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2013 NBA Finals

We’re headed for the result I most wanted to avoid: a Spurs vs. Heat Finals. Despite being a Spurs fan, as a practical person, I chose the Grizzlies to come out of the Western Conference Finals. The Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph duo was clicking, Tayshaun Prince completed a lockdown wing tandem with perennial defensive force, Tony Allen, and Michael Conley was climbing the elite point guard ladder higher than the memory of Greg Oden. No one loved the Rudy Gay export more than me. Not only were the Grizzlies suddenly a complete team that could again live up to their GRINDHOUSE moniker, they’re also two years removed from thwarting a dominant Spurs team in the first round. In the Spurs’ defense, after pummeling a Lakers team that wouldn’t have done better with Kobe in the lineup, then subduing the Warriors in Stephen Curry’s coming out party, they managed to cruise like witches on brooms against their hardest test out of the West; and no, the Thunder wouldn’t have fared better, the Spurs would’ve exploited the Harden hole to no end. Given a week to rest before the Finals, are the Spurs the undercover favorites regardless of who comes out of the East?

The Knicks were primed to surprise the Heat after Miami’s soft schedule over the hapless Bucks and feisty Bulls. After their series with the Pacers, I can’t fathom a New York championship with Amar’e Stoudemire on the payroll, or built around Carmelo Anthony’s potential. On the otherhand, the Pacers aren’t ready; after stealing and relinquishing home court advantage, they’re going to learn about missed opportunities the hard way. If not New York, then Memphis was primed to give Miami their hardest trial en route to repeating as Champions. Flash back to the 2007 NBA Finals with me, when the Spurs met a young Lebron James, and rode Tony Parker to their fourth title; this is not the same Lebron, nor are these the same Spurs. A trivial piece of history that separates Tim Duncan from his contemporaries, namely Shaq, Kobe, and Lebron, is the fact that he has never lost an NBA Finals. I personally find meaning in unblemished journeys through the Promised Land. I would personally prefer Tim Duncan lose in the Conference Finals, rather than the Finals, simply to preserve this distinction. As the underdog, more important than earning a fifth ring, these are the stakes I am most aware of.

Of course, should the Pacers improbably earn their title shot, I’ll be celebrating Tim Duncan’s untainted record immediately. Not sure how you begin to word such an unlikely alternative future: The revenge of George Hill? Frank Vogel out coaches Greg Popovich? Roy Hibbert learns to be agile while chasing Tony Parker? Or the Pacers suddenly win four games against a team they’ve only beaten three times in eleven years? In closing, I need the Neilsen television ratings for the Style segments after every game, I can’t be the only one who prefers Lifetime movies.

NBA All Star Weekend

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The actual game started 45 minutes after its scheduled 8 pm start; rightfully, some in-game booing remained from the preceding Sears Entertainment Showcase. Every stoppage in play provided an excuse for Kia, All State, and whoever Kyrie Irving ages for, to advertise with a musical act. Excessive theatrics and commercials aside, the game itself was very touchy; the frequency of airborne players getting shoved deterred the star power. For perspective, even Kobe Bryant passed up open jumpers, so you know.

Commentators have long insinuated that an All Star Game player agreement exists to defer to the host. Knowing this, was it me or did James Harden, Houston Rockets star, act like a prima donna? He walked the ball up and generally looked frustrated coming off the bench again. Bosh didn’t appreciate being embarrassed either, which could have been another Houston connection problem. I tried switching to the D-League All Star Game between acts, only to be reminded of the talent gap; ultimately skipped the final quarter, and imagine the final two minutes of play dragged on for half an hour.

At least the three point contest remained somewhat pure after all of these years. When I heard Terrence Ross ASK Jeremy Evans to keep the final round of the Dunk Contest prop free, my choice was made for me; of course this request was made before Evans trotted out a painting of himself. This year’s dunk field was so impressive on paper, that last year’s winner, Jeremy Evans, should have been the worst dunker of the bunch. Even though we were robbed of a Terrence Ross vs Gerald Green Finals because of the lame East vs. West gimmick, James White’s dejected face was gold! Also, if we must allow multiple attempts, then at least subtract a point per missed dunk from the dunker’s final score! Jason Richardson remains the best All Star Game dunker after Vince Carter, followed by Gerald Green, Andre Iguodala, and Terrence Ross in some order.

I should have watched the bad zombie television show instead… If you’re wondering who won what contest this weekend, then you’ve missed the point; we all lost.

2012 NBA Finals G5 Recap

G4 coverage was unnecessary, whoever took a 3 – 1 series lead would inevitably close out at home. Last year the Thunder were my choice to win it all this year, then the season began tailor made for the Heat, and two weeks ago the Spurs were suddenly my predominant choice. Ultimately, I chose the Miami Heat to win this series, and I really didn’t want Durant to have this loss on his resume; alas, what follows are my game notes in reverse order.

  • #nbafinals @miamiheat may not have beaten the world, but I will respect their claim as world champions until USA loses another world tournament
  • #nbafinals G5 final @miamiheat 121 / @okcthunder 106
  • #nbafinals no doubt, Lebron James is the Finals MVP, one more and he historically puts Kobe Bryant in his rear view
  • #nbafinals garbage time resembles the @nba development league showcase
  • #nbafinals Eddy Curry will receive an NBA Championship ring, the shame…
  • No joke, may watch Nashville on @abc, always intrigued by the makings of an original drama
  • ‏@Jaxn_CEO Kevin Durant is a great scorer. Not defender, not passer, not leader. Retweeted by Jorene Rene
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat up twenty six with a minute left in the third, tuning out for a bit, unlike @okcthunder, to be productive
  • #nbafinals new G5 catchphrase, @miamiheat blocks Westbrook!
  • #nbafinals when Bosh shoots imaginary bullets your way after knocking down a three pointer, then takes a foul on the other end #gameover
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat up nineteen with four minutes left in the third, @okcthunder making off-season plans
  • #nbafinals Van Gundy and I are looking to each other wondering about these calls, let them play ball refs
  • #nbafinals last @okcthunder possession ended with Sefalosha to Ibaka for the shot #losing
  • #nbafinals lead down to five, lead up to eleven, @miamiheat lead remains the constant
  • #nbafinals play resumes with a three from Durant, commentators immediately suggest a comeback… #unnecessary
  • #nbafinals G5 half @miamiheat 59 / @okcthunder 49
  • Sneaker commercials are the worst, random numbers that may or may not be statistics, and comical graphics with a catch phrase #gameon
  • #nbafinals we’re finally calling moving screens on Perkins? He almost carried Chalmers out to mid-court on the last possession.
  • @brittquita Mike Miller is already back from the dead, any performance is already astounding for him
  • #nbafinals these James Harden bailouts and flops are doing nothing to counter his memorable backdrop to Kobe’s summer game winner
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat up seventeen following a run of three pointers and excellent defense
  • #nbafinals Bosh is making a bid for best big man in this game, at least for the night, Serge Ibaka had that title locked up until now.
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat Bosh is playing like a big man tonight, Wade is scoring from mid-range, Lebron is playing lock down defense #winners
  • #nbafinals Kevin Durant can’t buy a basket, Lebron James won’t sell him one.
  • #nbafinals G5 Q1 @miamiheat 31 / @okcthunder 26
  • #nbafinals Durant pulled off a Tracey McGrady poster to end the quarter… poor Tracey McGrady, getting backhanded compliments.
  • #nbafinals if Norris Cole makes the post game podium wearing a ridiculous outfit with that haircut, then @tumblr may explode.
  • #nbafinals know how I can tell these players don’t play street ball? We don’t give up on the foul, no and ones, and they wouldn’t even count
  • #nbafinals not proud or ashamed to admit this, early during the season I had suggested Norris Cole would win Rookie of the Year…
  • Just watched a Spanish language @ford commercial with captions during an #nbafinals break, couldn’t be prouder of our progress.
  • Advance tickets are on sale for The Dark Knight Rises, which isn’t in theaters until July 20th, what has the world come to?
  • #nbafinals Chris Bosh is playing like a big third, the lower third, a third nonetheless.
  • #nbafinals why is Kevin Durant guarding Mario Chalmers? Another reason to give Lebron the ultimate respect, he steps up on both ends.
  • #nbafinals Lebron James, coast to coast, and the foul… like it’s already raining @miamiheat confetti
  • @Jaxn_CEO and master flopper James Harden hasn’t even entered yet, the court is about to get damp
  • #nbafinals alley layup for Dwyane Wade, he’s not the same from even a year ago, effective just the same.
  • #nbafinals remember when Mario Chalmers was busted for smoking pot right after he was drafted? Now he’s Super Mario #high
  • #nbafinals we’ve officially come to expect every Shane Battier shot to drop, not unreasonable following his play this series.
  • #nbafinals already see the @okcthunder strategy, get Durant started early, except Durant is not a killer, or a point guard #turnover
  • #nbafinals Kevin Durant leads @okcthunder in talent, Russell Westbrook has lead by example, stop disrespecting that man.

2012 NBA Finals G3 Recap

* in reverse order

  • #finals final @miamiheat 91 / @okcthunder 85
  • #finals leaving Westbrook wide open is the best defensive play possible, he comes to play with pressure only #kryptonite
  • #finals @miamiheat found a solution to that Kevin Durant isolation play on the left block, part of it is simply all world Lebron defense.
  • #finals Thabo Sefalosha dunked on Dwyane Wade in reverse after picking his pocket… @okcthunder back within one
  • #finals two minutes left, @miamiheat up five
  • #finals Durant couldn’t expect to get that charge called, he needs another year to man up, especially with that kind of length.
  • #finals if you’re an @okcthunder fan and you’re not tight that Durant didn’t try for the block there, then you’re not a basketball fan.
  • #finals Chris Bosh perfectly displayed butter fingers, ruined the perfect Lebron James assist, is equalizing the Westbrook liability.
  • @bringmedabir in support of the @miamiheat, I totally agree with this sentiment, please put the ball in Westbrook’s hands, and not Harden’s.
  • #finals like game two, Durant misses another pair of free throws, would call the game over in favor of @miamiheat if not for James Harden
  • #finals one more quarter to go, @miamiheat up two at home, waiting on that one play… #thekilling
  • #finals this is an impossible amount of three point fouls committed, very original method for cutting this lead down to three.
  • #finals @okcthunder lead has grown to eleven, @miamiheat need shooters to connect against this zone defense
  • #finals not sure why teams don’t zone against @miamiheat more often, Scott Brooks is becoming an elite coach.
  • #finals @okcthunder up nine, their third quarter runs continue
  • @brittquita my money would be on Stern, the Ric Flair comparisons are uncanny.
  • #finals halftime David Stern has been the @nba commissioner since I was a ONE YEAR OLD #retire
  • @Jaxn_CEO three time scoring champion, Durant is an offensive beast, no one is going to shut down Lebron except for Lebron.
  • #finals half @miamiheat 47 / @okcthunder 46
  • #finals Shane Battier is channeling the spirit of B.J. Armstrong and Steve Kerr to perfectly compliment Lebron and Wade.
  • If only Stallone, Norris, and Schwarzenegger made The Expendables in their prime… It’s sort of sad watching them try to look active.
  • #finals Durant exchanges words with Wade? Saw him take out the mouthpiece and everything, then he promptly turns the ball over…
  • #finals Nick Collison has played 4 minutes, scored 2 points, and committed 3 fouls; new favorite @okcthunder player thanks to @brittquita
  • #finals blocking foul after the pass AND change of possession? #unprecedented
  • #finals Van Gundy quote, Nick Collison’s intangibles include proudly raising his hand to take responsibility for committed fouls.
  • #finals remember when you knew game one was over because Nick Collison was dunking left and right? Mike Miller just scored at the rim…
  • @brittquita that bad Adam Sandler movie looks like a parody of a bad Adam Sandler movie. Retweeted by @jorenerene.
  • #finals for the smaller team on the court, and against a younger team, @miamiheat are dominating the offensive glass early.
  • #finals Serge Ibaka has a mid range jumper, light touch around the rim, and just showed a hook shot; his game is smoothing out all around.
  • #finals missed the anthem and team introductions… Any Jessica Sanchez competition? More Star Wars music?
  • #finals for all the flack Russell Westbrook is receiving, his 27 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds per game averages are spectacular
  • #finals after a day spent drowning out #usopen golf on @espn radio, it’s time to absorb the @nba

2012 NBA Finals G2 Recap

* in reverse order.

  • #finals #final @miamiheat 100 / @okcthunder 96
  • #finals all together now, you can’t be clutch in a LOSS; respect the title, and give Lebron his due.
  • #finals Clutch? Minimal contact, Durant came up short at the rim; then Lebron calmly knocks down two free throws #finish
  • #finals @okcthunder are finished, calling it early, those missed chippies will prove fatal… and @kdtrey5 missing free throws. #finished
  • #finals James Harden flops once again, look at his face when he does it, LOOK AT IT!
  • #finals the @kdtrey5 dunk over Shane Battier should be under consideration for the new @nba logo.
  • #finals that awkward moment when James Harden bowls into a defensive players and looks puzzled at the offensive foul call…
  • #finals James puts up a three … sounds eerily like Carmelo puts up a three, and we know how that turns out.
  • #finals if we know Durant and Sefalosha can’t handle Lebron in the post, why is Lebron running isolation plays from the perimeter?
  • #finals half @miamiheat 55 / @okcthunder 43
  • About this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ2Wvmvpszs musically themed road trip @honda commercial, did they kidnap that one black child?
  • @LunaBerry3 if it were about a black family with a single conspicuous white child, then this would happen http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Woman-Shot-Chest-Brooklyn-Church-Avenue-38-Street-159134215.html
  • #finals these terrible Dark Knight Rises commercials worry me, were Batman Begins and Dark Knight commercials this bad?
  • #finals remember who called the finger wag. If Serge Ibaka averaged twenty plus a season … @blakegriffin?
  • #finals Lebron just tried to murder someone at the end of the quarter … and confirmed he is not a killer.
  • #finals someone finally told Lebron that he is simply stronger than Durant #KRYPTONITE
  • #finals that double flop was special, @wwe special.
  • #finals Serge Ibaka should learn to wag a finger, go full on Mutombo #whenwillyoulearn
  • #finals even on a miss, Wade already exhibited more energy than his entire game one effort.
  • #finals in case you missed it, spoiler alert, #uncledrew is @kyrieirving
  • #finals that American anthem rendition dragged, like Jessica Sanchez issued a challenge… that Sara Evans failed.
  • #finals about to change my ringtone to this Star Wars theme, it’s that serious.

2012 NBA Finals Game One Recap

* In reverse order.

  • #nbafinals is Lebron James TRULY destined to be the @nba Jim Kelly? #fb
  • #nbafinals game one deciding factor besides the starters, Nick Collison > Chris Bosh.
  • #nbafinals agreed, game is over once Nick Collison bangs on you. Congratulations on game one @okcthunder
  • #nbafinals Pat Riley is tight, and Lebron James has left the building.
  • #nbafinals Lebron is disappearing in the fourth while Durant comes alive, problem…
  • #nbafinals good finish Lebron, I’d call that a travel if I were rooting for @okcthunder
  • #nbafinals finally, Wade gets a foul shot, in the third quarter, thanks.
  • #nbafinals someone check the foul numbers while I protest the rest of the third quarter.
  • #nbafinals why do the referees keep rewarding Sefalosha for missing dunks?
  • #nbafinals EVERYONE but Wade is getting a call, this is getting out of hand; that’s how referees allow a run.
  • @lunaberry3 asked which team deserves to win? The winner, that’s who.
  • #nbafinals looking through @nba tweets on my timeline, lots of chatter about @okcthunder despite being down at the half, is that hate?
  • #nbafinals Shane Barrier got a technical foul? The Pacquiao judges are @nba referees also?
  • #nbafinals Chris Bosh transforming into Andrea Bargnani is uncomfortably working out so far.
  • @espn centuries will pass without assembling a Dream Team to rival the original; eternity maybe.
  • #nbafinals Fisher is three for three, that’s experience; Kobe is somewhere plotting against Sessions.
  • #nbafinals Daequan Cook gets a foul called before Wade? Ball don’t lie.
  • #nbafinals can the @miamiheat get a foul called in their favor? Not like we need it, still…
  • #nbafinals Chris Bosh just committed the weakest foul of the playoffs, you are the weakest link.
  • #nbafinals who are you rooting for? I have the @miamiheat sweeping four straight. #fb
  • #nbafinals first three minutes MVP, Shane Battier
  • After watching Spoelstra’s pregame speech, he needs to stay out of the way.
  • The Star Wars introduction music and subdued announcer was special, that’s how I would want to be introduced at home.
  • Have to say, Jessica Sanchez impressed me some time ago on @youtube, she may have sole possession of the voice crown, whose her competition?
  • Before we start @nba finals coverage, let’s be sure @juneambrose will cover the post game costume designs, that’s beyond me.

Steve Nash

With the National Basketball Association’s trading deadline in our rear-view mirror, let’s confront the much ballyhooed hostage situation surrounding the idea that Steve Nash, having won two popularity contested Most Valuable Player awards, transformed the fortunes of the Phoenix Suns in the process, and at this salary strapped juncture, was owed the right to chase a championship ring elsewhere. Revisit the careers of teammates that Steve Nash’s play has supposedly transcended, including Amar’e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal, Shawn Marion, and Michael Finley; suppositions aside, has any other NBA star played with more All-Star caliber players in their career, and gotten more of a pass for not delivering a ring? Only two of the aforementioned names do not have Finals rings, and have all made annual playoff appearances without Steve Nash directing traffic, dazzling audiences, and downright being the reason for every positive outcome according to routine commentary.

While Lebron James is indignantly discussed despite having at least led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Finals, Steve Nash’s historical basketball legacy is unfairly judged in contrast due to what many perceive as loyalty; yet once we agree that earned championships are far more valuable than entertaining performances, it becomes easier to accept that Steve Nash may not have coerced his way out of Phoenix due to loyalty, his reason may have appropriately been guilt.