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"Forever's gonna start tonight, baby."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Emeka Okafor: See above. Get a room, ladies.

The Associated Press: From last night's game recap: "Branded a one-man team in the past, the Cavaliers showed they can survive without their superstar." Uhm, yeah...against the Bobcats. The Charlotte Bobcats.

In all fairness, it wasn't just the AP. Zydrunas Ilgauskas was also really excited the Cavs could handle the Bobcats while LeBron was getting a long breather in the fourth quarter. "It was kind of weird seeing LeBron on the bench. We got away with it, and if we can do that it will only help us and help his career." Wait. Did I fall into a coma and wake up at a time when the Bobcats are actually good? That didn't happen, did it?

More from LeBron. "We had a lot of guys contribute and I got a lot of rest. Coach believes in our roster and I believe in our roster. I don’t have to average 42 minutes like I have in the past because of our depth." IT WAS THE BOBCATS, PEOPLE! They didn't even win a game during the exhibition season. Calm down. Seriously.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Ugh. Just...ugh.

Raymond Felton: Going 1-for-10 will always earn you a place in WotN. Congratulations!

Sean May: His long awaited return was...kinda sad, actually: 2 points on 0-for-6 shooting in 15 minutes. Three of his shots were blocked. Speaking of which...


Thanks to Basketbawful reader Garron for the video.

Linton Johnson: Brett from Queen City Hoops brought Johnson's line to my attention: 10 minutes, 1 foul, and zero-for-everything-else. Regarding this, Brett said: " I know he is not supposed to be scoring much, he was signed to bring some defensive intensity to a Bobcats squad lacking in it. Yeah, when he was on the court the Cavs scored 166.7 points per 100 possessions, as compared to 110.3 overall. Tough defense. I love supporting the Bobcats." If this keeps up, Basketbawful might have a new mascot.

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Mike Fratello: Near the beginning of last night's Rockets-Mavericks game, the Czar of the Telestrator chuckled smugly and assured us that Josh Howard was probably in for a rough night, what with Ron Artest guarding him and all. Well, Josh struggled so badly that he scored 28 points (on 11-for-19 shooting), grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 4 assists without committing a single turnover. So, you know, good call, Mike.

(By the way, I remember thinking last season: "When was the last time Ron Artest really shut out an uber-talented offensive player?" I mean, he still plays aggressive defense, but is he still a lock-down defender? I'd have to go back and check the box scores, but it always seemed like the scorers usually got their numbers against him, and Kobe flat-out lit him up a couple times. I'm going to keep my eye on this as the season goes on...)

Yao Ming: He was great last night -- 30 points (11-for-15), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocked shots -- but two things bothered me. First, he didn't win the opening tip. I was like, "Whaaaaa...?!" How in the name of Lincoln's wart does a nine-foot man lose the tip to Erick Dampier? I mean, Damp was never one of the great leapers, and I'm not sure I've seen him actually leave the ground since '06. Shouldn't Yao be able to just stand there with his arms raised and win the tip against pretty much anybody? Then...there was this...


Stuffed by the rim, Yao? Really?! That would be like me getting my shot sent back by the Jordan Jammer. Again, a man who is nine feet tall should not have these problems. It makes no sense.

DeSagana Diop: I openly scoffed at all the people who said that Dallas had made a critical error by including Diop in the Jason Kidd trade. He was too valuable, they said, for defense and rebounding. Some even said he was the Mavs' Center of the Futures (TM). Am I the only person who sees Diop for the awkward stiff he is? Well, me and the Nets, because they sure didn't want anything to do with him when his contract expired over the summer. But the Mavericks tried to redress their "mistake" by re-signing Diop in the offseason. There reward for such amazing forward thinking will be many nights like last night, when he contributed zero points and one foul committed for each rebound grabbed (3 of each) in 11 lackluster minutes. Oh, and his defense was so great that Yao was shooting over him like he wasn't even there. And, really, he might as well not have been.

Jerry Stackhouse: Stack (2 points, 1-for-6, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul in almost 18 minutes) is D-U-N.

Reputation calls: In the fourth quarter, Josh Howard elbowed Yao Ming. Naturally, they got in each others' faces and Ron Artest rushed in to play peacemaker. Of couse, Ron-Ron got T'd up. Not cool. But on the upside, that proved to be a relationship building moment for Yao and Artest. The big guy defended Artest to the officials, and after the game he said: "Ron's a very good teammate. That happened once in the preseason and he did the same thing. He's trying to help a teammate, sacrificing himself." Has Artest finally grown up? I'll be keeping my eye on that this season as well...

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The Phoenix Suns' handles: I once participated in a basketball drill where we had to work on ball handling and precision passing while wearing big, thick mittens. As you can probably guess, it's nearly impossible. Anyway, I'd like to pretend that's what the Suns were doing last night. They committed 24 turnovers that were converted into 21 points for the Hornets. Steve Nash was the primary culprit with 7 turnovers.

The Suns in the first seven minutes of the second quarter: Let's see...1-of-7 shooting and seven turnovers. No wonder they fell so far behind. Did somebody spike their Gatorade during the first quarter break or something?

Leandro Barbosa: The line: 2 points, 1-for-6 from the field, 0-for-5 from downtown, 2 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. It makes me sad that somebody so young, quick and talented can be so ineffective. It's the same kind of disappoint I feel when my pet monkey just sits there eating bananas instead of picking his nose or comically scratching his butt.

Robin Lopez: It was a rough night for Bozo the Rookie. He played one minute and 35 seconds, contributing zero points, zero rebounds, 1 turnover and 3 fouls. That's impact! The way accidentally setting your own pants on fire is "impact." By the way, that happened to my friend Dave D. once. He was goofing around with a pack of wooden matches when one he had just lit popped out of his hand and dropped under the table. We all just assumed it went out, but maybe half a minute later we smelled smoke: The match had lit the frayed edges of his pant cuffs. Fortunately, the fire was quickly extinguished and nobody was hurt. That kind of stuff always happens to Double D. Once, I swear, a wasp flew down the the neck of his shirt, then, when he yanked it open so the wasp could fly out the bottom, it went down his pants. Some people just have bad luck. He's one of them.

Mike James: The Hornets are good, there's no question about that. But they are not deep. That's their "Walton's foot." (By the way, I've decided that "Walton's foot" is going to replace "Achilles’ heel" in all future posts.) Yeah, they beat the Suns last night. But Terry Porter is clearly working hard on establishing a 10-man rotation. Trust me, that's going to make Phoenix better in the long run. The Hornets? They could very well run out of gas by the time the playoffs roll around. Chris Paul played 38 minutes last night while his backup, Mike James, put in about nine and a half minutes of -- you guessed it! -- lack-tion: Zero points, 0-for-2, 2 rebounds, and zero assists. Yeah. You'll might also notice that while CP3 had 10 assists, the rest of the buzzing bugs produced only 6...and 4 of those belonged to David West.

The New Orleans defense: Before you get all excited about those 24 forced turnovers -- most of which were the result of poor and misguided "passes" by the Suns -- keep in mind that Phoenix shot 54 percent from the field.

Update! Kobe Bryant: Oops. Almost forgot. Thanks for the reminder, Yams. Last night, Kobe spent the night collecting a huge pile of rocks to hand out to Trick-Or-Treaters tonight. He also took a few hours to complete his costume, which is make of real, living human flesh.

Update! Rec League losers: From Basketbawful reader Trev: "I got a Worst for the Night for you, even though it doesn't involve the NBA. Last night in our Rec League game, 3 of our 4 top guys for whatever reasons decided not to show up, leaving us with 4 guys. Me (29 and about 65 pounds over my high school, read prime, playing weight) 2 guys in their mid-30's and our 2nd best player overall, an actual real-life baller. Up against a team with not only the 5 starters that are usually a given but also 2 bench players (all of which where younger than me by the way). Anyway it's decided by the powers that be that we will play 4 on 5 and all was going as you would expect with team cinco going up by 15 at one point, but the old guys cut it to 8 by the half and then open the second half on something like a 16 to 2 run to not only improbably catch team cinco but actually take a 6 point lead. We held onto win by 4. How humiliated would you be to let a team with only 4 players hang around let alone beat you? Pretty bad right? Wrong!! Team cinco was talking trash THE ENTIRE GAME even though they had one extra guy on the court and where losing!! They even complained about an injury time out when one of our four got a bloody nose taking a charge. If that doesn't get a Worst of the Night I don't know what does."

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20 Comments:
Blogger Trev said...
I got a worst for the night for you, even though it doesn't involve the NBA.

Last night in our Rec League game 3 of our 4 top guys for whatever reasons decided not to show up. Leaving us with 4 guys. Me (29 and about 65 pounds over my high school, read prime, playing weight) 2 guys in their mid-30's and our 2nd best player overall an actually real life baller. Up against a team with not only the 5 starters that are usually a given but also 2 bench players (all of which where younger than me by the way). Anyway it's decided by the powers that be that we will play 4 on 5 and all was going as you would expect with team cinco going up by 15 points at one point but then the old guys cut it to 8 by the half and then open the first half on something like a 16 to 2 run to not only improbably catch team cinco but actually take a 6 point lead. We held onto win by 4. How humiliated would you be to let a team with only 4 players hang around let alone beat you? Pretty bad right? Wrong!! Team cinco was talking trash THE ENTIRE GAME even though they had one extra guy on the court and where losing!! They even complained about an injury time out when one of our four got a bloody nose taking a charge.

If that doesn't get a worst of the night I don't know what does.

Blogger BJ said...
J-Ho and Ming. Oh that picture is so wrong on so many levels. And I respectfully submit that the day Ron Artest grows up will be the day the music dies.
-BJ

Anonymous Pistonsgirl4life said...
Thanks Bawful, there's absolutely NO better way to start off my NBA season right than back to back hilarious WotN's... as always wonderful work...

RE: The Pistons/Pacers game from the other night, just an opinion because you're probably more knowledgeable about the Pacers than I am but....:

"Is Danny Granger THAT good or did Tay and Rip basically decide to take the day off playing defense vs him? I only ask because it seemed like he was ALWAYS wide open 3 good strides from the basket... and well you and I both know that if you give a REAL slasher 3 open steps to get to the rim... well forget it"

Bonus Question: Is that Rush kid any good? He had some nice plays vs whats supposed to be a top flight defense... but he disappeared at times too... opinion?

Blogger nba said...
FYI: Josh Howard was all sorts of terrible defensively last night.

Nice state line for him, but he just gives it right back on the other end falling asleep on rotations, missing assignments, and looking for ways to trip a Yao.

PS: Missed assignments with McGrady on the bench.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
No mention of Mark Cuban's pregame dancethon behind the bench before tip off? I guess you can't "buy" rhythm.

-Mike

Blogger Wild Yams said...
A couple things:

First, where the hell is Kobe's mention? Three days into the season and already you've given up on that? Come on, Señor Bawful, you're better than that.

Second, Achilles only had one weakness: his heel. Walton had many weaknesses (namely the lower half of his body). He was also saddled with a stutter, gigantic teeth, wild red hair and whatever it is that makes him say the things he does.

Third, to get serious here, since you bring up how many minutes the Hornets are apparently going to be playing CP3 this year, is what Chris Webber said about the Hornets on Inside the NBA last night valid? He said he doubts their real shot at a title because they are so reliant on just one guy. Kenny and Charles were saying that's like discounting the Bulls because they relied so much on Jordan, but maybe there is something to what Webber was saying. Do the Hornets have all their eggs in one basket, so to speak, or is it just inevitable that any championship contender is going to have an inordinate amount of their title hopes resting on one player's shoulders?

Blogger Barry said...
I must say I was surprised by Artest keeping the peace too.

Of course he realizes that he has to be on his best behavior, so we might forget he is/was batshit crazy.

Perhaps when the heat is really on later in the season...

Anonymous davefromm said...
That's good Double D stuff. Wasp down the pants? Good stuff.

My friend J-Man -- who tried to improve his coolness in high school by getting a disastrous Bird-like perm -- had Double D qualities. He enjoyed a very brief interlude of normalcy in 1987, when he bought a pretty cool lime-green Mustang. The interlude fell apart, though, on a crisp fall day, when J-Man, driving up to Drury behind the girls' soccer bus, let the patties from a Whopper slip from the buns and land on his bare thigh. (He was wearing cut-offs.) The heat from the patties caused him to lose control of the Mustang and roll it into the median. J-Man escaped with no lasting physical injuries. The psychological ones lingered.

Anonymous andy said...
Have you never watched the Rockets play before? I ask because I honestly can't remember the last time I saw Yao win a jump ball, but yet whenever they're on tv and Yao jumps, he gets beat and everyone's all like "I can't believe a 7'6" guy just lost a jump ball!!!" Over and over and over again...

Blogger Five Pound Bag said...
yams - Physically, Achilles' only weakness was his heel. Mentally, he was prone to pouting, chasing tail and not listening to his coaches - essentially the Stephon Marbury of his day.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i remember once winning a game, although we finished playin 3 on 5.
i think 5 guys on our team (me included) fouled out.
the best thing was, that we even extended our lead, when one of the 3 guys left, went coast-to-coast after an inbouds pass and scored and1. the very next moment he stole the opponents inbounds pass and layed it in.
that´s defining suck.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Five Pound Bag, that's true, he was prone to brooding in his tent with his piece of ass to soothe his bruised ego; however, when it was time for him to put his game face on he did end up dragging Hector's corpse all over the battlefield. I don't know if Steph can bring his A game like that anymore, what with him being all caught up in life and all.

Blogger B-Will said...
Another thing to mention in your worsties or just a funny addition. You have crazy pills (Artest) vs. do you have any pills? (Howard).

Blogger Drake said...
Ahhh, it's good to have the regular season back. Even the commentors seem to have more life in them.

Trev-
That's just majorly embarrassing. How the hell do you lose when you have 5 players defending against four players? If the other team was smart, they would have just played four on four on your team's side, and left a guy on their side to receive outlet passes for easy layups. How hard was it to think of that?

Wild Yams -
The Bulls weren't exactly screwed without Jordan because Pippen stepped up his game during that season. Of course, they didn't win the championship either. And I don't think David West is chopped liver.

I think C-Webb says that they're overly reliant on one guy because he was never comfortable being that one guy, despite his prodigious skills and talent. Look at his track record at Michigan and Sacramento when the games counted: he never wanted to take the last shot, ever.

Five Pound Bag -
I can definitely picture Achilles as the Starbury of Ancient Greek times: "Wench, are you going get in the chariot or not?"

Blogger bob said...
What about the Mavs' crappy bench production in general? Antoine Wright? Jason Terry? THAT was the difference, along with the defence that resembled the D during the Nellie days (i.e. shit).

Anonymous Don Paco said...
"Has Artest finally grown up?"

IMHO, Artest has always looked like a nice guy and a good teammate - who ocasionally has a psychotic episode.

Former teammates and beat writers who followed him always seem to say how funny and smart and hardworking he is. And then one day he just goes off into the stands or bites the head off a live bat or whatever.

Hopefully, there'll be no "episodes" this season - I'd really like to see this Rockets team play to its potential.

Blogger Carson said...
Yao actually lost a tip to Brandon Bass in the second half. Unfortunately, Bass tipped the ball out of bounds so it was Rockets ball...but still.

Anonymous Caleb said...
Re: Trev's unlikely 4-man team of giant(tool)-killers

Same thing happened to me once back in my high-school days. Playing in the local competition, turned up with a 4-man team, against a team with 5 and one on the bench. Fouls-a-plenty saw 2 (yes, two) of our guys including me finish the game, with two of theirs fouling out to leave us with a 4-on-2 affair that must have confused latecomers. We won despite a steady stream of trash talk, winning their respect in the end. Good times.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
"yams - Physically, Achilles' only weakness was his heel. Mentally, he was prone to pouting, chasing tail and not listening to his coaches - essentially the Stephon Marbury of his day."

I LOLed. :)

Achilles' invincibility was due to his ma dipping him in the river Styx while holding him by his achilles tendon. So, Walton's mom bear hugged his entire lower body while dipping him?

Then again, you could make a case for Grant Hill being held by his ankle when dipped....

Blogger Peter Robert Casey said...
Reminiscent of an 8th grade formal dance.

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