2018 NBA Playoffs – Part 2 of Round One

Yesterday, I wrote about the Eastern Conference, which can be found right here, today it’s about the Western Conference.

1 – Houston Rockets vs 8 – Minnesota Timberwolves

Watchability – 1.75

The Houston Rockets are the best team in the NBA at this very moment, with the MVP. You want to know when I thought the Rockets would be great? When I saw the point guard I hate in Chris Paul sing the iconic hit “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys (They weren’t better than NSYNC) in a state farm commercial with Trevor Ariza singing with him, while the MVP of the league sat there, fed up. Iconic.

Mike D’Antoni builds great regular season squads, but those same squads fail in the postseason, which is unfortunate. It’s crazy how the Rockets this year only lost three games this year with Capela, Harden & Paul in the lineup. I’m amazed by that. Hell of a season. Let’s hope it doesn’t go to waste for them.

Let’s have a standing ovation for the Minnesota Timberwolves for making the playoffs for the first time since 2004. You want to know what I was doing in 2004? I was in the sixth grade at North Whidbey Middle School, wearing baggy clothes, starting problems with my xanga page, and then hooping at Saratoga (I lived across the street from that court. It had double rims and yet, everybody thought I was so good at shooting there because I shot there mostly. No, it was because my jumpshot was better than yours) after school. I’m also positive, the number one song in the country was “YEAH!” by Usher. 

The Timberwolves have Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Andrew Wiggins. You’d think with those three, they would be better but when your coach is Tom Thibodeau, a guy who’s offensive sets scream “go to hell” ball from the late 1990s-early 2000s. It’s sad. I’m not a big Thibs fan as I used to be.

Thibs doesn’t understand the concept of resting his players. Thibs has his old squad of the Bulls in the Minnesota uniforms. The dude even went and signed the remains of Derrick Rose (Cavs fans or Lebron fans, whichever you want to choose from told me that Rose was gonna be a star with Lebron… they sound worse than us Laker fans when we loved Sessions). I don’t understand his philosophy in terms of his rotations, but they’re still around. 

Prediction – Rockets in 4. I don’t think Minnesota is good enough to even compete with Houston, and I might watch one game, let alone a half in this series. Harden is gonna probably average 40. Minnesota fans are very proud to see their team finally in the playoffs and not the lottery, so they’ll be okay with the result.

4 – Oklahoma City Thunder vs 5 – Utah Jazz

Watchability – 5

You know why this ranking is a 5. Westbrook. Mitchell. Rubio. George. Gobert. The leftover remains of Carmelo Anthony. This series has everything you want from average basketball teams. Star power, drama, and fight waiting to happen.

Donovan Mitchell is rookie of the year. Quin Synder might be coach of the year. Rudy Gobert might be the defensive player of the year. Utah lost Gordon Hayward to the Celtics in free agency, and struggled at the gate, but Mitchell put the Jazz on his back, and they’re in the postseason. I didn’t see this coming. I knew of Mitchell due to me following the ACC closely, but every time I watched him play last year, I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it was because the coach he played for (Rick Pitino aka 15 seconds). The spacing of the NBA helped, though.

We know about the Thunder or as I call them, the Zombie Sonics. I don’t really care for them too much. However, I’m here for the outrage and caping ability of what Russell Westbrook brings on the internet.

Russell Westbrook needed to grab 34 rebounds to average a triple double this season. If you’re keeping track at home, he needed to grab 34 rebounds to average another triple double for the season. Bro. How. Westbrook, in HILARIOUS fashion got them, and thus making history yet again. However, this begged the question on the internets – Is Russell Westbrook a stat padder?

I’ll give you an answer.

Yes. He stat pads. It’s not the end of the world that he does. Let’s just be happy that the brodie, the internet’s favorite player although these same people had their narratives rocked when last year, their favorite player would outshoot them in games like another player they would be critical of… you know, this guy. A strange world we live in.

This series gets a 5 alone because we all know Westbrook will outshoot the Thunder in a game, the Jazz will somehow blow two games at home when they could put this series away, and we’re all here to see the corpse of Carmelo Anthony have a random 35 point game.

Prediction – Thunder in 7. I want to pick the Jazz in 6. But… as much as I can’t stand the Zombie Sonics, they should play up to their potential instead of being an average basketball team like they were for the majority of the season. I’m curious to see how Paul George plays. When he’s engaged (and actually getting the ball from Westbrook), he’s a terror. When he’s not, he’s just mentally thinking about how many shots he’s gonna get from the Lonzo next year (I’m actually torn on the whole Paul George/Lakers thing, but I’ll explain that in another blog). 

3 – Portland Trail Blazers vs 6 – New Orleans Pelicans

Watchability – 10000000000

This is the matchup that I think my brother Chris Jones and I will sacrifice the sleep for. I’m actually mad at the fact that game 3 is on NBATV because my god, this series is going to be bananas.

As a PNW lifer, I love Damian Lillard aka DAME D.O.L.L.A (Dame can rap, bro. I’m like not kidding). I love Cj McCollum since he went to Lehigh and did the lord’s work in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. I feel like as a Laker fan, I should hate Portland but since we always beat them in the playoffs, I have a soft spot for them, and that city (One of my best friends lives in Portland for med school and the city is lit. It’s not better than Seattle, though). On the floor, these two have been incredible together, although CJ was okay for the majority of the season. For a stretch, Portland won 14 in a row after the All-Star break, and Dame was a legit MVP candidate, but they came back to earth a bit.

New Orleans was written off for dead when DeMarcus Cousins (BOOGIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE) tore his Achilles three weeks before the All-Star game.  I love Boogie, and the fact that people think he’s a problem because he’s ultra competitive (Clay Travis, man fuck Clay Travis) is full of shit. If it wasn’t for James Harden winning the MVP three months ago, I think I’d have Anthony Davis win MVP. The Brow carried this team, and he’s averaging 28 & 11 this season on a team where the only other player I can name is Rajon Rondo (I need to watch more basketball).

Prediction – Trail Blazers in 7This will be the best series in the first round. I’m actually torn but I’ll go with Portland because of the belief that the guard play of Dame & CJ will prevail over Davis, who could average 35/13 in this series. Hopefully, this series will see that the Pelicans need an elite guard to pair with Davis. An X-Factor in this series? Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic won’t stop Davis, but he’ll have the ability to at least make Davis defend a bit more, and be physical with him.

2- Golden State Warriors vs 7 – San Antonio Spurs

Watchability – 0.75

The Golden State Warriors are the defending champs. I remember when the Warriors used to stink. Stephen Curry is my favorite player (and has been since he was at Davidson),  so the Warriors have a soft spot in my heart regardless. I mean, what else should I even say about them other than the fact that they’ve looked pathetic going into the postseason due to injuries and not giving a shit? We know about Kevin Durant. We know about Draymond. We know about Klay Thompson. They’ve supposedly have been getting ready for the postseason, and without Curry in this round, they got the right matchup.

The San Antonio Spurs. Lol. The San Antonio Spurs. I was hoping the Spurs would get the 8 seed and get swept by the Rockets, but this, this is even better. For all intensive purposes, the Spurs having their streak broken of 50+ wins (I want to say it was like 20 years) warmed my heart. No seriously. I took a shot when I saw that. It’s not like I hate the Spurs, but given the Kawhi situation, and how his own teammates are mad at him for sitting out because he was misdiagnosed from their own medical staff and doesn’t trust him… I love it. I really do. Maybe that’s me being petty, I don’t know and to be honest, I don’t even care.

When you let Tony Parker, a man who cheated on Eva Longoria with Brent Barry’s wife be the voice of reason in the locker room, those are the messy problems we deserve.

Anyway, we know about Gregg Popovich, a man I have great respect for on and off the floor. Pop is probably the greatest coach in NBA history considering this is the least talented Spurs team in the last 10 years, and he got them to this point. LaMarcus Aldridge saved his career, and returned back to his All-Star form.

Prediction – Warriors in 4 quartersEven if Curry were playing in this series, my watchability would go from 0.75 to 1. I don’t care about this series. The only way I would be even interested in this series is if my boy Kyle Madson got in our group text and was panicking over the fact that the warriors lost multiple games in this series. If the Spurs somehow do this with this team, then I’m convinced that Gregg Popovich should be the next president. 

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some quiet weekend, huh?

curry, bron and two assholes
two of these folks are currently my presidents

Let me address this early. This is primarily a sports blog with some other things (ProsperSeason4 is coming next year), and I do try to stick to sports. I’m not this political science major and thank god I’m not. However, I do have a voice and I believe that it should be heard. This is my third time writing about Donald Trump. Once in November, last month and now this one.

Most of this is humorous because why wouldn’t it be? I try not to pay him attention but it’s like a bad movie that’s supposed to be this love story but turns into a comedy film in the middle of it (Everything, Everything. Watch it drunk. It’s funnier). He should be proud since provides great material for everyone to joke about – until we realize this isn’t a joke.

If you’re already annoyed by this, you can stop reading here and sub me on Facebook because you’re so tired of everybody talking about the reality television show titled America. It’ll only make you get uncomfortable from here.

Continue reading some quiet weekend, huh?

DubSteph; Golden State wins the NBA Title

2015+NBA+Finals+Game+Six+rommzY5yEOkx

Golden State, as expected by most (A lot of people thought Lebron was gonna carry these guys to a title) won the NBA Title last night. It wasn’t a shock for me, at least.  I was shocked that this series was actually competitive. That’s how great Lebron James is.

Also, my series prediction was sort of right:

Dubs in 5. 6 at max. And when it happens, I’ll make sure that my guy Aaron Legaspi will do pushups on camera.

And yes, Aaron will do pushups on camera. Soon. Very soon. And it’ll be on the blog.

I don’t need to really say much other than Golden State won this series because I-G-G-Y, Draymond, and Stephen Curry shoving some noise about Matthew Dellavedova being the “Curry Stopper” (People really believed that, too. Social Media is a weird thing).

It wasn’t like this was a fluke championship. Golden State won 67 games this year, and won finished the season 83-20. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a lot of teams would have beaten them. Playing the “if” game will give you a headache. It gives me one just writing about it.

Lebron did all he could do, but clearly, when you have to rely on Earl Smith III for games in the playoffs, that’s when you know you’re in trouble. As weird as it sounds, Lebron probably helped out his legacy here. Even though Lebron chose this path for himself, he single-handily got this team to win 2 games against this squad. Impressive. Impressive to the point where people thought they would win this series after game 3.

But that’s that. The NBA Season is over (My NBA Season was over when these plays happened), and the off-season will be more funnier than we all think.

I’ll be back… sooner than later.

The NBA Finals?

stephen curry lebron james

So, the NBA FInals start tomorrow after a 25 8 day layoff.

Stephen Curry, the current MVP vs Lebron James, the guy with 4 MVPs and 5 straight NBA Finals appearances. It should be fun. For the NBA’s sake, it HAS to be. Can you imagine if the NBA Finals were bad just like most of the NBA Playoffs? Because let’s face it, the NBA Playoffs outside of the Clippers/Spurs has been lackluster, and disappointing. But I guess, I’m spoiled.

Looking at this series as an observer, I don’t know if Cleveland can you know… win the finals. I know Lebron is an alien, and even though his fanboys speak “efficiency” nonstop, he really hasn’t been that efficient in these playoffs. He’s been dominant in different ways with a weird type of supporting cast that’s featuring Earl Smith III (Jr Smith for those of you who actually don’t know his real name), Matthew “the new white guy everybody hates” Dellavedova, and Iman “I’m afraid of California” Shumpert. It’s been fascinating, especially without Kevin Love, and a banged up Kyrie Irving. Can you imagine Lebron last summer thinking how great this supporting cast would be knowing that in the following June, he’s playing playoff games with a 45% Kyrie Irving and without Kevin Love? I bet he would have sucked it up and stayed in Miami to carry Dwyane Wade through another season.

It’s not to take anything from Cleveland. They’re good, if not great since Lebron came back from his 2 week vacation (you know, the vacation where he went back to Miami, went to the College Football Playoff, etc). The problem is…. everything that Cleveland does great, Golden State does it better. Golden State is the better team defensively. Golden State is a more efficient offensive team. The only saving grace is that Golden State turns the ball over more than Eli Manning playing quarterback, and Memphis kinda showed the blueprint how to frustrate life for the splash brothers (particularly Klay “Ben Savage” Thompson).

Golden State is deeper, talented, and they’re better. Lebron might be the best player in the world, but Golden State as a team and a roster is historically great. At some point, you have to win your first title, and seeing how that hasn’t happened since the 1991 Finals where a team with no finals experience have won (you know when the Bulls had this guy), a lot of people continue to doubt the Warriors because of their lack of experience. What they lack in experience (Btw, enough about how Cleveland is more experienced than Golden State. Only like two guys in their rotation have finals experience. Let’s not count Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and Kendrick Perkins, please. I beg of you), they gain in talent.

Do I think the Finals can be exciting? Sure. But will they?

Well….

I mean….

if Mark Jackson cries on camera knowing that last year, he was coaching this same squad, then sure.

Yikes, man
Yikes, man

If Draymond Green elbows Dellavedova for attempting to take out Curry, then that’ll make things very interesting. But if this series is gonna be dry………

Dubs in 5. 6 at max. And when it happens, I’ll make sure that my guy Aaron Legaspi will do pushups on camera (Give him a follow on twitter, btw).

So that’s that. Questions? Comments? Leave em. We out.

The NBA’s First Round was……. Fantastic? 2nd round predictions sure to go WRONG!!

Stephen+Curry+Denver+Nuggets+v+Golden+State+WXatfZU5h6Fx

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.

Continue reading The NBA’s First Round was……. Fantastic? 2nd round predictions sure to go WRONG!!