This shit wasn't supposed to be happening, right? I mean, Washington drafted John "Freak of Nature" Wall and suckered the Magic into taking the shot to the nuts that is otherwise known as The Contract of Gilbert Arenas. Now, the Associated Press is describing the Generals as "lifeless" and stating that their "games are becoming so joyless that even the players can hardly stand them."
And, believe it or not, that's actually a totally objective observation.
Said Andray Blatche: "Guys didn't bring no effort. They outworked us on every possession. For a minute out there, it seems like guys didn't care after a while -- like we just gave in to a team that we're definitely much better than them if we compete. But nobody brought heart with them."
In related news, Blatche, Washington's starting center, finished with the same number of rebounds (5) as Darren Collison, Indiana's starting point guard. And Collison did that in about seven fewer minutes.
Added John Wall: "This game we didn't fight at all. It's getting old."
In related news, Wall went 5-for-15 and had a game-high 6 turnovers.
Did I mention that the Pacers had 26 fast break points and a 45-26 advantage in free throw attempts? Or that Indy's bench outscored their counterparts 48-25? Or that they outrebounded the Generals by 10 (46-36) through three quarters (that is, before garbage time ensued).
I guess 'Dray was right. Guys really didn't bring no effort.
The Toronto Craptors: You knew this was coming:
What can I say about this loss -- in which the Craptosaurs trailed by as many as 22 and never really threatened in the second half -- that Toronto coach Jay Triano didn't?
Said Triano: "Really, it was men against boys."
Or the living versus the dead. But not in the totally awesome way you're thinking.
The Dinos hacked and slashed their way to giving up 42 free throw attempts. And when they weren't clubbing the Bobcraps, the Craptors were watching them run downcourt for an easy score, as Charlotte finished with 26 fast break points.
This was Toronto's 11th consecutive road loss...which ties the franchise record set during the 2004-05 season. Their next road game is in New Jersey on March 4. Bawful History could be made. Again.
The Sacramento Kings: Those Paupers had to be feeling fresh last night. After all, they didn't have anybody in the All-Star Game. In fact, they didn't really have anybody who qualified to wash the jock straps of the guys who did play in the All-Star Game. But that freshness turned sour pretty quickly as the Sactowners fell behind 35-16 after 12 minutes. They would go on to trail by as many as 29 points before eventually losing 117-97.
Said Kings coach Paul Westfail: "They pretty much came out in the first quarter and took care of business. And it was finishing up the game after that."
Zydrunas Ilgauskas: From starter to benched in favor of Ericka Dampier. And, despite the magnitude of the blowout, Big Z was the only one of Miami's 12 active players who didn't log a single second. Not even a Super Mario.
Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "Erick will be our starter for now. But you can believe Zydrunas will have a role."
A role known as "Big, goofy-looking white guy at the end of the bench."
The Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Superior finished two dimes short of a triple-double (28 points, 11 boards, 8 assists), but he got into foul trouble and had to sit for long stretches of the second and fourth quarters, during which the Clips were outscored 72-43. In fact, The Other L.A. Team immediately gave up a 15-0 run when Griffin sat down in quarter two.
Said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro: "It was kind of turnover after turnover, and we were chasing them again. Too many turnovers and too many missed free throws."
The numbers: The "Blakers" bumbled the ball away 17 times which led (in part) to 20 fast break points for the Thunder. The Other L.A. Team also bricked 12 free throws.
Of course, Vinny failed to mention a team defense that let OKC finish with an Offensive Rating of 123.1. Just felt I should throw that in there.
The Detroit Pistons: Houston's rookie forward Patrick Patterson scored 11 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter. And he made three clutch plays down the stretch -- a tip in, a three-point play and nailing a couple free throws -- as the Rocketeers beat the Pissed-ons 108-100 in the Palace.
Said Will Bynum: "I thought we did a good job defensively. I thought they just made shots and Patterson kind of killed us on the boards."
For the record, Patterson had 5 rebounds.
Tayshaun Prince, worst player of the night: 1 point on 0-for-9 shooting. It was the second-worst shooting game of Tayshaun's career. He scored zero points on 0-for-10 shooting back on January 13, 2008.
Said Detroit coach John Kuester: "This is one of those rare games that he didn't have it going as much."
Talk about having flair for the understatement.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: Dig this totally unironic (one assumes) line from the AP: "[Brandon] Jennings had his best game in the last six, shooting 7 of 17 from the field -- including 2 of 8 from 3-point range." You know a guy's shooting has been flushed down the crapper when "best game in the last [whatever" is followed by 7-for-17 and 2-for-8.
Anyway, the Timberwolves now feature Darko Milicic AND Eddy Curry. And they say contraction is a bad idea. The only reason to watch this depressing team is to see whether Kevin Love can bust Moses Malone's double-double streak. Which is kind of like watching a train wreck to see if any survivors will pull their broken, bloody bodies out of the wreckage.
Oh, and hey, while we're mentioning the busts on this team, don't forget Sebastian Telfair is still comin' off the bench. He went 0-for-7 last night, by the way.
Brandon Jennings, quote machine: "Second half of the season so, you know, you have to get a little more serious. We have to come more mentally focused and ready to play."
Maybe if Brandon and company had, you know, gotten a little more serious during the first half of the season they wouldn't be 22-34.
The Memphis Grizzlies: Who would have have bet on going into this one? A Memphis team that had won 12 of its last 13 games or a Nuggets squad that just lost 50+ PPG and dressed only eight players?
You would have bet on the Grizzlies. Of course you would have.
Ff you follow this site, you know that teams should beware of the Wounded Tiger. Remember how the Cadavers won their season opener against the Celtics? Or, more appropriately, how the Nyets surged after owner Mikhail Prokhorov "walked away" from the 'Melo trade (only to crawl back a few weeks later)?
Well, the Nuggets were wounded, man, and it showed in the way they devoured the Grizzlies. Denver scored 102 points in the first three quarters, led by as many as 27 and coasted to a 120-107 win.
Said Al Harrington: "I'm just happy it's over with. Period. We won't have to answer these questions no more. I hope this is the last time I'm going to have to answer any trade questions for a long time."
Associated Press writer, quote machine: Nominated by our own Dan B: "The mood was Melo-choly at the Pepsi Center." Seriously.
All I konw is that this "Melo-choly" is killing poor George Karl.
The Golden State Warriors: You know when I knew the Warriors were gonna lose this game? When I read in the game preview that the Celtics had lost six straight road games to the Warriors and hadn't won in Gol_en State since December 29, 2003. On that date, Boston's starting lineup was Paul Pierce, Mike James, Jiri Welsch, Walter McCarty and Vin Baker while Gol_en State went with a starting five of Nick Van Exel, Jason Richardson, Cliff Robinson, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Ericka Dampier.
Oh, what a titanic battle that must of been.
Anyway, stat curse for the win. The Celtics shot 55.6 percent and won by 22 points despite committing 18 turnovers (to only 11 for the Warriors) and having a 28-11 disadvantage in free throw attempts. It helped that they held Gol_en State to 39 percent shooting and an Offensive Rating of 97.1.
Said Stephen Curry: "When they made their run, we kind of sunk our heads a bit. We didn't have the composure down the stretch to make plays.
The Atlanta Hawks: Have you ever seen a bird fly beak-first into an oncoming car? Because that's what happened to the Hawks last night: 36 percent shooting, 1-for-15 from three-point range, outrebounded 54-32, and down by as many as 29 points before finally losing 104-80 to the Lakers in L.A.
Said Atlanta coach Larry Drew: "I thought our guys took the path of least resistance the whole game. On offense, we settled, and defensively, we didn't play with physicality. I just thought we settled, which is starting to be a pattern with us."
In related news, the Hawks have lost four of their last five games.
Added Al Horford: "I'm trying to figure it out. We had a great practice yesterday, so it was frustrating being out there. But you have to give them credit. They came out and did their thing. They took over, man. They really dominated at both ends. We really have some soul-searching to do as a team, and it's discouraging."
I just love it when teams that aren't as good as they think they are try to figure out why they aren't as good as they think they are.
Chris's Lacktion Report:
Craptors-Bobcats: Joey Dorsey polished his blades of steel in just 49 seconds by skating briefly on the court for a Mario!
Pacers-Generals: Despite checking a board into his tab, Hilton Armstrong also only lasted 54 seconds on the hardwood for a Mario.
Purple Paupers-Heat: Jamaal Magloire made a board irrelevant in 3:57 with a brick and three fouls to give Miami a 3:1 Voskuhl.
Wolves-Bucks: Tiny Earl Boykins barged into 8-bit gaming with a 22 second celebratory Mario.
Clippers-Thunder: Rasual Butler clearly took his Null-Star snub to heart, gathering up a 4.8 trillion (4:49) that will no doubt earn him access to Donald Sterling's janitorial closet.
For Oklahoma City, Nick Collison combined a board, two made free throws, and two steals in 22:33 with three fouls and a turnover for a 4:3 Voskuhl.
Celtics-Warriors: Semih Erden erased four assists and a board in 17:10 with four fouls and a turnover for a 5:1 Voskuhl.
East Oakland's Charlie Bell rang up a foul in 2:16 for a +1.