Monday, January 4, 2010
Will this reeling group win another game this season? It is likely that they will, but I'm not making any guarantees. Having attended the New Year's Eve shellacking at the hands of the Bulls, I can tell you firsthand that this squad looked completely disinterested in that game. Put it this way: the highlight of the afternoon was me and my cousin Ben plowing through a couple things of Dippin' Dots during the third quarter. Granted, the Dots make for an excellent treat, but you'd like for an NBA team to put forth more of an effort so the majority of the conversation on the ride home does not revolve around words like "ice cream" and phrases like "one cup really wasn't enough."
Rip Hamilton continued his horrid stretch after returning from his strained hammy, making just 2 of 13 shots. All told, in the three games Rip has played since returning, he's converted 13 of 54 from the field. It's awful tough to win any ballgames when somebody is shooting that much and that poorly.
The loss was the Stones' 9th straight, but it gets even sicker when you take a closer look at the streak. Of the nine losses, seven have been double-digit defeats. And the closest one of them all was a 7-point affair in Toronto, a game in which the Pistons still managed to trail by 20 at one point in the 2nd quarter. The feisty bunch of hustlers that clawed their way to a 5-game winning streak and near-.500 record are nowhere to be found. They have now been replaced by a lackadaisical bunch of zombies that loaf through entire quarters and games without breaking a sweat. In the passionless loss to Chicago, Joakim Noah outrebounded the entire Pistons starting frontcourt 21 to 18.
Now John Kuester and the fellas must pack it up and head to Dallas to take on a very angry bunch of Mavericks that were just destroyed in Staples by Kobe and Friends by 35 points. (In an anti-Baron Davis campaign, all 11 Lakers that entered the game shot 50% or better from the field. That even included the thought to be deceased Adam Morrison, who rose from the ashes to knock down all three of his attempts in 12 sparkling garbage time minutes.)
After that probable L in Dallas, putting the Sadness Streak at 10, things get no easier with a back-to-back the next night in San Antonio. And again, they will most likely be facing a very angry bunch of Spurs. Tim Duncan's crew had won five straight before a peculiar loss last night in Toronto, a game in which Tony Parker shot 4 of 9 from the line and Tim Duncan came off the bench for just the second time in his career. (Apparently Mr. Popovich wanted Duncan "fresh" for the 4th quarter. Can you say "over-coaching"?? Duncan made 2 of 6 shots in that final quarter, and used those fresh legs to hit 3 of 7 at the stripe.) With two days off to rest and prepare for the crumbling Pistons, you can give the Spurs that one, and lo and behold, we will probably be looking at an 11-game losing streak.
If you would have told me on the eve of last season that in 15 months the Pistons would be without Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Rasheed Wallace, yet would be with Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins, and that their most reliable player would be a 6'10" Swede named Jonas, and that they would be staring a double-digit losing streak right between the eyes...I would have thrown you in my car and immediately enrolled you in the nearest treatment center for a long round of psychiatric evaluations. But alas, that is precisely where our dribblers from Detroit stand, and in all likelihood, it won't be gettin' any better any time soon.
The Bucks' sharpshooter has missed quite a bit of time these last few years due to various knee ailments and operations. And from the looks of things, it appears he has devoted a great deal of that down time to inhaling DiGiorno's pies and chain-swallowing Little Debbies. In his heyday, Redd was a well-built 6'6" assassin with the ability to get to the rack or blitz you from distance. Now, he's become a blown-up version of Hersey Hawkins that won't step foot in the paint unless there is some kind of appetizer being served under the rim. The Bucks' roster still has Redd checking in at 215 pounds. That's fine, Mike...but would you mind putting your other foot on the scale, too?
You've Got Mail
I've said it once, I'll say it a million times. This is one of the most delightful movies of all-time. What about this movie doesn't work? Tom Hanks throws a perfect game as Joe Fox, the ice-cold businessman with a heart of gold. I enjoyed Hanks' performance so much that if I ever somehow managed to receive an E-mail from 'NY152,' I would consider my life complete. Meg Ryan, in her turn as the cute as a button Kathleen Kelly, dials up the good fastball one last time before her career-ending decision to go under the knife, resulting in a severely deformed set of lips that made her look like some kind of jacked-up cross between Donald Duck and Sam Cassell. Nevertheless, she is as charming as ever in this flick. When her quaint little children's book store, Shop Around the Corner, began to whittle away in the giant shadow of Fox Books, and the longtime customers kept coming in to reminisce with Kathleen about how much the store meant to them over the years...well, let's just say there wasn't a dry eye in the AMC Livonia 20 that winter day in 1998. Myself included.
A Kupple Other Interesting Little Stat Nuggets for your Info-Tainment
Jonas Jerebko has played a total of 208 minutes over the last seven games. In that time, he has totaled one assist. Combine that with eight turnovers committed during this same period, and you're looking at an ungodly .125:1 assist/turnover ratio, putting him in the esteemed company of past Pistons icons such as Gerald Glass and Mr. Rice Pilaf himself, Rodney White. Congratulations, Jonas...keep up the good work. But if it doesn't kill you, try and set up a teammate for a bucket once in a blue moon. It might make you feel good.
(Sidenote: Jerebko has hoisted 65 shots during this span. I dare you to try and go play basketball for the next seven days, shoot the ball 65 times, and collect just one single assist in the process. Not an easy thing to do.)
-A sarcastic High Socks round of applause for Michigan shooting guard Laval Lucas-Perry. LLP has done the improbable in the first two Big Ten games of the season, playing 21 minutes in each contest and failing to register even the slightest mark in the scoring column along the way. 42 minutes played...0 points scored. I know Lucas-Perry is no All-Conference guy or anything like that, but the fact remains he is starting at 2-guard for a Big Ten program, seeing significant minutes in each game, and was once thought to be a future star in the game when he enrolled at Arizona in the fall of 2007. Opening conference play with the infamous Double Goose Egg is not an encouraging sign for Mr. Perry in his ongoing quest to become a consistent contributor to the Big Blue ballclub and to society as a whole.
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