It's NBA Playoffs Time
by Joel Caris

Earth Day is upon us.  May is right around the corner.  Major players are riding the pine, either with an eye towards resting for the playoffs or tanking for the lottery.  Joey Crawford and Tim Duncan are about to get in a fight.  It's raining here in Oregon and I'm dumping Lo-Fi for awhile to write this NBA-centered column.  So what does all that mean?  It means it's time for some NBA playoffs.

Yes, the ridiculously long 82 game NBA season is finally drawing to a close and now we're going to get to the real basketball meat.  The 30-team league has been whittled down to a measly 16 teams, 53% of the league, the very best of the best.  That means that in the NBA, you can get an 'F' and still be considered a top team.  You've got to love that.  I wish my teachers had thought that way back in school.

Since the season is a day from being over as I write this, I'm going to aim to get a second article up on Saturday talking the specific match ups.  But those aren't quite set yet, so I'm going to throw out some random thoughts on the regular season and some general thoughts on the upcoming playoffs.

Let 'Em Fight

If you haven't heard about the Joey Crawford/Tim Duncan scuffle yet, then you're not much of a basketball fan.  Basically, Crawford ejected Duncan for laughing and challenged him to a fight.  Duncan then called Crawford a piece of shit.  God, how great is that?  It's made even more great by the fact that Crawford is suspended, won't be working the playoffs and--according to Marc Stein over at ESPN--is almost certainly done in the NBA for good.  Fucking brilliant, and I write that with total sincerity.

This little dust up has been a fun distraction from the general tanking going on as the teams fight to get Oden and Durant in the lottery and has offered up the very amusing thought of Joey Crawford--a little, bald white guy--fighting Tim Duncan.  Now, I know Duncan is fairly laid back, but I'm still going to put my money on him in that fight.  The Fanhouse differs, though, and offers up an absolutely hilarious break down of this theoretical fight.  I recommend checking it out, for the "Posse Members" comparison at the very least.

Don Nelson Wants Revenge

Okay, so let's go ahead and talk a potential playoff match up.  There's a pretty good chance that the Golden State Warriors are going to be playing the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.  It'll be known one way or another by the time this is published.  Let's just say that things do shake out as such and we have a Warriors-Mavericks series.  That has the potential to be classic.  Don Nelson apparently parted ways with Dallas on less favorable terms than has been portrayed, and there's no doubt that he, above and beyond any other coach in the league, could seriously get into their heads.  Potential supporting evidence resides in the fact that the Warriors swept the season series with the Mavs.  Yes, the Warriors beat the Mavs three times this season, which accounts for about 20% of the Mavericks' losses.  Now, granted, one of those losses happened Tuesday, when Avery Johnson rested Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse.  So that one doesn't
count.  But the other two do.  I'm not saying the Mavs will lose to the Warriors in the playoffs, but I think it could be a damn interesting series if it does end up happening.

Fuck The Lakers

They're tanking down the stretch and I'm immensely happy about it.  Fuck the Lakers, fuck Kobe Bryant, and fuck Phil Jackson.  I would have loved to see them drop out of the playoffs at the last minute, but they have their spot.  Oh well.  Watching them get trounced by Dallas or Phoenix will be nice, as well.

Thank God For Brandon Roy

Living in Portland, I have the fine distinction of being a Blazers fan.  Which was a great team to love for a long time, until things started to go terribly wrong a few years ago.  Everything really started to fall apart in the 2000 Western Conference Finals, when the Blazers collapsed in the fourth quarter of the seventh game against the Lakers.  (Fuck the Lakers.  Have I mentioned that?)  The team faded from there, then was blown up, then we had some bad management and poor decisions and Jesus fucking Christ it was a long couple years.  But then came last summer's draft and the arrival of Brandon Roy, along with LaMarcus Aldridge and Sergio Rodriguez.  Meanwhile, Darius Miles did all us Blazers fans the favor of sitting out the entire season, Zach Randolph got his act together, and there's new (great) management in town.  Lo and behold, the future's suddenly looking quite bright.

Sure, they still only won 32 games and the final stretch of the season hasn't been brilliant, but we'll have a good draft pick, new GM Kevin Pritchard will hopefully make some smart moves in the off season, and I think it's very possible we could sneak into the playoffs next year.  At the very least, I think we'll be in the hunt late into the season.  And while that's a far cry from being back to competing for a championship, I'll take it.

An Extension?  Seriously?

How fucking stupid was it for James Dolan to give Isiah Thomas an extension while the team was in the middle of the playoff hunt?  Actually, wait, let me back up.  How fucking stupid was it to give Thomas an extension at all?  Sure, he got the team playing a bit better this year, but he's still the idiot who has spent the last couple years burning down the goddamn house.  Maybe he's a decent coach, but what the fuck is Dolan doing keeping
him on as GM?  It's like a battle of the fucking idiots over there.  Since the extension, the Knicks are 3-15 and out of the playoffs.  Nice move, Dolan.  If you're a Knicks fan, you might just want to get it over with and go ahead and hang yourself.

Bonzi Wells

Ha!  Haha!  Ahahahahaha!  There's a reason we got rid of that guy here in Portland.

Can The East Win It All?

Sure.  I think the Pistons or the Bulls could maybe sneak in and win the championship.  But it's not because I think they're any better or even as good as any of the top three teams in the West, but rather that they're going to have a much easier path to the Finals.  The western teams are going to beat the shit out of each other and it's entirely possible they'll go into the Finals exhausted but facing an East team that is not nearly so tired or beat up.  And in the case, there could be a nice upset.

I don't think it will happen, though.  I think the West takes it this year, and I give the edge to the Mavericks.

And with that, I think I'll wrap it up.  As I wrote above, I'll try to sneak another article in on Saturday talking final match ups and giving my predictions, so come back to check that out.  In the meantime, use the comments to let me know if your team made the playoffs, who you expect to win it all, and who you think would win in a fight between Joey Crawford and Tim Duncan.

Joel can whoop the Sacramento Kings on his own, with one hand tied behind his back.

Joel's Bio


I miss the NBA. I used to love the Knicks and love basketball but somewhere along the line, I lost interest in this bunch of overgrown crybabies.

And fuck the Lakers, indeed.


nice tag line at the end about the sacramento kings...

you assholes....


Michele, I can somewhat relate. Not counting this season, it's been hard to follow the Blazers over the last few years, from asshole players to just crappy playing. But it's looking very up this year, so it's nice to be able to enjoy my fandom once again.

I imagine trying to follow the Knicks would be like punching yourself in the eye, repeatedly. Sadly, I'm not sure it's going to get better.

Turtle, that is a nice line, and so very true. If it makes you feel any better, though, the Blazers finished one game worse than the Kings. On the other hand, I'll still take the Blazers at this point over the Kings any day.


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