Preach, Preacher , Preach …….. The NBA Hits Its Stride And Not Much Has Really Changed !

Preach, Preacher, Preach …….. The NBA Hits Its Stride And Not Much Has Really Changed !

As an ex-pat Brit who has now been residing is the US for now what will be 18 years on 10th August, this year. I’d like to think that I’ve now become acclimatized to the country, its nuances and a great many of its customs , up to a point. I love the passion for the sports but being that as a kid from elementary school on up , I’ve always loved sports. This particular aspect of life wasn’t really anything new to me. Though being being primarily raised by a single mother with two younger siblings. My mom always ingrained into us that it was ‘education first’, last and always above everything else. Somehow, that failed to have sunk in with my sister. As for myself and my brother , we took it upon ourselves not to disappoint our mother. That asides, I’d link to think that each of us have done well for ourselves along the way !

East Rutherford March 3rd 2010. LeBron James (#23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers controls the ball against the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. photo appears  courtesy  of  Getty Images / Jim  McIsaacs ........
East Rutherford March 3rd 2010. LeBron James (#23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers controls the ball against the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Jim McIsaacs ........

The NBA is now rounding that last corner in the regular season, as the ‘top contenders’ jockey themselves for the positional seedings in the Eastern and Western Conferences of the NBA. Leading the charge in the East are the Cleveland Cavaliers (48-14) . And record wise they have a 6 game advantage over their closest rival within the conference . The Orlando Magic (42-20) of the Southeast Division lead the third placed Atlanta Hawks (39-21) by 2 games within the division and conference standings. That asides , it gives you something of an overall indication that of the eight teams from each conference that garners a berth for postseason play. Within the Eastern Conference at present seven of the eight teams have an above 0.500 record. And of those 7, two of them are barely over that 0.500 mark. What this says about the state of play within the conference, I’ll leave that up to you, to decide ! But it is clear, that when measured against their Western counterparts , the state and quality of play isn’t on par.

In the Western Conference it’s all about who has the presence to chase down the Los Angeles Lakers (46-15) for the ‘top seed’ in the conference ? Sitting pretty atop of the heap and with a handy 5 1/2 game lead over their closest rivals, the Dallas Mavericks (41-21) . And as good as this Phil Jackson coached team has been playing. I think that everyone feels that there’s still some room for improvement by them overall. I’d mentioned to one of my colleagues within this domain and over at his site , that as good on paper and performance as the Mavericks might appear to be at present. I fully expect them to resort back to their customary selves and just essentially , ‘swoon in June’ ! chappy 81 can you hear me baby ? I repeat again, the Mavs will swoon in June ! Teams that can play in the postseason have to be first and foremost , mentally and physically tough ! And nowhere have I heard any so called supporter of this team actually emphasize that ! Instead all they seem to come up with is the regular season record that has been posted by the Mavericks thus far. And let’s not get into the fact of their lone appearance in an NBA Finals ! They were completely over-matched and outplayed by the Miami Heat duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Dywane Wade in a 4-2 NBA Finals’ series romp. It wasn’t even that close to begin with ! And I’m to expect that four years later , that they’ve improved enough to even usurp the Lakers and then go on to defeat whoever comes out of the Eastern Conference ? There’s more chance of Sarah Palin winning the Republican Party nomination for the Presidential candidate in 2012 , than seeing the Mavericks entertain the idea of making an appearance in the NBA Finals once again ! Finals’ MVP Wade showed why it was, he was so highly sought after by then Heat coach, Pat Riley out of Marquette.

Jonny Flynn (#10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives the baseline against Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on March 3, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears  courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/ Danny  Bollinger  ..........
Jonny Flynn (#10) of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives the baseline against Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on March 3, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Danny Bollinger ..........

Now the rigors of an arduous NBA season should tell us that the game and season is just as exacting mentally as it is physically. And for the teams who possess the might to win, first and foremost they have to have the frame and mindset to undertake such a task. If you’re found wanting, then that will be your downfall ! .

In the conference standings all eight teams in the West are above 0.500 . And even the ninth placed team , the Memphis Grizzlies (31-30) though some 4 1/2 games behind the Portland Trailblazers (37-27) shows us the sort of disparity there is in the level of play and competitiveness that there is in comparison between the conferences of the NBA. Though one could allude to the fact that in the Eastern Conference there’s a preponderance to play more defense ? That’s not to say that the same isn’t being done in the Western Conference. What we may well have, is a higher standard of play and far more competitive teams. Never-mind the fact that the quality coaching and coaches may well be a hell of a lot better in the Western Conference than it is in the East !

At present there have proven to be two teams , one in either conference that has surprised me in terms of their play. In the West it has been the charge of the Oklahoma City Thunder led by the charge of their ‘formidable duo’ of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook . Coached by Scott Brooks , the sixth placed seeds in the Western Conference currently have a 36-24 record within the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. They currently sit in third place within the division behind the division leading Denver Nuggets (40-21) . This young team may well remind everyone last year’s Trailblazers , in terms of their zeal and play throughout much of the season. And were it not for the play at present of Carmelo Anthony , Kobe Bryant and LeBron James , I’d dare say that most people would not be at all surprised if Durant ended up being the regular season league MVP. He has proven to be that much of an integral part of the Thunder’s success this season. That were it not for him, then quite possibly the team wouldn’t be in the position that they’re in at the moment. Quite literally, they’re on the cusp of obtaining a playoff berth and making their first appearance in the postseason. And it’s something that their fans and ownership are no doubt quite appreciative of and excited about. As to what this will preclude to for the remainder of the season, we’ll just have to wait and see.

<strong> Kevin Durant</strong> (#35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes to the basket against Chris Andersen (#11) of the Denver Nuggets  on March 3, 2010 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.  photo appears  courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/ Garrett W Ellwood .............
Kevin Durant (#35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes to the basket against Chris Andersen (#11) of the Denver Nuggets on March 3, 2010 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Garrett W Ellwood .............

In the Eastern Conference the belief was the top contenders would be the Cleveland Cavaliers , Boston Celtics (38-21) and Orlando Magic. Well as always, someone forget to send the script to someone who wasn’t suppose to gate crash the party. In this case the recipients have been the Atlanta Hawks. They’ve played themselves into contention and are no doubt proving to be something of a worrying factor in an equation that wasn’t considered by Mike Brown , Doc Rivers or Stan Van Gundy . And for Hawks’ coach Mike Woodson , this may well be the best coaching performance of his career. He has guided this team with a great deal of verve and they’ve all bought into his chain of thought as to what it takes to attain success. And it has become something that has resonated with the Hawks’ fans at the Philips’ Arena in Atlanta , the team’s home venue.

Joe Johnson (#2) of the Atlanta Hawks puts up a shot against the Philadelphia 76ers on February 28, 2010 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  photo appears courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/  Scott Cunningham  ..............
Joe Johnson (#2) of the Atlanta Hawks puts up a shot against the Philadelphia 76ers on February 28, 2010 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Scott Cunningham ..............

And with that success in terms of the team’s form there has been the recognition for some of the unsung heroes on this team. All Star , Joe Johnson , teammates Josh Smith , Jamal Crawford , Mike Bibby and Al Horford have all played a part in the team’s success this season. And you’d be hard pressed to think that they won’t press ahead under the misapprehension that they’re there just to make up the numbers. They’re out to shock the supposed contenders who presumably everyone felt would be sitting atop of the pile. And nothing spells upset more, than seeing one of the ‘big-wigs’ taken down by one of the presumed lesser lights within the conference. And there’s a great deal to suggest that the Hawks are the team that will not only quite possibly surprise the likes of the Cavs , Celtics and Magic . But who’s to say that they’re not capable beating ‘either’ of the three in a playoff series ? Stranger things have happened over the course of a postseason series and will continue to do so in the NBA. That’s what makes the NBA postseason all the more intriguing.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………

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DMX of Ruff Ryders’ fame gives you ….. ‘Slippin’. Pity he couldn’t keep himself level headed , instead the wheels fell of his particular bike ! This can also be a pointer to the teams on the outside looking in as to what needs to be done if they aspire to claim a playoff berth.

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More from DMX …..’Ruff Ryders’ Anthem’

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14 thoughts on “Preach, Preacher , Preach …….. The NBA Hits Its Stride And Not Much Has Really Changed !

  1. You missed the fact that DMX was going to be involved with a religious revival (and he was going to preform without cursing anymore) and the school that they were having it at heard that he was involved with it and they canceled the event.

    DMX cannot catch a break….

    Like

    1. Steve

      He did catch a break , damn asshole got caught trying to impersonate a Federal law enforcement officer while trying to gain entry into an airport parking garage facility, off limits to the public. As with the adage from Forrest Gump ‘……..stupid is as stupid does ‘.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

  2. I hear ya Al, they will lose in June. There’s not much to prove your theory wrong… I think they should take the top 16 teams period and eliminate the whole conference thing. If everyone was seeded 1-16, I feel like it would be better teams in the playoffs, and even it out across the board. The kinda crappy eastern conference teams would have to make moves to get better to make the playoffs!

    Like

    1. chappy 81

      You don’t what that happening as you know how litigious the NCAA are ? They’d sue the ass of the NBA just for thinking such a thing.

      Great game between the Heat and Lakers last night ! D Wade put on a show and so did Kobe as well.

      Do you think that Riles’ screwed up by not adding to the Heat roster at the trade deadline ? Cause this could effectively be the straw that broke the camel’s back concerning Wade and whether or not he remains with the team

      The Eastern Conference has always been considered the ‘poor man’s brother when measured against that of the West , where there’s a ‘wealth of really good teams with a hell of lot more talent’ !

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. Chris Humphreys

      Vergara’s show ‘Modern Family’ with Ed O’Neill ( Al Bundy) might just be the best ‘sit-com’ on television next to ‘The Big Bang Theory’. It’s one hilarious look at the American way of life through a seemingly ordinary family. And to think that Tom Cruise gave up Vergara for Katie Holmes ? WTF is wrong with the guy ?

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      Cruise was seeing Sofia Vergara for a few weeks and then he ditched her like a sack of potatoes and went straight for Katie Holmes. I guess he felt he could make her (Holmes) an easy convert of her to Scientology ?

      Sofia looking phat !

      I guess there’s no accounting for stupidity is there ? And Tom Cruise is as stupid as they come ! Who the f_ck ditches a fine piece of ass like Sofia Vergara ? There’s always been rumors concerning his sexual orientation, stemming back to when he was married to Mimi Rogers.

      Cruise and his then wife, actress Mimi Rogers. She had stated that he was a ‘lousy lay’. I wonder what she could’ve been getting at ? No animosity from her I guess ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. BleedLakersPnG

      Douche-bag or merely just mentally challenged. You’ve got to be either a dumb ass or sexual orientation comes into question if you’re giving up a fine piece of ass like Vergara for Katie Holmes. That’s like sipping Kristal and then moving on to drink the house staple in terms of the champagne. No wonder his movies of late have been bombing and thankfully so ! He couldn’t act his way out of a wet paper bag much less a straight jacket.

      Pray do tell what the hell is Ron Artest thinking with his latest hair-style ? He’s no Dennis Rodman by a long shot , in terms of being a player ! He’s become too slow and he’ll be a complete liability for the Lakers , come playoff time.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

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