Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NBA Playoffs - Clipped

The NBA playoff plate is sizzling!


In not so distant past when I used to be a Los Angelion, the Lakers were having their dream run as Phil Jackson, a.k.a PJ, unleashed the Zen wearing his trademark slippers. Somehow PJ makes things work when it is near impossible to even show up every day without losing your basic sense of sanity. Yet his place as the greatest coach of all time is repeatedly questioned. His methods might seem unconventional, borderline butt of wise cracks and quite rightly so but you get to see the results yourself. Behind his Zen mask lives a conjurer, an astute, supremely down to floor intellect that goes beyond the right way. Never mind. Enough digression.

The Zen-men in all those years ridiculed the opponents with amazing ease, consistently delivering when it matters and in the process broke a million hearts billion times - particularly if your address is in the Cowbell County.

And nobody really, really, really cared about the Clippers and serious Clippers fans couldn't even claim having a good day in their life. Believe me, owner Donald Sterling committed the biggest heist of his life -- for him the franchise brought millions to his already big fat pot and yet he did nothing to show he cares. Let's just say that he is the living proof that you can get away with almost anything in LA.

The times surely they are a-changin'. So much that, the transmogrified Clippers are not only enjoying their best times in 30 years -- turning the habitual sighs and groans into chuckles and smiles -- but are showing signs of becoming the focal point in the postseason. Of course, Clippers being Clippers, they are still owned by Donald and managed by Elgin Baylor (but let's forget that for now).

Flash forward - Game Two: Clippers vs Nuggets

Right now Clippers have a lead 62-37 and Mike Dunleavy is looking like he has been promised a new head with hairs that are never going to fall again. His furious counterpart is now hoping for a quick technical to spare himself the embarrassment-in-waiting over the remaining 18 minutes and 15 seconds.

TNT's David Aldridge is in a quick courtside chat with Billy Crystal. Billy goes, "We had so many tough seasons" What? You call them tough? Just tough?! I don't get it, may be that's Billy's way of making fun of Donald.

The Clippers' Shaun Livingston had a breakaway and analyst Doug Collins almost ran out of words. Honestly, with Doug, the fun in watching a ball game increases exponentially. Why can't there be more like him? I guess it is like asking why there is only one Einstein. (Ok, that was pushing the analogy a bit too far, but you get the point.)

This game looks safely tucked inside my hip-pocket.

The TNT crew went crazy. It's a Donald Sterling close up. You can even count the wrinkles! Why are we forced to watch a Donald Sterling close up for seven seconds? I always thought this is a land of law. But guess I am wrong. Even Elgin Baylor is getting kudos for putting together this bunch. See, I am telling you the "Free Kandi" days are finally over.

Even the Clipper girls are getting noticed. May be some of them can find a date now.

Game Update: End of the game quote from "Sam-I-Am," Sam Cassell: "Clippers, baby!"

Playoff Round One

The series:

... making your family yawn: Pistons plowing the Bucks in four (let's get over it with real quick, please)

... showing consistent flashes of future: Cavaliers casually dispatching the Wizards in six (unless "The King," LeBron James, decides he can do it all by himself).

... turning remotely interesting: Heat burning the Bulls in five.
The series generating enough subplots only to die in about 34 seconds: Spurs spurning the Kings in five (Here I can be flat out wrong about five - this could go to seven. The only relevant word is "Artest").

... potentially causing changing your pick every other game: Nets netting the Pacers in seven.

... that would go down in history as 2006 liberation from the clutches of destined for doom: Clippers clipping the Nuggets in five.

... that I wouldn't be watching: Mavericks manhandling the Grizzlies in four.

... to watch: Lakers zenning the setting Suns.

More MVP Musings

Kobe kObe koBe kobE

The "K-O-B-E FOR MVP" noise became louder every day in the last couple of weeks. Yikes! May be it's just me - the last three minutes of the 81 point game is a classic Kobe who is all about himself. Sorry, I can't even raise a finger for someone who has so little respect for the game. But I agree as Blogcritics' Adam Hoff pointed out -- he has a shot winning it this season.

That Chauncey's name appears in the short list of everyone is in my opinion a reflection of his contribution to the Pistons' success. He is again a fantasy case that people love to toy with but deep down they know his chance of winning the MVP is as much as that Rafael Araujo's. Zero. Sorry, Pistons fans. You got a great city and a fantastic franchise. Be thankful.

Credit LeBron for getting the Cavaliers this far. He has only handful of flaws, particularly his defense and clutch shooting (but who doesn't?). But MVP? Not yet.

The antonym for Dirk Nowitzki is defense. Mark Cuban won't agree. But his favorite pastime is to disagree -- which is OK given that he wears a blue T-shirt and waves hands like a stranded hitchhiker.

My pick: Dwyane Wade. You don't think so?

Reality order: Kobe, Nash, LBJ.

By the way, Messiah sounds precariously close to a combination of "Mess" and "Isiah." It may not be a coincidence after all.

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At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Pratyush said...

It is good to see the Clippers do well. I am a huge fan of Dwayne Wade. Would love to see it happening some day. :)

hopefully will catch much more NBA now with Champions League finals 20 days later.

At 11:22 PM, Blogger QbiT said...

PK: Yes it is good to see the Clippers finally turning the tide. I feel quite pleased- I know from my experience in LA what is it like to be Clipper fan.

This year's playoffs have terrific match ups. Don't miss out.

At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Pratyush said...

Okay dude. Haven't been able to catch any action so far but my sporting focus should now be on the playoffs...

How is it like to be a Clipper fan living in LA? :)

At 1:00 AM, Blogger QbiT said...

PK: You got me there - in one word - traumatic. May be I will write an entire post some day. It was like Clippers who?

For pure fun, the Suns-Lakers series is a must see. Close second Clippers-Nuggets and Spurs-Kings.

I know you are a Wade fan and he is my choice for MVP too (although Nash grabbed the award one more time) - but don't expect the Bulls-Heat series to be a good one.

Heat games will become more exciting from the next round.

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Pratyush said...

Thanks for the brief up. I am nicely pepped for the forthcoming playoffs matches now. :)


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