The delaying of the inevitable that is freethrowery has just concluded, and the Hornets have lost 92-91 to the Portland Trailblazers. This is not good. We could use a night off.
Last night we got paced by The City, but I quickly pardoned that loss. Sure, the Warriors are a team against which we should usually win, but it's difficult to beat the same team twice in a row, especially when you're on the road for the second contest. We kept it close, despite Baron Davis having one of those games in which he channels the 2002 video game version of himself.
(Speaking of guys playing above their abilities, what's with Zach Randolph? Tonight he put up 31 and 12. It appears as if the 1984 Patrick Ewing is playing as Randolph with the aid of one of those Mission: Impossible II masks. But for this to occur, Randolph would have to have both a time machine and impeccable face recognition software, and he probably has only one of those. Tops. I guess he's just healthy and focused, which is much less fun.)
"I agree. That plot point killed it for me. I'll put up with John Woo's dove imagery all day, but I won't be a pawn as a viewer while he disturbs the narrative flow with a trick as dastardly as someone peeling off his face to reveal that he isn't the character we thought for the past ten minutes."
"Let's not forget, Chris, that Woo has toyed with the audience's expectations like this before. This is the same man who filmed A Better Tomorrow II, despite the fact that his protagonist dies in the first installment. Oh, easy fix. It's his twin brother. Shameless."
"Clearly, Woo's skills have diminished ever since Hard Boiled and The Killer. Yet people still invoke the common description of his style as 'ballet with guns,' and we're supposed to be just as excited about Windtalkers? Why does he deserve a free pass over all the other Hong Kong exports?"
"Do you have the out-of-print Criterion Collection edition of Hard Boiled though?"
"Dude, they're not paying me $12.8 million a year to buy hot tubs and cars. Of course I've got that shit."
"Can I borrow it? It's been a while."
"That all depends, Chris. Jannero tells me you're quite the Max Ophuls collector."
We also kept this Blazers game close, but I'm much more disheartened by it because we appeared to do everything right. Our free throw shooting, which had been hovering around an abysmal 65%, ballooned to 87.5%. We had eight more rebounds than them, despite Chandler getting ejected after two and a half quarters. Byron Scott kept CP3's minutes down with absolutely no drop-off, Bobby Jackson having scored 15 off the bench. And while Paul didn't have the career high in points he had against Golden State, he still played a typically well-rounded game. Peja put up 21, including a clutch jumper and a near miss from way past half-court that could have won the whole shebang. The worst part about the loss? At one juncture we were up 27 points. Oh, that must be the part we didn't get right. I'm going to erase this from my memory. We get a travel day before facing the Clippers, and hopefully CP3 will play a few games of Bourre on the plane and get some rest.
Yao had 35 points, 17 rebounds, and 7 rejections tonight. It's on in a way quite similar to Donkey Kong.
I hate for every paragraph to begin with "What's up with..." but these are confusing times in the NBA. Is it possible that the Hawks are for real? They have a thin roster of dependable guys, but if Joe Johnson and Josh Smith continue to shoot as lights out as they have been (12-20 and 10-16 tonight, respectively), they could win some games in the Southeast.
After watching Wednesday and Thurday's games, I definitely regret my championship prediction. I'm standing behind it--if the Suns can figure out what to do with Jalen, play Amare enough to regain some chemistry, and cut down on turnovers, they're still quite a team. But if you want a consistent team with all the right pieces, look no further than the San Antonio Spurs. Tim Duncan is spinning to the basket, duping double teams, dumping in those little one-handed drop shots off the glass--and he's not even leading the team in points. Popovich is rotating aging players expertly. Hell, even Fabrizio Oberto, a/k/a post-roids Julian Casablancas, is leading the league in field goal percentage. This team is dangerous. I would be surprised if the Hornets could still one win from them.
For prediction purposes, I'm hoping this wasn't on a game night. Wendy's is closed, Steve. Wendy's is closed.
Are you reading Gilby Arenas' blog? It dreams of dragging inferior blogs under its feet and hearing the lamentations of their women. And its dreams are becoming a reality. Want to read about Gilby beating Andray Blatche and James Lang in a game of one-on-two? Want to learn that the boxers' robe he wore before the game last week was originally for dominoes purposes? Want to hear about an ambiguous movement called The Takeover (which he always italicizes)? Want to know about his modeling agency or the Halo team he owns called Final Boss? Gilbert Arenas' blog makes Anna Karenina read like a Dave Barry column.
I haven't addressed my beloved Celtics yet--I've been too busy following the Hornets, a team with an active interest in winning. The good news is that Paul Pierce looks great (except for that little 12 turnover game); the bad news is that nothing else does. Doc is extending the same amount of minutes to the dreadful Kendrick Perkins as he is to Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen's trying to do too much, Al Jefferson had a surprise appendectomy. Everyone's been on Bassy Telfair's jock, but he's still a defensive liability, giving up 44 to Gilby Arenas. The Celtics needed a buzzer beater in overtime to beat the Bobcats, and even then they turned the rock over twenty-five times. (I promise not to use "rock" as a euphemism for basketball anymore. I'm re-reading it, and it's not me.) Two years ago, there was a revolving door of coaches, and no one--Billy King, Isiah--was afraid to pull the trigger. Why is Danny Ainge not willing to fire a man who has such a poor understanding of his own team? I would be shocked if Doc Rivers were still around at the all-star break, and Pierce will be in trade talks until that time too, which is a shame because he does seem to be trying.
Choose your own caption:
a) Usually it's the fans who wear masks to games, Paul.
b) "Good morning, Doc. I attached 10,000 volt sensors to your ballsack. They will shock you to death if you can't explain the term 'small ball' to me in twenty-five words or less. You have ten minutes."
c) That Jigsaw mask looks like homemade papier-mache. That must have taken a long time to make. But you did that while you were watching game tapes. Right, Paul?
Just to prove that it's too early to actually know anything about this league, the Lakers looked terrabull tonight. Remind me to stop praising Mamba until he stops having games where he scores two points in the first three quarters and seventeen in garbage time. L.A. played sloppy ball, and their traps were so lazy and porous that Detroit controlled the entire game--it actually looked like an exhibition at times the way McDyess got second chance points at will and Tayshaun drilled threes effortlessly. Lamar Odom was ejected for throwing his wristbands, which proves my theory: less accessories, less opportunities to get T'd for removing them.
I still think the Nuggets will be a force with which to be reckoned. They only have one win, but their three losses were by a combined six points. Their division games are a piece of cake, and 'Melo looks driven.
A matured 'Melo is even taking Earl Boykins under his wing in practices.
That's all for now. I have to go to sleep. And by sleep, I mean "getting on Facebook and friending guys who will be in the NBA next season." I'm looking at you Tyler Hansbrough.