Can I Get A Witness And An Amen On That ?
Well the NBA Playoffs have reached the respective conference semi finals stage and it goes without saying that much to a number of fans’ surprise it looks as if the Los Angeles Lakers’ hold on the defense of their title could well be coming to an end. As much as it pains to me to say this ………. the Dallas Mavericks this season are for real ! . Not only have they kicked the Lakers in the teeth in taking a 2-0 series lead in their series but they’re now beginning to make Kobe Bryant and his teammates insignificant to this series and the playoffs as a whole !
Slide show for your perusal .
What might be even more disturbing as this series unfolds could be the very fact we’re likely to see this Lakers’ team actually swept out of the playoffs . Who would have envisioned such a sight at this juncture ? As a team they have not only shot poorly but played poorly as well . It has been left to Bryant to try and salvage what little self respect that this team can now attain. Phil Jackson and his coaching staff have to be bewildered by the sheer ineptitude that is now being shown by this team. Furthermore, the idiocy of those who feel that this Lakers’ bench is in anyway competitive hasn’t been borne out in this series or throughout much of the regular season in terms of their productivity . Rick Carlisle’s players have simply shackled the Lakers defensively and have caused them to make numerous mistakes on both ends of the floor. Dirk Nowitzki in particular has been a revelation during this series and he’s been ably abetted by Shawn Marion , Jason Kidd and in particular Tyson Chandler who has brought a defensive tenacity not normally associated with any previous Mavericks’ team . Suffice to say that those in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles can’t have been happy with this display .
When this series resumes in Dallas this Friday the Lakers will face an uphill task in not only winning game three but also completely erasing this deficit and quite possibly evening it. A split of the first two games would have sufficed but an 0-2 deficit though not necessarily spells doom and gloom , it has pushed the Lakers to the edge of a precipice that I doubt that their players much less the coaching staff and fans would have envisaged . Has there been a sighting of either Ron Artest or Andrew Bynum in this series much less anyone not named Kobe Bryant ? I’ve been told more often than not that Bynum is a work in progress , little did I know that his maturation process would be taking as long as the task of Michaelangelo’s painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel ! Hell if the process takes any longer Kobe Bryant will have retired and proceeded to have become a member of AARP !
Should the Lakers bow out at this juncture then there will a great number of questions asked as to the direction that this organization is heading in. Phil Jackson has made it clear that this will undoubtedly be his last season within the team. And so it may well be that we’ll see this well respected coach bow out of the game rather inauspiciously . His legacy has been set and achievements as a coach will go down in the annals of NBA folklore , beyond that there’s not much else that can be said .
Well so much for the series between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat being a completely competitive one. If Doc Rivers is unable to turn things around we’re liable to see this Celtics’ team being swept out of the postseason quicker than the blink of an eye. GM Danny Ainge I truly believe is to blame for the debacle we’re now witnessing with the Boston Celtics !. In a rather capricious and naive move he saw fit to trade away two productive lynch pins on the roster and in doing so he simply got nothing viable in return. With both Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson now part of the Oklahoma City Thunder , the Celtics have simply become a team that has lost its edge and aggressiveness . And it certainly hasn’t helped that Shaquille O’Neal hasn’t seen any playing time this postseason and the mere fact that his namesake Jermaine O’Neal has been doing an amazing impression of the H G Welle’s fictional character ‘The Invisible Man’ .
Down 0-2 in their series the Boston Celtics now find themselves in something of a must win situation when the series resumes at the TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston , Mass ,. Facing an uphill battle in not only trying to erase this 0-2 deficit the Celtics must find a way of corraling both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James if they’re to have any chance in this series . Erik Spolstra has his team playing with a mindset that now truly justifies them as the team to beat within the Eastern Conference of the remaining quartet of teams . At the same I’ve no doubt that Heat team President Pat Riley must be looking on rather enviously that he’s not seated on the sidelines coaching this star laden roster of Chris Bosh , James , Wade and the supporting cast of role players on this Heat team .
For those who were flying by the seat of their pants in thinking that the Chicago Bulls were in a world of hurt in their series against the Atlanta Hawks , please take time to see what is actually happening in front of you and not be so quick to jump to judgment . OK so Jamal Crawford had an excellent game one against the Bulls and in two consecutive series there was an actual sighting of Joe Johnson . God-damn this guy is really trying to make a believer out of me but somehow like my ex wife I simply he know he can’t be trusted ! There’s a reason why the Bulls ended having the best record in the league , have the league MVP in Derrick Rose as well as the Coach of the Year in Tom Thibodeau . Those awards aren’t given to beauty pageant contestants and the postseason isn’t simply about looking good and not being able to play. Now that we’ve got a series it’s now going to get really interesting.
Anyone who lay witness to the embarrassing way that the Orlando Magic bowed out of their series to the Atlanta Hawks will know that this Hawks’ team isn’t the same one that wilted in the first round last season to this very same Magic organization. Instead Lionel Hollins and his coaching staff has this very same team believing in themselves and playing with a great deal more aggression than one would have thought possible. In light of that I still believe that the Chicago Bulls may well be the team to nullify what we’ve seen from the Hawks this postseason. There’s something about this Bulls’ team that has me wondering whether or not we’re on the cusp of seeing something special and quite possibly the heir apparent to Michael Jordan within Bulls’ foklore for this generation of Chicago Bulls’ fans too young to remember Jordan’s exploits with that organization.
This postseason has brought about a number thrills , spills and a great deal of excitement of which I’m sure that there are many more to come . That being said I’m certainly looking to see what these series now in session will unfold as they play themselves out. The intrigue and suspense will no doubt carry on until there is a finality to each of the series in question and for that the fans ought to be truly thankful at this juncture .
We’re in the month of May and MLB (baseball) had its first no hitter with the Minnesota Twins’ pitcher Francisco Liriano pitching the team to 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox . Given the poor play of the team and the fact that their All Star catcher Joe Mauer is still on the DL the Twins’ season really is in need of a real lift . This victory seems to have provided it and sparked what is hoped will be something of a renewed effort by Ron Gardenhire’s players .
Now winners of two straight the Minnesota Twins are already nine games behind the suprisingly resolute Cleveland Indians who lead the AL Central with 20-9 a mark that they share with the NL’s — Philadelphia Phillies the only other twenty game winner in baseball . That being said this season is still very young and there’s still a great deal to play for as the season progresses .
Not content with having a drug policy in place the hierarchy of the game may well be forced into having to adopt an alcohol policy that it will no doubt have to force upon its players and firmly hope to enforce. Given the fact that baseball is so intransigent and archaic in not willing to change with the times . I’m beginning to wonder whether or not MLPBA Executive Director Michael Weiner and his members will actually acquiesce to the league’s wishes in adopting such a plan ? God knows it’s bad enough that these very same players have chosen to hide behind that idiotic sense of privilege and as they say a right to privacy insomuch as their cheating without them now not necessarily wanting to be treated as the rest of the public are when it comes to public intoxication and driving under the influence (DUI) . In the past four months several MLB ballplayers have ran afoul of law enforcement in terms of public intoxication and DUI . Less we forget also the Detroit Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera has had his issues with alcohol and a several related off the field incidents of which he’s had to undergo comprehensive medical treatment .
During Spring Training and just prior to Opening Day the player was involved in another incident in which he threatened South Florida police officer prior to which he’d also threatened patrons in a restaurant with bodily harm . The player at the time who had been drinking was found to be twice the legal limit (.08) at the time of his arrest having been subjected to the bac check upon his arrest. If that hasn’t been enough of the player’s problems with alcohol I found it to be rather naive of the Tigers’ management the front office and in particular GM Dave Dombrowski not to have the player undergo any treatment instead all that has been done has been the issuing of a public apology by the player and that he will choose to undertake the necessary treatment in due time. I sincerely hope that Miguel Cabrera is a man of his word because I’d hate to think that his family or wife will be subjected to another of his rather profanity laden torrents of abuse and physical violence ! The player still has two charges pending from a domestic violence incident as well as an incident where he was found to be driving while intoxicated with two of his young children in his vehicle at the time . Cause for concern don’t you think ?
It remains to be seen whether or not both sides will be agreeable to this edict and what the parameters set will be as to how the league will deal with such incidents and what the necessary forms of administrative assistance provided will be . Given the fact that the league’s drug policy in reality has done little to stop the abuse that has gone within the game I’m now even more skeptical that such a mandate will take a foothold and actually stop these players from behaving like petulant and infantile children to begin with !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else that you may well feel pertinent to the subject matter herein . Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !
Alan aka tophatal ………………….
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 4: Ron Artest (15) of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles against Peja Stojakovic (16) of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images …..
(2) Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol, center, fights for a loose ball with Dallas Mavericks’ Tyson Chandler during the second half in Game 2 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in Los Angeles. The Mavericks won the game, 93-81. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello …..
(3) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks on from the bench in the closing seconds of Game 2 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series against the Dallas Mavericks, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in Los Angeles. The Mavericks won 93-81. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello ………
(4) Ray Allen (20) of the Boston Celtics drive around Joel Anthony (50) of the Miami Heat during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images …..
(5) Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat drives against Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida . Getty Images/ Mike Ehrmann ……
(6) Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls hangs on to the ball as he moves past Jeff Teague (0) of the Atlanta Hawks in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Hawks 86-73 . Johnathan Daniel / Getty Images …..
(7) Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano , right, celebrates with catcher Drew Butera , left and third baseman Danny Valencia , his no hitter and 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox after a baseball game Tuesday, May 3, 2011 in Chicago. Rex Abrogast /AP Photo …….
(8) Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano, left, listens to catcher Drew Butera in the dugout after the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday, May 3, 2011 in Chicago. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast ……
(9) DETROIT, MI – MAY 03: Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers watches a double that scores a run in the third inning while playing the New York Yankees at Comerica Park on May 3, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-0 . Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images ………….
(10) Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees talks with home plate umpire Bill Welke after striking out in the ninth inning while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-0. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images ……….
(11) Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch (left) in seen here with the team’s general manager Dave Dombrowski at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan having a conversation prior to a press conference with the national press in attendance. . AP Photo / John Raoux ………..