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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OMG, LOOK WHO’S BACK IN THE NBA FINALS+Predictions sure to go so wrong, that I’ll be so right

This NBA season was one of the most interesting NBA seasons that I’ve seen in awhile.

Why was it?

A lot of things that no one really predicted actually………. happened.

My Los Angeles Lakers traded for Dwight Howard, and the experiment went so wrong, that it kinda went right as I figured it would go. Kevin Durant had a 50/40/90 and didn’t a single 1st place MVP vote. The New York Knicks won the Atlantic Division for the first time since 1994 with the oldest roster in the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers won their first (and only) Pacific Division title. We saw the emergence of Stephen Curry in this 2013 postseason, and we’ve seen the budding stardom of Paul George, and Roy Hibbert. No homo, Roy. I’m just a wannabe media MF, right? (David Stern has just fined me the only $20 in my wallet.)

Plus, this happened in the 2012-13 NBA Season, and it’s probably the funniest thing ever.

Javale McGee had some highlights with his freakish athleticism, but almost taking out Ty Lawson’s season and then the pass, oh Javale.

But now, we’ve reached the conclusion to this NBA season with the NBA Finals beginning on Thursday night. Miami becomes the first team to reach three straight finals from the Eastern Conference since the Chicago Bulls did it from 1996-98 with those guys that you probably haven’t heard little about named Mike, Scottie, and some coach named Phil Jackson (I’ve never really heard of them, have you?) The San Antonio Spurs haven’t been to the NBA Finals since 2007, but here they are. Back in the finals where they are 4 out of 4 in finals appearances. Are you excited?  I think I’m excited. Think is the right word. It could be embarrassing. It could be great.

So who’s gonna win?

Miami is the defending champion, and they are going for back to back titles.

San Antonio is going for their 5th title as a franchise.

Lebron James is the best player in the world, while Tim Duncan is probably the best player in the generation (Sorry, Kobe and Shaq). I’ve been wavering on this pick for a day, and I think I’ve made my decision.

I think top to bottom, the Spurs have the better roster. But they don’t have the best player in the league. Period. The funny thing that I’ve occurred is that Miami shows up when they want to show up. It’s like Erik Spoelstra has to beg his team to play hard for the full 48 every game, and then when they are on the ropes, they are like, “Ah, might as well just show up and play hard.” That’s what Miami will do around game 5 when the series is 2-2. Dwyane Wade, the 2nd best shooting guard of all-time will have a pulse. Lebron James, who’s already better than #23 in the Chicago Bulls uniform will have a quiet 30 and 9, and Chris Bosh will just do what he does: 7 pts, 5 rebounds. Almario Chalmers will have a problem with Tony Parker to where Norris Cole will have to lock him down, and Bosh might have some problems with Tim Duncan. I think Danny Green will make Dwyane Wade have fits, but then again since Wade is that great, he’ll figure it out when he eventually wants to play.

The series lies in the hands of Tiago Splitter, and that’s saying a lot. Splitter could cause matchup problems with length, and rebounding since Miami plays this small ball style. The Spurs play smart, and they don’t turn the ball over. Even then………… I still don’t know how long this series can go. The Spurs don’t match up well with Miami at all, and that’s a shame. But, I think this series can go the distance. The distance as in 6. As in games. As in Lebron James will have another finals MVP, but Dwyane Wade will get all the glory in game 6 when he puts up 30 pts, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists since he’s the 2nd best shooting guard ever (If he really does that, everyone is gonna praise Dwyane like he hasn’t played like burnt cornbread all postseason long, but since he’s top 2 all-time, he’s allowed to do this!)

Plus, Lebron had the better dance moves with Will.I.Am than Tony Parker.

You know I’m right. You know it.

Btw, did you see Flo-Rida and Justin Bieber at the game last night? I mean if you didn’t, you didn’t miss much.

……………………………………

I forgot all about Flo-Rida (Can we just call that dude Florida instead of Flo-Rida? That sounds so lame, bruh). The fact that he’s wearing that big of a “Jesus” piece makes me cringe, but then it makes me laugh how he didn’t jumped. If he were Yung Berg, not only does he get jumped, the people who robbed him will take pictures with the piece. On the other hand, Justin Bieber is the white version of Lil Wayne with a mix of Kanye West. Bieber was just reppin’ the Lakers about 9 months ago. Since they had a terrible season in “Laker” years, he’s out here reppin the Miami Heat. Do you forever, Justin Bieber. All homo (Stern doubled the fine, and now I’m officially broke).

But that is besides the point.

Miami. 6 games. NBA Champs.

HAVE FUN AT THE LIV!

The Spurs find their way back…… into the Finals……. making me……… look like a fool

 

Unlike some people in this world, I can admit when I was wrong. It’s not hard to admit it, and in this case, I feel like I must address it. The San Antonio Spurs made me look like a damn fool. I can’t even front about how sick I am to see how they are in the finals. Granted, as a Laker fan, I can admit that I don’t like them. But, they are extremely entertaining to watch when on their game. Last week, I said Memphis in 6 because I felt like Memphis was the better team. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan gave me the silent “F YOU SHAUN” and decided to sweep the Vancouver Memphis Grizzlies. In fact, let’s go back and recall what I said about Memphis and why I said they would make an appearance in the finals.

Tony Allen is gonna lock down either Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker when the game is tight in the 4th quarter. Or maybe Conley will. I don’t even know at this point, but one of those two are getting shut down. Allen is the best wing defender in the league, and he’ll make things tough for one of them.

The only thing Tony Allen did well was this:

Tony Allen. Great defender. Below average offensive player. Excellent actor. Allen averaged 8 points a game, shot 38% from the floor, and couldn’t spread the floor out when the Spurs packed the paint in. BRILLIANT! Mike Conley played well, but Tony Parker made him look like he was a rookie. Incredible how this occurred.

Speaking of Tony Parker, I think he’s more hurt than we believe. Everyone is talking about his calf, but other than a couple of shots in game 6 against Golden State, Parker had no lift on his jumpshots. When healthy, Parker is one of the most dangerous pick and roll players because his 15-18 foot midrange jumpshot is deadly, and if you attempt to contest it, he’ll go by you for a layup. If he has no lift on his jumpshot, then well………….

Probably the funniest thing I’ve written since I was at Oak Harbor High School. Parker shot 53%  from the field, averaged 24.5 points, and the Grizzlies couldn’t figure out how to guard him since he’s the pick and roll God right now. Parker looked BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD in game 6 against Golden State. He looked slow, hurt, and didn’t look like he could carry an offense. In the close out game last night? 37 points. 15-21 from the field. 6 assists. 4 rebounds. Bonne merde Tony Parker le pick and roll dieu (When you translate this, you’ll laugh. I think?).

Memphis is the better team. Period. San Antonio is a solid ballclub, but Memphis is better. As of right now, I’d take Gasol/Z-Bo/Arthur over Duncan/Splitter/Diaw. I think Memphis will be able to control the game with their defense, their rebounding, and their toughness. Memphis has problems scoring at times, but in the playoffs, they’ve been able to grind and grit.

Boy I tell ya. Marc Gasol/Zach Randolph/Darrell Arthur made Boris Diaw, and Tiago Splitter look like First-Team All-NBA performers. Marc Gasol looked average on both sides of the ball. Zach Randolph regressed to Zach Randolph post knee surgery after balling out for  a month, and seemed bothered by the length of the Spurs’ big men. When you make Boris “I came in as a point guard, but now I’m 290 pounds and look like I belong at a buffet line instead of playing in the NBA” Diaw look like an All-Star, things aren’t going your way. However, Tim Duncan is different, and the fact that I even wrote that…. I need to be shot.

The funny thing is when I heard Tim Duncan was going through a divorce, I did this face:

lmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaao

Then, I did this face:

and then, I started playing this song as I poured one out for the big fella.

(Timmy’s Room)

To be honest with you, I didn’t even know Tim Duncan was married. I didn’t even know Tim Duncan had kids. In fact, I noticed that Tim Duncan has a huge back tattoo during game 4. II’m learning more things about Tim Duncan that I needed to know. The crazy thing is? Tim Duncan is really performing, and I have to salute. Not only is he the best power forward to play the game, he has a chance to go down as a top 5-8 player of all-time with another ring. Salute the man named Timmy.

So Memphis, I guess it was fun for you. I mean, what’s worse? Being in Vancouver and losing 60 games each year when you had Big Country, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and a young Mike Bibby, or moving to Memphis and slowly building to be a force in the Western Conference, losing to one of the leagues best franchises since 1999? A sweep is nothing to be happy about, but it was your best season in well, franchise history. Keep your head up and don’t press the panic button like that team in Los Angeles (Taking shots at my own team. Wait, both teams in LA panicked. Lol, Clippers, way to be like us).

For the rest of us?

I guess we have to see this more and more since ESPN has the finals.

I’m sick.

The Western Conference Finals + Other NBA things

Picking the 2nd round matchups were actually better for me. Better as in, I got all of them right which is shocking because I don’t really know basketball (sarcasm font). To me, and maybe it’s just me, three of the four semifinal matchups were just okay and I was expecting more. The only one that lived up to the hype that I created (I’m lowkey a hype machine?f) was Golden State and San Antonio. Having picked San Antonio in 5, I rooted for the Warriors like crazy. Why? I wanted Stephen Curry to entertain us for another couple of weeks.  Most people say that Lebane James is their favorite player, and understandable, the dude is a monster and he’s the best player in the game. I get that.  But, having my dude in the playoffs for the first time, it was dope to watch him ball out. Steph, I salute you. Keep grinding,  and working hard on your game since you’re gonna be the 2014 NBA MVP (I now jinxed Stephen Curry to have one of his worst seasons ever because I’m that type of fan to pick a dude to win the MVP while having two bad ankles, and going off a ridiculous postseason where he showed the world where he’s a top 5 point guard, and the best shooter in the world. If you struggle Steph,  #BlameShonn. No wait, #BlameShyle).

Continue reading The Western Conference Finals + Other NBA things

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!!