I don't know how much more round one I can take. I'm pretty sure I caught most of the 5/2 action, with a break to catch Jack Bauer do some more dumb shit in the name of honor and freedom. Not even sure I cared that the Rockets fell apart again down the stretch, since it makes me think it was a mistake to have believed in them so much earlier in the series. Dixon redeemed himself, and Hughes clowned Hinrich so hard that I think he might have also clowned himself in the process. Like if he could have gotten away with that shit, it must have been so easy that he had no business doing it.
So that makes the Wizards even with the Bulls and the Mavs one win away from the second round--meaning, the Bulls will embarrass the Wiz in game five, and Houston will come out swinging and force a game seven in decisive fashion. If only I could see a game in either of these two series where it didn't seem like the losing team was not just getting beaten but actually doing something seriously wrong.
The Spurs/Nuggets joint, though, might be the most I've ever enjoyed a game involving San Antonio. Denver played straight gangster: K-Mart fouling out on a totally unncessary half-nelsoning of Duncan, everyone else on the verge of getting t'ed up all night long, that frontline generally refusing to be punked on their home court by a bunch of straight-laced basketball fundamentalists, the guards bumping around and mixing it up, and Melo once and for all proving why he's not Big Dog part 2. Oh yeah, and Nene's real first name is Rodney. Best of all, it was non-stop swagger; no whining, rushing, or desperation. Play physical and nasty like that, effortlessly and gritty, and that's a chemistry that all the Spurs systems in the world can't match. Too bad San Antonio also had the two best players on the floor on their side.
As much as I want this year's Suns nucelus to stay so long they can be a half-minyan at my wedding, lure Joey Johnson to the Nuggets this summer, add water, let it cool a little, and you're looking at a championship contendor.
This did, though, make the Spurs do more than keep the game at arm's length and scoff at the other team's nonsense; put Duncan in the trenches and he'll prove himself, and Manu=the South American Iverson (fuck Skip Bayless, who wants to claim Manu for the white race). That might be it--if the Spurs lose their holier-than-thou attitude and have to rely on Duncan and Manu playing to beat whoever, then suddenly they've got some charisma and, more importantly, humanity.
Thank god some things on this planet make sense: the Nuggets, young team, sensibly trying to retool their roster, working toward the future. Sneak into the playoffs last year, show something but are outmatched. Stumble early this season (sophomore slump), strike gold with Karl, realize their potential, brought down to earth by playing the NBA's finest. Project next year: prove they're still growing. I like my sports chaotic and all, but a little bit of symmetry can sometimes be a very, very good thing. Sorry to anyone in Denver if I'm making light of your pain.