J.R. Smith sez, "Press the 'full screen' button."

Poll: will anybody do anything this cool during the Knicks/Heat game tonight?!

A Bow of Performance, or Pierce Gets Weird

Last night, the Celtics/Knicks game on ESPN literally turned the world into a carnival for three hours, and as clowns and trapeze artists descended on a three-family apartment building off the MBTA subway system, I ate some cotton candy stuffed into my face by a carnie, and saw a performance immersed in the most classic drama, the high art lowered onto a basketball court. And with that, I was given a bow of appreciation. What Paul Pierce was delivering when he bowed to the crowd at Madison Square Garden was not necessarily a curtain call, but an acknowledgment of the very transparent nature of professional basketball.
Recently, I attended my first professional basketball game worth giving a fuck about – the Nuggets/Celtics game last Wednesday in Boston – and with it, I had a particularly good seat (thanks, B). I don’t mean to sound bigheaded, but as somebody used to horrible vantage points of professional sporting events, it was interesting to actually see an event from a value practically approximate to where I had been viewing the sport since I was a child - the television set. And through the hundred TV timeouts that ESPN allowed the home crowd to enjoy, I became just slightly more aware of the performativity being exhibited. Just a little.
After likely his best performance of the season last night, Pierce made it apparent through his audacious bow that he was more than willing to admit the clutchness displayed was, as Butler put it, "an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts."1 But whereas Butler referred to the formation of gender identity, Pierce was illustrating that his own common showmanship - his aforementioned "clutchness" to hit a last second shot - signifies nothing more to him than a series of deliberate postures in order to satisfy the television viewer's preconceived notions of Paul Pierce.

So while his initial move wowed the audience at home and shocked the audience at the Garden, the secondary gesture - the one that addressed the very Realness of what they were seeing, and I guess broke through the "fourth wall" of performance - is the one that has pissed everybody off.
The reaction from spectators on Twitter from this arguably audacious move by Pierce is remarkably uniform:
  • “So pierce wanna take a bow in front of the fans at the garden huh? Sum1 tell that turtle to eat a dick.” - iS1NCERE
  • Pierce took a bow @ center court after the game. I wish I was there so I could've threw my cell phone at him. It would be worth it.” - SHANK23
  • “SMH at pierce doing a bow to the NY fans... someone needs to knock his ass to the ground #whatareyoudoing” - KillahKev
But Pierce wasn't being a crampy dick when he bowed to the audience: he was only filling them in on the joke of what he did to begin with. Oh well. Deal with it dog gif.
1 This is from somewhere in the essay “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution.”

Wolves Watch (Losing Against Fast-Paced Teams)

Tonight in this special guest-rendered Wolves Watch, we'll review last night's game between the aforementioned Timberwolves and the struggling Golden State Warriors, and preview tonight's all hip-hop edition against the most awkward team in the league, the Phoenix Suns. But first, a picture of some skulls representing what we're all facing someday: a rivalry between the Suns and the Wolves!

For the first time since the early oughties, the Timberwolves are playing the best out of the three or four pro sports franchises in Minnesota (just kidding, but I'm not looking up the record of the Minnesota Wild either). Despite the team's ghastly 6-19 record, I stand by this statement: the trifecta of Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and Дарко Миличић are the best young front court in the league, and if Ricky Rubio wasn't such a fucking baby, they'd be an awesome team. Actually, even with just Martell Webster and Jonny Flynn coming back, they're incredibly exciting (to think about and not watch)!

Last night was probably the beginning of this dynasty: Webster and Flynn both had their season debuts, and while Flynn performed decently off the bench (a three pointer and four assists in sixteen minutes), Webster showed the kind of play that made him such a valuable role player for the Blazers last season - in 26 minutes, he put up 6-8 shooting and a few free throws for 17 points, five rebounds and unfortunately, five turnovers. And Darko, holy hell, you mammoth you: the Big
Миличић went off for a career high 25 points last night. Other than that? Eh. Corey Brewer and Luke Ridnour sucked. Kevin Love rebounded ball.

Tonight against the slumping Suns (did you know the Suns fell below .500? I had no idea, nobody on their team knows how to dunk so they're never on ESPN), the Wolves will probably lose again, BUT they will definitely not get outmuscled in the post. The Wolves are traveling to balmy Phoenix, where they will face a team faced with a three-game losing streak, and one actual center, the returning and mediocre Robin Lopez. So, this should be fun.

Uninformed Prediction: Phoenix 115, Minnesota 102

The Bleak Index (Episode One)

This series has been in the making since the dawn of Negative Dunkalectics but thanks to a combination of “I CANT I HAVE FINALS!" futility and just general lack of inspiration (obviously waiting for the Sixers to climb out of the Bleak 5.) But I got inspired and so the Bleak Index has finally been realized.

Let me break it down for you. The Bleak Index is a two tiered layer cake of bleak. We'll start with the Week In Bleak, dividing our focus between "The Toxic Team" and "The Putrid Player." Then we'll present the Bleak 5: a list of the five absolute worst organizations in the NBA... and possibly in the world.

Week in Bleak

Toxic Team: Your New Orleans Hornets!

Two things really inspired this kickoff of the Week in Bleak.

First, as I was driving to work yesterday evening thanks to a mix of stunning cold while pumping my gas and the sparse nature of the Pennsylvania countryside my mind began to wander. I started thinking about how utterly depressing it was going to be to have to leave the comfort of my heated American made sedan for the bitter wind and cold of the time just after sunset. I looked at the scenic route of back roads I was driving on and I saw a sparse, barren landscape. Branches moved with gusts of winds and no leaves in sight show how far we've come sine summer and early fall. It was depressing. It was bleak.

Second: the Hornets bleak second quarter against the 76ers this Sunday. Here another blog might give you a Hornets shot chart from the quarter laid out on a basketball court graphic. But representing the Hornet's putrid quarter like that would literally defile the Wells Fargo Center's beautiful court... a court, mind you, that has been no stranger to bad play.

So here's my more pious representation of the shot chart. As usual: O = Shot Made; X = Shot Missed.

That's 1... UNO... UN... ONE field goal made in the entire second quarter!

Consider the fact Chris Paul shot .500 on field goals in the second and you will truly realize how bad the Hornets second quarter was. The guys not named Chris Paul went a fantastic ZERO for NINETEEN.

Now to be fair to the Hornets this was a 12:00 PM start time so maybe they were feeling a little sluggish. But really that is no excuse. This is a professional team with one of the top-two NBA point guards distributing the ball... and the best they can do is to make zero shots in a quarter. They went 0-6 from 10-feet or less including an 0-3 from 3-feet or less. 0-3 from 3-point range. Including Paul's numbers, a staggering 1-10 from 15-19 feet.

Why any cold team would settle for 10 shots from mid-range is beyond me. The mid-range jumper tends to be one of the worst shots in the NBA. It's usually more contested than a 3-pointer and it's usually not going in. And yet this team fell in love with the mid-range shot amidst a terribly cold shooting performance. Now you may be tempted to credit the Sixers with some stout defense...but really this nearly perfect instance of ineptitude was not the result of smothering defense. It was simply poor ball movement and a team of guys settling for bad shots.

The truly sad part of this second quarter is that it will probably not even go down as the worst thing to happen to the Hornets this year. In addition to scuttling on the court that is unmatched currently the Hornets face the perilous and unfortunate situation of having been taken over by the NBA, with financial statements that would make Bernie Madoff feel sorry for them.

The Hornets tried to bounce back Monday against the Miami Heat, and comparatively speaking, that worked out much better for them, as they waited until the fourth quarter to score just nine points. Things are bleak in New Orleans, and frankly I haven't even fully digested how bad the Hornets were against the Sixers. And I've already used the word "bleak" more times than it's ever been used in a blog post. So it's time to move on... but just remember that it was bleak.

Putrid Player
Anyone not named Chris Paul on the New Orleans Hornets. You have been terrible.

Bleak 5
  • L.A. Clippers – Owner Heckles your “STAR”
  • Washington Wizards – John Wall...knee problems. Ouch.
  • Sacramento Kings – Cousins vs. Westphal. Garcia vs. Balls.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers – Even Harden has Dunkface on the Cavs.
  • Detroit Pistons – Rip is going mad.
Honorable Mentions: Half the East, Brandon Roy's Knees, Minnesota.

21st Century Walker

Before maybe ten minutes ago, I had been firmly opposed to the idea of Carmelo Anthony being granted his Christmas wishes to be traded to the surging New York Knicks. But then I thought about it, for exactly ten minutes, and then I came to a conclusion which I love, and that is when I began to write this piece. Carmelo Anthony needs to be traded to the Knicks so he can become a 21st century version of Antoine Walker.

Consider Anthony's career shooting percentages from behind the arc and then make love to it in your brain until you ponder the fundamentals of the D'Antoni system. The Knicks have been rumored to give up Wilson Chandler and possibly the beloved Italian Stallion (what will happen to his budding relationship with Harriet The Spy tart Michelle Trachtenberg?!) in an effort to drag Carmelo into the Greatest Sports City in the World. While Gallinari is definitely not the ridiculous monster that he was painted as in the pre-season, he is still a very serviceable player and is probably having sex with somebody on the CW. And Chandler? Come on. This is easily his best season in his career.

Draped in a giant apple costume, will Mr. Anthony continue to drive to the hoop and make weird jump shots (as he has forever) or will he yield to the greatness of D'Antoni, and shoot a couple more three pointers per game than he has in the past? Ray Felton has completely out of nowhere, and he's just barely a better three point shooter than Carmelo. An increase in shots with his current three point percentage - or even, let's say, one marginally better since he'll stop bitching about being on a Pretty Good team and start caring again - would result in a distinctly Antoinian player. In the tradition/farce of the original, his overall shot percentage will fall a little more. The evolved Carmelo will start taking over games when the Knicks never needed a player like him to. They'll make the playoffs, but seriously, first or second round exit every time.

There are other serious options to consider when pondering over the ability of Carmelo Anthony to succeed or struggle with a team built like the Knicks. A friend and I had a text message conversation yesterday about the other, pre-Antoinian, results of this trade. The most important thing, at least for me, came in a response to my doubt that the team chemistry thats grown through the past few weeks could sustain such an upheaval: "Chemistry can only take a team so far. Talent is what drives the league."

I only had one rebuke for him at the time: "We'll see." After the fact, maybe "Miami Heat's first month" could be another retort. Or "Indiana Pacers" or something. Losing full-blooded Knicks in exchange for Anthony would obviously be detrimental to the Knicks in the short team as far as chemistry goes. But it would be especially harmful in the long term - like when he signs a max extension right after signing instead of in the weird new free agency market of 2011!

When Carmelo does adapt some of the role that Chandler has been performing (like rebounding, primarily, under the Antoinian model), it's to the disadvantage of adorable Landry Fields, whose entire rookie year to this point revolves around this freakish non-positional shit which would end. And seriously? How can you want to hurt Landry?

So, Knicks and Nuggets: pull the cord and let's allow this season to truly Get Weird. In the immediate aftermath, the Nuggets will probably need a tweener forward, maybe somebody who currently resides on their D-League affiliate?

Le dunk de la mort vs В Дунк смерти

In 1999, the Knicks infamously made one of the worst draft picks of all time when they took Frenchman Frederic Weis 15th overall, passing on Ron Artest, James Posey, and Andre Kirilenko among others. Ron Artest was the obvious choice there, as he was a hometown hero from Queensbridge who took St. John's to the Elite 8. But Scott Layden instead gambled on Weis, and in the process, sent the proud franchise on a 10 year run of futility that they are just starting to recover from.

Frederic Weis ended up being the highest ever draft pick to never play an NBA game, and he is now known mostly for Vince Carter's ridiculous dunk over him in the Olympics, "Le dunk de la mort"

For years, this was known as arguably the best in-game dunk of all time. But a new contender may have surfaced a few weeks ago when another property of the Knicks from Europe was posterized in grand fashion. The Russian 7 footer Timofey Mozgov was taking up space in the lane (as is his main function), when rookie of the decade Blake Griffin leaped over him and literally threw the ball into the hoop.

Whether this constituted an actual dunk or was just dunkalectical is up for debate, but it remains the highlight of the year in the NBA so far. Was it more impressive than "Le dunk de la mort"? Lets go to the tale of the tape:

Vince Carter vs Blake Griffin: Vince Carter, one of the more enigmatic superstars, has always seemed to rely more on ability than passion for the game. Back when he had crazy stupid ups and could jump over 7 footers, this made him a fan favorite. Now it just makes him nauseating. Blake Griffin is still in the honeymoon phase where he can seemingly do anything on the court (except make the Clippers a winner), and is as hyped a rookie as there has been since Lebron. Since he hasn't gone to his college graduation on the morning of a game 7, alienated an entire city, lost 12 inches on his vertical leap, and taken more bad shots than Josh Smith down 3-0 in a playoff series, I'll give the edge to Griffin.

Frederic Weis vs Timofey Mozgov: Both are tall white stiffs, but Mozgov has actually contributed more than humiliation to the Knicks. Mozgov reads Russian romance novels before games, while Weis probably reads the novelization of a lesser Godard movie or Gerard Depardeiu's "Green Card" before dominating a 6'7" Walloon in the paint. Weis marked the start of the Knicks decade of disaster while Mozgov will hopefully mark the beginning of their renaissance (ok, Amare probably has more to do with that). Since getting posterized is a source of embarrassment, I'm going to give the advantage in this category to Weis.

The Tiebreaker - Artist Renditions: You can't fuck with this. Case closed.

The Last Rites of O.J. Mayo

If you look at your hands every once in awhile, you’ll see a new line start to form, a crack stretching across your palm, pressing against the other lines and scars, and when you make a fist or fold your thumb in, you’ll wonder how you ever got the hands that you have. I have a burn in the middle of my right hand that I hope eventually will wear down into another line, from an unfortunate kitchen incident months ago involving grabbing a saucepan filled with hot butter. I hope that when O.J. Mayo looks at his hands sitting in a private jet late at night, he can blame himself for what he’s become.

Last winter, I played a lot of NBA 2K10, and found myself trying to trade for O.J. Mayo despite whatever team I had taken in franchise mode. Mayo was a straight combo guard in the video game, and at least he looked like one in real life before Tyreke showed up, and there was major potential between virtual O.J. and real life O.J. This fall, I seriously expected him to bump back from his lesser numbers last year (which, albeit misguidedly, I blamed a lot on Zach Randolph’s arrival and Marc Gasol’s ascension), but he's shown a sick knack for losing all of the fundamentals of his game. In-text scouting report: looks lost. And even if he manages to pull away from all of this bull this season and play his way off the bench (Mayo was pretty awful last night, too), he will have this time to ponder how he let the Winner Of The Summer Of Lebron and The Rookie They Were Weird About Signing outplay him in such a dastardly fashion.

Sometimes I feel like the more elaborate the fantasy here, the more pleasurable it will be. Mayo is able to recover from his second year doldrums and achieve a comeback in his third season. His ball-handling and drive improves as the strong Conley/Mayo backcourt is able to provide a youthful depth that is missing from a lot of other Western Conference contenders: the Spurs are too weird and old; the Suns are all shots; despite strong play from the point, the Jazz and Nuggets are just confusing. Mayo is able to shrug off his slump that may have started last season. The Grizz take on a significantly easier schedule*** as time goes by, they contend for the eighth seed. Except they definitely won't.

If you want to get really depressed about the prospects for Mayo in 2010+, check out this great quote from a Free Darko (I hate you Shoals) "guest lecture" from a few years ago and truly feel the pain:
The question of "flash" also seems irrelevant here; O.J. seems to play the game with a bit more Rucker in him than Rose does, but who pulls off more Pistol Pete dribble moves and wrap-around passes than anyone in the league? Steve Nash, that's who.
A year later, dude was comparing him to Rose some more, and Joe Johnson, and Beasley (oh, Beasley). Maybe the pressure of being a combo player on a team with an emerging point guard got to him (no ball in your hand, no power). Maybe it was deferring to Rudy Gay's Contract. But even with the rock in his mitts, nothing is compared to what O.J. Mayo has on his hands.

* As long as it doesn't have to do with my fantasy league
** Noting the obvious decline and statistical anomaly, I managed to get rid of Mayo and J.J. Hickson in exchange for Blake Griffin and Dorell Wright early on. Griffin is hedging bets but Wright is destroying my FG%.
*** Their schedule is 7th in winning percentage so far this year (.518).

The age-old question: Why was Brad Lohaus a player in the original NBA Jam?

Apologies for the hyperbolic title, but I like to convince myself that at least one other person cares about the same minutia I do. When the subject of NBA Jam comes up, most people want to talk about the catch phrases (He's heating up!) or the fact that you couldn't play as Michael Jordan but could play as Bill (or George) Clinton. With the newest version of the classic arcade game coming out a few weeks ago, I think it's as good a time as any to share my fixation with Brad Lohaus.

The fact is that the 1992-93 Milwaukee Bucks weren't the most memorable NBA team. Outside of the greater Sheboygan area, you didn't find too many people at the arcade dying to take the controls of Blue Edwards. But the question remains....Brad Lohaus? Of the "Original 54" players included in NBA Jam, his lifetime PPG (5.9) was the lowest. The next lowest was Stacey Augmon at 8.0, though the Plastic Man was in the prime of his career in 92-93, averaging 14 PPG. A quick look at the 92-93 Bucks roster also shows that there were several players more worthy of NBA Jam status than Lohaus.

One late night during an extended stretch of joblessness, I decided to do some investigative research and e-mail Mr. Lohaus himself to see if he had any insight. After all, this is a guy who owned a bar with an NBA Jam arcade machine wherein he would play the game as himself and refuse to take on any challengers. He was also once arrested for failing to deliver $2000 worth of fishing rods sold on ebay, but that's neither here nor there.

I found his contact info from some Aerospace company in Iowa he was currently employed at as a Sales Associate and sent the following tactful note:


Hello, I happened to stumble upon your contact information and had a question for you regarding your inclusion in NBA Jam. As a big fan of the game, I've always wondered why they selected you to represent the Bucks. No offense meant, as you were a very solid player, but there were a few Bucks such as Eric Murdock, Frank Brickowski, and Todd Day who had better statistics, and NBA Jam usually included the top 2 players on each team. Do you have any insight into this? Also, did you play the game a lot as yourself? Did you ever break the backboard? Haha.

Thanks, and good luck with your new career.

Much to my surprise, I never got a response. You would think he would at least appreciate that someone remembers his place in video game history, but apparently not. All I'm left with is more questions. Did he pay someone off? Was this his prize for winning a Mortal Kombat tournament? Was there a racial quota to fill? Since I have nothing else to add to this subject other than more baseless speculation, I'll instead give a shout out to probably the most obscure member of "The Original 54", Mike Iuzzolino: a 5'10" Italian-American who played 2 years in the NBA, on one of the worst teams in history, the 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks. He was quickly substituted for Jimmy Jackson once NBA Jam hit the home consoles, and was never heard from again.

But in case Mike is reading this, why were you a player in the original NBA Jam?

What We Wanted to Happen in Cleveland

I’m going to make this brief; like the citizens of Cleveland, I have a lot of resumes to put in. There is an unconscious desire that drives every person’s values and opinions on various matters, a desire that is never expressed (or even thought about) for fear of exposing the subconscious id. Most of you are aware of that, I hope. We should have known what would happen in Cleveland last night. I think we knew all along that it was going to be a complete massacre (figuratively speaking), a dusting of a really bad – mediocre, at best – team by a pretty good playoff team. But what did we want to happen?

I had to go through hundreds of smug Free Darko tweets to get to this one that I thought perfectly described the fervent desires of those watching last night: "I hope Cleveland stays peaceful & won't treat #LeBron James like #Ron Artest @Detroit 6 yrs ago". Except we all did! Everyone in the world wanted a physical, tight game until the fourth quarter, then for a crowd of drunk assholes to nail LeBron in the head with full cups of beer, then for him to react [in some Real fashion] and for everybody to violently storm the court like a ‘50s state high school championship. Instead, the Heat licked their lazy maws and you can probably remember how unwatchable the game was after that. "Reality" returned to Quicken Loans Arena pretty quick with a 4,000-point deficit to make up.

Like me, you probably have friends who are attracted to Premier League soccer and exhibit disgust at the thought of sitting down and watching men throw a ball through a hoop for two hours. The game last night was undoubtedly watched by millions of non-basketball fans, looking forward to an entertainment event similar to The Running Man, just hoping that LeBron would do something unhinged and get swallowed up by the earth as a result. I mean, even the President said it was going to be "brutal"!! But as the reality of that horrible game set in, our desires of primordial violence faded into the darkness. At least the GSW/PHX game was entertaining.

Age and Enforcement

Despite the Miami Heat’s proclivity for appearing on national television this year, I haven’t seen too much of Juwan Howard appearing in uniform. His appearances on the sidelines wearing warm-ups notwithstanding, the elderly Howard has apparently turned into a ghastly anti-Scalabrine after his bodacious foul on the Wizards’ Hilton Armstrong the other night. Howard’s frown remained painted across his face as the encounter escalated. While most of the attention has gone towards Hilton Armstrong’s initial foul (and his semi-humorous explanation after the game), the reckless abandonment of mores – really, the only person acting intentionally during the sequence – was obviously Howard.

A million years ago, when my father was teaching me about the history of the game, ol’ Pops delivered a great assessment of the Celtics’ teams he had grown up watching. There was Havilcek, Jones, Russell… and then there’s the twelfth man who beats the shit out of somebody when Red says to go. It’s a familiar role to veterans past their usefulness. Thusly, that’s the role that Howard has grown into during the waning years of his career. His line of “fouls per 36 minutes” is pretty awesome (at least in foul league terms) since he played with the Mavericks four years ago.

I’ve been wondering about the psychological condition of some of these older, washed up players for awhile. I guess that for some players, the amount of money that they’re getting paid makes up for their diminished roles on whatever squad picks them up for the season. Jerry Stackhouse didn’t give a fuck, for example, about the Heat waiving him to sign Erick Dampier. Howard, denying the Minnesota Timberwolves a chance at his washed up greatness after a trade from the Rockets in the mid-oughts, found probably way less playing time on the Mavericks – in Dallas, he rounded into form as a far overpaid asshole with a penance for enforcement. After a couple other years of playing forgettable professional ball, he found himself on the Blazers, where he was beloved for the first time in years. Quickly he corrected the course and signed with the Heat, bound for seventy wins and a ring...

In comparison, there’s a player like Shaquille O’Neal, whose dominance is felt in a creepy, distant echo from the past, as a backboard bends under his tremendous weight or something. His allegiance is also tied to success. It was widely reported when O’Neal joined the Celtics over the offseason that he was willing to be their twelfth man, their enforcer -- it was actually a duty he was relishing. But his torrent of personality overshadows the work that he does on the court, which is far superior to Howard even as an enforcer, and besides shitty pick-and-roll defense better than any of the other old guys on the Heat. His proclivity for a ridiculous public life informs how aged his game is, and makes it even more transparent. He is a magician.

Since Howard and Shaq were both products of the same era, and bound by comparisons to players from the same era even older than they, they remain unfortunately analogous. But where Howard will very occasionally put up fairly decent numbers with a limited game (like he did in a span last season), Shaq performs in the same fashion he always has. His evolution is stagnant: he has his moments, but he’s never going to beat Andrew Bynum, never mind Pau Gasol. But the numbers or matchups don’t matter – ask Kendrick Perkins who will be starting when he comes back. Ask who the defensive enforcer will be. As Shaq goofs for the camera, Juwan Howard will be on the wicked Heat, doing mean faces on the bench.

The Mike Conley Game b/w Schmucko's shot clock theory

As one of the few defenders of the 5 year, $40 million extension for Mike Conley and an NBA league pass subscriber, it is not uncommon for me to spend an idle Tuesday watching the Memphis Grizzlies. I even once spent $240 for 4th row tickets to see the Grizz live while stopping over in Memphis en route to lose a bunch of money playing Blackjack in Tunica, MS. Imagine my delight when I witnessed the mighty Grizz hand the Lakers their 3rd loss in a row on Tuesday, and Mike Conley having one of the better games of his career, going 10-13 for 28 points and...3 assists. Ok, so maybe he won't be mentioned in any Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams debates anytime soon, but considering one of the freshmen in his class at Ohio State is STILL PLAYING AT OHIO STATE, I'd say there's some tremendous upside potential there.

All of this is unnecessary background for what I call Schmucko's shot clock theory. With about 28 seconds left in the Lakers/Grizz game, the Grizz rebounded a ball with a 2 point lead. A lot of times, the losing team in this situation would foul, hoping to extend the game, and not wanting to risk having little to no time left once they get possession. The Lakers instead decided not to foul because they figured they would play defense and hopefully get the ball back with 3-4 seconds left for a final chance to tie or win the game.

Unfortunately, the Grizz make Andy Reid look like John T. Reed when it comes to clock management. A few weeks ago, they blew a 4 point lead with 3 seconds left to the Phoenix Suns, which included an unintentional made free throw by Rudy Gay. In this case, instead of playing the clock down to a few seconds, the 40 million dollar man drove the lane with 10 seconds left, turned the ball over, and the Lakers had a semi-fast break going to possibly tie or win the game. Fortunately for the Grizz, the ball ended up in Ron Artest's hands and he was blocked by Gay at the buzzer, ensuring that The Mike Conley Game would live on.

Here's how Schmucko's shot clock theory could've easily prevented any of this from happening. Let's say Conley dribbled the ball down to 1 second on the shot clock (5 on the game clock): What is to stop him from then arcing the ball super high in the air (while still aiming for the rim), which would run the remainder of the time off the clock? By the time the ball either hits the rim or goes into the stands for a 24 second violation, the game would be over as the game clock does not stop until the ball hits the ground. I've never seen a team do this but also don't believe there is any rule against it. As long as a shot is attempted, the refs can't rule that there was any funny business (Section II, Article j). Of course, if this was successfully achieved, teams would realize that they'd have to foul early in the shot clock and it'd never happen again. But until then, any NBA player or coach reading this can feel free to be the first and last tester of my theory, and all I ask is that you make a guest post on Negative Dunkalectics if it works. I'm looking at you, Landry Fields.