A Guest Post By Phlip
And in this week’s dealings, we find ourselves largely thinking the same as last week. I am almost EXPECTING this to remain the case on a week-by-week basis until the playoffs begin… More on that shortly.
• The Lakers are playing strongly enough that teams are now trying to FIGHT them, as happened against both Dallas AND Utah this week.
• San Antonio will NOT play strongly without any one of their stars, especially Tim Duncan, and might be sandbagging the back end of this season in the interest of fresh legs in the playoffs. The problem is that momentum is far too valuable to just throw away like that.
• Derrick Rose will STILL be the league MVP.
• Oklahoma City is officially worth paying attention to, as is Denver.
• One of these items is a surprise.
• Somewhere in all of this is the New York Knicks, who THOUGHT they’d pulled off the coup of the year, but are experiencing the worst “fish tank” situation, which seems ironically surprising given that they are in the largest media market in the universe.
• Boston is beginning to look their age in the wake of Kendrick Perkins’ trade.
• Anyone remember those guys down in Miami? Yeah, they lost to Cleveland this week. I refuse to take them as a credible threat to make it past the second round in the playoffs, and even that is generous.
I really do hate these last couple weeks of the season prior to the playoffs, as it makes for a blend of the most desperate basketball (on the hands of teams on the outside looking in or jockeying for position) or the laziest (on the part of those whose positions are solid). The inevitability of games between teams who will not even make the playoffs is FAR less entertaining once the realization of that fact becomes apparent, as it seems more that they’re trying to tank the game for better chance in the draft lottery than an earnest attempt to actually win a game.
Stars get “shut down for the season” due to injuries that it was cool for them to play through for the previous 3½ months of our lives. Coaches cut minutes of the players we actually WANT to see playing, and the product suffers.
And all this in wait for this last 2 weeks to get behind us and the half of the league to go off to summer school on vacation. Thank God that a couple of REALLY low seeds made it to the Final Four, I guess?
As stated last in week’s posts, there were few games of interest this week, save for Dallas and the Lakers’ “fight club,” and Cleveland playing better against Miami than anyone might have imagined.This week might be seen as more of the same, save for Denver vs. the Lakers and the aforementioned Knicks trying NOT to be the only team swept in their season series against the Cavaliers this afternoon. After that, the Celtics and Bulls play for top seed in the East distinction on Thursday and nothing else of real interest will take place until the last week of the season. Yes, playoff positions are being solidified with these games, but I am missing the value in even that if the product on the floor is substandard.
Either way, as committed, we will be here next week to discuss the goings on in the league.