I apologize to my loyal reader(s) for the lack of playoff-related content. I have been watching, but the decrepit play of my beloved Celtics has frozen the marrow of fandom in my green and white bones. I’m going to have a doctor look at that color. Someday.
I have in fact been watching as avidly as ever. In fact I think I’ve seen at least a portion of every single game so far. Here are 10 playoff thoughts that occur after the first 5 days of games:
- Gin-o-bi-liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!! Manu came back from the dead at the right time. And not some staggering zombie back from the dead like Tyson Chandler. He’s more keen-eyed killer vampire back from the dead like Blacula. Only he’s a white dude from Argentina. More’s the pity. If the Spurs future HoF guard tandem can keep this up, the Thunder really might miss Harden come the conference finals.
- The Heat’s bench doesn’t stink anymore. Between Cole, Battier, Allen, and Birdman, they have a serviceable PG, great shooting / defending wings, and a terrific short minutes for big production paint-clogging, pick-rolling, glass-cleaning tattoo magazine pull-out model. Last year when the Heat team was still a little iffy because of injuries to Miller and Haslem, there was some suspense. Now? They could go 10 men deep if Spoelstra wanted to.
- Jason Kidd’s quick hands… Remember when the Mavs beat the Lakers in 2011 before going on to win the title? Of course you do. It was a magnificent collapse by LA! Well Kidd played crunch time defense on Kobe, and every possession I thought, “This is stupid. Kobe’s too tall for Kidd. He’ll get post position and go right over him.” But then Kidd would get a strip or tip away an entry pass or muscle Kobe a step too far for even his range. It seemed impossible, but it kept happening. Well it’s happening again except this time he’s doing it to Paul Pierce.
- Chris Paul George. I can’t decide who the best guard of the playoffs has been, so I nominate Chris Paul and Paul George to be fused into one gestalt being. These two have just been phenomenal. CP3 is always great, but he’s doing it against Tony Allen in impressive fashion this time, and Paul George has become a leader and an honest-to-goodness 25+ point scorer in the early games of this post-season. If he can keep that up, look out!
- I noticed something disturbing in the Heat game the other night. LeBron passed up a shot late in the shot-clock. He gave the ball to Norris Cole with a guy draped all over him with 2 seconds on the clock. Now I’m not trying to say it’s a superstar’s job to force tough shots at the end of shot clocks instead of putting the pressure on covered teammates to force tough shots at the end of shot clocks. But it is. Maybe it’s just a blip. An accident. But Bron has been talking about how focused he is on scoring efficiently, shooting over 50%, etc. If that’s so important to him that he is willing to put the onus on Norris Cole to make tough shots because he doesn’t want to hurt his own numbers, that’s a bad thing. I’m going to pay attention and see if I catch this again. For a player as unselfish as James is (on the court) to do something that self-serving seems out of character and like bad teamsmanship.
- Steph Curry shoots better than you do. I don’t care who you are. He shoots a basketball better than you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Deal with it.
- Omar Asik has the best +/- of any player in the playoffs so far. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds cool.
- I love passing Kevin Durant. When he looks for his teammates and spreads the wealth that team is so hard to beat. I understand he shoots at prime Larry Bird percentages and gets the to line and line-drives three pointers like the OKC Stretch Armstrong. Nevertheless the more he gets his teammates going, the better the Thunder seem to run. Maybe it’s because Westbrook is a combo point with a scoring penchant of his own. Maybe it’s because so many other Thunder don’t get much that isn’t spoon fed to them, but whatever the case, when KD has a decent assist number, it’s usually lights out for the competition.
- I wish Kobe Bean, Rondo, David Lee, Manimal+Gallo+Ty, Sully, and all the other injured reserve or walking wounded in these playoffs were out there and kicking it at full strength. I know injuries are a part of every post season and good health is a determinate factor on who wins in the end, but I’d just like to see those guys doing their thing. Except Amare. I like him, but he and Melo don’t mesh. Actually, you know what? Let’s rush Amare back immediately. Free the STAT!
- Joakim Noah gutting out a double-double on one foot to help Chicago even the series against the Nets was amazing. How can you not admire that guy’s grit and the impact he has even at half-strength? The way the Bulls choked out the Nets pick and roll and isolation offense was a thing of ugliness. Transcendent, game-changing Thibodaux brand ugliness.
Tags: 2013 NBA Playoffs, blacula, Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls, Chris Birdman Andersen, Chris Paul, Dallas Mavericks, David Lee, Eric Spoelstra, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, James Harden, Jason Kidd, Joakim Noah, Kevin Durant, kobe bryant, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Larry Bird, lebron james, Manu Ginobili, Miami Heat, Mike Miller, NBA, New York Knicks, Norris Cole, OKC Thunder, Omar Asik, Paul George, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Russell Westbrook, San Antonio Spurs, Shane Battier, sports, Steph Curry, tyson chandler, Udonis Haslem