Well guys and gals, here's Jason's next submission. I have been waiting for it with baited breath, as I'm sure you have. And with this, I will be giving him a set of keys to the car. Or at least a socket wrench (as in he is now an official contributor with his own "by" line and everything).
Now that I won't need to spend time sifting through his submissions, I'll look for the next person I want to feature. Note:
I'm leery of people with their own blogs...while that shows dedication to something, I am seeking someone (or someones plural) to be dedicated to Basketbawful and make it what it once was...a nasty, sarcastic place for semi-literate anonymous people to vent. HA! Kidding. But not really.
The search for more talent continues onward!
2011-2012 NBA Playoff Review
With so many key injuries in the Eastern Conference, and the Lockout shortened season, can we put an asterisk on the Miami Heat’s 2012 championship? I think it’s totally fair. Do I hate the Heat? Perhaps. Am I upset that my Mavs got swept in the first round? Yes. Do have any real reason to say the Heat did not deserve to win the title other than pure biased hatred? No. BTW, is it still cool to hate the Heatles? Never the less, I was thoroughly entertained. I present to you, My 2012 NBA Playoff Review. Let us dig in.
This was a rough season for the reigning MVP. He missed 27 games due to injury, yet the Bulls still managed to secure the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. After missing so much time, many were skeptical how Rose would fare during the rigorous grind that is the NBA playoffs. Game one started, as Rose got off to a shaky start, shooting 1 for 7 from the field. With a 12 point lead in the 4th qtr, Derrick Rose drove the lane, planted both feet for one of his patented hop steps, and disaster struck.
The diagnosis? Torn ACL. Recovery time? 8-12 months. I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure Mike Wilbon slept on a tear soaked pillow that night. The Bulls however, put up a valiant effort behind their role players. Omer Asik had a few impressive moments as well. (By the way, he’s the leading candidate for the Player Most Overcompensated Behind a Good Playoff Showing Award. Former winners include Hedo Turkoglu, and Anderson Verajao.) However, in the end, all of the Bulls' effort could not overcome the vortex of Carlos Boozer’s suckage. Playoff totals of 14.4 ppg (meh), 10.4 rebounds (not bad), 41% FG% (yuck), $13.5 million dollars for the season (DAYUM!) The 76ers take the series in 6 games, advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
San Antonio/Utah. I’m not sure if there was any doubt how this one would turn out. Well, maybe just a little bit. The Spurs were the number 1 seed going into the playoffs in 2011, and managed to get stomped in the first round by the 8th seeded Grizzlies. Some were wondering if they’d suffer this year. However, the Spurs made it clear within the first two games, they weren’t going to screw around with the Jazz. Largely because the Spurs seemed to be playing with 6 guys whenever Devin Harris was on the floor. 3.8 ast per game. 3.0 turnovers per game. 39% fg%....The San Antonio Spurs featuring Devin Harris take the series in a 4 game sweep.
Devin Devin!!! You and the other Spurs players seem to have great chemistry.
Tell us how you guys gelled together so well.
The 2/7 matchup in the East featured the Miami Heat versus the New York Knicks. With so much drama and turmoil, I’m just glad the Heat were able to put the Knicks out of their misery. But instead of a peaceful euthanasia, it was more of a series of blows to the head with a rock. Already missing Linsanity due to a season ending torn meniscus, the Knicks were forced to start Baron “B. Diddy” Davis at point guard. Which also meant that Mike “Mini Me” Bibby would have to be put into the rotation? The Knicks post season was practically over before it even started. During game 1, Iman Shumpart, the Knicks best perimeter defender, went down with a torn ACL. After Game 2, Amare Stoudemire, channeling his inner crouching tiger, punched the glass encasing to a fire extinguisher, leaving a massive cut on his palm. This forced him to sit for game 3, in which the knick also lost.
Float like a butterfly
They managed to steal game 4 despite B. Diddy suffering a vomit inducing knee injury. Miami’s defense ensured there would be no discount double checking. They would hold both Amare and Tyson to below their season avg’s in scoring. In short, they thoroughly kicked their asses. The Heat were finally able to put the Knickerbockers down in 5 games.
When Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder were pitted against the Dallas Mavericks, they had one thing in mind...Sweet, bloody, lustful, vengeance. When the Mavs eliminated them last year, Durant crouched to the floor, one hand covering his mouth, the other caressing the playoff logo. This year’s team was on a mission, and no way in hell were a bunch of geezers gonna stop them this time. Durant was looking like the second best player in the NBA. Westbrook was playing more within the team (even though his assist were down). Harden just won 6th man of the year. Ibaka was a shot blocking machine. And Kendrick Perkins' titties shrank from a solid C cup to a respectable A. The old, tired, depleted Mavs served only as mere appetizer. OKC dismantles the Mavs in 4. But its, ok, the Mavs have all that great cap room to use on free agents this summer (oh, umm...Dammit!!)
Outta my way Gramps.
The Pacers faced off against the Magic in a 3/6 matchup of teams who had literally zero chance of winning the title. Watching this series felt like I was watching the NIT tournament. You knew there would be a winner, but you also knew in the back of your mind that it really didn’t matter. With Dwight Howard sitting out the remainder of the season with a herniated disk, the playoff hopes of an entire city rested squarely on the shoulders of this man...
Here we see the wild Davis stalk its prey, the cheeseburger
But seriously, Big Baby actually had a pretty strong series. 19ppg, 9rbs, and 1 block. However, with no Dwight Howard, the Pacers were in no real danger loosing this series. I know Dwight is a self centered, whinny, coach killing, wishy washy douche. But his defensive presence cannot be understated. He’s literally the sole reason why Orlando isn’t swimming in suckage year in and year out. Pacers win in 5.
When Javale McGee got traded to Denver at the trade deadline, I felt a sense of pure joy. For I knew, that there would be at a minimum, 4 nationally televised games featuring the most unintentionally funny player in the NBA. McGee was the inspiration behind NBA TV’s weekly segment, “Shaqtin’ a Fool”. A weekly countdown of the NBA most McGee-iest bloopers. However, once the series go underway, Javale made sure there would be no more jokes at his expense. Javale, looked…normal. I’m not sure if I like the new McGee. Who is this guy? I feel strange. It’s like seeing your old drinking buddy settle down and get married. They trade in their “wiener rides” t-shirts and Mustang in for a much more toned down cardigan and a mini-van. The party is over. I don’t know who Mr. McGee is, but want (need) JaFail back in my life. *sigh*. Where was I? Yes, Denver/Lakers. Kobe Bean Bryant continued not give a single fuck what Mike Brown had to say. For this series, Kobe averaged 24 FGA per game while making 11 FG’s per game. Question: Who would you rather have, 2012 Kobe, or Tmac in his Prime? Is there really a difference? Prime Tmac and the Lakers take the series in an unexpected 7 games.
Hey Javale, since you’re like an adult and stuff, I call dibs on your Wolverine claws
The Celtics faced the Hawks in the East's 4/5 matchup. This would be the 11th time the two teams have met in the post season. This was a fantastic series. It got off to a hot start in game 1. Jeff Teague and Josh Smith throwing down ferocious dunks left and right. In the final minutes of the 4th qtr, Rajon Rondo decides chest bump an official whilst yelling at him for a blown call. Quite possibly the dumbest thing you can do in close playoff game. (The ghost of Jafail, has possessed a new body I see). The ref immediately tosses him and the Celtics fall to the Hawks in game 1. Game 2 was also special. One of my favorite players is Dirk Nowitzki. And I feel that those who appreciate Dirk must also have a fair amount of respect for Paul Pierce. They were drafted 9th and 10th in 1998. Both are members of the 20,000 point club. And both face been the face of their respective franchises for some time now. On this night Paul Pierce showed us all why he was the truth. Facing a 0-2 deficit, Pierce dropped 36 points 14 rebounds, and 1 Tebow. Despite Al Horford coming back for games 5 and 6, the Celtics still manage to take the series.
Uh, Rondo…personal space
Griz/Clips. This was the series I was most excited for. Rudy Gay making his playoff debut. Nick young aka "Swaggy P" was bound to do something that would either make you scratch your head or scream in excitement. Super athletes Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan head to head against the skillful ground based attacks of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. And let's not forget, CP3. Yes, he can annoy the hell out of most fans, but my GOD, is he good at basketball. Game 1 started and grizzles were off to blazing start. The Clippers proceeded to get the living snot kicked out of them for the first 3 and a half quarters. CP3, couldn’t make his usual impact. Blake, went from Seattle Shawn Kemp, to Cleveland Shawn Kemp. Caron Butler injured his hand and was forced to sit the rest of the game. And Vinny Del Negro was, well, Vinny Del Negro. Everything was going Memphis' way up until the 4th quarter. Down 21 points, all hope seemed lost. But the clippers bench of Mo Williams, Nick Young, Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, and Eric Bledsoe fueled the comeback. This was one of those "did that just happen moments?" . As the final buzzer sounded, a cloud of depression blanketed the Fed Ex Forum. I think I saw a fan with a single tear roll down his cheek American Indian style. I’d cry too if someone came in and took a deuce all over my favorite team. This series went back and forth over the course of seven games. But thanks to the efforts of OJ Mayo the clippers managed to come out on top. by doing so, ensuring that Vinny Del Negro would remain employed another year.
I think he’s holding back his rage vomit
In the second round we saw the Indiana Farmers versus the South Beach Douchebags. These two teams were complete opposites. Miami consisting of three superstars. Well, two superstars and one pseudo-star/dinosaur. While Indiana had no stars, and was built through good drafting and smart trades. On paper, it looked like Miami would have some trouble with the Pacers. While they had no true go to player, they relied on a team concept in take down opponents. When Chris Bosh went down with a strained abdominal, the Heat seemed to be in trouble. The Pacers were feeling confident. Particularly one Pacer, Danny Granger. I do not like Lebron James. But when I saw Danny Granger get in his face, I immediately wanted him and the Heat to stomp the Pacers. Some people should just be put in their place. On his best day, he’s a shitty Rudy Gay. Hey Danny Granger……you’re Danny Granger….just wanted to remind you. Despite the fact that Miami was playing without Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem, the Pacers could not take advantage. Davis West and Roy Hibbert were not able to really establish that dominant post presence. This lead to Larry Legend famously calling his team soft. The Pacers fought hard, but in the end, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade were just too much to handle.
Charles Oakley, Rick Mahorn, Bill Laimbeer…….Danny Granger
After lasting a seven game series against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Clippers had to face the red hot San Antonio Spurs. This was pretty brutal. Blake Griffin was suffering from a bum knee. And Chris Paul was hobbled by a sore hip. It didn’t help that the Spurs were coming off an eight day layoff. Chris Paul just wasn’t right from the start and it showed. He only scored 6 points in game 1 and averaged only 12.8 for the series. That pretty much spelled doom for the Clippers. After all, Del Negro’s idea of offense consisted of “CP3 do everything”. Seriously, watch the Clippers in their half court sets. If Griffin or Jordan aren’t in dunking range, and the wings, can’t shake their man, it’s all Chris Paul. He literally has to use almost every move in his arsenal at times to score. Crossover, hesitation dribble, spin move, tear drop. Then two plays later, In an out, double crossover, between the legs, step back, fade away. No wonder he started breaking down late in the season. I’m glad the Spurs won this series; it meant the end of the Blake Griffin Amish playoff beard.
Chris, I just need you to give a little bit more effort.
The Sixers took on the Celtics in a back and forth 7 game battle. On paper it was a battle of youth versus battle tested experience. The young run and gun Sixers fought hard the whole series. Role players like Spencer Hawes step up in major moments. (Also another candidate for the Player Most Likely to be Overcompensated by a Good Playoff Showing Award. I like handing out fake awards.) After game 5 Garnett called the Sixer's faithful "fair weather fans". That may be true in the fact that they don't have a strong showing when the Sixers are struggling. But when they are in the playoffs, opposing players definitely feel their presence. For one, half the arena shows up in ridiculous outfits. I mean one guy even showed up in a Michael Sweetney costume...
Philadelphia’s up and down fast breaking efforts were no match for the Celtics. Boston wins a thrilling 7 game series to advance to the conference semi's.
Despite all Kobe’s efforts to literally shoot the Lakers to death, they managed to advance to the second round where they faced to OKC thunder. Remember that sweet, bloody lustful, vengeance spoke of earlier? It looked like the thunder's thirst hadn’t been quenched. With Ron Artest's elbow imprint still visible on the side of James Harden's head, the thunder came out swinging. Blasting the Lakers by nearly 30 points shooting 53% from the floor and putting up a 39 point 3rd qtr. But the Thunder weren't the only ones on a mission. My theory is that Kobe’s goal was to get Mike Brown fired. Shooting .389, .360, .360, .429, and .545 with zero assists. (That last one was just to mess with everyone's heads.) By doing so, he effectively gave a middle finger to any idea of team basketball. This entire season had to have been some form of protest. I admire his commitment actually. Kobe is a great, great player, don’t get me wrong. But I just can’t figure out how a guy can spam that many jumpers, and not see any problem with it. The Thunder end up embarrassing the Lakers in five games.
Don’t you EVER let me catch you shooting again!!!
Heat. Celtics. Eastern Conference Finals. Kevin Garnett was playing the best basketball he's played in years. It was going to be interesting to see what would happen when he went up against the Heat who were without Chris Bosh for the first half of the series. Without Bosh, Garnett averaged 20.5 ppg and 10.7 rpg. But With Bosh, Garnett had a more subdued 17.3 and 7.6. Even if The Boshtrich's numbers weren’t great, his presence was still felt. Lebron had a fantastic series. There I said it. (I think a need a shower) With the Celtics on the verge of victory taking a 3-2 series lead after 5, Lebron walked into TD garden on June 7th, 2012, and took a massive dump all over the Celtics franchise. This was a historical game, this was the type of game that will cause people lie and say they were in the building when it happened. I have many criticisms of Lebron's game. (Streaky jumper, no post game, not a great three point shooter, pretty much meh from the ft line) but all those things didn't matter on this night. This was the Lebron we had been hearing about all these years. It was like if Bigfoot walked across the TV during the State of the Union Address and got abducted by aliens. On this night, he was truly the king. 19-26 shooting for 73% on the night totaling 45 points. Throw in 15 rebounds, 5 assist and 50% from 3 while you’re at it. That’s a video game stat line. Lebron forced game 7 in Miami where they would eventually take the series in a 101-88 finally.
Beast mode: [on] off
When the San Antonio Spurs won the first two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it looked as if no one could stop that train. The Spurs had won every playoff game so far and had a total winning streak of 20 games. Tim Duncan looked the best he has been in years. Tony Parker was playing his best basketball ever. Manu Ginobili was healthy. And guys like Stephan Jackson and Boris Diaw were relevant again. This team was so good; they couldn’t even find room to squeeze Dejaun Blair onto the court. You know former Big East Player of the Year and 2010 NBA All Rookie team member. He was the eleventh best player on that roster. Popovich coached the shit out of that team. That why I was shocked when the Thunder suddenly won four games in a row. I’m honestly not sure how it happened. But somehow, the Thunder did the impossible. The national consensus after game 2, was that the Spurs were set the win their 5th NBA title since 1999. I believe we witnessed a changing of the guard. Let’s take roll. Old Mavs: check, old Lakers: check, old Spurs: check. Yup, it’s official. The Thunder are the new top dog in the west. That happened a lot faster than expected. The Mavs and Lakers were responsible for the past three titles and the Spurs seemed to be on the uptick again. I guess there always comes a day then the little brother isn’t so little anymore. The Thunder advance to the finals for the first time since come to Oklahoma City. And sadly, that meant no more Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA.
Timeout: Who’s got the Icy Hot?
The 2012 NBA Finals. The Thunder were the favorites to take home the Larry O’Brien this year. There were questions to be answered. Would Lebron fade into the backdrop like last year? How would the young Thunder perform on the biggest stage? How would Dwayne Wade's knee hold up? A few things that I noticed in this series. Not only is Thabo Sefolosha the worst dunker in the NBA, he's also the worst offensive wing player in the NBA. I haven’t looked it up to make an official comparison, but for the sake of this review, I’m just gonna say he is. Thabo shot 29% from the floor for the series. And what’s worse, he seems like he pretty much has the green light to fling poop at the rim whenever he feels the urge. The other thing I noticed, Mario Chalmers' swag level is through the roof. He really believes he's good. The ONLY reason Chalmers ever scores, is because the defense is worried about the Big 3. In other words, opposing teams totally forget he even exists, which allows him to sneak a few points in. Mario Chalmers is the new Derek Fisher.
Thanks guys. But, I couldn’t have done it with the help of my teammates.
The Thunder took game 1 with Durant scoring 17 points in the 4th qtr. Lebron had a so-so 4th qtr of 7 points. All the questions started to creep back in. Could Lebron deliver when it mattered most? In game 2, Miami squandered at 15 point lead and were in danger of falling behind 2 games to the Thunder. Despite the feverish comeback, Lebron and the Heat were able to hold off OKC and tie the series. At this point, Battier has 9 threes is two games. Championship teams always seem to get that unexpected contribution from somewhere on their roster in big moments. This was one of those moments. After this game, it was obvious, Lebron was not shooting jumpers. The entire series, he made a point to put his head down and get into the paint a much as possible. The Heat took game 3 with Lebron dropping 29 and 14. Durant, again, struggled to stay out of foul trouble. He only managed 25 and 6. Not bad numbers, but the Thunder clearly needed more. In game 4, Russell Westbrook turned in to a miniature version of Lebron in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Pure and total Beast mode. With Durant adding in 28 points and Lebron having to sit the last portion of the 4th due to muscle (menstrual) cramps, how could the Thunder possibly lose? Mario Chalmers. He managed to score 25 points matching Dwayne Wade's output. This game will enshrine Chalmers into the Hall of Fame inside his own mind. Down 3 games to 1, it was pretty much over for the Thunder. In game 5, when the heat jumped up to 88-63, every soul in South Beach started to rejoice. Fist bumps, and bro hugs swept through the America Airlines Arena. As the confetti fell, Lebron's middle fingers were raised (figuratively). We couldn’t call him a chocker, we couldn’t use any 4th qtr jokes, and we couldn’t say he was afraid of the spotlight. Unless he signs a deal with Rogaine, all we have now are hairline jokes.
Rampant injuries, the fall of a champion, fire extinguisher assaults, past playoff demons being exercised. I left the buffet table stuffed, yet satisfied. It may not have ended the way many of the fans would have preferred, but this was a spectacular playoff none the less. Lebron James is no longer public enemy number 1. That distinct honor has now moved to Dwight Howard. That is, until he wins a title. I look forward to next season and all that she may have in store.