The NBA Closer is written by Matt McHale, who once attended a Sports and Literature class with Brian Cardinal but still doesn't know whether Cardinal can actually read. When he's not bidding on game-used Kwame Brown NBA logos - listed as very rare!! - he can be found hiding from Shaq at Basketbawful. Enjoy!
• You won't like him when he's upset. Shaq is straight-up pissed that 71 percent of "people in America" think the Suns committed franchise suicide by trading for The Big Geritol. "You just don't really want to get me upset. When I'm upset, I'm known to do certain things - like kill." Shaq then paused for dramatic effect and said, "Let me put it this way: Have you seen Shawn Bradley lately? Didn't think so." Meanwhile, Phoenix Suns team physician Dr. Thomas Carter said he was "pleasantly shocked" at The Diesel's physical condition. "Because, seriously, I'd heard he was dead," said Carter. "And when I checked the standings and saw the Heat only had nine wins, well, I just assumed the worst."
• Dwyane Wade Suicide Watch, Game 2. Counting last night's 101-84 defeat by Philadelphia, Miami has lost six straight games and 21 of its last 22. And Dwyane Wade is really depressed about it. "I don't look at the standings," Wade said. "I know we are at the bottom." He then shook a bottle in his hand and muttered something about taking "the whole bottle." When somebody pointed out the bottle was just a container of Tic Tacs, Wade said, "What, these won't kill me? Noooooo!" Pookie had 19 points and 9 assists in the loss. Andre Iguodala had 25 for the Sixers, and Andre Miller added 21 points and 7 assists.
• Cavaliers prepare to sign ballboy, homeless man. It's bad enough that Lebron's teammates
suck have "limited talent." Right now, three of them aren't even playing. Missing are Sasha Pavlovic (sprained left foot), Anderson Varejao (sprained left ankle), and Drew Gooden (strained right groin). For those of you who enjoy first grade math, that's three! Three starters injured! Ah, ah, ah! Anyway, the depleted Cavs never really stood a chance against the Rockets, who dominated the boards (17 offensive rebounds) and won 92-77. Tracy McGrady was limited to 8 points due to flu-like symptoms - yeah, right - but Rafer Alston had the Rockets' back with 17 points and 9 assists, and Yao muscled his way to 22 and 12. King James had 32 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and, of course, not nearly enough help.
• CSI: Chicago. Early Wednesday morning, Chicago-area police officers discovered Chris Duhon's game wandering lost and alone in a local forest preserve. Duhon's game, which has been missing most of the season, was malnourished and suffering from exposure, but otherwise unharmed. Duhon and his game were reunited shortly before tipoff last night, and they celebrated by scoring a career-high 34 points (11-for-16) and dishing out 9 assists in the Bulls' 114-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The venerable (translation: "freaking old") Joe Smith added 27 points (7-for-11) and 8 rebounds. Meanwhile, Chris Webber looked old and rusty - what, you expected otherwise? - in his second debut for the Warriors (4 points, 2-for-5 shooting, 1 rebound, 2 assists). Golden State got 25 out of Monta Ellis, 22 out of Baron Davis, 20 out of Al Harrington, and defense out of nobody. Nobody at all.