Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"The Greatest First Round Ever" Recap.

Odds and ends from the Greatest First Round Ever...

- Aren't you glad the first round is a best of seven format? I am.

- If I was Boris Diaw, I would switch my first and last names. Doesn't "Diaw Boris" sound much cooler, not to mention about ten times tougher? I think he'd average 3 more rebounds and 1 more block per game just by doing this. And his first name wouldn't be "Boris." It's a win-win.

- I am officially off the Manu Ginobili bandwagon. I still had a pinky toe on just cuz I liked when Barkley yelled "GINOBILI!" but enough is enough.
He is Vlade Divac's little brother. The flopping is borderline ridiculous; you get anywhere near him, and he goes down like a sniper's bullet just shredded his hammy. Next time he does this, someone run at him with a yellow card. Please. (Also, I'm sick of looking at his bald spot. He looks like Freddie Prinze Jr.'s dad.)

- The Grizzlies will never win a playoff game. Ever. And you know why? Mike Fratello's hair. We all know that isn't your real hair color, Mike. Listen...I have no problem with a guy getting up in his year's and not wanting to show his grays. Fine. But...that's a little excessive, no? Just trick us a little bit; at least give us the illusion that that may be your real hair color. Kinda like seeing the tissue paper sticking out of the bra. (Unbelieveably, Fratello is only second on the That's Not Your Real Hair Color List. No one was ever, ever born anywhere on this earth with hair the color that Doug Collins is currently sporting. No one.)

- Too bad Michael Redd didn't sign with the Cavs in the offseason. Really.

- Why does Smush Parker have that line shaved down the middle of his head? It looks like the stripe on a football helmet. He lives in L.A. for God's sake; couldn't someone tell him he isn't on the set of Boys 'n da Hood?

- Does it seem like Steve Nash lost the ball an unnatural amount of time? Have I just not seen him play enough? Not even on those memorable traps in the corner...just in general - little bobbles here, a fumble there. Seems like something to be concerned about, maybe.

- While the Kobe vs. LeBron debate rages on, maybe an even more important debate surrounding those two should start: Who's supporting cast is worse? I'm going to give a slight -
slight - nod to the Cavs, because the Lakers have another bonafide player on their team in Odom. Cleveland's second best player is..who, exactly? Hughes? Z? I don't know...worth exploring though, and I'm not sold either way. Convince me.

- Best pass of the first round, of the top of my head: Shaun Livingston's no look, lefthanded, underhand flip through traffic against the Nugs. When it's all said and done, his name will be up there with LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Melo, and all the other defining players of this era. If he plays one, maybe two more years under Cassell and then takes over that team...look out. Is there a more promising budding nucleus than him and Brand? Maybe the Baby Bulls, maybe what the Bucks are trying to put together...but for my money, I'm going with Dr. Livingston.

- Heard Kenny say something interesting on TNT after the Bucks blew a close, late game against the Pistons. "The Pistons are comfortable in a close game late." Any other team feel that way? The Spurs perhaps. But that's the list. And that's probably why those two are going to be playing in the Finals.

- I got nuthin' on Pacers/Nets since it was always relegated to NBATV - and rightly so. Seems like Jermaine O'Neal is really good at spinning baselines and dunking with his left hand. Must have done that at least twice every game. I'd sit on that if I was guarding him.

- LeBron telling Gilbert that he better make his FTs or the game was over...wow. I mean, he probably shouldn't have touched him, but to make that kind of statement -
when you are losing - is just incredible. Imagine the pressure LeBron put on himself? I think that had to freak Gilbert out more than anything. How could anyone be that confident? And especially since he didn't end up taking the GW himself? Unreal. If I was Gilbert, I woulda missed, too. Probably an airball. To the left. And short. And then peed myself. A lot.

- And if LeBron had done that to someone he didn't know, then it might have been out of line. But Gilbert was in the Cavs' locker room after Game 5, joking around and saying that since he didn't get to be Mr. Game 5, he would have to be Mr. Game 6. So it's just a little gamesmanship. Some freakin' ballsy gamesmanship, but gamesmanship nonetheless.

- Not to sound like Seinfeld here, but
what's the deeeeaal with players being so chummy after games? This is the playoffs, isn't it? And I understand they all know eachother and they played AAU ball together and All-Star teams and whatnot...but its the playoffs! Jason Kidd and Anthony Johnson hugging and smiling after the Nets bounced the Pacers; players going out to dinner with eachother in between games, Arenas in the Cavs freakin' locker room? I don't know..something just seems wrong there.

- Call their name before throwing them a pass: Anderson Varejeo and Kwame Brown. Those two are where assists go to die.

- This has been bothering me: Simmons rips the Heat fans for wearing white t-shirts, then lauds the Clip fans for wearing red ones? Plus, the Clippers fans did the wave. During a playoff game. No explanation needed. Those in glass houses shouldn't...ah, I forget the saying, but that's a little hypocritical, methinks.

- Things I will never get sick of: Ben Gordon's tear drop runners...LeBron throwing chalk in the air...Steve Nash running a pick and roll...Steve Nash's fake drive, pull up for a J move...Dwyane Wade create in mid-air...Dirk's stroke (not a classic beauty, but still can't take my eyes off it - it's the Angelina Jolie of jumpshots)...Tayshaun Prince chase someone down and swat their layup to halfcourt while the shooter stands there with a "where they hell did
he come from?" look on his face...being scared to death whenever Kobe has the ball...watching Gilbert flick on shots from 40 feet like he's at the free throw line...watching Jason Kidd place passes perfectly...watching Vince Carter get his ass put on the floor...

- The All-First Round Team. Unbelievably, two players from losing squads make the team:

  • Steve Nash, PHX
  • Kobe Bryant, LAL
  • Gilbert Arenas, WAS
  • LeBron James, CLE
  • Dirk Nowitzki, DAL
Honorable mention: Bonzi Wells...Rip Hamilton...TJ Ford...Dwyane Wade...Kirk Hinrich...Andres Nocioni...Jason Kidd (1o assists per)...Elton Brand...Raja Bell.

Coach of the First Round? Pop, solely for that sweet baseline pass play he drew up in Game 2 of the Kings series. It was so pretty.

Anything memorable I forgot?

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