Tomorrow, the first round of the playoffs will finally be over as the Bucks play in Atlanta in an unprecedented game 7 that nobody could have predicted. And you know what, the Bucks will finally be on national TV for the first time, probably since Ray Allen was on the Bucks with Cassell in the 2001 playoffs.
What else is crazy besides a Bogut-less Bucks taking Atlanta to game 7? How about the Lakers' top two competitors for the Western Conference being ousted in the first round? Dallas and Denver simply didn't get it done. The Spurs woke up from outta nowhere and a Kirilenko and Okur-less Utah Jazz took out the George Karl and later on, Nene-less Nuggets. I think they missed George Karl as the team chemistry was thrown outta wack when Melo didn't point any fingers (but pretty much pointed fingers) but said he needed help out there and couldn't do it alone. Then a couple hours later, JR Smith tweeted: You play selfish you lose selfish that's all I'm saying about the game!
(Hey didn't JR Smith delete his Twitter for being a Crip?)
Couple that with four technical fouls in game 6 and I think the Nuggets didn't have a leader coach who could calm them down and get them all on the same page. See I disagree with Bill Simmons when he says that NBA coaches don't matter except for Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich, an NBA coach gets everyone on the same page and tells everyone what to do. You can't have a player coach anymore with egos and contract years. How do you think Bynum would react to Kobe telling Lamar to sub in for him. Or even Shaq reacting to Lebron telling Varejao to sub in for him? It wouldn't work. Players don't even have to like them, but they will follow orders from their head coaches. But anyways...
Game 6 of Lakers vs. Oklahoma - Lakers down by 1 with13 seconds left, Russell Westbrook just missed an open jumper from the baseline and the ball somehow gets to Kobe. He looks at the clock and does not call a time out because Westbrook was guarding him and he can shoot over Westbrook, he cannot shoot over Durant, who if they called a timeout, would guard Kobe, I'm sure. The sound of ugghhh-OOAAWWWWWWWWW!!! was a reaction to Kobe's miss and Pau's tip in with .5 seconds. Remember how in every game the announcers constantly talked about how great Serge Ibaka is going to be because he's pure raw athletic talent right now, he just needs to learn the game of basketball. I already know what his first lesson is, boxing out. Look at the video.
He stands and watches and doesn't box out Pau who goes untouched to the side of the rim to tip in the game winner. They could be playing again tomorrow if he just kept his back on Pau, but whatevs. The Lakers will now take on Utah who will be a much easier opponent than the Thunder for the simple question of, who's going to guard Kobe? Rookie, Wesley Matthews? Ronnie Price? Andrei Kirilenko says he hopes to be back by game 3, and he can play defense on Kobe but we'll see what kind of defensive stopper shows up after that calf injury. Utah has better bigs than Oklahoma in Boozer and Millsap, but they're starting Kyrylo Fesenko in the place of injured Okur. I still think the Laker bigs of Pau, Bynum (small torn meniscus, will try to play), Lamar and Ron Artest will be more than enough to play defense on these guys and score easily. I'd sayyy... Lakers in 5, losing game 3.
Portland-Phoenix series: Portland simply didn't have enough. I honestly can't believe they got 2 wins without/with injured Brandon Roy. All I know is that of the 1996 draft, Kobe, Nash and Camby are studs. You know how Camby got a 2 year extension with Portland, did you know those two years are for MORE than what he's making this year? From $7.6 mil this year to $8.4 mil next year and $9.2 mil the following year. Go ahead Camby. It's not Kobe's $30 mil in 2014 (DAMN!) but it's also not Antoine Walker's debt or Stephon Marbury playing in China. Go ahead, Camby.
Now Phoenix will take on the Spurs in a little grudge match, only Robert Horry won't have the chance to level Nash this time around. If something like that does happen again, someone tell Amare to stay in his seat, if he's on the bench, which he probably won't be cuz the Suns will need him on the floor as their only big man who scores in the paint. Someone teach Channing Frye some post moves! If I had to predict a series outcome, I'd say Suns in 6, but honestly, it could go either way.
For the record, my 1st round predictions were Lakers in 6 (right), Dallas in 5 (wrong), Suns in 4 (wrong), Utah in 5 (right but wrong amount of games), Cleveland in 4 (right but wrong game count), Magic in 4 (right), Hawks in 4 (waiting), Heat in 5 (way wrong).
Funniest moment for me so far in this playoffs: Local commentator Stu Lantz during game 4 during a Oklahoma run: "I can't understand... why the Lakers aren't making the Thunder use their athleticism... against themselves." ...uhhh WHAT?! Yeah Kobe, make Serge Ibaka jump out of the arena into the parking lot so you get a 5 on 4! Come on Fisher! Make Westbrook run so fast he keeps going and hits the announcer table at 100 mph! I seriously can't think of what he could have possibly meant by that.
And where are the Lebron/Kobe puppet commercials?