NBA Playoff Thoughts

A few random NBA playoff-related musings:

I definitely feel half-confident about my previous statement that I felt the Nuggets are good enough to lose to the Lakers in the Western Conference.  If I were a gambling man, I would definitely lay down some even-money odds on the Nugs over the Mavericks at this point.  It appears, however, that the Lakers have their hands full with Houston.  Yao was awesome last night, a Chinese whirling dervish of activity, making several nice spin moves down low and also nailing a few 18-footers.  I feel like he could probably shoot a decent 3-point percentage if he decided to focus on it.  Also, he is the Rockets’ best free-throw shooter.  Incidentally, did you know he is a 7’6″ tall Chinese dude?  What the fuck?

Also, if you ignored me when I referred you to it earlier, go check out Michael Lewis’ profile of Shane Battier before watching Game 2 of this series, then spend a few minutes watching Battier hustle Kobe up and down the floor.  It’s really a rather amazing sight to see, and watching the number of times that Kobe throws up multiple ball fakes and spin moves, only to still have a hand right in his grill as he hoists the shot, drives home the point that basketball cannot have arrived, statistically, until they figure out a way to measure ‘forced a low %age bad shot’ reliably.

What the hell is up with arrow-head this year?  Two players now, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis on Boston and Houston’s Ron ‘Worst Night In NBA History’ Artest are featuring ‘dos with shaved sides of the head, but the hair on top and all the way down the back still there, coming to a sort of arrow point in back, with Artest having thrown in the Rockets’ logo on the side for good measure.  They’re absolutely hideous haircuts.  Check it:

According to the articles where I found these pics, the ‘dos are variations on a mohawk, Artest referring to his as a ‘VonHawk’ since he is doing it after making a bet with Von Wafer about reaching the second round, and Davis’ being referred to as a ‘fauxhawk’.

I can almost buy it, but a real mohawk has the back of the head shaved in addition to the sides, and the fact that these gentlemen chose to leave the hair on back means we are entering all-new sartorial territory, and I, for one, do not like where we are going.

Changing gears just a bit, my esteemed co-blogger and I, inspired by the horrific Heat/Hawks series, a 7-game series which features 7 double-digit wins, almost no lead changes, and no buzz whatsoever, chose to play the least exciting 12-10 squash game in history, with him running off 10 unanswered and uncompetetive points in a row, followed by me rallying to 12 straight under similarly uninteresting circumstances.  But at least tens of thousands weren’t paying good money to see us play uninspired squash.

Kudos to the Bulls and Celtics for putting together the most entertaining playoff series I’ve ever seen, even if game 7 was a bit of a letdown in comparison to the previous set of nailbiters.  It took a long while and some false starts, but Chicago seems to have finally put together a really good, competetive young team.  My esteemed co-blogger made the savvy point while watching game 7 that the Bulls could do worse than letting Gordon go in the offseason (he is up for free agency) and trying to find a big who can bring some offense to the floor.  In theory, Brad Miller is supposed to be the big who can drain long jumpers and give them some post scoring, but he was Phantom Menace – level horrific in game 7, and if they can find some points from the 4 or 5 spot, and otherwise keep their core together, they’ll be a very dangerous team.

The Nuggets are very good, but they’re not 58 points better than lots of college teams, let alone a nominally professional franchise in the New Orleans Hornets.  That was some series sort of stinkjob the Hornets threw up (literally – that was the professional equivalent of projectile vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhea all at the same time).  Yeesh.

Finally, I don’t know who that team was that got stops and took good shots all through the 4th on Sunday, blowing open a pretty competetive game, all while wearing the Nuggets’ sweet baby blues, and I don’t know what they did with my devil-may-care Nuggets of the last 6 years, but they were pretty fun to watch.  I hope they choose to show up more often than not for the remainder of the 2009 Playoffs…

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