Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Hey You Kids! Get Off My Lawn! And Turn Down That Damn Rock Music, Too!"

Some random, disjointed thoughts on the Second Season while wondering how the hell ESPN stole a Thursday night "Gone Fishin'" game away from TNT....

(Ha! I always wanted to start a post like that...)

--It is incredibly hard to cheer for the Cavs and especially LeBron. I try so, so hard...and they just screw around out there. I refuse to believe they are trying as hard as they can to win. They just aren't and no one will ever convince me otherwise. LeBron could come over, sit on my couch and watch game film with me and he couldn't convince me.

With a chance to close out the conference semi-finals on their home court, not only didn't they try hard, they looked disinterested. I just...I just don't get what kind of mindset that is.

I am a firm believer that a team takes on the demeanor of its best player. It isn't intentional, but it just happens. The Cavs all act like LeBron and since they all weren't hand picked by God Himself to be great at basketball, this is a very bad thing. They really should just be called The LeBrons. Every single one of them just dribbles around and then launches a bad shot at the end of the shot clock. It is infuriating. Anderson Varejao is the lone exception.

LeBron is the most exciting player in the league and all I get to watch is him bouncing around on failed pick and rolls and then launching a stupid shot. Someone coach him. Please. Teach him how to do basketball shit, because for as good as he is, he clearly has a lot to learn. Like "Letting the game come to you" does not mean "not shooting." And "getting my teammates involved" does not mean "just reversing the ball from side to side." And would it kill Mike Brown to pull him over and say "Drive! Drive to the rim! No one can stop you! You ca
n't freaking shoot, just put your head down and go to the rim!" And if Vince Carter accidentally hears him, well, there would be worse things.

Part of me wishes LeBron would break his foot, kinda like young MJ. I would willingly sacrifice a year of Young LeBron if it instilled in him a joy for the game and made him realize he should play hard every night, if not in the regular season, then at the very least,
in the playoffs.

- The Pistons are guilty of this, too. They should have swept the Bulls, but the put it on cruise control for two games. And listen, I know this is nothing new, but it is driving me crazy. I can see this happening in the regular season, but how does this happen in the playoffs?!?!

- This leads me to believe the NBA has a competition problem. I mean, after the Bulls got eliminated, it was all smiles and hugs and pounds - from both sides. I am not expecting them to reenact some senior from a mid-major crying when his Sweet 16 run comes to and end, but cripes fellas, at least act like you care. When T. Mac got choked up after losing in the first round, and everyone hammered him for it (Seriously, screw everyone on Around the Horn except Michael Smith and Stat Boy. And Maybe JA.), you know what the response should have been?
Good! Someone cares! Is everyone else watching this! Take notes! It shouldn't take 20 straight first round exits to elicit this type of emotion!

Simmons points this out in his excellent article about the Suns/Spurs suspensions, but really, the NBA does not allow its players to compete as hard as they possibly can. It is a sanitized, watered-down product. Kinda makes me wish I was aware of basketball in the 80s. I hear it was intense.

I really feel like I am being a cranky old man screaming at kids to get off his lawn, but sheesh...just try hard. You don't even have to be good. Just try hard. K, I'm done. Pressure points, pressure points. Woo-sah, woo-sah.

- I am pretty sure I hate every single NBA announcer right now. Yea, every single one. They are all just so full of shit. No one says what they really think. It is just hour after hour of politically correct spin and making things sound a lot better than they are. I mean, that is what sportscasting has been reduced to, and I am aware of that, but I am just sick of it.

Take Hubie and Mike Tirico tonight. Two fine guys, not the worst at their jobs; in fact, they are probably more respected than the great majority of their profession. But any time there was a missed call or a controversial decision, the pair just either glossed over it or agreed with the refs, regardless of what the replay showed. Their own opinions were no where to be found. The only time we saw any genuine emotion was when Sheed got a T and they could pontificate and berate him.

I'm just...I'm sick of it. Can't we get two guys who don't sound like robotic cliche-spitting machines?

- All this time off: good or bad for the Jazz? Rest or rust? Considering the injuries they have had at the guard position, rest has to be helpful. Odds are it doesn't even matter, but the Jazz should be heading into the conference finals in the best possible position.

And how about AK47? Does someone want to explain that one to me? I am really happy for the dude, but how o you go from a crying mess to a dominant force like that? I think he started taking steroids.

- My new favorite meaningless debate: "Did the suspensions cost the Suns Game 5?" Well, it certainly didn't help them, did it? That whole situation is just disgraceful.

- To recap: of the four semi-final series, one features the two unguardable penetrators challenging each other to a jump shooting contest, the other features a team that let a series drag out to six games out of pure indifference, another featured the end of the greatest story of the playoffs so far in pretty disappointing fashion and the last, which should be the defining series of the 07 Second Season has been forever tainted with some bogus suspension and every single game is being called my a bunch of phonies. Ugh.

Alright, I'm gonna stop before I start kicking dogs or something. Bright spots, anyone?

Read the Rest After the Jump...