A Week After The Super Bowl, The NBA Presents...The Sadness Bowl!

If you are a fan of historically bad NBA teams (and who isn't), this evening's matchup between the Cavaliers and Wizards is a wet dream. The Cavs need no introduction, finally breaking a record 26 game losing streak against the Blake Show, while the Wizards have still not won a road game in 25 attempts. To get you ready for this Bad Basketball Bonanza, lets look back at some historically bad regular season NBA matchups throughout history.

January 17th, 2003: Nuggets (9-29) 97, Cavaliers (8-32) 80

In the midst of a tankfest by both teams preparing for what would be a league-changing draft class, the Cavs and Nuggets were disappointed to learn that it wasn't mathematically possible for both teams to lose when they met in January. The Nuggets did their best to get an L by starting Junior Harrington and Vincent Yarborough. But the Cavs had a secret weapon in the form of the great Ricky Davis, who made 3 of his 14 shot attempts, ensuring that the NBA would be relevant in Cleveland for the next 7 years...and never again.

April 24th, 1999: Clippers (8-35) 105, Grizzlies (8-36) 96

The lockout shortened 98-99 season was ugly for most of the NBA, but no 2 teams prayed for a year off more than the Grizzlies and Clippers (Somehow I don't picture Bryant Reeves running two-a-days to stay in shape during the CBA discussions). Their late April match-up was the last time either team won. The Grizz got an inspired performance from former Greatest High School Player Ever Felipe Lopez (he made all 6 of his shot attempts!) but it wasn't enough to outlast the Maurice Taylor lead Clip Joint.

You'll be playing with Bryant Reeves, Cherokee Parks, Tony Massenburg. These names may mean nothing to you now, but they will someday. You'll love it in Vancouver.

January 15th, 1982: Clippers (10-25) 117, Cavaliers (6-29) 108

The Cavs had already fired 2 coaches by the time they entered this contest, with a pre-bad boys Chuck Daly now coaching the team (Bill Laimbeer also suited up for the Cavs). He would also be fired before the end of the season. The Clippers would only win 7 more games, and suffer through a 19 game losing streak at the end of the season (amateur hour these days).

November 24th, 1972: Braves (4-15) 105, 76ers (1-19) 96

One of the record breaking 73 losses the 76ers had during their historically bad 72-73 season came against the Buffalo Braves in Hershey, PA. 10 years before, Wilt Chamberlain posted his 100 point game in the same town in front of a crowd of 4,124, prompting the running joke that thousands more have claimed they were there.

March 15th, 1949: Indianapolis Jets (17-42) 90, Providence Steam Rollers (12-45) 84

One of the final games of the BAA before they absorbed the NBL to become the NBA. These 2 teams were so bad that they were not invited to the NBA party and folded after the season. The Providence Steam Rollers were 46-122 in their 3 years including a record low of 6 wins during the 1947-48 season. The void left by the Steam Rollers absence would eventually be filled by a Rick Pitino lead Final Four appearance by Providence College and a vibrant Noise Music scene.

Enjoy the game!

Inverse All-Stars: Eastern Conference

I deeply apologize to all of our readers about not getting the second half of the Negative Dunkalectics Inverse All-Stars up yesterday, as I had promised, but there were more important things afoot here in the Dunkalectical office... like how some of us were betting on the Cavaliers to beat the Pistons! (Bad call.) So, without further ado, the second half of our now-legendary piece describing the worst players in the league that get too many minutes.


PG Louis Williams (PHI)
Remember over the offseason when Willie Green and Jason Smith were sent to the Hornets? They probably should've thrown Lou Will in there instead of either one of those guys. Williams provides that special kind of off-the-bench 40% field goal percentage punch that can lead you to a smoking hot seventh or eighth seed in the East.

SG Keith Bogans (CHI)
The wily veteran Bogans is the reason that this column ever began. Bogans, considered the illest defensive stopper on the Bulls, is probably the worst starter in the NBA (and he's started every game). I understand why Thibodeau puts him in there - his inability to shoot the ball has led to Derrick Rose assuming more of a scoring role in the back court - but dude, Keith Bogans.

SF Christian Eyenga
When Jamario Moon and Joey Graham didn't work out in the starting small forward position, once-great head coach Byron Scott turned to D-League legend Christian Eyenga (he averaged 12 PPG and 5 RPG in 15 games), and on his fourth game in the league, he was a starter. This is a great story for Eyenga to tell his kids someday, but his work on the court has been disgusting. Best part: since he joined the team in early January, he hasn't known a win in the NBA.

PF Andray Blatche (WAS)
After much better player Antawn Jamison was traded last year, Blatche took advantage of his higher profile in the Wizards organization like a villain in a film noir, his face obstructed by shadow, eyes glistening and a wide, menacing grin visible only behind a giant, increasingly evil spectre. His statline may show a sign of hope for the people of Washington, but it is really more of an indicator of the dark turn the Wizards have taken since Arenas' suspension.

C Joel Anthony (MIA)
I don't know what kind of misfortune we have all led in our lives to have a player like Joel Anthony to karma-fuck us with his existence. Dude sucks in the most miserable way, and its really awkward that the Miami Heat were unable to unload him at the end of last season, because for what he provides (mediocre-to-bad ability in everything), somebody else could do it better.


PF Josh McRoberts (IND)
G/F Stephen Graham (NJ)
SG Manny Harris (CLE)
F/G Sonny Weems (TOR)
PF Jon Brockman (MIL)
PG Jordan Farmar (NJ)

Unlike the Western Conference's team, I don't think this team could beat a healthy Cavaliers team.

Despite How Miserable Detroit is, the Pistons Aren't As Miserable as the Cleveland Cavaliers

A few nights ago, there was a sporting event called the Super Bowl where some unsavory types played football in front of a hundred thousand screaming babies, and a hundred million screaming babies on giant televisions in their reverse-mortgaged homes. In the middle of that groundbreaking game (the results of which have already been forgotten), Chrysler ran a weirdly effective ad alluding to the post-industrial wasteland that their home city has become, starring a distasteful and occasionally remarkable performer past his prime: sort of like Detroit itself.
What made the ad so effective was the combination of the dark atmosphere expressed through the photography, the wincingly familiar musical theme (that rapper’s greatest hit… from almost a decade ago!), and the deliberate attempt at foreignness conveyed through its tagline. Indeed, the suffering of one of America’s finest cities has passed through our hearts in such a small volume that “Imported from Detroit” sounds almost literal. Because whenever we hear about it, Detroit seems like an endless procession of indicators of America’s decline, it is difficult for it to not seem almost foreign, third world, whatever. It is remarkable that a major corporation was willing to admit to this facet of despair in their marketing.
Unlike the city they inhabit, the Pistons of Auburn Hills haven’t entirely collapsed, which makes today’s Grand Announcement regarding their underdog status in a game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers even more perplexing. To a sporting world that probably at most asked, “What the fuck? They’re not THAT bad, are they?” upon reading this in their RSS reader, I must reply: No. They are not that bad.
The Pistons this season are a combination of surly, capable veterans (Rip Hamilton, Tracy McGrady), sprouting tweeners (Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko), and an interesting, but ultimately average center who is played too much (Greg Monroe). This could aptly describe several mediocre teams throughout the league: Indiana, Charlotte, Philadelphia in particular, all of whom are playoff contenders.
But because of last year’s wasteful signings of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, this team’s rotations are crammed into a weird rotational clusterfuck where the highest minute average belongs to Tayshaun Prince (35 MPG), and their normal box score shows eleven players getting between fifteen to thirty minutes per game. Without Gordon and Villanueva, the Pistons would be bottoming out in a form hopefully similar to Detroit itself, but the remaining players would also be getting minutes equivalent to their talent and potential.
On the other hand... the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Unfortunately, even if they lose to the most pathetic team in the history of basketball tonight, they won’t be there yet. The failure of upper management to start trading pieces of this team away (and maybe... fire their horrible coach!) shows that they're unwilling to make the moves that could help bring the Pistons back to relevancy in this league again. Hey, they could look at the industry from which they take their namesake: maybe a stupid ad campaign will do the trick (after they fire everybody and trade everybody)!

Inverse All-Stars: Western Conference

There are just a few true stars in the league, as much as David Stern wants us to consider Roy Hibbert as a star in the same way that Hakeem was once considered a star. The best of the best usually get chosen as All-Star reserves, whereas Yao and Carmelo get voted as starters. Bogus.

With that said, the Negative Dunkalectics team - everybody who you enjoy reading every day, with help from a few other friends - have compiled a list of the Inverse All-Stars: a ghastly team of players who we believe garner far too much playing time, shot opportunities, and whose high profiles are bringing down their teams more than helping them. Today, we're going to start with the Western Conference, and the Eastern players will go tomorrow.


PG Derek Fisher (LAL)
Fisher is the starting point guard for the league's defending champions, but you wouldn't know it considering how little he's used during crunch time against good teams. That he represents an organization based in deliberate and careful arbitration explains the expectation of a lockout next year. I could probably write an article about how his leadership is harming the national image of labor through NBA Finals dickishness, but this sentence will have to suffice for now.

SG O.J. Mayo (MEM)
Memphis is cruising through Mayo's suspension. In particular, Sam Young has been showing up and delivering the best playing of his young (ugh) career. Meanwhile, Grizzlies/Tigers fans have a lot to look forward to when Mayo returns: he's shooting 40% for the year, is supposed to be a combo guard but doesn't pass, and still averages almost 30 minutes a game. But what all of America is wondering is: when will he reveal the awesome energy drink that makes you test positive for steroids!

SF Brian Cardinal
The Mavericks recently downvoted Cardinal in the rotation, but his mark on the team has been made since Caron Butler went down, as Cardinal started several games in order to keep the rotations fluid or something. What Cardinal was adding to the team has yet to be seen, although with Peja "DNP - Broken Back" Stojakovic joining the Mavericks, we probably haven't seen the last of Brian playing more than garbage time. Regardless, his persistence is leading to a D-League player not getting their big shot.

PF Channing Frye
In stretches last season, Channing Frye's performances - particularly his high three point percentage - made Steve Kerr look partially brilliant. But for the most part last year, and almost all of this year, this signing feels like almost the main indicator that everybody on the Suns needs to get traded away and/or burned in a pyre. Frye is averaging five more minutes per game than last year, and his shooting percentage has dived 5% to go along with presumably how teams don't need to double team Amare anymore.

C Robin Lopez (PHX)
The existence of Marcin Gortat has made Robin Lopez, who I guess people hoped for to break out like his brother, completely redundant. Gortat delivers where Lopez doesn't on almost every level, and will eventually take over his job as starting center of this wretchedly mediocre team. After then, maybe he won't make this list, but for now, he does.

Reserves:G/F Rasual Butler (LAC)
PF Kenyon Martin (DEN)
SF Donte Greene (SAC)
PG Jonny Flynn (MIN)
C Samuel Dalembert (SAC)
F/G Wes Johnson (MIN)
SG Corey Brewer (MIN)

All those dudes suck, but despite their ineptitude, a team composed of any or all of these players could still beat the Cavaliers.