Pau wants him some high five action
I just hate this guys' face. Is that wrong of me?

The Detroit Pistons: Let's see if you've heard this one before: Detroit was already without Ben Gordon (strained right groin), Tayshaun Prince (sore left knee) and Will Bynum (sprained left ankle), and then they lost Richard Hamilton to vaginal soreness an upset stomach. The remaining Pistons fought bravely -- heck, Ben Wallace had a season-high 16 points -- but they lost to the Bricks in New York anyway to make it nine defeats in their last 10 road games. In related news, David Stern is considering renaming the team "the Shorthanded Pistons" for the remainder of the season.

The New York Knicks: From the AP recap: "The Knicks improved to 17-24 at the halfway point of their schedule, the same record they had last season before finishing 32-50." It's good to see how much they've improved under Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni. In related news, David Stern is considering renaming the team "the New York Expiring Contracts" for the remainder of the season. Speaking of D'Antoni and the Knicks...

Larry Hughes: Big Shot Larry's feud with his coach continues:

Larry Hughes is once again letting it be known that he's not happy with his role with the Knicks and that head coach Mike D'Antoni won't talk to him. Saturday after the Knicks lost to the Pistons, Hughes said D'Antoni's rotation is "a joke, a joke."

D'Antoni wasn't thrilled with the "joke" remark on Sunday.

"It's not really funny," D'Antoni told the New York Post. "I didn't catch the punch line. Everybody has their self-defense mechanisms. He's in a tough situation. But I got to try to do what I got to do."

Hughes met with Knicks president Donnie Walsh on Thursday, but says he won't tell D'Antoni who to play.

"Mike and I are on the same page with this team," Walsh told the New York Daily News Sunday. "He coaches the team. He makes the substitutions. I understand why he does it. We talk about it. I met with Larry and listened to what he had to say. That's my job. I told Mike about that. But I didn't tell him before the game. I don't order Mike to play anybody. I don't do that. Never have. I don't tell the coach who to play."
Well...I'm glad that's settled.

The Portland Trail Blazers: You really couldn't expect the Frail Blazers to keep winning, not without Brandon Roy and, like, four or five other rotation guys. But still...losing to the Wizards Generals Bullets is always a kick in the groin.

Flip Saunders, breakfast chef to the stars: From the AP recap: "To get his team energized for an early game, Wizards coach Flip Saunders arranged breakfast for the players. 'Hopefully, that'll put a little fuel in their tummies,' he said. Not all of them got the memo -- Butler arrived in the locker room carrying a McDonald's bag and cup."

Okay, first of all, what NBA coach uses the word "tummies"? I mean, really. Second, this is what Caron said last October: "It's helped out a lot. I just watched what I put into my body because my body is my temple and I’ve got to take care of it. I don't put garbage in my body anymore. I try to eat as healthy as possible and try to stay away from the sodas and fast food. I think it worked out great for me because I feel better than I ever have." If he doesn't put garbage in his body anymore, what was he doing with a McDonald's bag? The last time I checked, Egg McMuffins aren't health food. Why not just eat trash right out of a dumpster? It's just as good for you, and you might find some nuclear weapons material from World War II somebody threw out by mistake. Or a baby. Or eight human bodies. Or a movie script. The point is, dumpster diving is always a better idea than eating at McDonalds.

The Sacramento Kings: Make it four losses in a row and 11 of 13 since their 35-point comeback in Chicago. Actually, it makes a lot of sense to bring up that game against the Bulls, because the Kings came back from a 24-point deficit and almost stole this one from the Bobcats. The key word being "almost."

The Freak had another huge game, dishing 7 assists and scoring 14 of his career-high 34 points in the fourth quarter almost-comeback. Too bad he did all that in a game that dropped Sacto to 10 games below .500.

The New Orleans Hornets: The Spurs had a 38-12 advantage in free throw attempts...in New Orleans?! That should never happen to a team playing at home.

Emeka Okafor: He had 2 points and 2 boards while being limited to only 14 minutes because of foul trouble. By the way, Okafor won last season's Yinka Dare Award for his unwillingness to pass the basketball. Well, it looks like Emeka is going to lose his crown to this season's leading candidate, Hasheem Thabeet, who has 2 assists in 389 minutes of PT.

The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comdey of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued against the Clippers in L.A. One thing some people missed as the Clips went from a four-game winning streak to a four-game losing streak is that Chris Kaman -- only the team's leading scorer and best percentage shooter -- missed all those losses with an injured back. Well, doens't it just figure he made his return against the poor Nyets, scoring 22 points (10-for-16) to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in a 106-95 Clippers win?

Said New Jersey interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe: "This is a totally different team with Kaman in there. They're a very aggressive team that hurts you in the paint, and we did not meet their force with force."

Losing to The Other L.A. Team dropped the Nyets to 3-37. But the history-setting suck doesn't stop there. New Jersey has now started a calendar year 0-8 for the first time since 1981 under interim coach Bob MacKinnon. The franchise record in that infamous category is 0-11 under Kevin Loughery in 1977, their first season following the NBA-ABA merger. They also started 1991 with an 0-7 mark.

Added Vandeweghe: "There's no way to describe it, except that we're in a dark tunnel. There's no question it was a tough situation to come into, and there's no sugarcoating it. But you have to stay positive. Being negative does not help."

Uh, I'm not sure anything's helping right now, Kiki.

Kiki Vandeweghe, Captain Obvious: "You can't give up 39 points in the first quarter and expect to win a basketball game. I did not see any effort on the defensive end. The guys played OK the last three quarters, but you can't play for just three quarters -- not in this league." But if there was a league for teams that played only three quarters, the Nyets would totally rock.

The Philadelphia 76ers: The Timberpoops trailed the Sixers 51-31 with three minutes to go in the first half. It didn't look good for the home team, especially since they were without Kevin Love (flu-like symptoms!). Fortunately for them, they were playing a Philly squad that has only four more wins than they do. Minny outscored the Sixers 59-42 in the third and fourth quarters to force overtime, during which they pulled out a 108-103 victory.

I can almost smell the fresh ink on Eddie Jordan's termination papers. After all, Philly team president Ed Stefanski recently refused to guarantee Jordan would last the season...and the Sixers have lost to the Knicks (16-24), Wizards (13-26) and Timberwolves (9-33) since then.

Elton Brand, the $80 Million Dollar Bench Player, scored only 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting. Afater the game, Brand said: "It's an old cliche that players win ball games. [Jordan's] doing the best he feels he can do. We don't just want to win for him, we do want to win for him, we want to win for us, too, and the city. We were right there, and we thought we turned the corner. It's just a disappointing loss."

Allen Iverson: Despite playing 23 more minutes, The Cancer (11 points, 4-for-12) was nearly outscored by Brian Cardinal (9 points, 2-for-3). Oh how the mighty have fallen...

The Chicago Bulls: The Golden State Warriors rank next to dead last in Defensive Efficiency, yet the Bulls shot only 36.5 percent from the field. Why? Well, for starters, Golden State suckered them into playing Warriors basketball...too many one-on-one plays, too little movement without the basketball, not nearly enough passing and waaaaaay too many jump shots. The Warriors let their opponents convert 65 percent of their shots at the rim -- that's the second-worst mark in the league, by the way -- but Chicago was content to jack up 69 jumpers despite being one of the league's worst shooting teams.

The Bulls also fell victim to another classic Nellie strategy: Isolating his best players over and over and over again. And it worked. Vinny Del Negro couldn't figure out what to do against Monta Ellis (36 points, 8 assists, 4 steals), Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette (32 points, 11-for-14, 10-for-11 from the line) and rookie Stephen Curry (26 points, 5-for-8 from downtown, 6 assists). And then there was Andris Biedrins, who channelled his inner Bill Russell in grabbing a season-high 19 rebounds while blocking a career-high 8 shots.

To top it off, the Bulls shanked 11 free throws. About the only thing they did right was not slipping on a banana peel.

The Phoenix Suns: A visit from the defense-free Suns meant stat-padding time for the Rudy Gay (31 points, 11-for-20, 9 rebounds), O.J. Mayo (28 points, 11-for-21) and Zach Randolph (27 points, 10-for-22, 11 boards)...and another win for the Memphis Grizzlies. The Suns (24-18) are now only a couple games ahead of the Griz (22-18). Holy shit, right?

Phoenix is now 10-15 since starting the season 14-3, mostly because they can't win away from home. The Suns have lost four straight and 11 of their last 12 road games. Said Steve Nash: "I've never been on a bad road team, so it's strange for me. I don't know what it is." Well, let's see. How about bad defense and turnovers? Not only did Memphis shoot better than 50 percent from the field, the Suns gave them 23 bonus points off 18 turnovers.

Said Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry: "Look at the turnovers. You can't give up 23 points on your turnovers. You can't defend the turnover. That got us in trouble again, and then we have to be able to come up with stops."

Pretty much, yeah.

By the way, the Suns have now lost 18 straight games on TNT.

The Boston Celtics: What does still not having Kevin Garnett mean to the Celtics? It means extended stretches in which Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Brian Scalabrine are asked to defend Dirk Nowitzki. That's like jamming a baby in a shark's mouth...you're just asking that baby to get shredded like fresh mozzarella cheese on nature's furious chainsaw. Which is what happened to the C's, as Dirk shelled them for 37 points on 14-for-22 shooting. Mind you, Nowitzki scored 15 of 19 Dallas points after Rasheed Wallace committed his fourth foul and went to the bench with 3:56 left in the third quarter.

Said Doc Rivers: "That's when the floodgates opened. The fourth foul really hurt us. I thought Rasheed was doing a terrific job on Dirk. Not having Kevin tonight, knowing Rasheed was the only other guy, that put us in a tough situation."

Did I mention the Mavs lost by 22 points in Toronto the day before?

Still, it shows once again that KG isn't just critical to Boston's defense...he is Boston's defense. Without Garnett going apeshit in the paint, the Celtics will continued to be exploited like the sweaty Malaysian children who assembled Agent Zero's handguns. Maybe every team won't hit 57 percent of their shots like Dallas did, but still...

The Orlando Magic: Sure, they whacked Kobe Byrant's sore finger and held Mamba to only 11 points on 4-for-19 shooting -- Kobe's second-lowest point total of the season -- but they probably should have kept an eye on that Shannon Brown kid. Brown scored 9 of his career-high 22 points in the final 12 minutes as the Lakers came back from a 9-point third-quarter deficit to win 98-92.

The Pumaman had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots...but only one field goal in the second half. Said Howard: "I don't think they put the clamps on me [in the second half]. They just double-teamed, and I had to pass it out to guys who hit shots. We just turned the ball over too much in the second half, and they went on a big run."

Thanks, Dwight. I almost forgot to mention you guys gave up 21 points off only 13 turnovers. The Lakers lost the ball 9 times...but gave up only 7 points off those turnovers.

Stephon Marbury: I wouldn't be minding my duties if I didn't mention that the former self-proclaimed "best point guard in the NBA" will soon be peddling his skills (and his shoes!) in China. Starbury's new team is ranked 15th of 17 teams in whatever bush league they play in. The team's big boss, Wang Xingjiang, said on the team Web site: "The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games the rest of the season."

You read that correctly. Xingjiang is paying back his fans by signing Stephon Marbury. I wonder what kind of terrible, unspeakable things the fans did to him if that's his idea of payback? He's like a Chinese Mel Gibson.

Lacktion report: I'm not sure Dr. King ever dreamed there would be this much lacktion on his special day, as Chris reports...

Pistons-Knicks: Chris Wilcox negated a steal and board with one foul and one giveaway (along with bricking four times) for a 2:1 Voskuhl in 8:21.

Blazers-Bullets: Dante Cunningham loaded up a brick and foul to give Portland a +2 suck differential in 4:39. Nick Young launched a brick for a +1 in 2:21, while Dominic McGuire continues to snipe at Steve Novak's status as top Association lacktator by chambering a Duck Hunt cartridge for an 18 second Mario!!!

Thunder-Hawks: Byron Mullens earned a 4:0 Voskuhl in 5:39 for Oklahoma City by countering a steal and board with a trio of fouls and a turnover.

Maurice Evans plucked a pair of fouls and bricks to give the dirty birds a +4 in 8:19, while Jeff Teague missed twice for a +2 in 3:54.

Kings-Bobcats: Hilton Armstrong's 10:08 debut for the purple paupers included a reservation in the ledger - one block and assist seemed to imply a mild level of productivity at first, only to be countered with a giveaway, rejection, and brick for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Sixers-Wolves: Ryan Hollins had one block and board in 6:45, but he also bricked once, lost the rock twice, and fouled five times for a 7:1 Voskuhl!!! Fellow clothesliner Oleksiy Pecherov committed two turnovers for a +2 in 1:34 that also counts as a 2:0 Voskuhl.

Spurs-Hornets: Matt Bonner dropped a brick in 6:01 for a +1, while Emeka Okafor buzzed his way into the ledger by way of a 5:4 Voskuhl in exactly 14 minutes - fouling four times and giving the ball away once against one made field goal and two boards.

Nyets-Clippers: Josh Boone drank up a fortune on the hardwood tonight, earning 3.8 trillion (3:50) in rubles! For Team Dunleavy, Mardy Collins scored a +1 via brick in 3:38.

Bulls-Warriors: Despite a block, Chris Hunter took down a brick, rejection and foul each for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl in 8:51.

Suns-Grizzlies: Marcus Williams made bank tonight with a 2.65 trillion (2:40) while Hasheem Thabeet earned a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl in 4:36 by fouling once, against one block.

Mavs-Celtics: Dallas's James Singleton and Boston's JR Giddens and Bill Walker spent 42 seconds on court together as Mario Brothers! Giddens also earned a +2 via brick and rejection.

Magic-Lakers: DJ Mbenga spun one brick in 1:39 for a +1.

Labels:

43 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
no mention of the dunk contest?

Blogger chris said...
Relevant Facepalm-Worthy Fact:

K-Mart scored only nine points against Charlotte.

Blogger chris said...
BTW, Vanderweghe should be familiar with dark tunnels...after all, there's two of them within shouting distance of Jimmy Hoffa's accomodations!

Blogger chris said...
Boston was also only down by what, 4 points (78-74 or something like that) early in the 4th quarter, before the Mavs became unstoppable from the arc.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
Being one of the few here in the midwest who stayed up and watched Lakers-Magic, I have to say Orlando is playing a ridiculously stupid brand of basketball right now. I'll leave Bawful to do the write up, but when the Lakers start missing shots in bunches, I'm not sure the modus operandi is to rush down court and jack up a 3 as quick as possible. Antoine Walker thinks these guys are getting a little ahead of themselves. Worst of the Night: Orlando transition offense. When you hoist up 33 triples and only score 92 points, you might want to try something that, you know, actually works.

Blogger Dan B. said...
BW in Cleveland -- I stayed up to watch the first quarter of the Magic-Lakers game before saying "screw this!" and going to bed. Horrific.

Blogger Adam said...
No mention of either the Lakers pissing away most of the third quarter (historically their best quarter) with atrocious shooting (I can't find the stat but it was turrible) or the Magic pissing away their lead with a 21-1 run by the Lakers?

The first half was an actual game. The second half was basically epic fail of one team followed by epic fail of the other.

And yeah, it's like the Magic lost everything that made them click last season. If they get rattled, it's very hard for them to get back on track, and if shots aren't falling for them their defense starts falling apart too.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Dan B.

It actually turned into a competitive game half way through the third quarter. And by competitive, I mean the Magic became a long-range torrent and shot themselves back into the game. Teams like this just piss me off to no end. Its terrible basketball and just no fun to watch. It can get you through the playoffs if you have enough defensive mismatches, but the style will be exposed at some point (IE exactly what happened last year. 7 game dogfight with an aging Boston team then blazing through the Cavs with some ridiculous last minute and downtown extravaganza junk).

/still bitter

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Dunk Contest: Uh, the only way Shannon Brown doesn't win is if a Candice Parker type voting situation occurs for Nate Robinson...again...

BTW, Week 2 of NBA Jam voting is up, same homepage, this time for the Wolves, Grizz, and Warriors!

Blogger Adam said...
Bawful, as the midpoint of the season nears, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about parity in the league this season versus last.

Sure there are still massive problems with some of the expected teams, but none of the "elite" teams are doing as well this year as last, while there are a number of teams considered second or third tier that are doing surprisingly well, if even just in spurts. Whether this due to injuries, good/bad team chemistry, or some other factors, I'm not savvy enough to say, but to this layman it seems that there is indeed more parity this season. Any thoughts?

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Going back to yesterday's mini-thread about how much Orlando is missing Turkoglu and how they should have kept him. So we have a 30 year old player with consistency issues and questionable defense, but undoubtedly is what makes the team click.
From the Toronto Sun: “(The Magic offered) a three-year deal for almost $24-million (US) and Toronto gave me five years and ($53)-million,” Turkoglu said. “They gave me that kind of money and Orlando did not want to pay. “It’s not like I did something behind them. I hope the fans realize that too.”
So, it really boils down to money and contract length. In a couple of seasons, when he's 32 and probably averaging 13/4, would you really want to look at your payroll and see "Hedo Turkoglu, 3 years remaining, $34 million"? (Though what's the point of trying to maneuver some cap flexibility and then go blow it on Marcin Gortat AND Brandon Bass?) It's not like the Magic don't already have oodles of fun with Rashard Lewis's additional $63 million over 3 years after this season (though that's pretty much their own fault). The flip side of the coin though, is that you're taking a championship team and potentially wrecking it.

My question (or perhaps poll) is: More generally speaking, suppose you have a championship caliber team in a situation where the top contenders are likely in decline. Would you pay a guy who makes your team click, knowing that in a couple of years he'll likely leave a cap disaster for you, or would you try to substitute less effective pieces, potentially ruining chemistry, and preserve your long term prospects?

Blogger Cortez said...
"I just hate this guys' face. Is that wrong of me?"

No.

Although I will say that, even though I don't hate his face, it disturbs in a way that I can't put my finger on.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
NarS: The same gamble was made by the Lakers, with the Ariza Artest swap. Only it worked for the Lakers, and not for the Magic. Probably because the phrase "Turkoglu leaving is wrecking our championship team" says something about the Magic.

You could go one step further, and propose a conspiracy theory by the Lakers and Raptors, to lure Hedo with a giant contract and destroy the last competition in the East thus assuring the Lakers another championship. Even better, the NBA set this up to allow the Puppet Show Finals we were supposed to get last year!

BTW, screw Rudy Gay, I voted for Mayo/ZBo/Gasol.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Being one of the few here in the midwest who stayed up and watched Lakers-Magic, I have to say Orlando is playing a ridiculously stupid brand of basketball right now. I'll leave Bawful to do the write up, but when the Lakers start missing shots in bunches, I'm not sure the modus operandi is to rush down court and jack up a 3 as quick as possible.

The Magic have always lived and died by the three. It's just who they are. Is it stupid basketball? Oh, hell yeah it is. But it's pretty much what you have to expect from them. (Although there were several times I yelled out loud, "Really? That's the BEST SHOT you could get?")

So, it really boils down to money and contract length. In a couple of seasons, when he's 32 and probably averaging 13/4, would you really want to look at your payroll and see "Hedo Turkoglu, 3 years remaining, $34 million"? (Though what's the point of trying to maneuver some cap flexibility and then go blow it on Marcin Gortat AND Brandon Bass?) It's not like the Magic don't already have oodles of fun with Rashard Lewis's additional $63 million over 3 years after this season (though that's pretty much their own fault). The flip side of the coin though, is that you're taking a championship team and potentially wrecking it.

The fiscal responsibility angle doesn't work for me, not only because of Bass and Gortat, but because they went out and acquired almosdt $60 million worth of Vinsanity. It's very similar to how Mark Cuban tried to go all cheap on Steve Nash and then vastly overpaid for Erick Dampier...WHO HE IS STILL PAYING!! Damp is "earning" $10 million this season and will get $13 million next season. Again, Cuban thought Nash was too expensive and then broke the bank for Dampier...oh, and J-Kidd is signed through 2012-13. Worst decision ever.

Eh, anyway, the Magic really only needed to tweak their roster. Hell, why nix the Carter trade and go balls out for Ron Artest instead? He could have given them someone to throw at Kobe and shoot open threes. Seriously, add Artest to last year's Finals squad and tell me they aren't a better team.

My question (or perhaps poll) is: More generally speaking, suppose you have a championship caliber team in a situation where the top contenders are likely in decline. Would you pay a guy who makes your team click, knowing that in a couple of years he'll likely leave a cap disaster for you, or would you try to substitute less effective pieces, potentially ruining chemistry, and preserve your long term prospects?

The problem with that line of thinking is you never know what your long-term prospects are going to be. Miami hasn't been very good for the last few seasons, but Pat Riley has said that 2005 title was worth the rebuilding. Besides, any team that signs Marcin Gorat through 2014 can't be that worried about their long-term prospects.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
The problem with that line of thinking is you never know what your long-term prospects are going to be. Miami hasn't been very good for the last few seasons, but Pat Riley has said that 2005 title was worth the rebuilding. Besides, any team that signs Marcin Gorat through 2014 can't be that worried about their long-term prospects.

Right, that's why I wasn't asking about the Magic. They botched their dealings in so many bizarre ways. I was polling for more of a collection of personal opinions regarding a more general situation. I.e. If you were the GM of a team with a young franchise player that's looking at a scenario where signing a older player preserves a short (maybe couple of years) championship window due to chemistry and fit (before that player ages and becomes ineffective), or you could replace him with a player that's a worse fit and maybe could wreck your chemistry, but maybe other players will help make up the difference and in the long term could put you in a better salary cap situation where you can find more ways of building around your young franchise player (and not have a Knicks-hoping-Casper-scares-Eddy-Curry-to-death scenario). I personally believe you either shoot for championships or you rebuild, but with a young franchise player, it muddies the water a little because the potential better rebuilding scenarios, so I wanted to see what other people thought.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
I just had McDonalds in like 6 months and it still smells the best and has the best fries. I'm just sayin. And where else can you get a salad that is more unhealthy than the burgers?

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Dear lord that was one long sentence. Let me try to make it a little more clear:
You're the GM of a team coming off a Finals appearance, and you have a young franchise player (we'll say center, since that's probably the hardest position to get). Money isn't a big issue.
You have an older player who really makes the team click, but wants a big contract for a long period of time, the last 3 or 4 years of which will probably be dead money.
Do you keep him and shoot for the championship, and likely will dead with a lot of dead cap space a couple of years down the line.
Or, do you try to replace him with a shorter contract player that's probably not as effective nor as good a fit, and hope the players around him make up the difference. This way, you preserve long term cap space to build around your young franchise player, and avoid cap killing disaster scenarios like Eddy Curry?

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Bawful

They do live and die by the three, but with their roster flexibility, they really shouldn't have to. Hear me out for a sec. I'm not saying the Carter signing was necessarily a good thing, but him Barnes and Anderson bring a much different look than Hedo/Lee/Rafer. Orlando SHOULD be able to play a high tempo game and get a shitload of points in the paint by guys other than Howard. For whatever reason, Rashard has completely turned into a jump shooter and thats whats killing this team (along with Dewey's inability to beat a double team and terrible footwork on the block). If SVG could get Shard to play like he did in Seattle and teach Dewey to play like a well rounded center, this team would be leaps and bounds better than last year.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
You have an older player who really makes the team click, but wants a big contract for a long period of time, the last 3 or 4 years of which will probably be dead money.

First off, are we SURE Hedo will be useless in the final three or four years of his five-year contract? The dude will be 34 at the end of that time. There are an awful lot of productive 30-plus year-olds right now: Kobe, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Stephen Jackson, Brian Scalabrine...I mean, do we have to assume that Turkododo will be washed up in the next year or two?

I mean, he's played in only 717 games, and he logged 26 MPG or fewer in his first five seasons. His totals are down a little this season, but that's to be expected since his usage rate dropped five percent. But the rest of his advances stats are pretty much on par with what he did the past two seasons. I'm just sayin', I think Hedo has enough left in the tank to play at a similar level for the next three or four seasons, and by the time Year 5 rolls around, he's an expiring contract, which as we all know makes great trade bait, especially for teams looking for savvy veterans to bolster their playoff run.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
They do live and die by the three, but with their roster flexibility, they really shouldn't have to.

You don't have to try and convince me. I agree with you completely. I was just pointing out that their team identity is what it is, and it's silly to expect them to change how they do things in the fourth quarter of a game against the Lakers in the middle of the season.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Bawful

My bad on the confusion. I didn't mean to imply they should change the way they played against the Lakers but moreso to how they play into the strengths of their core players for the rest of the season. By the end of the regular season, SVG had better find a way to make this team gel on offense especially in regards to Vince and Shard. Too much talent to just hoist up 3s like last year. They dont need to do it but if the players insist or SVG has lost institutional control, the Cavs or a HEALTHY Boston will take them to the woodshed come the 2nd season.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
"I mean, do we have to assume that Turkododo will be washed up in the next year or two?"

Ye gods, you just won't let that go will you bawful? All I was trying to do was pose a general question to see whether people want to push for the immediate win or look at a longer term when they have a young franchise player. If you insist on this being about Turkoglu and Otis Smith, then yes, for the purposes of this exercise, we have to assume he'll be washed up after a couple of years, since that's how Smith likely perceives the Turkish Jordan (and hence only offered a 3 year contract). That's the reason why I set the two year window.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: The "giant contract" talk really reminds me of how the Hawks matched on Jon Koncak...LOL.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I said it last night and I'll say it again, I think Boston's problems right now go beyond just missing KG. KG wasn't exactly playing like the KG of old this season before he went out with his knee injury, and it remains to be seen how much he'll really be able to contribute if/when he returns. But it's highly doubtful that he alone will suddenly transform the Celtics from this rather horrid team they've been lately into championship contenders. Boston still has a ton of talent that's playing in these games, so what exactly is the problem? They're now 4-7 in their last 11 games. It's just my opinion, but I can't help but think there's more going on there than just them missing one player.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Ye gods, you just won't let that go will you bawful? All I was trying to do was pose a general question to see whether people want to push for the immediate win or look at a longer term when they have a young franchise player.

Okay, okay. Sorry.

If the contract is obscene -- let's say, for instance, $80 million over five years -- you let the player walk. I would say $50 million over five years to ensure a couple more years of championship contention would be a worthy gamble.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I said it last night and I'll say it again, I think Boston's problems right now go beyond just missing KG. KG wasn't exactly playing like the KG of old this season before he went out with his knee injury, and it remains to be seen how much he'll really be able to contribute if/when he returns. But it's highly doubtful that he alone will suddenly transform the Celtics from this rather horrid team they've been lately into championship contenders. Boston still has a ton of talent that's playing in these games, so what exactly is the problem? They're now 4-7 in their last 11 games. It's just my opinion, but I can't help but think there's more going on there than just them missing one player.

Well, first off, the Celtcs don't need KG to be the 2004 KG. The Celtics were right there with the Lakers in virtually every category you can come up with until KG went down. He's the foundation on which they are built. Kobe hasn't exactly been the Kobe of old lately either, but his presence still bolsters the Lakers on a nightly basis.

Another aspect in Boston's struggles has been the absence of Marquis Daniels, who is a key member of their backcourt rotation. I mean, they are way thin in the backcourt. So you have Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo logging tons of minutes because a) they're missing a key backup and b) they have to work extra hard to make up for KG's absence, and Ray Allen is old and tends to go through midseason slumps anyway. It's not super mysterious.

I said it yestrday and I will repeat: the Celtics are championship contenders if KG is back and everyone is healthy.

Don't forget, the C's were also missing Paul Pierce for a few of the games to begin their current dud streak. As presently constituted, they need everybody playing and healthy to contend.

Blogger chris said...
Greg Oden prepares for a career of singing the songs of his youth - you know, Irving Berlin, George Gerwshwin and all - in case his attempt at becoming the oldest man to complete a full season in the Association fails for a final time.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Bawful

Rack that take on the Celtics. You know who else has been called old every season for the last 3-4 years? The Spurs. Yet, they are always there at the end of the season. They bide their time for the first 3-4 months then tear it up just in time for the playoffs. Playing their style of baskeball enables them to do this. Dynamic defense and an efficient enough offense wins games.

To that point, Boston is cast in the same mold. Taking Bawful's point a step further, KG is the absolute pivot in that defense. They dont even need him to produce like years past on the offensive end, just the threat of him is enough. Perkins has honed his inside game and has developed at least a respectable turnaround from 10-12 to suppliment KG's contributions. At this point, KG makes his money in the painted area and is still a prime interior defender of the P&R. If he and Daniels get healthy soon and no more injuries are to be had, there is no reason Boston cant be right there at the top come April/May competing for the ECF.

Blogger Ash B said...
Hey, don't hate on Pau Gasol's face; you're just jealous. Girls go gaga over that guy. Must be the suave facial hair and noodly arms.

Blogger joseph said...
Im not sure if it was on TNT or the local Phoenix station but it was the best unintentional dirty quote Ive heard in awhile. "And Gay takes it from behind." Even thought the suns were taking it from the behind, that was the only good part of the game.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
NarS:

In my opinion, it depends on how realistic the team's chances of winning a championship are. The Magic proved last year that they were nowhere near the same caliber as the Lakers or Celtics. Overspending Turk wouldn't have gotten them past either of those teams so their decision to let him go is understandable. Their decision to spend oodles of cash on Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat (I'm a fan, but I'd drop him in a second for Turk if I'm Orlando) and Brandon Bass (barely plays) is not.

In short, I'm with you on the whole "either we shoot for championships or we rebuild" thing. Rebuilding doesn't necessarily mean gutting a team's core and starting from the lottery. Utah has rebuilt three or four times while regularly making the playoffs. It makes no sense for them to give Boozer a max contract though since that team isn't going anywhere near the finals.

@BW:

People say the Magic are a classic "inside-out" team, like Dream's Rockets: Howard is a devastating post up threat who can kick it out to his shooters when he is double teamed, blah blah blah. I call BS. I'd say they're the opposite: an outside-inside team. Dwight has difficulty scoring on post up moves against single coverage. He is helpless if someone even threatens to double. The Magic need to knock down their outside shots for Howard's inside game to be even moderately effective. If they don't, he is reduced to putbacks, alley oops and bricked baby hooks. Guys like Shaq and Duncan get their teammates open looks. Howard's teammates need to get him semi-open looks or he isn't all that effective.

Many players on the Magic should, in theory, have the skillset to penetrate and get to the line instead of relying on long range bombs but how many of them have ever been able to do it, historically, with any level of consistency? Vince Carter stopped taking contact when the Knicks mauled him during his first trip to the playoffs, the midrange fadeaway is his go-to move. Rashard Lewis' post up menu consists entirely of a turnaround fadeaway jumper and he lacks the ballhandling to get to the rim. Ryan Anderson is Rashard Lewis lite. Matt Barnes is tough and can knock down open shots but not much else. Pietrus is out of control half the time he drives.

The only guy they had who, in my opinion, could have (in a few seasons) consistently taken the ball to the hoop and gotten to the free throw line was Chris Douglas Roberts, but they traded him to New Jersey for Vince Carter.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
The only goat I like looking me in the eyes is on a bottle of Ayinger Celebrator.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
People say the Magic are a classic "inside-out" team, like Dream's Rockets: Howard is a devastating post up threat who can kick it out to his shooters when he is double teamed, blah blah blah. I call BS. I'd say they're the opposite: an outside-inside team. Dwight has difficulty scoring on post up moves against single coverage. He is helpless if someone even threatens to double. The Magic need to knock down their outside shots for Howard's inside game to be even moderately effective. If they don't, he is reduced to putbacks, alley oops and bricked baby hooks. Guys like Shaq and Duncan get their teammates open looks. Howard's teammates need to get him semi-open looks or he isn't all that effective.

Spot on.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
no mention of the dunk contest?

My bad. Here:

LeBron James: I hope you enjoy the giant Vagisil bath. I mean, I can only assume that's what you'll be doing during the dunk contest.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
A word about the 38-12 FT discrepancy in New Orleans. While there we a couple of calls that could have gone the Hornets way (such an and-1 near the end of the game that could have cut the lead to 3 with 33 seconds left, instead was called a charge), by and large, the Hornets really killed themselves.

At the beginning of the second half, down 15 points, the Hornets attacked the basket, converting two shots in the paint and collapsing the defense, then draining a couple of 3-pointers to cut the lead to 7. However, after that, they began to get lazy on offense, not initiating anything until there's only 12, 13 seconds left on the shot clock (I contend that successful offenses should initiate their offense ASAP, as it gives them more time to dissect the defense as opposed to running out of time and forcing up jumpers). In fact, that's exactly what they did, jacking up mostly contested jumpers late in the clock (including Stojakovic doing his best Ginobili impression with a slow drive followed by a spin around fade away that fell short). Their next 9 shots all fell short, going 15, 20, 11, 16, 18, tip, 25, 25, 11 feet from the basket. They were down 18 before they finally converted a fast break layup. They didn't even give the Spurs a chance to foul them very often.

But their offense wasn't the only thing to blame. Their defense was completely bizarre; the Hornets decided to double on almost every possession, including on DeJuan Blair (which spawned a 48 Minutes of Hell post about "hot damn, did they just double Blair???") and George Hill. In fact, on several occasions, they actually doubled off of Duncan. I recall one possession where Duncan got the ball down near the low block, had the ball poked away, chased it down near the FT line, and passed it to Ginobili, who was just behind the arc and guarded. Duncan's man then inexplicably left him to double Ginobili even though he was covered, and Ginobili passed the ball to Duncan, who was wide open to charge down the lane. As a result of all those double teams, they were often out of position and had to resort to fouling a lot.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
NarSARSsist -- I'm sorry if I didn't make this clear, but I was trying to argue that the Hornets weren't aggressive enougn in attacking the basket.

It often happens in the NBA that when a game is close, players are hesitant to attack the rim because they don't want to "waste" a possession that could be blocked or intimidated into a miss. But in the long run, it benefits them. Kind of like sticking with the rushing game in football.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Bawful - No no, I got that part. I was just elaborating. Perhaps I should have said "To elaborate on the 38-14 discrepancy" instead. I wanted to point out that absolutely ridiculous strategy of "double whoever has the ball without adjusting the rest of the defense". If the Spurs did a better job of making open shots, the game could have easily been a 30 point blowout.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - I wasn't really referring to personnel being a problem with the Celtics, but they seem to be lacking something else, whether it's effort or chemistry or something. Yesterday when Dallas made their run the Celtics looked like they flat out quit, and that is very un-Boston like. I'm not alone in thinking that either, here's what Kelly Dwyer wrote about yesterday's game:

"The Celtics just seemed to completely abandon its sets, nobody was really moving off the ball, nobody was really looking for those second and third and fourth and ninth options. Boston really does have that many chances on offense with certain sets, but against the Mavs, the C's just quit. Not a total mail-in, but atypical nonetheless for Doc Rivers' crew. And, nearly needless to say, Doc was pretty ticked about it."

BW in Cleveland - "You know who else has been called old every season for the last 3-4 years? The Spurs. Yet, they are always there at the end of the season."

Um yeah, except they really haven't been there at the end the last two seasons, last season in particular. They've really had only one solid playoff series in the last two postseasons, and that was the opening round against Phoenix two years ago (after that they went 7 against New Orleans, lost in 5 to the Lakers and then lost in 5 last year to Dallas). In any event, pacing yourself is one thing, having the wheels come off is another.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Yams

Point taken, but its always hard to tell the difference. Are their woes strictly age or or is it matter of teams getting more competitive? Not saying it was the reason, but not having Manu last year really hurt the Spurs by making them 1 dimensional. IIRC, Parker scored 40+ twice and they still lost the series 4-1.

This year, the Spurs have a deeper bench and can at least make up for the loss of Manu with Jefferson, Hill, and Blair's production. Sure, none of those guys have the potential to come out and have a 30 pt explosion, but this years team is overall better than last year. I concede though, how much has age taken its toll on Parker's ankle, Duncan's knees, and Manu's foot/back/corpse.

Anonymous Shayan said...
"will continued to be exploited like the sweaty Malaysian children who assembled Agent Zero's handguns." AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!! WOW, that was amazing!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
That's the thing: I don't think with the Spurs the last two years or with Boston this year it's a case of a team pacing itself, but rather just age and wear & tear taking the legs out from under them. But Doc Rivers has never struck me as the kind of coach to pace his guys through the regular season, even when they won the title. I think he's trying to get the max from every player, every night. Popovich is the complete opposite, in that he'll definitely look to protect his guys over the long haul. Phil Jackson will do that too, but to a far lesser extent. I'm not really sure what all is going on with Boston right now, but it looks like there might be more there than just missing players. Missing KG doesn't excuse the total lack of execution and focus I saw yesterday, especially on offense. Maybe they're all burned out from playing too many minutes, but there's definitely something wrong there right now.

Blogger Clifton said...
At what point can I reserve the domain name "http://www.heylarryhughespleasestopbeingahugesoppingvadge.com"?

Blogger mIstecIpan said...
"Still, it shows once again that KG isn't just critical to Boston's defense...he is Boston's defense. Without Garnett going apeshit in the paint, the Celtics will continued to be exploited like the sweaty Malaysian children who assembled Agent Zero's handguns. Maybe every team won't hit 57 percent of their shots like Dallas did, but still..."

Bro, I am an avid Malaysian fan of your blog... just to let you know, there are no more child labour here in Malaysia

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