Skeets doesn't know this yet, but his live blog has, before it even started, motivated me to do one of my own. Of course, in FD-land that means I'll take notes, edit them heavily, and then post them an hour after the game's done. I wonder if Skeets knows that the greatest mitzvah is the one that goes undiscovered for several hours.
While I'm waiting for my cheesesteak to cool and sucking up my last cable news fumes of the day, let's talk about the scheduling of this game. Maybe I've said this before, maybe I haven't—I believe with all my heart that the East Coast is killing basketball. Late contests are hard to watch, especially if you're gainfully employed or a less-than-loony fan. Also, with the exception of the Lakers, Eastern teams are still more famous. So if shit basketball is what's at hand, and the Western teams are unseen and unknown, of course it would give the impression that the NBA blows.
Tonight's 5PM start is a present to the East, and a direct response to last year's Dallas/Golden State series. It changed the world, and no one saw it. They eventually heard about it, and might have tuned in for the last one or two. But by and large, America had no idea in advance, and it took a concerted effort for them to just watch the damn game. Come to think of it, they should have the Eastern Conference games later. Those are the ones that can't keep the casual viewer around. And only a die-hard homer cares about the Eastern Conference playoffs, anyway.
These notes will start once the game does.
-Question: Is this going to be one big, noisy, sleek game of chicken, or whatever the opposite of chicken is? I guess that would be "so much offense that it becomes passive and reflexive instead of aggressive"
-I don't think I've ever seen Marcus Camby with a man on him more than two feet from the basket. Ever.
-Monta has reached the point where you give him the ball on purpose for the tough shot.
-Seeing Kenyon Martin rage again is like finding out your favorite uncle got a haircut and quit drinking. Not because of the haircut, of course.
-Does anyone else remember that DIME article where Anthony Carter talks about earning money as a teen by playing on dealer-sponsored teams? Just makes you realize how utterly mundane shit like that must be around the league. Like everyone knew all along that Stephen Jackson was wearing gang colors. I guess in San Antonio, it might only have been Bowen who knew.
-I've got a new stat. It's what percentage of a possession is irreproducible, or at least unique and perfect like a snowflake. Like how much of it another team could ever/never hope to replicate. I'm assuming that, on the strength of Iverson alone, the Nuggets would lead the league.
-Watching J.R. Smith try and guard Baron Davis is so cute. Smith's so over-matched that he'd gone all textbook.
-Here, I'll say it one more time: The Warriors don't have the same swagger as last year. They're neither as reckless nor as gloriously imperfect. I blame it on Monta, who means they don't have to throw behind-the-back half-court alley-oops. A simpler way of saying that would be "Matt Barnes isn't on the floor as much."
-So far tonight Harlan and Collins have called J.R. "The Speed Merchant" and said "when he gets unraveled, look out!"
-Collins saying "the mood swings that are going to happen in this game" was kind of deep. For both of these teams, you get the sense that scoring (or not) and defending (or not) are a kind of personal momentum they can't really control. I'm not saying that they're monkeys governed only by emotions or something, but when they're "on", it's not just as clinical as "shooter finding his rhythm" or "having their opponent's number." Someone gets possessed, and it spreads. That's kind of how execution works here, or at least the preconditions it requires.
-I don't see how anyone could coach these teams without understanding that, which might explain why they have the coaches they do. And why I don't know if firing Karl makes sense, or exactly how you judge the job he's done. I want to say something about the inmates running the asylum here, but the whole thing's actually a rec actvity? Phil Jackson wishes he were this next level.
-That's probably too stark a distinction, but the Warriors and Nuggets are definitely at one extreme (paging Tom Ziller. . .) It's definitely consistent with Iverson's game, even if it makes Carmelo's whole master technician thing especially complicated.
-How about a sociological model: A popular revolution that starts overnight and keeps the old government around to balance the books? Not a bad idea, actually. Is that how the House and Senate were originally conceived of?
-Excuse me if this reads like a Baudrillard book about Nuggets/Warriors. I fucking hate that guy.
-Halftime. Time for some more MSNBC. I'll probably put this up sans pictures at the buzzer, and fill those in after 30 Rock. Typing on a couch is hell on my hands, so someone had better enjoy this.
-I'm boycotting the TNT studio crew. Barkley's funny, and does an excellent Tracy Morgan in the most recent T-Mobile ads, but being stubborn, knee-jerk and uninformed aren't exactly winning qualities. And they eat away at his whole "I'm outrageous and frank" cred.
-Welcome back. I'm man enough to admit that, in my mind, there's absolutely no difference between Chucky Atkins and Anthony Carter.
-If neither team can play defense, why are there so many bad shots flying up? It's not like these teams are incapable of ball movement.
-So I just tried asking Skeets, in flagrante de live blog, if Andre Miller really is the best oop-thrower in the league, because Collins won't shut up about it. He wouldn't answer.
-When Anthony makes a block like that, or suddenly blows past someone, I wonder if he doesn't practice some tantric, energy-conserving approach to athleticism.
-I'm not about to switch over to the Dallas/Utah game, but the box score makes it look like it's underwater, upside, and everyone's been chugging date rape drugs. Except for Dirk. Those thing all make him stronger.
-"Emotion and passion are two different things. Passion is unbridled joy that's kept under control" [sic]--Doug Collins. I don't remember what he said about emotion, but it was bad.
-That wasn't even cherry-picking on this last play by J.R. He was shuffling his feet right under the basket. Hadn't even thought about moving. If the game's moving fast enough, it's like it's not moving at all, right?
-I need to close this BDL blog, they're making me feel stupid.
-Wait, is this a third AVP movie? That's much more my comfort zone.
-Fuck it, I give up. I'm posting this and watching the rest of the game.