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What a Wild and Strange Ride So Far

May 12, 2011

Will we see good Joshy or bad Joshy tonight? (Photo credits: bleacherreport.net and sportssmacker.com)

As dedicated readers know, the Yin Seeesters are together in Chicago this week, eating lots of things that involve some sort of bread with some sort of meat sandwiched in between (and trust me, there are a lot of things that fall into this description).  We’ve also been watching a lot of basketball and it’s time for a quick breather before tonight’s potentially heart-stopping Hawks-Bulls not-quite-grudge-but-definitely-irritation-match tonight in Atlanta.

Thoughts about the second round:

Are Celtics fans or Lakers fans more freaked out? 

Celtics have:

  • More cap flexibility (in theory) because their Big Three are on more tradeable contracts (was Bill Simmons right?  Should the Bulls have tried to sign Ray Allen?);
  • Doc Rivers for another year (probably);
  • Rajon Rondo – a definite building block for the future.

Lakers have:

  • Andrew Bynum, who will still command great interest on the trade market;
  • A weakened western conference (yes, there are still rising teams but the Spurs are weaker and all future paths to the Eastern Conference finals will likely run through the Heat);
  • Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom – a healthier Kobe will probably come back fired up because he’s pissed that doesn’t have a second 3-peat to tie him with Jordan.  It’s too bad Jerry Buss can’t take footage from inside the Laker lockerroom and make a reality show out of it because that’d probably help offset this year’s hefty luxury tax bill.  Oh wait, Lamar and Khloe already beat him to that.

Verdict: a draw – never thought I’d see Marc Gasol play later into the post-season than Pau.

Is David Stern happy or disappointed that he hasn’t been able to fine Mark Cuban yet?

Happy because:

Disappointed because:

Verdict: Happy – David Stern wants no part of the officiating to tarnish an exciting season of NBA ball.

Would the Thunder or the Grizzlies be the more compelling opponent for the Mavs?

Thunder because:

  • Who doesn’t want to see each team’s best player shoot 3-pointers?  Especially when they’re both forwards…the defensive schemes would be ridiculous.
  • Kidd v. Westbrook – the wiley vet versus the young gunner.  Not sure that Kidd can stay in front of Westbrook but wouldn’t you like to see him try?
  • Durant v. Westbrook – is this tension healthy or a harbinger of things to come?
  • Youth v. the Fountain of Youth – the ages of the Mavs’ starting 5? 33, 32, 28, 38, and 30.  Their supersubs Peja, Jason Terry, and Barea? 33, 33, 26.  The ages of the Thunder’s starting 5? 22, 21, 26, 27, 22.  Their supersubs James Harden, Eric Maynor, and Nick Collison?  21, 23, 30.  That’s right – Jason Kidd is old enough to have fathered half of the OKC Thunder.

Grizzlies because:

  • No one has any clue how far this year’s Grizzlies will go – a Cinderella team in the truest sense of the word.
  • Z-Bo vs. Dirk – if Dirk ever wants to shake his soft label, a match-up with Z-Bo would go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.
  • Memphis is half under water and this would give the city something to brighten their days.

Verdict: Thunder – let’s be real, no one has hit 50+ points in a playoff game yet.  We’re overdue for an epic individual performance.

Are Bulls fans or Hawks fans more nervous about Game 6?

Bulls fans:

  • With the Blackhawks out of their playoffs already, the White Sox nowhere to be found, and the Cubs…right.  The Bulls are the hottest sports ticket in town.  Expectations are high.
  • The Bulls are young and still relatively untested – the team might still be another year away and no one wants a game 7 at the UC.

Hawks fans:

  • In contrast to the typically semi-empty arena during the regular season, the sellout crowd during Games 3&4 in Atlanta leads me to believe that there are a lot of Atlantans with bandwagon-itis.  Nothing spikes expectations to a feverish pitch more than a massive influx of casual fans.
  • Including playoffs, the Bulls have lost 7 games at the United Center over the course of the entire season.  Granted, one of those includes the Game 1 loss to Atlanta but the Bulls also rarely lost two-in-a-row this season and never lost more than two-in-a-row.  You may be able to knock the Bulls down every now and then but the team rebounds well after losses.
  • I would be nervous too if the success of my team depended on whether Josh Smith decides to try shooting shots from inside of 15 feet or Jamal Crawford decides to play defense.

Verdict: I have no clue.  All I know is that I would rather use Game 7 money to buy Round 3 tickets so anything that D.Rose can do to facilitate that would be great.

By the way, I’ve always wondered but now I know: Oprah Winfrey is more powerful than David Stern.

-Jocelyn

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