NBA Conference Finals: News And Notes
It's been a little while since we've gotten our basketball expertise on. But, we figured with the Heat being the odds-on favorite, it's pretty obvious that there's really nothing that could be "News and Notes" worthy. I mean, you can only write the same thing so many times. But then there was the dick kick heard round the basketball world, and then the fact that the Spurs could knock out not one, but two of America's basketball sweethearts, in the Memphis Grizzles and previously the Golden State Warriors.
The King Continues To Impress; Battier Kicks Dicks:
First and foremost, the topic of Shane Battier and his dick-kicking need to be discussed. Anyone driving an open lane, only to have a giant man-beast, per say the size of a Roy Hibbert jump out in front of them to block the shot, more than likely, you wouldn't continue the drive flailing your legs around almost purposefully destroying said big man's aforementioned nuts. Now, if you're Shane Battier, you do just this thing. Roy Hibbert. the victim of said dick kick came out yesterday saying, "Battier was a dirty player," which is totally true.
Shane Battier is the same guy who will instantly flop on a strong screen, he will take the most dangerous charge calls – sliding under the player as they've already started their lift, creating for more of an opportunity for sprained ankles or broken bones – it's one thing to take a charge when a player is driving the lane, it's a whole other deal when you're slipping in at the last minute only making it more dangerous for the other players while their airborne. There's a reason people don't play like this in pick-up games around the world. It's a dick move. Speaking of dick move, Battier may have not been purposefully going for a dick kick, but he certainly was trying to kick and injure Roy Hibbert. Battier was assessed an ordinary shooting foul. The NBA hasn't made any comments about the situation and more than likely, Hibbert will be the one who's eventually fined for his remarks about Battier. But, Battier deserved a tech and at the least should be fined by now. That won't happen though. Cause he's a "wily veteran" who "plays the game hard". Which is a load.
Look, as a huge basketball fan and pessimist, I fully expect the road to a second consecutive title for Miami to be paved in gold shit out by god himself, but that's not an excuse for "veterans" to be able to get away with whatever they want. Battier has been doing this asshole routine for a while now, and, not to wish harm to anyone but if someone like per say, Sam Young or someone were to go at Battier like he did Hibbert, some may say that it's only justice.
Now, when it comes to the basketball side of the matter, we all know who's going to win. LeBron's game winner and subsequent triple-double of 30/10/10 in game two, felt like a pre-cursor to the way the series will go. The Pacers are going to put up a fight, it's going to go six games maybe seven and the Heat, as previously stated have a road paved of gold shitted from god to the NBA Finals. Paul George could've easily defended the game-winning drive by James. Pacers' head Coach Frank Vogel, should've been playing Hibbert in the final seconds too. Mistakes like that will be the downfall of the Pacers – George can only make so many game-tying 35-foot threes. But, for Pacers fans' you have this to take away.
Remember when the Bulls were in this position? Yes, good. Because your team is usurping the Bulls, and none of your star players have a blown out ACL and a pension for cock teasing your fan base for an entire season. I'm sorry Derrick Rose and Chicago, but you slept and now there's someone new on the block.
You're Feel-Good Success Stories Mean Nothing To Us:
If sports were about being nice, and the better team always winning then the Spurs wouldn't be where they're at right now. Timmy-D and company should've been eliminated by the younger, quicker Golden State Warriors in the second round. In the first round, everyone and their mother thought that the Lakers were a great matchup for the Spurs, and no less they could beat the Spurs. They should've lost game two in overtime, but the Grizzles couldn't close out. They're like that fly that gets in your home and you just have to wait out the 24-hour life span it has for it to stop driving you insane. And catching it is about as easy and useful as sticking your hand in your own ass and calling yourself a proctologist.
I thought the 'Griz' two low-post geniuses, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol would've been too much for Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. I was wrong. The play of Michael Conley and their outside shooting is what kept the 'Griz' in game two but the fact that the 'Griz' don't have a classic "go-to" guy hurts them when games come down to the wire. The Spurs can look to Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker and hell even Tim Duncan if closing a game out in the final seconds is what you need. The 'Griz' have Conley, Gasol and to a lighter extent Zach Randolph to close out. Turning to someone like Jerryd Bayless or Tayshaun Prince isn't going to cut it. Which again the Spurs have a leg up in that too – I would have no problem going to Danny Green, Gary Neal or Kawhi Leonard in the waning seconds.
And this is what every pundit was talking about when they criticized the Rudy Gay trade. As good as the 'Griz' have gotten since trading Gay, it's still a noticeable loss when things come down to the wire. Marc Gasol was able to play hero a few times in the Thunder series, but that was against the defensive-artists formally known as Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka – guys who play close to the basket on both ends, opening up the opportunities Gasol got seeing as he can hit a J from 17 feet out. The Spurs also easily have the better coach in this scenario and an axe to grind after the 'Griz' eliminated them in 2011 as an eight-seed. It doesn't look like the 'Griz' can pull out another astonishing series victory, and yet again the Spurs will stomp on the hearts of any and all casual NBA fans who are looking for an underdog to root for.
The Silver Lining to all of this: San Antonio versus Miami for the NBA title. Where LeBron's story of redemption can come full circle against the team that once swept him in his first NBA Finals appearance. Those were the Cleveland days, so if LeBron cares, or even remembers, is still up in the air.