omg its a ball
"OH MY GOD IT'S A BALL!"

The douchebag in my pickup league: So I was having a really strong offensive night -- in the first game, I scored 14 of my team's points in a 21-19 loss -- when this new guy decided to switch onto me. In pickup ball, most people try to avoid guarding somebody who's on. But when a player chooses to guard the hot hand, he's usually going to resort to a Bruce Bowen-style defense: hacking, holding, grabbing, tripping, etc. This situation was no exception.

Still, I kept my cool and tried to ignore his bullshit. Mostly because it's extra fun to score against hackers. But there was one stretch where I posted up on four consecutive possessions, and he hooked my left arm each and every time. I never called the foul, and on the fourth time, a teammate fed me the ball. I caught it one-handed and then rolled away from my defender for a little hook shot...while he still had my left arm hooked.

And he called a foul on ME. For "pushing off."

Now, one of the unwritten rules of pickup ball is that you don't call offensive fouls. Like, an offensive foul would have to be really, really, really blatant for somebody to call it. Like jumping off somebody's face for a layup. Something like that. But it is considered a violation of the highest order for a player to call a cheesy offensive foul. Most guys would rather eat a bag of crawling insects than call the O-foul.

What made this situation even more ludicrous was that I didn't come anywhere close to pushing off, and HE was fouling ME in the act of shooting. Yet he called me for pushing off. And he didn't just call the foul. He was angry and vehement about it. It was like he'd walked in on me pooping in his mom's mouth. He was that outraged about my "foul."

All these circumstances made it, without doubt, one of the 10 worst foul calls I've seen in my 20 years of playing pickup...and that's saying something, because some of the lousy calls made during a typical pickup game would make Dick Bavetta throw up in his own mouth. (More on Bavetta below.)

Suffice to say, I argued the call. He argued back. I dropped an F-bomb, after which he said, and I quote, "You can't say 'fuck' to me, mother fucker. Fuck. Fucker, fuck, fuck you, you fucking bitch."

As angry as I was, I actually burst out laughing at this, particularly because his voice cracked the whole way through his little diatribe. I still wasn't going to let the call go, but Steve, the league supervisor, stepped in and told everybody to shut it and asked me to "respect the call." Which I did. But I was pissed...so I got the best revenge: Scoring a bunch of points and leading my team to an easy win.

I can't wait to play against that guy again next week.

White power: I hear the new caucasian-only basketball league will open it's season with a special "White Hood Night." But only the first 2,000 racists will get one, so show up early!

The San Antonio Spurs: The Utah Jazz have been the West's leading Bipolar Girlfriend Team all season...except when they've been playing the Spurs that is. Going into this season, the Jazz hadn't won in San Antonio for over a decade. This season, they have two wins in the AT&T Center. More than that, last night's 105-98 win was the proverbial cherry on the top of Utah's four-game season series sweep of the Spurs. It's the first time since 1993-94 that the Jazz have blanked San Antonio during the regular season.

It's almost hard to believe now, but at one point the Spurs had beaten Utah 18 straight times.

Said Manu Ginobili: "It's tough just seeing the team lose for the fourth time against the Jazz. That's hard to swallow." Added Tony Parker: "We beat them a lot over the years. I think, you know, this year they had our number."

What else could you expect on a night when Tim Duncan went 2-for-12 against the defense of Mehmet Okur and Paul Milsap? (Duncan was 3-for-3 against everybody else.)

Update! Tim Duncan: Because you, the reader demanded it! Well, Austen demanded it. Okay, he only made a casual suggest. Anyway: "What, no Worst of the Night to Tim Duncan for fouling out with 30 seconds left in the game, giving Carlos Boozer the free throws that sealed the game and leaving him 1 point shy of his 20,000 milestone."

The Boston Celtics: Say, what's that under the Celtics? Oh. Right. It's rock bottom.

Okay, okay. Rock bottom would be losing at home to the New Jersey Nyets. But losing to "the Shorthanded Pistons" in Detroit is still pretty close. The Motor City Muckups were still minus Ben Gordon (right groin), Tayshaun Prince (left knee) and Will Bynum (left ankle)...which should have more than offset the absence of Kevin Garnett. But Rodney Stuckey had his way all game (27 points, 6 assists and a career-high 11 boards) and Charlie Villanueva owned the fourth quarter (during which he scored 10 of his 19 points). And just like that, Boston dropped to 4-8 since Christmas, when they were 23-5.

Mind you, the Celtics led by double digits early and still had an 8-point lead in the third quarter before quietly collapsing down the stretch. I guess they can't just show up and win games after all.

Said Doc Rivers: "Our guys are frustrated right now, but I told them that we have to do something about this. I think we think that we're a better team than we really are, and we're trying to win games on cruise control."

Added Rasheed Wallace: "We're not that team that can turn it on and off. Sometimes we think just because we're the Celtics and we go into a team's building that they're going to back down. We're a good team on paper, but other teams get up for us as a measuring stick."

Charlie Villanueva, quote machine: 'Sheed's replacement had a big game...which was inspired by his desire to show up the man he replaced: "Of course, [Wallace] wanted to show the fans what they've been missing. But Charlie V's here."

Rasheed Wallace, quote machine: Hey, 'Sheed. Charlie V's here! What do you have to say about that? "Chuck hit a couple 3s. He didn't do anything extravagant."

...

Extravagant?

Glen Davis: He is, apparently, sensitive about his weight: "A jeering fan called Glen 'Big Baby' Davis a 'fat boy' and told him to lose some weight. Davis responded with an expletive. 'We know what happened, and that's unacceptable,' Rivers said. 'It's tough when the fans are yelling that stuff at you, but you have to be stronger than that.'" Is anybody the least bit surprised this happened in Detroit?

On the up side, at least Baby didn't punch a friend and/or teammate.

The Miami Heat: Wow. I've seen punches to the groin that weren't this painful. Even when the punch was delivered by a cannonball covered in barbed wire and broken glass.

The Heat got straight up owned by the Bobcats in Charlotte. It what might in consideration for Ugliest Loss of the Season, Miami shot 28 percent from the field (22-for-76) and 8 percent from downtown (2-for-23), missed 12 free throws (19-for-31), got outrebounded 50-34, got outscored 46-26 in the paint, and gave up 24 points off 15 turnovers. The final score: Bobcats 104, Heat 65.

As for the 'Cats, well, what can you say? They're an NBA-best 9-1 since January 1st. Against the Heat, they shot a franchise-record 82 percent in the first quarter, led by 27 at halftime and by as many as 41 in the fourth quarter, allowed the fewest points in team history and set a franchise record for margin of victory (39 points).

All 12 members of the Heat logged time in this crapfest. And if you take away Dywane Wade and Dorell Wright (16 points each), Miami's other 10 players combined for 33 points. It was like a failed suicide attempt for the East's leading Bipolar Girlfriend Team.

Update! From AnacondaHL: "Miami's title needs to be updated to 'The Bipolar Girlfriend At That Time of the Month on Crystal Meth Team.' Has a team ever won by 30, then the next day lost by 39?" Geez, he's right. I forgot about their 113-83 win over the Pacers on Tuesday night.

What could have possibly preceded such an historic ass-whuppin'? Funny I should pretend you asked...

Michael Beasley: What was this guy smoking?! Wait, don't answer that.

The day before the game, Beasley told reporters the Bobcats "stole" a game in Miami earlier this month and that "if we stay together and stay focused, it should be an easy win."

Whoops.

That quote was passed around the Bobcats' locker room before the game. Said Raymond Felton: "I kind of laughed at it, smiled at it. But at the same time (the quote) was in the back of my head the whole game." Added Gerald Wallace: "I guess he hasn't been watching ESPN or NBA TV."

Memo to Mikey: It's never a good idea to give a hot team playing at home extra motivation. In related news, Beasley started the game 0-for-7 and finished with 6 points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Larry Brown, quote machine: Regarding their 6-0 record on their six-game home stand: "I looked at the schedule when Stephen said I'll take 5-1," coach Larry Brown said of Jackson's stated goal for the home stand. "I would have kissed him on the lips for 5-1."

So, uh, where are you going to kiss him for 6-0? Wait. Don't answer that.

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Last night's 94-92 home loss to the Thunder dropped them to 9-34 on the year. That pretty much says it all.

Of the Thunder, Minny coach Kurt Rambis said: "They're a team of the future." So says the man coaching a team of the never.

More bad officiating: From the AP recap:

The Timberwolves were a bit miffed after the game when officials Dick Bavetta, Kevin Fehr and Phil Robinson declined to look at the replay of an out-of-bounds call where Fehr awarded possession to the Thunder with under 13 seconds to go. Replays appeared to show the ball actually deflected off of Green's ankle.

"They're probably kicking themselves after they looked at it," said Jefferson, who was directly involved in the play. "Mistakes are made. They're not perfect. We're not perfect. You can't take it personal."

Bavetta said procedure was followed.

"I asked Kevin Fehr, who was right on top of the play, are you absolutely certain about the call? And he said, 'Yes I am absolutely certain about the call," Bavetta said. "The guideline for going to replay is if there is uncertainty. So when the official making the call has absolute certainty, there's no reason to go to the replay."
Is anybody at all surprised that Dick Bavetta was involved?

The New Jersey Nyets: The tragic comedy that is the 2009-10 New Jersey Nyets continued in Phoenix, where the Suns finally built a double-digit lead and, you know, held onto it. The poor Nyets are now 3-38 on the year, including 0-17 against the Western Conference.

Fun fact: The game matched the NBA's highest (Phoenix 109.7) and lowest (New Jersey 90.2) scoring teams. (That fact was probably fun only for Suns fans...)

Great brother-on-brother matchup, by the way. Brook Lopez finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Robin scored 20 on 8-for-10 shooting to go with 7 boards. They hustled. They scrapped. They dunked on each other. It was great. By the way, Robin's 20 made it two consecutive games in which he set a new career-high in scoring. Funny what starting can do for somebody's game.

The Chicago Bulls: Well, it looks like the Bulls are more who we thought they were than even the Clippers. Chicago went 11-for-24 on layups and tip shots, missed nine free throws and basically got outworked and outsmarted by The Other L.A. Team. It didn't help that the Clips got 39 free throw attempts (16 of which they missed, but still).

The Bulls have now lost the first two games of their seven-game Western Conference road trip. To the Warriors and Clippers. They're next fives games are in Phoenix, Houston, San Antonia, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. I'm going to go ahead and predict an 0-7 trip.

By the way, the Bulls are now 1-14 when they give up 100 points.

The Sacramento Kings: 47 points, 10 assists and 4 steals from the Kevin Martin / Tyreke Evans combo earned the Kings...their fifth straight defeat, and their 12th loss in 14 games overall.

Rough time to be a Sacto fan. I mean, if you'd told them back in October the Kings would be 15-26 at this point in the season, they probably would have said something like, "Yeah, that's about right." But playing above average and almost making it to .500 raised some crazy expectations (of, say, .500). Defeat tastes more bitter when you expect better. Otherwise, it tastes like chicken.

The Philadelphia 76ers: The Frail Blazers got Brandon Roy back. For a half. Roy sat out the third and fourth quarters with that sore right hammy. It didn't matter, because Portland got 42 points out of Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless...and 'cause they were playing the Sixers. The result: a 98-90 road win for a team missing half its rotation players.

Said the Not Answer: "We are a little snake-bitten right now. We are having a lot of bad things [happen] towards the end of games. A stop here or there and we would be right there. We can't seem to get over the hump." In related news, Iverson had 9 points on 3-for-9 shooting to go along with zero assists and 3 turnovers.

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: A season of misery continued last night as Shawn Marion blocked Caron Butler's shot with 1.9 seconds to play and the Mavericks held on to beat the Bullets in Washington 94-93.

It was a terrible decision by Butler. Terrible. He was obviously thinking about the last time he nailed a game-winner against Marion. I bet Marion was thinking about the same thing, though.

Said Butler: "I obviously wanted the ball, and I kind of had my mind made up what I was going to do with it already, and just mistimed it. And it was good defense."

Added Marion: "I knew he was going to iso, so I just wanted to stay and play good defense on him, and I did that."

By the way, I loved this quote from J-Kidd and the response from Jason Terry. Said Kidd: "Winning on a defensive possession, you wouldn't say that in the past about the Mavericks. It would be us trying to get a basket on the other end. This year, we've really focused on playing defense. We looked at the last champions and said, 'Hey, they all played defense.' So that's what we're focused on right now, and Shawn really made a great play on Caron at the end."

Replied Jason Terry: "I still think hitting the last shot is the best way to go."

Update! The Toronto Raptors: I made the mistake of omitting Toronto's fighting dinos from today's post...and Basketbawful reader "the other" Chris had something to say about it: "No WoTN for my beloved Toronto Craptors? They squandered a career-high 44 points from Chris Bosh on the way to a 113-107 loss to the Bucks, after having a 10-point lead for most of the first half. To quote Bawful...it's called 'hand in the face', guys."

Lacktion report: With all the crappy games last night, you just knew there was going to be a lot of lacktion, as Chris reports:

Heat-Bobcats: Despite 7 boards, DeSagana Diop fouled out and lost the rock twice for a 8:7 Voskuhl in 16:30.

Mavs-Bullets: RODRIGUE BEAUBOIS IS ON FIRE...thanks to a Fire Flower which led him to a ONE SECOND SUPER MARIO!!! (Actually, can someone doublecheck if this may actually be a Super Mario Galaxy under our noses?!?!)

UPDATE!!!!! AnacondaHL writes...

"3Qtr
Ross Substitution replaced by Beaubois 00:02.5
Beaubois Substitution replaced by Ross 00:01.8


So yes, it was a Super Mario Galaxy."

Sweet. To be exact, a stint of merely 0.7 seconds, the second shortest in the Association this season behind Brian Cook's 0.0 second Luigi!!!!!

Meanwhile, fellow Maverick Matt Carroll launched a brick for a +1 suck differential in 1:56.

For Washington, JaVale McGee was nicked by a rejection and a brick for a +2 in 4:57, while Nick Young turned over his arsenal once for a +1 in 1:12. But the real story once again was Dominic McGuire, whose retention of the NES Zapper has given him another appeareance in the lacktion rap sheet with a 13 second Mario - his second straight game as an overalled drainage expert!!!!

Celtics-Pistons: Brian Scalabrine fouled thricely and lost the rock once for a +4 in 5:41 that also earned a 4:0 Voskuhl!

For the team from Oakland County, Chris Wilcox negated one board with a giveaway and foul for a 2:1 Voskuhl in 8:05.

Thunder-Wolves: Ryan Hollins once again got clotheslined into the lacktion report with a +5 in 4:10 via a pair of bricks, a pair of rejections, and a foul. That foul also earned him a 1:0 Voskuhl ratio.

Grizzlies-Hornets: Marcus Williams gave the ball away once for a +1 in 2:36.

Raptors-Bucks: Marco Belinelli scored a +1 via giveaway in 3:06 for the dinos.

Suns-Nyets: Chris Quinn put the pieces together in Tetris for a 34 second Mario!

Labels:

31 Comments:
Blogger Adam said...
Man, I like Wade too much to see him suffering on such a consistently inconsistent team. I did a double take when I saw the final score of that game.

Also while it wasn't totally his fault, I think that an extra kick to the Spurs when they're down was Tim Duncan fouling out with only one point left needed to hit 20,000 career points. When it was clear they weren't going to win, I kept yelling at them to give the ball to Duncan.

WV: aucies
Does the new "whites-only" basketball league allow aucies to play?

Blogger Chris said...
No WoTN for my beloved Toronto Craptors? They squandered a career-high 44 points from Chris Bosh on the way to a 113-107 loss to the Bucks, after having a 10-point lead for most of the first half.

To quote Bawful.. it's called 'hand in the face', guys.

Blogger chris said...
Adam: This reminds me of Pat Riley saying that the post-title pain has been "worth it" for that one championship...well...maybe so, but if this malaise resultes in Dwyane going elsewhere? Hmm.

---

At this point, I don't even know what to say about the purple paupers anymore, other than that team depth certainly reminds me of a wading pool.

The flooding on California freeways (shockingly, not in the River City) last night had to have been deeper for sure...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Adam -- The Heat are stuck in that "2005 Lakers" zone where Wade (playing the part of Kobe Bryant) can lead them to victory if he absolutely kills himself, but anything less than a great game can spell Miami's doom. Pat Riley should be very, very worried about what Wade is going to do in the offseason.

Chris -- Ack. My bad. The Craptors definitely earned a WotN. I have updated the post with your quote.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
The Bulls have now lost the first two games of their seven-game Western Conference road trip. To the Warriors and Clippers. They're next fives games are in Phoenix, Houston, San Antonia, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. I'm going to go ahead and predict an 0-7 trip.
A little bit of a Freudian slip there by referring to my hometown in the feminine form? I know the Spurs haven't done well against quality competition, but like any Spurs fan or admirer, I swear everything before the road trip doesn't exist!

Blogger chris said...

Blogger chris said...
And if defeat tastes like chicken, the New Joisey Nyets would own every Kenny Rogers Roasters franchise in America right now.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Miami's title needs to be updated to "The Bipolar Girlfriend At That Time of the Month on Crystal Meth Team". Has a team ever won by 30, then the next day lost by 39?

chris:
3Qtr
Ross Substitution replaced by Beaubois 00:02.5
Beaubois Substitution replaced by Ross 00:01.8


So yes, it was a Super Mario Galaxy

Blogger Austen said...
What, no Worst of the Night to Tim Duncan for fouling out with 30 seconds left in the game, giving Carlos Boozer the free throws that sealed the game and leaving him 1 point shy of his 20,000 milestone.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: Thank you for the update. Was it another "at the lane" free throw situation like Brian Cook's 0.0-second Luigi!?

Blogger Adam said...
chris and bawful:

My thoughts exactly. For some reason though, and this is totally unsubstantiated, I have a hard time seeing Wade bolting unless he gets a killer deal on a championship quality team. Where do you think he might end up if he does leave (both from his perspective only as well as from other teams' ability to court him)?

It's also no coincidence, with the Kobe 2005 reference, that some of Kobe's best games ever were during that mess of a season. Having to carry a team on your lonesome can lead to some killer stat padding but unless that's all your concerned with, it won't lead to any kind of satisfactory ending.

Blogger joseph said...
watch I bet that douche will be on your team next week. that always happens to me. and thats worse the playing against someone who makes bad call, cuz you dont wanna get his back cuz hes an asshole,but hes on your team!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Miami's title needs to be updated to "The Bipolar Girlfriend At That Time of the Month on Crystal Meth Team". Has a team ever won by 30, then the next day lost by 39?

Post updated.

What, no Worst of the Night to Tim Duncan for fouling out with 30 seconds left in the game, giving Carlos Boozer the free throws that sealed the game and leaving him 1 point shy of his 20,000 milestone.

Post updated.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
watch I bet that douche will be on your team next week. that always happens to me. and thats worse the playing against someone who makes bad call, cuz you dont wanna get his back cuz hes an asshole,but hes on your team!

You're totally right. That always happens.

Blogger Hillsolo said...
Quote of bawful: "The Heat are stuck in that "2005 Lakers" zone where Wade (playing the part of Kobe Bryant) can lead them to victory if he absolutely kills himself, but anything less than a great game can spell Miami's doom. Pat Riley should be very, very worried about what Wade is going to do in the offseason."

Well except Wade is not Kobe. Looking at all these comparisions between Wade and Kobe, I don't think Kobe would ever allow a team to score this low even with hands being cut off.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Well except Wade is not Kobe. Looking at all these comparisions between Wade and Kobe, I don't think Kobe would ever allow a team to score this low even with hands being cut off.

That low? No. But close.

On December 20, 2004, the Lakers scored 72 points in a home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Mamba was 2-for-16 (including 0-for-6 from three) in 44 minutes of action.

Similarly, on March 11, 2007, the Lakers suffered a 108-72 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Mamba was 6-for-19 from the field and 13-for-18 from the line. Hey, he had a Dantley!

There were other low-scoring affairs in the pre-Gasol era. People seem to forget how much the Gasol trade turned L.A.'s (and Kobe's) fortunes around.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Well except Wade is not Kobe. Looking at all these comparisions between Wade and Kobe, I don't think Kobe would ever allow a team to score this low even with hands being cut off.

Is 72 in a home game against a team with a 12 game road losing streak against you coming off 2 days of rest that much better than 65 in a road game on a back-to-back?

The Lakers started Chucky Atkins at PG that night (gack, and I thought D-Fish was bad) and Chris Mihm at Center (suddenly, DJ Mbenga doesn't look so bad). They had the incomparable set of Jurmaine Jones, Brian Cook, Tierre Brown, Slava Medvedenko, and Luke Walton coming off the bench (Walton recorded a trillion, and Medvedamni'mgladyou'regone recorded a +2 suck differential in 5 minutes). I'm a big Kobe fan and all, but let's be realistic, when you're on a bad team, regardless of your individual talent, you're gonna see bad nights like that. It has nothing to do with how passionate or elite you are. Bad nights just happen. I'm sure I can find nights like that for just about any elite player.

Anonymous "The Other" Chris said...
My comment was added to the BasketBawful blog itself? My life is complete, I can die now. Seriously, this is a special day for "The Other" Chris.

I enjoy "The Other" Chris, I shall post under that name forthwith.

I also forget to mention that the Craptors allowed the creaking corpse of Jerry Stackhouse to go off:

"Stackhouse, signed Monday, played 17 minutes and finished with three points, five rebounds and four assists."

FAIL. They can't guard a guy who's

a) so old he's almost dead
b) couldn't get a team, any team!, to sign him until halfway through the season. And team that did pick him up.. is a bottom-feeder going nowhere.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm a big Kobe fan and all, but let's be realistic, when you're on a bad team, regardless of your individual talent, you're gonna see bad nights like that. It has nothing to do with how passionate or elite you are. Bad nights just happen. I'm sure I can find nights like that for just about any elite player.

Pretty much, yeah.

Blogger chris said...
"The Other" Chris - hey, when things need to be differentiated, I'm usually referred to as "Lacktion Chris," LOL. :D

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
Damn, bawful. You beat me to it.

To act like I am helpful, I'll do the search for a few other players.

Timmeh just carried my Spurs a few days ago to an amazing 76-92 loss at Charlotte, where they were outscored 54-34 in the second half. Last year, they suffered a truly awful 67-88 loss to Dallas in the playoffs. Gooden was 2/12, Hill was 2/10, Timmeh was 2/9, Bonner was 1/5. Very fresh in my memory.

BronBron lead the Cavs to fantastic scores of 76, 92, 72, 82 in the finals against my Spurs. The previous year, the Cavs exited the playoffs in a 61-79 loss to the Pistons in a decisive Game 7.

Picking a random season for KG in Minne (05-06), I see a 70-97 beatdown in Miami, 74-90 in Detroit, and a 77-97 destruction by the Raptors (have some damn pride, the 05-06 33-49 Raptors?)

Picking the same season for Paul Pierce (the Celtics were 45-37 that season and faced the Pacers in the first round), we see a 70-97 loss in Game 7. The same guy that won a Playoff MVP a few years later on a much more talented team. (Even though it was robbed from KG...)

Incidentally, that year's Pacers scored 81, 92, 79, 76, 67, and 79 in the next round. Maybe the common denominator in the two sub 70 point games is the Drain?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Great quote from Vinsanity regarding his shooting slump:

"I believe in my shot, and my jump shot's going to be fine," Carter told the Orlando Sentinel. "Second-guessing yourself -- 'maybe I should tweak this, tweak that' -- it's overrated, in my opinion. I'm not saying I'm correct. But I know I can shoot the ball. I know my ability. I'm just going to keep playing."

And that...is why you fail.

Anonymous NarSARSsist said...
By the way, to add some historical context to the amount of fail-y-ness in the Spurs sweep by the Jazz:

From Elias Says via ESPN: The Jazz won in San Antonio to complete its season series against the Spurs with a 4-0 advantage. Utah became the first team to sweep a season series of at least four games against the Spurs since the Lakers went 4-0 against them in 1997-98, Gregg Popovich's first full season as San Antonio's head coach.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - "People seem to forget how much the Gasol trade turned L.A.'s (and Kobe's) fortunes around."

People also seem to forget that prior to the Gasol trade, on the day Bynum got hurt the Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference (and mind you that was pre-Shaq in Phoenix, back when the Spurs were the defending NBA Champs, and back when the Hornets ended up finishing the season with the #2 seed). Gasol obviously took the Lakers to that next level of NBA champs, but LA's fortunes really began to turn around once Bynum came of age and everyone else on that team finally got healthy.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Sorry, Lacktion Chris. :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
People also seem to forget that prior to the Gasol trade, on the day Bynum got hurt the Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference (and mind you that was pre-Shaq in Phoenix, back when the Spurs were the defending NBA Champs, and back when the Hornets ended up finishing the season with the #2 seed). Gasol obviously took the Lakers to that next level of NBA champs, but LA's fortunes really began to turn around once Bynum came of age and everyone else on that team finally got healthy.

The Suns also had the best record in the West before the Shaq trade. Did that mean they were a truly elite, odds-on-favorite-to-win-the-title team? No. Same goes for the Lakers. They became truly elite when Pau arrived.

Blogger chris said...
Speaking of Shaq and "favorites," Yahoo's NBA page has this up as the caption:

Shaq and LeBron currently rule the East. Will the season's second half bring more of the same for the Cavs?

Um, if King Crab is the ruler of Northeast Ohio, with Mo Williams as chancellor, then...um...the Big Voskuhl is the court jester.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I actually agree with Yams on this one. To make matters worse, not only did Bynum grow a pair, leading to last year's championship (versus falling in the finals to Boston sans Bynum the year prior), but the trade rumors of the Lakers getting even more pieces like Devin Harris or Chris Bosh are pretty sick.

BTW, for something completely different, Hollinger's ratings currently have the Bobcats as the 4th best team in the league. Oh you silly man with your stats.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - Didn't I just say that Gasol was what took them to the next level, that of NBA champs? We agree on that point. My only issue with what you originally said was you made it sound like until Gasol arrived the Lakers were still that woeful team that they were back in 2004-2006. The reality is that until Bynum got hurt back in 2008, the Lakers were absolutely one of the top teams in the league that year, so their fortunes had already begun to turn. Adding Gasol to that team really took them to a whole new level (especially once Ariza and Bynum returned healthy the next season), but things were already looking up for those Lakers pre-Gasol - at least until Bynum got hurt.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I have to disagree with your comparison of the current heat and the 05 lakers. Its just not accurate. Wade doesn't have to kill himself to win. The heat win games where he scores less than 25 and at times the heat lose when they score 40. Beasley has been improving steadily but our coach is a moron who values haslem over him. Really I feel us winning is dictated by The Drain because the rest of this team is filled with underachievers and stiffs

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- Yeah. The Lakers were playing well pre-Gasol.

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