I don't know how much more round one I can take. I'm pretty sure I caught most of the 5/2 action, with a break to catch Jack Bauer do some more dumb shit in the name of honor and freedom. Not even sure I cared that the Rockets fell apart again down the stretch, since it makes me think it was a mistake to have believed in them so much earlier in the series. Dixon redeemed himself, and Hughes clowned Hinrich so hard that I think he might have also clowned himself in the process. Like if he could have gotten away with that shit, it must have been so easy that he had no business doing it.

So that makes the Wizards even with the Bulls and the Mavs one win away from the second round--meaning, the Bulls will embarrass the Wiz in game five, and Houston will come out swinging and force a game seven in decisive fashion. If only I could see a game in either of these two series where it didn't seem like the losing team was not just getting beaten but actually doing something seriously wrong.

The Spurs/Nuggets joint, though, might be the most I've ever enjoyed a game involving San Antonio. Denver played straight gangster: K-Mart fouling out on a totally unncessary half-nelsoning of Duncan, everyone else on the verge of getting t'ed up all night long, that frontline generally refusing to be punked on their home court by a bunch of straight-laced basketball fundamentalists, the guards bumping around and mixing it up, and Melo once and for all proving why he's not Big Dog part 2. Oh yeah, and Nene's real first name is Rodney. Best of all, it was non-stop swagger; no whining, rushing, or desperation. Play physical and nasty like that, effortlessly and gritty, and that's a chemistry that all the Spurs systems in the world can't match. Too bad San Antonio also had the two best players on the floor on their side.

As much as I want this year's Suns nucelus to stay so long they can be a half-minyan at my wedding, lure Joey Johnson to the Nuggets this summer, add water, let it cool a little, and you're looking at a championship contendor.

This did, though, make the Spurs do more than keep the game at arm's length and scoff at the other team's nonsense; put Duncan in the trenches and he'll prove himself, and Manu=the South American Iverson (fuck Skip Bayless, who wants to claim Manu for the white race). That might be it--if the Spurs lose their holier-than-thou attitude and have to rely on Duncan and Manu playing to beat whoever, then suddenly they've got some charisma and, more importantly, humanity.

Thank god some things on this planet make sense: the Nuggets, young team, sensibly trying to retool their roster, working toward the future. Sneak into the playoffs last year, show something but are outmatched. Stumble early this season (sophomore slump), strike gold with Karl, realize their potential, brought down to earth by playing the NBA's finest. Project next year: prove they're still growing. I like my sports chaotic and all, but a little bit of symmetry can sometimes be a very, very good thing. Sorry to anyone in Denver if I'm making light of your pain.


At 5/03/2005 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's something i love about you Darko boys: two months ago ginobili was described here as a "role-player" along the lines of a michael cooper. now's he's the South American A.I. whatever.

but i do appreciate the order of the NBA, BS. the playoffs are a learning process. the nuggs got their feet wet last year, then took a step back at the beginning of this season. it's like the Indians making the ALCS only to struggle the next season when Rick Vaughn goes yuppie, Cerrano turns Buddhist, and Jake Taylor retires. i'd like to think the nuggets learn from this, but i'm not sure they will. karl has done an awful lot of bitching about the refs this series when he should've been doing something to counter the ginobili-barry switch by Pop. great teams look inward and learn from their experiences. mediocre squads blame all their problems on the refs.

it's just a shame denver couldn't have gotten that 6th spot, because denver v. seattle would have been great given the way both teams play, the history with karl, etc.

At 5/03/2005 6:02 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i hope you aren't accusing us of shameless bandwagon-jumping. i mean, i do it occasionally, but i try and be up-front and self-deprecating about it so no one else can really get on me for it.

if i called ginobili a role player, it was a description of how pop often uses him. if i called him michael cooper, well, that's nothing but a compliment.

you have to understand my dilemma: one of my favorite players is on my least favorite team. pumping up the spurs is almost never an option (when it is, it's circumstantial), so maybe on occasion i've tried to downplay the grandeur of manu so i could ease my suffering and restore the balance of the universe.

also brickowski, that's some of the most generous shit i've ever written about the spurs. i thought you'd be pleased.

At 5/03/2005 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehe, no i was just busting balls. yall stay pretty consistant in your suns-loving and spurs-hating. i wouldn't be here if i didn't love the site. i actually think THC was the one who called manu a role player who shouldn't be on the all-star team.

i understand where you're coming from better now. that is a dilemma, but i'm glad to see you still show love to manu. others are still stuck in that spurs=boring mindset, which seems dated to me. i understood it in the past when SA would struggle to score 90 (allright, 84), but with ginobili and parker coming into their own the spurs are actually (dare i say it) pretty exciting now. i think they were 6th in the league in scoring this year. but old labels die hard. like the "holier-than-thou" attitude you identified. that certainly used to be the case with born again's David and Avery, but those guys are long gone and these international spurs don't have a common language, let alone a team prayer circle (damn, nobody remembers this, but DRob was so much cooler in his first two years in the league before he discovered christianity and got all preachy. he was an athletic 7 footer who would dunk on everyone and could shoot it--a sort of precursor to KG).

i apologize if i come across as a sensitive thug, but you gotta see it from the perspective of a spurs fan. we never get any love from the good folks at SLAM, and when we finally win people talk of asterisks and say we're boring and bad for the Association. i was kinda oblivious to it growing up in SanAN, but when i went to school in Minnesota i got tons o' spurs hate. one develops a bit of a complex. now we've actually got one of the more exciting players in the league and we're still hit with that boring rap. it's frustrating, mayne.

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