Of all the over-rated things in sports, momentum is one
Okay, so, you’d hope sometime we’d get a good game for one of those in-game blogs, no?
A dog the other night with the Suns-Blazers that goes until 1:30 a.m. and a dog last night with Spurs-Mavs that goes about an hour earlier.
No wonder I’m worn out. And a little late.
Anyway, we’ll give Hawks-Bucks a shot tonight at, at the very least, it’s an 8 p.m. start here in the East so it won’t be a late night.
Until then …
So much for momentum.
The San Antonio Spurs beat Dallas three straight times and lie down in Game 5.
The Oklahoma City Thunder run over and around the Lakers for two straight games and then run over and around when they get back to Los Angeles, drilled without putting up much resistance at all.
It just goes to show you, in one man’s opinion, that momentum game-to-game is one of the most over-rated aspects of playoff basketball.
There is very little, or no, carryover from one game to another because teams make adjustments, players who lose play with more intensity and the slate truly is wiped clean.
Take the Lakers, for instance.
They were run out of the gym in Oklahoma City and it looked after Game 4 that there was some confusion and, not fear, but concern throughout the team. They couldn’t corral Westbrook, they couldn’t match the Thunder’s athleticism and it seemed as if any momentum was on the side of a young team that was playing old.
Well, Kobe guards Westbrook, they finally decided to ride the strengths of their interior game and Ron Artest – thankfully shorn of that ridiculous hair-do – makes some shots and plays a role.
Presto, change-o, they’re up 3-2 and seemingly in command.
Momentum, especially in the playoffs, goes as far as your last shot or your last quarter, certainly not your last game and it absolutely does not carry from road games back to home.
I know this runs counter to what a lot of people thought 24 hours ago, but is there a sense that maybe the Dallas Mavericks lead their series with the Spurs 2-3?
Probably not, given that San Antonio plays pretty well at home and the Mavs seem to struggle with their emotions in the face of a hostile environment but that series might still have some legs.
Unlike Tim Duncan, though. Four points the other night at home, a non-factor last night in Dallas. The dude is aging right before our very eyes and if he doesn’t have even a good game in Game 6, I can see that one being back in Dallas for a deciding Game 7.
Let’s get the housekeeping out of the way for the first time this week.
Send off the mail bag queries here and we’ll start the weakly, er, weekly, process.
So, what of the Heat?
If you read my man Sheridan here, the suggestion he’s giving is that Dwyane Wade will be back, which would come as no surprise to me at all since I’d figured he was the last of the big name free agents who’d go looking for a new home.
But what about the rest of them?
I found it interesting that Michael Beasley was benched for the entire second half of Game 5 in Boston, replaced by an injured veteran, Udonis Haslem, who is just the kind of hard-nosed, defensive-minded guy a team like, oh, Toronto could use.
Here’s the trouble, though, if you’re Toronto and Chris Bosh comes to you and says, ‘you know, I think Miami’s a nice place and I think I’d like to go play there.’
What do you want in a sign-and-trade?
Nothing, really, in my opinion.
I’m not sure Beasley’s ever going to get it, I’m not even sure what position he’s going to end up playing and if it’s power forward, well, he’s going to be a backup here.
Jermaine O’Neal is not the answer, he’s too old, too beaten up and I’m pretty sure he’s not taking any kind of backup role in Toronto if he comes back. And if I’m the Raptors and can get Amir Johnson back under contract, my starting frontcourt is filled with him and Bargnani.
Point guard? Yeah, right. For all of you out there who think Jose and Jarrett might have issues, I absolutely guarantee you they would start in Miami and to think of taking one of those Heat guards back is silly.
So I’m thinking if Bosh does want the Heat – and there’s no indication he does – it’s going to take some Steve Fruitman-Bryan Colangelo multi-team sign-and-trade to make that happen and my head hurts even thinking about that possibility.
Either that or settle for something silly like a trade exception, which sounds a whole lot more sexier than it is because that’s usually a euphemism for “let’s save some money under the guise of spending in the future.”
You don’t think professional, um, athletes taking losing hard?
Jake cried, for goodness sake, when the people spoke and the DWTS dream died.
Speaking of something that has absolutely nothing to do with this stuff, how do you think Shawn Marcum feels?
Dude’s been the best pitcher on the staff for nearly a month and doesn’t have a win?
Long, long season ahead.
You know what I think I’d like?
I think I’d like the Chicago Bulls to change GMs and re-up coach Vinny Del Negro.
Now, I’m not close enough to the situation often enough to really have an informed opinion but what if all the shenanigans that have gone on with the Bulls are not coaching issues but management issues?
What if Vinny, who has somehow coached that team into the playoffs the last two years without either a low post offensive presence or a consistent three-point shooter, can coach?
What if John Paxson, who got rid of guys who can play to save money to make a run at someone this summer, isn’t the be-all and end-all as a GM?
That’d be cool, wouldn’t it?
Cavs-Celtics doesn’t start until Saturday which means three days of exhaustive coverage of – ta-da! – LeBron’s elbow.
I swear, listening to a bit of their game against the Bulls on Wednesday that he was dragging the elbow around with it bent the wrong way, bones protruding and in agony.
Guess what? Dude’s got a sore elbow. Had an MRI, no structural damage and his joint’s been sore for a while.
You need to find me an NBA player still playing who isn’t banged up at least a little; then we’ll have ourselves a story.