This game was awkward for everyone

You shall not pass!!!
The Bobcats: The Cats stayed stalled in limbo. Earlier this season, they raced out of the gates, relatively speaking, to a 7-5 start. As you likely know, those 7 wins are the same amount won by the 2011-12 incarnation of the Cats. The celebration for that achievement was short lived, and now the specter of past failures looms in its place.

The Fur-balls came within 6 points of ascension, but were cast back into the darkness by Jrue Holiday's career high 15 assists and Evan Turner's 25 points and 10 rebounds. This loss brings the Blundercats into that familiar territory known as sub-500 ball, but they'll have a chance on Monday to claw their way back to mediocrity against the Blazers. Having checked the score of that game in the 4th quarter, and not once since, I like their chances.

The Blazers: The Blazers can add losing to a team led in minutes by Courtney Lee to their list of recent failures. Even though some unfortunate fans ended up watching this game, the NBA as of yet has not fined itself for sitting Rajon Rondo.

The Magic: The loss of Brook Lopez to a bruised foot was nothing the Nets couldn't handle, as they defeated their favorite opponent for the 3rd time this season. You'd think they'd feel some solidarity over Dwight Howard. Apparently, that's not the case.

Beal: Gee whiz, I hope a teammate gets that

The Wizards: They must have caught the Knicks in a good mood, because the Generals only lost by 21 points.  Only Kevin Seraphin, Jordan Crawford, and Bradley Beal scored in double figures. Nene narrowly missed the cutoff, scoring 9, but he played under 18 minutes. By making over half of his shots, Nene did join an equally exclusive trio of Wizards. The Knicks were basically just practicing their synchronized swimming, as Ronnie Brewer and Tyson Chandler both made 5 of 8 shots for 12 points, while J.R. Smith and Melo saw the game with 20/20 vision.

Charles Barkley, loyal Basketbawful reader: This isn't exactly a recent story, but Charles Barkley has clearly been following this site. How else could you explain his referring to the Wizards as the Generals. Chuck, since I now know you're reading, you might not have won a ring but you're still the Champ.

The Hawks, fortune's foil: Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, fortune actually worked in favor of the Cavaliers. In the final seconds, Dion Waiters threw up a shot that missed everything but Alonzo Gee's serendipitously placed hands. Gee hit the shot to win the game, and just like that Varejao got to re-live the feeling of putting up big numbers in a win. Sideshow Bob's 18 rebounds made this his 7th game in a row with more than 15. Coming into this game, Cleveland had lost 4 straight. If not for a 9 point victory over the 76ers, it would have been 10 straight.

The Nikola and Tobias show continues to delight children of all ages

The Broped: The Bucks lost to the T-pups by 10 points, joining the ranks of the Nets, the Magic, and the Kings. It's a rare un-accomplishment, and the wobbly tire tracks leaving the scene left little doubt where responsibility lies. The Broped shot 41 shots but only scored 36. Their 8:5 assist to turnover ratio was similarly unimpressive. It's hard to overcome the two-headed monster eating up all the possessions effect. But Jennings isn't sweating it, as indicated in his comments to reporters, "I think as a unit it doesn't matter who takes the shots". That's easy to say when you're getting 19 shots. Larry Sanders, 5-7, might disagree.

Sanders took his frustrations out on the T-pups with 10 blocks. This performance tied a franchise high set by Kareem in 1973. It also gave Sanders his first career triple-double, 11 rebounds, 10 points, and 10 blocks. Alas, it was all in vane, because as world renowned strategist Brandon Jennings will tell you, "it doesn't matter who takes the shots".

Meanwhile the T-pups were having a sweet 16 party; Alexey Shved scored 10 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter; Pekovic grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds; and Luke Ridnour, the Cal Ripken of Minnesota, also threw in 16. As of yet, there's no word on whether Pekovic's 5 blocked attempts were also a career high.

Larry Sanders, confusing standards machine: Sanders might have matched a nearly 40 year old record, but that's not what he went home feeling proud about. He explained, "I only had two fouls tonight. I think that's what I'm most impressed with." Uh, great job Larry. Keep up the good work.

Leon Gorszaki: Ersan Ilyasova hit rock bottom with a DNP-CD. Things have gotten so bad that Rotoworld mused it's causing his fantasy owners to reach for the motion sickness drug Dramamine. I would have suggested Thorazine myself, but hey—what do I know?

They don't make Thorazine ads like they used to

Sore groin alert: The following players are dealing with afflictions of the groin: Malcolm Lee of the Timberwolves was out with a sore left groin (Much like the majority of my lexicon is culled from watching the Simpsons in the '90s, my medical knowledge has mostly been derived from reading this blog. Otherwise, I would have been previously unaware that their is such a thing as a 'left groin'). Tony Allen missed playing the Pistons with an, incredibly painful sounding, right groin sprain. Jameer Nelson has mostly recovered from his "groin issues", but he missed Friday's loss to the Nets with a much more dignified sounding sore left Achilles tendon.

The Kings: After the game, the Pacers, for the first time since their 4th game of the season, no longer had a losing record. It's amazing what playing a Tyreke Evans-less Kings squad does for a team. George Hill's 25 points and 8 assists, plus David West's 31 points and 11 rebounds, put the 'train' in Sleep Train Arena (I still can't believe that's what they call it).

Return of the 'enver Nuggets: The Lakers put internal squabbling and literary references aside for a game to pummel the 'enver Nuggets. The Nuggets were one solitary Jordan Hamilton free throw away from a 20 point loss, and gave up 122 points to their opponent to prove there is still no D in 'enver. Usually, when Dwight Howard scores 28 points and grabs 20 rebounds, he's clearly the best player on his team that night, but 'enver wasn't through bending over. For the first time since he was in a Wizard's uniform, a resurgent Antawn Jamison thrust his way to 33 points and 12 rebounds, while serving up 5 downtown facials. Usually, you have to pay extra for that sort of thing, but the Nuggets were feeling so generous they even let Jodie Meeks get off with 21 points for only 9 shots.  

Knicks-Wizards: The NBA's oldest man, Kurt Thomas, creaked his way to a +3 suck differential in close to 8 minutes. While for the Wizards, Cartier Martin set his watch to a +3 suck differential in 5 minutes and 50 seconds.  
Celtics-Blazers: David Stern did not fine the Portland Trailblazers, even though they forced fans to watch Sasha Pavlovic accumulate no statistics in 2 minutes and 49 seconds. The Celtics also went without penalty for playing Jason Collins 11 minutes and 30 seconds, in which time he put together a 4:1 Voskuhl.
Cavaliers-Hawks: Samardo Samuels did ostensibly nothing in 2 minutes and 37.
Timberwolves-Bucks: The Vanilla Godzilla packed an amazing amount of lacktion into his 2 second stint for the Bucks. He committed a foul and missed two free throws. He was shooting the free throws because Beno Udrih had to be carried off the court. Even though it's been 13 years since he left the University of Minnesota early, grudges last longer when it's cold outside, and the fans still booed him.
Pacers-Kings: So it's come to this, Isaiah Thomas with a 2 second Supermario. 
Lakers-Nuggets: Evan Fournier missed a shot in his 2 and a half minutes for the Nuggets, heaping a +1 suck differential on the 'enver pile of shame. 


Caption this

This picture now exists

This sight hasn't gotten less painful

The Nets: The Heat toyed with the Nets for a while, as they're prone to, before turning a 14 point deficit into a 13 point victory. If Ray Ray looks like a point guard in the picture, maybe it's because he's about to throw an alley-oop to Dwyane Wade. That assist gave Pookie his first 30 point game of the season. Through surveys given to traumatized opposing fans, evidence has already been compiled to suggest that the pain from a Heat play is most severe when it involves Assassin #34, the man once known as Jesus Shuttlesworth.

As for the Nets, I'll let you draw your own conclusions from the words—top performer Andray Blatche.

Cleveland: I guess the Cavaliers didn't like the taste of not wasting Varejao's prime, so they went right back to what they've done for 11 of their last 13 games. Less typical was their foray into overtime. The Cavs played 2 overtime periods in this game, which was 2 more than they'd seen so far this season. I guess the wandering Trailblazers were tired from playing their 5th game in a row on the road.

Weary players from both teams struggled to stay on the floor. Varejao thought he'd dislocated his finger and headed to the locker room, only to return in the 2nd quarter when X-rays had proved negative. He still grabbed 17 rebounds. Dion Waiters went down with an ankle injury, but he was polite enough to wait until the 2nd overtime. Batum left in the 1st quarter after getting hit in the face, but was back for the 2nd. I'm guessing after the final play of the game, the Cavs wished they had put a little more mustard on that blow to the face.

Be sure to watch the clip long enough to see Byron Scott's expression. It's priceless.

Phobias: Damian Lillard played what was probably his best game of the road trip. His 24 points and 11 assists were a triumph for a life without fear. As has been previously reported, Lillard suffers from a fear of statues. Since Quicken Loans Arena is only a short distance from the Lorain Carnegie Bridge, chances are that Lillard might have seen or passed over it on Saturday. As Cleveland natives know, this particular bridge is the home of two gargantuan statues known as the Guardians of Traffic.

The way I figure it, one of three things happened: the Blazers never actually passed that way; they did, but a teammate wisely distracted the rookie; or Damian actually saw the stoney faces keeping vigil but was able to control his Automatonophobia.

If the latter turns out to be true, I'd like to be the first to congratulate Lillard on winning this battle with his inner demons. It's a real condition, and he should know that he isn't alone. Now if the Blazers can only get Wesley Matthew's fear of music under control, they should be alright...

All of a sudden a fear of statues doesn't seem so strange

The Hornets: It almost feels unfair to give the Hornets a WotN for losing to the Thunder by 21 points. But what am I gonna do? Not give them one? The Hornet Pelican defense had Russell Westbrook blowing on his fingers like they were pistols, and the Big Mouthed Bird's offense finished shoveling dirt on the grave of their former name.

The Jazz: This weekend marked the welcome return of Mo Williams, who keeps the Silver Bullet from leading the team in minutes, but it wasn't enough to defeat the Rockets. Maybe a little defense could've helped. The Rockets scored 124 points, making even Friday's Laker offense look sluggish. The Jazz finished within 8 points on the strength of 20 points a piece for Foye, Jefferson, and Hayward. Patrick Patterson may have been the only Rocket to score 20 points, but when 7 players score at least 13 points, then that's all it takes.

The wasting of big boy pants: Thaddeus Young put on his 'Kobe Bryant approved' big boy pants and walked around in them for 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks and steals each. Unfortunately for the city of Philadelphia, his non-Jrue teammates were too busy being bottled up by the Chicago defense to notice. Don't let their 44% shooting as a team deceive you. Outside of Thadd and Jrue, the 6ers only made a third of their shots.

The Celtics: So far, the NBA has not come forth to fine itself for causing Milwaukee residents to watch Jason Terry for over 40 minutes in the place of Rondo. The credit for the win can be mostly given to the Milwaukee forwards. Ersan Ilyasova bounced back from his DNP-CD with 15 points, but the star of the show was once again Larry Sanders. Since the phrase 'big boy pants' is really making the rounds right now, I'm gonna ascribe their comfortably fitting properties to Larry Sanders. His 18 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 blocks gave fantasy owners who drafted Ilyasova plenty of reasons to reach for their medication of choice.

The Purple Paupers: According to the Associated Press, the Clippers were guilty of "manhandling" the Kings last night. I don't know quite what that implies, but I'm sure that DeMarcus Cousins didn't find it pleasant.

Manhandling in progress

It's pretty clear from their 35 point deficit, that giving the Zeke-child a Supermario on Friday did not appease whatever dark force the Kings have angered. The team threw caution to the wind and played Thomas for 16 and a half minutes, during which time he shot the ball 11 times. Maybe if he shot it another 11 times he could've led the team in scoring, but his 14 points were not enough to displace Marcus Thornton.

No Clipper needed to play 30 minutes in this game. Not a single member of the Kings had a positive Lenovo stat, nor did any Clipper experience a negative one.

The Commish: For each point they beat Memphis by, the Spurs had to spend over 83 grand in fines. Was it worth it? I'm not the one to answer that question, but I can tell you that the commissioner came within a Ray Allen three on Thursday of having his face completely covered in egg yoke. As it was, his face just got mostly yoke covered. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker proved that they needed every minute of beauty-sleep, using four quarters and an overtime to combine for 57 points. It's pretty clear that this was just their attempt to get the advertising department of Heinz Ketchup to cover that $250,000.

David Stern might have a point about not resting Danny Green, though. The guard missed all 7 of his attempts for zero points.

Heat-Nets: A lacktion section isn't complete this year without a +1 suck differential from Josh Childress. His fellow Net, Tyshawn Taylor, netted a trillion with 25 seconds to spare. Teammate Mirza Teletovic was more precise, hitting his trillion dead-on. For Miami, Dexter Pittman and Terrel Harris synchronized their watches for matching trillions, while James Jones was also giving exactly a minute of playing time but used his to miss a 3 for a +1 suck differential.
Spurs-Grizzlies: As David Stern has informed his goons, the city of San Antonio shall pay dearly for the 10 seconds of playing time given to James Anderson. 
Warriors-Pacers: Biedrins wandered the lonely court for a 3:1 Voskuhl in 4 minutes and 50 seconds.


Melo's bemusement at having to play the Suns

Yes, that is Big Baby grabbing a board from Dwight

The Lakers: The Lakers dominated the Worst of the Night for Sunday. There were only two games played, and nothing the Suns did was comparable to the Lakers losing to their farm team. How bad was this 10 point loss to the Magic? Well, it was to the Magic...

Kobe was full of anger after the game, more so than usual. How angry was he? Well, he personally threatened to storm into the locker room and kick the ass of each and every teammate. If you don't believe me, and you really should considering everything that Kobe has ever done or said, then here is the link.

And just like that the countdown to Dwight Howard's next exodus is back on. Unlike the center he replaced, Pumaman hasn't become accustomed yet to daily threats of violence.

Terrible rules: I doubt the Magic would have scored 40 points in the 4th quarter, if not for their executing the Hack-a-Howard strategy so effectively. Dwight missed a dozen free throws for the second time this season.

I think everyone who watches the NBA has seen enough bricked intentional foul shots to last a lifetime, and a hellish afterlife. But apparently, while not seeing Tim Duncan is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, having to watch this ridiculous spectacle year after year is entirely fucking reasonable.

The rule would be so easy to change. Just don't award shooting fouls if someone is intentionally fouling a non-shooter. That's all it takes, but everyone in charge acts like we're fated to continue watching this travesty. It reminds me of the scene in the South Park episode Crack Baby Athletic Association when Kyle protests about the league's rules. Cartman points to the whiteboard with the league's rules and asks:
What do you want me to do—find a stepladder of some kind and risk my safety to get up there and change the rules?
The NBA doesn't even have the faraway whiteboard excuse to justify the continuation of this abomination.  
The Refs: Sheed's recent aura of venerability abandoned him against the Suns. Nobody seemed particularly surprised by this, but it's still kinda cold to kick somebody out for using his catch-phrase.

I shouldn't be too hard on the refs, they did give us a lacktion section for Sunday.

Knicks-Suns: I'd use our standard nomenclature to describe Sheed's minute and 25 seconds, but it seems that a new term is needed for getting ejected that quickly. Fuck it, I'm christening it a Sheed.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yes, let's encourage poor shooters like Dwight not to improve their shooting by changing the rule...great idea!