Fat Desired Truth

I'm not here to complain, but rather to voice concern: I'm not really sure what happened to this season. It feels like a ghost town around here. Bonzi is AWOL. Gilbert has ascended temporarily to heaven. D-Wade is in purgatory. Oden/Durant hopes got a bunch of invisible snipers hitting Michael Redd, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Mike Miller. Ben Wallace is catching the flu. And due to ABC/TNT/ESPN's contractual obligations to only show Lakers, Suns, Cavs, and Mavericks games, America hasn't seen guys like Kevin Garnett, Ron Artest (a PLEASURE to watch), or Jason Kidd for years. Then there is the quality of Eastern Conference basketball that has been mucking everything up (like, as a person who no longer plays fantasy basketball, how did I not know that Josh Smith and Eddy Curry are going stat-crazy just by default?).

One redeeming speculation has continued to cycle through my head. Something that could really bring me some peace over the coming months: When the playoffs start, the East is going to be the new West. I will get to the glory of the East in a moment, but first a quick explanation of why The West just doesn't have the intrigue come May/June. The Nuggets are a mess, Utah is invisible, we witnessed a few days ago the prophecy of the Suns inevitably crumbling to the Spurs (start grabbing those rebounds, fellas), Kobe Bryant is an island and is starting to become the symbol for everything eternally in existence...and this all means that we are left with only two hopes:

1) Nellie making the playoffs and getting his swagger back by winning a single game against the Mavericks while Chris Mullin (aka Pimpsoup) looks on proudly, copping many handshakes (S-Jax chest-bumps Biedrins in the background)

2) Yao and T-Mac win a goddamn series/startle the shit out of the Spurs or Dallas. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it + flashbacks to this:

"That was an inspirational move."

But really, the West is just delaying the inevitable Dallas/San Antonio rematch complete with a million Mark Cuban taunts, replays of Ginobili's stupid foul last year, and TNT graphics about Michael Finley's salary. Give me something I can sink my teeth into. Let's talk about:

A potential Dwight Howard/Shaquille O'Neal matchup at some point.


The Raptors.

LeBron James playing the part of Carmelo in the 2003 NCAA tourney.

The Pistons actually becoming a pleasure to watch, as a result of Webber's passing.

Not to mention, "Chris Webber: REDEMPTION" as he leads the Pistons to the finals.

The Gilbert-less Wizards flailing around the court.

At least one huge scoring night from Antawn Jamison.

Jason Kidd in the playoffs.

Tyrus Thomas in the playoffs. TYRUS THOMAS IN THE PLAYOFFS.

Tell me that doesn't sound exciting. Just a few highlights, and we haven't even touched upon what a pissed-off LeBron is capable of doing. Especially when:

a) FT-shooting issues aside, he's finally playing like he grew a pair this past month, and I'm already seeing flashes of what he did in that Pistons series last year.

b) Everybody is gunning for him because he's pretty much the only person worth giving a shit about on that team

c) He understands "b" and hates his coach and non-defense-playing teammates (cue crucifixion from Cleveland fans).

Just based on the Cavs alone, I'm seeing a lot of potential for rivalries (Cavs/Wiz, Cavs/Bulls, Cavs/Pistons). Wiz/Bulls is always eventful, even with Tyson Chandler having moved on to greener pastures. Pistons/Bulls has an old-guard/new-guard feel to it. Pistons/Heat has history, as does Bulls/Heat. We could discuss the possible permutations for days on end. I'm starting to get excited about the league again (a feeling a haven't had for five weeks or so, ever since America became captivated with watching Oden in the HD flesh). The East brings insanity, neo-brutalism, anger, hints of Tim Thomas calling K-Mart a fugazi thug or Jamal Tinsley flopping like a trout after getting whisked by Paul Pierce, and most importantly, Tyrus Thomas in the playoffs.


At 4/10/2007 12:55 PM, Anonymous Jack said...

Thank you for this; you made this Suns fan excited about the other half of the league...besides just TYRUS THOMAS IN THE PLAYOFFS.

At 4/10/2007 1:00 PM, Anonymous iverson fan said...

The Nuggets are a mess? Did you write this two weeks ago? They've won six straight. What the fuck are you talking about? And hearing you hype up the east playoffs was fucking comedy. I don't even know what to say about this. The East? Intriguing? I'm done. This doesnt even deserve a response. Nellie is freedarko. That says it all.

At 4/10/2007 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyrus Thomas is not that great. Really. A couple dunks here and there is no big deal in the nba. Really. How east coast biased can a guy be? If you think the only interesting ball is in the east then something is wrong with ya. This article is bottom feeding off the east coast hype machine.

At 4/10/2007 1:32 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Agree for once with Iverson fan: The Nuggets are the only thing (besides maybe the Warriors outrunning someone in the first round and the possibility of Kobe pulling an upset, even though the Lakers haven't beaten a team with a winning record in two months) that makes the 1st round of the West watchable. Oh, wait, the Rockets and the Spurs, the real teams to beat in the West.

The East is, well, basically the Raptors. We know about the Pistons and the Heat - nothing new there, except for Webber and Wade's loose shoulder.

The Raptors, and the possibility of LeBron's elevation (sorry, not this year, either. He's still walking up the stairs, 2nd round exit, bet on it).

At 4/10/2007 1:40 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

lest anyone think i'm just rushing to dr. lic's defense, i too have no idea why he said that the nuggets are a mess. maybe in the sense that their going on a tear only makes them more of a mess, more confusing, etc.

but brian, "the east coast hype machine?" in the nba? name one east coast team that the media's paid any attention to this season. i'm not saying that they should have, but in the nba, the sun rises and sets in the west.

At 4/10/2007 1:47 PM, Anonymous Cyanide said...

How east coast biased can a guy be? If you think the only interesting ball is in the east then something is wrong with ya. This article is bottom feeding off the east coast hype machine.


DLIC makes one post about the undiscussed possibilities of the East playoff scene, and suddenly people are spewing shit about "east coast bias" and "the east coast hype machine". Seriously, this site has buried the East (and deservedly so) just like everybody else, but there is some intrigue that's going down that gets overlooked by the West.

We know what's going on in the West. You can make the argument that the Spurs, Suns, Mavs, Rockets, and Jazz are better than any team in the East, and then the peaking Ivy/Melo factor in Denver. We know the quality of the teams and match-ups in the West, but the East has gotten little coverage comparatively, and there is some shit to pick up on, like DLIC pointed out.

Good stuff. My depression about a Gilbert-and-Caron-less Wiz being led to slaughter is only satiated by the prospect of my favorite non-national-TV-dwelling/chronically-injured player (Baron Davis) getting playoff run for the first time in forever. Look out Dallas.

At 4/10/2007 2:13 PM, Blogger Phillip said...

The only thing I want to see in the East is T-Dot. T.J. and CB4. Watching the Cav's/Miami/Detroit/Chicago compels me to search for some golf on t.v.

P.S. Kobe is bout to go on a binge soon. Believe that. They lost 7 straight, the pressure built up. Boom went the dynamite. The pressure is building again.

At 4/10/2007 2:22 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

You aren't watching enough nationally televised basketball if you haven't caught a bunch of Ron Artest. The Kings have been on ABC/ESPN/TNT an embarrassing number of times considering how poorly they've played this year. Sure, Artest missed a couple of those games on account of him allegedly not knowing how to treat his family or dogs, but he's been on TV plenty.

At 4/10/2007 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% cosign this post with the disclamer that the west playoffs are going to start off a little boring as the teams on top put it to the teams on the bottom as expected... even the "near" upsets won't feel real unless one team is actually able to knock off one of the top 3 seeds.
The east on the other hand is going to get much less interesting after the first round as each team shows exactly why they won't be able to beat the Suns/Mavs/Spurs in the NBA Finals.
The only way an Leastern Conference team wins the chip is if D Wade does what he did in last year's finals. Not saying it can't happen but i'm looking for the champ to come out of the West this year

At 4/10/2007 2:45 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

i meant the nuggets are a mess to watch (shoals kind of got it). i feel the same way about the suns. that dallas win was impressive, but watching them cough up that lead to the lakers last night made me realize they're not playoff bound. and you're right, i have only seen the lakers game last night and that dallas win.

oh, and just for the record, talk of any sort of "bias" on this site is ridiculous. we pimp the suns/kobe for a year, i make one east post and dudes are like "east coast bias." i praise skiles' name like i was a jehovah's witness, and then the second we criticize him it's like, "freedarko hates white people."

the eastern conference playoffs are going to be more fun to watch. face it.

At 4/10/2007 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree the nuggets are involved in a mess.
the nuggets are scary, i'm scared of the nuggets and made a mess. the real excitement is going to see if the melo & a.i. project is going to keep on building steam and smack the crap out of someone in the first round, i believe they will.
we in the bay are praying at the nellieball alter thrice daily and slowly turning the knife in our dunleavy (senior, junior is taking care of creating his own pain) voodo dolls. the warriors and nuggets are nothing but excitement and potential right now.

my west coast bias says go raptors.

At 4/10/2007 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

monTAY ellis on the national stage. his mom calls him Tay, say his name.

At 4/10/2007 3:28 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

wow, i forgot my main thesis to this whole article, which is that:

in the east, ANYONE CAN WIN.

At 4/10/2007 4:09 PM, Anonymous iverson fan said...

If by ANYONE, you mean the Heat, Pistons or Bulls, then I completely agree.

The Wizards can win? Seriously? The Magic can win? The Nets can win? Are we watching the same league? When was the last time a team under 500 won a conference?

I don't think it was east coast bias, I just think you are really stretching to make a provocative post.

I'll be watching the West playoffs, as predictable as they may be.

At 4/10/2007 4:43 PM, Blogger J.E. said...

At least one huge scoring night from Antawn Jamison.

Great call, DLIC. 45+. Book it.

At 4/10/2007 4:45 PM, Anonymous ronald james davis said...

I too have to agree with DLIC. everyone knows the spurs and mavericks are elite, but theres no need to see that shit for the first 3 and a half weeks of the playoffs. the east playoffs have been more exciting pretty much since the east has gone downhill. two middling teams flailing at each other till the last second is infinitely more interesting than seeing paul davis or patrick o' bryant get into their first playoff game because their team is getting blown the fuck out. granted, the nuggets, warriors, and kobe may have an upset or two in them. i will concede this. but the east coast games will be close every night.

At 4/10/2007 5:14 PM, Anonymous White People Don't Know said...

DLIC: your argument seems to be edging close to that employed by staunch defenders of the college game--that unpredictability, scrapping, and photo finishes surpass feats of manifest superiority.

and that's not to say i disagree with you, because i'll be watching the first round games where i don't know what will happen (raptors, nuggets, rockets, bulls) (actually, who am i kidding, i'll watch all the games, but those are the ones i'm excited about). but then again, i like the ncaa, which may put me in the minority around here.

At 4/10/2007 5:14 PM, Anonymous Brains McGee said...

The lustre of the Raps has fallen off with Jorge's injury and Andrea probably not going at full speed for a bit. Still Bosh and Ford runnin' 'round and wreckin' through the Wiz or Nets is alluring. Does anyone know if it's mathematically for the Wiz to fall enough or the Magic rise enough to have Dwight versus Bosh in the first round? Also, might the specter of what Jameer Nelson showed last season make a difference? Probably not. Also, has anyone forgot about Wade vs LeBron from last March? And does anyone think Wade won't be snorting Cortisone to get into full on assault mode versus LBJ? Western fools need to recognize that this Eastern Conf. round of 'offs isn't slugs in salt but instead those Bum Fight DvDs: disgusting but irresistible.

At 4/10/2007 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Mavs fan first and foremost.
Our team 2 years ago was better.
Our team last year was better.
FD, please don't treat us like a foregone conclusion. Somebody on the internet beside SML (3rd best team in Texas) needs to say it:

The Mavs are very unlikely to go back to the finals. They are unlikely to even get back to the conference finals.

It's so hard to admit, and it scares me SO much. But I would be lying if I didn't say it. I think the league knows the door is closing on Steve Nash, the MVP and the championship are his to lose.

Somebody has got to write the article of da TRUF! If the Mavs go on to win it, it'll be just another forgotten article, but if you predict the future, imagine the glory to behold.

At 4/10/2007 7:03 PM, Blogger Pooh said...

Linas Kleiza.

That is all.

At 4/10/2007 7:18 PM, Anonymous gelatimouse said...

Ty Thomas is the most FD player in ball right now. Like a forbidden antelope, he slashes tundra and dunks backwards with Icarian nonchalance. 13 and 8 in 10 minutes against the Pistons? Filthy.

At 4/10/2007 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NachbarFan: I know they suck, but the Nets producing what i believe is the first double double-double )VC and JKidd) this year leads me to believe that even if they go out in 3, the man that some call "Sir Dish A Lot" will have something to say about it.

At 4/10/2007 11:25 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

The Cavs problem is Lebron, not the rest of the team. He has no midrange game and no post game. Without those he either drives to the hoop (which he can't do against triple coverage) or heaves up a misbegotten 25 footer. He dribbles endlessly around the perimeter while deciding which of these two options to take, and freezes his teammates in place while he does it. It is a measure of his unlimited potential that he plays at all-star level even while refusing to address the obvious flaws in his game.

Your inability to see how the true Basketball Saviour is frittering away his godlike gifts is a serious black mark against you as a b-ball guru.

At 4/10/2007 11:35 PM, Blogger BenQRock said...

Brains McGee, it appears as though the Magic could draw the Raptors in the first round if the Magic win out and both the Wizards and Nets lose out. I doubt that'd happen, but it'd be a treat to watch if it did. Chris Bosh always seems to bring it against Orlando, and he and Dwight Howard seem to have a little rivalry heating up. If they don't meet in the playoffs this year, it will most assuredly happen within the next few seasons.

At 4/11/2007 11:23 AM, Blogger mark scott said...

Yes, the East is terrible. But, that's what makes it so interesting; anything can happen. There is no clear favorite. I mean, there's Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, and Toronto, but any of those teams could get beat by the Heat or the Nets or the Magic (if they make it). So, I agree, that shit is going to be interesting.

Denver is a mess. A couple wins doesn't change anything. Alley oops aren't going to win playoff games. Sorry.

At 4/11/2007 11:43 AM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Invisible woman will get past the rockets, and into the fantastic four.

At 4/12/2007 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shout out to this post on SLAM.

At 4/13/2009 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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