Story of The 0-fors


Coming into today the NBA had five teams who had yet to pick up a precious W. Three of them were teams that no one would’ve thought would be in this position. And yes I’m talking about you Golden State, Miami and Washington. The excuses and reasoning have all be there. Golden State has been without the services of Stephen Jackson and have lost nail-biters to everyone they’ve played not named Utah. This is true. Also true: they haven’t won yet. Miami has been without the service of Dwayne Wade leaving them to sputter on Diesel Power and has actually given away games to Indiana, Charlotte and the Suns. Partly true: Steve Nash took that game over and still zero wins. Washington has taken their lumps left and right with only a couple close road games to their names, their Big 3 has struggled which is never good. Joining them in the no-win column entering today were Minnesota and Seattle. Minnesota is not surprising considering what I said in my earlier post. Seattle however may set a record for close losses, they just can’t seem to finish a game to save their lives.

This brings us to Sunday.

Washington shook the monkey off of their back on Sunday with a road win over a talented young Atlanta team. Scratching your head? Scratch no more, the Wiz got some actual production from Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Darius Songalia. Haywood dropped 13 and 12, Stevenson had 11 and Songalia poured in 8. Anytime they can get that from those guys they’ll more than likely get a W. Another reason for the win: they held the Hawks to 39% shooting, including a dismal 3/20 from behind the arc. The main culprit for the Hawks: Joe Johnson. 8/24 shooting, 2/11 from the three point line. Get to the line Joe. Bright spot for the Hawks has to be Marvin Williams. He has definitely shown up and I’m glad he’s on my fantasy team. A major worry for me is the post game for Atlanta. Their post…let it be known I’m saying post and only counting Horford because he’s the only one who got significant time, shot 5 shots and got to the line as many times as Joe Johnson (4 if you’re counting at home). You’ve got a beast…now you’ve got to learn to use him. You do have time Young Hawks.

And then there were 4.

Miami decided enough was enough and beat New York on the road in a super ugly 75-72 victory. Not surprising seeing as how these two teams nearly killed the league with their playoff encounters in the late 90s. I bet Anfernee Hardaway would’ve never thought he’d be back at MSG, starting and playing 36 minutes. For that matter…nobody else really did either. I mean you guys remember the interview with John Thompson right? Udonis Haslem had 16 and 16 in what may have been his best game since the 06 Playoff run. Sure I’m exaggerating a bit…but Udonis wasn’t hitting those shots that he used to hit last year. The Diesel put up 14 and 9, logging 36 minutes as the Heat desperately try and stay afloat until D-Wade can try and save them. He will by the way. New York is a team that desperately needs Zach Randolph to be anywhere near good. Also, when your team is struggling offensively…why would you not play Nate Robinson more than 3 minutes? The one thing he’s going to do is give a spark and shoot. And the thing is the Knicks still had a chance to tie the game at the end. Did Jamal Crawford get the ball? Nope. Stephon took the inbound, dribbled twice, pump faked, pump faked and threw up a terrible three.

That’s your PG Knick fans. Yes you should be throwing up right now.

And then there were 3. Could Seattle make it 2 by upsetting the Pistons?

How about a definitive Hell to the No. But of course the Sonics lost in what is now becoming typical Sonic fashion aka not by a lot. The one thing I really like about this Seattle team is their fight. PJ has gotten them to fight for him, unfortunately it has yet to translate to a win. Their youth has rendered them unable to fully put together 48 minutes of basketball (unlike the Blazers *ahem*). I will put some of the blame on PJ for continuing to trot Earl Watson out there instead of letting Delonte West and Luke Ridnour run the show. They both can make plays, let them do their thing. At least he did it tonight and look waht happened. Seattle battled from down 7 in the 4th to tie the game at 99 with 2:34 left in the game but a Rasheed jumper, Damien Wilkins turnover and Rip jumper sealed it for the Pistons. No win for you Seattle. They keep playing though and Durant keep shooting. Kudos to Jeff Green for having the best game of his pro career (17 and 8).

Seattle, Golden State and Minnesota will all make the breakthough eventually. I’d say the Warriors first, then the Wolves then the Sonics. Why the Sonics last? They’re about to go on a 4-game road trip while Minnesota has a 4-game homestand. Pretty easy math if you ask me.

In other action Sunday:

The Spurs HOUSED the Bucks 113-88. Is it just me or is San Antonio already in cruise control? I mean how are they already in ‘We’re just going to quietly beat the hell out of everyone and stay under the radar’. Ginobli is back in a big way.

The Hornets HOUSED the Sixers 92-73 in a nice road win. One of those games where everyone did something for New Orleans.

The Cavaliers continue to earn my respect with a 103-95 road win over a depleted Clipper team. They work hard, they play as a team and everyone knows their role. That being said they are still a five man team and will be seeing an early exit this year in the playoffs.

And to make the Southwest Division look even better the Rockets pulled one out at Charlotte 85-82. Caught the last couple minutes of that one…Charlotte desperately needs a post presence. They settled for a lot of jumpers late in a game that they controlled until T-Mac took over. I mean the Bobcats didn’t have a field goal for over 3 minutes in the 4th (from the 4:20 mark to the 1:07 mark). Yao Ming pretty much saved the day with a damn fine stat line: 34 points, 8 rebounds, 13/15 FG, 8/8 from the line. Somewhere John Hollinger is in a bathroom with this box score and some lotion.

Quick note since college basketball is starting back up for both the men and women. It’s funny how the word parity is being thrown around heavy when it comes to the men’s game. We saw it in last year’s tournament and we have DEFINITELY seen it early this year with Gardner-Webb and Mercer getting W’s over ranked Kentucky and USC. I think in college basketball, more now than in a long time anyone can beat anyone. It all matters on what happens for 40 minutes and that is what making the earlier months entertaining. Men’s hoops isn’t just about March anymore. On the women’s side, I was watching the plethora of games on ESPN today and I’ve realized that two really good women’s basketball teams will have a really good game. Proof in the Stanford/Rutgers game. Bizarre ending (Google it) but a good exciting game nonetheless. Proof in the WNBA playoffs. The thing is, if you stick a bad women’s team with a good women’s team it will be a blowout. The gap is big there. To me that’s why its always interesting how the women always start out with ranked teams playing each other on TV while Duke will play someone like New Mexico. It’s because zero people will watch a good women’s team beat up on a bad women’s team. And that’s my random soapbox for the day.