Posts Tagged ‘Derrick Rose’

Deep breath- Round 2 is here.

May 8, 2015

The first round of the NBA playoffs is all about endurance. Not just for the players, coaches and training staff who endured as many as 7 games in 2 weeks, but also for NBA fans themselves. The process of separating the basketball wheat from the chaff is painful at times and grinding at best. I’ve been a Bulls fan my whole life, and it took everything I had to watch games against the Milwaukee Bucks. By the time they finished off the young Bucks in game 6 with a 54(!!!!) point win, I had seen enough terrible passes, missed lay-ups and bricked jumpers to last a lifetime. You don’t watch sloppy basketball, you survive it.

The less than stellar quality of some of the first round matchups really brought to light how beautiful and sad the Spurs/Clippers matchup was. The biggest mistake I made in my NBA preview was discounting the Clippers’ chances. Thanks to the agreement the team has with Fox Sports San Diego, I’ve watched more Clippers games than any other team all season. I thought I had a read on them; they seemed like the type of team I wouldn’t trust in the playoffs- marvelously talented but as soft as the fancy toilet paper that doesn’t leave scraps on the bear’s butt in the commercial. After the most intense series I have ever watched, one which featured Blake Griffin eating Aaron Baynes’ soul, Tim Duncan turning back the clock to 1997 and a pro wrestling style display of mutual admiration, the Clips have earned my belated respect. After Chris Paul capped off a Willis Reed style gut check with a ridiculous one-legged floater that somehow dropped in, all I could think about was how wrong I was in misjudging them.

For the first time since the playoffs started, Thursday night had no games, which finally gave me a chance to take a deep breath and think about the other things I liked seeing in the 1st round and all the things I was looking forward to in the 2nd.


I love this game

April 17, 2015

It’s playoff time!

It’s amazing how memories can stick in our brains. My first memory in life is a hazy one of burying our dog Bo in the backyard in California. I don’t remember much about it, but I can remember being sad and hearing crickets. I’ve confirmed that this event did occur, so I’m not completely crazy, but the existence of the alleged crickets has yet to be verified.  While the memory of Bo is far from clear, my first sports memories are in HD quality. The first one is being devastated because the White Sox had lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 ALCS. My dad told me then and again in 2003, “Don’t love this team, they’ll break your heart.” The other memory that stands out is more of a series of events. From 1991-1993 I was lucky enough to experience the Chicago Bulls winning 3 straight championships, and since we didn’t have a TV at this time, this meant that I was lucky enough to watch the games with my dad at Flakey Jake’s; a local bar and restaurant in Tacoma. The first 2 title runs are a little fuzzy, but I’ll always remember the 3rd. Going up against a juggernaut of a Phoenix team that had Barkley, Majerle, Ceballos and KJ, this was the one series in the title runs where I felt the Bulls didn’t have the clear edge in talent. What they did have was the best player on the planet. Jordan absolutely took over the series, averaging 41 points per game in over 45 minutes per game, including 55 points in a triple overtime thriller. The champs asserted their will over the length of the series, which culminated in token 3 point shooting white guy, John Paxson nailing the clinching jumper in the closing seconds of Game 6. . Between the video games in the lobby, spending time with my Dad and watching my favorite team cement their dynasty, this is one of my favorite sports memories of all time. The potential for these iconic moments and great memories is a big part of what makes the NBA playoffs so special to me. A lot of people don’t care much for NBA basketball, citing a lack of effort, thuggishness by players or even boredom with  the game itself. I won’t worry about that too much, because as much as I wish everyone would enjoy basketball as much as I do, if you don’t like something, no argument from me is going to change your mind.
While there are 16 teams in the playoffs, it’s widely assumed that there are 3 legitimate contenders to go along with 3 more teams that could make  run if things break the right way.
My official pick is Warriors over Cavs in 6, and while I’m excited for the playoff debuts of ‘The Brow’, ‘Greek Freak’ and Coach Brad Stevens, I’ll focus more on the contenders and what to expect from them.