I think we're gonna see a lot of sad Spurs benches this season...
The Excremento Kings: The Purple Paupers -- the youngest team in the league in case nobody told you -- managed to hang around because the Bulls couldn't hang onto the ball (18 turnovers for 23 points going the other way) or defend without fouling (the Kings got 34 free throw attempts).
Unfortunately, the Sactowners couldn't knock down their freebies (20-for-34) or protect the painted rectangle. The Bulls scored 33 fast break points and finished with 54 points in the paint. According to Hoopdata, Chicago was 19-for-24 at the rim (79.2 percent) and 8-for-14 from 3-9 feet (57.2 percent).
Can you say "layup drill"?
Said Kings coach Paul Westfail: "We defended them pretty well, but we can't defend breakaway layups. We have guys crashing the boards, where we have no business doing, and we had guys not rotating back and trying to get steals in the backcourt. The Bulls can run, everybody knew that. If you want to win games, don't give them layups. Make them run their offense."
Bonus bawful stat: The Paupers bricked 12 of their first 13 shot attempts.
Carlos Boozer: On a night when the Bulls had a red carpet escort directly to the hoop, Boozington attempted exactly two shots at the rim. Remember: He's an "inside" player. Meanwhile, he was 1-for-5 from 10-15 feet and 3-for-5 from 16-23 feet. I'm just sayin'.
Jimmer Fredette: Oh my God...this kid is a straight up gunner. He somehow finished with a team-high 3 assists, but I think those were times he lost the ball by mistake. At one point, he drove straight into four Bulls defenders...AND HE SHOT THE BALL. I feel sorry for any woman who dates him, 'cause this man only has eyes for the rim. Even Antoine Walker is kind of embarrassed for him.
The San Antonio Spurs: The old guys were gassed last night, which was their third game in a four-day span, and it showed: 37 percent from the field, 2-for-17 from downtown, and a deficit as large as 25 points. Timmy D went 1-for-8 before getting the second half off. Richard Jefferson was 2-for-10. None of the starters logged a single fourth quarter minute.
Said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: "We were not playing well and I decided not to play them, and I was able to work other guys and get some other looks."
Added Manu Ginobili: "We were below where we want to be. In a season like this, we will have to wait and see if this might happen more often. You have to let it go and think about the next game."
If the Spurs weren't already finished, this lockout-shortened season will do it.
I mean, you wanna talk about not having any legs? They were 24-for-35 at the rim, but they were 4-for-17 from 3-9 feet, 2-for-12 from 10-15 feet, and 3-for-12 from 16-23 feet. And 2-for-17 from three, as I already pointed out.
Tim Duncan: From ESPN Stats and Information: "The Spurs were outscored by 28 points with Tim Duncan on the floor on Thursday night. His -28 is the third-worst plus-minus he's had in any regular-season game in his career, surpassed by a pair of -29 games against the Lakers (in the 2003-04 and 2010-11 seasons)."
The New Jersey Nyets: I loved this blurb from the AP recap: "In an effort to get off to better starts, the Nets adjusted their starting lineup by inserting Sundiata Gaines and Mehmet Okur in place of Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro. It didn't help." Nor did th fact that Brook Lopez was out with a broken foot.
Dwight Howard had his way (16 points, 7-for-9, 24 rebounds, 3 blocked shots) and the Nyets couldn't have found the rim with a GPS and an army of blood hounds specifically trained to locate the basket. New Jersey shot 37 percent from the field and 6-for-17 from downtown. They gave up 25 points off 15 turnovers and got outscored 42-26 in the paint. And the Magic ran away with the game despite bricking 12 free throws and shooting only 44 percent themselves.
Deron Williams: Remember a while back when Deron said he was the best point guard in the league? Next thing you know, he was running Jerry Sloan out of Utah, getting traded to the Nyets, and now he's tossing up garbage for field goal attempts. On Tuesday, Williams went 3-for-11 against the Hawks, and last night he shot 2-for-12 against the Magic. He's shooting 28 percent from the field and averaging only 5.7 assists. His PER is 10.50.
Well, he wanted out of Sloan's rigid offensive system. And that's what he got. Congrats, D-Will.
Said Williams: "It is definitely frustrating. I am not playing well right now and the team is not playing too well right now. It is not time to panic. We are going to have a little bit of struggles just because everybody is learning."
Uh, shouldn't you have learned to shoot by now, Deron?
The Dallas Mavericks: All Cuban's Cowboys had to do to avoid falling to 0-3 on the season was play 1.4 seconds of defense. And...
The Nuggest and Blazers: Pretty decent game. Both teams made some mistakes. Portland shot well (52 percent) and dominated the boards (50-30), but they gaveup 29 points off 25 turnovers to keep Denver in the game. Meanwhile, the Nuggets racked up 28 fast break points and scored 54 points in the paint while committing only 7 turnovers, but they shot like crap (40 percent) and didn't have many of their three-point prayers answered (4-for-20).
In a battle of good shooting and shitty shooting, the good shooting usually wins.
The New York Bricks: When an "all offense, no defense" team has no offense...bad things happen.
Except for 'Melo (27 points, 8-for-14, 9-for-10 from the line), the other New York players lost control of the section of their brains that control shooting basketballs. As a team, Brick City hit only 31 percent of their field goals, finishing with only 6 fast break points and got outscored 44-26 in the paint.
New York was 0-for-7 from 3-9 feet, 0-for-4 from 10-15 feet, and 3-for-16 from 16-23 feet, and 6-for-22 on threes.
Said Bricks coach Mike 'Antoni: "The Lakers are good, and we're awful. We didn't play well. We can't make shots. We started off really well. I thought the pace was good, the rhythm was good, and then it just went downhill from there."
Added 'Melo: "This game is about acting, and right now we're reacting. We just need to get out there and play ball."
Uh, no, you need to get out there and play defense.
Kobe Bryant, quote machine: "I enjoy going against Melo, because I always win."
Carmelo Anthony, quote machine: "Kobe be lying. Kobe ain't hurt. I know him."
Chris's Lacktion Report:
Nyets-Magic: Justin Harper conjured a decent exact (90 seconds) 1.5 trillion payday - his second gathering of riches this season!
Bulls-Purple Paupers: Donte Greene (despite a 100% shooting percentage on one attempt) at 25 seconds and Isaiah Thomas (disregarding an assist) in 24 seconds were the Mario Brothers of the night, while Travis Outlaw bricked once from the Crocker Museum for a +1 suck differential in 8:36!
Nuggets-Blazers: Timofey Mozgov panned an board in 10:46, only to foul thricely and lose the rock once for a 4:1 Voskuhl. Corey Brewer had 32 seconds to hunt for gold coins in a Mario.
Knicks-Lakers: Jerome Jordan aired out a payday of 1.65 trillion (100 seconds) for the Dolan family, while Luke Walton nearly equalled his dad's endorsement money with his second capital gain so far, 2.1 trillion (128 seconds). Fellow Laker Andrew Goudelock fouled once in 100 seconds for a +1.