Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BISCUTBALL'S PICKS KORNER: OVER/UNDERS, 2014-15

Hey man, what’s going on? Hey, I know how much you like gambling, so I thought I would spit some knowledge to you about these NBA Over/Unders, really give you the hard earned perspective that a guy gets when he is out there in the field, blogging about basketball all damn day. So, hey, let’s go!

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: 46.5 WINS
Woah, woah! Vegas (that’s the city where we have to bet, because gambling is pretty illegal everywhere else) thinks the Blazers are going to be worse this year? I don’t know about that: this is a young team on the rise, if you ask me! You gotta go OVER!

BUCKS 20.5 WINS
You know, I didn’t really think about the Blazers’ terminal lack of depth and the fact that they had unbelievable injury luck last year. We couldn’t have seen both Batum and Matthews’ hands breaking right in the middle of the season! You win some, you lose some. Anyway, this Bucks team has some real problems, talent wise. Brandon Knight and OJ Mayo in the backcourt? P.U.! Not to mention that Larry Sanders fella, that guy is a MANIAC! I know 20 seems low, but you should go under. It’s free money.

BULLS: 55.5 WINS
Look: I thought Parker was all hype. I think we all thought that. We discussed that. But he sure proved everyone wrong, for sure. Playoffs! Who knew!? Sunrise, sunset in the life of a high risk gambler like yourself! The Bulls here, I don’t trust this team to do well in the playoffs - but I think that Derrick Rose is healthy, and that defense is gonna make it ugly for the opposition. 62 wins, OVER OVER OVER.

CAVS: 57.5 WINS
Yeah, Rose got injured. But, hey. It’s not called “Safe Investing,” it’s called “Gambling.” You gamble. The Cavs, though, that is a sure-ass thing. Kevin Pelton, you know who that guy is? He’s this numbers wizard and he has this projection system that is saying some P-RETTY insane things about the Cavs this year. Some 67 Wins type things. Huh? What? You’re out of money? Well, look. I get that. But this line is 100 Per-Cent, Guaranteed. You absolutely cannot lose. So how about you and I walk over to that check cashing place, and we’ll just get all your money back and maybe a little extra and then you and I can go home, be done for the night.

CELTICS: 28.5 WINS
So it took a little time to gel! They got to 56, didn’t they!? A few rolls of the ball away from the over! Like, one half of a standard deviations from the mean and you’re rolling in it right now. Hey, wait. C’mon, don’t leave! Look, I know a guy. His name is Razor. He can get you some money fast at a PRETTY reasonable rate. The Celtics are definitely going over. They’re not good or anything, but Rondo’s coming back and that Brad Stevens is a hot new coach with a plan of attack. I’m telling you, your money problems are going to be…

CLIPPERS 54.5 WINS
Look, I didn’t think Stevens deserved to be fired that quickly. 0-17 starts are like, common as hell. Anyway, they traded Rondo, that bet shouldn’t have even counted. You were betting on the Rondo Celtics. You know, I’ll bet Vegas like, orchestrated that. These are powerful people, you know? I know you’re saying, “I’m in too deep now,” but brother, the beauty of gambling is that one good bet is like a big ol’ backhoe, tearin’ up the ground and giving you a straight shot out of despair. This Clippers team: new owner, new era, new good feelings. I’m thinking sixty. Pawn that ring and let’s make it happen!

GRIZZLIES 49.5 WINS
Razor is mad, okay? I mean, the whole country is mad after we heard that Steve Ballmer tape, but Razor in particular is mad because you haven’t paid him, with interest. Things WOULD be getting desperate for you, except the Grizzlies are WASHED. Marc Ga-so long to mobility, because you’re a man with knee troubles now!

HAWKS 44.5 WINS
I think we can agree on two things right now: Jordan Adams is A LOT better than you or I or ANYONE expected and taking money from a guy named Chainsaw was a bad idea. I didn’t think he would own an actual chainsaw! Isn’t this like, the desert? Where did he even get a chainsaw, no one is looking to chop down trees here! How many credit cards do you have? Oh man, you’re gonna need to apply for two or three more, like at the same time, so that you can get them all at once without raising eyebrows. Then you will max them out on the Hawks going over and this whole thing will be donezo. I mean, Chainsaw isn’t like, an IRRATIONAL guy or anything!

HEAT 43.5 WINS
44 EXACTLY! I mean: so close! I definitely thought they had three quarter wins over the course of the season, if they counted those you would have squeaked by right there. It’s okay, man, this next one is easy peasey: Lebron left, that’s like 30 wins, the Heat are doomed. Under under under!

HORNETS 43.5 WINS
Okay, look. That one was my fault. I forgot that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were on the Heat, like in the heat of giving gambling advice. Look. It’s getting to be… desperate out there. Razor and Chainsaw found out about each other and they’ve teamed up. No to mention these credit card companies, blowing up your phone day and night. You should get on that do-not-call list, then they can only send you letters and, I mean, letters, I’ll ignore the shit out of a letter. Hey, look over there? That old guy is just sitting there, catatonic at the slots. I’ll bet you could take his wallet and bet everything in it, cash and credit, on the Pelicans over. AD is breaking out for sure. Next superstar. What? Look, he’s gonna be fine. The casino reimburses anyone who gets robbed and his credit card company sure as hell isn’t going to incur a PR shitstorm over trying to make that war veteran pay his phone credit card bill. Old people haven’t paid their credit card bills in like 20 years!

JAZZ: 19.5 WINS
Oh yeah, the CHARLOTTE HORNETS. I can’t believe I forgot about that! Still, surprised they were that bad. Lance as a primary ball handler, what a bad idea! Look, it’s time to do some things you might not be proud of. Here. Take this gun. See that convenience store? They put their money in the safe at 11:58, in five minutes. That register is heaving with money. Put the mask on, go in there, and take it and bet it all on the Jazz over. I mean, 19 wins: that’s crazy! What kind of team wins 19 games!? There’s some talent there! Just think about it like this: that company isn’t doing anyone any good! Gasoline poisons the environment, sugary snacks make everyone fat.

KINGS 26.5 WINS
Hey. Thanks for meeting me. I know you’re in hiding after Dante Exum really took the Jazz on a suck odyssey. But I have a plan. Here. This is a map to a secret entrance into the vault at the Wynn Casino. You’re gonna have to go into the desert. Here’s a parasol to keep the sun out of your shit. Take all the money out of the vault and bet it on the Kings under. They’re cursed!

KNICKS 36.5 WINS
Hey, surprised to see you out in public again, especially after the Kings made the playoff when they traded Rudy Gay! I guess you probably bet against my advice; probably a good idea, considering I’ve gone 0/12 so far. Haha yeah, not my best year! Anyway talk… huh? You didn’t bet against me? Weird. Well, okay. Why are you able to show your face in public? Shouldn’t Chainsaw be, you know. Whiiiiiir saaaaaaw ahhhhhhh and all that? Well, okay! You want another over under? Sure, uhh…. Knicks, they’re probably going over! Can’t be as bad as they were last year!

LAKERS: 33.5 WINS
You know, I haven’t seen Razor around lately? Someone said he was (knife across throat motion) chheeett. But I don’t believe that. That guy was a real tough customer. Look: at this point it’s more likely that I will be right than wrong. I actually know a lot about basketball, for real! The Lakers have a motley collection, but I’m a real believer in Kobe Bryant, for sure. That guy would never go out like a chump! Look at Derek Jeter: he’s a champion on a farewell tour!

MAGIC: 27.5 WINS
I probably should have looked up Derek Jeter’s stats before I said that. He has been VERY bad and so was Kobe! God, you don’t seem stressed about this at all! You get a new job or something? Or something? Haha, good one, buddy! Anyway, the Magic are probably going under: just too many rookies, you know!

MAVERICKS: 48.5 WINS
...yeah, but, you know. Think about how good Payton and Gordon had to be JUST to get to 29 wins! Hey, where’d you get that ring? This job must be really great! What does it say? “Boss?” Haha, yeah, weird ring, man. Do you, like, punch guys in the forehead so they know who the boss is? Just kidding. Anyone tell you you’re looking pretty ripped? Anyway, this Mavs one is a major toss up, you probably don’t even want my opinion. Huh? Flip a coin? Oh, okay. Uhhhhh…. heads! Over!

NETS 39.5 WINS
Hey, that’s what happens when you flip a coin! I got this Nets one for sure, though. Under.

NUGGETS 44.5 WINS:
Wow. KG did NOT go gently into that good night. Look, you lost money, but you gained a new appreciation for life, watching that guy spill his blood and guts. Sorry, I just. I am crying a little, like a baby. It was so goddamn inspiring. I can’t even think straight when I say take the Nuggets over. Gallo’s back, Aaron’s back, the whole gang is here to get it done! I just, wow. And when he was hugging that baby? KG just makes me cry.

THUNDER: 56.5 WINS
Oh, yeah, JJ Hickson! Haha totally forgot. I don’t know why I’m laughing, I just keep losing you money! Maybe it’s because YOU’RE in such a good mood! You know, if you want to stop… oh, you don’t? Well, okay! Every time the Durant/Westbrook Thunder have been healthy, they’ve cleared sixty wins. This one is clearly an over. Hey, that’s a really cool picture of the Federal Reserve you got there!

PACERS: 38.5 WINS
Hey. Sorry, it’s hard to keep my mind on these Over/Unders right now, with all the chaos in America right now. How was someone able to rob the Federal Reserve? I know this must be really hard for you, in particular, since you were such a big fan of the Fed. I might not be thinking straight when I recommend you take the under on this one. I just… damn, the whole world economy, in so much chaos, because this guy, this… “Black Ringo” and his ruthless gang of “Vanzettis.” What could make someone into that kind of monster?

PELICANS: 41.5 WINS
You still want gambling advice!? Why!? All the legitimate casinos have been shut down and stripped of their assets as a way of establishing a base level of capital in the United States Central Bank, the new bank that controls all of the money in the United States. The NBA only continues as a mass distraction for the masses, a little glimmer of the old days now that we live in a socialist-totalitarian hellscape. The players are forced into competition! ...oh? You, uh… know someone? In Montana? Okay, I guess, uh, the over? Yeah, for sure. I think The Pelicans are well equipped to handle the new ankle bracelets they’re giving every NBA player.

PISTONS: 36.5 WINS
I don’t think anyone saw the entire Pelicans roster being executed because of Jrue Holiday’s subversive political actions coming. For what it’s worth, I think the replacements they got REALLY mailed it in, especially Adam Morrison. Now that Stan Van Gundy has been named the Warden King Of Florida, I don’t like the Pistons chances this year. Mike Woodson is a retread at best, an active saboteur in all likelihood.

RAPTORS: 47.5 WINS
Heh, I guess Woodson was really mailing it in in New York. Eastern Conference Finals! Then again, those refs were really dodgy all year. I think Josh Smith’s position as an assassin with the totalitarian government got them a whole hell of a lot of 50/50 calls. The Raps over I like this year. Did you hear about Jonas getting a massive cannon installed in his chest? Hey, how do you have all this food in your house? You must really be saving your rations! Also this bearskin rug is very nice, I didn’t recall you owning one of these before The Vanzettis, once the perpetrators of the theft that has left all of us living in a world of chaos, now the thug army that keeps everyone in line, took them from everyone in nighttime raids.

ROCKETS 48.5 WINS
Boy howdy, Jonas did NOT know how to use that cannon. Rockets are going over, I think. Dwight has just been the biggest Government Stan, you gotta imagine that’s worth 50 wins on it’s own. Then again, they’ve already banned every sneaker that isn’t Dwight Howard branded and plastered his smiling face onto every billboard in the country, along with the message “Dwight says: don’t fight! Submit!” I was okay with this until I had Dwight Howard shoved down my throat, frankly.

SIXERS: 17.5 WINS
Dwight sure missed a lot of free throws last year! Way more than expected, I think. Before they executed him for leading a revolutionary group that stormed the Connecticut State House and freed thousands of pallets of food for the people of Hartford, Skip Bayless was on PIRATESPN running his mouth about, “Dwight can’t handle the pressure of being the disgusting face of this Sinful Government.” I don’t think it had anything to do with that, I think it was probably just like a normal regression, you know? Standard deviations from the mean can be surprisingly large. Look: Skip was a hero to the revolution, his dying words, broadcast over TV while he was beheaded, send a chill down my spine every time I think about them, but that guy just BLOVIATED when he talked about sports. I think the Sixers are in for a good year. They managed not to lose any players in the government’s BasketPurge, and they’re going to be motivated after Hinke lost his hands because he tanked too much.

SPURS: 57.5 WINS
Wow, even competing against players that would have been sub-sub-replacement level in last year’s NBA, the Sixers were TERRIBLE! Look, I don’t think the government is like “Good” or anything, but in retrospect I might be on their side with that Hinke thing. Hey, what’s this? No, on your desk, there? Hey: is this… oh my God, this is a plan to kill the King of America!? And it’s labeled… “Operation Succession!?” Wait… that picture of the Fed… your neverending stream of income despite everyone else living in poverty… your ongoing ability to make bets, even though gambling is punishable by death… you’re, you’re… Black Ringo, the leader of the Vanzettis! And you’re planning to assassinate the king, which would launch America into chaos and allow you and your gang of goons to step in and take over in the resulting power vacuum! Oh my God! I’m not giving you over/under advice ANY MORE! I’m leaving! To tell the world about your evil life!

SUNS: 42.5 WINS
H-hello? Who is this? How did you get this number? Black Ringo. We’re going to get you! The REAL REVOLUTION is coming for you, you understand!? What!? You bet the under on the Spurs!? That’s a terrible idea! I would have told you that! God, your instincts on this are even worse than mine! ...no, I’m not giving you a pick for the Suns!

TIMBERWOLVES: 25.5 WINS
LOOK HERE, EVERYONE. We’re The Bayless Army and we’re the only hope for this world gone mad! Once we destroy Black Ringo and disband his gang of thugs, we will help rebuild the world! You, farmer John, will teach the world how to plant food in the ground again! Iron Dave, the art of the factory! Missy Lewis, Queen of the Needle, the textiles that will keep our children warm once more! And I will teach the world how to blog about basketball! But first, we must band together with these terrible weapons and commit acts of violence! It’s the only way to make the world a better place in the future! Wait, did you guys hear that? I think it’s th-

WARRIORS: 49.5 WINS
I’m going to get out of this prison, you understand!? I’m going to get out of here, and I’m going to kill you! I don’t care WHAT you want! Wait… another over/under!? Who are you even betting with at this point!? I’m not saying a wor… okay, stop pointing the gun at me. I’ll tell you. Uhhhh… well… Klay Thompson is the best basketball player in the world now that practically every other player once in the NBA has been killed, so this is a pretty solid over, I think. Okay. Hey, I could use some food, so… THIS IS A VIOLATION OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION, BLACK RINGO, YOU SON OF A-

WIZARDS: 50.5 WINS
Well, here we are. The Warriors went under because Klay Thompson withered under the responsibility of primary ballhandling, and you are on the lip of the Grand Canyon across from me, pointing a gun at your unprotected head, Black Ringo. This is all going to be over soon. America will never be the same, but hopefully we can build it again, better and kinder than it once was. But before I shoot you and leave your corpse at the bottom of the world, I just want to know one thing: why did you keep asking me for over/unders? TELL ME, GODDAMNIT! My picks were terrible! What? Because you loved me? You did all this, just to get money so you could keep making bets as per my recommendations because… you wanted me to love you back? This is very shocking, Black Ringo. I… I… don’t know what to say. Nevermind, yes I do. I will say: the Wizards will not only go over, they will win the title and become the symbol of hope for the new world. A world without you...

(Corbin shoots you in the head, and your body falls into the Grand Canyon.)

...my friend.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Biscutball Kollage Klub Three: Brad Lohaus On a Mountain Has a Question for Stuart Gray


(Please submit any physical collages you produce to corbin.smith@gmail.com, or reach out on Twitter. I will post them here as often as I get enough to justify a post.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SHOT-CHART JOURNEY: BEN MCLEMORE


Out of all NBA players that played more than 1400 minutes*, Kings Rookie Ben McLemore registered the lowest PER. This probably happened because he had a terrible shooting year. Check out all this red on his official NBA Block chart.  He was particularly bad from the area the NBA's stats website calls "Center(C), Mid-Range, 16-24 ft." I wanted to know what made McLemore such a bad shooter from this particular spot, so I watched every shot he took on the NBA Stats Site, and What I Found Out Next Shocked Me (by how boring it was).


ONE: 11/9/2013 VS TRAIL BLAZERS:
Isiah Thomas gets Ben running off a Jason Thompson screen. “There’s McLemore, he’s a good shooter too!” The future chuckles at Grant Napier. Back iron.


TWO: VS. PHOENIX: 11/20/2013
Greivis Vasquez, then a member of the Kings, passes to an open McLemore from the elbow. Front iron. You know, I can’t even really imagine Greivis not in a Toronto uniform. Remember his impassioned recruiting pitch to Kevin Durant through the media? No one ever wore a different uniform than the one they’re wearing at that very moment. The past is merely the medium that the present exists in. Michael Jordan has always been a misanthropic rich guy who wears weird jeans.


THREE: VS. PHOENIX, 11/20/2013:
McLemore comes off another Thompson screen that snags his defender, Gerald Green, catches a pass from Demarcus Cousins, and shoots with a little fade into the front iron again. McLemore isn’t terribly unlike Gerald Green; very athletic, tremendous show dunker, trying to make his living as a shooter. His jump shot doesn’t have the lift that post-exile Gerald’s does. If I were him, I would try to emulate GG. I would also intentionally hoard my rookie paychecks and intentionally washout of the league so I could buy a farm in Olympia and just chill out for the rest of my life.


FOUR: VS. CLIPPERS, 11/23/2013
The NBA’s play display thing fucked up and showed a JJ Redick basket instead. Redick passes to a posting Griffin, loses his defender who is coincidentally Ben McLemore, with a kind of off ball-fake out move, then takes a shot from about the same space we’re examining McLemore’s terrible shooting. It hits the front iron then rolls in. I can’t decide if Redick’s fake out was a good move or McLemore’s being faked out was a brain fart. Probably both.


FIVE: VS. OKC, 12/03/2013
McLeMore takes a pass from Kings player number nine, I can’t pull him right now, takes two dribbles, shoots and hits back iron. Number nine seems like a forward. Maybe he’s a ghost? I think the Kings had six people on the court. Can’t go back to confirm I have to write thirty of these things.


SIX: VS LAKERS, 11/6/2013
This is the exact same play as the shot against OKC, mysterious number nine and everything. This time, McLemore hits front iron. I remembered to count this time: five Kings players, so number nine probably isn’t a ghost. Mclemore rebounds his miss, misses the tip in, then he reaches over and gets called for a foul. Malone takes Derrick WIlliams out for a smoke break.


SEVEN: VS. UTAH, 12/7/2013
McLemore runs off a screen that picks off his defender, Gordon Hayward, catches a pass from Grevis and rims the shot out. I begin to wonder about the shot that was lost to a JJ Reddick make: was that a good shot, a shot that went in? Did it even exist? How many basketball plays truly exist? Did games that weren't filmed happen? Is Bill Russell a character in a conceptual novel by Dave Rimjob, which is Bill Russell’s real name?


EIGHT: VS. ROCKETS, 12/15/2013
James Harden is helping REALLY far off McLemore. Ben runs to the top of the key, Harden realizes that he’s going to take a shot, tries to recover, but gets screened off by Jason Thompson. Shot hits the inside of the rim twice and flies out into Terrence Jones’s hands. Harden was exhibiting some pretty unaware defense here but it actually worked out because it sent McLemore right into his coldzone.


NINE: VS. CAVS, 1/12/2014
A new year! Ben hasn't had a take from center midrange for a long time, and he only seems to get the opportunity here because the Kings have blown the poor Cavaliers out. The play begins with Quincy Acy: THE Quincy Acy! Posting up Anthony Bennett on the left block. He gets doubled by Dellavadova, the game temporarily takes place in a kind of Alternate Universe NBA where Quincy Acy commands a double team, Acy almost turns it over, but manages to jump pass right to Ben’s soft spot: the shot hits front iron and back board.  Earl Clark with the rebound.


TEN: VS. INDIANA: 1/14/2014
A mere two days later, constituting an OASIS of midrange in a drought for our hero, McLemore catches a pass from Rudy “The Rude Dude” Gay (Grevis has moved on, a leaf in the wind.) above the three point line, dribbles twice at Danny Granger, pulls up (Granger gets an okay contest) and hits front iron again. This was a time when the Pacers were unstoppable. Granger would become Evan Turner in a matter of months, and the good ship Fieldhouse would catch fire.


ELEVEN: VS. GRIZZLEBEES, 1/17/2014
Ben’s taking another center mid range shot a mere three days later. Ben takes a pass from Quincy Acy, dribbles twice, pulls up and hits the shot over Mike Miller and someone else, let’s say… Kosta Koufos? Mike Conley? “McLemore's not shy!” Says the Grizzlies’ announcer. Brevin Knight: “Let me tell you what he can do: he can get the ball off in a crowd. He’s long, he’s athletic.”


TWELVE: VS. GRIZZ WARRIORS, 1/17/2014
TWO IN THE SAME GAME!? The Grizzlies are out here flexing their defensive might on Sacramento’s top options! McLemore loses Mike Miller on a big, long circle cut, catches a pass from Thomas, and hits a shot a step inside the arc. I noticed Mike’s shoe seemed to be giving him some trouble while running after Ben. Maybe time to ease up on the socks, buddy.


THIRTEEN: VS ROCKETS, 1/22/2014
Another shot just a hair inside the arc, this one hits front iron. Gets the pass from Cousins after he tries to go at Dwight, who is strong and fast and makes DMC bobble the ball. I wanted to see DMC put Dwight in a blender there but I that's impossible because I am watching Ben McLemore attempts. This exercise has become somewhat cruel.


FOURTEEN: VS. INDIANA, 1/24/2014
I watched this game, it was awesome. Paul George had a game ending pick on Thomas that was one of the finest and subtlest basketball plays I’ve ever seen. Just a masterclass in length and touch. To Paul George! Anyway, McLemore gets the rebound on defense, dribble it upcourt, then the camera cuts away but I think maybe he made a try at penetrating? Then he dribbles into his coldzone and take a shot behind an Aaron Gray screen that may or may not have been serving a function. It goes off the front iron, is rebounded by Carl Landry, who kicked it out to a wide open Jimmer, who takes the shot and…


AND….


The clip goes dark. We’ll never know if Jimmer hit the shot.


FIFTEEN: VS. DENVER 1/26/2014
Ben shot a lot of these in January. Was it the cold? A New Year’s resolution? Or just a playbook imperative? God only knows, I doubt Ben or Mike Malone even know. Ben isolates against Wilson Chandler, dribbles between his legs, and hits the shot juuuuuust inside the arc. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence!” Says Napier a little condescendingly.


SIXTEEN: VS. BOSTON, 2/7/2014:
It’s been nearly two weeks since Ben’s last center midrange shot. He is thirsting. He runs off a out of the paint, his defender has given him some slack and runs into a screening Cousins. Rims out.


SEVENTEEN: VS. BOSTON, 2/7/2014
Loses the same defender, James-Posey-I-think, takes a pass from Derrick Williams, front iron again. Cousins cleans up the shot and gets fouled. Somewhere, in the distance, a dude in the crowd yells “OOOOOHHHHHH” like he is passing a stone. Heinsohn is SURE that was a clean strip.


EIGHTEEN: VS. WASHINGTON, 2/9/2014
Pass from Thomas, running off a screen by Aaron Gray. Miss. Can you believe that they let children play basketball with Aaron Gray at one point? The Washington announcer calls hm “Aaron Gay” (“Aaron Gay in the the game) which is either a VERY immature and offensive concession to homerism, or a brain fart caused by Gray being on a team with Rudy Gay (“...or rather, Aaron GRAY in the game for Sacramento").


NINETEEN VS. WASHINGTON, 2/9/2014
McLemore’s defender falls asleep, he runs into his shooting spot, takes a pass from Thomas and hits the shot. I could probably tell you something else about this play, but the Jim Beam commercial started and I don’t want to watched that whole damn commercial then watch the play again, sounds like a pain in the ass. All of the commercials on this reel are for Jim Beam. Mila Kunis is in them, trying to convince me that alcohol is cool. I ought to send her a letter telling her that my youth pastor taught me that alcohol is, in fact, NOT VERY COOL!


TWENTY: VS. WARRIORS 2/19/2014
Isaiah THomas STEALS a defensive rebound from Steph Curry. He’s ON THE GROUND! THE ANNOUNCERS ARE GOING BONKERS! THE HEART! THE HUSTLE! THEY TOLD HIM HE COULDN’T DO IT, BUT GODDAMNIT HE DIDN’T GET ALL THE WAY TO THE N B FUCKING A TO LOSE THIS GODDAMN GAME. He passes the ball to McLemore, who dribbles upcourt, takes a screen from Thompson and rims out a very long two.


TWENTY-ONE: VS BOSTON 2/22/2014
First play of the game! Jeff Green loses McLemore on a Jason Thompson screen, another front rim. He’s really front rimming these a lot. Do you think he is front rimming in other aspects of his life? What? No, this isn’t a sex thing, you creep! You’re a real creep, man. Creepin’ me out over here.


TWENTY-TWO VS. BOSTON 2/22/2014
Loses James Posey on a really good pick by Landry; you hear flesh crashing together like two meat boulders sliding at each other down a hill covered in canola. Takes a pass out of the post from Cousins, shot rims out.


TWENTY-THREE VS. ROCKETS 2/25/2014
Handoff from a point guard who looks like Shane Larkin, but isn’t, because Larkin played for the Mavs last year. “Really struggling with that shot, one-of-eight.” Everyone is exhausted. Ben takes a nap right there on the floor.


TWENTY-FOUR VS. RAPTORS 3/7/2014
Hey, one day before my birthday! I didn’t get a gift this year because I couldn’t think of anything to ask for.  Runs out of the paint catches pass, yadda, yadda, you get it by now. This is a little like watching a “Ray Allen’s Worst Plays” mixtape, which I would watch, because I don’t care for Ray Allen. I like to think the soundtrack would be something by Electric Wizard. Front rim again, he really needs to work on his lift.


TWENTY-FIVE VS. THE KNAAAAAACCCCKKKKKSSSSS: 3/26/2014
Yeah, the Knicks! What unfortunate thing is going to happen in this one!? Let’s see… takes a handoff from Cousins, loses JR on DMC, lifts, aaaaaaannnndddddd… DRILLS IT! 86-76 KINGS!


I will always treasure what the 2013-14 Knicks gave us.


TWENTY-SIX VS. OKC 3/28/2014
The Kings miss on a fast break, Acy gets the offensive rebound, McLemore gets the ball above the line, Durant kind of prematurely challenges a three, McLemore dribbles in and shoots, it rattles out. I feel like we should give McLemore this one because it wasn't a bad move. I am going to get my lawyers to send a letter to the NBA to make the points count.


TWENTY-SEVEN VS OKC 3/28/2014
Dribbles off Thompson screen, shoots. Back rim this time, which is a KIND of progress.


TWENTY-EIGHT VS. DALLAS 3/29/2014
Takes pass from Not-Shane-Larkin, dribbles in, back iron again. Two back irons in a row: a possible sign of a change in approach or mechanics?


TWENTY-NINE VS. LAKESHOW, 4/2/2014
Runs off another Thompson screen, cans the shot this time as if he had canned the previous 28 and was the greatest shooter of all time. The Sacramento announcers are talking with Brian Grant about his Parkinson's foundation and the game sort of seems like an afterthought.


THIRTY VS. PORTLAND, 4/9/2014
Mila Kunis is now trying to convince me that bears will kill me for honey based hooch. Runs off Thompson screen again. I thought this time it was a moving screen on Wes Matthews, but maybe that’s my Portland homerisim at work there. Refs called Cousins for a loose ball instead, because The Man is out to shut down Boogie 24/7. They hate his slick moves and cool badditude.


THIRTY-ONE VS. PHOENIX 4/16/2014
Runs off Aaron Gray screen and catches a pass from Acy at the elbow. Fades on the shot, Gray’s screen wasn’t great. Hits it, probably the most difficult shot he hit all season from this area, having watched all of the shots he took.


THIRTY-TWO VS. PHOENIX 4/16/2014
Runs off Gray screen. Catches pass and, guess what, front rim. Acy grabs the rebound and puts it back strong for a two handed jam. There’s some yelling, some of Quincy trying to FEEL on this, the last day of the season.


THIRTY-THREE is lost to time, somehow. More likely, Twenty-two was lost to time, but I can’t tell for sure. Everything has become hazy.


WHAT DID I LEARN?


1. Ben McLemore is not a great midrange shooter.
2. It’s not because Ben McLemore is isolation gunning from midrange. I think maybe two of the shorts he took, the one against Granger and the isolation against Chandler, would have counted as an unassisted basket.
3. I am not a coach, so grain of salt this shit, but his lower body action could probably use a lot of cleaning up. Set your feet more and stuff.
4. I thought this would get really silly and fun at the end, but it just got sort of oppressive. This sentence is also about bad teams’ seasons. (It’ll be cool, we’ll play younger guys! Turns into UGH, these fucking dudes AGAIN!? pretty quick.)
5. Jason Thompson sets a lot of screens. That guy’s dad was probably a screen door.
6. He didn't get fouled once.

*I decided on this number because it's how many minutes Battier played. Pretty arb.

Friday, August 15, 2014

DISPATCHES FROM CORBIN SMITH'S BASKETBALL CAMP: GRADUATION DAY

(All week, Biscutball is telling you about what's happening at Corbin Smith Basketball Camp, a basketball camp where famous blogger Corbin Smith teaches you how to dunk. Here is day one's entry and day two's entry and day three's entry and day four's entry.)


Every year when the end of Corbin’s Basketball Camp comes, I say “Wow, that sure was something, I better not do it again, I am exhausted!” But then when I see the faces of the children I taught to dunk, I just can’t help myself, also when I see my bank account after we’re done with the camp because we make pretty good money off of this. It’s a guaranteed system that teaches people how to dunk, that’s a valuable commodity! I could probably charge more but I’m not a greedy person so I do not.

When everyone arrived today I sat them down. “Wow everyone, you’ve worked really hald and drank a lot of PureGreen brand protein shakes. I’m impressed. You are all winners here, because now you can dunk. But before we get to that, I have a special guest.”

“OH MAN, WHO IS IT!” Yelled one kid from the back “IS IT A CAT?”

“No, it’s not a cat! Even better! It’s...”

And then he stepped out from the Social Justice and Religious Tolerance Library and the kids just went berserk.

“CROATIAN BASKETBALL STAR MARIN ROSIC”

When I first met Marin, he was a mess. Sure, he was a Six-Seven, 220 pound small forward with handle and shooting ability. Sure, he was making a wonderful living for himself playing basketball in the Croatian and Adriatic Leagues. But all of this material wealth and success meant nothing to Marin: he had a spiritual sickness:

He could not dunk a basketball.

He would try to hide from his teammates. “Ja samo volim raditi layups. Potapanje stavlja pritisak na koljena pred igri.” (Roughly translates to “I just love doing layups. Immersion pressure on your knees before the game” When you translate it to Arabic and then to English) He faked his way through philosophical debates where he argued that layups were cooler than dunks, made himself look like a dummy in front of his friends. Whenever he would go on dates, women would think he was a weirdo for not offering to do some windmills after dinner. It was a hard life.

The first thing I did was tell Marin, “Hey, buddy. You’ve been thinking about this all wrong. You have to release yourself from the fear of dunking. You think osprey aren’t wary when they have to dive in the water to snatch up a fine trout for dinner? You have to power through the fear a bird has when it’s flying into water, the land of fish and a place where they could drown; that fear lives in all of us, Marin. Also, you need to drink this smoothie. It has a new protein powder in it (PureGreen was still in the prototype phase back then.) that will give you large hop (I hadn’t coined “Big Bounce” yet) and help you slam basketball in hoop (I hadn’t heard the word “Dunk” in a non-gerund form yet.)

Pretty soon, Marin was dunking his way to a better life. Appearances in the Olympics and ads for local Croatian Delicatessens made him famous and wealthy. But he never forgot me, and the great work I am doing here in Vancouver, WA every summer, teaching the youth of the world how to dunk.

“Children,” he said “My English is not great, but I want to impart some wisdom on you, so universal that it truly transcends the artificial boundaries created between nations and languages. Children, youths, young people, do not use your dunking for the purposes of evil. When the man in the suit approaches you; and they will approach because they live for this, and says ‘Young man or woman, I run an illegal diamond mine and I want you to bring some of your dunks by to entertain me and my middle managers,” you need to say something like, and my English isn’t TERRIFIC, so feel free to modify it to make more sense: ‘Sir. My dunking ability, given to me by the Corbin Smith Basketball Camp, is not for this world’s evil and immoral people to profit off. It is for in game scenarios when my team needs two points, because it is the highest percentage shot in the game of basketball.”

One by one, the kids in the auditorium took to their feet. They were clapping. Some had tears in their eyes. One tore off his jersey to reveal a chest tattoo that read “I ONLY DUNK FOR PEACE.” But they had one thing in common: after a week at Corbin Smith Basketball Camp, they could all dunk a basketball on a regulation 10-Foot rim.

At the graduation ceremony, after everyone had dunked a basketball for the first time, I looked all the children straight in the eye and shook their hands. They were no longer my students. They left my classroom the second they crammed that ball in the rim and entered the adult world. They might not all become professional basketball players; most of the will, certainly, because they can dunk a basketball and that’s 80% of being a pro ballplayer, but they will all know that with determination and PureGreen brand protein powder smoothies, they can accomplish anything.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

DISPATCHES FROM CORBIN SMITH'S BASKETBALL CAMP: DAY FOUR

(All week, Biscutball is telling you about what's happening at Corbin Smith Basketball Camp, a basketball camp where famous blogger Corbin Smith teaches you how to dunk. Here is day one's entry and day two's entry and day three's entry.)

It’s getting to be crunch time at the Corbin Smith Basketball Camp. We’ve got the kids going as hard as we can do prepare them for their dunks tomorrow. Not everyone can handle it: one young boy, Caleb, broke down and started doing fundamental chests pasts into the wall of the gym at the Vancouver Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver’s gym. It took a whole hour of my wife, Claudia Richards, tempting him away with some extra PureGreen Powder to separate him from his PassHole.

So when everyone left for their homes where they live with their mothers, I was ready to go home and hit the hay bed I sleep in. But while Claudia and I were getting all the basketballs into bags, I felt a dark presence slither up my spine.

“Claudia, did you notice that?”

“Huh? What, Corbin?” Claudia’s advanced education (She is a Professor of Political and Moral Philosophy at St. Martin’s College in Lacey, WA, unlike myself, a self taught blogger who writes “From the gut” on the topic of Basketball) has made her less in tune to the world of spirits and spooks, the way I am.

“Clauida, close your eyes and just feel.”

Claudia closed her eyes like I suggested. “Having closed my eyes and shed my substantial education, I now feel what you feel: A ghostly presence in this room!”

A spectral voice revealed itself.

“Ooooohhhhh DuuuuUUUUUuuuuuunnnkkkk”

Claudia and I looked around the room. Left. Right. Forward. Claudia pointed

“Look, Corbin!”

And there he was: A young boy, not but 12 years old, wearing a red and blue basketball uniform and a pair of New Balance basketball shoes. His eyes were filled with sadness, like a very sad dog.

“Claudia, I think that boy is a ghost!”

“What should we do, Corbin?”

“Well, Claudia, I know that this knowledge has been educated out of you, but the only way to get rid of a ghost is to release him from his lingering attachments to this world so he can move on to the wheel of reincarnation. We should figure out what’s wrong!” I cleared my throat and spoke gently, as to not scare him off; “Young man! What is your name?”

“Corbin,” whispered Claudia, “why are you asking him what his name is?”

“Because, not everyone is an academic in academia, where everyone just knows everyone, I am trying to make him feel comfortable.”

“Myyyyy naaaaammmmmeee” said the ghost, his voice high pitched and very spooky, “Iiiiisssss Jeeeeeef”

“Why are you here, Jeff? What keeps you attached to this world?”

“I waaaaaannnttt toooooo leeeeeaaaaarrrnn hooooow tooooo duuuuuuunk”

“Well, Jeff, I think maybe it’s a little late for that…”

The lights turned on and off. The room filled with bad juju.

“Oh, no, Claudia, he’s turning into an evil spirit, what should I do?”

“I think I learned about this in my education: you need to give the aggressor what he wants and he will become more calm. Let me try!” Claudia cleared her throat, “Jeff, honey, We can help you learn how to dunk. We have a foolproof system that anyone can use to learn how to dunk!”

“I’ve heard that before!” Bellowed Jeff, the lights still turning on and off and in addition to that a table started flying in the air that I dodged using my very good reflexes, “That’s what Coach Meyers told me before the accident!”

“Wait a minute,” I said to Claudia “Coach Paul Meyers!”

“Oh my god, Paul Meyers! That coach that claims he can teach anyone to dunk a basketball!”

“That guy is a quack! He uses Whey based protein shakes with powder taken from exploited cows! It gives you some big bounce, but not all the big bounce you need, since whey protein isn’t the same density as human muscle! It works once, then the kids get lumpyleg and can’t get the same big bounce ever again. Not like me, I use PureGreen protein shakes, which have the same density as human muscle!”

“Jeff,” I said, “What happened to you! Tell us, so we can help you!”

The room was returned to a normal state, except all the basketball that we put in the bags were scattered around so we would have to pick them up again even after this really super hard day. “I got the worst case of Lumpyleg ever and I died from it. It was tragic and sad, but I just know that if I could just dunk a basketball, everything would be better”

I knew what I had to do. “Wait here with him Claudia, I need to go into the Social Justice library for a second.” I picked up a glass of PureGreen protein shake and headed into the library while I was on my way out I heard Claudia say “So are you interested in Politics and Morality?”

I went to the section of the Library where the members of the Unitarian Church keep the wands. I found one labeled TRANSMUTATION. I used it to turn the shake into a half-real-half-ghost shake that I could serve to Jeff. I went back into the gym, “Yeah, I would say that’s definitely one of my favorite morals, too; oh, hi Corbin, Jeff and I were talking about...”

“Jeff!” I interrupted my wife, which was rude and I apoligised for it over dinner, “drink this! It will temporarily bring you back to the physical world AND give your legs the big bounce they need to slam a basketball home!” Jeff drank it, and immediately manifested onto our plain of existence. I handed him a basketball. “Jeff, you have everything you need. Now take it straight to the hole.”

Jeff held the ball in his hands. He looked the the rim, and shed one tear. He looked at me and Claudia. “Thank you so much, Coach.” He took a dribble. Then another. Then another. He lept in the air with the ball in his palm. He wound his arm back. Then he threw it at the rim, and rammed it straight into the hoop while letting out a lusty “YEEEEEAAAHHH!” Then Jeff’s entire being evaporated into thin air, on its way to the wheel of reincarnation.

The dunk reverberated in my and Claudia’s hearts forever. Jeff is somewhere else now: maybe he’s a rabbit, or an elephant. I like to believe that he’s become a kangaroo, so that he can spend a whole life with the big bounce he needs to dunk a basketball.