NBA = Not Boston Again

Saw Danny Ainge being interviewed after the shockingly bad news from the draft lottery that the Celtics will not be getting one of the top lottery picks afterall, presumably either Oden or Durant. You could see the thoughts going through his head like “Gee, still can’t get lucky … now I’ll actually have to be good at my job.” and then … “But wait, I’ve never been good at my GM job.” That’s right, Danny Boy, you’re actually gonna have to work to make the Celtics better … that’s pretty clear now. And not many of us give you much of a chance at succeeding.

It’s really a shame that at least one of those top 2 picks didn’t go to a team in the east (Boston or Philly would’ve been nice … who really cares about Memphis?). As previously stated, the NBA badly needs the nor’eastern seaboard to be good again and I’m sure David Stern & Co were at least privately disappointed. (Hey, at least this lottery result helps put to rest the notion that Stern “fixes the outcome” of these types of things. I remember the league got a lot of flack when the Kincks miraculously landed the draft rights to Patrick Ewing). And how bad does it suck to be the Kincks now that the Bulls own your top 10 pick???

One thing is for sure … if the Portland Trailers are choosing first, they will somehow choose the wrong guy … ala Bowie instead of MJ circa ’84. So if you’re Durant or Oden, you’re praying that Portland does NOT pick you!! The kiss of death.

Anyone see the Spurs hammer the Jazz last night? Steve Nash might be the best passer in the league right now, but as a team, the Spurs sometimes look like they invented the game. Last night, we saw 4 or 5 beautiful plays that featured back screens and 2-3 passes, plus they ran the break beautifully. Ginobili is one of the funnest players to watch … how many guys in the league are both a huge 3 point threat and someone who can drive with a spin move and dunk in your face. Plus the dude can pass. AND HE DOESN’T EVEN START!!!!

Can someone please tell me WHY there is no Cavs vs Pistons game tonight??? What … were they both worn out from all that scoring in game 1??? Puh-lease … spare me. Gotta play at least every other night when not traveling. This is what makes us lose interest … there’s got to be continuity. Somebody … quick … pull Stern’s head out of his tail!!!

Out.

Wally

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Spurs win in spite of themselves

Anyone watch last night’s game Spurs vs Suns? I only saw the second half, but was amazed once again. The Spurs are insanely talented as a team … and I stress “TEAM” … they are well-structured as a unit with very talented players, most of whom play their roles very well. Pop is a great coach. They have won 3 chan’ships and are trying for a 4th right now.

During this 7 year “run”, I have never viewed them as a “smart” team … they often win in spite of themselves and when they lose in the playoffs it’s usually because they have a mental meltdown in the 4th quarter. The game 4 loss to the Suns is Exhibit A. Last night’s game 5 was another case in point. For several minutes in 4Q, the Spurs were on the verge of overtaking the Suns and they must’ve carelessly thrown the ball away 3 times in the last 4 minutes. Sometimes Manu and Tony Parker are on another planet … just brainless. And then there’s Tim Duncan, who very often turns into Kim Duncan during clutch free-throw situations, such as the one last night when he bricked 2 FTs when 1 make essentially clinches the outcome.

DESPITE ALL THIS, they somehow win the game. One reason is their great defense usually bails them out. And who of all people makes the clutch trey? Yes … the unsung so-called dirty player: Mr. Bruce Bowen. I guess he’s not just a thug afterall 🙂

Wally

Mid-May Musings

I’m not a big NBA fan … until the playoffs start and the games actually mean something. Midway through this year’s playoffs, a couple things are evident. One is that there’s some pretty good, exciting basketball being played out West. The upstart Warriors upstaged the Dallas Mavwrecks in one of the biggest playoff upsets in history. We’re not too upset that Cuban’s team lost, are we? Glad to see Golden State back in the thick of it. Anyone remember Rick Barry? Spurs vs Suns … WOW. The classic match-up of the half-court masters vs the fast-breakers … very fun to watch some real class athletes (Duncan, Nash, et al) playing the NBA game like we had hoped, and it’s no coincidence that these are two of the best-run organizations in the league. Winner of this series goes to the Finals. Hard to root against Jerry Sloan and the Jazz. Nice team they have over there. They’re not booing … they’re BOOOOOOOOzering!!!

I hate to say this, but the Detroit Pistons are back. They’re in the process of turning my Bulls into road kill which is saying something because the Bulls are on the verge of being great, had momentum, and beat Detroit 3 of 4 during the year. With homecourt advantage, the Pistons will definitely emerge from the East and may be so refreshed from nearly sweeping everyone that they’ll beat the Spurs or Suns in the Finals. I despise the thought of it, but it’s what I see happening.

Editor’s note: It was on Mothers Day weekend back in the late ’70s when I remember sitting at my uncle Jim’s big apartment for our extended family’s annual Mothers Day feast. (Uncle Jim is a priest and a good cook; and he always hosted Mothers Day for all the moms in the family). Anyway, I was glued to his TV watching an incredible triple OT championship game between the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics. The Suns had Alvin Adams, Gar Heard and Paul Westphal … the Celtics had Dave Cowens, Paul Silas and JoJo White; I think Tommy Heinson was the coach and Walter Davis may have been on the Suns, too. Anyway, this game was voted one of the all-time classics. I liked the NBA from that point on. anyone else remember this???

On to baseball … where the Yankmees have again thrown their big fat wallet into the pennant race by outbidding 2-3 other teams for the part-time services of Roger “It’s not about the Money” Clemens. Well, it is absolutely about the money, Roger, and I, along with several million other fans, hope you fall flat on your chubby face and the Yankmees again fall way short in their quest for another ring. BRILLIANT!

20 some games in, the best story has got to be the Brewcrew. They could indeed be this year’s version of Tigers ’06 or White Sox ’05. What great timing for Milwaukee, as this is the 25th anniversary of “Harvey’s Wallbangers” AL champs from 1982, who lost a competitive WS to the St Louis Cardinals. Is it possible the Brewers have not even been in the playoffs since ’82???? Robin Yount was a puppy on that team which featured talneted, grizzled vets like Gorman Thomas, Pete Vuckovich, Rollie Fingers, Cecil Cooper and Sal Bando. Anyway, I’m rooting for the Brewers to continue this run … if ya can’t root for a town like Milwaukee to have some sports success, you’re dead. Anyway, if the Cubs can’t win it, why not the Brewers??? God, I love that nickname … it’s perfect. No … it’s BRILLIANT!!

NHL playoffs … I’ve been watching … assuming that the ever-popular “Versus” cable station has paid their electric bill. Most of the games have been close nail-biters, with many going into OT. I must admit, playoff hockey is just terrific, especially when you get rid of the goons and fighting, because now they want to minimize penalties. OK … at this time we need everyone to recall Casey’s late ’06 declaration of the Sabres as one of the all-time great teams. (embellishing a bit to stoke the fire). Anyway, I cautioned him then and I’ll do the same now: great regular season runs, especially in the first half, don’t mean squat when you get to the playoffs and mean even less when you get ousted!!! (Exhibit A: Dallas Mavwrecks). For the record, I’m rooting heavily for the Sabres to win it all. If not them, then the Ducks. Can’t stand Detroit … I’m anti-Detroit in just about everything. Ottawa??? Where is that anyway? Sounds Australian. GO BUFFALO!!!

That’s it. I’m out. Gotta go coach my bazillionth girls softball game this week. God I hope they throw strikes today …

Wally