Nov 29, 2007
Nov 28, 2007
God I love Thanksgiving. Great food, some family time, the Falcons looked like a real football team for a quarter. All and all, not a bad four days. I was, however, discouraged by listening to the talking heads spew on and on about how the SEC is down, and teams like Kansas and Missouri have risen to the top of the college football world. Amused by this assertion, I celebrated Georgia’s win and Kentucky’s loss (I’ll explain that later) and I sat back and watched the Big 12 North’s best slug it out. The end result?
I’m still waiting for the first hit.
Somewhere, the competitiveness of this game proved to someone that the SEC is overrated, that there are other elite conferences besides it and that whoever won this game is better than whatever comes out of the SEC. This is not that place, and I am not that person. All day, there were no hits that made you wince, no running backs going down the midline of safeties (McFadden, Tebow, Hester), there was no dominant defensive presence (Dorsey, Joiner, Johnson), there were no super-athletic playmakers (Harvin, Doucet, Bailey), and only pale imitations of strong armed game altering quarterbacks (Tebow AGAIN, Woodson, Stafford). People are pointing to the triple overtime loss to a team that lost the first three SEC games as to a reason why LSU is no longer the best team in the nation. How about mentioning the fact that they play in the most physical place in football and haven't been full strength in months? How about mentioning the fact that the only conferences with any depth this year (and I cannot believe I’m typing this) are the SEC and the Pac-10? No, these things don’t matter. At least we might get UGA vs. USC in the Rose Bowl. Or as I call it, Mr. Olson, a perfect storm. I just can’t wait to watch the tremendously talented Sooners destroy this upstart Tigers team for the second time this year.
Oh, and as for why I didn’t want Georgia to play in the SEC title game? Well, they’re going to get a BCS at-large bid as it is, and if they win that, they are a mortal lock to be a top 5 team preseason next year, and no matter how much they shouldn’t, preseason rankings matter. Don’t think this is really the best thing for the Dawgs? Call me Saturday, after they medivac Tenessee out of the Georgia Dome after running into the machine that is an angry, super-talented LSU squad.
On to the picks, home teams in bold.
Green Bay (+7) over Dallas
Houston (+4) over Titans
J’Ville (+7) over Indy
KC (+5.5) over SD
Atl (pick) over STL
Snitches(+1) over Miami
Min (-3.5) over Det
Philly (-3) over Seattle
Wash (-5.5) over Buffalo
San Fran (+3) over Carolina
Cleveland (pick) over Arizona
Denver (-3.5) over Oakland
Giants (-2) over Chicago
Tampa (+3) over Nawlins
Pitt (-7) over Cincy
Terminators (-20) over Ravens
Nov 21, 2007
Nov 15, 2007
Minnesota (-5) over Oakland
No Adrian Peterson, no Josh McCown, no problem in this game. In the Metrodome, Dante will be inspired to show his improvement to the team that gave up on him. Too bad he has nothing around him to help show anything. That’s right: Tavaris Jackson over Dante Culpepper.
Miami (+10) over Philly
San Diego (+2.5) over Jacksonville
New Browns (-3) over Really Old Browns
Picking on old people is never nice, but when they bring it on themselves so often by running off at the mouth, sometimes you’ve got to pick up their walker, kick out a hip, and bludgeon the elderly into a coma. This is one of those times. Quick question: Ozzie Newsome has been regarded as the top exec in the game, but he let this defense get old SO FAST, without bringing in any pieces to replace them.
Nawlins (-1) over Houston
The wheels are off the Saints again, but I think they’ve got enough to beat the Texans. What? You really want more insight into the Saints and the Texans? Too bad.
Atlanta (+3) over Tampa
Two straight wins, two straight covers. Root, root, root for the home team…What a deluge of awful games this week.
Arizona (+3) over Cincy
NYG (+3) over Detroit
Two 6-2 teams that are going to the playoffs. But, one of these teams are good, one is not so good. Here’s a hint: the better team is favored.
Green Bay (-9.5) over Carolina
This makes no sense what so ever. Wasn’t it two years ago we were claiming that Favre was done, that the Aaron Rogers era needed to start in cheese land? And now I'm scared to pick against them? What the hell has happened? Ugh.
Kansas City (+14.5) over Indy
Tony Dungy will not lose 3 in a row. Even if Freeney is out for the season. Even if Clark isn’t playing. Even if Harrison isn’t playing. Uh oh. At least they’re in the dome?
Pittsburgh (-9.5) over New Jersey Snitches
The football gods hate snitches.
St. Louis (-3) over San Fran
The Niners are terrible, worse than I ever thought possible. St. Louis finally won a game, and might have remembered how to win. We’ll see. That Niners game was the worst thing I have ever seen in NFL football.
Seattle (-6) over Chicago
See my second bullet point from this week’s jumpers.
Washington (+10.5) over Dallas
Dallas is the class of the NFC, except for the magical Packers from Green Bay. Washington is struggling to stay relevant in the playoff picture, and if they lost and Philly wins, we could see a late McNabb push to the playoffs. Just kidding, but this defense is good enough to keep it close.
Terminators (-16) over Buffalo
Wait a minute, no Lynch? J.P. Losman? Buffalo. Terminated.
Tennessee (+2) over Denver
Remember when Denver had a great home field advantage? I mean, before this season started? What a great defense in Tennessee, routinely crushing people will continue...despite Vince Young.
New Rule 1: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.
New Rule 2: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?
New Rule 3: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.
New Rule 4: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.
New Rule 5: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.
New Rule 6: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket... water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That should be your flavored water.
New Rule 7: Stop messing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.
New Rule 8: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole.
New Rule 9: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding, "No, I don't want cash back", and pressing "Enter" again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.
New Rule 10: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.
New Rule 11: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."
New Rule 12: I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.
New Rule 13: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.
New Rule 14: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.
New Rule 15: and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint, as if I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your webcam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.
New Rule 16: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 Months?" "He's two," will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place. I was attempting to be nice.
- Ricky Williams has been reinstated by the NFL. It’s almost too easy to make jokes at this point. I think I had an aneurysm thinking about the possibilities.
- REX GROSSMAN IS NEVER THE ANSWER
- What the hell was Columbia doing on ESPN Tuesday night? Shouldn’t the alumni be informed when something like this happens? On that note…
- Joe Jones…Joe Jones…Joe Jones…Joe Jones…
- Anyone in the market for an impossible to please, shoot-first point guard who is due 42 million dollars over the next two years? Anyone? Isaiah, put your hand down, you’re trying to get rid of him.
- Happy trails Dwight Freeney, you will be missed.
- A-Rod watch continues…when he ends up with the Yankees again, boy will that be an awkward press conference.
- Shaun Alexander, the car taking you out of Seattle is waiting out front.
- Joe Johnson is allegedly asking for veteran help in Atlanta. Um, Joe, you left STEVE
- Al Horford… Al Horford… Al Horford… Al Horford… Al Horford…
- The Celtics are still really good. Really. Really. Good.
- If Eli’s last name was ‘Jones’, would we be waiting for him to make the leap to superstardom? Have you seen anything to suggest he’s just that good? I haven't.
- If Tennessee loses in the next two weeks, we could be headed for LSU-UGA in the SEC title game. If UGA were to knock off LSU, then we could head to a big BCS bowl, and should be pre-season #1. BTW, this may be the most acronyms used in only 3 sentences ever.
- Wake me when the NHL playoffs start, I can’t find Versus on Comcast.
Extra details of the Starbury situation: apparently, he and Isaiah threw hands on the plane, an altercation which ended with Steph threatening to drop dime on Zeke for stuff that would somehow FURTHER damage his reputation. Then, last night, Starbury apparently flew to LA to play off the bench against the Clippers. I love that in all the sports negativity, the Knicks have cornered the market in embarrassing in-house news. Someone needs to step up before they get complacent…Portland, we’re looking at you.
Nov 9, 2007
Interesting match-ups this week, but no easy picks, since New England has a bye week. I suspect they will be using it to decide how best to implement SkyNet, and infect all technology, ending in Judgment Day. The end times are here. Embrace our new cybernetic masters. Home teams in bold.
Pittsburgh (-9.5) over Cleveland
Did you know Derek Anderson was almost cut during training camp? How improbable of a season is he having? You watch Tyrone Willingham’s golden boy come to your team, you barely make the squad, the guy ahead of you gets benched and traded, and you become the hero of an expansion franchise. What?
Washington (-3) over Philly
Philly is better on the road, because the crowd is supposed to boo, and it doesn’t seem as weird. I thought the Skins would be hungrier against the Jets, but they still got the win. All I’m going to say about Andy Reid is that I don’t know anything about his family, or his house. I do know that at this age, his boys are MEN and responsible for their own actions.
Atlanta (+4) over Carolina
Why can’t this game get blacked out too?
New Orleans (-11.5) over St. Louis
Does everyone believe in this Saints resurgence? I want to, I really want to, but there’s no confidence here. I’m waiting for this NO team to turn on me, and go back into the toilet, but I don’t think they turn this week.
Buffalo (-3) over Miami
This line could not be high enough.
Kansas City (-3) over Denver
Ugh. Denver can’t stop anyone from running, but Kansas City lost their running back. The question becomes, how much do I trust Preist Holmes at home? I trust him more than three points, I guess.
Titans (-4) over J’Ville
Did thee loss of Pacman inspire this team to their 6-2 start? Nah. But, it hasn’t been VY’s passing that has gotten them so good so fast, and the improved play of LenDale White isn’t it either. This defense, led by veteran Keith Bullock has just been beastly, and Jacksonville presents no problem they can’t solve. Go Titans.
Green Bay (-6) over Minnesota
I really think that Adrian Peterson and his back up band are going to cover this week, but I can’t in good faith take the Vikes when they dock wide receiever Troy Williamson a game check for missing Sunday’s game to attend the funeral of his grandmother, who pretty much raised him his whole life. He had to organize the funeral, set up travel arrangements for siblings and family, and consequently missed the romp over San Diego. About the fine (which the NFLPA is going to rightfully appeal), Williamson said, “I don't care if they would have [taken] my pay for the rest of the year, I was going home.” Good for him, bad for the Vikings, because the football gods tend to punish heartless organizations.
Cincy (+4) over Old Browns
Chris Henry plays his first game after his suspension by the Shield. Odds are, this is also going to be his last game before the next suspension.
Dallas (-1.5) over New Jersey A
Should be the best game of the day; the Giants pass rush has been impressive, but their secondary is still suspect. Tony Romo, armed with his new contract, should tear this team apart. And I still have no faith in Eli.
Detroit (-1) over Arizona
Wait a minute. A 6-2 team is visiting a 3-5 team, and only giving up one point? Wow. I love that everyone has adopted the Lions as a good football team, and keeps thinking that the Cardinals are about to turn the whole history of the franchise around. Oh, and you know that one bad team that sneaks into the playoffs every year, and gets blown out in the wild card weekend? Let’s just say I can’t WAIT to bet against the Lions. If gambling were legal. Or something.
Chicago (-3.5) over Oakland
I have no legitimate reason for picking this way, except for the fact that Teenage Coach Lane Kiffen has decided to announce that they will kick to Devin Hester. Hmm…he’s their only scoring threat, so you decide to put the ball in his hands. Kids these days.
Indy (-3.5) over San Deigo
Cue another postgame LDT breakdown after getting embarrassed by a far superior team on Sunday night in front of a national audience. I can’t wait to hear the Marty chants long into the night.
Seattle (-10) over San Fran
Ew. Yuck. Yawn. I hope there’s a good NBA game on Monday night.
Nov 7, 2007
- Adrian Peterson rushed for 296 on Sunday, cementing his place in NFL history in his first season. He’s in the record books as the all time single game rusher in his eighth NFL game ever, supported by no passing game, on 30 carries. There’s nothing funny about this at all. It’s just amazing.
- Celtics are what we thought they were. Very. Very. Good.
- Greg Maddux collected his record 17th Gold Glove…and if he doesn’t go to the Hall as a Brave, I may kill someone. Same goes for you Mr. Glavine.
- Either LSU or Oregon will beat the pants off of a very so-so Ohio State come National Title time.
- Knowshon Moreno… Knowshon Moreno… Knowshon Moreno… Knowshon Moreno…
- Brian Billick or Ray Lewis: Baltimore front office: who ya wit?
- ARod/Kobe watch…yeah right.
- Josh Smith dropped 18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks. When his contract runs out, and he bolts to a contender, we’ll always have the memories.
- USC is struggling to remain mediocre. Notre Dame is terrible. In a related note, birds are singing more, the sun seems to be brighter, and all in all life is on an upswing.
- Don Shula…shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
- The Senators are off to the best start in NHL history. Remember the NHL? With the ice, and the sticks…
Darren McFadden dropped 321 on Spurrier last weekend, running through, around, and over the South Carolina defense. Add on the passing touchdown, and we can only pray that he doesn’t end up on the Patriots. “Didn’t Goodall take away their first rounder for Spygate?” you may be thinking. Yes, he did. But, the Terminators have San Francisco’s first rounder, which is looking to be a high one.
Oh, and about Armageddon?
"Now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
Nov 6, 2007
“Not so fast, my friend.”
- Lee Corso, every fall Saturday I can remember in my life
Bet you’re wondering why I lead an NBA story with a quote from the most annoying man in college football. Well, since this summer started, we have been inundated with stories of how the Boston Celtics had bounced back from their cursed 2006-2007 season. Don’t believe there was a curse? Franchise patriarch Red Auerbach died just days before the season tipped off, just after the Celtics announced that for the first time in history, they would have cheerleaders (dancers, whatever gyrating females are called in the NBA) at home games. I’m not saying that’s why they were bad (Doc Rivers) I’m just saying it’s suspicious.
All summer, stories have run about the resurgence in ESPN the Mag, Sports Illustrated, Slam, Home and Garden, you name it. And throughout all these publications, someone has green-lit (haha) the use of the phrase “The Big Three.” Now, those of us who know anything about basketball know that The Big Three were Bird, McHale and Parrish, the nucleus of the 80’s Boston Celtics that collected 2 titles in three years. So far, this three of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen have looked good: Allen leads the team in scoring at 25 ppg, with Pierce chipping in 20. Garnett is doing his part, leading the team in rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. But, there is a serious road block in the way of anointing them the “New Big Three”:
They’ve played two games.
I’ve heard two other, more appropriate names, and want to break down the two.
Perfect GPA: I like the message it sends to the kids, emphasizing scholastic excellence.
Instilling good values and morals in children…that’s what the NBA does, because the NBA Cares. But, I think it detracts from the REAL message here: that nothing matters more than the show, and people all over the country will sell out arenas to see them play…bringing me to my favorite of the nicknames.
The PGA Tour: It’s got everything: the obvious money draw, the promise of entertainment, the basketball tradition of updating something old into something new (Run-TMC, etc.). plus, they can even refer to road trips as golfing events: a tough West coast run through the three Texas teams might be the Masters, while a trip including, I don’t know, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Portland would be akin to the Chrysler Open. Or something.
The PGA Tour: IT’S FANNNNNNNNTASTIC!!!
Nov 1, 2007
Who ya wit???
Gonna save that pick for last. Home teams still in bold, kiddies.
Washington (-3.5) over New Jersey Snitches
After that embarrassing loss to the Terminators last week, the Redskins need someone to take it out on. And who else to punish than the team and coach who got the Terminators mad in the first place. Blow OUT.
Green Bay (+2.5) over Kansas City
Oh, I don’t feel good about that. But, this kind of feels like one of those seasons where Favre wins about 5 extra games he shouldn’t for no real reason, right? Has he used all those games yet? Did Monday night count as 2?
Tampa Bay (-3.5) over Arizona
Everyone is saying that the Cardinals are going to turn it around down the stretch, but that makes no sense to me. Is it the overpowering (3.8 ypc) running game? Is it the 1-3 road record? What? What am I missing?
Tennesee (-4) over Carolina
Old man Vinny is going to be involved again this week. G’night Vinny.
Atlanta (-3) over San Francisco
Actual text message between me and my friend Chip Gold:
Me: You aren’t going to believe this, the Falcons are actually favored this week.
Chip: That’s impossible; we already had our bye week.
New Orleans (-3.5) over J’Ville
Damn you Drew Brees for sabatoging my fantasy season. Sure, I’m doing okay without you, but I’d be doing a sight better if I hadn’t jettisoned you for ten cents on the dollar when you were stinking up my roster.
Detroit (-3) over Denver
Everyone (even the Packers) can run on Denver. Kevin Jones is a pretty good running back. Hmmmmmmmmmm….Oh, and just so you don’t think you’re dreaming, after this week, there could be a 6-2 team and a 7-1 team in the NFC North, and neither one would be the Chicago Bears.
Buffalo (-2) over Cincy
Why when people talk about great quarterbacks in the NFL today, the lists always goes: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer. What the hell? He hasn’t even sniffed the second round of the playoffs in his career, and the other two have rings. Am I taking crazy pills?
San Diego (-7) over Minnesota
Maybe the Chargers aren’t as bad as I originally thought. Maybe Brad Childress had a stroke, since that is the only reason that he wouldn’t give Peterson the ball more times per game.
Cleveland (-1) over Seattle
The Browns might actually be good. And this Seahawks team is awful. Any other division, they’d be playing for draft picks. In the NFC West, they’re leading by 2 games. Remarkable.
Oakland (-3) over Houston
I have no idea. Just feels right.
Dallas (-3) over Philly
Really want to believe that McNabb is back in fighting shape, but I just can’t. Not even in Philly. Not even at night. Sorry.
Pittsburgh (-9) over Baltimore
Divisional game, two allegedly good teams. And this spread should be much bigger.
Okay, as far as the Main Event goes, I’ll say this: The Colts have been running better than the Pats all year, and their defense has looked great from the get go. The return of Richard Seymour might have an effect, but both o-lines have been lights out so far. Marvin Harrison is questionable, and last week showed that the Pats defense is not so much old, as experienced, and ready to take every other team out of their game plan. It’s amazing that the undefeated, defending Super Bowl champs are getting 5.5 points at home. It’s even more amazing that I’m picking against them.
New England (-5.5) over Indianapolis
(“Crank Dat Soulja Boy”, if you’re curious)
Annoying Friend: You realize that it’s like 2 days into the season, and you’ve had nothing to say about the NBA yet?
DP: What do you care, you said all my opinions are shit?
AF: They are, its just that how can I mock you down the line, if you don’t make your predictions that will undoubtedly be wrong?
Idiot that I am, I realized that he’s right; not only that everything I say will be wrong, but that I needed to bite the bullet and do this. Real life has gotten hectic, and each of the last two nights, I have thought that I would go to bed early, winding down by watching some of my first love, the Association, in action.
I had forgotten how worked up I tend to get.
Sure enough, I stayed up for the late game, both nights, and realized something already about this very young season. For everything that has remained the same (the Spurs are the best, Melo is a beast, Agent Zero hits buzzer beaters, Mavs look good…for now, the rest of the Cavs are still spectators), just as many things have changed. Some for the better (AI: 25 pts, 14 dimes, Rashad Lewis in the East, Jerry Sloan using AK-47), some for the worse (LBJ: 10 pts, 0 in the 1st half, Kobe booed at home, injury riddled Kings line-up) and some just befuddling (No more ‘The LeBrons’ commercials? C’mon Nike!).
Before getting to 2007-2008 season predictions, here are some logical, well thought out predictions that explain my rankings:
- If the Nuggets stay healthy, look for them to make some real noise at the top of the West. The added rebounding and defense of K-Mart along with the returning Defensive POY (Camby) gives the most dynamic scoring tandem in the Association a solid front line.
- Mark Cuban was right all along. Not so much a prediction as a fact, still fun to see in print.
- Kobe is going no where. Between what teams would have to sacrifice to get him, and his no-trade clause, where ever he would end up, would be turned into the Lakers East (there’s no way Buss would let him stay in the West).
- Penny Hardaway made the team in Miami. They will back into the playoffs, if at all.
- The LEast/West gap will shrink, since the East got better all over, and the West just got more top-heavy, with more bad teams cropping up.
- The Cavs will be nowhere near the Finals, since they upgraded nothing around Mr. James.
- Boston won’t make the Finals; through no fault of the Big Three, but because Doc Rivers still has to pilot this ship.
- The decline of the Mavs starts…NOW.
- Jim O’Brien will trick the Pacers into drinking the Kool-Aid, O’Neal will stay, and they will contend in the Central.
- The Hawks will be good. (Hey, they can’t all be right... )
Confernce by Conference Breakdown
Rankings based on total wins, not eventual playoff seeding.
LEastern Conference (until they prove otherwise)
12. New York
2. New Jersey
9. Golden State
1. San Antonio
Chicago over Boston
San Antonio over Denver
San Antonio over Chicago…or whoever else gets in their way.
I haven’t written a single word about these ‘Finals’ since everyone went ahead and re-crowned Mr. James last week. In watching the final four games of the Leastern Conference Finals, I felt myself tempted to fall into the teeming masses, to sip the champagne and gold Kool-Aid the LeBrons were serving, wondering if Kal-El would stick as a nickname. Then, I remembered who they were to be playing in a little under a week’s time…and promptly dropped my cup. I sat back and watched the talking heads debate, and argue what chance this poor team actually had against the Spurs, the cream of the playoffs this year. I was wrong about the Pistons being the better team, as they fell apart at the seams, and sat back and watched while LeBron ascended into the sphere of NBA transcendent talent. I was wrong about Mr. James’ ability to dominate not only a game, but also a series. 25 straight points to end game 4? 29 of the last 30 of his team’s points? Really? No hard fouls? Couldn’t you at least get in his way? I was right, however, about the weakness of the Least, and the talent gap between the two conferences. I was right about LeBron still needing to understand when and where to take over a game (Games 1 and 2 of the Finals) and when to let the others carry the load (Game 6 of the Conference Finals). But most easily, I was right about the San Antonio Spurs. No matter who they’re playing, they remain unfazed, undeniable, and, most importantly, themselves. The Spurs just keep being the Spurs.
2-0 doesn’t begin to describe how one-sided this series has been thus far. LeBron has proven that the Conference Finals cannot truly define a player, something most of us knew, but had forgotten. The Finals are where legends are born, not the Semi-Finals. We are all again Witnesses, but not to the arrival of the boy that would be King, but more for the coronation of the dynasty that is the Spurs. Since Tim Duncan’s arrival, this franchise has been a consistent presence deep into the playoffs, year after year. Who else can you say that about in recent memory? Exactly. And the scariest part is, in the first two games, he hasn’t been his team’s most outstanding player. Sure, he continuously posts spectacularly solid stat lines, (last night: 23 pts, 9 rebs, 8 asts), but the single most impressive player through the first two games has been the little Frenchman that could, Tony Longoria. While I applaud the gratuitous shots of his future housewife, I’ve got to celebrate his on-court performance even more. At one point last night, he caught a pass, with a wide open top of the key jumper available to him. Instead of taking the easy shot, he chose to drive the traffic-filled lane, and drop in a running floater, which danced around the rim, eventually falling. Smart basketball play? Hell no. But, given the hot hand he’s shown thus far, who can really blame him?
Now, all you Cleveland fans, I want you to repeat after me, slowly. Ready?
The – Spurs – are – not – the – Pistons.
Let that sink in. Seriously, get a glass of water, take a deep breath, say a little prayer. Just let it get all the way to your core, so that any visions of the run ya’ll put up against Detroit can be quietly put to bed before Robert Horry and co. force you back to Earth. Flip Saunders is not on the opposing bench, Rasheed Wallace is not patrolling the lane, and Chauncy Billups is not running point. You’re facing down an all-world coach in Greg Popovich, a legitimate candidate for Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) at his position in Tim Duncan, and a point guard who is lightning out of a bottle, Tony Parker. Well, what should Cleveland fans do now? Exactly what your team appears to be doing so far; be happy to be there. Bottle your hopes of a win, or even an overly competitive series, and enjoy the ride. Be glad you’re in the Finals, and hope that no one gets hurt too badly. Shake off the memories of Miami’s miracle 3 in a row at home from last year, Tim Duncan is most certainly not Dirk Nowitzki, and Big Z is no Shaq. Denny Green told us months ago that, “If you want to crown ‘em, crown ‘em.” He meant the Bears, but I’m crowning the Spurs, and maybe doing something I never thought I would: I’m not making any predictions (because we’ve all seen how that turns out), but if things continue as they are, we might be seeing our first French Finals MVP.
I will now Phil Leotardo myself under a car.
I guess it's still funny...