Belated Cheryl Miller, quote machine:747 commented: "I am really shocked nobody else noticed or mentioned the Cheryl Miller quote Machine. The greatest women's player ever can't say Barack Obama. If anybody caught it during the Celtics-Suns game: "Barama (gets flustered) Obama Barama (gives up on saying it right)." It's even funnier when you listen to it. So...do it.
The Indiana Pacers: After watching them lose (by my count) at least 18 close, winnable games this season, it was almost refreshing to see Indy get blown out 99-81 by the Spurs. It was pretty much what I expected from Jim O'Brien's "Mike D'Antoni-lite" offensive system versus Gregg Popovich's boa constrictor defense. The Pacers, who are currently fifth in the league in scoring at 104.2 PPG, netted 81 against the Spurs on 37 percent shooting. I'd say they are who we thought they were, but the truth is, I have no idea who they are anymore. Memo to Pacers: Who are you??
Still, the Pacers have to feel kind of bad, considering this is the same San Antonio squad that got routed by the Sixers and then barely finished of the Bulls and Bobcats. But the Spurs blasted the Pacers so badly that none of their big guns logged more than 26 minutes. Said Manu Ginobili: "We're not used to games like this. I don't know how many times it's happened this year. But we are very glad that we did have one." Translation: Thanks for sucking so badly against us, our fine Hoosier friends!
Danny Granger, quote machine: "Once the lead got close to 30, it was hard to make a comeback." Sad trombone!
The Chicago Bulls: [Shameless Plug Alert!!] You can read more about their failure at By The Horns, but the gist of it is that they blew a winnable game by turning the ball over 18 times, essentially gifting the Hawks with 22 free points...kinda like those bonus levels in Super Mario Brothers that are full of cold coins and no enemies. Of course, it doesn't help that they have no go-to guy, Derrick Rose can't get a call and Vinny Del Negro can't coach. Oh, and let's not forget...
Tyrus Thomas: His Jekyll and Hyde season continued last night, as T-Time followed up his strong game versus the Knicks (19 points, 10 rebounds) with a flatulent stinkbomb against the Hawks (2-for-7, 1 rebound, 5 fouls in 19 minutes). You know how some players get described as having a basketball IQ that's off the charts? Well, that certainly goes for Tyrus...only it's because no existing chart ranks low enough to measure his bball knowledge. He's like a T-Rex: Great big body, itty-bitty brain. Not nearly as scary, tho'.
Larry Hughes, team-first me-first machine: When Big Shot Larry found out that John Paxson is desperately seeking to dump his ginormous salary for anything anybody'll give him, the worlds most unselfish man -- just ask him! -- had plenty to say about it: "That's fine. I'm ready to play, whether it's here or somewhere else. played for some good coaches and on some good teams, and I've always been out there, so this is new for me. I'm just trying to stay positive. I'm still helping the guys out as far as telling them what I see and what I can help them with. I don't know how to react to it. At the same time, I'm not selfish. ... So I just kind of go along and try to support the guys who are playing, knowing my time is probably coming. It was unfair [because] I only wanted to play to help the team. And I wanted to produce because they're paying me a lot of money. I feel like I've let my team down because I'm not able to produce. That's what it all boils down to. I don't want to be looked at as a guy who's just earning a check and not producing. I just expressed that and, I thought, not in a negative way. But people can take it how they want to take it."
The Sacramento Kings: Okay, is anybody surprised they got slaughtered by 19 in Denver? Show of hands? Anybody? Yeah. Didn't think so. Not that I expect any better, but their defense was, well, it made me shudder like somebody had slipped me a ham sandwich filled with spiders. Like, those creepy daddy longleg types. They let the Nuggets shoot 56 percent for the game and make Linas Kleiza (27 points on 11-for-17 shooting) look like the second coming of Carmelo Anthony. Said Kings inmate Bobby Jackson: "Looked like lay-up drills for them. It was lay-up drill central, just like it has been all year." Now that there's a happy player!
Added Kings interim head coach Kenny Natt: "A bad, bad night for us, to say the least. We lost our focus and we gave up a lot of easy baskets, transition points. They got a lot of layups. We didn't defend hard and they took advantage of every opportunity that was there." It might be time to put Bobby and Kenny on NBA suicide watch. You know, along with every member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Update! An anonymous commenter made the following observation: "Now I know you already mentioned the Kings in your WotN. And I also realize that +/- is not always the most reliable stat, but I still think this requires mentioning. When your +/- for 5 players on your team reads as follows: -22, -6, -23, -25, -22 and those are your starters, i.e. hypothetically your best players, you are an exceptionally bad team." SAD FACE for Sacramento.
Brad Miller: I keep seeing this guy's name surface in trade talk. And last night's line -- 2 points (0-for-4), 3 rebounds and 4 fouls -- just made me think: "WHY, GOD?! WHY?!" Gene Keady does NOT approve, Brad.
Carlos Boozer: Paul Milsap's line: 28 points (12-for-20, 4-for-4 from the line), 15 rebounds (9 of which were offensive), 3 assists, 2 steals and only 1 fouls in almost 42 minutes. I'm just sayin' go ahead and opt out, suckah.
Lacktion report:Chris continues to whisper sweet, sweet lacktivity in our ears:
Hawks-Bulls: So apparently the Hawks have been paying attention the lacktion report, as the suggestion for more playing time for THE Mario West was answered. Thankfully, Mario's performance tonight suggests he pays attention too -- as when given the choice between actually earning more playing time through productivity, or ensuring a place in another insomnia-curing writeup, he decided on maintaining his familiar spot here. Against Chicago, Mr. West nearly took down a 7 trillion, only to turn it into +1 in 7:12 via a foul. That type of on-court snoozing will undoubtedly bolster his case to be the starting guard for the Eastern Conference All-Lacktion squad. [Also, as one anonymous commenter pointed out: "You forgot to mention that Mario had a plus-minus score of -17 in his 7 minutes. Now that's lacktion!" ~Basketbawful]
Kings-Nuggets: Suckramento's Mikki Moore fouled three times and tossed a brick for +4 in an unproductive 8:36. On the other hand, Sonny Weems sadly denied his Nuggets a scoreline of fail, demoralizing lacktion enthusiasts with a steal that marred a near-six minutes of non-scoring (five missed shots, twice from downtown), a rejection, plus a foul.
Kobe Bryant: Mamba slipped a whole package of lunch meat under Luke Walton's covers. He also used his toilet without flushing. And I'm talking number two.