Monday, May 25, 2009

Playoff Musings, Breakfast at Sulimay's Edition

The internet is a bottomless mine of creative and interesting things. Here is the latest thing I've found that I wish I would have though of first (via Stereogum). This is a group of candid old folks somewhere near Philadelphia who are given new music and whole-heartedly critique it. They share the same feelings on Animal Collective as yours truly, some love for universal blog darling Bon Iver, mixed opinions on hip-hop and a generally honest assessment of the music. Although the reviews are only based on 30 second clips, it still worth wasting a half hour or so seeing these old people cut through the hype/crap and call it as it is.

In the same vein of the aforementioned breakfast troupe, I am going to try and cut through some of the lingering hype of this years playoffs.

First of all, I think Dwight Howard is right. I wouldn't have said it at the first of the post season because the only previous hype he had gotten was over some ridiculous Dunk Contest theater. But as we stand today, I agree whole heartedly. (WARNING: He could drop a big turd sandwich the rest of the series and I would immediately do a 180 and give him the two word review for Spinal Tap's album Shark Sandwich.)

Second, we have briefly mentioned on here before the over use of the word CLOSER in the playoffs this year. It makes for a nice surface deep cross-over term from baseball, but what is a closer? In baseball its the guy you bring in when you are ahead in the 8th or 9th inning. So, your closer is your best front runner, your best pitcher for 3 to 6 outs when you are ahead. So if we cross over without changing the meaning, Kobe is the best front runner in the game. I am no expert on Kobe Bryant, but I think many people would agree that he is the best at playing from ahead. Last nights blow out is a perfect of example of him being terrible at playing from behind, which would only solidify him as a front runner. But here is the question; isn't everyone better playing with the lead as opposed to playing from behind or in close games? (On a side note, Kobe had a non-awkward moment last night, just to see what it was like.)

This brings me to my next point. Stats. In baseball we track hitting with runners in scoring position (on second or third base), so shouldn't we track players performance in close moments of games? It could be broken down to certain scenarios; down 20+, down 15-20, down 9-15, down 4-8, down 3 to up 3, up 4-8, up 9-15, up 15 to 20 and up 20+. To me that would be most telling of a players value on the court. Do they still play as hard, make correct decisions or take good shots as they are falling behind? I think you would find, if these stats existed, that coaches could coach better, by playing guys in the right situations. JR Smith is a good example. Great when its not a close game. Paul Pierce is great at making comebacks. Chauncey Billups on the other hand seems to play better in tight games. Now these are only gut feelings. Some stats would really tell the tale.

Back to Billups. He has to love playing the Lakers going clear back to the '04 Finals, when him and the New Bad Boys dismantled the Laker Dynasty. How many Nuggets games do you thing Joe Dumars has watched this post season? Do you thinks its more than Iverson has watched? I for one have watched almost all of them. And I have never been more impressed with the guy who used to sport the zig-zag shaved in part in his eraser head flattop. He seems to always make the right decisions, has just as big of a killer instinct as the Black Snake, and has a believable smile.

And a few random observations.

When was the last time Jeff Van Gundy Slept?
He has reached the Emperor Palpatine level of bags under his eyes.

Is it just me or does Phil Jackson look like Frankenstein on the sidelines in his extra large chair and lack of rotation in his neck?

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