Thursday, May 5, 2011

You weren't expecting this, were you?

Neither was I. The Boston Celtics losing their first two second-round playoff games in Miami and the LA Lakers losing their first two HOME GAMES against the Dallas Mavericks. I've been listening to all the pundits (a ghastly chore, since 99.9% of all sportswriters don't have the requisite intelligence to piece together some halfway decent analysis on anything they cover) and none of them have a fucking clue.

I hear guys go on and on talking about the stupidest shit imaginable, looking into all the minutiae of why this could possibly be happening, all the while missing the most obvious and salient points. Here they are-

The Boston Celtics made three huge mistakes during the years they set up "The Big Three" (an ironic little nickname for a bunch of guys who wouldn't have won shit without the one player they always leave out of this trifecta, Rajon Rondo). They traded Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen and Nate Robinson. They were replaced by Shaquille O'Neil, Jermaine O'Neil, Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green.

Out of these current players, the Celtics have only gotten decent output from Jermaine O'Neil, despite being well past his sell-by date. All the others have either been injured or just don't fit in. Guess what Miami thought of the Perkins trade when word of it got out-

Perkins was a center whose importance was just as valuable in the locker room as well as on the court. He was an asset in every conceivable sense. Tony Allen was an athletic wing player who causes fits to opposing players on defense. True, they both suffered terrible knee injuries during their career, but they were established cogs in the rotation. And was there a better combo coming off the bench to give the Celts that much-needed spark of energy than Glen "Gig Baby" Davis and his sidekick Nate Robinson?

Robinson wasn't just a circus freak. The little man with the huge heart got the crowd rockin' with his enthusiasm and pretty damn decent play in the playoffs (where it counts). Speculate all you want about why they were traded, but it doesn't matter now. All three are gone, and they are hurting because of it. If it's true that Perkins was traded because the Celts didn't have the money to re-sign him, the question should be asked why the fuck did the overpay aging veterans Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to those ridiculous contract expectations last year.

Watching the first two games of the second round so far, it's obvious that Allen nor Pierce can fuck with the Cock Diesel Twins, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James. Better to have someone like Tony Allen coming off the bench to give Wade fits (or at least make him work harder for his shots) and someone like Perkins who would foul the shit out of these guys going to the basket than what we are witnessing right now.

Conventional wisdom dictates that Wade cannot go the rest of the series chasing Ray Allen all over the court on defense without tiring himself out, but he won't have to if they sweep the series. Besides, thanks to the current playoff system, Miami and Boston get so many rest days between games fatigue will not be a factor, especially with what's at stake. Besides, Wade is one of the top-five physical specimens in the league. And one of the others just so happens to play forward on his team.

Boston GM Danny Ainge really outsmarted himself by thinking he could replace Perkins by committee. The two O'Neils and Krstic do not make up for what they lost when they traded him. Delonte West does not make up for Robinson, for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with the discrepancy in height. Tony Allen was the athletic and defensive spark plug Jeff Green will never be. And with the aging core of veteran players, the Celtics needed this influx of youth.

It is difficult to believe that for all the money the organization spent over the last three years, they will only have one championship to show for it when they really should be heading towards their third, if Perkins hadn't gotten hurt last year and was out for the last game of the Championship series and if Rasheed Wallace was even a shadow of his former self (even though he did have an outstanding game when having to play for the injured Perkins. But he too was running on fumes, retiring the second the season was over due to a chronically bad back that had plagued him for years).

Good night, Boston. It was an OK run that was ruined by front office dipshit Danny Ainge. Too smart for your own good, Danny boy-enjoy the second-round salad tossing Miami is going to make you give them, you deserve it.

Onto the Lakers. There really isn't anything wrong with them that a shrapnel enema can't cure. They got beat by Dallas because they look old, tired and disinterested. Such is the genius of Phil Jackson that he fucked up a pivotal call in Game 1 due to the fact that he didn't know he couldn't substitute a player during a time-out. This is what he gets paid millions of dollars a year? Yes, read a previous blog entry where I lambaste this asshole for being overrated, and this boneheaded move was just another example of why he's nowhere near as good a coach as people make him out to be.

And now that he actually HAS to coach, he can't. Because he never could. All the Zen Master bullshit isn't going to work on players like Pau Gasol, who cannot guard Dirk Nowitzki and is clearly losing moral having to do so. So why not play Lamar Odom on him, you dumbass? Why not play Odom, Bynum and Gasol in the front court as starters, huh Phil? Are you even awake?

I have nothing good to say about Kobe Bryant. This is the first NBA Playoffs where I'm interested more in who loses than who wins, and I want LA to get knocked out ASAP. Since the Celtics are also going down this round, I really don't give a shit who wins it all. But Bryant has never been a good team leader. His teams have always suffered from one type of malaise or another, and it's because of him, the only player on the team who doesn't have to practice like everyone else and who gets picked up and dropped off by a fucking helicopter to each and every home game.

If he were more concerned with winning than of taking credit for the Sun revolving around him, he would have put his foot up the rear ends of Odom and Special Ed poster child Ron Artest by now. Jordan is probably the biggest dickhead to ever play organized sports, but rest assured those two guys would be perennial All-Stars if they played with Jordan instead of Bryant.

Bryant is his own species of asshole. There really is no describing him in detail right now, so I'll leave that for another time. But it's the reason his team is playing so terribly and the reason why, unless Dallas has another one of their patented playoff meltdowns, they will get knocked out along with the Celtics by the end of this week. The Lakers have played like shit and deserve to get swept. Nothing would make me happier than seeing "The Black Mamba" walk the fucking plank like a bitch-ass trick, with Mark Cuban holding the sword.

The Celtics, on the other hand, are victims of bad front office moves and the inevitable consequence of old, high-mileage players growing old right before our very eyes. This is what happens-players get old at exactly the wrong time, and the decline isn't gradual-it's sudden and irreversible. Don't believe me? Just watch Derek Jeter. He's gone downhill faster than that downhill ski jumper featured in the old Wide World of Sports introduction who crashes out in a most spectacular fashion.

Danny Ainge decided that the great mixture of youth and experience they had wasn't enough, and decided that going after beached whale Shaquille O'Neil was the answer to their front line deficiencies. "The Big Blotation Device" played about 20-something games this year, and the last time he practiced with the team he had to be dragged off the court on a golf cart. This 450-pound ground hog should never be allowed to put on an NBA uniform ever again. The moment he decided he could play fat and out of shape was the day NBA general managers should have ignored him and gone in another direction. But he always wound up getting work. As it is, Perkin is playing well for the Oklahoma City Thunder and O'Neil is a pathetic shell of his former self. Too bad he decided being a fat, injury-plagued buffoon was the way to end his once-wonderful career. Too bad indeed, he used to be fun to watch.

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