Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
This week, East stars are hurting, Deron drops buckets, and the Western Conference playoffs begin to shuffle.
Remember how your mother always used to tell you that every once in a while, you'll just have "one of those weeks?" This week was one of the weeks for me. It's probably terrible writing to start out with a list, but this isn't for a grade, so here's a short recap of everything that happened to me this past week.
- Psychotic ex-girlfriend rediscovered my phone number
- Grown man violated a mattress in front of me
- Had to get Austin Daye to autograph a basketball
- Verbally assaulted by a hillbilly couple
- Got the "you should do radio" 'compliment' after a stand-up set
- Boss burped on my neck
When you have a week like this, there really is only one thing you can do to help lift your spirits: purchase a new suit! For those of you who don't know me, I'm a real Stinsonian, constantly in a suit, and if you don't own a nice suit, I strongly encourage you get one. In a perfect world, we'd always all be suited up. Obviously it wasn't all bad though. I caught a pretty girl checking me out, got to see The Three Amigos do the 'Amigo Salute,' and of course, the Grizzlies kept on winning. Memphis went 3-0 on the week, winning by an average of nine points a game, and doing it all without their All-Star power forward. For a New York minute, the Grizzlies even held on to 3rd place in the Western Conference by percentage points over the Clippers. With the most intimidating road trip of the season coming up, the wins and confidence are more important than ever. Here's a look at what you may have missed while you were grinding.
The Spurs suffered their first loss since Tony Parker went down, and in embarrassing fashion. They gave up 79 points in the second half, and 46 in the fourth quarter, to a Blazers team that had been struggling mightily, en route to losing 136-106. A sign of things to come in San Antonio? Doubtful, but we can certainly dream. Dallas picked up two wins this week, over Houston and Detroit, as they attempt to claw their way back into the playoff picture. Houston was only 1-2 on the week, but they did pick up a nice win over Golden State as they attempt to jump an extra spot in the Western Conference standings. The Hornets blew a 25 point lead to the Lakers, lost Austin Rivers for the season, and got that much closer to starting over next year.
The Rest of the West
National media would love for us to start with the Lakers right here; Denver is doing great though, as they continue to take advantage of a home heavy second half and rack up wins. They were 4-0 on the week, averaging 110 points per game, and have won nine of their last ten games. Oklahoma City is on an equally impressive tear, also going 4-0 on the week, including victories over both teams from LA and the Celtics. Minnesota continues to struggle despite getting really solid play from Derrick Williams, who is averaging 19/9 over his last seven games. To this point in his career, he'd been labeled pretty much a bust, but if he can finally turn the corner into an above average player, that will go a long way towards helping that franchise contend next year, you know, if they can stay healthy and Kevin Love doesn't go all Dwight on them. Golden State and Utah are doing everything in
David Stern's their power to help the Lakers get back into the playoff picture. LA has currently overtaken Utah for the final spot. Thanks to Kobe recently finding the fountain of youth (or possibly HGH, but we won't know until next year) and improved play from Dwight Howard, they are finally starting to look like the team ESPN publicly had orgasms over before the season started, and if they can play on the road the way they've been playing at home (which remains to be seen) then they can make some serious noise before the season ends. Meanwhile, in Phoenix (That's in Arizona) Hamed Haddadi lives! The big fella logged 28 solid minutes in a win over Houston this week, going for 6 points and 11 boards, good enough for a +15 on the night. It would appear that he has more to offer the NBA than just six fouls a night and the uncanny ability to soak up a barrage of Lionel Hollins' swear words. Really happy for him, and 78 games a year, I wish him the best of luck.
Deron Williams had a heck of a week, but I've never really cared for him, and he got a Hall of Fame coach and Avery Johnson fired, so we'll come back to him. I would be remiss if we didn't start this off with Mr. Thug Life himself, JR Smith. The Knicks, who just lost Amar'e Stoudemire for six weeks, took on Oklahoma City at home this week, without leading scorer and really Hollywood husband Carmelo Anthony. Someone on the Knicks would have to step up if they were going to beat OKC. That someone was JR Smith. The only problem is, Mr. Smith doesn't know the difference between a bad shot and a good one, and if I'm being honest, he doesn't know the difference between a no good, very bad, terrible idea, don't-shoot-dear-God-I'm-begging-you-don't shoot shot and a good one. He went for 36 on the night, but needed 29 shots to get there, including a failed "Boy...that didn't go like I thought it would" game winning attempt that missed, badly. It could have been a huge win for New York, but instead it turned out to be just another close call. Tough break for a team that still isn't sure when it's best player will return, and again they lost Amar'e for what is essentially the rest of the season. He's not the only big name player hurting though, as word from Cleveland comes that they are considering shutting down Kyrie Irving for the rest of the season. Really a shame if it happens, but it would be for the best, especially considering he left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury, since they aren't going anywhere this season anyways. Another thing not going anywhere? Miami's win streak. For the last week or so, their matchup with Indiana, the team that's already beaten them twice this season and gave them a serious run in the postseason last year, was hyped like a star studded summer blockbuster. The Heat responded by routing them, winning by 14 in a game that wasn't really close after the second quarter. It was a let down for the Pacers, and a testament to just how dominate Miami looks at the moment. The loss dropped Indiana backed to the 3rd seed, where, if the season ended today, they'd be facing a Boston team that has already taken two games from them this season. The Celtics lost Sunday, but continue to fight every night, and have made a huge climb in the standings since Rondo went down. As it stands now, they are the 6th seed, but they are only 2.5 games out of the 4th spots, and I'm sure they have their sites set on climbing as high as possible. They may have a tough time catching the Nets however, as Deron Williams has recently gotten hot, averaging 23 points per game since the All-Star Break. Williams exploded for eleven 3's on Friday night, including a record nine in the first half! It's amazing what talent can accomplish when the person with it stops pouting and just goes to work.
I'd like to shift gears here and wrap up this weeks Eastern Conference recap on a serious note as we honor the recently departed Brandon Knight. For those of you who might have missed it, Brandon's life was tragically ended last night when he was steamrolled by DeAndre Jordan in last night's
pathetic attempt to compete loss to the Clippers and died of embarrassment shortly thereafter. Of course I'm being facetious, as this is the year 2013, and no one dies of embarrassment anymore, instead, the Internet ruthlessly murders them. I'm not one to kick a man when he's down, but I'm also not one to let a guy fall down a flight of stairs and not tell everyone and reenact the story to my friends who missed it. Here's the best of what the internet had to offer.
If sympathy sex is a real thing, Brandon Knight's bed will be pretty busy in the next few days. Not quite as busy as his mentions on Twitter, but decently busy nonetheless. (as of 10 o'clock this morning, Brandon Knight was STILL trending on Twitter. Poor guy)
WildCards for the Week
If you missed Saturday Night Live this weekend, I just want you to know, I hate so much about the things you choose to be. Seriously folks, Grizzlies minority owner Justin Timberlake won life with several hilarious sketches and two spectacular live performances, including one where he stuck it to Cat-Suit-Crazy Kanye West. This guy is the Sinatra of our generation, and coming from a guy who ADORES MR. S, that is very high praise. JT wasn't the only one setting the web on fire Saturday night, as the show saw the returns of legends Steve Martin, Martin Short, Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon, and a guy who ate Dan Akroyd. There were Amigos, Stefan, Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer as retired porn stars, and a hilarious game show sketch featuring Timberlake and Andy Samberg's Digital Short singing characters and the Wild and Crazy Guys by Steve Martin and a guy who ate Dan Akroyd. It was one of the best episodes in a long, long time, and it was all thanks to the return of Justin Timberlake. I'm really glad that dude is back, and I'm even gladder he kind of owns our team.
On an actual serious note, earlier this week on ESPN's
God awful First Take, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was a guest on the show. Skip Bayless, a debater and much criticized talking head on the show had recently said Sherman wasn't even in the same league as Darrelle Revis. Clearly upset by it, and everything else Skip Bayless says and does, Sherman took the opportunity to not only let him know, but to verbally assault him on live TV. Sherman told Skip Bayless that he had "never accomplished anything" and he went on to say that he was "better at life" than Skip was, and on multiple occasions said to Skip Bayless "I'm better than you." It was extremely uncomfortable to watch, as Sherman took several personal shots at Skip Bayless. Whether or not you think Sherman crossed a line, and I'll be honest, I think he did, there is only one person to blame for this entire fiasco: Austin Daye Skip Bayless. ESPN allowed him to become a monster with his overzealous hyping of Tim Tebow and by giving him three live hours of television a day. He saw the ratings and the attention the show was getting from him having strong, different, and unpopular opinions and totally immersed himself in the persona of a bad guy wrestler. Skip Bayless wanted to be hated on the show to drive up ratings, and instead he became hated in real life and his career became a joke. As a journalist and a reporter, nothing he says carries weight, and he is mocked and belittled throughout the entire world of sports. Congratulations to you, Skip Bayless. You got what you wanted, and now you're getting everything you deserve.
Can't forget to mention our good buddy Chris Faulkner who asked his girlfriend to marry him this week. Big congrats to you again, my man, and from all of us here at GBB, I sincerely hope you guys have a beautiful wedding, and more importantly, a happy and successful marriage. And if you find out that there will be any adorable redheads or Nasim Pedrad lookalikes in the bridal party or at the wedding in general, please, do not forget to send me an invitation.
If you haven't heard, former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley remains hospitalized and in a coma near his home in Chicago. Keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Heisley did so many great things, not just for the team but for the city, and I for one hate to hear that his condition is so poor. Here's to a speedy and full recovery for a great owner and a better man.
 That's not true. I'm not an attractive guy, and when I suit up, I go from a low 7 to a midrange 7. If we were all suited up all the time, the playing field would be level, and it does me no good. We might as well all be naked, and I can assure I don't want that.
 He changed a line to "my hits so sick, got rappers acting dramatic." Allegedly in response to West saying who didn't "f" with Suit and Tie.
 I don't know why I struck through this. It very much is God awful.
 You always have to say Skip Bayless' full name. Always.
 This is not a drill. I'm super fun at parties. Do it.