Just a few things.
--After watching David West go absolutely bonkers last night, I am wondering if he has legitimately been excluded from the "next great 4" conversation because of his name. We're pretty clear on the fact that the trajectory has gone something like Bob Petit, Dave DeBusschere, (then I started watching basketball), Kevin McHale, Karl Malone, then Duncan (shooing away the likes of Webber, Garnett, and Nowitzki). The 2010s present a question mark that always seems to be a multiple choice between Amare Stoudemire, Elton Brand and Carlos Boozer (on the older and Dukier side of things), Chris Bosh, and Dwight Howard (I refuse to call him a center). Where has West been in this conversation? Yes, he was selected to the all-star team, so he's not exactly "slept on," but the guy is playing like he was undrafted or something. I swear he has been looked over because of his name fails to connote anything of greatness or desire (No Sports Guy).
Bosh sounds like an onomotapoeia for slam dunking the ball or blocking a shot.
Dwight Howard is the name of a Roman God.
Amare Stoudemire is the name of a hall of famer/there is nobody outside of the NBA who actually holds the last name "Stoudemire."
Boozer and Brand both sound like cool verbs that mean "to punish."
David West is the name of a really mediocre middle relief pitcher for who played for the Twins, Mets, and Phillies. The Mets traded him for Frank Viola to the Twins, and before I understood anything about free agency, I was really sad about this.
At any rate, the REAL David West thankfully put himself at the forefront of the power forward conversation last night though. Jesus.
--My favorite recurring play of the playoffs. Somebody tipping an offensive rebound out to the three-point line. Seriously, how much of a momentum killer is this, when a team puts in 20 hard seconds on defense, a shot goes up in a scrum, clanks, and then is immediately batted back out to the top of the key for a reset. Tyson Chandler and Ilgauskas have been the masters of this so far. Just devastating.
--I know it gets discussed ad nauseam, but how much is Inside the NBA simply killing it?
I used to say that if I could be any non-player in the NBA universe, my list (in order) would look something like this:
1. John Canzano
2. Dan Steinberg
3. Mike Brown
4. Sam Mitchell
5. Tex Winters
But nowadays it's not even a question that I would want to be Ernie Johnson more than anybody, except I wouldn't really want to be Ernie Johnson because then Ernie Johnson wouldn't exist. The guy is so great, Kenny has been on fire, and it's really ridiculous how RIGHT Charles Barkley has been about everything this playoffs (I think). I also believe it was Barkley who two years ago really brought the phrase "It's not a series until a hometeam loses" into the public consciousness. Truer words have not been spoken. Not to mention that his rationale for this statement was that bench players don't play as well on the road. The Daniel Gibsons and Julian Wrights of the world really shine on their homecourt, which has been the reason for so much hometeam success during these playoffs.
--Finally, it's a long way to the top, Rodney: