Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stephen Jesse Jackson Haters Can Stuff It

Reading around the web, you're likely to be inundated with garbage about how Stephen Jackson is a "me-first" player with an attitude of "getting paid" over winning -- about how Jackson is a garbage player with a superstar contract not unlike past head cases like Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis and Allen Iverson (who is also wildly misrepresented and misunderstood).

The arguments are aplenty but all of them are short-sighted.

1. Stephen Jackson left a winning 2002-2003 Spurs team to "get paid" by the Atlanta Hawks.

Inordinately false. He won a championship on the Spurs after being one of their best players. He was arguably the third best player on that team at the time, with big names on the roster such as -- David Robinson, Danny Ferry, Kevin Willis, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker -- making this a tough sell.

But the fans need to realize that David Robinson, Kevin Willis, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith and Danny Ferry, while still ballers, were dinosaurs at the time. Ferry and Willis especially. Robinson was old but still effective because of his Spartan physique that allowed him to play 64 games. Kerr, Ferry and Willis were effectively bench scrubs at this point in their careers. Steve Smith was no longer as effective as he used to be from his Heat and Hawks days and was relegated to a back up role.

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are interesting since they're both seen as international superstars today. At the time, Parker was an unexpected surprise. Very few foreign players had ever made it big time in the league -- especially no one from France. Hailing back to Vlade Divac, Drazen Petrovic, Arvydas Sabonis, Toni "The Waiter" Kukoc and the Kings' loverboy Predrag Stojakovic -- you had a handful of stars but with a long list of burnouts and guys who simply couldn't cut it.

Ginobili was less of a shocker in some ways since Parker had been such a success in his rookie season. Ginobili had also been cooking up a storm overseas with dominating play in the Italian Serie A league. However, Ginobili and Parker were both inexperienced relative to Jackson in terms of their NBA careers and scoring ability at the time.

Parker, was limited by his inability to shoot the outside shot that has still hampered him some even now in his career. Ginobili clearly struggled early in the Spurs' season with adjusting to the NBA game.

I would argue that the best players on that team were Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson -- in that order.

And what do the Spurs do? They don't offer him a deserving extension and palatable deal. That's why he ended up on the Hawks. If you're a team like the Spurs, why wouldn't you want to sign a local Texas boy to a long term deal? I mean, I guess you have Devin Brown waiting on the wings, and you'll think he'll turn out to be studly, but Jackson was a key component in that championship team.

The Spurs screwed up here and got lucky with Manu turning out to be a borderline all-star. I liken this mistake similarly to the Lakers refusing to extend Trevor Ariza with a deserving contract this past year -- signing a declining Artest over him. At least the Spurs got a young talent in their blunder. The Lakers simply squandered away a good player for "money" reasons, even though they're the most successful franchise in the moneymaking department.

2. Stephen Jackson turns the ball over too much and is therefore a crap player.

Somewhat true. This argument has some merit simply because Jackson turns the ball over more than anyone else in the league. However, those numbers are highly inflated due to a few reasons.

A. He played the second most minutes in the league last season -- only being beaten out by Joe Johnson.

B. He played on an up-tempo, high-possession team in Golden State. By high-possession, I mean they took more shots more frequently than say a relative slow-down team like the Hornets or Bobcats.

C. He was the primary ball handler on his past team. Golden State was running out chumps like Demarcus Nelson out on the point last year -- Jackson was forced to take a less than optimal role as the floor leader. This isn't always a bad thing, but it was considering the circumstances (i.e., no effective ball handler outside of him).

With the 2006-2007 Golden State team, he absolutely carried them in their closer game against the Mavericks in the epic 8 over 1 seed upset that shocked the league. His ability to carry the rock on a team with guards who were less-than-able (I'm looking at you, Jason Richardson and Monta Ellis, to a lesser extent) made Golden State a multi-headed threat -- especially since Jackson's ability to play three or four positions made him a match-up nightmare for the Mavericks.

In short, turning the ball over isn't so much of a measure of inability -- it's more of a measure of ability to play long stretches of time and handle the ball.

3. Stephen Jackson is a head case.

False. People like to point fingers at his past criminal cases (e.g. the strip club shooting) and his inability to control himself during the Pacers-Pistons' brawl. However, nearly everyone he has played with or for has described him as a stand up guy and a great teammate. His actions may be flawed at times, but his intentions behind those actions are generally misrepresented. This does not mean he is a head case.

Some see his flight from the Warriors as a selfish move. However, the Warriors are truly the selfish ones in this scenario as they'd rather save money than win games -- that's been their problem throughout the franchise's existence. You'd think Bay Area cost of living would have numbed the ownership to economic forces, but unfortunately that's not the case.

Jackson wants to win. Winning in Golden State was not an option as Nelson would rather bury talents like Anthony "The Judge" Randolph on the bench, waiting with his towel in-hand like a gavel. Nelson would rather trade away one of his team's best players rather than learn to compromise -- the story of Nelson's decorated but similarly pathetic career.

In summary, Stephen Jackson, regardless of his stature in the media and his inability to keep his mouth shut, is a great player who will be a welcomed addition to the Bobcats.

Hopefully, now, this means we can lose in style.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Update: Allen Iverson Waived

In unsurprising news, A.I.'s contract was mutually terminated today by the Grizzlies. Could we be seeing A.I. on the Bobcats in the near future?

I wouldn't be surprised. We'd probably end up trading Felton or Augustin away in the process, but the effects of A.I. on such a team would be dubious -- it's hard to tell how he would affect the team.

Keep an eye out in the comings days on the waiver wire. Something is afoot -- Larry Brown is not known for stockpiling young point guards.

Forget Saturday's Game, S-Jax, Acie Law Traded for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic

I've been missing lately. However, this trade sort of excites me -- we're giving up a terrible player in Radmanovic and, what looks like Raja Bell's injured wrist for a good, but inconstant volume scorer and a young, promising point guard.

I know, Jackson turns the ball over more than most point guards (in fact, more than anyone else in the league). I also realize he's basically the Zach Randolph equivalence at shooting guard.

I think games might be more interesting, at least, with this sort of talent manning our swingman position -- and apparently, he's excited to play for us to the point of wanting to play tonight.

And to the negative nancies -- fuck you. Maybe we'll go after AI next so you can perpetually cry about how more and more awesome this team is getting to be.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bobcats at Pistons: A Foul Stench

Charlie Villanueva outscores the entire Bobcats' squad in the 3rd quarter as the Bobcats are blown out for the second night in a row.

I'll be honest -- I was procrastinating on this posting. Wednesday night's outing was an embarrassing effort from this NBA "team." I say "team" because the only semblance of team chemistry out there was more than likely a reaction from Larry Brown's heartburn medication.

Boxscore gems and other notes:

1. Will Bynum drove baseline, crossing over defender Gerald Wallace on the left wing, dunking over the anemic Tyson Chandler to thunderous applause.

Notice the James Brown scream at about 10.5 seconds. After this dunk, the Bobcats never closed it within 4 points the rest of that quarter -- promptly being destroyed in the 3rd quarter. The power of one dunk.

2. DJ Augustin had 4 fouls and 3 points in his 16 minutes of play. That's still better than Vladimir Radmanovic's DNP and Stevie Graham's 0 minutes (more like 15 seconds) of play with 0 everything.

3. Flip Murray made his first start and proved his worth by shooting 31% from the field. He's starting to remind me of Kareem Rush out there but without the moxie. Oh yeah, Raja Bell probably sprained his calf again. Shit.

On a lighter note, former Bobcat Jason Richardson needs your input:
Nachos turn out pretty good. Bout to watch a movie what u think Ali or 1 of my fav movies A Knights Tale?
Def. A Knight's Tale, J-Rich. RIP Heath.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bobcats v. Magic: a Giant Failure

Vladimir Radmanovic's 4th quarter heroics not enough to save Bobcats from another humiliating defeat.

Were it not for Ray Felton's enormous outing -- 6-10 from the field, 18 points, 4 assists, a block and a steal -- this game would have been over at half time where the Bobcats were down by 16.

Ray, in his perverse delight, decided to make things interesting by extending a 3rd quarter run into a push for the lead. But Raymond's burden was too much for him to cast aside, this time -- with his teammates throwing themselves into the arms of temerity and caution instead of blindly following their fearless leader Ray.

Boxscore gems and other notes:

1. Gerald Wallace, in his all his past heroics, missed two break away dunks -- one with no one contesting. This, alone, is nothing to be ashamed of. Even the greatest of dunkers and mesosphere hammerers fall asleep at the wheel on occasion. Going up against a couple of 7-footers in the post isn't exactly conducive to dropping sledgehammers on fools.

2. Vladimir Radmanovic proves himself to the fans --
That he's shit.
After the impressive 3rd quarter comeback by the Bobcats, Radmanovic proves himself to be a team chemistry killer with a botched layup, a cheap foul on Marcin Gortat, and a bizarre technical foul -- earned by him throwing the ball in anger for his own apparent pathetic play.

3. Benihanas is the new P.F. Changs.
I'll be honest. I don't know what the hell a Benihanas is, but James Harden, Sean May, and some dude from the Suns' Front Office really like that shit.

On a final note, Jared Dudley's kicking ass and taking names -- playing Modern Warfare Welfare 2:
Just got done with modern welfare game... That game is crazy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bobcats Break: the Official Bobcats Fan Site

Unfortunately for Bobcats fans, we have very little way of fan organization. We're a disparate bunch. We can't even get games regularly televised up here in Raleigh. We're also a hard bunch to pin down.

That's all changed with As a news site, it's completely unreliable and usurped by actual news organizations like ESPN and CBSsports. However, as a portal to the seedy underbelly of the Bobcats' fan base and their collective mind set -- it's pretty fucking accurate.

For example refer to exhibit A: Brittney Cason.
Halftime goes really fast in basketball, too fast for my liking. I hadn’t even made it up to Front Court (bar/restaurant inside the arena) before the game started again, and I was having so much fun I didn’t want to return to my seats. In fact, I never did return to my seats as I made my rounds around the arena. Because the arena is like a playground; every section has its own form of entertainment. There’s even an actual playground for little kids in the upper level.
Summary: Bobcats' fans don't give a fuck about basketball. Bring on the mediocre side acts and overpriced booze. Bobcats' basketball: so god damn boring our fans get more excited by indoor jungle gyms.

Her blog reads like a poor advertisement targeted at soccer moms -- one of the Bobcats' key constituents. At least she doesn't lie about her nonchalant "fan" approach or make hyperbole about the size of the scoreboard like Time Warner Cable Arena's Web site:
The Time Warner Cable Arena scoreboard is the largest scoreboard in any indoor entertainment venue in the country and features the largest video screen in use in any NBA facility. With no fixed images, the scoreboard’s full-screen LED technology allows an unlimited configuration of live and recorded video, scores, animation and graphics.
I guess it's good to know these guys aren't football fans. But, really, who hasn't seen that mammoth scoreboard structure for the Cowboys' new arena?

In closing, Brad, a commenter on Lady Cat dancer Gigi's blog sums up our fan half-glass full optimism:
At least the Bobcats are putting the old Adam Morrison jerseys to good use

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bobcats Lose; Joakim Noah Has Last Laugh

Bulls' Fans Remain Smug, Confident in Meaningless Win

Bobcats lose a nail biter as Bulls win by three late in the 4th. It's pretty telling how pathetic the Bobcats are as a team when they can't close out on the road -- going 0-3 this season on away games.

The Bobcats' loss was accentuated by the overwhelming e-support for the Bulls -- and the antagonistic forces at work attempting to disparage our beloved team. Twitter was aflutter with a flow of comments surrounding last night's unsurprising victory for the Bulls:

"My Bulls beat the Bobcats yesterday O so lovely!!! =)" - Nicki0927

"OMG Joakim Noah.. wtf?" - embizzle

"FUCK U BOBCATS!!! GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!" - kathleenriot95

"bobcats aint nobody bull are nice tho!" - Beezy Da Beast

Boxscore gems and other notes:

1. Gerald Wallace's rebounding numbers are coming back to earth:
“When you can’t make a layup, you’ve got to find some way to help the team,” said Wallace, who came into the game shooting just 30.9 percent.
It's important to note that Crash should have never, ever, been in the mix throughout this season for the rebounding title. It's comforting seeing that he is capable of simply putting up pedestrian starting center numbers on off nights. Welcome back, G-force.

2. Joakim Noah and John Salmons playing together for large stretches of minutes bodes poorly for teams playing against the Bulls.
For whatever reason, as a tandem, Salmons and Noah in the lineup creates a strong positive correlation to more free throw attempts. I'm not watching any Bulls games, but perhaps they simply operate as an effective pick and roll tandem -- or maybe Noah doesn't crowd the lane as much as I think he does, allowing Salmons open space to drive.

Whatever the reason, the Bobcats had 8 fewer free throw attempts -- a clear deciding factor in this game's negative result.

3. DJ Augustin, once again, played like shit.
This honestly shouldn't surprise me. He's still healing up from the mystery ankle sprain. But pumping out Kevin Durant +/- numbers really should be something worrying considering he's supposed to be getting better as a sophomore player.

To finish up, Nazr Mohammed, team sage, imparts these words of advice that the Bobcats should so aptly follow:
"Work hard on your job, you can make a living. Work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune!!"
It's funny because Sean May quoted him before I did -- right after his stripper friend suggested that he should hang out at a strip club to ease his Salt Lake City boredom. Keep up the hard "work", Sean.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Preview: Bobcats at Bulls

-- Expect a loss.

The Bobcats are averaging 69 points a game on the road so far this season. That's only two games, but, fuck, 69 points is abysmal. Time to pray for Raja to have another career shooting night. Former Bobcat Sean May has the right idea:
if u kneel b4 God u ca stand b4 anyone
Augustin is day to day from an ankle sprain -- a sprain so minor that I hadn't even heard about it until today.

The good news is that the Bulls are down a player with Tyrus Thomas sidelined for 4-6 weeks from a fractured forearm. Apparently he broke it while doing a set of pull ups:

'He was doing some type of pull-up or something and kind of injured his arm,'' Del Negro said. ''It's just unfortunate.''

This is remarkably similar to Francisco Garcia's arm injury earlier this season -- where the exercise ball he was lifting weights on burst, leading to him shattering his wrist.

Without Tyrus Thomas, the Bulls will likely play Taj Gibson significantly more minutes -- a probable starter.

What this means is Gerald Wallace will probably have another absurd rebounding outing. Expect double-digit boards and lots of trips to the foul line for Crash.

Raja Bell, Gerald Wallace Wow Home Crowd with Outlier Spectacle Against Hawks

Flip Murray Plays in his First Game of the Season as 'Cats Blow out the Hawks.

I say "outlier" because there's no way in hell Raja Bell goes 9 for 12 on any regular basis -- especially with his injured left wrist. Gerald Wallace, similarly, is playing way above his head by averaging 14.8 rebounds per game through these first five games. That is not to say that I would be shocked to see Gerald Wallace increasing his rebounding rate this year. There's a few reasons for why I could see a trend in him increasing his rebounding rate:

1. Gerald Wallace is playing significantly more minutes.
He's been averaging 41.6 minutes per game (though, one of those games was an overtime game) so far through these first five games. That's a huge contrast to his career average of 28 minutes per game. However, last year, Wallace averaged 7.8 rebounds per game on 37.6 minutes per game -- simplified to 1 rebound every 4.8 minutes in 2008-2009 versus 1 rebound every 2.81 minutes in 2009-2010 (through 5 games). That means he's rebounding 1.71 times as effectively this year. A 10% increase in minutes should not increase production by nearly 100%. Those are true fantasy numbers that should fall whenever Wallace decides to return to this visible plane of existence where mere mortals reside. Demigod status is only fleeting.

2. The Bobcats are shooting poorly through these first five games at a mere 38.4% -- increasing offensive rebounding opportunities for Wallace.
The Bobcats are averaging 13.4 offensive rebounds per game so far this season. That's an average increase of 2.6 offensive rebounds per game since last year -- where 10.8 a game was the mean. A lot of that has to do with the Bobcats shooting much more poorly since last year's 45.5% per game. That difference in 7.1% since last year creates more rebounding opportunities for Wallace. Wallace, himself, has doubled his offensive rebounding output since last year -- 1.6 offensive boards per game versus 3.2 offensive rebounds per game.

3. The Bobcats are playing better defense this year under Larry Brown and, as a result, are forcing their opponents into worse shots.
The improved defense has led to a drop in opponent field goal percentage from last year to this year -- 45.4% (2008-2009) to 42.7% (2009-2010). If their opponents continue to shoot poorly, and the front court outside of Wallace continues to play like grade-school children, expect Wallace's defensive rebounding numbers to continue being absurd.

However, regardless of this enormous 5-game sample Gerald Wallace has displayed, rebounding rate generally doesn't vary that much year to year. Most players remain consistently bad or good at rebounding. forums poster mphill summarizes this phenomenon pretty well:

Rebound rate typically doesn't improve that much, even for a rookie. Look at Dwight, who entered the league as a twig of a 19 year old and bulked up very quickly. His TRB% went up 3% his second season. Okafor's went down .2%. Shaq's went down 2% and stayed very near that mark for his entire 20 year career.

Boxscore gems and other notes:

Flip Murray made his debut tonight and pretty much did what everyone expected of him -- shoot a bunch of 3s and watch as DJ Augustin gets blocked on nearly half of his shots because Augustin's fucking short (4 Blocks Against tonight).

And finally, I'll end tonight's post with a Cartier Martin zen moment:

Sittin at home watching "House". Who watches this stuff?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

S-Jax on the Horizon?

The Bobcats are apparently one of the three prominent suitors vying for Stephen Jackson (the others being Cleveland and Denver). Furthermore, the Bobcats have been shopping Nazr for a long time now -- hoping to offload his contract on some unsuspecting team. Proposed deals could include Diaw, Radmanovic, and Mohammed. No word on any other players from Golden State who may be included in such an offer.

Marc Stein reports over on ESPN's TrueHoop:
[...] What we can confirm, though, is that Charlotte has to be mentioned more prominently on the list of interested suitors. We've briefly noted the Bobcats' interest in a couple of previous entries, but further checking reveals that the Bobs have seriously explored the prospect of trading for Jackson, apparently undaunted by the fact that they weren't mentioned when Jackson announced late in the summer that he wanted to be dealt to Cleveland, New York or one of the three Texas teams.
Not only are the Bobcats potentially rolling the dice on the man who led the league in turnovers per game last year, but they'd have to give away one of their few players with a positive assist-turnover ratio to get the deal off the table.

The Bobcats are already the worst team in the league this season in terms of turning the ball over (tied with the Pacers) and are wading ahead of the pack with a glorious 0.77 assist-turnover ratio. Adding a disgruntled S-Jax, who's made his intentions clear that he only wants to play for New York or a title contender, makes this situation unnecessarily burdensome.
But when his burdensome pack of sins falls from his shoulders, his trials have just begun. - Roger Lundin
Getting rid of our burdensome, cap-hell players Mohammed and Radmanovic won't ease our trials to come. The Bobcats still will have to win their games. The Bobcats have yet to uncover greater productivity from their players. We're still trapped in our own Slough of Despond.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tim Floyd, Mike Bibby's Dad Sighting; SpongeTech Signs on to Bobcats, Better Team Player Than Ajinca

Speaking of Tim Floyd (from the Monday night entry), here he can be seen about to get his head smashed in by an overzealous casino leech. Mike Bibby's dad, Henry Bibby, can be seen here warding off the assailant.

In other news, the Bobcats have signed on with new sponsor SpongeTech Delivery Systems. The Smarter Sponge and her company will be signed on for a three year deal including everything from radio and television advertisements to premium members receiving VIP car washes with SpongeTech products.

James The Aussie, a commenter on Rufus on Fire, writes:
Getting Spongetech on board means that there is someone who sucks more than Johnson attached to the Bobcats.
I couldn't agree with you more, James.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aftermath of the "ugliest game ever"*

"I remember some Nets players that had heart, Kenyon Martin, Drazen Petrovic, Aaron Williams, and more." - altoloman, New Jersey Star-Ledger online comments.

I realized my good fortune the other night while sitting in my living room, rolling the dice on starting Kendall Gill in the 3rd quarter of my NBA Jam: Tournament Edition session. At least as a Charlotte Bobcats fan, we're not haunted by the "hustle" and elusive "heart" stats that other teams' past players seem to have in spades. Having a clean slate, wiped of players such as Gill, Larry Johnson, Mugsy Bogues, and Alonzo Mourning is truly a blessing -- where our current players don't have to live up to the relatively high level of play of former Hornets' players.

As a Bobcats fan, we have no expectations. Our most prolific players are moderate successes, at best. We drafted Adam Morrison and Sean May. We walked out a guy named Tamar Slay for 9-12 minutes a game in 2004-2005 -- a guy who's biggest claim to fames are having dead links on his Wikipedia page and being cut by multiple Italian teams. We have no Kenyon Martin, Drazen Petrovic, nor an Aaron Williams to look back on and say "God damn, they just had that heart."

But, "heart" and "hustle" do have their merits. Perhaps there is a common thread among those three players mentioned in altoloman's comment that explains the origin of these values.

1. Aaron Williams:
HoopsHype writes: "Quite athletic... Works hard... Does all those little things... Rebounds, play D... An useful player... Chiseled body... Developed a decent mid-range shot... His best years are behind him."

What immediately stands out to me is "An useful player" and "Chiseled body." Apparently this guy is a fucking Roman statue -- a modern day Adonis. There's something magical about that, I'd like to think. The grammatical error just makes him that much sexier.

2. Drazen Petrovic:
Michael Jordan sums him up pretty well:
"It was a thrill to play against Drazen. Every time we competed, he competed with an aggressive attitude. He wasn't nervous; he came at me as hard as I came at him. So, we've had some great battles in the past and unfortunately, they were short battles."

They were short battles because Drazen Petrovic is dead -- not simply because Michael Jordan kicked his ass at every encounter.

Fortunately for Drazen, his legacy will live on in NBA Jam Arcade boxes which are rumored to be haunted by his ghost.

"Something weird was going on with the software, and to this day, if you have an original NBA Jam machine every once in a while it will just yell out "Petrovic!" It's wild." - NBA Jam Lead Designer Mark Turmell.

3. Kenyon Martin:
His nickname is "K-Mart." He called Mark Cuban a "faggot motherfucker." I could go on, but really, Kenyon Martin is the definition of a douchebag -- and it's really an interesting turn in this "hustle" and "heart" analysis.

The douchebag mystique is endearing as it, much like an explosive, driving point guard, draws the negative energy (i.e., defense in point guard's case) away from his teammates -- opening up an array of opportunities for them. K-Mart's douchebag persona is the ultimate "x-factor" in this 24-7 sporting news world. Perhaps some would simply see this as meta-gaming, but I see it as "heart."

What ties all three of these players together is their passion and fire, their chiseled biceps, and their filthy speech impediments (Martin stutters, Petrovic was Croatian, Aaron Williams is a statue).

The combined results of these three individual talents creates one, shining contemporary example -- Walter Herrmann.

You know what to do, front office.

*As noted by RealGM Bobcats' Forum Moderator FatLever, referring to the Bobcats' 79-68 win over the New Jersey Nets.

Bobcats v. Nets: a Battle for Mediocrity

Spoiler: Bobcats win after closing out with a 24-0 run to take the lead and game.

It was looking pretty grim for a bit. Thought I'd see a new low (in points) tonight. Were the Charlotte Bobcats regressing to a pre-shot clock era? 1947 Providence Steamrollers sightings -- who went on to earn a 6-42 record. Maybe there was a Fort Wayne Pistons v. Minneapolis Lakers sighting, even.

But that was before the advent of the shot clock. Wasn't too long ago during the lock out years when a true crown prince of mediocrity rose to the occasion.

Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls: April 10, 1999

Thank God Tim Floyd isn't our coach. Then again, maybe we'd get a scoring talent like O.J. Mayo begging to join our team. Toni Kukoc would also be a welcome addition (I'd take him any day over Vladimir Radmanovic and his 0-7 outing). Hell, I'd take Kornel David. Shit, Kornel's only 38, bring him on. He can't be any worse than Stevie Graham.

Maybe, then, we wouldn't have to pine for behemoth, Dennis Rodman-like stat lines from Gerald Wallace night in and night out just to save our pathetic 1-out playoff position hopes.

Boxscore gems and other notes:

1. Vladimir Radmanovic with a stellar night.

First quarter.
Vladimir Radmanovic bad pass
Vladimir Radmanovic shooting foul
Vladimir Radmanovic misses 24-foot three point jumper
Vladimir Radmanovic misses two point shot (layup)
Vladimir Radmanovic misses 24-foot three point jumper
Vladimir Radmanovic misses 10-foot jumper
Vladimir Radmanovic misses 24-foot three point jumper
Vladimir Radmanovic misses two point shot (layup blocked by Bobby Simmons)
Vladimir Radmanovic bad pass
Vladimir Radmanovic personal foul
Vladimir Radmanovic loose ball foul
Vladimir Radmanovic misses 17-foot jumper

I think Larry Brown caught on to his ineptitude -- or maybe he realized his flaws as a player and begged someone, anyone, not to put him in.

2. Gerald Wallace responds to the sluggish start (10 points in the first quarter) by enlisting as a Fantasy Basketball warrior. It's too bad I drafted Troy Murphy over him -- 24 points, 20 rebounds, 4 steals and a block.

3. Larry Brown called a time out in the 4th quarter when Chris Douglas-Roberts tripped over and injured himself (leading to Wallace's fourth steal). Apparently Lawrence Frank is short-sighted enough to blow through all of his team's timeouts with 9 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. This was the second injury during the game for the Nets as Yi Jianlian, similarly, blew his knee out earlier in the night.

4. Some dude on ESPN's conversation/comments section claims the game was fixed 'cause teams don't ever go on 24-0 runs. I'm tempted to agree with him, but, then again, this is the fucking Nets without Devin Harris -- leaving Brook Lopez as the only player on the team with an ounce of ability to create their own shot.