Statements Made


Some pretty clear statements have been made today (and tonight). Of course, David Stern proved why he is the best commish ever with his suspension of Joey Crawford. Stern has a record for “keeping it real” with officials (Jake O’Donnell anyone? Go Wikipedia him) and this was completely justified and completely correct. Someone like Crawford should’ve known better. He’s been around the block a few times, he had a meeting with Stern, he crossed the boss and well now he has to suffer the consequences. Tim Duncan’s fine goes with the precedent so that’s not too bad.

(Two people I would never cross; Stern and Vince McMahon)

Dallas and Phoenix held Golden State and the Clippers fates in their hands. Dallas responded with this starting lineup; Maurice Ager (the guy from Michigan State who destroyed people in the Maui Invitational), Jose Juan Barea (D-League glory story), Greg Buckner, Diop and Devean George. Phoenix on the other hand still has their starters in with 4:44 left in the 3rd. They are playing to win.

Now Dallas not playing their guys is completely understandable. They have zero to prove. Why play to win against anyone, especially against the team who you are currently slated (and more than likely) will face in the first round. You’re not showing any of your weapons and you’re resting your guys, works out pretty well. Phoenix on the other hand..I’m not so sure why they are still in there. Last home game maybe?? Who knows…if they’re still in late in the 4th, there has got to be a grudge between Mike D’Antoni and Dunleavy that we don’t know about.

Also, after all the glowing things I wrote about Sam I Am last Thursday…this is rough to watch. He’s clanking all sorts of jumpers. He had a particularly sad sequence; he backed Raja Bell down and went for his patented fadeaway and missed. The bounce went to him and he shot it again…airballed it to the left. Kaman saved it for an easy Brand dunk but still. It’s not easy to watch.

To the Clipper/Warrior debate. Golden State is getting this W and the Clippers should pull this one out unless Elton Brand gets hurt or D’Antoni become an a-hole. Everything comes down to tomorrow night then. Golden State at Portland….Clippers vs. New Orleans. I doubt the Clippers will lose another must-win at home so I pencil them in with the win. Golden State and Portland intrigues me though. It is the game of the season, Portland is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of THE Championship Team and it is also the retirement of Lionel Hollins number. That’s a lot of emotion and energy in the Rose Garden right there. And unlike season’s past this Blazer team is feisty as hell with a legit never-say-die attitude. B-Roy might give a shot (I’m guessing) which makes the Blazers…10000 times better. Sounds like an upset right?

I almost convinced myself that the Blazers could really do it until I realized that a) Don Nelson would never allow that to happen and b) we are the worst fast-break team in the L. They are one of the best. Do the math, I don’t think we can keep up.

So pencil the Warriors in the playoffs. It’s best for all of us.

One last intriguing story; the re-emergence of Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter. T-Mac is a legit MVP candidate (I’ve already outlined this) and VC is quietly reminding everyone ‘Hey I’m Vince motherbleepin Carter people’. I mean he gets triple-doubles now with ease. He wants Toronto bad..and he is going to get his wish. NJ/Toronto…very good. Chicago/Washington…hideous. I guess you take what you can get right? Plus I kind of wanted Toronto to get that easy advance. I watched an NBA TV special on them…they’re fun, like each other and play like a team. What more could you ask more as a basketball fan?

Out East, seeding isn’t quite all wrapped up yet. Orlando got a huge win at Washington tonight. That means if the Magic can win at Miami and Washington loses at Indiana, Orlando finishes at 7. I do not think that Washington is going to win at Indiana on their last game, especially after the Pacers got embarrassed tonight by the Hawks. Orlando winning at Miami is a different question? It is entirely possible because Pat Riley isn’t sweating this game too too much, but they did just lose to Boston. Only time will tell.

Either way; the Playoffs start in 4 days.