Saturday, April 20, 2013
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Monday, September 5, 2011
The NBA lockout is still here, and that kind of sucks – but at least the next four months will be ever so slightly bearable with college football back. My scrambled thoughts on an exciting as ever opening Saturday, starting with my favorite team to ever lose at home to Sacramento State:
Saturday, August 27, 2011
With the lockout upon us, and the future of the NBA as we know it up in the air I want to take some time to reflect on the sport and the league that I love so much, and all the players, teams, and moments that hold the most special places in my heart.
What better way to kick-start all my lockout posts with a tribute to my favorite basketball player of all-time – the incomparable Scottie Pippen. I have always felt and still feel that Scottie continues to receive far less due than he deserves – he remains eternally underappreciated, and I want to illuminate some of the qualities that endeared him so much to me. There has already been a lot written by much smarter basketball minds (and much more concise writers) than myself, and I only hope to add a few of my own thoughts to the blogosphere’s Pippen anthology, starting with all the things I loved about Scottie strictly as a basketball player:
Monday, May 30, 2011
In 2011 nobody is giving Dallas a chance to beat Miami, not when Miami has the two best players in the league in their primes, not when Dallas simply lacks the talent to contain Miami. But are we ignoring a lot of smaller advantages that can allow Dallas to steal the series? Like their ridiculously efficient, borderline unstoppable offense? Like their ridiculous depth and versatility? Like their experience and vast array of hungry, rabid veterans who have been turned back on the biggest stages so many times and are desperate for redemption? Like their 7-foot assassin who transcends matchups and lifts his team to greater heights not quantified by the sum of their parts?
To me this will be an extremely close, hard-fought, exquisitely well-played series; and given all the subplots, storylines, and notoriety of the stars involved this could be a historically entertaining clash and the perfect way to close out this era of hoops before the lockout. With that here are my thoughts on what will decide the series.
This has been the greatest season that I’ve ever watched, both the regular season and the playoffs. We haven’t had a boatload overtime games and game sevens (the spring of 2006 remains tops in that regard), but in terms of the quality of play and the number of transcendent individual performances that we’ve seen, nothing tops this year’s postseason, at least nothing from my lifetime as a basketball fan. To recap:
-Chris Paul reminded us that he’s still the best point guard alive and put on a clinic for how the position is meant to be played.
-Carmelo Anthony showed us why he’s the most unstoppable scorer on the planet when he’s going all out and playing aggressively, unleashing a barrage that rivaled LeBron’s 2007 heroics.
-Brandon Roy temporarily resurrected his career on Easter Weekend, almost singlehandedly leading a comeback for the ages and giving blazer fans hope that he can rehab his knees and still contribute as a scorer off the bench as a Paul Pierce-lite type of player.
-Dwight’s 48-19 in a game one loss to Atlanta exposed how amazing Dwight is (and how flawed his supporting cast is), showing the flaws behind using team wins as the primary metric in MVP voting.
-Rajon Rondo pulled an Isiah Thomas, shaking off a dislocated elbow to lead the Celtics to victory in game 3 vs. Miami, a courageous display of his toughness and will to win.
-We all Neal before Gary when it comes to ridiculous, out-of-nowhere, do-or-die last-second shots.
-Zach Randolph put the finishing touches on a splendid series against the Spurs with a 31-11 closeout game (including 17 in the fourth quarter), presenting exhibit A of why teams continue taking chances upon chances with uber-talented knuckleheads.
-Kevin Durant’s 16 straight points in the game five closeout of Denver gave us a glimpse of what an unstoppable scorer and crunch time assassin that he’ll be when he puts it all together.
-General Grievis (Vasquez) put in a miracle, triple OT shot in one of the most ridiculous and exhilarating playoff games of the last 25 years.
-Dirk’s shooting in game one against Seattle was beyond unfair, as if he had set the game to rookie mode and turned up all the shooting bars to the maximum value. He was so damn good that Kevin Durant scored 40 points and was completely overshadowed.
Other than that nothing very eventful has happened in these playoffs. With that here are my scattered thoughts on a few of the recent storylines.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
A month ago San Antonio, Boston, and Seattle all laid eggs in crucial stretch run games; the Lakers nearly did the same, choosing not to arrive at the Delta Center until midway through the 3rd quarter. But it was still special because it was the first night of the season that we had experienced anything other than top-notch, high quality, uber-competetive basketball – IN MARCH!!!!!!! When you can actually notice that the one night of NBA hoops isn’t amazing, well that speaks to the high level of play during the other 81 games.
When I look back at this season in 50 years, I’ll remember it as the season for the ages, the season that everyone brought his A-game every night, the season that all the old guard stars managed to extend their peaks against all odds while the next generation arrived as legit superstars (the perfect intersection of the best of the old and the best of the new), the season in which all the top players and teams took the games more personally than ever, and the biggest games became absolute battles, the final frontier when everyone delivered the his best before entering the brave new post-lockout world. We’ve never seen a perfect storm like this and may never see it again. But all I know is that this year the players combined to make this an absolute treat for anyone and everyone who cares about professional basketball (and if the regular season is any indication then these playoffs will surpass 2006 as the greatest spring ever). With that here are the reasons why this has been the greatest NBA season ever.