Now it is time for the big boys to play. Three is reason they call NCAA hoops amateur ball, and its not because college players don’t get paid. Besides the excitement of the fan base, professional ball is vastly superior to the product the NCAA plays. In college ball, its about coaches and schemes. In the NBA, its about the players. We are looking at two months of intense, non stop hoops action looming on the horizon. This was part of the reason I need a break between the end of the NCAA tournament and the beginning of the playoffs. As of April 4th, I was burnt up. As of April 18th, I’m turnt up. It is a Good Friday indeed.
The first round match ups are posted and we get a couple of pretty good opening series to start this thing off. I don’t give two shits about the Eastern Conference until Miami plays the Bulls, Nets, or Pacers. Until then, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm will be reserved for snacking, crapping, fapping, then napping. Forget about the Eastern Conference “I ain’t messing wit dem no mo”
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the Varsity squads:
Its unfortunate that David Lee and Andrew Bogut are both hurt. Golden State is limping into the playoffs and the pressure on their back court to produce increases even more with those guys injured. W hat was burgeoning into a nasty relationship is going to be tempered a little with no Bogut. I’m sure Curry and Thompson will have a couple of explosive nights, but with the Clippers depth and their big front court, this could be a quick first round exit for the W’s. I just don’t know how they will have an answer for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Clippers in six, because I can see the Warriors stealing a game they shouldn’t have any business winning.
For old school Texans like myself, this is an intriguing series because it brings back memories of the mid 2000’s when Dallas and San Antonio battled year after year to advance in the playoffs. My Dallas friends HATE the Spurs while my friends from San Antonio find these series amusing (except when you bring up Nick Van Exel or Jason Terry). The Spurs usually got the upper hand on these series except for one occasion, the ’05-06 year when the Mavs beat them in 7 games. The Mavericks have done well for themselves after not making the playoffs last year. I think they will get beat in 6 games, but it will still be an entertaining series. Watching Rick Carlisle and Greg Poovich play chess is just another thing to look forward to as well. Dirk and Monta have been fun all year, and seeing them match up against the Western Conference champs will be worth your time. No matter what happens this first round, the Mavs have nothing to lose as it has already been a successful season.
I think this will be the best match up of the first round. Last year when they faced off, OKC had no James Harden, had no Russell Westbrook, and they had an inexperienced Reggie Jackson. This year they have Westbrook, Reggie Jackson was killing it early in the season before Russ came back from his second knee surgery, and KD is coming off an MVP season. Memphis came on strong at the end of the season, and they look like they are finally getting healthy. Z-Bo and Kendrick Perkins will tangle up (and one or both of them will end up getting hurt) and pushes and shoves will be exchanged. Unless there is a major injury to a player on either team, I think OKC wins in 6. If last year was any indication, then these games will be physical, and tight, and thoroughly entertaining.
I hate watching Houston play–too many floppers on the Rockets’ roster. James harden is going to average 15-20 free throws a game, and viewers will be forced to stay up until 1:00 central time trying to watch the games when they play up in Portland. I may watch to see if Lillard tees off on Patrick Beverly after a frustrating sequence of no calls. I assume the games will be up and down, but just be warned, the 4th quarters of this series will be Looooooooooooooooooonnnnnnggg. Houston in Six. Too much depth inside.
Shout out to the Phoenix Suns who definitely don’t deserve to be sitting at home watching this shit on TV. The people want to see Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, and PJ Tucker, and Gerald Green. As Jalen Rose likes to say “Give the people what they want!” C’mon Adam Silver don’t let this happen again.
Special shout out to Craig Sager and his colorful wardrobe. The playoffs won’t be the same without you. I hope to see your goofy grin and splendid attire at the beginning of next season. Holler at Blake Griffin about getting some of that medical bro!
Have a good Easter and any other holiday you’ll celebrate on Sunday (wink. wink. Nudge. Nudge.)