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NBA Playoffs

Previously on WhatWouldWesleyDo: Not quite so funny, but still funny

Just in case you don’t know, I love the NBA playoffs more than anything, so for the last few weeks I have been in heaven.By night, I stay the late games till 1:30 or so, giving way story/stat hunting by day and neglecting my normal responsibilities.

So far the only letdowns of the playoffs have been the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks, the Hawks being the most disappointing. If you remember my NBA Preview, I picked the Hawks to finish 3rd in the Eastern Conference, and making a bit of noise in the playoffs… I couldn’t have known that they wouldn’t play any defense, and have no discernible offense beyond Joe Johnson iso’s, dump-downs to Al Horford and follow dunks by Josh Smith–and who would have imagined Flip Murray would be their most consistent player.

Dallas irks me because they were so close just a few years ago. Their overly reactionary, polarizing owner Mark Cuban is almost solely to blame. He made the series all about the poor officiating instead of criticizing his teams lack of heart and poor play, yes Dwyane (everytime I have to spell his first name I cringe) Wade got more calls than Jordan, Kobe, LeBron and every other superstar ever has gotten in one series, but the team played like a bunch of dogs. Afterwards, he brought in staff equally constitutioned for over reaction and needless change, who gutted a team that should have won an NBA title. The one positive I took away from that series was Dirk’s heart, he played like he wanted to win and didn’t shrink in the big moment… now Jason Kidd, Josh Howard and the rest of the gang (minus Jason Terry) I can’t say the same for.

Really quick, I picked the Rockets #2 in the West. Had it not been for injuries not only would they have earned that spot, but they probably would have been a favorite in the playoffs. That said, they made no excuses played their butts off and showed what it means to give it your all. Maybe Dirk should could use some role players like that around him.

Looking at positives the emergence of the Denver Nuggets can only be seen as good for basketball. Carmelo Anthony, who’s young career seems to invite controversy, has morphed into the efficient scoring machine George Karl envisioned and he literally is a bully on the court. J.R. Smith, who probably fills out the bottom five slots of the NBA in regards to basketball IQ looks like somebody that is going to get a huge contract for his stellar play, and a team that I figured wouldn’t even make the playoffs had the second best record in the Western Conference. I guess Chauncey Billups is good.

Most of all I have enjoyed the competitiveness in the East, minus the LeBron sweep-stakes. The Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic have all played amazingly competitive and exciting basketball leaving it all in the floor, as they say. Game 7’s are great, especially with such hotly contested series’, hopefully Orlando can give the Cleveland LeBron’s a run for their money.

I won’t do series picks, ’cause in not giving an all-star break update and not picking the playoffs in the beginning, I have lost my credibility… but being that I am a gambling man I’ll lay odds on the final four teams chance win it all.

  1. Cleveland LeBron’s 33.33%
  2. Los Angeles Kobe’s 28%
  3. Denver Nuggets 22%
  4. Orlando Magic 16.66%

As much as they are well constructed teams, the Cavs and Lakers have to be the LeBron’s and Kobe’s to win. Those two players have to play at their world class, elite, “I’m better than you” level, to beat the other (if you didn’t guess I think they’ll square off in the finals).

I have to give the overall odds edge to the Cavs, because they have the home court and have played better to date.

The Lakers have to find the desire to grab their opponent by the neck and take the life out of them in the most vicious way possible… metaphorically speaking. None of this half-ass we show up and win because of talent effort, because if they play like the played against the McGrady-less, Yao-less, Mutombo-less Houston Rockets–they are done.

Denver poses a major threat to the Lakers, because they are nearly as equally talented with a veteran leader in Chauncey Billups who has won and will lead that team past the ills it suffered prior to his arrival.

Orlando doesn’t have a chance in hell in my humble opinion, but Charles Barkley picked them to win, so they get love on the co-signature of CB34.

Since I no longer have a team I root for players… well actually I have always done that, but it’s become more intensified since last year. Anyways, I would be happy if the championship went to:

I miss the short lived tight era... damn David Stern and his Nazi regime

I miss the short lived tight era... damn David Stern and his Nazi regime

…no I ain’t a Lakers fan. Besides the Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys and Steelers, this has to be the biggest bandwagon in America. I HATE bandwagon fans. I won’t lie. I used to like the Cowboys–when I was a kid. Then I learned hat sports fandom is more than just picking a team that has cool colors, or wins all the time, or has a lot of good players you like, but that’s for another post.

I just think Kobe needs another ring. He is the embodiment of the post-Jordan era, has been beaten, bruised and broken up against the romanticized view of the Jordan era. Will he get #4, maybe.

Regardless the league is better because people are finally starting to watch the NBA again for what it is and not because of some unrivaled talent, but media created mega star.


  1. 05/22/2009 at 11:25 am

    Nice post. These games have def been exciting to watch

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