Nothing I can say can possibly make Marc Gasol's expression any funnier.  Just enjoy the picture, folks.
Welcome to Monday Night BAD. I'm not in the best of moods right now. It's the week of Christmas, and yet I've got quite a bit to get done at my Clark Kent job. (Maybe I shouldn't rely so heavily on my thoughts about procrastination?) Considering the short week, my motivation isn't terribly high, but that isn't going to stop me from writing this post! So anyway, let's get to the usual segments so I can get the hell out of here and go bowling.

Your Quick NBA 2K10 Update:
(Okay, so tonight's edition isn't very quick at all. Apologies. Big gaming weekend in the Dan B. household since it was freakin' cold and somewhat snowy outside, and I spent entirely too much money on sushi and overpriced Captain Morgan & Cokes at dinner Friday night. My dog was briefly mystified by the snow, which was entertaining at least.)

After dropping 11 straight games, and winning only three games in the entire month of March, my team chemistry dropped to 1%. Roger Mason announced he is going to test the free agent waters. And worst of all, we dropped to 9th in the Western conference standings after our first game in April after an absolute decimation at the hands of the Magic. They dropped thirteen three-pointers against us in a 30-point blowout, and even getting a hand in their faces didn't stop the barrage. Just one of those games.

However, I looked back at my other losses, and all of them but one or two had been 5 points or less margin of victories for the opposition, and most of those the result of fourth quarter meltdowns. Hmm...

(Warning, the next paragraph isn't funny, but hopefully it is helpful for my fellow gamers.)

I decided to drastically alter my approach. I decided my best bet is to keep the ball out of my teammates' hands as much as possible, especially late in the game. If I put my destiny in my own hands instead of the AI's, at least I feel better about losing if I fail. I have been putting more and more skill points into my vertical, which has helped me pull down more rebounds on both sides of the court. This has been a big plus, since we were getting killed on boards in previous games. Combine better layup and dunking ability with better jumping, and my inside game has suddenly come alive. I willingly pass to my teammates when they have an open lane to drive, or if they're posting up someone, or if they have a wide open three-pointer. However, I will not let them dictate the offense and hold the ball simply to control the pace and flow of the game.

Since going to eight minute quarters and adopting this playing style, I've been scoring 20+ points every single game on ~60% shooting, bringing down anywhere from 3 to 6 rebounds, getting at least 10 assists, and getting 2-3 steals and 1-2 blocks per game. We are now riding a four game winning streak, taking down the Lakers, the Kings, the Suns, and the Grizzlies. We're up to seventh in the West, and I'm legitimately excited about this late playoff run, even if Manu Ginobili has only been shooting around 35% the past few games.

(Now, I'm just hoping this somehow translates over to my love for the Steelers in the NFL, since they finally have broken out of a long losing streak that was also related to losing close games in the fourth quarter. Come on, just look at the parallels! I'm thinking about this right, aren't I? Anybody? Bueller?)

Worst of the Night In Pictures:
Tommy Point!

"Wearing a ridiculous green afro wig, green facial hair, and rocking a license plate around your neck? That's a Tommy Point for you!"

Chauncey BillupsChauncey Billups is just as blown away by Z-Bo's 24 boards as the rest of us.

Kobe doin' work(Insert played-out Donaghy reference here. Sigh.)

Nationally Televised Games:
Crabs at Suns: I'd be legitimately excited about this game if I actually got NBATV. Lebron. Nash. Cavs on the road after looking less-than-spectacular in the last few games. This game could be very interesting.

All The Other Games:
Bucks at Pacers: On the opposite end of the spectrum, this game could be very uninteresting and sloppy. Milwaukee is dreadful on the road. Indiana is just... bleh.

Jazz at Magic: I'd just like to reiterate what Bawful wrote in the Worst of the Weekend: Vinsanity went 1-for-14 from the field against Portland on Saturday. That is all.

Kings at Bulls: Ridiculous stat of the day: the Bulls' Points Against average is 7.4 points higher than their Points For average. And you wonder why this team is 10-15.

Clippers at Spurs: I just realized that the Spurs have only two more wins than the Clippers so far this season. Mind... blown. Reality... shattered. Holy shit, where's the Tylenol?

(Thankfully, Clippers are still under .500, and therefore, still who we thought they were.)

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48 Comments:
Blogger chris said...
Say, Dan, you FINALLY figured out that teamwork is overrated, the same way that Z-Bo always has understood!!!!!!

At least it is a valid video game strategery.

Blogger chris said...
Don't forget that Mr. Tommy Points there has that verdant facial hair going as well...

Blogger Dan B. said...
Already mentioned the facial hair. Didn't even bother to address the wicked sweet track suit though...

Blogger chris said...
Dan B.: JUST saw that you did. Wow, what a jumpsuit. That thing looks vintage enough that it almost belongs in Tiny Archibald's locker!

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I'm still early into my 2k10 My Player mode. I'm on the Tulsa 66ers D-league team. The weird thing is the homo 2k Insider keeps telling me "sorry the GM told me he cut you from the Tulsa 66ers but good news! You've just been signed by the Tulsa 66ers!"

Blogger John said...
why is every single crabs game on some sort of TV? THEY HAVEN'T WON ANYTHING.

Blogger chris said...
John: Obviously, the crustaceans won their way into the heart and mind of the Association's ultimate puppetmaster, David Stern!

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Anyone see the barrage of new Kobe Lebron puppet commercials featuring Lupe Fiasco as Blitzen and KRS-One as Black Santa?

Blogger Dan B. said...
John -- Haven't you heard? LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron Shaq LeBron LeBron!!!1!11

kazam92 -- I turned off the 2K10 insider. I got tired of hearing his mindless drivel. And yes, the game is amazingly full of bugs.

Blogger 49er16 said...
Hope you guys are watching the Bulls gag a 35 point lead to the Kings.

They want VDN fired.

Anonymous Ak dave said...
Tyreke Evans just did the "Big Balls Dance" with :50 left and Sacramento up 3.

Will the curse of the BBD strike again?

Blogger 49er16 said...
It's complete. The Baby Royals came back from 35 points down to beat the Chicago Bulls.

I can't wait to see what Bawful has to say about this game tomorrow.

Anonymous phelan said...
congrats to the bulls for last nights amazing come from ahead loss to the purple paupers! outscored 33-10 is unequivocally fail.

oh, and the clippers are still playing...if you want to call it that...but they are who we thought they were.

Blogger mg said...
The Bulls blew up a 35 point lead and lost to the Kings at home. Thank god I'm not a Bulls fan.

Blogger chris said...
49er16: As I just notified Mr. McHale, Comcast Sports Net California reports that this 35 point comeback is the largest in franchise history, across 62 years amongst FIVE different mid-market cities and TWO different team names!

Yeah, this never happened in the Omaha years, that's for sure.

(woot. tyreke ftw)

Anonymous kazam92 said...
So where does the bulls collapse rank on the FAIL scale?


Dan B. - you can turn the Insider off????? HOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Blogger chris said...
Okay, it's official:

The Kings' win (and Bulls' meltdown) is the LARGEST EVER road comeback and tied with a 1996 Utah victory (at the Delta Center or Whatever It's Called This Week) as the Largest in Association History.

Sactown Royalty is rightfully celebrating right now, while the game replay is airing on Comcast Sports Net California. Can't wait to see how the second half plays out (as I was out getting Christmas gifts after seeing some of the 2nd and 3rd quarters).

Blogger chris said...
kazam92: Yeah, I wonder how the Notorious VDN feels about presiding over what is now tied as THE biggest choke in the history of the Association.

Vinnie Smallz is sure gonna be hypnotized by the forced resignation letter that Jerry Reinsdorf better be handing in approximately 7 hours.

Blogger chris said...
Watching the replay right now. Vinnie Smallz looknig all smug and calm, with 8:49 left in the 3rd, before the comeback begins!

"The chances of winning this game are very slim" says Napear. Gee. "You just gotta keep on playing - Paul Westphal is looking for that." Yeah, Westphal was in the Greatest Game Ever Played, so of course he'd understand that (thankfully).

Blogger chris said...
Wow, with 8:17 left in the 3rd, the Bulls already started giving the rock as a Christmas gift to the former Royals! It's as if you could TELL that this was going to work out in Sactown's favor a lot earlier than expected.

Blogger chris said...
Amazing fact: With about 6:30 left in the 3rd, the heifers would score _19_ points more in the game, and only 19 points more.

After 79-44, the Kings outscored the grilled steaks 58-23. :O

Blogger chris said...
Think I saw this on SactownRoyalty, but the Kings only gave up the rock TWICE in the second half. TOTAL.

"Kings just trying to put together some good basketball" says the CSNCA booth with about 5 minutes to go.

Derrick Rose with an ill-advised pass to Joakim Noah with 4:40 to go, Noah gives up the rock, and the purple paupers suddenly get offensive momentum.

BTW, looks like the real activity starts in the fourth quarter, according to a poster at STR:

I'm watching it again.

The Kings are just kinda hanging around until about the 9:40 mark. Down 92-74, Taj Gibson gets called for 3-Seconds. Then the dominoes start falling. Udoka for 3. The Donté block that leads to the Sergio-to-Tyreke fast-break dunk. Suddenly, it’s a legitimate game again, and every time they cut to VDN, he just looks lost.

It’s beautiful.

I AM ALONE IN MY HOUSE, SHAKING WITH EXCITEMENT, UNABLE TO DISENGAGE MY CAPS LOCK.

by The Ghost of Dick Bavetta on Dec 21, 2009 9:38 PM PST

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
One other note: The Kings's starting lineup is possibly one of the tallest, with Tyreke-fucking-RoY-may-as-well-trade-Kevin-Martin-Evans at 6'6", Nocioni at 6'7", Casspi at 6'9", Jason Thompson at 6'11", and Spencer Hawes at 7'1".

And in case you missed that, yes, Nocioni was in the starting lineup. Nocioni. 35 point comeback. Nocioni.

Blogger chris said...
Salmons with a typical brick with 1:12 left in the 3rd. Hmm, somehow the fish being fried out of productivity all year would be more costly this evening than usual.

Jon Brockman with a nice board right before it became a 20-point game, about a minute to go in the 3rd.

"The score isn't why you're playing now. Just play good basketball. You might find a way to cut it down."

"This Kings team is...playing hard, playing good...making shots, running the floor." "It starts right there...being an athletic team on the floor, being more active, creating some problems, Tyreke drawing the foul there."

"Kings making a little bit of a comeback here...was a 35 point game, now down to 86-66"

LOL, now the Notorious VDN being interviewed in a prerecorded clip about Tyreke. Terrible facial hair, and that awesome blank stare that has denoted his entire tenure as Chicago coach.

Evans coming into the final half-minute of the 3rd? A mere 9 points.

Blogger chris said...
3rd quarter finishing up on the replay, and...88-69!

"Boy, it's fun to see [Evans] carve up defense!" A precursor of things to come.

Blogger chris said...
Chicago outscored 26-21 in the 3rd, and as it would turn out...33-10 in the final period!!!!

Blogger chris said...
Commentators with about 11 minutes left: "You never know...there's time!"

Nice.

Udoka playing strong defense in the paint, and he draws a jump ball. 90-74 right now.

Blogger chris said...
"[VDN] has been around this game long enough, he KNOWS [it's not over,] he's gonna keep on top and keep his players fresh and ready to go."

"Maybe, you never know - 92-77! Nice hustle play, Jon Brockman, keep that ball alive, allowed Ime with the spot-up three."

Rodriguez with a fastbreak to send Evans straight to the hoop! Napear pointing out now that the fans at the UC are getting nervous with the lead down to 13!

Blogger chris said...
Noah replaces Scrappy-Doo with 8:58 left. "[The Notorious] Vinny Del Negro doesn't like what he's seeing."

Blogger chris said...
NICE block by Brockman there to get another possession for the paupers.

"Boy, is it quiet here at the United Center."

Blogger chris said...
Derrick Rose replaces Henrich with 8:01 left. Still a 13-point match, 92-79 at this juncture.

BRICK, CHICAGO!

Rodriguez fouls the fish to stop a fastbreak after an attempt at a crab dribble by Tyreke.

7:34 left, Chicago ahead 94-79. Ime makes a three to put the paupers into the eighties for the first time, 94-81!

Blogger chris said...
Salmons with the turning point of the game, the shot clock violation on a made field goal with 6:51 to go!!!!

Blogger chris said...
Teehee, tonight in schadenfreude, the Chicago Sun-Times!

There's no way of knowing for sure, but the Bulls might be the first team in NBA history to be booed off their home court in a game in which they had a 35-point lead.

Then again, teams with 35-point leads in the second half usually don't lose.


WOw, UGLY sequence with 6:32 left, missed layup by Tyreke leads to Salmons losing control of the rock.

Another 24-second violation, this time by the Kings.

Blogger chris said...
ESPN Chicago with some early reactions.

Derrick Rose when asked if something like this has ever happened in his career: "Never. But I guess there's a first time for everything. Just nonchalant attitude, I guess. But we'll be fine."

Yeah, this isn't the squad of Scrappy Adorabulls that pushed the C's to 7 last spring.

Blogger chris said...
Some stats from the San Jose Mercury News -

n the fourth quarter, the Bulls were 2 for 10 from the field and had nine turnovers. The Kings, meanwhile, shot 11 for 21, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over only twice.

"I mean, what can you say? It's unheard of to do what just happened," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "I'm not even sure I believe it, but it sure was fun."


And I LOVE this nickname for Vinnie Smallz from Blog-a-Bull:

http://www.blogabull.com/2009/12/22/1212117/kings-102-bulls-98-organizations

And that was just a minor point where Paul Westphal proved the difference between him and Vinny Del Novice. It could've been how Vinny didn't give any of the starters any in-game rest during a game where they were up so big (and have a game tomorrow night for that matter). Or the usual lack of execution in close-and-late situations.

Blogger chris said...
So to clarify, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, this ISN'T the largest choke evar:

The 35-point comeback was largest since the Jazz rallied from a 36-point deficit to beat the Nuggets in 1996.

Having said that, it's still the largest this century, and the largest on the road EVER. Nice.

---

4:43, 95-83 lead for the cows.

Hinrich with ANOTHER 24-second violation with 3:13 left.

Beno makes a three! 95-88!!!!!!

Blogger chris said...
ANOTHER three with 2:28 left, 95-91!!!!!!!! After what seems like forever for Vinnie Smallz, a timeout is taken!!!!

Blogger chris said...
ROSE MISSING THE LAYUP WITH 2:21 TO GO, TYREKE RESPONDS WITH A SUCCESSFUL FASTBREAK A FEW SECONDS LATER!

Wow.

Beautiful sequence. (Except for the Notorious VDN's health insurance provider.)

95-94, 2:13 to go. Amazing.

Blogger chris said...
Evans ties it with 1:44 left in the match.

Sacramento wins the jump ball with 1:30 to go, and Evans draws a foul a quarter-minute later - leading to a made free throw for Sacramento's first lead of the night!

BROCKMAN WITH THE OFFENSIVE REBOUND AFTER THE BRICKED SECOND FREE THROW!

Evans with a jumper over Deng for two! To quote Napear, "Thank heavens for Tyreke Evans!" Cheesetacular, and yet honestly...so true.

Rose at the line on a Tyreke Evans foul, 46 to go. Makes both shots, one-point game.

Kings bleeding clock out, and then seem to get lucky on an uncalled 24-second violation! But the replay shows that Evans indeed get the shot off.

Fans booing Evans massively as the Kings break the century mark. No tacos!!!

Suckramento turned over the ball 13 times in the first half. _THREE_ times the second half in the comeback!

14 seconds left, set inbounds by Rose...MISSED SHOT, NOAH LOSES THE ROCK, UDRIH GETS FOULED!

Napear impressed with this game in 22 years of watching ball.

Boos in force at the UC.

"Most amazing comeback you will EVER see - the Sacramento Kings, SOMEHOW, SOME WAY, find a way to to win this game in Chicago! The stunned Vinny Del Negro can only look on!"

Blogger chris said...
LOLZ, the Kings' staff just quoted Bill Simmons eating crow on Twitter. Priceless.

---

Some writer in the Chicago suburb of Gary (more known for being the home of the Jackson 5!!!!) is fed up with Vinnie Smallz.

Paul Westphal's comments coming up on the replay.

Blogger chris said...
Now the Sacramento Bee quickly puts up a video interview with Gavin Maloof...where Vinnie Smallz makes a cameo trying to hide from the camera!!!!!!

And here's an analysis from the Chicago Daily Herald.

Blogger chris said...
You know the Kings game was a big deal when even some random Aussie blog does a writeup (though they get Westphal's first name wrong!).

Now the Bee has a photo gallery of the game up, while here's the Sacramento Press's take on things.

And fresh off the printer - our very own Bawful has his Bulls By The Horns elegy up!

Blogger chris said...
BTW, a response to Mr. McHale's Bulls By The Horns post, in which he says:

Once it became obvious the Bulls were sleepwalking through the fourth quarter, why not insert Jannero Pargo? The guy is a spark plug. I can guarantee you Pargo would have been aggressive even if everybody else was standing around twiddling their thumbs.

Well, he DID twiddle his thumbs between the A and B buttons for a 6 second Super Mario...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
In the Aussie blog, the writer made the mistake of naming the Kings as having the greatest comeback in NBA history. When I went to click on the link, I found out he just highlighted it and colored the font blue.

Where do you find these things?

Anonymous Adrià said...
Nice report, chris :D

What is the Greatest Game Ever Played?

Blogger BJ said...
Somebody Photoshop a pic of the Jordan bronze with a bag over its head. Or retching, whatever.

From Coach Vinny, "We are not good enough to take a minute off, let alone a half."

Listen closely. Take in the scent. That's Del Negro's goose. It's cooked.
-BJ

Blogger chris said...
Adria: Greatest Game Ever Played is...

Game 5, 1976 NBA Finals, a triple overtime epic in which 60% of the players became coaches in the Association eventually, including Mr. Westphal here!

Blogger chris said...
Anonymous: news.google.com was my friend last night! :D That, and perusing ESPN and the Bee a couple of times as well.

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