Denver Nuggets supporting cast:
Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson (before he got ejected) played pretty well last night; both guys actually shot 50 percent or better for a change. But Anthony Carter (zero points, 0-for-5), Marcus Camby (4 points, 2-for-6), Eduardo Najera (zero points, 0-for-5), Linas Kleiza (5 points, 2-for-8), and Yakhouba Diawara (zero points, 0-for-4) were very not good. When five of the eight players who actually played shoot 4-for-28, you're probably going to lose, especially because of the...Denver Nuggets defense:
Atlanta is much improved this season (which isn't hard, considering they were 30-52 last season). But they're hardly great, particularly offensively. They score 94.7 PPG (23rd in the league) on 44.5 percent shooting (21st in the league). Yet last night they scored 104 points on 52 percent shooting (despite Al Horford's 3-for-11 brickbuster).Cancer:
Nene is going to be out of the Denver lineup indefinitely after having a testicular tumor removed
. Cancer sucks. And hearing about a testicular tumor makes my
balls hurt, which sucks even more. Doctors won't know whether the tumor was cancerous until they receive the biopsy results. Let's all hope for the best for Nene, huh?John Paxson:
The Bulls GM was a guest on the Mike North Morning Show
on WSCR-AM (670) yesterday, and he said
in the Bulls' organization, including team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, thinks that the players' group decision to bench Joakim Noah one additional game for screaming at assistant coach Ron Adams was ''outstanding.'' Here's the thing though: Noah had already been suspended one game by interim coach Jim Boylan. But the players, being the players, obviously feel that they know better than the coaching staff, or management for that matter. These are the same players who tuned out and quit on Scott Skiles, leading to the "coach who turned things around" getting fired on freakin' Christmas eve. However, Paxson wants us to believe that this sudden showing of "veteran leadership" from the previously MIA Ben Wallace and "He's still on the team?" Adrian Griffin is a good thing, and furthermore that it's a sign the players are taking ownership of and responsibility for the team's season-long struggle to not suck. Suuuuuure. Speaking of the Bulls sucking...Chicago Bulls:
Hooray for team unity, right? The Bulls got outscored 32-10 in the third quarter on their way to their second straight blowout loss since Noahgate. Some Bulls hopefuls are pointing to the fact that the team was undermanned -- Kirk Hinrich missed the game with back spasms and Andres Nocioni left early due to a bruised left hip -- but who are they kidding? They way this team is playing, they would have lost even if Jesus was in their starting lineup. But at least then they'd have some yummy wine and bread. Anyway, the Bulls "nice guy" coach finally snapped. Said Boylan
: "We had a lack of effort all the way across the board by just about everybody. Our defense is soft and anemic at times and we just seem to be casual with the ball. If we want to get ourselves right, we have to change the way we're playing." Uh, you're totally right Jim, but it's kind of your job
to change the way the team is playing.
By the way, I would be willing to bet my collection of porcelain Larry Bird dinnerware that the Heat end their 10-game losing streak tonight at the Bulls' expense.Washington Wizards:
Okay, first off, any team that loses to the Knicks this season gets an automatic mention in Worst of the Night. But how do you come off back-to-back wins over the Celtics and then lose to the Knicks?! I mean, Tough Juice was talking about winning a championship
yesterday! Then his team goes out and shoots 39 percent (compared to 51 percent for the Knicks). Even more embarrassing is the fact that the Knicks, who are dead-last in the league in assists per game, had twice as many dimes as the Wizards (26 to 13). According to a complex mathematical algorithm I just made up, that makes Washington twice as selfish as the most selfish team in the league. Antawn Jamison thinks his team didn't tie their shoes last night
: "It's one thing to say you beat the best team in the league back-to-back and all of a sudden you come back, lose to a team that's won what, 11 games before tonight? You've still got to lace them up. You've still got to be focused enough and you've still got to bring the energy early in the game. And for us those were the things that pretty much lost the game for us."Andrea Bargnani: Sophomore slump
? More like sophomore suck. Bargnani had his fifth zero-point outing of the season, thanks to 0-for-4 shooting. If there's anyone capable of dethroning Kwame Brown as the King of the Worst Number One Overall Picks Ever, it's Bargnani.Tayshaun Prince:
His team won, but not because of his 6 points and 3-for-8 shooting. Although that was a giant step up from Sunday's dreadful zero point, 0-for-10 performance against the Knicks. Are we sure that Prince hasn't been replaced by a body double, ala Hannah Montana?Golden State Warriors:
Sure, they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves. Whoop-de-friggin'-do. They gave up 26 points (on 10-for-15 shooting!) and 10 rebounds to Antoine Walker. It was Walker's best scoring game since he scored 32 points against the Raptors on April 11, 2006
. I'm going to file a protest with the league, because as far as I'm concerned, giving up 26 points to Antoine Walker consitutes a loss, even if you outscore the other team by 200 points.Minnesota Timberwolves:
In case it escaped your notice, Antione Walker was the team's top performer
against the Warriors. That will always get your team mentioned in Worst of the Night.Darko Milicic:
He played only five minutes last night due to "right knee soreness." But he still managed to contribute 2 points (1-for-4) and 2 rebounds. Which sucks.The Media:
Everybody was falling all over themselves yesterday to praise Kobe Bryant and his 48 points, and they were very quick to defend him for taking 44 shots to do it. Because they were all
good shots, right? Yeah. All 44 were good shots. That's why he missed 23 of them? I would argue that if Kobe Bryant is the greatest scorer in the league, and he got 44 "good" shots, then shouldn't he have hit at least
half of them, if not more
than half of them? I tend to think so. Especially after Lebron scored 51 points last night in only 28 shots. For those of you who enjoy simple math, that's three more points than Kobe scored on 16 fewer shot attempts. And he hit 18 of those shots (64 percent). And
he had 9 assists (compared to Kobe's 2). That, my friends, is an efficient, unselfish performance.
For those of you who are arguing that all of Kobe's shots against Seattle were good shots, let's take a look at his shot chart from that game:
As you can see, he was 2-for-9 from three-point range. Now, the shot chart
provides detailed information about each shot (thanks, CBS Sportsline). Three of Kobe's three-pointers were lofted from at least
30 feet out (30, 31, and 33 feet to be precise). Look, I know Kobe's good and all, but is a 30-foot shot ever
really a good shot? I'm talking percentages here. Two more were hoisted from 28 feet away. I feel the need to point out the obvious here, but the further you go from the basket, the lower the percentage chance that your shot will go in. That's Basketball 101, people.
The bottom line: Love on Kobe all you want. Really. But please don't try to defend his 44-shot bombing run by telling me that they were all good shots, okay?
[Okay. I must now clense myself for praising Lebron.]Update:
Additional insight from Basketbawful reader Chris: "That basketball-reference.com site you linked in the above article isn't half bad. After looking over it some, Kobe's latest 44 FG attempt game ranks as the 6th highest FG attempts in a game...of all time. Spots 2, 4, and 5 on the all time list are also taken by him, as well as about 1/4 of the rest of them listed. Conversely, Kobe's 48 points didn't even make their leaderboard. It stops at 100 positions, with 51 being the lowest."Houston Rockets:
Ah, there's nothing quite like letting a celler-dwelling team like the Sixers end their seven-game losing streak against you. But here's what I find both confusing and (if I'm a Rockets fan) horrifying: Yao Ming, the team's leading scorer, got 11 shots, while Rafer Alston got 17 and Luther Head got 20. You read that correctly: Luther Head shot the ball 20 times. That should be a good week
for Head, not a single game. That ties his career-high, by the way (the other time came against the Warriors on December 15, 2006
). It's not even the number of shot attempts in and of itself that bothers me; it's the fact that he only hit six of them. Was there any legitimate reason for Head to continue shooting at that rate? Do you think Rick Adelman saw the box score after the game and made that whiny face he used to make when his Blazers and Kings teams used to choke games in the playoffs? I like to think so.Phoenix Suns:
Everything that's wrong with this team was on display again last night. Bad defense (the Clippers shot a season-high 52.5 percent). Bad rebounding (the Clips pounded the Suns on the boards 47-36). Steve Nash couldn't keep a hand in the opposing point guard's face (38-year-old Sam Cassell broke out of a four-game 7-for-31 slump to score 32 points on 15-of-21 shooting). And Amare Stoudemire couldn't keep the opposing center off the glass (Chris Kaman had 18 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive). These problems were compounded by the fact that the Suns couldn't score, either: 90 points (20 below their average) on 40 percent shooting (9 percentage points below their average). An ugly game, and an ugly loss for the Suns. And it bodes ill for Thursday night's rematch with the Lakers.
Labels: Andrea Bargnani, cancer, Chicago Bulls, Darko, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, john paxson, media, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards