You asked my opinion and now I’m giving it to you , nothing has changed
What looked as if it would prove to be an exciting NBA postseason , is now turning out to be a horrendous nightmare not only for a number of favored teams who harbored championship ambitions , but it could also lead to a monumental nightmare for the television ratings and become a major catastrophe for NBA hierarchy led by Commissioner David Stern . Nonetheless , the league will now have to go with what now appears to be its only plotl-ine left , and that is the possible successful defense by the Miami Heat and the title they won in 2012 .
With Stern , due to step down from his position in February of 2014 , it was widely known that he wanted to step down on a career-high, after twenty-five years as the NBA Commissioner . He will be succeeded by his able second in command , Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver . Though this postseason doesn’t appear to be have been clouded by any major controversies , it must be said that once again the officiating this postseason once again remains as inconsistent as it has ever been and as we have all known to be in recent years . Players and coaches , have ran afoul of the league officials , with financial penalties being levied against the perceived culprits . And as usual , David Stern has remained staunchly supportive of the referees , even when their errors have come to light.
The Miami Heat have simply cake-walked through this postseason , easily dispatching their first round opponents the Milwaukee Bucks with effortless ease . In their conference semifinals’ showdown with an injury ravaged Chicago Bulls’ …. roster , LeBron James and his teammates , merely toyed with the Bulls this second round series , albeit , that they lost just one game , in that best of seven games series . At 7-1 this , postseason , Erik Spoelstra seems to have his team playing at a high octane level , ready to place their foot on the gas , as and when needed . James for his part has raised the level of his play , more so , now in the postseason , than at any time during the regular season .
Having come through that series against the Chicago Bulls unscathed , the Miami Heat now await , the series’ victors between the number the two seeded , New York Knicks , who are fighting off elimination against a determined Indiana Pacers’ team , coached by Frank Vogel . And for the teary-eyed Knicks’ fans who have now been inexplicably silenced by their team’s inept play in this series . Well, let’s just say , that when praise is due, it ought to be given and where criticism is warranted , then take it like a man , stop with your goddamn bitching and whining as to what might have been .
There is no doubt in convention circles , that this series against the Bulls would have been far more interesting had the Heat faced , Derrick Rose , Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich , a trio of players who in part , have been sideline during the postseason , due to various injury woes. Inasmuch as head coach Tom Thibodeau , might well be disappointed , he saw in several of his players , a grit and determination that he can build on for the future . And amongst the players , who I believe will be an integral part of the team’s long-term future, will be Jimmy Butler ! He proved to be a defensive stalwart , albeit , the team faced a Heat with a great deal of offensive fire power. Thibodeau also , can take pride that in Joakim Noah , he seems to have found someone who is not afraid to play with gusto , while leading by example . It now also raises the question , can and when Derrick Rose chooses to return , will or would he , be willing to defer his leadership role to Noah ? My own thoughts are , the point guard did his teammates and the Bulls’ organization no favors in being none committal concerning whether or not he would be a willing participant in the postseason . It would be remiss also , to overlook the contributions of Rose’s replacement this off season , diminutive point guard , Nate Robinson .
With the Bulls’ abrupt departure , it now leaves now speculating , which of the two teams left , now said to be slugging it out , will be or would prove enough of a formidable opponent for the Miami Heat , as they are now a mere eight games away from repeating as NBA champions ? In each of their regular season meetings with the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks , Erik Spoelstra’s team were definitely tested in each of the match-ups in question. In their regular season series’ meetings with the Pacers , Miami were on the wrong side of the loss column , 1-2 this past season . And in their always highly contested meetings with the New York Knicks , once again the match-up would lead to another regular season deficit (1-3) for the Heat . Yet this is the postseason , a time where nothing can be left to chance , and where the circumstances will be entirely different , with their being so much at stake . The odds-makers in Las Vegas will undoubtedly make the Miami Heat the prohibitive favorites in either of the series’ match-ups in question .
Now if someone can explain to me how a team that finished atop of their division , the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference , with a mark of 58-24 , some five games ahead of their closes divisional rivals , the Brooklyn Nets (49-33), can then suddenly in the wake in what do not appear to be insurmountable odds , seemingly fall apart , in the way that the New York Knicks have done ? Was it not enough that all season long their all too obnoxious fans, were simply lauding this team , as if they were the second coming of the era , during which the franchise led by Patrick Ewing were deemed perennial contenders within the Eastern Conference. Instead , but for their first round series’ victory , this team would not have been viewed a passable imitation of a varsity basketball team . No excuses , here it is , the New York Knicks are vastly overrated , upon which their play is solely based upon the offensive prowess of Carmelo Anthony , with their being little if any, overall leadership ability being shown by anyone on the entire roster .
Called upon to now show their mental and physical fortitude , the Knicks find themselves adrift in the midst of sheer ambivalence , and some rather asinine statements , forthcoming from members of the playing and coaching staff, as to the reasons why they now find themselves in a 3-1 hole to the Indiana Pacers . And if that were not enough , Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson , has to be in apoplexy as to why his team has been so poor in their defensive assignments . Nowhere, has this been more evident , than in this series against the Pacers . Roy Hibbert is being made to look like an All Star , while David West , Paul George , George Hill are making the core of this Knicks’ roster look their age . AARP would feel proud and privileged enough to make Marcus Camby (39) , Jason Kidd (40) , Kenyon Martin (36) , Amare` Stoudemire (31) and Pablo Prigioni (35) early paid up members of the organization representing the nation’s population, aged fifty and over . Far be it for me to suggest , but that grouping combined have played their part , in much of the Knicks’ defensive and offensive woes during the postseason .
Tonight’s game five remains pivotal for both teams , with the Pacers seeking to close out the series . Should the Knicks be fortuitous in their endeavors and manage to eke out a win on their home-court at Madison Square Garden , then it would set right up for a grand series’ finale over the possible , final two games of this conference semifinal series .
Zack Randolph , it has to be said, has simply come into his own over the past three seasons , but during this season , the player has looked like someone on a mission of acceptance from his peers , while seeking redemption , after his often troubled stay in Portland , with what was then a franchise known not only as the Portland Trailblazers but also as the “Jailbreakers” . So much so , that it was hard not take note of the back pages of the nation’s daily papers , when you simply read about another player from the Blazers’ organization running afoul of the law , for a litany of legal issues , be it DUI , spousal abuse , drug possession and or sexual assault . Take your pick , at one time or another, it was simply a staple within that organization , for a player or players to parlay their notoriety for some illegal or stupid act , that would have them become part of a police blotter after their apprehension and arrest.
Having easily dismantled the “ highly touted “ …. Los Angeles Clippers , few gave the Memphis Grizzlies much of a chance against the Oklahoma City Thunder , the defending Western Conference champions . In what was seen as a supposed precursor to a possible conference finals’ match-up against the winners of the San Antonio Spurs versus the Golden State Warriors . A clear path , had been set for the Thunder and Scott Brooks’ players, yet somehow , someone forgot to pass on that particular script to the Grizzlies. Lionel Hollins and his team , simply flipped the script and hoisted the Kevin Durant and his teammates on their ass , with a surprisingly easy , 4-1 series’ victory.
Now one could question whether or not Memphis would have won their series against the Thunder , who were without their All Star point guard , Russell Westbrook . On the sidelines , having suffered a season ending injury , the player has supported his teammates throughout the postseason. It must be said that with Westbrook missing from the team’s lineup , a great deal more was being asked of Kevin Durant as well as Kevin Martin . , who was not able to provide the foil needed , in order to assist Durant throughout the series . Last night’s game was very much indicative of that and a great deal more , as neither the team or Scott Brooks made the adjustments necessary in order to erase any part of the series’ deficit , much less play themselves back into contention . Suffice to say , with the departure of the Thunder , the Western Conference Finals may well lack the buzz , panache and excitement everyone might have been expecting . Randolph and his teammates await the outcome of the series between the Spurs and Warriors , knowing full well that the Grizzlies , now have their own destiny in their hands .
A decision has been made with regard to the future of the Sacramento Kings , with David Stern , pretty much playing Devils Advocate in a decision , which I find to be completely asinine , disingenuous and self-serving on the part of the commissioner . Hell, no one ever said that you had to be honest or a man of integrity to be the highest ranking executive within the NBA hierarchy . None of the traits that I believe Stern actually possesses ! With the NBA’s Board of Governors voting against the relocation and sale of the franchise to the consortium led by billionaire venture capitalist , Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer . This now leaves the road clear for a rival bid by software mogul , Vivek Ranadive to be accepted by the league to acquire a 65% stake in the Kings . The remaining 35% would still be retained by the Maloof family , current owners of the beleaguered Western Conference franchise .
Stern was very welcoming of the Hansen , Ballmer bid , when it was first announced, with the billionaire entrepreneurs giving the league a clear indication that it was their intent to buy the franchise for a reputed $575 million and then seek to relocate the Kings to Seattle , Washington . David Stern is either averse to making money or he simply got weak kneed when the team owners snubbed their noses at two individuals whose combined fortunes could swallow up the entire NBA in terms of the value of the league’s thirty teams . Either way, this episode leaves a rather distasteful odor , when you seek to dig to the bottom of this all. Sacramento City Mayor , z Kevin Johnson , whose last minute effort led to the Ranadive bid , will now seek to use public funds to either refurbish the Sleep Train Arena , home to the Sacramento Kings , or they well may well seek to use those funds in conjunction with what we are told will be private financing to possibly build a new venue and a commercial and residential complex that will sit by side with the proposed venue . Now bear in mind , that the Kings remain one of the NBA’s poorest supported franchises in terms of home and overall attendance , as well as being one of the NBA’s least profitable teams . It does beg the question what are the ulterior motives behind Johnson’s moves , when his own city is currently facing an economic blight , with a major budgetary deficit that still has yet to be properly addressed ? Anyone care to answer that particular question ?
Politicians no matter what their altruism might appear to be, are no different from drug dealers who pedal their ware to young and old . Only in such instances , it is deemed as a felony and a crime . whereas , an incompetent elected official can lie , cheat and steal , will not face any legal repercussion , unless his hands are physically caught in the “ cookie jar “ , misappropriating public funds for his own personal use or soliciting a bribe . I’d like to think that Kevin Johnson doesn’t fall into any of the categories mentioned , but , then again , the former NBA star , turned politician , has himself , been less than upfront throughout this whole saga . Much like the NBA commissioner , who continues to bask in his own limelight , claiming accolades that he is not necessarily deserving of .
Picture gallery .
What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the salient points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site as it greatly appreciated !
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) talks with Dwyane Wade (3) during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …
(2) Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) and Chris Bosh , right, hug after the Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 94-91 in Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal, Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Miami. The Heat advanced to the conference finals having defeated the Chicago Bulls 4-1 in the series . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee ….
(3) Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose , left, stands with teammates during the second half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …
(4) Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer wipes his face as he stands with Joakim Noah (13) during a time out in the first half against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …
(5) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, left, and Indiana Pacers’ Paul George vie for a rebound during the first half of Game 4 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series, on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….
(6) Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph (50) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) and Serge Ibaka (9) defend during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference semifinal, in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …
(7) Vivek Ranadive , left, has the support of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and California state Sen. Darrell Steinberg in buying the Kings. Photo: Richard Drew, AP ….
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Hot chic pic of the day Sarah Randall .