That’s That

Wow. Warriors in five games. If only somebody had warned us that the series would be over so qui— oh I did predict? Well I’ll be damned (feigns humility for brief second before continuing), maybe it was just a lucky guess. Or maybe it was just as simple as adding Kevin Durant and subtracting Harrison Barnes.

People forget that the Warriors came within a minute of repeating as champions last year with Harrison Barnes as their starting small forward no Andrew Bogut to clog the middle of the paint. Although the Warriors couldn’t quite replace Bogut this year, they made a significant upgrade at the 3 position. Golden State didn’t even need KD to perform as scintillating as he was against the Cavs, they just needed him to play better than Harrison Barnes (who may actually have turned out to be the biggest loser in this whole saga–you know if making 94 million dollars is considered losing).

Except for ill timed rashes of mental lapses, the Cavaliers actually played decent defense this series. While the occasional mental lapse may not hurt Lebron and co. against teams like Toronto, Indiana, or Boston, it only takes a couple of poor possessions for a 4 point deficit to become a double digit lead against the Warriors. The margin of error against them is extremely thin.

Lebron is the best basketball player I have ever seen, but he is a terrible general manager. Remember his first tour of duty with the Cavs when he said that forward J.J. Hickson was not an expendable piece around the trading deadline? Then shortly after that he had to have an over the hill Antawn Jamison on his squad. Right before he left Miami, he lobbied for the Heat to draft Shabazz Napier at the point guard position. This time around he leveraged his power to make Cleveland sign Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson to huge contracts.

Now Tristan Thompson (who only pulled down 8 rebounds last night) would probably have commanded that kind of money eventually, being one of the few legitimate 7-footers left in the league, but Kevin Love did not play like a max contract player in this series. In fact, we may have seen the last of Kevin Love in a Cavaliers uniform. In a must win game, the guy takes only eight shots–missing three free throws and scoring only 6 points in the process. His plus/minus ratio was a -23 when he was on the court, and only three of his ten rebounds were on the offensive glass.

J.R. Smith surprised me this series. He had two stinkers in games 1 and 2 in Oakland, but managed to rebound and play well the last 3 games. Last night he put in 25 points on 9 for 11 shooting.  Still, the Cavaliers are going to need more wing players who defend to even have a chance in next year’s Finals (against either Golden State or San Antonio).

Cleveland’s biggest personnel problems stem from having too many one way specialist on the court. Though Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Kevin Love can add a little life to the offense, none of those guys can defend.

Isn’t it too bad that Andrew Wiggins begged for Cleveland to trade him because he didn’t think Lebron could help him be a better player? Wait. That’s not what happened? Oh well, its not like he was a wing who could score a little bit right? Oh he does have some offensive skills? Well, even if he can score, its not like he can defend. What’s that you say? He’s an elite defender at his position? Fuck outta here! I’m not tryna hear that. Lebron wouldn’t push for the team to trade a guy like that now would he? WOULD HE? Yea I didn’t think so either.

All you have to do is compare the Cavaliers’ bench production to the Warriors’ and you will see where this series was lost. 7 points from their bench last night and we didn’t see much of Channing Frye, or Derrick Williams. Backup point guard, Deron Williams, is beyond washed. I bet he gives his retirement papers to the league by Friday.

Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala played consistently well–better than anyone on Cleveland’s bench (Iguodala had a +60 rating for the entire Finals). Javale McGee had moderate success the first 2 games, and he and the rest of the second unit contributed just enough to make Cleveland feel it. Tyronn Lue had no one he could bring off the bench and have any kind of impact defensively. Lebron averaged 42 minutes a game this final round; logging 46 minutes total last night.

Kevin Durant put on such a beautiful display of dominance that Draymond Green’s own inconsistent performance was overshadowed; coming nowhere close to how he played in game 7 of last year’s instant classic.

 

It is understandable that many people found this season to be unsatisfactory. No one was able to match the beautiful basketball on display up in Oakland, and the only team that could come close to competing had its hopes dashed by an overzealous Georgian. Despite what you might hear, the Spurs were in fact, the second best team in the NBA. I don’t expect much to change for next year. Washington is two moves away from me taking them seriously, so they loom in the background as a potential troublemaker.

I’m extremely curious to see if a) the Celtics finally use their chess pieces to put a championship team together next season and b) who the Cavs bring back next year.

Outside of Lebron, I think everybody can be had at a price. As outstanding as Kyrie Irving is, I don’t think he is the right guy for the kind of offense that can beat Golden State. Before you start tweeting me, take a second and think about how much more deadly Kevin Love would be if Mike Conley or John Wall were running that offense. Kyrie doesn’t get his teammates involved easily, and typically passes when its his only option.

I’m sure second best doesn’t sit too well with James, so something will have to be done to at least give the appearance that maybe they can beat Golden State four times in a series.

We still don’t know if this is the beginning of a dominant era for the Warriors or just a vacuum, but we’ll soon find out this off-season. Shaun Livingston and Stephen Curry will be free agents and we’ll likely see a few new faces on the roster next season. The beauty of the off-season is that up until next season’s tip, all 30 teams have a legitimate chance at being champions. Maybe things won’t be as predictable as they were this season, but I highly doubt it.

 

BM

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

Clicks to Pick Week of 4/18

Tuesday

 

UTAH at LAC

MIL at TOR

 

Wednesday

 

ATL at WAS

OKC at HOU

POR at GSW

 

Thursday

 

TOR at MIL

SAS at MEM

 

Friday

 

HOU at OKC

LAC at UTAH

 

Saturday

 

TOR at MIL

SAS at MEM

WAS at ATL

GSW at POR

 

Sun

HOU at IND

LAC at UTAH

Putting It On Wax: Part One

Somehow forgot to put my playoff predictions down (apparently forgot to spell check too–there were a few typos last post–yeeesh) before I left for San Antonio yesterday to see the monster performance by Kawhi Leonard last night, so I won’t count any of yesterday’s games as part of my predictions (we did a playoff preview and didn’t even think to do on air predictions–huge FAIL). So here we go:

San Antonio in five over Memphis

Utah in seven over Los Angeles Clippers

Milwaukee over Toronto in seven

Cleveland over Indiana in six games

Washington over Atlanta in seven games

Golden State over Portland in five games

Boston in seven over the Bulls

Oklahoma City in six games over Houston

Clicks to Pick week of 4/9/17

Monday

San Antonio at Portland

Houston at Los Angeles Clippers

Utah at Golden State

 

“Tap That Vein” Tuesday

Oklahoma City at Minnesota

Wednesday

 

Toronto at Cleveland

Milwaukee at Boston

Washington at Miami

San Antonio at Utah

Thursday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Friday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

 

Clicks To Picks Week of 3/2717

 

Monday

Cleveland at San Antonio (Good Ass Game of the Week)

Oklahoma City at Dallas

New Orleans at Utah

 

Tuesday

Golden State at Houston

Wednesday

Washington at Los Angeles Clippers

Milwaukee at  Boston

Thursday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Friday

Washington at Utah

San Antonio at Oklahoma City

 

Saturday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Sunday

Utah at San Antonio

Washington at Golden State

Dallas at Milwaukee (Good Ass Game of the Weak)

Clicks to Pick

Monday

Houston at San Antonio

“Tap That Vein” Tuesday

Portland at Oklahoma City

Wednesday

Boston at Golden State

Utah at Houston

Thursday

Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis

San Antonio at Oklahoma City

Friday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Saturday

Utah at Oklahoma City

Golden State at San Antonio (Good Ass Game of the Week)

Sunday

Cleveland at Houston

YFWION?

The NBA All Star Game is only a couple of weeks away, and twitter is abuzz with corny gimmicks to help fans vote on who they want to see in the game. For some reason it took a really long time for the league to figure out that the average NBA fan doesnn’t know shit about the game (Shout out to the people still voting for Yao Ming). As much as I like Zaza Pachulia, there is no way he should be playing on All Star Weekend (neither should Dwayne Wade and his 18.8 pts a game scoring average).

You know who the best gauge for determining who deserves to be an All-Star? OTHER PLAYERS. Forget the fans and forget the media (seriously why are they the ones who vote on all the awards?). All awards and all-star selection should be determined by the league’s players and coaches.

AP WARRIORS NUGGETS BASKETBALL S BKN USA CO

There are certain players who are balling out right now; making their games week to week Must See TV. I wanted to take the time to honor those in what will forever be named the “You Fux Wit Em Or NAH?” All Star teams. Here they are:

 

“Yea. I Fux Wit Em”

 

Isaiah Thomas 

I can’t tell you how boring Celtics games would be without this guy. They have no real playmakers that can consistently handle the ball and he has been carrying this team down the stretch of games, getting them buckets whenever the team needs one. Thomas had two monster 4th quarters this week against Washington and Atlanta. He is averaging almost 29 points a game and has had two 40 point games already this season. I fux with him. Just not before the 4th quarter. I can’t stomach a full game of the Celtics. Too much of a grind.

Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo

These two have been a dynamic duo this season and Bucks games have been more entertaining than expected because of them. Giannis is a sure-fire All Star this year, and Parker has recovered nicely from the season ending injury that he suffered his rookie year. I tried to told ya’ll at the beginning of the year that G stands Giannis.

Brandon Jennings

Something that has been lost amidst the Derek Rose drama is that the Knicks just may be better when Brandon Jennings is running the show in New York. His handles are better, his shot is much better, and he is a better passer. The ball does not move as well with Rose on the floor. Jennings has been a tad inconsistent, but then again so has his minutes. I seriously believe that Jeff Hornacek just isn’t using the Compton product as efficiently as he should be.

This year’s Spurs Roster

I’m not just saying this because I’m a Spurs fan. I don’t care how far in the playoffs they go, I love this current team. It is good to see David Lee prove to the rest of the league that he can still play. It is refreshing to be able to root for Pau Gasol–a player who would have been one of my favorites back in the late 2000’s had he not played for the Kobe era Lakers. Duane Dedmon has been better than anyone expected, and Davis Bertans has been a lovely surprise (we know at least one Latvian player will be in the playoffs this year). With Jonathan Simmons,  Patty Mills, and Manu Ginobili leading the second unit, the Spurs quietly have one of the best benches in the league.

Memphis Grizzlebees

Like I said before, I’ve been trying to write off Memphis for years, but they keep coming back as strong as ever. I’m sure you can think of 150 million arguments to counter with, but Mike Conley remains one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA. Outside of Chris Paul, I don’t think there is anyone who runs an offense and controls the tempo better.

Utah Jazz

A little goes a long way with this team. I wouldn’t advise anyone to watch more than one Jazz game per week, but they are pretty entertaining. Rudy Gobert is probably the Defensive Play of the Year. Gordon Heyward is living up to the hype, and Rodney Hood is an unsung assassin with a pure shooting touch. Also, they have the most awkwardly amusing fancams (known in my household as “Dab”cam) in the league.

 

Nah. I don’t Fuck wit those cats

 

Russell Westbrook and James Harden

People are tripping over themselves to rave about the once Illustrious Triple Double stat. Whatever. It’s basically a meaningless stat at this point. Sure these two fill up the stats sheet and it looks good on paper, but considering their usage rate (both avg between five and six turnovers a game), the stats aren’t as impressive when you watch these two point guards play for yourself. I’m just not into one-on-five basketball. Its sooooooooooooo 1990’s.

 

Demarcus Cousins

I used to fuck with this cat til he decided to sign a massive extension with the Sacramento Kings. I’ve defended him in the past, and he is still an enormous talent; however I can’t cape for him any longer. His decision to stay in Cowtown can’t be defended. If he wants to sit around and look sour because management won’t put a team around him, that is on him. He and Carmelo would rather count chips rather than count rings. I mean……..I guess.

Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers

Ugh. Years from now when they put up a Lebron James statue and talk about how incredible he was (probably the very same experts who shit on him for half of his career), I hope “they” don’t forget that Lebron played in the inferior Eastern Conference his entire career and had what equated to a three round bye from the year 2013 to the present. The drop off in competition from #1 to #8 is astounding. Watching Lebron in the playoffs against all these scrubs is almost as fun as watching pickup games at the neighborhood YMCA. No gracias.

Timberwolves’ Games 

If you are reading the box scores and suspect you are missing out, it only takes a few minutes of watching a T-wolves game to realize you are not. Aside from some Iso-jumpers and breakaway dunks, there isn’t much joy to be found in watching their games. It isn’t that they are bad (at 14-27, they are only 3.5 games from being an 8th seed), they are just too young. They find new ways to lose close games every week because they don’t know how to win on the NBA level yet. It also doesn’t help that on damn near every play, you can hear their coach barking like circus seal, and it doesn’t stop until the game is over. But enjoy those Andre Wiggins, Karl Anthony Towns and Zach Lavine highlights. Maybe one day they will all win together, but as I’ve said before, Minnesota will find a way to fuck this up.

The Toronto Rappers

This unwatchable team is the  Eastern Conference’s version of the Portland Trailblazers. It is painful enough watching these guys toss around  the basketball 16 seconds before a Kyle Lowry or Demar Derozan shot attempt. The real insult to injury is when a certain corny ass rapper sporting a Doris Burke sweatshirt and a toothpick is given a microphone to add stale commentary and lame jokes. Ease back bruv. I’m good on them.

Portland Trailblazers

Speaking of scrub ass teams. Call me when Paul Allen signs some talent to help out Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Two-on-five basketball is only slightly better than one-on-five.

 

This week’s Clicks to Pick:

Monday

Cleveland at Golden State (Good Ass Game of the Week)

Lebron says the “Warriors are a really great team, but they are not our rivals.” We return to the scene of this block, and the beginning of the “Warriors blew a 3-1 Finals lead” meme.

Philadelphia at Milwaukee

Two of the best players from Africa square off here on Martin Luther “The King” Day in Giannis Antetokounmpo (The Nigerian ‘Nique) and Joel Embiid (The Carnival from Cameroon). Joel Embiid is a cat I definitely fuck with, and the 76ers are creeping into “I fux wit that team on a weekly basis” territory.

“Tap That Vein” Tuesday

Minnesota at San Antonio

A team I don’t fux wit vs. a team I fux with heavily. To quote Big Boi, “Somethings gotta giiivvveeee.”

Wednesday

Milwaukee at Houston

So many people are admitting their shock at James Harden’s production this season, but what is shocking to me that people are surprised. Two things happened to James that helped him from last season to this one: 1) he got rid of the dead weight that was Dwight Howard and the Kardashian clan and 2) he benefitted from the #D’Antoni effect.

What is the D’Antoni effect? Well ask players like Steve Nash ( back to back MVP’s), Jeremy Lin (the Linsanity season and the millions that followed can be directly linked to Mike D’Antoni–I mean has Lin been worth a damn since Mike D?) Chris Duhon, Raymond Felton and every other point guard who had inflated stats playing for the guy.

Oklahoma City at Golden State

This is a great week for Good Ass Games. Only two days removed from Cavs-Warriors, we get Warriors-Thunder, or as the media would rather call it, Russ vs. KD: part deux. The Warriors are only fun to watch when there is something at stake (real or imagined). Tune in.

“Tap That Vein Twice” Thursday

Minnesota at Los Angeles Clippers

ummmmmmmmm. I guess. Sometimes you gotta take the ugly girl home and be okay with it (just don’t let your roommates find out)

Friday

Portland at Philadelphia

This could either be a blowout, or this could be a good ass game that comes down to Lillard Time. Either way, I wonder if Alex Knapp is considering taking the train ride into Philly to watch this game. I wouldn’t blame him if he did.

Utah at Dallas

It is easy to sleep on the Mavericks, but one must keep in mind that they haven’t been healthy all year-long. Remember this for when they get on a roll in March and everyone starts writing their “Break up the Mavs” takes on why they are all of a sudden a dangerous team.

Saturday

San Antonio at Cleveland 

The NBA week is too good to us this week. This is the first marquee matchup for Los Spurs since the first game of the season. I’m really curious how this will go. Tristan Thompson will be hell to reckon with, and I worry if anyone will show up besides Kawhi Leonard and the coaching staff.

Portland at Boston (4th quarter only)

What a weekend to be a New Englander. You got the Steelers in town for the AFC championship game and this game the night before. “Illard vs. IT” If you aren’t a Celtics or Blazers fan, I suggest you don’t watch the whole thing. With the exception of some C.J. McCollum jumpers those first 3 quarters might be brutal.

Sunday

NFC and AFC Championship Games (No Good Ass Basketball Scheduled)

If it’s not a Steelers-Packers or Patriots-Packers rematch, I can guarantee you that I will be skipping the Super Bowl for something more productive. I still can’t believe the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff collectively blew that Packers game yesterday. I blame Jerry Jones for being impossible to work with, but I also blame myself even more for thinking Jason Garrett might be a better coach than I’ve been giving him credit for. Nah bro. He’s properly rated. Homie got outmatched by Mike McCarthy. GRRRRRRRRR!!!! I fucking hate football.

 

Have a good holiday.

 

BM

 profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at FullsassStudios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com