WEEKS 16 & 17 IN REVIEW

All-Star Weekend has come and gone, and so have we. I don’t know what that means, but I’m glad to be back. There’s so much to cover!!

WEEK 16

Before we even get started, congrats to Shaq and the whole TNT crew on an unforgettably awkward intro. Shaq has trained everyone to “sing” on cue, but without that Pavlovian knoll the whole ritual is undone at the seams. Mostly I wanted to compare the TNT crew to dogs, so let’s get that out of the way:

Kenny SMITH: Yorkshire Terrier

The ideal Yorkshire Terrier character or “personality” is described with a “carriage very upright” and “conveying an important air.”

Charles BARKLEY: American Staffordshire Terrier

The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do.

Ernie JOHNSON: Vizsla

Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, children and even strangers.

Shaquille O’NEAL: Dogue de Bordeaux

The Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body.

Okay let’s continue.

SHAQ
-100 Kyrie IRVING and Tristan THOMPSON Speaking of dogs, Shaq loses his mind talking about them after an otherwise ordinary NBA double screen develops a minor case of hand-holding.

Not that I love tangents or anything, but here’s the Red Rover Wikipedia page, an in-depth scouting report on children’s playtime activities written for fucking aliens. Here’s the first sentence:

Red rover (also known as forcing the city gates and octopus tag) is a game played primarily by children on playgrounds.

So not only are we defining games, children, and playgrounds, we’re also letting extraterrestrials/morons know that they can call this game octupus tag if they want. The second and third sentences go on to mandate at least ten players, and then two call the teams “East” and “West,” before clarifying that teams may stand in any geographical relation.

Quality Wiki article.

Anyway, the Double Shaqtin is something that should not be invoked by Shaq so lightly. “Doubling up” implies that two players co-ordinated a moment of profound stupidity together, in a way that promises to be at least the sum of its parts. Maybe Tristan Thompson will try to perform any finesse action, which surprises Kyrie? Or maybe Kyrie Irving has some of that Duke tripping ability in him, and Tristan is his unintended victim??

Or maybe just nothing will happen and we’ll walk to the other end of the floor. Offensive foul!

Overall Shaqtin rating: 1/4 Shaqs

-100 Gerald HENDERSON and Meyers LEONARD By now, we have an established precedent that players not specifically named by Shaq can be hit with the -100 Chode Points if other commentators call them out. And when Kenny yells the same thing eight times, he’s unfortunately right every one.

Leonard obviously blows up the play, and on the replay, you can actually see Terry Stotts yelling at Meyers to set a goddamn screen already. When he finally does, he forgets to roll towards the basket. Gerald is trapped and flings the pass toward where Meyers should have been, but his point is made as he peaces the fuck out.

Bonus Shaqtin point for the great setup-and-payoff structure from Gerald’s anger spasm to his sudden turnover a few seconds later.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 3/4 Shaqs

-100 Jusuf NURKIC I’m actually not sure if Jusuf is better than Denver’s other huge foreign center with all the J’s and N’s I can never remember (it’s Nikola Jokic.) Good to see Denver following the league trend towards Twin Tower lineups! And who knows, in a few years they finally might be ready to match up with Cleveland.

I love watching Coach Pat Chambers — I mean Mike Malone — stand completely impassively, hands akimbo, from the moment the mismatch emerges. I like that Nurkic can’t even spell Joe Johnson’s name in the follow-up tweet. By the way, is there a more American name possible than Joe Johnson? How do you misspell that? It could be an assumed name from a Soviet propaganda spy novel, and I assume he’s at least read those. But after some research, Nurkic was born in 1994 — five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Man, have times changed.

But this play is held back for being more impressive (Joe!) than funny.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 3/4 Shaqs

-100 Corey BREWER Are we sure Bickerstaff is a coach? I pick on him every week, but his only reaction to being down 19 points at home is to yell “WHAT HAPPENED?” at Corey Brewer in his best impression of Julius Caesar’s famous “Et tu, Corey” speech.

Like Coach, I fucking lost the ball is what happened. And it was an accident? Sorry I’m the only likable Rocket left. The tragedy continues in Houston.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 2.5/4 Shaqs

-100 Draymond GREEN Shaq counts to 12. Kenny gets to 10. Either way, these no-calls are sort of annoying. What’s the point of defending a passer at all if he can slowly glide away from your pressure?

The only problem? These no-calls are also super boring.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 2/4 Shaqs

MISC
-20 Blake GRIFFIN He’s been suspended 4 games outright, and those will be -20 each when the time comes.

Losing a game’s pay shouldn’t be dependent on salary (-172 pts here), especially since players already lose salary when suspended. The compromise Mike and I have agreed upon is to count this as another suspension where he also still gets to play and potentially be even chodier. God I’m generous.

Payment withheld for 1 game.
-20 Hassan WHITESIDE Bullying Boban Suspended 1 game.
FUCK
-100 Los Angeles CLIPPERS “Nah.” League CURSE

WEEK 17

Shaq is completely fucking illiterate, so let’s jump straight from Shaqtin a Fool Episode 13 to Episode 15. That’s right, there is no Episode 14 in Volume 5.

SHAQ
-100 James HARDEN and Dwight HOWARD Let’s be real, this one is completely on Dwight Howard, and sort of showcases exactly what separates the Rockets from the Spurs and Warriors. If Ezeli or Aldridge turns his back on an easy lob pass, he would raise his hand and apologize. Instead, Dwight feels the need to explain himself. For a team that prides itself so much on intelligent shot selection at an institutional level, it’s weird we’re not feeling any trickle-down freakonomic effects years later.

Since Kenny repeated the same joke five times, I have no problem making the executive call that Harden and Howard must pay for their shared crime of atrocious basketball-related whining.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 3/4 Shaqs

-100 Garrett TEMPLE Here, Garrett Temple goes full Whitman, eschewing the corner three for a long turnover. But just having the ball slip isn’t the highest form of Shaqtin.

The best Shaqtins involve a tremendous talent (JaVale) who misapplies his abilities with poor decision-making. Picture Goliath deciding to take up cross-stitching, and then fucking everything up with his massive hands. The robotic dearth of introspection, when mixed with the childless lack of self-discipline, becomes hilarious.

But here, Garrett’s decision to shoot was actually smart. It’s a short corner three, and a decent look! But his intention was foiled by a freak accident in his interaction with the external world!! Oh Garrett, if only the ball didn’t slip!!! How tragic

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But the foul at the end is cute too.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 2.5/4

-100 Lance STEPHENSON Every once in a while, we get a perfect snapshot of a player’s entire career. Steph Curry from 38.4 feet. Kobe Bryant over Phoenix from the right elbow.

Add Lance Stephenson from under the basket. There’s really nothing to add. This one’s too pure to dilute with a bunch of shitty jokes.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 4/4 Shaqs

-100 Joffrey LAUVERGNE “We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings, but I don’t know if we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!”

King Joff is at it again! By the way, here’s Denver’s third young foreign big man, and his real nickname is Jololo (no shit.) I am starting to get worried for Pat Chambers.

Overall Shaqtin rating: 3/4 Shaqs

 

-100 Josh SMITH  Why even play defense, pt. 2. Feat. Shaq counting to 25.

Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn

Overall Shaqtin rating: 4/4 Shaqs

 

FUCK
-100 Phoenix SUNS Chuck. League CURSE
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