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Heat Get Swept Magnificently

For only the second time in NBA history, the defending champion got swept out of the playoffs in the first round. Let me repeat, the Miami Heat got absolutely embarrassed in the first round. So for all the talking, gabbing, jabbering Miami did, it all got thrown back in their face splendidly.

To Mr. Riley, a man who is there to hog the spotlight as soon as it turns on, and is quick to run away as soon as it shuts off, how about a nice shit burger in your face. To the Heat front office, who so desperately had Dwayne Wade return from a serious injury in order to try and make a run, you got smacked. And to Shaq who said repeat, you got cracked.

The Miami Heat did not just lose, they lost spectacularly. They got swept. Couldn’t even manage a stinking game. In Game 4, Dwyane Wade turned the ball over more by himself than the entire Bulls team did. Zo said they weren’t worried when they were down 2-0, afterall, it’s the same spot they were in against Dallas in the finals last year. Yeah, how’d that work out for ya huh? All the fans down in South Beach showing up for the White Out at AAA, have a fun time?

Let me just say this now: the Heat reign atop the Eastern Conference is over. Short lived. Plenty of credit for winning it all last year, but some serious retooling is needed for the future. Won’t be long before Shaq and Riley are gone. What happens next? Looks to me like time has passed you by.

Warriors Fans Are Hella Full of Crap

Being from California, I often associate with many Bay Area sports fans — they just kind of make their way to So. Cal, be it for work, school, or pleasure. In fact, I have several friends and acquaintances who are Bay Area sports fans. And I typically enjoy many a good laugh and conversation with said fans. But to tell you the truth, out of all the Nor Cal sports fans I know, only one of them is a Warriors fan. That’s right, I could name at least 10 Giants and Niners fans off the top of my head, even a few Sharks fans, and several Sacto Kings fans, but my frat bro Mike is the only Warriors fan I know of.

So what the heck is up with all the action at the Oracle Arena? What’s up with the frenzy, the excitement? The Warriors are a second thought. An afterthought. Matter of fact, the Warriors aren’t even thought of up North. Nobody in the Bay Area cares about them. All that matters are the Giants and Niners, or Raiders and A’s. Nobody there gives a rats ass about the Warriors.

So that’s why I can’t roll with what I see in Nor Cal. The reports were that a franchise record of 20,672 showed up hootin’ and hollerin’ in support of Golden State on Sunday night. To be honest, it seemed like 50,000 watching on TV — they were nuts! They looked like some of the best fans I had ever seen. EVER. For an NBA game at least.

Everyone was wearing Warriors colors, standing, yelling, getting freakin’ crunked. They were some crazy fans last night. But where did they all come from? Did they get the Golden State game confused with a Barry Bonds at-bat? Were they lost? I know, I know. Maybe they thought they were cheering the Niners acquisition of Darrell Jackson, that has to be it.

Oh no? They weren’t? Seriously? They were there for the Warriors game?

Huh. Coulda fooled me. Well, guess you better get your looks in now, cause I know you won’t be back next year.

Lakers Lose, Kobe Thinks He Wins

I’ll admit it; you can lump me into the category of Kobe Hater when it comes to my thoughts on that ass rapist talented basketball player. I’ve been disgusted with Kobe Bryant from the moment he strolled into his high school’s INDOOR gymnasium wearing sunglasses to the press conference where he would announce his eligibility for the NBA draft … at 18 years old. What a punk. That’s why it was no surprise for me to hear that he was almost on trial for attempting to ass-bone some hotel clerk, then use the opportunity to fink on Shaq. Not to mention it was no surprise to see Kobe (indefensibly) stop shooting the ball last year in game 7 of the playoffs to prove a point. And guess what? That same spoiled brat showed up last night in Phoenix.

Kobe went 4/7 in the 1st quarter, 0/1 in the 2nd quarter, and 1/5 in the 3rd quarter last night. Dude didn’t even attempt a shot in the 4th quarter as he mostly watched from the bench because the game was already over. So what happened in that second quarter Kobe? When your Lakers got run out of the gym, getting outscored 37-22, where were you? Why did you only take one shot? What were you trying to prove? That Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar would clank shots if you kicked it out to them? That your team would fall behind if you weren’t shooting and scoring? We already knew that. You have nothing to prove to us.

But you do have something to prove to your fans and your organization — that you won’t let them down and won’t let them get embarrassed in a playoff game — which is what happened last night. And while you think you have gotten your message across to every one — emphatically punctuating your point by twice mentioning the discrepancy in talent between the teams in your post game press conference — it is not you who wins the struggle, it is both you and your team who loses.

Perhaps Kobe, you’re missing the reason why you’re out there. You’re there to make your team a winner, against incredible odds. Not to clam up in the second quarter of a game in order to make your teammates and franchise look bad, and justify your shooting sprees in the media’s eyes. When you fail to try and win in the second quarter of a playoff game, you are not sending a message to the media that you deserve to take all your teams shots. You are sending the message that you are a loser, not a winner.

Meet Oscar Robertson, NBA Analyst

There he was appearing as a guest analyst on The Hot List on ESPNEWS Monday, joining Josh Elliott. The title for the segment — Hall of Famer Breaks Down the Playoffs. The second question was about the 8th seeded Warriors who pulled off a stunning Game 1 victory over the top seeded Dallas Mavericks. Elliott asked Robertson what it meant to have a complete point guard like Baron Davis in the playoffs. Here was Robertson’s intricately detailed response:

In this case he was making the shot. When you make the shot outside it opens up everything for you because you can go to the basket. I don’t think that those guards that Dallas had — I don’t remember their names right now — they’re not strong enough for him.

Next, Elliott dared venture into MVP territory, asking Robertson what he liked about Steve Nash’s game:

I think Steve Nash is a smart basketball player, he knows what’s going on out there. I think that what he’s done for the team … what about that other kid, Barbosa? Boy they have two great offensive guards, they can really bring it to you.

After that brilliant display, Elliott asked the Big O what he thought about Shaq’s comments that the MVP award had been tainted. Amongst Robertson’s highlights:

That’s what Shaq believes. Whoever they pick, that’s who they voted for.

Oscar Robertson: good at basketball, bad at analysis.

Riley, Wade, Shaq Are Feeling the Heat

The jersey’s unraveling by it’s thread and nobody wants to admit it. Miami’s already lost Game 1 of the series, and the Heat are searching for answers, with Pat Riley taking D-Wade to the woodshed:

‘I’m not going to give him a pass,” Riley said of Wade. “He did not do the job defensively that he had to do. And we just have to face that fact.”

Clearly D-Wade is feeling the pressure as well:

”Coach [Pat Riley] expects the world out of me,” Wade said Sunday. “He expects more out of me than anybody probably ever expected.’

Make no mistake about it — the Heat rode Wade’s hot performance to the title last year. But that magic doesn’t appear to be happening again this year. Luol Deng blew up the spot with a playoff career high 33 on Saturday. Shaq being the sore loser that he is, was bitching about the refs, blaming them for the Heat’s loss. Miami still has plenty of room to turn it around and make a run, but a run won’t get them to the finals this year. And if they do make the run, it will be because of Shaq (who needs to stay on the court), not Wade.

Wizards Are Officially Screwed

We already know that the Wiz are without Gilbert Arenas for the duration of the playoffs — he’s out til next year with a knee injury (even if he maintains he could stand in the corner and bust threes all day). And even though I properly buried the team a while ago, they at least maintained some shred of hope to get a game off Cleveland in the playoffs. But now even that hope seems gone. Now the Wizards have officially thrown in the towel, announcing that Caron Butler will miss the first round of the playoffs:

“He is not in our plans, right now – not as a player,” Jordan said after practice Monday. “If we get deeper in the playoffs, possibly, but not in the first round.”

Well, you might not want to say it Eddie, so I’ll say it for you, Butler’s out for the year, cuz the Wizards aren’t getting out of the first round. This news begs the question: is there a bigger mismatch in the first round of the playoffs? Perhaps Detroit and Orlando?

Suns Think Little of the Lakers

Veteran Sports Illustrated writer, Jack McCallum, wrote a book last year titled Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns. Well, in the opening round of last year’s NBA playoffs, the Suns came back from down 3-1 in the best of seven series to win and advance to the second round. There was a questionable clothesline move by Raja Bell, some nice fighting, and bitter hatred exchanged between the teams. And with the pair set to square off in the opening round of the playoffs once again this year, Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times has pulled a couple of the more piercing selections from McCallum’s book. Amongst my favorites:

“As the Suns see it, the Lakers trek along the low road,” McCallum wrote. “Bryant is arrogant. [Kwame] Brown is just a big body with nothing behind it. Smush Parker was a Sun for a couple of weeks [in 2004-05] and no one rued his departure. Lamar Odom is just too damn big and long. Luke Walton seems like a nice guy … but he laid out [Tim] Thomas in Game 3 and triggered a miserable chain of events [for the Suns]. Sasha Vujacic is an all-universe whiner with an unpronounceable surname. Plus, Phil Jackson sits on a throne.”

The Suns, while watching video of their Game 1 victory, poked fun at the Lakers’ defense.

“This is when we’re at our best, when we’re changing ends on the fly,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They have no answer for it. Kwame is awful. Odom’s a very average defender. Vujacic can’t guard anybody. And Bryant in the open floor takes chances that aren’t good.”

An unidentified member of the Lakers left a scouting report of the Suns at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel after Game 5 in Phoenix. It quickly ended up in the hands of Suns coaches, much to the Lakers’ dismay.

And my personal favorite from Suns owner Robert Sarver

“This L.A. [expletive] has got to stop,” Sarver said afterward. “This is war. I hate those guys.”

Nice. Something tells me it won’t take seven games for the series to be decided this time. I’m going with Phoenix in 5 — Kobe’s good for one win, nothing more.