Also see links to all the previews at CelticsBlog.com
Also see links to all the previews at CelticsBlog.com
Thumbs Up: The Western Conference Playoffs Second Round
Last night’s Jazz-Warriors game featured four double-doubles, six 20-point scorers, and a largest lead of just ten points. The Suns and Spurs, meanwhile, had a largest lead of just 8 points, field goal percentages of 50 and 46, three 30-point performances, 16 rebounds from Duncan, 18 rebounds for the supposedly beaten Stoudemire, and the added bonus of Steve Nash looking like Jake LaMotta. Unless Nash starts Game 2 wearing leopard-print boxing trunks, it’s going to be hard to top what’s transpired so far.
We also might have a new hero (or antihero, depending on whether you’re an irrational Cleveland fan) in Carlos Boozer. Everyone’s been talking about how Yao couldn’t guard Booze in Houston’s opening round loss to Utah, but I think the more significant fact is that Boozer could guard Yao. Ming had 16 30+ point games during the regular season (even with two months lost to injury) and not a single one during the 7-game series. Yao also turned the ball over 4 or more times in 6 of the 7 playoff games (well over his career average of 3.42), and averaged a rebound less per game than he did during the regular season. This was mostly due to Boozer, with some help from Paul Millsap, despite the fact that both of them looked like Rocky trying to fight Thunderlips.
Thumbs Sideways: The Bobcats Coaching Search
Well, if we can’t get quality, we might as well go for quantity. Now Sam Vincent’s been thrown into the candidate pool. In the Observer, Rick Bonnell writes that although Vincent hasn’t even been a lead assistant yet, “he has a wide range of coaching experience, domestic and international, men and women.” So at least we know he’s probably not going to sexually harass any of the players, but I’m not sure if this makes him qualified. Michael Jordan has talked about searching for “the next Avery Johnson,” but we might want to re-think that strategy now. All I know is, at this rate I want to re-sign Okafor, Wallace, and Carroll, then go get Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, and Chauncey Billups, because it doesn’t seem like we’re going to be throwing money at any coaches.
Thumbs Down: The Eastern Conference Playoffs Second Round
The Bulls look completely overmatched against the Pistons. Did you see Michael Sweetney lumbering in last night right out of the buffet line? That wins this week’s Phil Hughes Call-Up Desperation Award. Kirk Hinrich says the team needs to get their “swagger back,” but I’m sure Chicago fans would happily settle for him just getting a made field goal back (0-7, 2 points). Andres Nocioni suddenly can’t dribble, and Ben Gordon can’t due much of anything competently except foul opponents, and I love how Chicago is suddenly hoping and praying for more out of PJ Brown after they had him on the trading block to last-place Memphis practically all season.
While the Nets don’t look completely overmatched against the Cavs, both teams look equally crappy. Plus the Continental Airlines Arena is so quiet the PA announcer doesn’t even need a loudspeaker. I couldn’t believe how subdued it was there for Game 6 against Toronto, even though the game went down to the wire. Heck, the Bobcats Arena was more pumped up for our season finale against the Knicks.
Guess who’s back, back again…
Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve had a chance to enrich your life with my infinite wisdom, but I’ve been busy with end-of-the-year schoolwork. And I’m proud to add that I was NOT one of 34 people caught cheating on my finals (or at least no one’s said anything to me yet), but that’s more a testament to my not having any friends to cheat with than it is my integrity. Anyway, in the spirit of plagiarism, I feel like bootlegging “Thumbs Up/Down”-style blogs, so here goes:
Thumbs Up: Mavericks-Warriors
Anyhow, just like everyone else, I’ve been sucked into the Mavs-Warriors series like a bag of Capri Sun. Game 5 was so exciting, I actually began having bizarre hallucinations that featured Tracy McGrady wearing a kilt. It was like a heavyweight boxing match, specifically Creed-Balboa I. Every shot landed like a bomb, and it always seemed to be either a thunderous dunk or a 3-pointer. On a personal note, what was really weird was that I taped the game, but I underestimated how long it took, and I ran out of tape PRECISELY after Davis hit the trey that put Golden State up by 9 with 3 minutes to go. Annoyed as I was, I remember thinking that at least I was able to see the last significant play of the game. It wasn’t until I saw Sportscenter that I realized my VHS ran out of juice at the same moment as the Warriors.
Thumbs Sideways: Panthers Draft
I guess it went okay…right? That seems to be the consensus opinion. One thing that bothers me: I actually happen to be a Miami Hurricanes fan who watched every one of their sorry games last year, and I have almost no recollection of Jon Beason whatsoever. For the same reason, I don’t know what the Patriots saw in Merriweather or the Bears saw with Greg Olson, because this was an awful Miami team last year; they played about as impressively as George Bush did on those bongos last week. To be fair, in Olson’s case the quarterbacks were like Woody Harrelson’s character in Wildcats: they could run, they could throw, they just couldn’t run and throw. But still, I’m more shocked than anybody that three Canes landed in the first round. Although who knows, maybe Beason will really impress me. Perhaps it’s just the name: “Jon.” I’ve always been wary about missing-“h” “Jon’s”—Jon Bon Jovi, Jon-Benet Ramsay, and most of all: Jonathan Taylor-Thomas, the Machiavellian middle child on Home Improvement.
Thumbs Sideways: Bobcats Head Coach Search
I’m somehow containing my excitement about the possibility of landing Paul Silas, with his illustrious 355-400 lifetime coaching record. Could we have a more lateral move? Now I see we’re up to 5 candidates, and the answer is obvious: we need to do this reality TV-style: Who Wants to Be a Head Coach? or American Coach or something…
Thumbs Down: Paul Wolfowitz
I haven’t been this embarrassed about a fellow American in nearly five minutes. This is a man who became Undersecretary of Defense despite having no military background whatsoever (although in this administration, I suppose that makes him the perfect candidate), then does such a lousy job at it that he gets canned…only to become the President of the World Bank?!?! What about his performance as a UnderSecDef made anyone think he should then head a bank? And now he’s screwing that up too by giving perks to his girlfriend! People, can we please stop hiring this man? He clearly couldn’t manage a pro wrestler, let alone some of the most important organizations in the world.
Thumbs Down: LeBron James
Have you seen him in that USA Basketball spot? “It-is-an-honor-and-a-privilege-to-put-on-the-USA-basketball-uniform.” It can’t be that much of an honor and a privilege if you need to read a cue card to say the line. And how about a little feeling there, Mr. Global Icon? He looks and sounds about as convincing as a hostage assuring us that he is being treated well.