“You should read Bill Simmons; it’d make you a better person,” I said this to my very-own mother while reading his column called “Absurd Tanking! Knicks Surging! Miami’s Madness!” Thank you Grantland.
She understands sports better than all three of her brothers, and thanks to the common sense in-fused from our father, my brother understands sports better than 98% of you out there—even if he doesn’t follow a wink of it.
No matter—this is a curse, being in a family of un-commoners; one where the most must-see events range from dirt-bike racing and golf, to watching football without sound and music blaring (sometimes even on vinyl) for every football contest minus the Stupor Bowl.
Oh the ties that bind. Never be ashamed of where you came from—just have the wherewithal to step outside it every so often so you can see the forest for the trees; and, if every family situation seems as hopeless as mine, and most are, than it’ll all seem like nothing other than a deeply wooded area to any outsider.
So—be the guide and teach the masses; that’s my motto.
I almost forgot…
We’re here to discuss the greatest version of professional sport in America: The NBA.
ABC’s Sunday Treat
Two potential playoff matchups were on network television for our amusement on the day of rest, and they couldn’t have been more fun.
Carmelo Anthony proved he’s capable of great things against the Heat (now if we could just make a deal with someone to guarantee this possibility for six or seven games, we’d be set), and the Lake Show had something on display known as dominance over an opponent in their beating of the Dallas Mavericks for the fourth time this season in as many games.
I hate to say it Dallas, but if you draw the Lakers, that series would be lucky to go five games; just saying…
You could say the same about the Heat beating the Knicks in three of three, yet I’d be careful about underestimating New York in these playoffs; enough guys on that team—like Baron Davis, Tyson Chandler and JR Smith—have seen the playoffs before to give me the confidence that they could give Miami problems.
Points Don’t Always Mean Victory (But Sometimes They Do)
Funny thing about the last four days: People have gone for 30 points or more five times, and won only twice; and two players have gone north of 40, yet only one was victorious.
Thursday last 30 on the nose happened twice, once by LeBron, once by David Lee (just before he registered his season-ending—and utterly confusing—injury), as the Heat lost to the Bulls in OT and the Warriors lost to the Mavericks by nine in regulation.
The three top scorers on Friday and Saturday had much more luck: Andrew Bynum netted 30 on the button and snagged 8 boards as the Lakers beat Denver without Mr. Bryant, and the Thunder had a twofer: Kevin Durant with 43&7 and Russell Westbrook with 35&8 dimes.
But then on Sunday there were two of a different color when Melo, leading the Knicks in every major statistical category, went for 42/9/5 in an eight point loss to Miami; then, Rodney Stuckey scored 32, but the Bulls where the victors over the Pistons nevertheless. And to add insult to injury, both the big scorers were at home. Ouch.
This is some stuff just for fun…
When the Bulls beat the Heat in overtime on Thursday, they played the extra minutes with their starters, minus Luol Deng, on the bench; plus, Derrick Rose had a career low 2 points—yes, you read that right: Two. Furthermore, Kyle Korver had 17 points in 18 minutes. The Baby Bulls go nine, maybe ten, guys deep, and that can only help in the condensed, short season, with the possibility of four seven game series upcoming.
Did anyone else notice how close the scoring title has become? Keep your eye on it, because Kobe is averaging 28.1 and Durant’s at 27.8. Wouldn’t it be great if one of them (please have it be Durant) averaged 28 a game and still lost?
Or—did anyone catch Rajon Rondo passing Steve Nash in assists per game. Rondo is putting up video-game numbers right now, at 11.5 assists a game, yet Nash has been no slouch either, posting 10.9 assists per game, at 38 years of age, and while playing, on average, five less minutes a game. Not to mention: He’s on the Suns!
Things to Come…
Big games from both conferences over the next few days—on television, too, so get watching people.
OKC/LAC is on NBATV on Monday Night Basketball (sorry; sounded better in my head), with the Clippers leading the season series 2-1, look for the Thunder to level that one off.
TNT and ESPN both have double headers for us on back to back nights, yet they each approach us from a different angle, even if both instances include games involving the Celtics and the Lakers.
Tuesday on TNT is BOS/NYK followed by SAS/LAL, and Boston has won the last two times these clubs have faced—avenging a Christmas Day defeat at the hands of the Knickerbockers—so that should go as expected, unless Melo gets some help, or he drops half-a-hundred on their heads; moreover, the Lakers and Spurs are meeting each other for the second time of three contests in ten days, so you’re guess is as good as mine, but I think the fact that the Lakers took game one last Wednesday (Bynum’s 30 rebound night), they should win again, and then lose the contest in San Antonio at the end of this week.
On ESPN, Wednesday night, the Celtics and Lakers will be looking for sweeps, and most likely, they’ll each achieve their goals. Boston plays Orlando for the third time, and LAL goes to Oakland to play the Warriors for the fourth time.
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