Sunday, May 17, 2009

Goodbye, Beantown

While I enjoyed all of the drama that Boston brought to the NBA playoffs these past two years, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm glad to see them go. They're missing one of their best players and what they've done without Garnett is admirable. We got to see two young big guys grow up and emerge as solid role players in Big Baby Davis and Kendrick Perkins. We got to see Rajon Rondo play the point guard position as well as anyone (he's even got some confidence in his jumper, watch out league...). We got to see Ray Allen's long-legged, busty jumper. And we got to see Paul Pierce coaxing more out of one of the most unathletic bodies that a superstar NBA swingman can posses in 2009. But they fell on their face in this game and ran into an Orlando team that simply played better, smarter, and hit huge shots time and time again. So that's it. I'm dying to see what Cleveland is going to do to them, though. They are a tough as nails team that has a completely healthy roster, and the best player in the game. I don't see this ending well for Orlando.
A few things about the game:
Reggie Miller said that Marcin Gortat is “just as athletic as Dwight Howard.” Look, that’s a very nice thing for Miller to say about Gortat, but with all due respect to Gortat's considerable abilities (afterall, he IS playing meaningful minutes for a team that is in the Eastern Conference Finals) but considering that Howard is one of the best athletes in the world in any sport (is Gortat even the best athlete from Poland?), it’s probably safe to say that Miller should rethink his comment. I know it’s hard to come up with things on the air, but you can’t just say something like that. At the very least, Marv should have made fun of him.

While Howard is a phenomenally rare athlete he simply has no ability to shoot the ball in the post, unless he’s attempting bury the ball and rim into the floor. I don’t mean to be too disparaging here, but when I watch him shoot, the first thing that comes to mind is a girl I went to high school with who would shoot without looking at the rim. Honestly, he just needs to slow down, and that may come in time, but we’ll see. As I've said before, I have my doubts.

It’s weird seeing a guy like Big Baby Davis, who is significantly less physically gifted than Howard, have a much more refined offensive game, but he definitely does.

While Howard had great anticipation to block shots and probably earned his defensive player of the year award, a 6’2 Rajon Rondo should not dunk on you. At the very least, Howard should have shoved Rondo’s ass to the ground. In fairness to Howard, he didn’t see Rondo soon enough, but still. It’s not the first time it’s happened.

Another thing that I’ve noticed during this series and many others is the reluctance of some guards to pass the ball when they have clear paths to the hoop for fear of getting their shots blocked. I suppose that they do this because so many guys in the NBA can shoot jumpers at a high percentage. As good as a Rashard Lewis jumper is from 25 feet, it seems like a Rafer Alston layin from 1 foot is better. Maybe he’d get his shot tossed back in his face, it’s still good to challenge dudes at the rim. I say this, but yet I’m sure I’d do the same thing if a 6’10 Kendrick Perkins was staring me in the face.

One last thing: Hey, Boston fans, just because your guys miss shots or something doesn’t go your way, doesn’t mean that your player was fouled, just so you know. Also, nice of these Great Boston Fans to stick around for the end of the game. At least they aren’t frontrunners.

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