We wanted to be able to bring something about the NBA Playoffs to the site, however, there’s only one of us who regularly gets to (chooses to) watch most games. That’s why I enlisted my good friend Jason Brubaker. He’s a really good writer and you should check him out over at CHN. We’ve been debating sports for over a decade, and now we’re taking our arguments public for you to enjoy. We really hope you enjoy our banter about guys who are bigger, stronger, faster, richer and better at basketball than us. If not, Brubaker made me do it.
We took a little hiatus on the banter. Drinking, weekend getaways and Brubaker attempting to off the Spurs before their Game 7 against the Hornets prevented it. We’re back and better than ever about the same as we were before!
Smoothron: The Celtics win again at home, which surprises no one. I still think that the Pistons win the series. I think the break of almost a week hurts teams more than it helps teams and the Pistons definitely looked out of sync many times during that game. Also, Chauncey Billups looked very much like a guy who hadn’t competed in a game in almost two weeks. There’s a lot to be said for the way the Celtics play at home and their fans. Boston sports teams have had a lot of success recently and their fans definitely know how to root for their teams. I also think that the Pistons heard too much about themselves for a week and they played like it. They were everyone’s chic pick to win the series and they usually play terribly when that happens. I say they bounce back and get a win in Boston in Game 2.
More NBA talk, a Kurt Rambis reference and some very overdue boobies after the jump…
I’m really excited about the Western Conference Finals. There is superstar presence. There are great guards. There are great big men. There are the two best coaches in the league. There is a former Laker fan favorite who will no doubt get booed in LA. There is a point guard who can seemingly score at will being defended by point guards who couldn’t guard my mom. There is Kobe being guarded by Bruce Bowen and the inevitable tension that will lead to. There is Lamar Odom needing to prove himself worthy of NBA-star status on a stage he’s never been before. There is a Spur team trying to win a ring one more time. There is a Laker team trying to win one more time without a big guy named Shaq. There is Kobe/Pau/Lamar vs. Tim/Tony/Manu (oh yeah, and those other guys). There is DJ Mbenga, Jacque Vaughn, Matt Bonner and Kurt Rambis. There is Charles Barkley calling himself a dumbass. There is Kevin Harlan, “…right between the eyes!” There are going to be seven games, yeah, I said it.
Lastly (for now at least), thoughts on the Draft Lottery? Chicago has to be feeling pretty good this morning. And, as Grubb just texted me, you think D’Antoni is wishing he were in Chicago now? Who do the Bulls take, they have to take Beasley right? Or do they try to trade Hinrich and bring back the hometown Derrick Rose? I say the latter. Will the Knicks actually take a foreign player in the first round prompting Knick fans to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? I really want to know who you think Portland takes? This is a team that would have made the playoffs had they been in the Eastern Conference, just missing while playing in the West; and now they bring in Greg Oden and another first-round pick. What do the Blazers need to get over the hump?
Brubaker: I’m going to have go with Boston to win the series. I think they showed last night they can defend as well as Detroit, and they have the added advantage of Pierce, who can create his own shot whenever he wants. Plus, I think the way Rondo played, albeit against an injured Billups, will give him confidence as they move forward. Ray Allen continued to struggle, missing some wide open looks, and that’s a concern if I’m a Boston fan. They need him to at least provide a threat of scoring, because it opens up the rest of the floor. Garnett looked awesome last night…totally focused and as usual, full of intensity. If he can make Rasheed work like that on the defensive end, we might see a few more bad offensive night for ‘Sheed. I think this is a series that could go the distance, because Detroit is a very, very good team, but I still like Boston and I saw nothing last night to make me change that.
Seven games for the West huh? Been pounding that shine again have you? The Lakers take this in 6, maybe even 5. Tony Parker is the only one of the Big 3 for the Spurs with a clear-cut advantage at his position, and I think he’ll have a big series. But Gasol can match up with Duncan, and keep him from dominating, while Kobe/Farmar/Vujacic can stop Manu from being his usual annoying self. Offensively, Odom will be a big key in this series, drawing one of the Spurs’ big man away from the basket to open up the lane. If he can do that, and if he plays inspired ball (two big ifs), the Lakers are clearly a better team. Bowen can’t guard Kobe as well as he used to anymore, and Kobe is well aware of it. I think the Lakers take tonight’s game by 10-14 points.
Onto the draft…sucks to be a New York Knick fan right now. But while Rose and Beasley are the consensus top-2 picks, this draft does have some depth. Guys like Jerryd Bayless, OJ Mayo, Eric Gordon, Anthony Randolph, Brook Lopez…all could be impact players. As for the Bulls, I think I’d go with Beasley over Rose. The Bulls need low-post scoring, and he would provide that in bunches. Rose would be a big upgrade over Hinrich, but Hinrich is still a serviceable point guard. But put Beasley in a front-court rotation with Drew Gooden, Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas, and while you’ll have some knucklehead moments, you’ll also have a pretty balanced foursome. That would leave Rose to go to Miami, where a Rose/DWade backcourt will fill quite a few highlight reels. I really don’t know where the Knicks will go with their pick. On one hand, they don’t have a glaring position to fill, as they already have proven players all over. However, they also have a terribly mismatched roster, and nobody’s skill set compliments anyone else on the team. If I’m NY, I just look to get the best player available, start from the ground up, and try to unload as many malcontents as possible in the process. As for Portland, well lets just say life as Blazer fan is good right now. They’ve got a great young leader in Brandon Roy, good pieces around him in LaMarcus Aldridge, Steve Blake, Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, James Jones, and Jarrett Jack…plus they add Oden next year. I think they’re another team that can go with the best player available philosophy, as they don’t have one glaring weakness at any position. They have a great core of young guys, and they should be challenging for a playoff spot next year. This draft should be interesting – I’m pretty excited about it. Wonder what that says about my social life…
So I’m hearing from a guy complaining about his social life and he’s been on a date more recently than I have. That’s exactly what I want to hear. Obviously, Brubaker’s Spur hatred is still shining through with pride. Also, I’ll be picking the Pistons the whole way through and against the Lakers; BobWicket and I made a small wager on who will win the NBA Championship, he took the Lakers, I took the Pistons. Also, I included a picture of Rachel Bilson, mainly because she’s hot and definitely not because I’ve been watching repeats of The OC on SoapNet.