The NBA in STL: Volume 1, Episode 4
REJOICE!!!!! The greatest time of the year is upon us! No…not the Masters, or the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the baseball regular season…but the NBA PLAYOFFS baybay! Perhaps the only folks in the STL as happy as me are Haynes and Sims….even though Sims’ Lakers are a godforsaken mess…Muhahahahaha! God, I love when the Lakers stink.
Other things that bring a smile to my hoops addicted face…
Lebron is not in the playoffs.
Lebron is so toxic he ruined two franchises in one season.
Lebron is so toxic Magic Johnson would rather no longer be a Laker than work with him.
Lebron is so amazing at making his teammates better that the Lakers won 2 more games than last season…for a total of 37.
What scares me the most about this season ending….
Dirk has retired leaving only 6 players in the league older than me.
Vince Carter, Pau Gasol, Jamal Crawford, Kyle Korver, Zach Randolph, and Jose Calderon…please god keep playing.
But on to the seriousness….
Playoff Match-ups to Watch
These will be the most watchable playoffs since 2014. There is no clear cut winner in the East, and the West…well my gut still tells me it’s the Dubs, especially since they brought back the real MVP Andrew Bogut, but think about this… If the Warriors were in the East, they’d be the 3 seed. Yeah, they’ll probably still win the West, but a match-up against Toronto or Milwaukee will result in a knock down drag out 7 game affair.
Before June though, there is so much to get stoked about. First…
Lillard Vs. Westbrook. MAN…I can’t wait for this. Neither dude possesses even an ounce of chill. They both have killer Robins in C.J. and P.G. This will be the most exciting series of round one.
Until opening tip, rejoice in the rage that is Russell Westbrook
Popovich vs. the Nuggets. The spurs just made the playoffs for the 21st straight season. That is a feat unparalleled in modern sports. Even Bill Belli-Cheat missed the playoffs a couple times. What I want to see is if Pop can somehow drag Lamarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, and the ghost of Rudy Gay to the second round.
You guys remember Rudy Gay?
Joe Ingles vs. James Harden: Yeah, Harden is the far superior player, but Joe Ingles does not know that. Joe Ingles doesn’t give a fudge who is on the floor. In Joe Ingles head, Joe Ingles is the best player on any floor, anytime…and that is the kinda dude I wanna watch try to test his metal against the reigning MVP.
The Nets vs. Jimmy Butler: Jimmy Butler is the most insufferable player in the league. He talks, and gets talked about like he’s actually done something other than put up hollow stats. He’s gotten to the second round as many times as Carmelo…and never further. I want the Nets to win this series more than anything I want in these playoffs.
Some odds and ends
A quick look back at this season and some overlooked nuggets I’d like you to know about. First…let’s head to the Paris of the Midwest.
Andre Dummond is 25 years old and just won his 3rd rebounding title. Jabbar only won once, and Rodman won 7 in his career, the last coming at age 36. If Andre keeps hitting the glass at this rate, and eventually plays for an actual contender, he could add his name to the list of the great rebounders of all time.
Russell Westbrook just averaged a triple double for the 3rd straight season. This is the most amazing statistical achievement since Wilt dropped 50 a game. I understand when Lebron averages LESS rebounds and LESS assists he is “making his teammates better”…but Russ is my ride or die.
The Curry brothers finished 3rd and 4th in 3 point Field Goal percentage. Seth beat out Steph and both are in the playoffs this season. I mean…that’s pretty awesome.
Jamal Crawford dropped 50 for his 4th different franchise and he is 39. The dude is a walking jumper. I want him to play till he’s 60. As I’ve said on several occasions, if I had to pick one guy in the history of the league to hit a 20 footer off the dribble to save my life, I would pick Jamal.
James Harden shot 1,028 threes…in one season. Larry Bird lead the league in 1985-86 with 194 attempts. The most Ray Allen ever took in a season was 653. This isn’t the game “evolving” or any of that nonsense…it’s the game becoming boring to watch when the Rockets are on TV.
Brook Lopez shot 512 threes this season, Joel Embiid shot 263…and I repeat, Larry Bird lead the league in 1985-86 with 194 attempts
Luka Doncic lead all rookies in scoring, was 2nd in rebounding, 2nd in assists, 5th in steals, and 1st triple doubles with 8. Trae Young is exciting, but Luka is the ROY.
Nikola Jokic looks like he should be running security at an office building in West County. He does not look like he just averaged 20.1 points, 10.8 boards, and 7.3 assists for the 2nd seed in the West. Though he is not the MVP, the man from Serbia will get some votes…and deservedly so.
Bradley Beal just had an age 25 season equal to the last three Shooting Guards to retire that were lock Hall-of-Famers. Look at these numbers! STL’s own stacks up with three of the best to ever play the position.
Bradley Beal at age 25: 25.6 ppg, 5.5 asts, 5.0 rbds, 1.5 stls
Reggie Miller at age 25: 22.6 ppg, 4 asts, 3.4 rbds, 1.3 stls
Ray Allen at age 25: 22.0 ppg, 4.6 asts, 5.2 rbds, 1.5 stls
Kobe Bryant at age 25: 24.0 ppg, 5.1 asts, 5.5 rbds, 1.7 stls
The STL is proud…we have a couple of dudes in the playoffs. A couple with a chance at a ring. Tatum is up in Boston and has as good a chance as any to come out of the East. And, after a really weird year, Patrick McCaw ended up in Toronto on the 2nd seed with a chance to hang a banner. How bout that for some NBA in STL representation in the hunt for this year’s title.
That’s all for this episode. I hope you learned a little something and love the fact that Lebron’s season is dead in April…and that you will tune into every damn game you can. This is the playoffs…don’t sleep on the NBA, basketball is the greatest game ever invented.
Until Next Time long live Rudy Gay all over Lebron James and the Heat.
Follow Sauls on Twitter at @Will_ArchCity