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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...
KWRoss wrote:
Time to play amateur GM..... How about Westbrook to Boston for Rajon Rondo? Makes sense for both teams; one gets a dynamic scorer who can easily put a young team into the playoffs in a weak East, and the other gets a great distributor with lesser scoring ability but not enough to disrupt KD. Hell, KD coming to DC is a dream come true, but would he and John Wall run into the same problems?

Also, I too am rooting for the Wizards now. People keep telling me "sorry about your Bulls" like they expect me to be sad. Why? They're undermanned and severely offensively challenged. I knew they weren't going to compete for a title anyway. I also have a soft spot for Portland because that's where my parents lived for a few years after they got married. Plus, Lillard and Alridge, ya'll. That's as good a dynamic duo as it gets right now.


Real quick:

Westbrook for Rondo - I love it. Rondo isn't the kind of player to carry a team, but as a sidekick to someone like Durant? Absolutely. It wouldn't be 1A and 1B, it would be very clearly 1 and 2. That's a good thing and I think it would bring out the best in Durant. And both guys make everyone around them better, which is something I think we can all agree isn't the case with Westbrook. A buddy of mine texted me the other day and called him "the most frustratingly awesome player ever." That about sums it up, I think.


Potential Durant/Wall pairing - Wall can score, but I think he's more capable than Westrbook at being a distributor. He's a real point guard who has learned how to run an offense, while Westbrook is an athletic anomaly who has no real clue who to play point guard. I think Wall and Durant would be ok, and I'd LOVE to find out if I'm right.

Another one on board the Wiz bandwagon! You're right about the Bulls, and we all knew it as soon as Rose went down this year. We've all said it a bunch - it sucks. Portland is going to give the Spurs (assuming they win) a hell of a series. That'll be another beautiful to watch series.


Thu May 01, 2014 4:16 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Aw snap, we've got at least three Game 7's coming this weekend and hopefully more. I think Portland has this one at home tonight, but Dallas finds a way to lock things up for one more grudge match against the Spurs.

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Fri May 02, 2014 12:33 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Zack Randolph? wtf?


Fri May 02, 2014 10:12 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I'm temped to stop by here and say, "Damian Lillard, fellas. Basketball has broken. We've had a good run."

But then I remember that we have FIVE GAME 7's IN THE NEXT 48 HOURS. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?!?!? It's like Vince Gilligan wrote these playoffs.


Sat May 03, 2014 1:52 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade2 wrote:
I'm temped to stop by here and say, "Damian Lillard, fellas. Basketball has broken. We've had a good run."

But then I remember that we have FIVE GAME 7's IN THE NEXT 48 HOURS. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?!?!? It's like Vince Gilligan wrote these playoffs.


So glad I stayed up to watch that. Shades of MJ over Ehlo. And what a great moment for that city too, which seen a playoff series win since 2000. For several years now, I've been a big proponent of putting fewer teams into the playoffs because the first round is usually a joke. I'm backing off on that big-time now. I can only imagine what we could have had if Rose was healthy. At least six games with the Wizards, maybe even seven.

calvero wrote:
Zack Randolph? wtf?


Sadly, I agree with the decision. Clearly an intent to do harm there. But at least Paul George wasn't suspended for that draconian "take two steps away from your bench during a fracas" rule. I'll never forget how Stern screwed the Suns in 2007 with that one. Silver is easily the best commish in the major team sports, not that the competition is very fierce.

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Sat May 03, 2014 9:02 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Congrats Petey. Your boys look solid.

And you learned folks tell me if this sounds ridiculous. Russell Westbrook's ego will be the downfall of the Thunder.

That match up with him and Chris Paul, I see Paul winning the all around game. Unless the injury comes in to account...

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Mon May 05, 2014 9:50 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
ram1312 wrote:
And you learned folks tell me if this sounds ridiculous. Russell Westbrook's ego will be the downfall of the Thunder.


In terms of overall downfall, absolutely (although he's far from the only problem in OKC, his bad choices are the most egregious and the most fixable if he actually wanted to).

ram1312 wrote:
That match up with him and Chris Paul, I see Paul winning the all around game. Unless the injury comes in to account...


This is tougher. Obviously tonight's a blowout, but historically, Westbrook has outplayed CP3 when they've played each other. But a HUGE (and unfortunate) factor in these playoffs due to the whole Sterling fiasco is that even more than usual, refs call NOTHING against CP3. He basically karate-chopped Curry up and down the court in Game 7, and that's not an exaggeration, and he never got called for it. He's always gotten away with stuff, but it's reaching absurd levels, and he's smart enough to know it. Now, of course, he can't out-physical Westbrook like he could with Curry (and Westbrook might just punch him in the face), but it matters and can affect things. We'll see. I'm not sure how much tonight means because they won't keep up this kind of shooting, but the complete lack of coaching in OKC is reaching comedic levels.


Mon May 05, 2014 11:59 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I have a serious question, guys. If any of you were 7'2" 290 lbs and thought of as good enough to play in the NBA, surely you'd be able to do better than 0 points and 0 rebounds in 18 minutes, right? I'd like to think I would. Maybe 2 and 2.

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Tue May 06, 2014 11:57 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
KWRoss wrote:
I have a serious question, guys. If any of you were 7'2" 290 lbs and thought of as good enough to play in the NBA, surely you'd be able to do better than 0 points and 0 rebounds in 18 minutes, right? I'd like to think I would. Maybe 2 and 2.


This is currently my favorite Hibbert-related thing, courtesy of one Gilbert Arenas, who's trolling of Hibbert is quickly becoming my favorite thing about the NBA playoffs:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image


All I can say about the Wiz-Pacers series is this: Bill Simmons picked us in 6, Zach Lowe picked us in 6, and Charles Barkley guaranteed we were winning this series. As if that wasn't enough, we handled them fairly easily in Game 1 by answering both of their runs with runs of our own and push the lead back to double digits. I can't explain what's happening right now, but I love it.

As for Thunder-Clips? CP3 has been incredible the last 2 games. He's not going to shoot like he did last night again, but it is nice to see the CP3 top-5 guy we all fell in love with as opposed to the CP3 regular all-star we've mostly gotten since he went to L.A. If he keeps playing like this, the Thunder are in big trouble. They already are if Durant isn't superhuman because they just have no answer for Blake and the suddenly really, really good Deandre Jordan.

Shade2 wrote:
but the complete lack of coaching in OKC is reaching comedic levels.


I tend to agree, but I was thinking some last night. Does this lack of coaching actually benefit Westbrook to some degree? Would he be the same player in a highly structured offense? I mean, we rightfully criticize Brooks for allowing his guys to basically run an offense you could see in some pick up games, but for someone like Westbrook doesn't this allow for a certain amount of freedom to take advantage of his greatest asest - his athleticism - much more than virtually any other offense in the league? Trust me, I think it's completely unintentional and that Brooks is a terrible coach, but would Westbrook be the same guy if, say, he was in San Antonio or Dallas where he would be forced to reign his sometimes wild antics in? I'm torn. I can see it both ways - he'd become a better true point with structure and discipline, or he'd flounder and be just another guy. I think a lot of that is dependent upon when he's introduced to this kind of offense. Early in his career I think he'd be more likely to pick up more of the nuances to playing PG. Now? 6 years into his career? He probably is who he is in terms of being an NBA player. I'm not sure he's even capable of doing such things now.


Tue May 06, 2014 12:28 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
That Hibbert picture is spectacular. Good stuff.

PeachyPete wrote:
I tend to agree, but I was thinking some last night. Does this lack of coaching actually benefit Westbrook to some degree? Would he be the same player in a highly structured offense? I mean, we rightfully criticize Brooks for allowing his guys to basically run an offense you could see in some pick up games, but for someone like Westbrook doesn't this allow for a certain amount of freedom to take advantage of his greatest asest - his athleticism - much more than virtually any other offense in the league? Trust me, I think it's completely unintentional and that Brooks is a terrible coach, but would Westbrook be the same guy if, say, he was in San Antonio or Dallas where he would be forced to reign his sometimes wild antics in? I'm torn. I can see it both ways - he'd become a better true point with structure and discipline, or he'd flounder and be just another guy. I think a lot of that is dependent upon when he's introduced to this kind of offense. Early in his career I think he'd be more likely to pick up more of the nuances to playing PG. Now? 6 years into his career? He probably is who he is in terms of being an NBA player. I'm not sure he's even capable of doing such things now.


I think you're spot-on, homey. I don't think it accidental that the Spurs don't generally go after freak athletes. Westbrook wouldn't fit in SA on both style of play and personality, but those things are probably pretty strongly linked: when you are that level of freak (i.e. even among NBA players you are obviously more athletic) you never have to run an offense until you get to the NBA, and that feeds a particular personality that doesn't want to be coached.

Pretty much all the stats agree that the Thunder are better with Westbrook and Durant both playing (duh). Still, maybe he'd be more effective and more eager to share if he didn't feel like he was competing for shots. Personality is obviously different, but how effective would Westbrook be as the Bulls PG this year? They couldn't score, so if they just cleared out for him? That probably works. This game is so great because of the nuances like this that change the framework of what works or doesn't work on a team.


Wed May 07, 2014 12:49 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade2 wrote:
Pretty much all the stats agree that the Thunder are better with Westbrook and Durant both playing (duh). Still, maybe he'd be more effective and more eager to share if he didn't feel like he was competing for shots. Personality is obviously different, but how effective would Westbrook be as the Bulls PG this year? They couldn't score, so if they just cleared out for him? That probably works. This game is so great because of the nuances like this that change the framework of what works or doesn't work on a team.


This is exactly why I think a Westbrook-for-Rondo swap works. I can't help but wonder whether the Thunder traded the wrong guy when they dealt Harden to the Rockets. Bill Simmons once called these kind of players "0-guards," where they have the height and build of a PG, the scoring ability of a SG, and they dominate the ball more than both. Can you win a championship with this type of player? So far, no one has.

Also, I hope last night's games are the exception rather than the rule. After a great first round, we might have a far less competitive second on our hands.

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Wed May 07, 2014 12:44 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade2 wrote:
Pretty much all the stats agree that the Thunder are better with Westbrook and Durant both playing (duh). Still, maybe he'd be more effective and more eager to share if he didn't feel like he was competing for shots. Personality is obviously different, but how effective would Westbrook be as the Bulls PG this year? They couldn't score, so if they just cleared out for him? That probably works. This game is so great because of the nuances like this that change the framework of what works or doesn't work on a team.


Well said.

Wouldn't Westbrook basically be D-Rose in Chicago? I mean, that's exactly how that team is built, and they're really similar players. D-Rose will never get the same kind of criticism as Westbrook for a bunch of reasons - he comes across as a humble, nice guy, his team is designed for him to play the way he does, he's not playing alongside a clearly better player, etc. - but I think if you swapped them out for each other, you'd have close to a zero sum game (assuming a healthy Rose, of course). Chicago might even be slightly better with Westbrook, considering he's a better defender and is even more athletic than Rose.

KWRoss wrote:
This is exactly why I think a Westbrook-for-Rondo swap works. I can't help but wonder whether the Thunder traded the wrong guy when they dealt Harden to the Rockets. Bill Simmons once called these kind of players "0-guards," where they have the height and build of a PG, the scoring ability of a SG, and they dominate the ball more than both. Can you win a championship with this type of player? So far, no one has.


I've said for a while that they should have traded Westbrook and kept Harden, so I'm with you. I think he compliments KD more and they'd coexist better and would actually look like two players on the same team playing together, rather than two guys who take turns taking shots. Plus, offensively, Harden has the ability to make those around him better. I don't really see that from Westbrook, and it's something the Thunder need with their current roster.

And the 0-guard debate is a fascinating one. It's never stopped me from enjoy guys like Rose, Westbrook, or Arenas (among others), but it's hard to put up an argument that they make for championship level players. I think you can win a title with them, but I'm not sure you can with them as your top guy.


Wed May 07, 2014 2:34 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Second round thoughts so far?

Mine, series by series:

Wiz-Pacers: I think my Wiz are in solid shape. Hibbert's outburst is fools gold if the Pacers are going to try to exploit that again. We should be up 2-0, but going 5-12 from the line and 5-21 from three isn't going to win you many games. I'd be more concerned if a lot of those threes weren't open shots the team usually knocks down at a much better rate. I like what Ariza is going with Paul George, and David West has been pretty much a non factor. We did show our inexperience a little late in Game 2 when Wall and Beal were jacking three to try and tie the game instead of running plays. I won't say it completely cost us Game 2, but it was a glaring example of our youth. Tonight is a big one, obviously.

Thunder-Clippers: I just think this is going 7. I'd be really surprised if it didn't. Good for Westbrook and Durant for their strong showing in Game 2, but it's becoming apparent they need to play close to that level every night for the Thunder to beat really good teams. The Clippers are a really good team with a hell of a lot more depth than OKC. Sefolosha being back really helps them, though. He's a much better floor spacer than Butler, which allows KD and Westbrook way more room to operate. I don't have a real feel for this one just yet, honestly. These teams are so evenly matched it's tough to call. I guess if pressed, I'd say OKC because Durant is the best player on either team and that should make a difference in such a close matchup.

Heat-Nets: Miami is sweeping them. Maybe they'll lose focus and drop a game, but it's tough to see this going past 5. Furtherl proof that the regular season doesn't mean a whole lot come playoff time. Miami is just a lot better in really every way. They still feel like they're coasting too. They came out and destroyed the Nets in Game 1, and then toyed with them for three quarters last night before pulling away.

Spurs-Blazers: What a difference an oppenent makes! Portland looks like the team that played like shit for the better part of 2 months rather than the world beaters they looked like in Round 1. Granted, Houston plays no defense, but I thought this series would be a lot closer and very enjoyable to watch. Credit to the Spurs for the strong start. I still think this one goes 6 because the Blazers will play a lot better at home, but San Antonio looks determined to keep the wear and tear off of those old legs. I think their 7 game series with Dallas actually woke them up, as opposed to everyone saying the Pacers' scare with Atlanta reawakened them.


Fri May 09, 2014 3:12 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
Wiz-Pacers: I think my Wiz are in solid shape. Hibbert's outburst is fools gold if the Pacers are going to try to exploit that again. We should be up 2-0, but going 5-12 from the line and 5-21 from three isn't going to win you many games. I'd be more concerned if a lot of those threes weren't open shots the team usually knocks down at a much better rate. I like what Ariza is going with Paul George, and David West has been pretty much a non factor. We did show our inexperience a little late in Game 2 when Wall and Beal were jacking three to try and tie the game instead of running plays. I won't say it completely cost us Game 2, but it was a glaring example of our youth. Tonight is a big one, obviously.


I am soooooooo excited for tonight. In addition to all those great stretch-dunks from Marcin the Martian and Ariza's potential to go off, Beal is just becoming an electrifying player to watch. He can score at least six different ways, has a lot of different moves, and actually plays some D. So much fun. And Wall is increasingly beastly... this will be an awfully fun pair to watch together, hopefully for a lot of years. For all the reasons you said, I still very much like the Wiz in this series, but they're definitely under pressure to win tonight. Can't wait to see how they respond.

PeachyPete wrote:
Thunder-Clippers: I just think this is going 7. I'd be really surprised if it didn't. Good for Westbrook and Durant for their strong showing in Game 2, but it's becoming apparent they need to play close to that level every night for the Thunder to beat really good teams. The Clippers are a really good team with a hell of a lot more depth than OKC. Sefolosha being back really helps them, though. He's a much better floor spacer than Butler, which allows KD and Westbrook way more room to operate. I don't have a real feel for this one just yet, honestly. These teams are so evenly matched it's tough to call. I guess if pressed, I'd say OKC because Durant is the best player on either team and that should make a difference in such a close matchup.


Agreed on all counts, except that I still think the Clippers sneak through in 7, because I think CP3, Redick and Doc outweigh the best player. Wouldn't put much money on that prediction, though. This feels like the type of series that will only get better as it goes.

As for the other two... they are indeed over. Aldridge will be a sexy MVP prediction going into next season, and Lillard remains pretty limitless. As Petey said, I thought that series would be more competitive, and perhaps if they'd played SA first it would have been. They can't get the Houston no-D no-smarts stink off of them.

As for Miami-Brooklyn... the Heat are certainly still coasting, which has to have the West teams salivating, yes? Game 1 of the Finals will be huge. I feel bad for Pierce, Deron should do the classy thing and retire during warmups, and it's a rough end if this is the finale of KG's career. I don't think he'll just hang around because he can (and maybe he can't, of course), so I think he's hanging it up after this (unless of course he is [or believes he is] hurt in a fixable way).


Fri May 09, 2014 6:01 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
What a disaster in every imaginable way. Just...awful. To put it in perspective, the Clippers have as many points at halftime right now (63) as the Wizards had in the entire game tonight. Geez. What a bummer.


Sat May 10, 2014 12:06 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
What a disaster in every imaginable way. Just...awful. To put it in perspective, the Clippers have as many points at halftime right now (63) as the Wizards had in the entire game tonight. Geez. What a bummer.


A bummer, but as Simmons was saying before the game, the Wiz hadn't played a bad playoff game before tonight. Obviously game 4 is a must-win, but if they get that one they're fine, I really believe.


Sat May 10, 2014 12:32 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Clippers! it's been a while since I yelled at my TV in frustration and in happiness that loudly. both within seconds of each other. I expected that Westbrook 3 to go in.
I really hope this breaks OKC's spirit, but somehow I doubt it.

has anyone heard where a 22 point deficit ranks in terms of comebacks in NBA playoff history? all the articles I'm seeing just talk about the 16 point 4th quarter comeback.


Sun May 11, 2014 10:32 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
calvero wrote:
Clippers! it's been a while since I yelled at my TV in frustration and in happiness that loudly. both within seconds of each other. I expected that Westbrook 3 to go in.
I really hope this breaks OKC's spirit, but somehow I doubt it.

has anyone heard where a 22 point deficit ranks in terms of comebacks in NBA playoff history? all the articles I'm seeing just talk about the 16 point 4th quarter comeback.


I think it will absolutely break OKC's spirit. As Simmons and the ESPN panel were saying, when the Thunder get in a bind, they resort to far too much one-on-one/isolation ball. Durant and Westbrook may get along well, but they don't necessarily play well together when it matters most. Too much of this take-turns-shooting crap. I sense far more cohesiveness in the Clippers in a tough playoff series, which is why I picked them to reach the Finals when the playoffs started. Although, let's be honest, you gotta favor Heat vs Spurs again.

And the Wizards? Wow. I'll just dish it off to Pete for the opening salvo.

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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
calvero wrote:
has anyone heard where a 22 point deficit ranks in terms of comebacks in NBA playoff history? all the articles I'm seeing just talk about the 16 point 4th quarter comeback.


Off the top of my head I'm guessing it's lower half of top 10. Celtics and Mavs had bigger comebacks in their recent ring runs, and I think Paul Pierce's 35 point comeback in the first round is still #1.

KWRoss wrote:
I think it will absolutely break OKC's spirit. As Simmons and the ESPN panel were saying, when the Thunder get in a bind, they resort to far too much one-on-one/isolation ball. Durant and Westbrook may get along well, but they don't necessarily play well together when it matters most. Too much of this take-turns-shooting crap. I sense far more cohesiveness in the Clippers in a tough playoff series, which is why I picked them to reach the Finals when the playoffs started. Although, let's be honest, you gotta favor Heat vs Spurs again.


I've been saying for weeks that I like the Clippers against anyone when healthy. I must say, though, that they're playing down to the Thunder in terms of being dumb. Just terrible shot selection, hardly any plays, etc etc. The only thing they've consistently done well is CP3's upcourt passes to Blake. And yes this is a dead horse, but Blake and Deandre taking plays off when they make a great dunk or think they got fouled is insane, not to mention CP3 making it nearly impossible to root for him with his constant bitching and glaring at officials... if he was anyone else, he'd be averaging 1.5 techs a game. Oy.

KWRoss wrote:
And the Wizards? Wow. I'll just dish it off to Pete for the opening salvo.


Look, the Wiz have little to be ashamed of. Yeah that's a tough loss, but all that happened is that they went cold and George went off, neither of which are reliable things to happen. And for all our deserved bashing of Indy, they are a veteran and playoff tested team, none of which the Wiz have. Yes, the Wiz need to clean up shot selection late in games, but the supposed veteran teams in the OKC-Clips series are having the same issues, they just have more talent to mask it. I do think Washington overplayed the subs last night, but overall they're well coached and moving in the right direction. And that series is by no means over. It's not like Indy has a proven ability to finish teams off.


Mon May 12, 2014 10:55 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Indy leading Miami wire-to-wire in Game 1 was surprising to me at first glance (didn't get to watch the entire game) but once I saw the disparity in free throws (37 to 15!), it makes much more sense. I'm sure the Heat will make adjustments (for example, going with a big lineup and putting LeBron on one of the wing players like George or Stephenson), and coaches will lobby the refs as well. Hopefully this goes at least 6 games because I'd hate to see it end too quickly.

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Tue May 20, 2014 2:02 pm
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