Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NBA Finals Random Notes

The cool thing about taking a 2 week out-of-country vacation is that you distance yourself from all the political nonsense here in the US. The not-so-cool thing is that (with the exception of the NBA) American sports leagues aren't very popular outside America (football and baseball are hardly international in appeal. Nobody in Europe is rockin' a NY/NJ Red Bulls jersey.) so you tend to lose track of what's going on back here. The games aren't covered in the local papers over there, and if they do come on TV they're usually airing at 4am or some other hour when you're likely sleeping. So I hadn't followed any of the NBA playoffs until I caught Lakers/Magic Game 2 and here's my random, pointless observations...

Kobe Is Destined - It's pretty evident this guy wants the title more than any of the other 9 men on the floor, period. Sometimes (like when he dribbled right into that quadruple team at the end of regulation with 4 Lakers open at the arc) this is bad. Other times (like when the did the same thing, but wisely dished to Gasol for the game clinching and-1) it's good. Either way, it adds up to Lakers in 6.

Why The NBA Is Hands-Down The Best Sport... Period. - Think about this: you've played ball since age 3. You practice 5 hours a day. You subsist on protein shakes and groupie love cut out red meat to increase your stamina. You shoot 1000's of free throws. And despite all those years of preparation for a moment like the NBA Finals, the margin of error in games this close is so small, a tipped ball or rotating a split-second too slow on a pick and roll can be the difference between a win and a loss. And that, my friends, is why the NBA is the best sport evar. Think about it, in the NFL, such a game would end with a boring assed field goal. Walkoff, game winning homers seldom happen in MLB since you can just as easily pitch around a guy. Who cares about hockey? The NBA has all the drama.

Stan Van Gundy Is A Good Coach - But not a great one. What sorta moron plays JJ Reddick in the crucial moments of an NBA Finals game? This is the same JJ Reddick who left his jumper in Durham, and couldn't defend a brick wall. Is it any wonder that the Tragic blew what could have been a surefire theft of the homecourt advantage as a result?

The Tragic Frontcourt Is Amazing - Man, how many teams have a frontcourt with 3 all-stars? Dwight Howard is a monster, Turkoglu (who is a free agent this Summer) and Lewis (who is actually playing up to that disastrous $125M contract that will prevent them from resigning Turkoglu) are as versatile a pair of bigs as you'll find.

The Tragic Need Some Guards - Dudes like Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, and the aforementioned JJ Reddick aren't championship caliber guards. Jameer Nelson is an all-star simply because the team was good. They aren't getting over the hump until they at least add a SG with deep playoff experience.

Shannon Brown or Chris Brown?!? - Is it just me, or does the Lakers backup backup PG look like lipsyncher/alleged womanbeater Chris Brown?

A Lakers Dynasty Isn't Likely - The Lakers are either going to lose Lamar Odom or Trevor Ariza to FA. Fisher is getting up there in age and their backup PG's are garbage. Andrew Bynum is playing more like Tracy Morgan than a starting NBA center. The salary cap and luxury tax are going to force some tough decisions this offseason. Basically, Lakers fans better enjoy this while it lasts.

Question: You watchin' the Finals? Lakers in 6 or Lakers in 7? Don't Chris Brown and Shannon Brown look alike?

Lakers beat Magic in overtime to take 2-0 lead in NBA Finals [NYDailyNews]

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