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AboutChronicling any and everything before, during, and after the NBA season. Basically.
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While the Lakers Nation and Red’s Army clings onto hope that their veteran squads can pull off miraculous comebacks, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the NBA is heading back to 2006. Remember 2006? Songs like “Laffy Taffy” and “Bad Day” dominated the airwaves and a little show called, “The Hills” became an overnight pop culture senstation. It’s not that 2006 was bad year by any stretch of the imagination, I’m just not ready or eager to go back yet.
As much as I wanted to see the peak of basketball’s new wave meet in a mid west showdown, I have to face the facts. We all have to face that fact, we’re going to see the Big 2 of Miami Heat battle the unstoppable scoring machine Dirk Notwizki and the ridiculously deep bench of the Mavericks. It would a great series, no doubt and finally usher in LeBron James’ era as the king of the Association. However, this potential Finals match up seems to lack the sizzle of a Heat-Lakers final or a Lakers-Celtics final or a Heat-Thunder final or Bulls-Lakers or even Grizzlies-Heat final.
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Perhaps my own issues with Mavs owner Mark Cuban is preventing me from enjoying the idea of a Mavs-Heat final. I do not like Cuban. I think his shirts are too tight and as a Lakers fan, it sucks that Cuban’s team could potentially (and most likely) end Phil Jackson’s last playoff tour. The gloating will be even more insufferable and the t-shirts will become even more tighter than before. Cuban could proudly beat his chest and say that he was responsible for sending the Lakers into a summer of despair of turmoil.
Yes, Cuban is an ideal sports owner because he cares about his team, but at times, it’s a bit too much.
Other than finding a replacement for Phil Jackson, the Staples faithful (upper bowl/300 section people) will dominate sports talk radio airwaves with trade discussions and an eagerness to start a petition to force Derek Fisher into retirement. Since the game with the Mavs in late March (the one where Matt Barnes got into with Jason Terry), the Lakers obviously fell apart and expelled whatever energy they had on the court that night and haven’t been able to find it since. Perhaps, it is time for the Lakers to rebuild with those lofty ambitions of trading for Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in the off season and unloading the apparently loathsome Pau Gasol and the injured prone Andrew Bynum. You know the same game plan that the Knicks hope to work soon in the upcoming off season (pending a lock out).
Yet there’s so much to be excited about in the NBA Playoffs! For example, the jawing and slight shoves between everybody’s new favorite player, Zach Randolph and the stoned face Kendrick Perkins of the OK City Thunder. I can only imagine if the two were actually allowed to throw down, it would be a tussle on par with the Rock and Vin Diesel tussle in Fast Five. Then again, after watching Fast Five, nothing in this current round of the NBA Playoffs seems as exciting. The much ballyhooed Heat-Celtics series has been as engaging as a game of 52 pick up.
The Bulls-Hawks match up has been about as sloppy a couple of Captain Karl Sloppy Unjoe’s. The playoffs where we expected Derrick Rose to rise to that next level and become a megastar hasn’t exactly happened yet. It’s been a struggle. Every victory for Da Bulls has been struggle.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
It’ll be a struggle to get the pass the Hawks and it doesn’t seem like Da Bulls will be lucky enough to struggle all their way to the finals. Unless, you get bonus points every time Carlos Boozer yells something after an offensive play.
Yet there is a positive amongst the muck of the second round, Memphis Grizzlies V. Oklahoma City Thunder. Aside from the ZBo-Kendrick Perkins tension, there’s the apparently heavily tattooed Kevin Durant scoring a bunch of points, Russell Westbrook is taking too many shots, Grizzlies’ head coach Lionel Hollins’ great suits, the controlled chaos of Tony Allen and of course, Marc Gasol is playing the way his older brother used to play. If we can hang our hats on anything, it’s this series. Also, Zach Randolph is quickly becoming one of the most popular players in the league and it’s been fun to watch. I just wish that ZBo could jump.
If the NBA is heading back towards a 2006 flashback, we can only hope that the Mavs don’t get jobbed by the officials again. We can also hope that Kenny Smith raps again.
There’s a misguided sense of invincibility and arrogance that comes with being young. More often than not, young people do not know how to harness their energy and talent into something valuable or worthwhile. As they say, youth is wasted on the young.
It’s not to say that you can’t be a young team in the Association and be successful. You can and more importantly, you should be. With a majority of the team born between 1985 and 1988, the Grizzles’ core should be at that turning point when they should begin to shed those youthful layers of inexperience and play like a veteran team.
A lot of pressure will placed upon the shoulders of Rudy Gay this season to become that superstar. Gay is getting paid like a superstar and with a great paycheck, comes great responsibility. Also, will Gay’s experiences with the USA World turn him into a better player? Gay didn’t have a breakthrough like Durant, but we can all hope that Gay learned a thing or two about teamwork and stepping up and working as a team to achieve a singular goal, right?
Ditto for O.J. Mayo.
Also, Memphis, please continue to feed your Spaniard and Z-Bo. Randolph had a really great season and could potentially have another good season as long as he’s being feed the ball. The sky’s the limit with Marc Gasol; the dude is only going to get better. Although, in order to successfully feed a big, you need a solid point guard and apparently Mike Conley isn’t cutting the mustard.
In addition to re-signing Gay to a long term deal, the Grizzlies added the feisty Tony Allen, Acie Law and rookies Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez (We can only hope that the Grizzlies’ fan base perform their own version of Vasquez’s fabled shimmy).
What can you really say about the Grizzlies? They are a team and appear to be in shape and have had a really great pre-season, but it’s the pre season and it’s the Western Conference. Perhaps, the Grizzlies will be in the mix for the eighth seed with the improving Clippers, Rockets, Kings, and, Hornets and dare I even say, T-Wolves?
And for no reason, here’s a photo of the Grizzlies’ mascot sitting on the handle bar of Rudy Gay’s bicycle.