The Cleveland Cadavers: As of last night's last-minute loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Cadavers have lost 22 straight games and 32 of 33 overall. They are now one loss away from the NBA's single-season record of 23 consecutive defeats shared by shared by the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets.
Those Grizzlies snapped their losing streak with a two-point win over (naturally) the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Nuggets ended their fail quest with a blowout victory over (of course) the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Cadavers won't be so lucky. Fright night, they have to play in Memphis, where the current Grizzlies are 15-7 and have won their last seven games.
I don't know if this is irony, but Cleveland coach Byron Scott played on that 12-win Grizzlies squad that lost the 23 straight (and had also lost 19 in a row earlier the same season). Statistically, it was the worst season of his career. Now this. What did Byron do to deserve these tragedies? Spike Magic Johnson's Gatorade with HIV?
Said Scott: "It hurts. When you lose games it hurts, especially when you give yourself an opportunity to win, it hurts that much more. We had an opportunity."
I know it feels that way, Byron, especially because your squad was down only three points when J.J. Hickson fumbled away a pass from Ramon Sessions with 11 seconds left. But this is bigger than an opportunity here or there.
This is destiny. Bawful history will be made...it must.
Frank Vogel, quote machine: "People don't know who I am. I'm not surprised. A number of folks came up and asked for [Roy Hibbert's] autograph. I may as well have been the ballboy. That's fine with me."
The Toronto Craptors: A season-high 37 points for Joe Johnson and...
Make it loss number 13 for the Craptosaurs. That's Toronto's longest failcoaster since a 13-game poop-a-palooza that lasted from February 12 to March 7, 2002. Believe it or not, that Vince Carter-led team won 13 of its last 19 games and made the playoffs...
...where it got eliminated in the first round by the Detroit Pistons.
Anyway, as always, Toronto's defense sucked. Atlanta finished with an eFG% of 61.8 and an Offensive Rating of 117.5.
Jay Triano, coach of the year candidate: "It was tough tonight defensively just because we couldn't stop Joe. I want our guys to be a little more accountable man-to-man. I'm not going to bail them out and let them play zone."
Oh gosh, no, Jay. Why would you want to help your players? Anyway, while we're talking about bad defense...
The Detroit Pistons: Detroit gave up a season-high 39 points to Stephen Jackson and let the Bobcraps -- currently ranked 25th in Offensive Rating -- finish with an O-Rating of 111.0. Charlotte is also ranked 21st in FGP (44.9) but hit nearly 51 percent of their shots in Detroit.
Hands? Faces? Anybody?
Oh, and Kwame Brown finished with 14 points and 10 boards. Oy.
Said Brown: "I didn't get to play much here -- four or five minutes here and there, and that's hard for anyone. Here, I've been blessed with a situation to play some positive minutes. This league is about opportunities, and what you make of them."
Austin Daye, delusions of granduer machine: This game was, unbelievable, billed as two teams fighting for the final playoff spot in the East. The Bobcraps are 21-27 and the Pistons are 17-32. Again I say: Oy.
Said Daye: "This one hurts a lot. This was a game we needed, because that's one of the teams we're trying to catch in the East."
The New Jersey Nyets: Blown out at home by the 76ers. And it took Avery Johnson getting himself tossed to get them to show a semblance of life. And yet their bawfulness just feels tame compared to the Cadavers and Craptors. Maybe I'm getting desensitized.
Stat of the game: The Nyets gave up 35 fast break points. Holy crap.
Tom Washington, Brent Barnaky and John Goble: Read the AP recap. When the AP starts calling out officials, well, that's a bad sign. That's all I'm sayin'.
The New York Knicks: Look, the shine's off the apple, okay? And that shine came off before the Bricks were shelled at home by the Mavericks last night (although, for the record, Dallas led by as many as 24 points before winning 113-97).
They've now lost eight of their last 11 games and only their win over the Heat last week has kept them from falling off the map. I'll give Amar''''''e Stoudemire credit: He's been better post-Nash than I thought he'd be. But he's had to play too many 40-minute games as The Man. He's getting worn down. Seriously. Check his splits. He shot 45 percent from the field last month.
Last night he scored 21 points but had zero of 'em in the second half, during which he went 0-for-5 before he got benched in garbage time.
Said STAT: "The shots were good looks. There are just some nights like this where you miss your shots, but I think collectively in the second half, we just didn't come out with good energy."
Added New York coach Mike D'Antoni: "I thought we ran out of steam for whatever reason. We ran out of good plays."
I'm sure it has nothing to do with overplaying your starters all season long.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Continuing the trend of home teams getting the poop kicked out of them, Minny got beaten up -- literally -- by the mighty Care Bears. Kevin Love even had a tooth knocked loose by a stray elbow from Zach Randolph.
Love finished with a weak (for him) double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). Darko Milicic scored went 1-for-6 and finished with more turnovers (5) than points (3) or rebounds (2). Wesley Johnson shot 2-for-11 off the bench. Etc.
The T-Wolves gave up 17 fast break points and 52 points in the paint, not to mention 26 points off 17 turnovers. Etc.
Said Jonny Flynn: "This was bad tonight. This was really bad tonight."
The Portland Frail Blazers: A 109-90 loss in Denver one night after a fluke win over the Spurs. Anybody surprised?
The Milwaukee Bucks: Same old story: Injuries (Andy Bogut was a late scratch due to a bruised knee and Drew Gooden is out four-to-six weeks because of foot surgery), lousy offense (77 points on a season-low 31 percent shooting) and another checkmark in the loss column.
I'm not even sure you could categorize Milwaukee's performance as "lifeless." There wasn't even that much life it in. It was just "less."
Said Bucks coach Scott Skiles: "It was a very humbling game. Obviously we were short-handed but we didn't have a ton of energy and we didn't have great focus. We looked like mummies in the first half a little bit the way we were walking around out there."
Added Earl "Motherfucking" Boykins: "We just haven't been a good shooting team in the league the entire season. We're last in the league in field goal percentage and tonight we came out and didn't make shots. We shoot 31 percent, how do you win a basketball game shooting that way?"
You don't, Earl.
Marcin Gortat, quote machine: Regarding his recent "on fire"-ness: "I already said many times, my confidence is pretty big right now. I have a lot of fun from playing basketball, my mind is really free right now, comparing to the ex-team. It's just fun. Playing with Steve Nash, he's going to always find you. I would say he's 50 percent, at least 50 percent, of the success for me."
Comparing to the ex-team. Huh.
Steve Nash: His game-best plus-minus score of +20 was diminished somewhat by his season-high 9 turnovers. In fact, Captain Canada had more bumbles than the entire Bucks team (7). Just sayin' is all.
The Los Angeles Clippers: It's a bad sign when Blake Griffin plays like a freakin' superhero (32 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and several dunks) and the Clippers still get blown out at home.
More bad news for The Other L.A. Team (courtesy of the AP recap): "The Clippers play their next nine games away from Staples Center. The first four opponents on the trip -- Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and New York -- are a combined 64-27 at home. They'll also play Oklahoma City (18-7) and New Orleans (20-5)."
Blake Griffin: Yes, he was amazing, but the Clips were hurt, and badly, by the fact that Grif shot better from the field (14-for-26) than he did at the line (4-for-13). Shaqnopsis strikes again.
Kyle Korver: Uh, Kyle, what exactly were you trying to do? What did you think you could do?
The Utah Jazz: Remember yesterday when I said that, at this point, the Houston Rockets seem to exist solely to be a pain in the butt to better teams? Well, uhm, yeah.
Kevin Martin, quote machine: "Shane [Battier] was the quarterback right there and I was the wide receiver and I was in triple coverage. It was just like the Giants when they beat the Patriots [in Super Bowl]. Shane made a great pass and that was the only place he could have put it, and I just threw something up and it went in."
Chris's lacktion report:
Craptors-Hawks: Damien Wilkins went way beyond the usual for celebratory lack, making the most of an extended 15:36 stint with two bricks (once from CNN's headquarters), two fouls, and two giveaways for a +6!!!
Sixers-Nyets: Jason Kapono knocked out King Koopa in only seven seconds for a SUper Mario!
Mavs-Knicks: Ronny Turiaf may have garnered an assist and steal in 8:58 as New York's starting big man...only to foul once and brick once for a Madsen-level 1:0 Voskuhl.
Grizzlies-Wolves: Xavier Henry received a gift worth 1.15 trillion (1:09).
Frail Blazers-Nuggets: Gary Forbes wanted to be a trillionaire so bad, and prospected 1.55 trillion tonight (1:34), while Shelden Williams bricked once in that timeframe for a +1.
Bulls-Clippers: Kurt Thomas cradled an assist and board in 20:46 as starting center with five fouls and a turnover for a 6:1 Voskuhl.
For the Clippers, DeAndre Jordan managed three boards in 29:43 as starting center, only to foul and lose the rock twice each for a 4:3 Voskuhl. And Brian Cook and Willie Warren can now afford Donald Sterling's lawyers, with takes of 2.4 trillion (2:25) and 1.5 trillion (1:32) respectively.