We’ve got our Final Four and for all my bitching about seeding and who had the easiest path, it still played out how most people predicted; Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio and Indiana vs. Miami.
It didn’t look like the Pacers would make it this far early on, with Roy Hibbert (the disappearing 7’2 black man) having the worst playoffs of all time for an All-Star (I’m 5’11 and I can get 2-3 rebounds on accident–how he goes an entire game without getting one is beyond me). But he recovered and so did the Pacers and now they finally have home court against Miami. No excuses, this what the Pacers and now they have it. This scenario reminds me too much of ’93 Knicks vs. Bulls. Knicks had home court and didn’t make a lick of difference to Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the game at that time. The Pacers have home court, but the Heat have Lebron James, the greatest player in the game now, as a wise man once said, “That shit don’t mean fuck” to Lebron.
Heat in Six
Before we get in to the Spurs-Thunder, let’s just wish a Bon Voyage to the Los Angeles Clippers. They had a great season and dealt with some ill timed distractions, but fuck those guys. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the game but on that John Stockton “sneaky dirty” tip. He whines, he complains, he fouls, and gets pissy when calls don’t go his way. Fuck him. Fuck J.J. Redick (still) and fuck Blake Griffin. Those dudes are a bunch of floppers and they get what they deserve for signing contracts with the infamous Donald Sterling. Only dudes on that team I respect are Jamal Crawford (so smooth with it) and Matt Barnes (keeps it grimey). I’m glad they got eliminated in the second round. As my homey Adrian (a lifelong Lakers fan) says, “Fuck Clippers for Life!”
The Thunder should have eliminated them in 5 games, they blew game 4 and now have to face the Spurs without Serge Ibaka because he injured his calf in the extra game they played. I would have predicted Spurs in 7 had they had a healthy Ibaka “blocka flame”, but now without him I say Spurs in six.
Scott Brooks as a coach is like the kid who comes over to play video games and he picks the best team and just shoots with the same players over and over again. He may beat you, but not because he’s a better gamer, but only because he is running with a better squad. Put Scott Brooks on the Orlando Magic, and there is no discernible difference in the win-loss records. I’m not saying Scott Brooks is a bad coach. I just don’t think he is an elite coach and he has been getting out-coached all playoffs. He also just happens to have the two best players in the Western Conference on his team. He’s a good coach though, a good personnel guy, but his in game strategy is sorely lacking.
Personally, I’m rooting for a Spurs-Heat rematch. I think the Spurs have the best chance of beating the Heat of the last teams remaining. They have the best coach, and Tony Parker is the best point guard left playing. The Spurs also have the best role players. They are better than next last year’s team based on that alone. A healthy Spurs would have smashed the Heat in six games last year (Parker was hobbled that whole series after game 1). I want the Heat to earn it if this is going to be the three-peat year. The hardest path for them would be through San-Antonio. I think this is what Spurs fans want as well, they’ll take their chances running it back against a Heat team that hasn’t gotten better (besides Lebron) but only got older.
Eastern Conference Finals begins in about an hour and a half. Bring it!
Lastly, Big shout outs to Mark Jackson, for handling his ouster from Golden State with grace. I don’t like the way it was all handled, and Mark Jackson deserved better. I hope he chills on them checks he gonna be getting til the perfect situation opens up for him. He’s a good coach who will someday be a great coach. Its obvious now that his firing had nothing to do with basketball. All that being said, I think Kerr is the perfect replacement for Coach Jackson. Kerr is really intelligent person who will certainly be a “player’s coach.”
I think his style will be a breath of fresh air for that camp. Of course, coaching is not why they lost in the first round. Their roster wasn’t nearly as good as last year’s and yet they managed to win more games this year than they did last year (this year’s conference was arguably tougher). A coach still needs players, and if Golden State trots out the same lineup next year they will NOT make the playoffs next year. The Lacob clan need to look in the mirror and decide how serious they are about becoming an elite franchise.
Have a good weekend and let’s pray for no more series turning injuries the rest of the way……. well unless they happen to the Heat.