DeShawn Stevenson: The Locksmith held "Mr. Overrated" to 32 points on 12-for-19 shooting...and most of those 12 makes were layups. Stevenson countered by shooting 1-for-9 and scoring only 3 points. Memo to DeShawn: Next time, wait until the series is safely over -- and your team has won -- before talking smack to LeBron. Actually, scratch that. It's probably best not to rile him up at all. For any reason. Ever.
The Washington bench: Okay, Agent Zero scored 24 points on 8-for-16 shooting, and he even connected on four of his five three-point attempts. But I think we can all agree that he won't be coming off the bench much longer, right? The rest of the Wizards' reserves - Andray Blatche, Darius Songaila, and Roger Mason - combined for 3 points (1-for-10), 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 7 fouls in about 40 minutes of lack-tion.
Wally Szczerbiak: If Mike Brown thought that inserting Wally into the starting lineup was going to get him going, then Brown was wrong. Very wrong. Galactically wrong. Sczczerbiak shot 2-for-10 from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc. He scored 8 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 fouls in 29 minutes. Say, is it too late to get Larry Hughes back?
Irrational excitement: Over the weekend, BadDave was sure that some announcer had an on-the-air joygasm after some big play, but he couldn't remember which one it was. This morning, he remembered: "It was when LeBron had a nice dunk. The announcer cried out his name like he had just gotten the facial. It was a nice dunk and all, but we've all seen better. 'LeBrooooon!' Splat." Listen for yourself.
Tim Duncan: What sort of unholy pact did Duncan forge with The Dark Lord to hit the three-pointer that sent Game 1 of the Suns-Spurs series into overtime? Because I think his soul wouldn't be worth nearly enough to pull that one off. I'm guessing several children, a couple virgins, and at least one goat had to be involved. Shame on you, Tim! That goat had a future!
You have to feel for the Phoenix Suns. That was the exact shot they wanted the Spurs to take in that situation. I mean, Duncan hadn't hit a three-pointer all season. I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me in pickup ball. I'll be playing against some dude with no offensive skills whatsover, and I'll leave him open one time from way outside his range...and he'll hit it. It's almost like the Basketball Gods are punishing me for slacking on D. And they certainly punished the Suns.
You know, a similar thing happened in Game 2 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals. The Boston Celtics were down by three at the end of the first overtime. They botched a play that was intended for Larry Bird, and the ball got batted to Kevin McHale, who shot and hit his only three of the season. The Celtics prevailed in the second overtime, but the Pistons left Boston Garden utterly convinced of their superiority. And they did, in fact, go on to win the series. It'll be interesting to see if that happens with the Suns.
Update! As Caseta points out: "Regarding timmy's 3 pointer, I have to ask: Wasn’t it a traveling violation?! I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...." Well, technically speaking? Probably, yes. He shuffled his feet. But that'll never be called, ever. On a related note, I was watching a special about Michael Jordan's greatest moves this weekend, and I couldn't help but notice that when he used to juke his defenders, he almost always switched or shuffled his pivot foot...or in some cases, pivot "feet." But the announcers always missed this and would simply scream something like "What a move by Michael Jordan!" You know, it's a lot easier to flabbergast a defender when you get to travel on a whim. Like Caseta, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
Bruce Bowen: His line from Saturday's game: 21 minutes, zero points, 0-for-2, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, and 2 personal fouls. And he didn't exactly stop Steven Nash (25 points, 13 assists). He's going to have to thug somebody pretty soon if he wants to stay relevant.
ESPN box scores: Sky Flakes continues to keep an eyes on the box scores, and ESPN keeps rewarding him with strange things. Such as the fact that the Suns-Spurs game was 11-6 at the start of the first quarter...
Dirk Nowitzki: I think a man should be legally required to turn over his testicles to some sort of government testicle collector if he flops as obviously and pathetically as Nowitzki did here. Dirk is no hombre, that's for sure.
Jason Kidd: At one point in Saturday's game, he slapped the ball away from Chris Paul and then got this smug little look on his face. He didn't look quote so smug after Paul lit him up for 35 points (15-for-23) and 10 assists, though.
NBA.com: Looks like they got a little confused while updating their brackets. The Hornets play in New Orleans now, guys. New Orleans, not Charlotte. The gaffe was fixed, but not before Basketbawful reader Frank sent me the following screen shot:
Houston Rockets: It's not that they weren't trying, it just that they got thoroughly outplayed by the Jazz. Houston shot 36 percent to Utah's 52 percent. Now the Rockets have to win one at Energy Solutions Arena, where the Jazz are an NBA-best 37-4. I hope the Houston training staff is stocking plenty of Kleenex for T-Mac. I'd hate for him to have to cry into his jersey.
By the way, this is when the Rockets are going to miss Bonzi Wells the most. They couldn't get anything going against the Jazz, and they really could have used a low-post presence.
T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon: They did a good job of setting the table for their teammates -- 14 assists and zero turnovers between the two of them -- but they couldn't dropkick it into the ocean (4-for-20 combined), and the Maurice Evans/Jameer Nelson combo lit them up for 38 points on 12-for-20 shooting.
Kris Humphries: The Toronto forward has the dubious distinction of scoring the first one trillion of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. Somebody buy him an exploding cigar.
Derek Fisher: "Coach Jackson said we need to slow Carmelo Anthony down. I'm on it." [From Odenized.]
Marcus Camby: Pau Gasol decimated the Nuggets with a playoff career-high 36 points. He also had a playoff career-high 8 assists and 16 rebounds. He even blocked 3 shots. Did I mention that he was being guarded by the 2006-07 Defensive Player of the Year? Meanwhile, Camby scored 4 points on 2-for-9 shooting and turned the ball over 4 times.
Lakers fans:From FireGeorgeKarl.com via TrueHoop: "Whenever Carmelo stepped to the free throw line at Staples Center, the fans chanted 'D-U-I, D-U-I.' Ha, ha, very clever, Lakers fans. Well I hope we Nuggets fans greet Lakers' star Kobe Bryant with a similar chant about his past infractions with the law when he arrives at Pepsi Center on Saturday. How about 'SETTLE-MENT, SETTLE-MENT?' I'm open to any ideas you've got." Way to stay classy, Lakers fans. That one will be enshrined in the Hall of Infamous Sports Chants, right along with that time Celtics fans aimed a "Wife beater!" chant at Jason Kidd a few years back.
Detroit Pistons: When are they going to start taking lesser teams seriously? Memo to Detroit: Your opponents aren't going to just roll over and die because they're facing The Mighty Pistons. You're going to have to actually play the games. And 39 percent shooting at home? That's probably not going to get it done. I suggest less time joking around with Flip Murray and more time focusing on the Sixers.
Rodney Carney: He trumped Kris Humphries by notching a three trillion against the Pistons. It's good to see guys step down their games.
Joe Johnson, quote machine: The Boston Celtics had a pretty easy time of it against the Hawks in Game 1 of their first round series, and the only person who seemed surprised by it was Joe Cool. "I didn't expect it to be like this, but I'm glad we got it out of the way," he said. His teammates, now have "the playoff experience and they pretty much know how it's going to be. Game 2 I expect pretty much a different reaction." I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, Joe. Unless you're just tired of the whole "living" thing.
Update! Mike Bibby (Hawks) and Bobby Jackson (Rockets): This is from an anonymous poster: "Where is Mike Bibby(2-for-10, 5 points, 1 assist) and Bobby Jackson(3-for-15, 7 points)!? I don't think these guys were brought in mid-season to produce those numbers." You're absolutely right. I should have included them both. My bad.