The Finals word on NBA slang
We've combed the globe to gather the latest in the language of basketball, from the hippest street courts to the pro hardwood. We even asked Dallas Mavericks forward Caron Butler and NBA analyst Jon Barry to drop in a few of their favorites.
And while Butler did lend to the effort, he also noted that there may not be as much nasty talk as there was back in the day. The league has stepped up its efforts to curb taunting and foul language.
"It's real conservative because the fines are excessive," Butler said. "They keep a real close eye on stuff now. When I came into the league in '02, there was a lot of talking.
"But over the last four years it's been really minimized. It's good because guys just go about their business and play basketball. At the same time, it's OK to express yourself a little bit. But it's zero-tolerance right now."
Despite the league restrictions, we still have terms -- some old, some new – that you can take to the court next timeout.
Ball-stopper: You want to be one of these on the football field, but on the court, it's the exact opposite. A slow and prodding center is a ball-stopper because he destroys the rhythm of an offense.
Bang-bang: Sink a long 3-pointer and you utter the phrase "bang-bang" as it goes through the net. Who knew NBA players were fans of old cowboy movies?
Banged on: Once an action conducted by power forwards battling for position, it now refers to someone getting dunked on. "Dwight Howard banged on the other team's center."
Bank's open: Can be uttered if you bank a shot off the glass, particularly if you don't call "bank shot." However, using this one may show your age.
Beat that up: A 21st-century version of "Get that out of here." Barry said that after a particularly strong block, you can shout, "Beat that up."
Black hole: An oldie but a goodie, it describes a player who gets the ball and never passes.
Bounce: It's the new version of "hops," which was supplanted for a time by "mad ups." Now a player who can leap over Yao Ming in a single bound has bounce.
Breaking ankles: Dating to the heyday of Allen Iverson, it's still good for anyone who performs a dazzling crossover dribble and leaves the defender shifting back and forth as he drives by him.
Broke: When a player loses his rhythm and can't make a single basket, his shot is broke. Also can refer to Antoine Walker, but that's a different kind of broke.
Bucket: Derisive term used to describe lowly players. In the 20th century, we called them scrubs. Now we reference the tool used in the art of scrubbing. "He never plays because he's a bucket."
Cooked: When an offensive player can score on you any way he sees fit, you're cooked.
Dime: No, it's not a coin with Franklin Roosevelt's face on it, but it's almost as old. A dime is an assist. Jason Kidd had 10 dimes in Game 5 against the Thunder, and at age 38 he probably still calls them dimes.
Dish: Like dime, it refers to an assist. When someone says, "Nice dish," they're not referring to your mom's spinach souffle.
Facial: No need to go to the spa. Just be in the wrong spot when someone flies in for a dunk, and you can get a facial free of charge. The sea-salt body polish is extra, however.
Filthy: An amazing play, usually a drive to the basket, is considered filthy. That behind-the-back, 360-degree dunk was filthy. So's your kid's bedroom, but we're not celebrating that.
Get out of there, girl: Barry said he liked to yell this when an opponent's shot was rolling around the rim.
Gets buckets: Used for a player who is a good scorer. "Kevin Durant gets buckets."
Got 'em: Lure the defender to your favorite spot on the court and then launch your shot. Express your confidence, before it goes in, by saying, "Got 'em."
Got game: A lot of players still reference Ray Allen's appearance in the Spike Lee film "He Got Game."
Google me: Butler said when the defense leaves a player open and he makes a shot, he points out the opponent's mistake by saying, "You better Google me" when coming back down the court.
Handle: Classic term used to describe a player's dribbling skills. "He's got handle."
Handcuffed: A term meaning played great defense. "LeBron James handcuffed Derrick Rose on that last possession."
Heat check: If a player scores four or five baskets in a row and then shoots an airball, he explains the error away by saying it was a heat check. He was checking to see if he was still hot.
Heist box: Term used for 21st-century ball hogs who come down, hold the ball, dribble out the shot clock and loft an errant jumper. "In the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook became a heist box."
J: A classic term for "jump shot," it experienced a revival because the children of several NBA players heard it used in a "High School Musical" song on Disney.
Making him dance: This does not involve playing a classic Michael Jackson tune. If you a cross up an opponent with such ferocity that he ends up spinning around, you're making him dance.
Mambo: This is when a player uses wild, dance-like, head-and-shoulder fakes to dazzle a defender. "He just did a mambo on that guy."
On point: When someone is playing well, he's on point.
OC: When a point guard flies wildly toward the basket and draws a charging foul, he's OC -- out of control. Not to be confused with shorthand for Orange County.
Pill: Slang for "basketball." Supplanted "rock" at the turn of the century.
Posterized: Players have been getting posterized since Julius Erving's soaring score over Billy Paultz -- and the resulting photo -- ended up on the wall of my childhood bedroom. Make a dynamic score over a defender, and that player has been posterized. It's what Taj Gibson did to Dwyane Wade in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Put him on skates: When you break a player's ankles, you put him on skates. Try defending Chris Paul and you'll understand this isn't about a couples-only skate at the local rink.
Run it back: So you get abused by an opponent and want to redeem yourself. You issue the challenge: "Run it back." It's like saying, "Try that again," but much cooler.
Sick: Used to describe an amazing play or move. "Derrick Rose has a sick crossover dribble," or "Steve Nash had a sick behind-the-back pass last night."
Sticky: Great on-the-ball defenders are sticky.
Suitcase: A nickname attached to anyone who constantly travels and doesn't get whistled for it.
Thank you: If you disrupt a two-on-one fast break with a steal, you should be gracious and say, "Thank you." But you must say it as you steal the ball. Who says there aren't manners on the court?
Wet: A term to describe a good jump shot. "Ray Allen's jumper is wet." If you hit a wet jumper, you exclaim, "Wet 'em." If you don't understand, you're all wet.
Wicked: Broadway fans hear the word and start singing "Defying Gravity." But hoopsters know it's an adjective used to describe a particularly nasty play.
Witness: Once a noun, it's now an interjection used to accentuate a fantastic shot or performance, thanks to LeBron James. However, you may incite a riot if you use this term within the Cleveland city limits.
Yammed: This is exponentially greater than getting jammed on. If you get yammed on, you're probably making Top 10 Plays on "SportsCenter."
Yo-Yos: No, we're not talking about walking the dog or rocking the cradle. Players with great yo-yos can handle the ball extremely well.