Thursday, May 26, 2011
First of all...shout-out to the OKC Thunder for making it as far as they did. Now...on to business. James Harden is good outside shooter, can handle the rock, is a good on the ball defender, and most importantly to this Thunder team; he can make plays. He knows when to attack, and when to dish off. But It's not a numbers game with Harden, averaging 13 ppg. 5 rpg. and 4apg. The homie's numbers don't jump out at you, but his floor game does. Take a look at Game 4 of the Conference Finals, Harden posted numbers of just 7 points, 7 boards, and 2 dimes, but his fouling out of the game fueled the Dallas Mavericks' furious comeback in the closing minutes of that game, because his presence on the floor means THAT much. Harden is a special player, he doesn't need to post big numbers to impact the game, him being on the floor alone changes the way the Thunder do things offensively, and it changes the way the opposing team plays D. Harden can score, but he is a great play-maker with the ball in his hands, and he has a sick handle on top of that. Like we saw in Game 5, Harden broke out with 23 Points, 6 Dimes, and 5 boards, proving at points in the game that he can be the most important player on the floor for OKC; not Durant, and not Westbrook. In his College Days, back at Arizona State, he did it all for that team, homie got buckets, was the teams distributor, and a solid rebounder, and now we're starting to see the all around game Harden possesses begin to show itself. Harden, with the exception of Eric Maynor, has showed he is the best play-maker on the Thunder team, and now it's time for him to crack the starting lineup...what say you Coach Brooks?
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Yo, I know I already gave out my playoffs award for MVP, and Dirk was my runner up, keep in mind though that I based the awards off of the first two rounds, not the East, and West finals. But...Dirk makes me want to go back. Dude is nasty, and unstoppable. Averaging just about 34 ppg. in the conference finals against OKC, including an amazing 48 point game 1, which was the best individual performance we've seen in a long time in the Playoffs, on top of another 40 point game 4, leading the MAVS to a 4th quarter comeback and OT win. The Greatest Shooting Big Man of all time continues to whisper greatness in the ears of NBA fans, and add more pages to his legacy as the face of the Dallas Mavericks. One win away from the NBA Finals...game 5 in Dallas...Dirk...I apologize for not picking you as Playoffs MVP homie...thanks for making me look like a jackass.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Yo, still handing out my awards for the 2011 Playoffs. So far you've got my Co-MVP's; D.Rose and Kevin Durant, and my "Iron Man" of the Playoffs...Rajon Rondo. Now, I give you my award for the best "Dynamic Duo." When you think of a dynamic duo, you think...Batman and Robin, Spongebob and his slightly less incompetent companion Patrick, just throwing out some random ones. But on the hardwood, you usually get duo's in the package of a guard, and a big. When you think of a great duo, you think; Stockton and Malone, Kobe and Shaq, Penny and Shaq, Magic and Kareem, Bird and McHale, Payton and Kemp, Duncan and Robinson, and then...you'll get a rare duo of two perimeter players...that's when you get something crazy special like Jordan and Pippen. Well, the basketball Gods have once again dabbled in mortal affairs, creating the best Duo of perimeter players we've seen since Jordan and Pippen. And while most hate, you don't get instant gratification with greatness, it takes time...or does it?
"AND THE WINNER(S) IS(ARE)..."
Lebron James(25 ppg. 9 rbg. 5 apg.) and Dwyane Wade(25 ppg. 7 rbg. 5 apg.) - The most hated; there is no "Batman and Robin" here; there is no, lesser companion. This duo speaks of super hero team up's straight from the pages of your favorite comic book, mirroring Justice League's Batman and Superman, or The Avengers' Captain America, and Thor, you choose. James and Wade (and Bosh) have made the Miami Heat the most hated and scrutinized team in the history of the league, and well...I think they love it. James and Wade have both averaged 25 ppg. in the playoffs while still managing to play stifling defense night in and night out. We don't need to talk about the first round (with respect to Philly) here, what we talk about is the second round grudge match against the Boston Celtics. How ironic is it that the Celtic jersey, draped in Green resembles Kryptonite; the weakness of Superman...or...Lebron James. James has never been able to get passed the Boston Celtics, the big three of bean town; Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnet (and Rondo = Big Four) has been too much in the past, and even this regular season, for James to overcome. But the playoffs were different. We finally saw James, teamed up with an equal; Dwyane Wade. The duo was too much for the Boston Celtics to handle, and Game 5 sums it all up; 34 Points by Wade, and 33 by James as the Duo took down the giant of the Eastern Conference. James finally got over the hump, knocked that big ass chip off his shoulder, how ever you want to put it. And when it was all over...the two met at center court for one of the best moments of the playoffs...#LOVE.
*Runner Up - Kevin Durant(29 ppg. 8 rpg.) and Russell Westbrook(24 ppg. 5 rpg. 6 apg.) - The young duo of the OKC Thunder have proven to be almost unstoppable in these playoffs when both are clicking on the same night. Despite some bad in game decisions by Russell Westbrook at times; taking shots away from the leagues leading scorer, the Thunder Duo has still managed to co-exist on and off the court. Durant is a pure scoring monster, how do you want it? Game winning shot, smooth mid range game, or a deep three for the dagger? And Westbrook, a freak athlete, and when he's in rhythm, playing under control, can get to the basket and finish and knock down the mid-range jumper. The young duo has got their team playing for a shot at being in the Finals...could we see a match-up of the two best duo's of the playoffs, squaring off for a shot at a title?
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Yo, if you didn't know, I'm handing out my 2011 Playoff awards, yes I know there's still games being played, but I figure we don't need game recaps like that because most of us are watching the games anyway. And if your not...turn to Sportscenter bro. But last time I hit ya'll with my Co-MVP's of the playoffs; D.Rose and Kevin Durant, if you didn't read that, get caught up. Now, I give out my "Iron Man" award. This one right here is reserved for those who fight, no matter what, the Playoffs are a battlefield, toughness is essential homie.
"AND THE WINNER IS..."
Rajon Rondo(14 ppg. 10apg.) - Rondo averaged 14 and 10 in the playoffs, but throw the numbers out the window. The caliber of toughness the homie showed in the series against the Miami Heat was that of Allen Iverson back in his glory days. A.I. used to play banged up all the time, but nothing like what we saw in Game 3 of the Celtics Heat series. With 7 minutes to go in the 3rd in Game 3...Rondo got into a mini-wrestling match with D Wade, and the end result was one of the nastiest injuries I've ever seen on TV, I was 100% sure dude's arm was broken. No cast though, one more arm sleeve later...this fool returns to the game in the 4th Quarter and leads the Celts to victory with one arm. That's real right there, and dude didn't miss any games in the series either...#HEART.
*Runner Up - Carmelo Anthony - Dude averaged 26 ppg. in the first round, including a 42 point night where his shorthanded Knicks were straight outmatched and didn't stand a chance against the Celtics. Despite losing Chauncy and Amare early in the series, Melo still tried to put NY on his back in a losing effort.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I'm not gonna' review every single playoff series individually like I did the Nuggets and Thunder, that was just the series I cared about the most besides Miami and Boston. But what we have seen thus far in one of the best NBA Playoffs in recent memory is the rise of an underdog, the 8th seed Memphis Grizzlies sent the Spurs home in the first round, and battled OKC for 7 games in the best series we've seen so far. The fall of a giant; the Dallas Mavericks sweep the Lakers with ease in the Conference Semi's. The rightful MVP, Derrick Rose becoming one of the best closers in basketball, and perhaps the most scrutinized duo Lebron James and D Wade rejoicing at center court after finally beating the Boston Celtics. But best of all, the new era of basketball is beginning to usher itself into the big picture; The Thunder, The Bulls (again), and of course the Miami Heat, join the Dallas Mavericks in a brand new pool of a complete conference finals make-over from last season. Now that we've seen our fair share of playoff basketball, aside from the soft ass techs being thrown out...it's fair to say this shit is back, the game. I've compiled a list of my playoff awards up to this point (Conference Finals), and all the numbers are playoff averages, these awards have nothing to do with the regular season. Lets start with my MVP...Enjoy homies...
"AND THE WINNER(S) IS(ARE)..."
Co-MVP's - Derrick Rose(28 ppg. 8 apg.) & Kevin Durant(29 ppg. 7 rbg.)- First is D.Rose. The regular season MVP hasn't let anybody down with the lights on in the playoffs. Homeboy was nasty in the first round as he repeatedly stole games from the Pacers single-handedly in the closing minutes to help the Bulls escape out of the first round in 5. Without the homie D.Rose, there's no way that team wins any of those close games. On top of those freaky reverse lay-ups in traffic, and all the buckets, the league MVP has went out and played game after game with injuries, dude has heart too. After suffering that nasty ankle injury against the Hawks, he still didn't miss a single game as he carried his team through the second round as well. D.Rose in one word....EXPLOSIVE. Next, Kevin Durant; best scorer in the league, hands down. First round, mainly in Games 1 and 5 against the Nuggets, KD exploded for 40+ showing he has a killer instinct that just will not allow him to let the Thunder lose if he can help it. Smooth mid-range jumpers, trey balls, and some sneaky athleticism and handle; Durant has shown it all in the Playoffs. He was also the hero in the 7 Game thrill ride against the Memphis Grizzlies. For Durant, it has to be frustrating playing with Russell Westbrooke, who at times, will take more shots than he should. Yo, it's like this, if your playing with the best scorer in the league (literally) then you shouldn't be taking more shots than him, period, especially on late possessions that determine the outcome of the game. But, nevertheless, Durant always keeps his head, and never throws Westbrooke under the bus in press conferences, the homie is the ultimate teammate as well.
*Honorable Mention - Dirk Nowitzki(29 ppg. 8 rbg.) (Zach Randolph(22 ppg. 11 rpg.)
Going into the Playoffs, I really thought the Nuggets had a legitimate shot at sending OKC fishing in 7 games, mainly because of the teams depth, 2 deep at every single position with starter-caliber players coming off the bench. But, yo...I was wrong. The OKC fans are the best in the league. When it came time for Game 1, all you saw on your TV was blue shirts bobbing up and down; crazy dedicated fans reminiscent of the "Cameron Crazies" at the Duke games. Ridiculous young talent, and fans like those create the dopest basketball atmosphere imaginable to any hooper on the planet, but it's hell for an away team. Kevin Durant, plus that College Basketball feel of the OKC "Ford Center" made for a crazy ass opponent for Denver. For the Nuggets, Ty Lawson proved he's a starting PG in the league, and Nene maintained solid play after dominating game 1. J.R. Smith also had a big game 4, which was the only game the Nuggets won, but Coach Karl refused to give Smith consistent minutes on the floor. But as we saw in Games 1 and 5, Kevin Durant showed he is hands down the best scorer in the League, the big homie refused to let the Thunder lose in the closing minutes of those games, ending up with 41 Points in both of them. Durant's scoring; the rapid emergence of Serge Ibaka in the paint as a defensive wall, aggressive play from Russell Westbrooke, and solid play off the bench from Eric Maynor and James Harden who was key on the defensive end frustrating J.R. Smith; was way to much for Denver to handle. Nobody in the league has a killer instinct like Kevin Durant...nobody.