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I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But... 
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Due to Mother's Day festivities, I missed both games yesterday. Missing a Game 7 killed me, but since my mother carried me for 9 months, painfully birthed me, and then raised, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.

However, I did see the Lakers-Nuggets Game 7 Saturday night and that was a really good game. The Bean deserves some big time props for how he played. His numbers were solid, but far from great (17 points, 8 assists), but his fingerprints were all over the 4th quarter of that game. After Ty Lawson almost single handedly brought Denver back in the 3rd, Kobe switched to him in the 4th and Lawson didn't make a peep. Also, from about the 9 minute mark until the end of the game, every single Lakers possession went through Kobe in the post. Denver was double and triple teaming him, and he found open guys every single time. Blake and World Peace are getting a lot of credit for stepping up, but when you're an NBA player shooting wide open jumpers, your job gets a whole lot easier. The Nuggets weren't going to let Kobe beat them, and he deserves credit for recognizing that and trusting his team to get the win.

Also, he hit a dagger of a 3 right in someone's face (I think it was Harrington, but I'm not sure) to seal the game late.

Gasol and Bynum hit the boards like they should have been all season. They were both good, but it's hard for me to give them a lot of credit for doing what they should have been doing all series. This should have been a 5 games series, but it went 7 because those 2 decided to play like pussies.

The LA-OKC series is pretty simple to me. If LA's bigs play like they did in Game 7, the Lakers can win. If not, they can't. Should be a pretty good series.


Mon May 14, 2012 11:21 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
The LA-OKC series is pretty simple to me. If LA's bigs play like they did in Game 7, the Lakers can win. If not, they can't. Should be a pretty good series.


Agreed. Last night was ugly, of course, and having played a 7-game series is not an excuse for being that bad. That said, Game 1 has no real bearing on Game 2, especially for a team like the Lakers...if Game 2 is ugly and scrappy and the Lakers eek out a win, all that matters is that they split the games in OKC. Do I think that happens? No, honestly. I think the Lakers are toast. I think Bynum and Pau will each phone-in/get scared for a game and they can't afford that like they could against Denver. And again: Denver took them 7 games. Denver!

Regarding Boston-Philly... two tremendously entertaining games, but I think Boston gets it done. Philly played about as well as they could have in Game 1 and didn't close, and Boston shot about as poorly as they could have in Game 2 and almost won. The question for me is how engaged Boston stays and if they can get it done in 6 or less. I think game 7's are so emotionally draining that avoiding it is bigger for that reason than for simply playing another game. Obviously they'd be supremely confident at home, but avoiding it is huge because they'd need to get up in such a huge way and then do it again for Game 1 against Miami. Philly has played great and I like them as much as I like any non-Celtic team, but Iggy shooting well actually makes me feel good...because he won't keep it up.

And no, the Bosh-less Heat aren't losing to Indy. They shouldn't lose a game. However, if they DO manage to find a way to win tonight, anything can happen in Game 3. But really, Miami's getting through. And if they don't have Bosh against Boston, they're in trouble, unless the Angel of Stern wants them in the Finals. Which of course we can't put past him.

Kinda pumped for Spurs-Clips tonight...but I don't think that series goes real long. CP3 might be the best pure point of all time, but he thrives on opposing defenders making mistakes off-the-ball and the Spurs won't do that. Parker isn't a fabulous defender by any means, but he's savvy, and he can at least play CP3 even for the series, which should secure the Spurs win in 5 games... unless the Spurs sleep on the Clips tonight. Which they won't.


Tue May 15, 2012 11:45 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Agreed. Last night was ugly, of course, and having played a 7-game series is not an excuse for being that bad. That said, Game 1 has no real bearing on Game 2, especially for a team like the Lakers...if Game 2 is ugly and scrappy and the Lakers eek out a win, all that matters is that they split the games in OKC. Do I think that happens? No, honestly. I think the Lakers are toast. I think Bynum and Pau will each phone-in/get scared for a game and they can't afford that like they could against Denver. And again: Denver took them 7 games. Denver!


Before last night I would have said OKC in 6, now I'd probably change it to 5. I know the Lakers were tired, but like you said, that's no excuse for getting bludgeoned like they did last night. Aside from just being tired, they also quit. It's one thing to fight and lose because you don't have your legs, it's another thing entirely to just quit. LA quit last night, plain and simple. Last night was a combination of the Thunder just being better than the Lakers and the Lakers being tired/quitting. The rest of the series should be more competitive, but I can't really see any way the Lakers pull it out.

Shade wrote:
And no, the Bosh-less Heat aren't losing to Indy. They shouldn't lose a game. However, if they DO manage to find a way to win tonight, anything can happen in Game 3. But really, Miami's getting through. And if they don't have Bosh against Boston, they're in trouble, unless the Angel of Stern wants them in the Finals. Which of course we can't put past him.


With the way KG has been playing lately, isn't it almost in Miami's best interest to lose a few games to the Pacers to try to get Bosh back for the series against the Celtics? I know teams don't think like this (and they shouldn't), but seriously, who guards KG in a Bosh-less Boston-Miami series? What stop KG from shutting down everything in the paint? Everything I've read says that Bosh's injury has a 2-4 week recovery period. The Heat would be in really big trouble if they went into a series against Boston next week without him. Shit, they might not have him either way.

Shade wrote:
Kinda pumped for Spurs-Clips tonight...but I don't think that series goes real long. CP3 might be the best pure point of all time, but he thrives on opposing defenders making mistakes off-the-ball and the Spurs won't do that. Parker isn't a fabulous defender by any means, but he's savvy, and he can at least play CP3 even for the series, which should secure the Spurs win in 5 games... unless the Spurs sleep on the Clips tonight. Which they won't.


Maybe it's because I was rooting for Memphis, maybe it's because Blake Griffin has turned into a crybaby, or maybe it's because they have a few former Wizards I despise (probably all 3 things), but I've found myself really hating the Clippers the last few weeks. Outside of CP3 there really isn't a guy I enjoy watching. Sure, Blake is great for highlight dunks, but his overall game hasn't gotten a shred better since he came into the league, and he has tons of holes that are being exposed in the playoffs. I just...don't like the Clippers.

I think the Spurs are going to handle them whether I like them or not, and I don't think they have anything to fear outside of Paul. And even then, even if Paul is playing out of his mind, he can probably still only swing 2 games, at best.


Tue May 15, 2012 12:45 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Aaaaaaaaaand the Lakers are finished. Everyone else is making the point this morning so I might as well too: It's next to impossible to come back against a superior team when you give a game away like LA did last night. This series should be 1-1, instead it's 2-0. The Lakers got a poor shooting night from OKC and had a 7 point lead in the final 2 minutes. You can't lose that game and realistically expect to pull off an upset in the series.

The eye opener for me was the manner in which it happened. It wasn't LA's bigs shrinking from the moment, or Kobe going off and no one giving him any help, it was The Bean himself blowing the game. I'm friends with most of you guys on Facebook, and I'm sure you saw my status about the game, but Reggie Miller really pissed me off last night. I couldn't believe he was advocating Kobe forcing up all those shots as he continued to miss them, especially when Gasol and Bynum were playing pretty well. Miller then had the nerve to have an "I told you so" moment when Kobe finally hit one of his long, contested jumpers. I'm sorry, but hitting a few of those doesn't vindicate a night's worth of terrible shots and going one-on-one for entire possessions. Kobe was playing hero ball all night last night and it cost the Lakers the game. LA's only hope all playoffs has been to play through their big men. Kobe forgot that last night. And make no mistake, that's on him. Mike Brown doesn't have the clout to tell Kobe to pass or how to play. It's something Kobe knows and should be doing. He's having a fairly selfish postseason.

KG, Rondo, and Pierce? Well done, gents. The Sixers already have no one to guard KG or Rondo, so if they get that kind of effort from Pierce, this series is over.


Thu May 17, 2012 9:24 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
KG, Rondo, and Pierce? Well done, gents. The Sixers already have no one to guard KG or Rondo, so if they get that kind of effort from Pierce, this series is over.


Celtics win on the road, Devils win on the road, and Lakers lose, on the road. Great great night last night. There might not be an athjelete in any sport who is as irredeemably overrated as Lundqvist. He's just an average goalie with a great 'D' in front of him. The Devil's fourth-liners could beat him one-on-one.

As for Dwayne Wade.... what the fuck was that? What was with his attitude that entire game? That was garbage through and through. Heat are in danger of losing in the second round... And the Celtics might get the Pacers in the conference Finals? There's a God. Dear Lord, there is a God and he might just be a C's fan.


P.S. - If the Lakers get swept, I'm fainting from over-happiness. Seriously. I'm also calling Pau Gasol "Puss in Boots" for the foreseeable future. And he's Spanish, so it works. Agree!

P.S.S. - I love how Dan ducks back into the forum when SA finally wins a playoff series. I'm merely busting on him, but really - the Spurs got gift-wrapped Utah, and the Clips aren't much better. You guys can stop 'oohing' over them essentially covering games they should be winning. As for their seeding - you really think the Thunder are going to mind opening up a series on the road anywhere? I sure don't. They look effing lethal.


Thu May 17, 2012 11:13 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
As for Dwayne Wade.... what the fuck was that? What was with his attitude that entire game? That was garbage through and through.


He may have had worse random regular season games, but that has to be the worst playoff game he's ever had, and it's certainly the worst I've ever seen him play. He just looks old and tired right now. Maybe it's the condensed season catching up to him (although he did miss a bunch of games, so theoretically he should be rested), or maybe the balls to the wall style he's employed over the last 9 years is starting to catch up to him. A lot of us in this thread have made the point that Wade isn't going to age well and we could be starting to see that. Last night was clearly an aberration, but his numbers are way down this postseason. I don't want to overreact to a stretch of mediocre (for him) play, but he doesn't look like his usual self right now, and hasn't all postseason.

I think last night we saw his frustrations with himself boil over and he took it out on his coach. That's always a bad idea.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
P.S. - If the Lakers get swept, I'm fainting from over-happiness. Seriously. I'm also calling Pau Gasol "Puss in Boots" for the foreseeable future. And he's Spanish, so it works. Agree!


I do agree with this. I couldn't agree more, actually. Puss in Boots, haha. That's good stuff, Phil.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
P.S.S. - I love how Dan ducks back into the forum when SA finally wins a playoff series. I'm merely busting on him, but really - the Spurs got gift-wrapped Utah, and the Clips aren't much better. You guys can stop 'oohing' over them essentially covering games they should be winning. As for their seeding - you really think the Thunder are going to mind opening up a series on the road anywhere? I sure don't. They look effing lethal.


That Spurs-Thunder series is going to be a hell of a lot of fun. Parker-Westbrook is going to be a great matchup to watch. I think OKC can win, but Durant will have to carry them. As the entire basketball world continues to harp on (to the point of annoyance), the Thunder are a jump shooting team (I feel like that saying should be a song or chant at this point). The Spurs have shooters, but Parker practically makes his living in the paint, and they still have Duncan to throw the ball to in the post. I give the Spurs the advantage just because I think when the game gets tight and slows down, they'll be able to get better, easier shots on a consistent basis. That said, it's going to be an awesome series that really can go either way.


Fri May 18, 2012 8:55 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
He may have had worse random regular season games, but that has to be the worst playoff game he's ever had, and it's certainly the worst I've ever seen him play. He just looks old and tired right now. Maybe it's the condensed season catching up to him (although he did miss a bunch of games, so theoretically he should be rested), or maybe the balls to the wall style he's employed over the last 9 years is starting to catch up to him. A lot of us in this thread have made the point that Wade isn't going to age well and we could be starting to see that. Last night was clearly an aberration, but his numbers are way down this postseason. I don't want to overreact to a stretch of mediocre (for him) play, but he doesn't look like his usual self right now, and hasn't all postseason.


Paul George can swing this series. It's crazy. It's obvious at this point that Wade's best days are behind him, but George can shut him down. Do I think Indy will win? I think they can, certainly, but Miami is back in great shape if they win Sunday. But at this point it's Lebron and the Lebronettes, and Indy can just about let Bron go off and just outscore the rest of them because they can shut everyone else down. Just crazy. The enviornment in Indy Sunday will be insane and I cannot wait for that game. Can. Not. Wait.

PeachyPete wrote:
That Spurs-Thunder series is going to be a hell of a lot of fun. Parker-Westbrook is going to be a great matchup to watch. I think OKC can win, but Durant will have to carry them. As the entire basketball world continues to harp on (to the point of annoyance), the Thunder are a jump shooting team (I feel like that saying should be a song or chant at this point). The Spurs have shooters, but Parker practically makes his living in the paint, and they still have Duncan to throw the ball to in the post. I give the Spurs the advantage just because I think when the game gets tight and slows down, they'll be able to get better, easier shots on a consistent basis. That said, it's going to be an awesome series that really can go either way.


I agree that it'll be a very entertaining series, and I think Phil is being more than a bit narrow-sighted by dismissing the 4 games against Utah and ignoring the Spurs' record over the last 30 games. They've simply been the best team. I think they're beatable, certainly, but none of us are "oohing" over simply the Utah series; we're impressed because of what they've done over a long stretch and how they've won the games they should win.

I don't think the Thunder fear starting a series on the road, but I also don't think the Spurs in any way do -- or should -- fear the Thunder. Durant still cannot get good looks whenever he wants, and the Spurs will absolutely exploit the same things the Lakers have to slow OKC down, and they'll do it better than LA. Again, I'm not saying the Spurs run through OKC easily, but I don't know that I'd quite call the Thunder lethal yet until they're lethal on defense.


Fri May 18, 2012 5:18 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
I think Phil is being more than a bit narrow-sighted by dismissing the 4 games against Utah and ignoring the Spurs' record over the last 30 games. They've simply been the best team. I think they're beatable, certainly, but none of us are "oohing" over simply the Utah series; we're impressed because of what they've done over a long stretch and how they've won the games they should win.


Bullshit, dude. They got a gift from Utah and a Clippers series that, so far, has been a gambler's dream for them. The Thunder beat the defending champs and are facing the Lakers, who we all know are more competitive than either of the Spurs' opponents. The quality of win, especially against middling teams, is irrelevant when you consider that the Spurs haven't faced a team yet who registers as a challenge to them in the playoffs. If they beat OKC/Lakers, then yes, I'm lifting my shroud of pessimism and accepting them as legit. But until then, same as waiting for the Bulls to leapfrog Miami in response to last season's nightmarish Eastern Conference Finals, I need to see the Spurs win a meaningful series for the first time in a very long time in years before I open my doors for business. They look excellent, but they never looked *bad* in any of the seasons where they coughed up and collapsed in the playoffs, either. I don't see how I'm being narrow-sighted for expecting them, winner of four titles previously, to prove me unequivocally wrong and beat an opponent worthy of envy in this yea's playoffs. With a few lucky bounces, and less CP3, the Clips lose that Grizzlies series outright, and perhaps even more amazingly, lose out on a 3-1 cushion in seven games without . That the Clippers team made it past the first round is their reward. Beating them isn't really the end-all answer to 'Is This Team For Real?'. If you're as open-minded as I'm apparently not, then I think you'd have to agree that beating the Lakers or Thunder are San Antonio's last roadblock to the complete credibility (and, consequently, the Finals). I said the same exact things about OKC last season, and guess what? They won a whopping 1 Conference Finals game.

You need to think about what you're saying, in finality, before you say it. Am I really distrusting a younger, hungrier (and understandably pissed off) Thunder squad over a Spurs team that's essentially been postseason cat-chow in recent years simply because OKC lost a close road game to a hungry, and well-focused, Lakers team last night and the best players the Spurs have faced not named CP3 are Devin Harris, Al Jefferson, Blake Griffin, and Nick Young (compared to Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitski, Puss in Boots, Bynum, Metta World Peace - oh, and that Kobe dude)? A sweep is fine and well until you face an opponent who has the ability to knock you down one, two, thee games. So how do you get that fourth win? I feel that the Clippers series, if San Antonio does end up sweeping or winning in five (which is imminently possible), won't teach them a lot about adversity when it comes time to face one of these much better teams next round. Again, if I'm wrong, I'll own up to it, but it seems as though people are forgetting lessons from past postseasons and seasons. Remember Chicago, the repeating Eastern #1 seed who couldn't even win a series with home-court to the lowly Sixers but were favorites to every basketball guru within reach of a keyboard and ESPN Insider membership during the season? I wonder if I'm being narrow-minded by following my gut, or other people are being narrow-minded for forgetting what years of watching basketball has implicitly told them. And one of those things is that regular season performance is worth jack when things stop coming easily, and yet another is that, until a team dramatically passes the hump, it's beyond ludicrous to advocate them to win the highest of all NBA honors - let alone a series against an equally good (if not better) team from up the road (if you don't know who I'm referencing, please sell your keyboard) who probably aren't too scared of playing 'road' games that they could probably *drive* themselves to in time for late afternoon lunch.


Sat May 19, 2012 2:09 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
The Thunder beat the defending champs


A shell of the defending champs, yes.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
and are facing the Lakers, who we all know are more competitive than either of the Spurs' opponents


Yes we all know that, but the Lakers aren't exactly formidable title contenders either.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
They look excellent, but they never looked *bad* in any of the seasons where they coughed up and collapsed in the playoffs, either.


Agreed, but they look nothing like last year's team in any way either...it's not like they're recycling the same team and style of play.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
That the Clippers team made it past the first round is their reward. Beating them isn't really the end-all answer to 'Is This Team For Real?'


Agreed, but... I never said anything close to that.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
I think you'd have to agree that beating the Lakers or Thunder are San Antonio's last roadblock to the complete credibility (and, consequently, the Finals). I said the same exact things about OKC last season, and guess what? They won a whopping 1 Conference Finals game.


That was badly placed faith, dude ;) . I don't disagree with you as long as you don't think that OKC or the Lakers are somehow more credible.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
You need to think about what you're saying, in finality, before you say it.


Come on dude. That's downright MGames-ish.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
I feel that the Clippers series, if San Antonio does end up sweeping or winning in five (which is imminently possible), won't teach them a lot about adversity when it comes time to face one of these much better teams next round


Does this team really need to learn about adversity? Their best players have been on both sides of it for many years. Yes, as I've been saying, this team is very different, but their experience and titles are relevant.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
I wonder if I'm being narrow-minded by following my gut, or other people are being narrow-minded for forgetting what years of watching basketball has implicitly told them. And one of those things is that regular season performance is worth jack when things stop coming easily, and yet another is that, until a team dramatically passes the hump, it's beyond ludicrous to advocate them to win the highest of all NBA honors - let alone a series against an equally good (if not better) team from up the road (if you don't know who I'm referencing, please sell your keyboard) who probably aren't too scared of playing 'road' games that they could probably *drive* themselves to in time for late afternoon lunch.


Basketball has implicitly taught me that there is nuance to games, and that games against bad opponents do matter if you know what to look for. What hump have the Thunder passed, exactly? None that I've seen. Again, it's fine if you want to say "no one has proven they're real contenders"...but to say that OKC has and the Spurs haven't is to pick and choose where you're executing and finding your points.


Sat May 19, 2012 5:57 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
"That was badly placed faith, dude ;) . I don't disagree with you as long as you don't think that OKC or the Lakers are somehow more credible."



......? I said the Thunder would not make it the Finals last season, and they did not. Where is the misplaced faith in that scenario?



I will admit, that was a heart-ripping comeback by the Spurs. Great job by Parker at the end, draining clutch shot after shot. He's on another level this season. However, the Thunder's Game 4 victory against the Lakers was in my opinion the most impressive win of the playoffs, regarding situation (playing on the road one day after a crushing loss in the final seconds), output by the Thunder's stars (Westbrook has so far been *very* very good in the postseason), and the outright clutchness of Durant, who has been a stone cold killer in the playoffs. I think this is the freshest, most bankable team in the league. They look scarily good, and Durant is on a level right now that even Parker cannot claim.


Sun May 20, 2012 5:59 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
......? I said the Thunder would not make it the Finals last season, and they did not. Where is the misplaced faith in that scenario?


I misunderstood you, sorry. Either way, I'm just picking because you're stretching the analogy quite a bit by asserting your point about last year's Thunder teams as relevant to this year's Spurs team. The situations could not be more different.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
However, the Thunder's Game 4 victory against the Lakers was in my opinion the most impressive win of the playoffs


I think it was impressive, certainly. You could make a case for Philly in Game 4 as well.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
Durant is on a level right now that even Parker cannot claim


The impact he has on a game verses the impact Lebron has remains a very wide gap. And Parker may have a better impact as well -- certainly on D. That said, maybe that helps Durant in the long run in that he doesn't need to do anything other than score in certain spots for his team to win, whereas Bron needs to be the best player on either end on every possession (which he was today) and Parker needs to facilitate every possession. I like OKC, but Durant doesn't produce good looks for himself whenever he wants and he can't get to the line whenever he wants. Perhaps Harden and Westbrook fill those roles a bit, but with that being the case, I think that factors in to the discussion about Durant's greatness.


Sun May 20, 2012 10:36 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:

Evenflow8112 wrote:
Durant is on a level right now that even Parker cannot claim


The impact he has on a game verses the impact Lebron has remains a very wide gap. And Parker may have a better impact as well -- certainly on D. That said, maybe that helps Durant in the long run in that he doesn't need to do anything other than score in certain spots for his team to win, whereas Bron needs to be the best player on either end on every possession (which he was today) and Parker needs to facilitate every possession. I like OKC, but Durant doesn't produce good looks for himself whenever he wants and he can't get to the line whenever he wants. Perhaps Harden and Westbrook fill those roles a bit, but with that being the case, I think that factors in to the discussion about Durant's greatness.


I prefer to see it like this: Durant is nowhere near Lebron's level as a player overall (the MVP award might as well just got to King James every season til' he exits elite status) but it's hard to deny when a guy simply has killer instinct. Durant has proven, already multiple times this postseason, that he has this. He has it to such a degree that Russell Westbrook is stunned into giving him the ball when it counts. He's as close to a sure thing under pressure as anyone. He reminds me a bit of Eli Manning; silent, modest leader who seems to have a 'clutch' switch. Now, Durant is nowhere near Lebron's level as an overall contributor, but then, Eli Manning's best season statically would make Aaron Rodgers wretch - and who has two Super Bowl titles? I see Durant as the guy who *gets* you a championship, and he's at the best point of his career thus far. It makes it hard to bet against OKC, simply because in the NBA, a hot star can decide contests, and although Parker is worthy of adulation, over seven games Durant squarely outplays him, with overwhelming odds. It's hard for me to see SA blow out OKC more than maybe once - and, if all these games are close, then I give the edge to EliDurant. He seems all but made for it this season. I really can't truthfully envision the Spurs winning, mostly because SOMEONE has to out-clutch Durant in tight situations - and that person probably doesn't exist right now.


Sun May 20, 2012 11:41 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade's point that saying OKC is a title contender and the Spurs aren't amounts to picking and choosing what facts to apply to your point is the best one either of you guys made. I don't think anyone is going to take much issue with someone favoring the Thunder in a series over the Spurs, but to dismiss San Antonio as not a credible threat just isn't accurate. I mean, they were the best regular season team in the West, they haven't lost a playoff game, they've won 18 in a row overall, and they're in the Conference Finals. They're also, far and away, the best offensive team left. That doesn't mean they'll beat the Thunder in the Conference Finals, but I don't really see where an argument can be made that they aren't title contenders.

I guess I'll just never understand the logic of saying a team who's nucleus has won 4 titles somehow needs to get over the hump.

In other news, Lebron was about as impressive as he's ever been today. The team was on the verge of imploding and they were on the road in a must win game. The Heat needed Lebron to control the boards, score, get guys involved, and play great defense. So, he turns in a 40, 18, and 9 game with a few steals and blocks. The guy was just incredible today. I mean, how many players in the history of the game can do what he did today? He makes himself really easy to dislike, but when he turns in games like today's (in a big spot, no less), there really isn't much to say other than, "wow." It also makes his struggles late in games even more confusing. But yeah, he crushed it today. Even his most ardent haters have to give him credit for that performance.


Mon May 21, 2012 1:37 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Anyone saying the Thunder are going to beat the Spurs in four out of seven games is either not watching the way SA is playing right now (or merely dismissing it) or completely forgetting that the Spurs destroyed OKC not once, but twice in the regular season, with one of those games being in OKC without Manu Ginobili playing.

Granted, yes, the playoffs are a different breed, but tell me. Who is coaching the Thunder? Now....who is coaching the Spurs?

Also, list one player on the Thunder who has any sort of back to the basket/post-up game that can get you a dirty needed bucket down low? The Spurs have Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, and DeJuan Blair. Three to zero.

Kawhi Leonard has played superb defense on Durant so far, and he made Caron Butler (obviously an inferior player, but still a solid contributor) a no-show in this series. He has an 88' wingspan, bigger than Andrew Bynum's. He has hands the size of a grizzly bear's, and he loves playing defense. Pop has already said he reminds him of Bowen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8FKTYuKUuI

The Thunder still have a SG playing the PG position. Westbrook, while amazing and very explosive, also has a tendency to take ridiculously stupid shots way too early in the shot clock.

I say Spurs in five. Maybe six.

I don't want to hear about how they got "soft balls" in the first or second round. The Clippers beat a Memphis team that some people had going to the Finals. They were a good team. The Spurs had also won ten games in a row before the playoffs either began. They are just in another zone right now.

I have been saying this for years. The last time the Spurs were completely healthy going into the playoffs, they won the title. That's just a fact. Manu and Tim always got banged up right before or during the playoffs from 2008-2011. They are now healthy for a change, and they're playing as well, if not better than, the 2001 Lakers as a result.

The only team that mildly scares me is Miami. But without Bosh, I do not fear them nearly as much.

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Mon May 21, 2012 1:12 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
I guess I'll just never understand the logic of saying a team who's nucleus has won 4 titles somehow needs to get over the hump.


That's a very valid sentiment, and I understand that point on a very genuine level, but on the other hand... Name one dynasty that returned to the championship with their title-winning cores who ended up winning an additional championship five or so years later.

Anybody?

....Anybody?


Now, if the Spurs do this, Parker-Ginobli-Duncan are in my opinion on the level of the Bulls of the 90's, the Celtics of the 60's, the true all-time greats of their era in a way that wasn't attainable even with those other titles. Because this never happens. It never happens. There are physical reasons for this, obviously, but I think there are also severely encroaching mental reasons why this doesn't happen. And, besides the arguable distance between the Thunder and the Spurs (not to mention the Heat and the Spurs, if they have Bosh back), one of the things that is rubbing me the wrong way about the Spurs is that, yes... this never happens. Again, I'm willing to be proven wrong, and I've already said the Spurs look very good, but... my intuition tells me "Not happening." I ask myself "What is their motivation?", "What are they hungry for?", "What's special about this season for them?". My own feelings stated above, about the 90's Bulls and the 60's Celtics, are probably independent to me. People have their own standards. To me, them winning in this changed league, now, makes them great in a way none of their far more linear title wins last decade could do. It would earn them respect from me. But the Spurs, why do they want to win? I can tell you why Durant does. I could tell you why Boston does. I could tell you why Kobe wants to win another title or two. I'd have to be daft NOT to tell you why LeBron does. The Spurs.... have no driving reason. That, to me, is a kernel of why I feel so shaky about the Spurs.

As for logistic reasons why they won't win a title outright, well, even the rabid Spurs proponent at ESPN, Mr. Skip Bayless (yes, I'm arguing against Skip Bayless, too - not a good sign for you guys) admits that if the Heat face the Spurs (and, by rights, I'm making this statement under the assumption that Chris Bosh is healthy come Finals time, which seems likely) that the Heat have the two best players on the court. Seems kind of imposing to hold off the Heat if LeBron has any more 40-18-9-2-2 nights like yesterday and Wade follows suit. LeBron disappeared in last year's Finals... but he looks, and frankly, is, better now. Much better. It's hard to deny that, following the litany of criticisms LeBron has received last year, that he has gainfully strove to address each of them. He's become greater and worked to fix the errors of last season with hard work, INSTEAD of simply a scenery change. And because of that dynamic, I think LeBron will have a very different Finals. He is going to make bigger plays. He won't be Wade, because only Wade is Wade when it comes to clutch scoring, but LeBron will have some excellent Finals games if the Heat arrive there. Bank on it. And should San Antonio slip by OKC (Dan's 5 or 6 game prediction is silly to me - if SA wins, it will likely be by the skin of their teeth), they will get one of LeBron' best playoff performances. I am very confident of this. The Spurs are a more well-made team than the Heat, obviously, but if Wade has woken up and LeBron remains at his current level.. the Heat are not losing that series. I just don't see it. And that's if the Spurs get past OKC, who are a mentally tough team that are leaps and bounds better than they were as fledgling contenders last season. Again, I don't see it. And, again, this never happens. I'll admit it if I'm wrong, but the Spurs have some sports (and recent playoff) history and doubts to disprove as much as anyone. There's little to no precedent for them to finish this season off as champs. But I guess, we'll see.


Mon May 21, 2012 4:10 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
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Mon May 21, 2012 6:27 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
In all honesty that's a fair assessment. I just don't fear the Thunder. At all. In close game situations it's Durant iso time. It worked in Game 4, but you need to run a play, set a pick. A Durant chuck here, a Westbrook chuck there - bad shots can only take you so far.

The Heat, with Bosh, alright, now we're talking. I'm still praying to God that the Pacers somehow pull it off. Don't see it happening, though.

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Mon May 21, 2012 6:31 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Strong win by the Thunder. Kobe played his heart out, and Durant, Westbrook, and Harden never flinched. Now that their series is over, and the Spurs gained what, one net day of rest over OKC, I'd say things look quite good for them entering this week's marquee (and only) West matchup. Should be an interesting series.


As for the C's - I'd be happier for their second dominant win of the series, but this should gave been the last game. Losing Game 4 was inexcusable and cost them maybe a week of rest. Sure, even if they drop Game 6, no way they lose the finale at TD. I'm just pissed off that it had to come down to even six games. They should have wrapped this up in five - at most. Ugh.


Tue May 22, 2012 12:55 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
you guys need me.....this shit is so boring this year


Sun May 27, 2012 12:09 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I don't have a lot of time, and I'm honestly not sure what this means for the series, but OKC absolutely should have won that game fairly handily.


Sun May 27, 2012 11:18 pm
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