6.14.2006

The poetical don't last



It's amazing that the Heat got so thoroughly dishonored in the first two games of the Finals that now, like a retarded child gasping for air in the elementary school's general population, they are rewarded simply for not pissing themselves. Congratulations to a team that made it is this far. . .for actually playing like they belonged here. Joy unto the Lord for their willingness to prove that they can indeed occasionally make a free throw. Huzzah, ye before the tabernacle, for the right to witness them make this a remotely competitive series. Who would ever have dared dream that, yes, Shaquille O'Neal or Dwyane Wade could be capable of marking a game as his own?

I apologize if I prematurely compared this Heat team to the '04 Lakers. Tonight, they resembled nothing if not this season's Pistons—dicking around and ignoring their own excellence until they had absolutely no choice. The Mavs' ability to contain Wade lies somewhere between his woes in Dallas and this evening's game of a lifetime. And don't look now, but Shaq is now officially just the world's meatiest "big body."

I was about the officially jump off the Heat Media Bias watch, but then it occurred to me: this series has probably already lost a decent portion of its casual audience. If Breen and Hubie were laying it on a bit thick when it came to the emotional pull of the Heat, it probably came out of a need to prop them up and make sure this win counted double in the KEEP WATCHING department. Keep the heart tuned in and eager even if the head remains skeptical.

And finally, I would not be revealing this were I not in a positively shitty mood after that game: not to pile on Redick, but a reliable female undergrad source at Duke has told me that it is a well-known fact that he likes to piss on the ladies. It's pretty much understood if he takes you home. Despite this, however, said source was somewhat tempted by his pure-shooting wiles when approached by him at a bar (picture is as cheap and easy as this rumor-mongering):

54 Comments:

At 6/14/2006 12:55 AM, Blogger emynd said...

I am extremely disappointed in the outcome of this game.

Basically, Miami didn't win it; Dallas just got a bit ahead of themselves and went ahead and lost it.

But, the most disappoint thing? Remember that stat where Dallas was undefeated if Howard scored 20+? It really annoys me that tonight forces us to etch a mark into the loss column.

Basically, them dudes went out like suckers.

-e

 
At 6/14/2006 1:07 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Is that belt buckle lips and a tongue? Holy schitt!

 
At 6/14/2006 1:15 AM, Anonymous Captain Caveman said...

The backlash to the media's fellation of the Heat is certainly warranted, as is a fair amount of disdain to the Mavs for not closing out the Heat. But don't despair, FreeDarko gatekeepers, for as you know, the Mavs will still win this series handily. Instead, focus on the positive: bask in Wade's greatness for a game (regardless of your feelings for him); enjoy the thrill of Shaq hitting two inexplicably exciting free throws; and remember that every game that extends this season results in 12-15 more crowd shots of Dallas's and Miami's finest.

I pray that Deadspin doesn't pick up your rumor-mongering. It would crash the delicate Gawker servers.

qcskrrek: Quality Control on the Skreets is Wrecked

 
At 6/14/2006 1:19 AM, Anonymous bernard snow said...

Not to drive any nails into yr church door, but as I drunkenly ranted to a friend the other night, the Mavs are not the Argonauts. At best, they're those crashing cliffs. I was content to have them hanging around the second round, crushing the pretenders and menacing the heroes. But the cliffs don't get to have adventures, dammit! Nobody wants to see a pile of rocks bring home the golden fleece!

(I'm an unrepentant Wade-lover, though, so I'm already so far out of sync with FD ideology that I may as well be heading up the Steve Nash threepeat campaign)

WV: prpbe (purple beast? Amare, obv)

 
At 6/14/2006 4:48 AM, Anonymous rainbow squirt said...

1. I am glad D-Wade finally had a chance to throw down big. The Heat played their previous two games about as well as Nelly Furtado raps. Wade deserves beter than that. I think, though, that Miami has maybe one more game at tonight's level in them, tops: too many iffy things went their way for it to be a regular thing.

2. The Way of the Reddick: piss on women, cry on men. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia.

3. I don't know what's up with Howard's braces either. When I first saw them I thought they were some kind of new grill mounts.

 
At 6/14/2006 9:44 AM, Anonymous Ragtime said...

Something about the "fall seven times, get up eight" and Emersonian "what lies before us, what lies within us" propaganda campaigns, as well as Wade's fearless, if not reckless, attacking of the basket, has bothered me, and I don't know who else to tell but you guys. It is this:

http://aausports.org/print_friendly.asp?a=News-Stories/pg_News_mcdavid2.htm

To save you time, Dwyane Wade wears advanced padded underwear and additional padding on his thighs. When I found this out, his game immediately seemed less passionate and heedless, instead becoming calculated and pragmatic. His quickness and athleticism let him launch himself to the rim, and the padding takes away the danger of injury when he inevitably falls during the play. As a result he gets more fouls (he was second only to Iverson in FTA) and more scoring oportunities around the rim. That reckless abandon that he drives to the hole with is what makes him so difficult to defend.

I liken it to those players in the NFL in the early 50's, when Riddel's plastic helmets became the standard, who realized that they could hit harder now that the risk of personal injury was lessened. The style of play changed and football players became less like rugby players and more like the human projectiles that populate the game today. Basically the equipment changed the game.

I wonder if Wade would have the impact that he has today if he played with an 80's uni, and was subjected to countless hip and thigh bruises and floor burn? I'm not trying to say that Wade is not an outstanding athlete or player, but it just seems that "Stand up Eight" carries less heroicism with all that padding.

 
At 6/14/2006 9:59 AM, Anonymous bernard snow said...

If anything, envisioning him as an unstoppable hybrid of man and machine makes me like him more.

 
At 6/14/2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Sweet Lou said...

Before you toss out comparisons to the 04 Finals, recall Game 2, when Kobe (with help from some Piston boneheadedness) pulled one out and the punditry proclaimed it a turning point. Detroiters, always partisan and already growing nostalgic, still refer to that series as “a five-game sweep.”

Unrelated: I awoke today to a Frank DeFord radio piece that cast the summer sporting scene as symphony: baseball=violins, soccer=percussion, hockey=violas (perfect). The roundballers were rightly individualized: Shaq as tuba and Nowitzki as trombone. (I wish only that there were some half-trombone half-glockenspiel hybrid out there.) No mentions of jazz, and no real (predictive, comic, or wagering) point to the whole thing. Watch yourselves, FD, for you have sympathizers at the highest levels of the Establishment.

 
At 6/14/2006 10:19 AM, Anonymous Unsilent Majority said...

i always imagined jj being the one pissed on...

 
At 6/14/2006 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you sound like a real brat in this post. maybe last year's finals weren't "freedarko" enough for you to watch, but the pistons were just as soundly beat in the first two games in san antonio, and at the end of the day, they were still up 8 in the second half of game 7 before it slipped away.

its not the type of thing you pick up comparing josh smith's blocking stats to gerald wallace's, but great teams (if the heat is one) get their asses kicked too.

 
At 6/14/2006 10:34 AM, Blogger Gregg said...

If you watch Josh Howard be interviewed, it's clear that he's a nerd. The braces are only the most obvious giveaway. The guy can play, but he's a poindexter.

 
At 6/14/2006 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't mind the heat, but after watching the pre-game lovefest i hate them. the whole "celebs LOVE Riley" thing was a bit much. i guess they don't have anything else to talk about.

 
At 6/14/2006 10:40 AM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

Phil Collins and T.I. ... together at last.

 
At 6/14/2006 12:48 PM, Anonymous cephalapod said...

Sans a nearly supernatural Wade with 6 minutes left to go in Q4 and the Heat would have been presidentially screwed. They had a great first half and a mediocre second. They burned out. If Wade can accomplish the same feat three more times they'll win it. More than likely though he'll return back to Earth with his jarringly unexceptional combination of astonishingly superior driving ability and tepid shooting.

 
At 6/14/2006 1:31 PM, Anonymous red snapper said...

In regards to Frank DeFord - I heard a commentary last week in which he pointed out that the only way the world could hate the US more is if they won the world cup. Too true...

I agree, DeFord could be an undercover FD agent...

 
At 6/14/2006 1:43 PM, Anonymous griffin said...

Ragtime: I'm no Wade apologist, but I don't think a layer of thin padding negates the death-defying leaps and spills he displays on court. I'm sure it still hurts. After all, didn't you see him "smarting?"

Sweet Lou: You said Detroiters are already becoming nostalgic about the five-game sweep? This is not true. Actually, we've been fully nostalgic for 2 years now. We were becoming nostalgic as it was happening. There's no "becoming" involved.

 
At 6/14/2006 2:24 PM, Anonymous Chris Wilson said...

Wouldn't it be stupid for Dwyane Wade not to wear the extra padding when it's available, sort of like an anti-Roethlisberger behavior? And you justify your disgust of him with the idea that the padding allows the man to play a game without fear of pain or injury. Last time I checked, a great majority of his body is still exposed for awkward, ten foot falls to the hardwood, and if you watch any X-Games or football (the American kind), despite the large amount of protection those athletes wear, crashes still hurt and injuries still occur.

It was said here earlier in the postseason that we came here to praise great men, not bring them down, but apparently Wade hasn't done enough to prove himself above such constant barbs.

 
At 6/14/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger jac said...

I'd comment on the belt, but I can't stop looking at the pants.

 
At 6/14/2006 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this all confirms that kobe made shaq, not the other way round. even during this win, shaq has back the hang dog look of his early days, when he just knew he was going to lose. his line from last nite was simply embarassing, even if world's better than game 2, from someone who EVER claimed to be most dominant. even a 30-whatever year old jordan could still turn it on on occasion in his second unretirement. put simply, shaq is a pussy. i don't like kobe, but it seems clear now that kobe provided the backbone, the steely desire to win, etc. wade's had his good game, now could we please just finish this? strange that the NBA playoffs with the best opening rounds has one of the worst finishes (in that most folk seem to be indifferent).

 
At 6/14/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

I've always said- it ain't a series until somebody loses at home.

That being said, nobody should have been so stupid as to count the Heat out of this. Keep in mind that both teams performed significantly better at home this season, both losing twice as many games on the road.

Also, re: Red Snapper:
Frank Deford could be undercover FD, he does live in Westport,CT. However, I don't think he knows who Crunch Blak is.

 
At 6/14/2006 5:12 PM, Anonymous Carlos Destrroyo said...

When the Wallaces and Rodmans of this league dive across the floor for loose balls, then yes, it does make Wade less of a man. Sure, he can still get hurt, but it allows him to dive on the floor willy nilly while all the guys who don't wear those silly-looking tights run the risk of dropping a patch of skin.

What's more amazing: The man who dons swim trunks and dives off a fifty foot cliff into the water, or the man who does a few backflips along the way, but has football pads, certified safety rigging, and a parachute?

 
At 6/14/2006 5:14 PM, Blogger KaLiBLeeK said...

Thank you Skeets, for pointing out the retarded pregame musical selections. Pretty soon they'll be bumpin' Fleetwood Mac and Huey Lewis.

And in regards to the padding Wade wears; just like those god-awful tights, he didn't start wearing them until this season.

And if you went to the hoop as much as Wade does, and you'd already suffered numerous injuries (rookie season wrist fracture, anybody?), you'd probably try to wear a little padding to prolong your career as well. He was reckless before he wore the padding, now he's reckless and a bit more protected when he gets rocked and falls on his arse.

 
At 6/14/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Yeah, Skeets, only in Miami could you get it started with Phil Collins and TI. The music was good across the board last night. I'm sure Rocco could write a post about Michael McDonald's national anthem, and I can't get over the image of Mike and Riley hanging out and spittin' game at the women of South Beach.

 
At 6/14/2006 5:28 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Wait, Kalibleak, you didn't like the pregame music? What could possibly be a better song to introduce the Miami bench than In the Air Tonight? You know Antoine's the dude who didn't stop that other guy from drowning.

 
At 6/14/2006 6:24 PM, Blogger ~CW~ said...

Reply to Anonymous regarding Kobe making Shaq:

Classic was showing the Finals marathon, and I was surprised to see that Kobe was averaging only 13 points a game going into the Game Six. Now I realize that included some Game Four OT heroics that kept the series from being tied, but 13 points per "made" Shaq? Kobe may have been vital to the Laker operation as a whole in '00 through '02, but "made"? Please.

 
At 6/14/2006 6:57 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

I think the padded shorts and shirts aren't nearly as significant as some make them out to be. If the material was thick enough to really soften a blow or a fall, then it would simply be way to heavy for a basketball player to not suffer in areas that are really important to his game. It might really be more of a placebo effect if you ask me.

Also, I assume Wade's not the only one wearing those shorts regularly. I've seen Kobe wear them on at least one occasions during the regular season.

 
At 6/14/2006 7:14 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i have been on the road all day, so my quick catch up:

as i just said on deadspin, freedarko almost never even makes a joke at a player's expense. so why would i have mentioned this if i didn't know my source personally and find her to be incredibly trustworthy? i've known this for a while, so it's not like i've been eagerly waiting on the effect it would have on the world, or the slight spike in traffic we'd get. it's a very solid rumor, and pretty fucking funny.

the tights are slightly more annoying than iverson's sleeve, but i can't believe either one actually offers any serious protection. i'd always thought it was about temperature and circulation. those pads, though, are about one thing and one thing only.

and finally:

you sound like a real brat in this post. maybe last year's finals weren't "freedarko" enough for you to watch, but the pistons were just as soundly beat in the first two games in san antonio, and at the end of the day, they were still up 8 in the second half of game 7 before it slipped away.

none of that makes the heat a complete, viable team.

its not the type of thing you pick up comparing josh smith's blocking stats to gerald wallace's, but great teams (if the heat is one) get their asses kicked too.

you seem to be the only person in america who doesn't think that there was something conclusive about those first two victories. it's not winning or losing that tell the real story, but how it goes down.

oh, and fuck you. freedarko was built on jocking the likes of wallace and smith, so it's hardly an insuly for you to "accuse" me of being interested in those things. it's like calling a rabbi stupid because he can perform surgery.

 
At 6/14/2006 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys, can we turn down the hate in here?

 
At 6/14/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

no, but i will correct a typo. my previous comment probably should've read "if he can also perform surgery."

 
At 6/14/2006 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Returns said...

I didn't mean to be "Anonymous" in the first place, but might as well keep it that way. ill finish this exchange and be done with it.

"you seem to be the only person in america who doesn't think that there was something conclusive about those first two victories."

come on dude, since when are you the voice of the people. dont start talking like you're the majority position after dedicating your blog to the opposite. its unbecoming. maybe the freedarko clan thinks that from where dallas sent miami they shall not return but a perusal of analysts' opinions show it is far from the consensus.

thats the best and worst of your posts. the hyperbole. the "this shit is unreal ive never seen anything like it." people go down 0-2 in decisive fashion from time to time, without that shit being particularly "decisive." read mark stein's article (he should be a hyperbole friend of yours) after the pistons went down 0-2 last year -- chubby mark was ready to start the san antonio parade. dallas was down 0-2 after losing two games AT HOME vs Houston last year. I didnt read you guys back then - was the world over then too?

....holy shit. i just did a little research from back in the day -- this is what you had on your mind those couple of days:

"T-Mac unleashed, Yao "13 for 14" Ming, and Van Gundy coaching a bunch of wily veteran guards who can shoot. Is there any reason why this team can't win it all?"

"I may not have seen it with my own eyes, but if you ask me today I'd say T-Mac might well be the best player in the league."

Good lord dude. If the Republicans have taught us anything, its that there are ways to hide this sort of thing. Get these off your site and delete my comment. I won't say a word. Otherwise, lets agree that you tend to, maybe just a little bit, just a tad, to maybe exaggerate the fuck out of the day-to-day events of the NBA. And this is cool man. I read this shit daily and I don't need some perspective-laced "another day another dollar" monotony from you guys, I appreciate the overstatement of the new school players. But you act like we havent seen a player like Devin Harris before. Ive been watching ball for a long time -- trust me, Ive seen this dude. a really fast guy righty who always drives right? stop the freedarko press.

thats it, im sure i came off like an asshole, but my point is simply that shit tends to mostly be "conclusive" in hindsight, after it has concluded. there will have been nothing conclusive about those dallas wins if miami wins again. a year ago, you were ready to crown JVG - if anything conclusive can said re: this, it is that if and when yao and tracy get rings, jvg will not be at the helm.

finally, and this is some shit that may get nasty but simply cannot be avoided: you need to get dwyane off your mind. we get it man -- he's not your dude. we really get it, its perfectly clear, the world may love him but you dont (hating on the man for wearing protective gear is some pretty soft shit though -- god forbid a kid, in this age of motorcycling, appreciate his body). but this is over-the-top, some exgirlfriend shit where you cant stop reminding people abouthow you were never that into her and youre glad you all broke up. its like when marbury said young amare was iller than young kg -- when asked, KG didn't address the substance of the comment, but was like, "why is this cat still thinking about me?"

 
At 6/14/2006 11:26 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

first off, if these comments were the least bit stupid or imprecise, i wouldn't be responding to them.

Otherwise, lets agree that you tend to, maybe just a little bit, just a tad, to maybe exaggerate the fuck out of the day-to-day events of the NBA.

uh, yeah. i try and stay excited about things. i don't think that informed and enthusiastic are mutually exclusive, and i readily endorse things like the bandwagon, hype, self-fulfilling storylines, and, of course, overstatement. but that doesn't make them any less true, if you acknowledge that there's some inherent value in wanting to distort things in this way.

if you hadn't been such a dick, i wouldn't have said "conclusive."

and on wade, i spent a long time trying to figure out why i didn't like him because it was so confusing and annoying that i didn't. what i said about him on mcsweeney's finally got at the root of it all, and then i acknowledged that in the playoffs he's somewhat different, at least personality-wise. for the most part, though, everything i've said about him in this postseason has been strictly about him as an actual basketball player. if i do want to suggest that his lack of range hurts him, does that make me a spurned bitch?

 
At 6/14/2006 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to disagree with almost everything that the previous 'Anonymous' person said. I don't at all get why the media is suddenly all about telling us stuff like "Now it's a series!" and things of that ilk. Did they not watch the same game I did last night? Dallas, riding two huge wins at home, comes into Miami and overcomes a big early defecit, despite not getting the same efforts from their role-players that they did at home, and is up 13 points with six and change left. Then the wheels come off, a few calls go against them, they go into "don't lose it" mode and Wade catches fire so that the Heat can eek out a two point win. Does this qualify as an impressive win by anyone's standards? If I'm Miami, I'm worried as hell. You can't expect guys like Stackhouse to only hit one shot in the next game anymore than you can expect Wade to get 42 and 13 while Shaq is hitting clutch free throws. Seems more like an instance of "everything went our way and we still should have lost" for the Heat. Look for the Mavs not to choke the next two games away as Wade goes back to being the poor man's Iverson and Shaq continues his slide. This thing is over in 5.

Also, to Chris Wilson above, regarding Kobe's 13 ppg average heading into Game 6 of the 2000 Finals, you maybe should have looked a little beyond just that stat. Kobe went out of Game 2 in the first quarter with a sprained ankle and didn't return, nor did he play in Game 3; and Game 5 was a 30-point blowout in which none of the starters played big minutes. So in the four games Kobe played in heading into Game 6, two were real legit games, one was shortened drastically by garbage time, and the other he was only in for about 8 minutes or so. That explains his average ppg. If you want to see how Kobe made Shaq's legacy, watch OT of Game 4 of that series when Shaq was spectating from the bench after fouling out and Kobe hit 8 straight points from the perimeter to seal it. Shaq won those Finals MVPs because the Eastern opponents never had an abundance of big men to put on Shaq so he always shined in the Finals; but make no mistake that it was Kobe who always carried the Lakers through the Western Conference playoffs, where the opposition had big men aplenty to throw on Shaq.

 
At 6/14/2006 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous and "Conclusive" said...

if you hadn't been such a dick, i wouldn't have said "conclusive."

-- Fair enough. If you hadn't gone "Marc Stein" on us in your post, I wouldn't have been a dick. I wont be denied the joys of watching good NBA Finals basketball simply b/c some people want to be self-righteous about how much better Dallas is than Miami, reducing every fate to "this is because Dallas played well" or "this is because Dallas played poorly." It seems like you were frustrated early in the playoffs, only to embrace them once Lebron Became. Don't despair after two Finals games just b/c the Heat sucked. And that is what happened, the Heat sucked. Even in game 3, they sucked, except for Dwyane, and even that was enough. Imagine if all of their forces combine (like against Jersey and Detroit Game 6) and they all stop sucking at once. The point is, if you're going to profess a desire to overhype and stay excited, do so w/ some balance. We have a long long summer where the season is actually "over." Don't rush the shit after two crummy Finals games.


Re: Dwyane, this site has become cheap-shot central for him, which is arbitrary and stupid. That clown that posted the shit about his "body armor" as tonight's example. But you need not search your soul for why you don't like Dwyane -- we don't need reasons for these things. When you do, though, it starts to sound like those people who list reasons why college ball is better than the NBA. sure there is some potential rationale, but you end up being a jerk in explaining. just say you like college ball and leave the rest of us alone. likewise -- you don't like dwyane. that is cool man, but in explaining you end up purposely ignoring/understating the things that are obviously cool about him and harping on the obvious flaws in the game (lack of savvy, 3-pt range). hence the "ex-girlfriend" reference.

 
At 6/15/2006 2:57 AM, Blogger KaLiBLeeK said...

Wait, Kalibleak, you didn't like the pregame music? What could possibly be a better song to introduce the Miami bench than In the Air Tonight? You know Antoine's the dude who didn't stop that other guy from drowning.

HAHA! Phil Collins music has no place in any arena in the NBA. I think it topped Tom Petty as the worst music choice of the playoffs. Cleveland using the theme from the end of "Top Gun" near the end of games ranks 3rd.

 
At 6/15/2006 6:33 AM, Blogger ~CW~ said...

Can we stop using Anonymouses? It makes it really difficult to keep track of everything. But to the one re: to Kobe in 2000, excellent points all around, but I did mention his clutchicity in Game Four. Like I said, a very vital part, but he didn't make Shaq. And in Re: to the comment about Shaq winning Finals MVPs because the East was so much weaker inside, truth, but see 2001 for him getting all nasty on Duncan and everyone else in his way.

Bring on Game Four...

 
At 6/15/2006 6:35 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i might as well admit at this point that i find the heat positively loathsome and just really, really want them to go away. and wonder aloud if "both teams played hard, you win some you lose some" is the kind of writing on a finals game that can sustain itself for months on end. if it doesn't stay rocky and revolving, it exhausts itself pretty fast.

also, in case anyone missed it, here's where i changed my tune on wade. and if i have harped on his inconsistency in these finals, that's likely because i, like most people, was shocked by games 1 and 2 and searching for answers.

 
At 6/15/2006 8:59 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

oh, and one more thing to clear up: the first paragraph of the original post, which i just reread, was as much in reference to the media's treatment of the heat's win as the way the team went about getting the job done. i don't know if it's accurate to say that the heat got "rewarded" for their subpar play (outside of wade, of course), more got lucky despite it. but the extent to which abc acted like shaq was having a good game just by not having a bad one, or payton was contributing by not hurting them, or two free throws made erase a thousand missed. . . that's a little fucked.

 
At 6/15/2006 9:26 AM, Anonymous Ragtime said...

"Re: Dwyane, this site has become cheap-shot central for him, which is arbitrary and stupid. That clown that posted the shit about his "body armor" as tonight's example"

"...hating on the man for wearing protective gear is some pretty soft shit though -- god forbid a kid, in this age of motorcycling, appreciate his body"

Anonymous "Conclusive"--before you get any more worked up--breathe and relax. I was just pointing out that Wade wearing space-age padded underwear slightly changes the way I choose to think about his game and the marketing that it is packaged with. As I said earlier, it makes him game, FOR ME, seem less reckless and more practical.
I don't have some agenda to undermine him as a player.

By the way, do you know how uninteresting this blog would be if everyone just said "I like this person" or "I don't like this player" and not give any reasons?

 
At 6/15/2006 10:41 AM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

I don't like Antoine Walker.

... long and awkward silence ...

Sorry, that's all I got.

 
At 6/15/2006 11:10 AM, Anonymous aug said...

I agree with skeets. I hate walker. I still don't see how this is different from the 04 lakers-pistons series. Is it because people like wade more nowadays or something? Or maybe people like the thought of Zo stealing kidneys from little boys and then showboating after every putback. I don't know. I'm just waiting till this series is over in 5 so I can start getting pumped about the draft and offseason. WHOOOOOO. RESTRICTED FREE AGENCY!!!!

 
At 6/15/2006 12:10 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Dallas in 6. Duh.

 
At 6/15/2006 2:28 PM, Anonymous Big Worm said...

Yeah, Wade's new undies are totally changing the game! Give me a fucking break. It's padded underwear, not fucking rocket shoes.

 
At 6/15/2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous EXIORW ain't my name bitch!!! said...

This series feels so upside down at this point. As much as I would like each game of this series to be as suspensful and exciting as the other games have been throughout the playoffs, I can't help but complain at how dreadful the Heat have looked matching up against the Mavericks. Was it just me, or was the only player out there who was actually doing his thing at the end of Game 3 for the Heat, Dwayne Wade? Have the Heat become so stiff, that they've now become a one-dimensional team relying soley on Wade's play to make or break them? A Championship just cannot be won that way... Yes, the argument can be made that they did comeback to win the game and pull the series to 2-1, AND avert a potentially embarassing sweep. But, seeing as how Avery Johnson has done a remarkably good job coaching his team throughout the playoffs (despite the Shannon Sharpe-esqe comments made by Scotty "I can do superb NBA analysis" Pippen) it is clear AJ has done more X's & O's adjustments than his counterpart, Pat Riley. That is what I believe the difference in motivating their respective teams will certainly be. Not that the Heat stormed back and regained some momentum. No. Not that they stole Game 3 in front of their home crowd. No. Not that they have two more games left to play on their home court. No. It will be AJ's or Riley's ability to push their teams to give all their effort for the rest of the series. I think Dallas has the edge there, seeing as how they already played against the other two best teams in these playoffs (Phoenix & San Antonio) and beat them each convincingly. The Heat took it strong to NJ and Detroit, but each of those teams vastly under-performed in the playoffs. While I wouldn't doubt the Heat being able to take another game at home, I just don't see them being able to accomplish that same feat in Dallas. BTW, the crowd in Miami should go red for red hot, instead of white for "scorching" white hot or whatever the heck they said it was for. Here's a quick education lesson, white is used (in competition) to signify defeat...

 
At 6/15/2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Per Chris Wilson's request, I've stopped being Anonymous (I was the guy who brought up Kobe being injured for a game in the 2000 Finals). I wanted to respond to Shaq in 2001 dominating everyone as evidence that it wasn't Kobe's doing. It should be pointed out in 2001 that the Lakers during the regular season didn't really impress anyone, and it wasn't till Kobe returned from a late-season injury and decided to play facilitator that LA ended the season on a 23-1 run, including the post-season (it should be pointed out that during this stretch Derek Fisher played insanely good ball as well, something never seen before or since from him).

In the Western Conference playoffs, it was definitely big helpings of both Kobe and Shaq that allowed the Lakers to roll, but it should be pointed out that in the tough road games of that run, it was almost exclusively Kobe who did the damage, with Shaq cleaning up at home. For instance, in Game 3 @ Sacramento in the second round Kobe had 36 to Shaq's 21 and in Game 4 @ Sac to complete the sweep Kobe had 48 and 16 to Shaq's 25 & 10 (a game in which Shaq fouled out). Then to open the next round against the Spurs Kobe had 45 & 10 in Game 1 @ San Antonio (to Shaq's 28 & 11); and in Game 2 Kobe had 28 & 7 (to Shaq's 19 & 14) and Kobe had a late-game 3 which was the dagger in sealing the win for the Lakers. Games 3 & 4 in LA were 39 and 29 point routs in which the whole team stepped up (Fisher in particular); but you can see that even in the 2001 15-1 playoff run by the Lakers that it was Kobe who did in fact lend the "steel backbone" to the Lakers.

While it's obvious that Shaq was a hugely dominating force on his own, and would have been regardless of who his teammates were; I think it is becoming more and more obvious that even though Shaq has received the lion's share of the credit for the 3 Laker titles he was a part of, this is a fallacy simply because on the biggest stage (the Finals) the Lakers were always matched up against teams who did not have big front lines, so Shaq was allowed to shine there. However, in the earlier rounds, against the teams that were tougher than the Lakers' Finals opponents (Sacramento, San Antonio & Portland, to a lesser extent), it was Kobe who really carried the load and got the Lakers into the Finals.

It's no coincidence that in 2002 the only team the Lakers had trouble beating, Sacramento, came in a series in which Kobe was a victim of being poisoned after the Lakers won Game 1 in Sacramento with relative ease. In the 2002 postseason the Lakers went 8-1 before the poisoning, lost the next two games (and almost Game 4 were it not for Horry's heroics), then as Kobe got healthier won 3 of the last 4 of that Sac series and then swept the Finals. You can definitely see that there's an argument to be made that Kobe made Shaq, and not the other way around.

 
At 6/15/2006 6:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

where was all this when i tried to argue this point a few weeks ago?

also worth noting all the players over the years who have been praised for their ability to man up shaq: sheed, ben wallace, young jermaine o'neal, sabonis. . . i don't know, it just seems like during the lakers run at least two guys per postseason were branded with this badge of honor. and then the finals.

 
At 6/15/2006 7:19 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Having watched all of those Lakers playoff games, number-ology, revisionism, my own knowledge of fallibility of memory, and my growing respect for Crazy 8 can't shake what I remember seeing: Shaq fucking dominated. Team defenses fell apart trying to stop him. He was the crucial vertex in the Triangle. And everyone including Mr. 8 fed off what Shaq did. KB played fantastically, and surely the two were synergistic, but the Big Biochemical Equation was the primary catalyst.

 
At 6/15/2006 9:23 PM, Anonymous Carlos Destrroyo said...

"Less of a man" was a stupid comment on my part. I should have said that it makes his myth a little less superhuman though.

Re: Shaq: The way I see it, Shaq made himself, but Kobe + Phil completed him. Shaq has always been able to put up stratospheric numbers due to his sheer mass, but the dude takes a beating doing so, and it's a lot harder to grind out a few buckets in the 4th quarter when you're draped with 250lbs of defender. Kobe can run iso plays in the 4th because he's athletic enough to slice through and jump over anyone; Shaq can't run the iso post because he'll get swarmed and put up a flat shot with his overworked 500lb right arm.

What I'm saying is that Shaq can carry a team most of the time, but he needs help to get his in the fourth. Kobe + Phil's system + guys hitting shots qualifies as pretty solid help.

I don't see Wade being as helpful as Kobe because Wade doesn't have that weird ability to rise over everyone for a pull-up jumper. He can get shots, but they're all off spins, and that's a wee bit more difficult to hit than a straight-up, straight-down jumper. Plus, J-Will, Payton, and Walker have this nasty habit of missing a lot of shots.

Fun moment of the ECF: The Heat montage where they showed video of all their acquisitions being dominant on other teams. Then they get to Antoine Walker, who is shown throwing a bitch-fit on Boston's bench. That is why I don't like Walker: He always looks on the verge of tears.

word: kywjb (kwijybo? Obscure Simpsons reference?)

 
At 6/16/2006 2:25 AM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Mr. Six, Shaq did dominate, no question about it... except against the Kings and Spurs (and occasionally against the Trailblazers). The best teams in the West during those Laker runs always were loaded at the frontline positions and could thus do a decent job of containing Shaq. A perfect example is to look at Shaq when he was his most dominant - 2000 MVP Shaq. In Game 7 of the 2000 WCF, the famous Blazer collapse, Shaq had 7 points going into the fourth quarter. Seven. Shaq did come up huge on a couple plays in that famous fourth, most notably the oop from Kobe, but even that fourth quarter Laker run was mainly fueled by Brian Shaw, Robert Horry and Kobe (and Rasheed Wallace missing umpteen outside jumpers in a row). Against Sacramento, Shaq always had problems with Vlade's flopping, and against David Robinson and Tim Duncan (who always got the benefit of the doubt from the refs due to their reputation) Shaq had his problems as well. But despite the reputations of guys like Doug Christie and Bruce Bowen, Kobe always carved up the Spurs and Kings (the aforementioned 48 & 16 against Christie and the Kings in 2001 and Popovich being forced to take out Bowen in favor of Devin Brown in the 2004 2nd round spring to mind). Shaq absolutely manhandled the competition in the Finals in those three Laker championship years, but that was due to who was guarding him, and Phil smartly knowing that Shaq was the sure thing against those smaller, weaker East teams.

Shaq's dominance carried those Lakers (like the pre-Phil Lakers and the Magic before them) most of the way, just as it did Miami last year (before Shaq got his contract extension and decided he didn't need to work on his conditioning anymore). But Shaq has always been a negative for a team down the stretch, and that's never been more evident than we're seeing now (if Riles even puts him in the game, of course). Shaq's always needed someone else to make his teams win, and in those days it was Kobe.

 
At 6/16/2006 5:26 AM, Anonymous jack said...

First things first:

I never paid much attention to this, but I want to say that Derek Fisher injured something going into the 01-02 season and this was the reason he has never repeated the promise he showed in the 00-01 season. I don't know if this is true. Can anyone verify this?

Secondly, people have argued for years, who won the championships, Shaq or Kobe? It's just stupid to give credit to only one of them. There were some games Shaq won by himself and some games Kobe won by himself and some games they both won, in that 15-1 run. Their play together was so complementary it's impossible to tear apart and evaluate each on his own. For example, did Kobe benefited from Shaq consistently drawing a double team, and Shaq benefited from Kobe being able to lock down the opponent's lead perimeter scorer.

 
At 6/16/2006 5:26 AM, Anonymous jack said...

First things first:

I never paid much attention to this, but I want to say that Derek Fisher injured something going into the 01-02 season and this was the reason he has never repeated the promise he showed in the 00-01 season. I don't know if this is true. Can anyone verify this?

Secondly, people have argued for years, who won the championships, Shaq or Kobe? It's just stupid to give credit to only one of them. There were some games Shaq won by himself and some games Kobe won by himself and some games they both won, in that 15-1 run. Their play together was so complementary it's impossible to tear apart and evaluate each on his own. For example, did Kobe benefited from Shaq consistently drawing a double team, and Shaq benefited from Kobe being able to lock down the opponent's lead perimeter scorer.

 
At 6/16/2006 2:07 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Dear Wild Yams:

Pish posh.

Very truly yours,

Mr. Six

 
At 6/18/2006 6:11 AM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Regarding Fisher's unfulfilled promise, Fisher injured something after that first Shaq/Kobe championship in 2000 and had to sit out most of the 2000-2001 season. After returning from the injury he went on to play some truly incredible ball (shooting 75% from three in the Spurs series) and being the third scorer the Lakers were always looking for. During the run to the title that year he re-injured himself, and ever since he returned to being the player he was before the first injury. It could be the second injury killed his ability to return to his 2001 championship form, but then again, why wasn't he that good prior to the first injury? The bigger question is why Golden State gave him all that cash.

 
At 9/17/2006 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure all you J.J. haters have great big man sized homosexual crushes on him. Why else would you spend so much time dogging him? You think he sits around spreading around rumors about you? Oh wait, his parents probably taught him to kind to retarded people... So no, no he doesn't.

 
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