Well, well, well… First, my apologies for picking the Heat in 6 (I meant to say Mavs). Second, congrats to the Dallas Mavericks. Sans Deshawn Stevenson, it couldn’t have happened to a better group of guys. I’m glad that Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki all were able to get a ring. They deserve it, they’ve been through a lot. They’ve been labeled “soft,” “over the hill,” and “selfish” among others. They did the Heat like the Heat did them in 2006. It must feel good to be this big of an underdog and come out on top, in convincing style. I didn’t really root for either team at first, as I thought both had been through a lot. But as soon as Wade and Lebron started pulling that coughing bullshit the day after a sick Nowtizki tore them up, my impartiality went out the door. I think the Heat need to draft some class. Their team of talented players have no chemistry. There’s no flow. I’m not going to blame coach Erick Spoelstra YET. But if they don’t win next year, time to kick him to the curb and bring in Riles, or dare I say Phil Jackson? Anyway, great series. I don’t have a problem with Lebron talking shit to the haters after the game. Remember, he’s only 26 years old. He did nothing wrong by leaving Cleveland. What he needs to work on is his killer instinct. If I was him, I pull some old Jordan tape and some Kobe tape, and watch it all off-season. Remember those stories of Jordan fighting with teammates during practice or Kobe elbowing them during timeouts… Well, I have a combined 11 reasons (1 for each ring) why it worked. I’m concerned that Lebron, with all the god-given talent in the world, will never be. He is very, very far from being Kobe or Jordan so please don’t us their names in the same sentence again. Anyway, forget about the self-proclaimed king/chosen one, the Mavs are on top of the World. What an omen that Jason Terry tatoo was. Good thing they one.
Just 1 day away from the Western Conference Finals. Win or go home! The Dallas Mavericks have the home ocourt advantage and we all know how important that is, ask the Lakers. It surprised us all when they swept the Lakers. I personally thought that Dallas was the weakest of the 8 Western playoff teams and the Lakers would run Dallas in 5 games. The Thunder went the distance with an underrated Memphis Grizzlies team. At the end of the day, it was obvious to me that the Thunder go as far as NOT DURANT but as far as Russell Westbrook goes. No the Mavs have been sitting idle for over 1 week. Rusty? Maybe, but these guys are veterans. I do think that it’s the best chance for the Thunder to steal one. I think the Mavs are gonna have their hands full with the Westbrook There’s no one on Dallas that can hold him. On the flip side, Nowitzki is gonna have a field day. We know that neither Perkins, Ibaka or Durant can hang with him. They’re either too slow, too short, or too skinny to guard. It’s gonna be interesting. I think that I’m gonna take Dallas. I know I’m cheering for them but I wouldn’t bet on them. They do deserve it though, it might be Jason Kidd’s last chance as the window on these vets, Terry, Dirk, Marion, Chandler, Stojakovic etc. is closing QUICK!!! And I’d love to see Mark Cuban getting the hardware from David Stern…
Portland v. Phoenix: The Phoenix Suns have been playing like the Suns of old. Amare Stoudamire finally looks like the beast he was a few years ago. Steve Nash is still one of the top point guards in the league. They’re facing a depleted Portland team without their star Brandon Roy. Marcus Camby is one of those proven “losers” who will never be on a winning team. I like Batum, LaMarcus and A-Miller but they just don’t have enough firepower without Roy. Neither one of these teams is advancing past the second round anyway. I’ll take the Suns in 7.
Dallas v. San Antonio: Remember a couple months ago when the Mavericks were streaking, I think they won 13 in a row? Well, streaks over now. The Caron Butler hype has died down. It’s the Spurs that are playing the best basketball in the West. It’s too bad these two teams had to match up in the first round. While offensively both these teams have the ability to win the game, same ol’ story for the Mavs…no defense, no fundamentals. Enter the “Big F” himself in Tim Duncan, with the best offseason pickup of the year in Richard Jefferson, and you got a recipe for success. As long as Tony Parker can play like he used to, and Ginobli continue what he’s doing, the Spurs should take this series in 6, and the only reason it goes that far is ’cause the Mavs have home court advantage.
Utah v. Denver : This is going to be the most interesting match-up in the first round. I would love to see the Nuggets fail (man do I hate J.R. Smith) but they just have a little more swagger and tougness than the Jazz. Carmelo Anthony is a bonafide superstar that can take over any game and Mr. Big Shot Billups has been to the promised land and knows hot to get there again. I am concerned however about the depth of the Jazz. Paul Milsap has been a bust since signing that big offseason contract extension. Boozer and D-Will are solid but there’s no one else that you can rely on (maybe Okur). Jazz are hurting at shooting guard and small forward, AK-47 is injured. Kyle Korver can only shoot 3s. It’s gonna be gritty but the Nuggets should wrap this up in 5.
Oklahoma City v. Lakers: Now on paper, you would take the Lakers in 4. BUT, the Lakers have taken care of business all year. They don’t put teams away when they should. Their bench has been MIA all year. Kobe’s finger is STILL an issue. Bynum’s health is still in question. With that said, I do expect a HUGE series from Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Nobody is gonna be able to stop these guys. The Thunder, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. Kevin Durant is having an MVP type season. But that’s it. Russell Westbrook FG% and 3pt% is horrible. Sure, he can drive and dish and dunk but if he can’t stretch the defense with his outside shooting, they’re gonna have problems. Plus, with the size the Lakers have, I don’t think the Thunder is going to do much in the paint. Look for the Lakers to outshine the Thunder, LA in 4 (did I just say that?)
And that’s at Staples by the way. We all forgot about the woes of the Lakers. After finishing off the season last year with a Championship, no one particularly recalled how they got there. Remember the losses to Indiana, Sacramento, Miami, Charlotte, Pihlly, Charlotte AGAIN? Remember how many times the Lakers lost a game that they were supposed to dominate? Well, fast-forward to tonight against the Dallas Mavericks, a team that hasn’t beaten the Lakers in the last 6 visits. Can’t say the Lakers were looking to the next game, because that woud be against the Hawks who are supposed to be heavy underdogs. My take on this loss, it was a clinic on why basketball is a team game (see Mavericks) vs. a street game (see Lakers). The Lakers played the entire game like they were at Rucker Park, all one-on-one. Kobe forcing shots from the beginning, going 6-19. Sure he scored 20 points but he missed more than %66 of his shots, rarely got his teammates involved. When he did, they couldn’t capitalize. Ron Artest clearly isn’t comfortable YET with his new team as he shot 1-6 and was in foul trouble most of the game. He even picked up a technical to spice things up. Finally, the Lakers’ bench. What to say. Jordan Farma dribbling the ball of his leg, Jordan Farmar throwing the ball away in a key stretch in the 4th quarter. Sasha taking an off-balance 3-pointer (missing of course). I don’t ever want to see Mbenga or Luke Walton on the court…EVER. These guys don’t belong in the NBA. I’m not saying it’s time to panic but they’re gonna need to nip this in the bud. As for all you psychos out there that think that they’re gonna beat the Bulls all-time record, stop. It ain’t happening.