Ok I didn’t tell anyone but secretly I decided I wasn’t going to write another blog until Detroit won a game with Allen Iverson. To say I was disappointed with losing to the Nets (let alone Devin Harris going for a career high) and then being whooped by the Celtics is an understatement. I was shattered. Then I look over at Denver and see Chauncey guiding the Nuggets to three straight wins and hear George Karl saying stuff like “He helps me orchestrate the game” and well… I look over at Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace jacking up trash and I get a little pissed off. But today the Pistons got up. Never mind the fact they struggled for 45 minutes against the Kings without Kevin Martin (which makes for a tremendously hopeless Kings team). The Pistons won, the Iverson era has begun, and things are looking a little brighter in Motown. Speaking of Motown, if you haven’t already sculpted a shady looking ‘mo for Movember then shame on you! It’s only twelve days in but I already look like the pool cleaner.
Two weeks into the season is always a little bit of a weird time. A team’s record over their first 6-8 games is by no means a reflection of how they will travel for the rest of the season, the stats are all a little inflated, some players start out awesome but you know they won’t keep it up (i.e. Danny Granger) and some players start out so slow you barely notice them (i.e KG). You can’t really make much of it all, or take it too seriously… unless you’re a Hawks fan in which case you should savor every single undefeated breath you take. As always I’m here to try and cut through the crap and help you get a handle on what really matters.
The Knicks will no longer be the East cellar dwellers. Yeah losing to the Spurs these days is like losing a pickup game against your dad, your grandad and your retarded cousin, but in line with the Knicks new attitude this season I’m going to try and focus on the positives. Their wins over Miami, Washington and Utah were solid, while Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph have been absolutely huge. Over Crawford’s last four games he’s shot a ridiculous 19/31 from downtown while Randolph averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds. That is the kind of production that D’Antoni could have only dreamed of for these misfits. It’s a pity my man Q Richardson has gone cold the last few games because he started guns blazing. After trying to analyze his shooting woes Q came to this profound conclusion:
You get a lot of open shots. We move the ball, you get a lot of open jump shots. We just have to knock them down. These last couple of games we haven’t, but I think it would be a complete different story if we do.”
No shit Q.
The Clippers may well be the West cellar dwellers… again. I thought they’d be bad, but not like this. The word “crap” does complete injustice to how this lame excuse of a ball club has started the season. I’ve pooped better teams than this. Clippers fans must be suicidal. Last year they were f–ken disgraceful, then they go and overhaul their roster with the promise of a brighter future, and it has had the effect of making them even more f–king disgraceful. Don’t just look at their pathetic 1-5 record. How bout the -20.8 points differential over their first five games? How does it feel to average being whooped? “We played at a pretty high level for 40 minutes”, coach Dunleavy said after losing to the Lakers a couple of days ago. Here’s a tip Mike: when you play at a “pretty high level” for 40 minutes and lose by 18 points, you’re not really playing at a high level. At all.
Just so you don’t think I’m vomiting Hatorade all over Baron Davis’ face, let’s talk about the only team that might be worse – the Oklahoma City THUNDER. Al Jefferson summed up the Thunder nicely after losing to them last week.
It’s a game we’re supposed to have won… That’s why it hurts so bad. … No disrespect to the Thunder, but it was just a game we had in the bag and we should have won.”
TRANSLATION: “I can’t believe we just lost to this shitty team”
The only thing worse than being the Oklahoma City Thunder? Losing to them (I’m looking at you Minnesota). Losing to the Thunder is like having your pants pulled down in front of your work colleagues on the one day you decided to try out adult nappies. Extremely humiliating and hard to explain away. What’s that you say? The T-Wolves pushed the Spurs to double OT? Good question. Here’s another question. How the f—k do you give up 55 points to Tony Parker? How hard is it to shut down Tony Parker?! Comment durement peut-il être !?!
Speaking of Tony Parker’s 55, it may not have been a Dolphin Saver but Amare Stoudemire’s 49 point effort against the Pacers certainly was (watch every point!). 49 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks – completely smashing Kobe’s original Dolphin Saver of 45 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals over a year ago. And let me hit you with some knowledge: In the last 22 years Amare is the ONLY player to have gone 49-11-6-5. Whoa! That’s more than a dolphin saver. That needs a new word. So I asked my work friend, told him about the original Dolphin Saver and the immensity of Amare’s game, and after thinking aloud for two seconds he immediately came back with “Whalef–ker”. I was a bit stunned, especially since we were in a cafe surrounded by people. But now that I think of it, “stunned” is the kind of reaction you get from hearing about a game like Amare’s. So Whalef–ker it is.
In other amazing stat lines, Greg Oden is currently the NBA’s All-Time leader in ‘Serious Injuries Per Game” with an average of 3.9. With two serious injuries in barely a half a game of basketball, Oden leads Elton Brand who is second on the list with 0.07. It’s not even close.
As hard as this is for me to say, HTFU of the week undoubtedly goes to Rodney Stuckey for having to leave a game because of dizzy spells. Dizzy spells? What, was he running around in fairy costumes with the Zoo Crew at half time? Maybe the pressure of losing Chauncey suddenly dawned on him? Or maybe he’s just a pussy. If there was ever a need for someone to ask themselves W.W.H.D its Rodney Stuckey during that Boston game.
Bogut Watch: I was very weary after the Bucks 3-2 start because they hadn’t played any good teams yet. What then happened? They faced three good teams and lost them all. Unfortunately a lot of the blame for those losses can be placed squarely on Bogut’s shoulders: In his last three games he’s shot 8-26 from the field, all of which saw the Bogey man land in foul trouble and ending up with limited minutes. Eight games into the season AB has been averaging a pretty lame 8 shot attempts per game – c’mon coach Skiles, run some freaken plays for him! Holy crap even Luke Ridnour is taking more shots than Bogut and he is shooting at 33% from the field. I’m gonna give you a hint Coach Skiles: if it comes to the end of the season and Luke Ridnour has taken more shots than Andrew Bogut, a hundred thousand angry Aussie basketball fans will come and beat the crap out of you. That’s not a threat. Just some friendly coaching advice.
The GRTT clearly didn’t heed my warning back on Day 3 of the season. Just two days after I said “they need to be very careful when using the word “blow” in the game recap title”, they go and use it on the worst possible team: Rose sets pace as Bulls blow by Gay, Grizzlies. I’m very open about most things, but “blow by Gay” is a phrase that probably shouldn’t be used in a game recap, let alone any normal kind of sentence. Assuming it was just a cheeky aberration, I woke the next day very surprised to find this sprawled all over the ESPN scoreboard: Young, Williams help Sixers spank winless Kings. Now c’mon. I have never seen the GRTT use the word “spank” before. Is that really necessary? Someone no doubt got in their ear, because we saw the decidedly toned-down version a couple of days later: LeBron slaps Bulls with 41 points as Cavs top Bulls. Thankfully the GRTT have stepped it up since then and managed to avoid losing their professional integrity altogether. Here are just a couple of my favorite recap titles of the past week:
Horford helps Hawks hold off Bulls, remain perfect – C’mon, you just try and come up with a sentence starting with four “H” words, let alone a game recap title. Brilliant.
Crawford sizzles as Knicks drop hot-handed Jazz - Nice. If the Jazz were so “hot-handed” how come they didn’t win? Cos Crawford sizzled, and sizzling > hot.
Shaq goes vintage as Suns handle Bucks on road. I like this one. Not only a reminder that Shaq has been around a long time, but that Shaq going for 29 points is now seen as somewhat of a minor miracle.
Run-and-gun Knicks sprint past winless Wizards – This is classic GRTT. A title so vibrant that it makes you wanna read the recap even if you don’t give a shit about the Knicks or Wizards.