While You Were Sleeping VI: The FreeDarko EVERY GAME PREVIEW
My turn to step forward and soothsay 2008-09, specifically the month of March. Two other orders of business first:
-The book will be in bookstores on 11/11. This much is true. But we're also looking to get it into other places whose shoppers might be receptive to it: Fancy sneaker spots, record stores that carry printed matter, comics stores. If you've got an idea for a place and a contact there, kindly contact us at freedarko at gmail dot com. It's all about the ground game.
-Speaking of books, you've got to buy Drew's Men with Balls. You might be surprised to hear me say this, seeing as Drew makes a lot of masturbation jokes and, as I've told him, masturbation bores me. But this thing is really, really good. I sat down on Saturday and read it cover to cover; it's a really smart book disguised as a silly one about a subject that's so absurd it practically demands this kind of satirical treatment. There's plenty of smut, and outrageousness, and yet lots of it is surprisingly dry.
And now, let the future open up before ye. . .
Mar 01 Detroit@Boston: This ECF rematch is memorable mostly for Coach Curry's experiments with a four-guard line-up and "keep away" offense. Dumars can't decide if he's being mocked or had this in mind all along.
Mar 01 L.A. Lakers@Phoenix: With the Lakers sitting atop the West and Andrew Bynum fully arrived as the Lakers' franchise center, Shaq attempts to kidnap Bynum and reenact Face-Off, but like, for real.
Mar 01 Cleveland@Atlanta: The Hawks hire a Mafia chieftain as a consultant, who informs them that visiting teams always fuck up road games in Miami because of South Beach's allure. The Gold Club re-opens immediately, and a ragged Cavs team sets the all-time single game record for kicked ball violations.
Mar 01 New Orleans@New Jersey: With both teams unbeaten in March, ABC goes prime-time with this one, and is rewarded with the sad sight of Jay-Z begging CP3 to focus group his new joint, The New Come-Up: Retired from the Comeback. Paul refuses politely, as he's busy racking up a triple-double in each half.
Mar 01 Denver@Indiana: The Nuggets, never a team to not say "fuck it," say "fuck it" and annex Marquis Daniels at the start of the first quarter. Jim O'Brien forced to admit to himself that Daniels couldn't ever really hit a three, and thus all that post-Tinsley therapy was a waste.
Mar 01 Houston@Minnesota: Houston's damn good, but have also become one big Achilles heel, what with Ron Ron's unpredictability, T-Mac's lack of ease late in games, and Yao's fragility and more lingering anxiety than ever. So everyone but Shane Battier skips this one to get massages. He already looks like a vibrator.
Mar 01 San Antonio@Portland: With an eye toward the playoffs, Pop continues to research his lawsuit against the Blazers for just being too fucking deep. Richard Clarke is helping, because sometimes Popovich likes to be his stunt double.
Mar 01 Toronto@Dallas: Cuban promotes the hell out of this game as a "Bosh Back Home", with billboards drawn by local fifth-graders.
Mar 01 Utah@Golden State: By this point, Golden State's got Stephen Jackson and Anthony Randolph in the backcourt, with Monta playing point-center and shot blockers Turiaf and Biedrins on the wings. That's the tactic; the strategy is to give opposing coaching staffs heart attacks in the film room.
Mar 02 New Orleans@Philadelphia: If you have a giant schedule hung up in your laundry room, first, you're a total dork. Secondly, you need to get the biggest crayon you can find and circle this baby like a Chick Corea/Anthony Braxton hoedown. By this time, Julian Wright and Thaddeus Young will be partners in a microbrew firm, which makes this game extra-juicy.
Mar 02 Atlanta@Washington: Blatche provides the Hawks their first-ever bulletin board material by saying he's "like a one-man Hawks." Gil thinks fast and orders Dominic Mcguire to remove the bulletin board and all writing utensils (and cooking utensils) from the visitors' locker room. Dominic goes the extra mile and pawns all the AV equipment.
Mar 02 Cleveland@Miami: WADE/JAMES DUEL. Potentially the game of the year, unless Beasley does something like show up in an inflatable alligator costume and demand a banjo at half court. What am I talking about, that would totally trump any meager clash of the titans.
Mar 02 Dallas@Oklahoma City: Welcome to the intra-regional friction of the North-Mid-Central-South, and the newest rivalry the league's counting on.
Mar 02 San Antonio@L.A. Clippers: One of those "big wins" that local fans talk about all season as a turning point, but which is promptly forgotten by the visitors, who are in the middle of one of those really sneaky "won 18 of their last 24" streaks.
Mar 03 Chicago@Charlotte: Tyrus Thomas receives a mysterious phone call the night before from a PAC connected vaguely to the NBAPA. He immediately knows what's up. Ends up with 69 points and 274 rebounds—all on dunks, the both of them—thus forcing Larry Brown to consider retirement in a post-game interview.
Mar 03 Phoenix @Orlando: Shaq tries it again, sidling up to Dwight Howard (inasmuch as the Big Monolith can sidle) and talks about the Soviet experiments in transplanting the head of one sasquatch onto the body of another. Dwight politely tells him to lay off the pre-game Seagram's.
Mar 03 Denver@Detroit: These teams are still absolutely destined to make a big trade. It's too late this season, and both teams can afford to forfeit a game (forfeits are 2008-09's answer to tanking), so they meet up at center court and let Melo and Stuckey pick teams, playground-style.
Mar 03 New Jersey@Milwaukee: This is why I feel bad for Richard Jefferson, and also why he belongs in Milwaukee: He'll drop 40 here, get absolute revenge on a team that traded him for future flexibility, and still the narrative will be "What would you rather have: This guy or a shot at LeBron?"
Mar 03 Golden State@Minnesota: Game starts thirty minutes late, as the teams' respective stars are off getting matching "601" ink and trying to get tickets for Cadillac Don's aunt and cousin.
Mar 03 Toronto@Houston: Skip calls everyone to his side in the locker room, tells them Sam Mitchell is a fucking pig and needs to be stopped. The strategy backfires: Yao doesn't get it, T-Mac's got family in law enforcement, and Artest has to miss a quarter to do his breathing exercises.
Mar 03 Indiana@Sacramento: A truly momentous showdown, ingeniously scheduled to mark the following holidays that fall on 3/3: Fun Facts About Names Day, NEA's Read Across America Day, I Want You to Be Happy Day, National Anthem Day [whose?], and What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day.
Mar 03 Memphis@L.A. Lakers: If this were in Memphis, we'd see Pau defer to Marc, both out of this weird Spanish respect for sibling hosts, and a desire to not look like he left the franchise too high and dry. But since it's all about Staples, look for Pau to end up with a season-high and some serious trash talk to bring to their next conference call with Ma Gasol (that's also some weird Spanish shit).
Mar 04 Milwaukee@Cleveland: This would be where the Bucks show they get along without Mo Williams, or he proves they never should've let him walk. But instead LeBron runs shit and Milwaukee's left wondering "when does our Rust Belt messiah arrive?"
Mar 04 Phoenix@Miami: Shaq sits this one out, and is later seen cold lampin' in Riley's box. Reports later surface that he'd been worried Wade wouldn't hug him before the jump. Amare and Beasley are both assessed technicals when introduced.
Mar 04 Boston@New Jersey: I really hope Darius Miles somehow still ends up with Boston, if only because I'd love to see Sean Williams call him out for, I don't know, no longer being an aimless, hyper-athletic, long project with questionable work ethic. And then seeing exactly how it is that Miles formulates a response to this, game-wise.
Mar 04 Atlanta@New York: Over course of this fairly exhilarating 98-93 Hawks won, thousands of MSG ticket holders will come to the sudden, and terrible, conclusion that it's hard to not accumulate some young talent if you're lousy for years.
Mar 04 Washington@Oklahoma City: The Wizards triumph handily, with Arenas rocking an ultra-exclusive pair of "R.I.P. Sonics" Gil XXXVIIs. He throws them into the stands after the game, and then has to dodge out of the way when they're flung back at his balky knee. Later, DeShawn lights them on fire and leaves them on the doorstep of the capitol.
Mar 04 Golden State@Chicago: This is the night that Derrick Rose gets what we like to call "The Jay Williams Memorial Triple-Double That Simultaneously Lifts and Crashes a City's Spirit Regarding His Rookie Year."
Mar 04 San Antonio@Dallas: Brandon Bass cements his Most Improved Player Award.
Mar 04 Houston@Utah: First Houston was too big against Utah, then they were too small. So now they'll spend all season figuring out if they need to go even smaller or even bigger to do so—tonight we see McGrady at the point, Artest the shooting guard, Scola and Landry, and Yao in the middle.
Mar 04 Indiana@Portland: Jim O'Brien: "Guys, we don't have any big men. They have two. I spent a while in AA, and I know all about unlocking man's darkest impulses. So tonight, we just launch away until it gets to them, the forget Oden, and we set the terms for quarter four."
Mar 04 Memphis@L.A. Clippers: A banged-up Baron overhears Rudy Gay call him "old" beforehand. So he decides to embrace the role of the mentor, and resolves to turn this into Al Thornton's own private Rookie/Sophomore game, instructing Kaman and Camby to clear the lane through the ancient art of tripping.
Mar 05 Dallas@New Orleans: The Hornets' totally nondescript GM of theirs obviously knows what he's doing (aside from failing to insert a "no life-sized meatball races" clause in Posey's contract), so it's either totally awkward or info-control smart that local broadcasters and the PA guy aren't allowed to refer to Brandon Bass (or J.R. Smith) by name.
Mar 05 Portland@Denver: Blazers win handily, despite being instructed by the front office to play the game blindfolded, with ear plugs in, and being absolutely forbidden from talking to their opponents. Thus, the "Squareblazers" era begins in earnest.
Mar 06 Atlanta@Charlotte: Larry Brown is such a dick. Completely unaware of what a historic occasion each and every Hawks/Bobcats game is, he decides to pound away at the post, resulting a jaundiced diet of Okafor's offense, Dudley's impermanent crunch, and Sean May's baker's touch. Gerald Wallace is seen crying at halftime.
Mar 06 New Jersey@Orlando: It's a shame that the Class of 2009 ain't wowing anyone, because how sweet would it be to draft a franchise player and sign one the next summer? Nevertheless, Cleveland fans debate if tanking might not be the best way to ensure James's sticking around.
Mar 06 Miami @Toronto: In a somewhat facetious pre-game ceremony, Colangelo officially hands the title of "Suns East" over to Miami. D'Antoni drowns his sorrow in Shark Week: Behind the Surface.
Mar 06 Cleveland@Boston: They actually show this one on two networks, twice. With a different outcome each time.
Mar 06 Golden State@Detroit: Breaking a little known gag order, the Detroit local channel accidentally shows Sheed and S-Jax on-screen at the same time. They're comparing notes on Christmas tree farms, which are the only safe form of investment left now that gold has been reverse-oxidized by the polar bears' first small arms attacks on mankind.
Mar 06 Milwaukee@Chicago: Milwaukee is a suburb of Chicago, I'm told. Everyone works together, on the way to a perfectly pleasant 94-87 Bucks victory.
Mar 06 Phoenix@Houston: "In all my years in the league, no player has had as profound an influence on me as that Polish Rifle, Eric Piatowski."—Ron Artest in a pre-game interview.
Mar 06 Washington@San Antonio: A riddle for both of these teams: When does "win-win" wander into "lose-lose" territory?
Mar 06 Minnesota@L.A. Lakers: Look, if Al Jefferson can tromp into the Staples Center and go for 20/20 on the dreaded Bynum/Gasol/possibly Odom group, that's a moral victory. I know it's about wins and losses, not individual stats, but sometimes a team has to rally behind whatever outlet it has available.
Mar 06 Denver@Utah: Denver builds beer, Utah rejects it. Which begs the question: Are those Utah fans all dead sober? And is it illegal to play drunk, because you know the Nuggets would, just for once-and-for-all bragging rights?
Mar 07 Detroit@Atlanta: The Detroit kids run with Atlanta till the fourth, when Billups, Sheed, and Rip enter cold and close it all out, 86-79. Curry's asked if he's watched too much baseball, and for the second time this month, is branded a genius.
Mar 07 Miami@Cleveland: When Shawn Marion hits the game-winning three on a last-second fast break, you know you've either just seen one of the best or worst games of the entire decade.
Mar 07 Charlotte@New York: Revenge against Brown would be sweet, but so much else has happened since the, and LB has been so thoroughly discredited, that it's hardly a straightforward proposition. D'Antoni, seeing the emotional importance of this game, decides to cut LB down to size by forcing his Bobcats to score over 100.
Mar 07 Philadelphia@Memphis: Tell me, who here is the skeptic, who the believer? And who among us knows which side to take?
Mar 07 Oklahoma City@New Orleans: NOLA at OKC will make the Thunder feel like shit because, as we know, Oklahoma still carries a torch for Chris Paul and company. Get in line, motherfuckers! Has a few Thunderanians thinking "Wait, this city is partly abandoned, still a mess outside of downtown, a sitting duck for natural disasters, and propped up largely by Girls Gone Wild tourism money. And they are on top of the NBA world," and promptly trying to get porn made legal in their state.
Mar 07 Washington@Dallas: Is it just me, or do the Wizards play more in these later months than any other team? Is it because they kept their schedule light around the time of the election, since either way, that city's going to have some sort of massive reaction? That line's only racist if I'm quoting the Chris Rock joke. I'm just talking pundit traffic.
Mar 07 Golden State@Milwaukee: If the Warriors taught us anything, it's that you could just throw a bunch of hilarious players on one roster, have them do their thing, and be right roughly half the time. So let's see your zaniest, Sessions/Redd/Jefferson/Villanueva/Bogut. With arm bands.
Mar 07 Minnesota@Portland: A few times a season, there will be an entirely logical reason to ask at halftime "wait, who exactly can stop Rudy Fernandez here?"
Mar 07 Indiana@L.A. Clippers: By this time, Roy Hibbert has so many successful restaurant franchises going, the league league proposes a new "Rookie Transitions Award" for the first-year player adjusting best to the pressures of his new life. Critics fear an NHL or college football-like explosion, where there are so many trophies that no one even bothers to pick theirs up at the coat check.
Mar 08 Orlando@Boston: What if Dwight Howard doesn't get any better, but Rashard Lewis does?
Mar 08 Utah@Toronto: The first NBA game ever broadcast in 3D. Big mistake.
Mar 08 Phoenix@San Antonio: I have no idea if San Antonio will make a massacre out of this one, just because they can, or keep it close and seem like even bigger assholes.
Mar 08 New York@New Jersey: Shouldn't there be some sort of salary cap lottery? Just throwing that out there.
Mar 08 Memphis@Houston: By this point, Gerald Green is on the Grizzlies, in some sort of weird amnesty program established by Stern to keep former Dunk Contest champs from completely falling out of the league. Houston wins handily, but pitch a shutout in the highlights department. This prompts an outcry from the press, who lobby Stern for a Fairness Doctrine that insists ESPN, TNT, etc. split this honor 50/50. The Commish, happy to undo this worst curse of Jordan, passes it with David Addington by his side.
Mar 08 Philadelphia@Oklahoma City: Carlisemo is deeply insulted and quickly ejected for stomping and suit-rending when the Sixers test out their twin-PF assault of Spreights + Brand, Durant responds by dropping 50 and winning the game but is careful to say he'd planned to do this all along, and it was in no way a show of support for his fallen coach.
Mar 08 Denver@Sacramento: Melo vs. Martin is a chance to see the league's two best pure scorers go head-to-head. Let's hope they realize this; Anthony might make the mistake of doing enough for the two of them, while Martin might not even grasp the situation until someone reminds him a week later.
Mar 09 New Orleans@Atlanta: The Hawks get so bummed out at the mere sight of Chris Paul that they never have any chance of winning. Paul doesn't even bother to have the wonted "you passed over me" chip going. It would just be too much.
Mar 09 Orlando@Detroit: A warm-up for a playoff series that's come to feel like an annual affair, and one that Detroit will always win no matter what happens in the regular season. Even if the two teams switched uniforms.
Mar 09 Chicago@Miami: Tricky from a promotions standpoint. You've got Rose, who won't exactly be blazing them all year, going up against Beasley, who still can't convince talk radio that he's anything but a combination of Amare, a young Derrick Coleman, Zach Randolph, and Ed McMahon. Then you've also got the resurgent Wade, making a serious bid for MVP, going up against a team hoping to woo him, and one who could kidnap his cousins if they wanted. AWKWARD. Instead, they settle on a nautical theme.
Mar 09 Washington@Minnesota: Blatche guarding Jefferson is like one of those really disjointed Project Runway team-ups. Andray wins by decision when he executes a standing backflip during his post-game interview.
Mar 09 Houston@Denver: You always hear about Denver playing fast, Colorado having no oxygen, and all sorts of reasons why the Nuggets have a natural advantage. It's a funny twist on the whole "black people have DNA on their side," since the Nuggets are really black, but now somehow they've also learned to control the weather (a famous secret military project) in one of America's whitest states. Nevertheless, as little cultural studies sense as it makes, it's why they pull off the 102-90 upset.
Mar 09 L.A. Lakers@Portland: Sometimes, it's okay to cry. Let's face it: Portland will be movin' on up, but the Lakers will expose all that's left for them to learn. So I get it's a positive experience for everyone.
Mar 10 Utah@Indiana: After hitting yet another jumper over Roy Hibbert, Kosta cues the orchestra and eunuch chorus doing his theme song, "Correctly Pronounce My Name".
Mar 10 New York@Milwaukee: Not to get all meta, but this is taking a lot of time and energy and I do it all for you. I'll try the simple answer here: The Bucks can beat the Knicks, easily, 85-73.
Mar 10 Charlotte@San Antonio: Larry Brown enters the arena in a Spurs boxing robe, both as an homage to the style that team plays, and a nod to all the happy times he spent coaching there. But then he doesn't take it off. And he gets a tech, wandering out onto the court, still berobed, to argue on behalf of Matt Bonner.
Mar 10 Dallas@Phoenix: For Nash, this is like running into two ex-girlfriends at the same time.
Mar 10 Oklahoma City@Sacramento: Everyone knows that Durant and Spencer Hawes and blood brothers forever. So when this 2-OT thriller is won by a KD lay-up over the outstretched arm of Hawes—a play very much like the one that forced the first OT—it leads to a long, drawn-out discussion, complete with lots of video online and on SportsCenter, on players who know each other's games too well. Millions of AAU coaches forbid their players from ever speaking to each other again.
Mar 10 Cleveland@L.A. Clippers: I really, really hope by this point, Mike Brown will have realized that LeBron needs to be going coast-to-coast on every possession. This is charitably reported as a "point guard battle" between Bron and Baron.
Mar 11 Utah@Atlanta: It's often forgotten that, while Chris Paul is perfect and would've made the Hawks into instant champions, they could've just as easily drafted Deron Williams. And we've all learned how raw Williams can get, especially when it comes to being neglected at Paul's expense.
Mar 11 Chicago@Orlando: After Dwight Howard fouls out in the third with 65 points, SVG decides that it was now or never for that Make A Wish kid who wanted to see Hedo at center. And thus, the overseas ad campaign of Turkish Magic is born; the exact phrase translates into English something like "Magic Turkish Magic of the Magic, Magic Magic."
Mar 11 Toronto@Philadelphia: I usually get annoyed at the prospect of non-stop post play, but this one's like comfort food. Brand/Dalembert going up against Bosh/O'Neal. Like when your pops has an idea you might want to steal as your own.
Mar 11 New Orleans@Washington: The 2008-09 NBA's answer to drawing a fish in the sand: "Hey, how stoked are you for the big Jamison/West showdown?" Chris Paul arrives late, having testified on the Hill about awesome.
Mar 11 New York@Detroit: The Pistons project footage of the Knicks starting line-up on the Jumobotron prior to tip. The Knicks take great offense, say Detroit of all team should know better, and there are rumors of an all-out ban on eyeballs.
Mar 11 Boston@Miami: Boston media is thrown into utter consternation when Beasley refers to himself repeatedly as "boy" in a pre-game interview.
Mar 11 Memphis@Minnesota: Finally, we get to determine who got the better end of the trade that saved Draft Night 2008. O.J. Mayo, who has established a reputation for almost offensive classiness, tells the press he'd "be honored to follow in Mike Miller's footsteps," though declines to explain exactly where that would land him.
Mar 11 L.A. Lakers@Houston: Many are anticipating a preview of the Western Finals. But instead, all they learn is exactly what happens when the last scene from Dead or Alive—here, starring Artest and Landry—comes true on national television.
Mar 11 Oklahoma City@Denver: Marcus Camby had a passion for alternative energy, but stopped talking about it because of all the "green" jokes. So when Aubrey McClendon proposes this be the NBA's first game with a negative carbon footprint, the Nuggets think it a fitting tribute to Marcus and everyone promises to walk to the game.
Mar 11 Dallas@Portland: Cuban realizes that he's facing yet another long, versatile PF from the Dallas metroplex, and begins lobbying Stern to bring back the territorial draft.
Mar 11 New Jersey@Golden State: Exactly what would a Marcus Wiliams statement game look like? Someone had better tell him that "Anthony Johnson" is a name relevant only to scholars and late-night comedy writers.
Mar 12 L.A. Lakers@San Antonio: Is it possible that these are the smartest teams (including coaches) in the league? I don't mean basketball IQ, I mean Roger Mason, Kobe, Phil, and Pop engaged in a gentleman's debate about civic planning.
Mar 12 Cleveland@Phoenix: An increasingly testy, wise, and presumptuous Nash says LeBron "lacks mental focus and spiritual discipline" on the court and challenges him to check out the ancient art of acupuncture. LeBron can survive a diss when there's a gateway into Asian traditions (and hearts and minds) involved. Shaq gets stood up by Maverick Carter at the Safeway Select Lounge.
Mar 13 Houston@Charlotte: After Brown's reaction to a Rafer Alston's smart, slightly crazy, performance at the point, he's heavily recruited to star in the Finnish remake of A Christmas Carol.
Mar 13 Chicago@Philadelphia: The NBA chooses this game to play up a little-known initiative of the Obama administration: In the spirt of those Nike "cheap seats" commercials, before each game a bunch of fallow corporate tix will be sold at a discount in exchange for an unregistered firearm. There are also plans to scrap that fat guy dancing bullshit and replace it with juvenile offender choreography.
Mar 13 Detroit@Toronto: Watching Maxiell and Amir in action, Moon's suddenly like that home-schooled kid finding a cassingle of 100 Miles and Runnin' in the street.
Mar 13 Orlando@Washington: I'm not really sure if the Wizards are a running team, even if they should be. And Orlando, for all its bigness, has that capacity. Someone needs to step up and start a fire here, and his name is JaVale McGee.
Mar 13 Indiana@Atlanta: This is in no way a slight against Danny Granger's religious background, but skimming that roster, and looking deep into Jim O'Brien's eyes of washed-out brimstone, is there any question this team could become an armed cult and hole up in a bunker by season's end?
Mar 13 Memphis@Boston: Hopefully by this point, we'll have realized that Iavaroni has been stealthfully hiding behind the "he was the defensive mind" meme, and the Grizzlies' offensive plan will be like D'Antoni after a steady diet of fast food and tainted Dilaudid. And that taller the odds, the more fucked up things get. Nothing to lose but that pain of losing, right?
Mar 13 New York@Minnesota: If the Knicks pull it all together and win, but it's in the Target Center against a team no one can name more than one member of, does the New York press get the delight of downplaying this proud moment?
Mar 13 New Orleans@Milwaukee: Some forgotten college combo guard, fresh off the boat from a European stint, puts up 20 for the Bucks and sparks a fantasy league frenzy.
Mar 13 New Jersey@Portland: Portland has too many good, young, cheap players for its own good, and a GM who isn't going to mismanage their talent pool like the Bulls did. And D-Miles case pending, they may or may not have tons of cap space. Compare that to the big plans the Nets may or may not pull off, like moving to a non-existent BK home and maybe signing a big free agent to pair with Devin Harris and what's left of Vince Carter. Who fucking cares if the Nets win this one. Their "right track" is a tightrope by Western standards.
Mar 13 Cleveland@Sacramento: If I were a GM, I would find nothing more frustrating than waking up one day and thinking "Fuck. I've got everyone in place for the future except for a point guard." And then that day play a team whose recent history, and present performance, show just how hard it is to skirt that issue.
Mar 13 Dallas@Golden State: Team officials meet beforehand to go over the tie-breaker rules, and figure out how to ensure the two teams don't meet in the playoffs.
Mar 14 Utah@Miami: The Heat's attempting simultaneously to woo Boozer, re-sign Marion, and keep Beasley from waking up one day on the moon. Luckily, they've got the ultimate smoke-screen, expressed best by the Booze: "We're all the same height, that's financially implausible, and Beasley and I can't even say 'hello' without Wade mediating."
Mar 14 Charlotte@Minnesota: "If I just had that Jefferson guy and Mike Miller, I could beat any team in this league, two-against-five. Unless Allen was out there."—Larry Brown, after another tense Bobcats loss.
Mar 14 New Orleans@Chicago: We all know by now that Chris Paul is kind of a dick, and at this point, Derrick Rose will still be a work-in-progress (even if that mostly means getting the team together). So it's a little surprising when, at halftime of this 20-point rout, Paul pulls Rose aside and says "Let's just go one-on-one a few times here. If you can't do that, you really suck."
Mar 14 San Antonio@Houston: Finally, someone asks the Houston PR people why they're using clips from The Battle in Seattle before the starting line-up introductions. It turns out Artest thought of it.
Mar 14 L.A. Clippers@Denver: Another five-minute ovation for Camby, lead and sustained by the vendors. But between players, the pain is starting to dissipate, giving way to a mixture of cheery distance and competitiveness. That's why Marcus takes AI aside after a 102-90 win and says "the fucking Clippers got a real team here. The fucking Clippers. You got your legacy still left to consider, and Baron's a big fan."
Mar 14 Oklahoma City@Phoenix: The OKC players come back bitching about Bennett's "you're coming to the Sun Belt, baby!" pitch in '08.
Mar 15 Portland@Atlanta: Watching this one, hard not to notice how little athleticism Portland has for a team comprised of promising youngsters. Of course, contrasting any team's athleticism with the Hawks is like trying to determine if your marriage sucks because your wife isn't Ann Margaret.
Mar 15 New York@Cleveland: At some point earlier in the season, the Cavs came to MSG, and a shadowy arm of Dolan's empire distributed free LBJ Knicks jerseys in the stands. He put up 47 in three quarters, and no one knew if that meant the stunt had been a success. This time, LeBron just dishes to J.J. Hickson and Darnell Jackson all day whilst wearing a mask supporting doctor-assisted suicide.
Mar 15 Memphis@Detroit: This is the day many have been waiting for: Curry pulls out all the stops and lets Chiekh Samb do his thing.
Mar 15 Boston@Milwaukee: It was bound to happen some day. Garnett and Bogut are both ejected when tempers flare, after The Pride of Australia demands an apology from KG for something that wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Garnett stamps off, but not before instructing Rondo to "get out there and motherfuck those motherfuckers like a motherfucker." Boston wins, Bogut makes very suspect statement to The Economist about "cultural differences" and "the history of manners." Garnett promises to "Picnic on Hanging Rock that ugly motherfucker" next time.
Mar 15 Miami@Philadelphia: I know I've already typed about both of these teams with much exuberance, but honestly, trying to think forward five months about them is a job best left to the inventors of viruses from outer space.
Mar 15 Indiana@Toronto: Many tears will be shed, and some guy in a faux-Native American tee will win the dance-off with his elegiac moves that capture the moment.
Mar 15 Dallas@L.A. Lakers: This is that game where Kobe scores 70. He's strategic like that: It's at home, against a team that's neither too good nor too bad.
Mar 15 Utah@Orlando: There's a lot of talk before this one, on both sides, about how if we're attacked simulatenously by Iran and Russia, this could be the NBA Finals. When the Jazz wins 84-81, there's a lot of celebrating and pantomimed champagne.
Mar 15 Sacramento@Washington: Before this one, the Kings break up with John Salmons via text message. But it's really awkward, because he might stick around till he finds his own place.
Mar 15 Phoenix@Golden State: This isn't about winning and losing, but about Amare spreading the goggles fad (there's even a Mrs. O-like blog devoted to his newest looks and how you can get down) to a team that already operates like it's either submerged in water or floating off in orbit.
Mar 15 New Jersey@L.A. Clippers: A starting line-up of Devin Harris, Ryan Anderson, Josh Boone, Sean Williams and Yi receives charter school status.
Mar 16 Toronto@Charlotte: At very least, the Moon/Wallace Alabama backroads rivalry deserves a good t-shirt (some imagination here, folks. . . ).
Mar 16 Portland@Memphis: Rudy Gay publicly announces his plan to set an all-time record for YouTube moments in a single game, with this being a prime opportunity. This meme is beginning to anger the Blazers. If only Gay had considered that a possible outcome of his words, which were actually just a bet he made with a member of Haddadi's crew whose English is awful. Incidentally, Haddadi, his handlers, and his friends have all picked up this weird accent that's a combination of Gay's Baltimore background and Warrick's Philly roots.
Mar 16 Houston@New Orleans: I expect the Hornets to be better than they were last season, when, defying all logic, they were consistently near the top of the West. That said, the Rockets are going to be traditionally stacked and have the mystery of last season's streak still guiding them.
Mar 16 San Antonio@Oklahoma City: From Mecca to Medina.
Mar 16 New Jersey@Denver: The Nets, desperate for any kind of publicity, decide to retire Kenyon Martin's number. They also secretly hope it will distract him into poor play.
Mar 17 Sacramento@Atlanta: People need to watch out for the Illuminati-like Seattle Brotherhood that spans teams and team interests. The likes of Hawes and Marvin are going to spend a lot of this game plotting to get released and join the Emerald City Expandineers, a name no one likes.
Mar 17 Orlando@Cleveland: With Z injured, LeBron volunteers to play center, like he did in the Olympics. Good thing the Magic still has Turkgolu starting there, owing to the millions of dollars they're raking in from pay-per-view Turkish broadcasts. Power forward Dwight Howard has a great night.
Mar 17 Boston@Chicago: If you just stare at these two cities listed next to each other, it seems like this could be really important. I guess that's why major markets matter.
Mar 17 Detroit@Dallas: Both cities refer to themselves as "The Big D." A local radio personality proposes they settle this claim with a Pistons vs. Mavericks penis size contest. Everyone figures the level of outrage will hinge on the race of the shock jock; he turns out to be a Vietnamese car-customizing enthusiast and everyone just gets really confused.
Mar 17 Minnesota@San Antonio: This is the game where, inspired by the Spurs, Ryan Gomes finally makes the jump from the Randy Foye, Sebastian Telfair, Corey Brewer, Rashad McCants camp of "wasted youth" to join Big Al in the "growing up" column. McHale has Kevin Love doing play-by-play, to save his mileage for a better time and place, and Craig Smith is like furniture.
Mar 17 Washington@Utah: I really wonder how Gil and Deron feel about each other as players. Does Williams think "I can score, too, but I get that there's such a thing as responsibility and accountability in this world"? Has Arenas ever said "I see him step out sometimes, what's he hiding, is that all he can muster?" Given how sensitive these two are to criticism, I wouldn't be surprised if this one saw Williams getting a career-high in points, and Arenas reprising his famous non-shooting game.
Mar 17 L.A. Clippers@Golden State: It's time to settle the score, or something. Baron excels at using his two big men and masterfully controls the half-court; Clippers win, 91-80. Afterwards, no one can quite decide if this really proves anything, or whether this is a tacit repudiation of his entire time in Oakland. For his part, Davis isn't smiling much in the locker room.
Mar 17 Philadelphia@L.A. Lakers: Every once in a while when these two teams play, Kobe gets visited by the ghost of Wilt, or wonders if he's possessed by Wilt, or following Wilt's path. Then D-Fish runs around with a broom shouting and everything's okay.
Mar 18 Miami@Boston: After this loss Paul Pierce deads all concern by telling Jim Gray that "championships win championships."
Mar 18 Sacramento@Charlotte: Rookie Donte Greene scorches the Bobcats for 25 points, all on threes, when LB refuses to let his team guard that tall a marksman on principle.
Mar 18 Portland@Indiana: A homecoming for Greg Oden, who agrees to sing the national anthem and show off his unicycle training at halftime.
Mar 18 New Jersey@New York: Told by Dolan to use his big mouth to drum up interest in this rivalry, which will be a big deal once the Nets move, Nate Robinson tells a radio station that Brooklyn isn't any more New York than Jersey is. America realizes how isolated (and insulated) Seattle is. Jay leaks 23 Nate Robinson diss tracks and then claims it was just to fire up Devin Harris.
Mar 18 Denver@Memphis: Naomi Wolf, eager to get one last high-profile appearance out of her latest book, does some guest commentary along with Simmons.
Mar 18 Orlando@Milwaukee: Bogut tells the press that Howard needs to "man up" and start playing center again, or else he's no better than that Tim Duncan bloke. SVG keeps Hedo at center, who holds Bogut to single-digit scoring and dunks on him twice—assisted by Howard both times, via the impressive but really, really stupid mid-air hand-off.
Mar 18 Minnesota@New Orleans: Kevin Love is activated for the game, because in the brighter future McHale has planned he'll have to learn to guard David West. Says this selective on-the-job training will continue throughout the season.
Mar 18 Chicago@Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant has spent his first two years in the league proving he's more than just a glorified Rashard Lewis. After Deng outscores and clearly outplays him at both ends, he politely blows off questions from the OKC press about whether he could ever be a Luol Deng-type player. To lighten the mood, they ask him whether his height ever comes in handy around the house or yard, forgetting that Deng is a world-class shrub artist.
Mar 18 Detroit@Houston: A defensive struggle marked by a lot of serious expressions and turnovers on both sides, until McGrady realizes Detroit's only guarding one of his arms.
Mar 18 Philadelphia@Phoenix: The Sixers nearly mutiny after Nash puts on a point guard clinic and Miller, as usual, seems more interest in looking for his own shot. Then Elton Brand explains to the youngsters that Miller once lead the league in assists, which calms things down. He can't decide how he feels about his new nickname, "Encyclopedia Brand," sometimes "Encyclopedia Black."
Mar 18 Washington@L.A. Clippers: By popular demand, this game is forfeited by both teams, and instead turned into a Vegas-style revue, with Baron and Arenas's stand-up routine as the centerpiece. It probably ends up drastically affecting the season's final standings, but for one night, basketball is fun again.
Mar 19 Dallas@Atlanta: Meanwhile, it's gotten really, really weird to play Atlanta at home. They'll frequently dominate from start to finish but still end up with fewer points and the loss.
Mar 19 Portland@Cleveland: Roy is secretly relieved that LeBron decides the play three positions at once and win the game on a self-alley-oop from out of bounds. It allows him to remind people that he's one of the league's premier two-guards.
Mar 19 Golden State@L.A. Lakers: Kobe demands entry into the Warriors locker room before the game, because he's convinced the players are having their brains surgically reconfigured before each game. He's shocked to find nothing more than Monta's pet tortoise making the rounds and a bootleg of Cocksucker Blues playing in rewind. Stephen Jackson explains how hard it is for a young-ish black millionaire with no free time to find a copy, and Kobe admits he's more of a Who guy.
Mar 20 Dallas@Indiana: After this game, everyone on the Mavs is pleasantly surprised to hear that Dirk and Josh Howard are tied for the league lead in scoring. Seems only fitting for an offense that, in the pre-season, Jason Terry described as "We have no half-court sets. There is a base and a method to our madness, but it's all creative madness. It's a little bit of the Princeton offense. A little bit of run and gun. Can you call it the West Coast offense of basketball? I don't know."
Mar 20 Charlotte@Toronto: Not that the Raptors are worried about losing this one, but because Jose Calderon loves fucking with people's heads, he makes sure to get in Augustin and Felton's respective ears about how bad a point guard platoon sucks, how little faith it shows in you, how it's like your girl saying she needs a man on the side, and why the South will rise again.
Mar 20 Miami@New Jersey: Michael Beasley is forced to admit that he'd never heard of New Jersey until just now.
Mar 20 Sacramento@New York: Playing the Knicks will be like eating at one of those places that you really enjoy even though it always makes you puke. And these Kings were born to puke.
Mar 20 L.A. Clippers@Detroit: After a Pistons win, Eric Gordon drunk dials Dumars and asks "if you could've, would you have drafted me? I've got to know, it means a lot to me."
Mar 20 Memphis@New Orleans: I like to think that, while Chris Paul disdains the Grizz for being such a bad team, he'll also be grateful for getting to play against them. Like the Casual Friday of the NBA grind.
Mar 20 Utah@Oklahoma City: Utah covers the spread, which has an exponent next to it.
Mar 20 Minnesota@Houston: With McHale still teasing Randy Wittmann with the team's first-rounder draft pick, the coach decides to get creative. Artest, in the middle of disturbance-free season, is subjected to a starting line-up of McCants, Telfair, Carney, and the inescapable Jefferson and Miller. The three of them start playing dice, jacks, and tiddly-winks at the same time over by the scorer's table, and it works. Artest can't stop staring over there and appears distracted. It's hailed as a success and gets a lot of coverage, even though Houston still wins by 30.
Mar 20 Boston@San Antonio: This game is a lot cooler if you remember that Garnett and Duncan have a history of hating each other. And that Rondo can keep up with Parker. Just picture a giant pinball table that generates saliva and can fill your heart with joy.
Mar 20 Washington@Denver: The City of Denver puts the entire Pepsi Center up on cinder blocks, putting it just out of the range of Arenas's hyperbaric self-improvement. The Wizards pull this one out employing something that can only be described as a "slow fast break," which is like last spring, when Doc Rivers said the Celtics would play "an up-tempo half-court game," which to me said "we don't plan to drag our asses."
Mar 20 Philadelphia@Golden State: At one point, Dalembert ends up guarding Bidrins at the top of the key, where he's absolutely no threat to score from. He has to do it, since Brandan Wright is waiting back on defense at the other end, and Anthony Randolph is pump-faking without the ball. Brand can't stop laughing, but Sammy up and walks off the floor. It's the Situationist version of the Malice at the Palace.
Mar 21 Atlanta@Cleveland: LeBron's in a bad mood, and tells the Hawks that if he got to the Finals by himself, they've got no excuse for not winning a championship, unless he's that much better than all of them combined. No one bothers to argue with him, in part because they feel sorry for him. He carries great sadness this month, like the cookie said.
Mar 21 Indiana@Charlotte: T.J. Ford starts to say some shit to Felton and Augustin, but they're like "Calderon got there already," and Ford's so pissed he's a wreck the whole game.
Mar 21 New York@Orlando: Is it a compliment to D'Antoni's innovative spirit or a flat-out insult that the Magic's starting line-up includes Pietrus, Lee, and Keith Bogans, and a geologically-revived Redick spending some time in the post?
Mar 21 Boston@Memphis: Quixotic rookie Bill Walker has managed to stick with the Celtics and make an impact off the bench, but he's not above demanding a leave of absence after this win to spend a week "just checking out" Memphis. This is where I remind you that he and Beasley went through war together—WAR—and that's where parts of another man's brain end up in yours and set into a motion a transformation that neither of you will ever fully understand.
Mar 21 L.A. Lakers@Chicago: Chicago crowds taunt Kobe with variations on "you're not Jordan," so he breaks out a degree of rank impersonation unseen since his first couple seasons. Finishes things off with a perfect recreation of a certain iconic game-winner, but only after he's decided that Cedric Simmons looks more like Bryon Russell than Roger Powell does. The crowd erupts in applause, and Phil smiles broadly.
Mar 21 Portland@Milwaukee: Martell Webster sees that his best-case is Michael Redd, who himself is trying to take more bad shots.
Mar 21 Washington@Phoenix: Single games never matter that much, except when Nick Young scores at will on Raja Bell.
Mar 22 Miami@Detroit: Odom was traded to Miami before the deadline, but he was hurt at the time, and no one can really remember what it was for, so it only all comes together now. Riley cries with joy, but is also pissed they didn't get rid of Beasley as part of the deal. Stern decides this team is the only way to stop the Warriors.
Mar 22 Houston@San Antonio: Having run out of stupid Texas-themed slogans and songs, the networks choose to keep this one local.
Mar 22 Oklahoma City@Minnesota: If anyone who was in this game ever says subsequently "This is the greatest job in the world. There's not a single day I'm not thankful for being able to play basketball, because I'm truly blessed," you'll know they're lying.
Mar 22 L.A. Clippers@Toronto: This should be a really competitive, varied game, and if it's not, it's a sign that this is a down season.
Mar 22 Cleveland@New Jersey: The single most boring day of press coverage in the history of the NBA. Even worse than those parts of the summer when nothing happens.
Mar 22 Golden State@New Orleans: Chris Paul is such a class act, he just totally ignores what the Warriors have been up to, and plays good, clean basketball with a lot of deft passing and memorable moves to the hoop. James Posey, on the other hand, yells at the ref that "if they're pulling this shit, you'd best be giving me three points for this two and two points for this three, or I'll get my PBA rep out here and set things straight." That's when everyone finds out he's simultaneously under contract to the Philippine Basketball Association, which gets him banned for the rest of the year.
Mar 22 Philadelphia@Sacramento: All the Kings are excited about visiting the place where things got started for John Salmons, even though he's no longer with them.
Mar 23 Minnesota@Atlanta: McHale makes the big mistake of letting Love play in this one, since he'd getting antsy and has started learning Latvian to use in his commentary. He inadvertently introduces the outlet pass to the Hawks, which automatically turns them into an unstoppable juggernaut.
Mar 23 Chicago@Washington: It's cool that the Bulls had a young nucleus, failed to sell high on it, re-signed a lot of it for too much, and now have another one bubbling up from other that similarly doesn't fit together well and, with the slightest bit of showcasing, could fetch a price on trade market. People like symmetry, repetition, and getting rich off of eBay.
Mar 23 L.A. Clippers@Boston: Baron Davis and Rajon Rondo both get triple-doubles, but in such remarkably different ways you wonder what "triple-double machine" really tells you about a player. The same way I have no idea if "serial monogomist" is an insult, compliment, or matter of fact.
Mar 23 Memphis@Miami: Erik Spoelstra's role on this new Heat team is positively referred to as "artificial sweetener."
Mar 23 Orlando@New York: D'Antoni puts in Steph, Randolph, and Curry for the first time in months, then goes over the Magic bench to talk with SVG about the Hedo experiment. They work out an abstract for how it's like and not like Diaw in the middle, for the inaugural gathering of the think tank D'Antoni's starting with all his Pizza Hut endorsement money.
Mar 23 Denver@Phoenix: Barbosa informercial.
Mar 23 Philadelphia@Portland: Elton Brand finishes with 32 points, 18 rebounds, and cannot be stopped by the vaunted Portland big men. Afterward, he politely explains that that's why the young still have a thing or two to learn from the older set. Reporters have trouble figuring out if Willie Green, who chipped in 16, is 35 or 20, thus delaying all crafting of headlines by roughly two hours.
Mar 24 Detroit@Chicago: Only Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden would spend half this game woofing about when they were on the big stage against the Pistons, and shut 'em down easily. After the Pistons win by 20, the usually-restrained Rip mails autographed LBJ posters to their hotel rooms.
Mar 24 L.A. Lakers@Oklahoma City: Look, we're all made semi-sick by the idea of the Thunder, but that's where Durant is, and he's on his way—a saga made all the better by this extended bump in the road. So in the most primal fashion, seeing him and Kobe going all out against each other's respective stat lines will feel important. I expect about 12 OKC games like this for all of 2008-09.
Mar 24 Golden State@San Antonio: After receiving a warning from Stern's office, Nellie decides to take on the ultimate challenge, which would be something to the effect of playing it straight against the Spurs. They lose by 12, but Wright does a fantastic job on and against Duncan, probably his best game of the season. New vistas open up, and also a trade bait messiah is born.
Mar 24 Houston@Utah: This is the game where Houston finally figures out not only that they're better than Utah, but the formula for showing it. Just more business to take care of on the road to the playoffs. . . I mean, the first round.
Mar 25 San Antonio@Atlanta: Hawks beat Spurs. For the first time ever. Amazing that the Hawks had no first-rounder in 2008, and yet were totally transfigured by a chance encounter with one of its top prospects. Incidentally, the "Highlight Factory" video is now all outlet passes. We do a Style Guide for each Hawks's outlet pass. Michael Vick offers the players some tips on deep, deep background.
Mar 25 New Jersey@Cleveland: In a game many fear will be marred by mob violence, Chris Douglas-Roberts lights up the Cavs, with his 30 points leading the Nets to victory. Cavs fan wonder why they didn't draft him.
Mar 25 Miami@Indiana: Millions of Jayhawks descend upon Indy to witness the eagerly-awaited Chalmers/Rush clash.
Mar 25 Minnesota@Philadelphia: Rashad McCants sets the NBA record for threes in a single game, with Madsen offering him advice on the sidelines.
Mar 25 Milwaukee@Toronto: Jermaine O'Neal, whose solid comeback year has once again emboldened him to speak, calls Bogut a "disrespectful punk who the league could do without." Bosh giggles soulfully. Bogut issues a press release citing the number of All-Star votes he received in O'Neal's district and goes on to call him "the Sharp James of frightened big men." Lynch mob jokes abound locker rooms around the league, Bogut hires some of his old pals, now Blackwater Select, to watch his back.
Mar 25 Charlotte@Washington: The Wizards have never been able to stop Gerald Wallace, except for now, when Larry Brown's yoke and the lingering anxiety over his concussion have made it months since he's looked like himself. After the game, him and DeShawn go and sit by the railroad tracks, throwing bottles at the trains, and wondering how things got this way.
Mar 25 L.A. Clippers@New York: The Clippers claim they've officially passed the torch.
Mar 25 Denver@New Orleans: J.R. Smith drops 67 on his former team, and then demands a trade back there.
Mar 25 Boston@Orlando: The game that answers it once and for all: Was Courtney Lee a better choice than J.R. Giddens?
Mar 25 Golden State@Dallas: Kidd leads the Mavericks to victory with a triple-double, while five players on Golden State come up with a truly mind-bending 4/4/4/4/4/4.
Mar 25 Utah@Phoenix: This is a pretty good day for pick-and-roll enthusiasts.
Mar 26 L.A. Lakers@Detroit: Bynum just keeps getting better. Orders a milkshake at halftime and no one even notices.
Mar 26 Miami@Chicago: Beasley remembers that the Bulls passed over him, so he decides to prove them right by having his worst game of the season. Note, I said decides. He talks about it afterwards in the locker room, and the next day, Paxson realizes he's been played.
Mar 26 Phoenix@Portland: Jerryd Bayless watches Barbosa go on a tear during the first quarter, and then, when he enters in the second, suddenly finds himself and for the first time looks like that guy we saw in the summer league. Which pisses off McMillian, since Bayless had made major steps toward becoming a point guard. He decides that Barbosa gets a free pass because he's foreign and kind, while no one's giving medals to Jamal Crawford.
Mar 27 Milwaukee@Orlando: At one point, a Howard dunk sends a ripple through the roof of the Bradley Center. It's then that the truth comes out: Those Shaq-proof goals actually just distribute the force of the dunk over the entire structure. So in theory, a strong enough slam could destroy the entire arena.
Mar 27 Charlotte@Philadelphia: In tribute to Larry Brown's time there, thousands of fans turn out dressed up as a cross between the grim reaper and Steve Winwood.
Mar 27 Oklahoma City@Toronto: The mark of a bad team? When the star grabs every headline, or the press goes out of its way to make it a family affair. Here, Russell Westbrook for once steals the show, and scribes think this marks a major step forward.
Mar 27 Boston@Atlanta: Really, what did you expect? The Celtics frighten Atlanta—the whole city—with their resolve to not lose this one. The stands and streets are empty. But in what's perhaps the toughest test of their new philosophy, Smith chooses to engage Garnett in what resembles a volleyball match to the death, which ends with a Horford tip-in for the win. The few fans in attendance swear they can see KG's skull giving off radiation, rendering his skin almost transparent.
Mar 27 Minnesota@Cleveland: LeBron is again stung with melancholy. Another year, another high seed. Good thing Mo Williams always keeps the string cheese in stock.
Mar 27 L.A. Lakers@New Jersey: Pau Gasol gets in trouble by saying before the game that he wouldn't want his team to acquire a single member of the Nets. No one can quite figure out what the actual question was.
Mar 27 New Orleans@New York: Marbury tries to compare himself to Chris Paul, but Wilson Chandler punches him in the face mid-sentence.
Mar 27 Denver@Dallas: Somehow, Denver is better than they were last year with Camby, and are looking sort of dangerous in the playoffs—not like the "most likely to collapse." Oh wait, we say that every year.
Mar 27 L.A. Clippers@San Antonio: Camby talks Kaman into getting matching airbrushed "Twin Towers 2" leather jackets, but Kaman wants muscle tees. They end up rolling up on SBC Center wearing both. Duncan, far from being insulted, compliments them profusely.
Mar 27 Memphis@Sacramento: Reggie Theus finally tells Spencer Hawes that electricity doesn't come from trees.
Mar 28 Indiana@Chicago: I obviously don't understand sports, because why wouldn't these two team conspire beforehand to do something, anything, to save this game from utter doldrums? It's not like either's record will matter.
Mar 28 New York@Charlotte: D'Antoni laments to the press how much he would've loved to have matched up with a vintage Larry Brown team, coached by the real Brown, when he himself had a real D'Antoni team to really put his philosophy to the test. When asked about this quote, Brown remarks that "I'm already dead."
Mar 28 Detroit@Washington: Detroit needs to win this, while Washington is kind of preoccupied with the Pop-O-Matic bubble, part of the old-ass "Trouble" board game Arenas brought to work.
Mar 28 Milwaukee@Miami: Villanueva beholds Lamar Odom and suddenly remembers what he was supposed to become. But then he gets mixed up about whether that was what Odom was supposed to become, or what Odom was at the time that people were projecting CV's future.
Mar 28 L.A. Clippers@Houston: Those Clippers, they just keep playing other teams.
Mar 28 Golden State@Denver: Kleiza breaks McCants's record, which he thought was held by J.R. Smith.
Mar 28 Phoenix@Utah: This same game happened five days ago. Who does this scheduling!??!!?
Mar 28 Memphis@Portland: Portland looks on Memphis like the fuck-up younger brother they never had, but resent nonetheless.
Mar 29 Dallas@Cleveland: Somehow, the name "Reggie Miller" gets said more during the telecast of this game than any other in 2008-09.
Mar 29 L.A. Lakers@Atlanta: Kobe has said that, after the Warriors, the Hawks are doing more to change basketball than any other team in the league. Him and Bynum are so formidable at this point, they can get away with that. Horford and Gasol get in some weird Spanish-speaking peoples beef that neither one of them quite understands, owing to differences in dialect.
Mar 29 New Jersey@Minnesota: FREE TICKETS FOR EVERYONE READING THIS!
Mar 29 Chicago@Toronto: Del Negro says that Rose might actually be a shooting guard.
Mar 29 Philadelphia@Detroit: Instead of hearing all the usual crap about "blue collar fans" and "blue collar teams," some remarkably honest broadcaster casts this showdown in terms of severe urban depression and hopeless futures for thousands of residents. The sideline reporting is kind of awkward.
Mar 29 Oklahoma City@Boston: Celtics fans show up, roar, taunt, and prove why they're the best in the world.
Mar 29 Washington@Indiana: I really, really hope Maceo Boston is still on the Pacers at this point.
Mar 29 San Antonio@New Orleans: Roger Mason, Jr. wins it for the Spurs, and for once the Hornets really miss Pargo.
Mar 29 Phoenix@Sacramento: Shaq tries the "Queens" joke again, forgetting this his new team has at least two members on the down low.
Mar 30 Orlando @Miami: A real chess match, if there were a two-ton Frankenstein wandering around the board smashing things.
Mar 30 Milwaukee@New Jersey: Yi shows them what he's got.
Mar 30 New York@Utah: D'Antoni's point guard envy reaches new heights. He never thought it would be Deron.
Mar 30 Memphis@Golden State: Cancelled due to domestic terrorism.
Mar 31 L.A. Lakers@Charlotte: Larry Brown retires, citing a need to protect his family from a windmill.
Mar 31 Detroit@Cleveland: LeBron has one of those games you hope he continues to have until early summer. But then you wonder if he's not just always saving his energies, and is really a big fraud.
Mar 31 Chicago@Indiana: No.
Mar 31 Atlanta@Philadelphia: Yes.
Mar 31 Dallas@Minnesota: How funny would it be if, after Golden State's 2006-07 upset, teams made a point of trying to be the thorn in Dallas's side? No matter how crappy they were otherwise.
Mar 31 Oklahoma City@San Antonio: God isn't watching, but Pixar sure as hell is.
Mar 31 New York@Denver: Nate Robinson asks for Melo's autograph. He's a father now.
Mar 31 Utah@Portland: It is impossible to figure out if these two teams are soft or kind of rugged. It's not "both," there's clearly some tendency there one way or the other. This contest should at least sort that out a little.
Mar 31 New Orleans@Sacramento: Tyson Chandler is really getting sick of Spencer Hawes. Especially that corny Fiat he always races in after hours. So he hires some locals to fill the gas tank with Silly Putty, and then offers to buy him a serial killer van to replace it.