Death in the West: The stars aligned for the Thunder at the end of the game. After a 14-6 run, they were within 2, and when Zach Randolph missed both freethrows, they had possession of the ball with 10 seconds left. The ball found its way to Kevin Durant, and he got free for a long jumpshot to tie it.


Brutal. Kevin Durant will be watching that one looping in his mind as he tries to sleep. That shot's easier for him than anyone it the league. It's right in his FIBA range, where he demolishes the world from deep. Maybe he rushed it a bit; maybe Tony Allen distracted him; it doesn't matter to him. It's a public failure he can't expunge for at least a year. Last year's heroes are usually the first to be thrown under the bus, but KD's such a nice guy, I'm sure the usual suspects will take it easy on him.

Cue Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith... Apparently, Skip has lost all respect for Kevin Durant. It's fitting that Bayless should lack respect for someone; considering that nobody's ever respected him. Maybe if he just squints hard enough through his disturbing orange tan, he'll get there one day.

This isn't the first time these two have had trouble. Tensions were raised when Durant launched allegations that Skip is "brainwashing" people with his ignorance, and Skip is just generally an asshole, so that tends to get people mad at him.

Durant made it all too easy for the critics however, saving the worst for last. He had more turnovers than assists, shot only 24% from the field (his worst percentage for the whole year), and couldn't hit the big shot. According to his game log at basketball reference, it was literally his worst game of the season.

Despite his troubles, Durant still led the team in scoring, which probably was a bad thing. Reggie Jackson was right behind him, followed by Serge. Derek Fisher played 31 minutes and attempted 11 threes, his only attempts of any kind. He hit 3 of them. Kevin Martin played a minute less and only attempted 6 shots, hitting half of them. It's clear that the Thunder lost their game plan long before they lost the series. For most of the playoffs they've seemed without clear direction, riding Durant's consistent excellence. When that abandoned them, there wasn't enough left to take them any further.

Especially not against these Grizzlies...

Death in the East: The Bulls may have lost, but there is a silver lining for their fans. I hear Derrick Rose might be returning for Game 6.

The unholy revenge of the Heat lasted 4 straight games, this one was the most merciful. Even so, it's got to hurt to have a lead halfway through the 4th, only to end up eliminated. The last bucket for the Bulls was a Nate Robinson three. It brought the Bulls to within 3 points, which is where they stayed. In the end, the stitching on the patches came undone and the Bulls couldn't cheat fate any longer. Solid nights from Rip Hamilton and Carlos Boozer aren't going to get it done anymore. It's LeBron's league now, just like Tim Duncan told him it would be after sweeping him in 2007.

Or maybe it's Lance Stephenson's league. Could even be Tay's. Possibly Duncan's. I guess we'll be finding out...

10 Comments:
Blogger Raza said...
Spurs/Grizzlies prediction?

Very anxious about this series.

Anonymous Stockton said...
My All-floppers NBA awards

Chris Paul: flops on screens, on drives, on defense. Not only uses the body moves, but also adds the facial expressions to show extreme pain, even nothing but air touches him (I know, LA is a bit smoggy, but still...)

Ginobili: ok, Wade probably deserved the spot, but consider this a career award.

LeBron "Crab" James: for a big guy he sure falls a lot. And stays down. I'm pretty sure, according to the times I've seen him lying on the floor, he has by now more concussions than a professional boxer.

Blake Griffin: can he create his version of the Duncan face? That is the biggest question mark in hi career by now. He sure can jump and fly, although several times he flies in the wrong direction.

Varejao: brasilians have a reputation in sports for being good actors, and Sideshow is no exception. Those shorts have wiped the floor more often than a curling *something* has slided in the winter Olympics.

Honorable mentions
JJ Barea
Wade
Paul Pierce

This comments is approved by Vlad Divac

Anonymous Stockton said...
My All-floppers NBA awards

Chris Paul: flops on screens, on drives, on defense. Not only uses the body moves, but also adds the facial expressions to show extreme pain, even nothing but air touches him (I know, LA is a bit smoggy, but still...)

Ginobili: ok, Wade probably deserved the spot, but consider this a career award.

LeBron "Crab" James: for a big guy he sure falls a lot. And stays down. I'm pretty sure, according to the times I've seen him lying on the floor, he has by now more concussions than a professional boxer.

Blake Griffin: can he create his version of the Duncan face? That is the biggest question mark in hi career by now. He sure can jump and fly, although several times he flies in the wrong direction.

Varejao: brasilians have a reputation in sports for being good actors, and Sideshow is no exception. Those shorts have wiped the floor more often than a curling *something* has slided in the winter Olympics.

Honorable mentions
JJ Barea
Wade
Paul Pierce

This comments is approved by Vlad Divac

Blogger Glenn said...
Spurs/Grizz? My head says Spurs, but my gut says Griz. Might as well go with the gut. If the Spurs protect homecourt in the first two games, my gut could see it going a full 7 with the Spurs winning. Then again, my Spleen is telling me that the Spurs do it in 5, and my liver has the Griz sweeping, so who knows.

Anonymous Stockton said...
I hate the Spurs! I wish they crash and die!! On the other hand, I respect the Spurs. I hope they win it all.

Blogger Wormboy said...
@Glenn: what does your dick say?

Gotta say that Scott Brooks looked pretty bad in this series. I understand that it is an awful blow to lose Westbrook. But dude, come up with a plan. Heck, even if it doesn't work, you need to make adjustments. It's like Brooks was at a loss for what to do. Adjustments are the essence of playoff wins, even for eventual champions. You think Pop would be at a loss for an entire series? Again, it doesn't have to work. We get that you lost half of your engine, and that sucks. Did we see Scott Brooks turn into Mike Brown during the LeBron years here? The main difference is that Brown's Cavs had a seriously good defense. OKC's isn't that good, and they relied on outscoring opponents.

Has the Curse of the Sasquatch shown itself here? First it compels them to the idiotic Harden trade. Second it nukes Westbrooks knee (thee dude had not EVER been injured, not even in high school), and now it made Scott Brooks the leading candidate for this year's Deer the the Headlights Award for the playoffs coach with no idea how to respond to a situation. And I thought VDN was a lock for this award!

http://www.dweebist.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/sasquatch.png

re: Durant. Hey, even though his soul was crushed, he didn't quit on his team. He just sucked. So, Durant still way ahead of LeBron.


Spurs vs Grizz: I'm going to go with the Spurs on this. First, Timmy is a top 10 all-time player, arguably best power forward, and he's having a healthy and robust throw-back year. He has outplayed the other best bigs of his career, including disgracing Dwight Howard in the playoffs this year. He has always been a great defender and a canny S.O.B. Second, the Spurs have Tiago Splitter, who is a serviceable big body. He won't shut a Grizz big down, but he will enforce the "No Easy Buckets" rule. Z-Bo and Gasol will work hard for their offensive productivity, and unlike with OKC, will be tested to the utmost by a hall-of-fame big. Third, Spurs have a nice stable of good trifecta perimeter players: defense, athleticism, three point shooting. Mike Conley is having a coming out party this postseason, but he's going to meet some bad ass defenders this time around. Fourth, experience. Fifth, Parker and Ginobili.

If the Spurs stay healthy, they win.


Pacer v. knicks: Stern wants the big market Knicks to win. Unless he hammers on the Stern Button, The Pacers and Hibbert beat them. The gimpy Chandler just can't handle Hibbert when he's on. Too bad, because we know that a healthy Chandler could do so. Proviso: the OPacers need to close out in Game 6 at home, because the Knicks will have some serious home cooking (and a potential Stern Button) in the garden in Game 7. Contenders understand this. Do the Pacers? I'm not convinced. They have neither the experience nor the character (both Hibbert and West can fail to show up on occasion). And then there's the JR Smith wild card? Who shows up? Efficient Six Man of the Year or Denver gunner? The Gunner has been dominant since he won the Sixth Man award. Delicious irony!

I do NOT see the Heat as a rubber stamp in any series from here on, except against the Knicks. The Knicks are too drama queenie to win. The Apcers, Grizz and Spurs have enough size to give the Heat conniptions, and we know that interior size is their Achilles Heel, leading to embarrassing 16 rebound deficits. My money is on the Heat getting upset in the Finals, with the pacers taking them 6 games. LeBron might be the heat's Thetis, but the Grizz or the Spurs could could shoot the heat in the reboundng heel, ad have good enough D to keep the "all but LeBron" game plan effective. The wild card is David "The Scumbag" Stern, whom nobody but homers expects to let these playoffs unfold fairly. Look for an appearance by Joey Crawford in the Finals for a clear indication that David "The Gravy Train Stern is using his Hand. Heh.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Pretty great:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccZolvds4yQ

Blogger Savio said...
Nice playoff coverage.

Blogger Glenn said...
Excellent All-floppers team, Stockton. I can't argue with that starting 5, but I think Fisher still earns an honorable mention. So far so good with your Spurs pick, Wormboy. I concur with your Deer in the Headlights vote for Brooks. This Wages of Wins article is amusingly named and informative.
http://wagesofwins.com/2013/05/16/for-okc-too-much-perky-fish/
As for your question regarding predictions. My Johnson doesn't have much interest in basketball beyond this:
http://waxinandmilkin.com/post/20395660497/i-wish-someone-would-start-a-cute-actresses

Blogger Barry said...
Dwight Howard being a bitch-again-alert!

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9296662/sources-dwight-howard-voiced-displeasure-mike-dantoni-gm

It would be kind of hilarious if they sign him to that monster contract, they truly deserve one another.

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