All over the map today, and some Thunder fallout
A tantalizing collection of unrelated notes today, folks.
Speaking of tantalizing, how about them Thunder?
It was another tough finish of missed shots, bad decisions odd coaching and the vagaries of youth on display.
And painful, painful lessons learned.
But those lessons are important ones and while I know Russell Westbrook and Eric Maynor (there is no way he waved off Kevin Durant in the final minute, was there? That couldn’t have possibly happened, could it?) are the targets right now, I don’t think they really need to make any change.
Seriously. And I don’t say that just to stop the onslaught of “how do the Raptors get Westbrook” questions that come every day.
Each of those four kids – Westbrook, Ibaka, Harden and Durant – are 22 years old or younger and none of them has been through anything like this before.
I know Westbrook had his moments, and Durant wasn’t nearly as forceful as I would have liked him to be in many respects but to think they need to “blow this up” is, to me, ridiculous.
They’ll figure it out and if they don’t, well, maybe in two years or 18 months you start thinking longingly at free-agents-to-be Chris Paul or Deron Williams but right now, you let ‘em burn inside a little bit and hope they come back better.
No reason to think they won’t, is there? They’ve improved in leaps and bounds in two seasons, why can’t they get a bit better in the next two?
That’s a very good young team – with the emphasis on young – and the NBA’s a man’s league.
Mike Brown to the Lakers?
Wow. That’s a gamble to me.
And not at all the direction I thought they’d go; I figured they’d throw all kinds of money at a “name” guy like Jeff Van Gundy or try to pry Coach K out of the colleges or get Jerry Sloan off the farm or Rick Adelman or someone of that ilk.
The fact they didn’t really look at Brian Shaw was a bit of a surprise, too; I imagine we’ll be hearing his name being mentioned for every other opening right now.
Anyway, I wasn’t a huge Mike Brown fan when he was in Cleveland because I didn’t think his teams had any semblance of effective offence other than running clearouts for LeBron and it’ll be interesting to see how he manages Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Artest and whichever point guard they have next year.
Of course, I also think coaching is bit over-rated so maybe he’ll be fine; after all, he does have an awful lot of talent to work with.
Well, another travel first.
And I’m not even talking flying from Miami to Chicago and getting into O’Hare from the west so we skirted the weather.
I get to my seat, 28C, to find a guy in 28B and a fellow dead asleep leaning against the window in 28A.
They’re about to close the doors when a dude in a suit and two very imposing Miami-Dade police officers come walking down the aisle.
They stop at 28, the guy in the suit wakes the guy sleeping and tells him the two officers want him to go with them.
Sleeping guy gets up, meekly walks out of the seat, is taken by the arms up the aisle and out of the plane.
Last I heard, by the guy who go this seat on the over-sold flight, was that he was being patted down by the two cops while a detective waited for him on the jetway.
No guns were drawn and the sleeping guy didn’t look around to take a hostage but it was cool.
After watching Mark Cuban and listening to him in the post-game celebration, I’m wondering how many of you are going to have to hold your nose and cheer for the Mavs when they play whoever.
I have a lot of time for Rick Carlisle, he’s good man and an excellent coach, and, yes, it’d be nice to see Dirk get a ring and some more accolades but there’s just something about Cuban and Jason Terry that rubs me the wrong way.
Hmm, how easy is this:
Q: Top 5 cakes?
Antony N, Amman
Chocolate ice cream
You know, remember yesterday when it was mentioned that it’d be nice to see LeBron try to guard Dirk a little bit in part of a Mavs-Heat final?
The other one I’m really looking forward to is seeing Shawn Marion on James.
Quietly, Marion’s been playing at an all-star level for most of the playoffs and he’s quick and long and strong enough to, perhaps, give James a spot of trouble.
Not that anyone is capable of stopping James, of course, but Marion’s long been under-rated as a defender and I know him well enough to know that he thinks he can wildly effective against a guy like James.
Confidence has never been an issue with Marion; the way he’s playing now will only fuel that.
So, if the Heat wins tonight, the Final starts Tuesday in Miami.
If the Bulls win, we all have to traipse back to Florida for a game Saturday, the Final won’t start until next Thursday in either Miami or Chicago and that’ll be terribly inconvenient for a lot of us here now.
That pretty much guarantees a Bulls win. Maybe in an overtime or two.
Not only didn’t I get to Chicago in time to catch Oprah’s last show, I didn’t get to a stool in time to join any of the “viewing parties” I saw chronicled all night on the local news.
And, surprisingly, I don’t feel cheated.
I wonder if the folks in Oklahoma are going nuts today about the inability of the Thunder to get a defensive rebound when it mattered most and calling for this guy to be traded and that guy to be fired.
Those two in the final seconds are a prime example of bad breaks and bounces and, as coaches all point out, the need to “finish defensive possessions.
Mighty Rockies 22
Dreaded Other Team 8
Now that’s a season opener!
Know what I learned yesterday?
If you’re going to do lists of people with a body of work like Dylan’s, 10 might be a suitable number.
Oh, a mail call for the weekend ‘cause I have no idea when I’ll be doing what but it’s pouring rain today here and there might be some lobby time to get to it.