Before we get started, a couple of notes, and links.
1. Text message from Corn last night:
CORN: Of course the Warriors beat the Spurs by second digits! Of course!
We'd like to mention that while we usually love the Daily Dime over at the Leader, sometimes, they get a little carried away with individual games on the schedule, early in the year. Like Monday's, for example (which has strangely gone missing from the main archive links on the Dime. Hmmm. Oh, ESPN, you are so wily). We root for DWade around here as much as the next guy, and think that Tas over at Basketball Jones (which is awesome, by the way) was nuts when he said Wade was not one of the top players in the NBA. However, his team is still 6-15, the Suns are still 16-6. The Suns have these nights, where they just don't show up. And the Heat have nights where they act like their bench actually has a pulse. But to claim after one game would lead us to this after last night...
"Clearly, the Golden State Warriors are superior right now to the San Antonio Spurs. In their biggest game this season, the Warriors dominated the Spurs. The Spurs meanwhile look completely discombobulated, and look as if they need a serious fix."
Um. Yeah. We'll still take the Spurs down the stretch, thanks. Same for the Suns.
2. The NBA Blogosphere has been in fine form lately. Check this out, if you haven't already:
- Skeets, who's been absolutely KILLIN' it over at Deadspin, drops Bill Walton on us on the Closer. We never understand why Bill Walton doesn't get more flak. The man is preposterous to the nth degree. Everytime we watch NBA Shootaround with Bill and Screamin' A, we feel like we're back in college trying to chug Everclear again. Eventually you just end up in the bathroom crying and praying for it to end.
- If we were handing out NBA Blog Rookie of the Year awards, Dinosty's going to be pretty strong on our list. Anybody who manages to give great reaction to the unfortunate Ford injury while also dropping the line, "a slot machine rains less change," has got to be considered a favorite.
- We want a cage match between True Hoop and Kelly Dwyer. We know they're friends. That'll make it even more like that scene from Star Trek that was in Cable Guy.
- Stop Mike Lupica unloaded this today, and our jaws hit the floor. For mindless prognosticators and abhorrent armchair GMs like us, this is crack. Sweet, number filled crack.
- The Lakers are Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. If his team wasn't on TV enough to haunt our dreams and make us want to kill ourselves, we'd love Kurt completely. In a non-creepy, platonic, blogger way.
15 Reasons to Watch The Games Of The National Basketball Association Tonight:
1. Cowboys, Dinosaurs, All That's Missing Is A Space Ranger, And You'd Have Toy Story: But wait, there's Jamario, too! Denver's in Toronto tonight, trying to make sure they've righted the ship, having won their last 2 to get back to 5-5 in their last 10. I don't know if you've heard, but TJ Ford got hurt again last night. When I got the text from Corn that he went out on a stretcher, my heart sank. We love the kid. He keeps coming back, he's undervalued wherever he goes, and he was really coming into his own this year. Sigh. We hope the Raps are motivated by his injury to keep up their pace. At least this settles the Calderon/Ford debate for a little while. For what it's worth, while we respect the opinion that he should value his life over basketball, Ford's obviously a gamer. He's committed to the game, and if he chooses to come back, we're going to be right there, cheering for him on every floater and ill-timed turnover.
2. Murmurs From The Deep: The Bulls played like an honest to God professional basketball team last night. This was helped by the fact that they were playing a team that is obviously NOT a professional basketball team last night. But still, big wins are big wins. The Bulls visit the Pacers tonight, who caught a beatdown from the Cavs last night. We've been waiting for the Pacers to realize they're, you know, the Pacers for a while. We started to believe in them. But if they let the Bulls of the mat, it could be more disappointment for Mr. Granger.
3. FUGLY Would Be The Word You're Looking For: The Kings are in Boston tonight. We really don't feel the need to explain anything further about this game. But if you're looking for a train wreck, stop by and see this dandy of a matchup.
4. Well, They Can't BOTH Lose...Or Can They? : The Sonics visit the Knicks tonight. We'd love to say, if the Sonics pull this off, that's it. Fire Isiah. Ship him out. He's done. But we all know that won't happen, now don't we? Meanwhile, look for the combined shooting average to be much like the weather in South Florida right now. Mid 60s to low 70s.
5. I Got A Fever, And The Only Prescription Is More Bogut: The Magic are in Milwaukee tonight. The Bucks are 2-8 in their last 10, and things are getting desperate in all aspects. On the other hand, the Magic have been handing out turnover prone victories to inferior teams for the better part of the week. Some say that teams are starting to "figure out" Dwight Howard. We think that's like saying you figured out the rabid wolverine hopped up on mescaline and growth hormones. But maybe Bogut's got the answer and Yi can counter the Hedo. Just read that statement again. God, we love the NBA.
6. Well, Houston IS Dairy Queen Country: Yao's called out his teammates for being soft. Now would be an opportune time for them to respond, since otherwise they're going to get Kneed, Sheed, and Maxiell'd to an early grave tonight when Detroit comes a callin'. We want to congratulate the Pistons. After several years of being the Eastern equivalent of the Spurs (boring, predictable, slow, and really, really, exceptionally good), they're exceedingly fun to watch this year. With Maxiell and the rest of the bench being as good as they are, and finally getting over the whole Wallace thing, this team is just great, and fun to watch to boot. This time, when they play the Cavs in the playoffs, the other team will be the annoying repeat Eastern Champs trying to bore us to sleep.
7. They Don't Die, They Multiply. : You remember the jokes. The "Titanic" Division. The "Central Suck" Division. Well guess what, kids? At a combined 37-56, the Northwest Division is the worst division in the NBA. And who's on top? Hiya, Denver. Yes, we do remember mocking you for getting your ass handed to you by the Lakers. Welcome to performing how you should. The Nuggets seem to be starting to understand this whole "pass the ball, shoot the ball, rebound the ball" thing. They're starting to realize the value in having athletic big men like Bebe's got Kids. They've got the Hornets tonight, who would be leading the division if they were in the Northwest, but of course, they are banished to the Iron Maiden that is the Southwestern division. Nonetheless, the Hornets just keep right on, chuggin' and winning two straight. This should be a heck of a game, with CP3 and AI having a Back To The Future Part 2 moment.
8. Jack Vs. Azabuike. Doesn't That Sound Like A Title Fight?: Warriors are at the Blazers, who have won 4 in a row, including last night's WTF against the Jazz, without the Big Nifty, who's still got plantar fascilitis. So even though they beat a reeling Jazz team their fans thought they had no chance against, surely the streaking Warriors will take them down without Nifty, right? Not so fast my friend. If there's one team you don't need your big man for, it's the Warriors. You just need to not turn the ball over 21 times, and hit your shots. Jarret Jack, your time is now. By the way, if the Warriors are winning and scoring this much and shooting in the 30%s, what the hell's going to happen when they meet the Suns and they're both at their best? The scoreboard might catch fi....oh, wait.
9. They Might As Well Call It "Pull Your Head Out Of Your Own Ass" Night: The Suns lost to the Heat. The Jazz lost to the Blazers. Phoenix has lost two in a row. The Jazz have lost 4 in a row. Neither one can play much defense worth a damn. Something's got to give. All in all, this is still a fantastic matchup, and it's actually on national television (the Lakers must be hitting the sauna or something. Which ESPN will probably show at halftime. Ew.)!
10. You Can Lick My Euro-Nuts: Gordon Giricek and Primoz Brezek are sick of people saying they can't defend. And they're dropping awkwardly worded quotes to let you know about it, too. We're actually very much in support of this line of thinking. Saying European NBA players can't defend is, for the most part, like pointing out the black sheep in the herd and saying it's especially fuzzy. They're all sheep for God's sake. Regardless, Giricek has been pretty good on defense, and Brezec's held his own as well. Tonight's a great opportunity to watch Giricek on defense, since he'll be up against a team that's pretty good offensively.
11. Large And In Charge (Of The Gatorade): Mouhamed Sene and Jerome James will both be on the floor tonight (Note: the floor, not the court, mind you. Trillion alert!), and both will be a combined $7 million this year. God Bless America.
12.Oh How The Mediocre Have Fallen (Via The Corndogg):
13. A Christmas Card for ESPN (Via The Corndogg):
14.What'choo Talkin' Bout, KD (Via The Corndogg): When the Knicks fans are booing, it ain't because you are lighting up the worst defense in the league for 36 tonight, Kid Delicious. When you drain a deep 3 with 1 tick left on the clock in front of Isiah, don't listen to his sweet nothings (cause you ain't no Anucha!!). And when Robert Swift throws a ill-fitting elbow right upside Z Bo's dome, don't listen to your teammates telling you to "get his back." Instead, just back off and let Swifty handle his own bizness. Who you trying to fight with anyway? You can't even bench 185!! Just shut those pretty little ears, KD, cause their rants and raves don't mean nothing. Heck, maybe we should have called you Daggers, cause once you silence the Garden crowd tonight, the only sound Zeke will be hearing is "Who's next for food stamps!!"
15. A Limerick For The Sixers (Via The Corndogg):