Birdman

Today's nutshot pic was brought to you by Basketbawful reader Mladen.

Derrick Rose: The rook was turrible both on offense (6 points, 3-for-16) and defense, where fellow rookie D.J. Augustine ate his lunch (29 points, 13-for-13 from the line). The great Poohdini also had six of his shots blocked. Despite that, the Bulls still would have won if not for...

Home cookin': The Bulls were leading by three points with 19 seconds left when Rose "fouled" D.J. Augustine on a three-point attempt. Only, you know, there was less contact on the play than most people make with a homeless person when they drop change into their Styrofoam cup.

Said Rose: "I must have blinked too hard. I didn't even jump. I put my hand up and that's what they called. You cannot call that, especially not at the end of a game. But it is what it is. We lost. He (referee Ely Roe) said I hit him on the arm. It must have been in motion or something." When asked if he'd ever been that upset in a game in his life, Rose replied: "No. Never. Not at all." He then added: "It really got to me. I felt, 'I can't believe it.' I was in awe. I didn't believe you can make a call like that. I guess he did."

Augustine, who flopped like a fish while shooting in order to draw the foul, was asked where Rose hit him. His response: "My elbow. My hand. That's why it was short. The ref called a good call, so I shot the free throws." Uh huh.

Meanwhile, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro had to choose his words carefully, since Big Brother Stern is a Dark Lord who's ever watchful: ""I didn't think Derrick...we watched the film. I thought Derrick was right on him. I didn't think he hit him. Augustine's legs came out to get the contact. We can't worry about it. We can't put ourselves in that position. No question it was a tough call against us. You move on."

Raja Bell: From Mark L: "He got ejected a little less than 8 minutes into the first quarter against the Bulls, after fouling Ben Gordon. Apparently he used a few too many four-letter words while complaining. I don't blame him for wanting to leave though. The Bobcats were shooting 2-14 at that point with 7 turnovers." Bell was already 0-for-5 when he got tossed. It's worth noting, also, that the ref who gave Bell the bronz boot was Ely Roe...

The Okafor Watch: Emeka had another fantastic game -- 20 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 blocked shots -- but he also went another 42 minutes of game time without an assist. Although I'm sad to report he notched 3 assists since the last update. The current Watch numbers are: 26 games, 892 minutes, 224 field goal attempts, 113 free throw attempts, 50 turnovers and 10 assists.

Random statistical note: Basketbawful reader Junokasm sent me the following email: "I saw Drew Gooden foul out. The stat line: 14 points, 9 rebounds. I had just witnessed my first Calvin Murphy! I rejoiced." For those of you who might not remember, we coined the term Calvin Murphy to denote 14/9 games in honor of Murph, who was thought to have had 14 kids with nine different baby mamas. Thanks for the head's up, Junokasm.

The Klahma City Thunder: They committed 20 turnovers and missed 10 free throws in a 10-point home loss to the Clippers. The defeat dropped them to large-crocodile-tear-rolling-down-my-face 2-24. It was their 11th straight loss at home. Said Chris Wilcox: "We need to be better consistently. Right now, anything that we're doing on the road or at home is not working. We've got to come together, keep our heads up and just keep lifting each other up." Man, even their post game comments have that "going through the motions" feel to them.

By the way, has anybody noticed that Zach Randolph is fitting in really well with the Clippers? In point of fact, he's playing a lot better than post-surgery Elton Brand. And the Clips have won three in a row. Who knows? It could turn out that Brand leaving was a good thing for the other L.A. team.

The Enver Nuggets: Okay, okay. I know they've been getting it done on D since Chauncey Billups arrived, but I'm missed the reference. Plus, as Basketbawful reader Tiberious Sparkles pointed out, their defense was a little lacking last night: "The Enver Nuggets didn't record a single block last night against the Rockets. Somewhere, Marcus Camby is crying and eating and eating." The Nuggmeisters also let the Rockets shoot 55 percent from the field and had only 5 steals. Personally, I think the lapse was caused by stories like this one praising the D in Denver...it's like a stat curse.

Steve Francis: Every time I see his name at the end of a Rockets' box score, I think "why?" Then I think "If he were a little crazier, he'd be getting the Marbury treatment." Speaking of which...

starbury

Stephon Marbury: He paid his way to watch his sorta-kinda team play the Lakers in L.A. And people were falling all over themselves to interview him, during the game, at halftime, after the game. Here are a few choice quotes: "I didn't create this, this is all their doing. I'm still earning my check by doing nothing. I'm staying in shape. My mind-set is to enjoy my life." And: "I don't even worry about it. They're going to do what they're going to do, and when they're ready, they'll make a decision. All I've got to do is get free. Once I get free, the team I'm going to go to, I think a lot of people will be shocked. All the people that say nobody wants me on their team...I'm all of these different things...Frank Isola said I'm a cancer...I'm doing my thing though." Ah, Starbury. Bringin' the crazy everywhere he goes.

The Los Angeles Lakers: Yes, I know they won, and they're 21-3 which should be good enough, right? Well, their lackadaisical approach to defense -- which has been a growing problem lately -- was on full display last night. It sure seemed to me like they were indifferent on defense because they knew the Knicks weren't going to stop them on offense. And some of their post-game quotes seem to bear that out. Said Lamar Odom: "We know we can score. It doesn't matter what team you put in front of us, we can score. We've got 12 guys who can hit shots. We can do it offensively. We just have to focus on defense." Added Andrew Bynum: "We're still 21-3. We're going to be able to go out there and execute the defense later on as we build together as a unit. I think everybody in here is pretty happy."

You know who else is pretty happy? The Celtics and Cavaliers, who sure don't have to worry about developing the necessary defensive attitude "later"...whenever Bynum thinks that is.

Lamar Odom, bravery machine: He played through his flu-like symptoms to finish with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Which even I could probably do against the Knicks "defense," but still. And after the game, L.O. got a little dramatic. "I think I have the flu. Who knows? Pau was out and I kind of willed myself to do it. Football mentality. Luke (Walton) was sick, Trevor and Josh (Powell), Pau. Like kindergarten." I love this guy. I really do.

The Sacramento Kings: From Basketbawful reader Eric G: "The Kings lost by 32 last night despite the fact that the Blazers only shot 41.4 percent and 4-for-15 from three. Why? Because the Kings were 13-for-61 (21.3%) from the field in quarters 2-4. At one point they went on a 7-47 stretch from the field. That's not even acceptable in the WNBA!" Well, Eric, I agree with everything except the "not even acceptable in the WNBA" part. The Kings finished 24-for-76 (31 percent).

So the dead coach bounce lasted only one game, huh? And that game was against the Timberwolves. Yikes. Interim coach Kenny Natt said: "Guys started hanging their heads and feeling sorry for themselves. My job is to try to keep these guys motivated and try to encourage them as much as possible. Unfortunately this was one of (the Blazers') nights where they played their best." Sure, Kenny. It was just the Blazers playing awesome. Whatever you say.

Kobe Bryant: Mamba kept interrupting his teammates during the morning shootaround to quote long sections from various Harry Potter novels, and he insisted on making finger quotes the entire time.

False attributions (Updated): Several readers informed me that the The BS Report "introduced" the Club Trillion blog that we mentioned last month. The interview with Mark Titus, the blog founder, starts around 42:40. Now, Bill Simmons seems to think that Titus invented the trillion, and Mark, for his part, claims that he and his friends "devised" the trillion. Which is funny, considering that I've been using the term for years on this very blog. However, I did not coin it. The word was, in fact, invented by Scott Hastings...way back in 1990: "Scott Hastings, little-used Piston forward, who claims to lead the NBA in a category that he calls the 'trillion': 'That's when the box score reads one minute played followed by 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0 0 0.'"

This was further expounded on in, of all things, a 2006-07 NBA Media Guide: "Some years back ex-player Scott Hastings devised the Trillion Club. To become a member you must play in an NBA game (no minimum time) and do absolutely nothing since 15 zeros follow the minute column. (A commitee voted to allow a player to join the club if he only had a personal foul.)" So yeah: Hastings had a Trillion Club waaaay before their was a Club Trillion.

The term was also explained in a 1999 Sports Illustrated article called Garbage Time. It says: "Avoid the dread 'trillion.' In other words, if for some reason you can't get off a shot, do something. In garbage-time lingo, trillion is the line in the box score a player gets when his minutes-played stat is followed by zeros in the nine other categories. 'A trillion means you played, but you didn't do anything,' says Vancouver Grizzlies assistant Lionel Hollins, who was an NBA guard for 10 seasons. 'No shots attempted or made, no assists, no rebounds, no fouls, nothing.' If he still has a trillion in the final seconds, the experienced garbage-time player will commit misdemeanor assault to break up his zeros with a '1' in the personal foul column." For the record, Henry Abbott -- who emailed me about this article -- remembers hearing references to the trillion back in the 80s.

Anyway, I'm glad their blog -- which is pretty funny -- is getting attention and that guys like Simmons are finally aware of it. But c'mon. The trillion is not a new thing. You won't hear be going around claiming I invented the question mark, you know? (Unless, of course, I'm 5+ pints of Guiness into my night. Then all bets are off.)

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20 Comments:
Blogger chris said...
In the Clippers game, Steve Novak was 4 seconds and 1 rebound away from a 3 trillion. Greg Buckner nearly did Memphis proud with a 4 trillion, only to ruin it by making the only shot he attempted.

Luther Head was 2 assists and 17 seconds away from a 6 trillion for Clutch the Bear's team. (I bet you Clutch would have been a much better option from the bench, he probably has more sick post moves.) Just think, Steve Francis is bad enough these days that a near-trillionaire getting minutes was significantly more prudent. wow.

Three men almost strike it rich in one night, but each made one or two mistakes to interrupt their profitable lacktion.

Anonymous Time Intact said...
I feel so bad for Raja Bell. Can you imagine going from playing with Steve Nash and co in Phoenix to the lowly Bobcats? No wonder he got himself ejected, dude must've been in tears when he reached the locker room lol.

Blogger Anthony said...
Marbury is great, love the guy hope he doesn't get bought out and start playing otherwise i might start not liking him again.

Anonymous German_Kraut said...
When watching videos on nba.com, have u ever noticed that the announcer never criticizes the refs. Like the Bulls-Bobcats game. The announcer said that Rose did a rookie mistake by fouling D.J. Augustine, even though it was clearly not a foul. Why can't he just be honest and say it was the ref's mistake?!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful, it sucks that the one day you didn't do a WOTN (Monday) there were so many trillions and suck differentials, listing them all would have given this site the biggest blogasm ever.

Also, the way the Knicks lost is all too familiar for a Suns fan: a classic D'Antoni Special on rye. Up huge at the half only to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory with a 7-man rotation, no rebounding, and no defence. It's too bittersweet for me, start getting used to those games Knicks fans, sad-face smiley. =(

Blogger chris said...
Hey Bawful, your efforts at documenting the fail of the Kevin Love acquisition have gotten to Mister McHale himself as he feels like "bloggers" are interfering with his duties!

http://deadspin.com/5112669/mchale-has-isolated-reason-for-t+wolves-suckitude

Blogger Zonker said...
German_Kraut: year, right dude :D I still remember the eye-popping traveling violation Lebron did against the Wizards several years ago and the reaction of the announcer that went something like "What a great move by the King"+ another 5 minutes of replay and tossing salads. Funny thing, now the NBA airs this segment as an example for travel. try to find a video from the original game.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- Yeah. There were some real role player fails going down last night. There were a handful of others I almost mentioned...just ran out of time's all.

Time Intact -- Hell, I bet Raja's still so pissed about the trade that he's become like Tourette's Guy, just cussing and yelling at random. He probably wasn't even talking to the ref when he got tossed.

Anthony -- Yeah. Starbury's at his best when he's a NBA satellite and not an actual NBA player.

German_Kraut -- You know, it's so funny you mention that, because I was trying to find video of the call and all I could find was the NBA video. But when I heard that commentary, I couldn't use it. Plus, you'll also notice they didn't show the foul up close or in slow motion. It's possible the guy doing the play-by-play for the highlights is just reading off a script.

AnaconhaHL -- Dude, I know, I know. I was out of town and without computer access, which is why I asked Evil Ted to throw a post up. By the time I got home and sat down to write, I needed to get some content out for Footbawful. Then I wanted to chill and watch the games...

...speaking of which, you're exactly right about the Knicks. But the whole time I was watching, I knew what was going to happen. I expected it. Even when little itty bitty Nate Robinson tried to take it right at Andrew Bynum and forced up that awful shot near the end. I wasn't even fazed.

chris -- Whew. Glad I'm finally getting through to him. I'm sorry I'm giving him a complex, though, since we share the same last name and everything.

Which reminds me, back in 1991, my mom took me and a friend to a Celtics-Pacers game in Indianapolis. We were up pretty high and in a very rowdy section. Everybody was just reaming the C's. Then, during the third quarter, my friend said to my mom, "Thanks for bringing me to the game miss McHale." The entire section fell deadly silent for most of the rest of the game, and everybody was just sort of leaning in and trying to figure out if we were Kevin's family.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: I guess I'm going to have to mine the boxscores myself for Mediocre Monday and compile some of those amazing stats for another comment, because that...sounds...(long pause)...epic.

/Rome

Bawful: With that moniker, you should try to get a roster spot claiming you are related - I mean, it worked for Luke Walton and Mike Dunleavy. :p You can become "wealthy" (in the sense that we bawful readers appreciate) AND make real cashmoney, thus giving you more time to blog instead of Clark Kenting it up!

Anonymous Nick F. (Buck Nasty) said...
Listen Bawful/ Matt/ Mr. McHale. I like that last one. Anyway, don't start talking about the Clippers. The less you mention their actually *edited* play, the less chance of a choke job.

If only Zach Randolph would play defense. He is scoring well, but Kaman appears to suffering. His numbers don't seem fantastic.

Anyway, I'm just glad they've been able to put some defensive effort up for the first time this season.

Blogger chris said...
And now...Mediocre Monday's wealthiest:
Indiana's Stephen Graham and Josh McRoberts EACH managed a 1.13 trillion together. What are they, the Hilton Siblings?

Randolph Morris and THE Mario West were true Mario Brothers for Atlanta with 4 seconds of lacktion. (I guess Randolph should be "Luigi" from now on.) Solomon Jones had 30 times their playing duration, for a 2 trillion.

Joe Alexander and Tyronn Lue gave the Bucks a twin 1 trillion. (Bowser and King Koopa?)

Kosta Koufos had a 25 second Mario for the Jazz against Boston.

Chuck Atkins of the Nuggets was one assist away from a trillion, proving that not everybody in the NBA is ballin for the bling.

Also are the lollipops (the suckiest, obviously) -
For the Bobcats (shouldn't they be the BBcats due to a lack of O?), Adam Morrison was one assist away from a +1.

Acie Law got a +2 in 7 minutes of lacktion for the Hawks.

Anthony Parker had a +7 for the Raptors in nearly 15 minutes of playing time.

Yakhouba Diawara got a +2 for the heat in only 3 and a half minutes on the court, while Marcus Banks failed to create a trillionaire trio with his opponents Alexander and Lue - same 1:12 of playing time, but a +1.

Bassy Telfair, the clear centerpiece of the KG deal, gave Minnesota a +2 in 3:39 of lacktion.

Blogger Drake said...
Your WOTD - Trillion documentation shows that you did NOT know about the use of 'trillion' by Scott Hastings. It was brought to our attention by Mr. Anonymous. Or am I wrong here?

Regarding the Knick game - I was actually pleasantly surprised they were leading most of the way and only lost the game by a few points. But a loss is a loss, unfortunately. But still, I expected a thorough ass-kicking last night because it was a back-to-back game on the road.

My brother said it best - facing the Suns or even the Lakers, the Knicks are like the Rockers facing the Twin Towers. They can run around and do all the drop kicks from the top turnbuckle they want. But eventually, Big Boss Man (Shaq, Stoudemire, Bynum, Gasol, or Odom) will Spike Slam you and put and end to the match and your shenanigans.

I was listening to the Knick game on the radio, and Gus Johnson does the play-by-play. I really can't think of a better broadcaster - my heart was pounding the whole night. Every now and then, when Al Harrington made a spectacular shot, he would suddenly explode, "My NAME IS AL HARRINGTON, and I-GET-BUCKETS!"

Also, where's the KOBe WOTN?

Anonymous Wormboy said...
Wow, that nutshot has made me rethink the Denver "Nuggets."



Bawful"Which reminds me, back in 1991, my mom took me and a friend to a Celtics-Pacers game in Indianapolis. We were up pretty high and in a very rowdy section. Everybody was just reaming the C's. Then, during the third quarter, my friend said to my mom, "Thanks for bringing me to the game miss McHale." The entire section fell deadly silent for most of the rest of the game, and everybody was just sort of leaning in and trying to figure out if we were Kevin's family."


Awesome story!

Blogger chris said...
Drake: But it's a "loss that's not as bad as others," right? ;)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Buck Nasty -- Look, Z-Bo is never, ever, EVER gonna play defense. Just accept that now and move on. But hey, that's what they have Camby there for. Do teams really need more than one player who D's up?

Chris -- I must might have to post that to reward your hard work...

Drake -- I didn't know, and still don't know for certain, that Scott Hastings "invented" the term. A little background. My Word of the Day posting style has changed somewhat over the years, but there are two things that have usually been the case with them: First, I try to make them timely. That is, I'm sitting on probably around 50+ Words for which I'm waiting for a related event so that posting them has some meaning. Second, I try to have some kind of specific attribution. I had been sitting on the trillion for a while with nothing but a vague memory of some old Hawks games and no other source whatsoever. For that reason, I chose not to post until I finally found a press reference. There have been times that, for whatever reason, I didn't want to post something without a specific reference. I think I felt it made me seem more "professional." Now I kinda don't care. But I did at that time.

ANYway, short story long, when Mr. Anonymous brought up Scott Hastings, I had a "Eureka" moment and decided to start digging through some of the old Hawks-Pistons games I still have recorded on VHS. Sadly, I didn't find any trillion refeences, so I never updated the post.

HOWEVER...this whole discussion compelled me to do a little research and, in fact, Hastings apparently did invent he trillion. And here, my friends, is the proof

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Thanks! You know, keeping track of the trillionaires in this league...isn't that "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and you get to be Robin Leach? Only without the affected accent. But they are rich. And infamous.

I'm really surprised that superstars from the past rarely take shop on awful teams to become the venture capitalists and hard candies on a stick of garbage time...oh wait...is that Patrick Ewing in Seattle I'm thinking of? :p Successful lacktion a more efficient way of earning money than by potentially risking injury through actual physical exertion.

Blogger Andrei said...
Ok, I have a submission for either the "quote machine" or "man love" features, possibly both. On the pre-game show for the Celtics-Hawks game I just heard Bill Walton say "Stuart, I love the little pretty boys" in reference to Chris Paul and Tony Parker. Anyone else pick up on that?

Blogger chris said...
Did anyone else catch Stuart Scott in the midst of the ESPN broadcast describing the upcoming Spurs game as "redicufied," a completely new and meaningless word that seems straight out of the Lovetron Language Primer?

Blogger Drake said...
chris:

Sadly enough (or is it happily enough?), yes. This loss wasn't as bad as others.

What does that mean exactly? You just need to have watched almost any of the Knick losses last season. My lord! Nobody gave a shit, nobody gave any sort of solid effort, nobody even pretended to compete in the games. The whole team collectively bent over and basically asked their opponents to ram their wangs down the Knicks' corn hole. Sorry, that was a little too graphic, but so was the suckitude the Knicks exhibited the last several years.

All I had to do was listen to Gus Johnson yesterday, and hear how excited he was for pretty much the whole game. This Knick team comes out and competes, night in, night out. For Knick fans, after years pessimism due to Isiah's extreme ineptitude, this season brings......optimism.

Basketbawful:

Thanks for the proof! That'll shut up those snooty Buckeye scrubs. Of course, they'll still kick my ass in basketball if we ever meet.

Blogger chris said...
Another gem from tonight's broadcast: the video from practice where Big Baby slipped on the Phillips Arena floor while in sweatpants and all. I wonder if that's going to be on youtube any time soon...

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