God: Friend or Foe?
For once, a Game of the Year I managed to watch. If you ever wondered what "competitive style" is, reference no further than Howard's UHHSD8A(*d98aiud1200uWHU of an and-1, or Amare's two cold, cold dunks of note. I'm now officially in the "he will yet return" camp, since Amare's clearly having pre-surgery moments. If he can find it on occasion, then it's just a matter of being that full-time. The 85% is certainly a quantitative, not qualitative, assessment.
The big news, though, has to be Sager's announcement that Amare will most likely have to undergo the same procedure in another few years. Owing, the doctors say, to his earth-turning style of play. In a way, this makes me even more excited about his comeback. It is truly God's will that he's returning to wow, a defiance of odds and past history that only divinity could decree. I guess you could blame the Lord for this cruel tease, or curse His Name for this second eventual death. Personally, I'm thinking it only enhances the cosmic implications of Amare's return. We've only disappeared his free will from the equation if you're disregarding his Christ complex; keep that in the picture and you're looking at a whole new, eternity-phobic theology.
It's also absolutely essential that we make Nash a part of this. If Nash happens to win a third MVP, he'll ascend to the pantheon on the strength of three seasons. Presumably, this second career will be defined by its terseness, its concentrated excellence. Like Amare, he'll have hit upon such a wondrous lode of accomplishment that no one expects it could continue indefinitely. No one wants to see an aged Amare; similarly, now Nash can't possibly go back to mere excellence. Both of these seem almost inconceivable, making a brief window the most perfect careers they could have. Remember, of course, that neither of them was supposed to be where they are, anyway. Amare should be finished, and Nash was an injury-prone system player approaching that age for point guards. It's borrowed time, but what a gift it is.
(Yeah, I said it. And if you insist: it becomes Dark Phoenix when Amare's fully back)
Some other notes:
-Did anyone else feel that Harris only turned it on once Barbosa left him guarding thin air? Like he's fine getting scored on all night until someone tries to make like he's the fast one. . . .
-Amare is the only player in the league who can make the a hostile crowd oooh and ahh. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed his replays, too.
-Josh Howard is All-Defense. Next stop, All-NBA.
-Is his nickname "Plastic Man" already? Would "Double-R" be too confusing?
-I have mixed feelings about Iverson and like James Brown the way I like the Beatles, but an AI montage over "Superbad" is the best tribute to either of them I've seen this month.
-Read everything else I wrote today.