Three weeks of raising hell
Okay, one more 'gain. If you're wondering why I'm quoting myself, peep the original uses; otherwise, please don't click on those links, lest you and me be forced to remember how breathlessly spirited this first round has been.
Let me try and translate that for anyone looking to start a fight: we know that the strong teams will roll. We know that the individual stars will shine bright as they can, but will ultimately have a hard time single-handedly knocking off the TEAMS. That's the story of this season, and the lack of intersection, intermingling, or interchangability of these two basketball concepts, both coasting at a zenith in their respective quarters, is why this I've been so nonplussed by it all.
The typical critique of FreeDarko would go something like "of course y'all care most about round one," which would of course run counter to all received baketball wisdom. Here, though—and this is that crucial aspect of our mission that's so often been dropped on the puddles—it looked like we might've be partially justified. Two star-driven squads mounting the most riveting show of the entire past two weeks, and a egomaniacal loon sublimating his talents for the sake of the upset. Either we were seeing marquee figures making the Playoffs as serious as they get, or, more dramatically, these player showing that team efforts are most rewarding when they're set up like well-oiled solar systems. I would also like to include Kings/Spurs in here, which told us a lot about the real Artest, once and for all.
Now I get to breathe easy and not feverishly build my daily schedule around some of the most fantastic NBA action I've most ever seen. I'm ready to slough through the coming weeks, and maybe even force myself to do things like appreciate Wade, pretend I hadn't given up on my once-treasured sleeper Barbosa, expect Livingston to dominate the Clippers' run, and watch Mavs/Spurs because my girl has a vested interest in it. And yes, LeBron/Pistons will be like Suns/Spurs minus the moral fervor, or Wade/Pistons with some polarity plugged in. But if last night I hurt from bidding my sole allegiance farewell, tonight a softer, more wistful pall falls over me, since until further notice, FreeDarko's season is over.
So I return to my initial forecast for this postseason, a calmly riotous pronouncement that continues to haunt me and had the good sense to end with a predictive riddle:
NBA PLAYOFFS 2006: "PROVE ME WRONG!!!!!"