:

Craptors-Bobcats: Joey Dorsey polished his blades of steel in just 49 seconds by skating briefly on the court for a Mario!

Pacers-Generals: Despite checking a board into his tab, Hilton Armstrong also only lasted 54 seconds on the hardwood for a Mario.

Purple Paupers-Heat: Jamaal Magloire made a board irrelevant in 3:57 with a brick and three fouls to give Miami a 3:1 Voskuhl.

Wolves-Bucks: Tiny Earl Boykins barged into 8-bit gaming with a 22 second celebratory Mario.

Clippers-Thunder: Rasual Butler clearly took his Null-Star snub to heart, gathering up a 4.8 trillion (4:49) that will no doubt earn him access to Donald Sterling's janitorial closet.

For Oklahoma City, Nick Collison combined a board, two made free throws, and two steals in 22:33 with three fouls and a turnover for a 4:3 Voskuhl.

Celtics-Warriors: Semih Erden erased four assists and a board in 17:10 with four fouls and a turnover for a 5:1 Voskuhl.

East Oakland's Charlie Bell rang up a foul in 2:16 for a +1.


You thought Sunday night's All-Star game was the end of the All-Star festivities, didn't you? You were wrong. Oh, so bawfully wrong. What better way to celebrate President's Day than to hold the second annual Null-Star Game? (Hint: pretty much any other way is a better way to celebrate, but here we are.)

The Eastern Conference Null-Stars earned home court advantage as a result of their 41-23 ass-whuppin' victory in last year's game. The game was simulated in NBA 2K11 with five-minute quarters because referees threatened to walk out when we told them there'd be full-length quarters. Also, the only way we could lure fans was to offer a Ten Cent Beer Night, so we couldn't play too long, lest we see another riot. (Heaven help the poor bastard who hits Brian Scalabrine in the face with a beer. His championship ring will leave a mighty dent in your forehead.)

The rosters for this game were carefully chosen by reviewing the lacktion reports Chris has tracked all season, utilizing the highly advanced metrics of Marios, trillions, suck differentials, and Voskuhls. Here are your 2010-2011 Basketbawful Null-Stars:

Eastern Conference Null-Stars:
Von Wafer, Celtics: 2 Super Mario Galaxies. 7 appearances with trillions for a combined total of 20.45 trillion, averaging 2.9 trillion per lacktive game. 5 suck differential games, for a total of +10.
Quinton Ross, Nyets: 3 Marios, averaging 24 seconds per Mario appearance. 4 suck differential games for a total of +11.
Jason Kapono, Sixers: 7 Marios, averaging 19.4 seconds per Mario apperance, with 2 Super Mario Galaxies.
Brian Scalabrine, Bulls: He's the Null-Star equivalent of Tim Duncan in this year's All-Star game, getting essentially the "lifetime achievement" spot. Yes, a lifetime achievement of towel-waving and contributing only on the rarest of occasions.
Joel Anthony, Heat: Total suck differential of +11, averaging +3.7 per lacktive appearance. 15 Voskuhls. Two triple zeros in one month.

Stephen Graham, Nyets: 4 suck differential games, +13 total, averaging +3.25.
Trevor Booker, Generals: 4 Marios, averaging 17 seconds, with 2 Super Mario Galaxies. Combined trillion efforts of 7.5 trillion, averaging 3.75 trillion per lacktive game.
Johan Petro, Nyets: 14 Voskuhls
Sherron Collins, Bobcraps: 3 Marios, averaging 10.7 seconds, with 2 Super Mario Galaxies. 4 suck differential games.
Semih Erden, Celtics: +12 total suck differential, averaging +6 per lacktive game.
Hilton Armstrong, Generals: 3 Marios, 11 Voskuhls.
Ryan Hollins, Cadavers: 9 Voskuhls.
Western Conference Null-Stars:
Ronnie Price, Jazz: A combined effort of 10.2 trillion in just two lacktive efforts, averaging a mighty 5.1 trillion per game. 5 suck differential games for a total of +10.
Quincy Pondexter, Hornets: 3 games with trillions, for a total of 7 trillion, averaging 2.33 trillion per game. 4 appearances with suck differentials.
Luke Babbitt, Blazers: 6 appearances with suck differentials, and one of the few Blazers with working legs.
Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson, Kings: 5 Marios. A total +10 suck differential, averaging +3.3 per lacktive game.
Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies: 5 suck differential games, and 12 Voskuhls.

Willie Warren, Clippers: 10 total trillion in just two lacktive appearances, averaging a staggering 5 trillion per appearance.
Dan Gadzuric, Warriors: A total suck differential of +10, averaging +3.3 per lacktive game. 10 Voskuhls.
Jarron Collins, Clippers: 5 games with trillions, combining for 12.1 total trillion, averaging 2.42 trillion per lacktive game.
Steve Novak, Spurs: 3 Marios. 3 games with trillion box score lines. Most Bawful Player from the 2010 Null-Star game.
Kyrylo Fesenko, Jazz: 5 suck differential games, with a league-leading 16 Voskuhls.
Sam Young, Grizzlies: 5 suck differential games, for a combined +14.
Brian Cardinal, Mavericks: Averaging 2.43 trillion per lacktive appearance, plus 5 games with suck differentials.
And now, enjoy BawfulTV's coverage of the game. Here's Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellog with the call, and Doris Burke reporting from the sidelines. I didn't believe it was possible, but I'm fairly certain this game was even more bawful than last year's game. Prepare yourself for blown dunks, an over-and-back violation, and the worst shooting in the history of organized basketball.

1st Quarter:

2nd Quarter and Halftime Show:

3rd Quarter:

4th Quarter and Game Recap:

Box score:

Shooting Zones:

Lacktion report:
For the East, Ryan Hollins racked up one personal foul in four minutes for a +1. For the West, Sam Young had 5 missed shots, 2 fouls, and 1 turnover for a stunning +7 while Kyrylo Fesenko cashed in for 2 trillion.

Most Bawful Player:
While Sam Young did rack up a mighty lot of failure in his 9 minutes on the court, I have to give the nod to Luke Babbitt. Though he did add 6 points, 2 boards, and a steal, he also went 1-13 from the field and absolutely destroyed his team's offensive flow on nearly every possession, shooting bad jumper after bad jumper early in the shot clock. His game-worst -27 further proves his status as the Most Bawful Player.

Von Wafer nearly destroyed the civilized world with a dunk that approached Chaos Dunk territory. It decapitated everyone within several yards of the basket, as captured in this striking image:


And boom goes the dynamite.

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I thought the season hit it's lowest possible point when the Cadavers lost 26 games in a row.

Then, when the Cadavers snapped that streak against the Clippers, I genuinely thought I couldn't possibly witness a worse NBA-related moment. Maybe ever.

I was wrong. God in heaven help me, I was wrong.


Bonus and totally not made up quote directly from the AP recap: "He has the softest hair," marveled former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox, who patted his West teammate Bieber on the head during the game.


There will be no Worst of the Night post, folks. There were only two games, both pretty good, and I'm suffering All-Star break letdown.

Instead, here's a different sort of treat. The RedEye -- a free daily publication put out by the Chicago Tribune -- ran a story in which various members of the Chicago Bulls recount the tale of their first dunk. And, in case you've forgotten, Brian Scalabrine and Kyle Korver both play for the Bulls.

And so...

first dunk

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APTOPIX Nuggets Bucks Basketball
Oh, damnit, the CarmeloBot 5000 is acting up again. Anyone know the phone number for a robot repair guy?

Two more games before we hit the All-Star break. You know what that means... it's almost time for the annual Basketbawful Null-Star Game. Rosters are being determined right now, and I will simulate the game in NBA 2K11 and post it on Youtube sometime in the next few days. I hope to have it done sometime this weekend, but I can't guarantee it. I can guarantee this: it will be worth the wait. You know you want to see shot-clock violations, bricked threes, over-and-back violations, and lots of poor basketball players aimlessly standing around.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Nets Celtics Basketball
Hmm, this looks familiar...

Clippers Timberwolves Basketball
Is dropkicking Chris Kaman in the head really necessary? (The answer is, of course, yes)

A quick smack in the nether region is one way to tell Bosh "welcome home!"

Nationally Televised Games:
Spurs at Bulls, TNT, 8pm: The Spurs are having their best rodeo trip (6 of 8 wins so far) since the 2002-03 season. As you may have guessed, that same Spurs team won the title. I don't wanna stat curse anything (seriously, unlike last night, I really don't), but I think I speak for every other team in the league when I say this: oh snap!

Mavericks at Suns, TNT, 10:30pm: Wait a second... the Mavericks are already stupid good, so they added Peja Stojakovic, and now they've also gotten Rodrigue Beaubois back on the court? Tonight could be their 13th win in their last 14 games. And things just got interesting out West...

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pau surprise
This picture sums things up quite nicely...don't you think?

The Los Angeles Lakers: Mind Status: Blown.

I mean, it was a little over a month ago that the Cadavers lost 112-57 in L.A. That was the worst loss in franchise history. And it was exactly three games ago that Cleveland set the NBA record (and tied the all-time record for the four major professional sports) for most consecutive losses. According to Basketball-Reference, the Cadavers rank 30th in Expected W-L, 30th in SRS, 30th in Defensive Rating and 29th in Offensive Rating. They are, without any doubt, the worst team in the league. They may be one of the worst teams ever.

But they beat the Lakers. A team that clobbered them by 55 only 36 days ago.

And now William Shatner provides his artistic interpretation of what the Lakers must be feeling right now:

As J.A. Adande pointed out in ESPN's Daily Dime, the Lakers now have as many losses against the bottom three teams in the league as they have victories against the top five teams in the league. But even that doesn't really cover the scope of this defeat.

The Cadavers had lost 37 of their last 39 games. It had been 40 games since they had won a game in regulation. yet Cleveland scored 17 points on the fast break, 23 points off 19 forced (and unforced) turnovers and 50 points in the paint. They finished with an Offensive Rating of 111.0...about 10 points per 100 possessions better than their season average.

Cue this stunning quote from Andrew Bynum: "We knew they were going to come out and beat us, and we just didn't play any D."

We knew they were going to come out and beat us.

Maybe that attitude explains Bynum's statistical stink bomb: 2-for-12 shooting and almost as many fouls (5) as rebounds (6) in 22 minutes.

Kobe (8-for-24, 1-for-6 from downtown, 7 turnovers) played like poop, too. I think maybe we should upgrade his "flu-like symptoms" to "mortal wound-like symptoms." Ron Artest was such a no-show (2 assists, 1 point, zero rebounds in 18 minutes) that channeled his inner Bill Walton and Tweeted this:

artest tweet

Even the Lakers who played well sucked. Derek Fisher scored 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting but got lit the hell up by Ramon Sessions, who came off the bench to score a season-high 32 points (9-for-16 from the field, 13-for-14 at the line) and dish 8 assists. Pau Gasol had an Animal-Style double-double (30 points and 20 boards), grabbing 10 offensive rebounds and going 14-for-14 from the line. But he made countless defensive mistakes and even got posterized by Christian Eyenga (who had just blown by Mamba by the way):

And then there was this:

Said Gasol: "It's a painful, painful loss. It's very disappointing. I don't understand it."

None of us do, Pau. None of us do. But there are theories.

Said Phil Jackson: "I think they took the [All-Star] break before the game started."

Added Lamar Odom: "We take teams lightly at times. We play the cat-and-mouse game. Sometimes the cat loses."

Some credit should go to Dan B. for his sweet stat curse in yesterday's BAD post: "The Lakers just got their asses handed to them by the Bobcraps. Stepping back in time just a few weeks, the Lakers handed the Cadavers one of the most brutal losses the league has ever seen. Footage of that game is the closest thing to a snuff film most people will ever see. So yeah, I'm not too worried about the Lakers' chances tonight."

Frankly, after exulting in this game, the rest of these entries are gonna be a letdown. But I will bravely soldier on.

The Toronto Craptors: Welcome back, Chris! But not really.

So get this: The cHeat apparently put this game in the "Win one for the Gipper" category. Before the game, somebody apparently wrote "Band of Brothers" on the scouting board. LeBron said: "We wanted to be there for [Bosh] as a brother and a teammate." And afterwards, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra added: "We're all happy for Chris. It was not our best game but guys definitely wanted to band together and win it for him."

Reality check: Chris Bosh left Toronto. Not the other way around. This whole "rally around him" thing is the equivalent of Emperor Palpatine sending Darth Vader a sympathy card for cutting off Luke's hand.

Anyway, credit the Craptosaurs for playing the cHeat reasonably tough, even if "tough is a word you don't typically (or ever) use for a team featuring Andrea "Soft as a Pillowtop Mattress" Bargnani (38 points on 15-for-26 shooting). But although they didn't get blown out...they still lost for the 17th time in their last 19 games and are now only five wins better than the Cadavers.

Chris Bosh: After his current team rubbed his former team's nose in its own feces, the RuPaul of Big Men blew kisses to the crowd as he headed to the locker room. What the hell was up with that?

When asked if he was being sarcastic (read that: an asshole), Bosh said: "What does sarcasm mean? It was sarcastic to all the naysayers, it is real to all the supporters. People are going to take it the way they want to."

The Washington Wizards Generals: Having finally secured their first road win of the season, the Generals apparently decided that blowing gruesome chunks was once again the accepted response to playing outside of their nation's capital.

Washington shot 34.9 percent, went 3-for-13 from beyond the arc, bricked eight freebies, dished out only 8 assists, trailed by as many as 29 points and finished with only 76 points in a 25-point blowout loss.

All because Nick Young was out with a sore knee.

Said Generals coach Flip Saunders: "We were outmanned. Not having Nick hurt a lot. I thought we played really hard the first half, but couldn't make a shot. It was one of those things, the harder we tried the harder we fell. It was like being in quicksand."

Countered Andray Blatche: "We reverted back to our old selves. [The] 'I'm going to be the guy who's going to get us over the hump' instead of 'we.'"

Personally, I think 'Dray is closer to the mark than Flip.

Update! J.J. Redick: Basketbawful reader Gökhan provided this most worthy link:

The New Jersey Nyets: If you only looked at New Jersey's field goal percentage (38.8) and the final score (94-80), you would assume this was yet another in the string of hapless beatings the Nyets have endured since Devin Harris said "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" back on December 9, 2008. They're 42-150 since then by the way.

However, this didn't turn into a blowout until the very end. In fact, the Nyets were ahead 78-77 until Ray Allen drilled a triple with 5:58 left in the fourth. That started a 16-0 run that turned a competitive game into a mercy killing.


Speaking of The Little General, he called a timeout 29 seconds into the game after Paul Pierce hit a layup to cap a 2-0 game-opening run for the C's. A little reactionary, don't ya think, Avery?

Anyway, the Nyets are now 0-9 in their division and 17-40 on the season.

Paul Pierce, quote machine: Joking about his 0-for-10 game against the cHeat: "Something was wrong with the rim or the ball."

The Indiana Pacers: Allow me, if you will, to repost what Roy Hibbert said after Tuesday night's loss to the cHeat:

"The rest of the season, we're coming. We're not backing down. We're not having any lackadaisical games. We're on the prowl. We're hungry."

Now allow me to quote Danny Granger after Wednesday night's 115-109 overtime loss to the Pistons (21-36):

"Sometimes a team goes on vacation one game early for the All-Star break, and this is what happens. We didn't do anything on defense and we got beat."

I just have to point out that Basketbawful reader Crjoe called it in last weekend's comments section: "Cue the losing streak for the Pacers, Yahoo! has officially deemed them "surging"...after downing the T-Wolves none the less."

I'm telling you all: The "Surging Curse" is real. It's real.

John Kuester, coach of the year candidate: "As a coach, you shouldn't teach effort."

The Minnesota Timberwolves: The Clippers have been surging lately, too. The same why my bowels surge after a night of Jägerbombs and a 3 a.m. stop at Taco Bell. In complete and total seriousness, how awesome is a Cheesy Double Beef Burrito when you can't feel feeling anymore?

Still, bad as they've been lately, they're still better than the Tenderpoops, who converted only 35.4 percent of their field goals, missed 17 of their 24 three-point attempts and bricked 11 freebies. Did I mention they were playing at home? In related news, they're 0-5 at the Target Center this month.

Of course, Minny was without Michael Beasley for the fifth game in a row and had to sit Jonny Flynn due to his continuing recovery from hip surgery.

Said T-Wolves coach Kurt Rambis: "I hate to say it, but if there has ever been a team I have been around that needs the [All-Star] break, this is the team."

Countered Darko Milicic: "We can't make excuses, we're tired, we're hurt, whatever. We're missing everything."

Personally, I think Darko is closer to the mark than Kurt.

The Atlanta Hawks: I know their record is pretty good (34-21), but the Dirty Birds are just so...average. They rank 13th in Defensive Rating (105.8) and 15th in Offensive Rating (107.2). According to Basketball-Reference, they're 16th in SRS (0.34). They're just this sort-of-okay, middle-of-the-pack team that's probably just kind of killing time until it's probable (inevitable?) first round playoff exit.

Case in point: Last night's listless blowout in New York.

Said Atlanta coach Larry Drew: "We just totally went away from our game plan. We have a recipe when we play on the road and I thought early the warning signs were there early in the first quarter. Especially defensively. I wasn't as concerned offensively. My main concern was defensively. We had multiple defensive breakdowns and then at the offensive end we just started settling. Being on the road you have to get the shots you want."

Whatever. The Hawks are "Dead Team Walking." Meanwhile, according to the AP recap, the Knicks "at 28-26 matched their average victory total for the last five full seasons. They didn't even earn their 28th victory last season until April 6 and haven't been above .500 this late in a season since they finished 48-34 in 2000-01."

Who needs Carmelo Anthony, right? Am I right?

The Sacramento Kings: The Return of Rodrigue Beaubois (13 points, 6 assists, 3 steals in 21 minutes) was too much for the Paupers of Purpledom. Dallas -- behind Roddy B and J-Kidd -- punched out a 24-4 second half run and led by as many as 26 points before settling for a 116-100 win.

Make it seven losses in the last nine games for the 13-win only three victories better than the Cadavers.

The Milwaukee Bucks: Stop me if you've heard this before: The Bucks shot under 40 percent and were held below 87 points in a...

...oh so you've heard this before? Over and over you say? As in all season?

As Charles Barkley would say, these guys couldn't score in an empty gym. What a waste of a one-night thawing out of John Salmons (33 points on 13-for-23 shooting). Many thanks -- in the form of a basket full of rotting fruit -- go to Andy Bogut (1-for-7 from the floor, 1-for-4 from the line) and Brandon Jennings (1-for-11 from the field, 0-for-6 from beyond the arc).

By the way, Jennings (37.5 FGP this season and 37.2 FPG for his career) has officially entered The Larry Hughes Zone. Please stop taking so many bad shots, Brandon!

Worst shooting team. Lowest scoring team. Losers of eight out of 10 games and 13 games on the south side of .500.

Said John Salmons: "'Melo put on a great performance tonight, but we were still able to be close at the end,. We just have to be able to make a couple of plays to get over the hump. It is frustrating, but we just have to keep playing through it."

Added Bad Porn: "We're just going to take this [All-Star] break and come in with a different attitude."

Corey "King of Attitude Change" Maggette has spoken! I'm sure everything will be just fine now, Bucks fans.

The Utah Jazz: No Andrei Kirilenko (sprained ankle), Raja Bell (strained calf) or Ronnie Price (sprained toe). A non-existent _efensive performance against the Gol_en State Warriors (54.5 percent shooting and an O-Rating of 114.7). A 107-100 loss, at home, which was the team's 13th defeat in 17 tries.

Jerry Sloan was too old and tired for this shit. No wonder he resigned.

Nothing is going right for the Jazz these days. Hell, even EnergySolutions Arena is quitting on them. Last night, during the second quarter, a power outage knocked out half of the overhead lights. There was a two-minute delay before the officials said "fuck it" and restarted the game despite the fact that, according to the AP recap, the arena "looked more like a dimly lit high school venue."

Said Deron Williams: "The [All-Star] break came at the right time." Speaking of D-Will...

Deron Williams: The self-proclaimed "best point guard in the league" was 5-for-13 from the field and 1-for-5 on threes. In the three games he's been free of Jerry Sloan's Offensive of Oppression, Williams is 15-for-43 from the field and 5-for-15 from outside the big arc. He's also committed 13 turnovers in that stretch.

The New Orleans Hornets: Check it out: The Portland Frail Blazers won their season-high sixth game in a row and surged -- that's right, they surged, people -- a season-best eight games over .500 despite the continuing absence of three-time All-Star Brandon Roy.

Despite...or maybe because of?

Look, I don't mean to bust too hard on Roy, especially in light of the news that he may have only 1-2 years left in his career even if he basically doesn't practice, is reduced to an off-the-bench player, gets limited to 65-75 games per season, and is forced to rest thoughout the year.

But, I mean, come on. This is a guy who earlier this season proclaimed "I want the ball a lot more" despite a pretty obvious decline in physical skills and then basically blamed teammate Andre Miller for said decline.

But inspect the numbers: 10-13 with Roy and 22-11 without him. And, quite frankly, Portland's offense is better, much better, when the first, second and third options are not "isolate Roy while everybody else stands around and watches."

And with the way he's been playing, it's becoming clearer by the day that the Blazers' O should revolve around LaMarcus Aldridge.

Anyway, the Hornets continued their own decent into hell with their third straight loss. New Orleans has now dropped nine of 11 games following a 10-game winning streak that may have been, you guessed it, fools' gold.

Said Chris Paul: "It's really tough. The only good thing is we've got a lot of basketball left to play. It will be good for us to get a chance to regroup and see what we can do."

Speaking of CP3, he must have drank from the same Elixir of Suck that D-Will has been sipping from. In February, Paul has gone 40-for-94 (42.6 percent) from the field and 7-for-21 (33.3 percent) from downtown. Over his last five games, he's shooting 17-for-54 (31 percent) overall and 2-for-9 (22 percent) from long range.

Update! Funtastic Extra: Basketbawful reader allison provided this list of highest scoring games without a free throw. I'm not even remotely surprised to see guys like Wally Szczerbiak, Chuck Person and Vince Carter on this list. I am, however, more than a little shocked that Hakeem Olajuwon once scored 48 points without even attempting a freebie. Fittingly, he did it against the _enver Nuggets.

Chris's Awesome Lacktion Ledger:

Generals-Magic: Hilton Armstrong checked into the ledger with a board countered by two fouls in 8:02 and a turnover for a 3:1 Voskuhl.

Nyets-Celtics: Johan Petro provided his usual Voskuhl by pureeing a pair of points in 10:47 (and a board) with three fouls and two giveaways for a 5:3.

Fellow Jersey Shore lounger Ben Uzoh ultimately undermined contributory basketball by bricking twice in 86 seconds, taking a rejection, and fouling once for a +4.

Clippers-Wolves: Brian Cook warmed up a foul and two charity stripe misses in 1:18 for a +3.

Purple Paupers-Mavs: Luther Head tossed spiky shells for 37 seconds to earn a non-celebratory Mario. Meanwhile, the Mavs' Ian Mahinmi made a board meaningless in 7:23 after losing the rock once and fouling out for a 7:1 Voskuhl!

Nuggets-Bucks: Jon Brockman fouled once for a +1 in 3:13.

Warriors-Jazz: Ekpe Udoh undid a rebound in 15:42 with four fouls and two turnovers for a 6:1 Voskuhl, while fellow Bay Area resident Vladimir Radmanovic bricked thricely in 7:27 and also fouled that amount for a celebratory +6!

For Utah, Kyrylo Fesenko found himself back in the ledger by augmenting an assist with a foul and turnover in 6:09 for a 2:0 Voskuhl. And Francisco Elson finagled a shot attempt for a +1 in 2:38.

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