The All-Star Game and subsequent trade mania got Basketbawful and I off our Powerless game, but now we’re back with the crappiest of the crap. Here’s the Eastern Conference, and check out Basketbawful for the West.
1. Miami: Here’s a riddle. What smells like a dead animal wrapped in tin foil and left in the sun for ten days and then crapped on by a warthog, and is black and red all over? The Miami Heat! I know, it’s not a very good riddle. Which is appropriate, since neither are they.
Basketbawful says: The Heat are 2-7 since Shawn Marion showed up, which might actually qualify as the teamâ€™s best stretch of the season. Said Pat Riley: â€œItâ€™s about habits. Itâ€™s about not playing well on a regular basis. Not playing hard becomes a habit. Losing becomes a habit, just like winning does. Weâ€™ve had these problems all year long. They sort of get in your seasonal DNA.â€ In that case, the Heatâ€™s DNA must cry itself softly to sleep at night.
2. New York: Mike Dunleavy makes cracks about them. The Clippers think New York is a joke. That pretty much sums it up, don’t it?
Basketbawful says: The Knicks are currently embroiled in a controversy concerning whether Stephon Marbury – who recently had season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle – has been banned from attending home games. Meanwhile, coach Isiah Thomas has resorted to starting Malik Rose. Need I say more?
3. Charlotte: Sometimes I wonder if the Bobcats’ trainer is actually the guy from “Saw.”
Basketbawful says: Sam Vincent says he is now fully committed to developing Raymond Felton as the teamâ€™s long-term solution at point guard. Translation: The season is official over, NBA Draft Lottery, here we come!
4. Milwaukee: Well, apparently we’re a Bucks blog now, so I guess I can’t make fun of them anymore. Wait, no, yes I can. Here’s the thing. Name me one player on the Bucks that’s absolutely horrible. Redd? Jacks it up, but somebody we know is going to win an MVP for that. Bogut? What, you’ve got valuable big guys just hanging around, do you Orlando? Don’t get us started on VNuv. So basically, these guys are horrendous for no good reason. Oh, hi, Larry. Didn’t see you standing there.
Basketbawful says: I admire their plucky canâ€™t-do attitude. I really do.
5. Chicago: Ding, dong, the afro’s dead. Which old’ afro? The inefficient afro! Ding dong, the ancient afro’s dead! Like the trade, love ditching Wallace’s contract. If only Ben Gordon wasn’t a waste of space this season and Coach WhathisnameohwellIdon’tneedtolearnitanyway would let Ty off the bench. If only.
Basketbawful says: Two words: Larry Hughes.
6. Indiana: When one of your star players didn’t play in the league last year, and another one looks like he should be carrying a fishing pole with his dad? Yeah. Might not be a great sign. If they make it into the playoffs, though, I’ll be rooting for them. As they’re destroyed by the Celtics.
Basketbawful says: According to their team report, the Pacers showed theyâ€™re serious about making the playoffs by signing Flip Murry. That has to be a joke, right?
7. Atlanta: “No, no. That’s okay. No playoffs for us, thanks. Yes, we know we are the most talented team after New Jersey. No, that’s not really our style. We enjoy the cool water of the lake on our skin, the lazy summer days spent basking in the sun and watching reruns of The Hills. All that playoff nonsense sounds like far too much work. “
Basketbawful says: The Hawks have been fighting so hard to become the cocktail wiener that gets served to the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Why?
8. New Jersey: Funny what trading for a plethora of young players and draft picks can do you for you, huh? The Nets seem to be trying again, and have a bright future. If only they could dump Vince. If only.
Basketbawful says: I read a rumor that the Nets have invited Allan Houston to work out for the team this summer. Because they may be interested in signing him. And here I thought the Nets couldnâ€™t get any worse. How silly of me.
9. Washington: Help me, Agent Zero. You’re my only hope.
Basketbawful says: Simple question with a â€œnoâ€ answer: Do the Wizards have any chance of making the playoffs if Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas donâ€™t make it back soon? No.
10. Philadelphia: The future is now. The future is also underwhelming and reliant upon a highly turnover prone shooter, but still. Very now. Now.
Basketbawful says: The Sixers are hot, and Andre Miller is the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Weekâ€¦because apparently LeBron doesnâ€™t qualify for that award anymore. Anyway, here are some weird numbers for you: Philly is 11-1 in the last 12 second games of back-to-backs, while theyâ€™re just 1-11 in the first games. That doesnâ€™t make any sense. And neither does this team.
11. Toronto: Uh-oh. Apparently this team thought the powerless rankings looked pretty cool, because after a torrid run last month, they’ve not only cooled off and started doing things like losing to the Knicks, but they also now have lost Bosh to an injury for a while. Nah, don’t worry, little dinos! That rock that looks like it’s falling out of the sky is no big deal!
Basketbawful says: The Raptors are 26thh in the NBA in rebounding. And Chris Bosh, their leading rebounder, is nursing a knee injury. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger, Danger!
12. Orlando: If the Magic somehow make it out of the second round, they will be America’s team. If they face the Lakers in the Finals, they might as well be God’s team.
Basketbawful says: They have an All-Star frontcourt and a backcourt that couldnâ€™t start for any other team in the league. And maybe not even some NBDL teams. Thatâ€™s a problem.
13. Cleveland: Best. Player. Too bad Ben Wallace will cost them another Finals appearance. Book it.
Basketbawful says: The addition of Ben Wallace, Wally Sczcerbiak, and Delonte West have changed the Cavalierâ€™s winning formula from â€œGive the ball to LeBron and get the hell out of his wayâ€ to â€œGive LeBron the ball, speak a few words of polite encouragement, and then get the hell out of his way.â€
14. Boston: Trying to convince us they’re back to early season 100%. We’re not buying it. Too inconsistent on too many spots on the floor. Pierce and Garnett can’t be everywhere.
Basketbawful says: The Celtics were so first half of the season. But although everybody has jumped out of their bandwagon to jump into the Lakersâ€™ sleeker, sportier bandwagon, the Câ€™s still have the best record in the league. Plus, they were 7-2 in KGâ€™s nine-game absence. Heâ€™s back now and playing as well as ever. So Iâ€™m just saying, donâ€™t forget about these guys.
15. Detroit: Dear Opponents: You won’t know you’re dead till you feel the steel. Love, Sheed.
Basketbawful says: They gave up Flip Murry. What were they thinking?!