The Dallas Mavericks: Boy, these cats sure miss Dirk Nowtizki, don't they? The Mavericks started the game on fire, hitting eight of their first 10 shots and scoring 30 points in the first quarter. Their offense kinda slogged off after that, especially during their 15-point third quarter. Add that to the fact that they couldn't contain Kevin Durant (28 points on 11-for-22 shooting).
Said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "We struggled defensively in the second half, we struggled on the boards, and [the Thunder's] second-chance points were our undoing down the stretch."
That's four losses in Dirk's six missed games. Next up: The Orlando Magic.
More bad news: The Mavs are 35 games into their season but have played only 14 road games. This means their schedule is backloaded with road games, which could put a pretty big damper on any hopes of beating out the Spurs or Lakers in the race for homecourt advantage in the playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets: The Purple Paupers enter last night's game with a league-worst record of 7-25. What's more, they were the only team in the Association that was winless against winning teams.
Well, now they have a victory over a winning team and the Cavaliers (8-27) are stuck with the NBA's worst record. All thanks to the Enver Nuggets.
How soft were the Nuggets on defense last night? Let me put it this way: If I'm ever forced to jump out of a helicoptor while firing my machine gun at an oncoming horde of the undead during the inevitable zombie apocalypse, I hope I land on Enver's D. Either that or Pau Gasol. Okay, or maybe Scarlett Johansson.
Anyway, let's get you the numbers. The Kings finished with 122 points on 56 percent shooting. Furthermore, they shot 50 percente from downtown (9-for-18) and 83 percent on the foul line (25-for-30). According to the Basketball-Reference box score, their Effective Field Goal Percentage was 62.2 and they had an Offensive Rating of 126.8.
More numbers: The Kings had 27 fast break points and scored 27 points off 23 forced turnovers. Tyreke Evans went berzerk (29 points and a season-high 12 assists) and the Sactowners went on a 23-2 run in the second half on their way to a 20-point win that probably had Carmelo Anthony doing a Google search for houses in New York after the game.
Remember: In their last game, the Nuggets suffered a double-digit loss to the Clippers.
Said 'Melo: "We're just frustrated right now. I know I am after these two losses against two teams that we should have beat. Tonight was an embarrassing loss; that's all I have to say about it."
Added Denver coach George Karl: "I'm kind of blown away with our performance. My team, since I've been in Denver, has often bounced back from tough losses. But tonight we did not do it. Sometimes we need to think about playing harder. When you have 12 assists, 23 turnovers, no steals, that tells you you are not active enough."
How bad was this loss? Here's how bad: Jeffrey Morton of Denver Stiffs sounds like he needs to be talked out of drinking paint thinner:
I've never been so disappointed with this Nuggets team. I'm done with the hyperbole and the words. You all saw what happened. There's no reason for losing like this, and the lack of explanation is what hurts the most. The Nuggets looked lifeless for three quarters. For nearly one quarter they played on fire. The only thing I can think of is maybe the Carmelo situation is getting to them? Maybe not. Honestly I don't care anymore.Damn. Imagine how bummed out he's going to be when 'Melo leaves.
Melo didn't play badly. Nene was one of the few bright spots...but the rest of the team played like they wanted to be anywhere but Sacramento this evening. That's not what a professional sports team does.
It's not about having "hope". It's knowing what your team is. It's knowing what your team can accomplish. That's what makes this even more disheartening. My only hope is that the Nuggets can right this ship before it takes we as Nuggets fans down with it.
At any rate, the Nuggets officially qualifty for a little Michael Ray Richardson quotage:
Reporter: What do you think is happening to the team?The Cleveland Cavaliers: As noted, now the league's worst team.
Richardson: The ship be sinking.
Reporter: How far can it sink?
Richardson: Sky's the limit.
Donald Sterling: Newsflash: Sterling is a shitty owner and a racist. This news just blew my socks off. Seriously. No matter what MythBusters tells you.
Amar''''''e Stoudemire, quote machine: Not that Suns fans need any more reasons to be depressed, but, well, here you go:
Stoudemire's wish was to stay in Phoenix but left over a chasm in guaranteed money. He took a maximum-level, five-year $99.7 million contract that is fully guaranteed over the Suns' five-year, $96.6 million offer with about $56 million guaranteed. The remainder of the Suns' deal would have kicked in if he played a comparably low minute total in his third and fourth years.Bonus video: Basketbawful reader kazam92 left this link with the comment "Charles Barkley is the fuckin man." Indeed he is.
The stipulation addressed the Suns' concerns about Stoudemire's knees and right eye, all of which have had surgeries.
"If they were looking to rebuild and thought I was the guy they wanted to rebuild with, then we could've came to an understanding," Stoudemire said. "But apparently it wasn't that way. It felt like I wasn't wanted. It felt like I wasn't appreciated. I felt like my play on the court was overlooked.
"If you have the best training staff and brag about the situation, my knees really weren't much of a concern. It was something that didn't make him (Managing Partner Robert Sarver) comfortable and he made a decision. I don't want to get involved in an amount-of-minutes situation because it becomes a control issue. You want to be able to play free."
Suns coach Alvin Gentry said Stoudemire was concerned that the Suns were going to remain mostly Steve Nash's team. Home fans chanted "M-V-P" for both players.
"I think he felt like he would like to have a team that was his, that he was the focal point, that it would be basically his team," Gentry said.
Nash said he "foolishly" thought the Suns would re-sign Stoudemire, 28.
"We lost an All-Star power forward and we didn't replace him," Nash said. "We have no real kind of power forward."
Stoudemire said it is hard for him to see Suns fans endure their worst team in seven years.
"We were in the conference finals and had a chance to do something special this season but all of a sudden it went in the opposite direction," Stoudemire said. "It's tough to see because the fans deserve more. They've been loyal. We've been on top so long that they deserve a championship team. But decisions were made and they're going in another direction.
"Last year, the Knicks wanted to be in the Suns' shoes. This year, we're, we're...yeah."
He received little fan disdain for his exit, which could bode well for his reception Friday.
"I don't know how I'll be received," he said. "(Suns analyst) Tom Chambers and Gambo and Ash (KTAR-AM hosts John Gambadoro and Mark Asher) did a great job of talking bad about me while I was there so hopefully that blows over and the fans will appreciate me a little bit more."
Chris's One-Line Lacktion Ledger: In exactly 120 seconds, Donte Greene tossed one celebratory brick for a +1 suck differential.