The NBA season has been ridiculous filled with player beef, basketball twitter arguments over who is the Rookie of the Year (I’m with both of them having it because at the end of the day, it is kinda meaningless considering Michael Carter-Williams won it) and Kevin Durant calling most writers “Blog Boyz” because some of them probably can’t even make a layup with their opposite hands, which led to some dudes crying because they took what Durant said personal, which means he was probably right. What a time to be alive (Am I a blog boy? I can shoot with both hands, run an actual offense, shoot a high percentage from three, and dunk a basketball…. somebody get me connected with Kevin Durant).
The NBA Playoffs aka the NBA’s second SZN begins on Saturday afternoon. I love the playoffs. I grew up a basketball junkie, where the only thing we would do in my household would watch basketball from late October – Mid June every year (Mom, I know you’re reading this. I love you. Please send my golf clubs next week). The playoffs provide a different type of feel. Everything is high from the pressure, the emotions and the intensity. You see the game’s best players rise up to their best and some falter within it. That’s what makes the playoffs so great.
I have a scale that’s ranked from 1 through 5 in terms of watchability – 1 = I’m not watching this, and 5 = I’ll watch this regardless of where I’m at. Let’s begin with the Eastern Conference. Part two will be the Western Conference.
It’s May 1st, which is the best day of the year because one, my birthday is in 24 days (THE PLUG), two, I’m finally about to be done with school for the year after just attending one semester, and three, we’re in the mist of the NBA Playoffs where a lot of things are heating up. The 2014 NBA Playoffs have been crazy, and legit enough to the point where I’m ready to claim it as the best first round EVER.
Tonight, there are three game 6’s, and two teams that are heavy in the spotlight are the Indiana Pacers (more on them later), and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder came in as a heavy title favorites (I picked them to win it all, honestly), and now, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of ridiculousness being said about the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. Here are 4 things that need to be addressed.
1. Kevin Durant’s legacy is still going to be intact regardless of what happens tonight.
Remember back in 2012 when EVERYONE (myself included, which was dumb of me) when we were saying how Lebron James’ legacy was at stake in a game 6 in the middle of the Eastern Conference Finals when the Miami Heat were down 3-2 in a series? Remember the aftermath of that? The 45 points, and the death stare that he was giving all night?
Either that’s gonna happen with Kevin Durant, or the Oklahoma City Thunder will be eliminated tonight, and the jokes will being flying faster than a Kardashian being on a black guy with money. Is his legacy on the line, here? Not even close. Durant is only 25 years old, and has a lot of time left in this NBA.
Is it a scary thought that the MVP of the league (this won’t change anything unless you’re a hardcore Lebron James fan who’s probably a little jealous of the attention that Durant is getting this year, which reminds me of the NBA Playoffs in 2009 where it was getting tiring hearing about a guy who hadn’t really won anything and I knew that his time was coming) might not get out the first round? Sure. Let’s ask Dirk about this in 2007. But here’s the thing everyone, let a career breathe before we define legacies. Jordan lost in the 80s before winning in 91. Sometimes, you gotta lose before climbing the top of the mountain. Ask Lebron about that.
2. Scott Brooks is an awful head coach.
I’ve said this with my homies for the last 3 years about Brooks, and the fact was….. it was evident last year against Memphis in the playoffs that Brooks didn’t run an offense, and that he relied on Durant’s and Westbrook’s talent to carry them. How has Brooks NOT adjusted his offensive system after he lost Westbrook last year in the playoffs? Better yet, is it that hard to have an offense when you have 1B in the NBA and a top 5 PG?
Sometimes, it’s good for both parties to split. If OKC wants to take the next step, it might be time to get rid of Brooks to get over the top.
3. You know what? Maybe Memphis is ACTUALLY better than Oklahoma City.
The NBA is all about matchups. Nobody here is talking about how in a 7 game series, Memphis might be better than Oklahoma City. Over the past 4 years, Memphis is 11-7 against Oklahoma City, and that’s including the playoffs. Regardless of the head coach, Memphis’ might have the formula, which is having two guys on the block to go to (Gasol & Z-Bo), an elite defender to stick on Durant in the 4th quarter (Tony Allen), a quality point guard who can bother Westbrook (Conley), and a guy off the bench who’s made big shots before (Mike Miller).
4. The Oklahoman doesn’t deserve Kevin Durant.
One bad series, and they wanna run him outta town. Just come back to Seattle, KD.
A thought on the Indiana Pacers/Atlanta Hawks series:
Indiana is gonna lose tonight. I’m purely convinced that they were done mentally now, and it’s a sad sight to see a team that had title aspirations fall apart in the span of 2 months. When the Pacers dropped the picture above, I knew it was over. Done. I was purely convinced back in February that the Miami Heat would win the east and have NO problems doing so. All-Star Paul George has been playing great in the playoffs, but at the same time, he hasn’t been right since he got a stripper pregnant, then the whole thing where he was catfished on kik (If you’re in the NBA, why are you on kik?). Then, here’s a question: What’s wrong with Roy Hibbert? If you’re 7’2, and you have 0 points, and 0 rebounds in a game………….. yeah bruh, you gotta got home and be a family man. Is this the Hibbert we’re gonna see from now on? The one that we all expected him to be when he came out of Georgetown?
Frank Vogel might lose his job because this team is a train wreck now. I was never concerned with the Pacers because I figured that they were one of the two best teams in the east, regardless of how they were playing (Miami didn’t exactly finish the season strong neither). But now? Vogel coaching a team that could possibly lose a sub .500 team that was tanking at one point this year in the first round is sad, and pathetic on all accounts. Indiana loses tonight and the train has ran off the tracks for good.
Lakers, what direction are you going?
The Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t be the only team in LA having drama issues within their organization this week as Mike D’Antoni resigned and went on a trip to find Donald Sterling for all of us. With having a lottery pick for the first time in 9 years, Kobe Bryant being old, having a crappy roster for the next year or two, and then having a fanbase that’s unrealistic, who wants to take that job? Today, it came out that they were gonna reach out to Kevin Ollie and John Calipari. I doubt both of those guys would leave their respective jobs because Ollie just WON a national title at Connecticut, and Calipari is a God-like figure in Kentucky. One guy who I think would be a good hire: Fred Hoiberg.
Those are my thoughts, and as we’re all sitting back and watching these games, remember one thing:
You know, I was gonna write a big post about the Pacers and the Heat. But instead, I feel like I don’t need to do that. Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said the Heat were just “another team” in their path, which is very very true. Lebane James takes offense to this because he’s extra sensitive and says that “we’re not just another team, you have to prepare for us,” which is like a shots fired at the New York Knicks and their terrible, terrible offensive plan and structure. Then Vogel says how “great” the Heat are, and how much of a challenge it’s gonna be. Ever since Lance Stephenson did the choke sign to Bron last year in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, these two teams have had bad, bad, bad, blood, which I love. Put it like this: The Indiana Pacers aren’t gonna win this series, but I think they can make this series into a battle, and into a war.
With no games on Thursday night (How did this happen? David Stern TROLLED on us over this), the NBA will be taking a backseat to baseball for the night, I guess. But here, the NBA never takes a day off. Every series is tied at one game apiece, and here are some questions that I have about this weekend’s games.
In my first round preview blog, I was fantastically wrong about most of my playoff predictions, and guess what? I am perfectly OKAY with this (I am, trust me). Let’s get this out the way first. The more I watch the ESPN and their games, the more I can’t really stand their coverage of the playoffs. Why?
First, it’s that damn Will.I.Am. song will forever bother me. First off, I’m not hyped to watch a 2 minute intro of Will.I.Am dancing with various NBA players. When I see that, you know what I think? I think ESPN is attempting to cater it’s audience to a 15 year old teen girl who just wants to dance, and party. This is the NBA playoffs. Not the club.
Second, I’m tired of Magic Johnson on that NBA Countdown show. I like Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons (most people on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever hate Bill Simmons because he’s an openly Boston homer who happens to write about sports, and have his own site, Grantland. I think most people just envy him because of his success, but who knows), and Michael Wilbon. Magic, I just, I don’t know. When I hear Magic Johnson speak, I feel like I’m getting stupider and stupider. At least with Charles Barkley on TNT, it’s funny. Magic? It’s like, dude. Shut the entire hell up. It has nothing to do with Magic the player. I love Magic Johnson, and how he changed the point guard position for everyone. But when he talks, I want to cut my ears off.
ESPN. You have to do better for next year. No more teen boppy club songs please, and make Magic retire from TV. I’m begging you.
The first round of the playoffs was actually entertaining. I mean, let’s be honest here. I lied to every single one of you about most of these series because I didn’t know what the hell was gonna happen in the playoffs this year. I figured Stephen Curry would light it up, but not like that (AND HE’S MY FAVORITE PLAYER!!!). George Karl has to be sick right now because he failed to make the right adjustments from game 2-4 on Curry, and Golden State’s small lineup. Instead of playing to their strengths, Karl did what most people in Seattle know all about: He didn’t adjust until it was too late.
I sure didn’t think the Lakers would get swept, but that’s another blog for another day (Since I’m a Laker fan, I’ll address them when the time is right: June). I lied to you all when I said I wasn’t going to watch a single second of the Pacers/Hawks series, but I watched part of game 3, and the last bit of game 6. Just, ew at that series all around (It was fitting how Josh Smith’s last shot was a blocked three pointer. Made me laugh when I shouldn’t have). I also lied to you all about Memphis winning the series in 7. They won in 6. Chicago was up 3-1 on Brooklyn due to Nate Robinson (“African-American Nate” is what my friend Jared calls him. But he doesn’t say African American) going absurd in a 4th quarter, and in the only game 7 of the first round, the Bulls found a way to prevail.
But guess what? The 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs is upon us. Better basketball is ahead of us (I would hope). Let’s dive into this (No, not Swimming Pools), and how more wrong I can get.