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!
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.
Anyone not named Chris Paul on the New Orleans Hornets. You have been terrible.
- 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.