I'm gonna try something new here and just update this as I watch. This may be a terrible idea, but it's worth a try. It could yield some good things, especially if we get a discussion going in the comments section while watching the game. Keep tapping that refresh button.
Pacers vs. Hawks:
The 2nd half just started. Mike Fratello could barely disguise the disgust in his voice describing the point-blank layup that Roy Hibbert just missed. A possession or so later Hibbert responds by airballing a hook shot. During the halftime report, Shaq suggested Hibbert "hook them to death" but he didn't specify who that "them" was. He did always hate the Pacers
During the first commercial break of the half, Tyson Chandler lets us know that he wants to save wild animals.
68-55, Pacers. The Pacers have a seriously ugly possession where Stephenson throws the ball of the glass so hard in ends up by the three point line. Eventually Paul George follows it up with a blown dunk. The next possession is better with Hibbert hitting a hook shot. The possession after that he scores down low. It's that kind of display that always makes it seem like he should dominate the league. We'll see if it keeps up.
Pendergraph airballs after a nifty behind the back pass from George. Moments later, Jeff Teague is scoring with an easy layup. Stephenson makes a three but doesn't realize he isn't quite good enough for a heat check, bricking a shot from the same place on the next possession.
It's Jeff Teague vs. the Pacers, right now. That isn't good for the Hawks. Teague makes a nice steal and an assist but then tries forcing something down low. He seems confused that he can't get a call, apparently not realizing that nobody knows who he is. He follows this up by fouling D.J. Augustin at halfcourt for some reason. On the next possession he makes a jump shot.
Can anybody on the Hawks stop Paul George? It doesn't look like it. Indiana in 5?
Stephenson takes a hard foul from the Locksmith. Why do NBA players love abusing Lance?
Maybe it's because he can't make his free throws after being thrown to the ground.
Paul George makes Shelvin Mack's parents wish they never had him with a humiliating block that bangs off the glass. The Hawks keep possession. Across the country, hundreds of men born before the '50s mention how Russell would've tapped it to himself.
Atlanta is playing Ivan Johnson and the Locksmith at the same time. That always gets confusing. I think Ivan just bricked two shots in a row, but I can't be sure.
The locksmith just hit a 3. At the same moment Ivan Johnson was called for a foul for wrestling down low. There's some psychic string between these two in addition to their physical resemblance.
The Pacers are 26-27 from the line. Psycho T just missed one but immediately grabbed his own rebound. In the ensuing possession, the Pacers discover a way to turn Hibbert's airballs into Paul George threes. Make that Pacers in four.
Paul George has his first playoff triple-double with 4 and a half minutes left. How long until this guy is a full blown superstar? He's 22. Meanwhile, Josh Smith misses both free throws. It seems that he's moving in the other direction, his hinted at superstardom never arriving. He's 27.
Indiana is enjoying a 26 point free throw differential. They're leading by 13. I'll let you do the math.
Roy Hibbert gives Paul George his 12th assist on a nifty, high arching, spinning floater. I had no idea he could do that. He is still 7' 2", right? Paul George's 17 made free throws tie a Pacers playoff franchise high set by, you guessed it, Reggie Miller.
Damn it. I've missed the first 6 minutes of Spurs vs. Lakers on ABC.
Spurs vs. Lakers:
Steve Nash made Mike D'Antoni vow to pull him if he wasn't playing effectively. The Lakers might've had a chance in this series if Kobe had gotten D'Antoni to vow to pull him if it looked like he was about to rupture his achilles.
It looks like Tim Duncan can still hit a bank shot. I'm shocked. Shocked!
Parker just got blocked by Steve Blake a possession after Blake stole it from him. That's just embarrassing. Van Gundy is wondering if the Lakers have enough offense to compete with the Spurs. If he's suggesting that D'Antoni has to take down Popovich in a defensive battle, I'm tempted to predict a sweep.
Antawn Jamison is trying to get the Lakers back into this game by fouling Matt Bonner while he attempts a three. This inspires Mike Breen to call Bonner, "the Red Mamba". The Spurs lead 24-15 at the end of the first quarter.
It's amazing what playing for the Spurs does for a player. Even hardcore NBA fans have no idea who Cory Joseph is, but he's taking it to the Purple and Gold right now.
Danny Green jumps over Jodie Meeks head and Meeks comes up hobbling. Offensive foul Meeks. This is going to be a long/short series for Los Angeles. He also seems to get kneed in the groin by Cory Joseph on the play.
Kobe's tweeting while watching. He wants Pau to get his ass on the block. Surprisingly, he was a fan of the Red Mamba comment, which inspires JVG to call Breen "the grey mamba" and anoint himself the "bald mamba". This is getting out of control. Then again, it was out of control when Kobe started calling himself the Black Mamba in the first place.
Does that weak ass open 12 footer Gasol just short armed count as getting his ass in the paint? At least he has 10 rebounds, which is actually pretty damn impressive half way through the 2nd quarter.
Bonner easily floating a shot over Dwight's outstretched arm is depressing whether you like Dwight or not. Howard gets some revenge on the rim off a Gasol alley-oop pass. Moments later, Duncan throws down a no-nonsence dunk with no Laker anywhere near him. The Mundane eventually overtakes the Spectacular.
Between Duncan, Pau, and Dwight, this series threatens to have more big men highlights than the rest of the first round match-ups combined. Leave it to a Spurs-Lakers series to have a foot in the NBA's past.
The Spurs have gone to hack-a-Dwight already. Oh joy. Dwight makes both free throws. There's an outside chance that might actually keep Pop from intentionally fouling him another dozen times today. The Spurs lead 45-37 at the half.
Kobe tweets: "Post. Post. Post." Does anybody else find it odd that he's not there? Then again, you pretty much never see an injured Kobe on the sidelines. It's tempting to say a good teammate should be sitting with his team on the bench, but if you owned a helicopter, you probably wouldn't be there either.
Bill Simmons says that he's secretly hoping for Kobe to lose it and start going off on D'Antoni via Twitter. Uhm, I'm pretty sure it's not "secretly" hoping if you say it out loud on the ABC halftime show. Great sentiment, though.
D'Antoni is now drawing up plays where Pau is the ball handler in a pick and roll. Who needs guards?
Gasol short arms another mid-range shot. Somebody really needs to give him access to Kobe's twitter feed.
Kobe has obviously been holding Steve Blake back from becoming the franchise player. Blake hits a fade away to bring the Lakers within 4. Gasol finally gets into the post and scores over the "Red Mamba".
Tim Duncan knocks the ball off of Dwight's foot to gain possession. He then tries to post and gets stripped/fouled. The announcers are shocked at the way he yells at the ref but no technical is called. Moments later, Duncan is shooting free throws. On the possession after that, Duncan is at the line again and Howard has his 4th foul. I think it's the Lincoln beard combined with the Duncan face. The refs are clearly intimidated. Is there anybody else in the league who could rock the Lincoln beard with such authority?
|Will the South ever yield?|
I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious.
Gibobli's starting to feel it, scoring 8 points in the final minute and a half of the third. The Spurs lead by 13 going into the 4th. This one's taking on the feel of inevitability.
Cory Joseph's floater attempt draws nothing but air. Not even Popovich cares at this point. Gasol finally hits one of those mid-range shots off a Nash pick and roll. Timeout Spurs. OK, maybe Pop still cares. That's exactly the kind of play I was picturing when it seemed the Lakers were destined for greatness.
Jalen Rose's "Taco Bell Live Mas Moment" isn't so much a moment as it is a series of moments.
I'm surprised Nash didn't stop to do a facepalm after Howard blew an easy bank shot he fed him. Kawhi Leonard blocks a MWP three attempt and then takes it the length of the court, fakes MWP out of bounds, and lays it in. Jeff Van Gundy loves Kawhi Leonard. I concur.
Pau gets in the post. Unfortunately for him, Duncan was there too.
Pau tries to take it outside with a jumper. Unfortunately for him, Duncan was there too. No wonder JVG calls him irrepressible.
With about 4 minutes left and the Spurs heading towards their largest lead of the game, the camera finds Tracy McGrady sitting glumly on the sideline next to Boris Diaw. Breen describes the decision of the Spurs to sign the former league scoring champion as, "an insurance policy". I should've known that McGrady would one day get to the 2nd round in the most depressing way possible.
Duncan calmly steals the ball away from Blake in the backcourt before heading to the bench for the day.
Reggie's announcing this one. I was wondering when my luck would run out.
Only a minute has gone by and already LeBron has a rebound, an assist, and an and-one. Chris Bosh just hit a corner three. This should be an incredibly balanced and suspenseful series.
Bosh hits another corner three. Well, perhaps thinking he can hit that will come back to haunt him, maybe in a series that actually matters.
Ilyasova draws a charge on LeBron around the three point line. LBJ looks perplexed that anybody would even try that, let alone be successful. I think the Bucks have found their strategy.
LeBron and-one. Maybe not.
Jennings shoots much better when a defender is draped on him and he's falling out of bounds. Guard him at your own peril, Miami. I might be hallucinating but it looks like the Bucks are within 2 points at the end of the quarter.
Monta Ellis makes a spectacular steal from LeBron and saves the ball while flying out of bounds, which leads to Ilyasova missing a 2nd straight layup. Somehow that was always going to end that way.
Jennings checks in with 5 minutes left in the quarter and the Heat leading by 8. I guess Boylan wants to make sure his star is all rested up for their next series, or maybe he just realizes how easily exhausted 23 year olds are.
Jennings has scored 8 points in the 3 minutes since checking in. It must be all that rest. Three point game.
Why is Shaq analyzing 7 year old video footage of himself at the half? Oh yeah, because he's Shaq.
Reggie says that the only way the Bucks are going to be competitive in this series is if Jennings and Ellis force shots. With all the recent coaching vacancies, somebody's gotta put this brilliant basketball mind to good use. With the Heat up by 15, we're approaching the point where the commentators just prattle on until the final buzzer.
Jennings 4 point play. Alright, looks like I'm gonna have to keep watching after all.
The Heat have gone into highlight reel mode, and the Broped is starting to heed Reggie's advice about forcing shots. Miami by 15 again. This feels like a good moment to take a break from playoff watching. I'll see you in Oklahoma City.
I have this crazy feeling that the home teams are going to stay undefeated this weekend. The Rockets have missed their first 9 attempts from the floor. That Ibaka block on Harden was brutal.
So brutal, it's already on youtube.
Ibaka tries another block on Harden but it ends up being a goal tend. Does anybody keep goaltending stats? I'd be curious what players commit/draw the most.
Harden drills a three in Sefolosha's face and then draws a foul on Collison. The Rockets have a chance to get within 5 to end the quarter, not too bad considering they had half the Thunder's score about a minute ago. Reggie Jackson hits a teardrop giving the Thunder a 7 point lead going into the 2nd.
It looks like I'm not the only one who thinks Omer Asik looks like a giant Judge Reinhold.
|Eerie, isn't it?|
The Rockets keep on getting close, but then Westbrook or Durant do something ridiculous. Kevin Martin misses a layup and Patrick Beverly capitalizes with a three. The game is now tied, making it the first time any visitors have been even since around noon.
Ibaka turns a vicious block on Delfino into an outlet pass by swatting the ball about 20 feet into the hands of Sefolosha. Moments later, Perkins has an easy dunk. The Thunder make that tied game a distant memory with a 14 to 5 run.
The half-time dog show at OKC is legitimately incredible looking. They got dogs doing conga lines, back handsprings, and riding scooters. I picked the wrong sport to follow.
The Thunder are starting to run away with this one. Durant just sunk a three from the top of the arc. Have you noticed how role players thrive on corner threes while superstars tend to take the longer, less efficient ones? My theory is that stars don't like the corner as much because it limits their creativity; they can't survey the floor or drive as easily. Any other theories on that one? Maybe they just like looking like bad muthas. The corner three may be closer, but it rarely looks impressive.
The game has now reached that point where the commentators start describing it as a learning experience for the losing team. There may be a whole quarter left to play, but even the NBA employees are calling it a foregone conclusion. Whatever suspense remains mostly surrounds whether or not Russell Westbrook will grab two more rebounds for a triple-double. I'm signing off. I hope you've enjoyed this experiment in playoff coverage. Let me know in the comments section whether this is something you'd like to see more of or something I should never attempt again. If you're still hungry for entertainment, the end of the Karate Kid is on Nick@Nite. And yes, I am talking about the 1984 one.
That Johnny thinks he's so tough.