Posts Tagged: playoffs?
1

NFL Playoff Sonnet Picks

Saturday, January 12

At Denver -9.5 Baltimore

We all know that Ray Lewis can still dance. But catch a sure interception? Fat chance. He looks like RoboCop with that arm brace. And half a season out has slowed his pace. Can the Ravens win? It’s up to Flacco. Picking them here might seem kinda wacko. Mile High Stadium air is pretty thin And old guys tend to get tired therein. Peyton Manning leads a vicious attack. He gets five touchdowns from flat on his back. Knowshon Moreno can carry the ball Will the Purple Guys stand up like dry wall? Against the Ravens defense I won’t bet. And [...]

7

The Lake Show Closes

I should have known. Despite winning in six games, the Los Angeles Lakers pretty much mailed in the Hornets series. It was disquieting to see them struggle to contain Chris Paul, much less Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinilli. As I said last month, they looked so tired. Meanwhile, the Mavericks, when tested by the younger, more athletic Trail Blazers, responded forcefully, closing them out in six games as well. But I was fooled by the teams’ respective reputations: the Lakers as the-tough-get-going champions, the Mavericks as playoff underachievers. And so, to me, the path to the conference finals was clear for the Lakers. Pffft. What a joke.

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2

Long-Lost Allen Iverson Album Leaks, Sort Of

Has the long-lost album by the scrappy NBA player Allen Iverson — which has been in turnaround for some 10 years — been released to digital-music outlets for the low price of $2.99? Maybe! If you really want to hear A.I. over a hot beat, there's always this, too.

18

Sit Down, Westbrook

If it were anyone other than the Dallas Mavericks—a team whose past playoff flameouts are legendary—the Western Conference championship series would be over today.

The word “devastating” is the only apt one for Monday night’s developments: Oklahoma City, at home, blew a 15-point lead with 5 minutes left and now find themselves down three games to one, teetering on the brink of losing, again, in the Western Conference Finals. They were poised to knot the series at 2-2, on the verge of overcoming what appears to be a postseason-long hierarchical rift between maybe the best player in the game, Kevin Durant, and the NBA’s fourth-best point guard, Russell Westbrook. It [...]

1

In The Playoffs, Old Teams Look Old

That headline says it all, really. The teams whose core players are nearing 30, or have passed it, certainly looked aged last weekend. The Lakers lost, as did the Spurs, while the Celtics, Mavericks and Heat escaped by the skin of their teeth in about as exciting a first round of playoffs as I can remember.

Rarely is the end for basketball players both extreme and definitive; instead, often a gradual deterioration takes place. Players will start getting beaten off the dribble or having their shots blocked—signs that don’t immediately show up in the traditional stats line. But a decline in skills becomes more noticeable when the playoffs arrive [...]

6

Down To Four

Let’s gloss over the fact that I blew the last round. Everyone thought the Lakers would win easily and I merely went with the crowd. That’s the simplest explanation for how I misread that situation so thoroughly. Allow me to explain: I had the Celtics favored, sure, but I’d been worried all season that their trading of Kendrick Perkins would ultimately cost them against the Heat. (And it did.) The Thunder was my pre-season (trust me), mid-season, and pre-playoff pick to emerge from the Western Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies pushed them about as far as they could, but the Thunder rotation is eight deep. James Harden [...]

10

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS? Playoffs.

The first round of the NBA playoffs is upon us—thankfully, I don’t mean that literally—and I, for one, am excited. Not only because I will get to hear “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty alongside footage of Kevin Garnett staring and sweating (pretty much the content of every NBA promo during the past five years), but also a really good team is going to lose their first round match-up to someone not as good, and an ESPN anchor of indiscriminate race will dutifully report how it is a “shocker” and how it “changes things”—even though, you know, we aren’t morons.

If I had to choose a team least likely [...]