Nugget Man

Cleveland Cavaliers: This was not a weekend to remember for the Cavs. On Friday, they lost to the Bulls 100-95 despite Lebron's shock-and-awe first quarter (24 points on 10-for-10 shooting). On Sunday, they struggled to beat the Washington Generals Miami Heat in Cleveland. In point of fact, the Cavaliers were trailing by two going into the fourth quarter of that game and had to rely on Daniel Gibson to save them. I think Gilbert Arenas might have known what he was talking about.

Fun fact: Do you know who holds the United Center record for points in a single quarter? If you answered "Michael Jordan" or "Scottie Pippen" or even "Ben Gordon," you were wrong. It was Jalen Rose, who (according to his NBA.com bio) scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead a come-from-behind victory over the Pacers on December 21, 2002.

Dallas Mavericks: Just when you thought it was safe to believe in them...just when everybody was starting to call them "scariest seventh seed ever"...they drop back-to-back games to the short-handed Trail Blazers and the soon-to-be-in-Oklahoma Sonics. So much for that amazing defense, huh? Portland shot 59 percent against them on Saturday and Kevin Durant burned them with two clutcht hoops in the final minute of Sunday's game. And if they don't win their final game against the Hornets, they'll end up as the eighth seed...and get a first round appointment with Dr. Buss and the Lakers. Wah, waaaaaaaah.

Darko Milicic: He's officially taken the lead in the "Worst Taken Too High Draft Pick" suckoff. He was yanked after only 9 minutes of lack-tion on Friday (zero points, 1 rebounds, 1 turnovers, 1 foul) and got benched on Saturday in favor of...Andre Brown! Even Kwame Brown got 14 minutes of PT on Saturday! With only a couple of games left to go on the Grizzlies' schedule, I think it's safe to say Darko will not be breaking out any time this season.

Dikembe Mutombo: I really hope he doesn't retire, because I'm going to miss his "I can't believe the call went against me" looks. Like, a lot.

Denver Nuggets: Who are these guys? Lose by 27 to the Jazz one night, beat the Rockets by 17 the next. Even Dr. Jekyll thinks these guys are a little schizophrenic. And their in-game entertainment sucks. Okay, well, not all of it.

DeSagana Diop: He worked his way into the starting lineup and rewarded the Nets with a Jason Collins-like zero points (0-for-1) in 28 minutes of lack-tion against the Raptors on Friday.

FedExForum: Uh oh. "Three people were injured Saturday night before a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies when a small section of the stands at FedExForum collapsed. One man was taken away on a stretcher and two others were treated at the scene, arena officials said." Wow. I guess everything about the Memphis franchise is falling apart. Steve Zito, senior vice president of arena operations, said: "This has surprised us. We're going to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again." Gee...thanks, Steve. [Hat tip: Hardwood Paroxysm]

Kobe Bryant's titanic ego: Humility never was Mamba's thing, was it? When asked about the possibility of winning the MVP award after Friday night's win over New Orleans, Kobe said: "The MVP nowadays is not an individual award, you really have to make your teammates better and elevate your ballclub. I think for me to be nominated in that race is a tremendous honor because that's really been one of the criticisms people have had of me, how well I make my teammates better. From that standpoint, I feel like I have already won." Then, on Sunday, his wife and kids showed up to the Staples Center with adorable little homemade signs that said "Daddy for MVP." Maybe it was just a display of loving support from the people closest to him, but then again, this is the same guy who spent years mimicking Michael Jordan's mannerisms and recently wanted people to believe he jumped over a speeding car. Let me put it this way: Do you remember Larry, Magic, or Michael's families showing up to home games and campaigning for them to win the MVP? Yeah. Didn't think so.

Mario West: Super Mario's season-long ego-ectomy continued this weekend: He played 9 seconds on Friday against the Knicks and had a DNP-CD on Saturday against the Celtics. This is his month of April so far: DNP-CD, 3 seconds, DNP-CD, DNP-CD, 9 seconds, DNP-CD. What did he do to piss off Mike Woodson?

Memphis Grizzlies' biggest fan: You poor kid. Note: I am not picking on the kid. I'm pitying him.

Milwaukee Bucks: It almost doesn't seem worth mentioning that they went 0-for-the-weekend and lost both games by a combined 29 points. What? I said "almost."

New Orleans Hornets: All the Hornets had to do to hold onto the top seed in the Western Conference was win one of their two games this weekend. And they didn't do it. They fell behind by 30 in Friday night's 107-104 loss to the Lakers and then laid an egg in Saturday's 94-91 loss to the Kings. Not only did they lose the conference lead, they cost Chris Paul the MVP. Bad weekend. Baaaaaad weekend.

Orlando Magic: Sure, they obliterated the Bulls on Sunday to reach the 50-win mark for the first time in 12 years. But that impressive feat is somewhat muted by the fact that they're only 5-6 in their last 11 games, with losses to New York and Minnesota (on Friday) in that stretch. And their loss to the Timberwolves? It happened in Orlando. And, as always, the team's Achilles' heel has been its guard play. Minnesota's guards killed the Magic: Randy Foye scored 25, Rashad McCants had 19, and Corey Brewer added 12. Said coach Stan Van Gundy: "Their guards destroyed us. That's troubling with the guards we're going to play in the first round of the playoffs." You've got that right, coach.

Philadelphia 76ers: America's Team went into a mini-slump this weekend, losing at home to the Pacers on Friday and then dropping a game in Washington on Saturday. One win would have moved them into sole possession of the East's sixth seed and away from the dreaded "Pistons First Round Buzzsaw."

Philly's bricklayers: Why'd the Sixers lose to the Pacers? Because Willie Green (2-for-14), Louis Williams (2-for-12), and Rodney Carney (1-for-11) shot the ball like somebody had replaced their hands with rusty wirehangers coated with Vaseline.

Philly's trillionaire club: Shavlik Randolph had a two trillion against the Pacers, while Kevin Ollie and Louis Amundson each had a one trillion against the Wizards.

Phoenix Suns: Friday night's loss to the Rockets cost them any shot at having home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. On the bright side, it might have ensured them of a first round matchup with the Spurs. Yes, that's the "bright side."

San Antonio Spurs: Hm. Let's take a look at the Spurs last five games: Two wins over the Blazers and Sonics, and three double-digit losses to the Jazz, Suns, and Lakers. If Spurs fans are feeling a little worried at this point, they should be.

Toronto Raptors: There's no shame in losing to the Pistons in Detroit. There is some shame, however, in losing to the Pistons' bench in a game that might decide your team's playoff destiny. Which is exactly what happened yesterday, when Detroit's "Zoo Crew" outscored Toronto's starters 26-21 en route to a 91-84 victory. The loss dropped the dinos into a tie with Philly for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Another slip-up could drop the Raptors into the seventh spot and a first round date with the Pistons. Bum-bum-buh-buuuuuuuuum, bum-bum-ba-da-da-dum!

Washington Wizards: Agent Zero and the Wizards are openly lusting after first and second round matchups with the Cavaliers and Celtics. Notice how they haven't been talking any smack about the Pistons? Good plan, guys. The Wiz received the prison bitch treatment on their Friday night visit to Detroit, as the Pistons held them to 27 percent shooting and beat them by 28 points...while resting their starters.

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24 Comments:
Blogger Wild Yams said...
Is it just me or did the Spurs come dangerously close to mailing in that game against the Lakers yesterday? To start with they decided to not play Ginobili, despite him saying he was ready to go. I understand Pop wanting to make sure he's not hurt for the playoffs, but when you've got a shot at the top seed like that, isn't that a game that's worth playing your injured guys to get the win? There's a world of difference between facing Denver and Phoenix in the 1st round. Then as if sitting Manu wasn't enough, Pop pulled his starters with about 7 minutes to go so he could rest them for the Kings game tonight. To be fair, it was an 18 point deficit at the time, but that's still an awful lot of game left to just throw in the towel.

No mention of Kobe's ego this weekend should be complete without that "Wired" segment they did yesterday in which his mic caught him saying "gotcha" while a 3-pt shot was still in the air. That and the Spike Lee-led documentary crew and their 17 cameras, all fixated on Kobe for the duration of the game. Still, gotta give Kobe his credit, those were two wins the Lakers had to have this weekend.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
hating on preschool children is very basketbAWFUL.

I honestly think the Wizards could sweep the Cavs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
here's to hoping that some dumbass reebok wearing kid tries out nikes for the first time and ends up slamming into his friend's beat-up corolla's windshield at 30mph (or km/h for canadian folk) "but...but... the mvp jumped over a car worth more than our house in these shoes!". welcome to the world of marketing... where poor judgement and ensuing lawsuits happen

on a more serious note.. what's the deal with the enver nuggets? on any given night they can have 3 offensive stars step up while camby keeps his part of the defensive end in check, and on other nights those same 3 shooters mail it in collectively. i don't have the opportunity to watch a lot of nuggets games, but i don't get how it's possible to be such a fire/ice team with that much talent on the roster

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm gonna have to disagree with your whole Kobe bit. Could it be that he feels like hes already won because he's even in the race for MVP? I mean he might realize that since he's in the discussion people recognize that he makes his teammates better, and they can't critize him for it anymore.

Anonymous jay_uno said...
i would love seeing the "king" getting kicked out of the postseason in the first round.

btw, nice to see, that this site is talking about the "zoo crew", especially not calling them "zoo squad" like they did at nba.com

Anonymous Max II said...
The kid shouldn't get the mention in Worst of the Weekend. The Grizzlies team should get it for sucking so much.

Anyone who calls himself a "biggest fan" of a team that sucks really really hard and makes a trade for Kwame Brown deserves applause. That's a true fan.

Blogger The Third Heat said...
Yea, I don't see anything wrong with what Kobe said either. No denying that titanic might be an understatement regarding his ego, but he doesn't belong here after the weekend the Lakers had and to knock him because his daughters held up cute signs just seems spiteful.

Blogger Alex Hopper said...
Check out the photo in this acticle looks perfect for the afternoon man love

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/basketball/celtics/view.bg?articleid=1086971&srvc=celtics&position=1.

Blogger stephanie g said...
Highlights of my basketball watching weekend:

1. Tim Duncan appears to be aging at a rapid pace. He missed a ridiculous amount of layups, dunks, and easy put ins. He couldn't bank a shot off the glass to save his life. He looked tired. He couldn't even muster up the energy for the googly eyes when called for a foul.

2. Celtics vs. Hawks. Yes, I watched all of it. Hawks kept it competitive. Boston rested their starters. Then Cassell comes out in the fourth quarter and destroys them. He dribble drived and pulled veteran moves and made like five or six baskets in a row, including back to back threes. With each shot he did his testicle juggle dance. With each new shot in a row it became more obscene. My cheeks started to hurt from laughing so much. I've seen him do this dance before but he got really into it. I'm surprised the league lets him get away with it since it's so suggestive. I want a youtube of this.

3. Rockets vs. Nuggets. Some time in the 3rd quarter T-Mac embarrassed himself on three straight possessions. Twice in a row he attempted a jumpshot from near the top of key, each time it was blocked and stuffed down his face as the crowd went wild. Then he attempted to drive into the lane and he turned it over in traffic. Poor bastard. A youtube of this would be funny too.

Anonymous Rainbow Bright said...
I'll toast to Seattle for probably ending their last home game by beating out Herr Dirk in the fourth. The northwest won't be the same without them.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Please please please don't use "schizophrenic" to mean exhibiting multiple personalities. It's totally medically incorrect and mental health problems have a big enough stigma without the continuation of tired old stereotypes.

Rant over :)

Blogger Ryne Nelson said...
I was hoping the Sixers would finish the season on a strong note. They still have a few games, but it'd be though to accrue two more wins to land a series against the Magic rather than the Pistons.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
wild yams -- I agree. I don't think the Spurs were fully committed to winning that game. Have they been playing possum? I don't know. But it seems a little suspicious...

anonymous 1 -- Not hating on the kids. I was feeling sorry for him.

anonymous 2 -- The fire and ice is the result of their style of play. If their stars aren't winning their one-on-one battles, their offense can go stale. If they aren't getting steals and forcing turnovers, their defense lags. They don't have a sound fundamental defense and they don't have a focused, high-percentage offense. Which makes them very inconsistent.

anonymous 3 -- You could be right.

jay_uno -- I try never to upset the Pistons, even their bench.

max ii -- I agree. And like I said, I was pitying him, not mocking him.

third heat -- I dunno. I think a lot of Kobe's existence is carefully choreographed...and I think those signs are part of the Kobe act.

alex hopper -- Good find! And...added.

stephanie g -- There seems to be some kind of super-aging wormhole surrounding the Spurs right now. But anyway, Tim now knows how Karl Malone felt when Timmy was abusing him the last couple years of his career. Not so easy hangin' with the young fellas, is it?

I'll keep an eye out for that T-Mac YouTube...

rainbow bright -- Amen. BTW, I tried to leave a message on your MySpace page with no luck. What's the deal?

anonymous 4 -- Trust me, I meant "schzophrenic" in the "a situation, state of mind, etc. in which widely conflicting opinions, ideas, or practices coexist" way...but there aren't many great schizophrenic literary figures that I know of, so I copped out. Sorry.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, I've seen others floating this "playing possum" theory around regarding the Spurs, but what possible benefit could there be for doing that? Surely the Spurs don't think the easy road to the Finals starts with a series against Phoenix, in which the Spurs suddenly throw back their hood and unleash this demon of a team we all suspected was there lurking beneath the surface, do they? What mystery strategy would the Spurs unveil anyway? They're as predictable and routine as teams come. I doubt Pop suddenly pulls a rope-a-dope and reveals to the world that the Spurs have secretly been practicing Nellieball or something.

I think Pop is being genuine when he said he didn't want to risk Ginobili, and he figured yesterday's game was a lost cause when the deficit swelled to 18, but IMO that's a game the Spurs needed to win and should have been putting their best foot forward with. If the Spurs end up playing Phoenix in the first round, as it appears they will, and they get eliminated by the Suns, as I think they will, then I think you can look back at yesterday's Laker game as a serious miscalculation on Pop's part.

Then again, the guy has 4 more rings coaching NBA teams than I do, so maybe he knows what he's doing.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
wild yams -- I don't mean playing possum in the sense that they'd rather play the Suns, but in the sense that Pop and the boys don't really stress themselves out about meaningless regular season games or getting home court in the playoffs. Why risk Manu, or Barry and Horry for that matter? Why go all out in a game the Lakers need and want more, but ultimately means less to the Spurs? You know?

I'm not saying this will help San Antonio in the playoffs. But whereas a lot of other teams play for the regular season, they play for the postseason.

Blogger The Third Heat said...
Well, that particular day may have been especially choreographed, seeing as Spike Lee was following him all day, making a "Day in the Life of Kobe Bryant" movie, but he's had more missteps in image management than just about any pro athlete so I don't think he's putting all that much effort into the act.

Anonymous Rainbow Bright said...
Just type in the box and click the Show Some Love button Bawful. <3

And I'm torn between who to root for; Portland or Seattle in the last game of the season. Can't they both just call it a win? The Blazers have sucked for years and Seattle should get one more in the win column before getting removed. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stab my Clay Bennett voodoo doll and weep in my pint of Olympia.

Anonymous jay_uno said...
that´s why i love this site

well, sometimes it´s funny as well^^

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, that's a good point, but don't you think trying to avoid a very difficult first round matchup is worth stressing over a regular season game for? Taking the "it doesn't matter who we play" approach seems a bit arrogant for a team that's struggling as much as San Antonio is; and no matter how good a team is, why handicap yourself by taking such a difficult road to get to the Finals in the first place? Surely going Suns-Hornets-Lakers to get to Boston or Detroit would wear anyone out.

Like I said, Pop must know what he's doing, but man that Suns-Spurs matchup in the first round (if that's what it ends up being) is gonna be grueling as hell.

Anonymous JustinS said...
Just keeps getting better for the Nuggets. There are reports all over now that Melo was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence last night.

Anonymous JustinS said...
And how do Jackson and Buss sleep at night? Bad enough that they got Gasol for a handful of magic beans, they had to get the Grizz to toss in the supports for their stands, too?

Anonymous james said...
agree with that first anon post, youre hating on kobes kids who are supporting their dad, its not their fault the camera took a picture of them, and how is that different from any other arena chanting MVP when kobe's at the free throw line (including Sacramento). you really don't want kobe to win... maybe you belong in worst of the weekend, leave the kids alone.

Anonymous Pipo said...
it's just me or the thing that you wrote under the title "Kobe Bryant's titanic ego" was just stupid? that made no sence at all!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
wild yams -- I don't think the Spurs fear the Suns, Hornets or Lakers as much as we all think they should. I really don't.

justins -- I have a feeling that Jackson and Buss sleep pretty well at night. The bastards.

james -- When did I criticize the kids? Seriously, can you quote where I said anything bad about them? Didn't happen. My feeling is that the situation was choreographed, just like so many other things in Kobe's career, from his post-trial "I have to show how much I care for my wife so I'm going to threaten Karl Malone for flirting with her even though everybody in the world knows he wasn't flirting with her" to the inexplicable jersey change. Like I said in the post, name one other player in NBA history whose wife and kids showed up to a game to stump for him to receive the MVP. Name one? It isn't done. And call my cynical, but I think it was part of a Kobe MVP campaign, as opposed to a genuine show of support. Get it now? Or do I need to explain it a third time?

pipo -- What's a "sence"?

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