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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...
I think last night's Heat-Pacers game is more indicative of what we'll see the rest of the series. Indiana just doesn't have anyone to go to to get them buckets at the end of games, and they don't exactly run a crisp offense they can rely on to get them good shots. It's difficult for them to win close games against a team like Miami that can go to Lebron or Wade to either get themselves a good shot, or create one for someone else. Winning with defense is incredibly difficult against guys as good as those two.

I would have said Miami in 5 before the series, but I'll go with 6 now.

And I think the Spurs are going to beat up on the Thunder for the rest of this short series. I'll give the Thunder one win and say it goes 5. They were at a disadvantage going in because the Spurs are so well coached and, you know, run an actual offense. Brooks isn't the kind of coach that can get this team to overachieve without Ibaka. It kind of stinks. I would have loved to see if the sheer talent and athleticism of OKC could overcome the well-oiled machine that is the Spurs, but now they're undermanned and I don't give them much of a shot.


Wed May 21, 2014 1:21 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
And I think the Spurs are going to beat up on the Thunder for the rest of this short series. I'll give the Thunder one win and say it goes 5. They were at a disadvantage going in because the Spurs are so well coached and, you know, run an actual offense. Brooks isn't the kind of coach that can get this team to overachieve without Ibaka. It kind of stinks. I would have loved to see if the sheer talent and athleticism of OKC could overcome the well-oiled machine that is the Spurs, but now they're undermanned and I don't give them much of a shot.


Damn. A 35-point blowout this late in the playoffs? Fuggedaboutit. A repeat of 2012 (where the Thunder won 4 straight after going down 0-2) just isn't happening because you're minus Harden and Ibaka, plus Leonard and Green have improved greatly on the Spurs' side. I can probably just skip the rest of this series altogether.

The Thunder, like the Cavs during LeBron's tenure there, are built for the regular season, where talent and athleticism gets you huge piles of wins over so many teams that fall short in that department. That's a fundamental problem with the way many teams are built, and it's one major reason why the league bounces from one dynasty to another with so little parity.

Honestly I don't see this Thunder corps ever winning a title unless there's a coaching change or a major trade involving Westbrook. Maybe both are needed.

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Thu May 22, 2014 11:52 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Any thoughts on the Finals rematch? I think it'll be great fun and destined to go to Seven again, this time in the Spurs' favor. Speaking of which, I like the 2-2-1-1-1 format for these series better. It's just so daunting for a team down 3-2 to win two on the road that it kills most if not all of the suspense. It can't be done in baseball because too many travel days nullifies issues of pitching depth, but I like it just fine here.

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Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:27 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
As so often happens, I had a lengthy post somehow get deleted in the submitting process. Damn it all.

KWRoss wrote:
Speaking of which, I like the 2-2-1-1-1 format for these series better. It's just so daunting for a team down 3-2 to win two on the road that it kills most if not all of the suspense.


I agree. Given that the potential 7 games would take place over approximately 38 days, I think they can handle some travel.

Here's my overall feeling: there are two kinds of great series and one transcendent kind. The first is the kind where chess moves and counter-moves characterize the series but the games themselves are not quite individually spectacular (Pistons beating the Lakers in the last of Kobe-Shaq comes to mind). You also have the other kind where the games are great but the overarching themes not as great (such as Lakers-Celtics in 2011). Then you have the all-time greats when both of those are combined (like Mavs-Heat when the Mavs won).

I think we're heading into a special series.

Now, my job precludes me from watching all the games live in the Finals, which is a bummer, but I do watch them eventually, although sometimes distractedly, so my memories of the Finals are not always massively accurate. But other than Game 6, I don't recall a litany of spectacular games last year. Maybe I'm wrong.

Regardless, the intrigue here is at an all-time high, no? The storylines are obvious and simple, but still hugely exciting. One team has the best player, the other the best team. Both teams and their stars can move up a rung with another ring. Vengeance for one, fighting off vengeance for the other. Wow.

Things I think Don't Matter: Home court & the gap between Pop and Spo. The first because Miami is a terrible crowd and because the Heat haven't shown any issues playing on the road. The latter because that gap isn't as wide as it once was. Pop hasn't regressed, although h obviously has shown a propensity to over-coach against Miami. Spo is just really good now, and is probably right behind Carlisle as the #3 coach in the league right now. It's just hard to envision either coach making a bone-headed move.

Things I think Definitely Matter: Parker's health, Miami's shooting. Both are obvious, but with good reason. Parker needs to be around 80% at least I feel -- you want to beat the Heat, you need to dominate at the point and in penetration. Shooting is of course the difference between winning and losing for the Heat, save for the Lebron Games. And there will be Lebron Games. You can allow 2, but not more, and you simply must win every game when Lebron isn't dominant.

Who/what swings the series? Again kinda obvious, but I gotta say Kawhi. He needs to be great on both ends. It's fairly incredible that Diaw can kinda guard Bron, but that's not happening for very long and Lebron won't be rattled by this team like he was to start the series last year. If Kawhi is guarded by anyone except Lebron, he needs to dominate offensively. He can take some plays off on that end, but not many. Diaw will make good choices, and Splitter is capable of doing the same, which will be huge -- you have to make Miami's D work.

All in all? Feels like it goes 7. And I don't think San Antonio gives it away like they did last time (although they obviously might just get beat). So... SA in 7.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:54 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade2 wrote:
As so often happens, I had a lengthy post somehow get deleted in the submitting process. Damn it all.


Man, that's plain the worst. No way around it. I want to punch things what that happens.

I agree with what both of you guys are saying. I'll take SA in 7 too. It just feels right. They're too good and proud to give another series away, and Miami is a little worse this year. Parker being hurt could swing it in Miami's favor, though.

I'm with Shade on what he said about Pop and Spo, and in addition, the Xs and Os won't matter quite as much this year because they have an incredible 7 game series as evidence from last year to go on. There's only so much a coach can do - at some point one team is just a little better. Or they're really even and it can go either way. I think the latter is the case here, and I think it's gonna be a great series.

Looking forward to seeing what Kawhi brings too.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:23 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I think it's fair to say Lebron's cramping put a pretty heavy damper on Game 1. Would have been nice to see what happened if he could have played. Cramps are a real bitch, though. It's pretty odd that he was the only one cramping up so badly, given that's he's the most freakishly athletic of anyone in the game. It just sucks. The Spurs absolutely had to win that one with him sitting so much of the 4th, and they did.

Hopefully they get the A/C fixed in the building in time for Sunday's Game 2. That should be a good one.


Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:09 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Definitely a weird one.

PeachyPete wrote:
It's pretty odd that he was the only one cramping up so badly, given that's he's the most freakishly athletic of anyone in the game.


Agreed, but this has happened before, right? Against the Thunder in the Finals I remember, and also a few late regular-season games where he had cramping issues. Now let's be clear: this is 0% a toughness issue. If your body says no moving, you're sure as hell not playing basketball. Given that his body is one of the most cared-for in the world, this can't be an issue of simply not taking in enough fluids all week, so there seems to be a legit body malfunction that makes him more susceptible to the heat. Again, just weird. I'm rooting for the Spurs, but for a good series most of all. And given the status of both of these teams, I think even die-hards would be disappointed to win due to injuries of the opponent.

Have to say, though, given Lebron's history since that epic game 6 against Boston, you'd expect a fairly ferocious performance from him Sunday night. Can't wait.


Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:10 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Absolutely not a toughness issue. There isn't a human being alive that could will himself through something like severe cramps (the comparisons to Jordan's Flu Game are pretty silly). I want to cry any time I move my foot the wrong way and a cramp slightly begins to set in. I can't imagine having my legs cramp up like that and being unable to move. I mean, cramps aren't a serious injury or anything, but they're completely incapacitating when they take hold.

And let's be real, anyone hating on Lebron for last night are the same people who blindly hate everything he does and shouldn't be taken seriously anyway. I'm not a fan of the guy, but what's he supposed to do if he's cramping so bad he can't walk? It's not like he's not tough or shying away from the moment. He's proven capable in both of those departments many times in the past. I think people just expect these guys to be almost superhuman and any evidence to the contrary is treated as proof that they're overrated, or soft, or some other equally ridiculous term. He's a human being with craps at one of the worst possible moments! It sucks. Call me crazy, but as a fan of the game I want to see the best player in the world healthy and able to perform on the court.


Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:57 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:
He's a human being with craps at one of the worst possible moments!


Now THAT would have been really awkward...


Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:20 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
MunichMan wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
He's a human being with craps at one of the worst possible moments!


Now THAT would have been really awkward...


Best typo I've seen all year. :lol:

But in all seriousness, the result of Game 2 doesn't surprise me one bit. LeBron has averaged 31.1 points over his last 6 Finals games vs San Antonio. There's nothing they can do to contain him. And it was kind of nice to see him feed Bosh again for a successful corner-3 late in the game, if only to keep people from going "DUUUURRRRRRR!! Jordan/Kobe wouldn't have passed up that shot!"

The key sequence though.... a flagrant foul by Chalmers on Parker (debatable call really, I'm still not sure about it), who misses two free throws, then Duncan gets fouled on the ensuing possession, misses both as well.....then LeBron nails a 3 on the next possession! This isn't quite as soul-crushing as Nick Anderson in the 1995 Finals, but it has that same general feel. I think we'd be looking at a 2-0 Spurs lead without it.

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Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:20 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
MunichMan wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
He's a human being with craps at one of the worst possible moments!


Now THAT would have been really awkward...


Haha, that's awesome. Part of me wishes I actually meant to do that, but it's funnier that I didn't.

And last night was just a blood bath. Sure, Miami cut it to 7 at one point, but it's tough to give up 71 points in a half and have a realistic shot at winning a game. I've never seen anything like the Spurs' first quarter and a half last night. They were shooting 90% for the game at one point! It was incredible to watch.

Good to see Kawhi finally show up. I doubt he'll play like that the rest of the series, but hopefully he's more himself now than he was the first 2 games. Still think it's going 7.


Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:57 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Kawhi is gonna be a star as the Spurs' Big 3 slowly fade out. He can essentially pick up where Ginobili leaves off. I assume that no matter what happens, Duncan will come back for one more season since it's the final year on his contract. But when he's done, I think the Spurs can get another quality big man. I wouldn't rule San Antonio out as a free agency destination given that organization's stability.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:21 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
anyone think this is the best Spurs team ever? that '03 to '07 team was a bit painful to watch at times. amazing to see them now able to set a NBA Finals FG% record.


Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:48 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
whoah

http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron ... -cavaliers


Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:43 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...


Yup. This thread was my next stop after Twitter. Very cool. Cleveland is a real sports town. You won't see those fans leave a Game 6 early and then fight to get back in.

Now I assume Bosh is headed to Houston and Melo stays in NY. Have fun with your 35 wins next year, Miami.

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Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:56 pm
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