Yeah, watching your team shoot 35% will do that to you
[Editor's note: Dan B. filling in today while Bawful takes care of some more important stuff. Consider this just a Worst of the Worst of the Night highlights post, but hey, it's still more effort than you got from the Magic last night!
The Orlando Magic: Well, so much for getting off to a running start. The Magic trotted out a brand new roster featuring Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu -- all of whom never even got to practice with the team before their first game -- against Atlanta last night, but it didn't matter. Seventh loss in eight games.
Things were ugly right from the start, with the Dirty Birds holding the Magic to a season low 14 points in the first quarter on a woeful 25% shooting effort. Remember, these are the same Dirty Birds that let a Celtics team giving Luke Harangody meaningful minutes drop 53% shooting on them just a few nights ago. Uh oh.
Beyond that, this was a game-long exercise in futility. The Magic also managed to toss up a variety of bricks for the entire first eight minutes of the fourth quarter, not hitting a single field goal in that entire stretch. The final total for the game was a 35.2% shooting percentage, including a 23.5% effort from downtown. The Magic were less effective than the Putty Patrol in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The worst offender was Gilbert Arenas, coming off the bench for a 2-for-11 effort from the field. It's like Vince Carter never left! In fact, it's not like very much changed. The gameplan still revolved around relying on Dwight Howard doing his thing in the paint, and everyone else throwing up long-range jumpshots.
Speaking of the Pumaman, Dwight Howard did have a fairly solid outing, with 19 points and 20 rebounds. Though to be fair, with that many bonked jumpers, there were enough available rebounds that the Ben Wallace Inflatable Defender would have gotten four or five boards. Also looking at just the offensive boards, Brandon Bass grabbed one offensive rebound to Pumaman's five, but that doesn't sound too bad compared to the rest of the team. Those were the only two Magic players to grab ANY offensive rebounds.
Al Horford, reality check machine: "They have the same kind of team. They're shooters. They're the same team but with different players."
Stan Van Gundy, quote machine: "Look, they're out there trying hard, just none of them played well. Nobody could shoot the ball. ... I'm sure they had a lot of emotions and stuff going on. It was a long night."
The Miami Heat: And boom goes the winning streak.
This was a game of runs. Both teams struggled back-and-forth through shooting woes. For example, the Heat had one trip down the floor that lasted 52 seconds and consisted of eight shots before Mario Chalmers drained a three pointer. Mike Miller started the possession with a defensive rebound, and managed to get two more offensive rebounds before it ended.
But in the end, Dirk Nowitzki continued to do Dirk-like things and put down a 26 point line to help the Mavs win their 14th consecutive regular season game against the Heat. So much for a revenge game.
Dirk may have gone 0-for-5 in the final dozen minutes of the game, but the Heat let Jason Terry go into beast mode in the fourth quarter, with Terry scoring all 19 of his points in an 11 minute stretch of dominance. As noted in the AP recap:
Terry has spoken often about how losing to Miami in the 2006 NBA finals still upsets him.
So while shooting at the East end of the court -- the one over which the Heat championship banner softly sways -- he put on a fourth-quarter show.
So maybe we did get a revenge game out of this after all. Not quite what I had planned, but I'll take it.
Jason Terry, quote machine: (After Rick Carlisle joked at halftime that a then-scoreless Terry was "still at the hotel) "I told him I thought the bus was at 8:45, 9:00. But thanks for coming back and getting me."
LeBron James: Lebron played only a dozen first half minutes thanks to foul trouble. And during that time, he put up as many points as Yi Jianlian's chair -- zero. Yes, he came back for a 19 point effort in the second half, but that's still downright bawful for the self-proclaimed Chosen One. He only outscored Mario friggin' Chalmers by 6.
As noted by an anonymous commenter last night:
"The problem is that Wade is a weak outside shooter, Lebron is a weak outside shooter, Bosh tends not to shoot from outside 18 feet (except when the game is almost over), if Z isn't in the game, their center position is an offensive non-entity. 1 shooter is always on the court.So this leaves 4 guys to cover the same area of paint. Lebron tries to bull rush his way in and suddenly there are 2 guys waiting for him. So he takes a jumper and (more often than not) clanks it."
Miami's problem in a nutshell: bigs can't post, smalls can't shoot.
And this pretty well sums it up. LeBron's lack of post moves limit him to shooting long twos or driving the lane, but when everybody's just standing around and nobody's commanding close coverage behind the arc, LeBron doesn't really have room to drive to the hoop, and the result is a mid-range jumper clanking off the side of the rim from any of the five guys on the court.
No Ring King perhaps said it best in the comments this morning:
Asking LeBron to post up is like asking Vince Carter to be aggressive or Andray Blatche to stop thinking he's a point guard. It makes complete sense and everyone else in the world can see it, but it's never going to happen.
Stupid headline from ESPN: "Dirk, Mavs conspire to snap Heat's streak at 12."
Conspire, really? A 22-4 team needed some sort of advanced trickery to beat a team they already beat on the road weeks before? A team with 8 losses against good teams winning one on the road against a good team was supposed to happen, I guess.
Seriously, Jason Terry lit up the Heat in the 4th. Can't that be the headline. You know, something clever like "JET blows by/burns the Heat." But no, ESPN's chosen wang-sucking team needed a good team to CONSPIRE to beat them. (Eh, my bad, Miami was the home team. But I stand by the rest of my stuff.)
Come on, now. Of course the Mavs "conspired" to beat the Heat. Those jobbers went against the NBA's script! Don't worry, I'm sure Stern will, ahem, take care of things shortly.
Chris's Lacktion Report:
Jazz-Cavs: Francisco Elson found that two boards and one field goal made in 11:32 do not stand in the way of a ledger spot - not when you get 5 fouls for a 5:4 Voskuhl. Fellow bebopper Ronnie Price bricked once from the Terminal Tower in 5:04 and also lost the rock for a +2 suck differential.
For Cleveland, Jamario Moon eclipsed his teammates by bricking twice and fouling once in 7:11 for a +3. Manny Harris and Samardo Samuels (despite a board by the latter) each spent 38 seconds head-to-head on their rectangular gray gamepads as MARIO BROTHERS!
Bobcats-Generals: Nazr Mohammed went 50% from the field...only to litter his 9:44 with four fouls, a rejection, and a turnover for a 5:4 Voskuhl. Also earning a ratio was DeSagana Diop, dropping three fouls and two giveaways in 17:23 against one field goal and two boards for the same 5:4 as Mohammed.
Washington's Hilton Armstrong checked into the Watergate Hotel with four fouls and a giveaway (despite 100% from the stripe in two tries, and two boards) in 12:50 to be the third player with a 5:4.
Suns-Spurs: Ime Udoka united with Toad and Yoshi in 16 seconds for a Mario.
Bucks-Frail Blazers: Armon Johnson hammered out a foul in 3:10 for a +1.
Wolves-Clippers: Darko Milicic was manna tonight for Minnesota - if one feeds off of appearances in the lacktion report, as despite a block in 4:43 as starting big man, he fouled twice for a 2:0 Voskuhl. Sebastian Telfair blasted out a brick and rejection in 2:57 for a +2.
Belated Weekend Lacktion Report: Friday:
Cavs-Pacers: Ryan Hollins had an amazing 129 seconds of fail - one brick, one rejection, one turnover AND two fouls for a +5 suck differential and a 3:0 Voskuhl!
Heat-Knicks: Joel Anthony went 100% from the field (in one shot in 20:23) and also had two boards, only to foul four times and lose the rock once for a 5:4 Voskuhl. Celebrating as well were Eddie House with one turnover in 4:11 for a +1, and Jamaal Magloire, who in 2:56 gave up the rock twice and foul once for a +3 that also netted a 3:0 Voskuhl.
For New York, Ronny Turiaf treated himself to one rebound in 4:01, but also turned out to be in possession of one foul and one giveaway for a 2:1 Voskuhl.
Bobcats-Hawks: Matt Carroll walked into a lacktion wonderland after a foul in 3:26 for a +1, while Zaza Pachulia came within 2 fouls of earning himself some wealth, only to end up with a +2 in 2:12 that also notched a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Clippers-Pistons: Jarron Collins jaunted into the underground floor of a dark castle for 57 seconds to earn a Mario.
Jazz-Hornets: David Andersen tossed a brick in 3:09 and added one foul for a +2 that notched a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Purple Paupers-Thunder: Royal Ivey can now re-upholster his throne with the finest gold after collecting a celebratory 1.8 trillion (1:48)!
Grizzlies-Rockets: Brad Miller scrappily had an assist and block in 12:22, only to brick thricely (twice from the stripe) and foul three times too for a 3:0 Voskuhl. Patrick Patterson clutchly fouled once in 3:08 for a +1.
Suns-Mavs: Brian Cardinal clearly had the same insider tips that Mark Cuban had, as evidenced by a 2 trillion (2:01) capital gain!
Wolves-Frail Blazers: Nikola Pekovic pounced on pesos with a 2 trillion (2:01), while for the infirmary by the Willamette, Joel Przybilla provided a +2 in 8:29 via foul and giveaway also worthy of a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Sixers-Magic: Spencer Hawes had himself one successful shot (out of 7) in 25:46 as starting center for Philadelphia...only to lose the rock twice and foul out for a 8:4 Voskuhl.
Heat-Generals: Lots of Wii access in Washington as Eddie House celebrated with a castle rescue mission for 7 seconds for a Super Mario, while Alonzo Gee gathered up toadstools in 33 seconds for a regular Mario.
Clippers-Bulls: Jarron Collins claimed one foul in 3:33 for a +1 and a Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Chicago's Kurt Thomas tenderly took down a trio of boards and a field goal and free throw in 16:14...only to foul out and lose the rock once for a 7:6 Voskuhl.
Jazz-Bucks: Ronnie Price is right after a 5 trillion (5:02) for the beboppers, accompanied by a 45-second riff in Mario Paint from Kyrylo Fesenko. Despite one made shot, Jon Brockman gave the Bucks 27 seconds under the scope of a laughing dog for a Mario.
Grizzlies-Spurs: Hasheem "The 2nd Overall Dream" Thabeet took one foul in 2:10 for a +1 and a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl.
Tiago Splitter divided his statline between positive (two assists) and negative (1 foul) in 8:07 for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl of his own.
Wolves-Nuggets: Melvin Ely made one board in 2:39, but negated it with two fouls for a 2:1 Voskuhl.
Pacers-Celtics: Avery Bradley played the game of lacktion life tonight by bricking thricely (twice from the stripe) in 5:32 for a +3.
Von Wafer continues to collect enough for a round trip on the Masachussetts Turnpike after a 1.55 trillion (1:33).
Hawks-Nyets: Zaza Pachulia couldn't hold on to the rock tiwce and fouled once in 2:26 for a +3 and a 3:0 Voskuhl, while for New Jersey, Johan Petro countered a perfect shooting percentage (on one shot) in 3:01 and a board with three fouls and a giveaway for a 4:3 Voskuhl.
Hornets-Pistons: Quincy Pondexter pointed at one foul in 4:07 for a +1, while David Andersen can account for his finances after an exact 2.2 trillion (2:12).
Suns-Thunder: Serge Ibaka slotted himself in Oklahoma City's starting big man spot, earning 11:26 of hardwood time...in which he bricked twice and also fouled and lost the rock once each for a +4 that doubled as a 2:0 Voskuhl.