A week can be like a Galaxy for the NBA. With 30 teams, and 6 conferences, it helps to compartmentalize and use installments
when providing a summarizing for all that Bawfulness.
This first installment is for the North East, and it focuses on the Knicks and the Sixers, the only teams that lost from the 7th to the 11th.
The Tempestuous, Milky Atlantic:
In the 2nd week of January, the Atlantic Conference was characterized by its stark contrasts. Cold winds blew along the aisle of Manhattan, while Brooklyn somehow became a bright oasis. Philadelphia was visited by a bitter frost, yet Boston and Toronto were bathed in warm sunlight. The conference leading Knicks couldn't buy a win all week, while the Nets, the Raptors, and the Celtics all went undefeated.
The Knicks lost three times over the week: to the Celtics on Monday, Indiana on Thursday, and Chicago on Friday. It's a new year, so out with the old and in with the new—or out with the new and in with the several years old...I'm not sure. This team's got me confused. Speaking of confusing...
|Meet me out back for more of this|
I thought this was America. Can't a man wait outside of a bus anymore? Carmelo Anthony simply wanted to talk to Kevin Garnett. Judging by the picture above, I would assume the two are close friends. I don't know what kind of a world we live in, when a man can't wait outside a bus for his buddy. If anything, the fact that Carmelo was waiting outside KG's bus shows how considerate he is and how promptly he can shower and dress; otherwise, KG surely would've been waiting for Carmelo outside his bus. Carmelo probably just wanted to complement Kevin on being a part of the Celtic D that made him miss 20 shots. Apparently the NBA doesn't feel that way. They suspended Anthony for the Knicks' 2nd loss of the weekend.
Losing to the Pacers, the slow grinding death of it all:
That may seem like an unnecessarily long and morbid title, but if that's how you feel then I bet you missed the game. Unfortunately, I saw the whole thing. I was enjoying some chips and salsa at a bar, and I sat and watched the national broadcast as the Knicks set record after record for seasonal ineptitude. I had hoped that a couple of beers would loosen them up. I was wrong. The more I drank the sloppier they played. It reminded me of the New York Knicks that I've been accustomed to over recent years—a saner world, but a world that was a little colder, despite the fermented beverages, as I walked out into the night.
J.R. Smith took 29 shots.
Bulls shit at the Garden:
I don't envy Spike Lee right now. Quentin Tarantino is raking in Box-Office and Golden Globes for Django—Hollywood spoils that elude him—while the Knicks have gone from looking like title contenders to looking like...uh, the Knicks. Spike could live with the Bulls beating the Knicks back in the day because they had Jordan. He's come to terms with recent beatings, because Chicago has had Derrick Rose, and the Knicks are usually an underdog. Now the Bulls are without a superstar, and even with this slide, a look at each team's record would indicate the Knicks were the favorite to win. Well, it didn't happen, just like it didn't happen for their first two meetings this season.
But at least Melo is back, right? This time around, he didn't get suspended or miss 20 shots like he did against the Celtics; he just missed 18. Overall, it's silly to complain too much about a 39 point, 8 rebound, 5 assist night; nor does it seem fair to needle the elderly (Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas); but 27 year old J.R. Smith is fair game for only shooting 4-17.
James Dolan snaps, Orwell style:
Despite there being no evidence to support this claim, a popular rumor has spread the notion that Carmelo was waiting for KG because Garnett told Melo his wife La La possesses a Honey-Nut Cheerios flavor. Initially, I was told Frosted Flakes. I don't have a full name for a source on that cereal, but I don't know why that should keep me from believing Frosted Flakes, or Fruit Loops for that matter, instead of the Honey-Nut Cheerios identified by unnamed sources and then given the gloss of veracity by being carried over international media outlets, and joked about by Charles Barkley. First off,
even if you have, "several sources who were in attendance
it seem unlikely that they would've all heard and remembered the same
Just look at the footage. Can you make out a single word KG mouths, let alone a specific name-brand?
Any potential witnesses would be far away, it's loud
in the Garden. How are you even going to find several witnesses, let
alone have them all independently verify what was said? I'd also be more
tempted to believe this claim if any of the witnesses heard the phrase, "Yogurt Burst
Cheerios". All things considered, the brand of cereal is probably less
the issue at hand here, then why the Big Ticket would have this
information. Still, given the range of gustatory adjectives KG
could have chosen from, this alleged selection of Honey-Nut Cheerios has an uncharacteristically tame flavor. Garnett is a serial trash talker, not a cereal trash talker. I have failed in my limited attempts to find conclusive evidence as to what was said. It's frustrating, but I don't have millions of dollars so
there's not much I can do about it.
James Dolan does have millions of dollars, and he knows just where to put them—parabolic microphones. According to the world's most reputable news source
Dolan has had the completely sane and reasonable idea of having everything that's said in the vicinity of Carmelo Anthony captured by high tech microphones, fed into surveillance
vans parked in the loading dock, and ultimately recorded and thoroughly inspected by employees. Since he has millions of dollars, he was able to make his idea a
reality, and this technology was unveiled in a loss to the Chicago
|Speak into the microphone, squid brain|
Knicks fans shouldn't be too worried that the team's
owner might be opening up a Pandora's box of ethical and legal
questions. While he's busy employing upstanding young men like the one
pictured above, Dolan might as well add someone on the payroll to keep a
microphone trained on the opposing bench. You never know, the rival
bench might be conspiring to say something offensive to Carmelo Anthony.
If those microphones happen to pick up some opposing team's strategies,
the information is being fed to a Knicks employee in the back of a secluded
vehicle. As fans during the Zeke, Starbury years know, that's a morally iffy ground for a Knicks employee to be in, even without the monitoring of clandestine information. If James Dolan thinks that he's too
powerful for this to come back and bite him on the ass, he might want to
rent Nixon. I haven't seen it, but I bet Bob Hoskins does a mean J.
The Sixers were slightly less bawful than the Knicks, because they didn't use parabolic microphones, and since they only lost 2 games over the workweek. To their discredit, they only had two games to lose, and nobody cares what gets said to their players. The games themselves were both blowouts, as the Sixers took a 20 point beating at home from the Nets, and then went to Toronto to make their nose dive through the Atlantic Division international in scope.
The Sixers scored 27 less points than the average Raptors opponent. As a team they were unable to shoot 40%, and perhaps even worse, they only struck twice from downtown. Philadelphia has lost 5 out of the 6 games that they've made 3 or fewer threes. Strangely enough, they've also lost 5 out of the 6 games where they've made over 10 shots from deep. Overall, they've been best as a team when lukewarm from deep, and while that might not be something that can be put to use strategically, it is kinda amusing.
I'd say the move to Brooklyn throws an interesting ripple into the Nets-Sixers rivalry, except I'm not really sure there is a Nets-Sixers rivalry. Not able to recall anything terribly notable, I had to do a search, and judging by the opening sentence of this article
I found, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that there's a reason why I haven't heard too much about this rivalry.
The Nets and 76ers have never had much of a rivalry even though the two teams are only separated by about 90 miles.
Maybe it'll be easier for Philadelphia fans to heat up a potential hatred for the Brooklyn incarnation of the Nets. If fans just close their eyes and forget what sport they're watching, they can pretend the Sixers are somehow beating a more familiar New York foe, the Mets or the Jets perhaps.
Reggie Evans grabbed a career high 23 rebounds against the Sixers. That might not sound amazingly impressive for a career-high, but it was done in under 27 minutes. Over his career Reggie Evans has averaged 6.9 rebounds a game. That probably doesn't sound that impressive either, but I'll tell you something that is: over his 11 year NBA career Reggie Evans has averaged 12.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. That's more than Barkley, Duncan, Shaq, Ben Wallace, Hakeem, the Admiral, Kevin Garnett, or Karl Malone. Still, there won't be any inductions into the Hall of Fame or franchise rebounding records for Evans, and the reasons are as simple as they are tragic—he isn't an insane defender, he doesn't have a sweet fro, and this is what his shot looks like:
It's not to tell how he got good at rebounding the ball. When you barely hit the rim half the time, you have to get used to reacting quickly to all sorts of funny bounces.