Paul mug

For those who love Worst of the Night, don't worry. I'm sure Bawful will take care of you....

Ok, onward...

Is it me, or is the Lakers' Staples opening introduction the most lame, least intimidating production in the league?

1st Quarter

9:43, 1st - A driving Derek Fisher loses control of the ball, flops, and hits his head on a baseline camera. Not imagining that an offensive player could simply lose control of the ball on his own, official calls a foul.

8:12, 1st - Kobe acts as if he's been fouled with the old arm flail. None is called. Miracle.

8:00, 1st - Rondo passes on an open lay up for the second time in two games. This man simply doesn't want to shoot the rock. He's playing like I play when I've had a big chili dinner and am feeling an onset of diarrhea.

7:28, 1st - Gasol with a nice drive and dish. 12 - 5 Lakers.

7:01, 1st - Gasol misses, gets rebound. Hits follow up as phantom foul is called. Why is it that officials like to automatically reward a successful offensive rebound with a foul call? 18 - 5 Lakers. Feels, smells, tastes like game four, including the feeling that the Celtics are cooked. Don't trust that feeling, I tell myself.

5:15, 1st - House hits a three, reminds world why he is needed over Rondo.

4:53, 1st - Kobe with his third three pointer. Looks like he wants to put a towel on that wet spot.

3:50, 1st - Allen hits a three, reminds world that the Celtics have a lot more people to beat you than the Lakers do.

3:35 1st - Kobe fouled, crowd chants "MVP" during free throws as if they're trying to convince themselves of it.

2:38, 1st - Kobe with a great fake-three-bullet-pass to Radmanovic for two.

Celtics timeout. 31 - 15 Lakers. Breen says "The Celtics have 'em right where they want 'em." Could history repeat itself, I think? If superstition applies, do I have to keep blogging for the comeback to happen?

Kobe makes his silly "elite eight" comment again (about equating his position to March madness, how he only has three wins left for a championship), and how if someone told him at the beginning of the season he had three shots to win a championship, he'd take it in a second. Interesting positive outlook. He sounds almost mature, but "elite eight" talk from a guy who never went to college seems silly.

1:08, 1st - Garnett 2nd foul. Legit call. Hits Gasol on the arm.

End, 1st - 39 - 22 Lakers.

2nd Quarter

2nd - Tony Allen getting some quality time. Dunks on an inbounds play. Mihm has been in the game as well, in order to foul and not score. Both coaches have decided, it appears, to try every possible combination of players. Either that, or they've both decided to make the TV audience go "Who?"

8:14, 2nd - Posey draws the charge, but it's a blocking foul. Bad calls go both ways...

7:37, 2nd - Garnett's third foul is another phantom, assisted by Gasol's overacting. But I agree with the commentators that Garnett shouldn't have slapped at the ball, and that you have to avoid even the appearance of a foul, because, sadly, the refs can't tell the difference.

Celts on a 15-0 run thanks to one Mr. Pierce. Early playoff criticism was that the Celts don't have a go-to guy. Pierce has solidified himself as the man.

Gasol doesn't break to the basket hard enough for a Kobe pass. Gasol has that all-I-have-going-for-me-is-I'm-tall feeling.

Cassell and Tony Allen have been in the game for quite a while. Causes me to think maybe it's a sign of respect to Phil Jackson. Maybe Doc just assumes Jackson will have perfectly prepared the Lakers for looks they've seen before, and he feels he has to show the Lakers a look with which they are unfamiliar.

Jack Nicholson jaws with Bavetta on a Fisher foul. Earlier he is seen trying to take up Doc Rivers' valuable time. There is no surer sign he expects the Celtics to win. He may be the biggest jock sniffer of all time; he used to bother Bird back in the '80's too.

Breen says Bird called Luke Walton to wish him luck? Jesus, Larry. I know he's Bill's kid and all, but he's playing against the Celtics. Where's at least a little of that patented Larry humor? How about a little "I wish you luck, Luke. I hope you score 50, but that the Celtics whip your team's ass"? I'm really going to have to just try to avoid any and all Larry Bird news from now on, and just try to watch old videos and commemorative DVDs of him kicking ass and taking names and enjoying the hell out of it.

Halftime: Father's Day Tribute

Bill Walton interviews son Luke for Father's Day. They reminisce about playing ball with Larry Legend in the back yard, and how Larry would trash talk. Yes guys, I miss that trash talker Larry too. The end of the father-son discussion feels forced and scripted, and Bill looks like he can't speak past whatever dental work has been done to him. Are those teeth, or is that a giant wedge of ice cold vanilla ice cream in his mouth?

3rd Quarter

9:54, 3rd - Celts take the lead, 58-57.

9:26, 3rd - Phantom call on Pierce against Kobe. MVP chants from the crowd are weak and uninspired.

8:26, 3rd - Pierce, after thinking hard, gives the ball to a wide-open Rondo. Rondo hits a jumper. This is a sign of the Apocalypse for the Lakers.

7:16, 3rd - Garnett called for his fourth foul. He never touched Gasol on the play. Stern wants to have at least six games. Sense this will go six, but an even stronger sense that the Lakers won't be able to get even close with the home cooked calls in Boston.

6:04, 3rd - Kobe gets 4th foul, second charge. If he gets in trouble, it's over. He may already be in trouble.

5:00, 3rd - Rondo fouls Fisher hard on a shot make, then gives away the ball on an awful pass on a drive. Jackson said earlier he's "penetrating to pass"... no truer words have been spoken, and no more ineffective guard play has been played. Get him the hell out of there, Doc.

Celeb watch: Paula Abdul, Matt Damon, David Spade, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington. Matty Damon proudly sporting the green hat - he may hunt for goodwill in this building, but he won't get it.

Lakers lead by 9 at the end of the third. It's going back to Boston. I can feel it. No comeback this time.

4th Quarter

11:47, 4th - Odom gets called for a foul. Why? Because Pierce kneed him in the groin. At least the horribleness of the officiating is consistent, but that's the rationalization for bad officiating we hear all too often these days.

Odom hits a three. Laker lead is 12. Boston here we come.

9:10, 4th - Lukey boy hits a basket. Bill smiles through the ice cream bar in his mouth.

8:35, 4th - Vujacic (a.k.a. Ginobili-in-training) falls to the floor and even whacks his head on an acting job, pretending 38-year-old Cassell just tossed him to the floor. Officials rightly call jump ball. Expect a fine next year on that, Sasha.

6:22, 4th - Luke doesn't use the force - fouls Pierce in the backcourt to put the Lakers in the penalty. Gets sent to the bench. No close up of Bill on that boner.

5:40, 4th - Pierce falls to the floor, tosses the ball to Posey while sliding on the floor (is that a travel?), who hits a cold-blooded three. Posey is consistently not sucking in this series.

3:54, 4th - KG goes to the line for the first time of the night. Not bad officiating, he just simply doesn't drive to the hole like he should.

3:31, 4th - KG and Pierce pick up their fifth fouls three seconds apart. KG's call is a tick-tack away from the ball. More often than not calls on his defense have been ridiculous.

3:10, 4th - Bryant with a huge slap away of the ball on Pierce, reminiscent of what Pierce did to him the game before.

2:14, 4th - Kobe shooting free throws. More MVP chants, even though he's been crap in the second half (2-12 since a 15 point first quarter).

:37.4, 4th - Players are beating each other up right and left without calls. That "don't call anything in the last 5 seconds" rule officials like to apply appears to have been extended to the final 2 minutes. Kobe with another huge steal off Pierce - could have been a foul, but not the way officials call the end of games for an away team.

:26, 4th - KG blows a weak put back of a Ray Allen miss. Boston, here we come.

House makes it interesting with a three, but Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are spouting off that "this Laker performance won't get it done in Boston." This, to me, is the surest admission that "home court advantage" in the NBA goes way beyond just a crowd cheering in your favor...

...all the more reason to be glad the Celtics have home court advantage.

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Blogger  said...
super man-love:

pierce must have tugged a little to hard on that last one.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Two things:

first, I like these Live Blogs from Evil Ted. Nicely done.

Second: I suggest mr. Bawful includes in his (its? I'm not sure Bawful isn't an entity) "WOTN" the "Player of the game vote".

We already know that people vote without regard to how the game was effectively played (see: All-Star Game starters).
Apart from the obvious choice of Powe in game 2 (which even a blind-deaf dude would have made), the others "Players of the game" are... Pierce, Kobe, Pierce, Kobe.

Umm. Game 4 had almost 4 "Players of the game" candidate, and Pierce was maybe the less worthy of the bunch. Me, I would have voted Posey, and then Allen, and then House, and THEN Pierce.

So, NBA, thanks again for remembering how people is a collective mass without any sign of individual thought.

PS: NBA receives anyway a Tommy Point for that commercial with Pau Gasol choking, Jose Calderon sayin' "seven years" and Jason Kidd staring intensely at the camera, as if he was involved in some serious poop incident.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"11:47, 4th - Odom gets called for a foul. Why? Because Pierce kneed him in the groin."

Yeah, that was ridiculous.

Both teams (aside from the Lakers 1st quarter) played pretty shitty tonight. Hopefully Game 6 is better.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"This, to me, is the surest admission that "home court advantage" in the NBA goes way beyond just a crowd cheering in your favor..."

Well, if you're cynical you could immediately think of the officiating when he said that.

I took that to mean that, naturally, the Celtics may play a little better in every aspect of the game at home and the Lakers may play a bit worse.

In particular, the chances of the Laker role players playing well will decrease when they go to Boston, and the opposite is true for the Celtics role players.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Anonymous - I'm cynical. Yes, I meant officiating. And yes, expect that to have an effect on the role players' "performances." But not about to make stone cold predictions for Game 6. Don't want to jinx it.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
"Is it me, or is the Lakers' Staples opening introduction the most lame, least intimidating production in the league?"

I might be inclined to agree with you if not for something I saw in the 2nd round series with LA & Utah. For whatever reason TNT didn't show the pregame productions the way that ESPN did throughout the playoffs, so in the West we didn't really get to see what the teams were doing. However, in Game 3 of the Lakers-Utah series TNT actually did show the pregame intros because the story of whether the Jazz crowd would boo Fisher was such a big deal to them. Utah basically has no pregame production: they don't turn the lights off and there's no video show or fireworks or anything like that. They just play some music in the background and introduce the players and that's it. I actually might prefer that to the crazy WWE intros we see from most teams nowadays, but it would certainly qualify as "least intimidating".

Also, I don't think the Lakers have a set intro they use for every game the way the Celtics do. In Game 3 the Laker intro was different than it was in Games 4 & 5. Maybe the NBA made them come up with something different than what they normally do. I don't know, haven't seen many Laker intros.

Blogger Nathan said...
If there's an upside to these finals, it will be that national commentators might (finally) stop mentioning Luke Walton as if he's a key part of the Laker attack instead of a barely-playable cringe-inducing bench warmer.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Yams - I know the Lakers vary it up, but every different one I've seen has not lived up to the organization. Hell, even game 3's opening featured the Celtics celebrating more than the Lakers. And then there's that hideous conversation-style announcer. The whole thing is just plain awful. Maybe I've been trained to expect pomp and volume and fireworks, but for the town known for being able to put on a show, you'd think they could really bring it for a Lakers/Celtics final.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
ET - I do know what you mean, but oddly enough the Lakers tend to have a more "old school" approach to a lot of the "pomp and volume" stuff, despite being in LA (maybe cause Buss has been the owner there forever). They don't play Top 40 hits or rap while the game is going like 85% of the teams in the league do nowadays (thankfully neither do the Celtics), and they haven't gone to one of those crazy announcers like Mason (?) from Detroit. The Lakers have an actual band that sits way up in the rafters (a drummer and a horn section, basically) and plays "D-fense" chants and crap like that. They do have the Laker girls, but they really don't have most of the other stuff you see at many other NBA games these days. They didn't even turn the lights out during the intros till they moved into Staples Center back in 2000, so they were really one of the last teams to do that. Some would say it's "dull" some would say it's "retro" or "classy", I think it's somewhere in between. A lot of the crazy WWE-like showmanship that goes on before and during NBA games is a turnoff for me.

But I really hate it when teams play the latest Top 40 hit during the game.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the last time, I tried but your very slanted view on life and basketball (might have something to do with your childhood I suspect) has finally cured me of any need i might have had to read your admittedly decent writing. So I am gone, please continue spreading innuendos, getting in your sly digs and being a poster child for all that this wrong with blogs. The Laker and Kobe fan is gone. May you live to be a thousand and may some else blog about you. Funny how people have strong opinions about people they have never met but think they are the ones that are normal.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- I am greatly saddened by your departure. If only you could have found the heart to stick things out...I would have asked to use your comment as a pull quote for the upcoming Basketbawful Home Companion. I suppose I'll have to draw what little satisfaction I can from printing it out, framing it, and hanging it on my bedroom ceiling. I know we've only known each other for a few sentence fragments here and there, but I will always love you. Always.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr. "anonymous" (if that is his real name) will be back soon enough. That damned anonymous is not to be trusted.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I must say - I am shocked ! Stunned. What happened Kobe? I mean really? What is going on? I expect a major move again this off season for the Lakers. Danny Ainge is really good GM.

Anyhow I hope they did not get tired on the Airflight, that is a LONG trip and you need all the rest in the NBA FINALS.

I am a Big NBA Fan, but I wanted a closer match-up. Poor Lakers. I guess the Refs could not cheat to force a Seventh Game because of the David Stern-Tim Donaghy Scandal? Any ESPN Insights on that one?

I also think perhaps, so it seems, that the Lakers wore "Sede Vacante" Caps or maybe I should (with Richard Williamson) call them"Mente vacante" Baseball hats? I mean really:

All I know the "Big Three" (Pierce, Garnett, Allen) went in "Extraordinary Form" to the Vatican in Rome, Italy before the season with Doc Rivers to find a Common Basketball Philosophy, I am not sure what happened there? Anyone know about the Vatican-Roma Camp the Celtics had? I know Kobe's dad owns a team, I think in Milano? Maybe there is some special Latin Tridentine Mass Papal Ritual they attended to bless their Record Season?

Where were all the Hollywood Stars cheering on LA? I mean everyone loves to "jump on" the Hollywood Bandwagon, right? Like for example, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Mike Huckabee, Chuck Norris, Timothy Henneberry, George Michael, Anthony Hopkins, Robert De Niro, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Don Johnson, Clarence Kelly, Michael Bishop, Marc Anthony, J Lo, Irving "Magic" Johnson, Matthew "The Valid" Parker, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George W. Bush, Vince Young, Michael Vick, T.O., Lefty Cekada, Kenyan West, Britney Spears, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, Sean O'Malley, Bernard Law, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, John McCain, Tony Blair, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Guy Richie, Mon. Bernard Fellay SSPX, Tom Delay, Howard Stern, Tony Armani, Ronald Bryant, Sting, Jose Canseco Bono, Ronnie Brown, Al Gore, Santana, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Richard Jamison, John Henry, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Anthony Sanborn, Donald Rumsfeld, Solomon Rosenberg, Bob "The Center" Michael, Peter Marcel, Timmy Dimond, Al Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Karl "The Mailman" Malone, "The Worm" Dennis Rodman, James Lefebvre, Tony Romo, Jessica Simpson, Ric Flair, Bill Richardson, Vince McMahon, Joseph Ratzinger, Bob Kraft, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Eddie Murphy, Bobby Thuc, Tom Hanks, Shakira, Paula Abdul, Roberto Gonzalez, Colin Powell, Jerry Lawler, Howard Dean, Dick Cheney, Tony Garcia, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Barker, Jerry Lewis, Regis Philbin, etc.?

I mean really, this was suppose to be the BIG TIME Lakers vs Celtics Rivalry FINALS, and I did not see many Hollywood Stars and other Celebrities at the Boston Garden there,why? Did David Stern and Senator Arlen Specter deny them invitations? Is Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens banned from NBA Games? And how about Sir Charles Barkley (Is he banned for Gambling on Games)? Or is it just traditional pro-forma to have to receive an "Universal Indult", you know, to get into the Front Row Seats?

The crowd booed David Stern, is that Anti-Semitic? I felt weird.

Anyhow, Congrats to Paul Pierce (a LA Boy) -- we all can cheer for him, he is a secret-Lakers fan, I heard from a certain unknown Rafa Erofadaps,


The NBA is Fantastic.

I can't wait for the Olympic Games in China, I hope Kobe Bryant and Yo Ming play.

- Jason "Sede Vacante" McMichaels