Let Me Down Easy….They Stopped The Bleeding In New York And Somehow Rewrote The Birth Of Tragedy

“Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable”

– Oscar Wilde

BREAKING NEWS: There are riots erupting in front of the Garden…Knicks fans are calling for D’Antoni’s head. I can hear the chants from the Village…they want it hung from the rafters of MSG, mustache and all. They are products of their environment you see, spoiled by the defense of the Jets…Sorry, let’s stick to basketball…it’s been so long…no trades…free agency…stasis…visions of the Arctic Circle……..

Is it a waste of time to try and write about the NBA Playoffs while watching the NBA Playoffs? That’s a meta question indeed.  As per the writer’s contractual obligations, I must perform. Even under duress of utter boredom.

Tim Duncan is on my television. He is not dunking, he is not driving, just standing around, waiting for someone to shoot. I am attempting to watch the Spurs with some sort of excitement. It is not easy, as I am continuously waiting for Duncan to get a block and run it down the court for a glass shattering dunk…I am trying. Lord I am trying.

In my previous article I meant to discuss the vortex of doom surrounding NY sports teams as a result of Steinbrenner’s deal with the devil, which would cost all other teams championships, playoff wins etc…yet I refrained for fear of being right. So what happens? Billups shoots his knee cap off into the front row, Stoudemire has his back go out on him and Carmelo has to play with a bunch of dudes that wouldn’t even see the floor on a team like Boston or LA. On a scale of difficulty, I would crank this one up between trying to talk your way out of a DUI (Braylon!) and convincing your girlfriend that the playoffs are more important than the series finale of Glee.

Knick Fans: Calm down you Fanta looking freaks. It is my personal belief that we should give D’Antonio a shot next year. Then boot him off to the swamps if we can’t at least get a 4 seed.

Let’s see what this system of offensive insanity can do with all three stars having some actual time to get together and work out some sets, defensively and offensively. No one cares to think how hard it would be if you lost your two most important players in a playoff series against the three sages and the goblinboy (does Rondo look like Willem Dafoe or am I crazy?) especially when it is a point guard and a power forward/center hybrid who could make Kevin Garnett look like an old man on the post up. Although when Billups is aging and Stoudemire’s knees are as reliable as an Alfa Romeo on a cross country road trip, there may not be time left for such experiments.

All things must pass however, D’Antoni is off to go alligator hunting, OKC should give Denver one last beat-down. The Spurs look like a team being fitted for burial suits, the Bulls will live and die by the ankle of Derrick Rose.

The Magic have looked out of sorts except for Dwight Howard’s facial hair (No More Smiles), and I think the Hawks have proved that 3/4 stars (Johnson, Smith, Horford) can get you out of the first round when the other team goes 1 for 243 from 3. Dallas looks slow and old despite Dirk, although I hope they advance to have their it handed to them by the Lakers. Lastly, the Sixers outwilled the Knicks to at least get one win. That’s like watching the fat kid pass you in the annual mile run in middle school. It leaves scars you can’t see.

Knicks at Celtics: Game Two Preview

TOJ at SB Nation with a preview of Knicks/Celtics game two, can the Knicks even it up without Chauncey Billups?

Other round one thoughts —

1. Despite all of our hate for Miami, they are going to sweep the Sixers. Philadelphia is at their best when they are running, unfortunately there isn’t anybody in the league better than the Heat in the open floor. I actually think having an easy four or maybe, maybe five game series might not be the best thing for Miami, who might start feeling a little too good about themselves before their round two opponent.

2. Indiana has been beyond impressive with their effort these first two games against the Chicago Bulls. I don’t know if they will end up stealing any of these close games but they are providing a very entertaining series and showing Chicago that there are no easy wins in the playoffs.

3. Predictions for tonight? I am picking the Knicks, Magic, and Blazers all to even their series up.

So Let Us Not Talk Falsely Now…The 40 Day Crawl Towards Salvation

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter…

Revelation 1:19

The NBA playoffs are the most exciting, stressful, and complex playoff format in sports. It is like a long drawn out chess match, except it is awesome… and not chess. When the playoffs start, something happens to people. We become mean, we literally rub people’s noses in their team’s loss. Even today I told my boss, “The Spurs CAN be swept.” How about that for a statement? It is theoretically possible that the best basketball team according to regular season record CAN be swept by the eight seed Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. HA!

Villains, upstarts, heroes, sidekicks, one man bands, (basketball) threesomes and true teams: the playoffs have it all. In the East you’ve got the “wisdom of the ages” in the Celtics, the three “super-villains” in the Heat, the Magic who seem to literally revel in the halo of Dwight Howard and forget to actually play basketball at certain points in a game. the Knicks..ahh Jesus Christ how do I describe the Knicks?

Jets fans help me out…

The Knicks like to score when it doesn’t really matter (in the first half) and can’t hold a lead for longer than 5 minutes without crumbling faster than a paper mache chair at a Golden Corral in Roanoke, Virginia.

Then you’ve got the Pacers, who seem like a half decent basketball team trying to save the “soul” of the sport (see also Tyler Hansbrough….WEIGHT ROOM!), the Bulls who are led by what seems like a basketball player/gymnast with a Byronesque last name in Derrick Rose, the Hawks who seem to fall apart all over the place during the regular season yet have enough chemistry and 3/4 stars to always make things interesting, and finally the 76ers who I really don’t care about.

See note below.
Sorry Philadelphia, but I still hate your baseball team, and your sitcom. But do please beat the piss out of the Mets whenever you have a chance. Thanks.

I live in New York, which means I hate almost every Western Conference team just out of pure spite. How’s the weather in LA? Sunny and 65. San Antonio? Sunny and 75. New Orleans? Sunny and 80. New York? 45, and raining/hailing/thunderstorms…

When the Knicks lose, you go back to your studio apartment and lay in the dark like a psychopath. When LA loses a playoff game, fans can go out and get drunk on the beach, even go for a swim in the Pacific by the pale moonlight. Maybe they even swing on down to Tijuana and go on a bender until sunrise, at which point they’ll call their agent and whine for 45 minutes about a life change, simultaneously speeding off to the spa in Arizona for a few days of painkillers, peace and quiet. I hate the west.

That is except for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who I would literally crawl across the nation to watch. There is not much to do in Oklahoma City, so they play basketball. Friday night? Basketball. Saturday? Basketball. When Kobe Bryant calls your two best players “bad motherf*ckers”, you’ve arrived.

Keep in mind, males do not physically mature until the age of 26, so the fact that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have another 4 years of physical maturation ahead of them should scare anyone in the Pacific timezone. Add a Kendrick Perkins, who I prophecy will be missed sorely when it comes down the stretch for the Celtics, and you’ve got a big, fast, scoring at will three.

We will see strange things during the playoffs. The guard will certainly change in some way. Dwight Howard may finally make his mind up to rid himself of the small man with a mustache in 2012. Kobe Bryant may become Nietzsche and find the will to power. LeBron may be vindicated. The Mavericks may yet again be the most secretly made fun of team in the NBA, especially when your owner acts like he is some sort of basketball genius when he really isn’t. 10,000 hour rule Mark. I’m sure you’ve read all that Malcolm Gladwell BS. The Celtics or the Lakers will finally fall for good, and if they don’t pick up a Chris Paul or a Dwight Howard sometime soon it will mark the end of an era. Especially if they survive long enough to make it to the finals. A traveling man once said “I’ve been on the road so long, I don’t even know which way is home”.

Knicks Loss Hard To Accept, Other Game 1 NBA Thoughts

TOJ at SB Nation on why it is hard to accept any silver lining on the Knicks game one loss

Other thoughts from the weekend of playoff basketball…

1. I think it is pretty clear we are in for a bunch of 6 and 7 game series. You aren’t going to see anybody ran off the floor in this first round, especially with the 7 and 8 seed in the Western Conference winning game one and the 7 and 8 seed in the Eastern Conference coming minutes away from stealing a victory themselves.

2. Who would have thought Atlanta would start trying after taking the past few months off and show some pride this time around in the playoffs? I know I didn’t…if Orlando can’t win a game when Dwight Howard puts on that kind of performance, where are they going this year?

3. Despite their embarrassing effort in game one, I do think the Lakers will bounce back and win their series in six games. San Antonio/Memphis has the feel of a seven game series, which could really go either way.

4. Derrick Rose showed why he was the MVP on Saturday. Let’s see how the Bulls respond tonight after surviving Indiana’s best shot in game one.