Bynum hurt again
See?! This is why you rest your starters!! Or...is it?

Wrists ankles and knees. Oh my.

Last night, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest his starters rather than actively pursue the league's best record. As a result, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili remain injury-free even as I type these words. Assuing Manu didn't spontaneously flop on his way out of the Staples Center.

Meanwhile, the Lakers went for the second seed in the Western Conference. Next thing you know, Andrew Bynum stepped on DeJuan Blair's foot and, at minimum, hyperextended his surgically repaired knee. The injury could mean some serious doom and gloom for the Lakers. L.A. needs him as much as the Celtics need Kendrick Per...uhm...I mean a healthy Shaq. Yes. A...healthy...Shuh...oh dear God.

Back in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls were playing the Knicks in Madision Square Garden. Amar''''''e Stoudemire sat out to preserve his marshmallowy insides for New York's first round bonfire against the Celtics. Quick aside: If you're making Knicks s'mores, and STAT is the marshmallow, then 'Melo has to be the chocolate, right? In that case, who's the graham cracker? Chauncey Billups? Landry Fields?

Anyway, the Bulls didn't hold anything back. Poor Luol Deng logged 40+ minutes for what felt like the 81st time. In reality, Lu has played 40 or more minutes in "only" 38 games. He's played 39 minutes in another nine games, 38 minutes in another six, and 35-37 minutes in another 17 games. Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer played 38 and 37 minutes, respectively. But, hey, the Bulls have a shot at the best record in the NBA and homecourt advantage in every conceivable playoff series.

Who takes their foot off the gas in the middle of the Indy 500?

Bad news, though. Ronnie Brewer injures his wrist. Joakim Noah tweaked his already injured ankle. Noah is Noah and Brewer is a crucial roleplayer off the bench. The Bulls are going to need both of those guys for a long playoff run.

Now Popovich and Doc Rivers -- who rested Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo on Monday night rather than going for the East's second seed -- look like geniuses. Of course, Pop's genius may have nothing to do with actually resting his big guns. Remember: If the Lakers earn second place in the West, that puts them out of San Antonio's playoff bracket until the Western Conference Finals, assuming both teams make it that far.

It's an age-old debate that has no clear-cut answer no matter what happens. Oh, sure, it's easy to say what the team should have done after disaster strikes. Several years ago, the Indianapolis Colts clinched the top seed in the AFC so early they rested their starters for the last three games. Throw in their first round bye and the Colts didn't play any truly competitive football in a month. Their first postseason game was against a Steelers team that had to win their last five games to even qualify for the postseason. Steelers won that game (barely) and went on to win the Super Bowl, too.

Colts shouldn't have rested. Right?

But the Bulls and Lakers should have. Right?

Freak injuries are unpredictable. They can happen at any time. There's no way to prevent them short of covering people in bubble wrap and locking them in a padded room for the rest of their lives. And even that might not keep Greg Oden or Yao Ming from shattering like florescenct light bulb that just got stepped on by Oliver Miller.

I mean, Bynum could have stepped on somebody's foot in the first game of the first round of the playoffs. Or he could have avoided it.

It's funny. I was reading comments in the CHI-NYK game thread at KnickerBlogger, and angry Knicks fans were killing the Bulls for, you know, trying to win the game. I guess the whole "trying to win games" thing has been so out of fashion in New York for most of the last decade that seeing another team care looks as foreign as filling a jar of peanut butter with rat poison. Dear Knicks fans: On behalf of the Chicago Bulls organization, I humbly apologize that they give a shit, and that them giving a shit makes you feel worse about your team and yourselves. Good luck in life.

In possibly related news, the MSG crowd erupted into a few "M-V-P!" changes for Rose. Which means, I guess, that at the very least people who attend Knicks games in person appreciate dedication to winning.

You wanna know a secret? I hate the end of the regular season, when garbage like this becomes "news." Everything gets so bizarro. Good teams stop trying, bad teams either begin taking or suddenly discover they have something to prove, and everybody goes crazy saying what this or that team should or shouldn't be doing. Rest him! Don't rest! Try to win! Losing's better!

We can't just enjoy the games anymore. It's this 24/7 news coverage thing. Hey, I'm part of it, I know that. But you know, people have been bitching about MVP since freaking January. Sports fans need constant stimulus. Even on days when there are 13 NBA games, there may be three new stories about Rose's PER or the many different things Team X should consider to manipulate the playoff seeding.

As for me, I just want the playoffs to start, already.

Chris's Lethal Lacktion Ledger:

Bulls-Knicks: Derrick Brown drilled one foul in 5:36 for a +1, while fellow Knickerbocker Shelden Williams matched that in 3:42 for the same suck differential and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Grizzlies-Frail Blazers: WHOA. Chris Johnson, Armon Johnson, AND Earl Barron had 34 seconds of work unclogging the water system at the Rose Garden, resulting in MARIO TRIPLETS! (Barron went 100% from the field on one attempt so he avoided pure lacktivity, however.)

Spurs-Lakers: Theo Ratliff's stock options expired, resulting in a payout of exactly 1.5 trillion (90 seconds).

Labels:

44 Comments:
Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Kobe Bryant, Homophobic Quote Machine: "Fuckin' Faggot!"

http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/13/kobe-bryant-homophic-slur-during-nba-game/

http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/13/kobe-bryant-gay-slur-human-rights-campaign-gay-and-lesbian-lakers-slur-disgrace/

Whatever, it's TMZ, and... HOLY SHIT:

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6344596http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6344596

As a Laker/Kobe fan, I'm suddenly feeling very sympathetic towards Kevin Garnett.

Blogger chris said...
Hey, at least all the teams mentioned in today's Bawful post don't have to worry about being Mayflower'd over...

CAPTCHA: "sightsc", as in "The Maloofs went sightsc'ing in Newport Beach a few days ago."

Blogger tonious35 said...
For my Toronto Raptors, whom are facing the "probably-benched" cHeat, I would want them to win this game just for the record book and pissing in Bosh's coffee mug, but their suckitude will send them for a concrete finish to 3rd place of the Lottery of Low Prospects.

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Good God, it continues...

http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/13/kobe-bryant-homophobic-outburst-under-review-by-nba-officials-los-angeles-lakers-sideline-bench-tantrum/

Think the NBA can hypocritically suspend Kobe by tonight as a shameless publicity ploy for a word uttered ad nauseum by players during every NBA game?

P.S. Sorry for double posting ESPN link, here it is:

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6344596

P.P.S. Sorry if nobody wants to read this shit (or maybe you do and that's just how I feel), but this definitely falls under the banner of bawful end of the year stories.

Anonymous Batmanu said...
Freak injuries are unpredictable. They can happen at any time. There's no way to prevent them short of covering people in bubble wrap and locking them in a padded room for the rest of their lives. And even that might not keep Greg Oden or Yao Ming from shattering like florescenct light bulb that just got stepped on by Oliver Miller.

You're right, Bawful. It CAN happen any time. Even when answering the door at your own house.

Anonymous msk said...
As a Laker fan, obviously seeing Bynum go down is unnerving. But it's not as unnerving as them winning a billion games, looking poised to take over the world, and just turning that "switch" back to seriously off. We usually expect them to win when it matters, and for the past two years, they have. But the last couple of weeks, when the best record was potentially within reach.
Meanwhile, I'm glad the starters didn't rest. With the second seed, assuming they don't keep playing like shit, at least they have home court for two series. Home court could make a huge difference if facing OKC, or any other team, for that matter.
Injuries happen.
I understand resting starters, I really do. But as a fan, I hate seeing teams not trying, and the best players in street clothes.

Blogger Brandon said...
barron had 2 points and a rebound in 34 seconds of pure nba action. when a player's per-36 numbers are that astronomical, i don't think he deserves to be in the lacktion ledger. the MVP race for sure, but not lacktion reports.

best playoff pick up in history? ask stern when he's handing barron the larry o'brien trophy and the bill russell finals mvp award.

count it. and one.

Blogger chris said...
Brandon:

What a post. :D







Yeah, you're right. At that pace, he would have broken Wilt's single-game scoring record by 69 points, if only he had played every minute!!!!!!!

Earl Barron, SUPERSTAR.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
The answer is always not rest.

As stated, freak injuries are unpredicetable. You can slightly lessen the risk by resting.

But you greatly increase the risk of not being playoff ready, with momentum or focus or laziness or whatever. If you are so afraid of getting injured, why bother being out there at all? Risks have to be taken to win.

And I'm a firm believer of the "they are professional athletes, they are paid to play them all, so play them." thought, with the understanding that some players can be given the right to rest out of respect.

Anonymous Karc said...
Bryant's not getting suspended for the f-line, but I do suspect a heavy fine.

Bynum going down is more of a sign of the Lakers up-and-down season catching up with them. Remember, they only needed to win 2-3 out of those five losses to lock up the 2 seed and make this game and the Kings game meaningless. And given Bynum's injury history, this is more of a karma thing than a super-secret formula to success. It may or may not matter in the long run, but if the Lakers had a chance to limit or sit out Bynum altogether in games that don't matter, they would have.

Blake getting chicken pox is actually the far bigger concern, as it is more severe as an adult than as a kid (when most of us had it). It's also highly contagious, and by the time it's detected, it's too late. If one or two key guys go down with it, Lakers are done.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I heard Bynum, Artest, and Kobe have never had chicken pox so...

Anonymous Marylander said...
msk said.."But as a fan, I hate seeing teams not trying, and the best players in street clothes."

Totally! I turned the TV off when I saw Tim Duncan in street clothes joking around. I hope they meet LA in the WCF for some serious asswhippin!

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Re: Kobe's most recent foot-in-mouth moment:

1) He's really trying hard to emulate Michael Jordan

2) Yeah lots of pro athletes say that word during games, but...

3) It's just not OK anymore, especially in light of the fact that Kobe is over 30 years old and really ought to know better.

With that said, I can't say that I'm shocked, or even mildly suprised, let alone outraged. I'm with 'Bawful: let's just start the playoffs already.

Blogger LotharBot said...
I'll be attending the Nuggets@Jazz game tonight, as it's my only chance to see the Nuggets live this regular season (I lived in Seattle until recently.) The Nuggets are expected to rest basically their entire starting lineup. We're going to see big minutes for Kosta Koufos and Melvin Ely.

I expect it to be a truly bawful game. But then, I was a Nuggets fan during an 11-win season and a 17-win season, so I've seen my share of bawful games.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Kobe fined a cool 100K by Stern. Burying the bodies huh?

Blogger Jason D said...
All of us in Lakernation were holding our breath over Bynum last night. If he's out, there goes any chance we have of three-peating. Kobe is Kobe, sure, but his shooting % has been way down lately and I don't feel comfortable with him having to shoot more than what's needed (wierd thing for a Laker fan to admit, I know).

Saw on ESPN that it's just a bone bruise though and that he'll be good for the playoffs. I think the team took him out more as precautionary than anything else. Every other serious injury Drew has had he's had to have his teammates carry him off but he walked off the court himself this time so that gave me some hope right there. Sigh, this has been one huge up and down season of emotions towards this team.

Re. Kobe and his slur; whatever. I'm not looking at these guys as role models or idols, and anyone that does obviously hasn't heard of The Decision. So he called a guy a "faggot" in the heat of what was a much closer than it should have been match. Was it the right thing to do? Of course not, but emotions get the best of everyone. He issued a statement apologizing so lets leave it at that.

Although, a $100,000 fine? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't insults towards NBA officials usually $25,000? Stern must've been licking his lips when he saw a high-paid player say something stupid.

Blogger Jason D said...
Oh, and Charlie V gets suspended for 5 games?! 5?! Quentin Richardson tried to knock a guys head off and got suspended for 2. Matt Barnes threw an assistant coach off him after escalating a fight and only got 2 games. Charlie V started bear-hugging another guy then jawed a little bit and he gets 5 games?! I know he ran back onto the court but I still don't see how that's deserving of 5 games, unless I've missed something?

The league is getting crazy with these punishments to end the season. $100,000 fines and 5 game suspensions. They must want the playoffs to start as much as we do.

Blogger cru03thik said...
Injury of Bynum signals the playoffs is really near.

Anonymous infinitelyretarded said...
Wow talking shit about a guy who injured himself. Thats just wrong.

I think I'll bring up Von Wafer's stupidity once more. I mean accidents happen, but stupid is just stupid. . .

But hey, how knows? Maybe Paul Pierce will fake another injury, go into the back shoot up an adrenaline/heroin mixture (Celticade) and come back 2 minutes later and start draining threes!

Blogger Will said...
In the Bold Prediction of ESPN's NBA pre-game show Michael Wilbon made the following prediction: that the Kings would play like it was their last game in Sacto tonight. However, there would be an 11th hour deal to keep the Kings in place. Stu Scott then asks, "So you think the Kings will win?" When Wilbon replies, yes, Stu replies, "Ooh now that's a bold prediction." I never wanted to punch someone more in my life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Eddie House just scored 19 points in the first quarter, this epitomizes the final day of every NBA regular season

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Karc - Good call on the fine, but Kobe already fucked up the apology and now he'll have to apologize for the apology and the story won't ever go away. I hope the playoffs get here while the Lakers are still somewhat intact.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Charlie V gets suspended for 5 games

Well... so much for the Pistons' playoff hopes.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can we talk about how awful the Lakers looked even prior to Bynum's injury against the Spurs scrubs? That was pitiful.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
This Miami-Toronto game was the best game I've ever seen in my life in terms of box score anomalies. My god. I enjoyed every second.

Anonymous bing said...
Kobe makes over $300,000 a game, $100k is a slap on the wrist

Anonymous Ignarus said...
yeah, i get the sense that a lot of teams have been just annoyed that the regular season kept going long after they were ready for the playoffs to get started. Lakers really seemed like that and so did the Heat for a little while there.

Can't say that's what happened to the Celtics, though. Seriously, who trades a well-intergrated starter on a contender for two backups who don't know your system? I don't know why you make a money move in midseason when you are making your last run at a championship with an aging roster right before a lockout season...

But yeah, watching games where people are resting their starters is mad annoying. Just pointless.

Anonymous Ignarus said...
Freak injuries can even happen when you're slicing an apple in your kitchen or getting up from the couch.

And every now and then, a guy is standing in front of a mirror and randomly Twitters a picture of his dong.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
FUCK AN A, POP- WHY DID YOU PLAY MANU??

Blogger Paul said...
Season Finally over...
That Laker game in Sacramento literally gave me a few hundred more gray hairs.

Lakers gave up a +20pt. lead in the 4th.
I know they missed Bynum but come on, losing the rebound battle battle by 17 through the 4th quarter?!!

Every year whenever they get into this kind of flunk I always "know" or at lease sense that they'll somehow will make it back. This year... not so much.
Getting New Orleans in the first round is one of those bricks that always seem to magically fall in the right place for the Lakers but I'm too afraid that this year's team is more than capable of ruining what otherwise would be a good turn around point to begin the championship run.

Oh well... time to end my venting.

LET THE REAL GAMES BEGIN!!!

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
WELL, that was pretty good for the last game of the regular season, huh? Sad though, even I wouldn't have begrudged Sacramento fans a bittersweet victory tonight. They handled this perfectly before, during, and after the game: true class. It's pathetic that the NBA couldn't keep the Kings there for reasons that had nothing to do with fan support. I'll always remember and appreciate them as the Lakers' most hated rivals during my adolescence; I loved hating the Sacramento Kings, and it shouldn't have to end this way.

Blogger chris said...
And...

while the Kings did not beat the Lakers, they gave 'em a scare, and more importantly, the fans were out in force at Arco.

All you can ask for at this point.

Prayers, thoughts, anything, I don't know what's going to happen now, but for the next 24 hours, Sacramento still has a basketball team.

Blogger chris said...
In a true sign of how thankful the inheritors were for so many people to show up to this season's last game...

Not only were they not there (going to New York to try to tell everyone how essential to life like oxygen and water it is that their money-filled pockets get filled even more)...

they gave their special tickets apparently to Lakers fans, as SactownRoyalty's Tom Ziller notes.

Yeah.

That says a lot don't it?

Anonymous Karc said...
"Here we sit."

Blogger zyth said...
dare I say san antonio update?


<a href="http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/04/13/spurs%E2%80%99-ginobili-injured-in-season-ending-loss/>Manu was injured!</a>

that is all.

Blogger chris said...
So the Maloofs now say...they will file a relocation application on Monday if the other owners are receptive today.

An interesting way to phrase it, considering that the relocation committee contains one Jerry Buss, who is NOT receptive whatsoever...

We'll see.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Luke Babbit got a double double, this epitomizes the final day of every NBA regular season

Blogger BadDave said...

Blogger LotharBot said...
To Rest or Not to Rest? The Nuggets chose to rest, playing only one of their starters in a meaningless game... and he went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Crap!

This left the Nuggets with an active roster of:

Gary Forbes (undrafted rookie SF; took PG duties when he was on the court)
JR Smith (PG duties when Forbes was out)
Wilson Chandler
Al Harrington
Chris Andersen, Kosta Koufos, Melvin Ely -- their second, fourth, and fifth string centers

At one point in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets were running the 3 center lineup with Forbes and JR. And yet this was a tie game with under a minute left. I honestly thought the Devin Harris stat curse might lead the Jazz to a loss against the Nuggets scrubs. The Nuggets even being in this game is a testament to how far the Jazz have fallen...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
A little bit of man-love for those who, like me, need something to kill the time until a WOTN is up ;)

Blogger Taleweaver said...
Yeah well my fantasy league team got shafted by LaMarcus Aldridge's rest day:

Final Fantasy Results

If I had played Boobie Gibson I would have gotten those blocks.

:(

Blogger Will said...
Taleweaver- Boobie also shot 4-16. Would that have been enough to cost you FG%?

Blogger Wormboy said...
Does the padded room have luggage? Boozer's not safe.

Frackin Batmanu AGAIN. >_<

Blogger Taleweaver said...
@Will

hmmm never saw that...made me feel somewhat better...i think

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