I realize that there are other sports being played right now, but the more I try to give hockey and baseball their just attention, I can't keep my eyes off of the NBA Playoffs right now. I suppose I am justified in some ways, since I don't get the networks necessary to see any hockey during the week, but rather the few televised games on the weekend. Likewise, the only baseball I get to see is on the ESPN networks during the week, where 2-3 games are broadcast opposite the drama of the hoops games that have been played over the last few days. So I either have to sacrifice my NBA post-season viewing and watch some regular season baseball (of which, there is a whole-lotta) or move back to Toledo so I can get the Canadian network and watch hockey. Obviously, that ain't gonna stir the Kool-Aid for this guy, so if you read this blog, you're going to get basketball talk for the time being. Not only basketball, but a very large helping. Sorry, but that's how it goes.

So, the first one to two games of each playoff match-up have been played as I place my fingers to the keys, and I am already stoked as all get out. The first game between the Spurs and Suns was bananas, with two OT's and enough game saving shots down the stretch to last for an entire series. I still can't believe Timmy Duncan hit that three to extend the game and I think that the shot that Steve Nash hit to tie the game just before Manu Ginobili won it for the Spurs is not getting the props it deserves. I know it didn't end up winning the game but that 3-ball from the corner that Nash drilled is why the guy is a two-time NBA MVP. Can't wait to watch the remainder of that series, where each contest is set up to feel like a game 7.

A surprise in the east's first round, with the 76ers taking away home-court by beating the all-world Detroit Pistons in game one. I've said before that the east is definitely a two-horse race between the Celtics and the Pistons unless LeBron James reaches even higher levels of performance, and even though Detroit lost, I'll stick to that prediction. The 76ers beat the Pistons the way teams always do, by staying focused throughout the game and not giving up when the Motor-City's finest started to blow them out. I swear, I've never seen a team get bored the way the Pistons do. I used to think it was just a natural extension of their confidence and the chip on their shoulder that began before their Finals series with the Lakers. Now I see it more as condescending the opponent and the spectacular play of Andre Iguodala and the rest of the Sixers proved that the Pistons are definitely beatable when they're peering down their nose at you.

While game one of that series was a shock, the first two between the Wizards and Cavs have been everything I expected. The Wiz haven't beat the Cavs in the playoffs the last two years in a row, where the LeBron show has bounced the former Bullets out of the post-season in consecutive first-round series. Added to that, you had the one player you don't want to rile up (ask Chris Bosh's girlfriend) all riled up, as the Wizards' DeShawn Stevenson called King James "overrated". LeBron retorted with aplomb, likening the comment by Stevenson to Soulja Boy calling out Jay-Z. While LeBron is perhaps overstepping his bounds referring to himself as the Hova of the NBA, I thought it was an apt and hilarious response to some seriously ignorant shit (pun totally intended, rap fans) from Stevenson. Soulja Boy even took umbrage to James' analogy, which makes the whole situation even funnier.

I mentioned back when Yao Ming went down with his foot injury that it was the toughest of breaks for Houston Rockets fans, whose team was poised for greatness in the playoffs before the fracture, and the first two games of the Utah/Houston series have been clear evidence of that fact. The Rockets have turned into a similar team to the Cavs in the east, with one bright star in Tracy McGrady that has to shoulder far too heavy of a load for his team to win. McGrady played phenomenal defense in both games, lead his team at the offensive end and showed grit and determination that cannot be denied, but it just isn't enough for that team. At the end of both games he looked tired and overused, and now that the Rockets are also without the services of Rafer "Skip to My Lou" Alston, T-Mac's chance to lead the Rockets past the Jazz is just about lost in space. You can't drop the first two at home and then go into Utah and think you're going to take two from them, because those boys just don't slip up at home, period. That series is pretty much over before it got started and I feel for the players and fans of the Rockets across the board. Better luck next year guys.

I'm still picking the Lakers in the west and the Celtics in the east, both of whom are playing a pair of series that I probably won't even have to mention because they'll be done in four games a piece. The Celts are way too much for the Hawks and the Denver Nuggets simply do not play defense. Pau Gasol looks like he's playing high-school kids when the Nuggets are defending him and the rest of the Lakers. Yeah, I'm hoping against hope for a jump in the NBA time-machine to restore one of the greatest rivalries in the history of sports. It won't be Magic against Bird, but if those teams meet in the Finals, it will be a series for the books, trust me on that.

Speaking of the Lakers, sort of, I was having a conversation while watching the Phoenix/San Antonio game that I thought I would bring to the Hip and try and expand upon. We were talking about the Sonics moving to Oklahoma City and I mentioned that if it happens, which the NBA really, really wants, they absolutely have to change their name. The Lakers are the most egregious example of a league that has far too many teams whose mascots don't make any sense because of city changes, or are just plain stupid after further consideration. Weird mascots and nicknames are quirky and endearing in the college ranks, but in the NBA and other professional sports leagues, they're just idiotic.

The NBA has the Los Angeles (formerly Minneapolis) Lakers and Utah (formerly New Orleans) Jazz, which are obvious examples of teams that should have switched it up upon moving. I mean seriously, the whitest state in the union's team is named after a beautiful form of black music that has about as much to do with Mormonism and an over abundance of Republican voters as the city of Los Angeles (or the whole damn state of Cali) does with the "Land of 1,000 Lakes", Minnesota. Throw on top of that the Wizards, whose jerseys are somehow even sillier than their name, who had to change their mascot because a crime-ridden city's squad probably shouldn't be called the Bullets. Oh yeah, and the Memphis Grizzlies, who used to play in Vancouver, there's another one! Seriously, if your team moves, your name changes, this has got to be a rule. I can't think of another league where the team names are so obviously incongruous with the cities or states they are paired with. I'd like to get a few comments on other examples I'm leaving out from other leagues and teams, but I think the NBA has the oxymoronic title when it comes to franchise handles. Please feel to free to respond and submit other dumb-ass mascots/nicknames in pro sports, I think it will be a fun little exercise.


Yuppers, a rare non-sports mention about the movie "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters", which I saw at Tower's place over the weekend. I might be a little late in watching this wonderful documentary about video game players, but at this point I'm just glad to have seen it. The movie centers around a good v. evil showdown over Donkey Kong, with a regular, run of the mill sort of dork on one side and an egomaniacal weirdo with hair as bad as his neckties on the other. It's smart, funny and while it isn't sports, it is competition, so go out and rent it already. Mr. Awesome is worth the price of admission/rental on his own.

Here's the trailer if you're still not convinced:


  1. Manu os the main reason why I love this game.

    I'm a real happy man for him to win this. If you are then please share your comment with me?


  2. I expected Finley to hit that 3, but Tim Duncan?!? I hate that team.

    Did you see that 3 that Arenas hit during Game 1? like 7 feet behind the circle? Bananas...and then he didn't even show up for Game 2. Stevenson taunting the crowd was awesome-that bitch got put in his place so badly...I dunno if Haywood shoulda gotten ejected for that flagrant though. I guess no harm can come to James though, he's the man supporting the weight of the entire NBA.

    Did you hear Charles call Denver "Enver, cause they got no D!" Shit was retarded but funny...that strategy is fucked, but makes for some good bball when they're on. I'm so stoked Gasol is gonna go far-that dude is sick; he made that game look like child's play, you're right.

    Orlando! That game, first quarter, when they shot 80%!! And Mr. Superman himself, those blocks are outta control. Bosh is sick too, he muscled some crazy shots while getting fouled. Can't wait for more!

    See you for Derby next thursday, we gotta watch some of this shit before I blackout.